Movie Review Weekly Roundup: February 28 – March 6, 2021

Open 24 Hours (2018) directed by Padraig Reynolds, starring Vanessa Grasse, Brendan Fletcher, and Emily Tennant.

The Silencing (2020)

DIRECTOR: Robin Pront.
WRITERS: Micah Ranum.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Action, Crime, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 33min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: February 28, 2021.

It is such a mediocre story that isn’t fully committed to being a typical police procedural. We are constantly shifting between character points of view as the story goes along. One side is the local Sheriff. The other side a reclusive alcoholic with a troubled past. Both parties are involved in tracking down a bad guy. But each one has a different method of approach and purpose for accomplishing their mission. The movie’s production is high in quality, but the story did not really hold my attention and interest.


Freaky (2020)

DIRECTOR: Christopher Landon.
WRITERS: Michael Kennedy, Christopher Landon.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Comedy, Horror, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 42min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: March 1, 2021.

The plot of Freaky is easily summarized as a body-swapping slasher film. We have seen many variations of body-swapping movies over the last several decades in America, such as BigFreaky Friday (all versions), 13 Going on 30, et cetera. However, I do not recall any others who used the story trope to become the basis for a horror film. This is a welcoming change, for sure. I think the movie is an enjoyable watch. Because it is a horror film, this movie is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. So, viewer discretion is necessary.


Night School (2018)

DIRECTOR: Malcolm D. Lee.
WRITERS: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg.
MPAA RATING: PG-13
GENRES: Comedy.
LENGTH: 1h 51min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: March 5, 2021.

This one would not be my absolute favorite Kevin Hart or Tiffany Haddish movie, by far. But it was enjoyable enough. A lot of the funny jokes that appear in the movie do slip through in the promotional trailers. It is okay. I still had some fun watching it. The movie would be worth watching if it is available to rent, stream, or is playing on basic cable when nothing else is on.


Fatale (2020)

DIRECTOR: Deon Taylor.
WRITERS: David Loughery.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 42min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★☆☆☆ | WATCHED: March 6, 2021.

Wow, such a lazy script. Its writing structure is thin. While watching the movie, I could imagine the writer is crossing off items from a “to do” list of plot points handed to him by his Screenwriting 101 teacher. Over the course of the movie, several character interactions and moments of dialogue are practically screaming at me as shallow moments of exposition, plot development, and character motivation. An honest shame, really.


Crisis (2021)

DIRECTOR: Nicholas Jarecki.
WRITERS: Nicholas Jarecki.
MPAA RATING: R – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Drama, Thriller.
LENGTH: 1h 58min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★☆☆ | WATCHED: March 6, 2021.

Three separate threads are weaving through this movie’s storyline. Each one feels like it is part of the same old, same old story we have seen several times before. First, there is a narcotics officer with questionable moral fiber and integrity. Then there is the science researcher with solid ethics and a firm grasp on positive morality. And finally, there is a mother who suffers the loss of a son to drugs and violence. Each story overlaps with the other based upon a shared theme. Prescription-strength pain medication can be addictive and deadly. It intrigues me to see Gary Oldman portray the science researcher in this movie, knowing full well thirty years ago he depicted a drug-addicted narcotics agent in The Professional. Interesting.


Open 24 Hours (2018)

DIRECTOR: Padraig Reynolds.
WRITERS: Padraig Reynolds.
MPAA RATING: Unrated – Viewer discretion is advised.
GENRES: Horror.
LENGTH: 1h 42min.
LANGUAGE: English.
WHERE TO RENT: JustWatch or Prime Video.
★★★★☆ | WATCHED: March 6, 2021.

Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer,
Came down upon her head.
Clang! Clang! Maxwell’s silver hammer,
Made sure that she was dead.

Boy, did I enjoy this movie! I feared it would be another mediocre horror film with no thrills or no self-respecting amount of production quality at all, but it sure did surprise me. It rests upon the classic “final girl” setup featuring a young woman in a leading role who proves she can hold her own against any scary villain, even if it is her own traumatic past trying to haunt her.


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