Friend Request (2016)

Director: Simon Verhoeven.
Starring. Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham, Sean Marquette, Liesl Ahlers. Germany/South Africa. 1h 22m.

Not remembering where this came during the more recent spate of social media horrors, it seem that the idea of the supernatural being broadcast and manipulating people through the internet isn’t something new but something that works better on paper or maybe by being narrated on YouTube on the Creepypasta channels. But this English language German horror does offer some brilliant jump scares but lacks the substance in between.

Laura (Debnam-Carey) is one of the more popular kids at college, who lives a privileged and beautiful life, one day she accepts an online request from a loner called Marina (Ahlers) the two strike up a friendship, albeit it at arms length when Laura notices the dark and disturbing imagery on Marina facebook page. Laura starts to notice how possessive Marina is getting and lies to her about an upcoming birthday party claiming it’s going to be a quiet one but the photos of her enjoying a lavish dinner date with her friends and family get uploaded and Marina confronts her in the dinner hall, as the argument gets heated Marina hood falls down revealing a bloody scalp from her habitual hair pulling. Continue reading Friend Request (2016)

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From Hell to the Wild West

Director: Rene Perez
Starring: Robert Bronzi, Karin Brauns, Alanna Forte, Nicole Stark, Charlie Glackin, Robert Kovacs .USA. 1h 17m

I was a bit confused about this movie, the cover made it look like Charlie B has come back from the dead to hunt a monster in the desert, and I’d buy that for a dollar. This indie film is only slightly different in that it actually stars Robert Bronzi who is an Ukranian actor who made it big as a Charles Bronson impersonator.. In this Horror Western he’s an experience hunter and tracker who is on hot pursuit for a deranged serial killer who’s been stalking women in the desert and wrecking their bodies in a similar style as a certain well known London killer. Continue reading From Hell to the Wild West

Don’t go into the woods (alone) (1981)

Director:James Bryan, Brother Bryan .
Starring. Jack McClelland, Mary Gail Artz,James P. Hayden,Angie Brown. USA. 1h 22m.

This is a total no brainer horror, but one of the uncanny I’ve seen from this era for quite some time. at first it seems that it’s going to build into something special in that b movie kinda way but I feel this is one of the Sharknado, Icetastrophy, Zodiac of the apocalypse low budget flops of yesteryear that didn’t mature well.

A group of young people head into the wilderness for some “fun” mostly pratting around splashing water at each other and pulling stupid pranks but unbeknownst to them there’s a lunatic in a joke shop viking outfit that stalks the woods and kills tourist on a whim. Usually the teens are a bit more liberal, heading out into nature for sexy good times and probably ludicrous amounts of drugs, but back in the 70’s it was usually just a chance to make out. While there’s not a lot of naughtyness there is a fair amount of slashing, for a slasher.. So one by one they are stalked by this crazy guy wearing skins who lives off trash and the land, he doesn’t say much apart from some odd screeching but he can book it for a fat guy. Continue reading Don’t go into the woods (alone) (1981)

Chi o sû nendo / Vampire Clay (2017)

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)

Shorts Roundup April 21st 2019

I’m still slightly hungover and knocking on the door of diabetes from a heavy easter so bare with me for such a short line up this week.. I will try harder next week!

So I’ll begin with

The Cycle

This highly CGI stylized fantasy short shows the plight of trying to get above your station while being trained in esoteric fields.. A young student wants to replace her master but in her rush she encounters a strange demonic creature.. but somehow it seems all too familiar.

It kinda looks how I’d imagine Nightmare to be if remade today, the unnecessary poor CGI doesn’t lend the film any favours but I do enjoy cycle based films and ideas of time travel so the narrative is strong and providing you like this element of fantasy story telling then you might just enjoy this also.

and it reminds me of something I saw when I was a young tyke that had a profound effect on me.. when I find a copy of it I’ll add it o a future list and all will make sense Continue reading Shorts Roundup April 21st 2019

Hold the Dark (2018)

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)

Animal Kingdom

Director: David Michod.
Starring: Jacki Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Sullivan Stapleton, James Frecheville, Luke Ford, Laura Wheelwright. Australia. 1h 53m

There is something extraordinarily authentic about Animal Kingdom, this sinister tale of a twisted criminal family is something can nervously be regarded as far fetched, but after an ounce of research into the criminal underworld of the Land Down Under, after watching this movie there’s a lingering fear that “based on a true story” might appear in the closing credits.

With characters like the notorious Chopper (2000) and the gut churning Snowtown (2011) just two pieces of projects based on real events and people, this just feels like the next step in a progression of a young country with a criminal culture that’s making up for lost time. Continue reading Animal Kingdom

McQueen (2018)

Director: Ian Bonhote.
Writer: Peter Ettedgui UK. 1h 41m

Having lived through the mastery and magic of McQueens stunning artistry until his untimely tragic death, I felt as robbed as anyone who was inspired by the brilliance that McQueen brought into the world. After reading several books and watching numerous documentaries about him and his beguiling muse Isabella Blow (another character I hold close to my heart), I thought I really knew it all, but this thought provoking film brings so much more raw emotion and in depth background to the surface, including very personal testimonies from those who lived and worked so very closely to the legend. Continue reading McQueen (2018)

Short Roundup 14 April 2019

Sorry again for missing out last weeks list..When I started doing shorts I never imagined myself getting caught up in a series, especially as I don’t generally watch series, but when they are under 10 minute segments it’s less of a hardship! Also if you’re aware of any shorts that I really should have covered by now, please leave a message or tweet at me.

Kookie

Beginning if a young girl watching a vintage movie and eating cookies, this movie slowly transitions into something a little bit more sinister when the little darling has raided the cookie jar too much and the cuddly bear cookie jar is soon replaced by a freaky clown head container and things begin to get a touch more elaborate in the artistic fear department.

There’s a mouthwatering display of well composed atmospherics, creepy sounds and peculiar camera trickery that all enhance this spooky story until it’s WTF ending. I’d say is a really accomplished short and hopefully the little girl involved will go on to do more.

The Mother

A one minute short film doesn’t leave much room for messing around and this get straight to the grot. A woman is stalked by a monster while cradling her baby, year later the sacred survivor lays a trap for the monster..

It’s amazing how quickly a point and plot can be brought on in a movie, yet so many directors try to waste my time.. *rolls* eyes. Definitely some talent here

Monitor

An oversize clerk is working the night shift in an gas stop, the loser starts to notice strange going on with his radio and video monitor. A dark figure with a masked face is stalking him throughout the store but he can only see the figure on the monitor, picking up a baseball bat he tries to protect himself but the motives of this creepy stalker isn’t quite what you’d expect. I really enjoyed the twists at the end of this nifty little horror drama, overall it’s written and presented really well, there could be some stream lining here and there, but the overall camera work and cutting is perfect.

O Negative

From the shifty intro and inventive electronic soundtrack this horror really captures a specific emotive and scary mood, despite being a short wordless story about desire and dependency.

Starring director Steven McCarthy, in this intimate vampire drama that sees him travelling across country with his lover searching for meaty snacks for her.

A creepy story of love and endurance that sits somewhere outside of the Black Rainbow

The Outer Darkness Part 1

So the series begins, a group of people seem to be playing a twisted game of fate with a meaty cenobite demonic type of creature and a freaky sadistic roulette wheel.

It’s a blinding start to what seems to be a new realm of nightmare. The game doesn’t seem to be well structured but I’ll see where this goes.

Hotel 22 – Kinoscope

There’s something special about those people around us that have the energy and balls to get up and help those less fortunate. This story is about a night bus which travels around the wee hours and plays the role of a movie safe haven for the homeless people in Silicon Valley. A team follow the bus on one dramatic night but the massive insight is bittersweet.

Pictured

This is part of the Apartment Trilogy horror done by David F. Sandberg, think you might remember that name? He’s the guy who freaked out the internet with Lights Out and many other horrors.. oh yeah.. him! This one sees his beloved getting her pretty butt haunted by a creepy girl in a photo, it’s slightly Ringu-ish,it plays on a few more stereotypes but it does build decent tension and well done for another sleepless night!

Il bandito dagli occhi azzurri / Blue Eyed Bandit (1980)

Director: Alfredo Giannetti
Starring:  Franco Nero, Dalila Di Lazzaro, Carlos de Carvalho. Italy. 1h 36m

A somewhat whimsical crime thriller, Blue Eyed Bandit stars the iconic Franco Nero as Renzo Dominici,  mild mannered crippled and aged clerk who works for a bank, but little do his employers know what by night he transforms into a young, dynamic blue eyed criminal mastermind.


By day he shuffles around in a clever disguise, working long hours, visiting his mother in her nursing home and all the while secretly scoping out the office and waiting for the big pay day but as he ultimate heist get closer, Stella (Lazzaro); a loose member of the cafeteria staff starts to work out that there is much more to the old quiet clerk and she attempts to slide into the deal. Continue reading Il bandito dagli occhi azzurri / Blue Eyed Bandit (1980)

Psychotronic Cinema