Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Forest (2016)

After spending a portion of my day without service at softball practice, it is nice to finally relax some at the house. Now, maybe I can get to one of the projects. Over the past few days, I decided to check out a few different genres, and I continued that last light with 2016s The Forest.

Plot/ A woman goes into Japan's Suicide Forest to find her twin sister and confronts supernatural terror.

Last night after watching my final flick, I settled on The Forest, thinking that it would be a nice change of pace. While it did do that with its creepy atmosphere and interesting premise, it still left much of its potential on the table. The acting is solid, the cinematography works, and there is enough tension built throughout that makes you want more. Unfortunately, there is not enough meat to the attempted scares and they often are predictable and flat, the scripting almost ignores the forest, and some of the editing feels off. In the end, while this one has its positives, it never reaches its potential and ends up missing the mark. There are definitely better options out there.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann (2012)

I have many different writing projects going, and I absolutely love it! Last night I finished a rewrite of the back page description for Walking Before Dawn, knocked out two blog posts, and did some work on my After the Static project. Today, after some yard work and answering a few emails, I kicked back and enjoyed my last flick from Family Video: 2012s The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann.

Plot/ A violent sect of day-walking vampires seduces teenager Isabel Mann. Her classmates start to go missing, attracting two detectives. Things get weird as the disturbed teenager kills at will in the nearby woods.

This was the last movie that I picked up at Family Video and probably the one I enjoyed the most. While there were some of the typical low budget flaws present, for the most part, it came off in a rather impressive manner. The performances are decent, the storyline interesting, the cinematography and direction spot on, and the soundtrack blended perfectly with the script and movie. Yes, the pacing was a touch slow, the sound quality was uneven, and some of the elements may seem better suited for an art house film than true horror entry, but when you look at the movie as a whole, they are minimal issues. In the end, this movie is a different approach to the vampire mythos and one that works. Sure, some viewers may not like it (and that is understandable) because of the diverse scripting and scene choices, but those are only minor flaws. Check this one out.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Summoning (2017)

Last night as I was working on some of the smaller parts of a project, I decided to throw on one of the two movies I had left from Family Video. That movie is the next up for review: 2017s The Summoning.

Plot/ When a law student uncovers chilling secrets and places her life at risk, a bitter, and rough-around-the-edges detective is assigned to her case.

When I started this one last night, I was not sure what I was getting into. What I found was something that I probably should have expected with the low-budget status. Being a fan of smaller indie films, I understand the flaws, and this one definitely has some. However, it is not the worst thriller out there with an interesting premise (based on true events) with some solid performances sprinkled in. Unfortunately, the pacing is somewhat slow, the editing uneven, and the ending feels a bit off. In the end, this one had the potential to be a creepy thriller that would have been more memorable with some small adjustments.

ROTARY (2017) - Official Trailer

Urban legends are always intriguing and make great storylines for a film.  From LPA Films, this atmospheric horror/thriller takes on the classic legend of the babysitter and the man upstairs. Inspired by a true case of terror, the unsolved 1950 murder of Janet Christman, Rotary begins 18-years later as another young girl is tormented by strange and unsettling occurrences while babysitting.

Rotary Movie

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Elder Island (2016)

Last night, I decided to spend some more time working on Surviving the Static, the accompanying blog to After the Static. That didn’t stop me from catching a movie as I worked. That film was the 2016 slasher, Elder Island.

Plot/ A group of men secretly buried a body on Graves Island, and the reign of America's first and only king ended; but for every end, there is always a new beginning, for evil was born that night. Five families have always controlled the Island. Five families share the Island's fortune; five families share its curse.

When I sat down last night to watch this one, I had actually forgotten the premise, which drew me in when I rented it. What I found was a decent slasher (that fit in perfect after the Scream Season 2 marathon). Somewhat based on an actual piece of history, this movie does a great job at weaving the slasher genre into the events. Along with that, the performances are decent, the idea compelling, and the overall feel is solid. Unfortunately, there are some pacing issues, the backstory almost drowns the main storyline at times, and the editing feels choppy and a touch incoherent at times. In the end, this was a decent slasher done on what had to be a smaller budget. It may not be the best one out there, but it was entertaining enough to keep my attention.