The Baylock Residence (2019) Movie Review

Director: Anthony M Winson

Writer: Anthony M Winson (Screenplay)

Starring: Kelly Goudie, Sarah Wynne Kordas, Lindsay Foster, Karen Henson, Kieron Brook, Penelope Butler

Plot: Patricia Woodhouse has been estranged from her sister for quite a few years due to a family feud. Suddenly she receives a letter detailing the sudden death of her sister Susanna Baylock, Patricia returns to pay her respect where she meets Annabel Blair (Susanna’s help). Annabel informs Patricia that she has now inherited the Baylock residence, but something isn’t right with this house it’s harbouring a very old secret, one which Patricia needs to learn before it’s too late.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Basic Thriller

Story: The Baylock Residence starts in England 1944, with the war still raging on, when Patricia Woodhouse (Goudie) gets a letter to return home after years away, her sister Susanna (Henson) has just passed away, with one the help Annabel (Kordas) filling in the news about property.

Spending time in the house, Patricia remembers the horrors which drove her away, even if she starts getting drawn back towards those horrific ways, can she stop the horrors before it is too late.

Thoughts on The Baylock Residence

Characters – Patricia Woodhouse left this house years ago, she is drawn back during the war after her sister’s death, she wants to start a new life here, because the war has taken nearly everything else from her, but the past she spent so long trying to forget has come back to haunt her, as she looks for the truth of her sister’s death. Annabel is the help around the house, she stays after Patricia requests for her to stay and help her with the transition, she does help fill in about the past, including what happened to Susanna. Susanna is the sister that has passed away, we are left to wonder what caused her death.

PerformancesKelly Goudie in the leading role isn’t the strongest leading lady, when it comes to the reaction or horror scenes, we don’t get anything bad, it’s the everyday moments which come off flatter than they should do. Sarah Wynne Kordas is the only other main cast member that does everything needed without getting the best scenes.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that returns to her home after years away to deal with a family loss, only to learn that the house has a bigger secret that hasn’t been unlock just yet. This is story that plays into the idea that your past can hold answers no matter how hard you look to forget it, it does also play into the ideas that a family can have secrets which will only disturb. The pace of the story isn’t the most convincing, with large amounts of the film being stuff happening behind characters most notable Patricia, we also end up teasing an idea to what is happening, only it just gets forgotten which would have added extra dimension to an abuse victim. The war time theme doesn’t help because the same story could easily happen at any other era too.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from how Patricia is struggling with the visions that she is having, not being able to balance reality with supernatural.

SettingsThe film is set within the one house, which doesn’t look time accurate from the outside, it does show how the family home can be reunited from tragedy.

Special EffectsThe film does use effects sparely, when they are used they do add an element to horror in the film.

Scene of the Movie – The secret room.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The non-horror moment conversations feel out of place.

Final Thoughts This is a horror thriller that does have moments of strong tension, only it doesn’t keep this up for long enough to make us what to learn the truth.

Overall: Slow Burning Horror.


Isabelle (2018) Movie Review

Director: Robert Heydon

Writer: Donald Martin (Screenplay)

Starring: Amanda Crew, Adam Brody, Zoe Belkin, Sheila McCarthy, Krista Bridges, Alison Brooks, Booth Savage

Plot: A young couple’s dream of starting a family shatters as they descend into the depths of paranoia and must struggle to survive an evil presence that wants nothing more than their very own lives.

Tagline – Desire can get you past anything, even death.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Leaves You Feeling Empty

Story: Isabelle starts when the Kane couple Larissa (Crew) and Matt (Brody) suffer the tragedy of losing their unborn baby, Matt returns to work to help him through the events, while Larissa is left alone in their house, where she starts hearing the cries of a baby.

The more time Larissa stays in the house, the more she notices the eyes of the neighbour Isabelle (Belkin) watching over her, even visiting her, despite being wheelchair bound.

Thoughts on Isabelle

Characters – Larissa is the mother that loses her baby, she has experienced a personal trauma, one that is impossible to understand unless you have experienced, she does become paranoid after her neighbour starts watching her and seeing her around the house, leaving her wondering if she is being haunted or whether she is being haunted for real. Matt is the husband and lawyer that is starting a new job, he works to get over the loss, with it getting heavily teased that an intern is trying to seduce him. We could have seen him getting more stressed out at work, which does start to get hinted about. There is a lot we have had with Matt’s character that does seem to get forgotten in places. Isabelle is the neighbour who watches from the window, disabled being left wheelchair bound, she appears to be haunting Larissa despite her condition. Ann is the mother that is very quiet keeping to herself for the most part.

PerformancesAmanda Crew in the leading role is the best of the performers, she does make us understand just how much trauma she would have been through. Adam Brody does start the film well, but the less we see from the character the less he has to do, Zoe Belkin might bring the creepy look, but most of the actions are difficult to take seriously, mainly because of the CGI around it.

StoryThe story here follows a family that suffer the loss of an unborn child and the trauma they have been through sees the wife start to question whether their neighbour is haunting them or not. For the most part the story is a pretty routine horror, it would pass on the it is watchable even if you know where the story will go, the problem comes from the final act which just leaves you scratching your head more than feeling like we got an ending to the film. Certain side stories that get hinted at early on, just don’t seem to come to pass either which leave them feeling like we had a couple of needless scenes too.

HorrorThe horror does fall into the idea that there is nearly always something behind Larissa, we have elements of possession, but not enough to bring any true scares.

SettingsThe film does use the home settings for the film, which does see how Larissa is getting haunted in a place that should be safe.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do feel clunky too, most don’t look like they are on a strong level in anyway, looking like a stretch picture rather than actual effects.

Scene of the Movie – Meeting the priest.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The final act.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that does follow a routine, only for it to become predictable and when it tries to take a risk, it only confuses.

Overall: Routine Horror.

ISABELLE will be available on Sky Store, iTunes and UK digital platforms from 30th September

Killer Sofa (2019) Movie Review

Director: Bernie Rao

Writer: Bernie Rao (Screenplay)

Starring: Piimio Mei, Nathalie Morris, Jim Baltaxe, Jed Brohpy, Angelica Thomas, Stacey King, Grant Kereama

Plot: A killer reclining chair becomes enchanted by a girl and starts committing crimes of passion

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Best Killer Sofa Movie Ever

Story: Killer Sofa starts when Francesca (Mei) gets sent a recliner, a recliner with a past, it completes her apartment, while one of her stalkers has been found dismembered. Inspector Gravy (Brophy) and Inspector Rosane Grape (King) are looking into the murder, which means learning more about Francesca and her past.

When it becomes clear the sofa is trying to kill people, Francesca must find a way to stop the killing spree before it is too late.

Thoughts on Killer Sofa

Characters – Francesca is a dancer that has had problems in the past with the men in her life, most have become stalkers, with her needing to put restraining orders on them, she is left a recliner from one, as the police look into her past to see if she has a connection to the murder of one of them. Maxi is the best friend of Francesca, she supports her on a daily basis and will stand with her in her fight against the sofa. Inspector Gravy is leading the investigation into the crimes which sees him spending time with Francesca learning about her past. Rabbi Jack is Maxi’s grandfather that gets an uneasy vision from the sofa and starts trying to figure out how he could stop the evil behind it.

PerformancesThe lead in the film is Piimio Mei and she does well in the leading role, as the one being haunted by the soda, seeing her friends taken from around her. The rest of the cast are strong with what they are doing, they do know this does have elements of cheesy horror, which does work for the film.

StoryThe story here follows the unusual event surrounding a sofa that starts killing people at the woman that finds herself the main target of the evil needing to stop it before their friends get taken. This is a film that knows exactly what it wants to be, a wildly over the top story that isn’t afraid to go into the full cheesy area, which will get the story over to the level it needs to. For a horror it is a film that follows the traditions when it comes to picking off the victims one at a time, with an element of the story behind the having a supernatural feel.

HorrorThe horror side of the film does pick up like most serial killer style slashers, with one victim being alone getting picked off by the killer, in this case, the sofa, which does it look creepy throughout.

SettingsThe film uses the apartment settings to show how the sofa can move around without looking completely out of place, using the environment to help with its kills.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed with the fact they make the sofa look terrifying being a huge plus, it is the CGI moments that look like the weakest part of the film.

Scene of the Movie – The sofa look.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The CGI moments.

Final Thoughts This is a horror comedy that understands completely what it wants to be, it will get laughable kills from a sofa that uses its how frame as a weapon.

Overall: Funny horror comedy.