TIGER HOUSE (2015)
When pretty teen Kelly (Kaya Scodelario) sneaks into her boyfriend’s house, she has no idea what trouble she’s going to get into. A group of four armed men break into the home and take boyfriend Mark (Daniel Boyd) and his parents hostage. They need Mark’s step-dad (Andrew Brent) for a robbery scheme and now only the hidden away Kelly stands between the thieves and a likely horrible fate for the family.
Directed by Thomas Daley and written by Simon Lewis, this is a familiar, yet entertaining enough, thriller. Kelly is locked in the high security house with the men and plays a cat and mouse game with them to try and release their hostages. It could have had some more intensity and one character’s change of heart seems like a contrived plot device to get Kelly out of trouble here and there, but Miss Scodelario makes a solid and very likable heroine who can hold her own and kick a little ass when she needs to. Sure, it could have been better and the big reveal was not much of a surprise, but watching Kelly outwit these guys in a limited space and with little to work with, was entertaining. Not great, but an amusing enough diversion for 90 minutes and star Scodelario earns extra points for her resilient and street-smart Kelly. Also stars Ed Skrein (Deadpool) and Dougray Scott (The Vatican Tapes).
THE DIABOLICAL (2015)
Directed by Alistair Legrand, who co-wrote with Luke Harvis, this haunting story finds a pretty, single mom (Ali Larter) battling an increasingly hostile entity in her home. As she starts to investigate the haunting, she finds a connection between it and a mysterious research facility. This takes her already nightmarish situation on an even more bizarre…and personal…turn.
Flick starts out as a routine, but well enough made, haunting scenario with innocents in an apparently haunted house. What earns it a few extra points is an interesting science fiction twist about two thirds of the way through and a very strong performance by Larter, as the mom dedicated to protecting her kids. The make-up effects are also well done and presented effectively and there are some solid spooky sequences. The big reveal at the climax was a surprise and also added a little emotional weight to the flick after a familiar start. Director Legrand does give it some atmosphere and there are a few legitimate scares. Not a great movie by any lengths, but entertaining enough to pass the time on the couch if there is nothing else going on TV-wise.