Tag Archives: haunting

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Director: Oren Peli
Starring: Micah Sloat, Katie Featherston . USA. 1h 26m

Sometimes it takes a great director to make a movie, other times it takes a great director to endorse a movie to make it a winner! Steven Speilberg couldn’t praise the movie enough, claiming that he had to stop watching as he was so afraid and had to continue the next day with the lights on! What on earth could freak him out that much?

The film was hyped up as the scariest movie you’ve ever seen, this instantly made it a target for criticism and doubt. The series of trailers were chock a block with clips of audiences reeling away and jumping with fright more than highlighting what the film is actually about. The most we know is there’s something going on in the pristine suburban home of two beautiful young hopefuls.

Continue reading Paranormal Activity (2007)

Death of a Vlogger (2019)

Director: Graham Hughes
Starring: Graham Hughes, Annabel Logan, Paddy Kondracki, Patrick O’Brien, Joma West.UK. 1h 28m

Found footage movies are generally the cheapest and “easiest” to make however a lot fail when they try to hard, overthinking the details and missing the obvious, a lot of film makers would have jumped into this movie as a teen drama, however, Graham Hughes uses himself and his own flat to make a really personal and cerebrally challenging film that turns out the be one of the best in the genre despite the one terrible cliché it falls into occasionally.

Graham stars as himself, in his own home, as a wannabe YouTube star, attempting all the trends that we remember from planking, the ice bucket challenge to bottle throwing he seems desperate to find fame online, but he’s more than just a wannabe he is a cultured soul and tells some really great sensitive story about world war II parachuters who had issues with perception, after jumping out of a plane, many would land of roofs and simply jump down, after falling hundreds of feet without injury, a few feet just doesn’t seem to much however that’s when they would gain their biggest injuries… and perception is what Graham is about to rick roll his audience with in many sinister ways. Continue reading Death of a Vlogger (2019)

They Reach (2020)

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.

Continue reading They Reach (2020)

The Canal (2014)

Director: Ivan Kavanagh
Starring: Rupertt Evans, Anatonia Campbell-Hughes, Hannah Hoekstra, Kelly Bryne. UK. 1h 32m

A paranoid love story inflames within the confined walls of a haunted house, but not just any ghost is lingering in the shadows, it’s the ghost of a violent killer. This is enough to make any film spooky but Canal just end up dragging out the age a repetition of the same old suspense scenes and delivers little else. Written like a gothic novel and presented as a bleak drama with added Ring (1998) style ghostly scares, and The Red Shoes (2005) style red herrings, the film attempts to blur the lines between the supernatural and a genuine psychological thriller.. Shrouded in the historical mysteries of the house and deluded paranoia, the film packs a punch (be it a weak love tap) on two sides of the horror spectrum simultaneously, this can easily be mistaken as a confused Continue reading The Canal (2014)

Història de la meva mort / The Story of my Death (2013)

Director: Albert Serra
Starring: Eliseu Huertas, Lluís Serrat Massanellas, Vicenç Altaió . UK. 2h 28m

Albert Serra, the Catalan trailblazer, always fascinates with his interpretations and adaptations of withering classic figures. Through a dusty lense he creates lavish cultured tapestries for them to play in, sometimes seeming alive now and again they seem as fragile and shaggy relics they have left behind.

His baroque mix up of pleasure meets desire in the guise of Cassanova meets Dracula combines fantasy and fiction in a flight of fancy style, at times it’s pretty grotesque while bolsters by lots of risque blush and tickles, a truly great adventure set against an unusual Transylvanian setting. Continue reading Història de la meva mort / The Story of my Death (2013)

Ouija (2014)

Director: Stiles White
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Daren Kagasoff, Douglas Smith, Bianca Santos. USA. 1h 29m

This film is just constantly bad. I want to end the review there but I owe a full explanation, and here it is…

Ouija has become the in thing among teens and adults, that little edgy thing that divides groups of believers and non believers, those who see them as a parlour game and others who see them as elements of evil, every few years the mysticism about this “game” raises its head and creates more urban myths, believers and skeptical non believers. Along with this rise in fame comics, books, tattoos, movies and music are all heavily influenced by the spirit board and it’s planchette accessory. Continue reading Ouija (2014)

The Toybox (2018)

Director: Tom Nagel
Starring: Denise Richard, Mischa Barton, Jeff Barton Jeff Denton, Brian Nagel, Greg Cioland, Matt Mercer, Greg Violand. USA. 1h 35m.

There’s so much to like about the bare bones of this movie, a haunted RV with a dark past entwined with hints of a real serial killer, that takes a family hostage and starts killing them, you just can’t go wrong? Sadly something was definitely lost when translated to film, but I really enjoyed the film but find it hard to defend, yes it’s a BMovie, albeit slightly polished it creates a great grimey atmosphere and at times comes across as plausible but every now and again it just drops into the damned awful bin and struggles to get out.

A slightly more than average emaciated and botoxed Denise Richards heads up the estranged family heading out on their vacation in a second hand RV with a deadly past. The RV was purchased at a highly discounted price by Charles (Violand), as a promise to his now late wife, he wants to reconcile with his two sons and offers to take them and their families out on a road trip. Continue reading The Toybox (2018)

A Dark Song (2016)

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 volatile and pushy occultist?

Continue reading A Dark Song (2016)

I am Zozo (2006)

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)

Long Time Dead (2002)

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)