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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: Brightburn

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David Yarovesky’s ‘Brightburn’ is an intriguing thriller that puts a unique spin on the classic story of Superman, with the results turning much more sinister.

Dropping on May 24th, the film stars Elizabeth Banks, Jackson A. Dunn, David Denman, Matt L. Jones, and Jennifer Holland.

According to the synopsis:

“What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? With Brightburn, the visionary filmmaker of Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither presents a startling, subversive take on a radical new genre: superhero horror.”

The chemistry among the characters is immediately evident, as the dialogue flows in a natural manner, helping the film move fluidly along as the story unfolds.

The origins of the Breyer’s son, Brandon, is kept a mystery throughout the film, as is the origin and purpose of the voice(s) he continues to hear as he unravels into an evil entity, which makes the film that much more intriguing and interesting.

Brightburn keeps itself footed in the horror genre with some gory kills and tense moments, such as Brandon stalking a classmate, that really stand out in a movie that seems to perfectly and consistently balance the varying tones of the film.

From start to finish the film delivers and packs plenty to like in it’s 90 minute runtime making Brightburn a must see as we head towards Memorial Day Weekend.

Fright Nerd Score
82.5 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Brightburn keeps itself footed in the horror genre with some gory kills and tense moments, such as Brandon stalking a classmate, that really stand out in a movie that seems to perfectly and consistently balance the varying tones of the film.
Fright Nerd Score82.5
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REVIEW: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

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Last week, Netflix’s long-awaited film that centered on infamous serial killer Ted Bundy, from the perspective of his long-time girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, premiered and it was met with mixed reviews.

According to the synopsis: “A courtroom frenzy ensues and sweeps 1970s America when a young single mother reluctantly tips the attention of a widespread manhunt toward her longtime boyfriend, Ted Bundy.”

Zac Efron dazzles in his role of Bundy, creating a magnetic like-ability that made the real-life Bundy so appealing in the media. Efron, from angles, even looked eerily similar to Bundy, making his performance that much more powerful.

However, despite the performances of Efron, and Lily Collins (Kloepfer) this film seems “off”, muddying itself into a controversial arena that almost invokes sympathy for Bundy, one of the most evil and brutal killers in America history.

While it’s fair to argue that portraying Bundy this way accurately tells the story, as that is what made him so fascinating and captivating, the film spends too much time on certain events while brushing past others, creating a very odd and confused dynamic..

Directory Joe Berlinger seems to want to do so much in so little time, and although this was told from a certain perspective, it still deviates from that perspective to tell other details and stories, losing grip and direction of the film’s intent in the process.

While it falls flat in certain areas, and it certainly does, it is still a solid movie. But, I cannot help but feel as though Efron, Collins, and performances from Jim Parsons and John Malkovich were cheated out of something that could have been so much bigger, and so much better.

Fright Nerd Score
74 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
While it falls flat in certain areas, and it certainly does, it is still a solid movie. But, I cannot help but feel as though Efron, Collins, and performances from Jim Parsons and John Malkovich were cheated out of something that could have been so much bigger, and so much better.
Fright Nerd Score74
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REVIEW: ‘I Trapped The Devil’

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Josh Lobo’s indie thriller ‘I Trapped the Devil‘ officially hit limited theaters and VOD platforms this weekend and his debut film focuses on a man’s psychological unraveling as he comes to terms with whatever is locked in his basement.

Scott Pothress, Susan Burke, and A.J. Bowen star in the film set in the Christmas season, but centers on what appears to be a demon trapped behind a door in a man’s basement.

The movie is painfully slow to get rolling and takes a rather challenging road of trying to convey terror and suspense without relying on visual scares, jump scares or any real terrifying moments.

For the most part, this terror is implied, and forces the viewer to decide for themselves if this is simply one man’s mental breakdown into insanity, or something paranormal.

The intent of the film is respectable, as it ventures into a creative sector that not many horror films take to, which makes the interest of watching it palpable.

However, the film lacks any “meat” beyond the bones of it’s premise, and when it’s coupled with a slow-developing plot, a tactical slow delivery of dialogue, and is void of any true scares, it stumbles to establish itself as anything significant.

Lobo’s job behind the camera is solid, despite the underwhelming delivery of the story. Solid acting keeps things afloat, but the film simply has an uninteresting script and the story fractures into confusing, and overly boring, scenarios that seem intended to speed up a film to a panicked, frightful conclusion.

Unfortunately, the film didn’t challenge my thinking, but challenged my attention span and an underwhelming impact of an ending was further softened by the weak substance the film consisted of.

Fright Nerd Score
32.5 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
the film lacks any "meat" beyond the bones of it's premise, and when it's coupled with a slow-developing plot, a tactical slow delivery of dialogue, and is void of any true scares, it stumbles to establish itself as anything significant.
Fright Nerd Score32.5
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