HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: NO ONE LIVES

 

CAST

Luke Evans (Dracula Untold)
Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby)
Lee Tergesen (Waynes World)
Derek Magyar (Train)
Lindsey Shaw (Howling Reborn)
America Olivo (Bitch Slap)
Beau Knapp (Southpaw)
Gary Grubbs (Angel)
Laura Ramsey (Hirokin)

Adelaide Clemens and Beau Knapp in No One Lives (2012)While traveling cross country, couple Betty (Laura Ramsey) and an unidentified man, referred to as “Driver,” (Luke Evans) encounter a gang of robbers led by dedicated criminal Hoag (Lee Tergesen), his daughter Amber (Lindsey Shaw), girlfriend Tamara (America Olivo), Amber’s boyfriend Denny (Beau Knapp), and the psychopathic Flynn (Derek Magyar). Suspecting the couple to be wealthy and wanting to redeem himself for a robbery he botched, Flynn has them kidnapped and interrogated about accessing their money by Ethan (Brodus Clay) in a gas station. However, Betty commits suicide by cutting her throat on a knife Ethan had against her neck, which leads to the Driver breaking out of his handcuffs and killing Ethan.Luke Evans in No One Lives (2012)Meanwhile, Flynn, having brought the Driver’s car to the group’s hideout, finds a girl in the trunk of the vehicle. Amber realizes the girl is Emma Ward (Adelaide Clemens), a wealthy heiress who disappeared after 14 of her friends were murdered at a party, and the kidnapped man is the one responsible for the massacre. Amber attempts to be kind toward Emma; however, Emma angrily spits in her face. Following Hoag’s orders, Denny and Tamara head to the gas station to contact Ethan, only to find his and Betty’s bodies and the Driver missing. They bring Ethan’s corpse back to their hideout and inadvertently bring the Driver along with them, who had been hiding in Ethan’s body.Luke Evans in No One Lives (2012)The Driver begins his assault on the robbers by first destroying their van and capturing Hoag, whom he later kills by dropping him into a meat grinder. After the group argues over what to do next, Denny volunteers to get their old jeep working so they can escape. Though he succeeds, the Driver shoves him into the open car engine, badly mangling his face. The Driver then chases and injures Amber, but lets her live when he realizes the surviving gang members are leaving. Nevertheless, Flynn accidentally hits Amber with the jeep when she stumbles onto the road. Emma comments on how the only one of them with a soul was killed.Lindsey Shaw and Beau Knapp in No One Lives (2012)After dropping Denny off at the hospital, Flynn, Tamara, and Emma head to a motel to stay the night. When Flynn uses the Driver’s credit card to pay for a room, he inadvertently causes Harris, the motel owner (Gary Grubbs), to call the police, as the Driver had previously checked himself into the same motel earlier in the day. The Driver himself also arrives at the motel and nearly strangles Tamara to death in the bathroom, but stops when he hears Flynn shoot the sheriff responding to Harris’ call. Flynn and Emma find Tamara crucified by the shower-curtain, seemingly dead; Flynn accidentally shoots Tamara when she moves suddenly, which leads to Emma attempting to escape. Though Flynn manages to stop her, he is promptly run over by the Driver in a police car. Emma tries to shoot the Driver with a gun she got from Tamara but runs out of bullets and flees into a nearby junkyard.Luke Evans in No One Lives (2012)When the Driver confronts Emma, she states she is done running and she beats him with a metal pipe until Flynn appears with a shotgun. The Driver notices the danger and throws Emma out of harm’s way after which Flynn shoots the Driver in the chest. The Driver survives due to his Kevlar vest and the two engage in a brutal fight. Ultimately, Flynn manages to grab his weapon, but is knocked out by Emma before he can fire it. The Driver states his amazement over this turn but Emma explains she wants to be one who finally kills him and manages to aim the shotgun at him. The Driver then urges her to take the shot. However, because a new shell had not been pumped into the chamber, the firearm fails to operate. Impressed, the Driver cuts out a tracking device he placed inside her stomach and announces that she is free. He then finishes Flynn off with a shotgun blast to the face and also shoots Harris for knowing his real name. The next day, the Driver murders Denny in his hospital bed with a clipboard while disguised as a doctor, and says “No One Lives”, the last line of dialogue in the film. As he leaves, he notices Emma being wheeled into the hospital on a stretcher. He touches her arm before finally departing.Luke Evans in No One Lives (2012)For a film in this genre where its become hard to find something close to original or decent i was very impressed with this one and was glued in from the jump i loved the cast and the characters i think everybody did a pretty good job. Yeah it had some some similarities with other movies but definitely had its own spin, not too many movies you find yourself rooting for the bad guy.  Overall great movie for its genre good ending and twist at the end, deserves a better rating i try to rate movies for their genre but definitely watch this if you’re into this genre you shouldn’t be disappointed.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE PURGE: THE SERIES – SEASON 1

The Purge (2018)

Starring

Gabriel Chavarria (War For The POTA)
Hannah Emily Anderson (Jigsaw)
Jessica Garza (Six)
Lili Simmons (Westworld)
Amanda Warren (NCIS: New Orleans)
Colin Woodell (The Originals)
Lee Tergesen (Monster)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

William Baldwin (Backdraft)
Reed Diamond (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Fiona Dourif (Cult of Chucky)
Paulina Gálvez (The Pianist)
Andrea Frankle (The Reaping)
Jessica Miesel (Office Christmas Party)
Dominic Fumusa (Homeland)
Allison King (Baby Driver)
Dylan Arnold (Naashville)
Christopher Berry (Django Unchained)
AzMarie Livingston (Empire)
Alyshia Ochse (The Other Woman)

Reed Diamond, Andrea Frankle, and Lili Simmons in The Purge (2018)Few 21st Century horror concepts have proven as potent and profitable as the The Purge. Set in a near-future America where all crime (including murder) is legal for one night a year, The Purge uses its high concept hook as a foundation to explore class and race conflict through lean, action-heavy horror films that have proved somewhat prescient about the rise of white nationalism and extremist politics in America. Created by James DeMonaco and backed by the folks at Blumhouse and Universal, The Purge franchise rode a modest $3 million budget to three sequels and and a total of more than $400 million box office worldwide, so it should come as no surprise that the horror hit is making its way to TV with the USA “event series”, simply titled The Purge.Gabriel Chavarria and Jessica Garza in The Purge (2018)Set in a peak period of Purge activity (between this year’s prequel The First Purge and the trilogy-capper Election Year), the series offers an opportunity to delve deep into the mythology that has captivated audiences. And with ten hour-long episodes, it also gives the writers, led by DeMonaco and showrunner Thomas Kelly, the narrative real estate to invest in rich characters and nearly real-time plotting as their ensemble navigates the night.Jessica Garza in The Purge (2018)In the Purge tradition, the series follows a cast of characters across social, political, racial and class divides, from the streets to the highest echelon of elites. In fact, we get a better look than ever at the latter, through the eyes of anti-Purge couple Rick (Colin Woodell) and Jenna (Hannah Anderson), who dress up in their best formal wear and head to the Stanton family mansion for lavish a pro-Purge party. With a baby on the way, the middle class couple is eyeing a financial investment from the Stanton patriarch (Reed Diamond) that wouldn’t just bankroll their housing development, but change their life. They’re also eyeing the Stanton daughter, Lila (Lili Simmons), a stunning anti-Purge socialite who shared a three-way romance with the married pair, and is poised like a ticking time bomb to upend their relationship, business dealings, or both, by the night’s end.Amanda Warren in The Purge (2018)In the realm of the white collar working class, we meet Jane (Amanda Warren), an executive forced to spend the night in her office building working an overnight deal with her team. Secured on a guarded floor where all employees are required to sign a no-Purge waiver, Jane is secretly carrying out a Purge agenda of her own via the assassin she hired to take out her sexist boss (William Baldwin) and agonizing over her decision every step of the way. Warren is a commanding actress, and while the fluorescent-lit corporate drama (and occasional satire) isn’t as viscerally gripping as the other cross-sections of life, her story remains one of the most emotionally engaging.Hannah Emily Anderson and Colin Woodell in The Purge (2018)Another character worth highlighting (though one we’ve barely glimpsed so far) is the vigilante Purger Joe (Lee Tergesen), a blue collar everyman who does his patriotic duty by hunting down murderous Purgers while listening to Purge-centric motivational tapes. He’s a “killer with a code” type and with an actor like Tergesen in the role, promises to be a powerful wild card if the series plays its hand right.Hannah Emily Anderson and Colin Woodell in The Purge (2018)Elsewhere on the streets, we meet Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria), a marine who just returned from a tour of duty in search of his sister Penelope (Jessica Garza), who is ready to give her life for a cult of pro-Purge martyrs led by the chilling and unflappable Good Leader Tavis (Fiona Dourif). While Jenna and Rick mingle with the costumed elite — who wear masks of famous pre-Purge killers a la Ted Bundy and Lizzie Borden in their sheltered celebration of killing — Miguel takes us through the minute-to-minute fight for survival on the streets. Here we see the most action; from run-ins with the requisite masked psychos to more original concepts, including Running Man-style game show called “The Gauntlet,” which Miguel is forced to play after being captured. It’s a cool idea, but a bit underwhelming in practice.Gabriel Chavarria in The Purge (2018)Despite a wealth of interesting characters and concepts, The Purge series lacks cinematic flair and signature style. The pilot episode fares best, directed by Unsolved and American Crime Story helmer Anthony Hemingway, but overall (and despite what appears to be a healthy budget), there’s a distinct made-for-TV quality that feels flat compared to the stylings of the film franchise, especially on the heels of Gerald McMurray‘s vibrant The First Purge. That toothless quality also bleeds into the violence, which is decidedly tamed down for television, and most disappointing of all, into the core of the franchise’s potent political allegory.Jessica Garza in The Purge (2018)The film franchise had more to say with each new installment, culminating in the angry cry that was The First Purge — a film that wore its politics on its sleeve both in content and marketing. By contrast, The Purge series feels like a dispassionate whisper. If it does have something to say, it’s certainly not saying it very loudly. It’s understandable that a series on a basic cable network like USA would want to reach the biggest possible audience, and there’s nothing wrong with preferring character drama over heavy-handed moralizing, but by depoliticizing an existing franchise, they’ve set up a contrast that inherently makes the series feel like it packs a weaker punch.Fiona Dourif in The Purge (2018)Of course, unlike the blunt-force approach of the lean machine movies, which rely heavy on setup and payoff with little in between, The Purge series has the opportunity to slow burn. Perhaps there will be some surprising twists along the way, and signs certainly point to character progression that allows for a lot more grey area between the scrappy heroes and masked madmen of the films. The ideas are strong (Purge cults!), some of the characters are downright fascinating — Joe, in particular promises a unique perspective in the franchise — and I’m eager to see where each story leads, but I have a nagging worry the track may be too plainly laid, even in these first few episodes and that the series ultimately doesn’t strive to be as transgressive as the films.That said, fans of the franchise should find plenty to enjoy in the new series, whether its the tangents of world-building and deepened mythology, the freaky new masks, or the ensemble of rich characters. It might not be quite as scary when that Purge siren blares, but there’s plenty to admire in this thoughtful adaptation.