A Dark Song (2016)

Director: Liam Gavin

Writer: Liam Gavin (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Oram, Catherine Walker, Susan Loughnane, Mark Huberman, Nathan Vos

 

Plot: A determined young woman and a damaged occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a dangerous ritual that will grant them what they want.


Tagline – Not everything can be forgiven

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intense Ritual Horror

 

Story: A Dark Song starts as Sophia Howard (Walker) rents a remote house in the countryside, she hires occultist Joseph Solomon (Oram) to perform a yearlong ritual so Sophia can communicate with her late son, one more time.

With the rules set, the ritual begins leaving the two to need to be prepared for anything good or evil that they would summon from the other side.

 

Thoughts on A Dark Song

 

Characters – Sophia is the lady that wants to communicate with dead child, she has turned to an occultist to help her, she will go through as many different rituals to achieve her desired outcome. Joseph Solomon is the occultist that reluctant agrees to help Sophia with her ritual, he has plenty of experience and even when he knows she is lying he will help her.

PerformancesSteve Oram and Catherine Walker are the main two stars of this movie, their performances need to be strong for this movie to work. They both give us captivating performance where you are wondering where the characters will be going next.

StoryThe story dives into the idea of how far would you go to communicate with a dead loved one, would you turn to the occult knowing it wouldn’t be the best idea because of what else you could summon, or would you let the police punish the people responsible, these are the main questions being asked in this movie. When we follow the ritual side of the film doesn’t give us a full scale of the time the two are performing them, but then again the story doesn’t focus on the rituals that much, rather focusing on what would be the correct decision made by the Sophia.

HorrorThe horror involved in this movie is mostly about what could happen with rituals are performed, we only get a moment of actual horror late in the film.

SettingsThe settings keep the two in one house for up to a year which gives the characters the much-needed isolation for the rituals to happen.

Special EffectsThe effects used in the film are save the few moments that need them and seem to be great practical use of them too.


Scene of the Movie –
Cross the line.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While you are left waiting for something to happen, not much does happen.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that focuses more in the drama of what could happen and following to people that need to focus on letting the past lay over trying to scare us.

 

Overall: A horror that lacks the scares.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Canal (2014)

canalDirector: Ivan Kavanagh

Writer: Ivan Kavanagh (Screenplay)

Starring: Rupert Evans, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Hannah Hoekstra, Kelly Byrne, Steve Oram, Calum Heath

 

Plot: Film archivist David (Rupert Evans) has been having a rough time lately, as he suspects that his wife Alice (Hannah Hoekstra) has been cheating on him with Alex (Carl Shaaban), one of her work clients. This stress is compounded when David’s work partner Claire (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) gives him a reel of to-be-archived footage that shows that his house was the setting for a brutal murder in 1902.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Filled Horror

 

Story: The Canal starts as we meet David (Evans) and his assistant Claire (Campbell-Hughes) the pair work as film archivists and use their work to show the films of the long since dead. David moves into a new house with his wife Alice (Hoekstra) as they look to start a family, five years later they have their own child Billy (Heath).

David gets a new set of former police footage that happens to show a crime in the very house he now lives in but his personal life isn’t going much better when David starts to suspect Alice of being in the middle of an affair. When the work starts showing up in his nightmares David starts to question parts of his own reality as he wonders just what is real, what is in his head and what he will do.

When Alice goes missing the night after David finds out she has been cheating on him it leads to a police search before her body is discovered at the bottom of the canal. David becomes obsessed with the idea that there is something inside the walls of his house but just how far into madness will this drive him.

The Canal is a film that puts us into a mystery horror where we have to watch how one man becomes paranoid about his house. Each scene almost gives us a false sense because it starts going one way only to turn in completely on its head. This is great because we can enjoy the idea of trying to guess what could happen without being too clear at all. The investigation and paranoia all works to drive this story as we just get drawn into this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Rupert Evans: David is a film archivist who has been married for years and even started his own family. As married life takes its toll on the couple David finds out that Alice has been cheating on him and his work has been testing his sanity. When Alice dies David wonders what has happened a he questions his own decisions on that night. Rupert is great in the leading role as we see his paranoia come through in his performance.

Antonia Campbell-Hughes: Claire is the assistant to David who agrees to help David figure out what really happened to Alice, she has always supporting David in his decisions but this one could be too much even for her. Antonia is good in this basic supporting performance.

Hannah Hoekstra: Alice is the wife of David, she has been cheating on him for over a year and is even meant to be leaving him but when she suddenly disappears before her body is discovered it leads to David trying to find the truth. Hannah is good in this small supporting role without being too involved in the final outcome.

Kelly Byrne: Sophie is the new stay at home nanny looking after Billy, she becomes part of the family and the mother figure Billy loses. Kelly is basic in this supporting performance without getting enough screen time.

Support Cast: The Canal has a small supporting cast with most extra cast members only being involved in one or two scenes.

Director Review: Ivan KavanaghIvan gives us a horror that channels many different elements from different cultures to give us the scares through the film.

 

Horror: The Canal has creepily created horror scares which do have moments that remind me of Asian horror.

Mystery: The Canal gives us a mystery to try and uncover as we watch David try and uncover the truth about the canal.

Thriller: The Canal keeps us on edge with the unsettling scenes David has to go through.

Settings: The Canal keeps most of the setting inside the house by the canal which helps us show his descent into madness.
Special Effects
: The Canal has great effects to create the horror in the film.

Suggestion: The Canal is one for all the horror fans to watch, it is rewarding watch for them all. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Claire watch the film.

Worst Part: Might come off too confusing.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Fear will pull you under

 

Overall: Mind bending thriller that keeps you guessing from start to finish.

Ratingcard

 

Sightseers (2012)

logoDirector: Ben Wheatley

Writer: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram (Screenplay)

Starring: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies, Tony Way, Monica Dolan, Jonathan Aris,

 

Plot: Chris wants to show girlfriend Tina his world, but events soon conspire against the couple and their dream caravan holiday takes a very wrong turn.

 

Verdict: Offbeat Comedy Horror

 

Story: We follow a couple going on their first holiday around the English countryside. While the days go past they get caught up in acting on a killing instinct. Before long they find themselves enjoying their new detour of their holiday and go on to kill people.

How often do you meet someone and take an instant dislike and want to get rid of them? This offers a chance to see what people do when they can. The holiday itself comes off very much like a real holiday people would have in England and the build of a short term relationship between the couple shows how things can change after the first couple of months. It all comes off very different and keeps your interest throughout without being anything fancy. (7/10)

 

Actor Reviewcouple

 

Alice Lowe: Tina going on her first holiday while still living with regret after her family dog was killed. She feels very bogged down by the her mother who keeps blaming her for the dogs death but soon finds a perfect little replacement to take on the journey from one of the victims. Good performance offering up a very real look at a socially awkward person on a holiday. (7/10)

 

Steve Oram: Chris taking his girlfriend on this trip to help him write a book, but soon his blood lust takes over after accidently killing a man who had made him angry. Good performance keeping both sides separate and looking like he fits in perfectly. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Mostly the victims they meet, they try to be nice but when people are not they start having accidents. They all help to make the story a little bit more interesting and offer interaction for our lead couple.

 

Director Review: Ben Wheatley – Does well to create a different horror comedy without it being too much comedy. (7/10)

 

Comedy: Quirky comedy used throughout. (6/10)

Horror: The killing spree offers solid horror side to the story. (7/10)

Settings: Each setting is well used to create the accidental death location. (9/10)

Suggestion: I think this will only work for certain people, it won’t appeal to all the horror fans out there. (Try It)

 

Best Part: One-liners after the kills

Worst Part: Will have to have a particular audience.

Favourite Quote: Chris ‘Tell that to the National Trust’

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Killers have never been this close-knit

 

Overall: Quirky Horror Comedy

Rating 70