A grief stricken Isabelle (Gallerani) checks herself into the Rosewood asylum to find a cure for her melancholy, her dedicated brother Robert (Pease) is deeply concerned about how the death of their parents have affected her and checks in on her and the history of the asylum despite being urged by the trusted Dr Torrington (Roberts) that it’s the best hospital in the country. Isobelle becomes a patient under the highly talented and slightly eccentric Dr. Carin (Franco) and his creepy surgeon sidekick Dr. Lemelle (Nelson). As Isobelle starts to become aware that there are other women at the asylum who seem second class, injured and shabby the crawl the halls, but she’s promised that she won’t have to be around them and her care is seperate but she strikes up a friendship with them. Continue reading The Institute (2017)
Director: Paul Catalanotto.
Starring: Lisa Mackel Smith, Sam Cobean, Michael Bienvenu, USA. 1h 15m.
After a string of murders, a young man named Jesse returns home to finish off his parents, the dramatic scenes of him butchering his father lead to his infamous serial killer profile name of the Butcher, the sketchy found footage shows him doing the unthinkable but promising not to hurt his mother while he moves around like a puppet and commences the killing. After a short trial and while proclaiming his innocence, he’s executed by lethal injection. Years later his mother invites a film crew to document her raising the devil in order to prove that demonic possession exists that this is what happened to her son. It might seem of a strange way to prove his innocence but it makes for a brilliant documentary and the crew can’t turn down such an amazing opportunity.
Based on the true events of serial killer Jesse Winters.
Despite having a pretty appealing story the film is executed so badly, the idea a mother trying to prove her son’s innocence by attempting to become possessed by a demon, is fairly new (let me know if there are any other films that run along such ideas). But after the introduction the project is very mundane and offers nothing else new to the found footage or possession genre. You can literally tick off everything you’d expect to see, so don’t look out for anything new or interesting, the acting is pretty mediocre and the award to to the worst actor goes to Kristen Merritt who is the medical back up and strolls around in her scrubs speaking as is she’s on some heavy medication herself.
The mother, Kate Winters (Lisa Mackel Smith) gets herself checked by the medical team, psychiatrist and miss boring, while the film crew sets up cameras, then she starts performing a “ritual” where she sacrifices some animals and starts painting the walls with blood. This fails, so she starts to weaken herself by self harming, and then strange things start to happen, obviously this is all caught by the cameras and the team (despite filming everything) miss a lot of what’s going on until it’s too late.
It plays out like a high school project, that’s disrespectful as a lot of school projects have some imagination and creativity involved. But this film is just dull. Writer/ Director Paul Catalanotto has a long history of documentaries and this should have worked as it plays out like a fake documentary but it seems he needs to be surprised by the unknown and can’t document but he can’t write or direct new materials.
If you are interested in found footage or possession films then it might be something to watch just to gauge the genre but for me once was enough. It’s so crap it’s on youtube and no one has removed it.
R – The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), Paranormal Activity (2007) The Veil I (2016)
L – Possession Films
Director: Jean-Baptiste Andrea.
Starring: Ray Wise, Lin Shaye, Alexandar Holden, Mick Cain, Billy Asher, Amber Smith. France. 1h 25m.
Directorial debut from the aspired French madman Jean-Baptiste Andrea, and sparingly turns out to be an intelligent creepy family horror. After taking a back road on the way to a routine family Christmas party, the patriarch nods off at the wheel and is soon shocked awake, but the never ending road the family find themselves on is not quite the one they intended to be on. The family carry on the dark winding road that seems to be leading to Harcourt, an unknown place but no matter how long they drive it seems unattainable. Continue reading Dead End (2003)
Synopsis : A 17-year-old is on house arrest for the summer while his mother is away on business. A horrifying incident occurs leaving an ominous presence in the house.
TAGLINE : Some crushes last forever
This American supernatural thriller starts slow and unassuming, the camera work is lazy and the pictures hazy but it details the plights of a teenage boy who is under house arrest after stalking his high school crush, after she commits suicide he becomes convinced that her ghost is haunting him. Continue reading Dark Summer (2015)
Day 21 of 31
Director: Jim Wynorski
Starring : Dominique Swain, Traci Lords. USA. 1h 40m
I understand that this is the era of terribly non scary movies which are so pathetic they are laughable but some of them still manage to entertain or at least flash us some boobs.
yeah this is standard prison uniform for chicks,, Continue reading Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre (2011)
Day 18 of 31
Director : Danny Boyle
Starring : Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Megan Burns, Brendan Gleeson . England/UK. 1h 43m.
I feel quite bad for not reviewing this film earlier but after adding it to this year’s Halloween list I will take a axe to this amazing film that helped re define a genre, change perceptions on low budget films (yet again) and catapulted the careers of Danny Boyle, but all of the main cast. I think it’s a bold statement to say that 28 Days Later was the first film to introduce a new breed of zombie to the big screen but it’s certainly the most iconic film that introduced “the infected” a faster, messier and more irrational and destructive zombie to a stunned audience. Continue reading 28 Days Later (2002)
Day 12 of 31
Director: Dario Argento.
Starring: Christina Marsillach, Daria Nicolodi, Urbano Barberini, Ian Charleson . Italy. 1h 47m
Slightly arthouse but very gothic, this epic giallo film from legend Dario Argento see a fusion of opera and slasher collide in this suspense filled macabre horror. Seemingly inspired by the tragic Macbeth, that is the exact plat which Betty, a stunning understudy is working on when she is stalked by a hooded sadistic killer whose main objective is to torture Betty by forcing her to watch him kill but how’s cunning managed to keep his anonymity. On the opening night of the Verdi Opera, a stage hand is killed and all of the ravens that were brought in for the tragic opera, but the curse of Macbeth lives on and Betty is soon on the run. As the film slowly progresses every new character is a potential killer and Betty soon realises she can trust no one, a bulk of the film is literally Betty randomly getting pounced on, then upon waking up in a bound/gagged situation and unable to look away as an innocent person is brutally slaughtered in an outlandish way.
There is a unique feel in this gothic art house giallo, it has the loud badly dubbed soundtrack like so many others but the killer toys with the victims in such a bizarre manner, being one of the few gialli that focuses more on the torture aspect than bizarre settings and a horrific murders.
Poor (not so ugly) Betty, grapples to find sanctuary from this nightmare, one of the more memorable scenes is when she’s getting fitted for a costume when she finds herself bound with tape placed on her face with needles poking up ensuring that she can’t avoid watching the tailor get brutalised,and then a impromptu autopsy is performed on her after she swallows the killers bracelet. Each attack is like a small drama stage play in itself, with the intense lighting and pounding music. The torture method was one conjured up by Argento himself when joking about people shying away from his murder scenes in the cinema, he threatened to tape pins under their eyes so they couldn’t look away and materialised the fascinating idea here.
Verdi’s opera is infamous for bringing bad luck but the aesthetics inspired Argento to be a little bit more experimental with the visuals, from the early scene filmed from the black reflection of a crow’s eye to the haunting dream sequences and flashbacks suffered by Betty. The varied and well executed effects and camera work pays off, everything about the film is about an voyeurism and being centre stage, and every element is arranged in such a way where it’s all very much centre stage and “look at me”, and Argento didn’t really need to force us to look at this marvel as his attempts to make it stunning have mesmerized fans for years.
After several grisly murders and lots of flashbacks there are two epic endings, one follows on nicely and the other hits you like a bat out of hell.. And shouldn’t be missed,
R – Watch me when I kill, New York Ripper, Bird with Crystal Plumage
L – A-Z of Giallo, Italian Cinema, Crazy endings
A – My love affair with Giallo
Day 10 of 31
Director: Victor Salva.
Starring: Jonathan Breck, Justin Long, Gina Philips. USA. 1h 31m.
For a while the horror scene was starting to get stale and boring, Zombies were becoming ever popular and around this period of tedium The Creeper was born, and this curious and bizarre creature really sparked up the monster aspect in the horror scene once again.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the Creeper character originates from but he seems to always have a trick up his sleeve, and without any backstory you can pretty much make what you will of the Creeper, to me he seems like some kind of Chimera.. who like Freddy Kreuger has frightened and seduced his audience.
Day 7 of 31
Director: Martín Garrido BarónStarring: Raquel Arenas Alejo Sauras Antonio Mayans Spain 1h 32m
The Spanish are brilliant at making some very relaxed and chilled films with equally laid back characters, and what seems to shock more in this film is just how disturbed and playful this serial killer is, for most of the film he’s just mulling around the kitchen in a cardigan making delicious food and then when he gets the urge he’s raping women and chainsawing them into bloody pieces.
Apparently it’s not inspired by any real serial killer but it claims to have inspired various films such as Se7en (1995). So with these bold claims how could I not give this some attention… but I feel the claims are a little ambitious, while watching the film I could easily see a lot of connections to real killers but when you break things down it’s not all that impossible to find such connections when watching a movie about serial killers. Continue reading H6 Diario de un asesino / Diary of a serial killer (2005)
Day 2 of 31
Director/Writer: Joe Dante
Novel: Gary Brandner.
Starring: Patrick Macnee, Dee Wallace, Robert Picardo, Christopher Stone, Dennis Dugan, Slim Pickens, Elizabeth Brooks, Don McLeod. USA. 1h 31m.
A long running all time favourite of mine that displays one of the more memorable transformation scenes in Werewolf Cinema, Howling was certainly a pleasant horror to fall for especially in a year that also saw the amazing cult classic, American Werewolf in London (1981) the stakes were high and this terror filled movie manages to conjure up a less messy but equally thrilling horror transformation in a unique tale.