Showing posts from 2011

Movie Review: Boo (2005)

What can we say about another group of college kids stupid enough to spend Halloween night in a haunted hospital? I’ll tell you, why on Earth did I watch it twice?
Boo follows an unfortunate group of kids who decide to try and scare their girlfriends by rigging the local cliché, I mean abandoned haunted hospital with thrills and spills. What they don’t know is that the place really is haunted! Jessie, Kevin, Freddy and Marie make their way to the hospital which has been set up for the scares by Emmett. When they get there, Emmett and his dog have vanished. As they proceed through the house unaware of the ill-fated Emmetts misfortune, they discover more than they bargained for! Don't go to the Third floor!

Right, Storyline basics out of the way, Boo delivers very little in any department. Unfortunately, it extends so far that I think it even confuses itself. Absolutely no storyline to get involved in, zero characterisation and a script that makes little to no sense! As a viewer, I …

A cold night in Y2K

It was a cold, dark night in North Yorkshire when I stumbled into my local none descript video rental shop to browse the latest releases. Back when it was cheaper to rent movies than it was to buy, DVD's were the latest (expensive) offering and as such, the VHS enjoyed a twilight period thanks to a massive reduction in prices.

It was during this very period that I found myself handing over £3.99 in exchange for the rental of The Blair Witch Project for 2 nights. I made my way home, turned all the lights off and got myself comfortable.

Having seen The Blair Witch Project previously at the cinema, I was fully prepared for the following 82 minutes but that didn't sway my initial opinion. It was as good the second time, if not better. I have found that this film seems to get better with each viewing. From the eerily simple opening to its breathtaking ending, it always delivers. The main things that get me though are the little sounds... The ones you couldn't hear in the cine…

Upcoming Movie: Familiar

Another good looking Horror Short to sink our teeth into. This one is brought to us by the guys over at Fatal Pictures. Their previous offerings, Consumption (2008) and Worm (2010) fill us with confidence that this fledgling production company can keep the quality coming. Let's hope that a feature is on the cards in the not too distant future.

FATAL PICTURES is proud to announce "FAMILIAR", a new Horror short starring Robert Nolan, Astrida Auza and Cathryn Hostick as the seemingly idyllic yet ultimately doomed Dodd Family.

Written/Directed by Richard Powell, Produced by Zach Green (FATAL PICTURES) Cinematography & Co Producer Michael Jari Davidson shot on RED Digital Cinema. Special FX for the film provided by Ryan Louagie, Carlos Henriques & Steven Dawley (The Butcher Shop)."

Through a series of tragic events a middle aged man grows to suspect the negative impulses plaguing his mind may not be his own!

For more on Fatal Pictures visit their website: www.fa…

Movie Review: Hell Asylum (2001)

Make of it what you will but there has to be something in the fact that this film received a second viewing! Having purchased it from my local bargain DVD shop some years ago for a huge £1.99, I found myself giving it further scrutiny. My belief is that you can never fully appreciate any film until you have seen it for a second or sometimes even a third time. However that logic can go out the window with some of the films I watch.
However you look at it, Hell Asylum was in my eyes at least good enough to warrant this immense honour. I suppose it was the sight of Joe Estevez in the opening scene that triggers something in your mind that says “It can’t be that bad, that’s Martin Sheen’s little bro!” A quick visit to IMDB finds my staring at a long list of “random” horror films. It is his known for films that include Soultaker, Beach Babes from Beyond, San Franpsycho and Death Row which really puts pain to my statement! But... There is a silver lining. My Estevez is on screen for approxi…

Movie Review: Growth (2010)

Let me start this review with a small question.
Do scientists really have these fancy islands somewhere in the world where they can all get together and plan tomorrow’s world?

To be honest, I have seen enough films with instances of this to know that it must be true (films say so). Anyway, Growth is another example of why I write this blog. Not to discover the best horror films but those which don’t cost an arm and leg to make, don’t boast the biggest Hollywood stars and above all else show real promise.

It seems that the only thing Hollywood can put out in this genre is sub-standard remakes and rubbish exorcist rip-offs (for the record, the original was rubbish too) but within the world of low budget independent horror, we find a great deal of “promise” and every now and then we do find those little gems which makes it all worthwhile.

To be perfectly honest, Growth is not without its charm but sadly it lacks a little sparkle. The story starts in 1989, the residents of Cuttyhunk isla…

Movie Review: The Ruins (2008)

As much as I should really criticize this film, I find myself on the fence. Despite being full of tired clichés and possessing a storyline which essentially is a combination of two other films, The Ruins was still quite enjoyable. The two films I refer to are The Beach and The Descent, to anyone who has seen these two contrasting films, you will immediately connect the dots upon watching this film.
The Ruins starts off on the slow side, picks up in the middle and sadly falls away towards its conclusion which starts to resemble a mediocre creature feature. A group of friends, Jeff, Amy, Eric and Stacy are vacationing in Mexico when they are joined by a mysterious stranger, Mathias. Jonathan Tucker, Shawn Ashmore, Jena Malone and Laura Ramsey play the group of friends and Joe Anderson plays the mysterious stranger. Mathias tells the group about an unearthed, previously lost Mayan pyramid which must be seen. They all set off in search of the rather poorly hidden “lost” pyramid but on arr…

Movie Review: The Killing Room (2009)

What happens when you can’t be bothered to walk upstairs and get another DVD from the office? You end up flicking through the movie channels. Fortunately for me, The Horror Channel is free with the full Sky package. If you like lesser known horror films then you can often find something enjoyable on there.

Well anyway, by chance I tuned in just as The Killing Room was starting. A quick check on IMDB revealed the cast list and I was sold. Peter Stormare, Clea DuVall and Nick Cannon were enough to convince me to watch.

The Killing Room follows a group of people who are participating in what they think is a Psychological study, it soon becomes apparent that they are involved in something far more sinister. Peter Stormare plays, as he invariably does, a shady foreigner (Not xenophobic, just an observation) Nick Cannon plays a quiet participant as does Clea DuVall. The remaining test subjects are played by Academy Award winner, Timothy Hutton and Shea Whigham. The whole thing is rounded off…

Movie Review: Frailty (2001)

Frailty was a film that I owned for a long time before watching. My version was from Germany and was known as Dämonisch (Demonic) which I must say distracted me somewhat and for a long time, I was unsure what the film was. (I have a lot of films from Germany which have slipped my notice because of changes in titles)
Frailty, by all accounts seemed to pass by relatively unnoticed to the masses. With a comparatively small budget and equally poor box office return, it remains one of those hidden gems bordering on cult.

After watching the film I fail to see how it is not more widely regarded and praised. Bill Paxton's directorial debut takes us through a passage of belief and extremism. The film centres around flashbacks during a confession. With the FBI searching for the Hand of God killer, Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey) gives his childhood accounts which would point to his own brother being the killer. Bill Paxton plays the father whose sudden "vision" takes him and h…

Horror! Part 2: Fangs, Claws, Tentacles & Jaws!

Definitely one of the widest ranging categories and one than spans various different genres itself. I will, obviously focus on the more horror orientated creatures. As the title suggests, these films feature, in one way or another, to put it plainly, creatures. Some are beyond the realms of Earthly origin and others are simply "giant" versions of creatures we know. Some are more close to human than you might think but all have played a major role in the films we watch today. A more apt description in terms of the Horror genre would simply be Monster Movies!

This genre covers more films than I could write about with less than 400 pages so I am going to give a brief history. Sorry to anyone who can think of films not mentioned but like I said. A Very large genre!

The early to mid 20th century saw the real ignition of Monster Movies with titles like Frankenstein, Dracula and The Lost World. We can immediately see how diverse the category is. With these three films alone we cov…

Horror! Part 1: Zombies

The word horror gets thrown around a lot these days. It takes a dozen sub-categories just to describe the most. For that reason I thought I would do a few short pieces on what definition I would give to the term Horror Film and some of the things they offer the hard working movie fans!

With Zombies, Creature-features, Psychological, Supernatural even Thrillers, it is very difficult to come up with something definitive but from my experience, Zombie films are great fun but never really scary. Creature-features are always tongue in cheek. For me, the scariest are the supernatural and psychological Thrillers. Sorry to anyone who is wondering where Vampires fit into this. A very simple explanation, they are not Horror films, never have been but with the recent spate of Dawson's Creek with fangs, they slip even further down the totem pole.

Part 1: Zombies: A personal favourite of mine and one that offers so much entertainment. From the greats of cinema like Night of The Living Dead and…

Movie Review: Granny (1999)

Ok, let me start this one off by saying, The Misses bought me this (Thank you) along with The Salena Incident and Knock Knock. So, I wasn't expecting much.... To be perfectly honest, I was expecting a certain level! Unfortunately, Granny did not serve up the cookies this time!

Calling this a film is so far from the truth, you might as well call it bananphone! In reality, Granny is a 25 minute long short-film that has had every scene stretched to breaking point in order to hit that 60 minute mark as advertised on the DVD case. Maybe they printed the cases before finishing the film and just had to make the time up to hit that target. Whatever the reason, watching the eight supposedly college friends sitting around talking about random crap was rather excruciating! To make it all seem a bit less interesting, they don’t even appear to be drunk or for that matter anywhere close to being college students! Quite literally the first 16 minutes of this film are them sat around talking abo…

Movie Review: Broken (2006)

Yet another film from the collection that got looked over again and again but on one rather gruesome night which also included Cannibal Holocaust I decided to give it a try.

A young woman awakes to find she has been kidnapped and is now trapped in the woods with a psychopathic loner. As well as making her perform sordid acts, she must also save herself from ridiculous situations which, if she wasn't hell-bent on making sure her daughter was ok, would be enough to finish anyone off.

One rather stomach clenching scene involves a razor blade and her intestines... I will say no more! The cast, as limited as the story allows are brilliant. For 99% of the film we only have interaction from two characters. Both are played perfectly. Nadja Brand plays Hope, the woman caught in this wicked trap and Eric Colvin plays "The Man", Hopes abductor and keeper.

The film mixes a great blend of suspense, gore and atmosphere and despite being very low on funding; the production value is very g…

Movie Review: Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

Ed Wood's "Classic" has taken a few batterings down the years. Without question his biggest film but also considered to be one of the worst films ever made. Well... I saw this in the local unnamed generic Pound Shop and chomped at the bit. £1 for a classic was far too good a deal to pass up. Having only ever known Bela Lugosi as the star of real classics like Dracula and White Zombie, I was quite intrigued to discover why this outing had such a bad reputation.
After researching the film, it became abundantly clear; This was the last film of an underappreciated career for the Hungarian master. One which sadly, he did not see through. Lugosi died of a heart attack during filming, so footage from some of Wood's' other side projects, which also featured Lugosi were used. They brought in a replacement actor to do the filler. However, not to very good effect as all scenes involving the stand in were shot with him covering his entire face with a cape.
Sad to say th…

Movie Review: Knock Knock (2007)

Ah, another cheap and cheerful slasher film from the very bottom of the bargain bin! This one sadly, belongs where I found it. With an unknown cast and a small budget, sometimes you can still come up with something a little more original!

Knock Knock boasts a standard revenge/slasher plotline filled with red herrings at every turn. Unfortunately it appears that the writers gave up and completely missed their opportunity for one of those glorious things in slasher films... A Twist. It was like they literally just ran out of ideas. Some of the death scenes are rather imaginative, if a little overcooked by the epilepsy inducing camera and editing department.

As for that unknown cast. Only one actor stood out in the whole thing, Antonio Mastrantonio, who plays the lead's grandfather and retired cop. Desperately trying to get back into Nikki's life. He soon teams up with rookie cop/hooker, Det. Billie, played ever so subtly by Kim Taggart. Her performance is so realistic, you co…

Movie Review: The Salena Incident (2007)

Here we go again! The Salena Incident was recommended by a friend, who simply said. Watch it! So, the first time the misses saw it for sale on the interwebnet, she snapped it up. 3-5 working days later, it landed on our door mat and swiftly found its way into the DVD player. I don’t mess around me, if a reliable source gives me gold; I’m not going to ignore it.
The film starts with some top notch special effects as what is obviously an alien craft comes crashing down to Earth. Some wonderful acting follows, as we see the Directors grandfather and all his bowls pals dressed in their best military issue uniform. Clearly discussing the afore mentioned crash. Cut straight from there to a group of America's finest marines descending many, many floors underground to search and contain anything they might find. Obviously, this goes pear shaped very quickly!

After this very swift opening, we are finally introduced to the main protagonists of the film. A group of convicts being transferr…