Tagged: Kyle McGrath

 

Summary: During World War II a group of soldiers are ask to take a ‘break’ at a mansion once taken over by the Nazis. The stay at the mansion is not exactly what they expected though.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: 5th August 2020

Country: UK

Director: Eric Bress

Screenwriter: Eric Bress

Cast: Skylar Astin (Eugene), Laila Banki (Mrs. Helwig), Kyle Gallner (Tappert), Vivian Gray (Ann), Shannon McKain (Lieutenant Morgan), Yanitsa Mihailova (Christina), Matthew Reese (Sergeant Elks/Echo 11), Alan Ritchson (Butchie), Theo Russi (Kirk), Brenton Thwaites (Chris), Shaun Toub (Mr. Helwig), Billy Zane (Dr. Engel)

Running Time: 94 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

 

 

OUR GHOSTS OF WAR REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Ghosts Of War Review:

 

While a lot has happened during 2020 it seems that this is the year where filmmakers realised that you can make a horror film set during World War II without it turning into something schlocky. Of course earlier this year we were delivered the sensational Blood Vessel and now director Eric Bress returns to the director’s chair for the first time in sixteen year with Ghosts Of War.

To me Bress has had one of the most unusual careers in Hollywood that you could imagine. He first amazed me as a filmmaker with the captivating The Butterfly Effect back in 2004 and then as a screenwriter kick-started one of highest grossing horror franchises ever with Final Destination. Despite the success of these films though Bress never returned to the director’s chair – not even with his hit TV series Kyle XY. Now Bress returns to a chair that probably should be considered his throne, and it makes you wonder what we have missed out on while this talented filmmaker has been locked away in the writer’s room.

Ghosts Of War sees five American soldiers including Chris (Brenton Thwaites – Maleficent), Eugene (Skylar Astin – Pitch Perfect) and the mysterious Tappert (Kyle Gallner – American Sniper) arrive at a French Chateau towards the end of World War II. While they see the posting as a cushy place to get some respite they are soon shocked to learn that the chateau was the site of a Nazi atrocity that has left some ghosts looking for retribution behind.

The real reason why I loved Ghosts Of War is something that can’t mention here as I hate reviewers who spoil films. All I will say is that this is a decent supernatural thriller that contains a twist that nobody will see coming win a million years. It is that twist that once again reminds me why Eric Bress is such a fascinating filmmaker.

I remember that there something amazing about The Butterfly Effect the first time I watched it. It was a film that too its audience on a journey of twists and turns and you never really knew where you were going to end up. It was a good strange, the kind of strange that makes Christopher Nolan (Inception) the cinematic God that he is. That same feeling is conjured up with Ghosts Of War – a film that sees the suspense level continue to rise throughout before leaving the audience with a finale that they could never predict.

Also making Ghosts Of War memorable is the fact that despite the supernatural element Bress doesn’t just simply let his characters be walking clichés. Many screenwriters would have taken the easy route here and made the five soldiers a blend of each other, that isn’t Bress’s style though and instead he gives each character a personality, strengths and weaknesses. That of course endears to the audience which again raises the suspense through the roof.

With great special effects, interesting characters and a sensational plot that ends with a bang there is a lot to love about Ghosts Of War. In a lot of ways the horror elements of the film are some old school ‘ghostly’ scares but it is the interesting plot points that Bress throws into the mix that makes this film so different to what we have seen in the past. There is no doubt about it this film shows why we need to see more cinematic magic from Eric Bress over the next few years.

 

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Ghosts Of War Review:

 

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Ghosts of War (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Ghosts Of War Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer:

 

 

Summary: A teenager is trying to deal with the death of her mother when her father announces that he is about to marry his girlfriend. A weekend designed for the two to get to know each other turns horrifying when a group of escaped prisoners turn up on their door-step.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 10th September 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion

Screenwriter: Nick Morris, Ruckus Skye, Lane Skye

Cast: Leslie Adlam (Mrs. Hancher), Amanda Brugel (Kayla), Kevin James (Dominick), Robert Maillet (Apex), Ryan McDonald (Cole), James McDougall (Hammond), Joel McHale (Jeff), Isaiah Rockcliffe (Ty), Lulu Wilson (Becky)

Running Time: 93 mins

Classification: TBC

 

 

OUR BECKY REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Becky Review:

 

As a cinema lover nothing thrills me quite as much as watching an actor play against type. Think Vince Vaughn in Hacksaw Ridge or Dragged Across Concrete or even that moment Michael Keaton pulled on the Batsuit for the first time. It seems to even raise the bar when that actor goes even further and decides to play an ‘evil’ character. Did any of us ever think that Robin Williams could go from Mork From Ork to play a disturbed individual in One Hour Photo?

The latest actor to take the plunge from fun-loving comedian to evil psychopath is none other than Kevin James (Grown Ups) in the brand new horror-thriller Becky. No this isn’t James committing the odd kill with a laugh here and there like many believe, this James playing a cold-hearted Neo-Nazi who isn’t frightened to kill a child, or anybody else that stands in the way of what he wants.

After a daring prison van escape Dominick (James) and his fellow escapees, which includes the towering Apex (Robert Malliet – Pacific Rim), begin a murderous spree which results with them ending up at the forest homestead of Jeff (Joel McHale – Community). Instead the homestead there is already tension as Jeff tries to mend the relationship with his teenage daughter, Becky (Lulu Wilson – Annabelle: Creation), after the death of her mother – his ex-wife. Tensions have risen due to Jeff breaking the news to Becky that he is set to marry his girlfriend, Kayla (Amanda Brugel – The Handmaid’s Tale), and Becky is in no mood to see her family ripped apart by anybody – even if they are a violent criminal.

Becky is not the kind of film that everybody is going to feel comfortable watching. I wasn’t joking when I said that the actions of Dominick are not held back simply because a comedian is playing the role. Instead the audience witnesses Dominick murder children, punch a young girl and commit an at times hard to watch torture sequence. What makes the film a must see though is that James delivers these scenes with intense menace – this is a side of James that we have never seen before and side that you can only hope we see more of in the future.

It is hard to see many horror fans being disappointed by Becky. Like they did with the very under-rated Cooties the directional team of Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion deliver a particular nasty film that is a joy to watch. Once again they find interesting ways to kill of the characters that meet their demise. And while the ‘killings’ are inventive they never become laughable and instead the film carries a true feeling of suspense throughout that never allows the audience to ever settle in its seat.

While a lot of praise for Becky will be aimed at Kevin James. Credit must also be paid to Joel McHale and Lulu Wilson. McHale puts in a smooth performance as a worried father while Wilson steals the show with a performance that is well beyond her years. Over the past few years Wilson has impressed horror fans with her performances in great films like Ouija: Origins Of Evil and Annbelle: Creation but even they don’t compare to the sensational work she brings to Becky. This is the film that shows this young actress is going to become an award-winner as her career goes on.

Becky is not without its weaknesses, such as a plot hole that leaves you asking why Dominick seems to go easy on African American character Kayla despite the fact he is a Neo-Nazi, but for the most part it is a gruesome, suspenseful horror that shows us a dark side to one of Hollywood’s funniest men.

 

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Becky Review:

 

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Becky (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Becky Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer:

 

 

Summary: When a disgraced Police Officer accidentally kills a suspect in a kidnapping case it is up to him and a young blogger to try and find the kidnap victim before it is too late.

Year: 2019

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: 13th May 2020

Country: UK, USA

Director: Steven C. Miller

Screenwriter: Jeremy Drysdale

Cast: Elijah M. Cooper (D’Brickshaw D’Martin), Courtney Eaton (Ava Brooks), Aaron Eckhart (Frank Penny), Giancarlo Esposito (Volk), Lindsay Garrett (Walter), James Hutchison III (Max Keller), Betsy Landin (Maya Prinz), Jessica Lu (Clover), Mason McCulley (Fletch), Ben McKenzie (Dean Keller), Dina Meyer (Ruth Carter), Gary Peebles (Bunny), David Shae (Telescope), Nikola Shreli (Hendrix), Nishelle Williams (Claudia)

Running Time: 98 mins

Classification: TBC

 

 

OUR LINE OF DUTY REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Line Of Duty Review:

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Line Of Duty Review:

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Line of Duty (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Line Of Duty Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer:

 

Summary: A group of friends find themselves trapped by a rising floodwaters while they explore a new caving system. Their fear raises even more when they realise that the cave is also home to a killer croc.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 30th July 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: 30th July 2020

Australian VOD Release Date: TBA

Country: Australia

Director: Andrew Traucki

Screenwriter: John Ridley, Sarah Smith

Cast: Amali Golden (Yolanda), Bejamin Hoetjes (Viktor), Rui Kkiuchi (Miyuki), Jessica McNamee (Jennifer), Luke Mitchell (Eric), Louis Toshio Okado (Akita), Anthony J. Sharpe (Cash)

Running Time: 98 mins

Classification: M (Australia)

 

 

OUR BLACK WATER: ABYSS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Blood Vessel Review:

Water horror? Is it a sub-genre? I’m not sure to be honest, but if it was then Australian director Andrew Traucki would be the king of it. A festival of his films would have people declaring they would stay out of water for a long time to come.

See, one of things that I love about Traucki’s body of work is that he makes horror films that are so realistic you can easily imagine yourself getting into that sticky situation. Traucki doesn’t make movies about mysterious things that go bump in the night. He makes films like Black Water, a film about a group of friends going for a leisurely boat-ride and suddenly finding themselves stranded with a killer croc between them and safety. Then there was The Reef in which a group of scuba divers find themselves stranded with only Jaws’ cousin to keep them company.

Given his track record I was excited to see what Traucki would do with Black Water: Abyss, yet at the same I was a little bemused at why he was making a sequel to the brilliant Black Water some thirteen years after the original. After watching the film I am even more stunned. The original Black Water is one of Australia’s hidden gems; it was largely over-shadowed by the better box-office performing Rogue, yet this follow-up is mediocre at best.

The problem with Black Water: Abyss is its characters, its plot and its believability. While Traucki’s films have all been believable this one is not. While yes a group of cave explorers could become trapped with a killer croc – the idea that an expert cave diver like Eric (Luke Mitchell – Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.) would go into an unknown cave system while there is bad weather anywhere in the State is unbelievable. It goes against caving 101.

The second problem with this film is the characters themselves. Important relationships and secrets that the characters have should have been revealed a lot earlier in a bid to raise the tension, while Cash (Anthony J. Sharpe – Hunter’s Moon) is just a walking cliché. He almost feels like he is there for comedic relief when no comedy is needed in this film. Then sadly there are characters like Viktor (Benjamin Hoetjes – The Code) and Yolanda (Amali Golden – The Invisible Man) who are so bland you don’t really care whether they become a croc snack or not.

Likewise the film’s plot never elevates to the level of suspense I thought it would. I thought a film about people trapped in a cave with rising water and a crocodile would have been a pretty suspenseful affair but instead it felt like the characters were just wondering from cave to cave with the suspense only raising occasionally when the croc decided it was time for a snack.

Fans of the original Black Water should not go into this film expecting something as equally as good like I did. The original film is a reminder of just how good low-budget Aussie thrillers can be… the sequel is a massive let-down.

 

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Black Water: Abyss Review:

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Black Water: Abyss (2020) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Blood Vessel Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer:

 

Summary: A group of ship-wreck survivors find themselves having to board an abandoned Nazi vessel during World War II.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 5th August 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: 5th August 2020

Country: Australia

Director: Justin Dix

Screenwriter: Justin Dix, Jordan Prosser

Cast: Alex Cooke (Alexander Teplov), Mark Diaco (Jimmy Bigelow), John Lloyd Fillingham (Gerard Faraday), Ruby Isobel Hall (Mya), Christopher Kirby (Lydell Jackson), Troy Larkin (The Patriarch/Medic), Vivienne Perry (The Matriach), Nathan Phillips (Nathan Sinclair), Jacinta Stapleton (Shelly), Mackenzie Stephens (Lily), Alyssa Sutherland (Jane Prescott), Robert Taylor (Captain Malone), Steve Young (Haas)

Running Time: 93 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia)

 

 

OUR BLOOD VESSEL REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Blood Vessel Review:

Excuse the pun but weren’t vampires supposed to be done and dusted in cinema? The relationship between the blood-sucking monsters and the big screen has always been an extensive one. From early adaptations of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula. Through to heroic tales of vampire slayers like Van Helsing and Buffy.

With vampires it seemed that filmmakers could let their imagination run wild… and many did. Quentin Tarantino delivered the sound-yet-quirky Dusk Til Dawn while John Carpenter delivered the gorey but brilliant Vampires. It felt like the vampire mythology could be stretched and pulled into stories that could go in any direction. Interview With A Vampire, which starred Tom Cruise touched on themes of mortality and immortality, The Forsaken treated vampirism as a pandemic while Queen Of The Damned featured a heavy metal singing vampire called Lestat. Then came Twilight and suddenly genre directors pulled back from vampires as sparkly vampires became the dream of every teenage girl.

Now it seems that serious genre filmmakers are ready to once again pick up the mantle of creating new stories about the notorious demons and the result is movies like Blood Vessel which has just recently been released on a number of streaming platforms.

From director Justin Dix, who worked in the special effects department of a number of Star Wars as well as directing the critically acclaimed Crawlspace in 2012, Blood Vessel is the kind of film that in any ordinary year would only be noticed by hardcore horror fans. But 2020 is no ordinary year so with cinemas still largely closed around the world films like Blood Vessel have become hits on streaming services – not only because it is a good film but also because 2020 seems to have been the year where the cinema fans right around the world have realised that Quentin Tarantino has been right for decades when he says “Australian genre filmmakers are among so of the best in the world.”

Blood Vessel is certainly a vampire film with a difference. Set during World War II it finds a group of survivors in a life raft suddenly come across a German vessel drifting in the open sea. While at first hesitant the group which includes Nurse Jane Prescott (Alyssa Sutherland – Vikings), Russian soldier Alexander Teplov (Alex Cooke – Preacher) and Australian soldier Nathan Sinclair (Nathan Phillips – Snakes On A Plane ) decide to board the ship figuring that being taken captive is better than starving at sea.

However, once on board the ship the group find no German sailors but instead find a mysterious young girl, dead bodies and begin to wonder what their own colleague Gerard Faraday (John Lloyd Fillingham – Gallipolii) is up to.

For a low budget horror film it is surprising how good Blood Vessel really is. Everything seems to come together perfectly. The screenplay allows for the suspense to come from more than just monsters going bump in the night while Dix’s horror effects are some of the best you are likely to see. The other big plus for the film is the fact that the characters at hand are not walking clichés, they are three dimensional characters that the audience actually cares about… and that is a rarity in modern day horror.

What stands Blood Vessel out from the myriad of genre flicks out there though is the natural feel to the film. It feels strange saying that a vampire film is believable but that is the exact feeling you get when watching the film. Perhaps it is how well the film flows or the fact that it was filmed on an action World War II vessel, whatever the reason it only further enhances the suspenseful nature of the film at hand.

While readers should be warned that Blood Vessel is pretty bloody for those that enjoy a good horror film you are in for a treat. While it is a shame that it hasn’t made its way into cinemas around the world the way fellow Australian horror film Black Water: Abyss did Blood Vessel has set the streaming world ablaze and is currently one of the most talked about films in the world.

 

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Blood Vessel Review:

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Blood Vessel (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Blood Vessel Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer:

 

Summary: A twe;ve-year-old boy finds a way to communicate with his dog. While the Government hunts him down for his technology he decides to use his dog’s simple thoughts to help repair the relationship between his parents.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: 9th July 2020

Country: UK, China, USA

Director: Gil Junger

Screenwriter: Gil Junger

Cast: Dillon Ahlf (Brayden), Gralen Bryant Banks (Principal Harris), Gabriel Bateman (Oliver), Sean Boyd (Hunter), Bryan Callen (Agent Callen), Lena Clark (Mrs. McClelland), Josh Duhamel (Lukas), Jason Edwards (Mr. McClelland), Megan Fox (Ellen), Lara Grice (Ms. Shackley), Mason Guccione (Rodney), Neo Hooo (Xiao), Madison Horcher (Sophie), Billy 4 Johnson (Nicholas), Julia Jones (Agent Munoz), Will Junger (Will), Zoe Lazar (Debbie), Youngjian Lin (Shen), Janet Montgomery (Bridget), Kunal Nayyar (Mr. Mills), Marnette Patterson (Cindy), David Rayden (Rockford), Jannette Sepwa (Jason), Todd Stashwick (Henry (voice)), Izaac Wang (Li)

Running Time: 91 mins

Classification: PG (Australia)

 

 

OUR THINK LIKE A DOG REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Think Like A Dog Review:

For a long time family films were a dull, boring affair that seemed at times to not even work for kids. Sure you had those that marked a generation like Frozen but few were entertaining or mature enough to provide any entertainment for the adults that were forced to watch them with their kids. The 2020 cinematic year seems to have bucked that trend though with films like Spies In Disguise, Sonic The Hedgehog and My Spy offering something for kids and adults alike. Now we can add another film to that list – Think Like A Dog.

To be honest we should have expected the film to have a certain winning formula. After all it is written and directed by Gil Junger, a man who may not be a house-hold name but has worked on some of television’s most popular comedies over the years including Dharma & Greg and Ellen. Then there is the fact that the film stars Hollywood A-Listers Josh Duhamel (Safe Haven) and Meagan Fox (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) star in the film – gone are the days when star’s managers let them make mistakes like The Pacifier. Through in child actor Gabriel Bateman who did amazing things in Child’s Play and Lights Out and you can certainly see why this film should work. The best thing is it does.

Bateman plays Oliver a twelve-year-old prodigy whose science experiments stun those around him. At school he is excelling, while of course trying to attract the attention of his class-mate Sophie (Madison Horcher – Adventures In Babysitting), but he is not so smooth when it comes to inter-acting with the opposite sex. He also faces stresses with his home life as it becomes more and more obvious that his Mum (Fox) and Dad (Duhamel) are heading for divorce.

But then his latest experiment doesn’t go the way he planned and he finds himself being able to communicate with his dog. Together the duo come up with a way to help try and keep Oliver’s parents together but they soon find themselves in trouble when a tech-billionaire known as Mr Mills (Kunal Nayyar – The Big Bang Theory) wants the technology for himself and they inevitably attract the attention of the US Government.

While the film does have star power the key to this film working is the A-Grade screenplay from Gil Junger. The film works because its script captures the magic that made films and television shows like The Wonder Years and Spy Kids work so well for families. Junger knows that when it comes to writing for families you can’t make things cheesy, no matter how ridiculous the storyline is, and it is okay to tackle topics that kids maybe facing in real life.

While it would be really easy to dismiss Think Like A Dog as ‘just’ a talking dog movie, the film goes a lot deeper than that. In modern society a parent’s imminent separation is something that a lot of children will face. Here Junger explores the situation through the eyes of a child yet doesn’t suger-coat it either.

Likewise with the humour of the film. There is humour in the film but it never becomes that cheesy type of humour that has made so many family films unwatchable over the years. Junger seems to find the right mix – he makes the Government Agents bubbling and comedic without ever making them a complete joke. The same when it comes to the film’s nemesis. It would have been really easy for Mr. Mills to have been written as a Jim Carrey bad guy especially considering he was being played by a television comedy star. Instead making Millls a believable character makes his actions even more sinister, especially when he is trying to lure the kids into his trap.

So much comes together and works well for Think Like A Dog to be such a good family film. Gabriel Bateman acts well beyond his years, Duhamel and Fox put in mature performances that just show they need to be taken seriously as actors while Kunal Nayyar takes a huge step up and shows that he has a future outside of Big Bang Theory. However, the very special ingredient here is an amazing screenplay that allows this film to work for family members of all ages.

 

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Think Like A Dog Review:

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Black Rainbow (1989) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Think Like A Dog Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer: