Director: John R Leonetti.
Starring.Ward Horton, Annabell Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Tony Amendola. USA. 1h 39m.
The Annabell doll scene from The Conjuring (2013) was one of the most frightening in the slightly scary supernatural mystery horror that went on to create its own warped far-from-the-truth universe and I wasn’t surprised that it became its own movie, however I was shocked that it became such a boring mess riddled with plot holes and only few genuine jump scares, that went to to spawn it’s own mini universe within the Conjuring universe, but it sells and we keep watching so who’s the idiot!?
In the Conjuring were introduced to the Warrens and their museum of creepy haunted keep you up at night stuff, including Raggedy Ann doll.. wait, the doll was changed from the original raggedy ann doll into a fucked up grimace/smiling porcelain doll which is already a thing of nightmares, and this “why-did-they-do-that” theme carries on throughout the movie as every trick in the book is employed in this dismal horror. Continue reading Annabelle (2014)
Director: Eric Weston.
Starring. Clint Howard, Joseph Cortese, R G Armstrong, Don Stark, Claude Earl Jones, Haywood Nelson. USA. 1h 37m.
Part teen revenge part occult horror, Eric Weston’s Evilspeak is a venture into the unknown by a downtrodden young man looking for revenge and biting off more than he can chew. but this well worn revenge story has a much needed transfusion by stripping out the detailed build up to a justified revenge scene and instead opens it up for wild violence with a Satanic edge, showing enough gore for it to be banned in the UK in the 1980’s.
Opening with a Dark Ages sun setting on a Satanic mass on the beach, the group are approached by a church official telling them, they will be banished from Spain and denied the glory of a christian god, the naked group don’t pay much attention and the opening credits roll. Continue reading Evilspeak (1981)
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)
Director: Piers Haggard.
Starring. Linda Hayde, Patrick Wymark, Michelle Dotrice, Wendy Padbury, Anthony Ainley, Barry Andrews, UK. 1h 40m.
There’s always something dark and demonic smouldering in the movies situated deep in the English Countryside, and it’s never so in your face as in Piers Hagards, trippy macabre masterpiece that has a lot of connection with Michael Reeves’s Witchfinder General, the Wicker Man (1973) and in some ways I feel there’s an artistic nature similar to a Ken Russell the Devils (1971) albeit it in a much tamer manner.
A ploughboy stumbles on some strange remains in a field, the bones and ever staring eyeball causes the boy to start running in terror, he soon realises that his unhappy accident has unearthed the remains of an ancient demonic presence which is now free to possess his village. The first signs of danger happen in a prestigious house, where a wealthy family a host to a young girl, one that has taken the fancy of their eligible son, but due to his mother’s tough nature she’s forced into the attic, late into the night her screams wake the family, once she’s rescued her personality has completely changes, now deranged and bearing deadly sharp claws she’s taken away by the authorities and clergy. Continue reading The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)
Director: Adam MacDonald
Starring: Laurie Holden, Nicole Muñoz. Canada. 1h m
There are so many various types of horror movies some are deeply atmospheric, other rely on fantasy or special effects, some are purely creature features and scare it’s audience by showing graphic monsters that disgust. In more modern times we have a resurgence of found footage, torture gore and this new wave of cerebral horrors that often leave audiences left feeling let down, mostly due to the fact that they didn’t SEE anything. This divides horror fans, it’s much like that of Science Fiction fans who are now heavily reliant on special effects for their kicks as opposed to those who are leaning toward LoFiSciFi.
Now I didn’t do much research into Pywacket and I just assumed it was going to be a big beastie monster in the woods type of horror, but I got a very big shock, it’s more highbrow horror than I ever could have imagined. While it has some minor faults, it could have been done with some refining and maybe a little bit more research into the mechanics but alas it’s still a very well crafted horror that has the ability to really eat into the consciousness and makes you rethink a lot of your personal philosophy. Continue reading Pyewacket
Director: Bernard Launois
Starring: Véronique Renaud, Marcel Portier, Catherine Day .France. 1h 12m
This crazy French horror movie isn’t easy to categories, it’s definitely unique at times quite zany and while it has certain charms with being different and outlandish its major let down is the repetitive sound effects that really started to grate on my nerves within the opening 20 minutes only increase its irritability right to the bitter end.
Overall Devil Story feels as if narrative isn’t really all that important but the director, Bernard Launois, seems to have reveled with delight by adding everything you possibly could into his last production. The film opens with a crazed man slashing innocent victims and rural France and ends up with an occultist bringing about a Mummy Showdown. But like other infamous French movies of the era such as Zombie Lake (1981) there seems to have been this drive to just make gory horror films with little story line to back them up, but it’s generally all good groovy fun and being a lover of “bad movies” you gotta roll with the bizarre and they don’t get much more off the beaten track than this. Continue reading Il était une fois le diable / Devil Story (1986)
Director: Raymond Wood.
Starring. Hayley Lovitt, Jason MacDonald, Teddy Cole, Brook Todd, Ace Harney. USA. 1h 37m.
Knowing that this Indie Movie is both found footage and about possession it’s a no brainer what’s going to happen, check out my list of what to expect in a possession, exorcism and demonic movie. but with indie movies, there’s usually a degree of experimental artistic license and providing they don’t play it safe, there can be amazing results. Sadly this film falls into most of the typical plot holes and ends up flopping around like a dying priest before expiring in it’s own unoriginal mess. Continue reading 1st Summoning (2018)
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 volitlie and pushy occultist? Continue reading A Dark Song (2016)
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)
Director: Sergio Martino.
Starring. Barbara Bach, Joseph Cotten, Richard Johnson. Italy. 1h 40m.
Somewhere in this science fiction fantasy horror, there is a great director who’s floundering out of his depths. Martino has some crackers under his belt including All the Colours of the Dark (1972).
Starting with a murder is always the best way to start a Giallo and Martino with all this previous experience kept to his tradition, a couple embark on a shifty night time mission to find hidden treasures, only to be met with clawed fish hands and bloody death in the (surprisingly well lit) dank caves of an unknown island, along with their mercenary crew who are slaughtered by the same hands along the shore. A short while later in 1891 a military doctor Lieutenant Claude de Ross (Claudio Cassinelli) survives not one but two shipwrecks and ends up on a mysterious island with a handful of prisoners survived with him. On this strange isle the are faced with hunger and some of the convicts meet grisley ends with the fishmen and the survivors flee into the jungle only to encounter Edmond Rackham (Johnson) who’s a sadistic douchebag who’s on a power hungry ego trip, alongside him is a stunning captive, Amanda (Bach). Continue reading L’sola defli uomini pesce / Island of the Fishmen AKA Screamers (1979)