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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: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

This past weekend, and with much anticipation, Andre Ovredal’s ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ hit theaters.

According to the synopsis: “The shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large in the small town of Mill Valley for generations. It’s in a mansion that young Sarah Bellows turns her tortured life and horrible secrets into a series of scary stories. These terrifying tales soon have a way of becoming all too real for a group of unsuspecting teens who stumble upon Sarah’s spooky home.”

Despite the promising premise, I couldn’t find anything to differentiate this film from the run-of-the-mill Goosebumps installment, which left it lacking in many areas, and buried it so deep in stupidity that not even their strong displays of special effects made this a worthwhile time investment.

I couldn’t find a reason to care about any of the main characters such as Stella (Zoe Margaret Colleti) or Ramon (Michael Garza) because this film simply failed to hold my attention.

Rooted in compelling horror stories that may have done well if done completely different, this fill clunked and bored it’s way from start to finish.

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REVIEW: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ tore up the box office during it’s first weekend, and for good reason.

Tarantino’s latest film pays homage to the rapidly changing landscape of Hollywood in 1969, where TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his long-time stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) are dealing with being fazed out of a Hollywood that, at one time, adored them.

The cinematography alone is brilliant, but the chemistry between both Pitt and DiCaprio is something truly memorable, as their characters fluidly weave from humor, to drama, and back again almost effortlessly.

While some have panned the movie for the glutton of nostalgia, which I had no issue with because it’s set in a specific time, and maybe their portrayal of Bruce Lee (Lee’s daughter has taken issue with the film), I found little to no warts associated with the movie.

Keeping within the context of the time, and understanding that everything was different, in every way, back then, it’s easy to connect with the characters, regardless if they make you love or hate them.

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ is simply a beautiful period piece, with impressive dialogue that keeps you engaged when the conversations are otherwise meaningless in the totality of the film.

Margot Robbie shines as Sharon Tate, so much so that Tate’s sister Debra, who has panned performances from others in the past (such as Hillary Duff), cried watching Robbie play her sister.

What makes Tarantino’s film so good, aside from all the meat and potatoes that make it up, is how, despite history, he gives the audience a bit of the karma that we wish saw play out in real life (sorry, won’t spoil that).

Plus, it’s good to see a pitbull play a hero role, despite the unfair reputation that has been create for them.

All in all, this will easily go down as one of Tarantino’s very best, and should garner award consideration for Pitt and DiCaprio, and rightfully so.

Fright Nerd Score
97 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' is simply a beautiful period piece, with impressive dialogue that keeps you engaged when the conversations are otherwise meaningless in the totality of the film.
Fright Nerd Score97
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REVIEW: Crawl

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Crawl

What is summer without it’s fair share of monster movies? Crawl decided to go the alligator route in their horror-thriller that hit theaters in July.

According to the film’s synopsis: “When a massive hurricane hits her Florida town, young Haley ignores the evacuation orders to search for her missing father, Dave. After finding him gravely injured in their family home, the two of them become trapped by the rapidly encroaching floodwaters. With the storm strengthening, Haley and Dave discover an even greater threat than the rising water level — a relentless attack from a pack of gigantic alligators.”

Coming to terms with what the movie is, prior to seeing it, didn’t help soften the blow of a moronic, predictable, and otherwise boring flick that seems to have won over a ton of critics, shockingly.

While it may seem moronic on my part to question the realism in a movie such as Crawl, I cannot help but express my irritation seeing the main character Haley (Kaya Scodelario) walking around during the initial touchdown of a Category 5 hurricane, with nothing but a raincoat, as if the high winds are merely a breeze, while others are evacuating.

From there Haley continues to stumble upon her incredible super powers, which apparently include finding passed out relatives under the foundation of a house….during a hurricane.

Yeah, the kills were cool, at times. But the balancing of killer alligators and a redemption story (of sorts) couldn’t save a movie that was completely unwatchable, and frustratingly boring.

While you’ll likely find more positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, IMD, and Google, I am just not in that boat.

This was terrible from start to finish.

Fright Nerd Score
35 frights
0 Users (0 votes)
Summary
Coming to terms with what the movie is, prior to seeing it, didn't help soften the blow of a moronic, predictable, and otherwise boring flick that seems to have won over a ton of critics, shockingly.
Fright Nerd Score35
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