A riotous hybrid of alien mayhem and cabin-in-the-woods horror, this movie has a playful tone that makes it thoroughly entertaining. So even if the big emotional beats don't quite work and the plot seems to shift gears a few to many times, the film is still scary and gleefully yucky. The Vicious Brothers (aka Stuart Ortiz and Colin Minihan) clearly know their way around the various genres, and have a great time mashing them up into something inventive and involving.
It starts with plans for a romantic weekend in an isolated family cabin that's about to be sold off. April (Brittany Allen) is looking forward to time with her boyfriend Kyle (Freddie Stroma), and is more than a little annoyed that he invites his chucklehead pal Seth (Jesse Moss) and his friends Melanie and Lex (Melanie Papalia and Anja Savcic) along. Even before they connect with pot-growing neighbour Travis (Michael Ironside), their high-spirited antics have attracted the attention of Sheriff Murphy (Gil Bellows). But he's a bit preoccupied by reports of strange attacks and disappearances that are being blamed on invading aliens. Clearly there's something bigger going on here, and while Travis is sure it's a government conspiracy, Murphy's deputy Mitchell (Sean Rogerson) thinks it has more to do with a cabin full of drug-tripping teens.
The film looks terrific, with above-average effects that never take over the action. Designs reference most of the classic alien movies, but with a horror twist that makes everything a bit more menacing. And as the filmmakers deploy every cliche in the book, they also manage to keep us on our toes by constantly undermining expectations. This includes the introductory section in which April and Kyle get to develop a bit of emotional momentum in their relationship, which carries right through to the final moments of the film. Although once the craziness breaks loose, Allen and Stroma are rather a lot more limited in the subtext they can add to the characters. It's hard to add texture when you're running and screaming, although Bellows makes his skeptical, stoic cop intriguingly haunted.
Continue reading: Extraterrestrial Review
Dark and haunting, this Canadian thriller has an offhanded style that balances a grisly mystery with real-life humour, plus characters who are easy to identify with. It may spark memories of Fargo with its snowy small-town female cop storyline, but it's a much moodier movie, delving into religious themes that add an emotionally unsettling twist. So even if the plot itself feels somewhat straightforward and inevitable, the atmosphere is riveting.
Susan Sarandon stars as past-her-prime police officer Hazel, using sardonic humour to get through each uneventful day. Then a family friend is violently murdered, and she decides to investigate the case herself. To tackle the first murder in Fort Dundas in four years, Hazel teams up with long-time colleague Ray (Gil Bellows) and newcomer Ben (Topher Grace), who has just transferred in from big-city Toronto, complete with his own issues. They soon link the killing to others around the country and, by consulting with a priest (Donald Sutherland) who's an expert in Latin, it becomes clear that these murders are part of a much greater plan that has a connection with early Christian mysticism. The question is whether they can predict who the next victim will be so they can catch the killer.
Director Jason Stone and writer Scott Abrahamovich draw the audience in with carefully developed characters and hilariously spiky interaction, then grab onto us with the intriguing mystery. There's a dark sense of foreboding from the start, tempered with dry wit to keep us off balance. They also let us see the soft-spoken killer (Christopher Heyerdahl) early on, which further complicates the story and elevates the suspense into something darkly personal. At the centre, Sarandon gives a wonderfully sassy performance, bouncing superbly off of Bellows and Grace, who has some subtle depth of his own. The presence of veterans like Burstyn (as Hazel's ex-judge mother) and Sutherland adds extra oomph.
Continue reading: The Calling Review
April (Brittany Allen) and her boyfriend Kyle (Freddie Stroma) have organised a romantic weekend away in April's parent's cabin in the woods. To April's dismay, Kyle has invited their friends Melanie (Melanie Papalia), Seth (Jesse Moss) and Lex (Anja Savcic) and arranged for them to have a party weekend. With the party in full swing, the teenagers seen what looks like a plane crashing into the woods. Upon investigation, they discover that it was in fact a UFO with an extra-terrestrial life form inside. When the ensuing terror and surprise causes them to kill it in self-defence, they find the aliens retaliating in the worst way possible.
Continue: Extraterrestrial Trailer
There's trouble in a sleepy Ontario town when serial murders turn out to be ritualistic in nature in Susan Sarandon's new detective thriller 'The Calling'.
Susan Sarandon has her hands full as Detective Inspector Hazel Micallef in eerie serial murder mystery flick 'The Calling' out later this year. It feels like a classic killer thriller, but can it live up to the novel? And, more importantly, will it become the next trilogy to look out for?
Susan Sarandon is a cop in her latest project
We've been quite into our small town murders recently, what with FX's 'Fargo' becoming such a hit, so it's only right that we get excited about another creepy case set in a quiet wilderness. The movie is based on the first mystery novel of the same name published in 2008 by Michael Redhill under the pseudonym Inger Ash Wolfe (cool name or what?). He revealed himself as the author back in 2012 with many reviews previously suggesting his true identity was everyone from Margaret Atwood to Farley Mowat; he's a mystery unto himself.
Hazel Micallef (Susan Sarandon) is a Detective Inspector leaving a rather peaceful existence in the small town of Fort Dundas, Ontario with her ageing mother Emily (Ellen Burstyn). She rarely has to deal with any major crimes in such a quiet district, but all that's about to change when she discovers the body of an old woman who had been brutally murdered. Alongside detective Ray Greene (Gil Bellows), they set out to investigate the vicious crime and discover a series of other bodies along the way which all have one thing in common: the mouths of each victim have all been physically manipulated to form, consecutively, the syllables of an ancient latin prayer of resurrection. They enlist the help of priest Father Price in a bid to uncover the intent behind the killer's deeds, and prevent the prayer from being completed with more victims.
Continue: The Calling Trailer
On November 22nd 1963 in Dallas, Texas, the hugely adored President John F. Kennedy was shot to death as he arrived in the city with First Lady Jackie Kennedy. A women's clothing manufacturer named Abraham Zapruder had no idea of the events that would unfold as he set up his camera preparing for Kennedy's arrival; no idea that his footage would be seen by millions repeatedly as the only visual evidence for what took place that day. Few people know anything about this man, or indeed the other people who ended up becoming involved in this historic tragedy, such as the doctors and nurses who were forced to perform immediate life-saving attempts even with their initial shock and devastation, and the family of alleged killer US Marine Lee Harvey Oswald.
This historical drama tells the stories of the lesser known figures who became involved with one of the most famous assassinations in the history of the world ahead its 50th anniversary. It has been directed and written by Peter Landesman who is best known for his sex slavery article 'The Girls Next Door' which was published in the New York Times. 'Parkland' will be released in UK theatres on November 8th 2013.
When Abraham Zapruder, a women's clothing manufacturer from Texas, excitedly set up his camera to record the grand arrival of the much-loved President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy in Dallas on November 22nd 1963, he had no idea that he would in fact record one of the most shocking and most watched films in history when the President was fatally shot by a nearby gunman. He became one of a string of unlikely individuals to get involved in one of the world's most publicised assassination cases, along with all the doctors and nurses who were forced to overcome the shock when Kennedy was rushed to Parkland Hospital; the family of the alleged killer, US Marine Lee Harvey Oswald; and those FBI agents who could've prevented the incident when they had Oswald in their grasp.
'Parkland' is a new historical drama about one of the most famous assassinations in history which is set for release ahead of the event's 50th anniversary. It has been directed and written by Peter Landesman who is controversially best known for his New York Times article on sex slavery 'The Girls Next Door' which he later turned into a film called 'Trades' and which was publicly accused of being at least partly fictitious. 'Parkland' is set to be released in the UK on November 8th 2013.
Elissa and her divorced mother Sarah seek a new start in a beautiful countryside town. Everything seems perfect with their nice house, quiet community and wonderful neighbours. Soon Elissa meets her next door neighbour, a boy called Ryan, who enchants her with the unusual way he sees the world. It isn't long before she discovers that he lives in his house alone after his younger sister murdered their parents in the night before mysteriously disappearing. Ryan is seen as not normal by some people, and Sarah urges Elissa never to find herself alone with him in his house. She ignores her desperate mother's pleas and soon discovers a disturbing secret that Ryan has kept locked away over the years putting her in grave danger.
Continue: House at the End of the Street Trailer
After 25 years in prison, con-artist Foley (Jackson) decides to change his life. All his old friends are gone, and his best pal's son Ethan (Kirby) now works for vicious businessman Xavier (Wilkinson). But Ethan brings back the issues Foley is trying to put behind him. Worse, Ethan needs Foley's help for a "samaritan" grift, which involves coming to the aid of the mark to win his trust. Then Foley meets vulnerable young call-girl Iris (Negga), who manages to get under his skin.
Continue reading: Fury [aka The Samaritan] Review
Now Conrad has directed his first feature, The Promotion, and he remains fascinated by the mechanics of everyday life -- more so, in fact, because Doug (Seann William Scott) and Richard (John C. Reilly), both assistant managers at a Chicago-area grocery store, will probably never be anything as glitzy as a local weatherman or a stockbroker.
Continue reading: The Promotion Review