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HORROR

Mom and Dad (2017)

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A teenage girl and her little brothMom and Dader must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids.

Genre : Horror
Country : USA

Cast :
Nicolas Cage : Brent Ryan
Selma Blair : Kendall Ryan
Anne Winters : Carly
Zackary Arthur : Josh

Director :
Brian Taylor

My opinion on “Mom and Dad”

“I mean, I used to be Brent…
and you used to be Kendall…
and now we’re just…
Mom and Dad.”

I’m sure some parents will experience it in their life. The moment you get a bit tired of your offspring. That you would love to put them on a rocket and shoot them to the moon, so that you get a little bit of time and space. Even though your love for your children is unconditional and sincere. This moment will only last a few seconds with normal parents before they look back at their kids lovingly and realize they can’t live without them. Not here in “Mom and Dad“. Here you’ll see parents in a small American town, who suddenly turn into murderous psychopaths with only one goal. And that’s killing their lovely children.

Mom and Dad

Why did it happen? Beats me.

The cause of this parental hysteria is not entirely clear. Is it, like in “Cell“, an electronic pulse that triggers their behavior? Or is it a mutated virus? Don’t expect an explanation. In any case, it causes mothers to leave a little baby in the car which is parked on a railroad crossing. Or a big fat family man swinging around with a bloody baseball bat. And a bunch of fleeing students who are being tackled en masse by crazy parents. The movie isn’t exactly horifying or scary. Only the scene with the newborn baby gave me an uncomfortable feeling.

Mom and Dad

That’s what you get with frustrated parents.

It feels like a typical zombie movie with parents walking around with a glassy look. The only difference is that they only have an eye for their own children and don’t have the urge to chase every panicking teenager. “Mom and dad” is complete madness and highly entertaining. Nicolas Cage shines as the father who thinks he’s a complete failure. His dreams didn’t come true and his career isn’t that what he had imagined. The same applies to his wife played by Selma Blair. A bitter-toned, exhausted mother who can’t accept that her daughter doesn’t show any affection anymore for her. She has been exchanged for weed smoking girlfriends and the omnipresent social media. Their frustrations become obvious during the pool table scene, where they pour their guts out.

Mom and Dad

Crazy Cage again.

It’s been a long time ago since I’ve enjoyed total craziness which Cage can play as one of the best. In “Arsenal” he showed a crazy “Tony Clifton” type whose tirades were brilliantly played and at the same time felt exaggerated. However, the disturbing hysteria and raging frenzy he shows here, exceeds this effortlessly. In a convincing way he shows that frightening look and pure anger. It’s as if complete madness has taken over. I admit, It’s also overly exaggerated. But that makes it humorous sometimes. The grandparents’ moment was an ingenious idea and caused the story to take a different direction. Do you like a horror comedy with a slightly macabre atmosphere? Well, that means this movie is right up your alley.

My rating 7/10
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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