Franchise Weekend – The Messengers (2007)

Director: Danny Pang, Oxide Chun Pang

Writer: Mark Wheaton (Screenplay) Todd Farmer (Story)

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller, John Corbett, William B Davis

 

Plot: An ominous darkness invades a seemingly serene sunflower farm in North Dakota, and the Solomon family is torn apart by suspicion, mayhem and murder.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easily Forgettable

 

Story: The Messengers starts as Solomon family Roy (McDermott), Denise (Miller), daughter Jess (Stewart) and baby Ben move to a farm house which has been abandoned for years after a serious of horrific events.

It doesn’t take long before Jess discovers ghostly figures attracted to Ben but they are never around when her parents are around, turning to the farm hand Burwell (Corbett) she learns more about what could cause everything but just how much danger is the family in?

 

Thoughts on The Messengers

 

Characters/PerformanceRoy has struggled for work to supporting his family for a couple of years and will do everything to make this new home work for them, Denise is the wife that is struggling to connect with their daughter the way they once did. Jess is the teenage daughter that must live with an accident she caused but finds herself distant from her parents.

Performance wise, you can see here just how far Stewart has come because she does struggle in the leading role here but now she can give us powerhouse performances like Personal Shopper, the rest of the cast are fine but nothing more.

StoryThe story is simple, a family looking for fresh start must deal with their demons to bring the divide in the family back together while dealing with a supernatural presence in the new home. This isn’t very original and does get slightly stuck between supernatural and real events never giving us a reason why the supernatural side happens in the first place.

Horror/Mystery The horror is mostly stuff running around behind the characters and lazy jump scares, the mystery is mostly about what happened before and why is it happening again.

SettingsMost of the film or at least the horror elements take place on the farm house which I guess does work for the film.

Special EffectsThe special effects are mostly weak throughout leaving us to not believe too much of what we see.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple, easy to watch horror mystery, it doesn’t test you enough on the horror or mystery side of things though.

 

Overall: Lacklustre horror mystery.

Rating

 

 

The Thaw (2009)

logoDirector: Mark A Lewis

Writer: Mark A Lewis, Michael Lewis (Screenplay)

Starring: Val Kilmer, William B Davis, Garry Chalk, Peter Kelamis, Brenda Crichlow, Anne Marie DeLuise, Kyle Schmid, Steph Song, Aaron Ashmore, Martha MacIsaac, Viv Leacock,

 

Plot: A research expedition to the Arctic discovers that a melting polar ice cap has released a deadly prehistoric parasite.

 

Verdict: Poor Man’s The Thing

 

Story: We follow a renowned scientist and his team make a shock discovery on the edges of the Arctic Circle, one that could change the world, a virus. We also see a group of students who get to work with the scientist along with his daughter get bought up to the camp only to find it abandoned. What the team discover is a dead polar bear, but what is more disturbing is the fact the group find out there is some kind of bug with them that infects anyone they get in contact with.

With this story we do get to enter into the idea of cabin fever taking over with the infection spreading. It does turn into an eco-campaign/warning about how the world could be in danger with global warming. It looks at how an infection from a time past could be devastating on the world now and how we have to use knowledge to stop it spreading. It offers our student plenty of mystery to try and work through. After seeing this a couple of times it does show re-watch value but it does end up having a few main plots taken from larger know films. It is interesting, but never goes into enough details for the facts it tries to go for. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Val Kilmer: David scientist who has a difficult relationship with his daughter and his scientific celebrity status makes it hard to give up his research. He has discovered something terrible but in the end he is too late to stop his daughter joining them on the research site. Not sure why Val is in this film, he looks a little bit out of place. (4/10)

 val

Martha MacIsaac: Evelyn daughter of David who has been asked to join for the complete amount of money left by her mother. Even after being told not to go she goes and ends up having to be the brains of the act outsmarting all the students when it comes to the science. Good leadership performance but is that right for the story with student scientist. (6/10)

atom evelyn

Aaron Ashmore: Atom the first of the three students who is on the research team. He is the one who actually ends up taking control and realizes that they will need to make sacrifice to save humanity. Solid performance from Aaron. (6/10)

 

Steph Song: Ling Chen one of the students on the research team, she is the first to become infected after getting bitten by the bugs. Solid performance as the victim who has to go through the most. (5/10)

 

Kyle Schmid: Federico the last member of the team who ends up becoming the violent side of the cabin fever experience. He becomes threatened by the chance he might die after his girlfriend gets sick he panics and shoots first. Solid performance as the panicked member of the team. (6/10)

 kyle

Support Cast: With the supporting cast being other members of the team who have to deal with the problems, most are disposable characters.

 

Director Review: Mark A Lewis – Does a ok job creating a group isolation survival film but ends up getting caught up in an attempt to mix too many previous films. (6/10)

 

Horror: With the reality of what could happen makes for a good horror and with the cabin fever feeling all works out well. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: It is a look at what could happen in the future. (6/10)

Thriller: It keeps you guessing but never managers to pull you complete in. (6/10)

Settings: The isolation factor works really well for this film, it shows that if you were to get trapped you would need to do something to survive. (10/10)
Special Effects
: A lot of CGI effects to create the bug, but some good practical ones to make the effects on the people. (7/10)

Suggestion: This is one to try, it will feel like a cheaper version of other films but still has a few moments that shine. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The way the warning is made to be real.

Worst Part: Been here, seen that.

Believability: It could be a real chance of happening. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could have one, but unlikely

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: This spring, the sacrifice begins

 

Overall: Frost Bitten Thriller We Have Seen Before

Rating 60

The X-Files (1998)

logoDirector: Rob Bowman

Writer: Chris Carter (Screenplay) Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz (Story)

Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, John Neville, William B. Davis, Martin Landau, Mitch Pileggi, Jeffrey DeMunn, Blythe Danner, Terry O’Quinn

 

Plot: With problems appearing between FBI agents Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson), a dangerous conspiracy is starting to appear. A deadly virus, which appears to be of extra-terrestrial origin has appeared, which could destroy all life on Earth. With the help of a paranoid doctor Alvin Kurtzweil (Landau) Mulder and Scully must act fast in order to save everyone on the planet.

 

Verdict: The Conspiracy continues.

 

Story: In what feels like a bonus extra-long episode of the show you be believed that nothing has changed. They do get closer to the truth than they have got before but this could easily be just another season finale. If you watched the show you know what is coming and how they get there so don’t expect a new challenging story. (8/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

David Duchovny: Mulder always believing in something out there and constantly get Scully involved even when she doesn’t believe him. Good performance as the conspiracy crazy FBI agent. (8/10)

 mulder

Gillian Anderson: Scully after trying to move on with her career she ends up getting pulled back into the hunt for the truth. Good performance but much like David it is nothing more than we get off the TV show. (8/10)

scully

Director Review: Rob Bowman – Creates an enjoyable film that keeps you interested from start to finish. (7/10)

 

Mystery: The show always created mystery this continues it. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: Uses its sci-fi elements very well. (9/10)

Thriller: Not quite edge of the seat but keeps your attention. (7/10)

Settings: Uses some isolated location to add to the conspiracy of what is going on in the places people don’t go to. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Good use of special effects throughout. (8/10)

Suggestion: It would be fair to say this is only one for the actual fans of the show, certain things wouldn’t add up completely if you haven’t. (Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The bee defence system is good.

Worst Part: Not needed film if show was still going on.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final scene

Believability: Depends what you want to believe. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes has one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $189,176,423

Budget: $66million

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

Tagline: Discover the past, live the present, fight the future.

Trivia:Chris Carter wanted 5 season show then films, but Fox made him write the film to fill in the gaps between season 5 and 6.

 

Overall: The Truth Continues to Alluded Mulder

Rating 71