M.L. Miller here! Because you and I love the horror so much, I’ve decided to post a “Worth Noting” pick along with each of my Horror Countdown choices each day through October. The same rules apply. The film must have been released before September 30th, 2019 to the masses (no festival picks). This means that is available to view in theaters, On Demand, DVD/BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews how you can watch and enjoy these films.
How did I compile this list? Horror is such a broad and varied genre that sometimes, while these choices may not represent the best—something about the film is worth taking notice. Some of these films have similar themes to their counterparts in the main countdown. Some just missed the countdown by an inch or two. Others were just squozed in because there’s nothing like them out there. Others because they have been made available for the first time. One way or another, it’s more horror to enjoy!
I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Worth Noting – THE LANDING!
Though it’s not necessarily horror, THE LANDING is one of my favorite genre films of the year. It’s set up as a documentary and sticks to the bit all the way through. Reminiscent of films like THE CONSPIRACY, LAKE MUNGO, and especially last year’s OPERATION AVALANCHE, this is one film you need to seek out. Released in late 2018, here is my review of THE LANDING. Available on DVD, On Demand, and digital download!
THE LANDING (2017)
Directed by David Dodson, Mark Dodson
Written by David Dodson, Mark Dodson
Starring Don Hannah, Warren Farina, Cindy Lou Adkins, Page Hannah, Arlene Hughes-Martinez, Jeff McVey, Robert Pine, Joe Santaniello, Craig Stepp
While the NASA moon landings have been the hub of many an online debate, Mark and David Dodson take the whole concept of our controversial trips into the unknown into a bold and highly entertaining direction with the mockumentary thriller THE LANDING. This is certainly a film tailor made for those with a hankering for conspiracy and cover-up cinema.
Don Hannah stars as Bo Cunningham, decorated pilot and the sole survivor of the fictional Apollo 18 mission to the moon. When the rocket drifts off course during reentry, the world feared that the three-man space crew had perished in 1973. But it turns out, Cunningham was able to land the ship on the other side of the world in a remote area in China. Stranded and alone, the three astronauts struggled to survive in the barren terrain, but when rescue crews made it to the crash site, only one of the astronauts was found alive. The mockumentary depicts a present-day investigation (set in 1998 in the film) and attempts to get to the bottom of what exactly happened in the days between the Apollo 18 went off the grid and their eventual rescue. What unfolds is a complex tale of betrayal, heartbreak, and death.
THE LANDING works on every level. The film is utterly convincing and if one didn’t know that there wasn’t a real Apollo 18 launch, I imagine this film would be mighty convincing that it actually existed. Filmed as a straight up documentary with only a few recognizable actors, this one feels as authentic as they come; combining aged footage of takeoffs, training, landings, scene recreations, and faux news clips. Even the footage recreating what might have happened before and after the mission feels absolutely real.
And while this film seems like a cut and dry case of mechanical failure at first, it unfolds like any good mystery to reveal detail after detail that points to some kind of unnatural acts that occurred during and after the mission. Like any good documentary, the mystery deepens as the interviewers get to know the key players, most importantly the inscrutable Bo Cunningham. Actor Don Hannah is stunning in the lead as Cunningham. His performance gives very little away of what is going on behind his steel exterior and as the story proceeds and we find out more about his backstory from others who know him, we find out that the all-American astronaut is anything but that.
THE LANDING is a fantastic character driven thriller presented in a unique and brilliant format. There are surprises at every turn and the story moves from a cut and dry retelling of a failed NASA mission to a deeply emotional and heart-wrenching tale of tragedy and dire consequence. If you enjoyed last year’s OPERATION: AVALANCHE, you’ll love this excellent faux documentary. This is one of the best films you haven’t heard about yet. Do not miss it.
WORTH NOTING SO FAR…
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
Interested in advertising on MLMILLERWRITES? Feel free to contact me here and we can talk turkey!
Don’t forget to share and like! Happy Halloween!