Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Dark Circles (2013)

dark-circlesDirector: Paul Soter

Writer: Paul Soter (Screenplay)

Starring: Pell James, Johnathon Schaech, Andrea Frankle, Philippe Brenninkmeyer


Plot: Alex and Penny are sick of the hectic city life and decide a move out to the country to raise their newborn child. But they don’t expect the horrors threatening their relationship and family.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Easily Forgettable


Story: Dark Circles starts as couple Penny (James) and Alex (Schaech) are deciding whether to leave the city to raise their new born child, both have doubts but go ahead with the move to the country.

Moving into their country home they discover the peace and quiet isn’t what is seems as both Penny and Alex start seeing a mysterious ghostly woman around the house attracted to their baby. The longer the two struggle to get sleep the more the visit appear leaving us to wonder if they are losing their minds or really under attack.


Thoughts on Dark Circles


Characters/PerformanceAlex and Penny are good if not basic look at the modern family struggling with a new born child, they lose sleep and question each other’s commitments to have the baby in the first place, it is all very basic stuff as you never learn anything more about Penny and the only thing we learn about Alex is that he is a musician.

Performance wise this is also solid from the two leads who must carry the whole film with only moments from the rest of the cast, neither gives a great performance but they do well enough for the film.stars

StoryThe story is easy to follow, couple move to quiet area to raise child and this new house has elements of supernatural, yeah, we have seen this a lot in the genre and this one doesn’t offer anything new however much it wants to try and shock you.

Horror/ThrillerWe do have a couple of good jump scares in this film but otherwise it is a lot of walking around in the background moments and creepy camera angles.

SettingsFor the most part this film is set in the he isolated house which does help our characters mindsets going crazy with what seems like cabin fever but also doesn’t give us the final impact of the bigger story.

Special EffectsWe do get basic effects when needed but at least the film doesn’t turn to it every time.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic horror that I feel loses a lot with the final outcome which the film never indicates before the reveal.


Overall: Simple and easy to follow horror that will break no boundaries.





Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Red Clover (2012)

logoDirector: Drew Daywalt

Writer: Anthony C Ferrante (Screenplay)

Starring: Derek Babb, Dave Davis, William Devane, Matty Ferraro, Billy Zane, Kelly Washington, Azure Parsons, Dane Roberts, Gabriel Jarret, Karl Herlinger, Courtney Halverson, Andrea Frankle

Plot: Sixty-six years ago the town of Irish Channel in Louisiana was the site of a horrible massacre on St. Patrick’s Day. Some blame a terrible storm that blew through the town, but those that were there don’t speak of the truth. Due to petty superstitions St. Patrick’s Day festivities were banned for the last 66 years, but now the new Mayor wants to tempt fate and celebrate.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Solid TV Horror

Story: Red Clover starts with the legend of the Irish community that moved to USA with their gold, but it came from a creature that escaped with them losing it all. We are now in modern time with Pop O’Hara (Devane) hunting with Karen (Halverson) when she stumbles across a red leaf clover unleashing a creature from its ancient burial ground.

Karen’s dad just so happens to be the Sheriff (Zane) who doesn’t get along with his father and his beliefs taking Karen home after the incident in the woods. We learn that Pop has been searching for leprechauns his whole life even if it end up getting him into trouble along the way. Karen has been imprinted by the clover which starts her having nightmares and ditching school. Karen has to search for answers that only Pop could answer because a doctor can’t find anything wrong with her even though the sighs show she is sick.

St Patrick’s day is approaching and people are getting picked off right left and centre, as Karen continues to have strange occurrence happening around her. Karen must race against time to put the leprechaun make in its resting place before it ends up taking over the community.

Red Clover brings a massive amount of Irish clichés when it comes to fighting a Leprechaun creature rather than what we are used too. It all works well for the style of horror with a creature after the town’s people and one person knowing how to fight back, one girl that will win the fight against them. This will offer nothing new to the genre because it never challenges itself to become original. I won’t say this is bad but I also won’t say it is good either, just standard. (/10)

Actor Review

Courtney Halverson: Karen O’Hara is our heroine who gets infected by the red clover, she gets stalked by the leprechaun creature. She has four days to put the leprechaun back into its resting place or she will die. Courtney does a solid job in the leading horror character role. (6/10)karen

Billy Zane: Sheriff Conor O’Hara is Karen’s father who has been dealing with his own father’s issues overtime but when the leprechaun comes to life he has to help fight the superstition before it kills his whole community. Well billy Zane has fallen from where he used to be. (3/10)

William Devane: Pop O’Hara is the town drunk who has spent his life trying to prove leprechauns are real and now he has to go up against a real one to save his grand daughter. William does a solid job but really should be doing more for his career. (5/10)pops

Support Cast: Red Clover has a supporting cast that all end up being generic characters that all play out to be victims.

Director Review: Drew Daywalt Drew does a solid job with this film, he doesn’t challenge enough of originality but doesn’t get the basic wrong. (6/10)

Horror: Red Clover does a basic job but never really reaches the scare level it should and also has a couple of cheap scares. (5/10)

Thriller: Red Clover doesn’t really keep you guessing because you know no one will make it out when it comes to the supporting characters. (4/10)

Settings: Red Clover takes us to a small town where we get to see the community that ends up having the creature unleashed. (6/10)
Special Effects: Red Clover does go for practical effects which works because we all like a good blood splatter. (8/10)

Suggestion: Red Clover is one that really is for late night television only. (Late Night TV)

Best Part: St Patrick’s Day Queen Kill.

Worst Part: Not a leprechaun.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Evil has a new holiday.

Overall: Red Clover is a hell of a lot better than Leprechaun Origins but that wasn’t difficult.

Rating 50