Director: David Amito, Michael Laicini Starring: Nicole Tompkins, Rowan Smyth. Canada. 1h 35m
I have to admit that before seeing Antrim I had no idea what the word actually meant so I did have to Google it. Turns out that it means, “A nearly closed cavity or chamber…” Well ok, How does one make a movie about a nearly closed cavity? Somehow directors, David Amito and Michael Laicini managed to turn this notion into a retro cursed movie project and argue that the film is (loosely) based on a movie by David B. Earle titled Dining Room or There is Nothing. Believe it or not if you have ever seen any of the creepy movie compilations on YouTube then you probably have seen this short but were unaware of its title, and here is the movie in all of its esoteric glory.
Director: Todd Haynes Starring: Juilanne Moore, John Apicella, Xander Berkeley, Dean Norris .USA/UK. 1h 59m
After watching Todd Haynes’s masterful macabre paperwork drama, Dark Waters I can’t help but think back to one of his more impressive and less talked about movies, Safe; featuring all of the key elements that Haynes loves to explore, showing how we are negatively affected by “forever” chemicals. He takes a more sensitive approach in this mid nineties movie before breaking the doors down years later with the harder hitting Mark Ruffalo biopic.
I hired Safe out many years ago from Blockbusters, it was cheap, because it’s a bit too art house for some and slow and boring for the rest, but for me it really struck a chord, and later on after years of talking to people about it, that chord resonated more as there’s a surprising divide between the sexes about how real or relevant this movie is, I don’t believe it was the aim of the film but maybe a byproduct of Haynes ability to paint Julianne in a certain light while she battles invisible illness. Something that we’re all a little bit more aware of despite these damning warnings.
Director: Sylas Dall Starring: Mary Madaline Roe, Morgan Chandler, Eden Campbell .USA. 1h 27m
For a first time full length feature, there’s a lot of potential here, great believable character creation and development, an interesting narrative and some sterling cinematography, however there’s just something amiss with Dall’s creepy drama. Firstly it can’t make up its mind if it’s a horror movie with kids, or for kids…
Dall has a gorgeous set up as he hurls his cast back into the early 1970’s, opening with a father an son who are on the road to attend an alleged possession case, while recording their findings they are convinced something demonic is going on, and attempt an exorcism using an arcane tomb, as with any credible horror, things go terribly wrong but the tape catches it all including the demonic forces and seems to hold on to them.
Small budget aside this imaginative found footage movie actually outdoes some of the more costly attempts to freak out audiences, with its stereotypical beginnings it ramps up the psychotropic madness as it’s survivors run a gauntlet of terror that’s totally unexpected and wholesomely different and that alone; is worth the wait as this simple but highly effective story plays out.
Howie Askins’s debut Devil Girl (2007) didn’t leave a great lasting impression on its audience, the attempt to revise the ultimate horror road movie with buxom chicks just didn’t pique much interest, sadly the 9/10 review on IMDb comes from someone with the username howieaskins .. funny that. Continue reading Evidence (2012)→
AKA: Demons III Director: Lumberto Bava Starring: Virginia Bryant, Sabrina Ferilli, Paolo Malco, Patrizio Vinci. Italy. 1h 34m
So many classic horror novels are produced from the bizarre dream of the writer, Frankenstein was a fever dream so powerful that Mary Shelly had to get the essence down on paper in a male dominated world, going against the grain she knew that her unique mix of man playing god and the promise of some dark everlasting life was literary gold. Other writers have often marveled how they bring their nightmares and dreams to live in their writing and films, which is the premise of this scrawny horror. Made for TV in the mid 80’s there’s a lot of 70’s backlash in this Bava effort, which made up a trilogy of direct to video/tv film series.
Director: Pascal Laugier. Starring: Taylor Hickson, Anastasia Philips, Kevin Power, Rob Archer, Mylene Farmer, Crystal Reed, Emilia Jones, USA. 1h 31m.
Pascals past record, in my opinion is chequered, in his early career he assisted on one of the most perfect films ever made, Le Pacte Des Loups (2001) he broke the mold and may stomachs with the New French Extreme visceral classic, Martyrs (2008) then let me down with the confusing and long winding, No Slender Man tale of the Tall Man (2012), but he’s come back swinging with a perfect blend of all the best psychological and physical horror from his past, with a sublime film that gives the creeps and will rattle a few cages along the way. His approach to this twisting tale is unique in that it plays on a strange story this is presented from different perspectives each slipping in and out of each other seamlessly but the dynamics are hauntingly beautiful and yet covered in as much nostalgic creepiness as the house it’s set in.
The two young sisters at the centre of this film, couldn’t be more different, Beth (Reed/Jones) is a sensitive horror writer, always lost in her thoughts about Lovecraft inspired texts but faints at the sight of blood, her ballsy sister is pretty awesome, hot tempered and ready for a fight but they are sisters, just so different the fiery Vera (Philips/Hickson) is a delight. Continue reading Ghostland (2018)→
Director: Mike Flanagan Starring: Carla Gugino, Bruce Greenwood, Chiara Aurelia, Carel Struycken , Henry Thomas. USA. 1h 43m Based on Gerald’s Game by Stephen King
Sometimes I read the synopsis of a film and then check the time and can’t fathom how someone can drag out something so simple for so long, reading about Gerald’s Game, a woman trapped along chained to a bed, the mind doth boggle how i can last for nearly two hours, but this movie is amazing in the details and revelations that incur during Jessie’s surprise and accidental incarceration.
Jessie (Gugino) and her husband Gerald (Greenwood) travel to a remote beach house to rekindle their marriage, with a bit of kink, after running into a stray dog, Jessie puts some food out for the dog incase it’s still in the area and notices that a door has been left open. Focusing on the fun she slips into a something more comfortable and Gerald pops two viagra, handcuffs his wife to the bed and dies from a heart attack.Continue reading Gerald’s Game (2017)→
I am constantly looking for films about serial killers that aren’t total let downs and after years of searching it seems I missed the boat as one of the greatest and more accurately disturbing films was released when I was a toddler, but despite its age it really hasn’t lost any of it’s vivacity and manages to detail the gruesome slaughtering of one family by a repetitive mass murder Werner Kniesek.
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.
Director : Tim Burton Starring: Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, Christina Ricci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Lee Miranda Richardson. USA. 1h 45m
The alluring Johnny Depp returns to the big screen under the gentle hand of his best friend Tim Burton in the timeless epic, Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving’s all American gothic mystery thriller romance, and with it’s dark and twisted back story it’s one of the prime suspects of a classic novel that would inspire Tim Burton to direct again and he manages to give it his stereotypical darkly tinted overhaul, conjuring up massively creepy action scenes for his favourite leading man despite his cheerful disposition and constant fainting, he is strangely the man for the job. Depp plays Ichabod Crane a police officer sent by the New York authorities, in this case by Christopher Lee in the late 18th century to investigate a supernatural crime wave in a small town almost lost within a forest called Sleepy Hollow, one of the obvious twists with this retelling of the story is the modern FBI approach that Crane has towards investigating the series of beheadings like Takeshi Kaneshiro in Dragon (2013) but without the CSI graphics.Continue reading Sleepy Hollow (1999)→