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Showing posts from 2013

Short Movie Review: The Prospector's Curse (2012)

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This short film was first brought to my attention by director Josh Heisie way back in February 2012. Due to “unforseen events”, the film missed its initial slated release target of Summer 2012. However, I was recently updated as to the status of the film and I have also had the opportunity to sample the work for myself...

Set in Gold-rush era Wild West, Theodore “Tubby” Ellsworth and Jack smith are two criminals on the run. As they make their escape in the woods, they come across a dying Prospector. Lying on Indian ground and knowing of his impending demise, he makes the pair promise to give him a Christian burial. They fail on their oath, instead opting to steal the old man’s gold. Little do they know, the prospector is about to return to claim what is rightfully his and inflict terrible vengeance on the two naive outlaws!

While I may not hold a massive space in my heart for short films, there are the odd ones that manage to weasel their way into my consciousness. The last such shor…

Movie Review: Trick 'r Treat (2007)

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This is a film that has sat on my shelf for far too long. Christmas 2011 I believe. Anyway, after a small amount of deliberation with the misses, we decided to make it the next film on the Random Horror watch list.

We sat down, drinks ready and open minded. Ready for whatever would come from this relatively mysterious looking DVD. Were we in for a treat?...

I am going to do this slightly differently because of the nature of the film. In actuality, it’s not really a film. Rather a collection of 4 tales of Halloween woes. The connections being the setting (all in the same town) and Sam, a tiny trick or treater in an orange suit with a burlap sack over his head reminiscent of a jack-o-lantern. Although characters do appear in differing stories at differing levels, the main connection is Sam!

In what plays like a ‘horror-stories-around-the-camp-fire’ sort of way, we weave in and out of story arcs as the film runs. The opening, being a stand-alone story which sets the tone for the film s…

Movie Review: Apartment 143 (2012)

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I found this film in a bargain bin in my local DVD retailer with a rather inviting £3 sticker on it. As such, I snapped it up and set about making it the latest in the long line of found footage style films on my watch list.
Apartment 143 follows the story of Alan White and his two kids, Caitlin and Benny. Alan moves his family into the small apartment to try and escape the strange occurrences that have plagued the family since the death of his wife. Upon moving however, the hauntings continue. Desperate, he calls in a group of parapsychologists to try and explain or even help the family get through this difficult phase.

The group consisting of Dr. Helzer and his two assistants Paul and Ellen start setting up all sorts of technical equipment around the apartment to monitor and document everything. Hoping to find either some compelling evidence or to just help put the families’ worries at ease, they soon get more than they had ever hoped for!

Ok, basics out of the way, now down to the …

Movie Review: The Zombie Diaries (2006)

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WARNING ***CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Quite early on in my evolving love for the Random Horror world, I was given a film called Zombie Diaries on DVD. It was released a short time before George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead and was a British Independent movie.

My feelings for this film are so great that I am breaking my usually rule of NO SPOILERS! That is all I will say on that!

Zombie Diaries follows three sub-stories which all revolve around the arc of a virus which is slowly making its way to the shore’s of England. The first story finds us following a reporter and crew as they leave London following a lead on the virus. The story takes them to a farm in the countryside. Upon arrival, something seems strange and it isn’t long before the virus they’ve been hunting finds them!

The second story feels more like something from a survival film. Three survivors make their way in a car to a destination unknown, with a gun and some fight about them, they search for useful parts in any place the…

Movie Review: The Amityville Haunting (2011)

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After more than a month out of the game, I returned to the world of Random Horror with a... not quite a bang, more of a piff! I trawled through the Amazon suggests looking for more hidden gems and what I found was The Amityville Haunting!
By now, I think everyone should know the story of The Amityville House and its connected stories, for those who don’t, read about it. Anyway, The Amityville Haunting sells itself as a “Real” found footage film. The tagline reads... “The family did not survive but the recordings did”. I think this pretty much sums up the direction the film will take us.

To begin, we see a group of kids filming themselves breaking into the house whilst it is empty. They fool around a bit and pretty much do what young stupid American stereotype teens do in these types of films. And, equally as stereotypical, they all meet with untimely ends!

We skip forward slightly and a very awkward looking family introduce themselves to a slightly tentative realtor. With this, we are…

Movie Review: Outpost: Black Sun (2012)

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This is a film that like the previous sequel I reviewed (Grave Encounters 2) promised so much. Let me take you back a bit. One of my first posts on this website was for a little indie film called Outpost. The film saw a group of mercenaries escorting a businessman in the woods of Eastern Europe only to be confronted by an army of un-dead Nazi SS soldiers. The concept and delivery were brilliant and immediately after watching Outpost, I was ecstatic to learn that a sequel had already been commissioned.
A few years passed and it seemed as though Outpost 2 was never going to be released, I had been following their Facebook/Twitter pages so I knew the film had been made but alas, no release date. Even news of a third instalment didn’t bring with it a release for the second! Eventually, as if overnight, Outpost: Black Sun was released in shops and quickly moved to the top of my wish list! I finally got the opportunity to watch it after a chance visit to HMV provided me with a copy for the …

Movie Review: Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

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I must say after watching and massively enjoying the first Grave Encounters, I was very excited to see the second. I watched a few trailers and nothing I saw did anything to alter my initial excitement. I was scanning the DVD shelf at our local unnamed chain supermarket when I saw it; twice reduced the price was now too good an opportunity to pass up at £5! 
Still excited, I decided to watch it that same night…

Grave Encounters 2 begins with a montage of amateur film reviewers giving their two cents on the first instalment. One of them is Film Student Alex Wright. After giving it a fairly poor review he becomes obsessed with the mystery surrounding the production of the first film. He is contacted by a viewer of his video blog known only as Death Awaits and is fed small snippets of information.

This information is enough to get Alex more than intrigued, so along with his friends Jennifer, Trevor, Tessa and Jared he sets about unravelling the secrets of Grave Encounters. Their journey…

Movie Review: V/H/S (2012)

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This is another film that was brought to my attention a while ago, this time through the wonders of Twitter and its many awesome horror fans. I watched the trailer on YouTube then instantly watched it again and then again and over the course of the next week or so, continued to watch in awe as I wondered if this could be as good in reality as the trailer made it seem...

Months passed and although I continued to refresh my memory by watching the many updated trailers that came by, I was thwarted in my attempts to watch it as being in the UK, all VOD opportunities seemed to be in the States. But, my time would come! I was browsing around randomly on Amazon when my gaze was diverted by a familiar VHS cover. A patient wait until the end of January and V/H/S was finally in my possession!

It is so difficult to review an anthology because they differ so dramatically! One can influence my decision and consciousness greatly while others may drag it down somewhat. I suppose the best way to do …

Movie Review: Silent House (2011)

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I first saw this advertised before watching Chernobyl Diaries and while the premise sounded quite familiar, the delivery made me really want to watch. So, off I went to my local retailer and lo-and-behold, the same sale that gifted me Chernobyl Diaries for £5, also gave me this title for the same price. I was quite happy to say the least.
The film follows Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen) who has travelled with her father, John to their lakeside retreat to pack it up ready for selling. Helping them along the way is Peter, John’s Brother. The house itself is quite run down and in a fairly poor state. After a petty brotherly argument, Peter leaves to get away for a bit, leaving Sarah and her dad alone in the house.

A strange encounter with Sophia, who says she used to play with Sarah when they were kids, sets the tone of the film very well. Despite being friendly about the reunion, Sarah appears to have no clue whom she is. Either way, they arrange to meet up later. She leaves and Sarah returns t…

Movie Review: Chernobyl Diaries (2012)

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Another film that was instantly appealing to me was The Chernobyl Diaries. The same shopping spree that saw me buying The Loved Ones also saw me purchasing this! I had been meaning to watch it for quite some time and when I saw a solitary copy of it at cut price of about £5 (Thank you HMV 70% off!) I could not resist!
Chernobyl Diaries follows a group of friends travelling around Europe. Chris, along with his girlfriend Natalie and another friend Amanda document their trip with footage from loads of major cities around Europe. The next stop on their trip is to the Ukraine to meet up with Chris’ brother Paul. From Kiev, they plan to travel to Moscow however, a chance opportunity to visit the site of the infamous Chernobyl nuclear reactor proves too good to pass up! They meet up with extreme tour guide Uri and along with another couple there for the trip, they set off to the town of Pripyat.

The actual reactor site is still too dangerous for humans so the group make do with the town t…

Movie Review: Skew (2011)

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With all the bigger budget horror films I have watched lately, I thought I would mix it up a bit and watch something a bit more low-budget, something more in keeping with the likes of a true random horror. It’s another one that the misses got me for Christmas so I have waited quite a while to watch it but with the amount of DVD’s I have, this is understandable.
First impressions from the case were quite good, it gave me a good idea what the film would entail... Someone filming events using a hand-held camera. I suppose that is fairly close to the mark and in keeping with current trends. The likes of Grave Encounters and Paranormal Activity have really led resurgence in the found footage/Hand-held department after the greats of Cannibal Holocaust and The Blair Witch Project paved the way.

Skew follows Richard, Eva and Simon on a road trip across the country as they travel to a friend’s wedding. Simon has decided that he is going to document every second of the trip and does so with gr…

Movie Review: The Loved Ones (2009)

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This film was recommended to me a while ago by a friend and I have kept a sharp right eye open for a copy of it ever since. A chance visit to my local DVD retailer offered me the opportunity to pick up a copy for a bargain price so I promptly obliged.
After a quick scan of the cover, I immediately jumped to the conclusion that what I had here was a run of the mill Aussie slasher flick set around a school dance setting…. Oh how wrong I was! Again, from the initial scan, I learned that the Loved Ones starred, and this was something they seemed quite proud of, Xavier Samuel. As they were quite eager to point out, star of Twilight: Eclipse. Having only seen them once (The Misses is a fan) I was still none the wiser but it was obviously quite a selling point for them.  

Quite early on in the Loved Ones, I got the feeling that my slasher theory was way off the mark. The film opens with Brent (Samuel) driving along a country road with his Dad, he’s clearly just got his driving licence but n…

Movie Review: Sinister (2012)

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Following on from Insidious was a film I had been looking forward to watching for a long time. From the first time I saw the trailer, I was excited at the prospect of seeing it. I finally saw my opportunity and within hours of buying it, Sinister was spinning to life in front of my eyes.
The film opens with a scene unlike any other, a silent film reel which shows a family of four bound, with hoods over their faces and nooses around their necks tied to a tree branch. An unseen source slowly cuts through a branch of the tree which when it collapses, acts as a pulley and hoists the family high up into the air. The camera rolls for a few moments as we watch the families’ lives being slowly extinguished by the weight of their own bodies!

Skip forward a few months and we are introduced to the Oswalt family, Ellison, his wife Tracy and their two kids Ashley and Trevor. Ellison is a once-successful true crime writer who is on a push for another triumph. He has moved the family from their home…

Movie Review: Insidious (2010)

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I know this is moving slightly away from my typical “Random Horror” but I am not averse to bigger pictures which I why I relished the opportunity to watch Insidious. Having received it as a Christmas present in 2011, I couldn’t wait to watch it and I have since seen it several times. Insidious follows Josh and Renai Lambert and their three kids. After moving into a new house, the family struggle to settle and things are set back even further when Dalton, one of the kids falls into a bizarre coma like state. This causes more strain on the already thinly stretched family but it isn’t until Renai experiences strange noises and ghostly activity that the family decide enough is enough! They move into a new house to try to escape the supernatural activity which has been plaguing the poor woman only to experience the same thing in their new home!

On the advice of Josh’s mother Lorraine, Renai calls in an expert and promptly invites paranormal investigator Elise into their new home. Along wi…