Elizabeth Harvest (2018)

Elizabeth Harvest is available on Digital Download on the 1st of April 2019 here

Director: Sebastian Gutierrez

Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez (Screenplay)

Starring: Abbey Lee, Ciaran Hinds, Carla Gugino, Matthew Beard, Dylan Baker

 

Plot: A brilliant man marries a beautiful woman and shows her his home, stating that it’s all hers – except a room she can’t enter. First chance she enters and discovers what might be human cloning. When the husband returns she pays the price.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sci-Fi Mystery Consequences

 

Story: Elizabeth Harvest starts when newlyweds Elizabeth (Lee) and Henry (Hinds) return to his mansion to start their lives together, he has workers in his home with Claire (Gugino) and Oliver (Beard) doing the household jobs, while Elizabeth is banned from one room.

Left alone in the house, Elizabeth starts exploring more which does take her into the forbidden room, which only angers Henry to new levels, where he must start his plans again.

 

Thoughts on Elizabeth Harvest

 

Characters – Elizabeth is the new wife ready for her life of luxury, she is delighted with the number of clothes she has, the size of the house, but she isn’t prepared for what she finds in the forbidden room, a clone of herself, she spends the film learning who she is and why she is being cloned. Henry is the husband that has been bring his new wife home for the household, he has been planning this for years, with his clones being used to complete his perfect world, the deeper the story goes, the more we learn about his decisions. Claire is the scientist hired to help Henry with his clones, she doesn’t agree at first before learning just what this could mean for science. Oliver works around the house, he is blind and has been waiting for his chance to learn about the work within the house.

PerformancesAbbey Lee takes on the leading roles of Elizabeth, each one is slightly different which shows how the science has continued to improve through the versions, this comes out in her performances as somebody who becomes riser as the film unfolds. Ciaran Hinds is always going to be strong in the scientist role, with Carla Gugino in the mentor figure and assistant that works well with Matthew Beard doing everything needed for his shining moments in the later part of the film.

StoryThe story follows a young woman marrying a scientist and learning that he has been working on a bigger project which involves clones. This is an interesting story because it plays into the ideas of whether clones should be used in the real world, which is always going to be an interesting conversation. The story does however jump around the timeline with the flashbacks filling in the blanks for Elizabeth. It could get moments that are confusing because keeping up with certain characters can be hard to figure out which is which, but otherwise this does everything needing to make you think you are watching an episode of Black Mirror.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film uses the idea of clones being welcomed into the world or how they are secretive for the first designers.

SettingsThe settings keep the film in one location which does show the world that Elizabeth must get used too.

Special EffectsWe keep the effects simple and effective to show the wounds inflicted to the characters.


Scene of the Movie –
The meeting of the clones.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many time jumps.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that does ask a question about cloning, and whether they should be included in the world or not.

 

Overall: Black Mirror in film form.

Rating

 

 

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Trick ‘r Treat

logiDirector: Michael Dougherty

Writer: Michael Dougherty (Screenplay)

Starring: Dylan Baker, Rochelle Aytes, Quinn Lord, Lauren lee Smith, Moneca Delain, Tahmoh Penikett, Brett Kelly, Britt McKillip, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox

 

Plot: Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Little Stories

 

Story: Trick ‘r’ Treat starts with couple Henry (Penikett) and Emma (Bibb) returning from a party when Emma removes her costume prompting Henry to question the superstition. Emma tries to take down the decoration only to be attack by something leaving her dead with her head on the very same decoration. This is how you start a horror film short and sweet story.

I am not going to give away too much about each story because they are short and sweet I will just look at the basic outline of them all.

For the next chapter of the story we meet Laurie (Paquin) and her friends as they are preparing for a wild party dressed in fairy tale characters, we learn that Laurie is a virgin and will be looking to lose it at this party.

The next major story involves a kid who is smashing Halloween decorations before he gets interrupted by Steven (Baker) who teaches the boy about respecting the dead on Halloween. Steven has his own tradition for Halloween.

The next story involves a group of children who are collecting Jack o lanterns to understand an urban legend that revolves around the town. The story goes that a school bus filled with special children whose parents wanted to get rid of them crashed into the quarry. The story is that the lost souls still haunt the area and the Jack O’ Lanterns gets placed there in respect every year.

The final story follows Mr Kreeg (Cox) an old lonely man who prefers to be on his own, playing tricks on anyone kid brave enough to come in his yard, but when he gets a taste of his own medicine he gets trapped inside his own home against the trademark sack boy lurking through all the stories.

Trick ‘r’ Treat is filled with little stories surrounding Halloween, all told over one night in one small town. The fact the stories all have dark twists to them all work really well and like most multiply stories we do have certain ones that out shine the others. The only one that seems to run through the whole film is the group of girl mates who are out for a party, I do feel by doing this we lose the impact of a couple of the other stories because even though the outcome of their story is great the other ones needed that little extra moment to shock. Overall the stories all come off very nicely and can be enjoyed. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Dylan Baker: Steven is the high school principal who has a secret dark side he likes to let out on Halloween when it comes to making his own personal jack o lantern. He appears in all the stories with difference size parts but if his involvement in Laurie’s is that is the real twist. Dylan does a great job to perform as the creepy member of the community that looks friendly for the most part. (8/10)

 steve

Anna Paquin: Laurie is the early twenty year old out for a party with her friends, the party is designed to help her lose her virginity but not in the way we would expect. Anna does a good job and ends up involve in one of the sexiest transformations in the genre. (7/10)

laurie

Brian Cox: Mr Kreeg is the loner of the neighbourhood, he hates Halloween and spends most of the holiday chasing the kids away from his house. He gets taste of his own medicine when he gets a visit from the films iconic sack boy. Brian does a good job in the survival in the house but it doesn’t last long enough. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Trick ‘r’ Treat has a big supporting cast that all mix into the stories of each other, they all help with the final outcome of the stories though.

 

Director Review: Michael Dougherty – Michael puts together a great little horror mix of stories with some of the best twists in short story horror. (7/10)

 

Comedy: Trick ‘r’ Treat doesn’t come off as full blown horror but I did like the dark comedy in the Steven storyline. (7/10)

Horror: Trick ‘r’ Treat tries to give us a mix of different horrors, but my only complaint would be that we don’t stick to the types of horror long enough. (6/10)

Settings: Trick ‘r’ Treat keeps everything happening in one small town which makes certain aspects of the story feel all that scarier because you never know your neighbours. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Trick ‘r’ Treat uses great effects with the highlight being the brilliant and original werewolf transformations. (8/10)

Suggestion: Trick ‘r’ Treat is one for the horror fans out there to watch, it is a fun size horror classic really. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The final twist.

Worst Part: Too much focus on the girls party.

Favourite Quote: ‘Charlie Brown’s an Asshole’.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

Tagline: They were started to protect us

 

Overall: This is a brilliant collection of horror tales that doesn’t hit home as well as it could but still entertains.

Rating 70

Hide and Seek (2005)

Director: John Polson

Writer: Ari Schlossberg

Starring: Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen, Elisabeth Shue, Amy Irving, Dylan Baker, Melissa Leo. Robert John Burke

Story David Callaway (De Niro) and his daughter Emily (Fanning) move to a quieter town after his wife’s (Irving) suicide. Emily witnesses the body being found and his in shock. Emily way to find an escape from what happened creates an imaginary friend Called Charlie.

David tries to move on with his life meeting all the different locals Elizabeth (Shue) Sheriff Hafferty (Baker), Laura (Leo) as well as keeping updates on Emily to Katherine (Janssen) back in the city.

Things take a turn for the worse when Charlie starts making things happen while David is sleeping. David thinks Emily is just reacting to her mother death but could there be a more surprising truth?

Verdict This horror thriller has a big name cast and it backs that up with some good jumps and a great tension story that will keep you guessing right up to the end. Even if you didn’t like the end the DVD offers a few alternative endings. The atmosphere created is very effective and De Niro as the concerned father comes of well after being used to his other roles through out the years.  As for horror thrillers this is a good addition to the recent collections and well worth a watch for all fans of the genre. 

Story Mark 8/10 Strong story with twists and surprise ending

Action Mark 7/10 nice fight and chase scenes

Horror Mark 8/10 good jump scenes and Charlie figure is effective

Star Performances Dakota Fanning as the traumatised daughter with a secret.

Best Part The surprise ending

Worst Part They should have picked one ending and stuck with it instead of so many different ones.

My Rating 76%