Girl and Fatman (2020)

A young woman returns to her small hometown intent on killing her abusive father only to discover someone murdered him the day before. As the girl searches for answers, she uncovers a family legacy more dangerous than she’d imagined.

’m actually surprised Girl is not that bad, Bella Thorne gives by far her best performance in her career and having Mickey Rourke in the film as well is also pretty great too! As far as the writing it’s passable, it’s not anything you haven’t seen before in fact some of it is very predictable but it does lead to some genuinely well directed scenes from Chad Faust (his directional debut) the pacing is going to turn people away and rightfully so. Because Girl takes awhile to get going, it’s going for this gothic slow burn type film and while it does work in several scenes in some scenes it doesn’t come together. Overall Girl is a very average thriller, it’s nothing new but at least it’s engaging unlike some other thrillers that have been released this year.

6/10 C+

A rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus is fighting to save his declining business. Meanwhile, Billy, a neglected and precocious 12 year old, hires a hit man to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.

Fatman has the most strangest type of criticism I think I have ever given a movie yet…it’s not bad enough. The trailer sold it as some movie that sounded completely stupid and ridiculous that it could land in “what the hell am I watching” territory but also at the same time it showed the movie wanted to be taken seriously. Sadly Fatman for most of the movie takes itself way too seriously and doesn’t embrace the ridiculous premise, while yes the acting from Mel Gibson is actually not bad and the movie is decently made the rest of the film is just not interesting. I will say the final act sort of embraces the silliness of the premise but that’s really being generous, the acting from everyone else is not anything special the same can be said for the writing. Definitely not bad but not exactly anything interesting or good either. Overall Fatman just does not have a whole lot to it, it’s a very forgettable movie with a premise that could have been a lot more fun.

4/10 D+

Run (2020)

A homeschooled teenager begins to suspect her mother is keeping a dark secret from her.

Aneesh Chaganty director of Searching one of the best films of 2018 is back! This time he directs Run a thriller that is a lot like Misery but manages to be it’s own thing. One important thing about Run is the actress Kiera Allen who has her first role in this film, plus in the film she plays a character who uses a wheelchair what’s special about this is that Kiera Allen actually really does use a wheelchair. According to this is the first time an actor or actress that uses a wheelchair has been in thriller in 70 years! That is insane and something definitely worth mentioning, on top of that Kiera Allen is fantastic, she does a fantastic job in her role! Her performance feels very raw, Sarah Paulson is also pretty fantastic as well. This is by far one of Sarah Paulson’s best roles, sure she often plays an insane type character. But with Run it honestly feels much more raw, sure there are one or two over the top moments. But for most of the movie her character feels very grounded, the atmosphere also compliments the film extremely well. It gives the movie this suspenseful feeling that catches the viewer quickly, as I said before the story definitely feels familiar in some areas. However Chaganty manages to make the film his own and manages to actually tackle the film’s premise far better than a lot of other films that came before it. Overall I highly recommend Run it’s definitely one of the standouts of the year and one of those thrillers that will get under your skin.

9/10 A

Come Play (2020)

A monster named Larry manifests itself through smart phones and mobile devices.

Come Play is surprisingly not that bad, is it breaking any new ground? Definitely not the movie is filled to the brim of cliches. But I feel what helps this movie out is mostly the acting, everyone all around gives very decent performances, the writing is solid enough. It does have it’s weak points such as having a very rough start at the beginning, which should be noted it does take a bit to get going. Which is definitely going to turn some people away, Come Play is much more story based rather than focusing on a lot of the horror elements. There are some genuine creepy moments that work well mostly due to the atmosphere, the biggest flaw Come Play has is it does have a very hard time standing out among a lot of other movies in the genre. It doesn’t do anything really unique or incredible to make it memorable. But for what Come Play is it could have easily been worse, if you are bored and looking for something quick to watch this is definitely not a bad watch. Just don’t expect anything groundbreaking.

6/10 C+

Freaky (2020)

After swapping bodies with a deranged serial killer, a young girl in high school discovers she has less than 24 hours before the change becomes permanent.

Christopher Landon’s career as a director has certainly evolved over the years, his first major movie was Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones easily the worst of the series and one of the worst films of the 2010s, then he followed up with Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse, which was a very forgettable zombie movie that hardly anyone ever talks about. It also doesn’t help that it wasn’t good or did nothing to standout either, then came the turning point Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U some of the best slasher films in a very long time both of which actually surprised a lot of people as well. The same can be said about Freaky, it’s another surprisingly strong slasher movie that really stands out. Freaky shares a lot in common with Happy Death Day what I mean by that is Landon uses some of his same directing elements and style. Such as giving the characters actual character development something that was very present in the Happy Death Day movies. Kathryn Newton’s character Millie gets a ton of character development and a lot of moments are actually strong as well, Freaky is a huge throwback to The Friday The 13th series! But what I found very interesting is it takes those elements and makes them it’s own, it creates something truly special and quite humorous as well. The comedy is quite great, there are a few jokes that don’t land quite well but a lot of the time combines serious moments and comedic moments very well. The acting and writing are overall really strong Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn are both very solid in their roles, the kills also standout pretty well. They are classic slasher movie type kills that never get old at all, overall Freaky is a movie that could have went horribly wrong but luckily that’s not the case. It’s some of the most fun I have had with a film this year! Also worth pointing out that Freaky is the first movie I saw since March due to COVID-19.

9/10 A

Possessor (2020)

Possessor follows an agent who works for a secretive organization that uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people’s bodies – ultimately driving them to commit assassinations for high-paying clients.

Possessor has been on my radar ever since it premiered at Sundance when I heard about Brandon Cronenberg directing it (the son of David Cronenberg) I was really excited! There are a few things I want to address first, one Possessor and Possessor Uncut are the exact same, from what I’ve noticed there are no differences and two while yes the film is very gory do not go into this movie expecting it to be one of the goriest movies ever made like some of the early reactions made it out to be. Anyway let’s talk about the film itself, Possessor is a beautiful film for starters. It’s beautifully filmed with a lot of color, details in the setting and gives off this powerful and suspenseful atmosphere. As I said before there is gore and it’s done pretty well, the film is pretty brutal with the kills it doesn’t feel cartoonish or ridiculous. Cronenberg makes these kills as realistic as possible and at times it gets pretty disturbing, the acting is really strong all around! The performances feel very raw as well as the writing, while yes the writing might be simple it does end up being more then just simple. It ends up feeling believable and moves the film along at a great pace, it’s worth noting that Possessor is definitely not going to be for everyone. It’s one of those films where you are either going to love it, don’t know what to think or hate it. But Possessor is truly a haunting film that keeps you invested throughout the film, Brandon Cronenberg really hit it out of the park with this one. I won’t say much else because this is definitely a film where the less you know about it before watching the better. Overall Possessor is one of the best films of the year, I highly recommend checking it out if it sounds interesting to you. I can’t wait to see what Brandon Cronenberg does next!!

10/10 A+

The Dark And The Wicked (2020)

On a secluded farm in a nondescript rural town, a man is slowly dying. His family gathers to mourn, and soon a darkness grows, marked by waking nightmares and a growing sense that something evil is taking over the family.

The Dark And The Wicked is another one that really surprised me, on the surface it may seem like your typical ghost who haunts a house but it’s much more then that! First off it should be noted that it’s directed by Bryan Bertino director of The Strangers (incredible film), Mockingbird and The Monster (which is pretty good Mockingbird however is very disposable) If it’s one thing that Bertino masters in it’s making a situation seem as life like as possible. With The Strangers you got that throughout the film, in The Dark And The Wicked you definitely get some moments like that, it truly is a pretty creepy film that’s very atmospheric. The acting overall is pretty solid Marin Ireland and Michael Abbott Jr both do a fantastic job in their roles, the writing feels raw in a lot of moments where the film is most effective. The setting of the film also really adds to it as well, it adds to the overall creepiness and atmosphere. Bertino takes a very simple premise and manages to make it very interesting which can not be said for some other modern haunting movies, overall this is definitely Bertino’s best film since The Strangers and I’m really excited to see what he does next.

9/10 A

Kindred, Triggered and Mortal (2020)

Plagued by mysterious hallucinations, a pregnant woman suspects that the family of her deceased boyfriend has intentions for her unborn child.

Kindred is one of those movies where in concept it sounds very interesting but it ends not really doing much, I will praise the acting I thought all around it was pretty solid and everyone gave a decent performance. I also thought the filming was quite decent as well, it showed some beautiful shots that were captivating. What brings this movie down however is it really doesn’t do much until the end, it takes way too long for it to get going and by the time things start getting interesting the movie is almost over. I understand what Kindred was going for and I do think that it will work for some people, I just feel the writing wasn’t as strong as it could have been and really didn’t bring out this film’s full potential. I give it a pass because it is an overall well crafted movie that does have some great atmosphere and strong moments. It could have just been so much better.

6/10 C+

9 old high school “friends” have a 5 year reunion camping in a forest. They all have secrets. Their old science teacher straps a time-bomb to each of them. Killing another gives one their time. Last one lives.

Alastair Orr who previous directed Indigenous (which was terrible), House On Willow Street (which was fine enough) and a few other films is back. Triggered is basically a terrible version of Battle Royale mixed with some elements from Saw, in fact there was already a movie exactly like that which came out earlier this year…The Hunt. It does barely anything differently the only difference this time is the characters have a bomb strapped onto them, that’s the only major difference everything else plays out exactly how you would expect. Which really is a shame because there are ways they could have made this movie have the same premise but change up a few things. Yes the kills are pretty solid and is by far the best thing about Triggered but everything else is just the exact same, none of it is necessarily horrendous (except the script) it’s just flat out unimaginative and really has little to offer. It’s a fine movie to put on if you have nothing else to watch and only want good kills otherwise it’s not worth watching!

4/10 D+

Fantasy adventure origin story about a young man discovering he has God-like powers based on ancient Norwegian mythology.

I honestly could not believe this was actually directed by Andrè Øverdal, he previously directed Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, The Autopsy Of Jane Doe and Trollhunter which are all pretty strong movies, unfortunately Mortal is not. I appreciate Øverdal trying to expand into a different genre but it just did not work here at all, Nat Wolff is fine enough but really does not bring a whole lot to the film. When you really get down to it Mortal is a very below average superhero origin story movie, it has some decent visuals that look quite great. But everything else is just very basic and a lot of elements everyone has seen before, the writing isn’t there, the acting is very okay and the story is really not that interesting. I don’t recommend this one.

5/10 C

His House (2020)

A refugee couple makes a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, but then they struggle to adjust to their new life in an English town that has an evil lurking beneath the surface.

His House is a pretty solid horror movie, it has this big metaphor of grief and how it can destroy our lives. Wunmi Mosaku and Sope Dirisu both do incredible job in their roles and really bring a lot of scenes to life. The movie get’s actually pretty thrilling towards the end and has some scares, I will say His House does take a bit to get going but once it does it is truly effective! The direction is also really strong from Rami Weekes who I definitely see going on to do more projects in the future! The movie’s theme definitely stands out towards the end giving the film some strength, I just wish the first act could have been a little faster. But I definitely recommend giving this one a go!

7/10 B

Spell (2020)

A man crash lands in rural Appalachia and awakens in the attic of a traditional Hoodoo practitioner. He desperately tries to break free from her dark magic and save his family from a sinister ritual before the rise of the blood moon.

This was actually going to be released in theaters? Spell feels like a movie that was originally supposed to be a straight to DVD movie but that’s not the case. Before COVID-19 Spell was fully intended to be theater released, anyway the movie itself is very nuts…Spell is basically Misery but with hoodoo figures, I will say that Omari Hardwick and Loretta Devine actually do a very solid job given the terrible script they had to work with. They did the best they could with it and their performances are pretty solid, the visuals are actually pretty decent as well which was kind of surprising, but everything else just feels like a chore to sit through. The writing just isn’t there at all, there’s some really horribly written lines to the point where you ask yourself “did an actual person write this?” It’s a shame too because this movie could have really worked but unfortunately the director is Mark Tonderai the director of The House At The End Of The Street one of the worst horror films of the 2010s. Spell is definitely a huge step up from that but it overall really does not have that much to offer. I would only recommend Spell if you have absolutely nothing else to watch otherwise this is something I don’t recommend.

4/10 D+

Rogue City and The Day Of The Lord (2020)

Caught in the cross hairs of police corruption and Marseille’s warring gangs, a loyal cop must protect his squad by taking matters into his own hands.

Rogue City is one of those Netflix Original movies that just sort of exists, a lot of it is very cliched and events to expect from a crime movie. The major problem with this movie is weirdly enough how the movie has way too many characters to follow. All it ends up doing is confusing the viewer and you have no idea which characters to actually invest in. The writing and acting are fine enough at best, there’s really nothing to write home about with this movie. It’s just a very below average crime movie that somehow became a Netflix Original.

5/10 C

A retired priest hunted by his sins is pulled back into darkness when a friend begs him to help his possessed daughter.

I appreciate what The Day Of The Lord was trying to do but it just didn’t work here. It’s a slow burner which is perfectly fine, the problem is it’s not an interesting one. It takes several plot devices from other successful movies and tries to make them it’s own but falls flat on it’s face, the only few redeeming qualities are some of the acting and the filming. They definitely tried at times to make this movie work but as I said it really fails. Really don’t have much more to add, I don’t recommend this one.

3/10 D-