I have been quite tardy with my writing as of late and I have no good excuse so here is a double hit review. I’m throwing these 2 flicks together because there titles and their cover images were misleading and the movies were not what I was expecting when scrolling through Netflix.
Hellgate a.k.a Shadows (2011)
The Gist: A western businessman, his Thai wife and son experience a horrible accident while visiting Bangkok. In the aftermath, they find a shadow world between life and death where endless darkness lies.
Lost Souls: Cary Elwes (Jeff Mathews), William Hurt (Warren Mills), Ploy Jindachote (Choi Luang)
My Take: I saw the poster for this on Netflix and read the description and thought, hey that looks cheesy and should be over the top. After about 20 minutes I realized that the image and description were inaccurate as the movie slowly moved forward. Slowly is the key word to describe this flick. I like slow burn movies but this one had very little action and only a couple of good scares as the hungry ghosts popped up here and there. The idea behind the movie was interesting: the living can’t let go of the dead and so they slowly get pulled into the death by the souls of dead loved ones or something like that.
Final Thoughts: I kind of liked this one for the concept and beliefs that it draws on as far as death and the soul but it was so subdued. I was a little taken aback by how different Cary Elwes looks because I still picture him as Wesley in The Princess Bride. I liked the shadow creatures or demons that made an appearance in the last 30ish minutes and the lush jungle of Thailand was beautiful. The title Hellgate is not right for the content of this flick and maybe it should have remained named as Shadows.
Truth or Die (2012)
The Gist: A group of college kids travel to an isolated cabin in the British countryside on the promise of a night of drinking & fun. What they get is a night filled with Truth or Dare orchestrated by a killer out to take vengeance on them for the death of his brother.
Liars & Diers: Liam Boyle (Paul), Jack Gordon (Chris), Florence Hall (Gemma), Jennie Jacques (Eleanor), Alexander Vlahos (Luke), David Oakes (Justin), Tom Kane (Felix)
My Take: Come on, the cover for this flick and the description make it sound like it’s going to be a slaughter fest filled with blood, boobs and bad acting. It’s not. It’s a polite British thriller that does have blood and murder but it’s not what you would expect from looking at the poster. The story is a revenge tale as a handsome military man wants to restore his family’s honour following the shameful suicide of his younger brother. He blames his brother’s supposed friends for the suicide and invites them to his cabin in the woods for a party that ends in a deadly game of truth or dare, the same game they played with the deceased that led to his death. It does sound cheesy but it’s also well done as the story weaves around lies and deception.
Final Thoughts: This was by no means a great flick however it was entertaining and a good mindless late night movie. The acting was good, the overall appearance was good but the truth beneath the lies was somewhat contrived. Still worth a watch as long as you have low expectations.