ABC Film Challenge – Horror – C – Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer (2010)

Director: Mark Vadik

Writer: Mark Vadik (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Krause, Lance Henriksen, Danielle Harris, Tiffany Shepis, Doug Jones, Kim Rhodes, Shawna Waldron, Patricia Belcher


Plot: An independent TV reporter and her cameraman interview a man in regards to a serial killer the man knew by the name of Cyrus. The man traces back through the story of the serial killer and why he became the monster he is.


Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Unique Way to Tell a Serial Killer Story


Story: Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer starts when a reporter Maria (Harris) is looking to uncover the mysterious series of disappearances of college students reaching the 100’s, she gets a report that local Emmett (Henriksen) knows the killer and just how many he has committed through the years.

Maria looks to secure an interview with Emmett who tells him about Cyrus (Krause) claiming he is the serial killer and just what was his motivation for becoming the deadliest killer in American history.


Thoughts on Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer


Characters – Cyrus is the war veteran that started killing people after his wife cheated on him, which led him to kill her, her lover and their child, he continued to punish people he believes have done wrong, using his own unique well of getting rid of the bodies, we learn his stories from Emmett, who claims to know him personally, Emmett doesn’t want the town’s name put in the story, though he is willing to tell for the crimes he did commit. Maria is the reporter that is trying to get the story, she is willing to push the boundaries of what she can get out of Emmett, even if she is willing to break the promises. We do get to see plenty of victims of Cyrus, most get tortured before they get killed, this brings lots of screaming.

PerformancesBrian Krause as the oldest version of Cyrus that shows us just how deadly the he has made this character, that would be somebody you could fear. Lance Henriksen is the narrator for the most part, his voice keeps the story flowing while his live scenes show us how a local wouldn’t want the story to come out. Danielle Harris brings us a reporter figure that shows us just how far they would go for a story.

StoryThe story here follows a reporter trying to learn about a serial killer from a local that claims to be a friend of the killer, knowing the truth behind his kills and just the number of kills he has committed. The way this story is told is very good because it is told like a story being set up for a newspaper article exposing a serial killer, we get the details of the kills, the motivation behind them all and the reason they stopped. This all adds up nicely because the film is sold on it being based on a true story. while you could easily pick apart the timeline in the film and with the pure number of kills that we are meant to have occurred, something just doesn’t click only following the select few. This does story does end up following capture, torture, go to the next level without being anything we haven’t seen before, leaving it only being praised for the style of storytelling.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film follows the story of the serial killer which does show us the horror of his crimes through the years, we get plenty of horrific wounds and kills through the film too, with plenty of blood.

SettingsThe film does keep everything inside the small town, showing how a killer could be operating under your nose without you noticing anything going on around you, the house itself is away from the rest of the town, meaning the killer can get away with screaming going on around him.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the brutal nature of the killings and just how they are made to look that way with the makeup effects.

Scene of the Movie –
The set-up for the interview, it felt like a fresh spin on the serial killer side of horror.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Once we get into the routine, the kills can be repetitive.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong idea for the style of creating a serial killer film, even if it does just end up uses the unique style to be a generic serial killer film.


Overall: Interview about a serial killer.



The Demonologist (2018)

Director: J.M. Stelly

Writer: J.M. Stelly (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Krause, Jared Bankens, Lara Grice, Scott Allen Perry, Thomas Francis Murphy, Jeff Pearson, Manon Pages, Dane Rhodes


Plot: Detective Damien Seryph investigates a string of murders that connects to a group trying to bring forth the 4 King Demons of Hell. Damien’s past connects him to those involved and will force him to become “The Demonologist”.


Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Overly Slow


Story: The Demonologist starts as two detectives Damian (Krause) and Billy (Hoefer) stat investigating a string a ritual murders. Meredith (Pages) has been possessed and used by the demon preparing to bring his children back to Earth for the next stage in process of life, with the most loyal follower being Ian Parrish (Bankes).

As the bodies continue to pile up, Damian learns out that it has become personal and he learns about his own past with the fight against demons before the evil will rise.


Thoughts on The Demonologist


Characters – Damian is a police detective, he is about to get engaged with his latest case involving a ritual manner, going through the investigation it becomes personal and he must learn to balance the personal side with the professional side. He must also learn about his past with the work of his family having dealt with the demons before. Ian Parrish is the one leading the ritual murders, he is following the orders of his chosen demon waiting for his chance. Meredith is the vessel for the demon, using her sexy seductive ways to keep her followers doing whatever she needs done. Frank is the partner of Damian’s trying to keep him on the right path when the case becomes too personal, he is the friend that is always there for him.

PerformancesBrian Krause leads a cast that do just enough to get by without doing enough to make you want to see more from their character. Jared Bankes does look creepy, though we don’t get enough from his character, while Manon Pages brings the sexy side to the character, without getting to completely dive into her character.

StoryThe story here takes an unsuspecting police detective that finds himself getting involved a case which involved ritual murders, only to learn that he was always meant to be involved in this battle. The pace of this story is weak because it does feel like it is dragging along and unless you know the ritual world certain terms will go straight over your head. We do seem to get introduced to a lot of characters and ends up feeling like the pilot episode to a television show giving the character of Damian everything he needs for the first fight with this new light in his career.

HorrorThe horror involved in the film deals with possession and the potential rise of a demon from hell that will change Earth.

SettingsThe film takes us to a city which has the dark arts going on within it, it could be any city because it has no iconic locations used.

Special EffectsThe CGI used in the film does look weak and unconvincing throughout the film.

Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The number of characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak horror that doesn’t get much help from the pacing of everything going on either, it feels like a pilot episode which cold turn into an interesting show.


Overall: Weak and disappointing.




Be Afraid (2017)

Director: Drew Gabreski

Writer: Gerald Nott (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Krause, Jaimi Paige, Louis Herthum, Jared Abrahamson, Michelle Hurd, Michael Leone, Noell Coet


Plot: Not long after John Chambers and his family arrive at their new home in a small country town of Pennsylvania, John begins to experience sleep paralysis. Lying there paralyzed, trapped within his own nightmare, other-worldly beings visit John. They are entities which exist in the darkest shadows of the night and can only be seen out of the corner of one’s eye. These encounters begin to haunt John, transforming to complete terror as he discovers the entities’ sole purpose… the abduction of his seven year old son.


Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Solid but Not Scary Horror Film


Story: Be Afraid starts as the Chambers family moves into the small town, Dr John (Krause), Heather (Paige), and Nathan (Leone) who get joined by elder son returning home Ben (Abrahamson) where the family is looking to start a new life as the town’s doctor.

When the family gets visited by locals who all suffered their own losses which leads to Nathan the youngest family member believing he is being visited by a man at night as John starts suffering sleep paralysis.


Thoughts on Be Afraid


Characters – Dr John Chambers moves his family to the town and fills the investigating side of the story searching for the answer to what might be happening in the town. Heather is the wife John and mother of Nathan that spends most of the film telling John what to do, nothing much else. Chief Collins has been dealing with the previous missing child and with this latest case must help the doctor with the danger he might be facing. We also have the kid who getting the visions and the elder son needing to prove himself to his father. To be honest we do end up meeting too many characters in this film as each gets time but that takes away from the characters that need time.

PerformancesReturning to the biggest problems being the number of characters, this shows in the performances because we just don’t get enough time for the performers to give us the best performance to their abilities.

StoryThe story follow the traditional check marks for a horror, the family move to new town, strange things have happen in the past, true this works but the problem comes with too many characters to introduce into the story leaving us trying to keep up with all the characters through story unfolding, we also don’t get any proper answers to just what the creatures are that are doing in the haunting.

HorrorThe horror doesn’t start till later in the film, we do get a couple of good scenes which do increase the horror level but not understand the point of these moments doesn’t help.

SettingsThe small town setting gives us an idea that everyone knows what is going on in the town between the characters and our new family is like us entering the town with the mystery as to what is going on.

Special EffectsThe effects are interesting because the creatures look full practical which makes us respect the idea of a real monster over a CGI one.

Scene of the Movie –
Bath time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters to follow.

Chances of Sequel: It could have one but I hope it doesn’t.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that could have worked but having too many characters doesn’t help us support the family that are experiencing the horror, the creatures are good but are also left unanswered to their motives.


Overall: This is a weaker horror because it finds itself bogged down with too much going on.




Halloween Kingathon – Sleepwalkers (1992)

Banner-1logoDirector: Mick Garris

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Krause, Madchen Amick, Alice Krige, Jim Haynie, Cindy Pickett, Ron Perlman, Lyman Ward, Dan Martin, Glenn Shadix

Plot: A mother-and-son team of strange supernatural creatures move to a small town to seek out a young virgin to feed on.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: The New Breed of Creature Feature

Story: Sleepwalkers starts when the Brady family Charles (Krause) and Mary (Krige) having gone missing when the police find the remains of a little girl in the house. The mother son have fled after feeding to a new small town to continue their lives with a twist.

In the new town Charles has to find his mother someone new to feed on and his targeting Tanya (Amick) but until this chance comes for Mary to feed again. We learn just what Charles is during a police chance as he has the ability to shape-shift while cats prove to be their mortal enemies. When the latest search for food goes wrong the Sleepwalkers find themselves fighting for their chance to survive.

Sleepwalkers brings us into a world where we follow the villainous creatures that we only learn about as the story unfolds. They are a dying breed so we get left trying to sympathise with their battle. The story keeps things simple and tries to move the idea of previous films like ‘The Lost Boys’ to another level. I do feel there are negatives about this though, I would say Charles could have a much more efficient way of collecting his victims which would be a lot less risky and the idea that cats are the only weaknesses of the Sleepwalkers seems slightly cliché. When it comes to just creature feature film this is solid enough story. (6/10)

Actor Review

Brian Krause: Charles Brady is the high school aged boy that has to help lure the latest victims for his mother Mary, but when he meets and Tanya he has to find a way to bring her back without giving away his plan. Brian looks slightly too old for this role and ends up making everything feel slightly awkward. (6/10)

Madchen Amick: Tanya Robertson is the high school girl that Charles has targeted to help feed his mother, she takes an instant shine to Charles but has no idea what she has got herself into. Madchen gives us a good damsel in distress performance. (7/10)

Alice Krige: Mary Brady is Charles mother who is desperate to feed but can’t hunt leaving the hunting to Charles even though she is starving waiting for her next meal. Alice is the star of the film showing just how far her character will go. (7/10)

Support Cast: Sleepwalkers has a very generic supporting cast that Ron Perlman’s cameo like performance is one of the highlights.

Director Review: Mick GarrisMick gives us a good horror film that isn’t going to be a mega highlight of King’s work but will always be a good different film. (7/10)

Horror: Sleepwalkers fills the horror check list, while it isn’t scary it uses the elements of horror well. (7/10)

Settings: Sleepwalkers brings the story to a small town, where the characters can get away with their actions easier. (7/10)
Special Effects: Sleepwalkers has god special effects with the transformations process. (7/10)

Suggestion: Sleepwalkers is one for all the Stephen King fans to watch but only certain horror fans will enjoy the ideas. (King Fans Watch)

Best Part: Car chase transformation.

Worst Part: The plan for the Sleepwalkers could have been so much easier.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $30.5 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline: The first Stephen King story written expressly for the screen

Overall: Shape-shifting creature feature fun

Rating 70