Movie Reviews

Published on October 31st, 2014 | by Ed Sum


Demon’s Rook And The Ghost Bride

More music than exposition carries this very unique film by director/writer James Sizemore. He crafted The Demon’s Rook in the same vein as a EC Comics and Hammer Films inspired tale. It’s now available through various VOD services like iTunes and Comcast. Here, Roscoe, a boy, gets kidnapped by Dimwos (John Chatham) a demon. Years pass in the human world where he gets forgotten. But because of some negligence in the other side, Roscoe escapes his servitude to become a saviour for humanity — well sort of.

As an adult (played by Sizemore), he tries to make sense of the last thirteen or so years of his life. He technically ran away from his responsibilities. He’s being groomed to be the next Skywalker, someone who will bring balance to the various evil forces in the dark side. In what he awakened during his training are three gremlin-like demons who prefer to lay waste in the countryside than chide Roscoe for his actions. Some of their victims turn into zombies!

These undead creatures delight in cannibalism and gore. The practical effects are wholesome and the makeup applications are amazingly good. Despite this film falling into the B-film trap from budget restraining the production, everything viewers see on-screen comes through as showing Sizemore is very proud of his work. More time is spent with the soundtrack than narrative to carry this film’s emotional well-being. That includes changing the formula around a little. The music ranges from blues to thrash instead of your typical metal; this variety helps craft a unique product. Sometimes, horror is just not about screeching guitars.

In what this film does is to provide a concert experience with new bevy of demons replacing Gwar. Just like being in one of their concert’s, there’s a lot of fluids going to be sprayed! (Protection is not required)


The Ghost Bride

Cultures and modern sensibilities clash in New Zealand with David Blyth’s The Ghost Bride. This film looks at a tradition from long about, were arranged marriages were the only way to insure happiness. But does it? Jason Chen (Yoson An) loves someone else, but his dying mother (Catheryn Wu) does not know it. She wants her son to have happiness and hires a scathing matchmaker known as Madam Yin (Geeling Ng) to arrange for him to marry a Chinese girl than someone he truly loves. Little does Chen know, she has nefarious plans in mind. Skye (Rebekah Palmer) is the woman he truly loves, but parting is such sweet sorrow for this film.

This film is effective in revealing how spiritual beliefs can shape personalities. Chen is timid and doting at times, a testament to An’s acting ability, and Ng is commanding and ruthless, thus making Yin a strong but yet unlikable character on-screen while his ailing mother still commands respect. Surprisingly, that’s how some Chinese families are like. The matriarch is treated with the highest honour. That’s not a bad thing, but unless viewers have some understanding in how some of these families work, this film operates in levels not everyone will understand. To note, Yin has no familial attachment to the Chen family even though she comes through as very influential.

This movie comes through more as an exploration of cultures than a horror film. More could have been done if there was a budget to give this film the supernatural edge it tries to ineffectively play up. When Mai Ling (Fiona Feng) is the chosen one, there is a secret she harbours which tries to give this film that scare, if not that shock ending. However, with this product, the surprise is hardly worthy of a M. Night Shyamalan product. The Sixth Sense or Lady in Water this film is not.




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