Lizze Gordon

All posts tagged Lizze Gordon

Escape: Puzzle of Fear

Anyone who has been to an Escape Room knows just how fun they can be! Usually adopting certain themes, the game requires you to solve a series of puzzles within an allotted time in order to escape from the room. If you manage to decipher the clues before the time runs out – you win. If not – you lose. Sounds like the ideal premise for a horror movie, right? Writer Lizze Gordon would agree!

Synopsis

Omar Gooding (Barbershop) and Nicholas Turturro (BlacKkKlansman) feature in this summer’s most terrifying enigma of frights, Escape : Puzzle of Fear!

Hot-shot Hollywood agent Matthew Blake (Tommy Nash) has a dark past. He thinks that he is on his way to a double date with his oldest friend to a new Escape Room in Los Angeles. When the couples are locked into the Escape Room, Matthew quickly finds himself at the center of a revenge plot meant to right the wrongs of his past, with deadly results.

Escape: Puzzle of Fear

Starring Aubrey Reynolds in a pivotal role, the story plays out as you’d expect it. Unsurprisingly, the Escape Room turns out to be more sinister than initially thought. What follows is a series of trials that gradually uncover Matthew’s sinister past. Now, to be honest, this was predictable from the first flashback scene and I don’t think it was meant to be a jaw-dropping bombshell when the secrets are uncovered. However, that being said, there was a nice twist at the end which was satisfying enough to finish the movie on.

Lizze Gordon is definitely a Writer/Director to keep an eye on and certainly making her mark on the horror industry. We recently reviewed her spellbinding feature Coven and this latest feature shows just how versatile she can be. But, as with any upcoming filmmaker, there are always issues with budget. Escape: Puzzle of Fear would definitely benefit from a financial injection to rectify some of the disappointing effects that are used. For instance, whilst the electric shock scene provided a nostalgic trip to the days of yore, the blue lightning effects tend to detract from productions made in this day and age.

Overall

Overall, the movie was enjoyable with quite a good storyline. Think Saw without the gore, combined with a milder I Spit On Your Grave storyline and you’ll be close. Cinematography was great for the majority and the acting was pretty good as well. Aubrey Reynolds in particular delivered a stand up performance and was certainly well cast for the role.

Check out the trailer!

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You can check out the Escape: Puzzle of Fear IMDB page here

Coven Review

I think it’s safe to say that witches have undergone the biggest transformation within the horror genre. Once depicted as ugly, wart-encrusted hags, witches now tend to be portrayed as young, sultry sorceresses. Gone are the pointy hats and broomsticks, with most portrayals focusing primarily on spells, casting and divination. Margaret Malandruccolo‘s Coven is no exception.

Synopsis

Five undergrad witches come together in order to perform a ritual to invoke the ancient powers of the witch Ashura. The leader of the coven gets carried away and accidentally kills one of the witches during the ritual. She needs the strength of a complete coven to invoke Ashura’s powers and sends them out to find a final witch. As she absorbs power, the surviving girls plot to take her down. But the possessed witch unleashes hell on campus with only one young witch left to stop her.

Cited as ‘The Craft meets Suspiria’, Coven certainly shows its influences throughout the movie. However, whilst there are a number of similarities, Malandruccolo adds her own unique take on the genre with spellbinding results. Writer Lizze Gordon also plays the lead role of Sophie, a novice witch trying to contact her deceased mother. Her first encounter with the coven isn’t a pleasant one (involving a magical altercation with an apparition of a snake for good measure) However, feeling that the witches are her only chance of bringing her mother back, she reluctantly agrees to help them invoke Ashura’s power.

With a great supporting cast consisting of Margot Major, Sofya Skya, Jocelyn Saenz, Jennifer Cipolla, Miranda O’Hare and Adam Horner, Coven is a really good movie. With such a low budget there’s some GREAT special effects and, unlike some indie flicks, it isn’t confined to just a few locations. My only issue was the blatant continuity error that occurs just short of the half hour mark. That, coupled with the odd audio blip here and there, is the only reminder that you’re watching an indie movie. Everything else was fantastic.

Summary

If you’re a fan of The Craft, Suspiria and other witchy movies then Coven is definitely one to check out. It’s due to be released on digital and DVD on July 14. Until then, here’s the trailer to enchant you.

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