End of the Road

“End of the Road” is a 2022 Netflix original thriller starring Queen Latifah (Set It Off), Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious), and Beau Bridges (My Name is Earl).

A mom, her brother, and two kids are moving to Texas after the passing of her husband to try to start a new life. While staying overnight in a seedy motel on their way to Texas, they hear a gunshot go off in the room beside theirs. When they rush over, they find a dead man and duffel bag full of money. The brother takes the duffel bag of money to give them a better life. Now they’re caught up in a dangerous game with a dangerous man who wants his money back.

I love Queen Latifah and Ludacris both, and the plot sounded pretty good. The acting’s good but it’s predictable. I called who “Mr. Cross” was early on in the film, and some off the scenes are laughable. Like for Instance where Queen Latifah has her hands zip tied together but still manages to beat up a group of white supremacists. Not very believable. It’s not a bad movie just not a thriller. I give 6/10.

Intrusion

“The Intrusion” is a 2021 Netflix original thriller starring Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), and Megan Elisabeth Kelly (Who Needs You).

A Woman (Pinto) and her husband (Marshall-Green) move to a small town into a house he designed for them. A break in occurs where her husband kills the intruders. She soon finds out the break in wasn’t random, and her husband isn’t who she thinks he is. He is hiding something dark and sinister.

The acting from Pinto and Marshall-Green is very good, both play great parts. The movie itself though is a little slow and predictable, I predicted early on what was going on when they made a reference to the pipes. It does have a few heart racing moments but overall, it is pretty slow for a thriller. I give it a 6/10.

HollyBlood

“HollyBlood” is a 2022 Netflix original Spanish comedy/horror starring Oscar Casas (The Orphanage), Isa Montalban (Just One Time), Jordi Sanchez (L’un per l’altre), Carlos Suarez (Money Heist), and Piero Mendez (Calvin Klein: Spring/Summer 2018).

A shy boy tries to impress and win over a girl at his school by pretending to be a vampire. All is well and working until a real vampire shows up.

I’m typically not a fan of foreign movies due to the subs and dubs not matching up and the dubs not matching up with the mouth movement. This one matches up, and it’s not far off from the lip movement so it’s not bad. It’s a silly, dumb, lighthearted movie, it’s pretty much a spoof on vampire romance movies. There’s not much depth, but it’s funny especially Jordi Sanchez who plays the dad. Overall, it’s a fun watch. I give it a 7/10.

I Came By

“I Came By” is a 2022 original Netflix thriller/mystery starring George Mackay (1917), Kelly Macdonald (Brave), Hugh Bonneville (Paddington), and Percelle Ascott (The Innocents).

A young graffiti artist breaks into elite and rich people’s houses and tags their walls as a way of sticking it to the man. He breaks into a retired judge’s house and finds more than he bargained for.

This is a great thriller, it has its lulls but overall, it’s pretty fast paced and keeps your heart racing. The casting is good especially with Hugh Bonneville. He plays a great predator, to the point you hate the guy and are just hoping he gets caught. I give it an 8/10.

Day Shift

“Day Shift” is 2022 Netflix original Action/Comedy starring Jamie Foxx (The Soloist), Dave Franco (Unfinished Business), Meagan Good (The Intruder), Karla Souza (How to Get Away with Murder), Steve Howey (Shameless), and Snoop Dogg.

A down on his luck L.A. vampire hunter (Foxx) has a week to come up with some fast cash to pay for his daughters braces and tuition. When he kills and defangs an older vampire, he unknowingly causes a chain of events that results in a much more powerful vampire coming after him. Not only that but he is stuck with a union worker (Franco) assigned to watch his every move.

This movie is star studded. Jamie Foxx is a brilliant actor and Dave Franco is one of the funniest guys in Hollywood. So, them teaming up together to hunt vampires, you know it’s going to be good. Plus, you get to see the Dogg father himself hunt vampires, where else are you going to see that? “Day Shift” has the perfect blend of action and comedy to make it a great watch. Don’t get me wrong it is plenty violent with them killing and defanging vampires, but with the comedic relief it makes it a pretty lighthearted action film that will appeal to most. I give it a 7/10.

Spiderhead

“Spiderhead” is a 2022 Netflix original thriller starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Miles Teller (War Dogs), Jurnee Smollett (Birds of Prey), and Mark Paguio (The Twelve).

Instead of going to prison several convicts are participating in a study on a secluded island that involves them taking drugs that’s able to control their emotions such as love, fear, and paranoia. One of the prisoners (Teller) believes something much sinister is going on, and he intends to find out what.

It’s a unique story and has a solid ending. My issues with it are I don’t think they do quite enough with it, it seems to be lacking a bit. Also, the majority of the twists are pretty predictable, I predicted pretty much all of them. Doesn’t mean they’re bad twists, I just saw them coming. The big thing that saves this moving is the acting. It stars the god of thunder himself Chris Hemsworth. I Love Hemsworth, he has the big goofy guy role nailed down, but he’s also a versatile actor. He plays the creepy part very well in this one, not to mention the acting from Teller and Smollett are also pretty solid. I still think it’s worth checking out though, I give it a 7/10.

John Carpenter’s Vampires

“Jon Carpenter’s Vampires” is a 1998 Action/Horror movie based off the book “Vampires” by John Steakley. It stars James Woods (Family Guy), Daniel Baldwin (Cold Case), Sheryl Lee (Twin Peaks), Thomas Ian Griffith (One Tree Hill), and Tim Guinee (Hell on Wheels).

Jack Crow (Woods) is a vampire hunter, and when his crew is attacked and killed by a master vampire, he seeks revenge. He is aided by a priest, his right-hand man, and a prostitute who was bitten by the master vampire. He must hunt down and kill the master vampire before he obtains a relic that allows vampires to walk in sunlight.

This movie hasn’t received a whole lot of love, and it’s fairly unknown. John Carpenter is a great horror director as he is the one who directs the “Halloween” series. I came across this on Netflix and decided to give it a try. First off it is cheesy, it stars B list celebrities, and they are hunting vampires with giant pistols and machine guns. Not to mention James Woods the entire movie is wearing dark sunglasses and a black leather jacket, even though they’re in the desert. So, yes, it’s cheesy. Sounds awful, right? Strangely, it’s the total opposite, it’s awesome. Watching vampires get pumped full of lead by B list celebrities and cheesy dialogue is one of the most 90 things I can think of. It’s fun, exciting, and I enjoyed it so much I ordered the book to read. This is a hidden vampire movie gem. I give it an 8/10.

The Outsider

“The Outsider” is a 2018 Netflix original crime drama/ thriller starring Jared Leto (Morbius), Tadanobu Asano (Battleship), Shioli Kutsuna (Deadpool 2), and Min Tanaka (47 Ronin).

An American soldier is in a Japanese prison following WWII. He saves a fellow inmates life, and in return the inmate helps him get out of prison and welcomes him into his gang, the Yakuza.

The Yakuza are a Japanese gang who are ruthless and blood thirsty. This movie does a good job portraying that. I’m typically not a big fan of Jared Leto, I find him weird, and bad at portraying emotion. Most of his movies fall flat because of it. However, his character is trying to survive as an outsider in the Yakuza. So, he needs to be cold hearted, his non emotional self, works out for this role. It’s perfect for him. The movie is dark, gritty and full of drama. If you like gangster style movies, it’s definitely worth checking out. I give it an 8/10.

We Die Young

“We Die Young” is a 2019 crime/drama starring Jean-Claude Van Damme (Kickboxer), David Castaneda (The Umbrella Acadamy), Elijah Rodriguez (The Book of Life), Nicholas Sean Johnny (Barry), and Charlie MacGechan (The Girl from the Song).

A young boy is determined to get himself and his little brother out of the hood and not let his younger brother follow in his footsteps. When a simple run of delivering two bricks goes bad, they end up finding help from an unlikely source, a war vet who suffered a terrible accident while deployed leaving him mute, and now suffers from PTSD.

This one doesn’t have much love on IMDb 5.2/10 stars. Looking at it from Jean-Claude Van Damme’s perspective I get it. His character doesn’t say a single word, which would be okay if it added to the story, but it doesn’t. There’s very little action from him, you could take his character out, and it’s the same movie. So, pretty much his character is pointless and doesn’t add anything to the movie. So, it the movie good? Yes, and the reason why, is because of the other actors, especially David Castaneda. He nails the gang leader roll, crazy eyes and all. It’s a gritty gang movie, with a couple of twists you won’t see coming. Overall, it’s worth the watch. I give it an 8.5/10. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.

Choose or Die

“Choose or Die” is a 2022 Netflix original horror/thriller starring Lola Evans (The 100), Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes), and Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street).

A young girl who is trying to make her way out of the slums by coding programs runs across an old computer game with her friend. Once she plays it, she unknowingly gets trapped into playing a game that has dire consquences.

This a truth or dare style horror movie when you have two choices, and each round gets worse and worse with plenty of carnage along the way. I enjoy these type of horror movies, especially if they’re done well and not too cheesy. This one doesn’t have great ratings, but I found it surprisingly good. It didn’t go into much detail how the curse worked, or exactly how it all started, it just covered enough to make sense, they didn’t try to go too far and muddle everything up. Also, it has a pretty unique “final boss” sequence. Just don’t get too excited about Freddy Krueger himself being in it, Englund just does a voice cameo for the game itself. To me the movie works, I give it an 8.5/10, it’s a nice hidden horror gem.