Movie Reviews: ‘The Escort,’ ‘Ouija,’ ‘The Accountant’
Starring: Derek Ramsay, Lovi Poe, Christopher de Leon, Jean Garcia
Director: Enzo Williams
Rating: 2 out of 5
Would you sell your soul to the devil in exchange for a life of comfort? Williams’ “The Escort” takes a sizable bite out of the intriguing narrative conceit of Adrian Lyne’s “Indecent Proposal.” But the answer the visually delectable film (thanks, Lee Meily and Sherman So) offers ends up getting mired in static, slow-grinding scenes that meander aimlessly as it revels in its characters’ amoral lives.
Williams spins his humorless yarn about a reluctant escort (Poe) and her narcissistic pimp (Ramsay), who get dragged into deadly situations when they fall in love with each other.
If all you want is to see Lovi and Derek in various stages of undress, you’ll probably find something creepily satisfying about the film. But if you yearn for some useful insight into the skin trade it’s supposed to examine, you’ll most likely leave the theater empty-handed—unless you’ll see something we didn’t.—Rito Asilo
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Starring: Elizabeth Reaser
Director: Mike Flanagan
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Cash-strapped widow Alice (Reaser) and her daughters, Lina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson), make ends meet by fortune telling. Their luck begins to change for the better when they obtain a Ouija board that allows Doris to communicate with dead people. Alice treats it as an opportunity to help people, by giving them the closure they need after the death of their loved ones.
But, the board also attracts restless spirits who see Doris as a “vessel” they can use to settle old scores and scare people out of their wits. Doris’ situation goes from bad to worse. Can school principal, Father Tom (Henry Thomas), help them shoo the sinister forces away?
The film utilizes a predictable structure common among horror flicks: There’s a vulnerable child, a house with a sordid past, and Cimmerian entities that go bump in the night.
It’s scary, but its manipulated scare tactics are sometimes devoid of logic. The absence of urgency in the characters’ faces—especially when a dead body suddenly drops from the ceiling—gives the movie’s compromised lucidity (and stupidity) away. —Rito Asilo
Starring: Ben Affleck, JK Simmons, Anna Kendrick
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Christian Wolff (Affleck) appears like a typical accountant, belying the fact that he’s actually well-versed in a number of fighting styles. He registers on the radar of a Treasury agent (Simmons), who’s tracking down the mysterious man linked to suspicious figures around the globe. Unknown to many, Christian is a highly functional autistic man living a double life. He excels at everything he puts his mind into.
Christian then investigates an embezzlement case in a robotics company, which was first brought to the attention of accountant Dana (Kendrick). But a hitman (Jon Bernthal, both charismatic and menacing) intends to keep the misappropriation hush-hush, and goes after the two audacious auditors.
Christian had the odds stacked against him growing up, and his story of transformation is effectively told in moving flashbacks. Not as affecting, however, is the twist that you could see coming from miles away. —Oliver M. Pulumbarit
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