Blood Moon (2015)

logoDirector: Jeremy Wooding

Writer: Alan Wightman (Screenplay)

Starring: George Blagden, Tom Cotcher, Barrington De La Roche, Raffaello Degruttola, Shaun Dooley, Jack Fox, Dave Fulton, Corey Johnson

Plot: A stagecoach of travellers, a gun-slinger and two outlaws arrive in a deserted mining town lit by the glow of a reddish full moon. As their worlds collide, they are hunted by a beast that only appears on the night of a blood moon.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Wild Werewolf Western

Story: Blood Moon starts Colorado 1887 in a small western town which comes under attack by a howling creature. We next meet the Norton brothers Jeb (Degruttola) and Hank (Johnson) bank robbers who have just completed their latest robbery. Finally we meet Jake Norman (Blagden) his new wife Sarah (Rowan) along with fellow travellers Father Domonic (Shale), Henry (Webster) Marie (Skellern) and lone traveller Calhoun (Dooley). Town Sheriff Wade (Fox) teams up with Black Deer (Matsuura) to find the Norton brothers.

When the travellers end up in the small town they find the remains of the lone person in town believing it was just a wolf pack or hoped anyway. The group have too survive the attack by the robbers but that isn’t the only threat they will face because when night falls they have to take on a skin walker, what is left is who will survive the night?

Blood Moon takes the werewolf genre and puts into a western which works for this story because like a lot of horror films we get a group of people from different worlds having to work together against a common enemy. I do think the film tries to develop the characters a little bit too long because it brings the film into a slight slow spell in the middle before we actually end up facing the werewolves. I do think there was more to come from the final battle but when it comes it seems rushed. The werewolf films really do come as hit or miss and sadly this feel closer to the miss. (5/10)

Actor Review

George Blagden: Jake Norman is the deputy Marshall on his honeymoon, he tries to keep his identity secret but the thieves like the situation of having the authority figure trapped. He has to use his knowledge to over come the thieves and the skin walkers. George does a solid job in this but never seems to look the character. (6/10)

Jack Fox: Wade is the Sheriff who is trying to track down the thieves who he knows is going in the same direction as Jake, he teams up with the towns witch doctor who shows him the ways. Jack does a solid but doesn’t get the screen time. (5/10)

Raffaello Degruttola, Corey Johnson: Jeb & Hank Norton are the bank robbers who have killed on their latest job, they end up holding the stagecoach people hostage while figuring out their next move, before coming under attack from the Skin walkers. The pair make for solid bank robbers but also very generic. (5/10)

Shaun Dooley: Calhoun is the lone traveller who joins the stagecoach and has constant mystery about who he really is, and which side of the law he is on. Shaun is the highlight of the film because we always want a character with mystery. (6/10)

Support Cast: Blood Moon has a supporting cast that a mainly disposable for the werewolves.

Director Review: Jeremy WoodingJeremy does a solid job with building the characters but doesn’t give enough horror. (5/10)

Horror: Blood Moon isn’t as scary or bloody as it should be. (5/10)

Settings: Blood Moon creates a good setting for the whole film making us believe we are in the time period in question. (9/10)

Suggestion: Blood Moon is one to try because werewolf films are few and far between but it isn’t in the league as the very best. (Try It)

Best Part: Smart Character Development.

Worst Part: Slightly slow.

Believability: No (/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could do.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: When it’s red you’re dead.

Overall: Solid Werewolf film


The Awakening (2011)

logoDirector: Nick Murphy

Writer: Stephen Volk, Nick Murphy (Screenplay)

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Shaun Dooley, Joseph Mawle


Plot: Florence Cathcart (Hall) goes around London exposing the truth behind supernatural hoaxes fooling people in 1921. Building up her reputation she gets recruited by Robert Mallory (West) into finding out the truth about a ghost child haunting a boarding school. The ghost has caused one pupil to die and after researching photos through the years it appears that the same child has appeared in the school photo every year for twenty years.


Against her better judgement Florence goes to the school during a half term leaving the school pretty much empty apart from one lone school boy Tom (Wright) and few staff including Matron Maud (Staunton). Setting up her equipment in hopes of finding an easy solution she ends up question her own beliefs in a case she can’t seem to solve.


Verdict: Ghostly goings on


Story: What looks like a simple sceptic trying to solve the mystery of ghosts takes a surprise twist that will test that person’s belief. Along with the idea of offering us plenty to guess what is going on the end surprise will shock but make you think. It also has under storyline of social difference in a post war England. If truth be told this has nothing new in the ghost side of the story but the twist will and does make this a better film. (7/10)


Actor Reviews


Rebecca Hall: Florence the de-hoaxer with a haunted past that may well catch up with her in the end. Solid lead performance showing she is ready for bigger roles. (8/10)


Dominic West: Robert the war veteran turn school teacher who is also haunted by his past and that he made it back while his friends didn’t. Good performance but the character seems very against any possibility if what is going on. (7/10)


Imelda Staunton: Maud the matron of the school, all the children like her and her calm persona makes it easy to see why. Solid performance but it is once the secret is revelled that we see her in action. (7/10)


Isaac Hempstead Wright: Tom the only child to be left behind who wants to help but is he real? Good performance from the young man who will only go onto bigger things. (7/10)


Director Review: Nick Murphy – Creates a good atmospheric horror thriller that will keep you guessing. (7/10)


Horror: Only a few jumps none of which are shocking. (7/10)

Thriller: Doesn’t pull you in as well as it should. (7/10)

Settings: The isolation setting works perfectly for this film. (10/10)

Special Effects
: Good special effects to create the ghost appearances. (8/10)

Suggestion: I think this is only one to try it doesn’t tick enough boxes to be scary and could offer some simple jumps. (Try It)


Best Part: The Dollhouse seconded visit.

Worst Part: Not scary enough.

Scariest Scene: A moment in the attempted rape scene.

Believability: (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Haunted


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $209,696

Budget: £3Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: All the children are gone… except one.


Overall: Easy Jumps A Clever Twist That Saves It

Rating 70