ABC Film Challenge – Horror – F – February (2015)

Director: Oz Perkins

Writer: Oz Perkins (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, James Remar, Lauren Holly, Greg Ellwand, Elana Krasz


Plot: Two girls must battle a mysterious evil force when they get left behind at their boarding school over winter break.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Think I Misses Something


Story: February starts as two girls Kat (Shipka) and Rose (Boynton) are left at a boarding school over winter break, waiting for their parents to pick them up. We also see Joan (Roberts) another girl who looks lost in the world being taken in by Bill (Remar) as a man that lost a daughter looking to help her return to where she is from.

At the school Kat and Rose must deal with a mysterious presence that is drawing Kat to act strangely, while Joan’s story looks to become complete when she returns.


Thoughts on February


Characters – Joan is a lost girl that is trying to return home from a hospital which brings along a couple that want to help her to make up for the fact they lost their daughter, Kat is the emotionless quiet girl at the school who hasn’t heard from her parents before winter break and must stay there with Rose. Rose is the other girl that got left at the home, I feel she is older and expected to be the one to look after Kat.

PerformanceThe three girls Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton are all good through the film, they each create their own personality for their characters which does make us care what they are up to however confusing it all gets.

StoryThe story here is very confusing, we follow two seemingly different story arcs about girls that find themselves becoming possessed by an evil spirit, we don’t get to focus on either of them enough and they don’t seem to meet up at any point to explain why we need to watch two different stories unfold. I do feel this does end up coming off attempting to be too smart for its own good leaving us with nothing important happening.

HorrorThis tries to play into the psycological horror but ends up falling slightly short because it ends up being confusing.

SettingsThe settings don’t help here either because we follow the two stories one is on the road while the other is around the middle of the home the girls are staying.

Special EffectsThe effects are good without being overused and mostly used for gore effects.

Scene of the Movie – Stop here, because it is shocking.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was just too confusing.

Tagline – She Returns.

Final ThoughtsThis film is just too confusing really, it makes everything hard to follow which didn’t make it enjoyable to follow.


Overall: Too Confusing.




Dead Shack (2017)

Director: Peter Ricq

Writer: Phil Ivanusic, Davila LeBlanc, Peter Ricq (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew Nelson-Mahood, Lizzie Boys, Gabriel LaBelle, Lauren Holly, Donavon Stinson, Valerie Tian


Plot: While staying at a cabin in the woods during the weekend, three teenage kids discover their neighbor is ‘feeding’ guests to her zombie family. In short order, the battle is on as the kids fight to save themselves and their family.


Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow & Mundane


Story: Dead Shack starts when Roger (Stinson) is taking his kids Summer (Boys), Colin (LaBelle) and friend Jason (Nelson-Mahood) with his new girlfriend Lisa (Tian) to a camping trip in a forest cabin. As the kids goes exploring, they find the neighbouring house, which has lone woman (Holly) living in it, that brings back young men.

When the kids clear what she is up to they learn that she is collecting people to feed to her zombie family and now they have become her latest targets.


Thoughts on Dead Shack


Characters – Jason is the quiet teenager that joins the family on their camping trip, he clearly fancies Summer and is good friends with Colin. He needs to learn to step up when it comes to dealing with the neighbour if he is ever going to impress Summer too. Summer is the sister of Colin and I want to say older one at that, she doesn’t take anything from any body sticking up for herself whenever she is in trouble, she is the bravest of the group. Colin is the loud mouth brother and friend, he will always put his foot in it with his weak jokes and insults. The Neighbour is a woman that brings victims to her house to feed to her zombie family, when any escape she can hunt them just to keep her secret safe.

PerformancesThe three kids are the main part of the film, Matthew Nelson-Mahood is fine in the group with Lizzie Boys and Gabriel LaBelle just giving the average you would expect to see. Lauren Holly doesn’t make her character as menacing as she could do either.

StoryThe story is simple, it follows three teenagers that learn their neighbour is a killer that is feeding her zombie family, only to become the latest targets. Think Fright Night with zombies and elements of a weak Stranger Things union between the friends, though the problem comes from the being older acting around their dad, I could see how the friends could use the language together, but around a father it does seem unlikely. The idea of suiting up to fight is acceptable without being anything new, it could do with being lighter hearted for a comedy, but the tone just comes off average and plain through the whole film.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in the film doesn’t hit very often, it does juvenile for the most part. The horror misses to because we are going with a comedy attempt we don’t aim to make anything scary.

SettingsThe film does take us to an isolated location which does work for what the neighbour is getting up to, other than that even the forest doesn’t get used well enough to create atmosphere.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do work, they seem to be practical and while most are cuts or body horror, they do understand how to make us look twice.

Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Colin is mostly annoying throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror comedy that doesn’t seem to know which side of the fence is wants to settle on, it isn’t funny enough to be a comedy and isn’t scary enough to be a horror, which only makes it feel plain and forgettable.


Overall: Lost in the genre shuffle.




Franchise Weekend – Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Director: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly

Writer: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Bennett Yellin (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly, Mike Star, Karen Duffy, Charles Rocket, Victoria Rowell


Plot: The cross-country adventures of two good-hearted but incredibly stupid friends.

Tagline –  If they each had half a brain, together they would still only have half a brain.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Funny, Enjoyable Comedy


Story: Dumb and Dumber starts as we meet Lloyd (Carrey) and Harry (Daniels) two best friends that work in hopes of having their own pet shop, the two have a good heart, but they do lack certain levels of intelligence. When Lloyd witnesses his passenger Mary (Holly) leave a briefcase in the airport, the two find themselves needing to go cross-country to return it. The problem they face is that they find themselves being tracked by the criminals for who the briefcase was for.


Thoughts on Dumb and Dumber


Characters – Lloyd works as a limo driver, he witnesses his passenger leave a briefcase and rescues it, he isn’t the smartest guy, but will always try to do the right thing and trust people. Harry is the best friend of Lloyd’s he has a dog car and helps his best friend go across town to return the briefcase. The characters here work wonderfully together, it is the chemistry they have which makes the characters likable through the film. when we dive into the rest of the characters they do take a back seat to these two.

PerformancesJim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are the driving force of this movie, they must work well together to get the laughs required in this movie and they do this wonderfully. Once again though the supporting cast while good are easily replaceable.

StoryThe story follows two friends that must travel across the country to return a briefcase only to find themselves in the middle of a secret criminal situation. The story is easy to follow and doesn’t require twists, it does what comedy needs, it keeps everything simple and lets the leads do the comic material that needs to take centre stage.

ComedyCarrey and Daniels are the main reason why this movie works, because they handle all the comedy and while most hits we do have moments of poop humour which ruins the fun.

SettingsThe film takes our characters across country for Aspin to be the iconic location we end up getting too.

Scene of the Movie –
Day in Aspin.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Poop humour.

Final ThoughtsThis is an iconic comedy that hits for the most part, we have great leading performance from the two leads and this is one of the comedies that people can turn too.


Overall: Fun comedy for all to enjoy.




Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Scream of the Banshee (2011)

screamDirector: Steven C Miller

Writer: Anthony C Ferrante, Jacob Hair (Screenplay)

Starring: Lauren Holly, Lance Henriksen, Eric F Adams, Marcelle Baer, Edrick Browne, Leanne Cochran, Thomas C Daniel


Plot: An archaeology professor unearths a dangerous artefact, unwittingly releasing a creature that is able to kill with the power of its bone-splitting scream.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Simple Horror


Story: Scream of the Banshee starts in 12th century Ireland as we see an evil vanquished before moving to present day. We get to meet researcher Professor Isla Whelan (Holly) and her students Shayla (Baer), Janie (Cochran) and Otto (Haberkorn) who are getting the latest project ready.

When the team discovers a box from the 12th century they discover the head inside which unleashes a terrifying scream before vanishing. When the research team start getting haunted by the banshee they must locate former professors Samuel Page (Adams) and Broderick Duncan (Henriksen) for answers on how to stop the creature.

Scream of the Banshee plays into the screaming banshee myth which is the first time I have seen this in a horror movie which I am happy to see. The problems do build from that though because the story makes a big point of this being an Irish myth and sets the film in America almost randomly. We get the banshee that can only attack when you scream but in the final act it doesn’t seem to matter so we have built up nicely on for it to end playing against all of the rules created earlier in the film. The overall story is easy to follow so just enjoy the kills and look into an interesting myth.


Actor Review


Lauren Holly: Professor Isla Whelan leads an archiving team at the university who discover a 12th century box with a head inside. Once they open the box they start getting haunted by the banshee as she needs to rebuild her crumbling relationship with her daughter. Lauren is solid in this role but the character doesn’t seem to be as big of an expert as we are led to believe.

Lance Henriksen: Broderick Duncan is a former professor who was obsessed with the box so much so that he has become a fanatic theorist. Lance is the big name in the film even though we don’t meet his character in person till the final act.

Eric F Adams: Samuel Page is the former assistant to Duncan who doesn’t want anything to do with but once he starts also getting haunted by the banshee he must help the researchers find Duncan to put a stop to everything. Eric does a basic job as the character telling more of the story.

Support Cast: Scream of the Banshee has a supporting cast which are mostly made up for the students who just become disposable as the story unfolds.

Director Review: Steven C MillerSteven give us a horror that looks into Irish folk law to get the horror but has one too many false jump scares.


Horror: Scream of the Banshee plays into the jump scares of horror as we see each character getting haunted with jump scares coming in nearly every scene but often too many times.

Settings: Scream of the Banshee throws us into the university style settings to start with before moving out, the settings don’t really have any impact on where the story actually goes.
Special Effects
: Scream of the Banshee has solid effects throughout while not everything is jaw-dropping it all works for the concept of the film.

Suggestion: Scream of the Banshee is a late night television experience that can be enjoyed by the horror fans. (Late Night TV)


Best Part: Banshee idea works.

Worst Part: Certain inconsistency in how the banshee acts.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: She hasn’t been out for a thousand years.


Overall: Simple horror that does all it needs to.




Turbulence (1997)

logoDirector: Robert Butler

Writer: Jonathan Brett (Screenplay)

Starring: Ray Liotta, Lauren Holly, Brendan Gleeson, Hector Elizondo, Rachel Ticotin, Jeffrey DeMunn


Plot: After serial killer Ryan Weaver (Liotta) is captured and being transferred by US marshals. After fellow prisoner Stubbs (Gleeson) tries to escape all hell is let loose on the plane. This leaves flight attendant Teri (Holly) with the mission of landing the plane as well as alluding Ryan.


Verdict: High flying thrills

Story:  A thrilling story that is filled with suspense, in the era where the creation of the villain was more important than the everyday normal saviour. The scenario created adds everything to the story with what is the worst that could happen? Death of the pilot, terrifying storm or mad man on board. Good story that relies on the action to carry it. (8/10)


Actor Review: Ray Liotta – Jack the serial killer who believes he has been framed and goes to any means to prove it. Is the star of the show here with the innocence surrounding his character but devilish side that shows his true colours. Ray shines throughout getting to be calm to exocentric in the click of the fingers. Smooth Talker Award (9/10)


Actor Review: Lauren Holly – Flight attendant that Jack tries to use his charm on, but only to get exposed, she is a tough girl who learns quickly. Lauren does great in the role showing she can go toe to toe with an actor with a huge reputation. (8/10)


Actor Review: Brendan Gleeson – Loud mouth prisoner who gets himself into more trouble when he tries to escape, not the smartest prisoner and it is clear why he got caught in the first place. Brendan has some fun with the role playing crazy but dumb all at once. (7/10)


Director Review: Robert Butler – Creates a brilliant scenario for a thriller and puts everything into making it edge of your seat. (9/10)


Action: Some good action sequences that sometimes don’t live up to the suspense built for them. (8/10)

Thriller: Brilliant suspense all the way through and you never really know what Jack will do or say next. (9/10)

Believability: It could happen and that adds more to the thrills. (7/10)

Chances of Tears: (0/10)

Settings: Brilliant setting putting the whole scenario in a place with no escape from the mad man. (10/10)
Oscar Chances
: No

Chances of Sequel: Has two

Suggestion: A sweet short thriller for all the casual film fans this should be a huge hit but if you don’t like flying don’t watch. (Give it A Go)


Best Part: The plane gets an extra landing wheel of sorts.

Worst Part: It toys with the idea Jack is innocent and framed but never explains the truth behind it.

Similar Too: Fair to say a poor man Con Air


Overall: Strong thrills throughout