Friday, April 9, 2021

The Widow Movie Review

Trailer here.

The Widow is a 2020 horror film directed by Ivan Minin and starring Viktotiya Potemina and Anastasiya Gribova.

The movie begins in a wood near St. Petersburg. People have been going missing in the area and the bodies that are found are naked. Kristina(Gribova) is shooting a documentary about a search and rescue team who are training a new recruit, Vika(Potemina). The locals think that there is a witch in the woods. They call her the Limping Widow.  The rescue team have a dog with them also. They find a strange woman in the woods. She is called Zoya. They have been looking for a young boy who went missing in the woods. They take Zoya to their van and keep her warm. She seems very unusual. They pull something out her mouth. The group sees a carving on one of the trees. It is an evil spirit symbol. The group decide to drive out of the woods, but they are stopped, first by falling trees and then by getting stuck in the mud.

Zoya tells them that they won't get out of the forest alive. She tells them a story about a woman who choked her husband. She was caught by locals and they broke her legs. They threw her into a pit and she died. Her spirit is in the woods and she gets revenge by killing anyone who comes there. The dog runs off into the woods and he comes back different. He is snarling and angry. The driver, Andrey, changes. His eyes become black and he seems possessed. He drives the truck with Zoya and Vika in the back. He is going crazy. Vika jumps out before the van is driven into a lake and disappears. Vika sees Andrey coming out of the water. He wanders off into the woods. She follows him to a creepy old shack in the woods and he is turned against the wall. She  calls him but he doesn't reply. The others look for her.
They have found Andrey's body. They also find crazy Zoya. The group ask her questions, but she doesns't say anything.  They head off looking for Vika.

Vika tells all of them what happened to her. Kristina thinks that Zoya is evil. She disappears. Vika tries to find her and she does. Zoya wants to die. She makes Vika kill her. The others show up and see the lady dead. They think that Vika did it. She tells them that Zoya wanted to die and she forced Vika's hand. They wander around some more and an unseen force impales one of the team. The others find clothes hanging from trees. The witch comes and she kills more of the team until Kristina and Vika are the only two left. Vika disappears and Kristina is left alone. She walks around and tries to get out. She finds Vika in the old shack. She is naked and she has become like Zoya. She will stay in the forest to protect others from the witch. Kristina is taken away by ambulance. The movie ends.

This film had some creepy moments. There were just not enough of them. I liked some scenes and this films owes an awful lot to The Blair Witch Project. It is very similar is some ways. The problem is that it is nowhere near as good as that film. It looked promising at the beginning and it went along well, but half way through, it started to drag and the ending didn't have anything exciting to wrap it up, I didn't like the ending. This is a middle of the road Russian horror movie. It is worth a look for some creepy scenes, but don't expect too much. I will give it a 5/10.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Alison's Birthday Movie Review

Trailer here.

Alison's Birthday is a 1981 Australian horror movie directed by Ian Coughlan and starring Joanne Campbell, Lou Brown, John Bluthal and Vincent Ball.

The movie begins with a 16 year old girl called Alison(Campbell) who is having fun calling on spirits with her pals. She has a glass on the table surrounded by letters. The glass moves when a spirit makes contact, It spells out her name and it has a message. It tells her not to go to home for her 19th birthday.
The glass shatters. The spirit tells her that there is terrible danger coming. One of her friends gets killed when a bookcase falls on top of her. Cut to 3 years later. Alison is almost 19. She has a boyfriend called Pete(Brown), who is a DJ. Alison gets a call from her Aunt Jenny(Bunney Brooke). She asks her to come home for her 19th birthday. Aunt Jenny says that Uncle Dean(Bluthal) is not well. Alison says that she will come. Alison remembers the sinister warning from years ago. Pete says he will come with her.

They arrive and meet the aunt and uncle. Alison has a pendant that Uncle Dean gave her when she was a baby. Pete goes to stay with his dad and he leaves Alison with her relatives. Her aunt warns her not to wander beyond the stone wall in the garden. Alison is curious. She looks around and she sees a rock formation there. She gets a creepy feeling and she goes back. She tells her uncle about it. There is an old lady in the house. Alison finds out that she called Grandmother Thorn. She is Alison's great grandmother. She came from England. There will be a party for Alison's birthday and she asks Pete to come. Uncle Dean has a word with Pete. He doesn't want him at the party. He tells him to stay away from Alison. Alison is having nightmares about the stones in the garden. She
 sees some sort of cult and they are calling for Mirna. Alison sees herself there. Alison becomes unwell after this.

Pete calls to see her, but he isn't allowed to. A doctor appears and tells them that Alison needs to stay in bed. Pete is wondering what is going on. Dean will not let him near her. He says that her party is cancelled. Pete wants to get in touch with the doctor, but he can't be found. Pete goes to the house under the cover of night and looks for Alison. He sees the old lady and he tells Alison they need to leave. They get caught trying to go. The doctor gives Alison an injection and she goes back to bed. The doctor hypnotises her. Dean calls the police and Alison tells them that he threatened her. He gets taken away.
Pete is confused. He is being watched also. Pete visits a friend of his and they find out that Alison was taken from hospital when she was a baby. Her parents died in a car crash. The doctor finds out that Pete has been snooping so she sends some thugs to get him. He manages to escape.

Pete finds out that there is a cult and that they use a different girl every 80 years. Mirna is an evil spirit and she lives in Grandmother Thorn. Aunt Jenny and Uncle Dean and the doctor are all part of this cult and they want Mirna to take Alison's body so she can live for longer. Pete tries to save Alison from her fate, but he can't. Mirna goes into Alison and she shoots Pete dead. The police come and everything is sorted. The movie ends with Alison waking up and realising what has happened to her.
She is horrified.

This is a decent horror film. It has some creepy moments. There aren't many real scares in this. There is little to no gore also. It is more of a thriller really, apart from the supernatural angle. The cast are pretty good and this does have a low budget feel to it. It could be a TV movie. I did expect it to be scarier but there is lots to enjoy here if you prefer something a bit tamer. All in all, this is definitely worth a look but don't expect too much. I will give it a 5/10.

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