Una Magnum Special per Tony Saitta / Shadows in an Empty Room (1976)
Director: Alberto De Martino Starring:Stuart Whitman, John Saxon, Martin Landau, Tisa Farrow.Canada/Italy. 1h 54m
Shadows in an Empty Room is a distinct 1970s crime film with mad tones of Euro grime; this De Martino might be out of place in Canada, but it doesn’t drag for a minute. Shadows in an Empty Room is what would remain if you stripped a Giallo movie of its euro trash, bumped it up with a heavy Polittesco narrative, and went full frontal.
On the campus of Montreal college a man notices his ex girlfriend having a moment with her lecturer, and suspected lover, Dr Tracer (Landau), later on that evening a prank turns into a suspicious murder, and the prime suspect is Laundau, and his student/girlfriend is stone cold. Unlucky for him, her brother is a hard ass police officer, played by Stuart Whitman and his back up is the steely eyes John Saxon and they are about to get some Canadian Justice.
Continue reading Shadows in an Empty Room (1976) →
Director: Scott Derrickson
Starring: Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn, Chris Coy. USA. 1h 58m
Adapted from: Beware the Night – Ralph Sarchie
From the dawning of The Exorcist every possession movie attempts to become the scariest movie ever made, and yet, through the decades there’s a building up of different styles and techniques which seems to flavour the films throughout the decades and sadly Deliver Us From Evil falls into a series of modern tropes while bringing together some brilliant actors who are often underused for a plot which is apparently based on real events.
Continue reading Deliver Us From Evil (2014) →
Director: Steve Gonsalves and Kendall Whelpton
Starring: Alice Jackson, Amy Bullard, John Bullard, Jerry Byrd, Brad Cooney, Steve Consalves. USA. 1h 21m
Alice Jackson lives in her dream home, a somewhat unusual design but a cute rustic house on the edge of town, however she doesn’t feel safe being in her home as there’s a high amount of paranormal activity going on, so she opens up and begins talking about her home and the strangeness that goes on her plea for help evokes something in a couple of mature investigators who are amazed with the range of activity going on in Alice’s home. Continue reading The House Inbetween (2020) →
Director: Sean Tretta
Starring: Patti Tindall, Mike Marsh, Davina Joy .USA. 1h 47m
An impressive Ghost Hunter is paid to conduct a paranormal investigation of a supposedly haunted home. While she’s accomplished, the patron has insisted a small team work with her including a cameraman and local reporter, then a spiritual advocate from the church turns up, an afterthought but she’s essential to keep balance. Continue reading Death of a Ghost Hunter (2007) →
Director: Jim Klock
Starring:Jim Klock, Mike Capozzi, Chad Ridgely .USA. 1h 26m
This is quite a tidy moody piece of theology noir, as two investigators embark on a spiritual journey while searching for a missing police officer.
After watching the officer pass through a door while answering an emergency call he’s never seen again and his distraught wife asks for additional help to find him. Jim and Mike answer the call, each at different ends of the spectrum of religious belief, although Mike, while pious, had the remarkable skill of being highly psychic, and is reluctant to take this particular job but goes along to help his bestest bud. Continue reading Red Letters (2019) →
Director: Dan T. Hall
Starring: Tracy Bacon, Myrna Cooke, Alex Hall .USA. 1h 7m
It wasn’t really clear if this was a documentary or some kind of found footage mash up of footage melded together like a music video detailing a surreal investigation into the home of a serial killer.
The director Dan T Hall has a range of spooky titles under his belt including Ghost stories, faces of Darkness, Ghost Stories: Unmasking the dead. But this, for me, really tipped the scale into absurdity. There’s no real clear direction into what’s trying to be achieved, no real detail of Herb and his antics, and flicking between women clapping their hands in the woods to imaginary tracing the steps of a killer every 40 seconds just doesn’t work for me. Continue reading The Haunting of Fox Hollow Farm (2011) →
Director: Anthony Fankhauser
Starring: Jim Lewis, Matthew Temple, Michael Gaglio, Brett A. Newton, Diana Terranova, Sylvia Panacione, Rachel Riley .USA. 1h 32m
You have to love a bad setup for a found footage movie?! Not only has John Wayne Gacy’s house been demolished and rebuilt but as he was executed in a prison, shouldn’t his ghost be residing there and it would be the victims ghosts still in the house or the land where they were killed?
Without much fanfare the movie begins with the team arriving at the house to set their equipment up, a mass of cameras are placed in every room, and once they are pointing to where no action will be caught clearly the investigation really starts. It has a slightly different setup up to a lot of the other paranormal researcher inspired movies, most teams usually have quite a lot of enthusiasm but this one is is filled with scathing skeptics and some crazed hippy wiccan woman who believes some rhyming spells will be able to protect them from some kind of evil entity or poltergeist. In all my years of armchair occultist I’ve never known of anyone asking the goddess to help in some kind of seance before I’m sure there’s some eyebrows raised to offering a t shirt of a friends young son (what? why?) to the spirit of a serial killer!!? Continue reading 8213: Gacy House (2010) →
Director: Brett Ratner
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes . USA. 2h 4m
There comes a time when every movie is going to be remade, no matter how cult or classic the original is. But did we really need this remake of the near perfect Michael Mann gusty thriller Manhunter (1986), Originally Brian Cox played the flesh eating doctor, but while his take on the now iconic doctor; is different from Hopkins laid back soft talker, Cox’s interpretation is very apt for the direction of Mann’s psychological dog fighting style. Is the Hopkins trademark on the character so powerful that he gets to shoulder his way through to complete his trilogy. Well, Dino De Laurentiis, producer of both Manhunter and Red Dragon and effectively the Lecter copyright holder, has decreed it. So Anthony Hopkins returns, for the final time, because after this he vowed never to play the role again and it’s not surprising as the task was given to Brett Ratner to facilitate, a director who can handle a fast paced popcorn action flick but really struggled with this type of deep psychological and powerfully cerebral thriller. If only this was an equally horrific sentimental comedy, like The Family Man, where Ratner would feel more at home. Continue reading Red Dragon (2002) →
Director: Robin Hardy
Based on: The Ritual by David Pinner
Starring: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt, Diane Cilento .UK. 1h 27m
In the past decade Horror Folklore as a genre has raised its curious demonic fiery head. This new dawning, pioneered by new cult directors such as Ben Wheatley, Ari Aster, Gavin Liam and Roger Eggers to name a few haven’t been able to make a movie without it being likened to the pioneering game changer, Robin Hardy’s slow-burning chiller The Wicker Man.
Looking back at it’s small budget and menial takings at the cinema, numerous cuts and actors paying for critics seats, it’s rise to cult status wasn’t a simple one but what it achieved was truly unique, not even it’s remake was able to mimic it’s true sense of dread and horror. Continue reading The Wicker Man (1973) →
Director: Demian Rugna.
Starring. Maxiiliano Ghione, Norberto. Elvira Onetto. Argentina. 1h 28m.
We who are about to be scared Salute you Argentina!! Thank you so much for breaking the rules and making a truly terrifying movie!! (you see what I did there?)
I get really annoyed when people give up on a genre, be it music, art or indeed beloved Cinema, for the amount of media being produced you can be guaranteed to find something to tickle your fancy but the only thing stopping you from finding it is effort and if you’re searching for that next buzz, then I always suggest that you try something not aimed as the masses for profit. Continue reading Aterrados /Terrified (2017) →