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HORROR

Charismata (2017)

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Even if you never had to learn police work like the rest of us plebs,
anybody with a TV knows that it takes three bodies to make a serial killer.
You know what I’m saying, you’re just being pedantic.

Take the brilliant movie “Se7en” and replace the two inspectors Somerset and Mills with a duo that can’t get along and where one of them is female, then you get something similar as “Charismata“. Only it’s far from brilliant in terms of acting and the narrative. And even though Mills was a bit cocky and a wiseass in “Se7en,” there was also mutual respect. That doesn’t really apply to Rebecca (Sarah Beck Mather) and Eli (Andonis Anthony). Eli is an arrogant and obnoxious guy who always sees an opportunity to belittle his partner.

 

 

The movie is filled with unfriendly people.

But honestly, most people in this film are blessed with an ugly personality. The two inspectors, who assist in the investigation, constantly spit sexist statements and never take Rebecca seriously. She’s the daughter of the commissioner. So remarks about her job being dropped in her lap, are commonplace. Even the pharmacists are terribly unfriendly and snippy. I’m starting to believe the U.K. is inhabited with bad-tempered and unfriendly people. But believe me, the constantly unfriendly atmosphere started to annoy me.

 

 

First, it’s a genuine war-movie

Also in “Charismata“, they have to deal with an insane serial killer. The victims follow each other rapidly. The one murder even more horrifying than the other. Unfortunately, the first one shown, is the only one that’s off the same level as those in “Se7en“. A dark room in a dilapidated building where the rats have feasted on a half-decayed corpse. This looked fairly realistic and horrifying. The satanic images and carved numbers in the wall make it mysterious. Unfortunately, the design of the following victims wasn’t so successful. They were just stand-ins covered with lots of fake blood. Probably the budget for special effects was already exhausted after the first corpse.

 

 

Michael Sweet. Such a charming person.

What are the most successful aspects of “Charismata“? First, there’s Jamie Satterthwaite, who plays the snobbish Michael Sweet. A yuppie and partner of a company trading in real estates. And their estates are mostly the location where a victim is discovered. Michael Sweet is for me the most sublime appearance in this movie. His charisma and mysterious smile. He’s as innocent as a lamb and laughs off every accusation. A character who could easily play the role of Bateman in “American Psycho“.

 

 

Hallucinations? Or not?

The next positive point in this movie is the way in which Rebecca’s mental instability is portrayed. The reason why she has a psychological problem is solidly substantiated. A messy divorce. A brutal ex. Selling her apartment goes awry. Unfriendly colleagues who treat her disrespectfully. And then also a stressful case with a serial killer with nauseating crime scenes as a result. Then there’s the fact that she takes antidepressant medication with a lot of alcohol. So it’s no surprise she’s having hallucinations. And those hallucinations are worked out magnificently. No exaggerated effects and some adequately executed scare moments. Or aren’t these hallucinations?

 

 

It had potential.

Is “Charismata” a decent film you should definitely watch? Looking at the plus and the negative points, you’d say that it’s well balanced. Such that it can be called an average film. Indeed. Even though the acting is sometimes of a “Coronation Street” level and the story is rather superficial, you can’t say it’s extremely bad. But that feeling is completely undermined by the terrible, meaningless ending. It’s flat n’inane beyond belief. The run-up to this wasn’t bad. It even became gross at a certain moment. But the denouement creates some forehead-frowning, after which you wonder why on earth you’ve watched it. It seemed as if the makers realized they needed an end and there was no creative inspiration left. Too bad, because the film surely had potential.

 

My rating 4/10
Links: IMDB 

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HORROR

M. Night Shyamalan | Old – Official Trailer

A thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.

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Genre:

Thriller

Release Date:

July 23, 2021

Director:

M. Night Shyamalan

Cast:

Rufus Sewell, Thomasin McKenzie, Embeth Davidtz, Eliza Scanlen, Abbey Lee, Alex Wolff, Gael García Bernal

Plot Summary:

A thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.

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HORROR

A Quiet Place Part II | Review

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This review is spoiler-free.

It’s not often that a film comes along and demands to be seen on the big screen, creating a cinematic experience unlike any other and that’s something the Quiet Place films definitely do. I may have learnt this the hard way, by watching the first film on a plane and not really enjoying it, only to re-watch it again at home and really like it. But now, seeing A Quiet Place Part II in an IMAX cinema, having not been in a cinema for months, it is truly a spectacular cinematic event.

After a brief flashback sequence to when the creatures first arrived, A Quiet Place Part II picks up exactly where the first film left off. If you’ve seen the first, you’ll know that it ended in a very exciting position and now we witness the Abbott family struggling to navigate and struggling to survive in the post-apocalyptic world, ravaged by monsters that hunt by sound.

AQP2 is a really tense and engaging thriller film however it never quite reaches the heights that its predecessor did. The first film managed to create a level of immense tension and sustain that pretty much the entire way through the film’s runtime. Here, it feels like there were certain scenes that were very tense and have you squirming in your seat but the bits between these scenes lack the same sense of dread and fear that the first did and in that sense the sequel is not quite as tight as the first.

At just 97 minutes long, it’s only 7 minutes longer than the first but it does feel quite a bit longer. The first film goes by in a flash and it’s over before you know it and whilst AQP2 doesn’t feel overly long, the pacing of it makes you notice the runtime that bit more than the first film.

There are a few very suspenseful and scary moments in it, particularly the opening flashback scene to the Abbott family’s first encounter with the creatures. In fact, even that pesky nail from the first film makes a small cameo here but what stands out so much and what makes it a real ‘cinema film’ is the fantastic sound design. Every single time one of the creatures is even remotely near one of the main characters or any time that the creatures just might be nearby, the sound design completely draws you into it and makes you feel like you’re there and that’s what makes these frightening moments all the more impactful.

A lot of the criticisms and faults with A Quiet Place Part II do largely come from the fact that it’s not as good as the first and it’s weaker by comparison, but it’s still a very smart and entertaining film that provides some genuine chills. The concept of creatures that hunt on sound is such a great idea and it plays out on screen so well. Every single time one of the main characters make even the slightest noise your heart stops and your hold your breath, waiting to see if the creatures are going to show up and if our heroes will meet their untimely demise.

One issue I had with the film was that you could always tell where the next scare was going to come from. The film is by no means predictable, it just sticks to some generic tropes and it’s clear where it’s going. Everyone knows in a scary situation in a horror movie you don’t split up. But that doesn’t stop our protagonists from doing so and it’s small details like that that when they happen you can immediately tell the consequences of certain actions will crop up again a few scenes later. But even when that payoff comes it’s still shocking and the film still delivers in the thrills and scares that you want from a film like this.

A Quiet Place Part II is a riveting and frightening film and whilst it doesn’t quite match the level of tension achieved in the first, it is nonetheless a hugely entertaining film and one that you absolutely must see on the biggest screen you can.

★★★★☆

A Quiet Place Part II is released in UK cinemas on June 3

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A Quiet Place Part 2 – Movie Review

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Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realise the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path. Luke Hearfield gives his thoughts on the long-awaited sequel once again directed by John Krasinski and starring his real life wife Emily Blunt. It’s time to head back to the cinema and enjoy the experience of sitting in a room full of strangers and sharing the collective feeling of deliciously uncomfortable silence.

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