Lake Alice (2017) Directed by Ben Milliken

Talking about a mixed bag. I was really liking the movie at first, until its second half kicked. I won't say it completely ruined the movie, but it did ruin quite bit for me.

Crazy thing about this movie is that it is doing an awful lot right, but it still manages to mess up plenty of things as well. In some ways it really is an above average, low-budget, genre attempt, but in the end I still can't really recommend it to anyone. It is crazy how this movie lets things slip out of its hands, while it was well on its way to become a great and enjoyable genre attempt.

It is basically a whodunit, mixed in with some slasher elements. I really enjoy this approach and the build up to its mystery and suspense is all quite good. The movie has good pace, things are always progressing and the characters are all set up quite well, despite the fact that most are some very stereotypical ones. I however feel that in a way this was intentional. The movie knows what it wants and what it is trying to be. It is obvious that the film-makers know the genre well and use all of its clichés in a pretty effective way. It is a real pleasant movie to watch, that appears to be good looking and well made, until its second half kicks in.

Once the movie goes all out with its slasher elements, the movie becomes a terribly ineffective and formulaic one. It is weird to see how poorly handled all of the slasher elements are. The build up, the suspense, it is all gone, while the movie was still doing such a great job with this in its first half. Even the gore and kills feel terribly disappointing, as does the big 'reveal' at the end. It is all so terribly ineffective and uninteresting. It is almost as if you are watching two completely different movies, that fail to connect with each other. Maybe it is also true that the second half of the movie is a bit too far over-the-top, compared to the rest of it. Going from subtle to extreme is something that only works out for a handful of movies. It still has to feel connected to each other all, which in this case it really doesn't.

In short; this movie is a great build up to a far from satisfying second half, that lets the movie down and even nearly turns it into terrible movie.


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Dead South (2016) Directed by Craig Ross Jr.

Believe it or not, but blending the civil war with vampire elements really isn't anything new. And despite sounding entertaining, it actually rarely works out as such. How come? Well, I don't even feel like going into that, since this movie drained me from all my energy.

This is an absolutely terrible movie. That is all you need to know, so you can actually stop reading now, but if you are still interested to know why it is such a terrible one feel free to stick around.

This by all means should have been a fun movie to watch. A period piece with vampire action, set against the backdrop of a war-torn country. But thing about this movie is that I don't even know if it is actually trying to be a fun- or a more serious and drama orientated movie. I am actually leaning toward the latter, since the movie hardly has any entertaining moments in it, such as some good action or intentional comedy. But it is still kind of weird to watch all. As if the movie itself had no idea what it truly wanted to be.

Since it really didn't seem to have any idea what it wanted to be, it is also lacking a good focus in it. There are far too many different characters, that are never made interesting. There is not a good enough main plot line to help to keep this movie going and engaging to watch, but what perhaps is even worse is the fact that it is really lacking a good main character(s). No one to cheer for, no one to care for and there also most definitely is nothing else in this movie to keep you interested in it. It is therefore a really tiresome movie to watch.

It's also annoying how this movie has a far too dark atmosphere for its settings and concept. Most scenes seem to take place at night, which makes sense within a vampire movie context, but thing about this movie is that it is hardly a vampire movie at all. Most of the scenes definitely don't involve any vampires and the whole concept of it seems to be secondary to the movie really.

The movie overall is an extremely poorly made one, with a terrible pace, nonsensical scenes and a whole bunch of other uninteresting and dull aspects in it. The camera-work, directing and editing all feels extremely lacking and makes this movie more of an amateur-like project at times. It genuinely feels clumsy at parts, especially the editing. It's as if they shot a whole bunch of sequences and the editor had no idea how to put all of them together and in what other. The movie is that bad and confusing to follow at times, due to the way how it is put together.

I still don't really know what to make of this movie. In any case, it is an absolutely terrible one, from which I am still recovering. Not fun, not provoking, not engaging. Just skip it.


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Tonight She Comes (2016) Directed by Matt Stuertz

As often is the case, this movie is more a comedy and a tongue-in-cheek one than a serious genre attempt. It's not necessarily a bad approach and it obviously can often make things good and fun to watch, but in this case the movie feels a bit too self-aware and it attempts to do a bit too much, which makes things rather messy.

Of course the movie is also being nothing more but an extremely formulaic one, featuring most of the genre clichés. Sure, it is all very deliberate, but still the movie doesn't manage to ever turn any of it into anything remotely interesting or fun to watch. There actually are several reasons for it why it never works out very well.

First of all, I just don't know when movies are finally going to get it, but viewers aren't interested in seeing a bunch of teenage douche-bags as the main characters. Why should you ever care about any of them, or what happens to them, in this movie? Really the cliché type of characters, who are mostly concerned about having sex, even when their lives are in danger. That is not even realistic, is it? Oh, I don't really know...I'm definitely not a teenager anymore and I can't even remember ever being one.

Another problem really is that it is trying to be way too much. A slasher in the woods-type of horror, a deranged-family horror, a possession movie, a zombie flick. Really, the movie is filled with tons of different genre elements, which maybe still sounds fun to some but there is just no logic to any of it and it makes the movie a very messy one. This results in it being dull and interesting. It seems to think that it is enough to throw in as many genre elements as possible, without trying to be original or very creative with any of it. It's a lazy and too self-aware movie, that falls flat in just about every department. It most definitely is not a scary horror flick to watch, though some of the gore is still pretty good.

The movie as a whole still is a pretty decent one to look at, visually. It's definitely like most low-budget attempts, in terms of its atmosphere and visuals. Not too bad and I'm sure the film-makers still had plenty of fun with it, but it unfortunately didn't result into a great or even remotely good movie as well. I often was more annoyed than entertained by this movie, mostly due to how formulaic- and messy/random it got at times.

Not fun enough as a comedy and most definitely not good enough as a horror.


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The Gaelic King (2017) Directed by Philip Todd

Low budget adventure movies such as this one can often go either way. They are either ridicules bad or they are just simply fun to watch. Fortunutely this movie is the latter. While it by no means is a must-see, it indeed still remains a perfectly fine and fun one to watch, if you get the opportunity.

Good thing about this movie is that it knows its own limitations. It never tries to be more than its budget allows it to be. So don't expect massive fight scenes, featuring tons of extra's, or lots of special effects and spectacular action and explosions. It's a spectacular and action filled movie in its own way, with still featuring plenty of fights and a fast pace in it.

The pacing is especially what makes this movie such a pleasant one to watch. It ensures that the movie is always going and there basically is never a dull or slow moment in it. It even somewhat makes you forget that there is not much of a story really and the movie itself isn't ever doing anything that's all that special to watch.

And really, the movie is about as basic and straightforward as it can get. It's very typical for a movie of this sort, but it in this case works out well nevertheless. Its straightforwardness obviously helps the pacing of the movie and it helps to keep the movie on track, despite the fact that it still features a whole bunch of different characters in it. It does make some odd choices toward the end with its story, but I for one was sort of able to forgive the movie for that. It still gave me plenty of joy to watch this movie.

It's actually also a pretty decently made movie, with some good shots and scenes in it. Certainly nothing amateur-like about it, though some locations look a bit cheap. The movie at times feels like it got shot in reenactment villages, with the help of people who love to dress up as medieval characters. I wouldn't at all be surprised if this actually were the case. It's not really a complaint, but it does give the movie a sort of cheap and inauthentic look and feel to it at times.

Not a great movie, but within its genre- and considering its limitation, it's still a pretty good and above all entertaining little movie.


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The Saint (2017) Directed by Simon West

Not really a movie, but instead a rejected TV-pilot that got extended into a feature length movie, in order to still get a release. This failed reboot of the well known, from 1962 to 1969 running, "The Saint" TV-series, starring Roger Moore, lacks any real originality or any other elements that help to make it stand out from the average TV series/movie.

There truly are more than just a few problems with this movie. First of all, its script is such an incredibly formulaic and predictable one that it's actually hard to see how they thought it would impress and be good enough for a pilot. Absolutely nothing in this movie comes as a real surprise, but what is worse is that it never becomes either anything fun or engaging to watch. It's hard to describe the style of this movie. On the one hand you could say that it's being more on the lighthearted side, but on the other it's also still trying to be a typical- and more serious thriller, with some dramatic elements thrown into the mix as well. Needless to say that it doesn't work out as anything very pleasant or appealing to watch.

But maybe the biggest problem of this movie is its cast, or perhaps rather said; Adam Rayner as Simon Templar. He's just not a very good actor to begin with, but he is also neither charismatic or charming enough for his 'slick' role. He therefore is far from a likable enough main lead and he really doesn't know how to carry the movie and how to give his character an engaging enough personality. The secondary characters are better and more fun to watch, but also hardly anything that is unique enough. Like everything, the characters are all really by the numbers, from the 'good guys' to the villains of the movie and everything that is in between.

And since it is original made for TV, there also really is a lack of some good action, despite the fact that action-director Simon West directed the movie. Nothing spectacular happens, while the movie really could have used some more fireworks, so to speak. Some fist fights, some gun fights, some helicopter action. You know the basic stuff, but where were the car chases, the spy gadgets. The main characters are all so called 'experts' in their fields, but absolutely nothing about them makes them appear that way. Simon Templar fires hundreds of bullets but never hits anyone and he actually gets caught and fooled more than you would expect from someone who's supposedly one of the best in his field, whatever that may be.

No creativity or originality, no good action, not enough fun, a formulaic plot, a main character without the right required charisma. In other words, it really isn't hard to see why this never got picked up and turned into a TV-series. As a movie it obviously also remains far too formulaic and lacking in every department to consider this a good enough one to watch, even though it by no means is one of the most awful things ever made.


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Granny of the Dead (2017) Directed by Tudley James

A movie with a title such as this obviously shouldn't be taken too seriously, however that can't be an excuses for its lack of quality and creativity.

At first glance this movie seems like fun. Besides, it seems to have an original- and good enough premise to turn this into a good and silly zombie-comedy. And yes, all of the right ingredients definitely were there, but yet the movie absolutely never manages to work out as either an hilarious or entertaining enough one.

And first of all, "Granny of the Dead"? Just a gimmick and something to peak your interest, while the movie itself has very little to do with its title. It's just a zombie comedy like any other, featuring a whole bunch of different zombies in it and a group of people trying to fight them of and survive through the day. It's not filled with granny action, so the lovers of that are probably going to end up feeling deceived and disappointed. But seriously, it's really nothing but a clever but cheap way to appear original, while the movie in fact is far from a very clever or original one.

It's not only a very formulaic genre movie, but also a very poorly executed one, on top of that. There is never a pleasant flow and pace, since the movie seems to be hardly concerned about following a story. As a matter of fact, there is barely any story at all and the movie just lets things happen, without having a decent build up. The suspense, the comedy, the drama, it all falls extremely flat due to this approach, or perhaps rather said, due to a lack of any form of approach.

It's a low budget production, which really shows. Not only with its effects, but perhaps more so with its visual style. The camera-work, the directing, the editing, it's all terribly lacking, which is not only due to its budget but also due to a lack of talent, I'm sorry to say. And really, does expecting to at least get some good, gory fun, out of this movie are going to end up feeling disappointed as well. There just isn't much in this movie to still make it a worthwhile one for anybody. The gore never impresses, due to the way how it's Incorporated into the movie. Like everything, it just happens in the movie, without ever being a main focus point. It besides really isn't anything that you haven't seen before already.

Perhaps this movie still would have been a better and more fun one to watch if only it had some better characters in it. But again, like everything, also the characters are terribly underdeveloped and it's therefore hard to care about anything that happens to them. Just a nameless bunch of people, doing random stuff, that never comes across as anything engaging, surprising or creative. No, it's really hard to name one redeeming quality about this movie.

A zombie comedy that just simply sucks and lacks any bite, so to speak.


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Drone (2017) Directed by Jason Bourque

This has got to be one of the weirdest fusions of genres that I have ever seen in a movie. A crime/gangster movie combined with science-fiction elements? Sounds crazy and like fun, but the problem with it is that the movie never knows how to be fun and therefore falls flat as entertainment.

Can you still call a thriller a thriller when it's devoid of basically any form of tension and mystery? In any case, "Drone" is a very lacking movie, that maybe isn't terrible, but far from an engaging or remotely original movie.

The lack of originality is only part of the movie. It however of course doesn't help very much that the movie is a very formulaic- and therefore also very predictable one. It's very easy to see where the movie is going and absolutely nothing comes as a surprise. It makes very little to throw in anything surprising, as if it was afraid to be different and unpredictable. It's really a very 'safe' movie, as are most movies involving the subject of drones. It's crazy, but it's as if most of these movies are afraid to offend or to start a discussion about some sensitive but relevant themes and questions.

The movie does try to set up some mystery and tension, but since everything happens in such a predictable fashion and in such a dull tempo it all falls flat. It's even somewhat annoying, the way the movie stretches things out, while you already know where things are going. The right ideas where all still there, but the film-makers never manage to turn it into anything remotely surprising and engaging. Because it really isn't just the writing, but also definitely the way things get set up and build up in this movie that makes it such a disappointingly ineffective one.

It's also being a very basic and straightforward movie, without offering much extra. There aren't a lot of characters and therefore also not an awful lot of plot lines to follow. Sometimes that's a good thing, but in this case the movie could have used any help from anything or anyone to spice things up a bit more at times. It's not a snorefest, but it nevertheless remains a slow moving movie, that unfortunately isn't ever heading anywhere interesting with anything.

Sure, the presence of Sean Bean does give the movie something more and helps to make it stand out above just the average low-budget genre attempt, but I just really can't say that Bean's presence truly elevates the movie and brings it to an interesting and more high quality level. He's just there and doing his job, but i wouldn't call it a standout performance by him. Definitely nothing anyone is going to be talking about in a couple of years from now. Or who's going to talk about this movie anyway? I highly doubt that it's going to end up successful and becomes synonymous with Sean Bean's name.

Redundant is probably the best way to describe this movie. It's never truly terrible, but it's all very safe, predictable and just not all that well done. An extremely forgettable and formulaic movie, that fails to impress with any of its thriller- and more deep and provoking themes and elements.


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Genesis: Fall of the Crime Empire (2017) Directed by Joseph Mbah & Nick LaRovere

This has got to be one of the weirdest fusions of genres that I have ever seen in a movie. A crime/gangster movie combined with science-fiction elements? Sounds crazy and like fun, but the problem with it is that the movie never knows how to be fun and therefore falls flat as entertainment.

It's even weird to see how this movie is taking a 'serious' approach to things. It's not a comedy in any way. It's a movie that's genuinely trying to tell a crime story, with some random science-fiction elements thrown into the mix. Only way that it's trying to be entertaining is by throwing in a whole bunch of action sequences as well, but unfortunately most of the action falls flat as well.

The problem with the action is that it's just too random, far too violent and there is too much present of it throughout the movie. I'm not even kidding or exaggerating when I say that ever other sequences features a guy killing another guy, with either a knife or gun. It doesn't sound like much of a complaint that there is too much action present, but it's just so pointless to view all. Half of the time I don't even know who's fighting who or why and it only seems to be in the movie to give it a fast pace and to move things forward, for the story really isn't doing any of that.

I don't even know how to describe the story, since I honestly don't know what it's supposed to be all about. It's made all the more confusing by its characters who all seem to be villains. It truly lacks a good main character and hero and it's genuinely hard to find anyone to cheer for in this movie. The story besides lacks a good main focus, by instead focusing on a whole bunch of different characters, who are constantly doing a whole bunch of stuff, that just never becomes interesting to watch.

And nothing against violence in movies, but it just serves absolutely no purpose for this movie. It's just there to shock and to be as edgy as possible with it, but due to its lack of build up and absence of story it all feels very shallow, no matter how well choreographed some of its action moments are.

The blend of action and science-fiction elements besides never work out, since its science-fiction elements never get incorporated properly enough. As a matter of fact, it's probably true that the movie very easily could have done without any of its science-fiction elements and moments. It should have amplified some of the action and given some of the characters a real boost, but it instead feels out of tone. It just never blends in very well with anything and adds absolutely nothing to the entertainment value. It makes the movie pretty unique, but unfortunately also very incredibly odd and ineffective.

Just really not worth watching. A strange and bad movie all around.


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The Wrong Crush (2017) Directed by David DeCoteau

When the biggest spoiler of the movie is in its title you know you are in for a pretty crappy and lazy movie. And indeed, "The Wrong Crush" does an awful lot wrong. It's both a far from convincing or very original movie and therefore doesn't work out as a very engaging or entertaining one to watch either.

And really, the fact that it's a made for TV movie is not an excuses. Sure, most of these movies are pretty weak and formulaic to begin with, but the main problem with this movie really isn't its originality. It's simply the execution of all of it that's lacking, in just about every department. The acting, the writing, the directing. It's not only all very safe, but it's also too forced and far from convincing all.

It's basically a thriller without any thrills in it. Not necessarily because the story doesn't provide the movie with any, but more so because it lacks a good build up. The way things progress and happen never feel very natural and it as a matter of fact comes across as far fetched. It's even silly how the movie throws in some twists and other story developments without ever worrying about making it believable. I of course won't spoil anything, but the one development is more silly and far fetched than the other, even by TV-drama standards.

Because of its lack of credibility, it's also very hard to care about anything that happens in the movie and for any of its characters. The characters are cardboard stereotypes anyway, with all some very exaggerated character trades. When someone is good, some one is extremely good. And when someone suddenly goes nuts, someone really goes nuts! There is no middle way so to speak. Sure, some of the characters go through some transitions, but thing about this also is that it never feels natural and far from convincing as well.

It of course also has a typical TV look to it, which is not necessarily a complaint but it in my case often makes it hard to take the movie serious. It's a cheap and fixed look, without really any style or atmosphere of its own to it. The acting is also definitely of 'TV quality'. Granted, the dialog and characters are written awfully but the actors also really don't know how to manage to turn any of it into anything remotely convincing.

Just overall a poorly done movie.


Downhill (2016) Directed by Patricio Valladares

Well, isn't that surprising; a horror movie combined with action- and sports movie elements. And you know what, it actually works out pretty well!

Main thing about this movie is that it's being original, despite 'borrowing' heavily from a variety of other movies. It manages to bring things in an original way, by combining a whole bunch of different elements. Sure, it goes a bit too far with this at times, especially toward the end, but overall it makes the movie a very pleasant and mostly unpredictable one to watch.

It's a movie that's trying to be different, without overdoing it and turning into a too messy one that's doing multiple different things at once. It's actually doing a whole lot of different things, but it's never doing it all at once. The one moment the movie is the one thing, while the other it turns things around completely and almost turns into a totally different movie. Probably not everybody is going to like this, but it in my opinion kept the movie fresh, fun and unpredictable to watch.

It's a low-budget production, that besides apparently got shot in just 13 days, but it's a movie that uses its budget well. It's never trying to be more than it is and despite its restraints it still features plenty of fast paced action and gory moments in it. It besides is a pretty decent looking movie. It certainly has a professional look to it, with some good camera-work, directing style and editing. It's true that the acting probably still is a give away that the movie just isn't the biggest and most professional production imaginable, but overall it definitely remains a good enough movie and one that's being way better than just the average low-budget genre attempt. And trust me, I have seen plenty of low-budget productions...

But yes, the movie does kind of loses it toward the end. It's also true that the movie in my opinion could have done without all of the more 'fantasy' aspects. It was good enough as a horror and action flick and really didn't needed the final 15 minutes and the 'twists' and 'surprises' it brought with it. It all was a bit too much, as if the film-makers suddenly decided to go all out. It however really went at the expense of its credibility.

Far from perfect, but the movie remains a fresh, fun and engaging enough one to consider it to be an above average genre attempt, that besides features plenty or creativity and originality in it.


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Mind Blown (2016) Directed by Christian Sesma

Come to think of it. isn't it weird how there aren't a ton of cheap "X-Men" knockoffs already? This is one of the few and it's exactly how you expect it to be; cheap, simplistic, silly, but bad as well? Well, kind of.

It's a very typical SyFy channel movie. You already sort of know what to expect from it. before tuning in to it. That's if you're familiar to the SyFy channel. It isn't exactly know for its high quality movies and it's usually something stupid and incredibly cheap looking, but occasionally it's being some great fun as well. That sort of goes for this movie as well, that definitely is not boring or truly horrendous to watch.

Luckily the movie knows to be fun, despite the fact that it's of course being far from original or all that creative. It's predictable and lacks some truly great- and big action moments in it but it has a good pace and never too many needless distractions in it.

It's a very straightforward movie. There isn't much story, but I have to admit that there was still enough there to still keep me interested. It helps that the movie never does anything too ludicrous with its story or themes. At least not within its genre. It's science-fiction, so of course it has plenty of fantasy elements in it, but it works out pretty well within the movie, that successful manages to create a world of its own, with its very own rules and logic in it. I actually liked the simplicity of the movie. It kept things light and pretty enjoyable to watch. It's basically a perfect movie to watch on a lazy afternoon or late at night when you really have nothing better to do.

The whole cheapness of the movie still holds it a bit back though. The effects of course are quite horrible to look at but it isn't stopping the movie from using a ton of them. Luckily the movie as a whole remains a well enough made one, with some capable directing work, camera-work, etcetera. It's still a very flawed movie, especially during its action moments, but in a way this adds to the fun of the movie as well. It's of course not one to take very serious to begin with, anyway. That's what I actually like about most SyFy productions; they are simple there to entertain you and more often than not they deliver on that, despite its very questionable quality.

Of course far from great, but at least it's fun enough to watch.


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Pilgrimage (2017) Directed by Brendan Muldowney

Well, I admire the movie for being its own thing and I can also definitely see and appreciate what it was trying to be, but I can't really call it a very successful movie as well.

It's attempting to be a more slower- and deeper type of movie. A more philosophical movie if you will, without ever becoming truly deep or interesting though. The problem with it is that it never goes anywhere new or provoking with any of its themes. It's not a deeply religious movie, it's not engaging enough as a period drama and the characters are too lacking to ever feel involved with anything, as a viewer.

It's all a bit weird to watch. It's as if the movie is trying too hard and attempting too many things at once. It most likely would have been far better for the movie to focus on just one main character, instead of on a whole bunch of them. That way things could have developed better and more naturally, while being more engaging to watch as well. Instead it now feels like the movie isn't really going anywhere with any of its themes and main plot-line and none of the characters go through an interesting enough transition for the deeper and more provoking layers of the movie to work out.

I'm actually surprised how a whole bunch of well known actors show up in this movie. It's definitely not a big production, which probably indicates that the movie in its core and at the start of it still showed plenty of potential. It's not the idea of the movie that's necessarily 'bad', but more so the execution of it.

Thing that also bothered me about this movie was its atmosphere. Sure, it's all well shot but at the same time also far too bleak in my opinion. It's a very grey, dirty, raw and depressing movie to look at, which was all very deliberate. Despite being shot in Ireland there is not a speck of green or any other color to be found throughout this movie. It's just not the most appealing thing to look at for 96 minutes straight.

The movie unfortunately isn't made any more interesting by some good adventurous elements or any good action. As I said before, it's a more slow type of movie and I wouldn't necessarily call it boring, but there still is too little present in this movie to turn it into a spectacular, memorable or very engrossing one.

Not all that enjoyable- and just never engaging and provoking enough as a movie in order for any of its themes and ideas to fully work out.


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One Drop (2016) Directed by Tricia Lee

It's not always the case, but I would say that more often than not it pays off to be original. As far as low-budget productions go, this one is actually pretty decent, which is mostly due to an original premise and approach to things.

It's certainly an unique movie, both the look at and follow. It's a visually appealing movie, with some good effects and a decent look to it, while it's story provides the movie with plenty of original and interesting angles. Like I said, the movie is pretty unique, but in a way it still reminded me of a fantasy and more classic horror version of a "Saw" movie, in which a group of people try to escape from a hospital, after mysteriously waking up there.

It's hard to categorize this movie, which in this case is a good thing. It's an interesting blend of fantasy, science-fiction and horror elements that really speaks to the imagination. Sure, it can get a bit confusing at parts, but overall it remains a pretty cool and interesting watch, with also plenty of surprises in it.

It's true that the movie still can be mostly seen as a horror flick though. Fans of the genre are probably going to end up being decided about this movie. It by no means is a standard horror movie involving scares and a standard dark atmosphere and build up, which is probably going to scare off (no pun intended) horror lovers, while others are going to end up really liking the original approach of the movie. And really, there still is plenty of gore and crazy looking monsters in it to please most fans of the genre.

The movie does a pretty good job setting up its tension and mystery. It helps to keep the movie interesting to watch at all times, even when it's being a bit slow or vague. I really admire the movie for its concept and execution, though it's still far from flawless (after all, it's still a low-budget production) and not everybody is going to end up liking this movie. But that's no complaint really.


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