Director: Simon Verhoeven.
Starring. Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham, Sean Marquette, Liesl Ahlers. Germany/South Africa. 1h 22m.
Not remembering where this came during the more recent spate of social media horrors, it seem that the idea of the supernatural being broadcast and manipulating people through the internet isn’t something new but something that works better on paper or maybe by being narrated on YouTube on the Creepypasta channels. But this English language German horror does offer some brilliant jump scares but lacks the substance in between.
Laura (Debnam-Carey) is one of the more popular kids at college, who lives a privileged and beautiful life, one day she accepts an online request from a loner called Marina (Ahlers) the two strike up a friendship, albeit it at arms length when Laura notices the dark and disturbing imagery on Marina facebook page. Laura starts to notice how possessive Marina is getting and lies to her about an upcoming birthday party claiming it’s going to be a quiet one but the photos of her enjoying a lavish dinner date with her friends and family get uploaded and Marina confronts her in the dinner hall, as the argument gets heated Marina hood falls down revealing a bloody scalp from her habitual hair pulling. Continue reading Friend Request (2016)
Director: Zak Bagans.
Starring. Zak Bagans, Jay Wasley, Billy Tolley .USA. 1h 51m.
Fitting somewhere in between a documentary and mockumentary it’s easy to see the appeal with Demon House. not just based on real events the film struggles to remain a proper found footage movie with a few added dramatisations and real interviews about a real haunting in Gary, Indiana. The full details of the Ammons haunting case were documented and followed by Zak Bagans, who then purchased the house after the family moved and his attempts to coax out the entity.
Demon House starts with the great deal of promise and effective film making, opening with the purchase of the property the look and feel of the film is spot on as a documentary which is how the film has been labeled. Zak buys the property, sight unseen and just on the knowledge of the mass hysteria that broke out when an African American family were experienced demonic possession in what was called a “Portal to Hell”. Continue reading Demon House (2018)
Director: Paco Plaza
Starring: Sandra Escanaba, Bruna Gonzalez, ana Torrent, Claudia Picer, Ivan Chavero, Carla Campra. Spain. 1h 46m
So much about Veronica is like all the other ouija, catholic demonic inspired movies although it does have a few quirks and charms which make it stand out, not as something inventive and new but something relatable.
Veronica and her best friend have planned secret ouija based seance to contact Veronica’s deceased father, their golden opportunity is when the entire catholic school will be on the roof and outside to watch an eclipse. There are are no awards to guess the rest of the movie, the ouija session goes terribly wrong and soon Veronica is the experiencing lots of paranormal activity around herself and home, but when this dark entity starts attacking her family, Veronica starts to research and does all she can to protect them.
Just because you close your eyes it doesn’t mean the world ceases to exist.
Plaza has found fame through a series of wholly gory Rec series which really broke through a new age of possession/zombie hybrids, and I believe like everyone else I was expecting the same from this movie which was initially billed as prequel. Continue reading Veronica (2017)
Director: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Gabriel Byrne. USA. 2h 7m
Boldly highlighted as the most frightening film of all time, Hereditary certainly does have its moments and a dark twisted ending but is it really all that horrific? It’s undeniably creepy and boils into a crescendo of violence and psychological demise, but what it doesn’t offer are hoards of false jump scares, buckets of blood or unbelievable torture porn.
It’s hard to detail the movie as it’s subtle approach and devilish details makes it something that once explained will ruin many surprises. The movie does manage to support a constant feeling of dread for the first 90 minutes it’s hard to really see which direction the film is taking, hard to know what’s real and what might be a dream and ultimately it lines up a powerful ending that won’t be predicted by the more discerning horror fan. Continue reading Hereditary (2018)
Director: Jeremy Wechter
Starring: Julia Kelly, John Anthony Wylliams, Christopher Daftsios. USA. 1h 26m
It’s quite easy to simply explain this movie as being a demonic indie version of Unfriended (2014) but that would be doing it a disservice as it’s actually better than unfriended, not only is the creepy atmosphere more enhanced it has much better setups to it’s more shocking moments.
Launching with a masked figure warning us about “certain events”and truths that have to be exposed to the public, an Anonymous style broadcast is a stark warning from the E Demon Resistance that opens with a group of friends start a routine web chat, and start to enact their favourite past times which is basically pranking each other which they lightheartedly called “getting freaked”. The first uber elaborate prank involved a young man speaking with his grandmother who warns him about a haunted trunk and witchcraft. He proceeds to go into the loft where he has opened the trunk and starts to perform a ritual which results in him releasing a deviously clever demon that had been trapped for centuries in Salem, Massachusetts. Continue reading E-Demon (2018)
Director: Xavier Gens
Starring: Sophie Cookson, Brittany Ashworth, Corneliu Ulici Romania/USA. 1h 30m
If there ever was a contender for worst film of 2017 this should be in the shot list. Supposedly based on a true story the film follows an american journalist with a bunch of personal problems and a hated of religion is on a bender to use any story to help sway the minds of the masses against following religion. When a priest is arrested for the murder of a woman he was trying to exorcise she travels halfway across the planet to maximise on the story and help prove his guilt but gets pulled into the age old battle of good vs evil and had to subjectively look at both sides of the story, are demonic possessions real or does it all boil down to mental health issues poorly educated doctors. Continue reading Crucifixion (2017)
In this 1960’s folklore inspired horror fest, a young monk, Khoma; is tasked with saying prayers over the body of a beautiful maiden who is in fact a witch and she terrorising him each night, the tormenting intensifies until the last night where the showdown unleashed all the goblins and trolls the witch can muster and the novice monk has an epic show down and has to basically exorcise the witch. This show down is amazing and I feel that for these scene alone the film should be recognised by more people. Continue reading Favourite Scene – Viy (1967)
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. Continue reading Proof of the Devil (2014) AKA The Butcher of Louisiana
Director: Andrew Cull, Steve Isles.
Starring: Giles Alderson, Francesca Fowler, Paul McGuinness . UK. 1h 27m.
In the wee hours of the morning a London couple receive a visit from their distraught friend David, telling them that his girlfriend has been unfaithful and he needs somewhere to stay for the night. After consoling their friend and making him comfortable, they depart to their own bed and David starts noticing things out the corner of his eye or something nightmarish in the reflections of the mirror. This isn’t’ the first time these horrors have presented himself to David and now he’s brought them with him to his friends apartment.
You could make lots of comparisons that can be made with this and any modern found footage movies, it’s dark and the freaky little monsters often pop out of sight from a person point of view, usually in a dark room being searched by a flashlight. Personally I see the film as being closer connected to Digging up the Marrow (2014) than Paranormal Activity (2007). It strives to suggest that the monsters are real and like Konami’s Silent Hill (1999), there are bold steps to make the dark a scary place to be again. Continue reading The Possession of David O’Reilly (2010)
Starring: Dougray Scott,Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Peña, Djimon Hounsou USA. 2015. 1h 31m
I’m not sure why I had such high hopes for this film, the posters were quite dramatic and I guess it was a vain hope that this would be a dark insight into the secret world of the vatican’s archives and their documentation of some batshitcrazy exorcisms but then I remembered that this is Hollywood and therefore I was more likely to see all of the Exorcism Movie Sins instead. Continue reading Vatican Tapes (2015)