Director: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne. USA. 2h 7m
Boldly highlighted as the most frightening film of all time, Hereditary certainly does have its moments and a dark twisted ending but is it really all that horrific? It’s undeniably creepy and boils into a crescendo of violence and psychological demise, but what it doesn’t offer are hoards of false jump scares, buckets of blood or unbelievable torture porn.
It’s hard to detail the movie as it’s subtle approach and devilish details makes it something that once explained will ruin many surprises. The movie does manage to support a constant feeling of dread for the first 90 minutes it’s hard to really see which direction the film is taking, hard to know what’s real and what might be a dream and ultimately it lines up a powerful ending that won’t be predicted by the more discerning horror fan. Continue reading Hereditary (2018)
Director: Rainer Sarnet
Based on Rehepapp ehk by Andrus Kivirähk
Starring: Rea Lest, Jörgen Liik, Arvo Kukumägi, Katariina Unt, Taavi Eelmaa, Dieter Laser, Jette Loona Hermanis. Estonia. 1h 55m
I’d like to think that I don’t award too many 10/10’s although I am always searching for perfect films and I believe I have just found another one, possibly the one. There’s so much to fall in love with in Sarnet’s November, based on a deeply chrasamisc novel Rehepapp by Andrus Kivirähk who’s possibly one of the most influential folk writers since Estonia’s classical epic Kalevipoeg and is just as extraordinary.
The film starts out curiously, a cow skull mounted on farming tools is captured rolling and creaking across the landscape using a chain it steals a cow, by grabbing the beast and flying into the air like a folklore chopper, the mechanism lands with the cow, on a farm miles away across the forest, the owner coming out to retrieve the animal and kicks the machine away, but it talks to him, asking for more work so he gives it an impossible task and it explodes. This “thing” is a Kratt and you’ll see a lot of these throughout the movie, and you can see the Kratts screen test here (https://vimeo.com/66493993)
The villagers find it hard to survive throughout the dark Estonian winters and often end up stealing from each other and the German nobility who are taking over their lands. In order to make a Kratt the villagers first have to go into the forest and make a pact with the devil written in blood in His book. Continue reading November (2007)
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)
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)
This year I’ve decided to do a shorter list of only 13 items as we were (un)lucky enough to have Friday the 13th this October and I usually fail my 31 days of Horror for October 😦
lets see if 13 is my lucky number!?! I’ll keep updating this page over the next 13 days as I countdown a fairly random list of Halloween favourites with new reviews!!
Continue reading 13 Days of Hallowe’en Horror 2017
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)
Director: Paul Catalanotto.
Starring: Lisa Mackel Smith, Sam Cobean, Michael Bienvenu, USA. 1h 15m.
After a string of murders, a young man named Jesse returns home to finish off his parents, the dramatic scenes of him butchering his father lead to his infamous serial killer profile name of the Butcher, the sketchy found footage shows him doing the unthinkable but promising not to hurt his mother while he moves around like a puppet and commences the killing. After a short trial and while proclaiming his innocence, he’s executed by lethal injection. Years later his mother invites a film crew to document her raising the devil in order to prove that demonic possession exists that this is what happened to her son. It might seem of a strange way to prove his innocence but it makes for a brilliant documentary and the crew can’t turn down such an amazing opportunity. Continue reading Proof of the Devil (2014) AKA The Butcher of Louisiana
Director: Juno Mak.
Starring: Chin Siu-ho Anthony Chan Kara Hui Lo Hoi-pang Paw Hee-ching. Hong Kong. 1h 41m.
A detailed and superb Hong Kong film directed by Juno Mak, is a tribute to the Mr Vampire (1985+) series and features many of the same actors.
A formerly successful actor Chin Siu-ho (the star of Mr Vampire), becomes depressed and suicidal when he wife leaves him. He moves into a run down apartment and soon after his welcoming ceremony he decides to hang himself, but as he’s losing consciousness a pair of twin ghosts possess his body. Yau, a retired vampire hunter breaks in, cuts him down and exorcises the spirits from Chin’s body. Continue reading Geung Si – Rigor Mortis (2013)