The Captive (2014)

Director: Atom Egoyan

Writer: Atom Egoyan, David Fraser (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Greenwood, Mireille Enos, Kevin Durand

 

Plot: Eight years after the disappearance of Cassandra, some disturbing incidents seem to indicate that she’s still alive. Police, parents and Cassandra herself, will try to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intenseless Thriller

 

Story: The Captive starts as we see the teenage Cassandra (Fast) locked in a room by her kidnapper Mika (Durand), she hasn’t left this room for 8 years. She gets to watch over her parent’s life in this twisted game Mika plays.

Flashback 8 years and we see the events leading up to this event of her disappearance as her father Matthew (Reynolds) is left feeling helpless as she is taken from the car, his wife Tina (Enos) blames him and the detectives Nicole (Dawson) and nearly appointed officers Jeffrey (Speedman) start looking into the case.

We then get to follow how Tina, Matthew, Nicole and Jeffrey have spent the next 8 years with the yearly arrival to meet and see if any clues have come up regarding her whereabouts, can the truth come out and the family know the truth or will they be left in the unknown forever.

 

Thoughts on The Captive

 

Characters/PerformanceMatthew is the father of the missing girl, he searches on every journey making sure any young girl he sees is safely returned home while also checking they are not his long-lost daughter. Tina has continued to work with the police as they search for clues to what happened, all while trying to continue her own life. Nicole is the lead detective working on searching for children who are put in danger and trying to shut down paedophile rings. Jeffrey is the new detective to the case but has been working on it for the full amount of time as he goes overboard at times. Mika is the one that has Cassandra, we learn this in the opening sequences so not spoilers with this information, but he is the one involved if the bigger picture.

Performance wise, Ryan Reynolds is good in this role because you can believe him as the desperate father, Rosario Dawson also is good in her role as we see how both known for light-hearted roles performing very well. Speedman is fine through the film without being likable and Mireille Enos does control to show she can be a leading role in a film. it is Kevin Durand however that is the true star of the show, being creepy throughout.

StoryThe story is told with a mix of flashbacks and current time events which can be very difficult to keep up on, it also doesn’t help that the film does follow a similar idea of parents and police officers searching for a missing child which is clearly much more intense in Prisoners. By jumping around all over the time line we are left just feeling lost following a story that should be intense from beginning to end.

Crime/MysteryThe crime story is something that is very dark which should be one of the more intense and shocking crime stories of recent times but the storytelling process loses that but we are kept wondering how big the mystery is behind everything going on.

SettingsThe snow filled setting shows us just how hopeless the search for a missing child would be during the winter and how easy it would be to hide people too.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that should have been a classic but in the end, it doesn’t reach all its potential because of the awful storytelling process.

 

Overall: Missed on too many marks.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

The Monster (2016)

monsterDirector: Bryan Bertino

Writer: Brian Bertino (Screenplay)

Starring: Zoe Kazan, Scott Speedman, Ella Ballentine, Aaron Douglas, Christine Ebadi

 

Plot: A mother and daughter must confront a terrifying monster when they break down on a deserted road.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Creature Horror

 

Story: The Monster starts teenage daughter Lizzy (Ballentine) having to tidy up and prepare for a trip with her alcoholic mother Kathy (Kazan). With tension growing between the two the journey across country so that Lizzy can stay with her father. On the journey, they end up involved in an accident during the rainy condition leaving them stuck in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.

When it appears, they have hit a wolf we continue to see flashbacks of the troubling relationship between mother and daughter but it is only amplified by the fact there is a monster outside the car lurking in the woods.

The Monster comes off like a very interesting horror thriller concept because the trapped with a monster lurking has been done before and well doesn’t come off to original as we run through the usual issues like ‘stay quiet’ ‘don’t go outside’ ‘we need to try and escape’. It is the look at the very bad relationship between the mother and daughter which would come off abusive in most places that put the true cat amongst the pigeons here. We see however bad the relationship is the maternal instinct will always kick in when it comes to protecting a child.

This is pretty much a two person show and I think Kazan and Ballentine both do a great job in the roles dealing with the abusive side and the horror side. Anyone else who appears in the movie is only in a couple of scenes never really making an impact. The monster itself looks terrifying and it is good to see practical effects being used by the film.

 

Overall: Horror film I would be suggest to the horror fans out there reading this post.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Moth Diaries (2011)

mothDirector: Mary Harron

Writer: Mary Harron (Screenplay) Rachel Klein (Novel)

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon, Lily Cole, Scott Speedman

 

Plot: Rebecca is suspicious of Ernessa, the new arrival at her boarding school. But is Rebecca just jealous of Ernessa’s bond with Lucie, or does the new girl truly possess a dark secret?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull

 

Story: The Moth Diaries starts as we see best friends Rebecca (Bolger) and Lucy (Gadon) returning to boarding school catching up with all their friends after a summer back together. When Ernessa (Cole) arrives at the school she instantly strikes up a friendship with Lucy as we see early on the tension rising between the Ernessa and Rebecca.

When Rebecca starts to think Ernessa is up to something she finds herself becoming distant from her friends but soon she starts to learn they may have more in common. Rebecca becomes obsessed with proving that Ernessa is evil when strange things start happening to her class mates but how does she go about this when she believes she is a ghost.

The Moth Diaries gives us what comes off as the ghost investigation mixed with St Trinian’s. we follow how friendships get pushed and girls get up to things they shouldn’t including drugs and sneaking off for sex. The girls are all unlikable and the serious side of the tory seems to get forgotten. The whole story does come off very average and boring as you never believe any of the fear Rebecca is meant to be feeling.

 

Actor Review

 

Sarah Bolger: Rebecca has been best friends with Lucy for years at boarding school but when Ernessa arrives she starts to find tension between her friends and dealing with the suicide of her father she finds herself wondering if she will act the same in the future. Sarah is solid but doesn’t really pull you into the story enough.

Sarah Gadon: Lucy is the best friend of Rebecca who starts to become distant from Rebecca as soon Ernessa starts school. Sarah does seem to get forgotten through the film sadly and never comes off strong enough.

Lily Cole: Ernessa is the mysterious new girl in the school who seems to have the ability to control other people decisions. She seems to be targeting Rebecca and her friends making Rebecca come off as a loner but does she have an alternative motive. Lily is solid but you can see her struggle with the serious scenes.

Scott Speedman: Mr Davies is the first male teacher the school has had, he is also a big admirer of Rebecca’s father. Scott really is just a small supporting part in this film.

Support Cast: The Moth Diaries has very generic supporting cast which are all very forgettable.

Director Review: Mary HarronMary gives us what comes off like a slightly dull ghost story.

 

Horror: The Moth Diaries doesn’t have any moments of real horror happening at all.

Mystery: The Moth Diaries has a thin mystery about who Ernessa really is but otherwise you don’t really care about what is happening.

Settings: The Moth Diaries keeps nearly the whole film in and around the boarding school which works for the film.
Special Effects
: The Moth Diaries has a few but easily forgettable effects.

Suggestion: The Moth Diaries is easily one you could miss really. (Skip It)

 

Best Part: UMMM.

Worst Part: Story is very thin.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

Tagline: Every girl has her secrets.

 

Overall: Basic and boring ghost mystery film.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Underworld Evolution (2006)

underDirector: Len Wiseman

Writer: Danny McBride (Screenplay) Len Wiseman, Danny McBride (Story)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Tony Curran, Derek Jacobi, Bill Nighy, Steven Mackintosh, Michael Sheen

 

Plot: Picking up directly from the previous film, vampire warrior Selene and the half werewolf Michael hunt for clues to reveal the history of their races and the war between them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Fun Sequel

 

Story: Underworld: Evolution starts as we go back to the beginning of the battle as Viktor (Nighy) Marcus (Curran) must deal with the reckless behaviour from William (Steele) giving us a look back at the battle with swords and crossbows. In this we learn more of Viktor’s turn on Marcus imprisoning him for all time.

Selene (Beckinsale) along with new hybrid Michael (Speedman) are now the enemies of both sides must locate Marcus to put an end to the battle once and for all, but he is just as evil as Viktor and with Corvinus (Jacobi) also after Michael it is down to Selene and Michael to work together to escape the hands of both sides of the war.

Underworld: Evolution continues the war between vampires and lycans but this time we have a new species evolving that is both vampire and lycan. We get plenty more action this time around with blood flying and bodies piling up all around but it the looks into the past that drives the film to the next level as we learn why the battle lines were first drawn. The settings all look to generic for the story too without any being memorable by the end of the film.

Beckinsale continues to show her kick ass side in this performance even if she does have to show a vulnerable side too. Where this film struggles are by making such a point out of the Selene character the rest all just seem to fall into generic forgettable characters for the series. This really disappoints what could be yet another brilliantly fun action fantasy film.

 

Overall: When it comes to sequels this is extremely watchable even if not very memorable.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Underworld (2003)

underworldDirector: Len Wiseman

Writer: Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, Danny McBride (Screenplay) Danny McBride (Story)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Erwin Leder, Sophia Myles, Wentworth Miller

 

Plot: Selene, a beautiful warrior, is entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, Over the Top Action Fantasy

 

Story: Underworld starts by taking us into a world where vampires and lycans where the vampires have the upper hand with the lycans on the edge of extinction. We meet Selene (Beckinsale) one of the most elite vampire warriors against the lycans who finds herself learning of an uprising of lycans waiting to come back into the battle.

As Selene investigates the encounter she learns that the lycans were targeting a human Michael (Speedman) but the reason is unknown to her, but this doe draw out Lucian (Sheen) the leader of the lycans and the old battle is starts once again. When Selene’s decision to save Michael only begins the war once more as the vampires await the rebirth of Viktor (Nighy) the lycans plan to take over the world.

Underworld is the fast-paced action fantasy film that brings us the war between vampires and werewolves in a style unlike anything we have seen before. We do have to go through a lot of the politics of the vampire world which at times get rather boring but when the action is unleashed it is all bullets and blood.

Beckinsale shines in this leading role showing she can kick ass like the best of them, it is the rest of the cast which don’t get the full effect out of their performance with Speedman looking lost most of the time, Sheen coming off too smart to be in the role he is given and Nighy being your typical elder character. In all honesty, this is purely fun and just switching your brain off you will enjoy it all.

 

Overall: Popcorn vampire flick that is easily enjoyable.

Ratingcard