Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton – Week of October 26, 2020

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of October 26, 2020

Rated R for disturbing/bloody images, violence, language
Available on video on demand

In this relatively low-budget black horror film from Paramount, wealthy lawyer Omari Hardwick (Being Mary Jane) and his young family make a trip to his father’s funeral in rural Appalachia in their private plane, when an intense storm brings them down. When he awakens, he discovers he is in a small remote town and being held captive in the attic of a not-so-normal older woman. And worse, he is about to be the victim of a voodoo ceremony. For what it is, the movie turns out to be a moderately creepy tale with an excellent cast and creative team. Imagine if Jordan Peele recreated Misery and that’s what you’ll get here. At 91 minutes, it doesn’t possess a lot of exposition and character building, but honestly, it doesn’t need it either. It would have probably been a profitable hit in theaters, especially considering its budget, and it does the trick if you just want a short Halloween scarer. It would have certainly elevated the film to take a deeper dive into the unusual world on display, but its production and style can still lure in a thrill-seeking audience if it is marketed right. B-

Unrated – but would easily be an R
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
Available on the Shudder horror streaming service

After noticing its perfect Rotten Tomatoes score, I felt compelled to request a screener for this new original horror film from the new streaming service Shudder. Taking place in our current Covid world, the story follows a group of friends on Zoom who schedule a group seance. But when they fail to take it seriously, they accidentally invite in the wrong spirits into their homes. With the entire film taking place on Zoom, the movie ends up being a relevant and creative way to tell a story that should attract enough people to take a closer look at Shudder’s service and offerings. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it inspires aspiring filmmakers who come to the realization that they can make a decent movie with a platform they know all too well and without much of a budget at all. At just under an hour, it’s not really a full-length feature narrative and the film definitely lacks the dialog and character development that might have helped to round it out in a way that could have benefited its popularity and marketability. But as is, I was still happy with its rather scary, hair-raising brevity. B