Coyote Lake (2019) Movie Review

Director: Sara Seligman

Writer: Sara Seligman, Thomas James Bond (Screenplay)

Starring: Camila Mendes, Adriana Barraza, Charlie Weber, Neil Sandilands

Plot: Ester and her overbearing mother run a small bed-and-breakfast near the US/Mexico border. Two unwanted guests arrive, threatening everyone’s safety. But the two women hide a secret that may prove the most dangerous of all.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Coyote Lake starts as we see how Ester (Mendes) and her mother Teresa (Barraza) run a small bed-and-breakfast by the US/Mexico border, they have a routine, which will see them drug the guest, and when their latest operation is going on, they get unwanted guests, Paco (Velez) and the injured Ignacio (Perez).

Both sides are looking at the next step of their lives, with both having their own plans with what to do with each other, making the blossoming romance between Ester and Paco, even more dangerous.

Thoughts on Coyote Lake

Characters – Ester is the daughter that has been working with her mother for years on trying to raise money by killing guests at the bed-and-breakfast, she hasn’t seen the outside world before, with her only trip being to collect the drugs to knock the victims out, when Paco shows her more of what could be, she finds herself wanting to stop and escape this world. Teresa is the mother of Ester, her husband was killed by the Cartel and now she has raised Ester to follow her work to kill the guests, she claims it is to escape the world, but she never seems to get to far away. Paco is the young dealer that wants to help Ester escape this world, he sees that she wants more from her life and he would like to offer it to her.

PerformancesCamila Mendes brings all the innocence to her role, showing how she has been pushed into this life without knowing more, starting to question what is right. Adriana Barraza brings the cold-hearted mother role to life, where she can come off like the sweet old lady, but is hiding the darker side. Andrew Velez shows us that both sides of the criminal lines are filled with people pushed into them with his desperate to escape role.

StoryThe story here follows a mother and daughter living away form the world that have their own scheme, where they are killing the guests at their bed-and-breakfast, a plan which they have been running for a while, which gets interrupted when two dealers stumble upon them, looking to take control of the property. This is a story which shows us two young people that have been dragged into a criminal world, one they didn’t want to be part of by their elders, never getting to live the life of a free honest person. Add in the cat-n-mouse style battle between the two sides, who both have a plan for each other, while it could mean risking more. We get a feeling of watching ‘Dexter’ too through this film, with the operation seemingly to be going so smoothly. This does show us how people can be led astray and how they need to earn their freedom, with a tension that can be sliced with a knife, you will be left wondering who will make it out alive.

CrimeThe crime side of this film shows us two operations going on, first the murderous mother and daughter, then the dealing men that come together in a battle to stay ahead of each other’s secrets or plans.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the remote isolated bed-and-breakfast, which does play into the ideas that Ester and Teresa are doing, no one will see what they are doing or miss the people staying there.

Scene of the Movie – Ester’s boat trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It isn’t completely clear how long Ester and Teresa have been doing this.

Final Thoughts Coyote Lake is a tense affair that will see two different styles of criminals trying to stay ahead of each other in a cat-n-mouse game.

Crucified (2019) Movie Review

Director: Claudio Lattanzi

Writer: Claudio Lattanzi, Antonio Tentori (Screenplay)

Starring: Cinzia Monreale, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Marina Loi, Veronica Urban, Tania Orlandi, Lorene Lepori

Plot: In a dungeon, five people struggle for their survival: three women, a theologian, and a young doctor. Outside this hideout reigns the APOCALYPSE. The Evil has been generated by a patient zero, and a group of former soldiers, The Exterminators, crucify any person they meet to find the source of this evil.

Runtime: 1 Hour 11 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Crucified starts as we enter a world where an apocalyptic event has occurred, leaving the very few survivors, Bionda (Monreale), Steiner (Radice), Lisa (Loi), Nera (Urban), Rossa (Orlandi) and Michael (Lepori) needing to stay away from soldiers known as Exterminators, who are hunting for any survivors in the world.

As the Exterminators start to move closer, the survivors must look for an escape before becoming the next set of victims, learning to adapt to the different conditions.

Thoughts on Crucified

ThoughtsCrucified is an Italian horror movie that has elements of ‘I Am Legend’ ‘Daybreakers’ and the old fashion vampire genre. We get a brilliant world creation, that is filled with the destruction of what caused everything to happen, along with the day night cycle, which helps us understand the changes in the environment. The story is more about seeing how the last few survivors are coping with what has happened, with the idea a bigger threat is coming their way. This side is similar to what we have seen before, with only the method of dealing with the survivors getting a heavier religious theme. The performances in the film are strong throughout, without being standout, or caught up in the bad, everybody does what you think they would need to.

Final Thoughts Crucified is a nice addition to the vampire world of films, creating an awesome world that we could see continue to grow.

Foster Boy (2019) Movie Review

Foster Boy – Important Drama

Director: Youssef Delara

Writer: Jay Paul Deratany (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew Modine, Shane Paul McGhie, Lex Scott Davis, Julie Benz, Amy Brenneman, Greg Germann, Louis Gossett Jr

Plot: Michael is a high-powered lawyer and Jamal is an angry young man who has been imprisoned after years of abuse in the foster care system. Together they have to overcome their differences to find justice and expose the foster care system.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Foster Boy starts as we meet high-powered cooperate lawyer Michael Trainer (Modine) who has an excellent record in the courtroom, but has never taken on cases for people. On his latest case, he wins, with the next case needing a lawyer, where Judge George Taylor (Gossett Jr) forcing Michael to take the case.

Michael takes the case of Jamal Randolph (McGhie) who is looking to file a case against the foster care system he was raised in, where he suffered years of abuse. This case could break the foster system and the company being exposed will do anything to cover up the truth.

Thoughts on Foster Boy

Characters & Performances – Michael Trainer is an experience cooperate lawyer that has been winning cases for fun, never caring too much about the clients. A judge pushes him into take a case for a former foster child that is trying to get case against the foster company after he suffered abuse. He isn’t interested to start with, but soon he finds himself being targeted in the company as he looks to win the case. Matthew Modine is great in this leading role, showing us how his powerful character can have his life pulled out from under himself, where he will showing the skills his character truly holds. Jamal Randolph is the victim that had been in and out of prison die to the abuse he once suffered in the foster system. He doesn’t like letting people into help him, clashing with Michael to start with. When he gets to open up, we get to see just how much he has been through, what he has suffered through the years, leading up to one of the most difficult scenes in courtroom dramas. Shane Paul McGhie is truly fantastic here, giving what could easily be the breakout performance for the young star. Pamela Dupree is the carer that works for the foster care company, she will do anything to make the case go away to keep her company clean, showing the dirty tactics involved. Julie Benz is great as this ruthless woman not willing to lose.

StoryThe story here follows a cooperate lawyer who gets drawn into a case for an abuse victim against one of the companies he would normally defend, showing he can make a difference to the people that need it most. This is one of the important dramas that might well give us a fictional story, but using the reality of the foster are system being flawed in America. It shows how a company will do anything to make sure they will get what they want over what is best for the child who might be suffering. Like any courtroom drama, we get the excellent courtroom sequences that push the story, grab the attention as we hear what is happening with the stories.

ThemesFoster Boy is a courtroom drama that is highlight the foster system flaws, we get to see the different worlds Michael and Jamal have come through, from the life of luxury that Michael lives, to the foster system which Jamal has suffered through. The courtroom adds to the scenes, which will keep us wanting to see what the next chapter of the truth will end up being.

Foster Boy will be available on Digital Download from 1st March and can be bought here

Foster Boy is an eye-opening experience into how flawed the foster care system truly is.

The Fanatic (2019) Movie Review

Director: Fred Durst

Writer: Fred Durst, Dave Bekerman (Screenplay)

Starring: John Travolta, Devon Sawa, Ana Golja, Jacob Grodnik, James Paxton, Josh Richman, Jeff Chase

Plot: A rabid film fan stalks his favorite action hero and destroys the star’s life.

Tagline – All He Wanted Was An Autograph 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Fanatic starts as we meet horror fanatic Moose (Travolta) who hustles on the street corners for money, while collect film memorabilia and autographs of his favourite stars, with his latest favourite star being Hunter Dunbar (Sawa).

After Moose might finally get to meet Hunter, things end abruptly as Hunter needs to leave, with Moose turning to his paparazzi friend Leah (Golja) to learn where Hunter leaves, crossing the line between fan and stalker.

Thoughts on The Fanatic

Characters – Moose is an autistic man that has an obsessive nature, which will see him collect horror film memorabilia and autographs, he has quite the collection, but what he wants most is Hunter Dunbar’s autograph, when he doesn’t get the autograph, he starts to stalk the actor, turning to breaking into his house, never understanding the lines he has crossed. Hunter Dunbar is an actor that has been in movies, while never seemingly reaching the next level of stardom, he seems more like a cult star more than anything else, he isn’t happy with the invasion of the privacy making it clear to Moose to stay away from his personal life. Leah is Moose’s closest friend, she works as a paparazzi always looking for snaps of the celebrities in Hollywood, she tries to help and advice Moose becoming scared of what he might do.

PerformancesJohn Travolta commits to his role, we never know what he will make his character do next, in what is part uncomfortable and part mesmerizing to see. Devon Sawa turns from the once stalker to the stalked here, showing the pressure of celebrity brings when someone invades the private life. Ana Golja shows us how someone could survive Hollywood in a way that isn’t always the best for the greater good of the area.

StoryThe story here shows us how one autistic man can not always understand the line between right and wrong, when it comes to getting closer to a celebrity he worships and shows us what will happen if he crosses the line. This is an interesting story that does put a firm highlight on how the celebrity world can see people going to extreme measures to get what they want, it will show us how fans can cross the lines, but it does it in a way where the fan isn’t fully aware of the lines he has crossed by giving him a mental handicap. This story does border on all sorts of lines, from terrible to genius, it just never manages to fall into either side or committing to trying to go against other movies we might have seen before.

CrimeThe crime side of this film comes from seeing just how many lines Moose would cross, showing how stalkers could go too far.

SettingsWe use Hollywood as the setting here, seeing the boardwalk where people will try to make money, the celebrity homes and the struggle for the rest in smaller apartments.

Scene of the Movie – Jason here?

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not sure why Hunter doesn’t report the first incident.

Final Thoughts This is a strange movie that is easily one that could surprise us along the way and could be watched for all the wrong reasons.

The Curse of Dracula (Valburga) (2019) Movie Thoughts

Director: Tomaz Gorkic

Writer: Tomaz Gorkic (Screenplay)

Starring: Jurij Drevensek, Marko Mandic, Tanja Ribic, Katarina Stegnar, Jonas Znidarsic, Niklas Kvarforth

Plot: Bojan and Marjan organize a tourist scam at a mansion in Valburga meant to have belonged to Count Dracula’s cousin. During the first visit, a mysterious character appears.

Tagline – Horror never remains buried deep enough

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Curse of Dracula starts when Marjan (Drevensek) and Bojan (Mandic) look to cash in on tourists with tours of the local mansion in Valburga, Slovenia. With their latest tour they get an extreme tourist in Sven (Kvarforth) who wants to meet real vampires, but when a mysterious figure appears, the body start piling up.

Thoughts on The Curse of Dracula

ThoughtsThe Curse of Dracula follows a scam tourist plan that will see things go in a dark twisted direction, diving into the idea of vampires. The film does add in an extra level of comedy, playing into the wacky people that would dive into the idea of heading to a vampire location in hopes of finding in. when everything starts to unfold, it does become difficult to keep up with who is or isn’t an important character. We do get a lot of blood and gore, which will keep the gore fans happy. The single location of the mansion does offer up many different rooms, with different secrets to reveal.

Final Thoughts The Curse of Dracula is a standard spin on the vampire, that is filled with gore, but lacks the story impact.