IO (2019)

Director: Jonathan Helpert

Writer: Clay Jeter, Charles Spano, Will Basanta (Screenplay)

Starring: Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston, Tom Payne


Plot: As a young scientist searches for a way to save a dying Earth, she finds a connection with a man who’s racing to catch the last shuttle off the planet.


Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Simple Sci-Fi Movie


Story: IO starts as the Earth has become on the verge of uninhabitable, ships have gone into space to produce a colony in space by Jupiter’s moon Io, while back on Earth Sam (Qualley) is doing final research to see if the Earth is returning to better days. When a new safety zone planet is discovered the mission in space changes and Sam must rush to the final mission into space before she is left on Earth forever. Joined by stranger Micah (Mackie) who is in search for her father Harry (Huston) the pair work together to decide their own futures.


Thoughts on IO


Characters – Sam is one of the few remaining humans on Earth, she has been working on research which could prove there is still hope on Earth, even though her research gets destroyed, she must make the decision to find her love in space, when the last mission off the planet get announced. Micah is the stranger that came to the research site, searching for Harry, he reluctantly decides to help Sam out, while harbouring his own secret for his journey. Harry is the father of Sam, one of the few scientists that told people to remain on Earth, we only see him through flashbacks and video clips though.

PerformancesThis is a two-person performance, with Anthony Mackie in the supporting of the two, we know his talent which he gets to show off here. Margaret Qualley is the new name for me and she does everything needed to make us care about her characters isolation on Earth.

StoryThe story here follows two of the remaining survivors on Earth after an evacuation has seen mass number move deeper into space in search of a new home, one that hasn’t been destroyed. Now we don’t focus on any of the space side of this film which is something you need to prepare for. We focus on the idea of the last few survivors must make the decision on what to do next, leave or stay, this is shown through a series of conversations about what is left, what could change if they left and could Earth be ready to change back to a habitable environment. This is nice to watch because these types of questions are what can drive plenty of real-world questions too. Certain character decisions are however questionable and by the end it just feels like we had something of nothing by the end.

Adventure/Sci-FiThe film uses the adventure side of the film to show just how far the survivors would have to go if they want to leave Earth, the sci-fi side of the film poses the questions about what would happen if Earth became uninhabitable, think part of what Interstellar offered us without showing us the space missions.

SettingsThe film is set in a lone research location, it is in a known safety zone, with the danger zones needing masks to survive in, this is a very much dust covered world which helps us feel like part of this world.

Scene of the Movie –
The landing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Character decisions.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thinking sci-fi film which does help us understand what is going on, there isn’t much action going on here, but will ask the audience questions.


Overall: Thinking sci-fi film.





Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Task (2011)

taskDirector: Alex Orwell

Writer: Kenny Yakkel (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexandra Staden, Victor McGuire, Sean McConaghy, Adam Rayner, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Ashely Mulheron, Amara Karan, Tom Payne, Marc Pickering


Plot: A group of reality show contestants must survive the night in a haunted jail.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Poor Horror


Story: The Task starts as we meet our contestants with Dixon (Battle) being the last to be kidnapped and taken to a remote location to be part of the latest new reality run by Connie (Staden). The show includes Toni (Karan), Stanton (Payne), Randall (Pickering), Dixon (Battle), Angel (Campbell-Hughes) and Show (Mulheron) who have to stay in an abandoned prison for the night.

With the game under way the six contestants have to follow a string of tasks around the prison but it soon turns out that the game show set up are not the only people inside the prison when a serial killer makes the contestants fight for their lives.

The Task is a horror film that does have a good idea with the tasks being set against the contestants fears but this gets forgotten when a real killer turns up. Ok I can deal with this happening and it works for what the film is trying to do but things get worse because we get a false finish we all know can’t be true and this ends up throwing out either a false twist ending which it tries and the actual ending. This horror ends up getting stuck in the middle without taking control over either side of the horror elements.


Actor Review


Antonia Campbell-Hughes: Angel is our leading lady within the game coming off fearless within the tasks and having to find her own way out of the game alive. Antonia is solid but no really star in this role.

Tom Payne: Stanton is one of the contestants who has entered along with his sister. He is a wild spirit being the cocky guy within the group. Tom has become well known because of his recent work in the Walking Dead as Jesus but this really is a standard horror role.

Texas Battle: Dixon is the last person to get kidnapped for the game and where the character have to face their fears he find himself stuck in the hole while everyone is getting picked off. Texas doesn’t really get enough to do until the final act so it is hard to judge his performance in a leading role.

Amara Karan: Toni is the brains of the contestants who find herself having to remember the instructions the others forget knowing she needs them for the money. She also finds herself isolated out of the game early on. Amara does a basic job but again is a poorly written character.

Support Cast: The Task has a supporting cast which include the behind the cameras guys that really go feel like what Cabin in the Woods did and a few other contestants who does give too much to the overall feel.

Director Review: Alex OrwellAlex does give us a basic horror that fails on the scares and doesn’t help itself with the false ending.


Horror: The Task tries to put us into a face your fears horror only to quickly change into a survival style horror but never moving between the two enough to work as either.

Settings: The Task does keep everything inside the prison which does work very well for the film.
Special Effects
: The Task has simple effects that never really do anything original or breath-taking.

Suggestion: The Task is one I do feel the horror fans could watch late night on television one day but otherwise it can be skipped. (Late Night TV)


Best Part: Concept

Worst Part: Mixing the two horrors don’t work.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: The Audience Isn’t The Only One Watching.


Overall: Sloppy horror that just never makes up its own mind of the genre.