Film trailers have a way of misleading the viewer and I for one think on occassion that’s a good thing, it’s quite refreshing to be surprised whether that be in a good or bad way and Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz directorial debut was certainly a surprise and not what I expected at all : ANTEBELLUM is set in Louisiana during the American Civil War, the base for the story is set around a plantation (that looks like the one used in Tarantino’s Django) which is run by the Confederate Army and the land around it is worked by Slaves including Janelle Monáe’s character Eden, the slaves are treated in barbaric fashion and as the film progresses Eden slowly discovers all is not what it seems : if this makes any sense at all Antebellum is one of those movies that I enjoyed but I also felt a little empty at it’s end : the film is thought provoking, it’s relevant, has some fabulous photography by the Uruguayan Pedro Luque & is well acted by the likes of Janelle Monáe & Kiersey Clemons yet it’s story should have offered more, maybe focussing on other members of the group being held, how they got to the plantation and not just focussing on Monae’s character and her attempt at freedom? everybody loves a good villain and I felt Jena Malone was wasted, such a talent at your disposal (use it) : overall Antebellum is not a bad movie, i’ve seen far worse and the duo of Bush & Renz have cleverly used their original story telling to not only entertain but also more importantly to continue the message that hatred still exists in society and it must be stamped out, yes the film or it’s deliverance may not work to everybody’s satisfaction but that’s life, movies are all about opinions and I have to say I enjoyed this provocative slice of horror ★★★½
The story of a husband and wife that will stop at nothing to find their missing daughter, who vanishes on a family vacation : Peter Facinelli mostly known for his acting work in the likes of the Twilight franchise is behind the camera on THE VANISHED an intriguing new take on the kidnapping genre that Facinelli also wrote basing the movie around something that happened to him many years earlier : the films reunites Thomas Jane & Anne Heche who plays parents taking their ten-year-old daughter Taylor played by Kk Heim and their Pug on a family vacation, the film starts innocently enough with the family happily singing songs whilst driving their RV into a holiday park in what looks like the back of beyond and that’s when the questions start and the unnerving tension starts to build : not all is what it seems and Facinelli really does an excellent job in ramping the mystery up a notch, twisting & turning the story like a car travelling down Lombard Street and The Vanished keeps you guessing right up until it’s nerve-shattering finale : Overall this is an excellent movie with good performances, especially Jason Patrick’s turn as the local Sheriff who’s dealing with his own demons and Alex Haydon as the peculiar looking ground keeper, I also loved the scenery around Alabama so if your looking for a good belter of a thriller then check this one out ★★★★
STATIC – (2012/3) – Movie Review ★★★½
Cast – Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi and Sara Paxton – Static is the directorial debut of Todd Levin and in centered around a young couple Jonathan (Ventimiglia) and Addie (Shahi)who are facing marital difficulties after loosing their young child in a freak drowning accident, their life is thrown in to further disarray when a mysterious visitor knocks on their door in the middle of the night VERDICT all credit goes to first time director Todd Levin (who also wrote the script) on delivering a home invasion movie with a twist – the movies slow pace lends to the tension and creates some descent character building, Ventimiglia is an excellent young actor who handles the lead extremely well and is solidly backed up by Shahi & Paxton – the director does well in veering away from the standard slasher style flick and unlike most modern day horror’s Static has very little violence but is one of eerie suspense and great use of sound to deliver it’s message – overall Static doesn’t break any new ground but is a well produced, well acted and entertaining thriller that leaves you more than satisfied when them end credits roll….
THE LAST DAYS ON MARS (2013) – Movie Review ★★★½
Cast – Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas, Olivia Williams & Romola Garai – a research team on Mars have nineteen hours before rendezvousing with their lander to take them home when a crew member’s discovery leads to an infection that turns it’s host into some sort of zombie like killing machine – VERDICT like most films that are based around an isolated scenario, it’s the character development that allows you to connect and get sucked into that particular environment, BUT in Ruairi Robinson’s feature debut there’s no real time allowed for character building, when this alien infection starts picking off the crew members one by one you find yourself not really caring who lives or dies – in my opinion the film could have done with another 30mins run time, fleshing out some of the characters and building the movie’s tension before that inevitable final killing spree – the illusion of Mars is captured perfectly by shooting on location in Jordan and that alongside the delightful camerawork are some real positives – THE LAST DAYS ON MARS is an enjoyable scifi yarn that draws obvious inspiration from the likes of Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey but due to the movies mediocre script and it’s short running time your left with the nagging feeling of what could have been….
SOLO (2013) – Movie Review ★★★
Cast – Annie Clark, Daniel Kash, Richard Clarkin and Steven Love – Annie Clark playsGillian a seventeen year old girl gets a job as a counselor at a Summer Camp, as part of her initiation to look after the kids at the camp she has to spend 2 nights alone on a remote island, with no camera and cell phone VERDICT the real find of SOLO is most definitely the lovely and talented Annie Clark who you may know from TVs Degrassi: The Next Generation playing Fiona – Ms Clark is not just a pretty face she’s a quality young actress with the ability to captivate and turn an average movie into a good one, hopefully given the right material we could see her as a leading lady in many pictures to come – Isaac Cravit‘s directorial debut in my opinion is not quite scary or dark enough to fulfill it’s potential – the writing is average, slightly predictable and the movies big bad is not quite menacing enough, I also felt not enough was done to capitalize on the film’s remote location, it could have been used to carry more bite and tension but instead I felt it was a mere spectator in proceedings – overall SOLO is certainly not the worst movie I have seen this year, Annie Clark looks like a star in the making and the film’s director is worth keeping tabs on for future projects….