ROBERT

5 out of 10

Director: Andrew Jones  (Cabin 28 / The Toymaker / Robert 2 / The Exorcism of Anna Ecklund / Conjuring The Dead / The Haunting At The Rectory / Poltergeist Activity / The Last House on Cemetery Lane  / Theatre of Fear / Amityville Asylum)

Cast: Suzie Frances Garton, Lee Bane, Flynn Allen, Samuel Hutchison, Megan Lockhurst, Annie Davies, Ryan Michaels with Cyd Casados and Judith Haley

Writer: Andrew Jones

Trailer: ROBERT

roberBased on a true-story, Robert has all but a passing resemblance to anything ‘factual’. The names remain the same and there’s a cursed doll – and that’s all that remains intact. The real Robert and his very real curses lives in a glass box in Florida. This film is set in the modern day in South Wales. Yes, we’re back in Andrew Jones (THEATRE OF FEAR) country! The netherworld where the horror film meets the stylistic ticks of a health & safety video.  This time though, they’ve turned some lights off and brewed up some nice chills and spills.

The dependable Lee Bane (CONJURING OF THE DEAD) puts in a solid performance as Mr Otto, a harrassed businessman whose artist/stay at home wife, Mrs Otto (SUZIE FRANCES GARTON – THE HAUNTING AT THE RECTORY) becomes unhinged when her son’s new doll Robert begins to fuck with her head. Left as a present by their former house keeper (JUDITH HALEY – POLTERGEIST ACTIVITY), Robert begins to wreak havoc around the house. Yet the parents think it’s their son Gene (FLYNN ALLEN). As events begin to escalate and babysitters and new cleaners get chased out or murdered, the Otto family pull together to find out more about were the doll came from and how to stop it doing horrible things to people, like bopping them on the head with bog roll holders and loofers.

On the whole, the film is effective where it counts. The doll itself is a wonderful creation and stumps up much of the fear factor all by itself. And for the longest time possible you don’t see Robert up to mischief, so when bowls of sugar are upended in the kitchen and paintings vandalised, it holds a level of ambiguity. Could it really be Gene? Of course it isn’t but the film entertains the notion. The back-story is quite satisfying on this occasion but doesn’t explain why half the cast is populated with Canadians in the depth of South Wales? We never knew South Wales was so metropolitan. There are no ‘duff’ performances in Robert, even the doll isn’t wooden and it could put a lot of low-budget performers to shame.

The outcome is hilarious but still good within the realms of its horror setting, the build up is nice and slow and if I remember correctly, the running time is longer here allowing for a more measured film. Unlike, director Andrew Jones other films, there’s no sprint to conclude things like at the ending , ie SPOILER – the ending of Poltergeist Activity is odd how they runway in car from the the haunted house only to pull over in a layby up the road to escape their torment. SPOILER END.

This is one of Andrew Jones and Lee Bane‘s best films to date and they seem to be improving as they go, with the only blip in ascending quality being the mannered ghost-porno fail The Haunting At The Rectory. So Britpic has high hopes for the Exorcism of Anna Ecklund. it would seem that there’s a bit of gap after that whilst they make their next half a dozen movies. Like we said last time, a genre swap might be good now. Anything but Essex gangsters, though eh?

5 out of 10 – Solid spooky doll movie in the tradition of Annabelle. It’s not amazing but it’s an improvement on just about everything Andrew Jones and his team of talented actors have made so far. Keep up the good work.

Second review below by Matt Usher aka Joe Pesci II

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

BORN OF WAR

2.5 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 1st May 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Vicky Jewson (Lady Godiva)

Cast: Sofia Black D’Elia, James Frain, Lydia Leonard, Lisa Kay, Philip Arditti, Avin Shah, Rafaela Pugh, Jade Hudson with Michael Maloney and Michael Brandon

Writer: Vicky Jewson & Rupert Whitaker

Trailer: BORN OF WAR

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Sofia Black D’Elia: Viral, Project Almanac, Gossip Girl (TV), Skins (TV), All My Children (TV)
  • James Frain: Gotham (TV), True Detective (TV), Agent Carter (TV), All Things To All Men, The Lone Ranger (2013), Water For Elephants, Tron 2, Everybody’s Fine, The Tudors (TV), Into The Blue, 24 (TV), The Count Of Monte Cristo (2002), Where The Heart Is , Reindeer Games, Titus, Elizabeth I (1998), Hilary and Jackie, Loch Ness, Nothing Personal, An Awfully Big Adventure, Shadowlands
  • Lydia Leonard: Legendary, Archipelago
  • Lisa Kay: Indian Summers (TV), Heartbeat (TV)
  • Philip Arditti: Monsters 2, Red 2
  • Michael Maloney: Luna, The C-Word, Summer In February, Sex & Drugs & Rock-N-Roll, The Young Victoria, Notes On a Scandal, Babel, In The Bleak Midwinter, Hamlet (1996), Othello (1995), Truly Madly Deeply, Hamlet (1990), Henry V (1989)
  • Michael Brandon: Episodes (TV), Thomas The Tank Engine -US (voice) (TV), Me & Orson Welles, The Bill (TV), Dinotopia (TV), Dempsey & Makepeace (TV)

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

5.5 out of 10

UK/USA co-production

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 14th August 2015

Director: Guy Ritchie (King Arthur – Legend of the Sword / Sherlock Holmes 2 / Sherlock Holmes (2009) / Rock-n-Rolla / Revolver / Swept Away / Snatch / Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels)

Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani, Sylvester Groth, Christian Berkel, Misha Kuznetsov with Jared Harris and Hugh Grant

Writer: Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram

Trailer: THE MAN FROM UNCLE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Henry Cavill: Justice League, Mission Impossible 6, Sandcastle, Batman vs Superman, Man of Steel, The Cold Light of Day, Immortals (2011), The Tudors (TV), I Capture The Castle
  • Armie Hammer: Freak Shift, Final Portrait, Cars 3 (voice), Free Fire, Mine, Birth of a Nation, Entourage, The Lone Ranger, Mirror Mirror, The Social Network, Gossip Girl (TV)
  • Alicia Vikander:  Tomb Raider (2018), Tulip Fever, The Bourne Identity 5, The Light Between The Oceans, Seventh Son, Son of a Gun, Ex Machina, Testament of Youth, The Fifth Estate, Anna Karenina (2012), A Royal Affair
  • Elizabeth Debicki: Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Breath, The Kettering Incident (TV), Guardians of the Galaxy 2,   Macbeth (2015), Everest, The Night Manager (TV), The Great Gatsby (2013), A Few Best Men
  • Luca Calvani: The Bold and The Beautiful (TV), As The World Turns (TV)
  • Christian Berkel: Elle, Trumbo, Anti-Social, Miracle At St Anna, Leningrad, Inglourious Basterds, Valkyrie, Flame & Citron, Black Book, Downfall, The Experiment
  • Misha Kuznetsov: 25th Hour
  • Jared Harris: Certain Women, Allied, Poltergeist (2015), The Boxtrolls (voice), Pompeii, The Quiet Ones, The Mortal Instruments, Mad Men (TV), Sherlock Holmes 2 (2011), The Ward, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Cashback, Lady In The Water, Notorious Bettie Page, Oceans 12 (2004), Resident Evil 2, Sylvia, Mr Deeds, Igby Goes Down, Perfume, B Monkey, Happiness, Lost In Space, Father’s Day, I Shot Andy Warhol, Dead Man, Blue In The Face, Smoke, Nadja, The Public Eye, Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Rachel Papers
  • Hugh Grant: Paddington 2, Florence Foster Jenkins, The Rewrite, Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (voice), Cloud Atlas, Did You Hear About The Morgans?, Music and Lyrics, American Dreamz, Bridget Jones 2, Love Actually, Two Days Notice, About a Boy, Bridget Jones, Small Time Crooks, Mickey Blue Eyes, Notting Hill, Extreme Measures, Restoration, Sense and Sensibility, Nine Months, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, An Awfully Big Adventure, Sirens, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Remains Of The Day, Bitter Moon, Impromptu, The Big Man, The Lair Of The White Worm, Maurice, White Mischief

DIAMOND GEEZERS

4 out of 10

UK/USA co-production

Release Date: 24th August 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Mark Jackson & Simon Kassianides

Cast: Mark Jackson, Simon Kassianides, Nick Ullett, Mustafa Shakir, Danny Del Toro, Myia Ingoldsby, Nadine Crocker with Rob Locke and Steve Pound

Writer: Mark Jackson

Trailer: DIAMOND GEEZERS

Review below by Matt Usher

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Simon Kassianides: Desert Dancer, Agents of SHIELD (TV), How To Train Your Dragon 2 (voice)
  • Nick Ullett: Down and Out In Beverly Hills

ADULTHOOD

6 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 20 June 2008

Director: Noel Clarke (The Anomaly / 4-3-2-1)

Cast: Noel Clarke, Scarlett Alice Johnson, Adam Deacon, Femi Oyeniran, Jacob Anderson, Ben Drew, Shanika Warren-Markland, Nathan Constance, Cornell John, Wil Johnson, Pierre Mascolo, Don Klass, Arnold Oceng with Red Madrell, Madeleine Fairley and Danny Dyer

Writer: Noel Clarke

Trailer: ADULTHOOD

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

THE BAD EDUCATION MOVIE

7 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 21st August 2015

Director: Eliot Hegarty (Bad Education (TV), The Kevin Bishop Show (TV))

Cast: Jack Whitehall, Joanna Scanlan, Iain Glen, Mathew Horne, Clarke Peters, Sarah Solemani, Talulah Riley, Ethan Lawrence, Charlie Wernham, Kae Alexander, Weruche Opia, Nikki Runeckles, Layton Williams, Jack Binstead, Marc Wootton, Steve Oram, Steve Spiers, Sheila Reid, Tom Davis, David Gant, Richard Glover with Harry Enfield and Jeremy Irvine

Writer: Freddy Syborn, Jack Whitehall

Trailer: THE BAD EDUCATION MOVIE

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

HONEYMOONER

6 out of 10

REVIEW COMING SOON

Release Date: 21st January 2011 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Col Spector (Someone Else)

Cast: Gerard Kearns, Chris Coghill, Daisy Haggard, Al Weaver, Montserrat Roig de Puig, Simon Schatzberger, Billie Higson with Wunmi Mosaku and Lisa Faulkner

Writer: Chris Coghill

Trailer: HONEYMOONER

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Gerard Kearns: Trespass Against Us, The Rise, Shameless (TV), Looking For Eric
  • Chris Coghill: Spike Island, Someone Else, Eastenders (TV), 24 Hour Party People
  • Daisy Haggard: Episodes (TV), Psychoville (TV), Green Wing (TV)
  • Al Weaver: The Last Photograph, Consider Yourself, We Are Tourists, Kill Your Friends, Powder (2011), Unmade Beds
  • Wunmi Mosaku: Philomena, Citadel, Dancing On The Edge (TV), Jo (TV)
  • Lisa Faulkner: What’s Cooking (TV), Murdoch Mysteries (TV), The Baby Juice Express, Holby City (TV), Dangerfield (TV), A Feast at Midnight