Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Prey (2007)

preyDirector: Darrell Roodt

Writer: Darrell Roodt, Beau Bauman, Jeff Wadlow (Screenplay)

Starring: Bridget Moynahan, Peter Weller, Carly Schroeder, Jamie Bartlett, Conner Dowds, Marius Roberts, Muso Sefatsa, Jacob Makgoba


Plot: An American family on holiday in Africa becomes lost in a game reserve and stalked by lions.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Stupid People and Lions


Story: Prey starts when American family father Tom (Weller), new wife Amy (Moynahan) and his children Jessica (Schroeder) and David (Dowds) go to Africa for a family holiday which also happens to be for Tom’s work. There is still tension between Amy and Jessica which this trip is meant to ease as Jessica still misses her mother.

When Amy, Jessica and David go on a safari trip they don’t seem to see any animals until they go off road and the ‘expert’ guide Brian (Roberts) stop for a toilet break only to not check the area which is infested with lions leading to the group getting attacked and the three being trapped in the car against the king of the jungle waiting to hunt them down. Finding out his family is missing Tom is desperate to find him which comes from local tracker Crawford (Bartlett).

Prey is a film that really just annoyed me a lot mainly because all the characters constantly make stupid decisions. So much of this film didn’t need to happen if the characters acted like normal people it is as simple as that, I really don’t want to get into too much details but I feel I have to. Wouldn’t you go to the toilet before you go on safari (whenever I was that age the first question was do you need to go before going on long journeys), if he is an expert why didn’t he fire a shot to see what animals were around as he left the car? Sure this would make sense (not shot at anything just up). I am getting tired of talking about this film because there are too many bad decisions to go through.


Actor Review


Bridget Moynahan: Amy Newman is the new wife of Tom, she is trying to make everything work with his children however much Jessica is trying to push her away. While on the safari with the children they become trapped surrounded by lions which leads her to step up and have to protect them from the danger. Bridget doesn’t really get going in this role or really suit it either.

Peter Weller: Tom Newman is the husband and father of the children who has taken his family to Africa for part holiday and part work, he is left helpless when his family goes missing in the safari leading him to turn to rangers and tracker Crawford for help. Peter doesn’t really do too much in this role where he struggles to get going.

Carly Schroeder: Jessica Newman is the teenage daughter of Tom who doesn’t want to spend time with Amy as she misses her real mother, she doesn’t care about the holiday and would rather play on her phone than see the animals in the wild. Carly does a bad job here but I might be that I just hated her annoying character.

Jamie Bartlett: Crawford is the hunter that is estranged in the area that is the last resort for Tom to turn to when his family goes missing. Crawford is very much all about himself with his action which show he is the best man for the job. Jamie should be a lot darker than portrayed as we never really learn enough about his character who should be interesting.

Conner Dowds: David Newman is the youngest child on the holiday and his youthful enthusiasm is easy to see through the trip. He is the one that wants to go to the toilet while on the tour which leads to the events that happen. Connor well it is his character’s fault for everything.


Support Cast: Prey has a small supporting cast that is mostly used as disposable for the lions.

Director Review: Darrell RoodtDarrell doesn’t really give us a film that is worth watching because it really is just a series of bad decisions.


Adventure: Prey tries to put you into an adventure but really isn’t good enough.

Horror: Prey puts us under attack from the lions but that is it not scary if you are sensible in the first place.

Thriller: Prey doesn’t pull you in enough because you simply don’t care about these characters.

Settings: Prey puts you in the middle of the safari zone with nowhere to run which should be great but it never feels that isolated.
Special Effects
: Prey has basic effects when it comes to the lion attacks and kills nothing good enough.

Suggestion: Prey is easily one to say miss. (Miss)


Best Part: The credits means it is over.

Worst Part: The decisions


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: The Hunt Begins


Overall: The ABC of bad decisions



Paul Bettany Weekend – Firewall (2006)

firewalDirector: Richard Loncraine

Writer: Joe Forte (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Carly Schroeder, Jimmy Bennett, Mary Lynn Raskub, Robert Patrick, Alan Arkin


Plot: A security specialist is forced into robbing the bank that he’s protecting, as a bid to pay off his family’s ransom.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Solid Thriller


Story: Firewall starts as we see family man Jack (Ford), wife Beth (Madsen) and children Sarah (Schroeder) and Andy (Bennett). Jack works for a bank and prides himself on the software security. When Jack finds himself targeting first by online fraud he finds his late night meeting with Bill (Bettany) has alternative plans by taking his family hostage.

The plan is for Jack to go about his normal day while the kidnappers stay at Jack’s home to force him into helping them rob the bank. The problem comes with Jack as his bank is in the middle of a potential merger being handled by Gary (Patrick) who hasn’t taken too fondly of Jack.

While Jack tries to find a way to get his family safe he tests Bill’s patience while also trying to keep his career safe against the new take over can he make it all work out and save his family?

Firewall is a crime thriller that is a bank heist with a twist, yes we do get the idea where the bank worker has to do robbery, but what works here is the cyber side of the heist comes slightly original. The idea of having the family as bait also works but knowing the family will be killed means he has to fight back. The problem comes with a lot feelings of repetitive ideas which while solid easy to watch.


Actor Review


Harrison Ford: Jack has been working for a bank that he has helped grow from the ground up, on the verge of a merger that will have him and his partner having to make a difficult choice. With that going on Jack also finds himself being the victim of a plot to rob the bank where his family’s lives are put at risk. Harrison is good in this role but nothing we have seen it before from him.jack

Paul Bettany: Bill is the man holding Jack’s family hostage as he has carefully planned this, he comes of charming but equally as dangerous when it comes to tricks. He will kill his own men for being incompetent and will risk hurting Jack’s children to make sure he gets the money. Paul is good in this role where we get to see him take the role of British villain.bill

Virginia Madsen: Beth is the wife of Jack who has to spend the time with Bill’s men while protecting her children. Virginia is solid in this role without being too impactful.

Robert Patrick: Gary is the man planning the merger, he doesn’t like Jack after first impression which leaders to Jack having to impress him while protecting his family. Robert is good in this supporting role but I think we need a final scene with him.

Support Cast: Firewall has a supporting cast that you would expect to see in this type of film.

Director Review: Richard LoncraineRichard gives us an easy to thriller that doesn’t take enough risks.


Crime: Firewall enters us into the world of a bank heist that really shows both sides of the battle.

Thriller: Firewall keeps us one edge as we try to see how the Jack will solve the problem.

Settings: Firewall uses the settings to make everything simple for the story without making anything original.
Special Effects
: Firewall has a couple of solid effects when needed but doesn’t turn to them too often.

Suggestion: Firewall is one to try as it will tick all the basic ideas down correctly.  (Try It)


Best Part: Bill twisted message with the cookies.

Worst Part: Not much new.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: Everything He loves Is About To Be Used Against Him.


Overall: Enjoyable thriller that never really tested.




Forget Me Not (2009)

logoDirector: Tyler Oliver

Writer: Jamieson Stern, Tyler Oliver (Screenplay)

Starring: Carly Schroeder, Cody Linley, Micah Alberti, Brie Gabrielle, Jillian Murray, Zachary Abel, Sean Wing, Chloe Bridges, Brittany Renee Finamore


Plot: It’s graduation weekend, and Sandy Channing, the popular class president of her small-town high school, should be enjoying the time of her life. But when her friends start disappearing, Sandy discovers they have unwittingly awakened the vengeful spirit of a girl they wronged long ago. Fighting for her sanity, Sandy must unlock a dark secret from her own past before it’s too late.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Forgot This Quick


Story: Forget Me Not starts like all good horror films with a screaming victim running from something not getting any help, leading her to return home not knowing what has happened. We fast forward a couple of years (they didn’t say how many) and meet our protagonist Sandy (Schroeder) along with watching a girl who is in a coma. We also meet the generic random group of friends who all act close and are just up for partying.

The group of introduced friends and Sandy recount a game they once played in the graveyard when they were younger and decide to go to the fore mentioned graveyard to play the game drunk. They are joined by a mysterious girl to play a game where they run around the graveyard until they are found or risk becoming a ghost. Yeah this sounds mad to me too. The game leads to Sandy witnessing the mystery girl jumping off a cliff before rewinding to a younger time when Sandy used to play with another friend. After that night the friends start getting picked off by the mysterious girl and for each friend that gets killed off the memory of that person is lost by everyone but Sandy.

Forget Me Not does turn the slasher film on its head with certain ideas, mainly the fact only one member of the group knows the people who have been getting picked off. The unoriginal side to the story comes with the ways the characters get picked off and the over use of drugs, drink and sex. I have said it before not every teenager does drugs, is hyped up on sex and drink drives. Once you get through the many slasher side to the story we end up getting a mystery ghost story that works out nicely without shinning because it happens to late in the film because they waste too much time with the slasher side of it. (4/10)


Actor Review


Carly Schroeder: Sandy our leading lady who keeps seeing her friends vanish from the memories of the rest of the group and she has to figure out herself what is going on before losing everyone she knows. Carly really shouldn’t be a leading lady. (3/10)


Support Cast: Forget Me Not has the complete generic supporting cast who are all easy to tell a part with their clear motives and are all disposable. I would look at more of the performance but they are all quite bad and the characters all make the typical stupid horror decisions.


Director Review: Tyler Oliver – He does try to combine the two different genre of horror but it sometimes gets pulled down by the other. (5/10)


Horror: Forget Me Not because this film tries to combine the two genres the suspense never gets built up for solid scares, but the creation do come off freaky. (6/10)

Thriller: Forget Me Not as you don’t really care who lives or who dies you are left to not worry too much about who is next but you do want to know why. (7/10)

Settings: Forget Me Not doesn’t create any settings that stick around long enough to be effective to the story. (4/10)
Special Effects
: Forget Me Not the creation of what the dead turn into is quite freaky which makes the only solid quality in the film. (7/10)

Suggestion: Forget Me Not is one for the late night TV fans out there, it doesn’t have enough to suggest a must watch. (Late Night TV)


Best Part: Creations of the dead.

Worst Part: Most of the acting.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $1.3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: Some friendships never die


Overall: Generic Characters in Over Ambitious Story

Rating 50