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)
Director:Ugezu J Ugezu .
Starring. Bob Manuel Udokwu, Chioma Chukwuka, Ugezu J Ugezu, Uju Okoli . Nigeria. 5h 25m.
For Nollywood this is certainly one of my all time favourites and I believe the first full length one I saw back in 2016, I was a total noob but I fell in love with the genre and didn’t realise that the movies would be so long, like mini series, this 4 part epic (each episode over an hour) is a tale of woe and magical mystery.
So a loving and yet very strict businessman, named Silas played by Bob Manuel Udokwu, runs a thriving business, when he’s not running his corporation with an iron first, he’s loving his beautiful wife, Elizabeth (Chukuka) and their daughter, Elizabeth is heavily pregnant with their second child, this comes after a losing her previous baby, but with care and love they family have picked themselves up and are trying again. Continue reading The Sorrows of Elizabeth (2016)
Director: Pablo Larrain
Starring: Natalie Portman, Billy Crudup. USA. 1h 40m
There’s a time when a country is on the verge of a historic event and during the run up it’s common to look back at the achievements or disasters, but with the verge of a new president this raw and varnished portrait of Jackie Kennedy arrived at a reverent time.
Concentrating on the events from the point of Jackie the film revolves around the shooting of her husband , the world was shocked but the world was talking politics, talking about men and often Jackie was totally ignored, considered a bystander having everyone assume her feelings and emotions at the time and for years after. Pablo Larrain set himself a massive challenge with his first English language film, he’s taken on a task which could offend a country but his subtle hand and sympathetic eye has assured this film will be warmly welcomed. With an event this large the film is able to jump around to and fro but encompasses the tragic and lonely situation that Jackie was left in. Continue reading Jackie (2016)
Director: Hiroshi Katagiri
Starring: Eva Swan, Sean Sprawling, Katherine Taylor, Simon Philips, Doug Jones, Lance Henriksen. USA/ Japan. 1h 45m
Katagiri’s feature length debut opens up with an embellished biblical quote from Matthew 18:9, but instead of casting your eye into hell fire, the word is changed for Gehenna, this cuts away for a group of natives performing a ritual involved cutting off a mans face and walling him up in a cave.
After the bloodshed, the film cuts to a pristine office, where Morgan (Henriksen) speaks with his daughter about checking out a new spot in Saipan, the family business is tied with tourism and they have acquired a new piece of land which Paulina (Swan) is determined to check out as she’s planning on taking over the family business soon, this is all you’ll see of Henriksen so don’t get your hopes up Henny fans.
Continue reading Gehenna: Where Death Lives (2016)
Director: Afonso Poyart
Starring:Abbie Cornish,Jeffrey Dean Morgan,Colin Farrell, Anthony Hopkins,Marley Shelton, Kenny Johnson USA. 1h 41m.
Solace appears to be one of the modern thrillers speeding in on the heels of the Se7en (1995) phenomenon, a group of mismatched detectives with the addition of an aged psychic are on the trail of a serial killer whose victims seem to have nothing obvious in common. Merriweather (Morgan) plays an fairly unconvincing and over friendly detective who has loosely tied together a handful of homicides together, along with his feisty sidekick Katherine Cowles (Cornis) who aims to build a psychological profile for this person but is struggling and thus causing an age of an old friend as psychic John Clancy played by the brilliant Anthony Hopkins who reluctantly aides them in their task. It’s a mish mash of mediocre thriller and cop drama cliches with some adaptive CGI from new director Afonso Poyart. Continue reading Solace (2016)
Starring: Michael Madsen, Madi Vodane, Linda Bella. USA
This generic horror with a skeletal plot manages to detail scary elements of cyberbullying along with the moral conundrum of revenge, but with so much being regurgitated from olde fables and other films it only has a few minor saving graces.
Lisa Pomson (Vodane) is a troubled teen who has been drawn to the drama and tribulations of social media and is totally addicted, as for most of the teenagers she clashes with her parents on a regular basis, her father Bill, ( Marsden) tend to just laugh everything off assuming that she’ll just learn from her mistakes, while her mother tends to come down on her like a ton of bricks judging everything and making her come parents this with the Bible. it’s a good thing they don’t know about her other bad habits, and even seem totally unaware of her eating disorder, but I think we’re supposed to believe that they are good parents!? Continue reading Devil’s Domain (2016)
Director: Alice lowe
Starring: Alice Lowe,Gemma Whelan, Kate Dickie,Jo Hartley, Tom Davis, Kayvan Novak. UK. 1h 28m
Alice Lowe returns after the brilliant collaboration with cult director Ben Wheatley in their darkly entertaining Sightseers (2012). She returns as an equally unusual character but this one is on a course of revenge with her unborn baby. Lowe might just have backed herself into a typecasted corner and to be truthful it’s okay, as she does this disturbing comedy thing way to well and we honestly need a lot more of her thing in the unpredictable British market where we like to be on the edge of wrongness. Continue reading Prevenge (2016)
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)
Director: Sang-ho Yeon.
Starring. Ryu Seung ryong, Shim Eun-kynug, Lee Joo. South Korea. 1h 32m.
Set in modern day South Korea around the main Seoul station a homeless man wanders around feeling unwell, people shun him away and assume he’s just on drugs, his concerned friend to realise the dire situation after he dies and returns as the living dead with a thirst for human body parts. The main story centres on a young fragile girl Hye-sun who’s run away from home and is living with her scumbag boyfriend, who’s aiming to pimp her out, while fighting over this her violent and pissed off father enters town and close behind him the zombie outbreak wreaks havoc and it’s every person for themselves.
Continue reading Seoul Station (2016)
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)