Michael Rooker Weekend – Whisper (2007)

Director: Stewart Hendler

Writer: Christopher Borrelli (Screenplay)

StarringMichael Rooker, Josh Holloway, Blake Woodruff, Sarah Wayne Callies, Julian Christopher, Joel Edgerton, Dule Hill 

 

Plot: Sinister things begin happening to kidnappers who are holding a young boy for ransom in a remote cabin.


Tagline – The devil’s work is childs play

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Horror

 

Story: Whisper starts when a group of criminals Max (Holoway), Sidney (Rooker), Roxanne (Callies) and Vince (Edgerton) kidnap a young boy David (Woodruff) in an attempt to gain a large ransom, as they look to sort their lives out.

Once David is in their possession, the four criminals soon learn that they have bitten off more than they can chew, when it turns out David has some kind of power which he will use against them as he is pure evil.

 

Thoughts on Whisper

 

Characters – Max is the member of the gang that wants to go clean, he wants his own business, but doesn’t have the capital to achieve this, he take the job in hopes that it will give him the money required to get the business and seems to be the only one that can keep it together through the events of the kidnapping. David is the boy that has been kidnapped, he is shown to be a loner even at his own birthday party, but it soon becomes clear that he has some form of powers that even his mother is scared off, using them to trick the criminals. Roxanne is the girlfriend of Max’s she is the first one to fold and want to quit the job as the mother instincts start taking over. Sidney is the leader of the gang that is putting the job together, he knows who to pick which does make this easier for him, though he isn’t prepared for this job.

PerformancesThis is a strange one for performances because our leads are Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies who at the time were involved in two of the biggest television shows, they both do an acceptable enough job playing to their strengths. Michael Rooker brings the strength in his performance, while young Blake Woodruff makes for an evil child with ease.

StoryThe story here is interesting because it does take a different turn when it comes to the kidnapping genre, by adding the horror elements. It does seem like everything is going to be by the book, until we learn early on when David is pure evil and turns the tables on the kidnappers. Now this should all work well and for the most part is an enjoyable enough watch, only we get a third act twist which only leaves us question large parts of the first act along with certain characters decisions.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film follows the kidnapping which seems to have gone smoothly for the criminals, the don’t get enough focus on the investigation though, which does feel like it could be an important part of the film. The horror side of the film focuses on the idea of the pure evil that David is and just how he uses his powers to make the people do the terrible things.

SettingsThe film has a couple of settings with the safehouse being the cabin in the woods away from any visitors, the small town just helps show how desperate the criminals are too.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we get a true mixed bag because the film doesn’t seem to commit on the levels needed to create the scares required.


Scene of the Movie –
The final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The shower scene is shot badly.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch horror that is all we ask for at times, this isn’t the scariest film you will see and by the end it does have enough surprises to turn heads.

 

Overall: Simple and easy to watch horror.

Rating

 

 

Eloise (2017)

eloDirector: Robert Legato

Writer: Christopher Borrelli (Screenplay)

Starring: Eliza Dushku, Robert Patrick, Chace Crawford, Brandon T Jackson, Martin Klebba, Nicole Forester

 

Plot: Four friends break into an abandoned insane asylum in search of a death certificate which will grant one of them a large inheritance. However, finding it soon becomes the least of their worries in a place haunted by dark memories.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Had Potential

 

Story: Eloise starts with reading and a history lesson on Eloise psychiatric home where DR H. H. Greiss (Patrick) is said to have performed inhumane tests and treatments on the patients before a fire closed the facility in 1982 with only four of the original 78 buildings still standing. So, let me guess this right, first we must read what happened, small clip of the torture and then news reports of what happened, oooo they do also have a report that the builds have been searched and people still see ghosts within the walls.

The film finally gets started with Pia (Dushku) being questioned in an asylum being asked to remember what happened in Eloise with the bodies of her friends being found there, yeah, the film gives away who dies in the opening moments.

So, she enters into what happened by jumping to Jacob Martin (Crawford) because she would know what was going on in his life before the events. Anyway, Jacob learns that his father has passed away but he needs to go to Eloise to find the records of his Aunt’s death so he can inherit his family’s fortune.

When the report takes too long to get Jacob is joined by his friend Dale (Jackson), local historian Scott (Byrne) and his sister Pia as they look to break into Eloise to locate the records. But this is a horror movie and as the four find themselves walking through the empty corridors they soon learn that not everything is as it seems as the ghosts of the asylum still search for new patients to practise on.

 

 

Thoughts on Eloise

 

StoryI feel like this is going to be a long rant, because to me the storytelling is awful, first we have the reading only two minutes later we get narration telling us the same story. we also have the film give away who dies and how in the opening scene and most ridiculous we must deal with a character telling the story who isn’t even involved in the first part outside Eloise. With the rant out of the way this is a story that does try to have some moments of originality especially in the final third but getting there has been done before.

HorrorWe have solid scares, we have a good setting which is what you need for the horror films but what we don’t have is a good story.

Characters/PerformancesThe characters involved are easily ripped out of the generic horror clichés, we have the lead Jacob trying to figure out a way to find the information required with Eloise, the potential love interest who doesn’t want to go but does to protect family that is also telling the story, add in the token supporting characters with the pushy friend and the geek character with glasses none of them feel fresh. The evil doctor again is something we have seen before too.

When you look at the performances the film has a draw for the horror fans with Eliza Dushku who is good without doing too much, while Chace showing once more that he is more of a supporting star rather than leading man. Byrne makes himself the comic relief of the film with Jackson just being the extra guy. It is Patrick that enjoy the fun in this film being the mad man doctor.

SettingsOnce the film makes it into the asylum this all works well but otherwise this is all good for the settings side of the story.

Special EffectsWhen you look at the special effects in this fil we have good ones going on throughout without needing to be too over the top but enough for the horror.

Final ThoughtsThe film does have a good final act but getting there does take a lot of hard work, through the bad story telling going on early on even if the end comes off nicely.

 

Overall: The final third of this film is good but the build-up is so plain nothing work for the final moments of the film.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Vatican Tapes (2015)

vaticanDirector: Mark Neveldine

Writer: Christopher Borrelli, Michael C Martin (Screenplay) Chris Morgan, Christopher Borrelli (Story)

Starring: Michael Pena, Olivia Dudley, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott, Alison Lohman, Kathleen Robertson, John Patrick Amedori, Michael Pare

 

Plot: A priest and two Vatican exorcists must do battle with an ancient satanic force to save the soul of a young woman.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Different Twist to the Possession Film

 

Story: The Vatican Tapes starts as we learn Vicar Imani (Hounsou) is being assigned the latest case of a potential anti-Christ coming through Angela (Dudley), and we have to rewind 2 months to meet Angela a happy young lady from America. While celebrating her 25th birthday Angela suffers a cut to her hand and over the next few days he starts to act very different to how her boyfriend Pete (Amedori) and father Roger (Scott) are used to.

When Angela is involved in an accident she ends up in a coma and Father Lozano (Pena) is bought in to look for answers that could explain the non-medical problems she is suffering from. Angela finds herself in a mental home where the demon inside of her starts to take over bringing in the Vatican to solve the situation.

The Vatican Tapes comes off like a standard exorcism possession case as we follow from early stages to medical investigation, mental home before entering into the exorcism side which I will say is good. The final twist is excellent but for the negatives I have found this sub-genre something that is difficult to find a fresh approach and this ends up down the same road. Well about my favourite part I do think you get a reward with the final outcome though.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Pena: Father Lozano is the local Priest that is looking over Angela, a former soldier turned Priest start suspecting something unusual but nothing prepared him for his first possession case. Michael is good and well restricted from his normal comic tone we get through his performances.

Olivia Dudley: Angela is the young lady that finds herself being possessed by a demon, it all starts with a small cut before she starts having powers unlike any human acting out of character but can she fight the demon inside her? Olivia is good as the victim in this film.

Djimon Hounsou: Vicar Imani is the man that learns about the Anti-Christ coming to the Earth and must find a way to stop him taking over. Djimon is barely in this film which is a huge disappointment really.

Dougray Scott: Roger Holmes is the father of Angela who has raised her himself and is still very protective of her even after she has started to live her own life. Dougray is very much a supporting character that I don’t understand why we have such a known actor in.

Support Cast: The Vatican Tapes has a supporting cast which are all about wondering what is happening and are trying to solve the problem.

Director Review: Mark NeveldineMark gives us a good couple of twists to the story we are used to seeing.

 

Horror: The Vatican Tapes has all the horror elements need for a possession based movie.

Thriller: The Vatican Tapes does try to keep us guessing throughout which works throughout.

Settings: The Vatican Tapes tries to keep the settings looking like an everyday location to try and show how easily it can happen.
Special Effects
: The Vatican Tapes has good effects to show what is happening with the possession side of the events.

Suggestion: The Vatican Tapes is one for the horror fans to try if you are a possession based fan this is good choice for you. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Final twist.

Worst Part: We have seen most of this before.

 

Believability: It’s you want you want to believe

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $8,405,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Tagline:  For 2,000 years the Vatican has recorded evidence of evil. May God have mercy on their souls.

Trivia: The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2009 Blacklist, a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.

 

Overall: One of the stronger possession based films.

Ratingcard