• Strictly Films

Weekly Roundup Episode 65; Happy BornDay Mariana Marte!


Welcome to not only Welcome to Blumhouse, but also Welcome to another edition of Weekly Roundup! Over the years, my sister has had quite many friends. Some of which I’ve developed special friendships with, that brought a significant impact on my life. One friend that comes to mind especially… Mariana Marte.


Mariana and my sister became friends in the 7th grade, as they cheered alongside for our middle school basketball team. I don’t recall our first encounter, however I would’ve imagined it being quite different from earlier encounters I’ve had not only from my sisters other friends, but just new encounters in general. One of the best traits about Mariana is the fact it didn’t matter who you were, she always make you feel welcomed and made you feel like you’ve known her all their life. The way Mariana goes on about life is having a sincere genuine heart, while having an extremely upbeat attitude that can honestly turn anyone's bad day into a much better day.


Me and Mariana would instantly connect in middle school. The days when she was over at the house would be one of my favorite days. Those days would consist of warm big hugs, her laughing at my jokes or my weird personality, as we engage in conversation just about life in general. The thing with Mariana that differed from most of my sisters friends, was she felt like an actual friend of mine, that genuinely cared about my well being and liked being my friend. Especially one moment in my freshmen year, when she and my sister had a small confrontation, she would come sit along side with me as we watched television together… I don’t know why I still remember this moment, but that moment felt like she had trust in me that she can go to me when things in her life weren’t going oh so well.


Which in due time… That’s exactly what my friendship meant to her. When she was going through a breakup 8th grade/freshmen year, my sister had told me she insist in requesting me to talk to her while she was going through this ordeal. We would have a good ten, maybe fifteen minutes conversation on the phone, as I was helping her get over her breakup as reminding her that he’s an idiot and that she’s too wonderful to be upset over someone that’s not worth being upset for. Not only Mariana was thankful for my help, she would go on to make a FaceBook video about it… I think it was apart of a “If you like my post, I’ll make a video” thing…. Simpler times I say.


Our friendship was not one side does it all kind of thing, when I was in a somewhat similar dilemma… Mariana would also be there for me. There was a time in which I gotten myself invested with her best friend from summer, to when we met in the beginning of the school year. Within that investment: Things had headed south, to the point where I was feeling emotionally unstable, to the point where I was in tears. Mariana spent a good half an hour, maybe an hour on the phone with me, helping me get through this ordeal. Because of Mariana’s help, I was able to pick myself up once again and get back to my normal self, as I’ll always be grateful for her during that time. That’s the kind of friendship me and Mariana would have: A Friendship in which we would be there for each other, had complete trust where we could talk about anything we were feeling and be kept in secret, as it would continue for years to come.


Mariana’s friendship would not be the only thing that has impacted my life in general, what has made a major impact on my life is Mariana herself. I feel a great amount of inspiration with regards to Mariana as an individual. She is a hard working, goal driven independent woman, whom is open to take on risks without no hesitation, as often times success comes her way and when it doesn’t?! She moves onto the next thing. Mariana has a pure mind, heart, and soul… You can feel a sense of relief because no matter who you are as a person, Mariana will be there with open arms as she’ll accept and love you. Mariana day in and day out, has put in a great amount of effort in giving herself a reason, why she should be excited about today, why she needs to show her wonderful smile to the world, and why she feels the need to bring some form of happiness to everyone she meets… There’s not many Mariana’s in this lifetime.


This has been a great 12 years of friendship I have shared with Mariana indeed. The only regret that comes to mind with regards to our time spent together, has to be why there wasn’t more memories to be shared? If there’s anyone whom I would love to spend a great amount of time with… It would have to be the likes of Mariana, who can always cheer me up on any day.


Thank you to Mariana for everything you have done in my life, all the memories we’ve shared over the years, and all she has done for everyone else’s life. God has done many blessings on my life, but being a friend of yours is one of those blessings indeed. Happy BornDay Mariana! I love you oh so much, I miss you oh so much, as I hope you have a blessed year and make sure you don’t change a single thing… You have stayed true to yourself for 12 years now, never stop and to those that want you to be different can fall back because they don’t deserve your time nor attention. God Bless.


I guess it’s time to talk about… MOVIES!


Bingo Hell Grade: D

If you’re unfamiliar with Welcome to Blumhouse, it’s a collaboration between Amazon Studios and Blumhouse Productions, bringing us 4 horror films in two separate weekend.

The first film to start off with is Bingo Hell and… Rough Start. I understood the meaning behind the film, as opportunity of high fortune can somehow ruin a community. We often see what wealth can do some people, as each and every week of this high end Bingo game appears… Everyone in the community is extremely rude and overly obsessed at the chance of winning the big bucks, as they forgotten the true value of the community.

One of the things I really despise about Bingo Hell is tone. Like it felt like I was watching a really bad sit com within this film, only not only is it not funny but the way the characters interact with each other is extremely abnormal. All the characters don’t act like human beings at all, like I couldn’t take any of them seriously because how could you?! I felt like I was on a different planet.

The horror aspect is L A M E!!! It thankfully delivered some unintentional funny moments, but within the horror it was embarrassing as it all felt extremely cheap and the death sequences were poorly thought out.


I felt this film had a nice idea and had a nice message, however just didn’t set a proper tone nor had the budget to create quality scares, quality violence, and quality entertainment.

Overall, Bingo Hell is a bad film. I don’t recommend this film, instead go watch 3 From Hell… The main antagonist of this film played by Richard Brake is in it, you’ll have a much better time there.

Black as Night Grade: D

The next film from Welcome to Blumhouse is Black is Night; another vampire movie… I thought we all agreed we’re no longer making these kinds of movies anymore.

When it comes to the main antagonist within his evil plan, you can sense that it’s not only not thoroughly thoughtout but attacking the victims he’s attacking doesn’t better the community he’s trying to help. This film is set during 2020, as images show masked people rioting… How come things look completely normal, like nothing ever happened?! I mean if you’re going to capture that setting, at least be accurate. This film ends with a cliff hanger, hoping to achieve a sequel… Please God, No! This film t’was very forgettable and can be considered disposable in all the vampire like films we’ve so many times before.

Overall, Black as Night was bad. I don’t recommend this film.

The Manor Grade: C

The Manor without a doubt is the best film offered from Welcome to Blumhouse of this year.... That’s not saying much, however at least it’s something.

The Manor offers us a storyline that keeps us invested for the most part. You want to understand what is happening with Judith (Barbara Hershey) in this retirement like facility, as what is going on in this home?! At least for a good 80 minutes: The film made me fairly interested in what’s going on, so at least it has a story worth being invested in. I say the horror aspect is alright, some cool little special effects here and here with the entity.

The thing with The Manor is I don’t understand why Judith’s family feels the need, to have distrust in what Judith has to say?! Like she was brought in this facility because she fainted, it’s not like she was put in there for an actual medical reason, it appeared she just got dehydrated from the event. So if Judith felt there was actually something going on in this home, maybe you should trust her since her mind is all there still?!

The ending…. Eh?! The characters decision making doesn’t make much sense, given the fact all the time that was put in to discover what was going on and how to stop it, like eh I don’t like it at all.

Overall, The Manor was ok. I don’t recommend this film.

Madres Grade: D-

Welcome to Blumhouse wraps up with the worst entry: Madres.

Madres attempts to bring awareness to an important matter, dating all the way back in earlier times that is supposedly happening right now. You can appreciate little effort in bringing awareness, however in a film like this… It doesn’t at all feel genuine, as it feels like a total excuse to make a shitty ghost horror film.

The thing that bothers me the most about Madres was there is no justification, in which this film had to have a demon like spirit?! Like this film could’ve still have been a horror film without this entity in the film, the people behind what terrible doings they’re doing are terrifying enough, you don’t need to add this Conjuring like entity in your film that feels so out of placed. The film is also extremely boring, it’s not interesting nor scary at all, it’s extremely dull. The film is also predictable, I knew exactly what led to the woman having troubles with her belly from the beginning.

With regards to the pesticides conflict… I felt it was poorly developed. Like nothing was going on in this small town, as randomly the main character found a newspaper article claiming the pesticides of the crops is making everyone sick, so now all of a sudden according to her the crops are tarnished?! No one in this town has felt sick in anyway, so what the hell is she talking about?! It felt like the film was trying to create a plot and finally decided to create one, due to the fact someone discovered a newspaper visiting a local library. The film was offensive to me, it didn’t felt genuine it felt like an excuse so someone can make a shitty horror film, I don’t believe they care about the cause they were bringing awareness to.

Overall, Madres was terrible. I don’t recommend this film. Well this years Welcome to Blumhouse…. NOT GOOD! Hopefully next year it’ll be better… We can only hope. -Mitch Smietana


3 views0 comments