Category: Thriller

Over one day across the streets of L.A., three lives will change forever.

In this breakneck thriller from director-producer Michael Bay, decorated veteran Will Sharp (Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Candyman, The Matrix Resurrections), desperate for money to cover his wife’s medical bills, asks for help from the one person he knows he shouldn’t—his adoptive brother Danny (Oscar® nominee Jake Gyllenhaal, Zodiac, Spider-Man: Far From Home). A charismatic career criminal, Danny instead offers him a score: the biggest bank heist in Los Angeles history: $32 million. With his wife’s survival on the line, Will can’t say no. 

But when their getaway goes spectacularly wrong, the desperate brothers hijack an ambulance with a wounded cop clinging to life and ace EMT Cam Thompson (Eiza González, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Baby Driver) onboard. In a high-speed pursuit that never stops, Will and Danny must evade a massive, city-wide law enforcement response, keep their hostages alive, and somehow try not to kill each other, all while executing the most insane escape L.A. has ever seen.  

Ambulance is produced by Michael Bay, p.g.a., Bradley J. Fischer, p.g.a. (Zodiac, Shutter Island) for New Republic Pictures, James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, 2022’s Scream) and William Sherak (Ready or Not, 2022’s Scream) for Project X, and Oscar® nominee Ian Bryce (Transformers franchise, Saving Private Ryan).

The screenplay is by Chris Fedak (Prodigal Son, Chuck), based on the original story and screenplay for the 2005 Danish thriller Ambulancen by Laurits Munch-Petersen and Lars Andreas Pedersen.

Director Scott Derrickson returns to his terror roots and partners again with the foremost brand in the genre, Blumhouse with a new horror thriller. Finney “Finn” Shaw, a shy but clever 13 year old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use. When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims. And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.

The film stars Ethan Hawke, Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw, James Ransone and Jeremy Davies.

Summary: 
Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind, navigates the alluring world of the past when his life is changed by new client Mae. A simple case becomes an obsession after she disappears and he fights to learn the truth about her.r.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  19th August 2021 (Australia), 24th September 2021 (Thailand), 20th August 2021 (UK), 20th August 2021 (USA)

VOD Release Dates: 27th September 2021 (Australia), 20th August 2021 (USA)

Country: USA

Director: Lisa Joy

Screenwriter: Lisa Joy

Cast: Mojean Aria (Sebastian Sylvan), Barbara Bonilla (Frances), Giovannie Cruz (Cindy), Brett Cullen (Walter Sylvan), Cliff Curtis (Cyrus Boothe), Marina de Tavira (Tamara Sylvan), Gabrielle Echols (Titch), Rebecca Ferguson (Mae), Roxton Garcia (Freddie), Rey Hernandez (Harry), Myles Humphus (Moe), Hugh Jackman (Nick Bannister), Jorge Longoria (Lorenzo), Natalie Martinez (Avery Castillo), Andrew Masset (Butler), Sam Medina (Falks), Javier Molina (Hank), Thomas Francis Murphy (Armin), Thandie Newton (Emily ‘Watts’ Sanders), Norio Nishimura (Harris), Nico Parker (Zoe), Angela Sarafyan (Elsa Carine), Han Soto (Wesley Humphrey), Daniel Wu (Saint Joe), Teri Wyble (Angela)

Running Time: 116 mins

Classification: M (Australia), 13 (Thailand), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)

OUR REMINISCENCE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Reminiscence Review:

When Hugh Jackman hung up his Wolverine boots… um claws… he made the statement that one of the reasons for the decision was so that he could tackle very new and different roles. Of course one of his first performances outside of the Marvel universe was a return to his all-singing and all-dancing roots with his acclaimed performance in hit musical The Great Showman, and now Jackman heads into a whole new alternative sphere as he takes on the role of a noir Detective in Reminiscence.

Written and directed by Lisa Joy (TV’s Westworld) Reminiscence is set in a futuristic world where most of the world has flooded and a Great War occurred over the land that remains. Two veterans of that war are Nick Bannister (Jackman) and Emily ‘Watts’ Sanders (Thandie Newton – Mission: Impossible 2). Watts is in love with Nick, not that he notices that or that she would ever admit it, and together they run a business that allows people to use a technologically advanced tub that allows the subject and those watching to access their past memories.

During the war the device was used to interrogate prisoners but today it is used by people who want to remember a happier time from their life, however that doesn’t mean that Nick doesn’t sometimes use the tank to help out the Police.

However everything changes for Watts and Nick when the very beautiful Mae (Rebecca Ferguson – Doctor Sleep) turns up one day and asks to use the tank to help find some lost keys. Upon witnessing her memories, which include watching her perform as a cabaret singer, Nick becomes captivated by Mae, something that Watts is instantly alarmed by.

Things then take another turn after Nick completely falls in love with Mae but then has her mysteriously disappear. As Watts warns him digging into Mae’s past may uncover some things and an underground world that he doesn’t want to be part of.

There is very little doubt that as a filmmaker Lisa Joy has been completely influenced by the Detective noir genre. As you watch Reminiscence you can see Hugh Jackman channelling the likes of Humphrey Bogart throughout his performance and to Joy’s credit she is a smart enough director to make the illusion work without ever becoming a parody.

At time in the film Rebecca Ferguson takes on the class of Marilyn Monroe and the persona of Jessica from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and it is that style of acting that suits the noir kind of world that Joy has created. To her credit though Joy goes one step further than that and instead of just setting the film back in the 1960s she instead creates a futuristic world that at times lends itself to the scenes at hand and never dominates the occurrences happening in the film.

Jackman’s acting style also lends itself to the noir/war genre blend that Joy has created. He walks the walk of a noir style Detective but at the same time has a Civil War veteran feeling around him that comes to the fore in the scenes when he is meeting with people from Mae’s past.

Joy alongside her cinematographer Paul Cameron (Gone In 60 Seconds) has created a steam-punk futuristic world that looks amazing up on the screen. The art design of the film is amazing and the fact that Joy and Cameron use little things to enhance the world it is set in makes for an absolute visual feast for the audience. As a viewer it is almost welcoming to be watching a film where the director/screenwriter doesn’t need over-the-top special effects to move the story along. Some of the most memorable moments of this film is seeing characters like Nick, Watts or Mae walking past post-war water towers and having them just in the background without Joy or Cameron feeling like that needs to be the focal point of the scene. It takes a very special filmmaker to realise something like that in what is their feature film directional debut.

At times Reminiscence is a strange film. This is more the kind of film that will be loved by people that have enjoyed films like Blade Runner in the past rather than someone who is going to enjoy the latest Marvel blockbuster and it is certainly a must see for anyone fascinated by noir steam-punk worlds.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural, has today announced that psychological thriller Dead & Beautiful will premiere on Thursday, November 4 in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The film, which is written and directed by David Verbeek, is also set to play at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX on Saturday, September 25.

In Dead & Beautiful, five rich, spoiled Asian twenty-somethings (Gijs Blom, Aviis Zhong, Yen Tsao, Philip Juan, Anechka Marchenko) are suffering from upper class ennui, unsure how to spend their days when so little is expected from them. In search of excitement, the five friends form the “Circle,” a group where they take turns designing a unique, extravagant experience for the others. But things go wrong when the privileged urbanites awaken after a night out, to find they have developed vampire fangs and an unquenchable thirst for flesh, blood and adventure at any price.

Dead & Beautiful is produced by Erik Glijnis (Pleasure) and Leontine Petit (The Lobster) of Lemming Film, in co-production with House on Fire International, Nukleus Film and Woods of Light Film. Indie Sales is handling international sales. The film is written and directed by David Verbeek (R U There).

Summary: 
An upstanding pastor uncovers a dark and twisted underworld as he searches for answers surrounding his daughter’s brutal murder.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  TBA

VOD Release Dates: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Samuel Gonzalez Jnr., Bridget Smith

Screenwriter: Darren Geare, Jeff Allen Geare

Cast: Bryan ‘Bobby’ Alvarez (Arlo), Zoltan Bathory (Fang), Robert John Burke (Lt. Briggs), Spencer Charnas (Max), Dominic Costa (Officer Kelly), Joseph Gatt (Ram Kady), Corrie Graham (April), Gigi Gustin (Cynthia), Abbey Hafer (Rebecca Bishop), Rachel Hilbert (Sophie), Jason Hook (Cruz), Chris Kael (Decker), Cree Kelly (Aunt Jody), Katie Kelly (Sarah), Kristopher Kling (Arlo), Robert Knepper (Otto), Michael Lombardi (Bishop), Amanda Lyberg (Erica), Craig Mabbitt (Arlo Garcia), Gemma McIhenny (Sharon), Marc Menchaca (Jed), Ivan L. Moody (Vic), Reno Muren (Kate), Sarah Nicklin (Emily), Brian O’Halloran (Obnoxious Guy At Christmas Tree Place), Jacoby Shaddix (Quinn Brady), Tuk Smith (Tuk), Shannon Wilson (Debbie)

Running Time: 97 mins

Classification: TBC

OUR THE RETALIATORS REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ The Retaliators Review:

I love that feeling you get when you discover a cult film that you just know is going to become a cult favourite. I had the feeling the first time I watched John Carpenter’s Vampires and the classic Freeway. Now I’ve got that feeling once again as I’ve just finished watching the brand new revenge thriller The Retaliators.

This film has been teasing me for a long time. I first heard about it when the first single from the soundtrack was released – a stunning piece of metal that consists of actual Mongolian throat singing from The Hu. Then in a recent interview on my heavy metal radio show Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach teased me a little about his work on the soundtrack and his role in the film as well. If anything I knew I was going to love the film’s soundtrack before I had even viewed the movie in its entirety.

Now after watching the film I can say this is more than just a movie with a killer soundtrack, this is not only one of the best revenge films, and hasn’t there been a few, to surface over the past few years. It also does enough to suggest that directors Samuel Gonzalez Jnr. (The Springfield Three) and Bridget Smith (Sno’ Babies) have huge careers ahead of them, although we already kind of knew that about Smith – after all her film Sno’ Babies was a masterpiece.

Plot-wise The Retaliators centres around Bishop (Michael Lombardi – Last Knights), a cool preacher whose daughter Sarah (Katie Kelly – Game Of Silence) is horrified that her Dad lets himself get pushed around by others all the time. Despite her father telling her that she needs to learn to forgive people more she points out to him that he needs to stand up for himself and his family every now and then.

Then the unthinkable happens. Bishop and his younger daughter, Rebecca (Abbey Hafer – Play Date), are devastated when Sarah is murdered by violent criminal and notorious drug dealer Ram Kady (Joseph Gatt – Dumbo). While Bishop once again wants to turn the other cheek hardened cop Jed (Marc Menchaca – Ozark) urges him to get revenge.

I won’t go into where the film goes from there as it would be a major spoiler but let’s just say that while the film is labelled a revenge thriller if you can’t really stomach horror then this isn’t the film with you.

Gonzalez Jnr. and Smith take this film into some pretty dark places but they are well guided by first-time screenwriters Darren and Jeff Allen Geare. While elements of this film take on the slaughter-house look of Rob Zombie’s House Of A 1000 Corpses the screenplay itself allows for characterisation and for the most part this film we see the dilemma that Bishop is going through. On the one hand he wants to do good but on the other he knows that his life has been changed forever because of the murder of his daughter.

Like Joel Schumacher’s 8MM this is a film that at times will repulse its audience but I found the most intriguing part of this film was that at times I found myself thinking ‘that is disgusting and immoral’ but at the same time wondering if I could ever be pushed to the same limits if a loved one was taken away from me. A film with a plot this intriguing and thought-provoking is normally written by a screenwriter at the top of their game, so to learn that this is The Geare Brother’s first film comes as a complete shock.

Also embracing the power of this film is Michael Lombardi. While most film-lovers would know Lombardi for his television work in Rescue Me and his extensive B-Grade film career it is here in The Retaliators that we see his theatre training get put to good use. Lombardi does have to become action hero from time-to-time as he fights for survival but for a good part of this film he also has to go deep inside a character that is being seduced by both the light and the dark and he does it amazingly well.

I found that there was so much to enjoy about this film that it was easily elevated far above most of the revenge films out there. From the great characterisation that comes through in the screenplay through to the fact that it is a film that will make you think about what you would do in these circumstances this is a film that needs to be considered one of the films of the year despite the genre that it is in. Add to that an amazing soundtrack, that I hunted down as soon as I could, and this is one cult film I am going to remember for a long time to come.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Summary: 
Leah, 10, lives in a large vicarage, full of lost souls and the needy. In the day the house is bustling with people; at night it is dark, empty, a space for Leah’s nightmares to creep into. A small, nightly visitor brings Leah comfort, but soon she will realise that her little visitor offers knowledge that might be very, very dangerous.

Year: 2021

Cinema Release Dates:  TBA

VOD Release Dates: 9th September 2021 (Australia), 9th September 2021 (UK), 9th September 2021 (USA)

Country: UK

Director: Ruth Platt

Screenwriter: Ruth Platt

Cast: Donna Banya (Kyla), Julie Barclay (Janet), Steven Cree (Thomas), Denise Gough (Sarah), Lianne Harvey (Amy), Anastasia Hille (Lillian), Hannah Rae (Rae (Bex), Charlie Rix (Brian), Sienna Sayer (Rachel), Catherine Terris (Edith), Kiera Thompson (Leah)

Running Time: 96 mins

Classification: TBC

OUR MARTYRS LANE REVIEWS

David Griffiths’ Martyrs Lane Review:

I love horror films, I always have. As a kid I can still remember sneaking films like Nightmare On Elm Street into the stack of VHSs I was hiring from the video library and hoping to hell that Mum wouldn’t notice what I had. Despite loving the genre so much though I have noticed over the past few years that so many horror films coming out onto the market are so formulaic that serious fans of the genre can nearly predict what is going to happen just by looking at the poster.

That is why it is so refreshing when films like Martyr’s Lane come about. Now I am not going to sit here and say that this is a horror classic, because it’s not – it has it flaws but at least filmmaker Ruth Platt (The Black Forest) had the skills and the stomach to make a horror film that moves away from any cinematic formula and actually keeps its audience interested.

The film centres around 10 year old Leah (Kiera Thompson – His Name Was Gerry) who lives in a vicarage with her father Thomas (Steven Cree – Outlander), who is the local vicar, her emotionally damaged mother Sarah (Denise Gough – Robin Hood) and her sister Bex (Hannah Rae – Fighting With My Family).

Leah lives an almost sad existence – she never really knows where she stands with Bex given that one moment her sister will be showing her love and the next she will be cruelly bullying her. Added to that is the fact that while she is close to her father his job brings emotionally needy people around their home and often Leah hears and sees things that she shouldn’t. Then there are the whispered conversations that her father and mother have… there is an obvious secret that nobody ever mentions. But all that changes with the sudden arrival of Rachel (Sienna Sayer – Silent Night) whom only Leah can see – whether she is there for good or evil is a mystery.

I am a bit of a sucker for a creepy child horror and while recent films like The Boy (and its sequel)have been worthy chapters in the genre it is good to see a film like Martyrs Lane which takes a more natural approach with its mood and tone. The result is the arrival of Rachel takes on a more sinister form of suspense given that the environment that the film is set in could be somewhere that any audience member could find themselves in.

The film’s power I feel is with the scenes between Leah and Rachel and Leah and Bex. Ruth Platt makes sure that the scenes with Leah and Rachel ooze with suspense as you never really know what Rachel’s intentions are towards Leah and they are made even more creepy with some of the revelations made about Rachel as the film goes on. Meanwhile the scenes between Leah and Bex also provide more questions – at times a real sense of love seems to be between the sisters and Bex seems to want to protect Leah, then at other times she is the tormentor and while I don’t wish to give away any spoilers Platt’s script seems to provide an adequate answer to why that might be the case.

The film’s biggest weakness is its length. Platt tries to draw out the storylines involving Thomas and Sarah and while the secret between them plays an important part to the film’s plot those scenes seem to drag and as an audience member you find yourself just earning to get back to the scenes involving Leah and Bex or Leah and Rachel. Luckily it is the story around those three characters that does at east bring a sense of closure to the film.

Of course with power generated in those scenes I found the acting performances of Kiera Thompson and Hannah Rae truly amazing. Rae is one of those actresses that can steal any scene that she is in and when you combine her performance here with her work in Carmilla and Fighting With My Family there is little wonder why she needs to be considered one of Hollywood’s breakout artists at the moment.

Thompson is also amazing throughout the film, a real credit when you realise that at her young age she basically carries this film, she is pretty much in every scene. At times throughout the film her performance resembles that of what we saw of a young Drew Barrymore in E.T.. Thompson is guaranteed to become a star in her own right.

As far as alternative horrors go Martyrs Lane is well worth a look. Brilliant performances by its lead actresses and a realistic yet supernatural plot line makes this one of the surprise films of Fantasia.

Dave’s rating Out Of 5

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Darkland Distribution is thrilled to announce that the upcoming British elevated horror, Shepherd, has been made an Official Selection at the upcoming BFI London Film Festival 2021. The film starring starring Tom Hughes (Red JoanVictoria), Kate Dickie (Gameof ThronesThe Witch), Gaia Weiss (VikingsMedici) & Greta Scacchi (The Player) will have its World Premiere at the festival on 14th October, with a general theatrical release on 5th November. Writer and Director of Shepherd, Russell Owen, was delighted with the news of the film’s selection; “I’ve followed the BFI London Film Festival for decades, so to actually be a part of it is surreal and a massive honour. I can’t think of a better platform to bring Shepherd to an audience and I’m over the moon.”

Tom Stewart, Acquisitions Director at Darkland Distribution added; “We’re delighted for Russ & his team who have clearly shown such skilled work to now receive this recognition in what is a very competitive field of British productions.” To celebrate the film’s Official Selection at BFI London Film Festival, Darkland have released a new sinister trailer to give audiences a taste of what’s to come.

Running from grief after the mysterious death of his wife, Eric Black takes a job as a shepherd. Trapped alone on a majestic weather-beaten island with an ominous secret. One mans spiralling madness meets a vengeful supernatural force. What starts as the perfect wind-swept escape becomes a race to save his sanity and his life. Shepherd will have its World Premiere at BFI London Film Festival on 14th October and will be in UK/ EIRE cinemas from 5th November.