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: Iyke Odife
Starring: Ruth Kadiri, Tootsweet Annan, Melvin Odua .Nigeria. 1h 40m
Marriage can be a difficult game to play, even when you are a player.. That seems to be the surreal message of this painful romantic drama.
A married woman (Kadiri) is torn between her average husband and a charming Prince who is willing to turn down another royal and his life in a royal household just to be with her but she just can’t make up her mind. Continue reading Wild Away (2020)
Starring. Jean Reno, Ryoko Hirosue, Michel Muller, Yoshi Oida. Writer: Luc Besson.France/USA/Japan. 1h 34m.
This film is so cute and annoying! There’s so much I really adore about it but in equal parts it really grates on my nerves. I get the bigger picture of it being a charming heartwarming comedy action film but some of the characters and sets up are just too gross and I find myself not being able to cope with the overload.
Continue reading Wasabi (2001)
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)
Director: Fritz Böhm.
Starring: Bel Powley ,Brad Dourif, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, James LeGros, Liv Tyler. USA. 1h 32m.
Strangely this movie reminds me of Teen Wolf (1985), in a roundabout way it’s very much a coming of age Werewolf movie and yet speaks poetic volumes for a reawakening of feminity for anyone who feels a call for the wild.
Anna (Powley) grows up confined in a room in a remote house in the woods, looked after by her Daddy (Dourif) who is keeping her safe from the Wildlings, strange creatures with folklorish natures who stalk the woods. As Anna matures she starts noticing differences, as many girls do, although a dreaded fear sets in to her Daddy and he starts injecting her in the stomach with an unknown substance (although if I learnt anything from Ginger Snaps (2000) then this is a Wolfsbane concoction). This only slows down her development but doesn’t stop it, eventually it leads to Daddy attempting to commit suicide but it goes drastically wrong and Anna is rescued by mild and ever caring Sheriff Ellen Cooper (Tyler) while the authorities are trying to work out what do to Ellen adopts the girl temporarily and tries to give her a normal life. Ellen’s younger brother Ray (Kelly-Sordelet) is a similar age to Anna and tried to help out, but by the time the pair are ready to go to Anna’s first house party, the teen, without her miracle drug is starting to transform again, her human teeth are being pushed out by something much sharper but the only person who has some insight and who is willing to help her comes in the guise of a one eyed man wearing a wolf skin who lives in the forests surrounding the town played by the multi talented James LeGros . Continue reading The Wildling (2018)
Director: Tom Shankland
Starring: Stellan Skarsgard, Melissa George, Selma Blair, Tom Hardy. USA. 1h
With the rise in popularity of the Saw Franchise, there were bound to be some copy cats, but this one stood out from the rest, not only did it have an impossible name but it’s based on a real equation, one that is found carved into the bodies of the victims. The serial killer at work here is obsessed with mathematical equations and revenge.
The two cops on the killers tail are the craggy Eddie Argo (Skarsgard) and his new rookie partner Helen Westcott (George) who’s quite fragile and not really up to the job but is determined to make it work.
The two are pretty clueless as to what they are up against at first but they soon start to unravel the equation (wΔz = Cov (w,z) = βwzVz) with some help from a drug addicted Denis Penis, who helps explain that it translates to “kill your loved one or be killed”, and ever so slowly they also piece together the dark secret that sparked the killings via confident of Eddie, a young informer that he pays special attention to. Continue reading WΔZ / Double u delta zee / The Killing Game (2007)
Director: Anthoy Hickox
Starring: Zach Galligan, Alexander Godnov, Monkia Schnarre, Martin Kemp, Bruce Campbell . USA . 1h 44m
After the impressive Waxworks(1988) Anthony Hickox spoilt his loyal fans with a sequel only 4 years after the original, possible in an era when fans were honoured with such things rather than waiting a lifetime for nothing. It’s very typical for Hickox’s trademark horror lightly dusted with black comedy, evil henchmen drenched in black with lots of hints of magic and a bizarre array of special effects and fantasy.
The final scene of Waxworks has been re-enacted and the film flows on seamlessly from here. Although it’s a little scattered and less formed than the original where we saw a group of wayward teens visit an enchanted waxworks exhibition and its freakish staff. They one by one get seduced into a display and find themselves thrust into the fantasy world that it depicted. While this is rife in this comedic sequel, it has a very different atmosphere to it, nothing is really taken seriously here, and after all we’ve seen it all before with the original and it seems that Hickox was just out for a lark with this one. He does make the most of the original set up, so the film is presented in different segments each with a very unique feel and theme. Continue reading Waxworks II – Lost in Time (1992)
Director: Anthony Hickox
Starring: Zach Galligan, Deborah Foreman, David Warner, Michelle Johnson, Patrick Macnee, Dana Ashbrook, John Rhys-Davies . USA . 1h 35m
The 80’s was a decade of goofy horror, obviously there were some real shockers out there which really upped the ante and changed the game forever but I feel that the number of cheesy comedy horrors was possibly at an all time high, but some were presented in a way which really captured the hearts of horror fans and like this, made themselves into the cult classic year book. Waxworks have always thrilled and entertained but in this epic terror things get more creepy than usual when a mysterious exhibit appears from nowhere with a staff of misfits at its helm. Continue reading Waxworks (1988)
Director: Eric Freiser
Starring: Bruce Payne, Ashley Laurence, Boti Bliss, Angel Boris, Paul Francis, Rick Hearst, Jan Schweiterman . USA . 1h 34m
I only discovered there was a third installment of Warlock about 10 years after it had been released, maybe because it was a direct to DVD release or possibly because no one was talking about it, cos it just wasn’t up to par with the first two films.
You can tell when a film has no budget as the sets and locations shrink down to a minimum, and this one house film is incredibly dull and quite boring.
Seemingly inspired by the now cult classic Warlock theme, an enchanted and highly determined Warlock who travels through time to be reborn and usher in the new beginning by raising Satan, originally the films see the Warlock travelling the world getting into all kinds of hijinx, tricking and slaughtering as he goes, but it’s down theatrics now… Continue reading Warlock III : End of Innocence (1999)
Director: Anthony Hickox
Starring: Julian Sands, Paula Marshall, Chris Young, R G Armstrong . USA . 1h 38m
Warlock (1988) was an amazing film, with a host of rich histories and wonderful effects which became the dawn of a gripping new evil villain with charm and tons of sex appeal; while this film really broke the horror fantasy world apart, it’s sequel, while being a bit more soppy and sentimental, did deliver some gruesome body horror for it’s delightful bad guy, acted by the amazing Julian Sands but without a fiesty hero originally played by Richard E Grant, the film lost some of it’s edge for a more whimsical teen duo who think they can outsmart the Warlock.
The original Warlock film started in the dark ages in Britain, but the keyword for Warlock 2 is Druids and magical stones, an aspect which would make most horrors laughable but Hickox managed to rein back the wands and fairy dust for a touch of the macabre. Continue reading Warlock 2 – the Armageddon (1993)