Director: Jovanka Vuckovic, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin, Karyn Kusama
Starring: A bunch of people.. Canada/USA. 1h 20m
Horror anthologies can be a lot of fun, what could be wrong with a collection of thrilling stories that aim to excite, shock and thrill? Usually there is little to connect the stories apart from a wrap around. But the delight in XX is that it’s a female themed horror anthology, made by women possibly for women..it’s aim is to show that girls can make horror that is just as good if not better than the boys, but instead we have a few short films which seem to revolve around some incredibly boring women and inconsistently moan about motherhood.
Horror is generally seen as a male orientated genre and this hit back was disappointedly weak. Each segment has its moments and there’s absolutely no problem with the direction and production, but if XX is trying to make some kind of statement then it failed to make it clear.
Beginning with some artistic flare from the work of Mexican stop-motion animation artist Sofia Carrillo, who makes the wrap around that consists of a small critter that travels around a run down house slowly putting pieces together to make a child, tits just another peg in the films woman role board, all the characters are mother, caretakers etc. Continue reading XX (2017)
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)
Director: Roy Belfrey .
Starring.Lanore Van Buren Belfrey, Sanya Belfrey, Don Benjamin, Luenell, Faizon Love USA. 1h 41m.
This all black horror movie takes it’s religion in young people way more serious that I had expected. Being coined as the scariest African american movie of all time I struggled to try and work out what it was in competition with, Blackula (1972)? Abby (1974)? The Sorrows of Elizabeth (2016)? There aren’t too many that come to mind but it’s an subgenre of cinema that I’m not fully clued up on unless it’s a Nollywood epic. Centering around one young girl who thinks she’s too smart for faith, Michelle Jamieson (Lanore) was raised in a deeply religious family but wants to express her independence, by moving away and thinking for herself, when an opportunity arises for her to flee her bible thumping parents she’s takes a scholarship in a medical program and skips town to her aunt’s house, a large mansion which has been in the family for generations but what she encounters rocks her beliefs to the core. Continue reading Matthew 18 (2014)
Director: Xavier Gens
Starring: Sophie Cookson, Brittany Ashworth, Corneliu Ulici Romania/USA. 1h 30m
If there ever was a contender for worst film of 2017 this should be in the shot list. Supposedly based on a true story the film follows an american journalist with a bunch of personal problems and a hated of religion is on a bender to use any story to help sway the minds of the masses against following religion. When a priest is arrested for the murder of a woman he was trying to exorcise she travels halfway across the planet to maximise on the story and help prove his guilt but gets pulled into the age old battle of good vs evil and had to subjectively look at both sides of the story, are demonic possessions real or does it all boil down to mental health issues poorly educated doctors. Continue reading Crucifixion (2017)
Director: Steve Barker.
Starring. Richard Brake, Ray Stevenson, Julian Wadham, Michael Smiley, Julian Rivett, Enoch Frost, UK. 1h 30m.
Military horrors and bunker films have been a unique niche market for some time, when done right they offer a healthy lashing of terror, there hadn’t been much to hit the big screen since Deathwatch, where a team are tormented by supernatural forces in the trenches of WWII, add an element of the occult and science fiction and voila.. Outpost. In this murky horror a team of weary mercenaries are hired to travel into war torn Eastern Europe where they have found a well-hidden and abandoned bunker with a very unusual machine. The wealthy businessman who picks up these seasoned troops, keeps his secrets close to his chest and while he thinks he knows the ins and outs even he’s surprised by depravity that was carried out by the deranged nazi scientists in the depths. Continue reading Outpost (2008)
Director: Phillip Guzman
Starring: Jocelin Donahue, Jesse Bradford, Lori Petty, Billy Blair,Jesse Borrego. USA. 1h 39m
The biggest selling point of this film is that it come from the makers of the FINAL DESTINATION franchise, and that’s pretty much the most impressive feature.
After the death of her identical twin sister Beth, Kate Bowman (Donahue) starts to investigate the supernatural world of Old Hag Syndrome or Sleep Paralysis, from which her sister suffered. She’s shocked to find a large number of sufferers have died in similar ways to her sister and that there is more sinister to this mystifying condition. Other professionals claim it’s heresay and irrational nonsense especially her sisters doctor, Skyes (Petti) but Kate tracks down one individual Dr. Hassan Davies (Borrego) who not only believes but who has been trying to track down the Hag and destroy her, they team up with the late Beth’s boyfriend, Evan and carry on the chase. Continue reading Dead Awake (2016)
Day 3 – The Void
Director: Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie .
Starring. Aaron Poole, USA. 1h 30m.
It’s not often a film grips my attention quite like this one. The first trailer I chanced upon was quiet mysterious and the poster had tentacles, that’s pretty much me sold on any movie. So the Void didn’t promise much, it kept 90% of the fun a secret and that added to the fun and intensity of the gory film. Starting with a curious scene a man escapes from some crazy occultist and flees into the woods, bleeding and disorientated. A lone cop sees him the road and takes him to the nearest hospital to get him patched up. The hospital is in the process of being relocated, so there is minimal staff and they are caring for one pregnant girl and packing, quite reminiscent of Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) and before you know it, they are soon surrounded by shrouded occultist and have to barricade themselves but unlike the 70’s siege film they are fighting unknown metaphysical forces that are beyond comprehension, yet very familiar to those lured tales from HP Lovecraft. Continue reading The Void (2016)
Day 2 – Rec 4 – Apocalypse
Director: Jaume Balagueró.
Starring. Manuela Velasco, Paco Manzanedo, Hector Colome, Ismael Fritschi. Spain. 1h 35m.
After the bizarre comedy train wreck of Rec 3, it seems we’re back to the original plot and start to get some peculiar answers to this watery isolated thriller. This film is set after the events of Rec 2, Angela has been rescued (again) the army have demolished he tenant building and she’s quarantined on soon to be retired fishing boat while she’s tested for a cure to this viral outbreak.
Continue reading Rec 4 – Apocalypse (2015)
Director: Renny Harlin
Starring. Holly Goss, Matt Stokoe, Luke Albright, Ryan Hawley, Gemma Atkinson. UK/Russia. 1h 40m.
Based loosely on real events this poorly conceived horror manages to derail all the original horrific accounts from the plot to invent a new less frightening one. The original story revolves around a small group of young experienced hikers who went missing, the mystery was sparked when their charred, radioactive and broken remains were found in the deep snow miles from their camp site. The theories of what happened ranger from a Yeti attack, government black ops, and the more common UFO scandals but really no one really knows the truth. But now we have another theory that seems a little different from the rest, but neglects to really pin point the events and instead conjures up some new ideas with another set of hikers making what seems to be all the same mistakes. Continue reading The Dyatlov Pass Incident /Devil’s Pass (2013)
The Bridge (2006) – I love ducofilms, although I don’t fully understand them, are they documentaries or are they films? Do they ever appear in the cinema? Generally I find them on DVD in bargain bins, this one I had been chasing down for years! I knew it was about the a bridge of suicides and it’s one of those things I find highly interesting (yep sick puppy here). It’s just one of those aspects of (life and) death that is rarely subject to an unbiased film. It’s a combination of bridge surveillance and interviews with the family and friends of various jumpers/ it’s actually quite eerie how seeing all these random people talking about absent friends and their only connection is through death. The major criticism is that the filmmakers filmed the bridge for an entire year, capturing every suicide and at no point did they tell the victims (?) families that they had the footage and we’re going to use it in the film. I can see how this could really fuck people up but if you distance yourself from it, it’s a deeply upsetting and poignant aspect of the film. 7/10
Continue reading Last Night’s Movies 07.08.2017