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Solum

Portugal 2019
produced by
Pedro Morgado, Diogo Morgado for SLX Productions
directed by Diogo Morgado
starring Catarina Mira, Darwin Shaw, Carlos Carvalho, Maria Botelho Moniz, Gonzalo Ramos, Francisco Froes, Luís Lourenço, Anna Ludmilla, Cláudia Semedo, Diogo Morgado, Margarida Serrano, Robert Taylor
written by Pedro Morgado, Diogo Morgado

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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It sounds like your typical quite silly reality show idea: Eight contestants - Carol (Catarina Mira), Paul (Darwin Shaw), Liam (Carlos Carvalho), Sarah (Maria Botelho Moniz), Scott (Gonzalo Ramos), John (Francisco Froes), Kristoff (Luís Lourenco) and Emma (Anna Ludmilla) - are marooned on an uninhabitated island, each in their own respective areas, and are supposed to document their respective strategies for survival, relying solely on their wits and the one item they were allowed to bring from civilisation, this item ranging from pickaxe to bow and arrow to medicine box. Of course, while all contestants are somewhat equipped for survival, neither of them is a survivalist per se, so they all face uphill battles - but that said, it's not as bad as it sounds, as each contestant has a device with a button they can press to be saved off the island immediately - and lose the game of course, but at least in one piece. And before long, Sarah needs that button as she has broken her leg in a silly accident and there's no way she can push on - just the button doesn't do what it's supposed to but kills her.

Meanwhile, out by the beach, Scott crosses paths with Liam - and Liam tries to shoot him dead with his bow and arrow, and it's more luck than design that Scott manages to shake him. He later bumps into Paul and Carol, who have decided to share their food and fire at least for the night, but when Scott tells his run-in, Paul just darts off as if he knew something.

By the by, Scott and Carol find the other contestants, and Paul returns as well, and soon enough, they're all on the run from Liam. In a quiet moment, they make Paul talk - but the story he tells is far too fantastic to be taken even remotely seriously. Thing is, at the same time his tale would 100% explain the nightmares Carol is having - only they might not be nightmares, and what our heroes are playing for is more than just the win in a silly TV show ...

 

To state the obvious first, yes this movie is reminiscent of both Battle Royale and in its resolution also The Matrix, and it also shows sprinkles of The Most Dangerous Game - and all of this actually makes for a pretty good thriller. Now admittedly though the resolution is a bit silly and the enviromentalist message hammered home a little too bluntly, but that hardly matters as the film much more relies on tension and action than its third act reveal, and in those departments it does very well, also helped by dynamic camerawork and truly amazing backdrops used to fullest effect. And of course, investing some effort to draw interesting characters brought to life by a competent cast also helps making this pretty cool genre entertainment.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD