Two

Vampire Owl: There are two of us here. Therefore, watching the movie is relevant.

Vampire Bat: This movie seems to have something to do with the number, two.

Vampire Owl: I don’t really like that number though. I like “one” – I am the greatest one.

Vampire Bat: Uncle Dracula is the greatest of us all.

Vampire Owl: You just cannot put so much greatness on him anymore.

Vampire Bat: The times haven’t changed. Dracula is still relevant.

Vampire Owl: Vampires are still relevant. Dracula is not.

Vampire Bat: There are no vampires without Uncle Dracula.

Vampire Owl: Maybe in the Dracula Castle. It is not the same case outside.

Vampire Bat: Well, you can just wait and see, after his birthday party which is coming up.

[Gets a chocolate cake and three glasses of oreo shake].

What is the movie about? :: Sara (Marina Gatell) and David (Pablo Derqui) wakes up in the bed somewhere, stitched to each other. They don’t really have any memory how they reached there. The two try to figure out what has happened with them, and where they are. They guess that someone drugged them and brought them here and stitched them up. The people responsible seems to have taken away everything from them, from clothes to wrist watches. They try to make some connection between them, but there is nothing in common between the two. It is also realized that they are being recorded with cameras all around the room. The room seems to be something that gives an aristocratic feeling, making them feel that someone rich and influential is behind their situation. They do find some clues about the same, but someone seems to get into the room at times, and they are not able to find out who. The room seems to be too secure for anyone to go out, with lock being strongly applied from outside.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Sara has the feeling that her husband, Mario (Esteban Galilea) has something to do with it. He is supposed to be someone very rich and influential, with doubts that she is having an affair with another man. She feels that there is also something about him that has resulted in David also reaching there. He also has the feeling that maybe he also knows her husband, who is a much older person. There is also a name Rita (Anna Chincho Serrano) that comes across them, as part of a photo which is placed in the room. Yet, they are not able to remember any of such a name as part of their lives. They feel that maybe this will end only in their death, and try to break down the door, which feels very reinforced. The windows also lead nowhere. There are some big revelations to be made, but they wonder if they will stay alive to understand all of those. Soon, their past will come back to them, and the one thing which makes the two connected with the man who is behind all of these.

The defence of Two :: The movie is just one hour and ten minutes long, which makes sure that there is absolutely no drag about it. It doesn’t slow down even though there were many chances in between. There is also the successful maintenance of suspense with twists, as we don’t guess what is coming in the end, even though there are so many things happening in between. The red herrings are delivered effectively, and we make so many guesses about the antagonist who is responsible for what is happening here. It does work as body horror, a subgenre which is difficult to appeal to people – unlike other movies of the same kind, this film actually knows where to keep the borders, and not to be disgusting at any point. The genre is often too much to handle for many people due to the amount of gore and extremities related to body parts, but this one stays at the border related to that. The setting of the room which this movie uses throughout its run also adds on well, and the mysteries to be revealed here are also of interest.

Positives and negatives :: There have been a number of Spanish movies which have tried to be different from the rest – there was The Platform, and here we have this one. This one still seems to have rushed through things too much, as we look at the final moments. It could have taken more time finish it though, as the length here is just seventy minutes and nothing more. The setting which is one place at all times, is nicely managed too. This is also one of those rare films which maintains the Classical Unities of Aristotle. Unity of action is maintained with that one principal action of being stitched together and being together at all times, while unity of place is maintained with where they are trapped, and unity of action is clear as everything happens within twenty four hours. It has been difficult to maintain these in movies, as people look forward to seeing many other things and occurrences as films progress. But in this case, they have made the situation very interesting. Even though this is not the usual horror, the situation of the protagonists is surely a scary one.

Performers of the soul :: With everything dependent on two people, this film focuses on their performances, one can safely say that this works effectively due to the same. We also see that the characters do evolve as the tale progresses. The conversation between the two becomes very important too. Marina Gatell places herself in the situation very well, and comes up with a fine performance. She plays a person who is confused and wants to figure out what is happening quick enough, and even suspects the person who is with her – the character works out really well for her. Pablo Derqui who plays the other person in trouble, takes things slowly, and has better idea of how criminals works – makes the person with him doubtful. The situations which are nicely created for them, is managed well by the two. The whole idea is made better with the performances of these two. The rest of the characters only arrive by the end, or are present only in photos. In the end, we know that in Two, there are only two characters who gets the chance to come up with worthy performances.

How it finishes :: Being stitched to someone else is horror enough, and this Spanish movie use that to its advantage, getting to the list of films in that language which have tried to be different in multiple ways. Thanks to the performance of the leading cast, this one never lags behind, even when there were so many opportunities. It provides us with the opportunity to make so many guesses, and it also has us coming to that twist when least expected. The short journey is very much an engaging watch, and as long as you don’t have a problem with some body horror, this is to work just fine. During the time of Corona virus pandemic, a number of films had people quarantined alone, while this one has two people locked in a room as one. It is indeed an interesting, but strange concept, as you look at it. The creative imagination behind the movie seems to be working well in this particular case. Netflix has once again scored with another fine addition to the grand list of horror and thrills.

Release date: 10th December 2021 (Netflix)
Running time: 70 minutes
Directed by: Mar Targarona
Starring: Marina Gatell, Pablo Derqui, Anna Chincho Serrano, Kandido Uranga, Esteban Galilea

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Io

Vampire Owl: We are watching another movie quick enough.

Vampire Bat: Yes, it is surely a plan of Vampire Fate.

Vampire Owl: So, you mean to say that Fate is a vampire too.

Vampire Bat: I don’t see why not. Fate meets all requirements for the same.

Vampire Owl: For something to become a vampire, first it needs to exist.

Vampire Bat: Fate’s existence has been proven over the centuries.

Vampire Owl: But has Fate ever lived in a physical form?

Vampire Bat: Yes, Fate is already part of the air we breathe.

Vampire Owl: That sounds like the Corona Virus.

Vampire Bat: After all, this Corona Virus pandemic itself is a work of fate itself.

[Gets a marble cake and three cups of ginger tea].

What is the movie about? :: When the Earth was going to be destroyed mostly due to pollution resulting from human activities, many scientists had started working on a power station that could be sent to space to harvest geothermal energy from other planets. But it would be too late, as people were dying in their sleep, while some others were suffocating in the streets, with the blood in their veins turning black due to a higher level of pollution. The change in atmospheric composition due to the same led to many spaceships with people flying into the sky and then into space as an act of Exodus turning the power station into a colony, like a lifeboat floating about another celestial body. For the same, they had chosen the fourth largest celestial body among the moons in the solar system which has the highest density among them, and has the lowest amount of water around. Discovered in 1610 by the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei and named after the mythological character Io, a priestess of Hera, Jupiter’s volcanic moon, Io now has a higher significance for humans.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Most of the people on Earth had already fled, but a very few still try to survive on its surface. Sam Walden (Margaret Qualley) is one of those very few humans who have some hope left about Earth, and she chooses a high altitude area where the air is somewhat breathable, even though she does make some visit to the highly polluted areas with masks to collect some samples. She is also raising bees, hoping that they can help clean the air, but is asked by her boyfriend who lives on the Io station to join him, as they are planning to live at a newer, greater place, with no hope left for Earth which has fallen to human greed. Sam’s hopes are ruined when her bees are killed by a terrible storm which also destroys some of her equipment and sources of power. But she does maintain some hope, as she continues to be in contact with her long distance boyfriend from Io, and tries to carry on with her objective, even though without that much of a plan this time.

And what more do we see here in a wold without hope for future? :: At the same time, a man named Micah (Anthony Mackie) arrives there on a balloon, and asks for her father and scientist, Dr Harry Walden (Danny Huston) – but he is not there, and she assures him that he will be back soon, maybe the very next day, after some field work. He decides to wait, as Harry was someone who believed that there was hope for humanity on Earth, and he needed to meet the man. But the problem here is that Harry has been dead for a long time, and she has been lying all the time. Micah was brought here by the message from Harry which had further brought him hope – the message was sent by Sam, and this would lead to a crisis, as both of them will have a few things to realize, and the same is to be done together. Is there hope left for Earth, or can they make another choice? Where will they end up in the end, dead or alive while fighting for survival in a dying planet?

The defence of Io :: Here is another post-apocalyptic movie which has the expected stuff, even though not with the action-filled adventure of a science fiction. The emotional moments are serene, and effective, and the cast is perfect for the same. Margaret Qualley’s face has that kind of melancholy going through her, which brings the feeling effectively, whether it is about loneliness or the loss of hope – yet, there is some hesitation, something which Eva Green didn’t have even for a bit in the science fiction drama, Proxima. Anthony Mackie provides the support well enough, even though Margaret eclipses everything around with a certain beauty of hopeless sadness that always surrounds her. The visuals of post-apocalyptic world is done just in the right way, and there are areas where it does have some fine work in store. The references to the mythology are good, but can feel overdone to a number of people who are not familiar with the same. The feeling of failure of faith, belief and hope feels natural too.

The claws of flaw :: Io is indeed a slow movie, and never does it pick up the pace, even though there were many opportunities to do so, especially considering the fact that this is a post-apocalyptic world that we have in store here. For such a world, there is so much potential, even in isolation, as we have seen in many other movies which have setting after the destruction of Earth due to one reason or the other. The best of science fiction had a chance to come in on many occasions. This definitely depends on what you are expecting from a movie like this, as this is not your usual stuff with the same idea at all. The romantic is also not that good, and the film could have easily gone on without it – after all, this is not that kind of a flick. The movie also deserved a better ending, considering how it had built up slowly towards that finish. It could have also had some fine visuals of space with Io out there, along with some moments at the space station, as they have come this much already, when you look at it.

How it finishes :: Io is the post-apocalyptic science fiction drama which deviates from the usual path, and seems to be proud of it all the way. After all, it shows what could happen at some stage later, and therefore being realistic is an understatement. The fall of humanity and Earth has been predicted for a long time, and this Corona Virus has asserted the weakness of science in front of most of the enemies whom humans are going to face, and clearly none of the advancements of science can save them. Considering the same, Io is indeed a realization, of the weakness and hopelessness of mankind. You have to move with slow and abiding sadness of the movie to like this version of post-apocalyptic science fiction – otherwise, you might not find this particular version to be interesting. During this time of COVID-19, you know that we might not be that powerful to even delay our extinction for a limited period of time and we are certainly not the saviors of our planet, but the ruthless destroyers.

Release date: 18th January 2019
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed by: Jonathan Helpert
Starring: Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston, Tom Payne

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Knock Knock

knockknock (3)

Vampire Owl :: It has been a long time since we saw a movie starring Keanu Reeves.

Vampire Bat :: Well, John Wick and 47 Ronin proved okay, but nothing huge for us.

Vampire Owl :: Nothing since The Matrix Revolutions for me.

Vampire Bat :: Actually, I consider it since Constantine.

Vampire Owl :: Yes, those were the best times.

Vampire Bat :: And John Wick: Chapter Two is also coming. I believe that it will be better than the first.

Vampire Owl :: The female leads look very much new though.

Vampire Bat :: I have noticed that too. But I am more looking forward to how this story will progress.

Vampire Owl :: I read that it is a remake of Peter Traynor’s 1977 movie called Death Game. Any knowledge of it?

Vampire Bat :: Not at all.

[Gets three cups of tea with tapioca chips].

What is it about? :: Evan Webber (Keanu Reeves) is a happily married man, and an architect living with his wife and children. Due to a shoulder injury and a lot of work, he is unable to go to a trip to beach which was planned earlier; so his wife Karen (Ignacia Allamand) leaves with the children and he is left alone in the big house. He decides to spend his time working and waiting for Louis (Aaron Burns), the assistant of Karen who works as an artist who will move a particular sculpture to an art gallery. When he is busy with the job, he hears someone at the door and sees two girls, Genesis (Lorenza Izzo) and Bel (Ana de Armas) outside. They claim that they were here for a party, but lost the address to the place and their mobile phones are also dead which left them stranded with nowhere to go.

So, how and where does things take a big turn? :: Evan invites them in, and offers them internet and computer for them to locate the place. They get fresh at his home and he also arranges the closest available driver for them, but that would also take forty five minutes to arrive at his place. The girls make themselves at home, and more is revealed about them. But soon, Evan will come to know another side of them, and it is not really that beautiful as what they seem to be. Almost everything which they had told him would prove to be just lies and nothing else. He almost gets away, but these two won’t stay away until they have their sadistic games imposed on him. There is no hope for him except for Louis who won’t be expecting this kind of trouble.

The defence of Knock Knock :: There is a certain message here in the movie, and there is the next level of morality tale stored inside – the need to resist temptations despite the situation is shown here. Powered by performances and moments of thrill, the movie is an interesting mixture of things; a home invasion movie with a certain amount of dark humour which is present throughout, and a little bit of the erotic side also being there – it also doesn’t go the way of the director’s two most known movies, Hostel and Hostel: Part II. It is a welcome change that we have here, as the environment has been changed, and the blood and gore gets a lot down by a long way. The torture porn does go away this time, and this movie surely has its moments. There is no way that one will end up finding this one not entertaining; that is for sure.

Claws of flaw :: This is another thriller which surely had a lot of scope, and that is not used as one would have wanted. It could have explored the psychological side better, but it decides just to go weird without much of explanations. It also has too much of the ups and downs throughout its run. If you are looking for the erotica elements, that is going to be a disappointment, because it is also rare. A number of scenes also feel repetitive, and without the idea to bring the needed change and variety through the material which has already been used many times in a good number of ways. There was better chance to use the moments in the first half to reach a big climax and finish in the end which is unfortunately not that much there. The Naomi Watts starrer Funny Games from 2007 could do a home invasion thriller with a psychological side better, and You’re Next as well as The Strangers had their own ways of handling the horror with the home invasion!

Performers of the soul :: If you wanted to see Keanu Reeves as the chosen one or in the form of the chaser of demons, you are not going to have that here; this gets not even close, as his character remains hopeless for most of the time. The thoughts of the hero from The Matrix trilogy and Constantine takes the back-seat, as he once again brings a fine performance here as the protagonist completely in distress throughout the movie, starting from a few minutes into it. Never will you see the tendency to go John Wick around here, and there will be no samurai effect. The girls are good, and I would like to mention Ana de Armas more, as she manages to take a certain amount of cuteness to the wicked side; Lorenza Izzo has the evil side working strong in the movie too. I surely had my doubts, but they worked really well here!

How it finishes :: You have to admit that unlike most of the people, both the critics and the general audience had said, this is surely a good one – most of them surely had problems with how things went around with this movie only because they wanted something else, and it is from this strange and somewhat detestable want that the hate for this movie could rise. You have to watch this one to know that the same won’t affect your ability to like this flick. Unlike some mentions here and there, you can’t consider this one horror; for the same, you can look into the recent horror movie reviews including It FollowsThe Vatican Tapes, Jessabelle, The Remaining, The Pyramid, The Lazarus Effect and The Woman in Black: Angel of Death; plus there is my personal favourite Gothic horror romance, Crimson Peak.

Release date: 9th October 2015
Running time: 99 minutes
Directed by: Eli Roth
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana de Armas, Ignacia Allamand, Aaron Burns, Colleen Camp

knockknock

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.