Tailgate (2019) Movie Review

Director: Lodewijk Crijns

Writer: Lodewijk Crijns (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeroen Spitzenberger, Anniek Pheifer, Roosmarijn van der Heok, Liz Vergeer, Willem de Wolf

Plot: A cocksure, road-raging family man finds himself pursued and terrorized by the vengeful van driver he chooses to tailgate.

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Tailgate starts as we meet a family, Hans (Spitzenberger), Diana (Pheifer), Milou (Hoek) and Robine (Vergeer) that are travelling across Holland to spend time with a grandparent, Hans does have a problem with road rage, which will see him get caught up in problems on the road, until he gets caught behind a van in the fast lane.

When Hans lets his road rage get the best of him, he starts tailgating a van, the driver Ed (de Wolf) doesn’t take to kindly to being treated this way and looks to terrorise the family.

Thoughts on Tailgate

Characters – Hans is the father that does suffer from road rage, he doesn’t have much patience with things in life, which will see him getting involved in confrontations he doesn’t need too, his latest one, is one that will see him insight a serial killer, he must learn a lesson about how to treat people, while trying to keep his family safe. Diana is the wife who isn’t happy with Hans action when he speeds or gets involved when he doesn’t need to, while Milou and Robine are the two children that are like most kids, fighting between them, but together when they need to be. Ed is the van driver that uses his weapon of choice to hunt down people he believes wrongs him on the road, his is an imposing presence on screen, being the killer that could strike fear into his victims.

PerformancesJeroen Spitzenberger as the father with road rage does seem to have the most to do, with him being more of the target, Willem de Wolf does have a cold disturbing performance where his on screen presence is easily the most terrifying thing about the movie.

StoryThe story here follows a family that are travelling to see a relative, when they get involved in a moment of road rage, which will see a killer come hunting for them, in what will become a cat-n-mouse battle. This is a story that will look very similar to ‘Unhinged’ from earlier this year, obviously this one was made first, but it will see an unstable man looking to get revenge on someone who gave them road rage, it does show how Hans isn’t the cleanest cut person either, seeing him do thing which could upset over drivers. We don’t seem to get the motivation behind Ed’s actions which works in two ways, first he will become more of a threat and secondly you will feel like you want to understand more.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from knowing what Ed would do to his potential victims, everything happens in daylight, which adds a different level of horror to everything we are watching unfold.

SettingsThe film takes place on the road, it shows how people can lose control behind the wheel, showing there isn’t safety if you feel the wrath of someone on the road.

Scene of the Movie – The chase through the housing area.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The lack of motivation.

Final Thoughts This is a fun cat-n-mouse style horror, that puts the family up against a killer who will do anything to get his own way back, it isn’t an intense as it could be, but the weapon of choice feels slow and methodical.

Signature Entertainment presents Tailgate on Digital HD 26th October

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – S – Slumber (2017) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Hopkins

Writer: Richard Hobley, Jonathan Hopkins (Screenplay)

Starring: Maggie Q, Will Kemp, Sophia Wiseman, Kristen Bush, Sam Troughton, Lucas Bond, Honor Kneafsey

Plot: A sleep doctor tries to protect a family from a demon that feeds on people in their nightmares.

Tagline – Welcome to the Original Nightmare

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Standard Horror

Story: Slumber starts when a young girl sees her brother have such a horrific night terror, he ends up falling out a window and dying, years later Alice (Q) has devoted her life to studying night terrors, with her latest clients the Morgan family, Sarah (Bush), Charlie (Throughton), Daniel (Bond) and Emily (Kneafsey) are coming to get help for the whole family having the same night terror of a demon coming for them in their sleep.

The deeper Alice gets into the case, the more she learns about something called a Night Hag, which haunts people’s dreams until it takes the soul of the victim, now her own family has become the target of this demon.

Thoughts on Slumber

Characters – Alice lost her brother when she was a child to night terrors, this has seen her become an expert on the study, trying to help everyone she can deal with the struggles, she does still suffer herself and when a whole family comes to her for help, she must relive the nightmares of her childhood, she must decide whether to put her own family before the one in need, when the demon comes for her family. Tom is the husband of Alice, who does get concerned by the actions through the film, he wants to protect their daughter and needs her to step away from this case. Niamh is the daughter of Alice, who could become the target of the hag, while the Morgan family are the family that are being haunted by hag, they need help and being left feeling helpless.

PerformancesMaggie Q is the biggest name in this film and even she can’t get much out of her character, the performances in this film are poor, with nobody making an impact with this becoming a bland from a character point of view.

StoryThe story here follows a family that are suffering night terrors, which even after getting more help, find themselves helpless to a demon that haunts sleepwalkers. While this story could easily be one of the scariest ideas you could image in horror, it ends up falling flat with us needing to balance too many characters to get the true scare factor, we don’t meet an ‘expert’ until way too late into the film and then a flash bang, it is over, we lose all the creepy ideas that could come from the horror involved here.

HorrorThe horror could be scary, only the film fails to capture the horror involved within the idea, with most being something is happening, scream a lot, help, it’s over.

SettingsThe film uses the home settings to show how it starts, while it does move the actions to a specialist facility, where it happens again, only we don’t seem to make a major point about this.

Special EffectsThe effects turn to shaky cam more than showing us what is causing the horror, with most being left to our imagination.

Scene of the Movie – The opening sequence does make us feel like we are going to have a great horror experience.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The fact we don’t.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that fails to use the potential is has been given, becoming a mostly bland horror about night terrors.

Overall: Bland Horror.

Sister Tempest (2020) Movie Review

Director: Joe Badon

Writer: Joe Badon (Screenplay)

Starring: Kali Russell, Lucas Boffin, Kolly Bonney, Cling Carney, Alex Stage, Linnea Gregg

Plot: Anne Hutchinson’s troubled relationship with her missing sister is under alien tribunal. Meanwhile, her new roommate’s mysterious illness causes her to go on a cannibalistic killing spree.

Tagline – Some roommates are a real nightmare.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Sister Tempest starts when Anne (Russell) is taken by an alien race to recount her life style, which will see her raise her younger sister Karen (Bonney) who mysteriously goes missing, leaving Anne the art teacher alone in her home, trying to guide the students.

The story includes how Anne took in student Ginger (Gregg), while being caught up in a series of strange events, which will leave her question each part of her life.

Thoughts on Sister Tempest

Final ThoughtsSister Tempest is one of the most unique movies you will see this year, it is filled with a host of seemingly random sequences, that do eventually add up, but seem out of place at times. Sister Tempest does seem to lead you down one path, only to pull the carpet right from under you and send you in a completely different direction, one that is filled with something you wouldn’t have even imagined it going. We have so many different elements going on here, with horror, sci-f, comedy, musical, action, we tackle plenty of genres through the story telling process that will leave us more surprised with what happens, but it would be fair to say this film is one that could have some time trimmed off. This will go down as one of the most unique and strange movies you will see this year and will be one that will leave you scratching your heads, wanting to go back and see it again.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – R – Redwood (2017) Movie Review

Director: Tom Paton

Writer: Tom Paton (Screenplay)

Starring: Mike Beckingham, Tatjana Nardone, Nicholas Brendon, Muzz Khan, Luke D’Silva, Jessica-Jane Stafford, Nick Sadler

Plot: A couple hiking out in the woods, disturb a nest of vampires.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Vampire 101

Story: Redwood starts as a couple Josh (Beckingham) and Beth (Nardone) head away for a hiking trip to get back to nature before Josh start his treatment for leukaemia, the pair meet ranger Steve (Khan) who warns them to stay on the path and the two set off on their adventure.

The couple see a chance at a shortcut up the mountain, which sees them go off the trail where they run into bloodthirsty vampires forcing them to battle to survive.

Thoughts on Redwood

Characters – Josh is a workaholic that has just discovered he has leukaemia, which sees him want to do more open to nature, which sees this hiking trip come about, he is dealing with everything well believing everything is under control and he suggests the shortcut off the trail. Beth is the supportive girlfriend that is getting scared about what is happening to Josh, wanting to get the most out of their time in case the treatment doesn’t work. Vincent and Steve are both rangers that are met on the way up the mountain, both have the same warning about staying on the trail.

PerformancesMike Beckingham and Tatjana Nardone both are solid enough through the film, we get the ideas of how their relationship is facing a new problem, with how they are both trying to stay strong. Anybody we meet is simply a cameo like performance.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that head off on a hiking trip on a mountain range only to head off the trail and find themselves facing off against vampires. This is a typical type of story which follows a couple making the mistake of going of the trail, there really isn’t much more to the story, we do have the relationship strain between a couple when one could become terminally ill. Once we get to the vampire side of the story, we just don’t get very much going on because by the time we get to the vampire side of the story, it is just running without doing much. We don’t get much out of this story by the end.

HorrorThe horror in the film does feel weak because we have a couple of moments which is mostly just running, with the emotional drama seeming to take centre stage.

SettingsThe film is set in a mountain range which shows us just how far the couple have gone to get back to nature, it could have mystery about it.

Special EffectsThe effects are simple when it comes to the vampire creations, we don’t need too many effects either.

Scene of the Movie – Getting to the top.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much talking.

Final Thoughts This is a poor vampire movie that tries to do something bigger, but ends up dragging along way too long.

Overall: Forgettable Vampire Movie.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Q – Quarries (2016) Movie Review

Director: Nils Taylor

Writer: Nils Taylor, Nicole Marie Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Marie Johnson, Carrie Finklea, Leisha Hailey, Sara Mornell, Luke Edwards, Nicole DuPort, Joy McElveen

Plot: To escape her abusive boyfriend, Kat joins a wilderness expedition with a group of women, all of whom are struggling with the uncertainty of life. What was supposed to be an opportunity for personal discovery quickly becomes a fight for survival, forcing each one to discover the strength within themselves that they didn’t even know they possessed. While being brazenly chased by a pack of predators, the strong quickly set themselves apart from the weak. In a battle of will, stamina, and heart, these very virtues present themselves at the most crucial moment. With death looming, each is left with what is truly important – the strength within oneself.

Tagline – They just keep coming …

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Survival Horror

Story: Quarries starts as Kat (Johnson) escaping her abusive relationship, still with the bruises to show for her time there, joins up late for a wilderness expedition group with, Wren (Finklea), Madison (Hailey), Jean (Mornell), April (DuPort), Joy (McElveen) and Brit (McFadzien) as the route as changed last minute, but the plan is to show support for each other on the journey.

After the group suffer a minor accident that they can deal with the leader Jean needs medical treatment, until things get worse for the women, when they find themselves being hunted down by a group of psychotic men who hunt anyone on their land.

Thoughts on Quarries

Characters – Kat has just managed to escape an abusive relationship, she is still showing the bruises from what he did to her, to recover, she looks to get back to the wilderness on an expedition to find herself, where her medical training comes in crucial after an injury and once the group finds themselves under attack. Wren is the member of the group that seems most distant with her rebellious nature. Madison is the one that shows the most fight, she is on the trip to help keep her relationship with April strong as the two show their ups and downs through the trip. Jean is the one that has planned the trip that gets injured and could be the only one that knows the easy way out.

PerformancesNicole Marie Johnson in the leading role does have the most to deal with and it shows in her performance, being the highlight of the performances. When it comes to the rest of the cast nobody is bad, they just do what they need to through the film.

StoryThe story here follows seven women who go on a wilderness expedition only to find themselves the target of a group of men looking to hunt anybody who comes on the land. This story does keep the main side simple enough, a group of people trying to survive against people trying to kill them, it is easy to follow and each encounter gets to show the strength of other characters, while getting through life problems along the way. This isn’t the biggest story, but keeps things simple for the audience.

HorrorThe horror involved in the film, is all about the surviving side of the film, with the women needing to survive the attacks coming their way.

SettingsThe film puts our characters into the wilderness which shows they won’t have an easy escape from threat.

Special EffectsWhen the special effects are used they show the wounds inflicted, though nothing is too over the top.

Scene of the Movie – The night attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t get as brutal as the killers are implied to want to see.

Final Thoughts This is a simple, while entertaining horror film that plays everything safer than it could have, without hitting the heights other films along the same lines can hit.

Overall: Simple Horror.