MovieCriticND's blog

The Remake

Ingrid Bergman, who knew a thing or two about women in Hollywood, is famously quoted as saying, "Until 45 I can play a woman in love. After 55 I can play grandmothers. But during those ten years, it is difficult for an actress." And that was Ingrid Bergman saying that. Imagine what it's like if you're not one of the most recognizable actresses in the world, one who even survived working with Alfred Hitchcock.

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Sheridan and Riccardo on one of those awkward 'dates that aren't really dates'.

The Cutlass

The coast of the island of Trinidad is about what you might picture if asked to imagine a tropical paradise of white sand beaches, lush rain forests, and of course the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. Living there would be a dream come true for a lot of people even though the cell phone reception isn't all that great. But even the most beautiful places have their dangers, and in The Cutlass, that danger is also all too human.

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Al and Joanna in a tense moment. Really, they're all tense moments.

Hell's Kitty

No matter how fraught other relationships get, we can always count on the simple, wholesome affection of our pets to cheer us up. The old cliche about cats and dogs becoming "part of the family" is true, and their unquestioning love can help us through tough times. But what if something happened to that sweet, uncomplicated bond and a furry companion became part of the problem instead of part of the solution? That's the question asked in Hell's Kitty, and the answer is a doozy.

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Angel licking something she "found". Trust me, you don't want to know.

The Incantation

It's a common staple of fairy tales, rags to riches stories, and daydreamers everywhere: the sudden discovery of a wealthy, long-lost relative who leaves you a fortune, or at least a grand, isolated mansion. In the case of Lucy Bellerose (Sam Valentine) in The Incantation, it's a great-uncle that she'd never met, for the very simple reason that she was growing up in the United States while he was living in a grand, isolated mansion in France. Now that he's passed on, however, Lucy and her mother are going there for the funeral and to see if they're rich.

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Movie poster. You can just see the grand, isolated mansion beyond the creepy fog

Counterfeiters

There's nothing like money -- or the lack thereof -- to make otherwise normal and sensible people do the wildest and riskiest things. Those things might not even seem all that wild or risky to them, because when you're truly desperate, your standards change before you even realize what's going on. That's what happens to Bridger (Bryce Hirschberg) when his mother (Julie Simone) gets the news that the cancer she thought she'd beaten has come back. All their savings went to cover the first battle with the disease, and now she's exhausted and they're broke.

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Bridger examines a bill. Is it real or is it Xerox?

Off the Menu

Adding financial issues to an emotional family disagreement is asking for trouble, which is why family businesses can be such tricky things sometimes. Just ask siblings Joel (Santino Fontana) and Stacey (Kristen Dalton, Jack Reacher) in Off the Menu, whose family business is the popular fast-food chain Tortilla Hut.

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Sophia asking Joel an awkward question for the 2,437th time.

Battalion

Like a lot of people, I kind of hope there are aliens out there somewhere that we might meet someday. Of course, considering how the movies usually portray meetings with aliens I might be ridiculously naive for wishing that, since all aliens on film are incredibly strong, determined to invade Earth, and possessed of highly advanced technology that makes it easy for them to wipe us out, or at least come very close before we unleash the common cold and they all die. In Battalion, though, it looks like the common cold isn't any help this time.

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Movie poster. Nothing like this is in the movie, however.

Spent

Herbert Schumacher (Nick Nerangis) hasn't had an easy time of things these last few months. He's been in the hospital in his small town, dying of a fast-growing brain tumor, while his son Lonnie (Darren Barzegar) and wife Evelyn (Connie Lamothe) wait anxiously for the worst to happen. The anxiety perhaps isn't for the reason you think -- Herbert is a notorious miser who's always forced his family to live as cheaply as possible, so they're not entirely upset at the prospect of life without him.

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The family that's forced to use one small bathroom together, stays together.

Marrtown

Long ago, in the wake of a deadly duel, a family was cursed through the generations. Though innocent of any wrongdoing, it was daughter Theodosia (Kristin Mitchem) who faced the worst of the curse, struggling to protect her young son. She finally consults a mysterious seer (Emily Lapisardi) who says that the curse cannot be broken, but perhaps it can also become a blessing. Casting a spell upon Theodora's locket, she says that it is now an object of great power and returns it to Theodora, also advising her to change her son's name and hide him away.

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Theo wakes screaming. Those nightmares about having missed class are the worst.

Paura Tutto

It's so common for horror films to be set in high schools -- featuring teenagers, or at least 20-somethings we can reasonably pretend are teens -- that we hardly even think about it anymore, but the fact is that once we're out of it, we tend to associate our school days with nostalgic innocence and the slow process of growing up. Of course, once you throw in a serial slasher the growing up has to happen immediately, as in the short film Paura Tutto, where one group of 1980s high school kids discovers that they may not have much chance to grow up otherwise.

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Future victim. He's blissfully unaware that his tape player is about to break.