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.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Devil May Call (2013)

devilDirector: Jason Cuadrado

Writer: Jason Cuadrado, Wyatt Doyle (Screenplay) Jason Cuadrado (Story)

Starring: Corri English, Tyler Mane, Traci Lords, Van Hansis, Camillia Monet, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Tracy Perez

 

Plot: A young, blind operator for a suicide hotline descends into a night of unrelenting terror when an obsessive caller turns out to be a serial killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Horror Not Reaching Potential

 

Story: Devil May Call starts as we see serial killer John (Mane) on the phone with suicide hotline girl Sam (English) but when his latest victim escapes we see just what he is capable of. Sam is a blind woman who is highly respected within the helpline centre who is left with the responsibility of looking after a new member of the team Jess (Hansis). Sam is getting ready to move onto a new job but her most regular caller John has become obsessed with calling Sam and doesn’t take the news that she is leaving well threatening her.

The final night for Sam is about to take a turn when Sam, Jess and Val (Lords) find themselves trapped in the building when John comes on his latest murderous rampage.

Devil May Call is a film with so much suspense filled tension potential because having a blind character trying to elude a serial killer should create tension bound horror. This doesn’t come off because we never see the true motives behind John’s action, taking Sam away from the location also doesn’t help because the film just seems to sudden end without a final showdown between the two. I feel this story just doesn’t address what it offers enough to reach any of its potential.

 

Actor Review

 

Corri English: Sam is the blind suicide helpline operator, she enjoys the job where she gets the chance to help people every day. One of her most regular callers John just so happens to be a serial killer but she isn’t away of this but when she informs him she is leaving this drives him over the edge as he starts targeting her centre. Corri is solid in this role but doesn’t get the moment you would like to see from the leading lady in horror.

Tyler Mane: John is one of the regular callers to Sam, she has plenty of problems and is in fact a serial killer with the only thing keeping him sane is his conversations with Sam. When he finds out Sam is leaving he goes on a rampage to make her pay for lying to him. Tyler is as always a brilliant screen presence but just doesn’t give us enough.

Traci Lords: Val is the experienced worker that works the late nights with Sam, she is good at her job as well as being a good friend to her. Traci is solid in this role being the supporting character need for Sam.

Van Hansis: Jess is the new guy starting as a replacement for Sam, he spends the night learning off her only to find himself being a victim to the killer on the end of the line. Van is good but only a basic supporting character that never really gets going.

Support Cast: Devil May Call has a small remaining supporting cast that don’t really add anything to the main story.

Director Review: Jason CuadradoJason doesn’t get enough out of a great idea involved.

 

Horror: Devil May Call should reach much higher levels of horror but is doesn’t let enough build up.

Thriller: Devil May Call should also get us on the edge of our seats but in the end it just fizzles outs.

Settings: Devil May Call uses the help centre for one centre and it would be fair they should have kept the whole film there but taking it out of that location ruins the tension.
Special Effects
: Devil May Call has very basic special effects for the kills.

Suggestion: Devil May Call is one to try, because it is short and sweet for a horror. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Short.

Worst Part: Lack of Suspense

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

Overall: Potentially great horror that doesn’t reach its potential.

Ratingcard

 

Halloween Kingathon – Cujo (1983)

Banner-3logoDirector: Lewis Teague

Writer: Don Carlos Dunaway, Lauren Currir (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Christopher Stone, Ed Lauter

Plot: A friendly St. Bernard named “Cujo” contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Ravenously Dark Horror

Story: Cujo starts with the friendly St Bernard Cujo chasing rabbits where he bites off more than he can chew after getting his head inside a den filled with bats, where he ends up getting bitten by fore mentioned bats. We go onto meet our main family the Trenton’s mother Donna (Wallace), father Vic (Kelly) and young son Tad (Pintauro).

When the Trenton’s have car trouble they turn to Joe Camber (Lauter) the local go to car mechnic and owner of Cujo, but as the bite becomes infected Cujo slowly starts to fall victim of the rabies he has been infected with. When Donna and Tad go to have the car looked at again they find themselves trapped by Cujo who has become a ravenous because of the rabies.

Cujo brings us such a simple idea behind a horror that could easily be real, what happens to Cujo could happen to any animal and when man’s best friend turns nasty it becomes hard to escape their strength. The trapped trying to survive a horror is such a tried and tested horror idea this films ends up using it excellently. (8/10)

Actor Review

Dee Wallace: Donna Trenton is the mother of Tad as well us the cheating wife of Vic, she needs to get her car fixed while looking after Tad but when they reach the mechanic’s house they find themselves in a battle against a now ravenous Cujo. Dee is great in this leading role trying to protect her child. (8/10)family

Danny Pintauro: Tad Trenton is the young son of the Trenton family who believe in monsters however many times Vic tries to convince him there are no such things. When he visits the mechanic’s house he gets an encounter with a real life monster in the ravenous Cujo. Danny does a good job looking scared not just for the film but most likely for years to come. (7/10)

Support Cast: Cujo has a supporting cast that is mostly local residents and a few victims for Cujo.

Director Review: Lewis Teague Lewis brings us a genuine horror film that truly scares the audience. (7/10)

Horror: Cujo puts the characters into a position where the horror will continue throughout their situation. (9/10)

Thriller: Cujo keeps you guessing to whether they will survive the problem. (8/10)

Settings: Cujo starts mostly in a small town but when Cujo traps Donna and Tad it keeps the idea of isolation together. (9/10)

Suggestion: Cujo is one for all the horror fans to have seen at least once. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Cujo is terrifying.cujo

Worst Part: Not really one.

Scariest Scene: Cujo first attack on Donna and Tad.

Believability: Rabies will do this to animals so it would be fair to say it could happen. (6/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $21 Million

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Now there’s a new name for terror.

Trivia: Stephen King has stated that he feels Dee Wallace gives the best performance in this film of any film or TV adaptation of his books, including Kathy Bates‘s Oscar-winning turn in Misery (1990).

Overall: Scary, frightening man’s best friend gone evil that will scary you for days.

Rating80