REVIEW: THE RING TWO

CAST

Naomi Watts (Insurgent)
David Dorfman (The Singing Detective)
Sissy Spacek (Carrie)
Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds)
Gary Cole (Crusade)
Ryan Merriman (Final Destination 3)
Emily VanCamp (Captain America: Civil War)
Kelly Overton (True Blood)
Daveigh Chase (S.Darko)
Kelly Stables (Two and a Half Men)
Michael Chieffo (Roswell)

In the coastal town of Astoria, Oregon approximately six months after the events of the first movie, and continuance from Rings, Vanessa is seen encouraging Emily by nodding vigorously when she is making her decision to go to Jake, so she may have known about the rings beforehand. Jake asks Emily to come over to his house, under the guise of studying together; however, his motives are actually centered on having her watch Samara Morgan’s cursed video tape, as his seven-day deadline is fast approaching. Emily plays the tape while Jake waits in the kitchen, but when he returns to the living room, it is revealed that she covered her eyes throughout the tape, and thus didn’t see any of it. As she failed to perpetuate the guidelines of the tape’s curse, Samara crawls out of the television and kills Jake in front of Emily.
Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) and her son Aidan (David Dorfman) have moved from Seattle to Astoria. Rachel begins a new job at the Daily Astorian, a local newspaper, working for Max Rourke (Simon Baker). Before long, there is news of the teenager’s death in town. Rachel investigates, finding the dead boy’s face shows a twisted expression of horror just like the previous victims of Samara Morgan’s tape. Upon finding the boy’s corpse, she also has a vision of Samara grabbing her and declaring “I found you.” She goes to the police station and persuades the girl who witnessed the boy’s death to tell her where the tape is. She takes the tape deep into the woods and burns it.
Aidan has a dream in which he comes down to the T.V. room without Rachel home, and is pulled into the screen by Samara when the videotape starts. Back at home, Aidan starts to develop hypothermia, and his body is suddenly covered with bruises. At a county fair, Aidan takes pictures of himself in the bathroom mirror, with a blurred Samara standing behind him. His behavior grows increasingly odd and distant, and while Rachel and Aidan drive home from the fair, a deer attacks their car, nearly killing them. This event was apparently mysteriously foreseen by Aidan, who warned Rachel of impending danger seconds before the deer came out of nowhere. Strange occurrences within their house (including visions of Samara, a burn mark in the wall which resembles the tree from the cursed video, and seeming poltergeist activity) frighten Rachel, leading her and Aidan to flee. Rachel subsequently asks Max if he can take care of the increasingly sick Aidan at his house.
Max says that Aidan’s condition merits a trip to the hospital, but Rachel, knowing that his illness is unnatural, is adamant that traditional doctors cannot help him. When Rachel attempts to give Aidan (who suddenly develops a mysterious fear of water) a warm bath at Max’s, a series of paranormal events leads to Rachel seeing Aidan’s body replaced by Samara. Max walks in when she attempts to drown Samara, and sees her trying to drown Aidan instead. Suspicious, he insists on taking Aidan to the hospital against her wishes, stating, “You wanted my help, now you’re getting it.”
Based on the bruises on Aidan’s body, the hospital staff, particularly psychiatrist Dr. Emma Temple (Elizabeth Perkins), suspect child abuse on Rachel’s part, because Rachel reveals she suffered from postpartum depression, and won’t allow her to be near her son. Desperate for answers, Rachel flees the hospital and returns to the Morgan Ranch (which is now being sold) to dig deeper into Samara’s past. Knowing that Samara was not Richard and Anna Morgan’s biological child, she tracks down Samara’s birth mother, Evelyn (Sissy Spacek), who tried to drown Samara as an infant and has been living in a mental institution ever since. Meanwhile, Samara (in Aidan’s body) inflicts a psychic assault on Dr. Temple, forcing Dr. Temple to commit suicide so that Samara (in Aidan’s body) can escape the hospital.
Evelyn advises Rachel to “listen to your baby” when she seeks advice on how to deal with Samara. Max goes to Rachel’s house to check on her, only to find Aidan watching TV alone. He attempts to surreptitiously capture Aidan on film in order to reveal Samara, as Aidan had before Samara possessed him. Aidan/Samara notices the camera. When Rachel returns home, she finds Max’s truck parked outside and his dead body inside with the same twisted face of Samara’s other victims. Disturbed and unsure of what to do, Rachel goes inside to face her possessed son. Rachel falls asleep and dreams of Aidan telling her how to release Samara from his body. After waking, Rachel tells Aidan/Samara that he should go to sleep. Aidan responds that he never sleeps. She crushes sleeping pills in a sandwich, and after eating, Aidan falls asleep.

Rachel fills the upstairs bathtub with water and holds an unconscious Aidan underwater. Aidan suddenly wakes up, telling Rachel that he is still Aidan. Rachel then drowns Aidan and Samara’s spirit leaves his body, and Rachel is then able to revive him. However, Samara attempts to come back into the house through the TV set. Rachel grabs onto Samara as she is emerging, and is pulled into Samara’s well inside the world of the cursed video. Looking up, Rachel realizes that the well lid is always left open. Rachel begins climbing the side of the well. Halfway up, Samara emerges from the water below and also ascends in a very inhuman fashion. Rachel climbs out of the well just as Samara cries ‘”Mommy!”‘ in an inhuman voice. Rachel responds angrily that she’s not her mother and pushes the lid shut, trapping Samara in the well.
As Rachel wanders the monochromatic world of the cursed tape, she hears Aidan’s voice and walks toward it, only to come to the cliff where Anna Morgan jumped to her death. She hears Aidan calling her name below. Determined to follow Aidan’s voice, Rachel jumps off the cliff and ends up back in her living room with Aidan, where they embrace. Aidan calls Rachel ‘”Mommy”‘, and she asks him to just call her Rachel. The film ends when the camera pans out of the house, views the sky, where a crescent moon can still be seen in the distance. The shot shows the street, and the scene cuts to black with the sounds of flickering heard, and the credits roll.This film isn’t quite as good as the first movie but it is still a great sequel nontheless. Plenty of scary moments and Naomi Watts and David Dorfman are one again perfect in the lead roles. A decent followup.

 

 

 

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VAN HELSING (2016) – SEASON 1

CAST

Kelly Overton (Beauty and The Beast)
Jonathan Scarfe (Into The West)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
David Cubitt (Arrow)
Vincent Gale (Battlestar Galactica)
Rukiya Bernard (Colossal)
Trezzo Mahoro (Izombie)
Hilary Jardine (Camera Shy)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Tim Guinee (Iron Man)
Hannah Cheramy (Summer Love)
Anne Openshaw (American Mary)
Paul Johansson (Highlander: The Raven)
Marci T. House (Godzilla)
Alison Wandzura (Mistresses)
Aleks Paunovic (Kindergarten Cop 2)
John DeSantis (The 13th Warrior)
Laura Mennell (Alphas)
Avery Konrad (The Killing)
Terry Chen (Bates Motel)
Sarah Desjardins (Wayward Pines)
Naika Toussaint (Deadpool)
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis)
Jennifer Copping (Slither)
Chris Ippolito (The Revenant)
Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary)
Gwynyth Wlash (Star Trek Generations)
Christopher Russell (Land of Teh Dead)
Tom Cavanagh (The Flash)

One thing becomes abundantly clear three minutes into the pilot of SyFy’s latest genre offering Van Helsing; this is not your teenaged daughter’s vampire story. Gone is the inherent sexiness we’ve come to associate with the highly attractive creatures of the night, and in its place a gritty, grimy, visceral appearance that articulates the reality of an existence that revolves solely around securing basic human needs in the face of post-apocalyptic obstacles. Bloodthirsty vampires attempting to storm Seattle Valley General Hospital give 21st century viewers a unique re-imagining with all the prerequisite details: buckets of blood, ravaged body parts, frequent bouts of terror, and above all, characters that inspire concern.It’s 2019 as the series opens; “Three years since The Rising began. Civilization has fallen. Vampires rule the streets. Only whispers of a human savior have given mankind hope.” Let’s get this out of the way right now. Comparisons to The Walking Dead are unavoidable, and it remains to be seen what will set Van Helsing apart from being just another horror series with an attractive woman wearing black and kicking ass as she fights back against beings that have lost their humanity. Though we don’t see Vanessa Helsing in action until midway through the episode, Kelly Overton (True Blood) plays a young woman who wakes from a coma having missed the volcanic eruption that led to the vampire pandemic. We’re immediately struck by the strength of her performance as Overton dominates every scene she’s in. Disoriented and confused after being roused from her repose by a feral bite to the neck, she immediately springs into action revealing that she is not a woman to be trifled with. And in the first of LaBute’s plot twists, we learn that biting Vanessa not only fails to turn her into a creature, but produces the unexpected consequence of returning a vampire to a human state. However, we are also left to ponder whether she lay dead or merely comatose on the hospital table leading up to her resurrection.Axel (Jonathan Scarfe, Hell on Wheels) has been ordered to guard Vanessa without knowing why, and his stoic response to this situation embodies everything we expect from a U. S. Marine. Referring to Vanessa as Sleeping Beauty, it’s clear he’s developed an attraction to her, and now that she’s awake and determined to find her daughter, it seems rather obvious that they’ll be leaving the relative safety of the hospital. The friction between the two provides a perfect launch of the relationship these two will undoubtedly have as she searches not only for her daughter, but an understanding of what makes her inherently special.LaBute and director Michael Nankin (Defiance, Hell on Wheels) employ some character tropes, but these are used judiciously to establish how members of the small group react to self-serving motives along the way. It’s understandable that one man who’s narrowly made it inside the compound wants leave to find his wife from whom he’s been separated, but these are dire times when the well-being of the group takes precedence over the needs of the one. Like The Walking Dead, we have a group of individuals thrown together in a life or death situation, but Vanessa’s “magic bullet” status raises the game’s stakes.All pilots face the same hurdle; can the writers lead viewers to care enough about the characters to return on a weekly basis? Are the stakes facing them high enough, and how can the writing team avoid simply presenting Vanessa on a quest to bring the world back from the brink of disaster one bite at at time? Interestingly, many pilots rely too heavily on narrative exposition and voiceover, but here, not only does the violent and oft times gruesome action demand the viewer’s attention, it forces the individuals to take sides in the approaching storm and provides viewers some necessary character motivation. One who does emerge as a potential dark horse is Sam (Christopher Heyerdahl, Sanctuary), a deaf man who steps forward as things begin spiralling out of control, lending a hand to Axel as the team leader faces a potential mutiny. Thou as the series progresses he hides a dark secret and could become a menacing threat.debuted on SyFy on September 23, the pilot showed a great unveiling reveals a show with a wealth of potential and a strong genre pedigree including Continuum’s Simon Barry and Jonathan Lloyd Walker. On the surface Van Helsing may appear to be just another post-apocalyptic survival tale, but as the series progresses through its first season it begins to raise questions about  Vanessa Helsing and her role as mankind’s savior to compel viewers to return and watch this reluctant messiah cope physically and emotionally with a role she didn’t ask for and doesn’t want. with season coming to an end I can’t wait for the second season. This first season has had me hooked and knowing early on not to get too attached to characters along way as this is a real no hold bards vampire series where anyone can be killed at anytime.

REVIEW: BEAUTY & THE BEAST – SEASON 1-3

Image result for beauty and the beast 2012 logo

MAIN CAST

Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)
Jay Ryan (Young Hercules)
Austin Basis (J.Edgar)
Nina Lisandrello (The Devil Wears Prada)
Nicole Gale Anmderson (Mean Girls 2)
Sendhil Ramamurthy (Heroes)
Brian White (The Cabin In The Woods)
Max Brown (The Tudors)
Amber Skye Noyes (One Life To Live)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Yannick Bisson (Murdoch Mysteries)
Britt Irvin (V)
Khaira Ledeyo (Just Cause)
Peter Outerbridge (ReGenesis)
Rob Stewart (Painkiller Jane)
Elizabeth Blackmore (The Vampire Diaries)
Luke Macfarlane (Kinsey)
Lara Jean Chorostecki (Hannibal)
David Richmond-Peck (Sanctuary)
Kelly Overton (True Blood)
Mike Dopud (Stargate Universe)
Rachel Skarsten (Reign)
Bianca Lawson (Buffy)
Rena Sofer (Heroes)
Bridget Regan (Agent Carter)
Luke Roberts (Black Sails)
Brendan Hines (Lie To Me)
William deVry (Stargate SG.1)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)
Edi Gathegi (X-Men: First Class)
Shantel VanSanten (The Flash)
Steve Blund (Bitten)
Ted Whittall (Smallville)
Brian Tee (Jurassic World)
David de Latour (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Annie Ilonzeh (Arrow)
Riley Smith (Eight Legged Freaks)
Haley Webb (The Final Destination)
Elisabeth Rohm (Joy)
Paul Johansso (Highlander: The Raven)
Michael Filipowich (Earth: Final Conflict)
Tom Everett Scott (Scream: The Series)
Brennan Brown (The Man In The High Castle)
Christopher Heyerdahl (Sanctuary)
Steve Valentine (Mike & Molly)
Danielle Bisutti (Curse of Chucky)
Anthony Ruivivar (Starship Troopers)
Charlotte Arnold (Patriot)
Zach Appelman (Sleepy Hollow)
Natasha Henstridge (Species)
Alan Van Sprang (Reign)
Stephen McHattie (300)
Lochlyn Munro (Little Man)
Jason Gedrick (Iron Eagle)

This season revolves around Catherine and Vincent trying to pursue a relationship together, whilst being hunted down by a top-secret government organization named Muirfield who want Vincent dead. Muirfield are revealed to have conducted a high-profile secret experiment on soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. These experiments resulted in every soldier becoming physically stronger and faster, hoping this would win the war quicker. But, something went wrong, as the entire force went out of control with their new abilities. The government gave orders to kill them all, but Vincent escaped and has been in hiding ever since. Muirfield make several attempts to capture Vincent during this season, and even enlist the help of Cat and those close to her to capture him.Catherine’s family history is delved into in this first season, as her mother’s unsolved murder has preyed on her mind for nine years. Catherine witnessed her mother shot and killed by two hitmen who were then killed by Vincent. Catherine refused to believe the official police report that her mother’s death was that of carjacking gone wrong since the men who killed her mother suddenly appeared and began shooting without saying a word, as well as that the two dead killers identities were never found in any police record, leading Catherine to believe that her mother’s killing was that of a government conspiracy. It was later revealed that Catherine’s mother worked for Muirfield, conducting the experiments, and ultimately helped turn Vincent into a beast. Catherine must deal with conflicted feelings of her mother’s memory across this season, having been determined to solve her case for all this time. When Catherine watches her father get run over in the season finale, she then learns that, biologically, he was not her real father after all.

Vincent’s DNA mutates as the season progresses, as he becomes more beast-like. He begins experiencing black-outs, which J.T. associates with Catherine’s interference. Cat and Vincent will stop at nothing to see each other, however. Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Lowen visits Cat’s precinct to investigate the beast-like attack in the city and over time he reveals that not only does he know about Muirfield but that he shares the same ability as Vincent. At first an enemy, Gabriel goes on to become an ally to Vincent by the end of the first season and suggests he has found a cure to the virus inflicted on them by Muirfield. Vincent ultimately wonders if he wants to be cured or not.

Vincent is captured in the season finale as a helicopter drops a net on him and flies him away, leaving Catherine heartbroken. With Vincent captured, a gun is then aimed at Catherine’s head. But, someone orders them not to shoot; Agent Bob Reynolds –Catherine’s biological father.

A modern day take on the story which has Kristen Kreuk as ‘the Beauty’ & Jay Ryan as ‘the Beast’. A great series, plenty of ‘edge of your seat’ drama with a gentle love story woven through the plot.

Vincent was captured by Muirfield, an underground government organization that has been hunting him, in the previous season finale. Cat, the woman who he has fallen in love with and who accepts what he has been changed by Muirfield, will do anything to find him. This season, their love faces more challenges than ever before.  During the season, Vincent and Cat briefly break up with each other, due to Vincent having changed so much because of Muirfield wiping his memory. Cat starts a relationship with Gabe, a previous beast, now turned ally, while Vincent starts to date Tori, a wealthy socialite who has discovered that she is also a Beast. Eventually, after regaining his memories and Tori’s death during the season, Vincent realizes that he is still in love with Cat and tries to win her back, but she rejects his advances. However, slowly she starts to realize that she still loves him and they both get back together near the end of the season.

However, Gabe does not take the break up very well and starts to become obsessed with hunting down Vincent, by framing him for murder. He tries to hide his jealousy by claiming Vincent is dangerous, and he is only trying to protect Cat, while at the same time trying to win her back. However, he becomes more dangerous, as he suspends both Cat and Tess from the police force, becomes more ruthless and even goes so far as to kidnapping Cat’s sister Heather, who then later learns Vincent’s secret. However things become much worse after Gabe becomes a Beast again and starts killing those closest to Cat and Vincent. A final showdown will come between them finally ending the feud once and for all which could possibly end Vincent’s life.

The sizzling, on-screen chemistry between the two leads is not bettered by any paring on TV, anywhere. It’s what keeps the extensive, loyal fanbase watching this show. This Season exploring more and more the mythology the show add greater scope to the story.

Beauty and the Beast started off with a clear cut mission – save Vincent (Jay Ryan) from his unpredictable beast-infused self. As the narrative evolved and Vincent became both hero and victim in a multitude of ways, the writers took fans on a roundabout journey guided by Catherine’s (Kristin Kreuk) romantic entanglement with his character and her convenient position as a police detective. Although his beast side is still in tact after a series of near misses with potential antidotes, the writers have essentially given him a full pardon and put him squarely on the side of the do-gooders as he reenters the realm of living a “normal life.” No longer does Cat have to concern herself with the ramifications of his violent outbursts, for the most part, now they have other concerns. With Muirfield out of the picture, who has stepped in to fill their vast secret government agency shoes? This leads us to the overarching premise of season three.

With Vincent’s origin story largely revealed, the writers have veered away from some of the old storylines and brought in what appears to be a new antagonist, Liam who has links to the the past.


There were also some notable differences in the aesthetics of the latest beast. In the season three premiere of Beauty and the Beast, you’ll notice that there are almost no physical signs besides the increase in strength and agility, and glazed over eyes. This is unlike Vincent or any of the other past beasts who undergo a noticeable transition each time they beast out. One of the most interesting aspects of season three is clearly watching Cat and Vincent reconcile what it means to be a couple. It’s not a new concept for the show, entirely, but at the same time the writers have never had the opportunity to explore it without the constraints of Vincent’s under-the-radar lifestyle, which for the most part has been expunged along with his unflattering record. At the end of the season three opener, Vincent proposes to Cat. This proposal has been building over time.

At the core of Beauty and the Beast is Vincent and Cat’s relationship, and its ups and downs give the show a depth that balances out some of the more unrealistic events in the storyline. Despite the beast elements, there is a sense of relatability within their romantic struggles that fans find attractive.

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The return of Nicole Gale Anderson’s character, Heather, was an excellent choice for the season. Her relationship with her sister, Cat, offers fans a break from the monotony of the catching-bad-guys motif that streamlines its way through the show. Both sisters now being engaged also adds a lighthearted element to the proceedings. Heather is often times one of the most refreshing parts of BATB. Her limited knowledge previously made her a bit of a buzz kill at times, but overwhelmingly her avid perkiness acted as its own character on the show. Heather also represents the light at the end of the tunnel for Cat, in a way. After all of the tragedy that has enveloped her character in the last two seasons, somehow her relationship with her sister is stronger and more open than ever.


The third season breathed new light into the show, having a decent villain play out through the season was a good choice, hopefully season 4 will continue making this a show a great series.