Tag Archives: ghosts

Deathwatch (2002)

Director: M J Bassett
Starring: Jamie Bell, Ruaidhri Conroy, Mike Downey, Laurence Fox, Kris Marshall, Hans Matheson, Matthew Rhys, Andy Serkis. UK. 1h 34m

The general trends with World War II movies is to punch your audience right in the gut with the violence and depression of the war. With all the progressions of cinema they all translate in more effect ways of demonstrating the darkest side of human nature and the brutal fight for freedom, but this isn’t the only way to portray the horrors of this dark chapter, since the was there have been numerous ghost stories written about lost soldiers, everlasting love and the occult nature of the “the enemies” of righteous civilisation. But is Deathwatch the new ghostly war story we need?

Bassett’s track record includes an array of action movies all tinged with the macabre, but Bassett is versatile in his approach with the lavish fantasy Solomon Kane filled with magic myth and monsters, and Wilderness, a group of wayward chavs verses a mystery slasher while stranded on a secluded island, he’s not a man who liked to be pinned down with a specialty apart from directing engaging movies. Continue reading Deathwatch (2002)

Warlock Moon (1973)

Director:William Herbert .
Starring.Laurie Walters, Joe Spano, Edna MacAfee, Harry Bauer, Steve Solinsky, Richard, Veille. USA. 1h 29m.

Warlock Moon is a stange low budget horror that has all the right intentions to be a twisted occult driven grindhouse thriller but it just doesn’t quite reach those dizzying heights, but still remains a hot favourite with a select few enthusiasts.

William Herbert’s confident homemade horror involved a lot of favours and dedication, but that’s what a lot of b movies are all about, making the most of what you can and creatively bending rules on public filming, it also helps to have a cast who are flexible and are fully dedicated to project, in this case, Edna MacAfee wasn’t allowed to wear makeup to enhance her old woman look and Walters and Spano were able to ad lib most of their scenes together which runs natural as they were a couple at the time. Continue reading Warlock Moon (1973)

Death Ship (1980)

Director: Alvin Rakoff
Starring: George Kennedy, RIchard Crenna, Nick Mancuso, Victoria Burgoyne. Canada. 1h 31m

Death Ship could easily be labelled as another prime example of how the horrors of World War II still plague the minds of modern man, with acts so cruel, barbaric and insane that the strong cinematic belief that this pinnacle of human shame has the power to infect and infest. Time and time again movies find the dark depraved experiments and human torture so hard to portray on screen that it’s analogiased as a demonic haunting, let’s face it, witnessing world War ii is like peering into vignettes of hell.

I wouldn’t want to say this was the blueprint for future ocean horrors but it so easy to see its effects in the tangled mess of Triangle (2009) and the palatable Ghost Ship (2002) the mechanics of this salty horror have more in common with Outpost (2008) and Christine (1983) and in my humble opinion Amityville (1979). Continue reading Death Ship (1980)

Hilarys Heart (2019)

Director: Reginald Ebere.
Starring. Fredrick Leonard, Nigeria. 4h +.

After a spate of gangland style Nollywood movies I settled into something a bit more tender, This mini series sees a father having to deal with a niaeve and rebellious daughter who has the ability to see ghosts but that’s not her biggest problem is a strange one but pulls on the heart strings as intended.

The series opens with Hilary being dropped off at her father’s house, her mother has decided that she wants to get married and is dropping off Hilary as it’s not her father’s turn to look after her, an unsuspecting bachelor (Leonard) who wasn’t aware that he has a daughter and the shock of the 14 year old instantly kills his current relationship with an unnamed flame (Uju Okoli). I have to give it to the Nigerians for introducing a movie in such a razzmatazz style. Continue reading Hilarys Heart (2019)

The Despicable (2019)

Director:
Starring: .Nigeria. 2h 40m

Like a lot of Nollywood movies, there is a central theme of step parents abusing the children they are supposed to be protecting. A lusty adult will move in, swipe up a new lover but all they care about is the material wealth, and sadly the children are the ones to pay as they are often seen as being expendable. Continue reading The Despicable (2019)

Nightmare Cinema (2018)

Director:Alejandro Brugué, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade
Starring:Mickey Rourke, Richard Chamberlain, Eric Nelsen, Mariela Garriga, Adam Godley, Patrick Wilson, Ezra Buzzington, Stephanie Cood .USA. 1h.59m

Anthologies are an important part of any genre but their significance to the world of horror is vital for getting a collection of directors to get those shorter, sometimes more obscure ideas out there. Horror is usually just a concept, Short Stories to tell the dark is a great example of a very short one page stories that kept a lot of kids up at night and is about to start scaring them again with the upcoming horror with the same name by Guillermo del Toro.

Every era has its highs and lows, from the golden era of Amicus to the more recent VHS and Southbound movies, we’ve also been treated by cult classics like Creepshow and Body Bags, the list really does go on. A lot of these films really took themselves seriously, trying to deliver something unseen, new and unbound, but most of this is set aside for a slightly retro kookie mish mash of bizarre horror and a few giggles in this bizarre anthology, partially starring Mickey Rouke in the wrap around.

Nightmare Cinema is set around an out of the way cinema called the Rialto, run by the master of nightmares Mr Rouke, the basis is an unsuspecting victim wanders into the cinema, once seated they are forced to see their worst nightmare, but the aftermath is slightly different for each character, this was a bit unnerving for me, I like a good routine in an anthology. Continue reading Nightmare Cinema (2018)

Bed of the Dead (2016)

Director: Jeff Maher.
Starring. Colin Price, Alysa King, Gwenlyn Cymyn, Dennis Andres, George Kirssa, Hamza Fouad. Canada. 1h 25m

After watching the long lost and brilliant psychotropic Death Bed : The bed that eats (1977) , I chanced upon this modern gore thriller about a similar piece of haunted furniture and thought I’d see how far we’d come in terms of awesome cinema and to sum it up in one sentence, watch the 1970’s classic instead..

This film is based on one wishy washy idea then introduces another and another then forgets to actually define why any of this is happening! But it all respect it has a respectable level of cinematography, effects and tries to be devious with a semi intelligent plot but it runs out of steam after the initial 20 minutes and fades from memory. Continue reading Bed of the Dead (2016)

Tenshi no Tamago / Angel’s Egg (1985)

Director: Mamoru Oshii
Starring: Jinpachi Nezu,Mako Hyōdō . Japan . 1h 15m

This avant grade collaboration between Yoshitaka Amano and director Mamoru Oshii is like a waking dream, the film has very little dialogue and what is said is as fragmented as the action within the film. The sparse plot, while linear, doesn’t really suggest a solid straight forward narrative but, but instead has a hazy, “make of it as you will” atmosphere. It’s very easy to sum this up as “Animated Art House” rather than a film with direct meaning and purpose, but it continues to inspire with its unfamiliar themes and dark visuals.

There are two main characters, a young girl who lives in an abandoned building near an abandoned town, a man appears on the shore watching a temple like orb raise from the ocean, and he descends silently into the town. Meanwhile the girl collects her giant egg, an object she protects each day by stuffing it under her dress, and heads into the eerie neo gothic town to scavenge for food and bottles to collect water in. She wanders around looking through windows and only gets startled when the man arrives on a biotechnical tank their silent glare results in the girl running away and the man slowly following after her. Continue reading Tenshi no Tamago / Angel’s Egg (1985)

Unfriended (2014)

Director: Levan Gabriadze
Starring. Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Shelly Hennig, Moses Storm, Jacob Wysocki. USA. 1h 23m

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your pc and bitch about your dead class mates.. think again mofos! Unfriended is a modern found footage desktop horror. A group of friends are chatting together online when their dead “friends’” account comes online and starts terrorising them both on and offline, with the threat that if they close the chat then they die, but staying in the group chat doesn’t change their fate either they are stuck between a rock and a hard place and forced to sit back and watch each others demise, but they get to view the disgusting violent ends of their BBF instead.

It’s the anniversary of Laura Barns suicide, a year to the day she committed suicide after a video of her passing out and crapping herself at a party went viral. On this tragic anniversary her former best friend Blaire enters a skype chat with her boyfriend and some of her close friends but when Laura’s facebook account starts sending messages they expect that someone in the group is pranking them. One by one each of the teens are outed on social media and then begin to act strange and appear to kill themselves, has Laura come back for revenge?

Well it’s so obvious what’s going on here, it’s pretty easy to work out who leaked the video and who’s back for her revenge, the only expectations are the slayings and they are pretty silly, one girl drinks some bleach, which is plausible, as she was skyping from the laundry room, another guy just happens to have a blender in his bedroom and finds a way of using that off himself. A blender? I don’t even have one to hand in my kitchen I keep it in a cupboard, is that weird?

The idea is pure gold, using social media as a tool for a found footage basis is something that really awoke the genre again and I think that’s what got a lot of bums on seats in the cinema, but the payoff was just lousy,  it’s hard to feel afraid when you’ve personally not encouraged someone to kill themselves so really the audience were routing for the dead chick, but with a year of planning she coulda come up with something a bit more elaborate, I’d wanna make em suffer bwhahaahaaa!

It’s quite a familiar scene, teen faces looking down their webcam in a group chat on Skype and/or DMing each other on facebook, but when things start to go awry usually you just turn it off and put on a movie, call an adult or something right? These teens didn’t even work out how to go live or work out a neat hashtag for their night of bloody carnage. #allmyfriendsaredying  #shoudlaneveruploadedthatvideo #godgaveusrockandroll. In terms of the movie being an experiment of a real time online horror it could have worked better as a live “game” experience, but in the terms of a movie which is limited to mobile and laptop of the main characters also limits the audience’s depth of perception and attention. It would have been cool if you could have dialled in on your mobile while the film was on to “tune in” to some of the action.. not there’s an idea!!

Let’s hope that lessons have been learnt for the upcoming sequel, and I hope that we all know that cyberbullying is bad.. ok..

Rating 3/10

RUnfriended : Dark Web (2018), Friend Request (2017), E-Demon (2018), Truth or Dare (2018), Dark Summer (2015)
L – A-Z of Found Footage Movies, Cyber Found Footage Movies
A – How believable does horror have to be?

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Gehenna: Where Death Lives (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)