Monday, October 11

Welcome to Blumhouse Double Feature Film Review

Blumhouse's recent double feature from their Welcome to Blumhouse series - THE MANOR and MADRES - has strong women leads as well as females at the helm. Is this a dynamic winning combo celebrating women's voices and issues? 

Not quite.

The Manor

Written/Directed By: Axelle Carolyn
Starring: Barbara Hershey, Bruce Davison, Nicholas Alexander, Jill Larson, Fran Bennett

Synopsis: After suffering a mild stroke, Judith Albright reluctantly moves into a historic nursing home where she becomes convinced a supernatural force is killing the residents.

I loved the concept, the ending, the monster, the female lead and writer/director. I wanted to LOVE this movie. I just could not get into it.

Maybe it's because I watched it at 3 in the afternoon, way before the witching hour. Maybe my dog, Piper, interrupted too many times with her squeaky toy. Or maybe I was hangry.

But honestly, it was the acting that felt flat. Barbara Hershey is too young in this role for me. She came off as too vibrant after just suffering a stroke and the beginning stages of Parkinson's Disease. I saw my own active 70-year-old aunts in her and I don't see a strong woman like Judith just giving in and living out her days in assisted living. So right off the bat, this film just could not grab me like I know it grabbed others (like it may you).

Yes, I cheered on Judith's strong will and found her choice at the end to be quite fitting for her character but I guess I wanted a little more years/desperation on my golden girl.

Theresa's Rating
2.00 out of 5.00


Written By: Mario Miscione and Marcella Ochoa
Directed By: Ryan Zaragoza
Starring: Ariana Guerra, Tenoch Huerta, Elpidia Carrillo, Joseph Garcia

Synopsis: Expecting their first child, a Mexican-American couple move to a migrant farming community in 1970's California where strange symptoms and terrifying visions threaten their new family.

Unlike THE MANOR, MADRES is a slow-burn feature. The opening sequence provides a few clues to the twist ending and the town's "witch" is a great device to throw off the viewer and add a little more spooky elements.

It takes a bit to catch on to what’s going on and once everything is put together, it’s sickening  - even more so with the reminder in the credits that this movie is based on true events.

But this film didn't make the impact I know it was trying to make.

I think it's interesting, and a bit sad, that Blumhouse picked up the tragic Brittany Murphy story to produce a dark documentary around when the horrific story behind MADRES is just ripe for that kind of storytelling to get people talking and involved so a difference can be made.

Theresa's Rating
2.50 out of 5.00

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