Shut Eye: Judgement – Funeral (Review)

KaDee Strickland, Jeffrey Donovan in Hulu's Shut Eye

Shut Eye “Judgement” sees Fabiana somehow surviving her fiery end, but not for long.  As the family engulf the hospital where Fonzo’s cousin is interred, Linda hovers worriedly around the burned woman. Charlie arrives and Fabiana recovers somewhat. He turns what she says into news about her cat and Fabiana dies.

Next up is the funeral and the wake afterward.  Meanwhile Charlie works on the long game he has planned for Nadine Davies. Nick is questioned by the police about Emma, he sent her a text and as such is the last person to have seen and communicated with her.

Charlie and Linda come home to find the police talking to their son and he orders them out of his house. The cop investigating Charlie and the psychic community warns him that the city is cracking down on the scammers.

Later, at Fabiana’s funeral, Charlie tells Linda to warn Rita that a guest is wearing a wire. Roger Nash is there to get evidence that Fonzo’s mother charged him for her services. Rita is not overly impressed that Linda warned her.

Fonzo still believes that “White Tony” burned his cousin. Rita tasks Charlie with making sure that Fonzo behaves. She is already angry with her son for killing White Tony’s cousin Lou. Tony eats the last of the shrimp, at the wake, and Fonzo, after being warned that police are outside, attacks White Tony.

Gina takes advantage of a potential threesome to steal a huge diamond ring. She then sells it to buy an apartment for Linda. Charlie’s wife turns up and after telling Gina how much she hates her, gets into a sexy clinch with her “bit on the side.”

Nick is still confused and concerned about Emma and why she left. He asks her “cool” friends if they know and after initially making fun of Nick then admit that are concerned as well. Someone, it seems, is watching Nick and it could well be the police.

Dr. White has halfway convinced herself that “scumbag” Charlie is a saint experiencing real visions. He emphatically does not want the visions at all. Charlie tells White that he wants real medicine to take the things away.

Fabiana’s fiery death after his visions of burning have disturbed him. This, coupled with his latest premonition, of drowning, has left him desperate to get rid of his newest “power.” Dr. White seems to be the wrong person to help him however.

It does seem that Shut Eye may be heading for an ending that will end in tears for all the main players. With the police cracking down on the psychic community and the death of Emma, Linda’s hooking back up with Gina could be the worst possible decision on her part.

The same can be said for Charlie’s long game plans. Despite his drowning vision and the warning from the detective (Sonja Sohn) Charlie is powering ahead with his million dollar scam.

Maybe Charlie can pull it off in time and Linda’s move to reunite with Gina could be her chance to pin Emma’s death on the medium from Vegas.  Of course the biggest issue, apart from everything else, which includes Eduardo, is that vision of Charlie drowning.

Shut Eye continues to entertain. The characters are all interesting and Fonzo, who was initially quite disturbing, and a character that seemed to define despicable, is becoming funnier and more interesting.

The series is on Hulu and all 10 episodes can be watched via the streaming platform.

Cast:

Guest starring Tara Karsian as Fabiana and Evan Arnold as Roger Nash. 

Wrong Turn (2003): The Right Stuff

Cover of "Wrong Turn"

With Eliza Dushku being a hot property (Buffy, Angel, Tru Calling) off television and a cast of well known, if not star calibre yet, actors that included the ever lust worthy Desmond Harrington ( I’ve known full-grown women who go weak at the knees from just a mention of his name) Wrong Turn was a sure-fire money-maker. If not in the cinemas (where it did more than alright), it would reap great home sales benefits for the makers.

It did.

In fact Wrong Turn did well enough that it has spawned four sequels the last of which, Wrong Turn 5 is due to be released later this year. I’m not going to talk about the sequels or prequels. I have no interest in any of them, unless of course Dushku or Harrington show up which is very doubtful.

Directed by Rob Schmidt, Wrong Turn was his second feature-length film. Armed with a more than adequate cast and a straightforward story plus prosthetic makeup effects by the legendary Stan Winston Studio, Schmidt came up with a real winner of a horror film.

Using the age old plot of ‘strangers in a strange land’ aka ‘The Deliverance motif,’ the film places six young people in the middle of nowhere in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. Chris Flynn (Harrington) is a medical student running late for a job interview. He decides to take a shortcut around a four lane pile up and runs into Jessie Burlingame (Dushku) and crew who have had their tyres slashed by barbed wire placed in the middle of a back road.

As Chris literally runs into them or at least their vehicle and effectively renders both cars unusable, he strikes out with Jessie and newlyweds Carly and Scott (played by Emmanuelle Chriqui and Jeremy Sisto respectively) to find a phone to call for help. *On a side note here, Chriqui and Sisto fit so well together that major kudos go to the casting folks and for the actors themselves  for really selling their characters.*

They leave behind Evan (Kevin Zegers) and Francine (Lindy Booth) who have only a few moments of screen time and to live. In the short time they are on the screen they paint a brilliant picture of two self-centered, fun-loving Bohemians who have somehow found one another. Booth also has the funniest line with her, “Come on boy, don’t be a sissy. Take off them trousers.” which signals the beginning of fun and games with Evan. Off screen of course.

Oh, it’s trouser time again.

The first few frames of the film have already shown us that the woods are a scary place in West Virginia and that the local inbred population are a little hard on folks who cross their path. So when the killing starts  we are not surprised. The genius of this film is that the casting works so well and the actors sell their characters well enough that we actually care when they start to die.

We are rooting for them to get out alive and we feel badly when another one is taken by the grotesques of inbred hillbillies who treat the youngsters as prey. As the group is slowly whittled down (almost literally) it begins to look very unlikely that anyone will make it out alive.

The real power of the film is the group of actors who play the victims searching for an escape from the nightmare they’ve found themselves in. The script and the actors all work to get us, the audience, behind them. The whole thing is also helped by the grotesque inbred creatures that are hunting them. We never really get to see too much of them. Even the ‘lingering’ shots of the sleeping monsters are no more than a second or two in length.

No, I don’t want any damn candy!

The FX are top-notch. Speaking of FX, Wrong Turn is the first film to use CGI to brilliant effect in the area of pupils. When one of the group is killed quite graphically, CG was used to show the pupils dilating. According to the ‘making of’ featurette on the DVD, this film was the first to use CGI in this way.

The film delivers an entertaining time with the right mix of terror and humour, a likeable cast and suitable boogeymen to jump at and enough gore to remind you that you are indeed watching a horror film.

It is a ‘must see’ for Dushku and Harrington fans and I’d recommend it to anyone thinking of making a horror film. Wrong Turn show how it should be done with more than two-dimensional characters as the victims and damned scary villains. It moves at a great pace and the humour is well placed.

My final verdict is that it’s one that you should watch with all the lights off…

I spy with my little eye…
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