Tag Archives: horror

The Ritual (2017)

Director: David Bruckner
Writers: Joe Barton and Adam Nevill’s The Ritual
Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton. UK. 1h 34m

One of the perks with Netflix is that it gives you the opportunity to watch on the go, which I tried to do with Ritual, but after watching the opening scene I had to stop the film, get home, get comfortable and absorb this film as it instantly grabbed my attention.

It opens with a few guys, not really willing to admit they are getting older but needing to get out on an adventure,  or just the yearly lads holiday, Ibiza!? no they are getting to old, camping, that’s too boring.. so what? The discussion goes into the street and on the way home a couple stop to get some vodka, the night is young and it must be continued while picking up the booze in the offie, they become aware that the place is being robbed, Luke (Spall) hides behind a display while his best friend tries to talk the situation down, it doesn’t work they start attacking him, and he bleeds to death while staring at his cowardly friend… this is the first lesson of this movie but the location changes to the deep dark forests of Sweden and the stakes get higher. Continue reading The Ritual (2017)

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Repulsion (1965)

Director: Roman Polanski
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser and Yvonne Furneaux. UK. 1h 45m

In Polanski’s highly thrilling black and white drama that kick started his tenant trilogy (which consists of  two other classic films  The Tenant (1976)  starring Polanski himself,  and the Cult classic Rosemary’s Baby (1968) ,  and this dark thriller, a young beautician drops deep in a claustrophobic insanity possibly spurred on by a suppressed family trauma as her feline sexuality sparks great interest from many suitors.

Repulsion is strangely enjoyable, and is a deep internal  nightmare that transpires through any age, and is easily relatable to. Adapted by Gérard Brach it is fantastically brought to life by Polanski and on a meager budget of £65,000, this debut  English film the budding director lost his footing at first, but as the dialogue vanishes he turns up the atmospherics and the results are quite dark and bold.

A beautiful timid girl Carole (Deneuve) is left alone in an apartment shared by her sister and her sisters husband, they are off to Europe for their holiday, leaving her some outstanding rent money for an angry landlord they skip town. Instantly the first cracks start to show in the relationship with her boyfriend  and soon she starts making mistakes at work. Very slowly we see the layers of Carole’s psyche peel away leaving a vulnerable kitten and murderous vixen.

It’s quite easy to write off Carole in the early throes of the films, you hardly notice the little mouse in contrast of her sisters sultry boldness overwhelms her and she spends a lot of the time hiding behind her bleached blonde 60’s bouffant hair, but as her character changes, she starts to give up the goods and her performance is tremendous, her charisma teamed with the reclusive scenes of the apartment and shocking effects persuades the

viewer to miss the realities of what’s going on. Blending themes from Dementia 13 (1963) and Persona (1966).

The ingenuity of the effects are really beautiful not only do you literally see the cracks appearing in Carole life but her fears are coming out of the walls and dark shadows of her apartment. Polanski plays the art house card now and again, there are silent shots of rotten vegetables and dirty plates that co exist with the knife wielding madwoman episodes, but

these are short and frantic, but cause as many ripples as any Hitchcock Psycho scene and emphasis her meltdown and the effects it’s having on the real world.

It’s hauntingly stark at times but a real tour de force once it gains momentum, the horrific faces of the returning couple finding their apartment in disarray reflects the faces of any avid viewer. It’s very unusual for this style of horror/ thriller to have a knife welding psychotic serial killer but with several hints at previous sexual abuse and possible incest it’s no real shocker that this girl is this fucked up.. Her next step would be Haute Tension (2003)

Rating 8/10

R: Haute Tension (2003) , Dementia 13 (1963), Persona (1966), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Tenant (1976)

L: Black and White Thrillers, Femme Fatals
5s : Roman Polanski

Post Discussion.

 

Devil’s Domain (2016)

Director:Jared Cohn
Starring: Michael Madsen, Madi Vodane, Linda Bella. USA

This generic horror with a skeletal plot manages to detail scary elements of cyberbullying along with the moral conundrum of revenge,  but with so much being regurgitated from olde fables and other films it only has a few minor saving graces.

Lisa Pomson (Vodane) is a troubled teen who has been drawn to the drama and tribulations of social media and  is totally addicted,  as for  most of the teenagers she  clashes with her parents on a regular basis, her father Bill, ( Marsden) tend to just laugh everything off assuming that she’ll just  learn from her mistakes, while her mother tends to come down on her like a ton of bricks judging everything and making her come parents this with the Bible.  it’s a good thing they don’t know about her other bad habits,  and even seem totally unaware of her eating disorder,  but I think we’re supposed to believe that they are good parents!? Continue reading Devil’s Domain (2016)

Die Bülchse der Pandora / Pandoras Box (1929)

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Starring: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Franz Lederer, Carl Goetz, Alive Roberts. Germany / Austria. 1h 49m

This iconic film is deeply based on Frank Wedekind’s play “Lulu”, and despite it not being popular at the time of release, it now remains; nearly 90 years after its release; one of Europe’s silent cinema’s crowning achievements. A catastrophic portrait of sexual obsession, that the American actress Louise Brooks provided an outstanding performance as the prostitute Lulu, a femme fatale who unleashes uncontrollable desires in the people around her. Continue reading Die Bülchse der Pandora / Pandoras Box (1929)

Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Director: Julius Onah,
Starring. Daniel Bruhl, Aksel Hennie, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, USA. 1h 42m

There was an amazing phenomenon back in 2008 when the original  Cloverfield (2008) movie was released, it was interesting and enjoyable but it started and ended so obscurely, but the mystery gained the film fans and soon it became a franchise. The sequel, 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) is a brilliant, thriller, so very different from the original and yet so very scary with Alfred Hitchcock vibes but had hardly anything to do with the original film apart from the final 10 minutes. Looking forwards for a continuation of the story I was a bit shocked that there was a side step into the past but finally there is a reason why a giant bat-like beast appeared on the earth and took the head of the statue of liberty, but again this film has very little to do with the original movie, detail on why at the end of the review. Or just scroll on fanboy. Continue reading Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Vampire Journals (1997)

Director: Ted Nicolaou
Starring: Jonathan Morris, David Gunn, Kirsten Cerre. Romania 1h 32m

This film fits in between Subspecies 3 and 4 transitioning the story and cast from the original subspecies formulaic structure into something a little more .. a la Interview with a Vampire (1994). This slight detour from the excellent Subspecies series which featured the master vampire Radu and his tiny minions, the blood stone has been abandoned and the strange iconic atmosphere has been up scaled into something more gothic and misty. Continue reading Vampire Journals (1997)

Lycan (2017)

Director: Bev Land
Starring:Dania Ramirez, Jake Lockett, Rebekah Graf. USA 1h 27m

With all of the success of the Underworld series and countless other werewolf.lycan movies the genre develops into a melodramatic teen scream film with no real direction and hardly any point. We all know the drill about a group of kids trying to dig up a local legend but what we don’t plan on watching is all the boring bits that good films leave out, with them getting lost and talking crap for an hour. But sadly this film will subject you to a lot of “missing” elements which doesn’t build any tension and mades the film all that more tedious.. But.. it’s not a total loss… Continue reading Lycan (2017)

Jackals (2017)

Director:Kevin Greutert
Starring: Stephen Dorff,Deborah Kara Unger, Johnathon Schaech, Deborah Kara Unger, Johnathon Schaech, Ben Sullivan. USA. 1h 25m

This unusual horror, loosely based on retro accounts of cults programming teens starts out well, an point of view break in results in the brutal stabbing of a couple in their bed, the culprit catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror, he’s wearing a mask and heads into the next bedroom, the young girl there recognises him, it seems he’s her brother, she’s concerned about the blood on his hands and runs to raise her parents, the culprit pulls down his mask and returns to the crime scene where he strangles her.

Every family buries secrets. But some secrets won’t stay buried.

Continue reading Jackals (2017)

Baskin  / Raid (2015)

Director: Can Evrenol
Starring: Gorkem Kasal, Mehmet Cerrahoğlu, Ergun Kuyucu. Turkey. 1h 37m

This surreal Turkish gory horror, directed by Can Evrenol, based on his 2013 short film by the same name, although in this  blood soaked feature length debut he turns up the nightmare factor to full. Not running totally parallel it’s like a lucid dream within a dream, something more like Inception (2010) Vs Hellraiser (1987). While it’s not obviously as to what’s going on, the puzzle presented within Baskin is not something that you’ll be able to work out until the end, providing you have the stomach to get to the bitter end. There is a heavy handed dose of blood, meat, strange symbolism and a chilly silenthillesque atmosphere that is bound to entertain horror fans throughout. It’s crowning achievement is that it successfully manages to make you a passive spectator as this incredibly vivid nightmare unfolds. Continue reading Baskin  / Raid (2015)

My favourite scene – The Witch Who came from the Sea (1976)  – Rock a bye baby

This lesser known video nasty from the mid 70’s has a small but dedicated cult following. The tagline of “Molly really knows how to cut men down to size” is a bit more descriptive of the film as Molly isn’t really a witch and doesn’t really come from the sea.

She does live and work along the seafront and gets a lot of shoddy tattoos by a scary weirdo, but after being sexually abused as a child by her grandfather she hates men and enjoys slicing and dicing them. Continue reading My favourite scene – The Witch Who came from the Sea (1976)  – Rock a bye baby