REVIEW: THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE

CAST

William Mapother (World Trade Center)
Rya Kihlstedt (Heroes Reborn)
John Rubinstein (Robocop: the Series)
Sharon Maughan (The Bank Job)
Harry Groener (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)

The story of the film is presented in documentary format, with footage of the events punctuated by interviews with people related to them. In the early 1970s, Dr. Henry West (William Mapother) founds the Atticus Institute in rural Pennsylvania, hoping to find evidence that proves supernatural abilities such as ESP are real. Despite the best work of West and his aides, however, every subject that comes to the institute seeming to display such abilities are ultimately proven to be frauds. The team is demoralized in their work by the time Judith Winstead (Rya Kihlstedt) is brought to the institute by her sister Margaret, who is troubled by her disturbing behavior. Judith immediately proves to be a different case than the previous subjects, passing all the tests with incredible proficiency and leaving no doubt that her abilities are genuine. Her behavior remains erratic, however, and many of West’s staff become uncomfortable with her, even while their boss’s fascination with her increases. With the usual tests proving to be no challenge for Judith’s incredible power, the team gradually introduces new tests that show her to possess even greater abilities than first imagined.Judith’s behavior grows more unstable as her abilities evolve, disturbing West’s staff. Bizarre events begin to happen to the aides and their families outside of the institute, which they suspect Judith is somehow influencing, and many of them resign from their positions to escape from her. As the situation escalates, the team seeks help from the United States military; under the influence of military advisors, they conduct new tests that lead to Judith manifesting new abilities such as telekinesis and pyrokinesis. One day, Judith experiences a violent reaction to a spectral photography experiment, and when the images are checked, a cloud-like entity is observed temporarily leaving Judith’s body during her convulsions. This leads the team to realize that Judith’s powers are the result of demonic possession.With this discovery, the military seizes full control of the institute under a pretext of national security, and the situation spirals completely out of control. Soon, the military decides that Judith’s abilities can be utilized as a weapon against the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and they begin conducting increasingly inhumane experiments on Judith against West’s objections. Using methods such as electroshock therapy, the military try to tame the demon and force it to cooperate in exercises such as identifying the location of enemy bases, ignoring the effects these tests have on Judith. As these experiments ultimately prove fruitless, the military decides to try removing the demon from Judith by having a priest perform an exorcism while a soldier is connected to Judith via machinery. The process shows promise at first, but Judith suddenly lashes out and gravely injures the priest, disconnecting the electrodes attached to her before passing out. As the staff try to reattach the electrodes, Judith experiences a violent seizure while the demon attacks West through the body of the soldier connected to her. An unseen force blasts through the facility, killing all present. As the cameras come back online, Judith – now free of the demon’s control and restored to her true self – breaks down when she sees the carnage around her. The demon enters the room in West’s body, having fully consumed his soul, and stands before Judith’s cell as she pleads for help. West kills Judith by telekinetically bursting her heart, then calmly exits the room and disappears.The film concludes with a note revealing that Judith’s body was buried in an undisclosed location following an autopsy, and her case remains the only instance of possession officially certified by the United States government. Dr. Henry West, after disappearing on October 23, 1976, was declared legally dead in 1982 and his whereabouts have been unknown for over forty years.Overall The Atticus Institute is one of those mediocre horror films that you can coast your way through if you are just determined to watch it. There isn’t any real connection given between the character development and the audience. The horror and chilling elements aren’t really scary or affective unless you are 12 and really creeped out by demons and paranormal stuff. The framing device and story arc is so done to death, that it becomes a bit boring and you find yourself asking “why am I watching this?”.

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REVIEW: THE WEDDING VIDEO

CAST

Lucy Punch (Bad Teacher)
Rufus Hound (Big Fat Gypsy Gangster)
Robert Webb (Peep Show)
Matt Berry (Swansong)
Michelle Gomez (Bad Education)
Miriam Margolyes (The Guilt Trip)
Harriet Walter (Onegin)

Raif Moyle (Hound) has been chosen to be the best man to his brother Tim (Webb) and Saskia (Punch) at their wedding. Raif decides to give Tim and Saskia an unforgettable present in the form of a wedding video. He discovers that Tim has left his bohemian life behind and is marrying into a family aspirant of a higher-class lifestyle—especially Saskia’s hideous Hyacinth Bucket-esque grandmother (Miriam Margolyes).With the bride’s mother interfering with wedding plans (such as arranging horses dressed as unicorns and butterflies to release by the bridesmaids), Raif finds out that Saskia is the rebellious Saskia he knew at school. Spending an increasing amount of time with her during the wedding arrangements, Raif and Saskia kiss after the stress of the planning takes its toll on her. Eventually revealing this to Tim en route to the wedding, they decide to intercept Saskia on her way to the church. Tim asks Saskia whether she really wants the marriage to go ahead; she tearfully says “no”. Arriving late to the church, the three make their way up the aisle to the altar, where Tim announces that his and Saskia’s wedding will not proceed. However, Raif steps forward and the vicar conducts a brief, but non-legal, ceremony for Raif and Saskia. At the wedding reception, being held at a grand stately home (the real-life Basildon Park), Saskia’s mother realises that all she wants is for Saskia to be happy.There’s nothing remotely surprising but there’s a lot to be enjoyed. It’s well acted, got a few funny bits and still manages to strive for a unique thread even though we know the ending by a mile off. It’s the journey though, hanging around with these perfectly lovely characters.

REVIEW: LOADED

CAST

Jesse Metcalfe (Dead Rising)
Corey Large (It Follows)
Monica Keena (Freddy vs Jason)
Nathalie Kelley (The Vampire Diaries)
Chance Crawford (Gossip Girl)
Johnny Messner (Running Scared)
Jimmy Jean-Louis (Heroes)
Vinnie Jones (Snatch)
Taylor Cole (The Origianls)
Nicole Eggert Blown Away)
Drew Fuller (Charmed)
Erin Gray (Jason Goes To Hell)
Noel Gugliemi (The Fast and The Furious)
Lochlyn Munro (Scary Movie)

Tristan Price is a wealthy and privileged teenager who seemingly has everything he could ever want, money, loving parents and a beautiful girlfriend. However, his perfect life is turned upside down by the arrival of Sebastian, a handsome, charismatic, ruthless drug dealer. As Tristan is sucked into a seedy underworld of drugs, sex and violence he begins to realise his new best friend is, in fact, his worst enemy.Generally it was a good movie with an ideal ending; the acting was spectacular and the characters didn’t stray from their persons. I especially liked the plot, although you knew what was going to happen it still gave the element of surprise through out the entire movie. However, I find that coming on to the ending it could have been a little longer (extended maybe)- to me it seemed like it was rushed a bit; as if the writer was trying to take linens off the lines before the rain fell.

REVIEW: THE ULTIMATE WEAPON

CAST

Hulk Hogan (Suburban Commando)
Carl Marotte (My Bloody Valentine)
Cynthia Preston (Carrie)
Lynne Adams (Shattered Glass)

image-w448When mercenary “Hardball” Cutter discovers that the team he is working with is actually a group of IRA gunrunners, he decides to put a stop to their plans. Furious with Cutter, the gunrunners target him, his partner, and his family. .157880843_d736f6No, this isn’t a very artistic movie. Yes, you’ve seen the story before. No, the actors aren’t especially good. But yes. There is action. This is a good action movie. Big guns, explosions, ex C.I.A agents taking out entire armies on their own and non-stop action. Hulk Hogan is awesome and he really fills the role.