Review: ‘Entwined’ is a dark and intoxicating fairy tale.

Panos, a city doctor, relocates to a remote Greek village to offer his services to the underserved community. It’s love at first sight when he sees Danae, who lives in isolation and with a mysterious skin condition. Determined to cure her, Panos will soon discover Danae is not the helpless princess he thought she was, and time is of the essence for both of them.

With a haunting score, Entwined is often the most effective when you have you don’t know what’s happening. Danae keeps you under her spell with her childlike innocence and otherworldly dialogue. Is she a princess held captive and pure from outside influence? She is positively enchanting. For Panos, that’s precisely the problem. In his attempt to be her hero, he falls victim to the mystery in the forest. Speaking of the woods, they are an entire character in Entwined. As is the ever-burning fire in Danae’s isolated cabin. But is he truly trapped?

Performances are lovely. Anastasia Rafaella Konidi’s work lies somewhere between an 11-year-old girl and a centuries-old seductress. Prometheus Aleifer is everything we need him to be. He is brave, soft, and swept away by the mystery of this young woman. Director Minos Nikolakakis uses a mix of mythology and horror folklore to capture the audience. The cinematography and sound editing add to both the menace and beauty. Bravo to the makeup team for creating such horrifically beautiful pieces that cover Anastasia Rafaella Konidi‘s body. The script’s cyclical nature will both frustrate and fascinate, most likely as intended. Entwined is aptly named. This will become more apparent as you watch. While I was able to predict a major plot point, I did not mind it. The ending was a complete surprise. You, too, will fall under the spell of this irresistible film.

ENTWINED 

OPENING IN VIRTUAL THEATERS FRIDAY, AUGUST 28 WITH A NORTH AMERICAN VOD RELEASE TO FOLLOW ON SEPTEMBER 8 ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS.

VIRTUAL THEATERS (August 28)-Including: Los Angeles (Laemmle), New York (Alamo On Demand), Philadelphia (Philadelphia Film Society) and major cities.

VOD (US & Canada) (September 8): Including: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu,  Direct TV, Dish Network and all major cable providers.

*****Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival and many more.******

DIRECTOR: Minos Nikolakakis

WRITTEN BY: Minos Nikolakakis, John De Holland

CAST: Prometheus Aleifer, Anastasia Rafaella Konidi and John De Holland 

Panos (Prometheus Aleifer), a city doctor, relocates his practice to a remote village and quickly falls for Danae (Anastasia Rafaella Konidi), who lives in isolation with a mysterious skin condition. Determined to find Danae a cure, Panos learns of her dark secret and that all is not what it seems.

RT: 89 minutes; Color; Language: Greek with English subtitles; Rating: Not Rated (Horror/ Fantasy)

Distributed in North America by: Dark Star Pictures

Review: ‘The Prey’ survives cliché.

Undercover Chinese cop Xin (newcomer Gu Shangwei), is on a secret international mission when a surprise raid puts him in a remote Cambodian jungle prison that plays by its own rules. Ruthless warden (Vithaya Pansringarm of ONLY GOD FORGIVES ) sells prisoners as human prey for rich hunters looking for thrills in the jungle. 

After years of hunting down ruthless criminals, Xin suddenly finds himself running for his life. If Xin manages to survive this sadistic game, he’ll walk out of the jungle the same way he came in: as a free man. If Xin fails, he’s just another hunting trophy.

The Prey starts off with a bang, literally. Frankly, the action does not let up from there. I was instantly cheering for our leading man. An audible, “Oh Hell, Yes!” could be heard from me less than 10 minutes in. We’ve all read The Most Dangerous Game, and there are innumerable film versions. The Prey takes a fresh look at the story. Filmed from inside a corrupt Cambodian prison to the surrounding jungle, you’ll find yourself really “feeling” Xin’s (Gu Shangwei) pain, both emotionally and physically. There’s particularly sick humor to the performance of the Warden (Vithaya Pansringarm) that is akin to Ready Or Not. Performances all around are undeniably stellar. One issue that seemed unnecessary was a subplot that dealt with mental illness. It didn’t make much sense to the overall storytelling and in the end, felt silly. On the upside, the action and violence are unrelenting. The fight choreography was wildly entertaining. You will not have time to get bored watching The Prey.  What else could action fans want? Not much.

THE PREY

OPENING IN VIRTUAL THEATERS FRIDAY, AUGUST 21 WITH A NORTH AMERICAN (US & CANADA) VOD RELEASE TO FOLLOW ON AUGUST 25 ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS.

VIRTUAL THEATERS (August 21)-Including: Los Angeles (Laemmle), New York (Alamo On Demand) and major cities.

VOD (August 25): Including: iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu,  Direct TV, Dish Network and all major cable providers.

 

*****Official Selection: Busan International Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival,  Fantasia Film Festival.*****

DIRECTOR: Jimmy Henderson (JAILBREAK)

WRITTEN BY: Jimmy Henderson, Michael Hodgson, Kai Miller

CAST: Byron Bishop, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Nophand Boonyai, Vithaya Pansringarm (ONLY GOD FORGIVES), Gu Shangwei

Loosely based on Richard Connell’s story of survival and adventure The Most Dangerous Game,  THE PREY comes from writer/director Jimmy Henderson and the team behind genre festival hit JAILBREAK.