Film Review : What keeps you Alive
She fell off a cliff.
911, my wife, she fell off a cliff.
Oh, my God! Please help me.
Some marriages fail because married people come to realize that their interests are different or because there are too many contradictions that lead to endless quarrels. It hurts when you are going through a divorce. And some divorces turn out to be ugly. The only thing you can say is that, under normal circumstances, both individuals pick up their lives and try to find happiness again. Things are completely different for Jules (Brittany Allen) and Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson). For one of them, divorcing is a hobby. And the divorce happens in a very abrupt and deadly way. The comparison with a black widow is easily made. And the reason is rather lucrative.
A female serial killer.
“What keeps you alive” is a thriller that differs in many ways from similar films. Firstly, this time there’s a female serial killer. You won’t find many women in the “Hall of Fame” of serial killers. The only one I can remember is Aileen Wuornos who was excellently portrayed by Charlize Theron in “Monster” in 2003. It’s mostly men who fill the list of psychopathic, crazy serial killers. And second, they introduce a lesbian couple. The advantage compared with a standard couple is that there’s no question here of the stronger gender dominating the female gender. And before I end up being called a sexist bastard and feminists furiously start to throw with frying pans: I don’t have a problem with sexual orientations whatsoever. I thought it was a unique and interesting starting point and I was curious how the display of power would manifest itself.
Better run for your life, boy.
From the outset, it’s clear Jules demands the male role in this lesbian relationship. Not only does she look more masculine than Jackie. She also moves and dresses like the stronger woman. Her girlfriend is an attractive young lady who takes care of dinner and afterward plays the guitar just for the fun of it. Only it’s not a cheerful campfire song but a strange kind of mesmerizing song about a demon. The phrase “Better run for your life, boy” sounds rather threatening. And certainly when you see Jackie’s frightening look. A bit like how Eddie Vedder sometimes looks at you in the video clip “Jeremy”. That could be the harbinger of disaster.
It didn’t feel like a horror.
“What keeps you alive” certainly isn’t a bad film. However, it’s just an average thriller. A film about how some individuals present themselves very differently from who they actually are. So Jules soon comes to the conclusion that there are things she didn’t really know about her lovely wife. When she discovers that Jackie used to have a different name in the past and that she already had several girlfriends, Jules starts asking herself questions. And before they realize it, the romantic get-together turns into a true struggle in which one of them tries to survive after being seriously injured. There are no real surprises. And there are also incredibly stupid moments, such as dinner with Jackie’s childhood friend and husband. An implausible moment where I started to shake my head energetically. The result is murderous and the actions being taken might fit a horror. Still, I didn’t think it was a horror after all.
Another cabin in the woods.
Well, it’s not really original. Every time it’s about a cabin in the woods, you can assume that terrible things will happen. Admittedly, the film contains some beautiful images. The immense forest and the vast lake are adequately used as a backdrop. And the acting of both Brittany Allen and Hannah Emily Anderson is far from bad. I found Anderson especially convincing. The way her dark side takes over is wonderful to see. But you can’t really call it more than a cat and mouse game. Even though the rowing boat scene can be called nerve-racking. And the final twist is sort of resourceful. However, this doesn’t ensure that this Canadian thriller really exceeds the average.
My rating 4/10
Thank You For The Support!
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
Netflix: Rattlesnake | Official Trailer -HD
Drama, Horror, Mystery
October 25, 2019
Carmen Ejogo, Theo Rossi, Emma Greenwell, Richard Lippert, Arianna Ortiz, Joy Jacobson, David Yow
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.
Aterrados: A Spooky Story Full Of Terrifying Images And A Creepy Atmosphere
They 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
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