BARE BONES: SEANCE (2021)

MZNJ_bareBones_Marquee

now playing

Humerus-Bone1

seance

SEANCE (2021)

New student Camille Meadows (Suki Waterhouse) has arrived at the prestigious…and possibly haunted…Edelvine Academy and finds that student Kerri (Megan Best) died there as a result of a practical joke gone wrong…or was it? Not only must Camille deal with the school’s resident pack of Mean Girls, but there may be a supernatural presence in the academy and Camille now resides in the dead girl’s former room. No surprise when bodies start to fall…but who, or what, is responsible?

Flick is written and directed by Simon Barrett (writer of You’re Next and The Guest) and is part ghost story, part mystery and part slasher. It has some spooky moments, but maintains the vibe of one of those teen centric supernatural dramas that airs on the CW, even if there is some graphic gore and violence in the last act. Barrett has a nice visual eye and can create some chills and atmosphere, but his script has all the familiar tropes and clichés of a typical haunted school/slasher flick. It is entertaining and well made, but is just too familiar to really grab and hold you. The cast are fine, basically playing traditional roles for this type of flick, with Waterhouse making a suitable heroine. The reveal is OK, with certain motives being a bit of a stretch, but the climatic confrontation does have some fun to it, until it drags on a bit too long for it’s own good. Overall, it passes the time, is atmospheric and has it’s moments, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before. If you’re looking for something entertaining, but not too demanding to watch, it is available to rent on Amazon Prime. Also stars Inanna Sarkis, Stephanie Sy and Madison Beaty as students.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

Humerus-Bone1

bars

BARE BONES: THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER (2018)

MZNJ_bareBones_Marquee

now playing

Humerus-Bone1

THE CLOVEHITCH KILLER (2018)

Film takes place ten years after a small Kentucky town was plagued by a series of murders by a serial killer known as The Clovehitch Killer. The killings mysteriously stopped with the killer never found. When young Tyler (Charlie Plummer) finds a disturbing photo in his father’s truck, he starts to question things about his churching-going, Boy Scout master father (Dylan McDermott). The more Tyler seeks answers, the more he starts to suspect his father and The Clovehitch Killer might be one and the same.

Written by Christopher Ford and directed by Duncan Skiles, this is a methodically paced thriller that evokes similar films like the recent Summer of 84 and the classic Frailty. Whether his father is really a killer or not, isn’t the true mystery here, but what a boy will do when he finds out disturbing things about his own flesh and blood. The film is well done and the performances are excellent and it has a nice replay of events from another POV that works well in the last act. What holds this thriller back is that it lacks a real punch. It’s a bit too understated for it’s own good and since we all know where it is heading, it needed more punctuation at the time of it’s reveals. It’s a well-made thriller about what darkness can lurk beneath the All-American veneer, but one that needed a bit more of a “wow” factor to really be something worth talking more about. As it is, it is still an unsettling thriller about what one might be faced with when learning dark things about someone they love. Also stars Samantha Mathis as Tyler’s mother and Madisen Beaty, who impresses, as a girl who befriends Tyler and with a personal interest in Clovehitch’s identity.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

Humerus-Bone1

bars