Finding Grace (2019) Movie Review

Director: Warren Fast

Writer: Warren Fast (Screenplay)

Starring: Erin Gray, David Keith, Bo Svenson, Paris Warner, Jasen Wade, London Grace, Lacy Hartselle

Plot: A struggling family, already on the verge of disintegration, faces new challenges that will test their faith in God and each other.


Tagline – There comes a time in each person’s life… to make a choice.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Touching Drama

Story: Finding Grace starts as 18-year-old Alaska Rose (Warner) finds herself facing a judge after breaking the law, giving community service or facing jail, her father Conner (Wade) wants Alaska to learn responsibility before it is too late, with her desire to party still coming through.

Alaska must do her community service at a nursing home with Amanda Wheeler (Davenport) watching over, here Alaska meets lonely resident Julianna Foster (Oglesby) who acts strangely around her, as the time in the home continues, Alaska learns she can help, she doesn’t want the shallow life her friends seem to b pushing her towards, all while dealing with her own pain of losing her mother, becoming the big sister her brother always needed.

Thoughts on Finding Grace

Characters – Alaska Rose has just turned 18, she has found herself in trouble with the law and given a suspended prison sentence with community service at a nursing home. Alaska starts of as a self-centred teenager, who is more interested in partying with friends, that facing the future coming her way, she needs to learn responsibility before it is too late. Alaska is also haunted by the death of mother when she was younger, which does show the strain in her relationship with her father. Alaska is the focal point of the arc in this story, her transformation through the film is excellent. Conner is Alaska’s father, he struggles with work with a business that isn’t as successful as he had hoped and he has become distant from his children in his own way of grieving for his wife, he looks to find God once again, in a hope to move on with his life. Julianna Foster is the elderly resident at the home that Alaska strikes up an unlikely friendship, she has lived a colourful life that not enough people have heard about until Alaska listens to her story and finally finds somebody to open up to.

PerformancesParis Warner is wonderful in the leading role, we see how she shows the change in her character over the two month spell, as well as showing the pain she carries with her. Jasen Wade does bring the distance required for his character through the film. Kisha Sharon Oglesby brings the heart needed for the film, her performance does everything to show Alaska how important change will be.

StoryThe story here follows an 18-year-old that is facing prison if she doesn’t clean up her act, where she does community services to hopefully turn her life around and learn to open up about her own pain in her life. This story does use the faith side of life to get the message across, while this might well be the key motivation for change, it does show, how the right people in life can put you on the right path, change you for the better and those around you. We do sometimes focus on Alaska’s father in a mix of either not enough or too much, where he does have arc to go through, though it doesn’t seem like it gets the attention desired, or whether we needed his complete arc running next to hers. This is a very touching drama that does show everything it needs too, to pull on the emotions.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show how Alaska would find herself in places she wouldn’t have planned on being, with these being helpful in her change.


Scene of the Movie – Second court

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much focus on Conner’s arc.

Final Thoughts This is a drama that plays on the emotional chords that shows us that change can make lives better and finding the right path will always set you free.

Overall: Emotional Drama.

The Platform (2019) Movie Review

Director: Galder Gaztelu-Irrutia

Writer: David Desola, Pedro Rivero (Screenplay)

Starring: Ivan Massague, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale, Alexandra Masangkay, Zihara Llana, Mario Pardo

Plot: A vertical prison with one cell per level. Two people per cell. One only food platform and two minutes per day to feed from up to down. An endless nightmare trapped in The Pit.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Outstandingly Original

Story: The Platform starts when Goreng (Massague) wakes up in a room with one cellmate Trimagasi (Eguileor), the cell has a hole in the middle and they are on level 48. Goreng gets the answers about the different levels in the structure, with them being nearer the middle, giving them options on the food supplies that get lowered to each level daily, with the people lower down getting whatever the levels above leaves.

After the first month, the pair find themselves near the very bottom of the system, which brings out a darker side of Trimagasi, where Goreng gets to learn more about the harsh reality, he finds himself in.

Thoughts on The Platform

Characters – Goreng has volunteered to be part of this prison, in exchange for a degree, he wants to understand this procedure and wants to make a change, only to learn that he can only hope, he learns the reality of where he finds himself and must learn to survive with different cellmates. Trimagasi is the first cellmate that Goreng has, he has been in the prison for months and has been at the highest and lowest levels, knowing what it takes to survive the different levels. Imoguiri is second cell mate that Goreng has, she has worked for the company for years and has volunteered to be part of this, believing she could make a change. We do see other people in the prison, with ideas of trying to get out as well as seeing how the people who run it operate.

PerformancesIvan Massague is great in the leading role, he shows how his character evolves through the events of his time in the prison. Zorion Eguileor fills in the gaps very well through the film, which is what most of the other actors do in the film, they give us the information to help on the journey.

StoryThe story follows a man that wakes up in a prison with one cellmate and a hole in the middle of the room, where each day a platform with food a arrives on each level, with the lower down the building you are, the less food you receive with you only getting what the above rooms leave. This is an exceptional story that dives into greed and consumerism, show how people will always want to take more than they deserve, which will cause problems to the ones below. The story does give us the idea that desperation could bring out the worst in people and shows that the weak will not last in this situation unless they can convince the dangerous ones to work together.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in this film comes from the situation the characters find themselves in, the battle to survive the problems, with the structure coming straight out of the wildest sci-fi imagination, when you think of the pure size of this structure.

SettingsThe film is set inside of a prison structure with different levels, the rooms have a hole in which a platform of food arrives on daily, we don’t know how many levels we are going through here, which leaves us wondering of the pure scale of the structure.

Special EffectsThe film uses the effects to show us how the injuries are inflicted when it comes to the fights and even showing us the scale of the building.


Scene of the Movie – Goreng and Baharat journey.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The above world either need to not exist or exist more than we get.

Final Thoughts This is a thought-provoking film that asks very big questions and highlights the problems in the world, with an added chapter of Cube.

Overall: Wonderful

Abominable (2019) Movie Review

Director: Jamaal Burden

Writer: Joseph Daniel Ellis (Screenplay)

Starring: Katrina Mattson, Amy Gordon, Justin Prince Moy, Robert Berlin, Brandon Grimes

Plot: A research team embarks on a journey to obtain a plant that can advance medical research by centuries. While stumbling upon clues of the previous expedition, they discover that a Yeti creature lurks within the Himalayan mountains and will do anything to protect its terrain.

Runtime: 1 Hour 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Creature Feature 101

Story: Abominable starts as a research team led by Dr Smith (Gordon) arrive at the research facility to find empty and destroyed, the rest of the team including Sarah (Mattson), Pete (Moy) and soldiers start searching the surrounding area to clues to what happened, as we see the previous team getting picked off by a yeti.

As the team continue trying to complete the research, which would have medical advances beyond their imagination, they find themselves getting picked off by the yeti, how much will they end up risking to change history.

Thoughts on Abominable

Characters – Dr Smith is the one leading the team in search for the potential cure, she finds herself being kept hostage by the one person that wants more than the cure, she is motivated to find answers because of her illnesses, Sarah is the best friend of Dr Smith, she has followed her on her work, knowing it is for the right reason, trying to keep her safe, working with Pete to use technology to keep the surrounding area safe. Robert is the military man that is watching over Dr Smith, only he has his own reason for being on this mission.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, we get the four main performers, they are doing the normal wonder around the woods, giving the back story well, but don’t fill you with the fear they might be experiencing during the events of the film.

StoryThe story here follows a research team as they look to uncover the truth about what happened at a research facility and finish the job, only to find themselves being hunted down by a yeti. With the story here we do have the idea of going to a remote location for scientific reasons, which will lead to a creature of sorts coming after them, balancing science with life, it is a tried and tested formula that works for horror, you just need to make your own characters with different motivations. The story might well feel routine, it does have a few twists along the way and plays out how every single film of this style would. Easy to watch, you know what you are getting, just enjoy it.

HorrorThe horror comes from the yeti attacks, well they are violent, they do seem to lack the scare factor a 7-9ft creature should give somebody.

SettingsThe film is meant to be set in the Himalayan mountain range, we are just in a random woodland area, which just doesn’t give us the location feeling in anyway during the film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong with practical injuries being inflicted looking gory as they should.


Scene of the Movie – Bob versus the yeti.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – You never feel like you are on location the film is meant to be set in.

Final Thoughts This is an easy to watch horror that does everything by the book without being as scary as it should be.

Overall: Late Night Horror 101.

Come to Daddy (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ant Timpson

Writer: Toby Harvard (Screenplay)

Starring: Elijah Wood, Stephan McHattie, Garfield Wilson, Madeleine Sami, Martin Donovan, Michael Smiley

Plot: A man in his thirties travels to a remote cabin to reconnect with his estranged father.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Twist Filled

Story: Come to Daddy starts when Norval (Wood) goes to his estranged father’s Gordon (McHattie) remote cabin to visit for the first time in years, it doesn’t start off smooth, with Norval feeling unwelcomed, trying to figure out what is father wants with this visit.

When the two get into an argument, Norval finds himself needing to look more into the past of his father, which slowly uncovers a bigger mystery, one with terrifying truths he wasn’t ready for.

Thoughts on Come to Daddy

Characters – Norval is a 30-year-old man that has received a letter from his estranged father in his remote cabin, this doesn’t go well as he finds out he doesn’t have the same connection he had hoped, only when things take a dramatic turn, when he learns what is really going on in the cabin and must do anything to protect his mother. Gordon is the Norval’s father waiting to spend time with him, only he doesn’t show the compassion Norval has hoped, he is heartless towards him, which only ends up showing an even darker side to him. Jethro is a connection to Norval’s father, he will kill anybody who gets in his way. Brian is a man that is discovered by Norval, he has a bigger story that might add everything up more for Norval.

PerformancesElijah Wood is wonderful in the leading role of the film, he does show the innocent side to his action, who is pushed to new limits by the events, each proving to be more shocking than the last. Stephen McHattie and Martin Donovan in the support roles are strong in the supporting roles, with Michael Smiley getting plenty of the extra laughs.

StoryThe story here follows a 30-something year old that goes to visit his estranged father, only for this trip to take an unexpected twist along the way, one he couldn’t imagine happening. When we look at this story, we know with it being a horror comedy, we are going to get some twists along the way, this story doesn’t disappoint and takes us in directions we couldn’t have imagined, with each twist feeling genuinely surprising. We don’t want to get too involved with what happens, because it does leave plenty to surprise us with, though deep down we are getting into the ideas of dealing father son relationship with the father leaving the son early in his life.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy often comes from Norval’s reactions to everything, along with how Michael Smiley acts through the film, the horror does come from the twist into the story, which does put Norval into a world he never expected.

SettingsThe film does keep a lot of the film set in the remote cabin, only for secrets to be discovered the longer we are there, when we leave it does hold the film back at times.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong with most being injury infliction which looks as brutal as it is meant to.


Scene of the Movie – The kitchen fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The change in Norval seems too realistic, like he was waiting to be allowed to do this.

Final Thoughts This is a cool, horror comedy, which does show us how to keep a story twist a secret and surprise the audience when it is unleashed upon everyone.

Overall: Fun, Shock Filled Horror.

VFW (2019) Movie Review

Director: Joe Begos

Writer: Max Brallier, Matthew McArdle (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, David Patrick Kelly, George Wendt, Tom Williamson

Plot: A group of war veterans must defend their local VFW post and an innocent teen against a deranged drug dealer and his relentless army of punk mutants.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Big, Bloody and Violent

Story: VFW starts as we head into a world where a new drug nicknamed Hype has taken over the streets, causing the junkies to do anything to get their hands on it. Fred Parras (Lang) runs the bar in the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign War), with the locals Walter (Sadler), Abe (Williamson), Lou (Kove), Doug (Kelly) and Thomas (Wendt) meeting on a nightly drink, with a new member Shawn (Williamson) joining them this night.

When a young woman called Lizard (McCormick) arrives in the bar running from the drug dealer Boz (Hammer) the former soldiers must use their skills to fight back and protect their bar and life, to understand what has caused the new guest to enrage the drug dealer.

Thoughts on VFW

Characters – Fred Parras runs the bar, he served with the regulars and isn’t afraid to get into a fight to protect his bar. He does try to find the best solution for the regulars and former soldiers once they come under attack, even if it does mean giving up his own life for what he sees as his soldiers. Walter, Abe, Lou and Doug served with Fred and get another chance to show of their military skills defending their bar. Boz is the drug dealer that will kill for his product or anyone who gets in his way, including Lizard who ended up in the VFW. Lizard wants revenge for her sister’s death by Boz, she is lucky to end up with the vets because they will fight for her.

PerformancesStephen Lang is great to watch taking the leading role along with the veteran actors of William Sadler, Fred Williamson and Martin Kove, while the young stars don’t get the chance to make as big of an impact on the story.

StoryThe story here follows a group of war veterans who see their bar come under attack by a group of junkies and their dealer who want their product back and are willing to kill to get it back. The story does become an easy watch because it is mostly older or people with respect, versus young junkies, while have a different location and style, it could easily be compared to Assault on Precinct 13 with the numbers game being against the soldiers, and the enemy being people showing no respect. We don’t get into anything deep, it is just battle between two different sides.

Action/HorrorThe action is blood filled with violent weapons which only give us plenty of violent action in the fights, which can end up in the horror world, by showing us just how violent the battle between the two sides.

SettingsThe film does keep us in a contained area, with the battle between both sides coming from two opposite buildings.

Special EffectsThe effects are used very well to show the injuries through the film and they aren’t afraid to hold back.


Scene of the Movie – The final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Shaky Cam, even though it is meant to show the effects of injuries suffered.

Final Thoughts This is a wildly over the top action horror that isn’t afraid to show the bloodshed, it might not get the strongest character development, but does feel like a throwback to 80’s action horror movies.

Overall: Throwback 101