Tim Weber returns to his childhood home in Somerset to take claim over the family business from his father who recently deceased. When Somerset residents start to disappear and severed body parts are discovered, the idyllic and peaceful lands of the small village are stirred, whisking together an agitated hornets’ nest of confusion and trouble. The truth surfaces when two Nile crocodiles reveal themselves, snapping off the heads of ewes and shredding the shriveled bodies of elderly ladies. Hunting parties form and traps are set to snare and kill the semiaquatic predator, but are the crocodiles just a facade for something more nefarious? The crocodiles must be stopped at all cost, but the hidden beneath the very noses of the townsfolk stealths the true danger.
While Lionsgate’s distributed UK film “The Hatching” may sound like a serious creature feature, the Michael Anderson directed 2014 film, shot on the Somerset location, is actually a horror-comedy with tea kettle loads of dry English charm and wit. “The Hatching’s” cheekiness stems from deploring a misconception that it’s actually a creature feature story of two crocodiles lurking prey from the watery ditches of Somerset and does a good job at it. The tension stagnates of something far more sinister about Somerset is quite evident, but doesn’t slap you square in the face until the obvious pivot. Anderson is able to keep the attention on the crocodiles with the help of the story’s preface of young Tim Weber and his mate Baghi stealing two crocodile eggs from a zoological establishment and witnessing their other friend becoming crocodile dinner during the process. Yet, the farce still plays out until act three when the town masks a real threat to their residents.
To quickly sum up the impression of “The Hatching” is to be frank that if “Jaws” and “An American Werewolf in London” had a crack baby, “The Hatching” would be the epitome of that said crack baby. I had a strong inkling that “The Hatchling” felt too familiar with the John Landis’ iconic and pioneering werewolf comedy of an American backpacker becoming attacked by an English werewolf. That suspicion revealed to be more physically prominent as to learn that director Michael Anderson had worked on “An American Werewolf in London” as a clapper loader, so there may lie some inspiration. Even the townies Russell and Lardy discuss the possibility of werewolves in Somerset responsible for the killings of sheep and maybe even the disappearances and a few shots of the moment eerily donned that retro homage, an oral sign of respect to the Landis movie.
To get down to the brass tax, “The Hatching” may have the intentions to bite hard like a giant crocodile, but lacks coherency at times, as if time and space were not something considered for the sake of clarity and storytelling. The Nick Squires inaugural script is all over the place with transitions not quite hitting the mark as intended. Characters were also not set up well; point in case with Tim Weber and his employees loathing him for an unknown reason. I get why his uncle Stan despises him, but why Russell and Lardy? The butcher’s boy was the biggest exposition faux pas as his story was nothing more than a brief explanation to catch up on the events at hand.
“The Hatching” is listed as rated R with violence and gore, accompanied with brief sexuality and drug use. The crocodile gore is modest at best with more of the gore being delivered by way of other means and not by the two beasts. The overall horror related effects weren’t shabby or shoddy as most of it, if not all, were practical effects and, by the grace of God, not computer generated. Granted, scenes of the crocodile out of water were obviously of not a real creature, but still real looking enough to scare the bejesus out of some poor soul. Real enough to parade around the streets of Somerset on a shopping cart, as in one scene with Russell and Lardy.
Lionsgate presents “The Hatching” DVD in a 1.85:1 widescreen presentation with an English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio mix. The DVD also comes with an digital ultraviolet that can be played on any device. Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes segment entitled “Beneath The Surface of The Hatching” and a trailer gallery. “The Hatching” may not be for everybody; with the dry English comedy and the sub-genre identity complex, the film may even piss off some hardcore horror fanatics, but I firmly believe “The Hatching” has more respect for it’s elder films than it does in itself and that’s the quality most films seem to hone into for a quick stint of popularity.
What truly makes an ultimate killer and when I say “ultimate” I mean a killer with great power and will stop at nothing to get a prey? Jason Voorhees is an ultimate killer as he’s able to resurrect over and over and over again in order to slaughter mischievous camp goers. Michael Myers is an ultimate killer as he’s able to pick a victim up by the victim’s head and gouge his eyes while crushing his skull at the same time. Both Voorhees and Myers contain a certain kind of ruthful, limitless evil that makes Ted Bundy and Ed Gacy seem like cut and cuddly kittens. These ultimate killers are the very definition of the moniker. We can now add one more name to that list: Thorn.
Jess and three other survivors look to save their town and see revenge after a night of hell four years ago, February 29th – leap year. Every leap year, Thorn, a vicious, supernatural, and unstoppable killer, roams the town of Avondale to reek chaos and death until he locates his sacrifice. Four years later, Jess and her friends are able to capture Thorn and when their decision to kill Thorn backfires, another night of hell ensues and this time nothing will stop Thorn from taking what Thorn seeks.
The character that is Thorn is a mixture of Jason Voorhees and the DC Universe and Batman villain Bane in a sense that while Thorn has an immense amount of strength and rejuvenation, Thorn is dependent. Bane relies on Venom to induce superhuman strength. The same goes for Thorn but with his mask giving Thorn also superhuman strength and while Voorhees has his machete, Thorn has two machetes for double the decapitations but he wasn’t limited to just his machetes as crushed multiple skulls with his bare hand and tore a woman half also with his bare hands – best scene ever. This will be Richard Daniel Thomas Holloran (whew) second time playing the Thorn character and he has the slow stalking walk down and the menacing posture that resembles the posture of the iconic horror legend Kane Hodder!
Director-writer MJ Dixon captures the essence of an ultimate killer combining brutal deaths and a silent hatred while giving Thorn his own murderous theme soundtrack that is a necessity amongst all ultimate killers. Dixon’s editing techniques are top-notch and can rival many of today’s A-list directors; he has talented eye for editing and from “Legacy of Thorn” and “Slasher House” (a semi-sequel to “Legacy of Thorn” – read my review here), I’d trust the director with my low-budget screenplay and precious backing money. I’m certainly thought fond of the linear progression of current time and the reverse chronological order of four years ago when the group of friends were attacked. This editing choice resulted in more dramatic character developed. I actually give a shit about these people who are being hunted. The writing could use a bit of work especially in the first act as the pace slowly builds. There was also a scene where the hero characters – Jess (Jade Wallis), Eric (Paris Rivers), Alice (Jane Haslehurst), and Clark (Craig Canning) – kept debating why they should or should not kill Thorn. Another little annoyance was the blue tint. Much like in Slasher House with the yellowish green tint, Dixon’s heavy hand on blue tint made the film nearly too dark; however, the Duke blue tint did bring an ominous feel. The special effects involved with Thorn’s kills were subtle and the use of slight of hand came off a bit obvious, but overall the deaths were well executed, if I may use that pun.
Thorn will never die like the ultimate killer he is and will need more stories in the future. His Legacy will live on and I hope to see him again in another rampage involving another group of shaken and distressed teens. There definitely needs to be more background on the character as we don’t know much about Thorn but the facts that returns to Avondale on every leap year and the majority of the town has conspired to keep Thorn pleased with their assistance. Lets establish more of that and make it more coherent in Legacy of Thorn: Chapter 3! “Legacy of Thorn” is now available for DVD pre-order in the UK and the US from MyCho Entertainment Group and Red:Fuse Releasing and looking to hit retail shelves on Tuesday October 27th – just in time for Halloween.
Finally! Storage 24 is a sci-fi creature feature that lives and breathes to impress and to entertain! I hadn’t had this much fun with a monster movie since Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield back in theaters of 2008. Both works have a simple premise, a cast of favorable characters, and deadly results for them by a vicious, out of this world thing that just wants to rip anything and everything to shreds without reason. Of course, Storage 24’s smaller setting confines itself to a sole storage unit instead of the broad city landscape that is New York, but Storage 24 builds to be, and develops really well into, a bigger than expected movie.
A military plane crashes in the middle of London. The event seems small enough until the military quarantine the area. Exes Charlie and Shelley are trapped in their powerless storage unit facility during their clean out their belongings with the help of their friends. Lurking in the building with them is the contents that were on that military plane – an 9 foot alien with a killer instinct.
The alien portrayed had me thrilled with the movements and the special effects. The mandibles were a big plus with me as I am a huge Predator fanatic (Sorry Xenomorph fans, but Predator has the bugs beat!). The creature performs in almost stop motion which gave it a more unearthly feel and the way it mangled people lives up to a killer animal on the loose – think Ghost in the Darkness. Unlike Predator, the alien seemed to be more mobile and more crafty by being able to move and hide in the rafters of the storage facility. I know that sounds like an aspect of Predator, but this alien did more with ease and without being bulky about doing it. Less human and more alien – if we knew how aliens existed I’m sure Storage 24 captured the perceptual concept.
I love the films misdirection as you’re sucked into hating one set of characters and sympathizing with the other set during the first part of the film. Suddenly, just before the shit hits the extraterrestrial fan, you’re now rooting for the asshole and the slut who cheated. The laws of a horror movie are null and void at this point.
I’m not completely satisfied on why Storage 24 is being wrongly shunned on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes with both sites sporting around a meager 40% freshness. Perhaps the dorky comedy at the first half of the film is too blame? Maybe the dialogue tracks could have been louder and the actors could have their pronunciation cleaned up a bit? Who knows and who cares? All I can tell you about Storage 24 is how much fun I had and that’s what matters the most about b-movies, right? You can buy your copy of Storage 24 here!