Happy Birthday Hannah

Acres Films, USA, 2018
AKA:
Director: Matthew I. Schmidt
Writer: Matthew I. Schmidt
Cast: Brandon Burkley, Patrick Finegan, Laura Goellner, Natalie Klein, Maria Kravets, Hailey Kate Schmidt, Hannah Collett Schmidt

Another Paranormal Activity but on a shoestring budget and without a script. I’m not really a fan of “found footage”, “POV” and “security camera” films. It can work sometimes, but it doesn’t this time. Half of Happy Birthday Hannah we see through cameras mounted in and outside the house and the rest we see through Rachels smartphone.

Rachel and Brody is getting ready to go see their friends at the pub. But first Brody has to change a broken lightbulb. The only lightbulb he can find is red. Is this important? I don’t know. Does it have some sort of significance for the rest of the story? I don’t know. Does it have a deep symbolic meaning? I don’t know. Why does Rach and Brody even have a red lightbulb? I don’t know. If anyone DO know the answer to any of these questions, please please explain in a comment.

Rachel is extremely annoying, filming herself and everything and everyone all the time with her smartphone. During their evening she has a breakdown which she also films. The reason for her breakdown is tomorrow is her sister Hannah’s birthday. Hannah drowned when she was a child and Rachel saw it happen but froze and couldn’t do anything to save her. She has lived with the guilt ever since.

Next day, on Hannah’s birthday Rachel goes down to the lake where Hannah drowned, tells her how sorry she is, how much she misses her and leaves her favourite toy, a stuffed purple bunny. Later that evening things start to happen in their house. Chairs starts to move by themself, thumps and noises wake Rachel up at night. It sounds like someone is running up and down the stairs and there is a child giggeling. Brody doesn’t believe her at first, but Rachel is getting more and more convinced Hannah has returned to torment her for letting her die.

When they wake up in the middle of the night and find the wet footprints of a child on the floor and Hannahs stuffed bunny soaked in water sitting on the couch, even Brody sees something is happening. Things start to become tense between Rachel and Brody, and he suggest they ask a priest to come bless the house.

My verdict: 1 out of 10.

Deadly Runway

Wild Lights, USA, 2018
AKA: Fatal Fashion, Designed to Kill
Director: Doug Campbell
Writer: David Chester
Cast: Joshua Hoffman, Linsey Godfrey, T.J. Hoban, Heather Hopkins, Stevie Johnson, Jamie Luner, Ellen Michelle Monohan, Maria Pallas, Diana Popick, Zachary Roozen, Paul Toweh

OMG. This is so bad, and I don’t even understand how it can be labeled a Horror. It has the pace and the look of a 80’s made for television film.

David is the school nerd, but the new teacher miss Higgins (who is also a fashion photographer) sees his potential and get him restyled, redressed (and undressed – or at least half dressed) for a private photoshoot one night. She sells some of the pictures to a fashion magazine and over night the nerd is a model.

All of a sudden David is very popular, but miss Higgins has developed an obsession over him and won’t let anyone take him away from her. Not girlfriends, not professional agents and not even his own mother. At night she even touches her self to his pictures.

We learn that miss Higgins has a history of mental illness, she has had numerous affairs with her male models and broken upp with them very violently. A year ago she pulled a knife on her boyfriend/model at a photoshoot in front of vitnesses. One of her former boyfriends died when he was in a traffic accident caused by her taking pictures of him while he was driving.

When David finally sees the real miss Higgins she ties him up, and forces his girlfriend Caitlyn to whip him with an electrical cord.

My verdict: 1 out of 10 (and that’s more than it deserves).

Brutal

Unearthed Films, Japan, 2018
AKA:
Director: Takashi Hirose
Writer: Takashi Hirose
Cast: Katrina Grey, Asami, Iona, Ayano, Takashi Nishina, Shigeo Ôsako, Butch, Yukihiro Haruzono, Rina Kadô, Momoko Katô, Naho Nakashima, Dodo, Nanako Ohata, Shinsuke Kato, Hell Bell, Yukino Arimoto, Takaaki Satô, Ayumi Mizukoshi, Yamadaman.

Brutal is a love story. Some of You may not see it that way, but it is. It’s brutal, full of blood, violence and killings, but still it is.

A savage killer brings young women to his home where he kills them in different ways three or four at the time. When done he chops them up and cooks them. He seems to have some deranged reason for doing this, and sadly keeps repeating how nobody understands him or what he’s doing. We don’t really get to now a lot about him. He doesn’t talk much and it doesn’t really matter who he is or why he is the person he is.

Most talking is done by this young couple who happens to be in the store when he goes shopping or in the street when he goes for a walk. They aren’t really involved in the story but have deep discussions about relationships, whats male or female and things like that. As a contrast to all the blood and violence they are very cute and normal.

In a parallell story we follow a female version of the killer. She picks up men and seems to prefer to stab their groins with knives. Well, with two killers like these operating in the same area, sooner or later they are bound to bump into each other.

Brutal isn’t for everyone. It may look like “torture porn” but behind the blod and the bodyparts there is something deeper. The violence is extreme, even exaggerated to the point of comedy some times. Brutal is short, only 67 minutes, but I think most viewers find this enough.

My verdict: 5 out of 10.

51 Nevada

Bad Beard, Grant Films, USA, 2018
AKA:
Director: Fred Grant
Writer: Fred Grant
Cast: Sam Schneider, Arielle Uppaluri, Gabrielle Sherman, Carlos Alfredo Jr., Daz Byard, Nancy Cooney, Tommy Lee Driver, Bradford Eckhart, Scott D. Gold, David M. Goldman, Douglas G. Jackson, Adam C. Lively, Jay R. Martinez, Ian McQueen, Taylor Mock, David Saucedo, Don Scribner, Berit Winkles, Eric Word

Carina has a traumatic experiance as an unknown man puts a gun to his head and blows his brains out outside her window in her backyard in the middle of the night. She claims to have seen two bodies, but when police arrive there is only one. Men in Black are taking over the investigation, but Detective Antony Barker won’t leave the case alone.

Carina and her husband John meets conspiracy theorists and UFO enthusiasts Desmond and Isabelle and decides to go with them and Desmonds cousin Logan on a camping trip to Area 51. There’s a lot of talking about different alien races and drinking beer around the bonfire and not very much happening.

They run into the standard agressive securityguards and somebody seems to be watching them. At night something crashes close to their base camp and Desmond runs off. The others follow but are attcked by someone or something.

The film takes a weird twist for the last ten minutes or so, witch I didn’t see coming. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to save the film.

There are som weird things going on in this film. For instance, if You’re in a parked car, You can still hear what people are saying 100 meters away. You can sneak up on someone in the middle of the night. He can’t se You coming even if You shine a flashlight at him from 3-5 meters. If I took a selfie and realised there was a UFO in the background, I would probably turn around and look at it IRL instead of continuing to look att it in the picture. And most weird… at abot 15 minutes John and Carina on their way to Area 51 passes a parked truck and I’m pretty sure Spider-man is behind the wheel!

Also the poster art has nothing what so ever to do with anything even remotely taking place in the film.

My verdict: 4 out of 10.