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 Are You There?
Director:Scott Di Lalla .
Starring.Demetrius Sager,Courtney Foxworthy, Kelly McLaren, Caleb Courtney USA. 1h 25m.
As part of my Occult A-Z I have been watching some of the best and worst that cinema has to offer and pretty early on I was easily set on this being the end of the list but i’m afraid that the list will end on a low note.
I‘m a huge supporter of lower budget movies but what they lack funds they do have to make up with some passion, some drive, a bit of energy!! But this is little more than entry level horror, which is a shame as the whole Zozo mythos is pretty interesting and usually harbors a few jumps and sleepless nights. Continue reading I am Zozo (2006)
Director: Marcus Adams
Starring: Joe Absolom, Tom Bell, Lara Belmont, Lukas Haas, James Hill, Alex Newman, Mel Raido, Marsha Thompson . UK . 1h 35m
When a was a youngster the local Odeon was my all time favourite place to hang out, sticky popcorn floors, ushers who didn’t age check you and tickets I could afford with my SU card, tons of free film postcards and on the odd occasion a seat that wasn’t stained. Sadly it closed around the early 2000’s but I had a handful of postcard adverts for films I planned to see before the doors shut, but I didn’t make it 😦
Long Time Dead was on the top of the pile but I totally forgot about it.. A few years ago I found a copy in a charity shop by the seaside and it’s alright.. I guess… It feels as if a British director was trying to make a Hollywood movie, and really Brits make amazing horrors without needed to fall into the American Cliché soup. Continue reading Long Time Dead (2002)
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)
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)
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)
It was a short night but I just about managed two films
Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
I wasn’t too bothered with this when it was first advertised but then I found out it was based on a true story and ectoplasm was present and I was SOLD! The first time I watched it I did get a few chills, but it seemed to have really pissed over the true story. Generally it’s slated and carries a low rating on rottentomatoes which is a shame, but it could have been shorter and the magic doesn’t happen until you watch the extras, that’s when I turned on the lights. So a family relocates after their son is diagnosed with cancer, they aim to be closer to the hospital but end up moving into an ex funeral home, that was used to séances the house soon starts to show signs of powerful paranormal activity. If you haven’t watched the extras or know much about the real story check it out. But what really grinds my gears is why is ectoplasm left out of movies.. it’s an awesome concept. 6/10 (10/10 for the extras). Continue reading Last Nights Movies 01-08-2017
Director: Olaf Ittenbach.
Starring.Natacza Boon, James Matthews-Pyecka, Daryl Jackson. Germany. 1h 26m.
It’s quite easy to slate a film just because of it’s shoddy acting and low budget but then there are a few golden films where we actually really adore them just for those reasons, I want to name the Room (2003) but really I don’t know why it’s’ the best of the worst.. but it is. Garden of Love has some pretty bad qualities, poor production being the more noticeable but there is a damn fine slasher movie somewhere in the mess. Continue reading Garden Of Love (2003)
Another addition of horror so soon! Yep I’m on a roll, and I found three more interesting horrors.
Director : ??? France. 2014
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,
Director : Kantom Chantom and Pattakit. Thailand. 2015
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.
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.
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.