Category Archives: Independent

Exhibit A (2007)

Director: Dom Rotheroe
Starring: Bradley Cole, Brittany Ashwood, Angela Forrest, Oliver Lee. UK. 1h 25m

The allure behind Exhibit A is getting an insight in the raw details behind the case of a brutal family annihilation case. While Dom Rotheroe and curated a really authentic feeling found footage movie on an independant budget I feel that story is lacking a genuine USP. I personally felt cheated, thought I’d missed some fine detail, but after re watching the movie, I had to step back and look at it with fresh eyes, so often found footage relies on adding a touch of creepy paranormal or something sly and devious into the mix to make the voyeuristic audience shudder with fear and delight. Exhibit A doesn’t bend to those rules, and doesn’t really go anywhere into the deep waters of the typical Found Footage Horror, however if the systematic psychological breakdown of a middle england family is your thing then step in.

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The Last Shift (2014)

Director: Anthony DiBlasi Starring: Juliana Harkavy, Natalie Victoria, J LaRose, Joshua Mikel. USA. 1h 30m

Just when you thought it was safe enough to guard an abandoned prison during the graveyard shift… There’s something about The Last Shift which really resonates with horror fanatics. A simple story which is the ultimate setting for a horror story is amped up with good old fashioned ghostly atmospherics and relies on practical effects, this is what the fans cry out for constantly and when it’s delivered it’s welcomed with open creepy arms!

Jessica (Harkavy) is left to her own devices while guarding a local empty and highly haunted prison during the night shift. and the night becomes a roller coaster of jump scares, poltergeist activity and moving family revelations.

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Una mujer fantástica / Fantastic Woman (2017)

Director: Sabastian Lelio Starring: Daniela Vega, Franxisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Amparo Noguera Chile, Spain, Germany. 1h 44m

There’s a necessary moment near the end of Sabastian Lelios eye opening movie where the lead is jogging with her dog, a carefree run as her favourite track plays and she can finally take a deep breath and attempt to just live the best life, like anyone else. It’s at this moment where we, as an audience, can also take a breath as the entire film is just filled with small minded petty people who do nothing to wind up anyone with a rational thinking mind as the film zeroes in on intolerance and unbiased love.

A Fantastic Woman is a strangely lighthearted take on a pretty deep and complex story. And there was definitely a vibe going on at the time as it almost duped with Disobedience an equally challenging love struggle but with a heavy religious setting. This thought provoking movie will drag you to places that you wouldn’t imagine a person would need to go based purely on their choice of gender.

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Deep Space (1988)

Director: Fred Olen Ray
Starring: Charles Napier, Ann Turkel, Bo Svenson, Ron Glass. USA. 1h 30m

I love when the smaller budgeted movies attempt to retell bigger budgeted blockbuster style stories, and this film, that spends most of its time I’m swimming in the success of other sci fi  classics like Alien (1979) in fact it’s totally an Alien rip off, but all of its good intentions, seems to be another homage to cult film but plays out like another version of the fated project, The Dark (1979),  and this about s successfully thrilling as Alien 2 on Earth (1981)

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Chicago Massacre: Richard Speck (2007)

Director: Michael Feifer
Starring: Corin Nemec, Andrew Divoff, Tony Todd, Debbie Rochon  .USA. 1h 32m

This was Michael Feifer’s first, bold attempt to retell the bloody history of a serial killer. Chicago Massacre follows the childhood and killing spree of one of America’s most deranged individuals, Richard Speck. This debut saw Feifer pair up with Corin Nemec, playing the lead role of a prominent killer. A year later the two would reunite for Bundy: A Legacy of Evil (2008). This could have continued with Nemec playing Gacy, Gein and even Kemper if the duo had the desire but it seems this is all we’re getting folks!?

It feels that the movie was conceived with a lot of promise, a couple of well known names were thrown into the mix, Todd and Divoff , who seemed eager to help as law enforcement officers trying to understand and track a man who single handedly slaughtered a number of women in july 1966, but their acting expertise is often overshadowed by the need to show Speck not killing people, they could have been the B Movie versions of Somerset and Mills, however the focus is on Speck and not the people tracking him, although their scenes are quite special, but always seem like some kind of pensive Film Noir. 

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The thing on the doorstep (2012)

Director: Tom Gliserman
Starring: David Bunce, Rob Dalton, Susan Cicarelli-Caputo, Ron Komora, .UK. 1h 29m

For a long time, a majority of Lovecraft’s cinematic works were so underground that the biggest films were fan made efforts like this, although despite it’s challenges I personally found the aesthetic approach and storytelling to be exactly what the story calls for.

Based on a short story of the same title by American Mythos writer H. P. Lovecraft, The thing on the doorstep is part of the Cthulhu universe but has heavy undertones of a PI film Noir. Originally written in August 1933, and first published in the January 1937 issue of Weird Tales. Now captured by Tom Gliserman in a fan funded effort, and commonly found quite cheaply on a number of streaming services, so there’s no excuse, give it a shot, and see if you’ll join the numerous fans who still revel in the heady atmosphere.

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Site 1 (2018)

Director: Matias Page
Starring: Matias Page. UK/USA. 1h 13m

How far can one man go into different realms before he literally finds himself? Site 1 unwraps with Matthews Phillips (Page), arriving at a secret location with a set of specific rules flashing up on the screen, his attempt to take part in a curious experiment. His personal intention is to discover the whereabouts of his brother who “went in before him”. While adhering to the rules Phillips ends up performing an elaborate ritual, but what is the aim and what is he letting himself into? After entering the home he finds a recorder, which alludes to more serious instructions which allude to a break in reality and the need to adhere to certain constraints in order not to slip through the crack himself.

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In Fear (2013)

Director: Jeremy Lovering Starring:Iain De Caestecker, Alice Englert, Allen Leech. UK, Ireland. 1h 25m

There’s nothing new about a couple going for a fun thrilled romantic break in Ireland, it’s not like the market is swamped and this is a genre movie but with crackers like From the Dark (2014), which sees a more established couple trying to revive a strained relationship while descending on a village overrun by hard to kill vampires, along with this creature feature there’s a brilliant psychological tale Travellers (2011) that involved a group of city boys running into some Irish travellers but until a few magical 360 plot spinning reveal it’s hard to know who’s the worst set of characters. So with these already out and about, for seasoned horror fans, this movie initially kicks off as more of the same, or is it? Jeremy Lovering uses these others as stepping stones and red herrings, helping to throw his audience off and In Fear manages to fool and chill constantly from beginning to end.

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The Rift – Endless Descent (1990)

Director: Juan Piquer Simón
Starring: Jack Scalia, R. Lee Ermey, Ray Wise, Ely Pouget, Deborah Adair,John Toles-Bey. Spain/USA. 1h 19m

If you’re a fan of underwater horrors such as The Abyss, Leviathan, DeepStar Six etc, then this film will feel really familiar to you. Often seen as a BMovie version of the movies mentioned above due to its lack of originality in the plot, the film is often praised for providing a decent entertaining sucker punch for it’s limitations. Considering that 1989 was the sterling breakthrough for deep sea thrillers involving a host of alien and mutant creatures, it’s a strange step backwards to watch Endless Descent ride on their back 2 years later, but for all its flaws it’s incredibly watchable.

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(The Possession) of Nurse Sherri (1978)

AKA Black Voodoo, as well as Beyond the Living, Hospital of Terror, Killer’s Curse, and Hands of Death.

Director: Al Adamson
Starring: Jill Jacobson, Marilyn Joi, Geoffrey Land , Prentiss Moulden. USA. 1h 28m

Nurse Sheri is a dramatic possession horror/slasher from the height of the exploitation era it tantalises with sexual innuendos and buckets of psychedelic entity antics as Sheri tries to battle against a dark forces that were brought into the hospital by a dying cult member.

Al Adamsson uses a combination of grindhouse trashy murders with mediocre acting, a touch of eroticism and some animated graphics to highlight the story of a nurse who is accidently present when an occultist dies in her hospital and becomes a vessel for an otherworldly feind on a mission.

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