Aftermath (2017)

Director: Elliott Lester

Writer: Javier Gullon (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maggie Grace, Kevin Zegers, Scoot McNairy, Hannah Ware, Mariana Klaveno, Glenn Morshower

 

Plot: Two strangers’ lives become inextricably bound together after a devastating plane crash.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotional Gut Punch of a Thriller

 

Story: Aftermath starts as construction worker Roman (Schwarzenegger) is looking forward to the arrival of his wife and pregnant daughter from Kiev for Christmas. Making himself extra smart with flowers at hand he arrives at the airport to find the flight delayed but there is no good news, the plane was involved in a tragic accident killing both his wife and daughter.

On the other side of the story flight controller Jake Bonaos (McNairy) leaves his wife and son to arrive at work that very same day, on a night shift where he finds the himself distracted trying to fix a phoneline as two planes collided mid-air, the same flights that had Roman’s family on.

Both men’s lives are completely shattered, Roman broken, alone and spending days and nights at the cemetery. While Jake is branded a murderer by the public finding it impossible to function or being the husband and father he needs to be.

With the airline company waving money in Roman’s face to stop them being sued and Jake on the verge of suicide brings us to one year later where both are still living in the tragedy but both are attempting to move on.

 

Thoughts on Aftermath

 

Characters/PerformanceRoman is a hard-working construction worker, he has work long hours to make sure his family can move to live with him in America, when he loses them his life is shattered but all he wants is an apologise not the airlines money. Jake is a flight controller who makes an honest mistake that cost the lives of everyone on the flights, his life is ruined, he loses his family, his job and must change his name and start again, living the rest of his life with regret.  

Performance wise, Schwarzenegger is brilliant in this role where is he no action hero, he is an everyday man that loses everything, this is by far one of his best acting performances of his career. Scoot McNairy is also fantastic in this role showing just how capable of an actor he is.

StoryThe story is based on a real incident that followed a mid-air collision but turned into an American story for it to unfold in. This story is very powerful because you are now left to wonder just what would happen if you were in either of these men’s shoes. The story also isn’t just a revenge film it follows these two men trying to rebuild their lives after what happened and mostly just wanting a human response from somebody involved.

ThrillerFrom the moment this film starts you are left to wonder from the edge of your seat to where this film will go.

SettingsThe settings used through the film focus on making both our main characters feel like everyday people whose lives have been ruined by the events which is all you need from the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best and most intense slow burning stories you will see this year. The performances are fantastic as well as being one of the most interesting stories out there.

 

Overall: One of the most powerful stories you will see this year.

Rating

 

 

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Jake Gyllenhaal Weekend – Enemy (2013)

enemyDirector: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Javier Gullon (Screenplay) Jose Saramago (Novel)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Joshua Peace, Tim Post

 

Plot: A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Confusingly Disturbing

 

Story: Enemy starts by taking us into an underground club where we witness an unusually ceremony involving a spider which Anthony (Gyllenhaal) is a part of. We move to meet Adam (Gyllenhaal again) a history teacher who is involved in a relationship with Mary (Laurent). Adam comes off as a lonely person and after being suggested a movie he notices is doppelganger in the film leading him to try and investigate who this man is.

After making contact with Anthony, Adam gets Anthony interested in who Adam is as well as Anthony’s pregnant wife Helen (Gadon). When Anthony and Adam meet things take a turn when they both want to learn more about each other behind each other’s back and Anthony starts acting very strange.

Enemy really comes off confusing as we watching what seems to two different people trying to figure out who they are and what they mean. In fairness we get to see plenty of confusing moments and you will have to sit and watch, read into everything to try and piece together what it all means. If you want to just sit and enjoy a film with no thinking this is one to stay away from but this will test your mind.

 

Actor Review

 

Jake Gyllenhaal: Adam + Anthony, Adam is a routine driven history teacher who gets wind of his doppelganger Anthony and starts’ investigating him, Anthony is a model/actor who becomes intrigued once Adam starts contacting him. We watch how both try to figure out what is going on with both having different motives for the truth. Jake gives a brilliant performance in both roles showing two different characters questioning his mind.

Adam

Adam

Anthony

Anthony

Melanie Laurent: Mary is Adam’s girlfriend, she doesn’t say much and seems very cold towards Adam, and she doesn’t get too involved in the searching but becomes a pawn in the game being played by Anthony. Melanie only gets a small supporting role but is important between the two characters.

mary

Sarah Gadon: Helen is the wife of Anthony who is convinced he is cheating on her and can’t believe how similar Adam and Anthony look but how different they both act. Sarah also only gets a supporting role but like Melanie is important to the final outcome.

 

Support Cast: Enemy doesn’t have too many supporting characters as we focus on the two characters all the way through.

 

Director Review: Denis VilleneuveDenis gives us a mind bending film that is very confusing but has a brilliant story once you figure it all out.

 

Mystery: Enemy really does keep us wondering what is happening with Adam and Anthony.  

Thriller: Enemy keeps your attention from start to finish.

Settings: Enemy uses the settings to show the different version of Adam and Anthony throughout the film.
Special Effects
: Enemy has good effects when needed mostly with the spider creations.

Suggestion: Enemy is one for film fans that enjoy thinking about what they are watching. (Give Full Attention)

 

Best Part: Figuring it all out.

Worst Part: It is very confusing.

Oh My God Moment: The End

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won 10 awards and nominated for another 7.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $3.3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: You can’t escape Yourself!

Trivia: The cast signed a confidentiality agreement that doesn’t allow them to speak and/or explain to the press the meaning of spiders in the movie.

 

Overall: Can you figure it all out?

Ratingcard

Out of the Dark (2014)

logoDirector: Lluis Quilez

Writer: Javier Gullon, David Pastor, Alex Pastor (Screenplay)

Starring: Julia Stiles, Scott Speedman, Pixie Davies, Alejandro Furth, Stephen Rea

 

Plot: A couple and their daughter moves to Colombia to take over a family manufacturing plant, only to realize their new home is haunted.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ghost Investigation: Columbia

 

Story: Out of the Dark starts by showing a man trying to escape Columbia in 1992 burning reports and documents, when a knocking at the door starts happening he answers to nothing before getting haunted by childlike figures and he’s dead. With that very simple introduction we know what type of evil we will be dealing with but not giving away the motive behind it.

Move forward to present day we see American family Sarah (Stiles), Paul (Speedman) and young daughter Hannah (Davies) moving to St Clara Columbia. Shown around by Sarah’s father Jordan (Rea) the family is in for a big culture change as Sarah comes to start her new job at a paper factory. The family just so happens to move into the same house from the opening sequence. The town is preparing for a festival to celebrate an old tradition where the children of the village wear masks and bandages.

Paul the artists is looking after Hannah when he makes a discovery from one of the photos he took when they first moved in, just as Hannah goes off wondering into the garden which leads into the forest. The Festival of the Children is about remembering an ancient story about the children of the village being killed by the conquistadors.

After Hannah goes missing in the house it becomes apparent that the house is haunted by the vengeful ghosts. Hannah is found sick in the house but with little in the word of answers about the sickness. When Hannah continues to get sicker strange goings on continue to happen around the house with the ghost children drawn the Hannah. When the vengeful children take Hannah, Sarah and Paul are left helpless must use what very little connection they have in the town to discover what is happening and get their daughter back before it is too late.

Out of the Dark is one of those haunting the family that was involved in something that lead to the death, these are the type of horror films I enjoy because of the mystery element added to the scares that might not come off. I would pose the questions of ‘would you move you family to a country you know nothing about?’ ‘Would you leave your daughter with a babysitter on your first week there?’ these two questions really lead you to wonder a lot about the goings on in the film. I did like the idea of the Conquistadors legend which would have been a lot better for the outcome than what we got, but in the end the human factor does help make it more realistic. As I am a fan of the genre I am going to say this is solid but only because it feeds what I like. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Julia Stiles: Sarah Harriman the go to work parent in what is a slight difference to our normal horror films where the mother is the one who usually stays at home getting haunted. Julia does a good job as the concerned mother and working lady. (7/10)

 

Scott Speedman: Paul Harriman the stay at home father who does work from home but is the one investigating the haunting. Scott is the first male character in horror film that is in a couple and is actual solving the problem. (7/10)

 

Stephen Rea: Jordan the father of Sarah who brings the family to the town where they can start a new life. Stephen does a solid job in the role without needing to do too much. (6/10)

 

Pixie Davies: Hannah Harriman the daughter who seems to be getting the most part of the haunting because the children like to take other children. Pixie does a solid job in the role for the young actress. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Out of the Dark has a supporting cast that doesn’t get to involved in what is going on but does help explain what could be going on.

 

Director Review: Lluis Quilez – Lluis does a solid job directing this very much by the book investigation horror film. (6/10)

 

Horror: Out of the Dark has a couple of good scares but nothing shocking. (6/10)

Thriller: Out of the Dark keeps you guessing as to what could have happened. (7/10)

Settings: Out of the Dark puts our family in a location unknown to them which helps for the horror to grow. (8/10)

Suggestion: Out of the Dark is one for the fans of this type of horror to enjoy, you won’t get scared but if you like ghost investigation like films this is for you. (Ghost Investigation Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Dream sequence.

Worst Part: Questionable parenting.

Scariest Scene: Dream Sequence.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Beginning of credits shows what happened next to the town.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

Overall: Good Ghost Investigation Horror

Rating 65