Michael Rooker Weekend – Whisper (2007)

Director: Stewart Hendler

Writer: Christopher Borrelli (Screenplay)

StarringMichael Rooker, Josh Holloway, Blake Woodruff, Sarah Wayne Callies, Julian Christopher, Joel Edgerton, Dule Hill 

 

Plot: Sinister things begin happening to kidnappers who are holding a young boy for ransom in a remote cabin.


Tagline – The devil’s work is childs play

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Horror

 

Story: Whisper starts when a group of criminals Max (Holoway), Sidney (Rooker), Roxanne (Callies) and Vince (Edgerton) kidnap a young boy David (Woodruff) in an attempt to gain a large ransom, as they look to sort their lives out.

Once David is in their possession, the four criminals soon learn that they have bitten off more than they can chew, when it turns out David has some kind of power which he will use against them as he is pure evil.

 

Thoughts on Whisper

 

Characters – Max is the member of the gang that wants to go clean, he wants his own business, but doesn’t have the capital to achieve this, he take the job in hopes that it will give him the money required to get the business and seems to be the only one that can keep it together through the events of the kidnapping. David is the boy that has been kidnapped, he is shown to be a loner even at his own birthday party, but it soon becomes clear that he has some form of powers that even his mother is scared off, using them to trick the criminals. Roxanne is the girlfriend of Max’s she is the first one to fold and want to quit the job as the mother instincts start taking over. Sidney is the leader of the gang that is putting the job together, he knows who to pick which does make this easier for him, though he isn’t prepared for this job.

PerformancesThis is a strange one for performances because our leads are Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies who at the time were involved in two of the biggest television shows, they both do an acceptable enough job playing to their strengths. Michael Rooker brings the strength in his performance, while young Blake Woodruff makes for an evil child with ease.

StoryThe story here is interesting because it does take a different turn when it comes to the kidnapping genre, by adding the horror elements. It does seem like everything is going to be by the book, until we learn early on when David is pure evil and turns the tables on the kidnappers. Now this should all work well and for the most part is an enjoyable enough watch, only we get a third act twist which only leaves us question large parts of the first act along with certain characters decisions.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film follows the kidnapping which seems to have gone smoothly for the criminals, the don’t get enough focus on the investigation though, which does feel like it could be an important part of the film. The horror side of the film focuses on the idea of the pure evil that David is and just how he uses his powers to make the people do the terrible things.

SettingsThe film has a couple of settings with the safehouse being the cabin in the woods away from any visitors, the small town just helps show how desperate the criminals are too.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we get a true mixed bag because the film doesn’t seem to commit on the levels needed to create the scares required.


Scene of the Movie –
The final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The shower scene is shot badly.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch horror that is all we ask for at times, this isn’t the scariest film you will see and by the end it does have enough surprises to turn heads.

 

Overall: Simple and easy to watch horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – O – The Other Side of the Door (2016)

Director: Johannes Roberts

Writer: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeremy Sisto, Sofia Rosinsky, Logan Creran, Suchitra Pillai

 

Plot: After her young son is killed in a tragic accident, a woman learns of a ritual which will bring him back to say goodbye, but when she disobeys a sacred warning, she upsets the balance between life and death.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average at Best

 

Story: The Other Side of the Door starts as our family Maria (Callies), Michael (Sisto) and children Oliver (Creran) and Lucy (Rosinsky) relocate to India for work, with things sounding almost perfect disaster strikes the family, Oliver the eldest son is killed in an accident, leaving Maria with nightmares of not being able to save him.

Learning of a ritual which would give Maria a chance to communicate deceased son she goes along with the idea. The ritual involves being able to talk through a door, but the rule is, you must never open the door.

Maria doesn’t follow this instruction and opens the door too early, upon returning home the Maria and daughter Lucy start believing Oliver has returned but with this comes consequences Maria hadn’t even began to imagine.

 

Thoughts on The Other Side of the Door

 

Characters/PerformanceMaria is a grieving mother still struggling with the idea that she couldn’t save her son from an accident, she even tries to kill herself but when she learns of a method to say goodbye she goes too far and releases the dead, now with a smile on her face she must face the consequences she has created. Michael is the husband but isn’t involved in too much of the events of the film. Lucy is the daughter that was saved in the accident and befriends the spirit Oliver.

Performance wise, Sarah is fine in the leading role but doesn’t go down as one of the better horror performances. Jeremy is fine but under used in the film while the rest of the cast don’t make much of an impact either.

StoryAmerican woman in a new country loses son and learns of a local ritual she could never understand that could give her one last conversation with her son but breaks the rules. This is ABC stuff with little to no twists along the way and tries to play into the idea that Indian culture can speak to the dead which I am not sure how actuate this is.

HorrorWe have simple scares that a horror fan will know are coming and end up just not hitting the marks it needs too.

SettingsThe film is set in India but apart from a couple of odd moments in the streets you could have guessed this would have been any location really.

Special EffectsThe effects are all fine, good when used and mostly practical.

Final ThoughtsThis horror misses the potential it could have had, the problem is trying to give us a new culture clashing with American making the mistakes but it just doesn’t click.

 

Overall: This horror mostly plain and not hitting the levels.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – I – Into the Storm (2014)

Director: Steven Quale

Writer: John Swetnam (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Max Deacon, Nathan Kress

 

Plot: Storm trackers, thrill-seekers, and everyday townspeople document an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes touching down in the town of Silverton.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Impressive Storm Movie

 

Story: Into the Storm starts as we follow storm chasers led by Pete (Walsh) who is looking for tornadoes for the latest series of their show. Allison (Callies) is the latest member of team who uses the technology to track storms even if it hasn’t been the most successful so far. With the funding almost pulled Pete gives Allison’s choice one last chance which brings the team to Silverton. Silverton is the home of teenagers Donnie (Deacon) and Trey (Kress) who are assigned to film the graduation in time capsule at their high school for their vice-principal father Gary (Armitage).

As the team arrive in Silverton the tornadoes appear with devastating consequences as Gary must race across town to save Donnie and he works with the storm chasing team to save him and record the biggest storm from first time accounts of the people involved.

 

Thoughts on Into the Storm

 

Characters/PerformanceGary is the high school vice-principal and father of two students, he is distant because of the loss of his wife but loves them both, pushing them to achieve greatness will respecting their choices. Allison is the technology based storm chasers newer to the team that must prove her ability to predict storms for her boss and then for the people of the town of Silverton. Pete is the ambitious presenter of a storm chasing show, he will put his team in danger and will do anything to get ahead of the game, he is part asshole too in this film. the kids are what you expect finding themselves in danger needing adults to save them but also knowing a few tricks to save the day.

Performance wise, Richard Armitage is solid enough in the leading role and completely different to his Hobbit role he is most famous for, Sarah Wayne Callies does a good job in her role proving she has managed to get away from television in lower key movies. Matt Walsh does give us the type of character we know for this genre of film. the rest of the cast are all fine in this movie.

StoryThe story is routine here, we have a broken family needing to come together to survive with another single mother wanting to do the right thing while a greedy person looks to get famous. We also have very over the top tornadoes that are being chased, so this is simply one that doesn’t have the most difficult story to watch and is easy to watch, even if it is short as a survivor’s story.

Action/ThrillerThe action sequences are big, over the top and entertaining, this will give us a great thrill ride through the film.

SettingsThe setting is in and around a small town which shows how a small community can be effected by tornadoes which is something the film wants to tell in the story.

Special EffectsThe tornadoes all look fantastic through the film and must be applauded.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun, disaster movie that is way over the top but still just as enjoyable throughout.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Rating

 

 

Pay the Ghost (2015)

payDirector: Uli Edel

Writer: Dan Kay (Screenplay) Tim Lebbon (Novel)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Veronica Ferres, Lyriq Bent, Lauren Beatty, Kalie Hunter, Jack Fulton, Stephen McHattie

 

Plot: A professor frantically searches for his son who was abducted during a Halloween parade.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror Thriller

 

Story: Pay the Ghost starts when Charlie (Fulton) believes something is outside his window before we meet his parents Kristen (Callies) and Mike (Cage). Mike is an English Professor at a university where he has studied all the great horror literature and its origins. When Halloween comes Mike takes Charlie to a local carnival only for Charlie to see something continue to follow him and disappear right under the nose of Mike.

One year later Mike is still desperately searching for his son while being haunted by what happened as he sees Charlie everywhere he turns. Detective Jordan (Bent) has been doing all he can but when Mike uncovers what has happened he will come up against the unexplained that even the novels he teaches from couldn’t have written.

Pay the Ghost is the type of horror thriller I really enjoy watching, it is the old school ghost haunting so all my thoughts are going to be favourable. We have the haunting moments before the child is taken, we have the desperate parents looking for missing child with them having to go into theories. When it comes to this style of film we find ourselves wondering how this will all end up. I will say the end feels slightly rushed but the fact that is doesn’t go for the lazy twist ending helps this. It really is a film that could be enjoyed if you are the fan of the genre as long as you go in not expecting too much.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicolas Cage: Mike Lawford is a successful university professor who is happily married with a young child. His life is turned upside down when in a crowded area his son goes missing. One year later Mike still investigating his missing child stumbles upon a supernatural link to other missing children and must figure out what it all means as he searches for his son. Nicolas gives us a good performance without over playing his character.mike

Sarah Wayne Callies: Kristen is the wife of Mike who leaves him with their son, after he disappears she tries to continue her own life but comes Halloween she has to work him to final get the answers. Sarah is good but falls into the standard supporting character that doesn’t get enough screen time.

Veronica Ferres: Hannah is one of the professors that is an expert in ancient culture, she is a close friend of Mike, she is important when it comes to offering information on what is happening. Veronica does a solid job but is basically only in this film to put the pieces together in the puzzle that Mike doesn’t quite have.

Lyriq Bent: Jordan is the detective trying to find Charlie and once Mike puts him on the line of investigation of missing children on Halloween he finds himself investigating something he simply can’t explain. Lyriq is good but when it comes to character we find him almost forgotten in the final act.

Support Cast: Pay the Ghost has a supporting cast that offers what is needed for the characters without being too memorable.

Director Review: Uli EdelUli gives us well created atmospheric horror thriller that does have a few issues but once you see past them you will enjoy this one.

 

Horror: Pay the Ghost gives us a well created horror that does have a few jump scares but it also has shock moments.

Thriller: Pay the Ghost keeps us wondering to where this is going throughout.

Settings: Pay the Ghost takes part in New York which puts the horror in a busy city which is fresh for the genre.
Special Effects
: Pay the Ghost has a mix of good and bad effects when it comes to the events in the film.

Suggestion: Pay the Ghost is one for the horror fans to try as they will be surprised. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Ghost visiting Mike.

Worst Part: Certain characters seem pointless.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: A few in the early credits.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: Evil walks among us.

 

Overall: Surprisingly good horror thriller that keeps us on the edge of our seats throughout.

Ratingcard

Star Focus – Sarah Wayne Callies

Sarah Wayne Calliessarah

Age: 37

Number of Roles: 22

Biggest Roles: Sara – Prison Break, Lori – The Walking Dead

Debut Role: Television – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2003)

Film – The Celestine Prophecy (2006)celestine

2003 – 2009: Sarah made her screen acting debut with a guest role in ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’. She followed that up with another one off appearance in ‘Dragnet’ before getting a lead role in a television show. The show was ‘Tarzan’ which was similar to the modern daty cop shows using a classic tale, it only lasted 9 episodes. What followed was more guest appearance but in 2005 she got her big break in ‘Prison Break’. Sarah also starred in a few films ‘The Celestine Prophecy’, ‘Whisper’ and ‘Bittersweet’.

Television Roles:

  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2003)
  • Dragnet (2003)
  • Tarzan (2003) 9 Episodes
  • Numb3rs (2005)
  • Queens Supreme (2003-2007) 5 Episodes
  • Prison Break (2005-2009) 70 Episodes
  • House (2010)
  • The Walking Dead (2010-2013) 35 Episodes

Breakout Role: Sara – Prison Break (2005) – Sara was the prison doctor who fails for Michael and leaves the door open for the escape. Even though she did miss a season, she did return for the final conclusion of the much loved show.doctor

2010 Onwards: In 2010 Sarah got a chance to work as a guest in ‘House’ but the year would be bigger for her when she got the role as Lori in ‘The Walking Dead’ and even though many people disliked her character, it made us like the other a lot more. Sarah also appeared in a few films ‘Lullaby for Pi’, ‘Black Gold’ ‘Faces in the Crowd’ ‘Foreverland’, ‘Black November’ and summer film ‘Into the Storm’.

Next Big Role: Horror – The Other Side of the Door.

My Favourite Role: Lori – The Walking Dead – I know many people didn’t like this role, but I felt that even though she came off as a bad mother, it actually offers a much realer idea of how hard it would be in a world like that.lori