A Castle for Christmas (2021)

A Castle for Christmas
Director: Mary Lambert
Writer: Ally Carter, Kim Beyer-Johnson
Cast: Brooke Shields, Cary Elwes, Lee Ross, Andi Osho, Tina Gray, Eilidh Loan, Stephen Oswald, Vanessa Grasse, Desiree Burch, Antony Strachan, Drew Barrymore
Seen on: 7.1.2022

Sophie (Brooke Shields) is a bestselling author but after a rather catastrophic talkshow appearance and a general creative rut, she decides that she needs to get away. She flies to Scotland to revisit the castle where her family used to work. Once there, she finds that the grumpy duke who owns the place, Myles (Cary Elwes) is looking for a buyer for the castle. Sophie jumps at the chance. But Myles is actually not very willing to part with his estate and has some stipulations that make it necessary for Sophie to spend a few months at the caste wtih him. Sparks start to fly.

A Castle for Christmas has one thing to recommend it, and that is that it has a romantic pairing that is older. Other than that, it is pretty lackluster in its paint-by-numbers set-up.

The film poster showing Myles (Cary Elwes) and Sophie (Brooke Shields) in matching clothes in front of a castle entrance covered in Christmas lights.
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Lights Out (2016)

Lights Out
Director: David F. Sandberg
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Based on: Sandberg’s short film
Cast: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Maria Bello, Billy Burke, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Andi Osho, Lotta Losten
Seen on: 22.8.2016

After the violent death of his father (Billy Burke), Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is left alone with his mother Sophie (Maria Bello). But Sophie isn’t doing too well and seems to believe that there is somebody in the house with them. When Martin falls asleep in school again, they call his sister Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) who thought that she left her mother behind after a problematic childhood. But when she realizes that Martin is experiencing the same issues she had, she knows she has to step in.

The short film this is based on was creepy as fuck, but it was also build on a single scare, making me wonder how well they’d be able to stretch it into an entire feature film. The answer is that they manage pretty damn well by focusing on what is too often ignored in horror at the moment: the characters.

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