MovieCriticND's blog

Into the Mud

Imagine waking up in the woods and not knowing where you are. You're naked, hurt and bleeding, lying on a plastic sheet. None of these facts are reassuring, but things are about to get even worse. This is where María Forqué's character finds herself in Into the Mud. We'll call her Girl because that's how she's credited on IMDB.

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She's having a very bad day right now.

The Devil Lives Here

Teenagers and twenty-somethings are much the same the world over, at least in horror movies. They stumble into urban legends just the same in South America as they do in the U.S. The Devil Lives Here is a Brazilian offering, based on the tale of the Honey Baron. It isn't a real urban legend, or more precisely not a preexisting urban legend as far as I can tell, but one they made up for the film. Being a Honey Baron doesn't seem all that awful (insert 'sweet' pun here), but this particular Honey Baron (Ivo Müller) is not at all a nice man.

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The creepy headgear is what beekeepers wore back in the day.

Capture Kill Release

It's great to see someone working to fulfill a long-held dream. Well, most of the time it is. It depends on the dream. For example, in Capture Kill Release, Jen (Jennifer Fraser) dreams of making a documentary film. Sounds nice, right? The problem is, she wants to make a documentary of killing someone, which is not so nice. Luckily (so to speak), her husband Farhang (Farhang Ghajar) is willing to spend hours planning with her.

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Yes, Jen is much too excited about that axe.

Deadly Intent

The story in Deadly Intent is unfortunately a pretty familiar one: a widowed mother raising a young son after the death of her soldier husband. This isn't Becoming again, though -- in this case it's Bryony (Rebecca Reaney) and James (Gus Barry), struggling to move on without husband and father Steve (Peter Lloyd). Grief has made Bryony awkward and snappish towards James, who is in turn increasingly withdrawn and sullen, spending hours alone playing out mock battles with his toy soldiers.

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James' room looking like the aftermath of a Spider-Man visit.

BoXeD

Memory can play some pretty strange tricks sometimes. Usually memory is just annoying, when you forget where you put your keys or you blank on your phone number for a few seconds, but there are other times when it can be downright bizarre. BoXeD is definitely in the latter camp, because "bizarre" is the least you can say about the memories here, as displayed in flashbacks.

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Rachel, not having a good day. Possibly not a good year or two.

Eyes of the Roshi

Years ago in Vietnam, a young man discovers a murdered woman. He reacts about the way I suspect most people would in the situation, but those spur of the moment actions launch a tale of revenge that spans decades. Adam (Adam Nguyen), the aforementioned young man, is now a Roshi, a Grand Master of yoga, Vietnamese Karate-do, and Zen meditation, both in the movie and in life. He leads a secluded life with his pupils, or at least tries to; Ho (fellow Grand Master Hoy Lee), one of the others involved on that fateful day, keeps sending people to kill him.

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Booker looks at Marty like he's an idiot for the hundredth time.

Becoming

In the short film Becoming, we meet Cassie. As an Army wife, she's struggled with loneliness for years -- and even more so now that she's become an Army widow. It's just her and her young son Danny now and she's doing her best to shield him from the awful truth even though it's useless. But they'll be all right, she insists -- they're both adjusting, slowly learning to accept the situation.

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Cassie struggling with the loss of her husband.

Seize the Night

As in a short story, in a short film like Seize the Night you have to start as close to the end as you possibly can. In this case they may have started a bit too close to the end, though since they only have 13 minutes to set up an entire world of urban fantasy, full of vampires and werewolves, there's only so much explaining you can do. It felt like jumping into the middle of a TV series and I was scrambling to catch up with all the relationships and nuances.

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Eva growls at the camera. She's not having a good night.

Abbey Grace

A few weeks ago, Stacey (Debbie Sheridan) had her life rearranged. Her mother (Kirbi Mason) died, and Stacey was forced to return to the family home to look after her brother Ben (Jacob Hobbs). And Ben needs some serious looking after, since he hasn't set foot outside the house in over twenty years -- he's agoraphobic and also suffers from various OCD issues. The amount of hand sanitizer he goes through in a week must be staggering.

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Little Girl with Box. She's creepy but not very bright.

The Last Hurrah

We've all felt that yearning to recapture the glory days. Maybe it's the time when your career was soaring and anything was possible; maybe it's when love was blossoming and the world felt perfect. In the film noir short The Last Hurrah, Samuel (Michael Bronte) wants to reclaim both -- he and his beautiful, icy wife Petra (Aleksandra Vujcic) were business partners as well as spouses, though now both relationships have ended.

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Petra smoking. Back then it was all right to blow smoke in people's faces.
Petra and Samuel on the stairs. I couldn't resist the lighting.