Director Gabrial Soriano’s “Seis días en la Oscuridad” is yet another of the many commentaries on a society that’s dominated by kidnappings for the purposes of profit. In a land where employment is slim, kidnappings are almost a way of life there, almost mundane. And a way to use that method to pull someone out of hot water eventually snowballs in to endless bouts of shit hitting the fan.
Kazuhiko Yamaguchi’s “Karate Warriors” (aka “Killing Fist and Child”) is a solid action film mainly because of Sonny Chiba, and because Chiba’s charisma makes up for the overall plot’s shortcomings. His mystique is often entertaining and there are also the pre-requisite great fight sequences. Chiba is a force of nature here, and like “Yojimbo” he plays the rival gangs against one another for his own personal sake.
It’s hard to re-imagine or re-think the zombie movie, especially in the times where just about everyone has thought of everything. Director Il Cho’s “#Alive” is basically the sequel that “Train to Busan,” should have been, “#Alive” is such a great mix of “28 Days Later,” “The Night Eats the World,” and “Dawn of the Dead ’04.” While it doesn’t re-invent the wheel it manages to offer a fun, exciting, and creepy movie about the pros and cons of modern technology and the value of human contact.
I rather enjoyed Josh Ruben’s horror comedy mainly for the fact that it’s a unique look at writing and the creative process. Would I see it again? No. Would I add it to my collection? No. Is it one of the best films of the year? Goodness, no. But I can’t say that I was bored while watching it. I definitely enjoyed the meta-horror comedy, and the looks in to how some writers can make anything out of nothing. Especially horror writers, and their ability to take the seemingly mundane and turn it in to a twisted nightmare.
Marcus McCollum’s horror drama is a film teeming with potential that never fully realizes it. Even with the somewhat tense finale, a lot of “Noise in the Middle” is mixed up, half baked ideas about mysticism, the supernatural, the afterlife and the toll that grief can have on us. It’s “The Shining” meets “The Babadook” without any of the heavy emotional weight or substance. The writers MCollum and Mark Conley throw so much in the air and none of it ever lands with considerable resonance.
“Unholy” stars horror veteran Adrienne Barbeau who does her best to cope with the material she’s given in this shlocky, dull ghost film. In one of the only gripping moments of the film, Barbeau’s character Martha arrives home for her daughter Hope’s birthday to find her in the basement preparing to commit suicide. Truly, Barbeau and co-star Siri Baruc sell this moment sans any dramatic pitch in the score. Subsequently, director Daryl Goldberg can never seem to break out of the vicious cycle of clichés, predictable plot twists, nor enough to provide material that will put the talents of its infinitely small cast to work.
Director and Writer Sean Hogan’s “The Haunting of #24” is a film with a lot of potential that is never quite realized in to much of a film with any kind of substance or surprise. Director Hogan sets up so many plot devices, characters, and suspense that can be flourished into a horrifying ghost film. Alas, “The Haunting of #24” is just mediocre as all get out, and squanders most opportunities to rise to the occasion and spook us. It’s not a horrible movie, it’s just so utterly boring to sit through from beginning to end.