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11 reviews in total 
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The Pact (2011/II)
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Excellent!!!!!, 28 May 2012

For those interested, here's a summary from the press release: "In THE PACT, a young woman finds herself alone in the house of her late mother where an unsettling – and sinister – presence emerges.

Premiering as an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the short film THE PACT, written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy, stars Jewel Staite (Firefly, Serenity) and Sam Ball (The Event). Playing with Calvin Reeder's The Oregonian in the ʻPark City at Midnightʼ section of Sundance 2011, THE PACT is a dark ghost story told in a taut 11 minutes.

A legion of sci-fi fans know star Jewel Staite as ʻKayleeʼ on Joss Whedon's cult series Firefly, a role she reprises in the feature film version, Serenity. Jewel's tense performance in THE PACT as a besieged young woman is a unique compliment to her long resume in film and television.

Three-time Sundance director Nicholas McCarthy points to his love of the horror films of Dario Argento as an influence, but also to the subtler work of famed horror producer Val Lewton. "I wanted to tell a story about a woman dealing with a private, self-inflicted terror. My favorite aspects of horror films as diverse as Argento's Suspiria or Lewton's The Seventh Victim are their intense atmospheres. My goal was to call on those movies for reference and use them in the service of a character piece. I think the result is really different."

10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
An unforgettable "twist"., 1 January 2010

I happily enjoyed a wonderful Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy Channel this New year's weekend. Of all the wonderful shows I had the pleasure of seeing, this one stands out above many others. As is often the case with this wonderful series, Rod Serling took a simple story and turned it into a thinking man's thriller.

The story tells of two men who work at a government space facility. When they discover that the world as they know it is coming to an end, they decide to steal a spaceship to help their families escape to safety. What brings the story beyond the mundane is a classic "twist" ending that takes most viewers by surprise. I loved the episode and believe most other viewers will also. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll be happy you did!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
You'll love this film!, 21 May 2009

This film makes you feel like jumping up and singing! The young men who play the parts of the band members are so likable, you wish you were really there to cheer them on yourself! The actor who played the "Gov'ner" captured the arrogance of the character perfectly. The director did a great job of capturing the special enthusiasm that so many young men feel as they set off in life to pursue their dreams. Although it is a "short" film, there's plenty of time to get to know the characters and feel that you are really enjoying this special part of their young lives.

It's a wonderful movie. Don't miss it!

Baby Blues (2008) (V)
15 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
WOW!!!! Excellent movie!!!!, 12 May 2009

The team that created this movie did an amazing job! This was a jarring thriller, from beginning to end. It is one of those rare movies that horror lovers like me wait for but so rarely find. Be warned though. The violence in this movie become extremely graphic at times. I was truly surprised that the director had the guts to take it as far as he did.

The story begins simply enough. The movie opens by introducing us to a young family no different than many in the heartland of middle America. The hard-working father is a long-haul trucker whose job takes him away from his family for longer stretches of time than he'd like. He and his wife have four children, the youngest only a few months old. By all accounts it seems to be a loving family. The misfortune develops as the mother's mental stability begins to break down after the birth of her last child. She begins experiencing auditory and visible hallucinations just as her husband is preparing to leave for another road trip. He's a loving father, but distracted by the demands of caring for a growing family. The oldest son, who is about twelve, tries to tell his father that the mother is not well. But the dad is too worn out to absorb the reality of his wife's impending mental breakdown.

If you can't get past the horrifying concept of a mother turning against her family, this is not the movie for you. But if you want to suspend reality for a while and jump on a terror-filled ride to hell, you've found what you are looking for!

Vinyan (2008)
18 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Excellent!!!, 26 April 2009

This movie was fantastic! From beginning to end it draws you in and holds on tight! It is the story of a husband and wife whose son is lost to them in the tsunami. The mother comes to believe that her son is still alive. They then begin an odyssey across the darkest and most desolate areas of Burma.

Anyone who has ever loved a child will understand the depth a parent will go through to save them. Initially the movie takes us with them on their painful quest to find their lost boy. But soon the searching parents become lost in their own struggle. The ultimate ending is gripping and horrifying, yet understandable on a very basic human level. You must give the movie a little time. Sometimes following their search can seem drag you into their hopelessness. But soon enough, the true purpose of their quest is understood.

9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
You have to see this!, 12 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

(minor spoilers ahead)

This movie was excellent! It really took me by surprise. The emotions you feel in this movie reminded very much of the key finale in "The Good Son" with McCauley Culkin. At the end of that movie, the mother has to make a sudden, irreversible decision that will effect the life and death of her children. "The Children" places us in the same emotional crisis, but not once, but relentlessly, again and again throughout the film. It is a bit like being on an emotional roller coaster. You can tell that on some level, the parents are hoping they can save the children so they help can them through whatever "illness" has taken over them. No matter how frightening the situation is, they don't want to give up on the kids. But, it the that very sense of disbelief on the part of the adults that allows the children to take control without the parents fully realizing it. If you are ready for a real shocker, this one is for you.


7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
One of "Thriller's" best!, 20 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The ever-beautiful Patricia Barry transformed this into a chilling tale of a has-been actress striving for one more "big break". Unfortunately, her desire to return to show business brings her into the path of a wig that had been cursed over a hundred years before by a very unpleasant witch. The wig helps her regain her fame, but she sacrifices the best of herself in the process.

Many people consider this to be one of the very best of the "Thriller" series. If you watch it, I think you will understand why. One entertaining sub note: watch Ms. Barry towards the end of the show doing her rendition of the "Twist". The program was aired in 1962, at the apex of the national Twist craze in the United States. Ms. Barry never fails to entertain!

9 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Scared the hell out of me !!!, 8 April 2008

I was so impressed by this movie. It completely took me by surprise. In the often-frustrated quest to find something that can frighten me, I have become a horror movie connoisseur, collecting hundreds of films from every corner of the globe. It is fair to say that I have seen the great majority of the best horror films available today.

After having viewed a massive number of these films, I can honestly say that no more than five percent really frighten me. Yet, this movie jumped up and scared the hell out of me. I was so frightened that after the characters had their first conflict, I could not continue to watch the movie until a friend joined me the next day.

This movie may not reach everyone one on the level it did me. One of the reasons I believe it hit me so hard is that I have a close understanding of the personalities and behaviors of girls of this age. The director was able to reach the truth of how many middle-class American teenage girls view their reality. The portrayal of the fragility of our perception of safety is what makes this movie very similar to Last House on the Left (1972), Dead End (2003), Wrong Turn (2003) and others like them. Yet, these other movies were less frightening to me because the characters were either more mature or found their fates as the result their bad choices (the quest for drugs in Last House on the Left). The girls in Five Across the Eyes were truly still innocents in many respects when they found themselves in the midst this horror-filled night.

Some viewers might think the girls were silly, or too unbelievably naive. But I know how impossibly immature kids in late high school can truly be. The director and the young actresses captured the personalities of girls of this age perfectly. My knowledge of how truly innocent these children can be made the trauma in this film jarringly realistic for me. In a matter of minutes, I found myself relating to these girls. Quickly, I began to sense the thin barrier that existed between their comfortable, contented young lives and the darkness of the world beyond; a darkness that could be no farther away than one wrong turn. Five Across the Eyes explores the destruction of innocence better than many large-budget features have. It's a great movie for horror-lovers, particularly those who feel compassion for the naiveté of youth.

Shrooms (2007)
4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Great supernatural thriller that keeps you guessing from beginning to end!, 28 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved Shrooms! It was great to see an independent film with creative concepts behind it. What made this movie so good for me was that it was much more that the typical gore-filled, kids lost in the woods movie. First they incorporate the totally unpredictable influence of the effects of psychedelic mushrooms. The character's "shroom" trips make them, and ultimately us, unable to clearly discern which threats are real and which are imaginary. I was left in the end, not even quite sure as to where the supernatural elements began and ended.

This movie at times gave me the kind of chills I haven't experienced beyond the best of Asian horror. There were always multiple story lines running simultaneously, so we could never be quite sure what the source of the danger was. Was the risk from the backwoods in-breds who survived by trolling for the latest roadkill; from the spirits of the long-dead evil headmaster from the local institution; from the vengeance of the remaining twin student whose brother was brutally murdered in front of him; or how much of the mayhem is merely an emotional expression of a communal acid-type trip gone very wrong?

Grab hold of the Shrooms trip and come along for the ride.

I think you'll be glad you did!

13 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
An exciting roller-coaster ride of a thriller !!!, 30 July 2007

I loved this movie! I trust that most of the people who choose to see this movie will be intelligent enough to form their own opinions, without being influenced by movie reviewers. If I allowed movie reviewers to sway my interest in seeing a movie, I'd miss a whole lot of great performances.

"I Know Who Killed Me" is an exciting roller-coaster ride that combines the best of several genres: thriller; horror; crime and mystery. One fellow commenter on this site compared it to Twin Peaks. Those of us who love the works of David Lynch will see similarities in the use of color (blue in this case) and the "film-noir" feel of the production. I do not mean to say that the director was attempting to model his movie on the style of Lynch. The similarities are most probably unintentional.

It is very unfortunate that Lindsey Lohan had a few bad incidences in her personal life almost immediately before the national release of this movie. There is no greater death knoll for a new movie than bad publicity so close to its opening day. Yet, I feel confident that the intelligent viewer will be able to put the "bad press" to the side and enjoy this movie for its many strengths.

The movie was filmed with an side of gritty realism that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The scenes of torture and mutilation seemed worse to me, by far than those in the movies Saw, Hostile or Captivity. In those other recent movies, the torture seemed staged to the point of unbelievability. In "I Know Who Killed Me" it was never overdone, and therefore seemed more believable. I really felt victims' hysteria because the scenarios seemed plausible and therefore much more realistic to me.

This is where I have to credit the cast for their very strong performances. I really was touched by the emotions generated by the parents of Lindsey's character and those of the first murdered girl. But, it was truly the amazingly powerful performance of Lindsey Lohan that drove this movie. She possessed her characterizations so completely, that I never felt the need to question the reality of what I was seeing. So, the bottom line is ... ignore the reviewers, keep an open mind, and you can't help but love this movie.

P.S. Let's all try to be a little nicer to Miss Lohan. I know she's made a few poor decisions lately. But, the only difference between her and most young people is that her mistakes are broadcast simultaneously on MTV, CNN and the world-wide web. She has accomplished amazing things for her young years, with pressures that most of us could never imagine. I personally wish her only the best!

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