Think “Horror Jumanji”
After starting up a previously undiscovered survival horror video game from the mid-80s, “Curs<r”, a young programmer’s world is torn apart as the game unleashes real world horror. Think “Horror Jumanji” or “Ring + Saw”.
Choose or Die is the feature debut from British director Toby Meakins, and stars young and old British talent such as Iola Evans, Asa Butterfield, Eddie Marsan and, err, Robert
England Englund (well, he did go to RADA).
The film is tense, genuinely horrifying, and one of the trials is truly disturbing. It’s a bit different, but nothing revolutionary. There are some weaknesses in the plot and acting.
A strong and enjoyable horror flick.
© 2022 Bryan A. J. Parry
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entertaining bit of brain bubblegum
A young woman overcoming a broken relationship begins seeing a renowned psychotherapist. However, when he cracks open a can of hypnotism in their intense sessions, things go dangerously off the rails.
The publicity photos and tag line (“His wish is her command”) essentially give away the story. However, the moment we lay eyes upon our hypnotherapist, we know what’s going to happen; his motives are transparent, his sliminess obvious.
This is an entertaining and capably acted flick. It’s no classic, though. A nice light entertaining bit of brain bubblegum.
© 2022 Bryan A. J. Parry
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Part Meet the Amish, part The Village, part penal colony
Thomas Richardson (Dan Stevens) goes undercover on a dangerous mission to the isolated island of Erisden where his sister is being held hostage by a wild religious cult. The task is not easy; the island’s magnetic leader Malcolm (Michael Sheen) is becoming increasingly paranoid, and the island is ruled by a kind of religious police who control people’s actions and movements.
Apostle is an original film. It portrays the cult-village believably. Part Meet the Amish, part The Village, part penal colony in 1905, the egos of the main characters are believably presented. The cult itself is increasingly bizarre and it turns out there may be truth to the mysterious preachings of their prophet Malcolm. None-the-less, the supernatural aspects of the film are secondary to the psychology.
Good performances from all. A believable cult, a convincing community, a bizarre but original supernatural secret at the heart of the island, Apostle is a really good film. However, the full-on gore and body horror aspect might be too much for those expecting a period drama.
Writer-Director Gareth Evans reminds of a Welsh Neil Marshall, a rising star to watch, for sure.
© 2021 Bryan A. J. Parry
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