REVIEW: INTO THE DARK – THE BODY

The Body (2018)

Starring

Tom Bateman (Murder on the Orient Express)
Rebecca Rittenhouse (Unfriended: Dark Web)
Aurora Perrineau (Truth or Dare)
David Hull (The Dark Tapes)
Ray Santiago (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Harvey Guillén (Status Update)
Max Adler (Sully)
Alex Winter (Bill & Ted)
Sasha Grey (Smash Cut)
Chasty Ballesteros (The Internship)

Tom Bateman in The Body (2018)Professional hitman Wilkes (Tom Bateman) has just finished murdering a never-to-be-named famous man in his lavish apartment. Sipping a glass of the dead man’s wine and tasting his casu marzu, Wilkes receives a call from his employer and lets him know he finished the job. The only thing left is to remove the body. Wilkes wraps it up like a mummy and drags it through the hotel lobby and into the street. He is seen by several people, but they assume it is all part of his Halloween costume. On the city streets, Wilkes bumps into three young people who are on their way to a party: Alan Morgan Adams (“of the Massachusetts Morgan Adamses”) (David Hull), Dorothy (Aurora Perrineau) and Nick (Harvey Guillén). Thinking his costume is cool, they ask him to join them, and he accepts the offer only to get a ride away from the police, who are nearby investigating the vandalism of parked cars.Rebecca Rittenhouse and Tom Bateman in The Body (2018)The party itself is an elaborate Halloween costume party held at mansion, and hosted by trust fund baby Jack Baker (Ray Santiago). Wilkes drags the wrapped corpse in, and it attracts the interest of partiers who believe it is a prop. The taciturn Wilkes has no use for the party. He also doesn’t attempt to hide who he is, relying instead on everyone’s acceptance that it’s a Halloween act. He is chatted up by Maggie (Rebecca Rittenhouse), an employee of Jack who is dressed as Marie Antoinette. She agrees to give him a ride to leave the party. However, their departure is slowed by the gang of partiers – Jack, Alan, Dorothy and Nick – who eventually discover that the corpse is real (and was still alive until Jack trampled it). Upon this revelation, Wilkes kills Nick with a thrown knife and vows to kill the others. But Jack tricks Maggie into opening a booby-trapped drawer, and the distraction allows Jack, Alan and Dorothy to escape with the corpse (Alan thinks there will be a reward). Jack locates a police officer (Max Adler) and brings him to the body in a parking garage.Rebecca Rittenhouse and Tom Bateman in The Body (2018)Maggie is left behind with Wilkes and, curiously fascinated with the hitman, offers him help (though he will repeatedly tell her “there is no we”). They escape Jack’s rigged room and pursue the trio with the body. This leads to Wilkes slitting the policeman’s throat. The chase proceeds through the streets, with Maggie using her technology skills to track the trio and frame them for the cop’s murder. Increasingly bickering with one another, Jack, Alan and Dorothy set out to destroy the body, first trying acid, then taking him to an incinerator at a funeral home. The pursuit takes both groups through a cemetery, where Wilkes and Maggie kiss before he stabs her and leaves her for dead. On his own now, Wilkes catches up with the trio at the funeral home. He kills a security guard and then Jack, who has broken off from the others. Dorothy and Alan have the body in the incinerator room and are waiting for the oven to heat up. When Wilkes arrives, they try to shoot and strangle him, but fail. Wilkes kills Alan, then Dorothy accidentally shoots herself when a bullet intended for the hitman bizarrely rebounds off a flimsy metal tray and strikes her in the middle of her forehead.Rebecca Rittenhouse and Tom Bateman in The Body (2018)Wilkes finally recovers the body and calls his employer to inform him that everything is in order. While on the phone, however, he is shot by Maggie, who has survived the stabbing. She uses police tape found nearby to wrap up Wilkes’ body and drags it to a dumpster. On the way, she passes a group of people and tells them it is all part of her Halloween costume. “Amazeballs,” one of them responds.The acting wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t horrible. Ray Santiago was funny. It was cool seeing him outside of Ash vs. The Evil Dead. I liked Rebecca Rittenhouse as Maggie. But, Tom Bateman was a cold and calculating killer. His presence as Wilkes the Hitman is terrifying. Director Paul Davis did a great job of delivering scenes of sickening suspense and gore spliced with drama and dark humorous comedy.

REVIEW: ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Starring

Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)
Emile Hirsch (Alpha Dog)
Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys)
Timothy Olyphant (Santa CLarita Diet)
Julia Butters (American Housewife)
Austin Butler (Arrow)
Dakota Fanning (Ocean’s 8)
Bruce Dern (Freaks)
Mike Moh (Inhumans)
Luke Perry (Riverdale)
Damian Lewis (Homeland)
Al Pacino (The Devil’s Advocate)
Brenda Vaccaro (Supergirl)
Nicholas Hammond (Stealth)
Samantha Robinson (Cam)
Lena Dunham (This is 40)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yoga Hosers)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 4)
Scoot McNairy (Argo)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Mindy Project)
Rumer Willis (Return To Sender)
Clu Gulager (Feast)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Kurt Russell (The Christmas Chronicles)
Zoë Bell (The Hateful Eight)
Michael Madsen (Species)
James Remar (Black Lightning)
Corey Burton (Critters)
Quentin Tarantino (Planet Terror)
Maurice Compte (Power)
James Marsden (X-Men)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Perla Haney-Jardine (Steve Jobs)

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)In February 1969, Hollywood actor Rick Dalton, star of 1950s Western television series Bounty Law, fears his career is over. Casting agent Marvin Schwarz advises him to make Spaghetti Westerns, which Dalton feels are beneath him. Dalton’s friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth —– a war veteran who lives in a trailer with his pit bull, Brandy —– drives Dalton around because Dalton’s alcoholism has resulted in multiple DUIs. Booth struggles to find work due to rumors that he murdered his wife. Actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, have moved next door to Dalton, who dreams of befriending them to restore his status. That night, Tate and Polanski attend a celebrity-filled party at the Playboy Mansion.Margot Robbie in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)The next day, Booth repairs Dalton’s TV antenna. He reminisces about a sparring contest he had with Bruce Lee on the set of The Green Hornet, resulting in Booth being fired. Charles Manson stops by the Polanski residence looking for Terry Melcher, who used to live there, but is turned away by Jay Sebring. Tate goes for errands and stops at a movie theater to watch herself in The Wrecking Crew. While driving Dalton’s car, Booth picks up a hitchhiker, named Pussycat. He drops her off at Spahn Ranch, where Booth once filmed Bounty Law. He notices the hippies living there (the Manson Family). Suspecting they are taking advantage of the owner, George Spahn, Booth insists on checking on him despite Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s objections. Spahn dismisses Booth’s fears. Booth discovers that Steve “Clem” Grogan slashed a tire on Dalton’s car; Booth beats him and forces him to change it. Tex Watson is asked to deal with the situation but arrives as Booth drives away.Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)Dalton plays a villain on the pilot of Lancer, and strikes up a conversation with his eight-year-old co-star, Trudi Fraser, a committed Method actor. Dalton struggles with his dialogue. After having a breakdown in his trailer, Dalton delivers a performance that impresses Fraser and the director, Sam Wanamaker, bolstering Dalton’s confidence. After watching Dalton’s guest performance on an episode of The F.B.I., Schwarz books him as the lead of Sergio Corbucci’s next Western, Nebraska Jim. Dalton takes Booth with him for a six month stint in Italy, during which he appears in two additional Westerns and a Eurospy comedy, and marries Italian starlet Francesca Capucci. Dalton informs Booth he can no longer afford his services.Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)On the evening of their first day back Dalton and Booth go out for drinks, then return to Dalton’s house. Booth smokes an acid-laced cigarette and takes Brandy for a walk. Tex, Susan Atkins, Linda “Flower Child” Kasabian, and Patricia “Katie” Krenwinkel park outside in preparation to murder everyone in Tate’s house. Dalton hears the car and orders them to leave. Changing their plans, they decide to kill Dalton after Sadie reasons Hollywood “taught them to murder”. Flower Child drives off, deserting the other three. They break into Dalton’s house and confront Capucci and Booth, who recognizes them from Spahn Ranch. Booth orders Brandy to attack, and together they kill Katie and Tex and severely injure Sadie. Booth is injured in the altercation. Sadie stumbles outside, alarming Dalton, who was listening to music on headphones, oblivious to the mayhem. He retrieves a flamethrower – a souvenir from one of his movies – and incinerates her. Booth is hospitalized, Sebring engages Dalton in conversation, and Tate invites Dalton over for drinks.The ending leaves you wondering “What if…” over and over again, questioning what reality would look like if these fictional characters of Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth actually existed. And I think that’s when I realized how perfect the title was: it’s a humorous, fairy-tale (although not completely violent-free) ending to the tragic fate of Hollywood in the 60s…

REVIEW: UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB

CAST

Colin Woodell (The Originals)
Betty Gabriel (The Purge: Election Year)
Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Mindy Project)
Andrew Lees (Legends of Tomorrow)
Connor Del Rio (Little Savages)
Stephanie Nogueras (Switched at Birth)
Savira Windyani (Ink & Rain)
Chelsea Alden (13 Reasons why)
Alexa Mansour (Seal Team)
Douglas Tait (Grimm)

Connor Del Rio and Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)Matias O’Brien is working on a new laptop he has acquired, originally belonging to someone named Norah C. IV. He begins working on Papaya, an app he is making for his deaf girlfriend Amaya: the app listens to the user’s voice and posts their words on the screen. However, Amaya is upset because the app only makes it convenient for her to understand him, but not for him to understand her.Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, and Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)Matias keeps getting messages for Norah from someone named Erica. He gets on a Skype video call with his friends – tech wiz Damon, conspiracy theorist and YouTube-personality AJ, DJ Lexx, and couple Serena and Nari – and becomes frustrated with the computer constantly restarting. Serena and Nari reveal that they just got engaged. Serena wishes she told her mom sooner because her mom is on life support due to brain cancer.Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)Matias discovers that Erica is actually Norah. As he had taken the laptop from a lost and found bin at a cyber cafe, he prepares to return it. He sees a message for Norah about payment they received for a video. Curious, he converses with this mystery person. The user, Charon68, talks to Matias through a message board called The River. All his friends are watching Matias’s actions through a shared screen, and AJ recognizes this as the dark web. The user mentions a video, as well as trephination. Matias looks up trephination, and they all learn it means drilling a hole in a person’s skull. He stops talking to Charon68, disturbed.Douglas Tait and Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)Damon realizes that “Norah C.” is just Charon spelled backwards. The group finds hidden videos, most of which are of girls being tortured. Matias looks up the address on one of the videos and sees that a girl went missing from there: it’s Erica Dunne, the person whose account Charon was using. Matias receives a video call from Amaya. However, she is in the shower. Instead, he sees a hooded figure knock out her roommate Kelly; the figure turns out to be Norah C/Charon. He demands the laptop back or he will kill Amaya.Andrew Lees and Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)Matias notices Nari trying to call the police. He stalls and says it was all a game he’s making since it’s game night. His friends are relieved but upset. Matias tries to convince Amaya to come over. She is still upset, thinking that he’s not making an effort to learn ASL for her. Matias admits that he got scared when the instructor said how difficult dating a deaf person could be, but he truly wants it to work for them. Amaya decides to meet with Matias, with Charon following her.Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)To ensure Charon complies, Matias transfers all the crypto-currency in Charon’s account into his own. Charon angrily chides Matias for this but Matias says he’ll get the money and laptop back on the promise that Amaya is safe and Erica is returned. He then receives messages from The Circle, a group of hackers all using variations of Charon as their handles. They seem to know about Matias taking the money, and Charon reveals his face.Douglas Tait, Chelsea Alden, and Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)Multiple accounts with the name Charon join the video chat. They post a video of someone pushing Lexx off her building’s roof, where she was taking a call. The Circle reveals they’ve edited videos of AJ to make it sound like he will shoot up a shopping mall and played it for a 911 operator. The cops enter his house and the Circle hacks his computer to play a sound effect of a shotgun being loaded. This results in the cops believing he is armed and shooting him. The Circle then shows camera footage of Nari at the subway and Serena’s mother on life support. They force Serena to choose between the two but she can’t. When the countdown ends, the Circle pulls her mom off life support, pushes Nari in front of a train, and kills Serena in her house.Stephanie Nogueras and Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)Matias leaves to get Amaya on his bike, leaving the laptop open so Damon can copy its files. Charon I takes control of the laptop and Damon talks to the Circle, saying he’s been recording everything for the police to find. A Charon brings Erica into Matias’s closet. Damon explains that the Circle had planned all along for Matias to find the bait laptop so it looks like he and his friends committed the crimes, so the Circle can further avoid detection from the law. Moments later, a Charon hangs Damon by his closet door. Another Charon writes a fake confession and suicide note, implying everyone killed themselves out of guilt.Andrew Lees, Betty Gabriel, Connor Del Rio, Rebecca Rittenhouse, and Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)Matias gets a call from Amaya asking where he is. He realizes the Circle had hacked his messages to make Amaya go somewhere else. He watches the camera feed helplessly as Amaya gets attacked by a Charon, presumably to torture or kill her for another video. Broken, he asks the Circle why they did all of this, and they repeat a clip of him earlier saying “After all, it is game night”, revealing that this is simply entertainment for them.Colin Woodell in Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)The Circle members launch a poll to decide Matias’s fate, as they vote he laughs, no longer caring about his own safety. Erica wakes up in Matias’s apartment and goes to the computer, begging for help, but the video cuts off. In the street, the poll reaches up to 23257 tallied votes, with less than a quarter voting for him to remain alive, Matias is run over by a Charon in a large van. Their job done and their crimes pinned on Matias and his friends, the members of the Circle appear in front of the cameras and express their joy of completion, as it is revealed that the audience’s point of view was actually from Charon I’s computer.This movie although having a bit of a slow start, get INTENSE and doesn’t let up throughout. Very suspenseful flick my friend and I were turning heads with our jaw dropped throughout. DARK movie and my expectations were shattered in a good way. Highly recommend.