Screamfest 2019 – Final Father/Son Feature Film Reviews

Even though Screamfest Film Festival 2019 has finished its glorious run, there are still a few movie review blood and gore bits to clean up.  So in their final tandem set of critical dissections here is the father and son team of Jason and Michael each taking on their own respective reviews of some of the features not yet examined via this years’ crop – sixteen here to be exact.  From serial killers to dangerous dames unknown, here are the duos….Final Film Reviews!



Michael Coleman’s Reviews

“She Never Died” – Helmer Audrey Cummings delivers a masterclass in directing with this scintillating, intelligent and edge of your seat outing.  Not only is the story and script about an immortal cannibal tight, but also the lead performance by Olunike Adeliyi catapults all work to the next level.

“Porno” – A lively throwback to the Roger Corman days, Porno is a tasty treat with all the fixins thrown in.  (Sex, nudity, a peeping tom and a succubus are all present and accounted for!)  With mayhem, laugh out loud gags and a true B-movie sensibility, this is one adult outing worth the watch.

“The Deeper You Dig” – A titular metaphor that predicts what’s to come, this tale of a late night driving accident that leads to layers of hurt is one interesting outing.  Unpredictable elements with a great ensemble, a captivating story and an unforeseen ending makes this one deep on the entertaining scale.

“A Good Woman Is Hard To Find” – A character moving from a submissive wife to revengeful vigilante believably is no small film feat, but Sarah Bolger is utterly convincing as the leading lady in question.  (Plus dug Caolan Byrne for his turn as the sadistic Terry!)  More a revenge flick than a horror film, this one lives and dies via the work of Bolger.

“Rabid” – With the Soska Sisters helming this homage to David Cronenberg’s classic, expectations are obviously high.  Good news is this is the sisters most lush looking flick to date, complete with high production values and some seriously great special effects.  Down side is the abundance of minutia like random attacks not related to the main story that run rampant throughout and performances that are merely adequate.  (Where’s Katharine Isabelle when you need her?!)  Plus with one very unsatisfying ending, this is one reboot that just misses the bull’s-eye.

“Kindred Spirits” – A disappointing Psycho retread, Kindred Spirits is a sad slow burn that damn near takes forever to come to the boil.  (Predictable and boring are an understatement!)  And while actress Caitlin Stasey does an adequate job as younger sister Sadie, it doesn’t change the fact you know what’s coming.

“We Summon The Darkness” – Three girls, three guys and a little party playtime at one of the girl’s parent’s house – but not in a way you expect.  Soon the mood turns to a satanic ritual and eventually to a ‘who will survive’ storyline?  Sadly not even Johnny Knoxville’s crooked pastor cameo can save the cinematic soul of this one and its predictable ending.  (Though tip of the hat to Alexandra Daddario as the single shining light in the darkness!)

“Trick”My Bloody Valentine 3D helmer Patrick Lussier returns with a flick that’s a mix of Groundhog Day with heaping spoonful’s of Halloween in a failed attempt to outwit his audience.  With only a body count and gruesome deaths in abundance, missing is originality via the script or dialogue and as a result all performances suffer.  (Only Ellen Adair’s Sheriff comes out unscathed!)  Don’t let this one trick you – the bevy of bars in this treat bag have gone bad.

“The Wretched” – Showing the creature early on in The Wretched doesn’t do much for the film’s suspense, not to mention the paint-by-numbers script, which leaves a lot to be desired.  The only up side here are the performers who manage to do a decent job given the little they had to work with, but sadly this one fits its title to a tee.

“Here Comes Hell” – Filmed in black and white as a kind of 1930’s British throwback, Here Comes Hell is about things deteriorating after a playful séance goes sideways.  The retread story (trapped in a decrepit mansion, anyone?!), total predictability and portal to a dark place thrown in for good measure, makes this one not worth the dark trip to the underworld.

“Hanna’s Homecoming” – Tale of teen girl Hanna who returns home from boarding school to the village where her mother was murdered for supposedly being a witch who lured three men to their death.  Sadly the story via this German import goes sideways with the discovery of an old video camera and the introduction of a “new” friend leaving the viewer wondering is Hanna hallucinating or under a dark soul’s power?  Confusion is an understatement – not even Hanna herself could save this one.


Jason Coleman’s Reviews

“She Never Died” – A strange yet utterly unique tale of a vigilant gal enlisted by the last honest cop to use her otherworldly eviscerating skills to bring down some serious bad guys.  This one has its fair share of ups (sadistic brother and sister team of Michelle Nolden and Noah Dalton Danby are sensational!) and downs (the talkative tag-along character of Suzzie is a tad cliché!), but all is forgiven and given awesome anchor by the five-star performance by badass leading lady Olunike Adeliyi.  Playing a nefarious and totally mysterious creature who could be a cannibal, rejected angel, immortal or perhaps just a demon from hell (the character is never fully explained – thank goodness!) Adeliyi all but steals the show in a turn that solidifies her status as one ass-kicking actor to watch for.

“Immortal” – In what disappointingly turned out to be an anthology outing (and I love those!), Immortal begins with a fantastic story about a man (played with dark intensity by Samm Levine – good show sir!) hit and run by a female driver who lives and begins to investigate his killer – that then abruptly ends for no reason.  (This one should have been a damn feature film folks!)  The other stories don’t fare much better with a married couple on the financial ropes getting some comeuppance, a dark twist on assisted suicide and an odd take on the whole inappropriate teacher/student epidemic with Happiness nutburger Dylan Baker.  Blindsided by an initial almost five-star story that wasn’t a short, this one should have a least had a wrap-around warning.

“Swing Low” – Trying to join the ranks of kick ass heroine movies where the feisty female lead surprises the bad guys, Swing Low is a missed opportunity.  Not that Annabelle Dexter-Jones’s nature expert doesn’t have moments of toughness, but the story never matches her particular set of skills with her kills and as a result her dispatches feel less like expertise and more like flukes.  Plus she’s surrounded by a ton of clichéd bad guys – from Robert Longstreet’s chewing the scenery psychopath to Bruce Dern’s calm creep – and story elements that just aren’t all that original.  The final frames do provide some chilling food for thought, but sadly on the overall revenge scale Swing Low strikes out.

“The Soul Conductor” – In a tall tale that seems to want to have it all, The Soul Conductor is a flick with a serious identity problem.  In a mish-mash of movie moments that don’t fit – a dark gory ghost story mixed with the somber bits of The Frighteners and the heartfelt drama of Heart and Souls – this uneven outing about a gal who sees ghosts never blends it’s cinematic colors in a way that’s pleasing to the audience or itself.  An example of how genre mixing is truly an art form that not everyone can do, this is one tall tale train where the conductor is MIA.

“Wounds” – A horrible and aimless horror outing if ever there was one, Wounds is so filled with plot holes, dull moments and godawful performances that its inclusion in a bargain bin seems too expensive.  A tale to do with a killer cell phone left behind for unsuspecting loafing bartender Armie Hammer (what the f@ck is he doing in this movie?!) who brings it home and it begins to have a damning effect on everything and everyone is so badly nonsensical that even the actors involved seem to give up midway.  (Dakota Johnson feels like she’s sleepwalking through this one!)  Leaving a gashing one called a waste of time, this is one cinematic war wound that will never heal.


One more article to come horror fans as Jason and Michael give their picks on the winners of their Best of Fest “Wrap Up” via Screamfest 2019 tomorrow – stay tuned!


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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