The Woman in Black (1989) Movie Review

The worldwide Blu-ray debut of The Woman in Black is available exclusively from the Network website on 10 August

Director: Herbert Wise

Writer: Nigel Kneale (Screenplay) Susan Hill (Book)

Starring: Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker, Pauling Moran, David Ryall, Clare Holman

Plot: A lawyer travels to a small seaside town to settle the estate of a recently deceased woman, but soon becomes ensnared in something much more sinister.

Tagline – A spine-chilling ghost story
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Little Ghost Story

Story: The Woman in Black starts when Arthur Kidd (Rawlins) is assigned to head to Crythin, a seaside town where he must attend to deal with the will and sale of an estate. Arthur finds himself needing to meet the locals with Sam Toovey (Hepton) filling in the history of the town, before Arthur starts getting to work.

Once Arthur arrivals at Marsh House, he starts hearing unusually noises, which includes screaming from the marsh, where nobody is, along with a childish voice trying to communicate with him, before seeing the mysterious woman in black in the shadows.

Thoughts on The Woman in Black

Characters – Arthur Kidd is a young solicitor from London that gets assigned to a job in the country, one away from his young family, he must take it to move forward with his career, he must learn how the small town operates, learn about the mystery of the town before dealing with horrific screaming him keeping him up during his stay. Sam Toovey is the local lawyer that usually handles everything around the town, he guides Arthur through the history and offers him the shelter he needs in during the troublesome times. We do have the boss who sends Arthur, who is uses his own desire to improve himself to make him work more, the fellow towns people who have their own stories and other course the mysterious woman in black that is haunting Arthur.

PerformancesAdrian Rawlins in the leading role is the strongest performer, showing the fear he is going through coming off strong. The rest of the cast do work well through the film, showing us just how they would fit the small village.

StoryThe story here follows a young solicitor that must travel to a small town to deal with a death only to find himself dealing with a ghostly figure haunting him, pushing his own sanity. This is from the novel of Susan Hill and slowly builds up the tension as we are left to see just how the hauntings start simple and become more intense along the way. Having the typical towns people guide and the mystery about what is happening keeping us guessing along the way does add something to the story, while it doesn’t seem to reach the full levels of horror that could have been created.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film is the hauntings, while the screaming Arthur hears is great to keep us wondering, it doesn’t seem to capture everything when it comes to the inside hauntings, with the mystery being about the screaming, which does have a surprising conclusion.

SettingsThe small-town setting does add to the creepy side of the story as we learn how the town has accepted what is likely to happen here.

Scene of the Movie – The boat trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough haunting in the house.

Final Thoughts This is a nice ghost story that has a great mystery about it, only it does seem to hold off on the top scares, even if it is saved with a ending you won’t see coming.

Overall: Easy to watch horror.

Black Water: Abyss (2020) Movie Review

Director: Andrew Traucki

Writer: John Ridley, Sarah Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica McNamee, Luke Mitchell, Amali Golden, Anthony J Sharpe, Benjamin Hoetjes

Plot: Five friends exploring a remote cave system in Northern Australia find themselves threatened by a hungry crocodile.

Tagline – Descend into Fear

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Poor Creature Feature

Story: Black Water: Abyss starts as five friends Cash (Sharpe), Jennifer (McNamee), Eric (Mitchell), Yolanda (Golden) and Viktor (Hoetjes) head to a new cave system that Cash has found, once inside the friends explore, discover a beautiful underwater lake.

Things take turn for the worse when a storm starts to get the lake flooded, before they learn they are trapped in the room with rising water and a killer crocodile, in what becomes a battle to survive and escape.

Thoughts on Black Water: Abyss

Characters – Jennifer is the lead of the friends, she isn’t interested in going and has started to see her relationship with Eric going downhill and once inside the cave, she finds herself not wanting to stay get in the water even though it could be the rescue plan. She is also the character with the least about her. Eric leads the exploration taking charge of when things go wrong, showing his leadership skills. Yolanda and Viktor are a couple that have more about their relationship with Yolanda secretly being pregnant showing they both have more to fight for, while Cash is the slacker type figure in the lives, who takes them to the cave, though he isn’t used to this environment.

PerformancesWhen it comes to performances, the cast really don’t have much to work with, making it very hard to any of them to make an impact in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the five cavers that become trapped in an underwater cave with rising water and a killer crocodile looking to defend its territory. This is a simple enough story, that gives us thin character development, which does seem to focus on the personal dramas over the actual survival, while we have a moments where people go on a plan to escape, when the others just go on to do something more stupid, this is more frustrating than anything.

Action/HorrorThe action does have realistic attacks, only they are horrendously shot, with the horror relying on the music for the attacks.

SettingsWe spend the film inside the cave, which does give us a contained location, with even more peril for the film.

Scene of the Movie – The crocodile attacks spin are at least realistic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Focusing on the characters too much with their personal dramas.

Final Thoughts This is a poor creature feature that just doesn’t make us care for the characters and gives us poor shot attack sequences.

Overall: Sloppy Creature Feature.

Limbo (2019) Movie Review

Director: Mark Young

Writer: Mark Young (Screenplay)

Starring: Lucian Charles Collier, Scottie Thompson, Lew Temple, Peter Jacobson, Veronica Cartwright, James Purefoy

Plot: A murderer finds himself on trial in Hell, caught between a bitter prosecutor and an inexperienced defense attorney.

Tagline – One Hell of a Story

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Uniquely Enjoyable

Story: Limbo starts when Jimmy (Temple) awakes in Balthazar’s (Collier) office, where he is being prepared for afterlife after committing a murder, leaving children orphaned, only facing his hearing which seems like a one way ticket to hell, Cassiel (Thompson) arrives to defend him.

As Cassiel presents Jimmy’s life, where he has been caught in the middle a violent cycle and he might have done some good in his life and instead of condemning him to more torture, he should be given a chance of peace.

Thoughts on Limbo

Characters – Balthazar is a prosecutor that has dealt with the dead for years now, he has seen the worst in humanity come through his doors on the way to hell, with the latest one being one that seems cut and dry, he has pressure from above to make sure he gets the job done quickly, but Cassiel is only going to make thing more complicated. Cassiel is a rookie defence lawyer that believes she can get Jimmy off the one way ticket to hell, she believes his life made his decisions more difficult than they needed to be. Jimmy is the man who has died after committing a murder, he is due to go to hell for his actions, but gets caught up in the middle of the battle between lawyers, we see how he lived his life, that never gave him an early change in life, he tried to do the right thing more often then not. We get see the different levels of demons that are trying to get the results they want, knowing they are working for a bigger boss that will question everything that comes their way.

PerformancesLucian Charles Collier and Scottie Thompson on either side of the case are both great to watch they both show the conviction in their characters, with Lucian showing a worn down side to his, and Scottie showing the righteous side to hers. Lew Temple fits this role perfectly, someone who has sinned, while doing the right thing along the way. The rest of the cast add to the quirky side to the story, bringing their colourful characters to life.

StoryThe story here follows a trial between angels who are deciding whether a man should go to heaven or hell, as they look through his life to make the decision on his final reckoning. This is a nice spin on a courtroom film, it shows us how both sides would put an argument forward for sinners or not, does one bad thing make someone deserving of an eternity of suffering or can they balance it out in life, that is the big question being asked here. The story does have plenty of quirky moments with how different characters arrive demand answers and expect certain things to go their way only. We have a clever idea that plays into everything that could imagined, with the idea of interviewing dead people from your life too adding to moments of humour we experience through the film.

Horror/ComedyThe horror side of this film comes from what could happened to Jimmy if convicted to hell, most things are left to our imagination on this side of things, while the comedy comes from the different characters we are meeting along the way.

SettingsThe film uses a office like setting for hearing, this keeps it contained to a conversation level, with the lighting showing us in a dark place, while the looking back scenes show the brightness of life that Jimmy once had.

Scene of the Movie – The final outcome.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The world feels well built, but we could have seen more from what the prison cells mean.

Final Thoughts This is a quirky comedy that will get plenty of laughs along the way, it brings to life the unusually and shows that even in death there could be lawyers to decide your fate.

Overall: Fun, quirky comedy horror.

Nothing But the Blood (2020) Movie Review

Director: Daniel Tucker

Writer: Daniel Tucker (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel Hudson, Jordan O’Neal, Nick Triola, Les Best, Vivian Glazier

Plot: A small-town journalist sent to cover the opening of a controversial church. As the ministry digs its roots into the town and its residents, her life takes an unexpected, violent turn that will shake her foundations to their very core.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Cult Like Nightmare

Story: Nothing But the Blood starts as journalist Jessica (Hudson) looks to investigate a controversial church, she meets the Father (Best) whose words show they behaviour isn’t going to be good for the neighbourhood and when she meets Thomas (O’Neal) he finds himself in trouble with the church.

When the couple decide to have a baby together without marriage, they become the target for hate, they start receiving threats with the church looking over them, waiting for their next move.

Thoughts on Nothing But the Blood

Characters – Jessica is a journalist that will look for stories that will make an impact, with this new cult like church being her latest target, she knows they will be dangerous even though she falls in love with one of the members who can see the problems within the church, she feels targeted, is determined and is looking over her shoulder about what the church could do to her next. Thomas was once part of the church, but starts noticing the problems within the church and falls in love with Jessica. Father is the one that controls his followers, he believes the religion is the most important in the world and if you don’t follow him, he will target them.

PerformancesRachel Hudson must go through a range of emotions through the film, each one she shines in. Jordan O’Neal as the former church member shows us an enlightened character, with the performers from within the church showing us just how controlled they can become.

StoryThe story here follows a journalist who is investigating a controversial church, where she gets caught up in the middle with a follower that is willing to leave for her and how the church seems to have their own ideas for them. This story does bring us the ideas of a cult like church who have their own minds on life issues, they will go against the other churches and if you go against them, they look at you as a threat, including people leaving them. How the story is told is very different because a lot of the story takes place over a larger period of time, showing the slow hassling of the new couple, where you always feel like something will become the catalyst to everything else that happens. There is a lot of tension built up in the story and things will go in shocking directions.

HorrorThe horror is more focused on what could be happening, fearing what the church is capable off, making our characters live their life with them needing to look over their shoulders.

SettingsThe film uses the community settings, this shows us how the church has created a fear within the people, how they look to control people and how their words can be followed with the local environment.

Scene of the Movie – Tables turned.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There seems to be a slower side to the opening part of the film.

Final Thoughts This is a cult following movie that does everything we have seen in them before, with the biggest change being the length of time the characters are left haunted by what could be going on, with tension being the driving force in this one.

Overall: Tension Filled Horror.

The film hits VOD, blu-ray, and DVD nationwide on August 4th

Boo (2005) Movie Review

Director: Anthony C Ferrante

Writer: Anthony C Ferrante (Screenplay)

Starring: Trish Coren, M Steven Felty, Jilon VanOver, Dee Wallace Stone, Happy Mahaney, Nicole Rayburn, Josh Holt

Plot: A handful of college students get trapped in a haunted hospital on Halloween.

Tagline – You Don’t Have A Ghost Of A Chance

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Simple Fun Horror

Story: Boo starts on Halloween night, four friends Jessie (Coren), Kevin (VanOver), Marie (Rayburn) and Freddy (Holt) head to the old abandoned haunted hospital, where Emmett (Mahaney) has rigged a few tricks for the night to scare the girls. Little do they know that Allan (Samluk) has recruited his father’s old partner Arlo (Wayne) to help search for his missing sister in the hospital.

As the friends split up in the hospital, they start to learn about ghosts that haunt the hallways, with Jessie getting flashbacks from her past and the killer which once walked the halls.

Thoughts on Boo

Characters – Jessie is the reluctant girlfriend to go into the haunted hospital, she sees a ghost on the way in and it isn’t long before she has living memories of what happened in the hospital, she starts to put the pieces together about the truth. Jacob is the murderous ghost walking the halls of the hospital, he has been killing visitors for years waiting for his own release from his own nightmare. Kevin is one of the friends that has been planning this haunted night for the year, he is the boyfriend of Jessie, though he isn’t a good boyfriend with his actions behind her back. We get the generic group of people outside of this group inside the cast, the slutty friend, the quiet one, the defensive brother and the one trying to make up for his mistakes.

PerformancesTrish Coren in the leading role is fine, she isn’t as convincing as you would like in a horror lead, but this is a problem with most of this film, none of the acting reaches the levels you would expect to see in a film that is meant to be a haunted horror film that can always create colourful characters.

StoryThe story follows a group of people that end up locked inside a haunted hospital with ghosts that want out and they will kill to get their freedom. This story does fall into the haunted hospital generic storytelling process, it is watchable, though it is filled with generic characters, it does have the idea of haunting being clues to the truth, which slowly builds to a final showdown, only most of the story to be the errors of most horror films, splitting up being picked off, though we do get a unique way to show how the ghost possession people can be shown.

HorrorThe horror in the film is hauntings and exploding bodies, it does work for the film, making it entertaining for the horror audience, though the fake jump scares don’t help this film.

SettingsThe film uses the singular location of the haunted hospital, this gives us plenty of long corridors and creepy rooms for the characters to wonder through.

Special EffectsThe effects are surprisingly interesting with the first shock value of what the ghost is capable of and then the ghostly characters work for the creepiness of the film.

Scene of the Movie – The first revel of what happens with the ghost.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The characters aren’t flushed out enough.

Final Thoughts This is a fun easy to watch horror movie that gives us simple haunting moments and a unique spin on the haunted hospital idea.

Overall: Easy to Watch.