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HORROR

Look Away: A Fascinating Film That Kept My Attention

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I’m everywhere where you are.
Whenever you see yourself,
what you really see is me.

There are large numbers of films in which mirrors play a crucial role. Just think of “Mirrors“, “Oculus” and “Candyman“. And when someone is standing in front of a mirror in a horror movie, you can be sure there’s something frightening behind him or her when the camera focuses back on that mirror. One of the many tricks that makers of horror films use. And when they properly apply this gimmick, you’ll be avoiding every mirror the next days. But what if your reflection suddenly begins to speak to you and offers you a way out of a hopeless situation you can’t handle anymore? Well, that’s what Maria (India Eisley) is experiencing. Maria’s alter ego Airam (I thought it was smart how they reversed her name. As a mirror image) proposes to switch sides, to put Maria’s adolescent life on the right track again.

 

Look Away

 

Confidence lost.

Maria’s life isn’t exactly rosy. She’s an insecure and frightened little gray mouse. Although she has wealthy parents and radiates a natural beauty, she’s not exactly the happiest person at home. She doesn’t eat, looks pale and in a certain way unkempt. And confidence isn’t her strongest point. The cause is primarily due to her parents, Dan (Jason Isaacs) and Amy (Mira Sorvino). Dan is a successful surgeon who immediately notices any deviation on the scale of aesthetic beauty. Perfectionism is his dada. A terrible person whose disparaging remarks clearly have an impact on his daughter. When he offers some surgery as a gift for Maria’s 18th birthday, you can see Maria’s self-confidence slip away. And Maria’s mother isn’t exactly the person to restore this confidence. Amy is a woman who lives in denial and resolutely refuses to see that “being faithful in a marriage” isn’t a priority for her husband.

 

Look Away

 

Maria’s life is full of sorrow.

And Maria’s school-time isn’t really pleasant either. She’s treated like a pariah. And of course, once again there’s such an annoying smartass who’s bullying her constantly (but well-known folk wisdom says: “Teasing girls, is asking for love”). Her circle of friends is also rather limited. Only Lily (Penelope Mitchell) seems to be a soul mate. Ultimately, this friendship appears to be superficial. In short, Maria’s social network is not really extensive. And despite her rich parents and appearance, social acceptance is nil. So, she doesn’t belong to the favorite girls’ club as known at American colleges. That’s why Mary’s alter ego is only too happy to take over her day-to-day life in such a way that she could correct these worries and injustices.

 

Look away

 

Don’t look away when you discover this film somewhere.

Despite the fact that “Look Away” has many points of contact with existing films and you cannot really call it innovative, I thought it was a fascinating film that kept my attention. The interaction between the two doppelgangers through the mirror is fascinating to see. That the story gets a “Carrie” -like touch after Airam takes matters into her own hands, was of course extremely predictable. However, don’t expect bloody situations. For that, the film is more a thriller than a horror. The only thing that can cause any suspense is the mystery of the bizarre ultrasound picture at the beginning of the film. That provides the necessary guesswork. Is a supernatural entity involved? An evil twin sister? Or is Mary mentally derailed after she discovered this picture? Is it a case of split personality? Well, the denouement won’t make you any wiser. And unfortunately, this ending was no surprise either. “Look away” has some great scenes. Maybe you shouldn’t look away when you come across it and give the film a chance.

 

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

HORROR

Child’s Play: A Creditable Attempt To Breathe New Life Into The Chucky Franchise

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What’s your name?
Andy. ‘Sup?
Hi, Andysup.

It seems like a lifetime ago since I saw the original film with the demonic pop Chucky dangerously swinging around with a razor-sharp butcher knife. Well, It’s not a hundred years, but thirty years is a long time as well. That’s how long it’s been since I went to get the VHS of this movie in the local video store. Apparently several sequels have been made after the initial release. Somehow I’ve missed that. Me and sequels. It remains an eternal struggle. Because there wasn’t anything better to choose from and I had nothing to do, I still took the risk and watched this modern version. Apart from the fact that the doll looks slightly different, has been given a different name and the reason for its malicious behavior has changed slightly, it was exactly as if I went back in time. “Child’s Play” has the same 80s horror mood.

 

Child's Play

 

A pimped version.

But first of all a big compliment to the makers of this pimped version. Most reboots or remakes just seem like a duplicate of the original. Here they really deviate from the original story. It’s not the soul of a serial killer that transforms the doll into a bloodthirsty, diabolical murderous toy. Here it’s an aggrieved and irritated Chinese factory worker who starts to mess with the security software out of revenge. To be honest, I felt like giving up at that moment. A ragged and clearly unkempt Chinese guy reprogramming the source software was, in my eyes, completely absurd and exaggerated. Fortunately, I persisted. Because all in all “Child’s Play” wasn’t so bad.

 

Child's Play

 

Don’t expect creepiness.

What disappointed me a bit, was the doll itself. Especially the transformation from good to evil. In the original film, Chucky did get a diabolical and cruel expression. In this movie, they wanted to achieve the same effect by providing Buddi (as this child-friendly babysitter is now called) with red-glowing eyes. Well, it wasn’t really scary. And to be honest, this film isn’t creepy at all. I thought it was rather entertaining horror material, suitable for the novice horror enthusiast. Don’t expect any nasty-looking killings either. You’ll see clichéd situations where circular saws and a lawnmower (or something like that) are used in. The favorite murder instruments from the 80s.

 

Child's Play

 

Acceptable acting.

The acting was generally acceptable. Only Aubrey Plaza as Andy’s mother wasn’t really convincing. To be honest, she seemed to be the sister of Andy (Gabriel Bateman), the introverted boy with a hearing problem. David Lewis played the most annoying character. That means you can say that his acting was successful. The most light-hearted and comical part was provided by Brian Tyree Henry as police officer Mike, who lives with his mother. It’s not only the mother-son correlation that sometimes causes hilarious moments. There are also slapstick-like scenes, such as the gift-wrapped item (Well, I try to stay vague about this) that falls into the hands of Mike’s mother by mistake. Most surprising in this film was the fact that Mark Hamill (Yes, Luke Skywalker himself) was responsible for Chucky’s dialogues.

 

Child's Play

 

A nice time-killer.

In the end, this was a creditable attempt to breathe new life into the Chucky franchise. This modernized version is not an epic film but is anything but bad. It even tries to portray a failing A.I. and point out the dangers of a robotic society. And actually, what Chucky is doing, is simply the result of a learning process that he undergoes in the company of Andy. If the latter makes a remark that he would rather get rid of the cat Mickey Rooney, you already know the verdict. In the end, Chucky is nothing more than an electronic gadget that ignores the robotics laws of Asimov. It’s not really impressive or exciting at all. But “Child’s Play” was a nice time-killer.

 

My rating 6/10
Links: IMDB

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HORROR

Gary Oldman Boards a Sinking Ship in ‘Mary’

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Genre : Horror-Thriller
Rating : Unrated
Director: Michael Goi

Cast:
Gary Oldman
Emily Mortimer
Stefanie Scott
Jennifer Esposito

Things have been pretty rough for David (Gary Oldman) as of late. Working as the captain of a fishing tour boat he dreams of starting his own boating business to provide for his family. At a local boat auction he finds an old vessel, The Mary. Desperate and unable to resist the opportunity to be hi own boss he buys the ship despite the financial risk. With the help of his wife Sarah (Emily Mortimer) and daughters Lindsey (Stefanie Scott) and Mary (Chloe Perrin) are able to clean up the ship making it look as good as new. Joined by the young Tommy (Owen Teague) and David’s second in command Mike (Manuel Gracia-Ruflo) the family sets sail towards the Bahamas before the ship’s mysterious past comes to light.

 

 

Told in a series of flashbacks during a police interogation Mary should be great. In fact writer Anthony Jaswinski (The Shallows) has proven that an ocean setting is more than enough to craft a compelling tale of terror. Using it as the backdrop for a haunted house story seems like a no brainer. Sadly that isn’t quite what we get. With Jaswinski and director Michael Goi seemingly unsure what they wanted we get a mix of terror and family drama that doesn’t quite commit to either.

For the most part Mary sticks to jump scares. Whether it’s doors banging by themselves or mysterious footprints appearing out of nowhere, Mary treads very familiar waters through most of it’s run time. There are moments of intrigue such as when the ship that haunts The Mary takes control of Tommy but any chances for development are quickly glossed over in the next scene with just as much care going into the dramatic scenes. With tensions high from the time David buys the boat, we get hints through the film before Lindsey confronts her mother about committing infidelity. Although hardly the revelation they want it to be the scene is sold beautifully by Emily Mortimer. In fact, Mortimer does a wonderful job throughout the film.

 

 

Her first horror movie in nearly a decade Emily Mortimer is more than ready to carry the film on her shoulders. Playing an unreliable narrator to a criminally underused Jennifer Esposito she gives Mary her all with a performance that wouldn’t be out of place in some of her best roles. She particularly pops when paired up with Gary Oldman. While not given too much to do besides look concerned there are glimpses of suspicion when David catches Sarah talking to Mike. The two are so good together that you can’t help but be disappointed we aren’t watching the two in a straight up dramatic movie.

Between the performances from Emily Mortimer and Gary Oldman and the shots emphasising the isolation of the ocean you can see glimpses of brilliance in Mary. But like the ocean itself these hope spots are swept away just as fast. Instead what we get is a cliche ridden mess that doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Leaving the door open for a sequel Mary has sunk before it even left port.

 

Rating 4/10 Links : IMDB

Mary is now on Bluray, DVD and on VOD

 

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Entertainment

First Teaser Trailer For Janelle Monáe‘s ‘Antebellum’

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Little is known about the secret film which stars Janelle Monáe‘, Marque Richardson II, Eric Lang, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Rob Aramayo, Lily Cowles, and Jena Malone.

The film is being brought to light by the people who produced Jordan Peele’sGet Out,’ and ‘Us.’

“Successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late,” the film’s synopsis states.

Antebellum’ hits theaters April 24, 2020

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