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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: The Clovehitch Killer

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IFC Midnight is back at it again, in a good way, with ‘The Clovehitch Killer’, adding to an impressive year of delivering quality horror flicks, making IFC Midnight one of the premier destinations to find solid horror movie content on a consistent basis.

In Duncan Skiles’ movie, it tells the story of Tyler (Charlie Plummer) who begins to unravel a deadly mystery involving his father (Dylan McDermott). According to the synopsis:

“After Tyler finds a cache of disturbing images in his father’s possession, he begins to suspect that the man he trusts most in the world may be responsible for a series of unsolved murders.”

Tyler’s dad, Donald, is heavily involved in the community, and in the church. The community itself is still reeling over a string of murders attached to the infamous Clovehitch killer, whose calling card is a knot tied to a random part of a victim’s home, or where a victim’s body is discovered, and whose murderous reign ended a decade ago.

However, Tyler’s new friend Kassi (Madisen Beaty) believes that the killer had not stopped, and has continued murdering. After Tyler discovers some disturbing photos hidden in his father’s work shed, he forms a friendship with Kassi and joins her obsession with unraveling the mystery of the identity of the killer.

As they start theorizing that Don is the killer, Don start covering up his tracks and doing his best work in trying to convince Tyler that he is not the killer, instead placing full blame on his brother Rudy (Mark A. Nash) who is in a vegetative state due a car accident that occurred, coincidentally, 10 years ago.

However, the clues continue to point to Don, and both Tyler and Kassi are faced with a life-and-death situation as they inch closer to uncovering the truth behind the Clovehitch killer.

The movie is perfectly placed, with plenty of logical twists and turns to deliver a refreshingly realistic telling of a serial killer-based thriller. McDermott delivers a fine performance as a slowly unraveling psychopath who has played his clean-cut alter-ego perfectly, but has finally succumbed to his inner, devious, urges. A solid film from start to finish, with an ending that will stay with you for it’s tragic nature.

Fright Nerd Score
89 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
The movie is perfectly placed, with plenty of logical twists and turns to deliver a refreshingly realistic telling of a serial killer-based thriller. McDermott delivers a fine performance as a slowly unraveling psychopath who has played his clean-cut alter-ego perfectly, but has finally succumbed to his inner, devious, urges. A solid film from start to finish, with an ending that will stay with you for it's tragic nature.
Fright Nerd Score89
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REVIEW: The Farm

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Last week, ‘The Farm’ arrived amid a ton of anticipation and hype, and frankly I was excited to see what kind of twisted gore was in store for what seemed to be a detached, deranged, and devilishly entertaining film, one that could be a sleeper pick for horror fans.

Fright Nerd has covered ‘The Farm’ extensively, from it’s run at the festivals to it’s pending arrival on VOD, and last week was an exciting time to see what was finally causing all the buzz that was calling it one of the most violent films of the year.

Unfortunately, ‘The Farm’ served absolutely no purpose, and was mindlessly lost with no clear direction, definition, purpose, or place within it’s own existence.

Hans Stjernswärd’s film had the look and feel of a special, memorable, horror flick but a terrible script coupled with a lackluster approach at giving any explanation or backstory for anyone, anything, or any event going on within the film completely derailed it.

In similar films, they rely on the gore and kills to get by, but this film dragged on endlessly with very little of either, leaving you waiting for something to happen, and something to entertain you.

The film had all the ingredients to be a super cool film, but just like the final image in the final scene of the film, the film had me scratching my head waiting for something….anything.

Fright Nerd Score
34 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Hans Stjernswärd's film had the look and feel of a special, memorable, horror flick but a terrible script coupled with a lackluster approach at giving any explanation or backstory for anyone, anything, or any event going on within the film completely derailed it.
Fright Nerd Score34
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REVIEW: Errementari: The Devil and the Blacksmith

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Often times you can find a hidden gem on Netflix, especially in the horror genre, so I often times find myself going on the hunt for an obscure title that may surprise, and actually resonate with me. I stumbled across one film that could have been one of those hidden gems, and here is my review.

‘Errementari: .The Devil and the Blacksmith’ came out in 2017 and Netflix picked it up for release on it’s massive streaming platform in 2018 and tells the story of, “A brutal blacksmith tortures a demon he blames for his misery, unaware a trespassing orphan is about to change everything. Based on Basque folklore.”

The blending of fantasy story-telling and horror is interwoven with beautiful cinematography throughout the film, and although it is a foreign language film, Netflix does a good job with the dubbing, sans a certain scene that involves a slapping sound that sounds like a massive cracking whip more than a subtle quick slap across the face.

Aside from that, the story is told very well, albeit some corny scenes, and the pace of the movie is perfectly set. However, illogical nuances are more embarrassing than beneficial for a film that brings the viewers directly to hell. Apparently, demons can’t resists the power of the almighty chic pea. Yes, chic peas are the downfall, even the depths of hell, and it’s little elements such as that they add a ridiculous tone to a movie that really would have been better without it.

Still, it’s hard to find fantasy/horror films that are shot so well, and with costumes and makeup that look the part.

Despite the obvious flaws, Netflix did a good job taking a foreign language film and delivering it for the English speaking audience. The story flows well, the special effects work, and the overall delivery of the film, and characters work. While the aforementioned flaws cause for more laughs than the movie delivers scares, it’s still a solid flick.

Sure, it’s no Pans Labyrinth, but it’s watchable and worth the 1 hour and 39 minute investment of time, although it won’t blow you away.

Fright Nerd Score
51 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Despite the obvious flaws, Netflix did a good job taking a foreign language film and delivering it for the English speaking audience. The story flows well, the special effects work, and the overall delivery of the film, and characters work. While the aforementioned flaws cause for more laughs than the movie delivers scares, it's still a solid flick.
Fright Nerd Score51
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