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HORROR

Wish upon (2017)

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Wish upon
A teenage girl discovers a box that carries magic powers and a deadly price for using them.Wish upon

Genre : Horror
Country : USA/Canada

Cast :
Joey King : Clare
Shannon Purser : June
Sydney Park : Meredith

Director :
John R. Leonetti

My opinion on “Man Down”

“I just found it at this fancy place.
It’s got Chinese writing on it.
Figured since you’re taking Chinese…
Just consider it an early birthday present.”

It feels as if it’s centuries ago, but I can still remember me and my wife (when our relationship was not yet sealed by the lifelong ritual called marriage) going to the cinema to watch “Final Destination“. Nothing special according to you? Well, I told her that it was just an ordinary thriller. Just to put her at ease, since she isn’t such a fervent fan of horrors. Even worse. This genre gives her restless nights full of nightmares. Believe me, she was terrified the whole movie. That was the first time she was terribly angry with me (and it wouldn’t be the last time). I admit it. I love films where the principle of “what goes around comes around” causes bloody situations. And if I compare “Wish upon” with the “Final destination“-franchise, this would be a better choice for my wife to watch. Because to be honest, even though it’s not a bad horror at all and I had fun watching it, it’s not in the same league as “Final destination”. So next to soft-porno for men to gaze at, they’ve invented soft-horror for teen girls.

Wish upon

Only seven wishes ? Bummer.

This is not about a group of teenagers who outsmarted Death. It’s about a teenage girl names Clare (Joey King) whose life looks more like a horror than the film itself. Her mother committed suicide when she was still young. Her father (Ryan Philippe) has a job as a garbage man. And she’s very ashamed about that. And she herself isn’t very popular at school and is being bullied on a daily base by some bee-yatches at school whose families are rich folks. The only support she finds is from her two best friends Meredith (Sydney Park) and June (Shannon Purser). Until her father finds a mysterious looking box with some mysterious Chinese text while going through some garbage. Thanks to her Chinese lesson in school, Clare can decipher that she is allowed to do seven wishes. And believe me, she starts doing that without blinking.

Wish upon

I wished her wishes wouldnt be so obvious.

As I said before, this is the softer version of “Final destination“. I didn’t think it was creepy. And the fatal results of Clare’s wishes weren’t portrayed explicitly. When I think of “Final destination“, I still can imagine the scene on the motorway vividly. Those spinning tree trunks penetrating the front window of a car and squashing everything that comes in its way. Plus all the crashing vehicles in slow motion. I’m sure I won’t remember much of “Wish upon” in a week or two. And that’s because of the lack of impressive images. The story itself is also extremely predictable. The wish-list of Clare is limited to meaningless things as status, financial freedom and making sure the popular boy from school will be hopping after her in a hopeless way. It all feels a bit standard and teeny. And to be honest, my feelings of compassion for Clare soon were replaced by an aversion because of her naive egoism. Lets say I didn’t feel sorry for her in the end.

Teen Horror.

Are you a teenager and still a newbie when it’s about horror? Well, I can only recommend to start with this one. Nothing as cozy as a film to go and see with your best friends where things that concern you at your age are covered. The fact someone dies everytime there’s a wish, probably is a side issue. Hopefully there isn’t a figure standing at the exit of the cinema, all dressed up in black, holding a huge sickle, waving with a bony index finger and warning you that greed can have unpleasant consequences sometimes. Well, that’s the moment you should start screaming and run away as fast as you can.

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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