Director: Brett Simmons.
Starring: Stephen Lang , CJ Thomason, Michelle Pierce. USA. 1h 31m
I love when an old classic story gets a boost into a modern film, although there is always a need to be sensitive in the approach of modernising any aged tale, some stories seem to thrive as costume dramas, being so heavily strung in their own time that it’s almost impossible to shift elsewhere, such as Witchfinder General, while it could be updated, it relies on the mass hysteria of the age to really boil up some trouble. Timeless classics can be shifted back and forwards through time effortlessly, Lifepod by Alfred Hitchcock became a pretty interesting Sci Fi piece in 1993 by the talented Ron Silver (RIP) a ship lost at sea can easily become a ship lost in space.
The Monkey’s Paw was a story which filled me with marvel as a child, the moralistic side is deeply devastating but the horror aspect usually boils down to the concept of the evil dead returning, in the original story they simply come knocking but this presence has been resurrected many times now and death takes a gory step closer each time. The charming segment “Wish you were here” of Tales from the Crypt, the screaming dead are resurrected at the wrong time and face an everlasting life of pain.. ooops! Continue reading Monkeys Paw (2013)
Director: Robin Hardy
Based on: The Ritual by David Pinner
Starring: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt, Diane Cilento .UK. 1h 27m
In the past decade Horror Folklore as a genre has raised its curious demonic fiery head. This new dawning, pioneered by new cult directors such as Ben Wheatley, Ari Aster, Gavin Liam and Roger Eggers to name a few haven’t been able to make a movie without it being likened to the pioneering game changer, Robin Hardy’s slow-burning chiller The Wicker Man.
Looking back at it’s small budget and menial takings at the cinema, numerous cuts and actors paying for critics seats, it’s rise to cult status wasn’t a simple one but what it achieved was truly unique, not even it’s remake was able to mimic it’s true sense of dread and horror. Continue reading The Wicker Man (1973)
Director: Bharat Jain
Starring:Darshan Apoorva, Krishna Prakash, Vijay Chendoor, Pallavi, Tanuja, Mruthyunjaya . India. 1h 44m
Without wanting to sound like a broken record, this monotonous found footage romp in the forest is very much like Blair Witch (1999), with hints of Paranormal Activity (2007), but at this stage in the game after so many films that end up mimicking the Maryland thriller, what would it take for a lost in the woods found footage, horror to not be like Blair Witch? Sadly this Indian scareless horror doesn’t offer any answers to this puzzling conundrum. Continue reading 6-5=2 (2014)
Director: Demian Rugna.
Starring. Maxiiliano Ghione, Norberto. Elvira Onetto. Argentina. 1h 28m.
We who are about to be scared Salute you Argentina!! Thank you so much for breaking the rules and making a truly terrifying movie!! (you see what I did there?)
I get really annoyed when people give up on a genre, be it music, art or indeed beloved Cinema, for the amount of media being produced you can be guaranteed to find something to tickle your fancy but the only thing stopping you from finding it is effort and if you’re searching for that next buzz, then I always suggest that you try something not aimed as the masses for profit. Continue reading Aterrados /Terrified (2017)
Director: Alvin Rakoff
Starring: George Kennedy, RIchard Crenna, Nick Mancuso, Victoria Burgoyne. Canada. 1h 31m
Death Ship could easily be labelled as another prime example of how the horrors of World War II still plague the minds of modern man, with acts so cruel, barbaric and insane that the strong cinematic belief that this pinnacle of human shame has the power to infect and infest. Time and time again movies find the dark depraved experiments and human torture so hard to portray on screen that it’s analogiased as a demonic haunting, let’s face it, witnessing world War ii is like peering into vignettes of hell.
I wouldn’t want to say this was the blueprint for future ocean horrors but it so easy to see its effects in the tangled mess of Triangle (2009) and the palatable Ghost Ship (2002) the mechanics of this salty horror have more in common with Outpost (2008) and Christine (1983) and in my humble opinion Amityville (1979). Continue reading Death Ship (1980)
Director: Osgood Perkins
Starring: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, Lauren Holly, James Remar. USA. 1h 33m
After an influx of “The Exorcism of [insert name here]” movies, Osgood Perkins hits back with an edgy and slow drifting art house approach to the saturated possession genre that insists on it’s audiences full attention; as it pulls them through a mid winter drama filled with tense dark undercurrents that chilled the cast before filming and has made it’s fans think and overthink the terrifying and mind bending finale.
Perkins struggled to get the film released despite it being loved at many film festivals, but after a change of name from February to the more sinister Blackcoats Daughter. Something which sounds like it came from an old rhyme or has a deeper historic meaning but it simply doesn’t. It’s these little touches which helped to confuse the audience and adds to the films mystery, Perkings does analogise that the blackcoat could be a priest or the devil, both have often been credited for dressing in black but he just simply liked the sound of the words together and it’s up to his audience to make what they will of it. Perkins has a talent for creating deeper mythologies within the narrative of his film projects and allowing interpretation, while this openness could be seen a wild genius, it can also become grating Continue reading The Blackcoats Daughter (2015)
Director: Beom-sik Jeong.
Starring.Wi Ha-joon, Park Ji-hyun, Oh Ah-yeon, Moon Ye-won, Park Sung-hoon , Yoo Je-yoon , Lee Seung-wook. South Korean. 1h 35m.
Today I was today years old when I realised that I might not be mature enough for some horror movies, I finished watching this fairly boring mediocre found footage horror that I felt has brought nothing new to the genre, only to find out that everyone adores it, I find this more interesting than the film, but I think it’s time to take on board that I’m a seasoned film enthusiast who’s seen it all and while a younger and fresher generation are entering in with movies such as this, sorry kids, it’s borrowing from everything and isn’t all that impressive..
Now that’s out of my system, a deeper look into the Haunted Asylum.. The film opens with a group of adventurers film their tour of the hospital, when trying to enter room 402 they hear ping pong balls and the broadcast abruptly ends and the boys are never heard from again, seeing this as an invitation, a YouTube group called Horror Times, decide to explore the building as well. Because that’s what rational people do. Continue reading Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)
Director: John R Leonetti.
Starring.Ward Horton, Annabell Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Tony Amendola. USA. 1h 39m.
The Annabell doll scene from The Conjuring (2013) was one of the most frightening in the slightly scary supernatural mystery horror that went on to create its own warped far-from-the-truth universe and I wasn’t surprised that it became its own movie, however I was shocked that it became such a boring mess riddled with plot holes and only few genuine jump scares, that went to to spawn it’s own mini universe within the Conjuring universe, but it sells and we keep watching so who’s the idiot!?
In the Conjuring were introduced to the Warrens and their museum of creepy haunted keep you up at night stuff, including Raggedy Ann doll.. wait, the doll was changed from the original raggedy ann doll into a fucked up grimace/smiling porcelain doll which is already a thing of nightmares, and this “why-did-they-do-that” theme carries on throughout the movie as every trick in the book is employed in this dismal horror. Continue reading Annabelle (2014)
Director: Stuart Brennan
Starring: Stuart Brennan, Marcus Macleod, Mark Paul Wake….UK. 1h 28m
This darkly twisted fairy tale follows a group of soldiers fleeing a war zone who find themselves lost deep in the woods where only magical things can happen.This British horror with a small budget definitely dreams big and while it has a solid story the execution comes across a little trying.
There is evil inside all of us.
Continue reading The Necromancer (2018)
Director: Eric Weston.
Starring. Clint Howard, Joseph Cortese, R G Armstrong, Don Stark, Claude Earl Jones, Haywood Nelson. USA. 1h 37m.
Part teen revenge part occult horror, Eric Weston’s Evilspeak is a venture into the unknown by a downtrodden young man looking for revenge and biting off more than he can chew. but this well worn revenge story has a much needed transfusion by stripping out the detailed build up to a justified revenge scene and instead opens it up for wild violence with a Satanic edge, showing enough gore for it to be banned in the UK in the 1980’s.
Opening with a Dark Ages sun setting on a Satanic mass on the beach, the group are approached by a church official telling them, they will be banished from Spain and denied the glory of a christian god, the naked group don’t pay much attention and the opening credits roll. Continue reading Evilspeak (1981)