Greetings Dan's Movie Report readers, across my desk today comes a cool thriller called 'S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice'. I watched the trailer and was impressed by the look and tense nature of the film, thus I give my thoughts just in time for a Halloween 2020, where the terror is real and everyone is home.
'S.O.S.' As I will will call this film for brevity, is an interesting look at a subject very rarely talked about , a balloon ride stranding! With the abundance of balloon ride going on obviously prior to the pandemic, we rarely hear of injuries or accidents, probably due to the safety measure put in place. 'S.O.S.' assumes that the person piloting the balloon was not qualified and thus is doing it to impress two ladies, and another fellow.
Above Photo: The ladies need rescuing! (C) 2020 Vision Films all rights reserved.
There is some back story which is nice, one of the ladies is there with her younger sister who she leaves in the hotel room for some odd reason, a side plot that is sadly only explored in passing is a criminal mastermind played by William Baldwin tries to kidnap or kill the younger sister or the woman, who actually is some sort of thief. Sadly this story is just not developed, but actually it is good it was not as the balloon was the focus.
As a writer I see many of the same formula to make thrillers. 'S.O.S' does a good job in breaking the mold and delivers a tense film, fraught with peril and danger. The two lead actresses really do a kick ass job of bringing the audience into the tense action. They are in real danger.
This is the synopsis: Two sisters living separate lives on different continents are reunited on a Mediterranean Island. The two barely have time to bond and revive family ties as Kate, the elder, meets a group of locals and agrees to an exciting ride on a hot air balloon. But disaster strikes and as the result of a freak accident, the balloon is carried far out to sea. Their cell phones out of range, and the balloon running out of gas, Kate and her friends are battling for their lives. While, back on land, the younger sister, Liz, has become an unwanted "material witness" to a crime. Matters then take a dramatic twist, one that will mark their lives forever.
Jeannine Kaspar and Marianna Rosset are steller actresses. They seemed to get the fear down with the scrambling to stay alive. At one point in the film they use a banner from the balloon and make an SOS sign with two letters being in their blood, it is that serious, Crazy stuff! I really liked how they started out having fun and then just did desperate things to survive!
Overall the acting in the film is good, so is the balloon part of the story. I enjoyed the camera angles and lighting. Obviously they used real balloon flight as part of it, and the film was shot in the island of Cyprus so nice scenery. Director Roman Doronin has the cast tightly wound, perfect for the thriller. I like the frantic parts towards the end, the direction is good as the actresses have proper facial expressions for terror.
My only gripe is the side plot of the criminal activity is kind of not needed as it is not fully explored. William Baldwin has a very minor role, except for one sinister plot, he is mainly a non factor in the film.
Musically the film has dramatic moments and ramps up the tension. Overall 'S.O,S, Survive or Sacrifice' is a very solid effort in the thriller category and rates a definite rent, or a buy if you like thrillers. My rating is 6.5 out of 10, some elements were side story fodder and some were great.
Trailer: S.O.S. trailer
For additional information about the movie:
ships November 17th Streaming Date: October 27th!