02nd Apr2016

Review Round-Up: The Fortune Teller / Brothers

by Phil Wheat


Stars: Michele Simms, Patty Bender, Stephen DeWoody, Chris Dinger, Ana Eligio, Sallie Glaner | Directed by Jon Binkowski


Samantha (Michelle Simms) plays the role of “fortune teller” for all those gullible folks willing to pay for the privilege, but she is a thorough skeptic about paranormal activities and all things supernatural – she certainly doesn’t believe in ghosts. But one night alone in her house, she is about to learn that there are dark forces that don’t care whether she believes or not; they are REAL. Or are they..?

Sometimes it can be incredibly frustrating being a horror fan in the UK. Besides all the cover redesigns, making horror titles supermarket-friendly; we also have to contend with all the goddamn re-titles. Case in point: The Fortune Teller. Originally titled The Visitant, the film was due to be released – if online pre-orders are to be believed – this month under the title of Paranormal Encounter. That was until a couple of weeks ago when the online DVD listings disappeared… But wait, what’s this new film? Unseen on the BVA’s breakdown of forthcoming DVD releases and unseen on the likes of Amazon and Zavvi, but available on the supermarket shelves this week..? Hmmmm, that plot sounds familiar. That’s because it’s ANOTHER retitle of the same bloody film!

And there’s a very good reason this film has gone through so many retitles… To hide it from people looking for reviews of it. Reviews that will – undoubtedly – point out jut godawful this film truly is! For those still interested let me warn you – The Fortune Teller is one of those films that tries to overcompensate for a total lack of believeability and a total lack of that certain “fear factor” that marks out a great horror, with an overwrought and overly-loud soundtrack; ramping up the creepy piano and strings to sometimes unbearable levels, cueing each and every time the audience is SUPPOSED to feel frightened. But believe me, there’ll be one one running in fear from this film, not even horror-movie virgins will find anything remotely terrifying here. May annoying but certainly not terrifying!

The Fortune Teller is out now on DVD from Three Wolves


Stars: Matt Aistrup, Simon Bates, Andre Burton-March, Chanse Campbell, Tom Collins, Lewis Fletcher, Rebecca-Clare Evans | Directed by Angel Delgado


Confession time: I’m not the biggest fan of gangster movies (or “criminal underworld” movies as the press releases often like to call them), especially those made here in the UK, which seem to celebrate a culture that should – in reality – be shamed rather than exhalted. For that’s what most of these types of films do: even when showing the ramifications of living a life of crime, there’s still a part of them that seems to revel in the thugish culture. And that’s exactly what Brothers does. So why take a look at the film? Well as a reviewer you have to broaden your horizons right? Each and every genre has to be given a fair shake, even if you’d had bad experiences in the past… However after watching Brothers I’m not so sure!

The film tells the story of Ryan Jackson, a successful criminal in Manchester. Having lost most of his family, Ryan tries to keep younger brother, Chris, away from his world of criminals and gangs. When Ryan is accused of stealing from his bosses, he finds himself out of his depth. Chris is keen to follow in Ryan’s footsteps and is given the chance to do so when he’s asked to carry out a hit. Unbeknownst to him, his target is his brother…

Watching a film populated by the kinds of knobheads that you have to deal with on a daily basis in your everyday life is NOT my kind of entertainment. Fair enough, it may reflect modern society (or at least a portion of it) but if I wanted this kind of experience I could walk into town, sit down at a cafe and watch it for real – and more importantly for free – out of the window!

A film which will, inexplicably, go down a storm with the same crowd that loved Kidulthood (which wasn’t me), Brothers is released on DVD on April 4th, courtesy of 101 Films.


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