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Charismata (2017)



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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Crawl: A Nerve-Racking Horror In Which The Perfectly Computer-Generated Alligators Scare You



You’re not my coach anymore, dad.
That top predator crap doesn’t help.

Did you think the last “Lake Placid” episode from the eponymous franchise was downright worthless, stupid and nonsensical (like I did)? Well, let me put your mind at ease. Despite some laughable facts, this reptile-horror “Crawl” isn’t bad at all. You can even call it exciting at times. And compared to “Lake Placide“, the bite-sized animals are frequently in the picture and the CGI ensures that they look frighteningly realistic. You just have to use the same ritual as with “Hobbs & Shaw“. Namely, give your brain for safekeeping when entering the movie theater. It’s not of the same absurd level as “Sharknado“, but if you don’t do that, you will be annoyed about multiple idiocies.




How stupid can you be?

There are of course many “How stupid can you be?“-moments. For example. You can’t blame the day-trippers in “Jaws“. They were just enjoying the summer sun on the beach and the refreshing water. Did they know that this giant white shark was planning to consume a few splashing bathers? It’s a pity they ended up as lunch. But, you can’t say the same about Haley (Kaya Scodelario), who, after a disappointing swimming performance, comes up with the grandiose idea to see if everything is okay with her father Dave (Barry Pepper). Nothing earth-shattering, were it not for her to enter a restricted area controlled by the authorities because of a destructive hurricane of category 5. Even a roadblock by the local police didn’t stop her.




It doesn’t take long before the suspense begins.

The advantage of “Crawl” is the short playing time (87 minutes). Nowadays it’s perfectly normal for decent films to exceed the 2-hour limit. It seems that quality nowadays depends on the total duration of a film. Fortunately, there are exceptions to that rule. Not that “Crawl” is of high quality, but an advantage is they don’t spend too much time to bring the necessary suspense. After around 20 minutes, Haley and her father are already in a difficult situation in the basement of the parental home. Dave is badly injured. And three giant alligators are impatiently waiting for their feeding-time. Time for the second “How stupid can you be?” moment. What would you do if you had to leave your safe hiding place to recover a lost item? In any case, after getting hold of the trinket, I would return to that safe place again. Logical reasoning is certainly not Haley’s strongest characteristic. She does the opposite, with all its consequences.




Not a complicated film.

Let’s not make it too complicated!“. That’s what the creators of “Crawl” thought apparently. Everything takes place at one claustrophobic location. And the entire film is carried by just two main characters. Occasionally, a few additional characters appear. But their function is limited to playing live fish food. In other words, they usually do not remain intact for long. And for the lessons “Logical reasoning”, these good-for-nothings didn’t get high grades either. And the way in which they involved the alligators in the story is also simple. A hurricane that causes rising water and you are stuck with a whole swarm of those bloodthirsty monsters in your backyard. Only the discovery that Haley made in the basement wasn’t 100% correct in my opinion. Coincidentally there was a pregnant alligator who used the flood to shamelessly dump her eggs in Dave’s basement at lightning speed. Well, in this way there was also an explanation for the aggressive attitude of the nest of primitive reptiles.




A nerve-racking horror.

There were a few things in the movie that really annoyed me. First, there was the contrived and corny father-daughter relationship. They are both sitting there with torn limbs and shattered bones, and still, they need to philosophize about what went wrong in the past. I also thought it was a bit unbelievable how they endured the brutal attacks (with the necessary injuries) and apparently afterward had absolutely no problems with this. Even after a heart massage and mouth-to-mouth breathing, one jumps back into action in a short time. And I will never bet my money on a swimming competition between an alligator and a trained swimmer. I’m sure that the streamlined body of the reptile will ensure that it wins effortlessly. Even without a swim cap and aerodynamic Speedo swimming trunks. But still, “Crawl” is a nerve-racking horror in which the perfectly computer-generated alligators scare you. Most original in the film I found the bathroom scene. Believe me, after this film, hearing the song “See you later Alligator” by Bill Haley will scare the hell out of you.


My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

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Netflix: Rattlesnake | Official Trailer -HD




Drama, Horror, Mystery

Release Date:

October 25, 2019


Zak Hilditch


Carmen Ejogo, Theo Rossi, Emma Greenwell, Richard Lippert, Arianna Ortiz, Joy Jacobson, David Yow

Plot Summary:

When a single mother accepts the help of a mysterious woman after her daughter is bitten by a rattlesnake, she finds herself making an unthinkable deal with the devil to repay the stranger.


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Aterrados: A Spooky Story Full Of Terrifying Images And A Creepy Atmosphere



AterradosThey were human voices.
What did they tell you?
That they were going to kill me.

In Argentinian, they say “Aterrados“. It’s “Terrified” in English. And yes, some will be terrified while watching this masterful horror. I can’t really describe why it is such an excellent horror. However, there are no earth-shattering new ideas being introduced. If you look at it as a whole, it seems like a fusion of different topics from other horror films. Take specific scenes from “[Rec]“, “The Conjuring” and “Paranormal Activity“. Shake these all up a bit. Dip it all in an Argentinian sounding sauce. And you get the end product “Aterrados“. The biggest difference with the random list of horror films (with possessed houses as the central subject) is that “Aterrados” isn’t about an isolated case. No, it isn’t. The terrifying phenomena occur in several houses at the same time.




Not an ordinary horror.

I had never heard of this movie. It’s a coincidence that I came across it while searching through the offer of horror-movies on my Netflix account. I wasn’t really expecting much of it. And when one of the women in the film started to complain about voices she heard in the sink, I was already afraid that it would be such an absurd film as “Deep Dark“. Well, I was really wrong about that. Before I knew it, I was watching such a shocking scene, that I couldn’t help using the rewind function. Magnificently portrayed and provided with sound effects that appeal to the imagination. You hear, as it were, the smashing of limp, dead flesh including accompanying sounds of shattering bones. At that moment I realized that “Aterrados” wouldn’t be just an ordinary horror. And believe me, from that moment on it’s a rollercoaster of shock moments and paranormal events.




Once again no explanation.

However, don’t expect an explanation about the events. Or an explanation of the creatures that make life hard for both Clara (Natalia Señorales), her husband Juan (Agustin Rittano), and neighbor Walter (Demián Salomón). When the three scientists start investigating the houses to find evidence of paranormal phenomena, they come up with a not too meaningful explanation. Something with dimensional surfaces, slices of orange, and water. It won’t really make you any wiser. The fact that the events take place at different locations was an asset. You can see it as the three “The Conjuring” films, each with their own haunted house, compressed into one film. This provides the necessary variety in terms of shock moments and creepy entities popping up.




It’ll scare you to death.

Anyone who has already seen a huge amount of horrors about paranormal activities and haunted houses (“Poltergeist“, “Paranormal Activity“, “The Amityville Horror“, “The Entity” … Too many to mention) won’t be blown away by this film. And this because the movie resides in familiar territory. But the way in which it’s portrayed and the subtle build-up of tension can certainly be called commendable. The pace is generally very high (except it slows down a bit halfway) and the jump scares follow each other at rapid speed. And it’s especially the timing that is just perfect at moments (the subtle little movement of the boy at the dinner table, for example). “Aterrados” is a spooky story, full of terrifying images and a creepy atmosphere. Perhaps it is narratively difficult to follow and you’ll probably Won’t really know what’s going on (Is it about paranormal events or simply things that everyone experienced because of a certain fear?). And perhaps you might not really like the open end. But in the end, “Aterrados” only tries to accomplish one thing. And the film certainly succeeds in that task. And that is, making sure that you are sitting in front of your screen scared to death. I bet you won’t dare to look under your bed that same evening!

You can watch Aterrados on Netflix now!



My rating 8/10
Links: IMDB

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