Tag Archives: ritual

Warlock Moon (1973)

Director:William Herbert .
Starring.Laurie Walters, Joe Spano, Edna MacAfee, Harry Bauer, Steve Solinsky, Richard, Veille. USA. 1h 29m.

Warlock Moon is a stange low budget horror that has all the right intentions to be a twisted occult driven grindhouse thriller but it just doesn’t quite reach those dizzying heights, but still remains a hot favourite with a select few enthusiasts.

William Herbert’s confident homemade horror involved a lot of favours and dedication, but that’s what a lot of b movies are all about, making the most of what you can and creatively bending rules on public filming, it also helps to have a cast who are flexible and are fully dedicated to project, in this case, Edna MacAfee wasn’t allowed to wear makeup to enhance her old woman look and Walters and Spano were able to ad lib most of their scenes together which runs natural as they were a couple at the time. Continue reading Warlock Moon (1973)

The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971)

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)

Gehenna: Where Death Lives (2016)

Director: Hiroshi Katagiri
Starring: Eva Swan, Sean Sprawling, Katherine Taylor, Simon Philips, Doug Jones, Lance Henriksen. USA/ Japan. 1h 45m

Katagiri’s feature length debut opens up with an embellished biblical quote from Matthew 18:9, but instead of casting your eye into hell fire, the word is changed for Gehenna, this cuts away for a group of natives performing a ritual involved cutting off a mans face and walling him up in a cave.
After the bloodshed, the film cuts to a pristine office, where Morgan (Henriksen) speaks with his daughter about checking out a new spot in Saipan, the family business is tied with tourism and they have acquired a new piece of land which Paulina (Swan) is determined to check out as she’s planning on taking over the family business soon, this is all you’ll see of Henriksen so don’t get your hopes up Henny fans.

Continue reading Gehenna: Where Death Lives (2016)

The Ritual (2017)

Director: David Bruckner
Writers: Joe Barton and Adam Nevill’s The Ritual
Starring: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton. UK. 1h 34m

One of the perks with Netflix is that it gives you the opportunity to watch on the go, which I tried to do with Ritual, but after watching the opening scene I had to stop the film, get home, get comfortable and absorb this film as it instantly grabbed my attention.

It opens with a few guys, not really willing to admit they are getting older but needing to get out on an adventure,  or just the yearly lads holiday, Ibiza!? no they are getting to old, camping, that’s too boring.. so what? The discussion goes into the street and on the way home a couple stop to get some vodka, the night is young and it must be continued while picking up the booze in the offie, they become aware that the place is being robbed, Luke (Spall) hides behind a display while his best friend tries to talk the situation down, it doesn’t work they start attacking him, and he bleeds to death while staring at his cowardly friend… this is the first lesson of this movie but the location changes to the deep dark forests of Sweden and the stakes get higher. Continue reading The Ritual (2017)

Horror Shorts – The Stairs, Selfie and Playing with the Devil

 

Another addition of horror so soon! Yep I’m on a roll, and I found three more interesting horrors.

The Stairs


Director : ??? France. 2014
Duration: 3.46
Starting with some bleeding steps and flashing pictures of all those scary faces that usually make up the title of any modern Creepypasta, this short remains totally “typical” it soon cuts to the usual home alone with a mobile phone scene that 90% of all horror shorts seem to be exhausting these days, until the young man notices his front door open, after closing it, strange noises come from the bottom of the dark stairs ,and on investigating the lights go out… It’s spooky in a sense but not gripping or scary in the least,
Rating: 1/10

Selfie


Director : Kantom Chantom and Pattakit. Thailand. 2015
Duration: 2.32
Just from the title I kinda guessed the ending of this short, and even if it is predictable and the end result is a bit tacky, without trying to give too much away, it looks like it’s been edited on Paint, but the jumpscare was done well and actually worked on me! So despite the dullness of this I have to give it some credit for the excellent editing.
Rating:4/10

Playing with the devil


Director : Nick Stentzel. Starring : Rachel Frain, Balerie Trevherz, Jessica Hadlock USA.  2014 Based on a Japanese Ritual Hitori Kakurenbo, (One Man Tag) and using characters from the Screenplay “LETTERS” Written Damon Peoples.
Duration: 7.09
First off I was confused and put off by all of the fucking rules, not really knowing what the Ritual entails and only getting little bits of information constantly throughout was off putting, maybe I should have read up about it first, but to make something like this accessible i think a lot more could have been done to educate the viewer but don’t let this distract you as it’s still an awesome horror short, that does actually have a few frights. Three sisters decide to partake in this ritual and until things go terribly wrong and the movie soon turns into a rollercoaster of unsettling frights. The acting from the three young ladies is faultless and it the quality of the film itself is sound. I just felt that every few seconds a new rule was being introduced and I was left confused wondering why anyone would want to play this “game” but it does it’s job I am unnerved, well done. I was expecting it to turn into that early scene in Cabin in the woods  (2011), where the kids are exorcising the witch but… well you’ll have to spare a few minutes to check it out.
Rating: 6/10

Kill List (2011)

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Director : Ben Wheatley:
Starring : Neil Maskell, MyAnna Buring, Michael Smiliey, Struan Rodger UK. 1h 35m.

Synopsis: Nearly a year after a botched job, a hit man takes a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for three killings, What starts off as an easy task soon unravels, sending the killer into the heart of darkness.

Nearly a year after a disastrous job; a hitman Jay (Maskel) and his trusty sidekick Gal (Smilie) take on a new assignment with the promise of a big payoff for a mere three killings. What begins as an effortless task soon unravels; sending the killers on a wild psychological roller coaster.

Kill List opens as a fairly mundane drama set around a dysfunctional and violent couple and a quiet often ignored son. Gradually the plot descends into bloody gore, shrewd psychological disturbances, occult and a healthy lashing of “thrill  kill”.

It encapsulates the downward spiral of a semi retired hitman, We being to feel sympathy for Jay, his mission in Kiev and now potters around his house imagining himself as having a bad back, pissing off his spouse Shel (Burning) and the two constantly switch between love and hateful outbursts over Jay’s inactivity and the families poor financial situation. The pace starts to sharpen once Jay finds a new contract and a mysterious character known simply as The Client (Rogers) offers the duo a 3 person kill list during an unsettling meeting in a hotel.

At this point the pair start to drift apart as Jay starts to rage more and loses control and his grip on reality and the walls close in.

The screenplay is very characteristic of Wheatly/Jump’s style of film like Sightseers (2012) and Down Terrace (2009). Filmed in a similar manner of a fly on the wall documentary, the cinematography follows suit with shaky cam and close ups, zooming in on the graphic violent scenes, all of this is backed up with raw and unprepared script sporadic soundtrack, sometimes holding up and allowing space for deep personal scenes.

The acting is brilliant, it looks very realistic which is the entire angle of this movie, its main point of driving home the message that this could happen to anyone is to see it happening to people you can easily identify with. It feels as if Wheatley is bringing this story to the viewer. trying to force them to digest everything for themselves. This identification with the main cast helps pull you into the movie. Suddenly Jay isn’t James Bond, he’s doing what you would in that situation, but when he starts going off the rails does this mean you could also. For an example when Jay and Gal find some disturbing videos, Gal is very passive and Jay goes off all half cocked, which is what most people would do in his place but would they really press it as hard as him?

Wheatly and Jump work together so well, constantly they are producing characters that could live on your street but who have this dark and sinister backgrounds. The quiet family down the street are revealed as trained killers and yet blend seamlessly, everyone has a hidden face, everyone is hiding a secret.

With its raw and uncompromising dialogue, Kill List hits hard, it’s raw with a gloomy undercurrent, you have no where to hide. Combining the difficult family drama such as Once Were Warriors (1994) with a brutal hitman action movie and topping it off with constantly surreal occult references the melting pot is set to dish up a curious and unique movie.


09

Rating : 9/10

Post Discussion

R: Sightseers (2012), A Field in England (2013) Devil Rides Out (1968) Borderlands/Final Prayer (2013), Rosemarys Baby (1968)
Q: Gal “I fucking hate dirty soap”
BS: Some of the most realistic blood is scene in the hotel scene when Jay gets his hand cut. The brutal killing of he Librarian is very gruesome ans violent!
OST: Nb. Sharksong used in tunnel chase.
List: Selected Occult Movies, Hitmen Movies, Modern British Thrillers
Spotlight: Ben Wheatley, Michael Smiliey, Neil Maskell