- “The Forest”
- “The Abandoned”
- “The Masked Saint”
|THE ABANDONED || Low budget horror usually has an aura of creepiness that big budget films simply cannot top, but “The Abandoned” feels too uninspiring to be anything more than a weak parallel to better films. Two night guards are put in charge of a building with cameras everywhere, but there’s a locked room that they are told to never open and never go in. Well when the door opens on its own, guess what… they go in. And it seems to be haunted by children. Jason Patric and Louisa Krause star.
|ANESTHESIA || The day has come where I’m actually looking towards a film because Kristen Stewart is in it. I never thought I’d see the day, but she’s finally becoming an actress worth watching. Not that she does anything particularly stellar, but she’s finally starting to command her own style, and I appreciate that. “Anesthesia” follows a college professor (Sam Waterston) whose life will change forever and the events leading up to that change. This is written, directed by, and also starring Tim Blake Nelson.
|THE FOREST || Although not particularly original, “The Forest” does look effective enough to be a decent wilderness horror film. With the gorgeous and talented Natalie Dormer (“Game Of Thrones”) at the helm, playing a sister that goes on the search for her missing twin in what is called the Suicide Forest next to Mt. Fuji. The one rule to be broken in the film: never leave the path. But you can guess… she leaves the path. Again, there’s not much here we haven’t seen before, but Dormer is definitely a talent to watch.
|DIABLO || As nice as it may be to see Scott Eastwood following in the footsteps of his father, the fact that he still looks so young is doing him no favors. He is not yet the hard edged man that his father was and is too clean and baby-faced to be filling the role of gunslinger. It is nice to see Walter Goggins (“Justified”) back in the role of the villain following his foray in “The Hateful Eight” and it is nice to see Camilla Belle back after what’s felt like a hiatus. However, “Diablo” does little to peak my interest and feels like people playing dress up, rather than featuring anyone.
|LAMB || As impressive of a performance as 13-year-old Oona Laurence gives in “Lamb,” it still is not enough to make this film a must-see. I do like that the review from Hollywood Reporter is “let the controversy begin,” as the film is about a grown man making friends with a little depressed girl in a parking lot and taking her out to see the world. There’s undertones of jealousy and obviously the stranger taking a child away from her home aspect, so ultimately I’m not sure where I land on the film.
|THE MASKED SAINT || Leave it to me to laugh at a faith-based film when an attacker asks aggressively: “what are you doing? praying!?” and then hits her. It’s just so melodramatic that it’s hard not to laugh. The writing is so forced and so cheesy (“you’re a saint” “no m’am… I’m a man”) that it feels like a child wrote the screenplay. Basically a wrestler is forced to lose and ends up on the streets beating up bad guys, wearing his mask. It’s really too bad the talented Lara Jean Chorostecki (“Hannibal”) got caught up in this film and it’s even more regrettable this contains one of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper’s final performances.