ABC Film Challenge – Horror – I – I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)

Director: Billy O’Brien

Writer: Billy O’Brien, Christopher Hyde (Screenplay) Dan Wells (Novel)

Starring: Max Records, Christopher Lloyd, Laura Fraser, Christina Baldwin, Karl Geary, Dee Noah

 

Plot: In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Chilling Horror Drama

 

Story: I Am Not a Serial Killer starts as we meet high school student and son of a coroner John Cleaver (Records) who does help with mother April’s (Fraser) work, but John is a troubled young man having being diagnosed as a psychopath by his doctor Neblin (Geary).

When his small town starts having a serial killer active and the bodies start adding up. When Max discovers who the killer is Mr Crowley (Lloyd) he starts to learn that not everything is as simple as him being a serial killer and the two end up getting involved in a game of cat and mouse.

 

Thoughts on I Am Not a Serial Killer

 

Characters – John Wayne Cleave is the young man with a troubled mind, he has been diagnosed as a psychopath but he isn’t going to give into his homicidal thoughts but when he learns about a serial killer he sets out to try and stop him. Mr Crowley is the serial killer in question, an old man from the neighbourhood who doesn’t look like he could overpower anyone but there is something different about him. April is John’s mother that also is the town’s coroner which gives John an understand of human anatomy.

PerformanceMax Records gives us a wonderful performance in the leading role for an actor so young and who has been away from the business for about five years. Christopher Lloyd gives us a chilling performance and one you wouldn’t have put him down for after his comedic turns through the years. Laura Fraser is good but doesn’t get too much time to do too much.

StoryThe story of a young man discovering a serial killer and trying to stay ahead of them has been seen before but this film takes things in a new direction as the young man is battling to stop his homicidal ways. The idea is smart and doesn’t go at a fast pace instead keeps us wanting to see where it will all unfold and just what is the killers secret.

Horror/ThrillerWe have a serial killer but not like one you would expect here, we have one that will kill in ways you wouldn’t expect their body to be able to, which does keep us on edge as we wait to see what will happen next.

SettingsThe small-town setting helps this film because it shows that not everyone you think you will know is just who they thought they would be.

Special EffectsThe effects are great, with most being from a distant until the final parts which look fantastic up close and personal.

Scene of the Movie – Discovering the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Can be slow in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart take on a serial killer/creature movie that does keep us guessing along the way and does have a dark and rewarding conclusion.

 

Overall: One for the horror fans

Rating

 

 

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Vintage Franchise – Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

Director: Leonard Nimoy

Writer: Harve Bennett (Screenplay) Gene Roddenberry (Characters)

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Christopher Lloyd

 

Plot: Admiral Kirk and his bridge crew risk their careers stealing the decommissioned Enterprise to return to the restricted Genesis planet to recover Spock’s body.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Start of the Downhill Slope

 

Story: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock starts where the last film ended, Kirk (Shatner) is struggling with the loss of his friend but when he returns to Star fleet his team is decommissioned but when Kirk learns McCoy (Kelley) has mind moulded with Spock (Nimoy) and two need to be reunited to give Spock a proper resting place.

The crew decide ignore orders risking their careers in a hope to find Spock’s body to give him the chance to reach the next level of Vulcan pass, but Klingon Kruge (Lloyd) also wants something from the planet but what the discover is a surprise they could never imagine.

 

Thoughts on Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

 

Characters – Kirk still struggling with the loss of Spock learns he didn’t carry out the right funeral process for the Vulcan and must risk his career to recover the body and return him to Vulcan. Spock has been reborn on Genesis but his mind is inside Bones as the two need to be reunited before it is too late. Kruge is the Klingon commander that wants the power of Genesis for himself and will travel the galaxy to get it.

PerformanceThe performance from the crew are good with Shatner starting to go into the campy level he can get mocked for, Nimoy isn’t the only person playing Spock with his growing through the film so judging his performance comes both on camera and behind it. Christopher Lloyd is the highlight from the performances in this film.

StoryThe story continuing from the last film is a good thing and easily the best part of the film, it shows us just how the crew will work together even if it goes against his authority figures. This is the only thing that becomes as the rest of the story feels downhill as we follow the effects of Genesis before it was fully tested but the battle between a random enemy is a huge step back after the last battle and the aging planet just doesn’t connect enough.

Adventure/Mystery/Sci-FiThe adventure side of the film comes from the idea that we are going to see the crew go rogue against star fleet. The mystery is around what is happening on the planet with the sci-fi being what we know from the star Trek franchise.

SettingsThe settings do feel underused here with the moments on the ships being fine but the planet feels like a missed opportunity.

Special EffectsThe effects also start to take a step back now too almost feeling like the budget is less to make them believable.

Scene of the Movie – Fight on the planet.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This just feels like we are adding what could have been 30 minutes to Khan in an extra-long story.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t the best so far in fact it is the weakest to date offering us nothing overly interesting going on.

 

Overall: Disappointing sequel

Rating

 

 

Cold Moon (2017)

Director: Griff Furst

Writer: Griff Furst, Jack Snyder (Screenplay) Michael McDowell (Novel)

Starring: Josh Stewart, Christopher Lloyd, Frank Whaley, Candy Clark, Robbie A Kay, Chester Rushing, Rachele Brooke Smith

 

Plot: In a sleepy southern town, the Larkin family suffers a terrible tragedy. Now the Larkin’s are about to endure another: Traffic lights blink an eerie warning, a ghostly visage prowls in the streets, and graves erupt from the local cemetery in an implacable march of terror . . . And beneath the murky surface of the river, a shifting, almost human shape slowly takes form to seek a terrible vengeance 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Original Crime Thriller

 

Story: Cold Moon starts in our small southern town, Margaret Larkin doesn’t return home leaving her grandmother Evelyn (Clark) and brother Jerry (Rushing) desperately seeking help from the Sheriff Hale (Whaley) to figure out where she could have gone, we do see her brutal murder by a masked attacker and once the body is discovered Evelyn can’t control her grief.

With secrets coming out about 16-year-old Margaret, Sheriff Hale must investigate the truth about what happened which includes the suspects from around the town, bank manager Nathan Redfield (Stewart), his father James (Lloyd) being the suspects Evelyn wants to blame but the truth will come out once the ghostly spirit returns to haunt the town.

 

Thoughts on Cold Moon

 

Characters – Nathan Redfield has followed in his father’s footsteps becoming a banker, he is however ruthless with the clients and instantly becomes Evelyn’s prime suspect. Evelyn Larkin is the grandmother who must deal with the horrifying truth that her granddaughter was murdered. She believes it was Nathan that did it as part of his way to reclaim the money his bank it owned. Sheriff Ted Hale is the man that must investigate the crime that holds little leads but he must find a way to use his knowledge of the town for answers. James Redfield is Nathan’s father, a respected man in the town that many have always looked at as an example.

PerformanceJosh Stewart has become one of the names to watch in horror in recent years and this is no different, he adds another layer to what he is capable off here. Candy Clark is good through the film as is Frank Whaley who is always a go to guy in supporting roles. The biggest disappointment comes from the small role for Christopher Lloyd, he isn’t bad in his performance but you do wish you could have seen more of him.

StoryThe story here starts out like you would expect, a grisly murder that opens the doors to a game of who did it. The story could have easily followed that path but we end up going in a different direction, learning the killer and watching how they must deal with the supernatural side effects or the murder. This is a fresh look at this style of movie and one that does keep us on edge from the start to the finish.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of this story could have just been the investigation of the murder and to give the only negative from this film, it would the lack of actual investigation of the crime. The horror in the film shows how the killer is haunted by the spirit of their victim.

SettingsThe small town setting shows us just how connected everybody involved in the film is, how they would be investigating friends and even family for the crime that occurred.

Special EffectsThe effects are all used well with the graveyard scene and the way the victim’s ghost seems to be cycling whenever she is seen all add to the moments in the film.

Scene of the Movie – Graveyard scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Wasting Christopher Lloyd.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very impressive crime horror thriller that does take things in a very different direction than what you would expect which only makes it feel original.

 

Overall: One of the highlights of the crime horror thriller genre.

Rating

 

 

The Addams Family (1991)

addamDirector: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writer: Caroline Thompson, Larry Wilson (Screenplay) Charles Addams (Characters)

Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, Christopher Lloyd, Dan Hedaya, Elizabeth Wilson, Judith Malina, Carel Struycken, Dana Ivey, Paul Benedict, Christina Ricci, Jimmy Workman

 

Plot: Con artists plan to fleece an eccentric family using an accomplice who claims to be their long-lost uncle.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Family Comedy

 

Story: The Addams Family starts as we meet the family Morticia (Huston), Gomez (Julia), Lurch (Struycken), Wednesday (Ricci), Pugsley (Workman) and Thing (Hart) who have been trying to contact Uncle Fester after his disppearnce years before. Bring in Tully Alford (Hedaya) and his wife Margaret (Ivey) who want the Addams family fortune.

Tully and Abigail Craven (Wilson) use her son Gordon (Lloyd) to pretend to be Uncle Fester as he enters the house to find his share of the fortune but his adventure are nothing like he would expect as he has to deal with the unusual behaviour of the Addams family. It isn’t long before the family starts to question this Uncle Fester and soon begin to love the strange character even if he isn’t the man they thought he was.

The Addams Family is one of the true classic family comedy fantasy film that shows just how different we can see each person in our own family to be different. The interactions between the family are all twisted in a loving way where we could see others question while the interaction with the people outside the family all come off slightly awkward which sums up the family perfectly.

The con-artist side of the story comes off nicely as we can see how naïve a family can be but even with love people can change. The performances are all great with Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston have perfect chemistry as the father and mother of the family. The rest of the cast all give great performances that you can believe from start to finish with the uniqueness given to each character.

 

Overall: Underrated classic that hits on all of the unique style needed to make it truly stand out.

Ratingcard

 

 

Jack Nicholson Weekend – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

one flewDirector: Milos Forman

Writer: Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman (Screenplay) Ken Kesey (Novel)

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito, Brad Dourif, Michael Berryman, Will Sampson

 

Plot: A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Masterpiece Classic

 

Story: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starts as we see R.P. McMurphy (Nicholson) entering into the mental institute and on the ward run by Nurse Ratched (Fletcher). On the world McMurphy meets all the patient that all have different problems but McMurphy runs his mouth with his confident mood that sees him trying to help the fellow patience including Martini (DeVito), Taber (Lloyd), Billy Bibbit (Dourif) and Chief Bromden (Sampson).

McMurphy clashes with Nurse Ratched as he tries to teach the men to stand up for themselves which shows that McMurphy really isn’t as insane as he is coming off.patient

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of the all-time classics that has avoided me for years, I have no idea why it has taken be this long to watch but is has now happened. Going into this film I knew the ending which wants the best thing to know but the building up to that was something I was unaware off. I found that the time in the institute really works well because we see how the time spent in the institute we see how McMurphy tries to help patients. In the end this is one of the best films ever made which is why it really it still stands the test of time 41 years later.

 

Actor Review

 

Jack Nicholson: R.P. McMurphy is a criminal that claimed insanity ending him up in the mental institute, we clearly see that he shouldn’t be in the ward but because he is committed he sees this as an easy way out only to find out that it isn’t going to be an easy trip. While in the ward he is tries to help the actual patient with their problems getting through to them on a level the doctors never could. Jack gives his best performance of his career that rightfully won the Oscar.mcmrphy

Louise Fletcher: Nurse Ratched runs the ward that McMurphy finds himself on, she has all her patient in line but when McMurphy arrives her life becomes difficult as she clashes with him, she actually stands up for keeping McMurphy in her ward but she has an alternative motive behind this choice. Louise is brilliant in this role where she won the Oscar.nurs

Danny DeVito: Martini is one of the patient that McMurphy helps, he comes off as the one man that looks up to McMurphy as a big brother learning all his bad habits. Danny shows that he going onto be a bigger star in the future.

Christopher Lloyd: Taber is one of the fellow committed patients in the ward, he is one of the men that McMurphy starts to help as we see him change over time. Christopher is great in this supporting role.

Brad Dourif: Billy Bibbit is one of the patients that has a nervous side that tries to learn about to put that uncertain side about him behind him. Brad gave us a brilliant supporting role that got him an Oscar nomination.

Will Sampson: Chief Bromden is the patient that everyone thinks is deaf and dumb, but with McMurphy trying to bring him out his shell by talking to him as a human rather than a problem we get to see what he is all about. Will gives us the most interesting character in the film as the silent man early on.

Support Cast: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has a brilliant supporting cast that all shine through the film.

Director Review: Milos FormanMilos gave us one of the best films ever made.

 

Drama: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest will always be one of the best dramas of all time.

Settings: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest keeps most of the film inside the Mental home but the one time outside really works to shows us the different life the men could have.

Suggestion: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one that everyone should watch. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Performances.

Worst Part: Nothing.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 5 Oscars

Box Office: $112 Million

Budget: $4.4 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

Tagline: If he’s crazy, what does that make you?

 

Overall: One of the true all time classics from Hollywood

Ratingcard