Ransom (1996)

logoDirector: Ron Howard

Writer: Richard Price, Alexander Ignon (Screenplay) Cyril Hume, Richard Maibaum (Story)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Brawley Nolte, Gary Sinise, Delroy Lindo, Lili Taylor, Live Schreiber, Donnie Wahlberg


Plot: Tom Mullen is a millionaire; he built his fortune by working hard. Along the way he learned how to play the game. He has a great family. One day his son is kidnapped. He is willing to pay the ransom but decides to call in the FBI, who manages to go into his home secretly. When he goes to make the drop something goes wrong. The kidnapper calls him again and reschedules it. On the way Mullen decides not to go and appears on TV saying that the ransom he was going to give to the kidnapper is now a bounty on the kidnapper.


Verdict: Where are you limits?


Story: Ransom starts out as a simple kidnapping with a ransom wanted turns into a thriller unlike anything we have seen before. We see how one man will risk his own son’s life to get the people responsible for kidnapping his son. Our hero goes against every he is told to get his son back, but is he really after some redemption after his errors have caught up with him? The villain comes off very calm but even he isn’t ready for the reaction from the hero. This keeps you guessing what the next step will be from both sides as well as test the relationship between a married couple with the effects of the kidnapping. (8/10)


Actor Review


Mel Gibson: Tom Mullen a multi-millionaire whose son is kidnapped, while he starts following the instructions he figures out that there is no plan for him to get his son returned, so he goes to extreme levels to out play the kidnappers. Good performance from Gibson showing great intensity against the kidnappers. (8/10)


Rene Russo: Kate Mullen Tom’s wife who wants to do everything by the book and gets very upset when Tom starts going his own way with the plan. Solid supporting performance. (7/10)


Gary Sinise: Detective Jimmy Shaker the man with the plan that has arranged the kidnap and the exchange to work perfectly. He has back up plans for when things go wrong too. He is very twisted and determined to get his money and will do anything to make sure he gets what he wants. Good performance creating a good villain that not quit. (8/10)


Delroy Lindo: Agent Lonnie Hawkins the man called in with his team to help with return of the son. He advises Tom and how to handle each part and tries to change his mind when Tom wants to go his own way. Good performance showing that it has to be done a certain way. (7/10)


Director Review: Ron Howard – Good direction taking the thrills to a new level for a story that usually comes off very simple. (9/10)


Crime: Ransom is a great test for all law enforcements handling a kidnapping case. (9/10)

Thriller: Ransom uses great thriller aspects that will get keep you guessing. (10/10)

Settings: Each setting used in Ransom works for the next chapter of the story, especially when Tom gets sent to do the trade over. (8/10)

Suggestion: Ransom is one of the best action thrillers you will see, watch this even though Mel Gibson is not the most popular actor anymore. (Watch)


Best Part: The first attempted trade over journey.

Worst Part: Generic supporting villains.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Mel Gibson was nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $309 Million

Budget: $80 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

Tagline: This Fall, Pay The Price.


Overall: Great Thriller A Must Watch

Rating 89

Dead Silence (2007)

Director: James Wan

Writer: Leigh Whannell, James Wan

Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Laura Regen, Judith Roberts


Story When a mysterious doll is set to Jamie (Kwanten) and his new wife Lisa (Regen) strange things start to happen. That nigh when Jamie is out something kills Lisa. Jamie believes the doll caused her death, while Detective Lipton (Wahlberg) believes Jamie himself killed her. Jamie travels home to see his father (Gunton) and his new wife Ella (Valletta). While visiting his hometown her learns more about what he thought was just a ghost story. The story of Mary Shaw (Roberts) a ventriloquist who was murdered, but was there more to her death? Can Jamie uncover the truth before he becomes the latest victim?


Verdict Following up on the success of Saw director James Wan and Writer Leigh Whannell give us a beyond the grave ghost story with another great twist ending. The story follows the ABC of horror with the idea of a ghost story becoming a reality which works to good effect by gripping the audience all the way through. The scares are very much using a slow build up leading jump scenes. This as a horror thriller is a very good watch and you should give it a watch if you want simple scares.

Story Mark 8/10 Simple story well told.

Horror Mark 8/10 You can see where the writer and director learnt before the excellent Insidious good jump horror without being truly scary.

Character Development Mark 8/10 Good back stories collected on main characters.

Special Effects Mark 8/10 The victims look very realistic.

Favourite Character Jamie he is clearly upset about what happens to his wife but is more determined to find out the truth.

Least Favourite Character Detective Lipton What is with the razor?

Best Part The twist ending.

Fun Trivia – You can see the Jigsaw doll in the room with 101 dolls in.

Similar Too – Child’s Play, The Ring, The Grudge

My Rating 81%