Run: Sarah Paulson Plays Sarah Paulson Yet Again

Run is a thriller film directed by Aneesh Chaganty. The plot follows Chloe (Kiera Allen), a young girl who has been sheltered and kept in doors for most of her life. However, one day she starts to notice odd changes in her mum’s (Sarah Paulson) behaviour so decides to investigate and what she finds is far more sinister then she could ever have imagined.

This is a lame duck, this is dull, uninspired, and has been done better before. The twist serves to demonise women who go through a particularly traumatic event, I won’t spoil it here, and then once the twist is out there this just becomes like any number of other movies. Though, I won’t say what the twist is I will say that it is blindingly obvious from the start of the film, and yes, it does play out exactly how you would expect it to.

Furthermore, I am deeply unimpressed with Paulson’s performance here. It is fine but nothing out of the ordinary for her. I have come to realise that with Paulson it is the same performance in every role, this is no exception. She has as much range as a park bench and is a poor choice for a leading role.

The film also has pacing issues it makes the 90-minute runtime feel like double or even triple that and you are lured away by your phone because nothing on the screen can keep your attention.

Overall, deeply uninspired.



A few well executed scenes


Pacing issues make it a bore

Paulson is not a good lead

You have seen this film before


Reviewed by Luke

The Princess Switch, Switched Again: Wait What? I’m Confused

The Princess Switch: Switched Again is a Christmas set romantic comedy, drama film directed by Mike Rohl, serving as a follow up to the previous Princess Switch film, as well as taking place in the wider Netflix MPCA shared universe. The plot this time around see Princess Margaret (Vanessa Hudgens), go into crisis as she is soon to be sworn in as the new Queen of Montenaro. Never fear a switch with her double will save the day.

This film becomes incredibly confusing, as we now have three Vanessa Hudgens’ character that at points in the film all look identical; it borders on high concept filmmaking trying to keep track of them all in your head, let alone remember each’s storyline and arc.

The plot for the most part is trash, it is a cliché wrapped up in a trope; there is nothing new or innovative. However, surely you already knew that. I will thank the screen writer for not making this plot as predictable as I thought it was going to be, my first assumptions for where it was going where proven wrong and dare I say it I was somewhat surprised with where it went.

The film is really made by the delightfully over the top performance of Vanessa Hudgens who serves as a likeable lead and is different enough in all her characters for it to never end up feeling samey.

I also enjoyed the Rose McIver cameo from A Christmas Prince, it is nice to see the shared universe grow, it was a nice touch.

Overall, still fun, but a weak sequel by far.


Vanessa Hudgens

All of the Hudgens characters feel separate and unique

The wider MPCA Netflix shared universe


It is overly confusing

The plot is garbage


Reviewed by Luke      

Annabelle: Demons Patiently Wait On Lifts, Respect Social Distancing

Annabelle is a horror film directed by John R. Leonetti, serving as the first spin off film of the wider Conjuring Universe. The plot of this film focus on Annabelle, the breakout star of the first Conjuring film and goes a ways to explain how she ended up in the Warrens private collection; though to understand that you will have to watch all 3 Annabelle films.

I remember seeing this film a long time ago and I remember it being generic and boring. However, the other night, perhaps as a result of a masochistic feeling, I decided to revisit it and see if it was as bad as I remember. It is bad, definitely the weakest of both the Annabelle trilogy and the Conjuring Universe as a whole, but it is not terrible.

The only pro I have for this film is the basement life scene, when Mia (Annabelle Wallis), first sees the demon and she gets stuck in the lift. This I think is easily the best scene of the film, both in terms of scares and execution as it actually manages to feel tense.

The issues with this film for me are twofold. Firstly Annabelle Wallis should not be cast in anything ever, why is she? She can’t act and her name being associated with anything is a sign of poor quality, The Mummy, King Arthur Legend Of The Sword, Tag, I could go on. Wallis seems incapable of showing even the slightest amount of emotion in any sense, and to call her wooden would be a disservice to wood everywhere.

Secondly there is no third act in this film. Things just plod along in the usual investigative way these films do and then bang its over. There is no final standoff between Mia and the Demon, no, instead she almost throws herself out a window, but then she doesn’t and someone else does; wow gripping stuff there.

Overall, though this film isn’t as terrible as I remember it being it is still bad, not worth your time and easily the weakest of the Conjuring films; takeaway stop casting Annabelle Wallis.


The lift sequence


Annabelle Wallis

There is no third act

The doll really isn’t all that involved

There is a lot of aimless plot that goes nowhere

It does not justify its existence as a spin off


Reviewed by Luke  

The Mortuary Collection: Rubber Up

The Mortuary Collection is a horror anthology film directed by Ryan Spindell. The plot follows Montgomery Dark (Clancy Brown), as he retells tales of horror to a job applicant at his funeral parlour.

The issue quite often, with anthology films is they are dependent on the individual segments being well done and crucially, consistent to make the overall film feel good and worth the watch. That really shows here, as though the segments are for the most part consistent, some are much better than others. The tales themselves are a mixed bag, some like the one about male pregnancy are strong are tightly packed, whereas others, the one about the carer who ends up killing his locked in wife are dull, lifeless, and boring.

This as you can imagine leads to pacing issues, as some parts of the film captivate your attention and others put you to sleep.

The ending however is insanely predictable. The twist is telegraphed quite blatantly from the opening of the film and when it happens, rather than feeling surprised you are left feeling angry it has taken them this long to get to it. The ending is very much a damp squid and serves to further undermine and bring down the film as a whole.

Overall, though some of the segments have promise this is very much yet another deeply average horror anthology that serves to bore more than scare.


Some of the segments are well done and interesting

Clancy Brown is having fun


Other segments feel tediously dull

The film feels inconsistent as parts of it are good and other parts diabolically bad

The ending is terrible


Reviewed by Luke  

Headhunters: Never Let Anyone Touch Your Hair

Headhunters is a Norwegian action thriller film directed by Morten Tyldum. The plot follows art thief Roger (Aksel Hennie), as he unknowingly targets the wrong mark and finds himself being hunted down by a tracking expert. The film serves as an adaptation of the Jo Nesbo novel of the same name.

This was a very stylish action thriller; glossy would be the word I would use to describe it. I enjoyed the unfolding mystery and how nothing was as simple as it first seemed, the premise that I listed above is a vast simplification. Said mystery makes for a very tense viewing experience, where you never quite know what is going to happen.

Nikolaj Coster- Waldu plays the films antagonist Claus, the man who hunts Roger down mercilessly over the course of the film and he is truly menacing. Not menacing in the sense of him being over the top and scary but, menacing in the sense of him being relentless and basically just an unstoppable corporate killing machine.

I enjoyed the ending immensely; it was nice to see Roger finally best Claus and it was done in a clever way that I found enhanced the whole experience. The final fight did not just boil down to a brawl it was far more intelligent than that.

Overall, a smart crime film that kept you on the edge of your seat as you never knew how far away Claus was from finishing the job.




The mystery and the overall sense of tension

The ending


There is only so many times you can see someone narrowly avoid being killed before it becomes unrealistic.


Reviewed by Luke  

House Of The Witch: Is Being Killed By A Witch Worth A Quick Shag?

House Of The Witch is a horror film directed by Alex Merkin. The plot follows a group of kids who go to a house in their neighbour hood that is supposedly haunted, where others have gone missing in the past, to have a kissing party on Halloween; rather unsurprisingly things go wrong, and the teens start dying.

So yes the plot of this film is deeply generic, as are the cast. However, there is something about this film that I can’t quite put my finger on, it has a diamond in the rough sort of quality to it. I think a lot of this comes from the film’s scares. Even though there are a few jump scares, which are automatic marks down in my book, the scares for the most part are effective and well done. I applaud the films horror it is by far its strongest element.

In the beginning the witch effect, which are noticeably cheap looking bothered me and took me out of the film, but as it went on I started to enjoy it and found that it added to the charm of the film.

The twist at the end of the film leaves you scratching your head a bit, not because it is confusing as it is heavily foreshadowed, but because of the way it is shot. The final sequence itself is quite jarring, as the girls face changes somewhat and you are left saying “wait what who is that?”.

Overall, though you have seen many films like this before there is still a rough charm to the film and the scares are good, not great by any means but definitely passable.


The scares

The effects

The witch herself


The twist ending

It is deeply generic


Reviewed by Luke     

Hippopotamus: A Special Kind Of Miracle

Hippopotamus is a British film directed by John Jencks. The plot follows jaded writer/ poet Ted Wallace (Roger Allam), as he is payed to go and investigate claims of a miracle healer that can cure people of any disease with just a touch.

This is a mixed bag, Allam is strong and makes for a likeable protagonist, but his character is nothing new. In the leagues of jaded detective characters that have come before him Ted just can’t hope to match up. He is a walking cliché.

The mystery itself is fun, part of you wants to believe that their really is a faith healer, but another part of you knows it is all fake. When the reveal scene finally comes and Ted lays everything out, it all makes sense and feels incredibly satisfying.

My main issue with this film is that it has incredibly bad pacing. There are parts of this film that are almost unwatchable because of how slow they are, by the time the film graces us with an ending you have long since stopped caring.

Overall, though it has a intriguing premise that lends itself well to investigation and mystery the film is far too long and the pacing issue destroy the film and make it borderline unwatchable.


The mystery and reveal

Wallace is likeable enough


The pacing issues

Wallace despite being likeable is incredibly generic

You stop caring at all by the end


Reviewed by Luke   

House: Never Let Your Kid Go In A Swimming Pool, There Might Be Vietnam Demons In It

House is a horror comedy film directed by Steve Miner. The plot sees well known author Roger Cobb (William Catt), move back to the house where his son disappeared some years prior. Why he has gone back he can’t quite say, but as he sets about writing his latest novel he starts to notice odd occurrences and soon he is drawn in to a battle with the paranormal.

Prior to watching this I was not aware that it is a comedy horror film, I thought it was just a straight horror, and was surprised by the number of goofy jokes, family friendly nature of the demons and the musical asides. However, with the new knowledge I have it makes sense.

The demons look quite unlike anything you will ever see, they are 80s in a way that you have to see to believe. Though they look almost comical at times yet they still manage to have a degree of fright to them, you never want to turn your back.

I enjoyed the Vietnam twist and thought the idea of having a solider or someone suffering from PTSD being more open to experiences with the supernatural was an interesting concept. The Vietnam sequences were all done quite well, and the conversation around whether Roger was crazy or not was fun to think about.

The one negative I would say for this film is that it is not scary in any way, and that is not because it is family friendly horror Goosebumps the tv show, or Ghostbusters 2 had moments in that frightened me. The reason I find it not scary is because of how over the top and frankly campy it is, especially with the creature design.

Overall, a good starter horror film with a neat concept, but not scary in any way.


It is funny

It has an interesting concept



It is more funny than Scary

It has pacing issues galore


Reviewed by Luke

Happiest Season: Normalising Abusive Relationships?

Happiest Season is a Christmas set romantic comedy directed by Claire Duvall. The plot sees Harper (Mackenzie Davis), bring her girlfriend Abby (Kristen Stewart), home for Christmas with her family. However, Harper has not told her family that she is a lesbian, nor has she told them about her and Abby’s relationship, so the two are placed into an awkward situation.

I have been looking forward to this one for a while, it was the only new Christmas film this year that I was genuinely excited for, okay maybe Princess Switch 2 as well a little, which makes this all the harder to write. Yes, before I get into the review I will acknowledge that in terms of representation this film is a big step forward, it is certainly the first big, well promoted, LGBTQ+ Christmas film I have ever seen. It is nice to see a Christmas rom com from a non-straight, perspective; hopefully this will be the first of many in Hollywood. That said lets get into why I didn’t like the film.

This to me did not fee like a romantic comedy, hell if anything it felt like a tragedy. The key relationship between Harper and Abby is deeply toxic, Harper outed one of her friends in high school to divert from people finding out that she was a lesbian, and she also treats Abby like absolute dog shit for most of the film; even going so far as to reject her in the films climax. With all that said, I was left infuriated when the two ended up together at the end, they shouldn’t have, Abby deserved better. By showing this ending it almost goes so far as to say Harper’s abusive behaviour is fine or at least not as bad because look they still ended up together.

Moreover, this film wastes it wider, very talented supporting cast. The only character in this film that felt like a real human person was Abby, Kristen Stewart’s performance made me feel something, we the audience felt bonded to her throughout her experience. The same can’t really be said for Davis, who is frequently played as the film’s antagonist, at least that is how I read it, which makes it even more problematic that they ended up together. Additionally, Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza are both in this film and though they each have one pivotal scene for the most part they don’t really do much and their talents are left pretty much wasted.

Overall, if this film had ended with them not together, and this was a comment on toxic relationships and looking out for yourself and loving those who truly love you, then I would have given it higher. However, as is, I find it almost condones emotionally abusive relationships and presents them as normal.



There are a few funny moments


The ending

Having them survive as a couple

Wasting the ensemble

Normalising abuse


Reviewed by Luke    

Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang: The Nanny You Need Is Nanny McPhee

Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang is a family fantasy film directed by Susanna White. The plot sees Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson), return to help the Green Family, as matriarch Isabel (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is overwhelmed having to run the farm and run after her kids whilst her husband is away fighting in the war.

What a charming film this is. Whilst watching it I had a near permanent smile on my face. It is whimsically inventive fun and the fact it fully embraces its eccentricities is only a bonus in my book. Though the two are quite similar I found myself enjoying this film far more than the recent Mary Poppins film.

That was mainly due to the performance of Emma Thompson as the titular Nanny. Though the character seems tough and foreboding, Thompson puts such a warmth into the character that it is impossible not to love her by the end of the film. I also enjoyed the fact that the film did not go out of its way to explain who Nanny McPhee was, or how her magic work; it allows for imagination.

Moreover, and this may be the most key achievement of all the films victories, is that the children in this film are bearable. Usually, child actors ruin whatever film they are in, but here they are actually okay and because they aren’t so damn annoying you actually end up caring for them. A testament to the performances.

Overall, this is a delight for all the family.




The children

Not explaining the powers

Maggie Smith


The ending was a bit too overly sentimental


Reviewed by Luke