The Dark End of the Street (2020) Movie Review

Director: Kevin Tran

Writer: Kevin Tran (Screenplay)

Starring: Scott Friend, Brooke Bloom, Lindsay Burdge, Michael Cyril Creighton, Jennifer Kim, Daniel K Isaac

Plot: Residents of a suburban community enjoy a night at home with their friends and family, while an ominous threat looms just outside their doors.

Runtime: 1 Hour 9 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Burn

Story: The Dark End of the Street starts as we meet a host of residents in a suburban community expecting parents Jim (Friend) and Patty (Burdge), Korean family, Sue (Kim), Keith (Isaac) and daughter Natalie, Cat lady Marney (Bloom) whose beloved cat Bruce is the latest victim of a string a pet murders in the community. We have other locals Isaac (Creighton), Richard (Parrack) along with teenage band members.

As night arrives strange connections are made between the residents, as the pet killer looks to strike again.

Thoughts on The Dark End of the Street

Final Thoughts The Dark End of the Street brings us an everyday incident filled time in one street, we get to see how everyone is going about there own day, there own reaction to the pet killer around, find security in a neighbour, alcohol, or just friends. Everything does seem very grounded, with nobody looking to solve the problem, only them looking to prepare themselves from the potential problem. This does make everything feel slower, because this is more about the human nature, rather than any sort of thriller on tracking somebody down, or even investigating what happened. The best way to describe this one, is to make sure you are prepared for a film about human nature, rather than wanting to see an intense story unfold. We do get to see how you will never know what people are going through behind their own doors.

Overall: Very Slow Burner.

Black Water: Abyss (2020) Movie Review

Director: Andrew Traucki

Writer: John Ridley, Sarah Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica McNamee, Luke Mitchell, Amali Golden, Anthony J Sharpe, Benjamin Hoetjes

Plot: Five friends exploring a remote cave system in Northern Australia find themselves threatened by a hungry crocodile.

Tagline – Descend into Fear

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Poor Creature Feature

Story: Black Water: Abyss starts as five friends Cash (Sharpe), Jennifer (McNamee), Eric (Mitchell), Yolanda (Golden) and Viktor (Hoetjes) head to a new cave system that Cash has found, once inside the friends explore, discover a beautiful underwater lake.

Things take turn for the worse when a storm starts to get the lake flooded, before they learn they are trapped in the room with rising water and a killer crocodile, in what becomes a battle to survive and escape.

Thoughts on Black Water: Abyss

Characters – Jennifer is the lead of the friends, she isn’t interested in going and has started to see her relationship with Eric going downhill and once inside the cave, she finds herself not wanting to stay get in the water even though it could be the rescue plan. She is also the character with the least about her. Eric leads the exploration taking charge of when things go wrong, showing his leadership skills. Yolanda and Viktor are a couple that have more about their relationship with Yolanda secretly being pregnant showing they both have more to fight for, while Cash is the slacker type figure in the lives, who takes them to the cave, though he isn’t used to this environment.

PerformancesWhen it comes to performances, the cast really don’t have much to work with, making it very hard to any of them to make an impact in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the five cavers that become trapped in an underwater cave with rising water and a killer crocodile looking to defend its territory. This is a simple enough story, that gives us thin character development, which does seem to focus on the personal dramas over the actual survival, while we have a moments where people go on a plan to escape, when the others just go on to do something more stupid, this is more frustrating than anything.

Action/HorrorThe action does have realistic attacks, only they are horrendously shot, with the horror relying on the music for the attacks.

SettingsWe spend the film inside the cave, which does give us a contained location, with even more peril for the film.

Scene of the Movie – The crocodile attacks spin are at least realistic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Focusing on the characters too much with their personal dramas.

Final Thoughts This is a poor creature feature that just doesn’t make us care for the characters and gives us poor shot attack sequences.

Overall: Sloppy Creature Feature.

Unhinged (2020) Movie Review

Director: Derrick Borte

Writer: Carl Ellsworth (Screenplay)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Jimmi Simpson, Caren Pistorius, Gabriel Bateman, Michael Papajohn, Anne Leighton

Plot: After a confrontation with an unstable man at an intersection, a woman becomes the target of his rage.

Tagline – He Can Happen to Anyone

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense Popcorn Flick

Story: Unhinged starts when Rachel (Pistorius) a mother going through a divorce which is making her life more difficult is taking her son Kyle (Bateman) to school when she gets involved in a simple traffic incident, which sees a stranger (Crowe) target her in revenge.

Rachel finds herself being terrorised by the man who is hellbent on making her have the worse day of her life, in what becomes a battle to survive this mad man.

Thoughts on Unhinged

Characters – The Man opens with his substance abuse, before committing a violent crime on his ex-wife, a broken violent man he is, he is waiting for someone to push his buttons, which happens to be Rachel, he decides to terrorise her and anybody who gets near her, not hiding his violence, he doesn’t care how many people see him, he is past breaking point. Rachel is the newly single mother, trying to hold her life together while her divorce is going through, she has already lost a lot from her life and doesn’t need anymore problems, which is what she gets, needing to race to save her loved ones from this mad man, protecting her son becomes the most important thing to her. Kyle is Rachel’s son, he is going through the stage where his mother is not letting him do things, but at least trying to stay strong, while his father just lets him down. We do also meet other loved ones that become the targets of The Man rage.

PerformancesRussell Crowe is brilliant in this leading role, he is one of the most terrifying villains of the year, as we see his physical presence, no care of consequences character shine through this film. Caren Pistorius is strong counter to Crowe, you can see the slow break she is having, even if the character doesn’t always seem like they are in the right film. We do have known names in the supporting role, only they don’t really get to do much.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that accidently insights the rage of an unstable man who decides to make her life a nightmare, as he looks to kill anyone close to her. Road Rage is a good idea for a villainous motivation, we see how the Man breaks so easily and it is just a punch, he will kill, he is twisted in why he targets someone. With the core of the story being a strong idea, one we have seen done with more slow building tension, this one doesn’t want to hold back with the violence. The story does have one major plot hole though, if The Man is wanted by the police before anything happens, why is there so little amount of police presence searching for him, surely we would have police helicopters hunting him down too? Add in the traditional bad decision making process to extend the film, you will find yourself rolling your eyes at certain moments of the story, but switch off and watch Crowe enjoy the villainous mad man role, you will have a lot of enjoyment in this one.

ThrillerThis does create a lot of the edge of your seat moments, because you don’t know what the man will do next, just how deadly he could be.

SettingsWe spend a lot of time on the run through the film, the chases, do feel safe, but the tight streets add something to the sequences, while the different locations the Man finds himself in, usually mean something big is going to happen.

Scene of the Movie – Death line.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Lack of police presence after the Man’s first crime.

Final Thoughts This is a film that gets elevated by Russell Crowe, he takes this film from middle ground to a good time movie, he is terrifying, which makes us scared of what he could do next.

Overall: Crowe Is Amazing.

Mortal (2020) Movie Review

Director: Andre Ovredal

Writer: Geoff Bussetil, Norman Lesperance, Andre Ovredal (Screenplay)

Starring: Nat Wolff, Priyanka Bose, Iben Akerlie, Arthur Hakalahti, Ania Nova, Oddrunn Valestrand

Plot: Fantasy adventure origin story about a young man discovering he has God-like powers based on ancient Norwegian mythology.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Electrifying

Story: Mortal starts when lone traveller Eric (Wolff) is confronted by a group of locals in Norway, with the incident resulting in the death of one of those boys, with no clear explanation on how it happened, the police turn to psychologist Christine (Akerlie) who is dealing with her own terrible news, as she looks to try and get answers from Eric.

When Eric accidentally releases his uncontrollable powers, he sees his transport helicopter crash, while he saves Hathaway (Bose) the lead agent, he escapes returning to Christine for help, as the two go in search of answers.

Thoughts on Mortal

Characters – Eric has been living off the grid for years after a tragedy in his family home, when a group of strangers sees him wondering alone, he warns them about his powers, which show how uncontrollable he actually is, he finds himself being hunted down, while he does start to learn about controlling his powers and return to the world he once left behind. Christine is a psychologist that has been called to ask to help get through to Eric, she has her own tragic news and sees this as a chance to help one more person with her kind nature. She helps Eric try and allude the authorities, while working to try and learn his story. Hathaway is the lead agent trying to help Eric and use his powers for their own good, she leads the team tracking him down, needing to make the difficult decisions.

PerformancesNat Wolff in the leading role does a strong job bringing to life a reclusive character trying to decide the right or wrong thing from his life. Iben Akerlie is the star here with her performance bring to life her character that is always trying to do the right thing. Priyanka Bose does well with her role, only we could have seen a lot more from the character.

StoryThe story here follows a once lost lone survivor of a fire that reappears around a mysterious death going in search for answers to why he has gained these dangerous powerful abilities. The story does dive into Norse mythology with trying to unlock a fresh new approach to how the powers are created and used. This does create the balance of good and evil that could come from the powers. We do get to have a good investigation into the mystery about what happened to Eric’s family, as we learn small parts along the way, but we do seem to waste the full investigation into Hathaway’s reasoning behind why is around and what she wants from Eric.

ActionThe action in the film is great with most sequences in the film being around the electric abilities Eric seems to have, with the bridge sequence being the highlight of everything.

SettingsThe film uses the Norwegian countryside to show the beauty of the landscape and how easily Eric could disappear from the world for years.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong with the lightening strikes being battled with by Eric, showing the destruction they could bring when they hit.

Scene of the Movie – The bridge sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Hathaway seems like she should be a more important character than we see.

Final Thoughts This is an entertaining fantasy movie that does give us the same vibes as Chronicle, X-Men and Brightburn, showing us what could happen with powers in an everyday life.

Overall: Enjoyable.

Signature Entertainment presents Mortal on Digital HD August 3rd and DVD August 24th

Nothing But the Blood (2020) Movie Review

Director: Daniel Tucker

Writer: Daniel Tucker (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel Hudson, Jordan O’Neal, Nick Triola, Les Best, Vivian Glazier

Plot: A small-town journalist sent to cover the opening of a controversial church. As the ministry digs its roots into the town and its residents, her life takes an unexpected, violent turn that will shake her foundations to their very core.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Cult Like Nightmare

Story: Nothing But the Blood starts as journalist Jessica (Hudson) looks to investigate a controversial church, she meets the Father (Best) whose words show they behaviour isn’t going to be good for the neighbourhood and when she meets Thomas (O’Neal) he finds himself in trouble with the church.

When the couple decide to have a baby together without marriage, they become the target for hate, they start receiving threats with the church looking over them, waiting for their next move.

Thoughts on Nothing But the Blood

Characters – Jessica is a journalist that will look for stories that will make an impact, with this new cult like church being her latest target, she knows they will be dangerous even though she falls in love with one of the members who can see the problems within the church, she feels targeted, is determined and is looking over her shoulder about what the church could do to her next. Thomas was once part of the church, but starts noticing the problems within the church and falls in love with Jessica. Father is the one that controls his followers, he believes the religion is the most important in the world and if you don’t follow him, he will target them.

PerformancesRachel Hudson must go through a range of emotions through the film, each one she shines in. Jordan O’Neal as the former church member shows us an enlightened character, with the performers from within the church showing us just how controlled they can become.

StoryThe story here follows a journalist who is investigating a controversial church, where she gets caught up in the middle with a follower that is willing to leave for her and how the church seems to have their own ideas for them. This story does bring us the ideas of a cult like church who have their own minds on life issues, they will go against the other churches and if you go against them, they look at you as a threat, including people leaving them. How the story is told is very different because a lot of the story takes place over a larger period of time, showing the slow hassling of the new couple, where you always feel like something will become the catalyst to everything else that happens. There is a lot of tension built up in the story and things will go in shocking directions.

HorrorThe horror is more focused on what could be happening, fearing what the church is capable off, making our characters live their life with them needing to look over their shoulders.

SettingsThe film uses the community settings, this shows us how the church has created a fear within the people, how they look to control people and how their words can be followed with the local environment.

Scene of the Movie – Tables turned.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There seems to be a slower side to the opening part of the film.

Final Thoughts This is a cult following movie that does everything we have seen in them before, with the biggest change being the length of time the characters are left haunted by what could be going on, with tension being the driving force in this one.

Overall: Tension Filled Horror.

The film hits VOD, blu-ray, and DVD nationwide on August 4th