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REVIEW: The Hollow Child

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Last night, I got a chance to check out the horror-flick ‘The Hollow Child’ which received middle-of-the-road reviews and is available on VOD.

Per the movie’s synopsis, A troubled foster teen works to expose a dangerous supernatural impostor in her new family and rescue her foster sister.

The move starts off centered around Samantha (Jessica McLeod), who is a troubled foster teen that is getting a chance at normalcy in the home of, what I assume to be, her foster care worker, her husband, and their daughter, Olivia (Hanna Cheramy).

Samantha is in charge of walking with her new sister as they both head home from school, but constantly allows young Olivia to walk, at least half of the route, home on her own as Samantha parties with her friend.

During one of these instances, Olivia goes missing and Samantha bares the brunt of the blame, rightfully so, and the ire of her foster parents, mainly her foster dad who makes it clear that he is not on board with Samantha staying at the house.

Samantha is dealing with a lot, and is a cutter, and the film focuses on her struggles at various points throughout the film.

Olivia randomly returns to the home, apparently unharmed, but she is obviously different.

Something happened in the woods, something is controlling Olivia, and that something has very evil intentions.

The movie goes on to show Olivia’s evil demeanor, which is played well by the young Cheramy, and the balancing act that Samantha has to do: dealing with blame, guilt, trying to convince others of Olivia’s new demeanor, trying to prevent Olivia from doing harm, and trying to figure out what happened to her sister.

As the movie goes on, Olivia’s evil actions grow more vile. Olivia goes on a killing spree, showing her “other” side forcing Samantha to have to try and protect her friends, and loved ones.

A side-story focuses on the mysterious evil force that inhabits the forest, and it’s history of destruction.

The film is simplistic in it’s delivery,which is effective. There are only a couple of moments that make you look at the film side-eyed, as there are some rather ridiculous moments, but the totality of it, it’s approach, and it’s delivery, are worth a watch.

The ending may leave you guessing, but the movie is definitely worth the rent.

Fright Nerd Score
65 frights
Summary
The film is simplistic in it's delivery,which is effective. There are only a couple of moments that make you look at the film side-eyed, as there are some rather ridiculous moments, but the totality of it, it's approach, and it's delivery, are worth a watch.
Fright Nerd Score65

 

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REVIEW: In the Tall Grass

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In the Tall Grass

Stephen King has been killing it (no pun intended) when it comes to the movie adaptations of his classic novels, and the latest story to be turned into a film is ‘In the Tall Grass’ which hit Netflix recently.

Vincenzo Natali is behind the camera for the adaptation of Stephen King and Joe Hill’s novella, and it came with a lot of hype.

Starring Patrick Wilson, Laysla De Oliveira, Harrison Gilbertson, Avery Whitted, and Rachel Wilson, the film tells the story of: “After hearing a boy’s cry for help, a pregnant woman and her brother wade into a vast field of grass, only to discover there may be no way out.”

The film starts off strong, with a brother (Cal) and sister (Becky, who is pregnant) hearing the panicked cries of a young boy who seems lost in a field of very tall grass. After some debate, they both decide to venture in and try to locate the lost boy (Tobin).

Tobin, and something else, turn the two siblings in circles, disorientating them and separating them. Despite their call-outs, communication, and attempts to reconnect, they cannot find one another.

Along the way, Tobin appears, near his dead dog Freddy, but Becky meets a sinister fate….or does she?

This is where the film rolls off the cliff from interesting and engaging, to confusing and messy.

As the journey continues, we find that Becky, Cal, and Tobin aren’t alone in the grass, as Tobin’s parents Ross and Natalie, along with Becky’s boyfriend Travis, also find themselves seemingly trapped.

Not to mention, there is a mystic rock in the center of the field, one with ritualistic markings and some sort of power that is activated when touched. But, don’t touch it…I guess?

While waiting for the scares and tense moments, you slowly come to the disappointing realization that you’re just watching a bunch of people, dead and alive (depending), run around in the grass in what seems like a time warp that they cannot escape? But maybe they can?

It’s hard to tell. But this film does do one thing: proves that not all of Stephen King’s work should be made into films, as this one is simply anti-climactic and rather dull.

But, hey, give it a go. Maybe you’ll find your way to some sort of meaning or understanding of what this was/is, better than I could.

Fright Nerd Score
45 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
While waiting for the scares and tense moments, you slowly come to the disappointing realization that you're just watching a bunch of people, dead and alive (depending), run around in the grass in what seems like a time warp that they cannot escape? But maybe they can?
Fright Nerd Score45
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REVIEW: Creepshow – Episode 2

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Creepshow

Shudder grabbed the attention of a number of horror fans when they announced their rebooting of the beloved classic ‘Creepshow’, which is offering a brand new episode, composed of two stories, each week.

While the first episode showed promise, the second offering from Creepshow left much to be desired.

The first story ‘Bad Wolf Down’ is about a group of World War II American soldiers who are hunkered down in a prison as Nazi soldiers are closing in, forcing them into a tense, and critical decision making situation of life and death.

While in the prison, they encounter a French woman who is attempting to lock herself away and persuade them to kill her.

As one soldier in their unit betrays them, and the Nazis start to close in further, the woman passes on her curse as a werewolf to the soldiers so they can combat the Nazis and chase down the traitor for revenge.

Although it’s early in the series, this has to be the worst episode yet, as it’s hard to execute a proper werewolf tale these days without looking ridiculous. Even if it’s purposeful, it doesn’t make it any more watchable.

The second story is called ‘The Finger’, and the dark comedy tells the story of a depressed, lonely, divorcee who happens across the odd shriveled, finger of something non-human. After spilling his beer (the same one from ‘Gray Matter’) he notices the finger has strange powers.

He puts the finger in a freezer, where it shockingly grows into a demonic, alien-looking creature that he names “Bob”. Bob is intent on brutally taking his revenge, with blood, on those who have, even slightly, wronged his master in any way.

With every death Bob commits, the body part that his master cleans up, the law closes in. But, the ending has you questioning what’s real, and what’s not and caps off one of the more enjoyable entries in the series so far. While it’s not on the level of ‘Dollhouse’ it certain’y accomplishes the goal of making campy, gory, humor…work.

Fright Nerd Score
52.5 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Fright Nerd Score52.5
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REVIEW: The Furies

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the furies

Shudder is stepping up their game for the Halloween season, and their new film Tony D’Aquino’s ‘The Furies’ may be one of their most interesting offerings yet.

Kidnapped and afraid, a woman finds herself fighting to stay alive as an unwilling participant in a deadly game where women are hunted by masked men, but the story goes much deeper than that generalized synopsis.

Kayla (Airlie Dodds) suffers from epilepsy and after an argument with her friend Maddie, is abducted, experimented on, and placed in a box left in the middle of the woods.

When Kayla awakens, she realizes she is in the middle of nowhere, but happens to connect with others girls in a similar hell, and the story of ‘The Furies’ starts to unfold.

Essentially, each of the girls are in a highly-orchestrated deadly game of survival, where death seems undeniable.

While The Furies packs on the gore with some impressive, toe curling, death scenes, the story is so fractured that is lost my attention several times as the film progressed. While it does offer a few surprising, creative wrinkles, it isn’t enough to make the film anything to write home about.

Watchable? Yes. But the substance doesn’t make it “must see” and certainly doesn’t make it memorable.

Fright Nerd Score
62 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
While The Furies packs on the gore with some impressive, toe curling, death scenes, the story is so fractured that is lost my attention several times as the film progressed. While it does offer a few surprising, creative wrinkles, it isn't enough to make the film anything to write home about.
Fright Nerd Score62
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