Director: Sôichi Umezawa.
Starring. Kyôka Takeda , Momoka Sugimoto , Ena Fujita , Kanji Tsuda. Japan. 1h 21m.
I used to be blown away by Japanese horror, going through the Tartan Horror series with much glee as it was miles apart from the slowdown that was occurring with its Western counterpart. with the fresh of breath air that the creepy tales sprung upon me, eventually I started noticing a huge split between genuine Japanese Horror and that fringe area which incorporated their unique humor, gore, body horror and sprays of blood. After a while I let things run their course, on returning I was gobsmacked by the array of mundane items which the Japanese has found a way to make scary! Continue reading Chi o sû nendo / Vampire Clay (2017)
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Based on: Hold the Dark by William Giraldi
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, Malcolm Blair, Tantoo Cardinal, Julian Black Antelope. USA. 2h 5m
With just two major titles under his belt, Saulnier’s next project, was so highly anticipated it derailed the hype train, but the resulting ambitious drama was so different from the taut thrillers, Blue Ruin (2013) and Green Room (2015) that no one could really appreciate it in the same way and it generally got panned by the fans.
This misfire isn’t a total disaster, no one can find fault with the beautiful crafting that went into the film, Saulnier is so masterful that even if you didn’t get the movie you can easily enjoy watching it, but for me it’s just a perfect shot for a different audience. I found it just as gritty and nearly as bloody as the others, but the pushing and pulling between two fundamental ideas within the movie that would either make it a thriller or fantasy doesn’t ever come to a neat conclusion, leaving a gaping open ending which is going to piss off a lot of people but for me it’s a highly alluring project which is perfect as it is. Continue reading Hold the Dark (2018)
Director:Kurt Ela, Kipp Tribble, .
Starring. Kurt Ela, Kipp Tribble, Nick Greco. USA. 1h 25m
I really tried for this found footage film, not only was it released on my birthday but it sounded like it might be fun. I turned off all the lights and waited for the creepy guy who stands outside my house to assume his position.. I was poised to be scared and for a while it really did work, then all the fear faded away..
So a trio of guys are out filming a documentary of a local vampire legend, but while stumbling around trying to make things believable and scary they learn about the legend of the Char Man from a local history buff. Now the whole idea of filming a documentary isn’t all that new *cough* Blair Witch *cough* but finding out about one on the way adds an extra edge as the group were not prepared in any way for what they might unleash, this did add a bit of spice but pretty soon the film collapsed on itself and succumbed to all the typical found footage nonsense. Continue reading Char Man (2019)
Director: Marcus Adams
Starring: Joe Absolom, Tom Bell, Lara Belmont, Lukas Haas, James Hill, Alex Newman, Mel Raido, Marsha Thompson . UK . 1h 35m
When a was a youngster the local Odeon was my all time favourite place to hang out, sticky popcorn floors, ushers who didn’t age check you and tickets I could afford with my SU card, tons of free film postcards and on the odd occasion a seat that wasn’t stained. Sadly it closed around the early 2000’s but I had a handful of postcard adverts for films I planned to see before the doors shut, but I didn’t make it 😦
Long Time Dead was on the top of the pile but I totally forgot about it.. A few years ago I found a copy in a charity shop by the seaside and it’s alright.. I guess… It feels as if a British director was trying to make a Hollywood movie, and really Brits make amazing horrors without needed to fall into the American Cliché soup. Continue reading Long Time Dead (2002)
Director: Greg Lamberson
Starring: Robert Sabin, Mary Hunter, Bunny Levine, Dennis Embry. USA. 1h 28m
Despite being on par with the average Troma movie this imaginative occult gory body horror is strangely fun to watch and gives adequate nods to a number of classic horror movies in a psychotropic manner.
When a young art student, Alex (Devon) moves into a new apartment in a run down area of NYC with the intentions of getting his girlfriend Lori (Hune) to “sleep over”, he tries to be accommodating of his misfit neighbours, but after a supposedly vegetarian meal of Himalayan Yogurt made by Landlady Lizzie (Jane Doniger Reibel) with one of the more poetic tennants Roman (Embry), that’s quickly washed down with a mysterious home brew made by her dead alchemist father Zachary. His timid girlfriend Lori Starts to notice disturbing changes in her boyfriend, especially after he awakens one morning with a new blood lust and dripping with slime. Continue reading Slime City (1988)
Director: Corin Hardy.
Starring. Taissa Farmigna, Demian Bichir, Bonnie Aarons, Jonas Bloquet. USA. 1h 36m.
Supposedly the most terrifying chapter of the Conjuring Universe!! *queue the dramatic music* We have the NUN!!! *queue lightning and scary sound effects* But they say that about every new Conjuring related movie.
The Conjuring turned out to be a pretty decent horror movie a touch of class and a dash of “run of the mill” but overall it had a mix of scares and thrills which really enthralled it’s audience, detailing a real life couple who get their pleasures from investigating hauntings and other paranormal events. In their debut they mentioned Annabelle, a haunted doll unlike any other, and her short creepy clip gave way to a full length movie, which did ok, my only gripe is that it really should have featured a doll which resembled the original. But after the abysmal rendition of the Enfield haunting which was subject of the Conjuring 2, a new unrelated character got shoehorned into the mix, a rather scary Nun, and now she has her centre stage, but sadly she doesn’t get to play much in her own film. Continue reading The Nun (2018)
Director: Zak Bagans.
Starring. Zak Bagans, Jay Wasley, Billy Tolley .USA. 1h 51m.
Fitting somewhere in between a documentary and mockumentary it’s easy to see the appeal with Demon House. not just based on real events the film struggles to remain a proper found footage movie with a few added dramatisations and real interviews about a real haunting in Gary, Indiana. The full details of the Ammons haunting case were documented and followed by Zak Bagans, who then purchased the house after the family moved and his attempts to coax out the entity.
Demon House starts with the great deal of promise and effective film making, opening with the purchase of the property the look and feel of the film is spot on as a documentary which is how the film has been labeled. Zak buys the property, sight unseen and just on the knowledge of the mass hysteria that broke out when an African American family were experienced demonic possession in what was called a “Portal to Hell”. Continue reading Demon House (2018)
Director: Aislinn Clarke
Starring: Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen, Lauren Coe, Ciaran Flynn . Ireland / UK. 1h 17m
This found footage horror is set in the swinging 60’s but it isn’t influences by mini skirts and being hip instead the women involved are quite different, Devils Doorway sees Father Thomas Riley (Roddy) and Father John Thornton (Flynn) despatched by the vatican to investigate reports of a miracle in a Catholic asylum based in the wilderness of Northern Ireland.
At this remote asylum for immoral women, the statues of the Virgin Mary have been weeping blood. The two priests open their investigation by filming each other, the younger, Father John arms himself with a 16mm camera to record their findings and often interrogates father Thomas about his life and beliefs as a priest, after some adjustments they head to the vast home and begin their investigation but are confronted by some fiercely protective nuns who see their presence as insulting and can’t wait to see the backs of them. Continue reading The Devil’s Doorway (2018)
Director: Gareth Evans.
Starring. Dan Stevens, Lucy Boynton, Mark Lewis Jones, Bill Milner, Kristine Froseth, Paul Higgins, Michael Sheen. USA. 2h 10m.
Gareth Evans’ Apostle is a troubled journey into the dark nature of man being forced upon the nature around him in the guise of a new religious cult who have hauled up on a remote island. Evan’s previous projects are considerably different in nature, mostly the Raid (2012) and Raid 2 (2014), which saw a lot of action and violence, although he did perfect sidestep into horror in the V/H/S 2 (2013) anthology when he co directed the Safe Haven segment but again his horror came with a fast pace. But in this epic horror, he manages to divide the film into something more brooding before it picks up speed and descends into a casserole of blood or torture. Much like Panos Cosmatos Mandy (2018). When you think you’ve “got” the movie, suddenly there’s a shift into something unexpected and there’s not going back.
Continue reading Apostle (2018)
Director: Anthony Hickox
Starring: Julian Sands, Paula Marshall, Chris Young, R G Armstrong . USA . 1h 38m
Warlock (1988) was an amazing film, with a host of rich histories and wonderful effects which became the dawn of a gripping new evil villain with charm and tons of sex appeal; while this film really broke the horror fantasy world apart, it’s sequel, while being a bit more soppy and sentimental, did deliver some gruesome body horror for it’s delightful bad guy, acted by the amazing Julian Sands but without a fiesty hero originally played by Richard E Grant, the film lost some of it’s edge for a more whimsical teen duo who think they can outsmart the Warlock.
The original Warlock film started in the dark ages in Britain, but the keyword for Warlock 2 is Druids and magical stones, an aspect which would make most horrors laughable but Hickox managed to rein back the wands and fairy dust for a touch of the macabre. Continue reading Warlock 2 – the Armageddon (1993)