ABC Film Challenge – Horror – B – Black Sheep (2006)

Director: Jonathan King

Writer: Jonathan King (Screenplay)

Starring: Oliver Driver, Nathan Meister, Tammy Davis, Peter Feeney

 

Plot: An experiment in genetic engineering turns harmless sheep into bloodthirsty killers that terrorize a sprawling New Zealand farm.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bonkers Horror Comedy

 

Story: Black Sheep starts as Henry Oldfield (Neister) returns home after 15 years away after suffering a traumatic experience at the hands of his brother to sell his half of his family farm. Angus (Feeney) is the brother that remained on the farm running it and performing genetic experiments. When environmentalists Grant (Driver) and Experience (Mason) try to expose what is going on, on the farm they accidently release a mutant sheep that starts infecting the rest of the sheep on the farm.

When the infected sheep start to increase Henry, Experience and farm manager Tucker (Davis) must find a way back to safety while having to fight off seemingly endless amounts of sheep.

 

Thoughts on Black Sheep

 

Characters/PerformanceHenry is the successful brother that gets traumatised when he is young, now grown up he comes to back to the farm to collect his part of the money. When he learns the truth, he must now face his nightmares and fight off the killer sheep running over the farm. Angus the brother that has been experimenting on sheep for his own personal gain, this puts his own life and members of his farm. Experience is the environmentalist that wants to expose the farm but she quickly turns when she needs to fight to survive.

Performance wise, each performance adds to the comedy being told through this film, no one is great but they all know just how to get the extra laugh needed from their characters.

StoryOnly in horror could you come up with an idea of genetical altered sheep that will try to kill people. If you watch this story with this in mind, you will truly enjoy this story because it is just that bonkers it works.

Horror/ComedyThe horror would be, how scary do you find sheep? Well what about killer mutant sheep, that is your horror side to the story but this could also be used to describe the comedy involved in this film too.

SettingsThe film is set upon on the farm which is good for the horror isolation side of the film as they must use the land to fight the sheep off.

Special EffectsAll the effects are practical and all come off looking fantastic when you look to add the extra element of gore to the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those horrors you can put on and enjoy because the laughs and idea are so farfetched you just must laugh to get through it all.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable horror comedy.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Tattooist (2007)

Director: Peter Burger

Writer: Matthew Grainger, Jonathan King (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Behr, Mia Blake, David Fane, Robbie Magasiva, Ian Vincent, Caroline Cheong, Nathaniel Lees, Michael Hurst

 

Plot: A young artist unknowingly plays a role in releasing a deadly spirit as he attempts to learn tatau, the Samoan tradition of tattooing.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea for Horror

 

Story: The Tattooist starts as we follow Jake Sawyer (Behr) a young tattoo artist who wants to learn the ways of the cultures behind tattooing, leaving Singapore he learns of an older way of printing a tattoo. Heading to New Zealand he wants to continue to learn about the Samoan technique.

When Jake accidentally touches a piece of equipment used in printing the tattoos he finds his hand infected by something that seems to spread and doesn’t clean off. Travelling around with his guide and friend Sina (Blake) he Jake gets embraced by some within the Samoan culture but others want him out, but he needs to learn what is causing the infection in his hand, as the people he has tattooed are being consumed by their tattoos.

 

Thoughts on The Tattooist

 

Characters/PerformanceJake is the young tattoo artist who wants to learn each and every culture behind the art of tattooing, he finds himself learning something he shouldn’t going against the culture he has been studying. Sina is the guide and love interest of Jake that takes Jake into the world of Samoan tattooing.

Performance wise, well this is the first of the negatives, I didn’t think anybody in this film shines to any level to show any fear or believable dialogue in the interaction the characters have.

StoryThe story is one that comes off very interesting, diving into the beliefs of culture behind the art of tattooing. The idea that we dive into the ancient beliefs is a huge plus, along with how the spirit comes for the victims. Where the story does fall short is within the inconsistencies with how the spirit acts toward finishing everything off. We also have issues with how certain people never truly follow what they believe when it comes to the tattooing.

HorrorCertain moments do come off horrific in places as we see how the people get consumed by the tattoo but otherwise it all comes off quite soft in the end.

SettingsThe settings show the different cultures Jake is learning about, which is all good but nothing becomes iconic for what is going on.

Special EffectsThe special effects also come off slightly weak as you can see the CGI going on through the killing scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice idea for horror as mixing the true culture behind a belief with horror can come off very effective, but other times I can miss when it comes to the final product.

 

Overall: Easy to watch but slightly weak horror film.

Rating

 

 

Under the Mountain (2009)

undrDirector: Jonathan King

Writer: Jonathan King, Matthew Grainger (Screenplay) Maurice Gee (Novel)

Starring: Sam Neill, Tom Cameron, Sophie McBride, Oliver Driver, Leon Wadham, Chelsea McEwan Millar, Nathaniel Lees, Matthew Sunderland

 

Plot: Teenage twins battle dark forces hidden beneath Auckland’s volcanoes.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Fantast Film

 

Story: Under the Mountain starts as we see Mr Jones (Neill) leading an expedition on a remote island where his team come under attack. Move forward a few years (I think) and we meet Theo (Cameron) and Rachel (McBride) twins who lose their mother in a terrible accident, the two have telepathic connection which leads the two to spend some time away with other family in Auckland.

Located in the middle of a valley of volcanos the twins find themselves attracting the attention on the neighbours Mr Wilberforce (Driver) and Mr Jones. The twins decide to investigate the neighbours only to find themselves being needed to fight what lives under the volcanos.

Under the Mountain comes off like a fantasy story we have seen before and with the potential of more stories I do think this could work. The problem with the film is that it tries to create brand new mythology which isn’t easy and where other films gain the reputation because people want to see. This is an easy to watch film but really isn’t going to change anything in the genre.

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Cameron: Theo is one of the twins who has lost his faith his twinning ability after their mother’s death but he has to come to turns with his abilities when the two go into battle. Tom is solid in this role but never as convincing as others from the same genre.

Sophie McBride: Rachel is the other twin who is the first to find out what happened to their mother, she is the one of the two who does believe in their ability which drives the force of Theo. Sophie does a solid job where she doesn’t reach the potential of stars in other roles within the genre.

Sam Neill: Mr Jones is the firekeeper who protects the world from the creatures escaping, he seems to have eternal life where he has to search for twins to take over the guardianship and defeat the Wilberforce. Sam is solid in this role as the one protector and information character.

Oliver Driver: Mr Wilberforce is the evil trying to escape from beneath volcano they are deadly and have the ability to transform into scaly creatures. Oliver is solid as this disfigured villain.

Support Cast: Under the Mountain has a standard supporting cast where get to see a good comic relief character but nothing else.

Director Review: Jonathan KingJonathan gives us a solid fantasy film that does all you need it to do for the genre without being unique in any way.

 

Adventure: Under the Mountain does throw our character into this adventure which al works nicely but I do feel that we needed to see more of the adventure involved.

Fantasy: Under the Mountain does create a fantasy world which could create sequel potential with many more stories being able to come from this idea.

Settings: Under the Mountain keeps most of the settings inside a bay in Auckland which does work as we learn that the creature is below the surface waiting to be freed through the volcanos.
Special Effects
: Under the Mountain doesn’t have very good effects going on through this one which is disappointing really.

Suggestion: Under the Mountain is one that you could watch late night on TV but otherwise you should really go out of your way for it. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The idea is interesting.

Worst Part: Feels very clichéd.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

Overall: Interesting idea that has a lot of potential within the story.

Ratingcard

 

 

 

The Devil’s Rock (2011)

logoDirector: Paul Campion

Writer: Paul Finch, Paul Campion, Brett Ihaka (Screenplay) Paul Campion (Story)

Starring: Craig Hall, Matthew Sunderland, Gina Varela, Karlos Drinkwater, Geraldine Brophy, Luke Hawker, Jessica Grace Smith, Jonathan King

 

Plot: Set in the Channel Islands on the eve of D Day, two Kiwi commandos, sent to destroy German gun emplacements to distract Hitler’s forces away from Normandy, discover a Nazi occult plot to unleash demonic forces to win the war.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving

 

Story: The Devil’s Rock starts by showing two soldiers Captain Ben Grogan (Hall) and Sergeant Joe Tane (Drinkwater) approaching a beach on a small Channel Island, they are surprised to find it abandoned as they advance onto the land. Hearing screaming they speed up their advancement to complete the mission as fast as they can. Upon discovering the base they learn not everything is right on the island and decided to investigate. What the two discover is an occult book and dead bodies but splitting up causes one of them to die leaving Ben on the mission against an unknown enemy alone. With Ben getting himself captured he gets interrogated by a German Colonel Klaus Meyer (Sunderland) who wants to know the plan, but he has something hidden away. Ben discovers that the screaming is in fact his ex-wife Helena (Varela) who he saw die or is it? Ben has got himself caught up in the middle of an occult mission that could change the entire world.

 

The Devil’s Rock comes off as a very basic story it has limited characters to keep everything tension filled as the two leading male characters are either side of a war and plays along the idea of the occult well. It is a lot of discussing what should and could happen which fails to pull you in. it does have some positives and one big one is not trying to do the false jump scares and the final reveal of the demon is built up and very sudden which gives the biggest shock. In conclusion the film uses the ideas of what could have happened during the war and makes a film out of it without really achieving too much. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Craig Hall: Captain Ben Grogan sent to the island along with a partner to sabotage and distract Hitler’s men before the D-Day landing but finds himself stuck in the middle of something he has no idea about. Craig does a solid job in the lead role but does fail to gain all the attention that his character could demand. (5/10)

 craig

Matthew Sunderland: Colonel Klaus Meyer is trying to solve the occult problem that his people have created. Matthew does a solid job and is basically the information filling guy of the film. (5/10)

sunderland

Gina Varela: Helena the mysterious girl/demon that is trying to control the soldiers but one is having none of it while the other thinks it is too good to be true. Gina does a solid job as the seductive demon figure. (6/10)

 helena

Support Cast: The Devil’s Rock only has minimal support cast that all become disposable characters and offer nothing to the story.

 

Director Review: Paul Campion – Paul does a solid job directing putting the characters in a trapped scenario where they have to work together but there is too much talking around the strong effects. (6/10)

 

Horror: The Devil’s Rock use basic horror ideas and holds back on the shocks until the final act where it does offer one of the better ones in the genre. (7/10)

Thriller: The Devil’s Rock is a thriller that doesn’t manage to pull you in as much as it could. (4/10)

War: The Devil’s Rock uses the idea of the two leads are on opposite sides of a war and most unite to stop the demon well because the tension between the two stays through the whole film. (8/10)

Settings: The Devil’s Rock uses the captured isolation setting well to keep everything tight and trapped. (8/10)
Special Effects
: The Devil’s Rock has some very good practical effects that get better as the film continues. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Devil’s Rock is one for the horror fans to try, where it is short if you dislike you won’t waste too much time either. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part of The Devil’s Rock: Demon reveal.

Worst Part of The Devil’s Rock: Too Short

Kill Of The Film: The Demon’s first

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It is open for one, but I doubt we will have one

Post Credits Scene: One that shows what happens to the next visitors.

 

Awards: Won Best Make-up Design in a Feature Film at the In New Zealand Film and TV Awards.

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

Tagline: War is a Bitch

 

Overall: Talk, Talk, Demon, Splatter

Rating 55