Director: Liam Gavin.
Starring. Steve Oram. Catherine Walker. UK/Ireland/Wales. 1h 39m.
For a directorial debut things can’t get much better than this enlightened and powerful independent movie about grief, revenge and the harsh deeper side of the occult.
An obviously distraught and confused mother, Sophia (Walker) rents an isolated house in rural Wales to try and convince an angry and unhinged occultist Joseph Solomon (Oram) to lead her through months of grueling rites in order to summer her Guardian Angel to grant her a special favor after her son was abducted and murdered, all she wants is to talk with him again.
Sophia follows the rules to the letter, collecting large amounts of supplies and spending thousands just to entice Joseph to the house and after some rugged persuasion he begrudgingly agrees but has reservations about Sophia’s motives but she is persistent and pretty durable, and she grinds through the punishing exercises, changing her diet, and begin soaked with chilled water, denied sleep and spends hours learning complex sigils and rituals. All the while in the dim secluded house that’s alien to them both and is constantly creaking and being generally creepy, Joseph remains a moody occult guide and rude rule maker, reading from the Book of Abramelin, and making some things up to help him keep his mind in the game, usually involving Sophia’s naked body.. Meanwhile Sophia doesn’t see enough results for her hard work, but ever so slowly the magic starts to work, or is it all a result of the demanding time locked away in the house with a volitlie and pushy occultist? Continue reading A Dark Song (2016)
AKA – The Monster Outside – Hüte dich vor der Dunkelheit
Director: Stephen Folker
Starring: Glenn Harston, Dave Juehring, Trena Penson, Tristan Coppola, Jim Nieciecki. USA. 1h 30m
The cover for this indie horror is mightily impressive but I think that’s where the budget stopped, still it got my attention and luckily I’m a sucker for indie movies and despite it’s poor attempt at being a convincing horror, it actually a loveable movie.
I do have a soft spot for bigfoot movies and films that include one legged black guys who make root beer in old bathtubs out back, but maybe because of my magnetism to bigfoot, or maybe I just like bad movies, it’s hard to justify why I can see all the bad points in Field Freak but still have some warmth for the film. Sometimes you’ll discover a b movie with no love or care, they either try too hard to create outside of their budget or like this family horror, they just admit that they don’t have a huge budget and just set out to make something enjoyable with a lot of heart, it won’t win over a majority but it is what it is. Continue reading Field Freak (2016)
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)
Starring: James Purefoy, Rachel Shelley, Christopher Adamson, Paul Brooke, Don Warrington.UK. 1h 35m
Lighthouse was a random find at the local library, without knowing much the cover and category of horror was enough for me to part with some change for the mystery DVD which turned out to be quite an impressive budget serial killer movie although while horror movies often have some infamous bad decisions this one goes overboard.
James Purefoy is Spader, one of a number of prisoners are being transported by ship to a new prison, unfortunately they run into problems and the boat sinks, a small group of survivors manage to swim to safety prisoners and guards have to band together as a much more deranged killer known as Rook is now loose, and with his tendency to be the kinda psychopath who kills anyone he sees they do everything they can to protect themselves on the lonely dark island and their only refuge is a run down lighthouse. Continue reading Lighthouse / Dead of Night (1999)
Director:Yoshiaki Kawajiri .
Characters: Master Rai, Rebi Ra, Earth Demon, Mephisto, Rapist, Hag, Yin, Chibi, Water Demon, Genichiro, Rama . Japan. 1h 25m
The makers of this slightly underpowered Anime are responsible for much more adored favourites such as Ninja Scroll (1993) and Wicked City (1987), so it’s got a high standard to live up to. The story is somewhere between Supernatural adventure and a Romantic horror, and at times seems to be a missing link between the two.
Opening mid way through a battle between good and evil, two men, former friends Rebi Ra and short lived hero Genichirou are doing cool battle shit when one hits a limit break and kinda sparks off a huge explosion which opens a gateway to hell and this envelopes the Shinjuku area.(as you do) Cut to the modern day and only a few years after this “event” and the city has been become a no go area. The military had tried to control the nasty creatures that reside there but failed miserably but despite this an underground of people still live in their beloved district. Continue reading Demon City Shinjuku (1988)
Director: Dave Tynan.
Starring.Emmet Kirwan, Sarah Greene, Seana Kerslake, Ian Lloyd Anderson. Ireland/UK. 1h 39m.
I assumed this was going to be more about older irish problems and feelings towards the British, maybe I’m still on a high after watching Black 47 (2018), but this is more of a cross between It’s all gone Pete Tong (2004) and Trainspotting (1996) but without that certain spark or energy instead it’s way more realistic (than Trainspotting) and totally poetic both in narrative and throughout it’s dialogue. There are many drug addicts here, some have succumbed and others literally only use it to enhance their recreation.
So this movie tells a story of Jason (Kirwan), an aspiring DJ who spends those few hours between drug field trips in the streets of Dublin, he stumbles on his educated and long time addicted brother Daniel (Anderson). The two subsequently bond and clash as they batter through their differences and in a strange Irish way, catch up with each other. Jason is determined to reach his goal at DJing a very special illegal rave while trying to win his ex back, this young man really has a lot on his plate and struggles every step of the way. Continue reading The Dublin Oldschool (2018),
Director: Zak Bagans.
Starring. Zak Bagans, Jay Wasley, Billy Tolley .USA. 1h 51m.
Fitting somewhere in between a documentary and mockumentary it’s easy to see the appeal with Demon House. not just based on real events the film struggles to remain a proper found footage movie with a few added dramatisations and real interviews about a real haunting in Gary, Indiana. The full details of the Ammons haunting case were documented and followed by Zak Bagans, who then purchased the house after the family moved and his attempts to coax out the entity.
Demon House starts with the great deal of promise and effective film making, opening with the purchase of the property the look and feel of the film is spot on as a documentary which is how the film has been labeled. Zak buys the property, sight unseen and just on the knowledge of the mass hysteria that broke out when an African American family were experienced demonic possession in what was called a “Portal to Hell”. Continue reading Demon House (2018)
AKA Non Si deve profance il sonno dei morti, Don’t Open the Window, the film officially has 15 titles, so take your pick..
Director: Jorge Grau
Starring: Ray Lovelock. Arthur Kennedy, Cristina Galbo. Spain/Italy. 1h 35
There’s a subtle Giallo twist to this unusual but gripping science fiction zombie flick, undead, mystery, giallo, car crash, sci fi horror, pesticides, it’s got so much going on but all to the backdrop of the gorgeous English countryside and littered with the creeping dead.
The film focuses on two protagonists who until their vehicle crash led two totally different lives, there’s Edna (Galbó) Who’s trying to visit her family and the brash George (Lovelock) a hot tempered and pushy individual but his drive really powers the action. Continue reading The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue / Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)
Director: Aislinn Clarke
Starring: Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen, Lauren Coe, Ciaran Flynn . Ireland / UK. 1h 17m
This found footage horror is set in the swinging 60’s but it isn’t influences by mini skirts and being hip instead the women involved are quite different, Devils Doorway sees Father Thomas Riley (Roddy) and Father John Thornton (Flynn) despatched by the vatican to investigate reports of a miracle in a Catholic asylum based in the wilderness of Northern Ireland.
At this remote asylum for immoral women, the statues of the Virgin Mary have been weeping blood. The two priests open their investigation by filming each other, the younger, Father John arms himself with a 16mm camera to record their findings and often interrogates father Thomas about his life and beliefs as a priest, after some adjustments they head to the vast home and begin their investigation but are confronted by some fiercely protective nuns who see their presence as insulting and can’t wait to see the backs of them. Continue reading The Devil’s Doorway (2018)
Director: Tom Shankland
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy. USA. 1h
With the rise in popularity of the Saw Franchise, there were bound to be some copy cats, but this one stood out from the rest, not only did it have an impossible name but it’s based on a real equation, one that is found carved into the bodies of the victims. The serial killer at work here is obsessed with mathematical equations and revenge.
The two cops on the killers tail are the craggy Eddie Argo (Skarsgard) and his new rookie partner Helen Westcott (George) who’s quite fragile and not really up to the job but is determined to make it work.
The two are pretty clueless as to what they are up against at first but they soon start to unravel the equation (wΔz = Cov (w,z) = βwzVz) with some help from a drug addicted Denis Penis, who helps explain that it translates to “kill your loved one or be killed”, and ever so slowly they also piece together the dark secret that sparked the killings via confident of Eddie, a young informer that he pays special attention to. Continue reading WΔZ / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)