Director: Mark Tonderai
Starring: Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine .USA. 1h 31m
18 years on from Ian Softleys powerful hoodoo thriller Skeleton Key (2005), the time and tested horror had graduated into Spell, which is a strange name for a rootworking movie but nonetheless no one will be surprised when the incantations, grimoire and ritual work is let loose. However this darkened story has closer ties with Misery (1990) and the Hills Have Eyes (1977/2005).
Continue reading Spell (2020) →
Mad God (2021)
Director: Phil Tippett
Starring: Alex Cox, Niketa Roman, Satish Ratakonda, Harper Taylor .UK. 1h 23m
It’s beautiful when an artist manages to present their life works, their magnum opus, their artistic love child piece, and finally after 30 years of on and off graft Phil Tippett was able to, with the help of Shudder , unleash Mad God onto the world and it hit the scene gaining nothing by admiration and rightly so.
Continue reading Mad God (2021) →
Director: Ben Wheatley
Starring: Joel Fry, Ellora Torchia, Hayley Squires, Reece Shearsmith. UK. 1h 47m
Ben Wheatley hit the movie scene with a handful of cracking gritty and unusual films which instantly gained my a cult status and loyal fans, a mix of hard british brutality, comedy and strongest flavoured his early titles and it was only going to be a matter of time before he got bigger budget movies and we all knew this was going to be a downfall for him. He proved that with Rebecca and High Rise he was able to make a movie outside of his own prescribed type cast but ultimately these films weren’t half as interesting as his other gripping and guttural work.
and then he came back swinging with In the Earth.
Continue reading In The Earth (2021) →
Director: Tyler Measom and Justin Weinstein Starring: James Randi, Jose Alvarez, Penn and Teller, Adam Savage, Alice Cooper, Bill Nye, Uri Geller USA/Canada. 1h m
I tend to get my fangirl cap on when James Randi is mentioned, his insightful analysis of the world of tricksters and snake oil merchants has been a huge source of inspiration and entertainment. His brief TV show that airs in the 90’s really opened the eyes of many people to the simple tricks of the big names of mystery, Poppof and Geller were among those who were unmasked as charlatans, willing to make a quick buck claiming they have rare gifts only to have Randi rip the carpet out from underneath them. In this quaint and personal documentary, directors Measom and Weinstein spend some time with Randi and give him a chance to express his past and current life with candid insights into his biggest moments in Magical history.
Continue reading An Honest Liar (2014) →
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) →
Director: Aaron B Koontz
Starring: Melora Walters, Zachary Knighton, Noah Segan, Stan Shaw, Devin Druid, Bill Sage .USA. 1h 36m
While being blown away with the wild violence on Bone Tomahawk (2015) I wondered if it was going to mark a revival of the Horror Westerns and luckily it did, The Nightingale (2018) and The Wind (2018) soon followed and really kept up the momentum, pioneering new levels and atmospheres in the genre, then things started to spiral out of control and the low budgets are now having a bash at grisly film with a western feel.
The Pale Door has one of those movies titles that sounds poetic and could allude to a rabbit warren of possibilities, sadly they picked a really strange combination of events to try and build a story on. Continue reading The Pale Door (2020) →
Director: John Boorman.
Starring.Nigel Terry (RIP) , Helen Mirren, Nicholas Clay, Cherie Lunghi, Paul Geoffrey, Nicol Williamson (RIP) , Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart. Ireland/USA/UK. 2h 20m.
Based on:15th-century Arthurian romance Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory
There aren’t too many movies that I can mention from my childhood that have such an epic reaction of admiration as this definition of epic fantasy. Albeit a guilty pleasure, I generally hang around heavy alternative scenes where this has become a fashion guide as well as cult classic pieces of cinema, but there’s a wealth of shiny aesthetics and magical storytelling which has never really been mimicked again making this truly unique stand alone opulent piece. Continue reading Excalibur (1981) →
Director: Brett Simmons.
Starring: Stephen Lang , CJ Thomason, Michelle Pierce. USA. 1h 31m
I love when an old classic story gets a boost into a modern film, although there is always a need to be sensitive in the approach of modernising any aged tale, some stories seem to thrive as costume dramas, being so heavily strung in their own time that it’s almost impossible to shift elsewhere, such as Witchfinder General, while it could be updated, it relies on the mass hysteria of the age to really boil up some trouble. Timeless classics can be shifted back and forwards through time effortlessly, Lifepod by Alfred Hitchcock became a pretty interesting Sci Fi piece in 1993 by the talented Ron Silver (RIP) a ship lost at sea can easily become a ship lost in space.
The Monkey’s Paw was a story which filled me with marvel as a child, the moralistic side is deeply devastating but the horror aspect usually boils down to the concept of the evil dead returning, in the original story they simply come knocking but this presence has been resurrected many times now and death takes a gory step closer each time. The charming segment “Wish you were here” of Tales from the Crypt, the screaming dead are resurrected at the wrong time and face an everlasting life of pain.. ooops! Continue reading Monkeys Paw (2013) →
Director: Stuart Brennan
Starring: Stuart Brennan, Marcus Macleod, Mark Paul Wake….UK. 1h 28m
This darkly twisted fairy tale follows a group of soldiers fleeing a war zone who find themselves lost deep in the woods where only magical things can happen.This British horror with a small budget definitely dreams big and while it has a solid story the execution comes across a little trying.
There is evil inside all of us.
Continue reading The Necromancer (2018) →
Director: Babak Anvari .
Starring. Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz. USA. 1h 34m.
This strange and dutifully tragic movie owes a lot to Cronenberg and H.P Lovecraft despite opening with a quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, that ends with “it echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core”. It’s hard to recognise the significance at this early stage of the movie but recalling back to the character it’s now easy to see how the main characters overall weakness as a human being made him so vulnerable for the nightmare that is about to unfold before his eyes.
Continue reading Wounds (2019) →