Down a Dark Hall (2018)

Director: Rodrigo Cortes

Writer: Michael Goldbach, Chris Sparling (Screenplay) Lois Duncan (Novel)

Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Uma Thurman, Isabelle Fuhrman, Victoria Moroles, Noah Silver, Taylor Russell, Rosie Day

 

Plot: Kit Gordy, a new student at the exclusive Blackwood Boarding School, confronts the institution’s supernatural occurrences and dark powers of its headmistress.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Never Really Gets Started

 

Story: Down a Dark Hall starts as Katherine ‘Kit’ Gordy (Robb) has been struggling with mental health and with her parents running out of options decide to send her to an exclusive boarding school Blackwood, run by Madame Duret (Thurman). Kit is joined by the other girls, Izzy (Fuhrman), Veronica (Moroles), Ashley (Russell) and Sierra (Day) who are all told they have gifts, which sees the girls excel in different subjects.

When the girls start getting haunted at night, they decide to investigate the history of the school, which leads them down some very dark halls to unlock the secret of Madame Duret.

 

Thoughts on Down a Dark Hall

 

Characters – Katherine Gordy is a troubled teenager, blamed for a lot of what happens in her life, dealing with the loss of her father, sent to the boarding school, she starts to show her talent for music and challenge just why the girls have been selected. Madame Duret has welcomed the girls into the boarding school, she keeps strict rules and it becomes clear that she has plans for them all. Izzy is one of the girls that shows her gifts the quickest, this is what draws the attention of the rest of the girls that can see what is happening to her. Veronica is the bully like figure of the five girls, she uses her tough attitude to cover her own problems in her life.

PerformancesAnnaSophia Robb in the leading role does a solid enough job, we could see more development from her character, but she does all she can with her role. Uma Thurman isn’t the most convincing as the Madame, while most of the fellow girl performances are just the basic through the film.

StoryThe story follows five girls sent to a boarding school only for not everything to be as it seems and they must unlock the truth before the evil within the walls comes for them. The story never really gets started if we are honest because we focus on the so called gifts the girls are showing, which they never had before getting to the school, should be more interesting, only it just felt rushed. The scares don’t come fast enough for what is meant to be happening and when they do it is just too dark to see anything happening. The story has an outline which had potential, only it ends up falling flat on its face trying to rush everything instead of slowly building to show just how successful the previous ideas have been.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy horror in the film becomes one when we get to follow the ideas to why the girls have become gifted suddenly, only the horror is just darkness, loud noise, something appears on screen.

SettingsThe film is set inside the one location, the boarding school which does work for the film, because it keeps the girls away from the world for just what is planned for them.

Special EffectsThe effects are pretty weak too here, as we just get the usual background CGI we can see a mile off.


Scene of the Movie –
The piano performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While this is meant to be a dark film, it is very hard to see what is happening.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that has potential in its story, it ends up becoming messy though and just bland because it never gets started.

 

Overall: Basic horror.

Rating

 

 

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Jamie Marks is Dead (2014)

Director: Carter Smith

Writer: Carter Smith (Screenplay) Christopher Barzak (Novel)

Starring: Morgan Saylor, Noah Silver, Cameron Monaghan, Brett DelBuono, Fred Tolliver Jr, Ronen Rubinstein, Liv Tyler, Judy Greer

 

Plot: In a wintry small town, the body of a teenager named Jamie Marks is found by the river. Adam, the star of his cross-country team, becomes fascinated with Jamie-a boy nobody really knew or interacted with, except occasionally to bully him. When Jamie’s ghost begins to appear both to Adam and Gracie, the classmate who discovered the body, Adam is caught between two worlds. He has a budding romance with Gracie, but he also feels a deep connection to Jamie, who brings him closer to the world of the undead.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Drama

 

Story: Jamie Marks is Dead starts with the discovery of Jamie Marks (Silver) body in a riverine in the small town he is from, bullied by most, it is Adam (Monaghan) who looks back at his brief memories of his time with Jamie wanting to pay respect to where he was discovered, where he meets Gracie (Saylor) the girl who found the body.

When Adam becomes friends with Gracie the pair start to get visits from the ghost of Jamie which drives Adam’s interest into what happened to him leading him down the narrow road between life and death as he is left to question his own sexuality and uncover the mystery surrounding Jamie’s death.

 

Thoughts on Jamie Marks is Dead

 

Characters/PerformanceAdam is the star runner at his high school, he keeps to himself without getting involved in being or conducting any bullying. He gets drawn to what happened to one of the victims of the bullying as he hits the awkward age where he must discover his own sexuality. Gracie is the one friend Adam finds himself having, she is also a lonely character that is seeing the ghost of Jamie too but not on the same level as Adam. She does also give the warnings about getting to know the ghost can be. Jamie is the bullied school boy who ends up dead, he returns as a ghost to show Adam a way through life getting him to help solve his murder or the mystery surround his death.

The performance are all good from the main actors, they help unfold the story for us in a way that keeps us interested in seeing where it will go.

StoryThe story does follow on high school student that is trying to figure out who he is, be it in life, he sexuality and his draw towards a recent death in the town. Looking at how it all unfolds we get elements of the ghosts of our past guiding us to the answers that seem easiest rather than the ones we need to see. This is slow moving at time but does keep you full attention to just what will happen.

SettingsThe small town settings is always good for the dramas as it shows how the town can show us just how cruel people can be and how easily the stories can spread.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that is good for what it is telling us, we have a good story, good acting and a meaningful message.

 

Overall: Drama that keeps your attention without being edge of your seat.

Rating