What Still Remains (2018)

Director: Josh Mendoza

Writer: Josh Mendoza (Screenplay)

Starring: Lulu Antariksa, Colin O’Donoghue, Mimi Rogers, Dohn Norwood, Jeff Kober, Peter O’Brien, Roshon Fegan

 

Plot: After the loss of her family, a young woman struggles to survive in a world long-since destroyed by disease; but when a lonely traveler offers her a place in his community, she must decide if the promise of a better life is worth the risk of trusting him.


Tagline – People become their own kind of monster.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The End of The World as We Know It

 

Story: What Still Remains starts in the world destroyed by a disease, Anna (Antariksa) lives with her brother and mother in a remote location just looking to survive, when she loses both of them in one day, she continues on alone, until one day a mysterious stranger Peter (O’Donoghue) arrives, offering a community and safety.

Joining Peter, Anna returns to the community seeing the good and bad parts of world on the way before joining the community.

 

Thoughts on What Still Remains

 

Characters – Anna is a young woman living in a disease riddled world, she has survived with her family in the middle of nowhere, until one day she loses them both. With training on how to survive she will continue to work alone to survive, until she meets a stranger that offers her hope of a better life, she wants to remain independent in this world which she might not get anymore. Peter is the mysterious stranger that offers Anna hope of a new life in a religious like community, he comes of like a good guy that only wants to help, but we soon learn his motives. Judith is one of the leaders in the community, she has helped raise the numbers with her religious beliefs which bring people together. We do get other community members, enemies and danger filled characters along the way.

PerformancesLulu Antariksa is the clear star of the film, her character like the audience learns everything as it happens, and we like to see just how she reacts to everything in a natural calm manner. Colin O’Donoghue is good in the supporting role keeping us wondering around his character. The rest of the cast do well with how they interact with Lulu.

StoryThe story follows the world destroyed by disease with the survivors living off the map, we follow Anna a young woman that has been in such situation. We follow the solo Anna that needs to make a decision about surviving alone or with others, learning about how dangerous people can be. We have seen this style of film before and we know that Anna is the type of character that will need to make the big decisions. The tried and tested formula keeps things simple and by the end of the story you will be wanting to see what will happen next.

ThrillerThe film does have an air of tension throughout, mostly around Anna being unsure about everything that is going on, we know she knows how to survive in her comfort zone, now the tension is around how she can cope away from it.

SettingsThe film takes place in the woodland area around any city, we don’t touch any of the cities and any communities are just located within created walls, which does make sense.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used when needed, they are for the battles with none of them looking out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Anna’s next step.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t get enough information about the reasons for the battle between the two communities.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good survival thriller, it has a wonderful lead performance and puts us in a world you can believe to have be destroyed by a disease.

 

Overall: Survival thriller we know.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – C – Captive (2015)

Director: Jerry Jameson

Writer: Brian Bird (Screenplay) Ashley Smith, Stacy Mattingly (Book)

Starring: Kate Mara, David Oyelowo, Elle Graham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jessica Oyelowo, Mimi Rogers, Leonor Varela

 

Plot: A single mother struggling with drug addiction is taken hostage in her own apartment by a man on the run who has broken out of jail and murdered the judge assigned to his case.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Thriller

 

Story: Captive starts as we meet Ashely Smith (Mara) a drug addict who has lost her child due to her addiction and is desperately struggling to get clean. On the other side of the story we find Brian Nichols (Oyelowo) a criminal who breaks out of his trial hearing leaving bodies on the way.

Lt John Chestnut (Williams) and Sgt. Sandoval (Varela) lead the manhunt for Brian as we learn how this minor criminal has escalated to murder to get freedom. Brian breaks into Ashley apartment holding her hostage inside her own home. Ashley must spend the night trying to stay alive when this clearly mentally unstable man Brian pushes her to the limits.

 

Thoughts on Captive

 

Characters/PerformanceAshley is a recovering drug addict who is about to become clean and get her daughter back, she must stay one step ahead of Brian to make this happen. Brian is a criminal about to be judge on a rape case he believes he is innocent off. He escapes and kills the judge going on the run before taking Ashely hostage. He constantly believes he is innocent of all the crimes he is being accused off. The cops on the other hand are all the generic ones you would imagine they would be.

Performance Wise, Kate Mara is good in the leading role showing given the right material she can be a leading lady, David Oyelowo is as always great in yet another film he clearly is the best part off.

StoryThis is a story that is based on real events, this is just another hostage story though, we have the bonding between the criminal and victim which is nothing fresh, as well as watching the manhunt for him. This all works but doesn’t come off as original, because this is based on a real event it would have been more interesting to see more about the real case that Brian believes he is innocent off.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of this film happens early on as most of the film is hunting down the criminal who has gone to extreme lengths to get his freedom. The thriller ide doesn’t keep us on edge for long enough.

SettingsThe apartment shows how Ashely has become trapped with Brian but we also deal with the idea that we are watching a manhunt too.

Final ThoughtsThis was a slow-moving thriller that doesn’t reach the levels it needs to, mostly because this is based on a real event too.

 

Overall: Slow and disappointing thriller.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Ginger Snaps (2000)

logoDirector: John Fawcett

Writer: Karen Walton, John Fawcett (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Perkins, Katharine Isabelle, Kris Lemche, Mimi Rogers, Jesse Moss, Danielle Hampton, John Bourgeois

 

Plot: Two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Realistic Werewolf Film

 

Story: Ginger Snaps starts by taking us to a suburban neighbourhood where a woman finds her dog dead, we also see the reaction from the rest of the neighbourhood who know about something killing animals. We then meet sisters Brigitte (Perkins) and Ginger (Isabelle) who want to plan the perfect suicide but for now just create the perfect looking ones for class projects. The sisters are conceded outsiders by the rest of the school.

The Beast of Bailey Down is killing dogs and to get revenge on a bully the girls want to pretend their dog was taken by the beast. The girls end up getting attacked by the beast which just so happens to be a werewolf leaving Ginger bitten but the beast dead. Two reflect getting attack Ginger just so happens to start her menstrual cycle. The next day Ginger starts to change mixing with people she wouldn’t consider talking to, including seeing how local school drug deal Sam (Lemche) was the one who hit the beast.

As the time goes by towards the next full moon Brigitte starts to investigate what could be happening and the only person she can talk to about it is Sam. Ginger continues to becoming more open but showing signs of becoming a werewolf in the future. Brigitte and Sam work together to find a way to cure the transformation as Ginger becomes more violent as her transformation continues.

Ginger Snaps manages to balance the ideas of puberty with the ideas of werewolves and shows how similar the two are. It shows the awkwardness of changes teenagers go through and how difficult it can be while going through high school, but using the werewolf symbol takes away what was a real change by turning into a fantasy change. When you are to put this film next to fellow werewolf films it does stand up well when it comes to the slow transformation and it also tries to eliminate any of the urban legend ideas behind them too. When it comes to the savage attacks we miss the gory details but we do get to see the aftermath. This is one that will be remembered and will easily gather fans. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Emily Perkins: Brigitte younger of the two sisters who tries to find a cure for the werewolf transformation going through Ginger. Emily does a good job in the role of solving the problem however hard it is to do so. (7/10)

 

Katharine Isabelle: Ginger who gets attacked by the werewolf just as she starts going through her first period, over time she starts to change both going through a transformation into a werewolf. Katharine does a good job in the lead role that shows she was going to be big in horror. (7/10)

 

Kris Lemche: Sam local drug dealer who kills the beast and teams up with Brigitte to find a cure for the transformation. Kris does a good job in the supporting role. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Ginger Snaps has a supporting cast that includes the high school students who are a mix of every type you would expect to see. It also has the parents who are the over protective but have problems.

 

Director Review: John Fawcett – John does a good job directing bring the werewolf style back to life with one of the best of the current century. (8/10)

 

Horror: Ginger Snaps enters the horror world well with the use of the werewolf but never really have many scares until the final moments. (8/10)

Settings: Ginger Snaps shows how simple the location can be to bring the horror back home and personal. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Ginger Snaps uses good effects to create the transformations and no CGI. (9/10)

Suggestion: Ginger Snaps is one for the horror fans to enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Transformation.

Worst Part: High school politics.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel and a prequel

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won 8 Awards through the horror genre.

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Ginger Snaps….AND Bites

Trivia: Along with the coincidence of stars Katharine Isabelle and Emily Perkins auditioning on the same day, the two actresses were also born in the same hospital, attended the same pre-school, elementary school, and private school, and worked through the same talent agency.

 

Overall: Cult Classic Werewolf Film

Rating 70