Sunday 30 April 2023

REVIEW: The Tank (2023) - Starring Luciane Buchanan, Mark Mitchinson and Matt Whelan

Review by Jon Donnis
The Tank follows the tale of a young family who inherit a stunning, if neglected, stretch of Oregon coastline including a gorgeous old house. Ben (Matt Whelan) and Jules (Luciane Buchanan), a young couple and their young daughter Reia (Zara Nausbaum), are astonished to discover that Ben's late mother left them it all in a will because she never once mentioned the property. The property is next to the magnificent Pacific and has spectacular vistas, beautiful natural lighting, and of course, an overzealous agent trying to convince the couple to sell even though the house and infrastructure have been neglected for years. Unfortunately, there are some very old, sinister secrets attached to the property.

Ben and Jules are welcomed by an estate agent with a sizable offer for the property before they even have a chance to recover from the hike out to the magnificent but dilapidated sight. Ben later finds a hidden hatch on the property that unlocks The Tank while he is trying to collect his thoughts as he is strolling the grounds. An intricate network of aqueducts, valves, and underground tunnels may be found inside. Ben, who tends to be curious of such things, observes that the tank is broken. He chooses to attempt to fix and restart the broken device because he quite skilled at the old DIY. By doing this, he awakens a dark power that has lain dormant inside The Tank for a while.

The Tank is your classic creature feature. A serious horror film that relies on suspense and tension more than it does on fancy special effects and a big budget.
Although a little long at 1 hour and 40 including credits and an end credit scene you should stick around to watch, the film chugs along at a decent pace, the story is fine, if not ground breaking, and the "creature" effects are decent.

I worry sometimes that when you have seen as many horror films as I have, if you are missing out on some things because you have pretty much seen it all before, so not much will shock you. Even jump scares these days barely raise my eye brow. But this film makes a decent effort, so I will give them credit for that.

Matt Whelan puts in a strong performance as Ben, and Luciane Buchanan as Jules does an impressive job, in what I believe is her first full length film?

There are plenty of moments where you will find yourself shouting at the screen, telling them to look out, or run. And that is often part of the fun of such films.

Filmed in New Zealand, so you know you will get some great scenery too.

The Good
An exciting and dramatic last half hour, that builds up perfectly. 

Strong performance from Matt Whelan. 

Good visual effects on the creature.

The Bad
The film is a little long, and takes a while to get going as they set up the backstory of the characters.

A decent creature feature that deserves your attention if you are a fan of the genre, this is no comedy horror, this is a proper traditional horror film with an unknown creature stalking its victims.

I enjoyed The Tank, even if the name of the film is a bit dumb.

I score The Tank a strong 7.5/10

Out now on Digital

Saturday 29 April 2023

REVIEW: Peter Pan & Wendy - Starring Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson and Jude Law

Review by Jon Donnis:
In recent years, Disney seems to be only interested in remaking classic films based on 100+ year old books and giving them a "woke" overhaul. Well, a remake that no one asked for is here in Peter Pan & Wendy. Before I start, if you are actually interested in watching a Peter Pan film for the first time, go and watch the live-action Peter Pan (2003), or even better, go watch Peter Pan (1954), possibly the most famous version of the story. If you have already seen those films and, for some reason, want to watch yet another version, then read on for my opinion.

Wendy Darling (Ever Anderson) is spending her last night at home with her parents, George (Alan Tudyk) and Mary (Molly Parker), and her two younger brothers, John (Joshua Pickering) and Michael (Jacobi Jupe), before going to boarding school the next day. Wendy is unhappy with her departure and tells her mother that she does not want to grow up. Later that night, the ethnically ambiguous Peter Pan (Alexander Molony) appears in the Darlings' nursery. Having heard of Wendy's wish, he claims that he has come to take her to Neverland, where she will never have to grow up. With the help of Peter's companion and friend, African American/Native American/Iranian fairy Tinker Bell (Yara Shahidi), Wendy, John, and Michael all fly to Neverland.

Upon arriving, they are attacked by a ship of pirates, led by Captain Hook (the sadly miscast Jude Law, seriously why didn't Disney just pay Pedro Pascal to play Hook? He would have been perfect!), who wants revenge on Peter for cutting off his right hand and throwing it to a crocodile. Hook and his first mate, Mr. Smee (far-left activist and champagne socialist Jim Gaffigan), shoot at them with a cannon, causing them to fall from the sky, and Wendy becomes separated from Peter and her brothers. She later meets Tiger Lily (Alyssa Wapanatâhk) and the Lost Boys (who bizarrely now have girls in the group, keep in mind that when the Lost Boys grow up, Peter Pan either murders them or banishes them, yes really! Go read the book), and witnesses the pirates capturing John and Michael. Hook and his crew take them to Skull Rock and chain them to a rock to drown by the rising tide. Peter fights with the Captain, while Wendy, Tiger Lily, and the Lost Boys save John and Michael. Hook and the pirates are eventually chased away by Tick Tock, the crocodile. Peter is proud of his victory, but Wendy scolds him for being reckless, and the Lost Boys tell her that he has a complicated history with Captain Hook.

The rest of the story, I am sure you already know. The film does play very much as a checkbox exercise of diversity and wokedom. Personally, I don't really have a problem with the race-swapping of characters. They are fictional characters, and I don't really care. However, doing it just for the sake of it, which is what Disney does, is just sad and offensive. Offensive, not because they race-swap, but offensive because instead of writing new and interesting stories that feature an ethnically diverse cast and plot, they just take old stories and add minorities to the casting, as if that is enough to keep the woke banshees happy. They didn't even have Tinkerbell glow! All little fairies' glow, that's their gimmick, but no, not Tinkerbell. You can make up your own mind about why Disney would take this away from the character.

All that aside, is the film any good? Well, it is not terrible. It is the story of Peter Pan with a few bizarre changes, and that's it. It is a classic tale, and you can rarely go wrong if you just retell a classic. I expect, however, that much like the woke Disney remake of Pinocchio, this will also be quickly forgotten about.

The Good:
Ever Anderson gives a great performance as Wendy. And in case you didn't realize, the Wendy character has always been the main character in the film. It is her journey you are supposed to follow. Shame the character never gets the credit it deserves.

The Bad:
So many bad casting decisions. Jude Law is horrible as Hook, not a patch on the superior Jason Isaacs version. Having girls as lost boys is just dumb. Alexander Molony does not portray a likable version of Peter Pan. That is not on the actor; that is on the directors. Oh, and the visual effects are terrible for what is a big-budget Hollywood film. I have seen better effects on some of the independent low-budget films I review.

A film no one wanted or asked for. Another remake of a classic that makes things worse in an attempt to appease a small minority.

I score Peter Pan & Wendy a dull 4/10

Out now on digital at

Friday 28 April 2023

REVIEW: Scream VI (2023) - Starring Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Hayden Panettiere, and Courteney Cox

Review by Jon Donnis
Welcome to the sequel to Scream (2022), which was supposed to relaunch the Scream franchise but turned out to be a direct sequel to Scream 4. Now, we have Scream 6, meaning we never had a movie titled Scream 5. Yes, it's a bit confusing, but the Scream franchise was never too concerned about logic. It's just your classic slasher film with lots of blood and dumb teens.

One year after the Woodsboro killings orchestrated by Richie Kirsch (Jack Quaid) and Amber Freeman, a Blackmore University professor named Laura Crane (Samara Weaving) is catfished by her student Jason Carvey (Tony Revolori), who lures her outside a bar in New York City and murders her while wearing a Ghostface costume. Jason plots with his roommate Greg to kill sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) to finish the "movie" that Richie and Amber wanted to make. However, Jason receives a call from a different Ghostface, who has killed Greg and subsequently stabs Jason to death.

Sam and Tara now live in New York City, with Tara attending Blackmore University with fellow survivors Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), alongside their roommate Quinn Bailey (Liana Liberato), Mindy's girlfriend Anika Kayoko (Devyn Nekoda), and Chad's roommate Ethan Landry (Jack Champion). Sam attends therapy with Dr. Stone and is ostracized in public because of an online conspiracy theory that she was the true mastermind of the latest killings. Quinn's father, Detective Wayne Bailey (Dermot Mulroney), calls Sam in for questioning as her ID was found at the scene of Jason's murder, along with a Ghostface mask worn in the previous year's attacks. On the way to the station, Ghostface calls Sam from Richie's phone, who then attacks Tara and kills multiple bystanders, and leaves behind another Ghostface mask worn in the 2011 Woodsboro killings.

The film follows the same general plot as all the others: someone dressed as Ghostface kills a lot of people, and you spend most of the film trying to guess who it is. Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers is the only one left from the original franchise, and her part seems to get smaller with each film.

If you're watching the 6th film in a franchise, then you must be a fan of said franchise. I can't imagine many people coming to this without seeing previous films, although knowledge of the previous films isn't needed much since the plot is straightforward.

The kills are disappointingly generic, which is a shame. With most horror film franchises, one of the best things to look out for is the new and inventive ways the killer takes out their victims. The problem with the Scream franchise is that it's never the same killer all the time, and that killer is not supernatural. Because of that, it drives me mad when the good guys get the killer in a bad situation, and instead of finishing off the job, they run away, giving the killer a chance to recover and come at them again. A quick tip for anyone facing someone trying to kill them: if in the middle of the fight, you get the upper hand, stamp on their ankle. It's simple. Now they can't chase you even if they do recover while you run away.

The Good:
I'm a fan of the Scream franchise. I really liked Scream 5, and I did enjoy this latest film in the franchise. The young adults are exactly as dumb as you need them to be, Ghostface is still scary, and although this is a very "

The Bad:
The formula is getting tired now, and the nostalgia factor can only take you so far. The ending is also a bit overdone. Twist after twist after twist.

You know what you are going to get with Scream films, they don't really take any chances, they stick to the same formula each time, make a ton of money and send you home happy, what more could you want.

Not as good as Scream 5, but decent in its own right.

I score Scream 6 a fair 7/10

Out now in cinemas and also available on digital at and

Thursday 27 April 2023

TRAILER: Transformers: Rise of the Beasts - Starring Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback


Returning to the action and spectacle that have captured moviegoers around the world, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will take audiences on a ‘90s globetrotting adventure with the Autobots and introduce a whole new faction of Transformer – the Maximals – to the existing battle on earth between Autobots and Decepticons. 

Directed by Steven Caple Jr. and starring Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Tobe Nwigwe, Peter Cullen, Ron Perlman, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Yeoh, Liza Koshy, John DiMaggio, David Sobolov, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Pete Davidson and Cristo Fernández , the film arrives in cinemas June 8 2023.

Watch Trailer Below

Wednesday 26 April 2023

REVIEW: Kids vs. Aliens (2023) - Starring Dominic Mariche, Phoebe Rex, Calem MacDonald and Asher Grayson

Review by Jon Donnis
I had this film ready to review a while back, but as usual I never bothered to read the synopsis, so I assumed that this was some kids film, boy was I wrong. As soon as it starts I see that glorious Shudder logo, and damn I know this just has to be a horror film. But hey what do I know, maybe Shudder are suddenly going into the kids market?

The film starts off with some fishmen in the middle of the sea being attacked by what we can assume are aliens.

We then cross over to a group of older teenagers, Billy (Calem MacDonald), Dallas (Isaiah Fortune), and Trish (Emma Vickers), are searching for a place to host their Halloween party. They come across young friends Gary (Dominic Mariche), Jack (Asher Grayson), and Miles (Ben Tector) who are filming a homemade fantasy movie in a barn with Gary's older sister Samantha (Phoebe Rex). At this point you will get major Stranger Things vibes, except all the kids are normal and without any psychic powers, anyway, Billy and his friends start bullying the boys until Billy shows interest in Samantha. Samantha becomes enamored with Billy, but Gary breaks his arm during the filming, and Samantha's parents ground her for the incident. Moreover, Gary criticizes Samantha for giving up on her role in the movie to pursue an adult persona that may impress Billy.

Later, Billy visits Samantha and harasses her friends again, pretending to appreciate Samantha's interests to woo her into using the house for his party. They start making out on the bed, but the boys interrupt them. However, they dismiss a loud noise and lights outside as one of Gary's pranks. Billy convinces Samantha to host the party, during which Billy and his friends intentionally damage the house. Samantha tries to kick them out, and Billy becomes physically threatening with her.

Meanwhile, Gary, Jack, and Miles secretly spy on the party using a drone camera. They hijack the TV to broadcast a message calling out Samantha for changing her personality to appeal to Billy. Gary also shows footage of Billy making fun of Samantha to Trish before urinating all over her bedroom. Billy then beats up the boys in front of everyone, but suddenly alien creatures attack the partygoers. The aliens capture Gary, Jack, Miles, Billy, Dallas, and Trish, while Samantha barricades herself in her bedroom to avoid capture.

Pretty much the first half of the film is about older teens bullying younger kids, one of the younger kids older sister fancies the leader of the older gang, and then the second half of the film is about aliens trying to attack and kill everyone.

I know it all sounds rather random, and in some ways it is, but it is surprisingly well made and well filmed. Ok the aliens are a bit dodgy, basically people in alien suits, but the costumes and makeup effects are pretty decent. I don't think there is any CGI in this film, so it is filmed using old fashioned techniques which I appreciated.

Keep in mind this is a horror film, it has strong language, it has people dying, kids even, it has aliens in it, so do not let your young kids watch this.

Phoebe Rex as Samantha is your main character, and you will find yourself having an emotional investment in her as well as the young kids. You want them to come out on top. Sometimes in films like this you might find yourself cheering on the aliens or bad guys, but instead the young actors all do a great job to make you care about them. And the older bullies, yes you will want them to die.

The film is roughly 70minutes long, which is the absolute perfect run time for a horror film like this. There is even a nice twist and a cool post credits scene.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised, and rather impressed by the film, and now quite annoyed at myself for putting off watching it.

The Good
Perfect run time, nice little old fashioned horror film, all the actors do a great job, a fun and entertaining horror film, something that Shudder have become the absolute masters at making.

The Bad
Dare I say that the film should be a little longer? Main film is 68 minutes, plus a couple of minutes with the post credits scene. No, I am happy with the run time. So the only bad I can think of is that I would perhaps liked to have seen a bit more of the aliens, and perhaps learned a little about their motives.

Perfect run time, great acting all round, well filmed, a very impressive film considering the budget.

I score Kids vs. Aliens an impressive 8.5/10

Out now on Digital and on Prime at

Sunday 23 April 2023

REVIEW: Assassin (2023) - Starring Bruce Willis and Nomzamo Mbatha

Review by Jon Donnis
Well, it is finally here, the last ever film featuring Bruce Willis. I know it has seemed like his last five films were the last, but this is the legit final film of a legendary career.

The film starts out with an older man seemingly a bit confused, a female voiceover is heard saying "this is not my body" and as a young man approaches the same voice says "this is not my son." Before you know it, the older man hits his son with a cane. We cut away to a woman in an ice bath with a wetsuit on, and Bruce Willis looking over her.

Cut to a man in a coma, Sebastian (Mustafa Shakir) used to be a drone pilot until a job-related mishap left him in this state, his wife Alexa (Nomzamo Mbatha) is furious and seeking explanations. We get some flashbacks of their life together. She confronts Valmora (Bruce Willis), her husband's employer who leads a private military operation, for answers. Although she starts the encounter with a gun pointed at his head, Alexa ends up rescuing Valmora from a woman wielding a knife and riding a bicycle. The attacker denies any knowledge of the assault, which is the latest in a string of comparable incidents.

Before you know it, Alexa is donning a wetsuit, getting in that ice bath, and Quantum Leaping into people, to act as an assassin, the main target being career criminal Adrian (Dominic Purcell) who has stolen military tech.

Although the plot is a bit confusing at times, I thought that Bruce Willis is used well in this film, as a supporting character for Nomzamo Mbatha as Alexa, who is the main star of the film.

The Good
A nice idea for a story, which is well-directed. Sad to see Bruce Willis in his final film, but he does a good enough job that it is a nice send-off for him. Nomzamo Mbatha is strong in her role, and I always like to see Dominic Purcell as a bad guy.

The Bad
The plot is a bit silly at times and a bit confusing.

This is a low budget, straight to digital action thriller, you know the routine now, this is Bruce Willis farewell film, and although he doesn't have a large part in the film, the respect for his career should be enough for you to watch this.
It might not win any awards, but it is a nice little story and at about 83 minutes, it is easy to watch.

I score Assassin a fair 7/10

Out Now on Apple TV -

Saturday 22 April 2023

REVIEW: Ghosted (2023) - Starring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas

Review by Jon Donnis:
We've had quite a few action-adventure romantic comedies recently, and the latest one is directed by Dexter Fletcher of "Press Gang" fame! Yes, I'll always go back to "Press Gang".

Sadie Rhodes (Ana de Armas) is a CIA operative who's feeling a bit down in the dumps, perhaps because she's got no missions going on. Then she meets Cole Turner (Chris Evans), this needy but charming farmer guy who sells his produce at a local market. At first, they argue over plants, but after some encouragement from a co-worker, they hit it off and end up doing the deed. But when Cole texts Sadie and doesn't get a response, his sister thinks Sadie's "ghosting" him because he's too clingy. So, against everyone's advice, Cole tracks her down to London using a tracker on his inhaler.

Just as he's about to find her, Cole falls into a trap set by some arms dealers who are after this CIA operative called "The Taxman." They drug him and take him to a cave in Pakistan, where they torture him trying to get the passcode they think he knows. But then this masked hero shows up and saves Cole - and it turns out to be Sadie! She's the "Taxman"! Together they run through the Khyber Pass, escaping from the bad guys who work for some French Intelligence agent called Leveque. He's got a bioweapon called "Aztec" that he's trying to sell but he can't even unlock it.

Cole and Sadie hide out in a nearby town, arguing about the lies they've both told each other. Sadie said she was an art curator, and Cole said he'd traveled the world. Then, this dude Marco shows up - he's an old contact and lover of Sadie's. He tells Cole that Sadie's all about the mission, not the boyfriend. Marco agrees to take Cole back to the US so Sadie can do her thing, but then Leveque puts a bounty on Cole's head. A bounty hunter kills Marco, but then other bounty hunters come after Cole and Sadie, and they all end up killing each other by mistake. In the chaos, Cole tells Sadie about the passcode thing. So, Sadie comes up with a plan to use Cole as bait to get closer to Aztec. She knocks him out and sets things in motion.

What follows is something of a role-reversal type action-adventure rom-com. Usually, it's the man who is the secret agent, and the woman who finds out, and gets in strange predicaments, and then eventually proves herself his equal, basically "True Lies". But here you have Chris Evans playing that part, which is a bit strange since he is this 6-foot, handsome, muscular man who is playing the part of a needy wannabe boyfriend. As such, the casting does feel a bit off; he is literally Captain America for God's sake. With that said, I did like Evan's performance, and he comes across as very likable and brings humor to the film.

Ana de Armas does a great job as the badass CIA operative.

The Good:
It's hard not to like Chris Evans, even if he is terribly miscast in this film. Ana de Armas is strong as Sadie, and I love her slight Cuban accent too. The visual effects are of very high quality during the scenes set in Pakistan; the chase scene on the bus is fantastic.

The Bad:
You've seen this film a thousand times before; the role reversal would have worked better with someone who is not Captain America in the part of Cole.

Even though this film is about as original as a Turkey on Christmas day, it is still well written and well directed. I do like Chris Evans, and I think Ana de Armas is a brilliant actress. And even though the film is far from original and the plot is completely predictable, I still found myself totally enjoying the film.

I score Ghosted a decent 7.5/10

Out now on Apple TV, it is definiately worth a watch.

Friday 21 April 2023

REVIEW: Last Sentinel - Starring Kate Bosworth

Review by Jon Donnis
Directed by Tanel Toom.

The year is 2063, a war-ravaged Earth, combined with climate change means the Earth has only two small continents left as the seas have risen to engulf the rest, resulting in an endless war between them. Both sides have built watchtowers and provided them with powerful weaponry, incase another attack commences. Four exhausted soldiers man Sentinel, a remote military base in the middle of the ocean between the two remaining continents, Cassidy (Kate Bosworth), Sullivan (Lucien Laviscount), and Baines (Martin McCann) under the leadership of Hendrichs (Thomas Kretschmann), find themselves waiting for anything at all to happen.

A relief crew was supposed to arrive three months ago, but it has yet to do so. An empty ship called the Aurora drifts into view, what happened to it?, where is the crew?, can they use the boat to escape between storms. The commander wants to use the supplies from the Aurora to continue the waiting game, while the rest of the crew wants to repair it and sail home.

With a nuke sat there ready to be used, there are a lot of questions to be asked, and decisions to be made.

This is very much a film about paranoia, relationships and ultimately survival when cut off from the rest of humanity.

This is a dialog rich film, which I suspect is due to the budget, although the moments of excitement are well filmed and convincing.

As mentioned this is a dialog rich film, and we get to see each character deeply interact with each other, as well as their own thoughts. 

The Good
A strong opening sets up the film nicely, the visual effects are very good, although not that many unfortunately.

The Bad
We don't get enough back story to the characters which is a shame, they all know each other very well, so it is hard at times to have much of an emotional investment in them.

This is your classic dystopian film, and what it lacks in big screen effects, it makes up with well written dialogue, and good storytelling.

It is worth checking out.

Released on digital 24 April 2023 -

TRAILER: Future Soldier - Starring Sean Earl McPherson and Yasmine Alice


Set in a Cyberpunk-inspired dystopian future, bounty hunter Mo Harrington (Sean Earl McPherson – Rupture) returns to action after uncovering a sinister conspiracy. Joining forces with an old friend, hardened ex-cop Xoey Cass (Yasmine Alice), they must race against time to stop dangerous new enemies from threatening the future… As the soldiers are drawn into a web of corruption and conspiracy, they must take on shadowy forces, clone troopers and masked assassins. But can they solve the mysterious ‘Project: Centurion’ before it’s too late? For an adrenaline-charged, retro thrill ride, enlist now for Future Soldier.

Ed Kirk’s ambitious intergalactic actioner, Future Soldier, coming to digital on 1st May courtesy of Reel 2 Reel Films -

Thursday 20 April 2023

TRAILER: The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret - Stars Sophie Proctor

Take a walk on the wild side with The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret, an unforgettable pre-historic journey for the whole family to enjoy. This hilarious, magic-filled, thrilling and hugely entertaining feature is set to arrive on UK digital this May courtesy of 101 Films.

Directors Ryan Bellgardt and Chris Hoyt bring viewers on an exciting journey through time in this outstanding sequel to The Adventures of Jurassic Pet: Chapter 1. Witness some of the most incredible creatures to ever roam the earth.

Sophie Proctor (Ghoster) stars as Wendy, a daring teenager, and her wise Grandmother, who are the guardians of a magical portal to the land of dinosaurs. They can only visit once a month, but after one trip, Wendy gets more than she bargained for when a baby dinosaur named Junior follows them home.

Wendy and her friend Curtis (Myles Currin-Moore – Brooklyn Kid) are entrusted with Junior's safety until the portal reopens. However, things become complicated when they stumble upon a nefarious group of criminals with evil intentions. It's up to Wendy, Curtis, and their prehistoric friend to work together to save the city and ensure Junior's safe return home.

Full of wonder, The Adventures of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret promises to charm and captivate audiences of all ages.

Available in the US at

Available on Digital 8 May 2023 in the UK at

Friday 14 April 2023

REVIEW: Colonials (2023) - Starring Daniel Roebuck, Greg Kriek, Sean Kanan and Jamie Bernadette

Review by Jon Donnis
I haven't seen a good low-budget sci-fi film in a while, so when approached to review the new sci-fi film Colonials from directors Andrew Balek (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End) and Joe Bland (Ellipse), how could I refuse? Add in that the film runs for just under 80 minutes, and you have my attention.

The story of Colonials begins with Silas (Greg Kriek), a space explorer travelling from Mars, who embarks on a reconnaissance mission to Earth, which lies in ruin, to figure out what happened to the "humans of old". Unfortunately, he encounters the Exiles, a dangerously advanced and perilously evil Moon-based civilization that destroys his ship, causing him to crash-land alone on Earth after being separated from his squadron.

Zoey (Jamie Bernadette), a member of the resistance, finds him and tries to determine why he has returned to Earth, but he has lost his memory in the accident. Meanwhile, the Moon enforcers view this encounter as an opportunity to gain an advantage over the resistance.

Can Silas recover his memory? Whose side should he be on?

This is a fun, low-budget sci-fi film. I wonder if the filmmakers are fans of the early 2000s sci-fi show Lexx? I ask that because the style of this film reminded me very much of that show. The film is quite light-hearted, and the Silas character is a lot of fun. There is even a floating robot, Spark (Jon Provost), with a great sense of wit.

As mentioned, the film does have a low budget, and this does show. A lot of the movie is filmed with green screens and CGI. The CGI also reminded me of Lexx, which is perhaps not a great thing when you consider that show is from 20 years ago.

The Good:
A fun, if not particularly original, story, strong performances by all of the cast, and some nice action scenes. Some of the CGI is pretty decent, especially the interior of ships, etc. Some enjoyable camp acting.

The Bad:
There is no hiding the fact that this is low-budget, but if you like those made-for-TV movies from the early 2000s, then you should like this.

Despite being heavily limited by the budget, the filmmakers have big ideas and do their best. I think the casting is strong, and some of the campy acting and set pieces are well done. Very Lexx in its style, which is a good thing in my eyes.

I score Colonials a fair 7.5/10

Colonials is available on VOD and digital platforms from Epic Pictures. It was released in the UK on digital on April 17th.

Amazon at

Tuesday 11 April 2023

REVIEW: Chupa (2023) - Starring Evan Whitten, Demián Bichir and Christian Slater.

Review by Jon Donnis
The moment I heard about this film, I knew I had to watch it, I am a big fan of the Chupacabra myth, and I don't recall ever seeing a film that featured one in such a way, I am sure such films exist but I can't think of one.

In 1996, a government doctor named Richard Quinn (Christian Slater) is on the hunt for the Chupacabra, a mythical creature believed to possess healing powers that could revolutionize medicine. He tracks down a Chupacabra and her cub in an old mine in San Javier but injures the adult while chasing her. The wounded Chupacabra leaves her cub hidden to distract Quinn and his team and lead them away.

Thirteen-year-old Alex (Evan Whitten) travels to Mexico for the first time to meet his extended family after his father Beto dies from cancer. Alex meets his energetic wrestling-obsessed cousin Memo (Nickolas Verdugo), fearless hip cousin Luna (Ashley Ciarra), and former lucha libre champion grandfather Chava (Demián Bichir). On his first night, Alex discovers a young Chupacabra cub licking a cut on his hand. Realizing the creature is "different", he keeps it a secret.

Later, Luna takes Alex and Memo into town to find Chava, who has Alzheimer's disease and often wanders off. At the market, Alex sees a miniature colourful figure that the seller claims is a chupacabra, which he says is not a harmful creature.

On their way back to the ranch, they encounter men searching for evidence of the Chupacabra. They watch a news report on the creature, which Chava dismisses as nonsense and lies. Alex finds a music box in the barn that his grandfather had been playing, and Luna assumes it's a sign of his Alzheimer's.

Alex plays the music box later and attracts a strange creature with cat-like features, bird-like wings, and sharp fangs. He gives it sausages and promises to protect it during a thunderstorm.

This is just a lovely family film. With both English and Spanish spoken throughout, if you are not bilingual, you will need subtitles, but please do not let that put you off. This is a classic story of kids finding an "animal" helping it and then returning it back to the wild, we have seen this kind of story a million times before, but never with a Chupacabra. This is so well made, so well filmed, everything just comes off so well. All of the characters are likeable, and although the general story is a simple one, it is told in a lovely way. Yes, there is some peril, especially towards the end, but never in a scary way, although very young children might not like the adult Chupacabras.

Evan Whitten is the true lead in this film, and he does an excellent job as the young kid who comes from America to get in contact with his roots. Demián Bichir as the older former wrestler is just perfect casting, has Demián Bichir ever been in a bad film? I don't think so. Christian Slater is a great pick as the Government Scientist who wants to capture the Chupacabra, but even he is motivated more by science than just greed, so although he is the bad guy in the film, he is not evil.

I can't say enough good things about this film, I thought it was great, oh and at 88 minutes, it is almost the perfect length, kids will stay interested, as will adults.

The Good
Nearly every aspect of this film is good, the simple story, the visual effects are great, excellent casting throughout. Just a really good film

The Bad
The ONLY bad thing that might put people off is that you will need to read some subtitles for the Spanish bits, this may put off kids, or people who just don't like subtitles on their films. Most of the film is in English, I would say a good 80%, but if you want to really enjoy the whole film, you need to read those subs!

I loved this film. I can't say any more than that.

I score Chupa a fantastic 9.5/10. A simple family film, that hits all the right notes.

Out Now on Netflix