Tag Archives: 2012

Citadel (2012)

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Director: Ciaran Foy .

Starring: Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Jake Wilson, Wunmi Mosaku. Ireland/Scotland/UK. 1h 24m.

A deeply moving and scary psychological horror, written and directed by Ciaran Foy,who later went on to direct Sinister 2 (2015). In this dark Gaelic horror drama we’re introduced to a young couple expecting, Tommy (Barnard) and Joanne (Shiels) live in a decomposing apartment block, while returning home, the couple get separated, while Tommy is in the lift, a group of hooded teens start attacking his heavily pregnant girlfriend as he desperately tries to escape the confines of the lift, he finds her unconscious, with a syringe in her stomach, during flashbacks we see that Joanne survives and gives birth to a baby girl, but remains in a coma and eventually is taken off life support. The distraught Tommy attempts to care for his daughter while dealing with acute agoraphobia as a result of the ordeal, his only support is Marie (Mosaku). Continue reading Citadel (2012)

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Cleanskin (2012)

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Director : Hadafun
Starring : Sean Bean, Abhin Galeya, Charlotte Rampling, James Fox, Tuppence Middleton. UK. 1h 48m

quickflickI picked this up in poundland and I can fathom why they had so many copies, I think that’s the golden rule, if they have only a few copies then maybe you’ve struck gold on the other hand if you’re tripping over the same film throughout the store it might not even be worth your £1. Continue reading Cleanskin (2012)

Cabin in the Woods (2012)

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Day 22 of 31

Director: Drew Goddard.
Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchinson, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins . USA. 1h 35m.

This might be the tamest horror on the list! But I can’t not include this comedic gorefest as it’s just literally so much fun, It’s a bit overkill calling it a comedy, yes it does have a few laughs but retains a sense of fascination as it’s a pretty new storyline!

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Continue reading Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Tower Block (2012)

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Director : James Nunn and Robbie Thompson.
Starring: Sheridan Smith, Jack O’Connell, Russell Tovey, Ralph Brown. UK. 1h 30m

A broody claustrophobic thriller set within the confines of the average manky london unglamourous highrise. A young injured man runs frantically about the gotty corridors of a urban tower block banging on doors trying to get help but is beaten to death on the doorsteps of the tenants, the sullen faces of the neighbours faces into regret that they did nothing to help him but that’s life in the big city. The police investigate and are disgusted that at the apathy, that no one lifted a finger to help. Continue reading Tower Block (2012)

Halley (2012)

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I found this movie by total accident, I dunno what drew me to it, the decaying body on the cover or the name!? I love space and shit and what’s not to love about the Halley’s comet!? But what’s the connection!?

Well the film tells the fragile tale about Beto (Alberto Trujilo) a security guard working in a mexico city gym, who’s shy and reserved due to his  body being consumed by a mysterious sickness that seems to isolate him further from humanity. The illness? Well in a similar way to Thanatomorphose (2012) and the cheap rehash Contracted (2013), both dealing with people who are slowly decaying from some unknown disease. The actual contraction isn’t noted in the film, similar to Thanatomorphose (2012) Something just happens, although Beto gets more time to deal with his disease he injects himself with embalming fluids, and is a medical genius, keeping his wounds clean and removing maggots from his flesh. It’s incredibly slow at times, but the interactions between the few people he encounters are brilliant, a morgue assistant, his boss, who treats him to an amazing night out and details the astonishing Halley’s comet to him using a flashlight in a power cut darkened room. In Between these scenes are similar to those long drawn out cuts in Hunger (2008).

This film deal with a unknown and morbid disease and one incredibly lonely person who is coming to terms with his Frankenstein existence.

I really loved the atmosphere of the film, the character was totally isolated and the reflection of that was spot on. There is also a lot to be said about his quiet fragile life verses the lives of all the big healthy bodies in the gym that he looks after.

Not a film that will gain a lot of popularity, mostly due to it not being in English and there are some slow scenes and that seems unpopular with the masses, but an instant favourite for me, with a very loose tie in with Frankenstein, the film is so very graphic in it’s depiction of the rot that you can almost smell it’s acrid bitterness  and despite it being quite uneasy it’s what I love about cinema that causes a reaction in me… i’ll explain in the full review.

10/10

Topos – Moles (2012)

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Director: Emiliano Romero
Starring: Lautaro Delgado, Mauricio Dayub, Pompeyo Audivert . Spain. 1h 40m

I wasn’t prepared for this movie, the blurb and cover led me into thinking I was about to watch some kind of contemporary dance interpretation of a class war. The film highlights all of the key points that you’d expect from a futuristic class divide, similar to the one in Demolition Man (1993) but way more artistic but the twisted humor really brings the film into it’s own rites as a beautiful and funny look at how ridiculous we can be in dividing people.

Beginning with a close up of The Mole (Lautaro Delgado) applying heavy and dramatic theatrical makeup, similar to that in Black Swan (2010), in the background a girl bangs a drum and announces that the show is about to start… Cutting back in time, the first introduction goes to the squalid underworld of the moles or rats as they are called frequently throughout the film. El Topo’s father, Kongo is a revolutionary, hell bent on waging war against the world above and is determined that his children follow suit and remain loyal to the cause. In order to escape this fate, El Topo and his nymphomaniac sister kidnap a promising dancer, Amadeo, so El Topo can take his place in a dance academy. The story of El Topo is quite charming, he’s always dreamt of being a dancer and watches and studies the students through the vents and cracks, striving to get out of his world and into theirs, but once he’s in the school he realizes that he’s still an outsider, with poor hygiene and a bad posture but somehow this goes ignored but he enlists some help to perfect his skills and attempts to live his dream.

The world below is almost identical to the vegan sewer dwellers in Delicatessen (1991) the biggest difference is that the community here is much more advanced, with peddlers selling cooked rats and a thriving red light district, the world above is limited to ONLY the dancing school, there really isn’t a lot more to see, but it’s very surreal, the characters seem to have been set loose from the villains department of a scooby doo film, but what really connects both worlds is the dark insipid humor.

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It’s obvious that Director, Writer and Producer Emiliano Romero has a air for melodrama and seems to apply it to scenes that don’t require that particular touch. It also struck me as being a little weird to make a movie about dance and not to employ a single dancer. This hasn’t stopped directors in the past, I don’t think that any of the cast of Suspiria (1977) we’re trained, but the dance scenes and the training lead to some very comical and surprisingly fluid scenes.

There are several strong points, the cinematography is actually quite good, the lighting successfully transverses both the over and underworld  giving a studio feel to the upper scenes and an amber  glow in the darkness of the underworld accompanied by pipes, plastic sheets and steampunk machinery it looks impressive, despite most scenes involving El Topo’s sister raping the young dancer that they kidnapped.

Overall a forgettable movie, with some very interesting and memorable characters. El Topo gives his hope that no matter what our situation we can still strive for our dreams, although I don’t know if we’d all have so much luck. There is a stupidly funny work out montage that Rocky would be proud of and a few other movie references that crop up and the silent Topo trips around his new world as a modern day Charlie Chaplin, thoroughly good stuff.

Rating 7/10

R – Lowlife (2012), Window Licker (2014), My Brother Jack (2013)
L – Selected Dancing movies, best workout montages
A – Class wars on film
5S – Mole Films
Vs – Topos Vs El Topo

Possession (2012)

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quickflick-1.jpgDirector :Ole Bornedal

Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Natasha Calis, Kyra Sedgwick, Matisyahu. USA. 1h 32m

I first heard about the haunted wine chest on an episode of Mysterious Universe and I was freaked out on so many levels, then after a few bizarre experiences there was an update to the podcast and they announced that a film was going to be made about the unusual occurrences that surround the box.. I was not sure how to take the news. I expected that all sorts of gates of hell would be opened but it turns out that the film wasn’t all that scary compared to the true story.

After stumbling across a random item in a boot sale a father cannot deny his daughter the antique box that she finds and after opening it, she becomes obsessed with the box and the strangeness starts to happen all around the family, that are already pushed to breaking point as they are going through a bitter divorce and move.

This dark and creepy exorcism story does emerge from the tangled tale eventually and the film does have a healthy dose of jump scares along with a solid religious background, some ground breaking tension and the usual creepy long haired girl scares along with any other haunting based film. Quite similar to Unborn (2009), these films centre in on Jewish demonology, and this is creepy as fuck. After the box starts to really affect the youngest of his two daughters, with her violent and erratic behavior she starts her appetite increases and a darkness soon engulfs the family. Unfortunately a lot of the scares are signposted, the dentist stepfather has a run in with darling demon possessed child and his teeth start to fall out of his bleeding mouth, the a lot of the upcoming events and after the family visit the hospital things basically turn into a Silent Hillesque exorcism thrill ride.

Young Em (Natasha Calis) is the star of the show, having to create so many different personas throughout the film she seem to have been put through her paces, often stealing the limelight from her older and more experienced counterparts. The effects are nearly all computer generated apart from some windy atmospherics.

Being creepy more than scary, and with “that” ending it’s quite a decent horror, but it takes too long to get going and doesn’t really transverse the genre enough to really grip a huge audience, it certainly doesn’t really bring in anything new, but it remains one of the better constructed possession movie, but it could have done with being more obscure and surreal but that’s just my taste.

I didn’t find the movie all that scary compared to the original story but I had been listening and reading about the true story for some time and that was honestly nerve wrecking, so if you enjoyed the film I highly recommend that you check out the podcast and the book, you’ll be in for some amazing scares.

Rating : 6/10

RMama (2013), Possession (1981), Unborn (2009), Ringu(1998)
L – Haunted items films, Possession films,
5S – Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Vs – Possession Vs Possession

Checkout the podcast details here http://mysteriousuniverse.org/tag/dibbuk-box/

Under the Bed (2012)

 

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Director: Steven C Miller.
Starring: Jonny Weston, Gattlin Griffith, Peter Holden, Musetta Vander. Canada/USA.  2012.  1h 27m.

I will have to admit that I’ve haven’t watched this film all the way through I did miss the beginning but it’s pretty clear what happened and after seeing the middle and end I honestly don’t feel that I could watch anymore, not so soon after this hurt me the way it did..

From the title and the outset you can tell it’s going to play on that fear that’s plagued us since we invented beds.. A host of artist have tickled our scary bone with images and stories about what lies under the bed, and the results range from monsters to perverts. Sadly Under the bed doesn’t deliver any new material or takes this concept to any new levels. Continue reading Under the Bed (2012)

Blood (2012)

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This film should have been made earlier in British film history, around the time of My Name is Joe (1998) but it wasn’t and it just looks dated. Utilising the great acting abilities of Paul Bettany, Mark Strong, Brian Cox and Stephen Graham.

Paul Bettany plays a determined cop who gets a blood lust for a particular man after a girls body turns up and he suspects him of her kidnapping and murder, with the pressure from his ill ex cop father (Cox) he does something rather hot headed and spends the rest of the movie trying to cover the mistake.

It attempts to be gritty, it is definitely tense at times but doesn’t have a lot of depth, I did enjoy the film,the concept is great but it wasn’t executed in the best possible way, but at least the story is totally complete and there is a justified ending.

Cox is by far the best actor in this, the clumsy father who is dealing with Alzheimer’s or something similar, while being a little devious and also using it to mask some underhanded tactics. There is a lot of double dealings going on and brilliant family drama scenes, both in the home and out on the “island” where there are a lot of problems buried.

I can’t really work out where to place the film, it is good but I feel it could have been a lot better. Mark Strong wasn’t really used to his proper potential, Bettany was equally under used, but I did feel that the entertainment was hit and miss throughout. It has a decent level of re watch ability I think I will make up mind in the review.. coming soon.

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Rating 6/10

R – My name is joe (1998), Gangster No1 (2000),
5S – Paul Bettany, Mark Strong, Brian Cox,

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012)

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Day 15 of 31

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The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh  (Horror, Mystery, Thriller,  2012) (12A) D: Rodrigo Gudino W: Rodrigo Gudino  C: Aaron Poole, Vanessa Redgrave, Julian Richings. 1h 22m. Canada.

Synopsis : An antiques collector inherits a house from his estranged mother only to discover that she has been living in a shrine devoted to a mysterious cult. Soon, the comes to suspect that his mother’s oppressive spirit still lingers within her home and is using items in the house to contact him with an urgent message.

TAGLINE : Faith is Fragile

In the style of a gloomy atmospheric Gothic horror shrouded in religious iconography and dogmatic beliefs, this slowly developing quiet movie has a dark sinister horror literally running through it.

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The story seems heavily inspired what appear to be personal events, childhood fears of the dark and a mother’s (domineering) love, it’s hard to imagine that it’s all been fabricated from nothing, but obviously I have no proof of this. Binding together guilt and fanaticism gives the film many dual meanings, and many people have interpreted it in many ways.

A son, Leon (Aaron Poole) returns to his mother Rosalind’s (Vanessa Redgrave)  house after her death and struggles with a lifetime of emotions and oppression and heartache as he learns more about this mother after her death than when she was alive. The mansion of a house that he’s now in charge of is filled with religious icons and is in fact a shrine, but as he learns more about the  cult that his mother had joined he also becomes very aware that something else has been left behind and is stalking him in the house.  While this entity starts to become more apparent the film takes on a darker and more sister atmosphere and starts to loose its drama edge for a terrifying creature feature.

Seaping with sentimental drama, the film is set within a large home crowded with statues and curious. As Leon moves from room to room with a constant overture from Rosalind, the film comes across as being quite subdued and quiet.  It’s far from that! While you’re presented with visuals of the almost silent young man in this strange environment, with his mother’s thoughts being vocalised, there are often many shocking truths revealed.

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What really sells the movie is presentation of its more shocking and terrifying scenes. As its so quiet, it could literally be silent at times, when you’re presented with a jump scare it packs a bigger punch and is never expected, so beware.

[SPOILER]
One such scene has a superb delivery, while Leon is watching a video that his mother recorded in her church/cult there is some praying and commotion, he recognises one of the statues that they group is praying to as one that’s in the house, then it opens its eyes! I know it’s not the most terrifying movie scenario but it’s freaky as hell and i hope I’ve not spoiled the effect for anyone, but it’s not the highlight and is just an example of the style of horror in this movie.

tlwatorl4From the beginning despite being filmed in the day time, the film is fairly dark and moody, this remains through the movie and it deals with lots of issues of being left in the dark. Darkness and lonely pretty much rule the atmosphere.

As the film has a teeny cast, in fact it’s pretty much just Leon, his mother’s voice is prevalent and a key feature but that’s almost all we have of her. I presume it was deliberate, after all she is deceased from before the start of the movie and all of her memories are her last will are simply vocalised rather than acting out his entire childhood, it’s all covered while he is coming to terms to his mother’s death.

Rosalind is an interesting character and it’s a shame that we don’t officially get to meet her, but the voice acting from Vanessa Redgrave is quite a powerful performance in itself. The script is extremely tentative and there a lot that can be read between her lines. The film is too quiet to discuss music but what it does impress with is the amazing cinematography, arranged by Samy Inayeh, and it really enhances the frequent scenes of bleeding statues, stalking creatures and curious visitors to the property.

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Leon (Aaron Poole) the main person in the film has to go through a very deep roller coaster of mixed emotions, not only dealing with the suicide of his mother and getting to grips with who she became in his absence. He has a trunkload of childhood nightmares and attrition to come to terms with. The more he learns the harder his strife.

The Catholic upbringing of director Rodrigo Gudino  and Stanley Kubrick are both huge inspirations. The Kubrick connection can be seen in the pace,  filming locally and possibly how the film is set in two distinct halves.  The catholicism permeates heavily until near the end of the film. But it’s always fascinating when a director makes a project out of something heartfelt.tlwatorl3

Rosalind Leigh works for me,  I adore re watching this movie, it digs at the brain and tangles up the thought patterns. I’ve never had any religious guilt trips placed on me but I can identify with the characters, they are very so very real, this is why it brings the horror home to nest. The only let down, if I was pushed to find something, would be the lack of a soundtrack. Now while it’s very interesting that film doesn’t boom music at you constantly it could have enhanced some of the horror and drama scenes.

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The way I see things is that the driving force behind the movie is this “Religion can drive people apart” Now I’m not saying that this applies to everyone who considers themselves religious, after all most religions aim to pull people together and to help one another, but there are always fanatics who get things messed up, how many parents drive their children away for not conforming? This just illustrates what “can” happen and how devastating it can be for both parties.

I think adapting the catholicism into this unnamed cult, is an attempt to stop viewers at pointing the finger at this known religion, instead to help them lump the blame with “religion” as a blanket term. I suppose if your uber religious then you’ll be better off avoiding this, if you have been outcast due to religious differences then this might dig up a reason to go and see your therapist. Otherwise if you’re a fan of gothic horrors, or if you just prefer something a little more mature and refined that will shock the cerebral without the use of gore then this will entertain and shock.wpid-https%3a%2f%2f36.media_.tumblr.com%2f37ce2b29a4cbe95a767917525e783baa%2ftumblr_mwlvylpt6o1qbwn9co6_1280.pngV: While the movie is not lacking in substance, it doesn’t untap all of it’s full potential but it’s still a thrilling horror movie, the atmosphere is perfect, the house itself and the setting is both claustrophobic and very unsettling. While the CG involved with the creature is a little low budget it doesn’t deter from the sheer horror it does create, and is heavily enhanced with great cinematography and very terrifying sound effects. I can’t recommend this movie enough, it’s hard to work out why it scores so low but it’s not a gore movie and I think there has been a shift to gore instead of horror lately. but it’s definitely something for true horror fans with a solid story and great acting.

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Rating –  8/10
R: The Facts in the case of  Mister Hollow (2008) , The Possession (2013) , The taking of Deborah Logan (2014) .
5B : Vanessa Redgrave
L: Haunted Houses, Selected Ghost movies, Haunted houses, Angels
PD : Post Discussion to come

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