Cherry Tree (2015)

Director: David Keating

Writer: Brendan McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Walton, Naomi Battrick, Sam Hazeldine, Elva Trill, Patrick Gibson

 

Plot: Faith’s world is turned upside down after she finds out that her beloved father is dying. When the mysteriously alluring Sissy Young becomes her field hockey coach, Faith finds a compassionate spirit and much-needed mother figure. Little does she know that Sissy is the head of a centuries-old witches’ coven that uses the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a secret ritual that restores life to the dead and dying.


Tagline –  A young woman makes a fateful pact with a witches’ coven that can save her dying father’s life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Horror

 

Story: Cherry Tree starts as we meet Faith Maguire (Battrick) a school girl that is considered somewhat of an outsider but continues to try out for the field hockey team, where her new coach Sissy Young (Walton) gives her a chance. in Faith’s personal life her father is losing his battle with cancer which would leave her alone in the world but he Sean (Hazeldine) stays strong for her.

Sissy is no ordinary woman though, she is an ancient witch that offers Faith a chance to cure her father, but this is nothing like Faith had imagined as she finds herself being involved in a secret ritual for her coven.

 

Thoughts on Cherry Tree

 

Characters – Sissy is the new field hockey coach at the school, but deep down she is an ancient witch searching for the next victim of the ritual she performs to keep life, she constantly appears in Faith’s life to make good on the deal they make. Faith is the school girl, she is about to lose her father to cancer and while never fitting in at school she is offered a deal by the new field hockey coach but it isn’t anything like she had prepared for. Sean is Faith’s father he has been battle his sickness but it doesn’t look good until Faith makes the deal. He is a good man who wants to make sure his daughter has everything she needs when he is gone.

PerformancesAnna Walton is good in the witch role, we have seen her in these types of roles before but her look and presence is felt throughout the film. Naomi Battirck is good as the confused, hopeless feeling teenager that would give up anything to save her father. Sam Hazeldine is solid but we don’t get to see enough form his character.

StoryThe story does have elements of Rosemary’s Baby to it, but I feel there is a much more desperate desire from Faith to go through with a deal which comes from the supernatural side of the things. She must decide whether to give up her family or make a deal which any school kid would do to save a parent. This does follow the route you would expect but it also does go into folk law which is something that always entertains in horror.

HorrorThe horror comes from the idea of witches looking to unleashes the underworld with the creature of choice being the centipede.

SettingsThe settings do the best to make it feel like this could be an everyday location for a normal average school girl.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well through the film, be it that most are practical effects that add to the gore beautifully.


Scene of the Movie –
Witch released.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There are moments which feel too dark to truly see what is going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror, it has plenty of blood and gore as well as giving us a dark twist on a folk law which is a pleasure to see.

 

Overall: Good horror all around.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Soulmate (2013)

soulmateDirector: Axelle Carolyn

Writer: Axelle Carolyn (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Walton, Tom Wisdom, Tanya Myers, Nick Brimble, Emma Cleasby, Guy Armitage

 

Plot: Widowed Audrey retreats to an isolated Welsh cabin after a failed suicide attempt, to recuperate. Still haunted by the tragic death of her husband and struggling with her psychosis, she begins to hear strange noises.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow

 

Story: Soulmate starts as we see widowed Audrey (Walton) move to a small Welsh town to escape her life and get over her own suicide attempt. Being welcomed in by the caretaker Theresa (Myers) we see how small this town really is.

When Audrey starts hearing sounds around the cottage she finds herself face to face with Douglas (Wisdom) a spirit living in the house after his own heartbreak led to his suicide. Audrey starts to try and learn more about what happened to Douglas as the two become friends through their nightly conversations.

Soulmate tells us a ghost story which looks at the two characters who have been through the same loss but have had different outcomes to their suicide attempts. The story starts by trying to build tension only for it just end up being friends chatting which is a huge disappoint. The problem with this film is that we get a build up for a suspenseful horror only to become friendship conversation between living and the dead.

 

Actor Review

 

Anna Walton: Audrey is a struggling widow who has tried to take her own life with her grief. She takes a trip away where she can deal with her own problems through her music, but when she meets the ghost of the former owner of the home who has dealt with similar issues. Anna is a solid lead that we can see the side effects of her loss throughout.

Tom Wisdom: Douglas is the ghost living in the house that has been desperate for contact with a living being which Audrey can give him. He turns into a dangerous spirit who doesn’t want to let Audrey leave. Tom is solid but because of the design of the character we lack that special moment for his character.

Tanya Myers: Theresa is a caretaker for the property who has a connection with the house and the spirit inside. Tanya is solid but I do feel we needed slightly more from the character.

Support Cast: Soulmate doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast with odd scenes from Tanya husband and otherwise mostly voices. This does work to the films advantage with the smaller cast.

Director Review: Axelle CarolynAxelle gives us a solid but not scary ghost story.

 

Horror: Soulmate doesn’t reach any real horror levels with the early jump scares not being anything before it just turns into conversations.

Mystery: Soulmate does make us wonder about what happened to Douglas in the house.

Settings: Soulmate keeps the settings within the country side or inside the cottage which shows us where the characters are in the bigger picture of the world.
Special Effects
: Soulmate has good effects when needed to show Douglas first appear.

Suggestion: Soulmate is one I think can be watched late night for a horror fix. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Not just being a ghost story.

Worst Part: No scares will disappoint people.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: She Thought She Was Alone

 

Overall: Slow moving ghost story without any scares.

Ratingcard

 

 

Guillermo Del Toro Weekend – Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

logoDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Mike Mignola (Screenplay) Mike Mignola (Comic Book)

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, John Alexander, Luke Goss, Anna Walton

Plot: The mythical world starts a rebellion against humanity in order to rule the Earth, so Hellboy and his team must save the world from the rebellious creatures.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fair Tale Comic Book

Story: Hellboy II: The Golden Army starts with a quick recap on how Hellboy came about, before entering into a time period between the two events 1955. we see Professor Bloom (Hurt) (Returning after dying in the first film) telling a young Hellboy a fairy tale about the elves in their battles and the birth of The Golden Army. The story follows that a crown that can control the Golden Army is separated into three, one for the humans and the other two spilt between the Prince and Princess.

Back to present day we meet Prince Nuada (Goss) who comes to Earth to reclaim part of the crown given to the humans. Hellboy (Perlman) is still getting himself in trouble by being witnessed again, but he is struggling to cope with his new relationship with Liz (Blair).

When Prince Nuada decides to declare war on the humans he must first kill his father before leading his people into battle, he must find his sister Princess Nuala (Walton) who has the final part the crown. Hellboy and his team with their new leader Johann Krauss must learn to work together to stop the elf war.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is by far the most unique comic book films I have seen, I loved the full blown fairy tale side to the story that made the villain almost the most important because he is actually fighting for what he believes to be right. Unlike most films were there is evil is all about destruction this one wanted power. I do think this is the most underrated comic book of recent years. The only negative side to this film would be that the character bought into make a future character no longer exists in the film. (8/10)

Actor Review

Ron Perlman: Hellboy is still struggling with the loss of his father as well a struggling with his relationship with Liz. He must work with a new leader who he doesn’t get along with as thy enter the elf under world to save the world again. Hellboy also tries his hardest to be accepted by the world who starts to question his motives. Ron continues to shine in this role using his flair throughout the film. (8/10)hllboy

Selma Blair: Liz Sherman is the love interest of Hellboy who ha the ability to turn into fire, she makes for great partner in combat as Hellboy can’t gt hurt by fire but she wants to live a normal life too. Selma does a good job building upon her character from the first outing. (7/10)liz

Luke Goss: Prince Nuada is the elf prince who wants to go back to war with the humans from the elf underworld. He wants to take his place back believing the humans are no longer worthy of walking the Earth. Luke does a good job in this role making for a good villain. (7/10)prince

Anna Walton: Princess Nuala is the twin sister of Prince Nuada who still wants to respect the ways of her father and must team up with Hellboy to prevent her brother from committing his war. Anna does a god job making for a god supporting character addition. (7/10)princess

Support Cast: Hellboy II: The Golden Army builds on the supporting characters added with brilliant fantasy characters bought into the elf world as well as the returning characters working with Hellboy.

Director Review: Guillermo del ToroGuillermo brings us his fantasy element to a comic book making him the absolute perfect choice to direct. (10/10)

Action: Hellboy II: The Golden Army is filled with action pack battles against different fantasy figures. (8/10)

Fantasy: Hellboy II: The Golden Army puts us in the middle of a battle between elves and human giving this a real fantasy feel throughout. (9/10)

Settings: Hellboy II: The Golden Army creates a mix of real settings and fantasy underworld settings that make this a much more beautiful film. (9/10)
Special Effects: Hellboy II: The Golden Army brings us stunning effects to create the alternative world for the action to take place. (9/10)

Suggestion: Hellboy II: The Golden Army is one all comic book fans just have to watch. (Watch)

Best Part: Getting drunk.

Worst Part: Though John is written out easily enough I feel his character still had something to add to the story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Planet creature in Brooklyn.

Funniest Scene: Locker room fight.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: There is constant talk of a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for one Oscar

Box Office: $75 Million

Budget: $85 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: From the visionary director of Pan’s Labyrinth

Trivia: David Hyde Pierce did the voice of Abe Sapien in Hellboy (2004), while Doug Jonesplayed the physical part. For Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), Jones also does the voice. The reason is because the producers hoped Pierce’s name would make the first film a box-office smash. But he refused to be credited because he felt Abe Sapien was Jones’ work, and as such did no promotions or interviews, or even attended the premiere.

Overall: The most unique and brilliant comic book film.

Rating 85

The Seasoning House (2012)

logoDirector: Paul Hyett

Writer: Paul Hyett, Conal Palmer, Adrian Ridelsford (Screenplay) Helen Solomon (Story)

Starring: Rosie Day, Sean Pertwee, Kevin Howarth, Anna Walton, Jemma Powell Alec Utgoff, David Lemberg, Dominique Provost-Chalkley

 

Plot: During the Baltic war young girls are prostituted to the military. A young deaf girl Angel (Day) moves between the crawlspaces and walls where she must look after the other girls for Victor (Howarth). One day the men who murdered her family turn up at the whore house a chain of events happen when she can end her captivity and free all the girls.

 

Verdict: A revenge thriller

Story: Revenge thrillers come and go from memory this won’t stick to memory. The story is very dark from start to finish even with the ending leaving the audience to imagine what will happen. One big problem I see with this film is that an apparently strong military unit struggle to outsmart one girl. In the end it isn’t the most original story and I think this is a bleak real version of Sucker punch. (6/10)

 

Actor Review: Rosie Day – Angel a deaf girl who helps out at the whore house but can’t escape. It is a good performance playing a role that never speaks, as well as having to squeeze through all the tight crawlspaces. (8/10)

 day

Actor Review: Sean Pertwee – Goran the leader of the military unit who killed the innocent and after wants revenge for losing his own men. Typical Pertwee performance where he gets angry quickly but never really shows any reason to be the leader. (6/10)

goran

Actor Review: Kevin Howarth – Viktor the owner of the whore house who protects his girls. Good performance showing both a nice side opposite his angry side after all hell lets loose. (6/10)

 viktor

Director Review: Paul Hyett – Great creation of a bleak world version that shows this special effects guy knows how to make the darkest situation worth fighting for. (8/10)

 

Horror: The darkness of the film creates the atmosphere for the horror effects. (7/10)

Thriller: Doesn’t make you seat at the edge of seat. (5/10)

Special Effects: Good effects in fight scenes but not much needed. (6/10)

Believability: This could have happened during the war time. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: If the film had stayed in the whore house it could have made the isolation aspect of horror stick longer but in the end it loses the isolation idea when it leaves the house. (7/10)

Suggestion: I would only say try this, I think it will be hard for some people to watch, the revenge thriller fans might enjoy though. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The bleakness is great creations

Worst Part: Doesn’t create any really likeable characters.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Maybe but I don’t it.

 

Overall: A revenge thriller that lacks some punch

Rating 64