Tag Archives: ghost

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)

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Demon House (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)

Lake Mungo (2008)

Director: Joel Anderson
Starring: Rosie Traynor, David Pledger, Martin  Sharpe, Talia Zucker. Australia. 1h 27m

Lake Mungo takes a slightly different approach to the world of Mockumentaries/Found footage films, there’s a gentler hand involved in this deeply personal and sentimental story of a missing teen. Often the film shocks and attempts to scare it’s audience but these are often long drawn out tension filed scenarios more than faux jump scares which is a credit to some brilliant film making, although in the attempts to make everything so very real these scenes are often displayed as terrible quality home video recordings showing phenomena in a “bigfoot” blur and the scare is often lost in the quality.

Alice Palmer (Zucker) is just like any other team girl, but one fateful day on a trip to a local camping site at Lake Mungo she goes missing. Her distraught family and emergency services  go to the limit to find her, unfortunately all this is pulled form the lake is her body. Continue reading Lake Mungo (2008)

The House on Mansfield Street (2018)

Director: Richard Mansfield
Starring: Matthew Hunt, Daniel Mansfield, Kathryn Redwood, . UK . 1h 14m

 

I’m a proud defender of found footage and was eager to see this new british indie horror, it follows Nick Greene (Hunt) who’s an amature film maker, recording his own film of his move from London to Nottingham. The Movie starts strong and has many merits but .. It’s a PG 13 and doesn’t really give the chills that I was expecting,

As he settles into his quaint miniature historic cottage, he has two weeks before he starts work, after a brief encounter with his lovely neighbour Emma (Redwood) he’s back to filming his adventures in his new hometown. Visiting some of the local attractions he’s more mystified by what’s going on back at home. Emma gifts him a small craft pouch, something that her sister makes for good luck, he’s been instructed to hang it in his home to ward of evil spirits, after hearing some scratching in the walls and ceiling, he finds a similar more pungent pouch in the loft but the noises stop… but this is only the beginning. Continue reading The House on Mansfield Street (2018)

Winchester (2018)

Director: The Spierig Brothers
Starring: Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook, Eamon Farren . USA . 1h 39m

The mysteries of the Winchester house have been documented for years and while this movie is based on the facts of a true story it manages to make something mysterious and creepy very mundane and pointless experiment.

The widow of William Wirt Winchester, Sarah (Mirren) went into overdrive at the sudden death of her husband, trying several times to connect with him through spirituality she eventually started to make continuous alterations to their mansion in San Jose using the $20 million dollars inheritance and profits from the Winchester company.

Sarah’s not only working through her grief but she is feeling intense guilt for being part of the gum problem, her husbands guns were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and due to her erratic behaviour, the Winchester company send in a doctor to assess her sanity, Eric Price (Clarke) who’s a drug dependant doctor mourning the suicide of his wife, but he agrees to take on the job and becomes a resident at the home. Sarah is obviously weary of the man but as she’s totally sane, but just having to deal with spirits on a daily basis, she cleans up his act and allows him to proceed with his observations. Continue reading Winchester (2018)

1922 (2017)

Director:Zak Hilditch .
Starring. Thomas Jane, Molly Parker, Neal McDonough. USA. 1h 48m.

This hot and melting messy murder film is quite an interesting brooding moralistic thriller. At first the rocky love affair between Wilfred Jane) and his feisty wife Arlette (Parker) is something on parallel to a Tennessee Williams play,  but it’s no secret that he’s planning to kill his wife for her land and cash, but it doesn’t seem plausible until he slowly bullies his son, Henry into helping him hold her down and slit her throat in a torrid gurgling bloody mess. He disposes of her corpse down the well soon after then the rats appear, crawling in and out of her corpse, the scene shocks him but he has some cleaning up to do and a lot of police dodging, until the Henry discovers that his teenage true love is pregnant and he has to escape the town and the two go on the run leaving Wilfred alone on the farm with the ever present rats for company.

Continue reading 1922 (2017)

Carnival of Souls (1962)

Day 8 – Carnival of Souls

Director: Herk Harvey.
Starring. Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison, USA. 1h 24m.

A cult classic that still influences a host of modern directors, this independent horror film manages to create a bizarre ghostly atmosphere that has been difficult to re-create since.

A few girls are out for a lark, when then encounter some greasers who challenge them to a drag race over a bridge, the girls car crashes in the river and they get pulled along by the rapids, the rescue mission fails to find anything but a shabby and bemused young blonde bombshell emerges from the water the only survivor from this tragic misadventure. Mary’s life is never quite the same after the accident. The church organist relocates to Utah, where she finds herself set apart from the locals and stalked by a strange pasty faced ghoulish man (Harvey) as she’s drawn towards a mysterious carnival on the outskirts of town near the river,  where she’s inclined to dance. Continue reading Carnival of Souls (1962)

Horror Shorts – The Stairs, Selfie and Playing with the Devil

 

Another addition of horror so soon! Yep I’m on a roll, and I found three more interesting horrors.

The Stairs


Director : ??? France. 2014
Duration: 3.46
Starting with some bleeding steps and flashing pictures of all those scary faces that usually make up the title of any modern Creepypasta, this short remains totally “typical” it soon cuts to the usual home alone with a mobile phone scene that 90% of all horror shorts seem to be exhausting these days, until the young man notices his front door open, after closing it, strange noises come from the bottom of the dark stairs ,and on investigating the lights go out… It’s spooky in a sense but not gripping or scary in the least,
Rating: 1/10

Selfie


Director : Kantom Chantom and Pattakit. Thailand. 2015
Duration: 2.32
Just from the title I kinda guessed the ending of this short, and even if it is predictable and the end result is a bit tacky, without trying to give too much away, it looks like it’s been edited on Paint, but the jumpscare was done well and actually worked on me! So despite the dullness of this I have to give it some credit for the excellent editing.
Rating:4/10

Playing with the devil


Director : Nick Stentzel. Starring : Rachel Frain, Balerie Trevherz, Jessica Hadlock USA.  2014 Based on a Japanese Ritual Hitori Kakurenbo, (One Man Tag) and using characters from the Screenplay “LETTERS” Written Damon Peoples.
Duration: 7.09
First off I was confused and put off by all of the fucking rules, not really knowing what the Ritual entails and only getting little bits of information constantly throughout was off putting, maybe I should have read up about it first, but to make something like this accessible i think a lot more could have been done to educate the viewer but don’t let this distract you as it’s still an awesome horror short, that does actually have a few frights. Three sisters decide to partake in this ritual and until things go terribly wrong and the movie soon turns into a rollercoaster of unsettling frights. The acting from the three young ladies is faultless and it the quality of the film itself is sound. I just felt that every few seconds a new rule was being introduced and I was left confused wondering why anyone would want to play this “game” but it does it’s job I am unnerved, well done. I was expecting it to turn into that early scene in Cabin in the woods  (2011), where the kids are exorcising the witch but… well you’ll have to spare a few minutes to check it out.
Rating: 6/10

We Are Still Here (2015)

We Are Still Here  (Horror, Supernatural,  2015) (18) D: Ted Geoghegan W: Richard Griffin (based on a concept by) P:  C: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig,, Larry Fessenden, Lisa Marie, Monte Markham. 1h 24m. USA.

wearestillhere (27)

Synopsis : Every 30 years, a lonely old house in the fields of New England wakes up and demands a sacrifice.

TAGLINE : This house needs a family.

The stark and hushed ghost film from Ted Geoghegan is a smoldering thriller, and possibly too clever for it’s own good. It is by no means underpowered but is so simple the best aspect of the story is often over looked, this doesn’t make it a bad movie it’s just not idiot proof and that’s the best form of horror. From the onset the film is constantly on edge, mixing the right blend of tension and jump scares without utilizing a brash soundtrack to outline what’s coming. Very little is given away from the onset about the situation and history and the viewer is left guessing throughout this enjoyable and somewhat curious but powerful drama which is ultimately unforgettable.

The film,  inspired by a concept from Richard Griffin (Disco Exorcist 2011) who’s usual low brow writing has conjured up some catchy characters, but this is a huge step away from that comfort zone and is a true homage to a classic horror tale. The basic outline to the story revolves around a middle aged couple, The Sacchetti’s, who have recently lost their son in a car accident and are moving out to a rural community to get away from the miserable memories. The mother Anne (Barbara Crampton) is certain that she can feel the presence of her son in the new home and asks for her psychic friends and her sons best friend to visit to try and conduct a seance to contact her dead boy. After a very unusual visit from a neighbour and his edgy wife, an electrician badly burnt in the unusually hot basement, the couple still continue in their attempts to contact the dead and get a lot more than they bargained for in a town with a hushed dark secret that could easily contend with Silent Hill (2006).

Filled with stylish visuals and tense atmosphere throughout, it’s homely and comforting while also being freaky as hell. As much as the ghosts do remind me of the later stages of Thanatomorphose (2012) they are quite unusual for the average haunted house movie. With lashings of creepiness and intelligent dose of gore this film delivers on so many levels.There is a particularly well handled scene near the end when the Sacchetti’s come face to face with the ghosts and the stand off has so much tension.

It’s radiant to see and older couple as leads, dealing with the horrors of the house,  as the typical approach is to chuck in a bucket of teenagers, but in a style reminiscent of House by the Cemetery (1981) we’ve gone back to adults having to being sensible about these matters, and it works so well. I like that there are no huge speeches about how to perform a seance or how things works, it’s all down to earth and natural, this simple approach twinned with short bursts of outrageous and controlled violence works much better at shocking an audience rather than jump scares. This is something which will be unusual for the younger audience and might work against the movie, while it’s greatly appreciated as far as I’m concerned, and I’m delighted that the film closes in a way in which we might be able to see a sequel and hopefully a prequel at some point.

 

AOFA08

Rating –  8/10

R: Silent Hill (2006), House by the Cemetery (1981)

V: It’s almost like returning to an old lover, this film revisits all of the golden themes and ideas of old horror movies. It’s not purely mindless buckets of blood, but there is a lot of bloody gory violence, the ghosts aren’t just creepy haunting voices but hardcore psychotic killers, the town has a dark history like silent hill but it’s not all it has. Showing great love and endearment for the horror genre, it all comes home to the house that needs a family. and I do indeed hope that it does become a family with more films to come.

L: Modern Ghost Films, Haunted houses

PD : Coming Soon