ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2020 – # – The New Mutants (2020) Movie Review

The New Mutants – Nice Dark Addition to the Franchise

Director: Josh Boone

Writer: Josh Boone, Knate Lee (Screenplay)

Starring: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Brage, Blue Hunt, Henry Zaga

Plot: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.

Tagline – There is something new to fear.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The New Mutants starts when Dani Moonstar (Hunt) escapes from a disaster, which will see her awaken in a hospital run by Dr Reyes (Braga), Dani joins the rest of the patients, religious Rahne Sinclair (Williams), bad girl Illyana Rasputin (Taylor-Joy), small town boy Sam Guthrie (Heaton) and playboy Roberto da Costa (Zaga), in a hospital, where the five are learning to control their powers before returning to the world.

As Dani spends more time in the hospital, she finds herself and the other patients needing to face the demons which have caused their power to come out, forcing them into a deadly situation.

Thoughts on The New Mutants

Characters & Performances – Dani Moonstar has seen her whole family killed in an incident, seeing her admitted to a small hospital with four other young people, here she must first look to fit in with the other young people, before learning to control her powers, which will see her becoming the main target, as she learns about her own powers. Blu Hunt in this role, does give us the role which is the introduction to this world. Rahna Sinclair is the shy religious patient, she helps Dani fit in around the hospital, being the friend, she needs, while dealing with her own past, which is why she is there in the first place. Maisie Williams does give this character the calmness and difference to the Anya Taylor-Joy flirty figure. Illyana Rasputin is the bad girl of the group, she isn’t as welcoming of Dani and wants to keep her secrets away from the rest, her powers are the most interesting and the one you want to see more off in the future. Anya Taylor-Joy does the acting part of the film well, adding all the mystery to her character, only her accent slips in and out through the film. Sam and Roberto complete the patients line up, both seem to be very similar in how they both want to stay away from anyone, brooding more than anything else. Both Charlie Heaton and Henry Zaga do well in this role without getting the big moment the women seem to. Dr Reyes is running the hospital, seemingly on her own, she tries to friend the patients, while trying to guide them to unleash their powers. Alice Braga does bring the friendly persona to this role well, but struggles with her characters true side.

StoryThe story here follows a teenager that survivors an incident that will see her heading to a hospital with other young people, each with their own traumas, a place where they are prepared to see what their powers can do to the world, until they start suffering horrific nightmares. While this story might well have gone through development nightmares, it does bring a fresh approach to an X-Men movie, showing us just how dark the world could be for young mutants, who are only just learning about their powers, under the wrong people and need to learn to harness their powers. We do get to dive into the history of what has driven the youngster to this location, showing just how they never knew what to do with what happened. The format of the story is everything you would expect from a horror, where things slowly start getting worse for the characters too.

ThemesThe New Mutants takes us to the singular location of the hospital, looking to use this to show the containment the characters find themselves in, we get a lot of horror elements here with the character’s greatest fears coming to life, which each one looking more terrifying as the levels intensify. When it comes to the main big fight, we get a clever creation for Illyana’s skills, which is easily the most interesting part of the film.


The New Mutants is an entertaining spin on the X-Men franchise, bringing us the horror we needed away from the glamour action. 

ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2020 – Z – The Dead Don’t Die (2019) Movie Thoughts

This is under Z because of the use of Zombies.

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Writer: Jim Jarmusch (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tom Waits, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Eszter Balint, Danny Glover

Plot: The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.

Tagline – The Road To Survival Could Be A Dead End

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Goes Nowhere

Story: The Dead Don’t Die starts as we head to a small peaceful town where two police officers go about their day, Chief Robertson (Murray) and Officer Peterson (Driver), where they do find themselves dealing with missing livestock, being the highlight of their day, nothing happens here.

This changes when two diner employees are killed mysteriously overnight, leading to the strange string of events in the town, where the officers must work together to survive the mystery zombie horde that has found itself in their town.

Thoughts on The Dead Don’t Die

Final Thoughts The Dead Don’t Die tries to bring a different approach to the zombie genre, by having the small town slowly getting infested, with three hapless police officers looking to find a way to solve the problem, as more people start getting picked off. This is sold as a comedy, with any attempts of the comedy being complete dead pan and not hitting the level it could, seemingly leaving us with an awkward silence after most lines. I am sure there is meant to be some sort of deeper message here, only it doesn’t seem to be one that is clear enough for anyone. It is a film that just seems to go nowhere, and not have any entertaining characters, with the few characters we do meet, pretty much getting killed off camera, not getting any of the horror side of the film out there for the fans.

Overall: Dull Horror Comedy.

The Queen of Black Magic (2019) Movie Review

The Queen of Black Magic – Terrifying

Director: Kimo Stamboel

Writer: Joko Anwar (Screenplay)

Starring: Ario Bayu, Hannah Al Rashid, Adhisty Zara, Muzakki Ramdhan, Ari Irham, Ade Firman Hakim

Plot: Families were terrorized at the orphanage. Someone wants them dead, apparently with black magic that is very deadly. She has a grudge and she was also born because of the sins of the orphans who formed her into the Queen of Black Magic.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Queen of Black Magic starts when a family Hanif (Bayu), Nadya (Rashid), Dina (Zara), Haqi (Ramdhan) and Sandi (Irham) visit the orphanage where Hanif was raised meeting his best friends from the orphanage Anton (Ginting) and Jefri (Khan) as they come to pay respect to the man that helped raise them as he is seriously ill.

As the families look read to settle for the night, they start to experience terrifying events, which leads to them needing to work together to escape or face the very bleak outcome from the Queen of the Black Magic.

Thoughts on The Queen of Black Magic

Characters & Performances – Hanif is the husband and father that was raised in the orphanage, he is returning to pay his respects, but his journey there sees him involved in a car accident, which looks like it might have been just an animal, it isn’t, it does show him the shocking truth about what has happened in the orphanage, as he looks to save his children and remember what happened when he was younger. Nadya is the wife and mother that is left to fight to save her children after learning the shocking truth from inside the orphanage. We do get to meet the rest of their family with their youngest Haqi being involved in the biggest scare sequence, the other former orphans, as well as the Queen of Black Magic, that has been waiting for her chance to come back for people. The performances through the film are great, with the family feeling nature, while the reactions to the scares add fear.

StoryThe story here follows a family returning to an orphanage to pay respect to the man that raised one of them, meeting up with old friends before learning the orphanage is going to come back to haunt them, when we learn the truth about what happened here before. This is a story which will dive into the ghostly moments as we see a group of people being haunting by the past, which will see them getting different shocking moments with the spirit, each one leading up to the truth about what has caused them to return. We get a nice pace, which will give us a chance to meet everyone involved, before the scares start up, which will see the events mean something to what is happening. This story will get everything it deserves out of it, which will leave you both terrified and shocked along the way.

ThemesThe Queen of Black Magic is a horror that will give us plenty of scares, with spine tingling moments, which includes a young boy watching television, being the true highlight of fear in this film. Nearly the whole film is set in the orphanage, which is away from rescue, meaning the people are alone trying to escape the horror, we get some brilliant special effects, which are saved for later in the film, but give us an effected addition twist on what we would expect.

The Queen of Black Magic is an exceptionally scary horror film that will leave you quivering in fear.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2020 – V – Antebellum (2020) Movie Thoughts

This is under V because of the lead character Veronica.

Director: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz

Writer: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz (Screenplay)

Starring: Janelle Monae, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Jena Malone, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Marque Richardson

Plot: Successful author Veronica Henley finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Antebellum starts as Eden (Monae) one of the many slaves working under Captain Jasper (Huston), being sold to Elizabeth (Malone) where one of her few friends in Julia (Clemons) another woman left with no option to work.

We jump to the modern era with Veronica (Monae) a successful author that has been having the nightmares of her past on the plantation and on a night out with her girlfriends, she learns the truth about this reality.

Thoughts on Antebellum

Final Thoughts Antebellum is a movie that is very difficult to talk about without giving away too many spoilers, while the two different time periods show the different times for the people involved, from slaves to modern day icons of industries. The story does feel like it does have too much going on, because when you put together the truth, it would impossible to see how certain moments would be happening all together. The acting in the film is strong throughout, with Janelle Monae being great to watch through both sides of everything. It is the story that is the biggest weakness, because it just ends up not connecting in a way which would make sense.

12 Hour Shift (2020) Movie Review

12 Hour Shift – Deviously Dark

Director: Brea Grant

Writer: Brea Grant (Screenplay)

Starring: Angela Bettis, David Arquette, Chloe Farnworth, Mick Foley, Kit Williamson, Nikea Gamby-Turner

Plot: Bodies start to pile up when a drug-user nurse and her cousin try to find a replacement kidney for an organ trafficker.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: 12 Hour Shift starts as Mandy (Bettis) is starting her 12-hour-shift as a nurse, she takes a couple of drugs to keep her going, while preparing the deal with her cousin Regina (Farnworth) to transfer organs to an organ dealer Nicholas (Foley).

When the exchange doesn’t go as planned, Regina turns to Mandy to get another kidney, which will se the pair looking to create a number of potential victims, before the bodies start piling up.

Thoughts on 12 Hour Shift

Characters & Performances – Mandy is a drug abusing nurse that has been transporting organs with her cousin on a side business for a while, her latest deal seems to be done, with her usual cold personality coming off with the patients, she is forced into getting another kidney when her cousin messes up, leading to her needing to work around the hospital in search for someone about to die, cleaning up the mess left in her way. Angela Bettis does bring this constantly busy character to life with ease. Jefferson is a convict bought into the hospital, he is the prime suspect when the bodies start turning up, always in the shadows of Mandy’s night. David Arquette looks like he has fun with this supporting character, though we don’t see enough of what he could have bought to this film. Regina the cousin who transports the organs, she does get easily distracted and becomes dumb character through the events. She is trying to fix the error she has made which sees her only making more. Chloe Farnworth plays this role well, keeping everything together, not hitting the over the top silly, hitting the dumb role well. The rest of the supporting characters are fun through the film, each offer something different, the odd laugh along the way.

StoryThe story here follows the 12-hour-shift for a drug abusing, organ dealing nurse after the deal goes wrong and people start dying in the hospital. This is a story that does take place over one night which does show us the chaos involved in the story, it does cram plenty into the night, with lots of mystery, comedy and will get us wondering who will make it through the night alive. Most of the story does follow Mandy needing to keep everything under control, while Regina just makes things more complicated for her, which will add to the humour in the film.

Themes12 Hour Shift does give us a very dark tone of comedy, with how certain scenes unfold, with colourful characters that show us just how many different people you might well be working with. We don’t dive into enough horror, even if we have the mystery about the bodies piling up, turning more into an action film about getting out alive. The film is mostly set inside the hospital, which will contain the action going on through the film, within the contain corridors and different patients ‘s rooms.

Final Thoughts 12 Hour Shift is a dark comedy that will get laughs to cover up the chaos going on through the film.

FrightFest Presents and Signature Entertainment present 12 Hour Shift on Digital Platforms 25th January 2021