ABC Film Challenge – Horror – M – The Monkey’s Paw (2013)

Director: Brett Simmons

Writer: Macon Blair (Screenplay) W.W. Jacobs, Adam Meyer, Justin Smith (Story)

Starring: C.J. Thomason, Stephen Lang, Michelle Pierce, Corbin Bleu, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Charles S Dutton


Plot: Jake is given a Monkey’s Paw that grants 3 wishes. After the first 2 wishes leave his friend Cobb undead, Cobb pushes Jake to make a final wish.

Tagline – One Wish. A Thousand Regrets.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Not What We Wished For


Story: The Monkey’s Paw starts when a group of mechanics Jake (Thomason), Cobb (Lang) and Catfish (Bleu) are dealing with the firing of one of their co-workers with a few drinks, Jake ends up receiving a monkey paw which will grant him three wishes, like any young person, his first wish is for a car, while after an accident he must use the second wish to bring Cobb back to life.

When Cobb does come back to life, he starts going on a killing spree, wanting to get the monkey paw off Jake to have his own final wish, while Jake needs to find a way to end the bloodshed.


Thoughts on The Monkey’s Paw


Characters – Jake Tilton is a mechanic that has seen his life become mundane, he supports his co-workers with one getting fired, he is having an affair with his boss’s wife and when he is given a monkey paw, he only asks for a car. This is just the beginning of his life-changing experiences, first his best friend is killed and after wishing he would return from the dead, he must stop him before it is too late for his loved ones. Tony Cobb is the best friend of Jake, he works with him and has done for years now, the two enjoy a drink or two, which sees him dying, he comes back from the dead to put his own life back together which along with a darker side which will see him kill anybody that gets in his way. Olivia is the woman Jake that is having an affair with, which after her husband disappears, makes him a suspect, she does love him though and is planning to leave her husband. Catfish is the fellow co-worker that tries to push Jake into lighter view on life.

PerformancesC.J. Thomason in the leading role as the everyday man struggling with the guilt a monkey paw’s consequences could have on his life does well enough, we see him slowly breakdown while being nervous in life early on. Stephen Lang is the highlight of the fil, with his performance as the psychotic figure being a joy to watch, carrying the film through the extremes his character goes through. Michelle Pierce leads the supporting cast that struggle to get any impact on the story.

StoryThe story here follows a man that is given a monkey paw which is meant to give them three wishes and soon he is left in a difficult position when it comes to what to do with the final wish to be after bringing his friend back from the dead. When it comes to film where we give a person a chance to wish for anything, we usually get moral dilemmas which this story does have moments where we should have them only to gloss over them not giving any thought to what is going on. We have a psychotic figure going on a killing spree which only confuses things more because he is acting like he has no soul, though his motivation is a human reason. In the end the story doesn’t give us enough time to process the wish making process, has dramatic character twists that don’t fit the tone of the film.

HorrorThe horror comes from the moments Cobb is terrorising people, we do get the blood level, but never the scary factor.

SettingsThe film is set in a small Florida town which sees everybody know each other, making the killing spree have an impact on the people of the town.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are solid when it comes to gore effects, with one standout moment being shocking, while the rest is often hidden off camera.

Scene of the Movie –
Don’t split up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not going through the consequences discussion.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wishes can go bad if you don’t think movie, with the deadly consequences showing us just how dangerous not thinking can be.


Overall: Long old slug.




Aftermath (2012)

logoDirector: Peter Engert

Writer: Christian McDonald (Screenplay)

Starring: C.J. Thomason, Monica Keena, Edward Furlong, Andrew Royo, Christine Kelly, Jessie Rusu, Ross Britz


Plot: A young doctor and a group of nine strangers survive a nuclear attack but will they survive the devastating aftermath.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Solid Thriller


Story: Aftermath starts by showing us a man struggling to walk through an abandoned landscape. We then flash back to one month earlier where we learn about an ongoing war between America and Israel. We meet or protagonist Hunter (Thomason) as he listens to the ongoing war before nuclear explosion hit leading him to rescue a young family. The group also meet another survivor in the road but find a place to stay underground in a farmhouse with another small group of survivors. Hunter explains they will need to spend at least a month underground while the fall out of the nuclear attack settles. We follow the group through the month as tension rise over time.

When I saw this and the title I was actually looking to settle down and watch a horror like film, but what we got was so much more. First off there is no horror involved, it is all tension building character development. We see the group over 30 days and how their situation gets worse as each day goes by, with only the radio to update them. We get to see how the radiation slowly changes and infects them while others try to get in. it plays on a range of emotions and comes off very bleak. This is a great story of the struggle to survive after a nuclear attack from the point of view of the innocent victims. (7/10)


Actor Review


C.J. Thomason: Hunter doctor and survivalist who leads the group of survivors as they try to make it through the attack in a farm basement. He tries to treat everyone who has issues but even with his skills he can’t save everyone from the situation. C.J. gives a good performance as a reluctant leader. (7/10)


Monica Keena: Elizabeth stranger picked up on the side of the road, she stays with the group and sometimes looks out for younger members by her calm nature. Monica gives a solid performance but sometimes struggles in the action scenes. (6/10)


Edward Furlong: Brad over protective redneck who doesn’t want to let the group in and is always against the decision to let them in. he is a hot head but as the time goes by he wants to look after the group as much as the rest. Edward gives a good performance and does a good job with the only character that shows full emotion. (7/10)


Support Cast: Aftermath’s supporting cast is mainly extra people in the basement who go through the struggles but also includes the people outside who are too far gone to let in.


Director Review: Peter Engert – Peter does a good job directing Aftermath creating genuine tension throughout. (8/10)


Action: Aftermath only has a few action scenes and they are quick, but each comes off desperate like the situation the people are in. (7/10)

Thriller: Aftermath really pulls you in as you want to know what happens to the group and feel for them when things start to get worse. (8/10)

Settings: Aftermath uses its isolation setting that the group creates for themselves to survive really well, as it keeps us unaware of what is going on outside. (9/10)

Suggestion: Aftermath is worth watching, but I do feel like the casual fan might not enjoy this, it really will appeal to those who enjoy a solid drama about survival. (Try It)


Best Part: The bleakness that surrounds the story.

Worst Part: Aftermath can come off feeling a little bit slow.


Believability: Aftermath tackles a potential real problem the world could face. (7/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes


Overall: A Great Unwatched Thriller

Rating 77