Friday, October 15, 2021

Ominous October - Demigod (2021)

Movie Name/Year: Demigod (2021)
Genre: Horror
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Artist Vodka Films, Historia Films, Gravitas Ventures
Director: Miles Doleac
Writer: Miles Doleac, Michael Donovan Horn
Actors: Rachel Nichols, Yohance Myles, Miles Doleac, Lindsay Anne Williams, Elena Sanchez, Rachel Ryals, Sarah Fisher, Christian Stokes, Chukwuma Onwuchekwa, Manon Pages, Tatiana Piper, Sherri Eakin, Mike Mayhall, Jeremy London, Wesley O’Mary
Blurb from IMDb: Upon the death of her grandfather, a woman and her husband return to her birthplace in Germany's Black Forest, only to find a terrifying secret awaits them.

Selina’s Point of View:
Demigod had a lot more story to it than I thought it would.
It started off super basic. Take any cabin in the woods movie that features a couple instead of teens, and you have you have the first 10-15 minutes of this film. The only differences are that the creepy guy is a neighbor instead of a gas station attendant, and there’s a short prologue.
It gave off the impression that it was going to be a paint-by-numbers kind of horror flick.
I’ll admit, I was surprised that it went a different route.
By the end of the film, I didn’t hate the story. Still, I don’t think it was a movie I’ll ever return to.
My biggest problems were with the antagonists.

The witches felt stale and they weren’t very well acted. Never-the-less, I kept my hopes somewhat up because we had a demon – or some other creature – coming that had the chance to knock me out of the water.
Instead, I now know why many horror movies make the big-bad a mute. 
He wasn’t terrible visually, but then he started talking and all the horrific aura around him was replaced by half-hearted voice effects. Any semblance of malice, or other-worldly nature, was destroyed the moment the big-bad opened his mouth. The character was supposed to feel older-than-life and ethereally terrifying. Meanwhile he sounded like a high schooler imitating Batman.
If you’re interested in Demigod, it’s not the worst movie you could put on for Halloween, but it wasn’t for me.
See for yourself, today in theaters and on demand. Let us know what you think.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 63%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.3/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 2/5
Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R
Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Ominous October - Till Death (2021)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Till Death (2021)
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Brave Carrot, Campbell Grobman Films, Millennium Media, Millennium Films, Blue Lantern Entertainment International, CGV Mars Dagitim, California Filmes, Cineforum, Deepjoy Picture, Dutch FilmWorks, Eagle Films, Forum Film Bulgaria, Forum Film Slovakia, Joyncontents Group, Kinepolis Film Distribution, Kinomania, Lionsgate India, Metropolitan Filmexport, NOS Audiovisuais, Norsk Filmdistribusjon, Odeon, PT. Prima Cinema Multimedia, Phars Film, Scanbox Entertainment, Telepool, Times Media Films, Top Film, United King Films, Viva International Pictures, Vértice 360, Defiant Screen Entertainment, Netflix, Screen Media Films, VVS Films
Director: S.K. Dale
Writer: Jason Carvey
Actors: Megan Fox, Eoin Macken, Callan Mulvey, Jack Roth, Aml Ameen, Lili Rich, Stefanie Rozhko, Teodora Djuric
Blurb from IMDb:  A woman is left handcuffed to her dead husband as part of a sick revenge plot. Unable to unshackle, she has to survive as two killers arrive to finish her off.

Cat’s Point of View:
Till Death didn’t land on our Top 20 for July 2021, but only just barely. July had some stiff competition that just edged it out by a hair’s breadth. The note I made for myself when I watched the trailer said “dastardly husband tries to kill wife on their anniversary with hints of Saw (2004), Escape Room (2019), and home-invasion-for-hire.”
Now that I’ve watched Till Death, I’d have to say that the impression I got from the trailer was spot-on. I really appreciated that the production delivered on its teased promises – and then raised the bar.

Megan Fox (Above the Shadows, Zeroville, Rogue) gave a riveting performance as an emotionally abused wife thrust into a horrific survival situation. I couldn’t begin to tell you how happy I am to see her in roles that give her credit for brains in addition to her bombshell appearance. Till Death may have started slow and awkwardly for some – but that was clearly a reflection of the dismal position Fox’s character was in emotionally. Once the cuffs were locked on, Till Death dared you to look away as the bleak situation unfolded and escalated.
I didn’t care that there were a couple inconsistencies here and there. It really didn’t even dawn on me until after-the-fact; and, even then, not until I compiled information before writing. I was too engrossed in the cat-and-mouse fight and flight situation to notice. Part of what I appreciated the most with Till Death was the fact that there was plenty of fight to go with that flight.

I was left in awe of the detailed and meticulously evil scenario Fox’s character was thrust into. I’m not that familiar with writer Jason Carvey’s (1000 Ways to Die, A New Wave, Desire) past work, however, the intricate layering of character development and attention to detail grabbed my attention. His mind worked in resourcefully wicked ways as he showcased Emma’s brains at work in the face of calamity and the systematic erosion of hope.
Along the same vein, I was significantly impressed that Till Death was the feature-length film debut for director S.K. Dale (Soul Trader, Beyond the Water's Edge, The Coatmaker), whom has but a few short films to his credit on IMDb thus far. This is a creative duo that I absolutely want to see working together again in the future.

I could go on about the cinematography and how gorgeously the remote and isolated feeling was crafted by the set production and effects department. Though, I think I’ve gilded the lily enough.
Till Death is an excellent choice for a bone-chilling thrill ride this Ominous October. It was certainly worth the wait for it to reach Netflix, and I would definitely recommend searching it out for viewing this spooky season.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –58%
Metascore – 66%
Metacritic User Score –  6.3/10
IMDB Score – 5.8/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
Movie Trailer:

Monday, October 11, 2021

Ominous October - The Medium (2021)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: The Medium (2021)
Genre: Horror
Length: 130 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Production/Distribution: GDH 559, Showbox Entertainment, Northern Cross, Golden Village Pictures, Finecut, Shudder
Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun         
Writers: Cha-won Choi, Chantavit Dhanasevi, Na Hong-jin, Banjong Pisanthanakun, Siwawut Sewatanon
Actors: Akkaradech Rattanawong, Arunee Wattana, Boonsong Nakphoo, Chatchawat Sanveang, Narilya Gulmongkolpech, Pakapol Srirongmuang, Sawanee Utoomma, Sirani Yankittikan, Thanutphon Boonsang, Yasaka Chaisorn
Blurb from Shudder:  A documentary team follows Nim, a shaman based in Northern Thai, the Isan area, and encounters her niece Mink showing strange symptoms that seem to be of inheritance of shamanism. The team decides to follow Mink, hoping to capture the shaman lineage passing on to the next generation, but her bizarre behavior becomes more extreme.

Cat’s Point of View:
The Medium’s trailer seems to promise supernatural chaos with a side of Thai cultural flair. I’d have to say that it wasn’t misleading. The proverbial wheels come off the bus at The Medium’s climax, but it’s a bit of a meandering march to get there.

If I had to give a quick summary of what The Medium entails, I would have to say it’s as if there was a mash-up of Paranormal Activity (2007) and The Wailing (2016) but from the point of view of someone making a documentary of the experience.

Even though things get off to an extremely slow start, I did appreciate the time taken to give some cultural background to the characters and the region of Thailand featured in The Medium. It makes sense that a documentary crew would be getting some B-roll footage of landscape and the like. There probably could have been a little less, though. 

The Medium’s plot was engaging. There were points that I forgot I was reading subtitles and even didn’t mind the passage of time. However, there were other moments that I felt every second tick by.

The story behind The Medium is a tragic tale of a family unraveling amidst supernatural mayhem. There were points I really felt dread, and quite appreciated that the production skillfully induced fear without the need for jump scares and the like. Of course, there are some towards the end, but I get it.
I am not the biggest fan of found-footage films. Shaky cam is the bane of my existence. It’s probably my biggest pet peeve in movies. Unfortunately, because of The Medium’s framework using the point-of-view of the documentary crew, there is quite a bit of it here. It does, however, put you in the shoes of the person holding the camera. As such, it is effective in situations like this where the danger seems to be more imminent to the viewer.

Overall, the acting was on point, the visuals were interesting as well as horrifying, and the story was eerie. The Medium may not be for everyone, but it is a solid offering for this time of year. 
The Medium is releasing as a Shudder exclusive premiering Thursday, October 14th.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score –None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score –62%
Metascore –None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.6/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
Movie Trailer: