REVIEW: THE APPARITION

CAST

Ashley Greene (Twilight)
Sebastian Stan (I’Tonya)
Tom Felton (The Flash)
Julianna Guill (Friday The 13th)
Rick Gomez (Band of Brothers)
Luke Pasqualino (Love Bite)
Anna Clark (The Event)
Suzanne Ford (Grace and Frankie)

Ashley Greene in The Apparition (2012)On May 21, 1973, six people conduct The Charles Experiment, a parapsychological experiment, in which they stare at a drawing of a deceased man, Charles Reamer, hoping to summon his spirit. Years later, four college students, Patrick (Tom Felton), Lydia (Julianna Guill), Ben (Sebastian Stan) and Greg (Luke Pasqualino) attempt to recreate the Charles Experiment on a larger scale by using modern technology. During the experiment, something attacks the students and pulls Lydia into the wall.Ashley Greene in The Apparition (2012)Some time later, Ben and his girlfriend Kelly (Ashley Greene) are living together. One evening, they discover strange burn marks on their counters. Kelly finds both doors wide open, even though they had locked them. They decide to change the locks and install surveillance cameras. Later, Kelly finds a large amount of mold and spores on the laundry room floor while Ben finds even more in a crawlspace. Ben gets 36 “urgent” emails from Patrick that first inform him of a new attempt at the Charles Experiment, followed by a warning that “containment failed” and finally “you are in danger”.Tom Felton, Sebastian Stan, and Ashley Greene in The Apparition (2012)After witnessing an apparition, the couple go to a hotel, but they are attacked there as well. As they flee, they receive a call from Patrick and meet him. Patrick explains that the initial experiment enabled a malevolent entity to enter their world, but that he has built a room surrounded by a negative current that he believes protects him from it. They return to Kelly and Ben’s house to try a new experiment to contain the entity. During the experiment, the house begins to shake and break apart, then abruptly stops. While Kelly and Ben are outside, Patrick is pulled into the darkness and vanishes. Unable to find Patrick, they flee to the safety chamber in his house.Inside the house, they hear Patrick’s personal log being played back, including information about the members of the original experiment. Of the original six, two died, one committed suicide and the other three disappeared. After entering the safety chamber, Ben disappears. Kelly exits the chamber and finds Ben’s contorted corpse. Patrick’s narration explains that the entity gets stronger with each person it claims, and that it will wear its victims down until they are too weak to resist. With no escape, Kelly wanders around, and enters an empty Costco. She walks to the camping section, enters a tent and waits to be killed by the entity, having fully given up resisting. A number of hands appear from behind and the entity slowly grabs hold of her as the movie cuts to black.Most thrillers or horror movies offer the same premise and that is almost to be expected these days, that is until those rare offerings are delivered like The Apparition. I appreciate that it wasn’t riddled with special effects which are often crammed in to confuse or misdirect viewers. In fact it depends on the viewer to watch the story unveil itself. The acting was very natural and I found the shots visually interesting especially during the closing credits. The score reminded me a little of Cliff Martinez(Contagion, Traffic) which I like and feel added something special to the mood of the film. I genuinely enjoyed it and encourage Thriller/Mystery goers to check out The Apparition. Enjoy!

 

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REVIE: LOVELY MOLLY

CAST

Gretchen Lodge (Camera Obscura)
Alexandra Holden  (The Hot Chick)
Johnny Lewis (Sons of Anarchy)

Gretchen Lodge in Lovely Molly (2011)The film opens with a video recording of Molly apologizing for her actions and attempting to slit her throat with a knife. The date is October 16, 2011, and much of the movie is revealed in flashback via video. The film proceeds with the events during the wedding of Tim (Johnny Lewis) and Molly (Gretchen Lodge), after which the couple move into Molly’s childhood home with the help of Molly’s sister, Hannah (Alexandra Holden).Gretchen Lodge in Lovely Molly (2011)Not long after the wedding, the couple are startled in their sleep when the alarm system buzzes. They call the police but the officer finds no evidence of forced entry. Shortly afterwards, Tim, a truck driver, must leave town for a few days, leaving Molly, a recovering heroin addict, alone. The film is then interspersed by images from a video camera where someone, most likely Molly, wanders the house, and reveals a hidden underground shrine in the shed. While in her childhood room, she hears something in her closet, although it is not revealed who is inside. Upon his return, Tim discovers Molly naked and staring blankly into one corner of her bedroom. She seems delusional and later cannot remember telling him “he is alive.”Lovely Molly (2011)Molly begins to record a little girl and her mother who live not far from her house. One night, Molly hears a noise from the backdoor and tries to lock it, but is suddenly pushed back by an unknown force. Shortly afterwards, at work, Molly hears someone whispering her name. A man begins to quietly sing the traditional song “Lovely Molly”, accompanied by the sound of hooves. The next day, Molly is summoned by her boss, who shows Molly the surveillance camera footage, which seems to show Molly being sexually assaulted by an unknown force. Molly becomes hysterical and is sent home with her sister.Lovely Molly (2011)Molly’s condition turns worse, filming and talking to a dead deer, and attempting to seduce the local pastor. Fearing for her safety, Tim takes Molly to the doctor, but is advised she is healthy physically. That night, Molly attacks Tim and bites his lips, nearly pulling them off before fleeing. Terrified, Tim calls Hannah, who urges him to seek medical care. In the basement, Hannah finds that Molly has been keeping a rotting deer, which she stabs repeatedly, screaming that their father told her how Hannah killed him. Hannah replies that she was protecting herself and the young Molly from their father, and begs her to come stay with her and her son Peter. Molly refuses and then begins giggling, saying that if she does, her father will gut Peter ‘from belly to throat.’Gretchen Lodge in Lovely Molly (2011)More video is shown, spying on the young girl’s family. The video pans and a distraught Tim sits with the mother on the couch. It is clear they are familiar, and the mother begins oral sex on Tim. A car pulls up the drive and it is revealed to be Pastor Bobby: Molly emerges from the house naked and the two embrace. Shortly afterwards, Pastor Bobby is seen in the bathtub, dead and covered in blood and bites. Tim goes back to the house and finds the video camera left playing on the bed, showing a recording of himself with the neighbour. Molly strikes him across the head with a bat, drags him downstairs, and kills him by stabbing him in the head with a screwdriver, the same way Pastor Bobby was killed. Another video edit shows the police in the woods digging, pulling away to reveal the body of the young girl. The mother sobs, and Molly slips away. Afterwards, Molly lies naked and sobbing on the floor until her attitude abruptly changes and she shows a half smile. She walks out of the backdoor naked towards a tall figure with glowing eyes, a horse head and body of a man (resembling the demon Orobas).In the aftermath, the couple’s house is up for sale. There is no clear answer as to Molly’s whereabouts or her disappearance, but time has clearly passed. In their old bedroom, Hannah finds the family photo album on the floor. Flipping through the pages, she sees that their father’s face has been covered with horse heads from his frame collection. Hearing a noise from the closet, she opens it and in a trance-like state reaches her arm towards something unseen, similar to Molly’s discovery earlier.Lovely Molly is an ambiguous horror movie. This is basically the debut of the unknown Gretchen Lodge and she delivers a top-notch performance. The screenplay is a little messy and the director fails in the conclusion, and maybe this is the reason of the bad reviews, but still a good horror for a rainy day.

REVIEW: THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE

CAST

Emile Hirsch (Alpha Dog)
Brian Cox (Manhunter)
Ophelia Lovibond (4.3.2.1.)
Michael McElhatton (Game of Thrones)
Olwen Kelly (Winter Ridge)
Parker Sawyers (Zero Dark Thirty)

Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, and Ophelia Lovibond in The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)The corpse of an unidentified woman is found at the scene of a bloody and bizarre homicide. The sheriff finds no signs of forced entry, though he suggests that the victims were trying to escape from the residence. Emma visits her boyfriend, Austin, and his father, Tommy, who is the coroner in their small town. Tommy explains to her that coroners in the past used to tie bells to bodies to make sure they were actually dead, not comatose. The sheriff arrives with the mysterious body, dubbed Jane Doe, and tells Tommy that he needs the cause of death by morning. Austin postpones his date with Emma to help Tommy, promising to meet her later that evening.Emile Hirsch in The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)Tommy and Austin perform the autopsy on Jane Doe and quickly become confused by what they find. There are no external visible signs of trauma, but her wrist and ankle bones had been shattered. As well, her tongue has been crudely cut out, one of her molars is missing, her lungs are blackened as though she had suffered third degree burns, and her internal organs reveal numerous cuts and scarring. Jimsonweed, a paralyzing agent not native to the area, is found in her stomach. The condition of much of the body suggests that death had just occurred, while cloudiness of the corpse’s eyes suggests that she had been dead for a few days. Other mysterious events occur. The radio begins to spontaneously change stations, frequently settling on the song “Open Up Your Heart (And Let the Sunshine In)”, and Austin hears sounds and believes he sees people standing in the morgue’s hallway. He also finds their cat mortally wounded, hiding in an air duct. News reports on the radio state that a severe storm is about to hit the area, but Tommy and Austin decide to stay and finish the autopsy.Tommy finds the woman’s missing tooth wrapped in a piece of cloth in her stomach. The cloth has Roman numerals and letters as well as an odd diagram. Similar symbols are found on the inside of her skin. The lights in the room suddenly explode. During the confusion, they realize that other corpses in the morgue have gone missing. They decide to leave, but the elevator does not work and a fallen tree is blocking the exit door. An unseen figure attacks Tommy in the bathroom, leaving bruises on his body. Austin and Tommy decide to burn Jane Doe’s body. Unable to get to the cremation furnace, they set her ablaze in the exam room. The fire spreads rapidly; Tommy puts it out with an extinguisher but is disturbed to find the body has not burned. When the elevator turns back on, Tommy and Austin try to use it to escape but the doors will not close. Panicked, Tommy uses an axe against what he believes to be one of the animated corpses. When he and Austin exit the elevator, they discover he has actually killed Emma, who had returned to pick up Austin for their date.Olwen Catherine Kelly in The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)Certain that Jane Doe’s corpse has been preventing them from finding out the truth about her death, they return to the examination room. Tests determine that Jane Doe’s brain tissue cells remain active, proving that she is somehow still alive. Further examination of the cloth determines that the markings refer to Leviticus 20:27, which condemns witches, and the year 1693, the date of the Salem witch trials. Tommy and Austin reason that in their attempt to punish a witch, the Salem authorities instead transformed an innocent woman into a witch who now wants revenge. Tommy offers himself to the corpse as a sacrifice, hoping that she will spare Austin. Tommy’s ankles and wrists shatter, mimicking the wounds on the corpse. Tommy forces his son to kill him to end his misery, Austin reluctantly stabs his father on the chest with knife. Believing he hears the sheriff outside, Austin tries to flee but realizes the voice is another hallucination. Startled by a vision of Tommy’s corpse, Austin trips over the railing and falls to his death. The police arrive the next morning and are again confused by another inexplicable crime scene. The corpse, showing no signs of an autopsy, is taken to another county. During the ambulance ride, the radio begins to play “Open Up Your Heart (And Let the Sunshine In)”, the camera moves across her body settling on her feet, her big toe twitches.Olwen Catherine Kelly in The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)Where this film really succeeds is in doing something a lot of modern horror has forgotten about – it toys with the viewers imagination, creating an uneasy feeling out of the narrative, half light, sound and shadow. This is not to say you don’t get to see anything grotesque or unsettling, as certain scenes are not for the squeamish.

REVIEW: EDEN LAKE

CAST

Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes)
Michael Fassbender (Alien: Covenant)
Jack O’Connell (The Liability)
James Gandhi (My Life as Popat)
Thomas Turgoose (This is England)
Bronson Webb (Victor Frankenstein)
Shaun Dooley (The Awakening)
Finn Atkins (Once Upon A Time In The Midlands)

Nursery school teacher Jenny (Kelly Reilly) and her boyfriend, Steve (Michael Fassbender), journey to a remote lake in the wooded English countryside. Hiking to the lakeside, they meet Adam, a young boy gathering insects. Relaxing beside the lake, the setting is disrupted by delinquent teenagers and their dog, who have ridden their bicycles to a spot within a few metres of the young couple. After they sleep overnight in their tent, they find their food infested with insects and their car tire damaged by a bottle left behind by the teens.Returning to town for breakfast, Steve spots a house with the bikes he thinks belongs to the kids. When no one answers the door, he walks into the house, narrowly escaping as the surly homeowner returns. Back at the lake, Steve goes scuba diving while Jenny sleeps on the shore. Steve returns to find the bag with their car keys, phone and wallet is missing, soon confirming that their car is gone. Returning to town on foot, they avoid collision with their car, driven recklessly through the woods by the gang’s sociopathic leader, Brett (Jack O’Connell). Finding the gang in the woods after nightfall, Steve demands the return of his belongings, only to be attacked by the knife wielding teens. In the scuffle, Brett’s dog is mortally knifed, fuelling Brett’s lust for revenge. The couple grab their keys and drive off, but the gang attacks with stones and Steve crashes in the dark forest. Steve is trapped and Jenny runs for help.Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender in Eden Lake (2008)At daybreak, Jenny sees Steve tied up in barbed wire in a small clearing. Brett forces each reluctant teen to torture Steve. Paige, a female gang member and Brett’s psychopathic equivalent, records it on her phone, causing them to realize they have no choice but to kill Steve. The gang spots Jenny and gives chase, allowing Steve time to free himself. Jenny evades the gang and finds Steve, unable to nurse his many deep wounds and finds an engagement ring, leading Steve to propose even as he is in severe pain. After Jenny again heads off for help, she injures her foot on a large spike, her scream attracting the gang. She soon runs into Adam and pleads for his help, but he fears the gang and texts them to hand her over.Kelly Reilly in Eden Lake (2008)The gang tie Jenny, and a now dead Steve, to a pile of wood. Brett forces Adam to set the bonfire while Paige films. Jenny is able to escape and the gang burn Adam to death. Jenny continues to evade the gang, reactively killing gang member Cooper who was actually attempting to help her. When the gang find the body, Brett is thrown into further rage, killing another gang member and causing Paige to run away from him. Jenny reaches a road and is picked up by a driver who is looking for his brother, Ricky, another gang member. When the driver exits the van to talk with the gang, Jenny panics and steals the van, speeds off, and intentionally runs over and kills Paige while making her way back to town. She makes it to town, crashing into a fence at a large backyard party. Awaking, she finds herself being comforted by an unknown woman. She discovers she is in Brett’s house and heads to the bathroom. Brett’s father notices the van on his lawn and one of the parents receives a call informing her of the dead gang members, who are the children of the adults at the house.Kelly Reilly, Jack O'Connell, Thomas Turgoose, and Jumayn Hunter in Eden Lake (2008)A commotion begins in the house and the bathroom door is kicked open as Jenny is confronted by Brett, his father, and party guests. Brett has convinced the parents that the teens have been sadistically murdered by Jenny and Steve. Upstairs, Brett shuts the door of his room, blocking the sounds of Jenny’s screams as she is presumably killed by Brett’s father. He deletes the videos of the gang’s crimes from Paige’s phone and puts on Steve’s sunglasses, as he stares emotionlessly into the mirror.This is easily the finest pure horror movie since Switchblade Romance, and is absolutely not to be missed.

REVIEW: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

CAST

Kathryn Newton (Bad Teacher)
Matt Shively (Power Rangers)
Aiden Lovekamp (Cooties)
Brady Allen (Pear Was Ere)
Katie Featherston (The River)
Frank Welker (Transformers)

Kathryn Newton in Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)On October 9, 2006, Kristi Rey and her husband Daniel are killed by her demon-possessed sister Katie, who then abducts Kristi’s one-year-old son, Hunter. Text states that Katie and Hunter’s whereabouts remained unknown. Five years later, in November 2011, Alex Nelson lives in a wealthy suburb of Henderson, Nevada with her father Doug, mother Holly, and little brother Wyatt. When their new neighbor falls ill and is taken to the hospital, her son, Robbie, is left in the care of the family. One night while Alex is sleeping, her boyfriend Ben’s computer starts recording her laptop webcam, and he sees Robbie getting into the bed with her. The next day, Wyatt tells Alex about Robbie’s friend, Toby. After strange events happen, Alex and Ben set up cameras all over the house. On the third night, the strange happenings escalate until one day, Alex finds a trail of toys that leads to a closet. She finds Robbie, who says, “He doesn’t like you watching us,” as a chandelier falls and almost kills her.Kathryn Newton in Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)On the sixth night, Alex sees many cars parked outside Robbie’s house, and goes to check it out, but runs back home after being caught by a strange woman in a black gown. The next day, Wyatt has an encounter with an invisible force. Wyatt later reveals a green symbol on his back to Alex and Ben and tells them, “I had to meet him.” Alex and Ben learn the symbol is from a witches’ coven, one that would unleash a demon to possess a young boy. They learn that to complete the possession ritual, Wyatt would need to spill the blood of a virgin – Alex is revealed to be a virgin. The next day, the boys go to Robbie’s house. Alex follows them; Katie (from the original film), presumably Robbie’s mother, has returned from the hospital. Wyatt explains to Alex that Katie knew he and Robbie were both adopted and that Wyatt’s real name is “Hunter”. Katie told Wyatt his old family wants him back. On the ninth night, Doug hears a creak in the kitchen. He investigates and starts believing Alex when a kitchen knife falls right in between him and the camera. The next night, Wyatt argues with Toby about his real name. While Wyatt is taking a bath, he gets pulled underwater by Toby. When he rises, he appears to be in a trance. That night, while Alex is asleep, Wyatt makes the blanket fly off the bed and levitates her in mid-air.Aiden Paranormal Activity 4On the twelfth night, a possessed Katie is seen sneaking around. Alex hears the garage door open, so she goes to close it. It opens again and the door crashes down, almost killing her. Katie enters the house and goes to Wyatt’s room, where she tells him that she’ll wait until he is “ready”. The family’s car turns on by itself and begins spewing exhaust. Alex escapes the garage and attempts to show her parents the footage of this incident, but the footage has been mysteriously erased. Her parents think she’s gone crazy. The next night, Doug and Alex go to dinner to talk about the strange events that had been occurring. While they are gone, Holly is violently thrown against the ceiling, dying upon impact. Katie drags her body away. Ben comes over to meet Alex, but no one is home. He attempts to leave a message on Alex’s laptop but Katie appears and kills Ben by snapping his neck.Still of Kathryn Newton in Paranormal Activity 4Alex and Doug arrive home and Doug goes next door, believing he saw Holly and Wyatt. Alex finds Ben’s body and is suddenly knocked down by a force, presumably Toby. She flees to Katie’s home and finds Doug being dragged out of sight. She searches for him when she hears Wyatt’s voice. Suddenly, Katie runs towards the camera, shrieking demonically. Alex escapes from Katie by jumping through a window and finds Wyatt in the yard. Wyatt looks behind Alex and she sees dozens of witches running towards her. As she turns around, Katie lunges at her. The camera falls to the ground and the screen cuts to black.I enjoyed this one, and it’s slightly better than part two but that’s where it stands. The first and third were better, but that’s not to say this one is bad. I hope the filmmakers put more thought into the next installment and really up the ante on the scares. The fact of the matter is that I enjoy these films, and it’s something to look forward around Halloween.

REVIEW: FINAL RECALL (AKA THE RECALL)

CAST

Wesley Snipes (Game of Death)
RJ Mitte (Dxieland)
Jedidiah Goodacre (The Originals)
Laura Bilgeri (My Teacher, My Obsession)
Niko Pepaj (Awkward.)
Hannah Rose May (Ballers)

The Recall (2017)Aliens come to Earth, beam some humans onto their spaceships, and go down to the surface looking for other people. A group of children run from the aliens, and meet a former astronaut who was abducted and experimented upon by the aliens years ago. He explains that the aliens have visited Earth several times in the distant past, and have guided the evolution of life on Earth. He’s been preparing for their return, and he ambushes some of the aliens. The children all end up being taken to the spaceship where they are among a few thousand humans who are abducted, then returned to Earth. The government declares that it’s going to put the abductees in quarantine when they return, but it ends up trying to kill them. However, the children survive the government attack due to the superpowers they were given by the aliens.Final Recall has a couple of good ideas in it and the movie is able to hold attention for its 90 minutes. Sadly the low budget does not allow to a better development of some part of the story. Wesley Snipes as mysterious Hunter is able to inspire some frightening moments. The other characters have very little development but the the cast does what they can. The alien sequences are not particularly original or very well staged but create some (lite) horrifying / terrifying moments. It is not the worst way to expend 90 minutes of your life if you have nothing more important to do.

REVIEW: 51

CAST

Vanessa Branch (Pirates of The Caribbean)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Rachel Miner (The Black Dahlia)
Jason London (The Rage: Carrie 2)
John Shea (Mutant X)
Billy Slaughter (Focus)
J.D. Evermore  (Django Unchained)

Bruce Boxleitner, Vanessa Branch, and John Shea in 51 (2011)Political and public pressure coerces the government into allowing two well-known reporters and their assistants limited access to the ultra-secretive Area 51. The group consists of 20-year news veteran Sam Whitaker (John Shea); his camera-woman Mindy (Lena Clark); Claire Fallon (Vanessa Branch), an ambitious writer, journalist, and head of an acclaimed news blog called The Fact Zone; and her cameraman Kevin (Damon Lipari). The four tour the base and things go well for a while, but when one of the base’s “occupants” attempts to liberate both himself and those of his fellow species, Area 51 changes from being a secured government facility to a place of horror.John Shea in 51 (2011)All in all, this movie is entertaining and a fun watch. It cannot be taken seriously, like you could take Aliens or War of the Worlds seriously, it is out of that league, price range-budget, its a completely different movie, but it is what it is and it deserves a chance, while it may not be the best thing you’ve ever seen it certainly wont be the worst movie you have ever seen either and if you are a fan of Gore, this does have a lot of that