Tag Archives: jail

The Last Shift (2014)

Director: Anthony DiBlasi Starring: Juliana Harkavy, Natalie Victoria, J LaRose, Joshua Mikel. USA. 1h 30m

Just when you thought it was safe enough to guard an abandoned prison during the graveyard shift… There’s something about The Last Shift which really resonates with horror fanatics. A simple story which is the ultimate setting for a horror story is amped up with good old fashioned ghostly atmospherics and relies on practical effects, this is what the fans cry out for constantly and when it’s delivered it’s welcomed with open creepy arms!

Jessica (Harkavy) is left to her own devices while guarding a local empty and highly haunted prison during the night shift. and the night becomes a roller coaster of jump scares, poltergeist activity and moving family revelations.

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Convict (2014)

Director: George Basha
Starring: George Basha, Richard Green, Brian Eillson David Field, Franc Violi, Millie Rose Heywood, David Roberts. Australia. 1h 50m

While it doesn’t feel that there’s a shred of originality in this epic b-movie prison flick, there’s a lot of reports suggesting it’s based on a true story!? but i’m yet to verify these claims. Either way, fact or fiction won’t make it digest any easier. A harrowing story of a man who, through a one off accident ends up in prison for manslaughter. Unbeknownst to him there’s a hidden agenda which will see him fight a tougher sentence than any other inmate.

While his girl is being preyed on by strangers, Ray, a burly war veteran, steps in as a hero to defend her honor, the altercation ends in an accidental death. The father of the murdered bully makes a deal with the Prison Warden to make Rays stay unusually difficult. not that prison life isn’t hard enough. Rays struggles enough, working his way through cryptic prison politics, race wars, gang pressure, creepy showers and the occasional trip to the hole, but unlike Andy Dufranes he doesn’t have a guy who knows how to get things to ease his time inside.

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The Salvation (2015)

Director: Kristian Levring.
Starring. Mads Mikkelsen, Eva Green, Eric Cantona, Mikael Persbrandt, Douglas Henshall, Michael Raymond-James, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jonathan Pryce.USA/Denmark/South Africa. 1h 32m.

Westerns have long been a tough genre for me, I grew up watching them with my mother and grandfather and I really started to hate them. I suppose any entertainment that makes the adults lose interest in how cute you are will do that to a child’s psyche.. the only entertainment was playing with Gramps while he slept through some of the classics. Later on in life, when I got over the trauma, I rediscovered Spaghetti Westerns and I started to accept the genre back into my life, unless there’s a Mexican revolution a haunting Ennio Morricone soundtrack and less white people attempting to make believe that America has always been white, then the better things start to get. I’ve loved the reassurance of darker and more graphic horror westerns such as Seraphim Falls (2006), Brimstone (2016) and the almost instant cult classic Bone Tomahawk (2015), which have won me over. But without having a mythical foe or a revolution, there’s a striking grasp of The Salvation which has a more believable story of two immigrant brothers just trying to get ahead in the wild west and meeting ugly adversity.

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Das Experiment – The Experiment (2001)

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Starring: Moritz Bleibtreu, Justus von Dohnányi, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski, Andrea Sawatzki. Germany. 1h 49m.

A powerful fact based taut drama, stemming from the events surrounding the now, notorious Stanford Prison Experiment from 1971, Hirschbiegel encapsulates a bitter trials from behind the lens so to speak, making it very German, very bold, daring to dig deep into the torture tactics and leaves no stone unturned, in the mess of the soulless personal hardships the occurred during this tragic social experiment. Continue reading Das Experiment – The Experiment (2001)

Deliver Us From Evil (2006)

Director: Amy J. Berg
Starring. Oliver O’Grady. USA. 1h 41m.

There comes a time when people just need to own up to the shit they did, however evil and intense, the humane search in the void for an unbiased look into such confessions from budding director Amy J. Berg is perfect in its direct candid approach but it only makes everything seem so much more sinister, not that it’s a easy subject to view in the first place.

Amy J. Berg conjures up a quiet and peaceful atmosphere for setting her subjects, primarily Irish priest Oliver O’Grady, with lots of shots in churches and decorative offices, the focus is entirely on the person trying to tell their story and this is totally important with docufilms. Continue reading Deliver Us From Evil (2006)

The Painter and the Thief (2020)

Director: Benjamin Ree.
Starring: Karl Bertil-Nordland, Barbora Kysilkova. Norway. 1h 42m.

From a selfish and despicable act of theft came a truly beautiful relationship erupts in Ree’s near perfect documentary that focuses on Czech artist Barbora Kysilkovaand a Norwegian career criminal, Karl-‘Bertil’ Nordland. This tale of forgiveness, obsession, friendship and love is what we need to see in this crazy climate where everyone seems to be lacking those tangible experiences, does it restore faith in humanity? It’s certainly a highlight of the simplistic Scandinavian ethos of rehabilitation. Continue reading The Painter and the Thief (2020)

Brawl in cell block 99 (2017)

Director: S. Craig Zahler.
Starring. Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Udo Kier USA. 2h 12m.

Not being a huge fan of comedy it’s not surprise that I haven’t seen a lot of Vince Vaughn, in fact the only film that comes to mind is the abysmal remake of Psycho (1999) which I sat through wondering a frame for frame remake was needed while nursing my very first tattoo in the back of a dingy Odeon Cinema… I was not impressed.

So when I heard that he has broken character and was starring in a grisly prison action drama from the unstable Bone Tomahawk (2015) director S. Craig Zahler. I knew this was going to be a great film and it didn’t disappoint, much like the horror western Brawl in Cell Block 99 take a while to really get into the swing of things.

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