ABC Film Challenge – Horror – M – Mongolian Death Worm (2010)

Director: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Neil Elman, Kevin Leeson, Steven R Monroe (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Patrick Flanery, Victoria Pratt, George Cheung, Drew Waters, Matthew Tompkins, Nate Rubin

 

Plot: When an American oil company sets up an experimental drilling plant out in the vast deserts of Mongolia, they awaken a nest. The deadly creatures begin to breed and spread, devouring everyone in their path.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: ABC Creature Feature

 

Story: Mongolian Death Worm starts as the American Drilling company in Mongolia (where else could this film be set with this title) have disturbed a creature below the surfaces that the locals believe is a myth that will come and take people. We also have a treasure hunter Daniel (Flanery) that has never made himself popular with the locals apart from the Sheriff Timur (Cheung). To increase the stakes, we also have a village with an outbreak of a virus that the charity HOPE and Dr Alicia (Pratt) are trying to cure must pay Daniel to take them to the village.

When the myth turns out to be true everyone must put aside their differences to fight to survive from the Mongolian Death Worms that are growing in numbers through the desert.

 

Thoughts on Mongolian Death Worm

 

Characters – Daniel is a treasure hunter searching for the burial grounds of Genghis Khan but has made his own enemies in the land but also knows how to handle himself, he isn’t the kindest of people always doing things for money over the right reasons, Alicia is a doctor that has been helping the locals of Mongolia with a virus outbreak and she is willing to die to save these people. Timur is the sheriff that is one of the few people that enjoys the company of Daniel and understands that he is harmless at heart.

PerformanceSean Patrick Flanery does seem to have fallen from the graces where he was about to make it to the big time but he is the star of this show. Victoria Pratt is fine in the supporting role with the brains and beauty needed for the film and George Cheung gives us the laughs when needed.

StoryThe story does mix myth with legend when it comes to dealing with new inhabitants to a land that must face the idea that a myth isn’t just a myth and must work together to defeat a creature in this case a Mongolian Death Worm. This is an easy to watch story as it is mostly a group of people needing to battle an unknown enemy before they take over the local area.

Action/HorrorThe action is mostly chases through the film which works when it comes to the enemies the people are facing with the horror side of the movie all coming from the creature feature idea which is always a lot of fun to watch.

SettingsThe film is set in Mongolia but this looks like it could be anywhere in the USA or anywhere that has dirt roads.

Special EffectsThe effects are better than I was expecting but still within the budget of a TV movie.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The film could have been filmed in any location it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple creature feature that is a lot better than what I was expecting without being one of the best creature features you will see, I do think the fact it isn’t laughably bad does hinder it though.

 

Overall: Solid creature feature.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (2015)

Director: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Matt Venne (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa, Gina Holden, Peter MacNeill, Daina Leitold

 

Plot: Taking place years after The Haunting of Molly Hartley, who now, as an adult, has fallen under the possession of an evil spirit and must be exorcised by a fallen priest before the devil completely takes her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Extreme Exorcism

 

Story: The Exorcism of Molly Hartley starts as we see how young priest Father John Barrow (Sawa) gets led astray during an exorcism, disgraced and banned from the practise. Moving onto meeting Molly Hartley (Lind) celebrating her 24th birthday with a promotion to partner with friends.

When the partying gets out of hand Molly wakes up to two dead bodies with the police ready to arrest her and Molly becoming possessed. Moly finds herself in a religious mental home, the same one where Father Barrow is trying to redeem himself.

Dr Laurie Hawthorne (Holden) tries to treat Molly which includes looking into her past and a previous possession, the only option Laurie can find is to turn to Father Barrow to perform an exorcism inside the mental asylum.

 

Thoughts on The Exorcism of Molly Hartley

 

Characters/PerformanceMolly is the over successful woman in business who finds herself possessed thanks to her past, that seems like all we learn about her. Father Barrow is a priest who wants to make up for his error in a previous exorcism.  Dr Hawthorne is just the doctor trying to get to the bottom of what could be wrong with Molly.

Performance wise, well this is going to be fun, first Sarah Lind just seems to follow every textbook on what an exorcism could look like and nothing more, Devon Sawa at least puts some effort in but doesn’t reach his Final Destination level. Gina Holden also seems to disappear part the way through this film.

StoryExorcism stories are always going to be hard because let’s face it The Exorcist is the granddaddy of them all, so everything just feels like it is trying to keep things up to that level without ever being able too. This story does keep the traditional exorcism routine while trying to balance the idea that she could just be an unstable woman, but sadly this does just fall into the mix of been here seen this, the main reason why I am not the biggest fan of the exorcism sub-genre.

HorrorDo you find exorcism scary, well if the answer is yes then you should get the horror elements out of this, if no you won’t get anything from the horror side of the film.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in a mental asylum which does give us a fresh idea of how to treat an exorcism but it doesn’t look into the doctor treatment with this location.

Special EffectsWe have basic special effects for horror but not much is needed for the film.

Final ThoughtsI personally don’t find many exorcism films scary so for me this just didn’t hit the horror marks for me

 

Overall: Simple exorcism film that isn’t memorable enough.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Grave Halloween (2013)

logoDirector: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Ryan W Smith, Sheldon Wilson (Screenplay)

Starring: Kaitlyn Leeb, Cassi Thomson, Graham Wardle, Dejan Loyola, Jeffrey Ballard, Hiro Kanagawa, Jesse Wheeler, Tom Stevens, Kevan Ohtsji

Plot: Suicide forest is just a name – isn’t it? Miko intends to find out, even if it means uncovering the sad truth about her mothers suicide.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: If you go down to the woods today you will die

Story: Grave Halloween starts with Maiko (Leeb) dreaming as she searches a forest looking for her mother who has mysteriously died in the forest. Maiko is at university and about to head of to film a documentary with Amber (Thomson), Kyle (Wardle) and Terry (Loyola) as they go in search of Maiko’s mother. The buddying young film crew are heading into suicide forest and world famous forest for the unusually high amounts of suicide taking place there.

Our group of friends arrive at the forest first seeing an abandoned car, followed by a body being carried out before getting shown the way by mysterious stranger Jin (Kanagawa). The deeper the friends get into the forest the increased number of strange events start happening as they find out they might not be alone in the forest and the suicides might have more to them.

Grave Halloween uses a concept that does actual interest me because I have heard about this forest before but this film almost exploits the idea. This also could have been an awful found footage luckily we are saved from that horror because the build up. Saying all this I did find it slightly disrespectful towards the victims of the real forest and also found it confusing how we only has American characters in Japan apart from the authorities. I feel this film really struggles to get started and flows at a very slow pace throughout. It does hold out on the kills for a long time but never really hints at what will happen which I guess would be a good thing but in the end it feels very forced and boring. (3/10)

Actor Review

Kaitlyn Leeb: Maiko has agreed to do a documentary about the search for the location where her mother committed suicide months before, she guides the team into the forest known for its high suicide rate. Kaitlyn does a ok job in the role but is never believable as a leading lady. (4/10)

Cassi Thomson: Amber is the ambitious producer using this film as her work at university. She has a team she trusts and even after ending up with a back up member she tries to make the best she can. Cassi does seem to have to do the extra amount of screaming in the film but that seems like her main point in the film. (3/10)

Graham Wardle: Kyle is the last minute replacement camera man who is much more experienced to there original member. Graham fills the reluctant hero role well but never does anything special. (4/10)

Dejan Loyola: Terry is the sound guy working in the crew that has to explain why the previous cameraman left the project. Terry gets trapped in the forest with Amber but let’s face it he is the supporting disposable character. Dejan makes for solid enough supporting disposable character but nothing too important. (4/10)

Support Cast: Grave Halloween has a supporting cast that includes the rest of the victims as well as the ghostly spirits.

Director Review: Steven R MonroeSteven doesn’t do the best job directing because he never makes you too interested in the characters r what is going on. (3/10)

Horror: Grave Halloween has very basic jump scares with a couple of good gore moments. (6/10)

Settings: Grave Halloween does put us in a good isolated location which does help increase the horror ideas. (8/10)
Special Effects: Grave Halloween uses good effects with the kills and gore filled moments. (7/10)

Suggestion: Grave Halloween is one to maybe try on a late night television but in the end it is easy enough to avoid. (Late Night TV)

Best Part: Amber’s leg scene.

Worst Part: Very slow.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: No one survives in the suicide forest

Overall: Slow, scare-less horror film that never really gets interested.

Rating 25