HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: 30 DAYS OF NIGHT: DARK DAYS

CAST

Kiele Sanchez (The Purge: Anarchy)
Rhys Coiro (The Unborn)
Diora Baird (Transit)
Mia Kirshner (The Vampire Diaries)
Monique Ganderton (Smallville)
Harold Perrineau (Constantine)
Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps)
Ben Cotton (Stargate: Atlantis)
John DeSantis (Arrow)
Jody Thompson (The 4400)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (Smallville)

Photography by Chris LargeA year after the Alaskan town of Barrow’s population was decimated by vampires during its annual month-long polar night, Stella Oleson (Kiele Sanchez) travels the world trying to convince others that vampires exist. She is fully aware of the risk to her life that her work could bring, but does not care due to her grief over the death of her husband, Eben.30-days-of-night-dark-days-01

Following instructions from a mysterious individual named Dane, she travels to Los Angeles to give a lecture on the existence of vampires. Aware that vampires are in attendance when she speaks, she activates overhead ultraviolet lamps that incinerate several of the vampires in the audience, in front of the humans. She is quickly arrested and harassed by Agent Norris, who she learns is one of the human followers of the vampires, charged with keeping their activities covered up. After her release from custody, she returns to her hotel to find Paul (Rhys Coiro), Amber (Diora Baird) and Todd (Harold Perrineau), sent by Dane to recruit her to hunt the vampire queen, Lilith. As Lilith is responsible for the vampires’ every move and for keeping them hidden, the hunters are convinced that once she is eliminated, the vampires will fall into dormancy. When Stella learns that Lilith was responsible for the slaughter at Barrow, she agrees to meet Dane (Ben Cotton), and is shocked to discover that he too is a vampire. Due to a superficially inflicted wound, he has maintained a grasp of humanity, only drinking blood from packaged hospital stocks he keeps. Stella hesitates to join a plan to attack a vampire nest, but Paul eventually convinces her, revealing that vampires were responsible for his daughter’s death and the resulting divorce from his wife.30-days-of-night-dark-days-ending-stella-oleson-blood-bath-kiele-sanchez

The following day, the four hunters enter a vampire nest, only to be ambushed by a group of them. During their attempt to flee, Todd is bitten. After the four lock themselves in a cellar, Todd turns into a vampire. When Paul hesitates to act against his friend, Stella kills him by smashing in his head with a cinder block. The trio decide to wait for nightfall, when the vampires leave to feed, in order to make their escape. After night falls, Dane comes and frees them. On their way out, they capture a vampire and interrogate him with the ultraviolet lamps, eventually following him back to another nest. They invade the nest and rescue Jennifer, a captive being used as a feeding station. Jennifer’s knowledge of Lilith’s lair being aboard a ship in the bay allows the hunters to plan an attack on Lilith directly. Returning to Dane’s place, Stella and Paul become intimate. Meanwhile, Lilith (Mia Kirshner) decides that Agent Norris should prove his worth to become a vampire (in order to cure the cancer he has been suffering from). He bites the neck of a captive girl, Stacey (Katharine Isabelle), drinking her blood until dead. Satisfied, Lilith turns him to hunt Stella and the others.maxresdefaultNorris kills Dane and the others flee with Jennifer to a boat yard where Jennifer points out the boat that the vampires are set to sail to Alaska in for another 30-day feeding period. After telling Jennifer to leave, the three hunters stow away on the ship where they discover that they can be resurrected after death if they are fed human blood. At gunpoint, they confront the human captain who says he is cooperating because the vampires had threatened his family. Amber is suddenly pulled away from behind, causing her gun to fire and kill the captain. Stella and Paul are too late to save her from being eaten and are quickly captured by Norris and Lilith who orders that they be bled dry. Stella manages to free herself when they are alone with Norris and kills him, but they are subsequently attacked by Lilith when attempting to sabotage the ship and Paul is killed. After being outmatched in hand-to-hand combat, Stella hides from Lilith and when the queen comes looking for her, Stella emerges from her tub of blood and manages to decapitate her. The other vampires appear, but seeing that she killed Lilith, they quietly stand aside and let her pass without a fight, and she returns to Barrow.VIwWP7lHvrIjAz_2_hd

Stella digs up Eben’s grave and recovers his body to feed him her own blood. It appears not to work and she lies down slowly dying from blood loss. After a time, she sees Eben has returned to his former health and she stands to greet him with a hug. As they embrace, Eben pulls back her shoulder and his sharp teeth come down on her neck before the screen goes dark.2826

Once the film moves past exposition and into bat country, “Dark Days” ramps up the fear factor, kicking off a series of encounters that take advantage of all the low-budget  Heavily armed and ready for a fight, our heroes proceed to blast their way into the vampire hive, creating a few hearty sequences of splattery chaos. Criminally, Ketai elects to mimic original director David Slade’s infuriating obsession with shaky-cam, slamming the camera and lights around to create a blizzard of violence.

REVIEW: LOST – SEASON 3

Starring

Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man and The Wasp)
Matthew Fox (Alex Cross)
Josh Holloway (Colony)
Elizabeth Mitchell (V)
Henry Ian Cusick (Hitman)
Dominic Monaghan (Flashforward)
Naveen Andrews (The Brave One)
Michael Emerson (Arrow)
Jorge Garcia (How I Met Your Mother)
Daniel Dae Kim (Insurgent)
Yunjin Kim (Shiri)
Terry O’Quinn (The Rocketeer)
Emilie de Ravin (Operation: Endgame)
Rodrigo Santoro (300)
Kiele Sanchez (A Perfect Getaway)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Suicide Squad)

Josh Holloway in Lost (2004)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Julie Adams (Code Red)
Brett Cullen (Ghost Rider)
M.C. Gainey (Breakdown)
William Mapother (The Mentalist)
Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
John Terry (Full Metal Jacket)
Michael Bowen (Kill Bill)
Tania Raymonde (Texas Chainsaw)
Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games)
Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries)
Chris Mulkey (Whiplash)
Justin Chatwin (War of The Worlds)
Kim Dickens (Gone Girl)
Bill Duke (Black Lightning)
Adetokumboh M’Cormack (Gods & Heroes)
Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster)
Aisha Hinds (Cult)
François Chau (The Tick)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Fredric Lehne (Men In BLack)
Zeljko Ivanek (Heores)
Nestor Carbonell (Bates Motel)
Robin Weigert (Jessica Jones)
Alan Dale (Ugly Betty)
Sonya Walger (Flashforward)
Shishir Kurup (Coneheads)
Fionnula Flanagan (The Others)
Bai Ling (The Crow)
Diana Scarwid (Wonderland)
Cheech Marin (Coco)
Kimberley Joseph (Hercules: TLJ)
Sung Hi Lee (The Girl Next Door)
April Grace (A.I.)
Shaun Toub (Iron Man)
Gabrielle Fitzpatrick (MMPR: The Movie)
Kevin Tighe (My Bloody Valentine)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Patrick J. Adams (Legends of Tomorrow)
Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars)
Daniel Roebuck (Final Destination)
Beth Broderick (Sabrina: TTW)
Andrew Connolly (Heroes)
Marsha Thomason (White Collar)
Jon Gries (Welcome To The Jungle)
Doug Hutchison (Punisher: War Zone)
Samantha Mathis (American Psycho)
Carrie Preston (True Blood)
Sterling Beaumon (The Killing)
Sam Anderson (Angel)
L. Scott Caldwell (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Andrea Gabriel (2 Broke Girls)
Neil Hopkins (The Net 2.0)
Tracy Middendorf (Scream: The Series)
Lana Parrilla (Once Upon A Time)
Malcolm David Kelley (Detroit)
James Lesure (Las Vegas)
Fisher Stevens (Hackers)
Mira Furlan (Babylon 5)

This season is easily broken down into two separate parts; the first six episodes that aired before an eight week hiatus and then the rest of the season. Even though the first six are considered part of the third season, they feel much more like a prologue. Very little time is spent with the survivors on the beach and the main focus of the story is Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Sawyer’s (Josh Holloway) imprisonment by the Others.Evangeline Lilly in Lost (2004)The second half of the season also featured some of the show’s best episodes to date. Including the brilliantly told “Flashes Before Your Eyes”, which is an interesting twist on Lost’s flashback scenario. Other episodes like “The Man from Tallahassee” and “The Brig” answered long asked questions while “The Man Behind the Curtain” and “One of Us” gave us a much needed back-story on both Ben (Michael Emerson) and Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell).Really, the only weak point of the final sixteen-episode run would be “Stranger in a Strange Land”, an episode that primarily focused on the origins and meaning of Jack’s tattoo. We still don’t really understand the significance and we’re not too sure if the writers do either as they never bring up the subject again for the rest of the season.Terry O'Quinn in Lost (2004)Even “Expos¿”, an episode that featured fan-hated Nikki (Kiele Sanchez) and Paulo (Rodrigo Santoro), told an interesting “Twilight Zone” style story and we couldn’t be happier with the conclusion.If you were to suggest that the theme for season one was man vs. the unknown and that season two’s was man vs. machine it would be fair to suggest that the theme for season three is man vs. man, as the main crux of the season deals with the survivors of Flight 815 dealing with the Others. There is a constant power struggle between the two groups and the narrative frequently shifts back and forth from the Others camp to the survivor’s beach. Intertwined throughout, are personal struggles for several of the characters in both camps and we realize as the story pushes forward that even though they are enemies, their survival appears to be dependant on each other.At the core of this struggle is Benjamin Linus, and it would be a sin not to mention Michael Emerson’s fantastic performance as the enigmatic leader of the Others. He never once falters in portraying a creepy and unnerving nemesis for the survivors of Flight 815 and in particular, John Locke.Evangeline Lilly in Lost (2004)Terry O’Quinn puts in an equally inspired performance and every time these two appeared on screen together, you knew something special was about to happen. Everything culminates in what can be described as one of the best season finales in recent memory. Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof deliver a brilliantly told story that is full of emotion, suspense and action.

REVIEW: A PERFECT GETAWAY

Starring

Timothy Olyphant (Santa Clarita Diet)
Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil)
Kiele Sanchez (The Purge 2)
Steve Zahn (Roadkill)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Chris Hemsworth (Thor)
Anthony Ruivivar (Scream: The Series)
Dale Dickey (Iron Man 3)

Milla Jovovich in A Perfect Getaway (2009)A young mild-mannered American couple, Cliff (Zahn) and Cydney (Jovovich), are celebrating their marriage by hiking to a remote beach in Hawaii while on their honeymoon. On their way, they see two hitchhikers, Cleo (Shelton) and Kale (Chris Hemsworth). They offer the pair a ride but change their minds when the two seem possibly dangerous.Milla Jovovich and Steve Zahn in A Perfect Getaway (2009)After they begin the hike, the couple comes in contact with Nick (Olyphant), a solo hiker who claims to be an Iraq War veteran. Nick saves Cydney’s life when she slips while attempting to cross a narrow ledge. The trio approaches a group of frightened female hikers discussing a double murder in Honolulu. The victims had their teeth pulled out and fingertips removed. Cliff suspects the hitchhiking couple are the murderers, and Cydney and Cliff discuss whether or not they should turn back, but decide to continue hiking with Nick. They subsequently meet up with Nick’s sexy girlfriend, Gina (Sanchez) at the Secret Falls Waterfall.Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez in A Perfect Getaway (2009)Cliff suspects Kale and Cleo are following them. When he notices their permits are missing, Cliff sees Kale and Cleo’s bags by the trail and goes through them, but he does not find the permits. After making camp, Nick and Cliff split up to search for Kale and Cleo. Cliff runs into a guide who is bringing Cliff the permits they left behind. Cliff and Nick return to the campsite. Nick brings a goat he has killed, and Gina proceeds to butcher the animal, explaining she had learned how while working in the meat department of a grocery store.Milla Jovovich in A Perfect Getaway (2009)The following day, Kale and Cleo are arrested for the murders. A container full of pulled teeth is found in one of their bags. The two couples are relieved by the arrests, and they continue their hike to the beach. Cliff rents two kayaks so he and Nick can explore a marine cave. As Gina idly looks through the photos on Cydney and Cliff’s video camera, she is terrified when she realizes the couple are not who they claim to be. Gina sets off after Nick and Cliff, while Cydney chases after Gina. Flashbacks reveal that Cliff and Cydney are drug-addicted sociopaths who murdered the newlyweds. They kill people and steal their identities in order to, as Cliff explains, “live a hundred different lives and achieve a kind of immortality”. It is also revealed that “Cliff” had planted the bag of teeth in Kale and Cleo’s bag to frame them for the murders.Milla Jovovich in A Perfect Getaway (2009)In the sea cave, Cliff suddenly reveals his true murderer identity and shoots Nick in the head. Gina witnesses this from the cliffs above. Then Cliff shoots at her, but misses. Cydney sneaks up on Gina and attacks her. Gina is stabbed in the leg but manages to push Cydney off the cliff into the water. Even though they have not had a signal during the entire trip, Gina fortuitously receives a call on her cell phone from a phone company representative. She begs him to call the police. She spots Cydney below in the kayak just as Cliff pops up over the cliff ledge to grab her feet. Gina stabs him in the hand with Cydney’s knife and flees. While Cliff chases Gina and Cydney kayaks ashore to intercept the police, Nick, saved by the titanium plate in his head from his war wound, wakes up. Gina runs into a group of men searching for their stolen kayaks, who tell her she is safe now. Cliff tries to convince the men that Gina is irrational due to meth use. But one of the group happens to be an EMT and notices Cliff’s enlarged pupils, which undermines his story, so Cliff shoots and kills the entire group of men. Gina uses Cliff’s distraction as an opportunity to run toward the beach. Nick arrives and fights Cliff, getting the upper hand.Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez in A Perfect Getaway (2009)At that point, the police arrive by helicopter with a rifle aimed at Nick. Cydney is also in the helicopter, and the police want her to confirm that Nick is the killer, but she pauses. Cydney identifies Cliff as the murderer and says he ruined her life. The police sharpshooter kills Cliff as he reaches for his gun to kill Nick. Later, Nick finally proposes to Gina in the helicopter but due to their traumatic encounters, they both agree to not having a honeymoon.Milla Jovovich and Steve Zahn in A Perfect Getaway (2009)This is a good movie. However, it will probably not get a fair shot by most. The reason is the way the story is structured in which apparently nothing happens in the first 45 minutes. For today’s average 18-34 audience this is almost intolerable as they are now conditioned to expect cheap CGI thrills and impossibly huge explosions in the first two minutes of the film (not necessarily a bad thing BTW). What underrated Director/Writer David Towhy is doing is actually putting your brain to work during the first two acts of the movie, all the while enjoying some incredible visuals of the Hawaiian tropical rain forest. Towhy concentrates on subtle character development. The acting is good. Mila Jovovich and Timothy Oliphant are the two that carry the film throughout. All in all I have to say that Towhy put out a fairly plausible story here with none of the CGI generated hyperbole that we see so much of nowadays.