Category Archives: Horror

The Ritual (2017)

Director: David Bruckner
Writers: Joe Barton and Adam Nevill’s The Ritual
Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton. UK. 1h 34m

One of the perks with Netflix is that it gives you the opportunity to watch on the go, which I tried to do with Ritual, but after watching the opening scene I had to stop the film, get home, get comfortable and absorb this film as it instantly grabbed my attention.

It opens with a few guys, not really willing to admit they are getting older but needing to get out on an adventure,  or just the yearly lads holiday, Ibiza!? no they are getting to old, camping, that’s too boring.. so what? The discussion goes into the street and on the way home a couple stop to get some vodka, the night is young and it must be continued while picking up the booze in the offie, they become aware that the place is being robbed, Luke (Spall) hides behind a display while his best friend tries to talk the situation down, it doesn’t work they start attacking him, and he bleeds to death while staring at his cowardly friend… this is the first lesson of this movie but the location changes to the deep dark forests of Sweden and the stakes get higher. Continue reading The Ritual (2017)

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Slash Dance (1989)

Director: James Shyman
Starring: Cindy Ferda, James Carroll Jordan, J. Buzz Von Ornsteiner. USA 1h 23m

This movie was brought to my attention from fellow Twitter reviewer, Christopher Zisi @cjzisi Who is the master of all B-Movies,  and in this case I just couldn’t resist and I had to give this one a go  as it really did seem too good to miss.

A super tough female police officer who believes that she could probably kick Cynthia Rothrock ass,  goes undercover As a dancer in a old theatre and order to uncover who has been killing young girls auditioning for particular role. Continue reading Slash Dance (1989)

Repulsion (1965)

Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Yvonne Furneaux. UK. 1h 45m

In Polanski’s highly thrilling black and white drama that kick started his tenant trilogy (which consists of  two other classic films  The Tenant (1976)  starring Polanski himself,  and the Cult classic Rosemary’s Baby (1968) ,  and this dark thriller, a young beautician drops deep in a claustrophobic insanity possibly spurred on by a suppressed family trauma as her feline sexuality sparks great interest from many suitors.

Repulsion is strangely enjoyable, and is a deep internal  nightmare that transpires through any age, and is easily relatable to. Adapted by Gérard Brach it is fantastically brought to life by Polanski and on a meager budget of £65,000, this debut  English film the budding director lost his footing at first, but as the dialogue vanishes he turns up the atmospherics and the results are quite dark and bold.

A beautiful timid girl Carole (Deneuve) is left alone in an apartment shared by her sister and her sisters husband, they are off to Europe for their holiday, leaving her some outstanding rent money for an angry landlord they skip town. Instantly the first cracks start to show in the relationship with her boyfriend  and soon she starts making mistakes at work. Very slowly we see the layers of Carole’s psyche peel away leaving a vulnerable kitten and murderous vixen.

It’s quite easy to write off Carole in the early throes of the films, you hardly notice the little mouse in contrast of her sisters sultry boldness overwhelms her and she spends a lot of the time hiding behind her bleached blonde 60’s bouffant hair, but as her character changes, she starts to give up the goods and her performance is tremendous, her charisma teamed with the reclusive scenes of the apartment and shocking effects persuades the

viewer to miss the realities of what’s going on. Blending themes from Dementia 13 (1963) and Persona (1966).

The ingenuity of the effects are really beautiful not only do you literally see the cracks appearing in Carole life but her fears are coming out of the walls and dark shadows of her apartment. Polanski plays the art house card now and again, there are silent shots of rotten vegetables and dirty plates that co exist with the knife wielding madwoman episodes, but

these are short and frantic, but cause as many ripples as any Hitchcock Psycho scene and emphasis her meltdown and the effects it’s having on the real world.

It’s hauntingly stark at times but a real tour de force once it gains momentum, the horrific faces of the returning couple finding their apartment in disarray reflects the faces of any avid viewer. It’s very unusual for this style of horror/ thriller to have a knife welding psychotic serial killer but with several hints at previous sexual abuse and possible incest it’s no real shocker that this girl is this fucked up.. Her next step would be Haute Tension (2003)

Rating 8/10

R: Haute Tension (2003) , Dementia 13 (1963), Persona (1966), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Tenant (1976)

L: Black and White Thrillers, Femme Fatals
5s : Roman Polanski

Post Discussion.

 

Devil’s Domain (2016)

Director:Jared Cohn
Starring: Michael Madsen, Madi Vodane, Linda Bella. USA

This generic horror with a skeletal plot manages to detail scary elements of cyberbullying along with the moral conundrum of revenge,  but with so much being regurgitated from olde fables and other films it only has a few minor saving graces.

Lisa Pomson (Vodane) is a troubled teen who has been drawn to the drama and tribulations of social media and  is totally addicted,  as for  most of the teenagers she  clashes with her parents on a regular basis, her father Bill, ( Marsden) tend to just laugh everything off assuming that she’ll just  learn from her mistakes, while her mother tends to come down on her like a ton of bricks judging everything and making her come parents this with the Bible.  it’s a good thing they don’t know about her other bad habits,  and even seem totally unaware of her eating disorder,  but I think we’re supposed to believe that they are good parents!? Continue reading Devil’s Domain (2016)

The Night Flier (1997)

Director: Mark Pavia
Starring: Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle, Dan Monahan, Michael H. Moss USA. 1h 37m.

I’ve never been all that interested in Stephen King novels, I’ve tried reading a few but I’m just not into his writing style, but the adaptations of his books do impress me from time to time, sadly this one had gone unnoticed for quite some time but I’m catching up so bear with me. I had seen a majority of this film from various gifs over the years and never really paid them much attention, it’s not real secret what the film is about, the DVD cover has the creature on it, but still the mystery and chase in the film keeps the story alive and it’s totally engrossing. Continue reading The Night Flier (1997)

Vampire Journals (1997)

Director: Ted Nicolaou
Starring: Jonathan Morris, David Gunn, Kirsten Cerre. Romania 1h 32m

This film fits in between Subspecies 3 and 4 transitioning the story and cast from the original subspecies formulaic structure into something a little more .. a la Interview with a Vampire (1994). This slight detour from the excellent Subspecies series which featured the master vampire Radu and his tiny minions, the blood stone has been abandoned and the strange iconic atmosphere has been up scaled into something more gothic and misty. Continue reading Vampire Journals (1997)

X the Unknown (1956)

Director: Leslie Norman, Joseph Losey
Starring: Dean Jagger, Edward Chapman. UK. 1h 21m

There are a lot of familiarity about this 50’s Hammer Horror sci fi mystery film. Being from the classic horror company there are quite a few familiar faces especially the young round face of Michael Ripper who masquerades with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in a lot of Dracula and other Hammer monster projects.

Sadly Nigel Keale refused to give permission for his beloved character Bernard Quatermass to be used in this pseudo third chapter, but the similarities are there, and this contains the relevant allegorical threads revealing Cold War anxieties. Continue reading X the Unknown (1956)

Limehouse Golem (2017)

Director: Juan Carlos Medina. Original Book : Peter Ackroyd
Starring: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Eddie Marsan, Douglas Booth, Daniel Mays. UK. 1h 49m

Lessons can be learnt from this gloomy victorian epic, it has all of right elements but it just lacks that little je ne c’est quoi. Characters fall flat and the mystery becomes boring and repetitive. Within the elaborate stages and cliche back streets of London, before the time of Jack the Ripper there was the Limehouse Golem, a mysterious killer who slaughtered at will for his audience.

John Kildare (Nighy) is thrown at the case as the powers that be believe the killer can’t be found, so he’s the fall guy, so without any backup and being dangled in front of the media and disapproving public he is forced into action, sparing their prized detective for other simpler cases, but Kildare jumps into the case, almost becoming obsessed; using his brilliant meticulous mind and working with his close friend Officer Flood (Mays) the two are an alternative Holmes and Watson. Continue reading Limehouse Golem (2017)

Lycan (2017)

Director: Bev Land
Starring:Dania Ramirez, Jake Lockett, Rebekah Graf. USA 1h 27m

With all of the success of the Underworld series and countless other werewolf.lycan movies the genre develops into a melodramatic teen scream film with no real direction and hardly any point. We all know the drill about a group of kids trying to dig up a local legend but what we don’t plan on watching is all the boring bits that good films leave out, with them getting lost and talking crap for an hour. But sadly this film will subject you to a lot of “missing” elements which doesn’t build any tension and mades the film all that more tedious.. But.. it’s not a total loss… Continue reading Lycan (2017)

Jackals (2017)

Director:Kevin Greutert
Starring: Stephen Dorff,Deborah Kara Unger, Johnathon Schaech, Deborah Kara Unger, Johnathon Schaech, Ben Sullivan. USA. 1h 25m

This unusual horror, loosely based on retro accounts of cults programming teens starts out well, an point of view break in results in the brutal stabbing of a couple in their bed, the culprit catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror, he’s wearing a mask and heads into the next bedroom, the young girl there recognises him, it seems he’s her brother, she’s concerned about the blood on his hands and runs to raise her parents, the culprit pulls down his mask and returns to the crime scene where he strangles her.

Every family buries secrets. But some secrets won’t stay buried.

Continue reading Jackals (2017)