Hello, my name is Mark and I reside in the City by the Bay (Bay City, MI). I enjoy movies (favorite genre: Horror), reading (favorite book: No Country for Old Men), Music (favorite band: Full of Hell), videogames (favorite game: Red Dead Redemption), and eating Taco Bell (favorite menu item: Chipotle Chicken Loaded Griller)
A serial killer lives by a very specific set of rules. When these rules are broken, mistakes are made. It is these mistakes that lead to the eventual capture of the perpetrator. However, one particular serial killer (Mike Neider) believes he has perfected what he thinks of as an art. His solution to the problem is simple. Follow the rules and never, under any circumstances, break them. But can you ever really trust the mind of a killer?
Rules To Kill is a short horror film, written and directed by Joshua Hartwell of EVOX Media. Due to the documentarian style, as well as the mannerisms and personality of the main character, Rules To Kill is an extremely cold and calculating movie. As a lover of the thriller/horror genre, and true crime in general, I enjoyed this film a lot.
It excelled in three areas. First, the script is outstanding. It puts you into the thought processes of a person that thinks they are in control, when in reality things are spiraling into madness. There’s also enough nuance in the writing that makes you invested to come back for multiple viewings. Secondly, I enjoyed the diverse soundtrack. It had a mix of songs that set the dire mood for the piece while also providing brief moments of levity. These moments were needed in a film with such strong feelings of dread. Lastly, the cinematography in the film was impressive. The tracking shots of the killer in action were creepy and visceral while the quiet shots of the landscape were quiet and serene. The quiet shots helped in providing time to process the dialogue of the killer and the chaos of his actions.
While I enjoyed this film I would be remiss without mentioning that this experience is not for everyone. It’s for a specific group of people. People who enjoy exploring the minds of people that commit crimes and the thought processes behind their actions. This film is extremely visceral.
Rules To Kill is an interesting look into the psychology of a serial killer. It’s a bit formulaic but through great writing, cinematography, and a killer soundtrack it provides a well crafted film. If you’re into true crime and horror/thrillers I suggest looking up Rules To Kill on YouTube and giving this a shot.
We’re back with Mini-Reviews for the 2nd half of official selections for the SUDS & CINEMA – Grove City event that occurred on March 9th, 2019!
directed by AnthonyChambers
A house sitter(LolitaPrice) arrives at her job for the night. It looks easy enough. Watch an old house and profit. That’s until she meets the odd old man(ClayDePew) in the house. Then there are the strange occurrences that are becoming increasingly unexplainable.
A very well-directed horror short that makes the creepiness of the house the star. I love old haunted house flicks and this captures the feeling of those classics in multiple ways. The camera shots give the viewer a feeling that they are in an unsettling and unfamiliar place. The actors did a great job of putting us in the shoes of the house sitter, while also making us feel uneasy about the creepy homeowner. This film probably wouldn’t do anything for people who don’t enjoy a ghostly horror vibe, but this will impress the diehard fans.
4 out of 6 Reels
directed by TomDallas
Another suspenseful action packed bank heist thriller filled with dangerous criminals and gritty police officers. Or is it…
A really fun and creative movie that explores different ways to approach a clichéd genre. The cast is large for a short film and, despite it being crowded, they all do a good job. The true star of the movie is the concept of the film. I don’t want to spoil anything but this movie really opens up after a few scenes and the rollercoaster ride begins. Some may find this short a bit to reliant on the concept but, regardless, I had a fantastic time watching every second.
5 out of 6 Reels
directed by AugustAguilar
The Subject(TylerMcKee) wakes up. The Subject entertains himself. The Subject eats. The Subject gets out of line. The Subject gets punished and put back to bed. Rise. Repeat.
A sci-fi horror short, Subject plays out similar to an episode of The Twilight Zone. Just like that classic series this film lives or dies on its story. Thankfully, the story is very good. It gives you just enough, bit by bit, to leave you wanting more until you arrive at the shocking conclusion. The plot hooked me during the entire runtime. The special effects are great and the sound design, with the ominous alarm, was quite effective. Despite some plot holes, which comes with the territory in this genre, I was still captivated.
5 out of 6 Reels
directed by ZebulonGriffin
Bear(Josh Strehle) really loves his new chair. It’s red, probably an antique, and just so dang comfy. However, his girlfriend, Susan(Tifani Ahren Davis), is not a fan of the chair. How far will Bear go for his one true love?
Wow, this was a delight to watch. The acting was superb, the story quirky, and the writing was super sharp and witty. Right from the beginning it’s made clear who Bear is and what his motivations are. I was instantly on board till the end. I didn’t connect with Bear on a personal level, but the writing was so good that I still couldn’t wait to see what he was going to do next. It hooked me from the first minute and I was smiling till the end.
6 out of 6 Reels
directed by DiaaBahaaElDein
A man is getting ready to see his daughter when suddenly, a drug addict attacks him in his apartment. However, this drug addict seems very similar to his victim in more ways than one.
A moving and emotional piece that explores addiction and the choices made that effect an addicts day-to-day activities. In many ways the short plays out similar to a horror film with the scenes being visceral and disturbing. A strong and silent performance along with great direction and camerawork make this a very powerful piece. The subject may hit hard for some viewers but the message is still important.
5 out of 6 Reels
directed by Naim David
Another normal night for your friendly neighborhood pizza delivery guy(Mickey Phelan). Well it was normal until he makes a delivery to a girl(Celeste Blandon), her face spattered in blood.
A horror short that will constantly shock you as a pizza delivery guys shift becomes more absurd by the moment. The performances are great and the script is well written. Everything up to a point was done well, but then things started to derail for me. Without spoilers all I can is that shit gets real crazy. This film is definitely entertaining, but for me the motivations of the characters seemed messy by the end. If you enjoy crazy imaginative plots this film is for you.
4 out of 6 Reels
Well, Slicers, THAT’S THAT! We hope you enjoyed our review of all of the official selections of the first ever SUDS & CINEMA – Grove City! SLICE THE PLANET!
Following CinemaSlice’s first ever Suds & Cinema event in Grove City, OH, we just had to write up mini reviews for each official selection that screened! Without further ado, let’s get into these REEL REVIEWS!
directed by NaimDavid
A woman(Mary K. Riestenberg) begins to clean up after the gruesome murder of another woman(CelesteBlandon). She quickly finds that there are more important things to worry about than her blood soaked hands.
A very effective horror short in terms of setting and characters. In the short runtime it is well established that something terrifying has happened. The actors do a tremendous job with their movements and mannerisms to help flesh out this feeling of dread. I could have used a more in terms of plot but I understand that this was probably a purposeful choice.
4 out of 6 Reels
directed by MatthewMCREllisonII
The psychedelic trip of a clown whose drink of choice is Corn 4 Gold.
An animated short done in a very unique and creative style. As a piece of art this is a captivating look into a mad alternate universe where everything pulses with a fast and frenetic energy. Looking at it as a film, I would say it’s lacking in plot with no real narrative thread to speak of.
3 out of 6 Reels
directed by AlexCaperton
A girl(RachelHass) is having a fun and relaxing night eating junk food and playing video games. Fun and relaxing until she hears a sound coming from outside her bedroom window.
This horror short has a nice advancement of creeping dread from beginning to end. I enjoyed the use of video gaming in the film. As a video gamer I use the hobby as a relaxer and can imagine how the girl may have felt before the creepy events begin. Personally, the ending left me on a bit of a cliffhanger and I would have liked to have seen more. A very effective thriller nonetheless.
4 out of 6 Reels
directed by MichaelDeSanto
Amanda(KenziePhillips) and Ryan(CharlesWetzelJr.) have just purchased a new home. Hilarity ensues when they find that the house is very lonely and would like some special favors done in return.
Enjoyable horror comedy that has fun characters and writing that is consistently funny. The writing is effective in that each character is specifically written for. This makes the characters distinctive and they don’t share the same jokes and personalities. I also have to mention the special effects, which were stellar for a low-budget film. My only minor criticism is that the story, while still very funny, was a bit disjointed and felt like we were just moving from scene to scene without much substance. Still a very funny and crowd pleasing film.
5 out of 6 Reels
directed by ChristianBlackthorne
Sometimes breaking off a relationship can lead to some very dire consequences.
This very short horror clip definitely succeeded in setting a very dark and grim tone right from the start. A very unsettling visual accompanied by a gritty atmosphere made for a nightmarish combo. It seemed to play more like a trailer, however, and I was left wanting more. It would be very interesting to see this idea expanded upon in the future to give the viewer more to sink their teeth into.
3 out of 6 Reels
directed by EricMishne
Connie(Rachel Luther) and Parker(Colin Luther) are traveling the United States with dreams of traveling the world. Their plans hit a snag when their car breaks down on a lonely stretch of road. They are not concerned until a stranger(Chris Johnson) in a pickup truck pulls up behind them.
This short was awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, the characters and especially the film’s conclusion. The plot is straightforward, putting us in a believable scenario that many enjoy doing, traveling the world. It then establishes characters that we can see ourselves as and puts them in a scenario that we all hate, our car breaking down. It wraps up brilliantly with an ending that I won’t give away, but I will say to go back and give this a second watch. Little details will emerge that go unnoticed on the first viewing and the experience will become that much more enjoyable.
6 out of 6 Reels
That’s it for PART1!!! Tune in next time for the mini reel review of the remaining films featured at SUDS & CINEMA – Grove City!
Korppainen(TapioKauma) is a pretty quirky person. With hobbies that include random shadow boxing, science fiction literature, and chess matches against himself it’s hard not to consider Korppainen unique. However, the cause of Korppainens new problem maybe his odd behavior. Nearby, a doctor named Niklas(HeikkiKauma) is on the verge of unleashing a very dark and powerful entity. An entity that requires a unique individual, just like Korppainen, to arrive on earth. When Korppainens brother, Karsta(TapioKauma), asks him to take part in a strange medical experiment, we soon find out how destructive this entity is.
Laakekoe(Medicated) is a sci-fi action adventure directed by TapioKauma and VilleViasanen. For me Laakekoe(Medicated) excelled in a few key areas: awesome special effects and telling a compelling, well paced story. The effects in this movie are extremely well done. The supernatural beings that inhabit the film are dark and ominous. You feel a real sense of danger when Korppainen is going up against them. I have to give VilleViasanen an applause for a job well done.
Laakekoe(Medicated)s pacing also kept me engaged all throughout the film. Every scene kept the action moving and I feel that’s important for a movie in this genre. It also helped that each character was distinctive and entertaining. Due to the fast pace of the film it was very important to have impressive character development to avoid any further confusion in the storyline.
This leads me to my one criticism of Laakekoe(Medicated). The story was, for me, fairly confusing. During my first viewing I always felt a bit lost. The awesome characters and action packed pace kept me watching. A second viewing definitely helped to clarify a lot of the plot details that had me lost.
The whole film project took 7 years to complete. Majority of the effort was done by two guys: Tapio Kauma and Ville Väisänen. They had previously done several short movies together but this is the first feature length movie by them. They have not officially studied move making but have instead learned everything they know about film making by trial and error. And of course by watching lots of movies. The duo have estimated that during the years they spend about 1 300 hours to complete the movie. The movie was done while the film makers studied and/or worked full time. The whole budget for the movie is less than 150 euros.
Laakekoe(Medicated) is a solid sci-fi action adventure. It has a great mix of special effects and interesting, distinctive characters. Also, it has the perfect amount of absurdity sprinkled throughout. Although you may have to give this a second watch to help understand some of the story details, Laakekoe(Medicated) is still a kick ass experience. Look it up on YouTube and give it a watch.
Ben and Anna have been dating for two years and Ben is ready to pop the question. We see this very clearly within the first few moments of the short film BrainEngagement, a short romantic comedy directed by PatrickNeff. How Ben, played by BrennenThompson, planson accomplishing this goal is not so clear. Anna, played by KristinMellian, certainlyseemsinterested in starting a life together. Ben can’t be for certain, however, until he finally asks “Will you marry me?”. He only has his heart and emotions to talk to. A heart and emotions that get angry, crack jokes, problem solve, and celebrate. It’s almost as if the emotions were real people themselves…
BrainEngagement was a joy to watch from start to finish. Being a Rom/Com this film had two aspects to focus on. It needs a relationship the viewer wants to root for and enjoyable, well written humor. BrainEngagement absolutely nails both. As Ben goes through his journey throughout the film you feel all the emotions that he is feeling, which makes the ending all the more meaningful. The moments of levity are also amazing with great jokes that are cleverly written and engaging to the story. Relatability and comedy combine together perfectly in Brain Engagement and that gives the film a lot of heart.
My one criticism of BrainEngagement is that, while it’s plot is perfect in execution, it’s lacking in originality. Not giving away any spoilers, I would have to say that I’ve seen this plot device used in comedy’s and animated features in the past. It’s a only minor criticism because of what BrainEngagement manages to do. In roughly 15 minutes BrainEngagement has more laughs, love, and charm then some other movies have with a full length runtime.
BrainEngagement does what I feel every short film should try to carry out. It gets the viewer excited about what they just watched, but also leaves them wanting more content in the same universe. More of the continued relationship between Ben and Anna, and more of Ben’s hilarious internal emotional struggles.
Bailiwick is the story of John, a lonely, quiet man who is given a gift that changes his life. Do you believe in magic?
Bailiwick Length: 1Hour 36Mins Written and Directed by Tonia L. Carrier
John is a middle-aged man who lives a simple life. His day starts with your usual morning fare: shower, breakfast, etc. He then goes to his office job, which comes complete with a disagreeable boss and coworkers who mostly ignore him. John caps off the night by preparing for another day, identical to the last. During one of these mundane days John attends a magic show. At the show John receives a strange book, filled with detailed instructions for magic tricks. The magician hands the ancient book off and John eagerly accepted the gift. Little does John know that his life is about to change in many exciting and dangerous ways as he slowly masters the magic tricks one by one.
Bailiwick is an independent full length feature film directed by Tonia Carrier. In Bailiwick you’ll find mystery, drama, action, horror, fantasy, and comedy. It’s hard to pin down a specific genre because this film truly has a bit of everything and mostly succeeds in all the genres it attempts. I would say the creativeness of tackling so many genres is one of my favorite elements of the film and helped keep me continually interested in the story. The main character John, played by Dan Gerics, does an outstanding job. It’s impressive to watch an actor navigate these shifting genres and make it seem so effortless. I also enjoy a good narrative build up in a film and Bailiwick doesn’t disappoint. It’s very satisfying to go from that first uneventful day in John’s life which leads to the events that ensue at the end.
While I commend the creativeness of the multi genre approach to Bailiwick, it is also where some of my criticisms lay. Personally, I would have liked some smoother transitions from genre to genre. Most of these problems occur during the third act of the film. Without spoilers, I’ll just say that some of these genre transitions made me question Johns motivations. These criticisms, while a bit jarring, didn’t detract from the creativeness of the film.
Bailiwick is a wildly inventive film.
While this inventiveness sometimes messes with the pacing and flow of the narrative, it is still a fantastic film. If you’re into indie cinema that isn’t afraid to take risks, then give this film a shot. Go to YouTube where Bailiwick is available to stream now.
SYNOPSIS: Two assassins have an hour to kill (so to speak) before their next hit. To help pass the time, they entertain themselves by sharing horror stories to one another. With bizarre titles such as “Valkyrie’s Bunker” “Assacre” and “Hog Hunters” – which hit-man’s story will be deemed most disturbing when all is said and done?
TAGLINE: Before they make the hit, these gangsters shoot the sh!t
RUN TIME: 96 min
COMPANY: Rotten Productions
DIRECTED BY: Aaron K. Carter
WRITTEN BY: Aaron K. Carter / Ronnie Jimenez
PRODUCED BY: Aaron K. Carter / Jacob Harlow
Mel Novak (Game Of Death, An Eye For An Eye, Syndicate Smasher)
Frankie Pozos (LA 143)
Aaron Guerrero (Dead Kansas)
Amanda Rau (Living Among Us)
Joe McQueen (Confessions Of A SuperHero)
Veronica Ricci (Treasure Chest Of Horrors II / Bloody Mary 3D)
Imagine this, a group of young women visit an abandoned hideout in search of a rumored weed stash. A champion competitive eater and video blogger prank a YouTuber by giving him a mysterious gift. A bowling team gets more than they expect when visiting a farm that contains some interesting farm animals. These stories may seem very strange, made even stranger when considering who is telling the tales. An exuberant rookie hitman who is in more danger than what he is aware of.
AnHourtoKill is a compendium of grindhouse inspired short films directed by Aaron K. Carter. The movie ranges in genre from action to horror/exploitation, done similarly in style to films like Creepshow, Trickr’ Treat, andV/H/S. I, personally, am a fan of strange and creepy anthologies and AnHourtoKill did not disappoint.
Pacing is important in a film like this, and AnHourto Kill does an outstanding job. Considering the short time allowed for each segment, the storytelling and character development are great. Plenty of movies can’t achieve these heights, even within a two hour runtime. The writing is also consistently funny and believable considering the wacky scenarios. Also, I have to mention the great acting of FrankiePozos. He plays hitman Frankie and was a standout in the film.
A small criticism I do have with the film is that nothing really ties the stories together. These anthologies really reach true greatness, in my opinion, when all the plots are brought together in a cohesive fashion. The previously mentioned Trickr’ Treat would be a good example.
AnHourtoKill was an excellent film. The entertaining stories and characters were fun to watch throughout despite an overall lack of cohesion between the individual shorts. I would highly recommend this to lovers of action, horror, and comedy. An overall fantastic movie viewing experience.
6 individuals receive an elaborate puzzle cube that acts as an invitation to participate in an escape room challenge. The premise sounds simple. Find your way through a maze of different rooms. Solve an environmental puzzle to escape each locale and you will receive the grand prize: 10,000 dollars. The participants begin to arrive, although some are reluctant. What transpires next is a descent into madness as the contestants realize this game has higher stakes then what they previously envisioned.
Escape Room is a 2019 film directed by Adam Robitel. Although labeled by some as a horror movie, I would classify this into the thriller/mystery genre. It is similar to past films like Cube, Saw, and FinalDestination. In these films there are extreme situations, in which the main characters have to survive. Unlike these films, however, EscapeRoom leans farther away from the gory and torturous elements.
I enjoyed EscapeRoom for what it was, an extremely fun and thrilling experience. It offered interesting and varied locations with characters that you genuinely want to see succeed or fail. The story is engaging and easy to follow unlike more cerebral and thought provoking fare such as Hereditary and Suspiria(2018). Just be warned, set your expectations before watching. If you’re the type that enjoys a good dark stout beer and refuses to drink Miller Lite, this movie may not be for you. EscapeRoom is is definitely horror lite.
So, maybe you’re looking for a good introduction to horror for some of your friends who refuse to give the genre a shot. Maybe you are a parent that wants to upgrade your children from watching Goosebumps or TheHousewithaClockinitsWalls. Or maybe you just want to watch an exciting thriller without all the gore. If any of these scenarios apply then Escape Room is for you.
Hello, Slicers! Here we go with another Reel Review and this time we’ll be looking at the short film ParadiseFear. Written and directed by “Zach Deering”, ParadiseFear is a sci-fi, action adventure short. It sticks to the same tense and frantic fun that we’ve come to expect from a Zach Deering original. CinemaSlice.coms Indie Film Spotlight featured two of Zach’s previous films, SAM and NanoAddiction. Both were highly entertaining. You can check out previous Reel Reviews covering SAM and NanoAddiction at CinemaSlice.com.
Two bounty hunters, played by “Michaela Romain” and “Anastasiia Greca”, are exploring the mysterious planet Paradise Sphere. Known only as a vacation destination, the planet is rumored to have some hidden secrets. As the bounty hunters are walking they observe a ship crash land onto Paradise Sphere. Paradise Sphere gunned down the ship. They begin to look for the surviving members of the wreckage. The plan is to capture the ships survivors and receive a huge payday for their bounty’s. They soon end up uncovering the secrets of Paradise Sphere that could affect the universe forever.
Mark Kelly here and I’m back with another Reel Review. I’ll be reviewing the crime documentary The Monster with 21 Faces (かい人21面相) , directed by MichaelWelborn. The film recently had its world premiere at CinemaSlice.coms A Slice of Fright film festival. The movie is part one of an in depth look at the real life incidents surrounding a wealthy Japanese businessman. It details the attack on his career, friends, and family by an unknown assailant calling himself the monster with 21 faces.
In Japan during the spring of 1984 president of Hashiba Homegoods, Sotara Hashiba(BruceFalcon), is taking a shower at his home one evening. Unbeknownst to him, 3 individuals dressed in dark clothes and white masks have broke into his residence. They have tied up his wife and daughter and are planning to kidnap Hashiba himself. What follows is a decent into mayhem and mystery. Hashiba struggles to protect everything and everyone he holds dear against multiple unknown attacks.