“Diverge” Seeking a cure and redemption.

DIVERGE poster miniTrying to survive in a world where humanity has been almost destroyed by a strange disease, Chris is approached by a strange man who gives him the opportunity to save not only his dying wife, but also the rest of mankind, by going back to the days before the pandemic broke out. What seemed to be a chance for Chris to fix his mistakes in the past and get his redemption, later becomes a huge temptation to retake the life he had lost, putting his morality to test.

“Diverge” is a very good film with a lot of things to enjoy, the story gets you interested from the beginning, and even when the premise is very simple, it leaves you reflecting about its themes for some time after it ends. The film does not use big, expensive special effects (We can even say that there is none, besides some make up and characterization effects) to tell this science fiction story with some tones of drama about the eternal debate of cause and effect. Without having an unnecessary complicated plot, I believe fans of “12 Monkeys” and “Primer” will really enjoy this film.

The acting was very good, and the pacing had good rhythm, although I think that some scenes dragged a little bit, specially when we see Chris just meditating over his actions and sometimes it takes too much time for him to actually react to what is going on around him. Is not something that hurts the film that much, but it can annoy some people in the audience. I don’t want to dwell into spoiler territory, but I want to state that the acting by Jamie Jackson was definitely one of the strongest points of the movie.

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“Diverge” … Buscando la cura y la redención.

DIVERGE poster miniTratando de sobrevivir en un mundo donde la humanidad ha sido casi exterminada por una extraña enfermedad, Chris es encontrado por un hombre extraño que le da la oportunidad de salvar no solo a su esposa, sino a el resto de la raza humana, regresando a los días anteriores a que la epidemia explote. Lo que podría ser una oportunidad para corregir errores del pasado y obtener una redención, también se convierte en una tentación muy grande para retomar la vida que Chis ha perdido, poniendo en juicio de nuevo su moral y su alma.

“Diverge” tiene muchas cosas que elogiarle, la historia te cautiva desde el principio, y a pesar de ser muy sencilla, te deja pensando por un buen rato después de haber terminado. El filme no ocupa de grandes efectos especiales (de hecho podemos alegar que no hay ninguno, salvo maquillaje y caracterización) para contar una muy buena historia de ciencia ficción con sus tonos de drama sobre el eterno debate de causa y efecto. Sin tratar de ser innecesariamente complicada, creo que los fans de “12 Monkeys” y “Primer” van a disfrutar mucho este filme.

Las actuaciones fueron muy buenas, y el ritmo del filme fue muy ágil, aunque a momentos me pareció se se alargaban muchas escenas donde Chris solo esta meditando sobre sus acciones y a veces como que se tarda mucho en reaccionar sobre lo que esta pasando a su alrededor. No es algo que dañe mucho a la película, pero a momentos si puede desesperar. No quiero entrar en spoilers, pero quiero resaltar que la actuación de Jamie Jackson definitivamente fue uno de los puntos mas fuertes en el filme.

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“Black Creek” Trayendo pecados, muerte y redención.

Black_Creek MINI ArtMike y Heather son un par de hermanos que tratando de sobreponerse de la muerte de su padre, deciden esparcir sus cenizas en el bosque donde la familia solía vacacionar, esto hace que varios amigos de Mike decidan acompañarlo, no tanto como para darle soporte emocional, sino para aprovechar el fin de semana y hacer una fiesta en la remota cabaña en el bosque. Lo que este grupo de estudiantes no sabe, es que en ese mismo bosque recientemente han estado sucediendo una serie de violentos asesinatos, parecidos a los de un caso muy famoso que quedó inconcluso años atrás.

Las autoridades, buscando no causar el pánico, deciden hacer la investigación de forma oculta al publico, pero personas cercanas al padre de Mike, están mas que convencidas que tanto estos recientes asesinatos, como la muerte de su amigo, no son coincidencias, ni tampoco obra de un simple mortal, sino de una fuerza maligna sobrenatural que ha venido a cobrar venganza y sembrar el terror en el bosque. Una entidad que no solo pondrá la vida de los estudiantes en peligro, sino que hará que antes de que acabe el fin de semana terminen peleando a muerte entre ellos.

“Black Creek” es un filme donde se ve que se hizo lo mas que se pudo con los recursos que se tenían, y te deja con ganas de saber como se hubiera visto si hubiera tenido mas presupuesto. Dejando de lado que algunas actuaciones no fueron muy buenas y que los efectos especiales a veces se ven muy mal, hay una muy buena historia, contada de una forma ágil y un concepto muy interesante que puede dar para mas películas. Aclaro que también hay varios efectos especiales del corte practico que funcionan muy bien.

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“Black Creek” Brings sins, death and redemption.

Black_Creek MINI ArtMike and Heather are a couple of brothers trying to cope with their father’s recent death, and plan to spread his ashes on the forest where their family used to vacation. Several of Mike’s friends decide to tag along, not so much as to offer Mike some emotional support, but to seize the moment and to have a party all weekend on a secluded cabin in the woods. What the young students are unaware of, is that in that same forest recently have been occurring several murders eerily similar to others that happened several years ago and that were never solved.

The authorities, trying to not spread the panic in the community, decide to keep the murders and the investigation secret to the public, but a couple of persons that were close to Mike’s father are convinced that both his death and the recent murders are not a coincidence, or the work of a mortal being, but a evil supernatural force that has come back to claims its vengeance and fill the woods with terror. An entity that will not only put the lives of the students in danger, but also make them fight one another to the death before the weekend is over.

“Black Creek” is one of those films where you can see that the people behind it pushed themselves to the limits with whatever resources they had, and makes you wonder how would the film look if they had a bigger budget. Leaving aside that some of the acting is not very good and that some special effects fall into the weaker side, there is a very good story told in a very efficient manner, and an interesting concept that could work for more movies. I will point out that there were also several very effective special effects, although there were more of the practical kind.

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“The Housemaid” Soltando pasiones prohibidas y fantasmas vengativos.

Housemaid mini posterSituada en Vietnam en 1953, “The Housemaid” nos cuenta la historia de Linh, una joven en búsqueda de trabajo, tras haberlo perdido todo a raíz de unos bombardeos en La Guerra de Indochina. Por comentarios de la gente local, Linh llega a la plantación de hule llamada “Sa-cat” aplicando para la posición de criada, acaba siendo contratada por un tiempo de prueba.

Desde su llegada Linh va escuchando extraños murmullos en la enorme mansión, al tiempo que sus ojos parecen jugarle bromas extrañas pues le parece ver a alguien correr por los pasillos cuando se supone que nadie debería estar ahí. Es poco después cuando Linh va aprendiendo la oscura historia de la plantación, y va entendiendo que la población local prefiere evitarla por todas las personas que se rumora han fallecido en sus campos como victimas de los tratos crueles de los dueños anteriores. Sin embargo, es tras haber conocido a el capitán Sebastian, el dueño francés de la finca, que la vida de Linh podría estar amenazada por el espíritu de Madame Camille, la difunta esposa de Sebastian, que ha regresado de ultratumba, furiosa por la atención que el capitán ha empezado a tener hacia la joven.

“The Housemaid” es un filme interesante y bastante entretenido, sobretodo si tomamos en cuenta que viene de un país que no es muy frecuente que presente filmes de terror, (Contrario a China y Japón, que es donde estamos mas acostumbrados a obtener nuestras dosis de horror asiático) y aunque yo mas bien catalogaría esta película como un drama con tonos sobrenaturales (piensen mas en “Crimson Peak” que en “Insidious”) logra crear una atmósfera tensa y darnos un par de sustos. Desgraciadamente, también tiene varios momentos que comparándolos con el cine occidental, ya se sienten cansados, mas que nada por el uso de los ‘sustos de pianazo” que a veces no llevan a nada, ni tiene razón de ser.

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“The Housemaid” unlocks forbidden passions and vengeful ghosts.

Housemaid mini posterTaking place in Vietnam, in 1953, “The Housemaid” tells the story of Linh, a young girl looking for work after loosing everything in the bombings in the Indochinese War. After talking with some of the local folk, Linh arrives at the rubber plantation called “Sa-Cat”, after applying for the housemaid position, she barely ends up been hired on a trial basis.

Since her arrival at Sa-Cat, Linh starts to hear strange whispers on the mansion, and her eyes seems to be playing tricks on her, since she believes to see someone roaming the corridors, when nobody is supposed be around. Soon after that, Linh learns the dark story of the plantation, and that most of the locals tend to avoid it due rumors that many workers in the past died of torture and abuse at the hands of previous owners of the plantation. However, is only after Linh meets Captain Sebastian, the french owner of Sa-Cat, that her life starts to be in danger, since Madame Camille, Sebastian’s deceased wife, has returned from the grave, infuriated by the attention the girl has been receiving.

“The Housemaid” is interesting and entertaining, specially for a film coming from a country that does not release that many horror titles at all (In contrast with China and Japan, where horror fans are most used to get their Asian horror fix) Still I would label this movie as more of a Drama with a supernatural tones than horror (Think more of “Crimson Peak” and not so much of “Insidious”), but still manages to create a tense atmosphere and to give us a couple of scares. Unfortunately, it also has some moments that feel tired and too common because we have seen it too much recently in occidental films: as you might guess, I am talking about the over use of jump scares, some of them lead to nothing, others do not even have any reason to be there.

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“Victor Crowley” … El regreso del asesino del pantano!.

VC reducedDespues de mostrarse en un tour por todos Estados Unidos, se estrenó en VOD y formato fisico este 6 de Febrero el nuevo filme de la saga de “Hatchet”. El filme, escrito y dirigido por Adam Green, fué presentado no como “Hatchet 4”, si no como “Victor Crowley”. Cabe mencionar que este filme fue rodado en completo secreto (algo que se antoja casi imposible en tiempos de Internet) y se estrenó por primera vez en Agosto del 2017, habiendose anunciado como una versión remasterizada de el primer filme, con motivo de su décimo aniversario, sorprendiendo a todos los fans que nos habiamos presentado para la celebración…

Situándose 10 años después de el sangriento fin de semana visto en la trilogía de Hatchet, en este filme vemos a Andrew Yong (el único sobreviviente conocido de la masacre) tratando de promover su libro donde hace un recuento de lo que sucedió. Para su mala suerte, la mayoría del publico sigue creyendo que él fue el responsable de los asesinatos y que Victor Crowley, el supuesto asesino sobrenatural nunca existió, ya que desde ese día, no se han vuelto a reportar muertes ni desapariciones en el pantano de Honey Island. Cansado del repudio de la gente, pero obviamente necesitado de dinero, Andrew acepta hacer una entrevista que será grabada en el mismo lugar de los asesinatos, tomando un avión privado con el equipo de producción.

Al mismo tiempo, un grupo de cineastas independientes tratan de filmar un trailer falso para poder recaudar fondos para su primer filme, el cual estará basado en los asesinatos de Victor Crowley, pero con eso de que le quieren dar mas realismo al proyecto, se les hace fácil y se ponen a ver videos donde se recita el conjuro que se conoce como el que causó la creación de Crowley, lo cual ocasiona que el avión donde iba Andrew y el equipo de producción se desplome, y una vez más Victor Crowley regrese de ultratumba para teñir los pantanos con sangre.

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“Victor Crowley”… A nice bloody return to the swamp!

VC reducedAfter doing a tour around the U.S. “Victor Crowley”, the new entry in the “Hatchet” saga is finally available on VOD and Bluray. The film, written and directed by Adam Green was filmed completely in secret (something that sounds almost impossible in the days of the Internet) and was first shown on August 2017, being announced as a remastered version of the original “Hatchet” film, celebrating the 10th anniversary of its release, and needless to say, it took all of us in attendance by surprise.

Taking place 10 years after the bloody weekend shown on the Hatchet trilogy, we see Andrew Yong (the only known survivor of the massacre) trying to promote his book retelling the events of what is now known as “the Honey Island Massacre”. To his dismay, most of the public still believes that he was the killer, and that Victor Crowley, the alleged supernatural entity responsible for the murders, never existed, this is mostly because after that day, there has been not a single report of people missing or being murdered on the swamps of Honey Island. Tired of the people’s mistreatment, but also in need of cash, Andrew accepts to do an interview in the place of the murders, taking a private plane with the production crew.

At the same time, a group of aspiring filmmakers try to film a mock trailer in that same location in order lure investors for their film, which will be based on Victor Crowley’s murders. Trying to be as authentic as possible, the crew starts to play a compilation of videos where the spell said to be used to curse Crowley is recited over and over, causing the plane where Andrew and the production crew were traveling to crash, and bringing Victor Crowley from beyond once more to fill the swamp with blood and guts.

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PSYCHOTIC! A Brooklyn Slasher: now on VOD

PSYCHOTIC_cropDrugs, hipsters, lousy paying jobs and expensive rents; is not easy to be an artist on Brooklyn. To make matters worse, there is a killer lurking the streets known as the Bushwick Party Killer. This is the setting of “PSYCHOTIC! the new film directed by Derek Gibbons and Maxwell Frey.

This film clearly has love for the Giallo genre and the 80’s slasher films, and I am sure that fans of those genres are going to like this movie a lot. I dare to even say that this could become a cult film, however, I had some issues with it. Mostly the acting, which varies from “not that good” to really bad, (as in “Not even funny” bad) I honestly wondered at times if the creators were trying to go full parody mode or not… Just to be clear, I am not talking about the titular killer’s design, which while it might look weird and silly, I dug it.

Another issue that I had was that most of the characters were horrible persons and annoying, something that you normally like in the slasher movies, specially when those characters get killed really fast (or when you can have fun trying to guess the order in which they will bite the dust), but here we have to wait A LOT for the murders to happen after a very good kill in the opening of the film, if you like stoner humor you might not care, though, because there is plenty of that here!

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“Before We Vanish” …. A tale of alien invasions from Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

BeforeWeVanish miniOn a day like any other, after killing her family in a very gruesome way, a high school girl roams the streets with a grin on her face, not caring about the accidents she causes on her path. A talented illustrator gets called when her husband is found walking aimlessly on the streets in an almost amnesic state, and with close to no social skills to communicate. A reporter looking for clues about the murdered family gets shocked when a young man ask him to be his guide, and shares with him that humanity’s days are numbered, since he is part of a scouting party setting the stage for an alien invasion.

From the hand of Kiyoshi Kurosawa (director of “Cure”, “Pulse” and “Doppelganger” among other films) comes “Before We Vanish” a Japanese drama film with tones of science fiction that makes us wonder if humanity should be allowed to continue on the planet for a little longer, or if it is time to be erased and replaced for another type of intelligent life form.

While the idea of a group of aliens taking the bodies of humans to learn about our civilization (and how to destroy us) is nothing that we haven’t see before, the different personalities of these visitors and their approach in order to analyze humans is what makes the film interesting and worth watching. Far from infiltrating high rank personnel and look for ways to destroy us with our own weapons, these invaders go around stealing “Concepts” from the minds of the people they meet in their daily lives, causing a severe change in the personalities of those persons, some even ending in a mental breakdown.

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