Friday, 22 July 2011
Another Halloween approaches, and whereas for the last seven long years we've been hit with a SAW movie at the cinema's come our favourite holiday, the chalice appears to have been passed on with the parallel releases of the final SAW movie last year, and the second PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movie.
Whether the PA franchise will run as long as the SAW franchise is anyone's guess. I don't see it as having a wellspring of ideas that can run that deep, but what the hell do I know?
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Writer:Roy Moore (screenplay)
"Hardly anyone ever heard The Velvet Underground, but everyone who did formed a band..."
The same could arguably be said for Bob Clark's third and most accomplished foray into the world of Horror, BLACK CHRISTMAS. A film with such a wide reaching influence on modern horror, its a sin that its so often overlooked, underrated and pushed aside for the more user-friendly Horror that rode on its mighty wave. Its only now, in the years after Clark's death, (killed along with his son in a tragic, drink driving incident), that this atmospheric masterwork is beginning to invoke the love its so long been denied.
Monday, 18 July 2011
Anyone who reads this site will know I'm no fan of trailers. In fact, I avoid them like the plague. Seems that these days in order to sell a film to an audience, the producers feel its necessary to give away the entire plot, all the twists, and showcase the best scenes, minus the context. After watching INSIDIOUS, I decided to watch the trailer and was shocked by how many revelations were in there. A trailer should hint at whats to come and nothing more. And to be honest I'm at a loss as to think of any recent trailer that's took the subtle route. Not to mention TV spots, Internet 'leaks' and whatever the fuck else they deem we should see. if you think back to the face rape that was Platinum Dunes ELM STREET remake, they released practically every scene with cat face Freddy online. There was nothing left to surprise or titillate the viewer during the show.A bad example I know, seeing as the film made grown men cry and women grow a third boob, but you get my point.
Sunday, 17 July 2011
Writers:John Pogue (screenplay)
The original REC was a hard hitting Spanish shocker that showed the west how to REALLY make a first person Zombie epic. It was brutal, energised and paced to within in inch of its life. Perfect zombie anarchy. Then came the unsurprising remake, (reading subtitles is apparently a thing of the past), with the new title QUARANTINE, and whereas most remakes of foreign classics turn out inevitably shit, this one actually worked, mostly by virtue of closely copying the beats and scares of the original, and by having a lead actress with some serious acting chops, (and a scream to match) Next came REC 2, the sequel to the original Spanish classic, and it was every bit as brilliant and razor sharp as its original. Surely it would be remade by our good ole boys in Hollywood? A direct reworking? Well, no, as it happens.
Saturday, 16 July 2011
1. Proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects.2. Treacherous; crafty.
I arrived at the party pretty late on this one. I'd noticed a lot of buzz in the horror community about this film before its release, and a great deal of hype from its many admirers afterwards. Somehow, through all this I managed to stay in the dark as to what the films plot was. I knew it was directed by James Wang, who's SAW and DEATH SENTENCE I had enjoyed, and who's film, DEAD SILENCE, I absolutely adore. I was very keen to lay my eyes on this puppy. I just never found the right opportunity.
Thursday, 14 July 2011
Posing as a factual document of a paranormal investigation that went very wrong sometime in recent years. GHOSTS OF CROWLEY hall follows the blueprint of ghost hunting shows such as Britain's MOST HAUNTED, and Americas GHOST HUNTERS.
What in gods name was THIS? I'm at a loss as to what I just sat through. Even now, at the end I have no idea if GHOSTS OF CROWLEY HALL is factual or fictional. Now, for a found footage film that is surely a great sign. After all, look at the success BLAIR WITCH PROJECT enjoyed by fooling the masses. In this sub genre, reality is, of course, key to success.
The cemetery is full of the reputations of once credible reviewers, dig deeper and you will always find the same causes of death....
The first of these most fatal threats is FREE SHIT. Thats right, kids. At some point you'll be asked personally by a writer/director/actor to have a look at their work and let the world know what you think. If your a big boy like that Harry Knowles guy, then that means your getting flown to Hollywood and having your ass kissed till its shiny red, all in a concerted effort to have you sell out your dignity in the name of FREE SHIT. If your a small time alley cat like me, its less of an issue. The issue a guy like me has is every bit as dangerous, and its known, of course, as COMPASSION.
Monday, 11 July 2011
I was recently asked by a reader if I could review HAUTE TENSION for them, and it struck me as a great idea. Not only would it be nice to re-watch this hardcore classic, but it would afford me a chance at last to voice some issues I have with the film. Before I go into detail, I should mention that HAUTE TENSION is a film that holds a particularly special place in my heart. For me, it was a key moment in cinema, for a number of reasons. Its a film I love to this day, and a film that in some ways infuriates me. Its complicated, but stick with me and I'll try and explain.
Thursday, 7 July 2011
When I was a kid, like most children in my neighborhood, we would camp out. We'd pitch up a tent in either my families yard, or a friends yard. We'd then spend the evening playing board games and looking at pictures of boobies and discussing the female form like we knew what the hell we were talking about. They were good times; innocent times. I'm sure most of you have the same warm memories of your youth, and I'm sure a lot of you fondly remember that looking at boobies and playing games, however excellent, was the least of the fun.
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
It's graduation weekend, and Sandy Channing, the popular class president of her small-town high school, should be enjoying the time of her life. But when her friends start disappearing, Sandy discovers they have unwittingly awakened the vengeful spirit of a girl they wronged long ago. Fighting for her sanity, Sandy must unlock a dark secret from her own past before it's too late.
American teen horror. Anyone who knows me knows that it takes a lot to get me sitting in front of one of these damn films. Theres something inherently infuriating about watching a bunch of chiseled ass clowns taking drugs that never seem to get them high, and laying plastic broads who couldn't tell there asshole from their elbow. These films point, for me, to the shallowness inherent in the upcoming generation. Now, this may be me heading into 'miserable old bastard' territory, as I LOVE many of the teen slashers of old. The 70's and 80's produced a multitude of gems that are hard to overlook.
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
I never caught the first film in the 'ZOMBIE DIARIES', franchise, mainly because at the time of its release I was clamoring to lay my eyeballs on George Romero's DIARY OF THE DEAD, a 'found footage' film with a very similar concept. Romero, of course, remains the godfather of the undead, so there really was no choice between the two films. Unfortunately, Romero's fifth film in his 'dead' series was retina searingly bad. A film to inept in every damn way that it effectively put me off both zombies AND handheld horror for quite some time. Until the amazing REC came my way, and renewed my love for third person mayhem.
With much trepidation, I decided to have a look at this, WORLD OF THE DEAD, knowing that it was a stand alone film, so I had no worries about back story. After all, its about zombies, man. They're dead, they walk, they munch off the faces every poor soul the stumble across. Pretty simple stuff.
Saturday, 2 July 2011
As fatherhood looms ever closer, I find myself in a perpetual battle with my fine lady over just which horrors will be suitable for out baby girl and at what age. I argue that I saw HALLOWEEN and THE OMEN when I was barely seven years old, and yes, they scared the unearthly shit outta me, but they helped forge my lifelong love affair with the macabre. She argues that such films are too strong in content for a 7/8 year old, and that I've, 'lost my damn mind'. I'm pretty sure shes right about that, and that just pisses me off, folks.
I'm determined to be one of those cool parents who's kid grows up and boasts about them. The open minded, relaxed, 'rock 'n' roller', type. As the years roll on, though, my grasp on coolness fades relentlessly; the least I can do is pass on my passion for horror to my girl.