Director: Alexandre Aja .
Starring. Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, a few CGI Gators. USA. 1h 27m.
I ain’t gonna lie, Crocs and Gators have always frightened the crap out of me, Sharks are pretty scary and if I were lost at sea then they would be my biggest priority but Gators have the added bonus of being shark like and able to cover some distance on land, which means it’s harder to run from one.. long story short, all those fears eventually came flooding back in this strangely heartwarming and slightly predictable creature feature.
Alexandre Aja really astounded his audience with such classics as the blood lusty hellride Haute Tension (2003) which became a cult classic new wave of Extreme French Cinema which you can find a list of here, and in my opinion a very good remake of The Hills Have Eyes (), but something must have really affected him during Piranha 3D (2010) because he eventually came back swinging with Crawl, a water soaked adventure with a lot of predictability but some cracking scares and a super sentimental bonding story between a father and daughter which set this aside from the stereotypical creature feature where lots of mindless young people are systematically picked off by predators. Continue reading Crawl (2019)
Director: Stuart Gordon.
Starring. Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Jessica Dollarhide, Jonathan Fuller. USA. 1h 35m.
Based on The Outsider by H. P. Lovecraft.
The mashed up face on the movie poster for this lose Lovecraftian movie was somewhat intriguing to me as a youngster but I imagined the film was nothing more than a Quasimodo horror, later on I discovered the DVD in CEX I actually read the back and found that Jeffrey Combs was involved therefore this must be an HP Lovecraft story and I gave it a shot. Continue reading Castle Freak (1995)
Director: Noel Marshall.
Starring.Tippi Hedren, Noel Marshall, Melanie Grifith, Zakes Mokae, Will Hitchins, Jerry Marshall. USA. 1h 42m.
I have so many issues with this “movie” and I can’t say it’s something I settle down with and watch with glee, I fully understand the allure in making something like this, anyone who lives with big cats will appreciate the love and danger of any situation, Tippi Hedren herself did live with many large cats in her home and for her this was a “natural” environment, but even she admitted in interviews after the movie that what started out as a great idea eventually became the worst decision of her life after watching the end result.
The most dangerous movie ever made.
Continue reading Roar (1981)
Director: Nick Lyon.
Starring. Chris Schellenger, Katy Reece, Austin Scott, Laurie Kynaston, USA. 1h 27m.
For a movie made with a “low” budget and special effects from about 20 years ago, it’s not terrible but it’s lacking a bit of energy in places but for a TV horror it’s quite different from the normal gumpf that you get served on a regular basis, but this seems to be by pure accident more than intent. Lyon’s falls into many of the typical horror traps, but it seems to be his style as he’s the father of a huge range of ‘tastrophy movies that all swim in the same stream, but somewhere in there is a fairly interesting story but delivered by a bunch of wailing idiots…
They thought they opened the portal to somewhere cool…
Some bright hopeful students successfully create a portal but unfortunately for them they open a doorway into hell, for some reason the film doesn’t show them coming together for this project, which is that touch of background that really introduces the characters but we’re landed into a situation where giant craters that lead into hell are being reported on the TV and the students are in the thick of it. Continue reading They Found Hell (2015)
Director: Babak Anvari .
Starring. Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz. USA. 1h 34m.
This strange and dutifully tragic movie owes a lot to Cronenberg and H.P Lovecraft despite opening with a quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, that ends with “it echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core”. It’s hard to recognise the significance at this early stage of the movie but recalling back to the character it’s now easy to see how the main characters overall weakness as a human being made him so vulnerable for the nightmare that is about to unfold before his eyes. Continue reading Wounds (2019)
Dee Wallace is one of my favourite ladies of horror, while a shrinking violet of a character she’s often overlooked for her contributions to horror. Often starring with her husband Christopher Stone (RIP), she has thrilled audiences with her great acting and made several cameos usually playing a sweet wife or mother. Personally I’d have preferred to see her as the mother in Lost Boys (1987) as she plays the perfect horror mother so well.
One of the best Werewolf movies from the 1980’s. Combining (in equal amounts) a great story with groundbreaking special effects the result is this cult classic.Dee plays alongside her then, real husband Christopher Stone as a timid big city girl news reporter, the most she see’s of nature is in the zoo. Then Eddie (Robert Picardo) a creepy stalker starts to contact her trying to introduce her to the wild, after a strange altercation in a dodgy video shop she is invited to go to the “retreat” a city girl out in nature for the first discovers the most extreme call of the wild. Dee is a wonderful and beautiful lead in the creative scary film. A proper contrast of the evil Marsha (Elisabeth Brooks) RIP. 8/10 Continue reading 5 Selected – Dee Wallace
Starring. A lotta people WORLDWIDE. 1h 25m.
There aren’t many movies series that I fangirl over but the ABCs of Death and VHS are certainly anthologies that I got my teeth firmly into. I had lost hope for a 3rd part to turn the duo into a trilogy, and in my haste I didn’t realise this strange collection has been compiled. It definitely seems to be a marmite movie, but if you enjoyed the previous then you’ll probably see a lot of charm in this selection of movies which seem to be just as creative and diverse as the rest.
During the original submissions, there was an outstanding amount of M’s submitted, and this ABC, is really an MMM as it complies the 26 favourites from the M list, which begs me to ask why the hell isn’t there a box set of 26 movies for each letter in an epic box set, but alas we have the MMM’s of death to enjoy for now. Continue reading ABC’s of Death 2.5 (2016)
Director: George McCowan.
Starring.Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan Van Ark, Adam Roarke, Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam USA. 1h 31m.
You’ll have to forgive me for the review you’re about to read, but I adore this low budget eco horror which is widely considered to be a very poor movie, but for me it’s cinematic gold and I make very few apologies for adoring it, and thankfully writer Fran Lebowitz agrees with me when she called this movie “the best bad movie I have ever seen in my life.”
If YOU Are Squeamish Stay Home!!!
Many eco horror movies are quite subtle in their approach, the most famous is probably Long Weekend (1978) where a couple struggle to deal with their personal issues while taking it easy in the outback until nature decides to throw them a curveball, but others are more dramatic and usually after some kind of negative human influence, be it radiation, pollution or a truck load of PCP, the wildlife come to life and rally against mankind. From the dynamic Birds from Hitchcock, to Franco Prosperi ‘s Wild Beasts (1984) where a zoo’s water supply is compromised, sending an array of wildlife into a frenzy stalking the city streets. Continue reading Frogs (1972)
Director: Pascal Laugier.
Starring: Taylor Hickson, Anastasia Philips, Kevin Power, Rob Archer, Mylene Farmer, Crystal Reed, Emilia Jones, USA. 1h 31m.
Pascals past record, in my opinion is chequered, in his early career he assisted on one of the most perfect films ever made, Le Pacte Des Loups (2001) he broke the mold and may stomachs with the New French Extreme visceral classic, Martyrs (2008) then let me down with the confusing and long winding, No Slender Man tale of the Tall Man (2012), but he’s come back swinging with a perfect blend of all the best psychological and physical horror from his past, with a sublime film that gives the creeps and will rattle a few cages along the way. His approach to this twisting tale is unique in that it plays on a strange story this is presented from different perspectives each slipping in and out of each other seamlessly but the dynamics are hauntingly beautiful and yet covered in as much nostalgic creepiness as the house it’s set in.
The two young sisters at the centre of this film, couldn’t be more different, Beth (Reed/Jones) is a sensitive horror writer, always lost in her thoughts about Lovecraft inspired texts but faints at the sight of blood, her ballsy sister is pretty awesome, hot tempered and ready for a fight but they are sisters, just so different the fiery Vera (Philips/Hickson) is a delight. Continue reading Ghostland (2018)
Director: Vincenzo Natali. Writer: Stephen King
Starring.Laysla De Oliveria, Avery Whitted, Patrick Wilson, Will Buie Jr. Harrison Gilbertson, Tiffany Helm, Rachael Wilson. Canada. 1h 41m.
The penny dropped after the first hour of watching vivid scenes of tall grass swaying and screaming at lost desperate people in this slightly weary thriller, my eureka moment came when I realised I had seen this set up before, in a well known and once brilliant sci fi movie, The Cube (1997) and fuck me sideways, it’s the same director!?! I might have finally learnt my lesson in doing the technical research before settling into a movie. In a nutshell, that’s it, a folk version of The Cube in a field, and despite it’s best efforts, it’s not much more. The film eludes to lots of probabilities to the origins of its mystery but fails to really give solid answers and ends up as a messy mix of dead ends. Continue reading In the Tall Grass (2019)