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HORROR

Beacon point (2016)

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SummaBeacon Pointry

A group of hikers lost on the Appalachian Trail stumble across an ancient secret that threatens their survival.

Genre : SF/Horror
Country : USA

Cast :
Jon Briddell : Drake
Rae Olivier : Zoe
Jason Burkey : Brian

Director :
Eric Blue

My opinion on “Beacon Point”

“This was once all Cherokee land.
It was considered sacred ground,
and trespassers would be killed on sight.”

At the very least, you can say that “Beacon point” is a weird and rather strange movie. After seeing it you’re wondering what in God’s name it was about anyway. I started watching it without any clue what it would be about. And by the time the end credits rolled over the screen, I still didn’t have a clue. In the first 15 minutes there are also some events which in hindsight had nothing to do with the whole story. It starts with a Predator-like scene where two hunters, who look like they have just returned from a Vietnam tour, are chased by something unknown in the forest. Then we see Drake (John Briddell) having an argument with his boss about his criminal past. The result is not too beneficial for Drake. Let’s say a fallen antler with sharp ends plays a main role.

Beacon Point

Hey! A ripped apart body. Such a pity … Ok let’s go on.

Then there are some facts that aren’t plausible and realistic enough too me. First of all the volunteers who want to follow the Appalachian Trail aren’t asking any questions about the person Drake. I suppose they’ve paid a lot of money for this trip. And yet, nobody is wondering if Drake is the official guide and if he’s experienced enough. The participants meekly submit their participation papers and follow the completely unknown and not officially introduced trail master.

Even when they find a corpse after a bit of walking, Drake tells them it’s just an unfortunate incident and that it’s probably the result of a hungry bear the victim ran into while hiking through the forest. So, no problem. And they continue their trip in the assumption that someone else will solve the problem I guess. I know for certain I would turn around, because I wouldn’t want to encounter that same hungry bear somewhere.


Didn’t he say not to touch it. Moron!

It’s also bizarre that in the rest of the film these events aren’t mentioned again. As if it never happened. It seems like they’ve used these events to get a standard playtime for the movie. It seems like random events which have nothing to do with the story line. After these unusual occurrences, we get a lot of walking and puffing. The same as in “A walk in the woods” and “Wild“.

The participants are a colorful group consisting of Brian (Jason Burkey) and Cheese (RJ Shearer), two brothers who recently discovered they were brothers. Then there is Dan (Eric Goins), a jolly fat guy who left Silicon Valley behind for a while. And Zoe is an ex-real estate broker who concluded that she didn’t want to end up like her father and, as a tribute, wants to scatter her dad’s ashes in the Appalachians. Before they realize it, they are lost and discover an ancient indian cemetery and later on a bizarre totem. And that’s when strange things start to happen at night and the group of hikers are the victims of nightmares and illnesses

Beacon point

Anybody know who caused all this? Mail me!

Not only the course of the story and the cause of all this misery were strange. The most strange thing is that despite the unoriginal, bad dialogues, the ridiculous decisions and the total lack of explanation, I was fascinated by it in a certain way. There’s a somewhat tense atmosphere. There are beautiful shots to admire made by a drone I guess. And the acting wasn’t so bad afterall (just ignore the dialogues). It’s only the lack of knowing what happened actually that became an annoyance. Was it the trespassing of an old Indian cemetery that released an ancient curse? Or was it aliens that caused it all? Or did they eat some wrong mushrooms and became delirious? And why didn’t they all get sick ? Believe me. You won’t get an answer in the end. And the last images causes even more confusion and are a source of new speculations.

If you expected a type of “X-files” after seeing the cover, you’ll be deeply disappointed. And you can hardly call it horror. There’s not one creepy or scary scene in it. The only effect this film had on me was that I’m sure I’ll once visit those Appalachian forests. And I’m certain there won’t be any martians to haunt me at night.

 

My rating 5/10
Links : IMDB

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HORROR

Prey | 20th Century Studios | Hulu

The origin story of the Predator in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. Naru, a skilled female warrior, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.

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Genre:

Action, Drama, Horror

Release Date:

20222 (Hulu)

Director:

Dan Trachtenberg

Cast:

Amber Midthunder, Dane DiLiegro, Stefany Mathias

Plot Summary:

The origin story of the Predator in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. Naru, a skilled female warrior, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.

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HORROR

Choose or Die – A Miss For Netflix

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Netflix’s home page suggestions can always be hit or miss, and unfortunately its latest release ‘Choose or Die’ falls into the category of the latter. Captivated by Asa Butterfield on the poster, I was curious to see what this film had to offer and begrudgingly it didn’t have a lot.

We follow Kayla, a broke student who has a lot to deal with in terms of her family situation and being the sole provider for herself and her mum. She then stumbles upon a retro video game from the 80s which forces her to choose and ultimately leads to various chain reactions of horrific events involving people close to her.

Lola Evans as Kayla and Asa Butterfield as Isaac

The premise of the film sounds interesting, however, I think it swings and misses quite early into the film’s first act. Eddie Marsan sets the tone and trail of interest for Choose or Die as we are introduced to this sadistic game and the chain of events it will inevitably pursue. 

Choose or Die doesn’t make it easy to empathise with its characters, finding any connection to Kayla or Isaac was difficult. This ‘are they aren’t they’ subplot lingers throughout the film’s narrative but adds nothing to the overarching story. The supporting characters, such as Thea and Laura, are much more interesting and genuinely have you intrigued as to what decisions they will make.

What stood out to me was the violent and gore-like scenes of 80s horrors, with some pretty good stomach churning special effects make-up. Those intense scenes, one involving a rat, had me genuinely glued to the screen, anticipating what may happen next. Choose or Die’s strongest component are the early moral decisions Kayla has to make and ultimately demonstrate Meakin’s passion for the horror genre.

Ioanna Kimbook as Grace in Choose or Die, seen here in the diner in one of the more grotesque decisive moments for Kayla

The way in which this film is shot, felt very “student-esque” with its lackluster camera movements and setting. The set design lacked little depth, except for Isaac’s room which is full of detail, therefore making the world feel small and less three dimensional. An element which pulled me out of this cinematic experience, was the fact that this was evidently filmed in the United Kingdom, and the cast contained predominantly a lot of British actors doing an American accent so I wasn’t fully immersed into this world. 

Meakins clearly uses his passion for the horror genre to influence this film’s dark tone, from it’s leading characters’ moral compass as well as the gorey visuals that inevitably come with those decisions. The whole world feels cold and derelict, be it the place in which Kayla cleans or the housing estate of which she lives in, this is an unwelcoming world that no-one wants to comfort you in. 

Choose or Die isn’t a film that will stick out as one that defined 2022, however I’m sure someone will take something away from this film, be it’s reference to 80s gaming or the violent and graphic elements that the director is clearly passionate about. 

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HORROR

Off Season – To Premiere Exclusively on Shudder

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Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, announced that OFFSEASON will be available exclusively to stream on the platform starting on Friday, June 10, 2022. As a Shudder exclusive, the platform will be the only subscription service that will carry the film in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Upon receiving a mysterious letter that her mother’s gravesite has been vandalized, in OFFSEASON, Marie (Donahue) quickly returns to the isolated offshore island where her late mother is buried. When she arrives, she discovers that the island is closing for the offseason with the bridges raised until Spring, leaving her stranded. One strange interaction with the local townspeople after another, Marie soon realizes that something is not quite right in this small town. She must unveil the mystery behind her mother’s troubled past in order to make it out alive.

Check out the film’s trailer below and read our review HERE as it debuted during SXSW 2021

Written and directed by Mickey Keating (Psychopaths), OFFSEASON stars Jocelin Donahue (Doctor Sleep), Joe Swanberg (The Rental, “Easy”), Richard Brake (3 From HellMandy), Melora Walters (The Pale Door, “Pen15”) and Jeremy Gardner (After MidnightThe Mind’s Eye).

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