ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2021 – U – The Unholy (2021) Movie Review

The Unholy – Simple Ghostly Film

 

Director: Evan Spiliotopoulos

Writer: Evan Spiliotopoulos (Screenplay) James Herbert (Book)

Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Cricket Brown, William Sadler, Katie Aselton, Cary Elwes, Diogo Morgado

Plot: A hearing-impaired girl is visited by the Virgin Mary and can suddenly hear, speak, and heal the sick. As people flock to witness her miracles, terrifying events unfold. Are they the work of the Virgin Mary or something much more sinister?


Tagline – Be careful who you pray to.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Unholy starts when disgraced journalist Gerry Fenn (Morgan) is searching for his latest story with hope of one which can’t sell, only to find himself caught up in another story, one involving a mute deaf woman Alice (Brown) who can suddenly start talking and hearing, as well as performing miracles in healing people.

As the miracles draw more people to the town, Gerry starts to look deeper into the changes in Alice, learning the horrific truth about why she has suddenly gained the powers she has.

Thoughts on The Unholy

Characters & Performances – Gerry Fenn is a disgraced journalist who has a reputation for bending the truth to make sure he gets the attention, never telling the complete truth, always looking for something to report on, now he has found himself in the middle of an unknown case about a woman who has suddenly gain healing powers, but even with that story in place, he looks to dive deeper into the truth. Jeffrey Dean Morgan does his try hard to make something from this leading role, even if not everything is easy to work with. Alice is the deaf mute that finds herself with the new ability to talk and hear, with another miraculous addition, the ability to heal injuries and sickness. She becomes one of the most worshipped people in the local area because of her changes. Cricket Brown does well to show the change in here character goes through, believing in what has happened to her. Father Hagan has raised Alice, he has always used God’s words to help her from what was different in her life and made her the strong young woman she had become. Natalie Gates had worked with Alice to help her in the world, she sees first hand the changes she goes through and wants to understand how they came about. The supporting cast do well without giving us any major factors in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young deaf mute woman that suddenly gains the ability to talk, hear and heal, leading to a journalist reporting on the miracles that she is performing until the truth slowly gets revealed about what is really going on. When it comes to any film about miracles, it is always interesting to see what the story might bring, be it with the horror directions or the natural one. We do end up going deeper into the supernatural side here, which is more about what happened in the past to cover up for the future, with the traditional investigation while spooky things are going on behind the scenes, it isn’t the most engaging story, but will get the basics of horror done well.

ThemesThe Unholy is a horror movie that relies on people’s faith to drawn them in, only to unleash the truth to everyone else. It will have the basic scares we need without being anything overly fresh. The small town setting can easily play into the ideas of what might be used for a hoax to increase the money coming into the town too. Whereas most of the special effects don’t always work for the film, taking us well out of the haunting moments.

Final Thoughts The Unholy is a nice basic ghost story that will have everything we need to be entertained for the runtime.

Evil at the Door (2022) Movie Review ‘A Purge Wannabe

Evil at the Door – A Purge Wannabe

 

Director: Kipp Tribble

Writer: Kipp Tribble (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Davison, John James, Andrea Sweeney Blanco, Richard Siegelman, Matt O’Neill, Robert Allen Mukes, Scott Hamm, Sunny Doench, Kipp Tribble, Kenny Yates

Plot: One night every year the world sees an alarming surge in violent home invasions. This is no coincidence.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Evil at the Door starts as Liz (Blanco) turns to her sister jess (Doench) for help after her life has fallen out of line again, staying with Jess and her husband Daniel (O’Neill) who isn’t happy to have her back in his home.

As the three look to go about their night, they find themselves targeted by a group of masked home invaders who have plans to commit horrific actions, as the tradition of this night, every year.

Thoughts on Evil at the Door

ThoughtsEvil at the Door is a horror film that will channel the Purge, with the idea that a group will commit violent crimes on a set day, while not on the big scale of the Purge movies, we dive into a secret society involved with it. How this unfolds, starts well, but then it seems to get stuck in the middle of nowhere, with a middle part of the film, where next to nothing seems to happen, while trying to build upon the group and their beliefs. Evil at the Door does sadly, fall into the type of film that wants to bring an edge to the story, only leaving everything we see feeling flat, only leaving the questions of, what was the point in one major plot point for the whole film. When it comes to the performances, we have Bruce Davison as the biggest name in the film, with his role literally being him sat at his desk reading a script into a camera, filling the role of the leader of the group, giving instructions. It does feel like we are going to get some depth in the performances from Andrea Sweeney Blanco and Sunny Doench with the introduction, which does soon get forgotten once the invasion happens.

Final Thoughts Evil at the Door wants to world build, forgetting to dive deeper enough into its own story.

The Last Thing Mary Saw (2021) Movie Review ‘Slow & Methodical’

The Last Thing Mary Saw – Slow & Methodical

Director: Edoardo Vitaletti

Writer: Edoardo Vitaletti (Screenplay)

Starring: Isabelle Fuhrman, Rory Culkin, Stefanie Scott, Carolyn McCormick, Judith Robets, Shane Coffey

Plot: Winter, 1843. A young woman is under investigation following the mysterious death of her family’s matriarch. Her recollection of the events sheds new light on the ageless forces behind the tragedy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Last Thing Mary Saw starts in the winter of 1843, where maid Eleanor (Fuhrman) and young lady Mary (Scott) have been having an affair, frowned upon within the religious community, where the women are forced to go through corrections to set their minds straight.

As the couple continue their affair a stranger (Culkin) arrives with a promise to help fix the problem, with his stories proving to have more meaning to them, can the women make it out of this together or not.

Thoughts on The Last Thing Mary Saw

ThoughtsThe Last Thing Mary Saw is a horror film that will dive into old times beliefs, seeing two lovers punished for not following their traditions of the community, needing to deal with the methods to try and fix them. This is the type of horror that will always make us question how naïve the previous generations would be to restrict life to one direction. This is going to be a horror that isn’t going to be for everything, as most of the horror elements are slowly built up, waiting for a more shocking moment, waiting for more to happen. The performances are strong, with each performer making us believe they are from the simpler time, one of calm within the world, but one that is filled with the pain of the suffering of strict rules.

Final Thoughts The Last Thing Mary Saw is a slow burning horror.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2021 – P – Phobias (2021) Movie Review

Director: Camilla Belle, Maritte Lee Go, Joe Sill, Jess Varley, Chris von Hoffmann

Writer: Camilla Belle, Maritte Lee Go, Joe Sill, Jess Varley, Chris von Hoffmann (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo Nam, Macy Gacy, Martina Garcia, Hana Mae Lee, Ross Partridge, Lauren Miller Rogen, Rushi Kota

Plot: Five dangerous patients, suffering from extreme phobias at a government testing facility, are put to the ultimate test under the supervision of a crazed doctor and his quest to weaponize fear.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Thoughts on Phobias

Robophobia – Robophobia follows Johnny (Nam) as he is looking to care for his sick father, while dealing with the redneck racists who are against anyone who is not like them. After going through the latest attack, Johnny finds himself connecting to new electronic helper, who will help find a way to solve the problems in the world, one that is failing to control. This is an interesting look at how things can spiral out of control quickly, with the fact we are in a short format, holding the story back from getting a major impact.

VehophobiaVenophobia follows Sami (Lee) as she goes through a bad break up with her boyfriend, finding herself driving alone at night, when she starts experiencing strange moments in the car, windows opening, radio turning on, like she being haunted within her own car. This has plenty of scares while in the car, before we go down the road we have seen before, with how the motivation for the haunting starts.

HoplophobiaHoplophobia follows police officer Alma (Garcia) as she goes through a routine bust, which will leave a victim dead at her hands. This will lead to her suffering from a form of trauma, believing she is seeing enemies everywhere she goes, before being taken away.

Atelophobia Atelophobia follows an architect Renee (Gray) who finds her biggest project hitting panic stations, needing to bring her team together to solve the problem, where she lets out her darker side, when things go wrong. This will see Renee hosting her employees, where she will show her true nature and desires with the employees.

EphebiphobiaEphebiphobia follows Emma (Rogen) a schoolteacher that finds herself home alone after her husband’s decision to work late again, she gets attacked by three siblings looking for their own moment of revenge against her, with Emma needing to fight back to save her life. This is one that could have had a much large fight back creation, one that would have seen more from the phobia, rather than just how it unfolded.

ThoughtsPhobias is an interesting series of horror tales, which will become connected with the character all finding themselves in a facility being studied. Each story gives us an excellent introduction, only to not give us enough in the later stages of the stories. This does feel like we have so much more to see and holding back so much, will leave the audience wanting more. Each story will offer a different type of horror, which will give the horror fans something to enjoy in the film.

Final ThoughtsPhobias is a horror that offers up so much, only to not deliver enough in the short stories.

Scream (2022) Movie Review ‘Blood Soaked Sequel’

Scream – Blood Soaked Sequel

 

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Writer: James Vanderbilt, Guy Busick (Screenplay)

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Marley Shelton, Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Jack Quaid

Plot: Twenty-five years after the original series of murders in Woodsboro, a new killer emerges, and Sidney Prescott must return to uncover the truth.


Tagline – It’s Always Someone You Know

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Scream starts when a new group of school students Tara (Ortega), Wes (Minnette), Mindy (Brown), Liv (Ammar), Amber (Madison) and Chad (Gooding) find themselves getting targeted by a new Ghostface killer. Tara’s sister Sam (Barrera) returns from her time away, as the killer continues to attack.

With the attacks increasing, Dewey (Arquette) reluctantly looks to help, drawing Gail Weathers (Cox) and Sidney (Campbell) back to Woodsboro to face the new killer.

Thoughts on Scream

Characters & Performances – This is going to be slightly different to how I usually break down the characters, as I will look at the originals, or legacy characters in Sidney who has moved away from the area, started her own life, at last. She does return to offer help, much like Gail Weathers, they are both drawn back, we know how strong they are and how they will always fight. Dewey does have the more interesting story of the three. Dewey has become an outsider, still suffering from the injuries he got from the last out, almost a recluse within the town he protected. Bringing the big three back was always the draw, with all three doing a great job throughout.

Onto the new characters, Sam Carpenter takes the leading role, drawn back to Woodsboro after Tara’s attack, she is holding a secret that has kept her away, while trying to get to the bottom of everything that has been happening. This is where we get the connection side of things, Wes is the son of Judy Hicks, the plucky sheriff from the last film, Mindy and Chad are twins that fill in Mindy’s side of things, the expert in horror, while Chad is the not so typical jock figure, that we have seen constantly twisted through the years. Liv is a girlfriend of Chad’s who does seem like more of the outsider of the friends, while Amber is the one wanting to keep everyone together through the incidents. When it comes to these characters, we do get a generational thing, which seems more focused on bragging about not caring and even wanting to be involved in what happens with the killings, they don’t tend to get enough development about them. It is hard to see any of the new cast standing out on the same levels as the originals, which is more to certain lack of screen time given to the ones we could see more from.

StoryScream will bring the action back to Woodsboro once again, with a new Ghostface killer looking to pick off a group of friends, bringing the originals back to face a new killer with an unknown motivation. Scream will bring the teenage characters into the new generations of young people who think they are above being horror victims and believe their own opinions are more important than anyone else’s, forcing them to show how they are becoming tired with decisions in movies, while being reckless in life. Like seriously, why would people have wild parties if their friends had been murdered by a known serial killer. Much like any Scream sequel, we do get a theme in the story, where we have had the sequel, trilogy, reboot before, we are now getting re-quell, a new term for a reboot and sequel trying to please fans. There is a side to the story, which is going to be interesting to see if the franchise will continue to grow on, as it is one that could take things in many different directions. We will have certain things said, that will have you scratching your head, as it seems to be written into the script that we know what happens in the Stab movies, which we don’t, even ignore mentions in previous films too.

ThemesScream is a horror slasher that will bring plenty of blood and gore to the table, not holding back and seemingly bring the directors trademark of the hand injury to life again. Returning the action to Woodsboro helps, showing us how the town has looked to move on again, but will always be under the shadow of the previous attacks. The use of one key location does bring back the memories of the brilliance of the original.

Final Thoughts Scream is a great addition to the franchise, bringing new-life for a new generation.