Gary Hindley

About Gary Hindley

Hi there, my name is Gary Hindley. I live in the North East of Scotland where it nearly always rains, and I am a lover, of all things horror, and literally all aspects of the horror genre. Some would call it an obsession. I love the writing of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P Lovecraft. My favourite horror genres are slashers, paranormal and Sci-fi, with 'Nightmare On Elm Street', 'Friday The 13th', 'Evil Dead' and the 'Alien' franchises being amongst my favourites. On the TV, I'm a fan of 'American Horror Story', and 'Ash vs. Evil Dead'.

Alien Day – April 26th 2017

alienbanner-625x350Alien Day – April 26th 2017

That’s right folks, on April 26th 2017, the 2nd Alien Day will be upon us, and this year, its an extra special celebration, with the brand new film in the franchise ‘Alien: Covenant’ set for release on May 19th in theatres around the world.

So whats actually happening on Alien Day?

At select cinemas round the UK, namely Odeon, Vue, AMC and Cineworld cinemas will be showing Prometheus, and the directors cut of Alien.
An added special feature that everyone will get, is a 14 minute preview, of bridged footage from Alien Covenant.

cineworldHO00004500 - Edited (1)To be one of the special people who gets access to all this Alien goodness, you can buy what is being called the ‘Alien Superticket’
On top of getting a double bill of Alien films, and Alien: Covenant footage, the price of the ticket (varies between cinemas) includes entry to a special screening of the brand new Alien: Covenant on May 11th!! Thats right, you will see the film 8 days before general release.

To get details of the Alien Day festivities in your area, what films are being shown & show times, check the links below:
Odeon: http://www.odeon.co.uk/films/alien_day/17290/#
Vue: https://www.myvue.com/event/alien-super-ticket
Cineworld: https://www.cineworld.co.uk/films/alien-superticket-26-april-and-11-may

AMC: http://www.amccinemas.co.uk/film/?F=142613&C=8627

For anyone like myself who was born after the cinematic release of Alien, this is an amazing opportunity to see the film in full HD quality picture and sound. I can’t wait!
Get your tickets now!

Split (2016) Review

MV5BZTJiNGM2NjItNDRiYy00ZjY0LTgwNTItZDBmZGRlODQ4YThkL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjY5ODI4NDk@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_Split (2016) Review

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Cast:  James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Jessica Sulu, Betty Buckley

Plot: Three girls, are attacked, and kidnapped by a man, that to their mortal peril, is diagnosed 23 distinct personalities. They must try to escape before a terrifying, new, 24th personality referred to as ‘The Beast’, is unleashed.

Split, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is the second time he has worked with producer Jason Blum of Blumhouse productions. Its safe to say that once again the pairing has worked brilliantly, and created another Thriller/Horror masterpiece. Not only is the script and dialogue just exceptional but the acting performance of James McAvoy is pretty much perfect. It’s beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed, from any actor, ever.

His character has 23 personalities that are all completely different to one another and are all as intense, and in their own sense, terrifying in so many different ways. His personalities, in his head, are laid out to us, like 23 people sitting in a support group meeting, and each of them are fighting inside him, to stand in the light. There are a four of them, that are most prominent through the film.

MV5BMTc1NDYyOTA5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjE2MDY1OTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1552,1000_AL_8ee26fdf6e7d4bd7_5720_D012_00044_R_CROPV2(Hedwig, Aged 9 – Pictured Left)

(Fashion Designer, – Barry Pictured Right)

The first two have an element of innocence to them. These being 9 year old boy with a lisp called Hedwig, and a fashion designer called Barry.

The next two are the most dangerous of the 23…

 

MV5BOWEyM2U3NzctNjNlNS00MTEzLWExMzctNDMwYWU1OGI2NjE0L2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDA5NjMyNjY@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,739_AL_(Ultra Aggressive Dennis – Pictured Left)

MV5BZDMyZmQzNmMtNmM2My00ZjAxLWIzMzItM2U0ZTE2ZmVjZmMwL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDA5NjMyNjY@._V1_(Dark, Moody, Violent Miss Patricia – Pictured Right)

They are firstly a man called Dennis. He has the worst possible case of OCD, and is ultra aggressive, and impulsive in his nature. The other is a woman called Miss Patricia who is very unpredictable, extremely firm, and violent at the drop of a hat.

When he appears as Hedwig, he says that Dennis and Miss Patricia keep telling him that the beast is on the move and he is coming to get them. The three girls should be scared because he’s going to come and do horrible things. We also hear Hedwig say that the beast is going to come and protect them, and make them safe. These sentences are very cryptic in their nature but all add up, to one hell of a showdown. Upon meeting the beast, its safe to say, that Hedwig, was absolutely correct, and the three girls, find themselves in a fight for their lives.

The three girls that are captured are also brilliant. Two of the girls are spoiled rich girls and the other is a quiet, reserved girl who keeps very much to herself. The contrast of character traits works really well. The quiet girl is called Casey and is portrayed by Anna Taylor-Joy. Her character, is like a big ball of elastic bands, you can unravel it all you like but you never seem to be able to reach the middle. Throughout the film, we get flashbacks of her as a young girl, and get a real insight into her abusive past. Her character development, like everything in this film, is brilliant.

MV5BZDI2YjgyMzktMzg4NC00ZDA1LTk2YjAtODYzNTI1NzhlNjMwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjM1NjkwMDI@._V1_There are so many moments of that Shyamalan magic, that only he does so well. What I mean by that is that he doesn’t just jump from A to B. He tells a story and seems to be able to fit it into a feature length film instead of what most could only do, for example, in a 6 part mini series.. And still none of it feels crammed in or rushed. It all fits and its all relevant.

There are so many little things that happen that at first appear insignificant, but then come full circle, and leave you in awe. It’s very cleverly put together. There are scenes with the character Barry, when he goes to see his psychiatrist, that deserve the upmost attention in seeing the magic at work.

The last film M.Night Shyamalan did, called ‘The Visit’, is slow paced and full of building tension akin to a John Carpenter film. Split is the complete polar opposite. It is faced paced and there is always something happening. The tension you would expect is still there, but delivered in a different way. Instead, its more waiting in anticipation of what is going to happen next in this Roller coaster of a film. You’ll experience a range of emotions watching this film. For me, mainly, it was fear, as to what this guy is going to do next, and fear for what the three poor girls are going to be exposed to and how they are going to overpower this person(s).

Alien Covenant – A Preview !

alien-covenantPreview – Alien: Covenant

Director: Ridley Scott
Actors: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby

Introduction:
The horror film everyone is talking about, is the upcoming Alien: Covenant. Appearing in theatres on May 19th, and if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks like Ridley Scott has responded to pleas from fans, and gone for a full on Alien film. Not just that, but a full on horror film. In saying that, does it have comparisons to any of the previous Alien films? Each of the four, full on Alien films that have gone before it have all been completely different. If anything, parts on the Covenant space craft, have similarities to the 1979’s Alien.

What we are going to do now, is have a look at the trailer in detail, and break it down, making comment on the parts of the trailer, that I found to be important, and relevant. Its very exciting, and I have a few theories. I’ve tried my best to stay away from spoiler articles, so what I’m saying here is my point of view only.

If any of them turn out to be true, then so be it… Read ahead at your own risk!

Trailer Breakdown:

alienwatchThe Crew of The Covenant 

The name of the ship that is taking up the mission is called ‘Covenant’.
The crew is made up of couples, that are on their way, to colonise the planet.
This scene shows the crew getting together, before going into cryostasis.

alienwatch (1)The Ground Team

The ground team move out, to explore the terrain, and are immediately faced with questions.
They come across wheat, and other human vegetation.
How did a planet so far from Earth, that is considered uninhabited, have such things?

alienwatch (2)The Black Pods 

This is important, and a major plot point.
For anyone who hasn’t been following the build up to the film, or missed the Radio 2 interview with Michael Fassbender, these black pods that appear on the ground, are a mutation of the black goo that we saw in the Prometheus.
If you are to stand on one of the pods, an airborne contaminant known as a spore is released and enter your body through you ear.
They are microscopic in size, and do a very similar job, as the embryo planted by a face huggger.
Once you’re infected, you’re gonna have a bad time…
But more on that later.

alienwatch (3)A Familiar Sight: Cause For Concern

We all remember a derelict craft, identical to this one, on the planet LV426, in Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ in 1979, and then the exact same craft, in the James Cameron directed sequel ‘Aliens’ in 1986.
We know that whats inside, is the stuff nightmares are made of. This craft is a picture perfect portrait of death.
There should be a sign on the door saying ‘Death Awaits’.
A similar craft made an appearance at the end of Prometheus, when an engineer attempted to take off, but was thwarted by the crew of the Prometheus.
What makes the presumably crash landed craft, in this scene of particular interest, is that in the closing scenes of Prometheus, we see Elizabeth Shaw, and David take off in another engineer ship that was left on LV-223. Is this the ship that Elizabeth and David took off on? Is David here? If so, where is Elizabeth Shaw? David was just a separate head and boudy last time we saw him.

alienwatch (4)Inside The Craft: Engineer Suits

Here, we see the ground crew of the Covenant making what we know, is a bad decision.
We can clearly see in this photo, that there are a number of suits worn by the engineers.
We never saw the inside of the craft that David and Elizabeth took off on, but it was a craft that belonged to the engineers, so… is it too far fetched to think, that there may have been engineers on board?
If so, where are they now? Are they still there? More importantly, we have to ask ourselves that question once again… Where is David? Where is Elizabeth Shaw?

alienwatch (5)Dog Tags… 

I’m going to throw a cat amongst the pigeons and give you my thoughts on what this picture is telling us.
A picture can speak a thousand words, but I will try to be brief.
This was an uninhabited planet, that has a crash landed craft, and now there is a set of dog tags, with their owner, nowhere in sight. I am of the belief that these belong to Elizabeth Shaw, and she has got her wish, and met her maker. This must mean that David, in some way shape or form, is also there, with the black goo.

We know already from Prometheus, what David is willing to do, in his quest for knowledge and learning. He was ready to put Elizabeth Shaw, with the Alien fetus inside her, into cryostasis, so when they return to earth, he could study the alien further. He has first hand, seen what the black goo can do. When you look back at the human vegetation, and the black pods with the spores, it would be logical to say, that there has been some bio-engineering, and experimentation going on, and somehow, David is at the centre of it.

alienaec6390fc3f07936e87555f00f66c26d031c45d1The Spores

Now would be a logical time to discuss these pesky spores.
Right, so remember the black pods from earlier? When you stand on them, they release a spore.
See that tiny black dot in the centre of that mans ear? That’s the spore. It has now contaminated this man, and what will happen next to him, is beyond description… But in any case, i’m going to try.

alienwatch (10)The Birth of The Back Burster

The first four Alien films, gave us plenty of chest bursting action, giving birth to the dreaded Xenomorph.
Covenant brings us a new breed of Alien, known as the Neomorph. As you can probably guess, they burst out of your back, instead of your chest. Sounds delightful doesn’t it? So lets take a look at the Neomorph.

alienFotorCreated1_2The picture on top, is an artists impression of the Neomorph, and the picture below it, is a screenshot from the trailer. As we can see from the bottom picture, they are pale in colour, almost white in contrast to the black Xenomorph. We can also see that they appear to walk on all fours, There are spikes along its back, the elongated head, and scorpion like tail. From we have seen from the trailer, they appear ultra aggressive. Where the Xenomorph is calculated and attacks when you least expect it, the Neomorph appear to attack at will. Needless to say, ultra terrifying.

alienwatch (6)The Eggs

Are you ready for this? A crew member of the Covenant, the person we can see at the rear of the picture with the flashlight, is led into a room full of eggs. A familiar sight? You bet it is.
This is a room of the derelict craft, full of eggs.
More questions? Most Certainly.
How did the eggs get there?
The simple answer is an Alien Queen. But how did she get there? We saw in prometheus, that what came out of Elizabeth Shaw, was the first face hugger, that gave birth to the Deacon. Could the fate of Elizabeth Shaw, be linked with the birth of an Alien queen?
The second question has to be, who is the person leading the crew member into the egg room?

alienwalter_davidOn right, is the android David from Prometheus. On the left, is Walter, who is the new android onboard the covenant. We know that David must be somewhere on this planet, presumably restored to his full working best. But what has David been up to, and who is the person leading the unknowing crew member into the egg room?

alienwatch (7)This is the next shot in the egg room. With the crew member we saw earlier with the torch, standing right next to an opening egg, and we know whats inside.
But who is the person standing in the bottom right? I’m of the belief, this is one of the androids… but my gut feeling, is that its David. As we further explore the trailer, i’ll reveal why I think this is David.

For the unfortunate crew member, we know what happens next.

alienNEF5HozNq2bPIM_1_bThe Sacrifice

This picture is from Prometheus. Its known as the big head room, and is full of canisters of the black goo. It was thought this was a room of prayer and sacrifice.

alienwatch (17)At the back of this picture, we can see a statue, with a big domed building.
What is the building for, and how did it get there? Who built it? Who is the cloaked crusader in the middle of the picture?.
In front of the statue, are what appears to be human sacrifices. Humans I hear you say? Lets take a closer look.

alienwatch (11)They look rather human to me. Is it possible, that unknown to Weyland-Utani, that this planet was already colonised by humans? It’s also got the look of people that have has their backs burst open. A rather terrifying prospect, and reminds me of the colony on LV-426, who also met an unfortunate fate, that time, at the hands of Xenomorphs.

alienwatch (18)The Laboratory

If we look close at this picture, the person or something at the bottom looks to have had some kind of postmortem. There are also, all kinds of diagrams around the room, giving a kind of science lab feel. And of course, to the right hand side, is an alien. We’ll find out the purpose of this room in time i’m sure.

Conclusion:
There is so much happening in this film, and looks like its going to be mega…! Dare I say it, possibly the best since Aliens?
I hope Ridley Scott has got the pacing right, and allows for a coherent story to be told, instead of a mash up of scenes with monsters.
As I’ve said throughout, I believe that David is the key to all of this.
My theory is that David, at length, has studied the black goo from Prometheus, to the extents of what it can do, and what can be achieved by using it, on plants, people, and animals. I think the creatures we are seeing are David’s doing, through some kind of, crazy genetic engineering, and experimentation.
We know the black pods, release spores that kill you, giving birth to a Neomorph, and we have also clearly seen that there are eggs, to create Xenomoprhs.
With that many eggs though, it would make sense then, that there is a queen.

Lets consider the queen for a moment.
This is not a chicken and the egg scenario here.
For the Xenomorph to exist, a queen must be born, to lay an egg, release a face hugger, and so forth.
Did an engineer birth the queen? or Did Elizabeth Shaw? Or is it a product of David?
There are so many questions that I cannot wait to get the answers to! I’m incredibly excited and cant wait for this film to come out!

An Interview with Emma Dark by Gary Hindley

rsz_ed5Hi there, I’m Gary Hindley, Writer for UK Horror Scene.

Thank you very much for agreeing to speak with me, I hope all is well with you.

I want say congratulations on your success, with the award winning ‘Seize the Night’. It’s a fantastic piece of film, and thoroughly enjoyed. The writing and directing of film, is something you look to be thriving in, and each project you take on shows more ambition and your drive to try new, exciting things.

Q: What were the influences that got you interested in the horror genre?

I’ve always liked horror, from a very early age. My Dad was a butcher, and as a small child I used to go into his walk in fridge in the butchers shop to see the animals. Not in a particularly grim way, I wanted to see if any of the animals still had heads on and stroke them. Thankfully I actually didn’t turn out to be a serial killer, in fact I’m not even a big fan of slasher movies to be honest. The first horror film I saw was Albert Pyun’s “The Sword and the Sorcerer”. Strictly speaking it’s probably classed as a dark fantasy, but the horror elements are very strong, even as an adult viewer it’s pretty horrific in places. As a BBFC 18 rated film, I don’t know how I managed to convince my Dad it was a kids movie in a video store in the 80’s but somehow I did!

rsz_ed2Q: You’re a celebrated alternative model, and multi award winning director, writer, actress and producer. After being so successful with your modelling career, what was it that attracted you to film making?

With the modelling, the end results are great, frankly who wouldn’t want fantastic photos of themselves, however it’s not your art, not really, it’s the photographers. I’m not saying I don’t like modelling, I still do it from time to time, but I certainly wouldn’t devote all of my free time to it again the way I do with the filmmaking, although of course I’m very grateful for the amazing portfolio I’ve built up over the years.

Filmmaking gives you full creative control over telling a story. I guess I could have written a book or started doing more of my own photography (it would have been significantly cheaper), but I love film, I love using my mind to problem solve, and I love a challenge. Producing/Directing (and in my case also editing, marketing and all the rest) presents me with many challenges.

As far as the acting goes I’d really like to be offered a few more interesting serious parts. I do get offered roles fairly frequently but I have the problem of generally being earmarked what I’d call more of the ‘bimbo’ style of Scream Queen roles (being a model looking type I guess), which surprises me really as the character I play in my own film “Seize the Night” is so very far removed from this. I’ve just had the pleasure of acting in Comedy/Horror short film “Frankula” (available on Amazon Prime), co-starring with Hammer’s Caroline Munro and Judy Matheson, TV’s David Barry, “Carry On Screaming” star Fenella Fielding, and newcomer Martin Rudman, so interesting roles are out there. Many thanks to Stuart Morriss of Misty Moon and Jason Read of Robo Films for casting me in that. I’d actually really like to play a serious, smart, take no BS kind of heroine role in a high production value film, think Ripley in “Alien”. Wouldn’t we all, but if it’s out there that’s the ideal kind role for me in all honesty.

rsz_ed1Q: Seize the Night, saw you gain critical acclaim internationally, from some of the biggest horror magazines, and television channels. What has life been like since its release?

It did! It’s been a pretty amazing journey. It’s been covered at various stages of production by the likes of the Horror Channel, Dread Central, Starburst, Digital FilmMaker Magazine etc. It’s had some great reviews, including one from UK Horror Scene (which I actually quoted on the DVD cover). I can’t say I’ve suddenly been propelled into superstardom from one short film (who would be), but I am being taken more seriously as a mind and not just as a face now, I hope. I have signed as an official guest at lots of horror and sci-fi conventions across the UK, including MCM, which I think is pretty unheard of for an indie filmmaker/actor so I must be doing something right! The film’s also just been nominated for a prestigious iHorror award, so we’ll have to see what happens with that. Of course you have to take the good with the bad and the success does garner a certain level of negativity at times, especially (rather frustratingly) from industry peers I’m sad to say. I did let that bother me at one point but there are so many lovely genuine people out there who are extremely supportive that the others aren’t really worth worrying about in the grand scheme of things.

Q: Your next short film is ‘Salient Minus Ten’, is currently in post production. What can you tell us about your new venture?

It is, I’m finishing the edit now as we speak actually. I can tell you it looks absolutely amazing! I was lucky enough to have world renowned Director of Photography and DSLR guru Philip Bloom join my ‘Salient Minus Ten’ team as DoP. Philip is extremely talented and passionate about what he does, and like me is a bit of a perfectionist, so as you can imagine the shots looks amazing. The fact that Philip was requested to work on George Lucas’ feature film “Red Tails” should tell you everything you need to know about his beautiful cinematography style.

rsz_ed3Then there’s the star of my film, the amazing Alan Austen. Alan is perhaps best known for playing one of the Stormtroopers responsible for placing Han Solo in the carbon-freezing chamber in “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”, although his acting career actually spans almost 40 years and he’s had a variety of film and television parts. I’d originally cast another actor in the role (although I won’t go into that here, details are public on my Indiegogo campaign for those who need to know), when it came to recasting and I auditioned Alan I knew that he was the one to play the lead character of Adam Harper. Alan’s performance really blew me away, he’s absolutely fantastic, he really is, and I hope he goes on to win an award for his acting in my film.

I was also very lucky to have onboard named Special Effects artist Mike Peel of Rogue Creations. Mike has worked on a number of high profile films including “The Zombie Diaries”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, “V for Vendetta” and Jake West’s “Evil Aliens”.

The next stage in the post production process is to now finalise the edit and record the ADR for the film with my Sound Recordist and Designer Chris Collier of 24 Foot Square. I really want the sound design to be very creative and present, as beautiful as the cinematography really, so Chris has a very prominent role on the film.

You can find out more about the rest of my cast and crew (many of whom are ‘Seize the Night’ alumni) on the film’s IMDb page.

As far as the story goes I guess I’ve kept that fairly secretive. It’s a short film after all so I don’t really want to give away the entire plot. My brief storyline reads “Adam Harper is an average man. And on an average day he suddenly finds himself catapulted into the strangest, reality changing game… A game of time and chance, where the stakes are a matter of life and death.” I’ve written a very dark Sci-Fi essentially with horror elements. It’s cerebral, classy and somewhat abstract. I don’t really believe short films have to be any less than features in terms of quality of content, so expect something beautiful with depth.

Q: When can we expect to see the release of ‘Salient Minus Ten’?

A public release won’t be for some time. First it has to do the festival run, which gives it the greatest chance of being seen by those in the industry, and hopefully it will pick up a few well deserved awards along the way. I do hope fans can make it along to festival screenings.

rsz_ed4Q: You are an advocate of ‘Women In Horror’. Were you involved in WiHm 2017?

Yes absolutely, I sat on Jonathan Hughes ‘Women in Horror’ panel at his London based ‘United in Blood’ event talking about a range of film and industry related subjects, and how they affect/what they mean for women in film. You can find video coverage of the panel here http://bit.ly/2mjKwdG. Also MorbidlyBeautiful.com interviewed me as part of Women in Horror Month here http://morbidlybeautiful.com/inspiration-women-horror-3/.

In Autumn last year I wrote a seven page article on ‘Women in Film’ published in issue 39 of Digital FilmMaker Magazine, which talks about my own perspective and the experiences of other prominent UK based female filmmakers. It’s well worth checking out, as an issue of great importance it made the headline article with a dedicated front cover.

Not entirely part of Women in Horror Month but the MMBF Trust have also just opened submissions for the Emma Dark Horror Award. It’s the second year running after a successful 2016 and aims to support all aspiring filmmakers.

Q: What projects do you have planned after ‘Salient Minus Ten’? What are your plans for the future?

I do have another self Produced/Directed short film planned for later this year which has a famous name attached, but if I told you about that I might have to kill you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us!

IMDB – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5889089
Website – http://www.emmadark.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/EmmaDarkOfficial
Twitter – https://twitter.com/EmDarkOfficial
YouTube – http://bit.ly/1O5w3aV

Ghosts of Darkness (2017) Review

GhostsOfDarkness-POSTER_BILLING - 350-EditedGhosts of Darkness (2017)

Written & Directed By: David Ryan Keith
Produced By: Lorraine Keith
Starring: Michael Koltes, Paul Flannery, Steve Weston, Lisa Livingstone, Liam Matheson, Morgan Faith Keith, Cameron Mowatt, Lindsay Cromar.
Release Date: March 7th, 2017 on VOD, and June 6th on DVD
Trailer Link: https://youtu.be/8FR5Uq9MMiU

Introduction:
Ghosts of Darkness, is the third feature film, to come from Scottish Writer/Director David Ryan Keith, and was part of the official selection of films at the ‘Bram Stoker International Film Festival, 2016.

The two previous feature films, were 2011’s zom/com spectacular, Attack Of The Herbals, and 2014’s bloodthirsty slasher, The Redwood Massacre’, which had the classic tale of teens in the woods, being hunted and slaughtered. Both of the films are clever in their storytelling, and choice of sub genre, with the two films following completely different paths. To that end, Ghosts of Darkness, certainly follows in the footsteps of its predecessors in following a different path, and for me, this film feels like it’s got its serious face on, and has more ambition and maturity to it.

Filmed in Scotland, Ghosts Of Darkness is the first feature film, that the talented Scottish director has made in the paranormal genre. The film secured worldwide distribution, before a scene had even been filmed, with American distribution company Uncork’d Entertainment in August of 2015.

god_promoshot44Synopsis:
On the strength of their reputations, Jack Donovan (Koltes), a paranormal investigator, and Jonathan Blazer (Flannery), a powerful psychic, are paired together in a large manor house with a very dark and shady past, in the hope of solving a mystery, that has had people guessing since the 1800’s.

To do this, Donovan and Blazer will be locked in the house for three nights, to record their findings and prove once and for all, if there really are secrets lurking within the walls. After starting their investigation, they discover that there’s more than one, very real paranormal entity, that means to do them harm. The two men must put their differences aside, if they want to survive their stay at Richmond Manor.

Review:
Ghosts of Darkness, is a celebration and a triumph, for Scottish indie-horror, film making. Do not make the mistake, of thinking this is another film, that’s riding the coattails of paranormal activity. This is a film that stands on it its own two feet.

demon7Creating a film about two men, running round a house chasing ghosts, is by no means an easy thing to do. It could have been so easy for things to have gone stale and fallen flat, but the dialogue is slick, witty and funny. There are moments of major intrigue that build suspense, and when things get going, the non stop action does not let the film fall into the trap of becoming a sleeping aid. The pacing of the film is great. Its not a film you have to be patient with, and then only delivers the frights at the end. Its gripping the whole way through, particularly the relationship between Blazer and Donovan, and the development of their characters. The pair, seemed so at ease, not only with each other, but in the roles they were portraying. Its obvious there was a good camaraderie between Koltes and Flannery, because although their characters are very chalk and cheese, they worked so well together. You are taken on a wonderful journey with the pair, from them butting heads, to forming a mutual respect, and most important of all, a real friendship.

Upon the two protagonists being introduced to us, they both start to go about their work, and have a very different approach towards getting started. Blazer is looking for something to drink, and Donovan gets out all of his fancy gadgets, and goes about setting them up. Little do they know at this point, that within the walls of Richmond Manor, there really are things that go bump in the night.To begin with, the two are dealing with ghosts that merely tease them with noises, apparitions, and actions akin to poltergeist activity. But when demons enter the fray, things go from bad to worse, as they start to prey on their inner most feelings and fears. Things then turn to acts of physical harm, use of sharp weapons, extreme violence, and much worse.

1The special effects and makeup team that worked on this film, need to take a bow. The ghosts and demons look genuinely threatening and scary. The eyes are the window to the soul, and firstly with the ghosts, the big black eyes show us an element of pure evil and bad intentions. The blackness in the eyes, reminded somewhat, of a film called ‘Grave Encounters’, which was terrifying, so this really worked well. The skin, as you would expect for a ghost is very pale, almost grey, and is made up to look dead and scarred. Its been done very effectively and the demons look incredible.

They really are the epitome of evil. If you had one of these walking towards you in a dark house in the middle of the night, you’d have a heart attack. Its hard to imagine that there is actually a person under that make up and that its not something straight from the necronomicon. The time and detail that has gone into that has gone into creating the gaping wounds and decomposing flesh is astonishing.

Score: 8/10

An Interview With Grainne McDermott by Gary Hindley

FotorCreated - EditedAn Interview With Grainne McDermott by Gary Hindley

I have been lucky enough to catch up with Grainne McDermott, to talk about her latest film, ‘I Know You’re In There’.

UKHS: Firstly, welcome to the UK Horror Scene and congratulations on ‘I Know You’re in There’. It’s a fantastic film, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  How are you doing today? 

Grainne McDermott: Hi! I’m doing great, thank you!

UKHS: Since it’s release, there has been a lot of buzz around ‘I know you’re in there’. Here at ‘UK Horror Scene’, we absolutely love it. What has life been like since making the film? 

Grainne McDermott: Thank you, that’s so nice to hear!! Life has been pretty cool since the film has been released. I’ve had such a nice response from people online about the film, I love to hear that I’ve creep’d them out!

IMG_3261UKHS: For your character ‘Chloe’, I know you’re doing a lot of sitting still, but did you have to do any research into how to portray the condition (Catatonic Schizophrenia) that she has? 

Grainne McDermott: I did, yes. I looked into Chloe’s diagnosis in prep for my audition to get an idea of how to move or not move. When I got the role, I talked with Robert Gordon (our writer/director) about Chloe and how he wanted her diagnosis portrayed and we collaborated on how to make her the most unsettling.

UKHS: What was it like having to sit so completely still, for such long periods of time? 

Grainne McDermott: The sitting still wasn’t so bad. The not blinking on the other hand…. Anyone up for a staring contest?

IMG_3291 - EditedUKHS: I can imagine, that there would have been times, when the director would have wanted to do multiple takes of certain scenes. What was that experience like, and was it hard to stay in character? 

Grainne McDermott: The only scenes I dreaded multiple takes of were the feeding scenes. I HATED those scenes but I really like playing creepy, so staying in character wasn’t a problem. Occasionally, I would blink and then blink blink blink and we would have to do another take. I tried really hard not to, but after 4 or 5 takes of not blinking, sometimes it just couldn’t be helped.

UKHS: You, and your co-star Will Hurst (who in the film, portrays the character of your brother Tom), were in close proximity for long periods of the movie. What was it like working with Will? 

Grainne McDermott: Will is great! We very quickly developed a brother/sister relationship and had a lot of fun in between takes.We lived in the house that we filmed in during production. We had a small cast and crew so it was very much a family unit for those three weeks.

IMG_3472UKHS: Is the horror genre something you’ve enjoyed working in, and would look to do more of? 

Grainne McDermott: I absolutely love the horror genre! My dad introduced me to the 1930’s and 40’s Universal monster movies, and the Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, Hammer Horror Dracula movies of the 60’s. The first film I worked on (Bloody Homecoming), was a throwback to 80’s slashers, so the horror genre holds a special place in my heart. I have to say, I adore being a creep fest! I would definitely work in the genre again and again.

13920162_1763059340618134_3308006064010099912_o - EditedUKHS: What can we look forward to catching you in next? 

Grainne McDermott: I play the younger version of Chloe Dykstra’s character in the movie “Diminuendo” directed by Bryn Pryor. I’ll also appear in an episode of the horror anthology “DARK/WEB”. Both projects are expected to be out this year!

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. It really sounds like you’re having a lot of fun, and really enjoying working in the horror genre. I’d really like to wish you all the best for the future, and in your upcoming projects, and hopefully speak to you again soon.  

Pet (2016) Review

rsz_petPET (2016)

Directed By: Carles Torrens
Written By: Jeremy Slater
Starring: Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, Jennette McCurdy
Score: 8/10

Introduction
‘Pet’, is an independent, psychological horror/thriller, that is being compared to the likes of ‘Hard Candy’, due to its claustrophobic nature. An announcement was made that the film would make its world premier in March 2016, at the SXSW Festival, and was very well received. ‘Pet’ was released theatrically on December 2nd, 2016 and will be available on VOD and DVD on December 27th, 2016.

Synopsis:
Seth (Dominic Monaghan), is a down on his luck young man, who works at an animal shelter. One day on his way home from work, a girl who he has not seen for years, but had crushed on in school, gets on the bus. She is a beautiful, young woman, called Holly (Ksenia Solo). He starts to stalk Holly, firstly, online on her tinder profile, and then moving on to following her around at nights in the dark, and repeatedly going to see her at work where she is waitress.  Lacking the confidence to ask her out, he decides he has had enough, and kidnaps Holly, and puts her in a cage in the basement of the animal shelter where he works. In this tale full of twists and turns, is Holly who he thinks she is and who will end up the real victim?

rsz_1pet2Review:
This is a full on roller coaster of a film that will have you gripped from start to finish. The further into the film you get, you find out about more about the characters disturbing secrets, and of Seth and Holly’s night time activities. The character development is absolutely superb, and the performances from the films two main characters is brilliant, and both play their parts incredibly well. Their back stories aren’t thrown at you in one big lump, but are more drip fed to you, leaving you locked on, craving more information about the pair, and wanting to know what depths each are prepared to go to, to satisfy their own personal lusts and desires. As more of this awesome story unfolds, the twists are brilliant and well thought out. As you venture into the awesome finale, you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation, of how this power struggle, between the two will ultimately play out.

Dominic Monaghan, who portrays the character ‘Seth’, is presented as a loner and a nobody who is invisible to the world. We see his boundaries completely disappear, as his lust for Holly turns to infatuation and his is mind descends further into madness and obscurity. He meticulously plans the kidnapping and incarceration of Holly, as he works towards what is his ultimate goal of having this girl as his pet, someone he can have power over, and control. You get the sense from him that there may be no limits of what he is capable of. His intentions are not of a sexual nature and he keeps repeating to Holly that he wants to help her. He seems to want to systematically break her down psychologically. But the more he thinks he is succeeding with his plan he is actually playing straight into Holly’s hands, who has got plans of her own.

rsz_pet4Ksenia Solo, who portrays Holly, is the girl that Seth becomes completely obsessed with. From the day she first met Seth on a bus ride home from work, she becomes more and more conscious of the fact, that Seth is popping up everywhere she goes. She finds herself constantly looking over her shoulder and develops a huge sense of paranoia. Once kidnapped, and as each day goes by, we find out more about Seth’s prisoner, and Holly is definitely not what she first appears to be. Seth is presented with some major problems that he could never have anticipated, turning the film completely on its head and presenting the unusual situation which sees the hostage take complete control from the confines of her cage.

The pacing of each scene is brilliant. You’re not left lingering and waiting for something to happen ,in saying that after what are some pretty heated conversations between the two, you have the time to digest the mind games being played and prepare yourself for whatever is coming next.
The scenes filmed in the basement between Seth, and Holly are so intense and enticing and what compliments this greatly is the dialogue, it’s simply brilliant. The exchanges between the pair intensify with each visit, and with this, we see the balance of power shift back and forth between the hostage and her keeper. After they’re through talking for the day, each of them are left with some food for thought, and sit rehearsing how they’re going to play out their next move in this most dangerous game of cat and mouse.

rsz_pet3Final Thoughts:
Although this film was the lowest grossing film of any theatrical release in 2016, taking in a measly $70, I’m struggling to come to terms with how such a good film can slump so badly in the theatres. It may be a lack of publicity, or just a sign of the times, with films being so readily available online… or simply that the film was released at a time, where it was swamped by bigger box office films. This really is one of the best psychological films that has come out in quite some time. Its extremely clever, brilliantly written, and fantastically performed. I expect that this film will do much better when released on VOD and will be one that i’m sure will be appreciated for the fine film that it is.

8/10

Alien Covenant Trailer – An Examination

Aalien-covenant-1280lien Covenant Trailer

Directed By: Ridley Scott
Written By: Michael Green, John Logan, Jack Paglen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, James Franco, Noomi Rapace, Guy Pearce

Introduction:
Alien: Covenant, will slot into the Alien franchise, as the sequel to ‘Prometheus’, released in 2012, and the 2nd prequel to ‘Alien’, which was released in 1979, with all three films being directed by Ridley Scott. The original film was a meteoric success. It’s one of those films, that is up there as one of the best films of its generation, and even today, the fear inducing, claustrophobic nature of the film, makes it timeless classic, and one to be treasured.

alien-covenant-teaser-trailer-020Synopsis:
The crew of the colony ship ‘Covenant’, are headed for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy. En route, they discover what they believe to be an uninhabited planet full of wonderment and possibilities. They soon find out, that they are not alone. And where they have landed, is in fact a hostile, dark, and volatile world, full of danger at every turn. The Covenant crew members, to their misfortune, soon discover something they could never have imagined… even in their worst nightmares. Somehow, someway, they must make their escape.

What Do We Know?
Before the trailer for Alien: Covenant was released, there was some delightfully dark artwork released. Below, you will see what has got us Alien fans salivating. Will we see the return of the Xenomorph? Or at least start to learn of their origins? Is this a new breed of Alien?

fotorcreatedFrom the start of production, Ridley Scott made it clear that this movie would be going in a direction similar to the first Alien film. He also said that there will creatures bursting out of bodies, and lots of blood and violence. For fans of this franchise (myself included), this all sounds like great news, but can it be delivered? Its no secret that due to studio involvement on Prometheus, the studio wanted to have a franchise, and milk the Alien cash cow for every penny they could get. So instead of getting the direct prequel to Alien, (like most fans thought) we got a film, that had absolutely nothing to do with Alien.

When a sequel was announced, the big question was always going to be about the direction of the sequel. Would it continue on the Prometheus route, and remain removed from the Alien story line? Or would we finally get a film that will link up to Alien? From the look of the trailer, we’re moving in the right direction for sure. One thing we know for sure, is that the Alien creatures that featured in Prometheus, will not be returning. Only the engineers, and the black goo will feature.

fotorcreated1The Trailer:
The start of the trailer, is very reminiscent of the intro to the first Alien film, showing us long, narrow corridors and walkways. It brings back that familiar claustrophobic feeling. In the below screen shots taken directly from the trailer, we can see one of the walkways, with bloodied footprints, and they’re not from a human.

Very early in the trailer, we’re hit with a bombshell. We see a male, in the midst of a seizure, and then his back starts to burst open. It would seem then, that this is first sign of a new breed of Alien.

Interestingly, Michael Fassbender, (who portrayed the android character, ‘David’ in ‘Prometheus’)  in an interview with BBC Radio 2, let slip that the new type of Aliens that we will see, are called ‘Neomorphs’ or more simply, ‘Back Busters’.

fotorcreated2The next question has to be, ‘How do this new breed of Alien, come to be’? With information sourced from AvP Galaxy, i’ll go ahead and tell you in my own words.

Remember the black goo we saw in Prometheus? The planet, that the crew of the Covenant have travelled to, is covered in this goo, and it has mutated the local ecosystems. Large patches of black pods have formed on the ground, and on trees. As pictured above, if these pods are disturbed, or stepped on, they release spores, which enter the human body through the ear or the nose.
screenshot-2016-12-30-at-16-25-12The alien then grows within the infected human host, and when its time, bursts out through either the back or throat. The Neomorph shares some similarities to the ‘Deacon’ alien we saw at the end of ‘Prometheus. When it breaks out of its human host, it used its pointed head and two dorsal spines, to break free of its embryonic sack. When born, the Neomorphs are white in colour, and at first, they will walk on four legs, and when fully grown, stand up and walk on their two back legs.

This all sounds very exciting then. But… there is more. The crew uncover a huge patch of eggs. And bursting out of them, are the face-hugger. That’s right, they’re back. And I can imagine that can mean only one thing? The return/rebirth of the Xenomorph. There are still a lot of unanswered questions then, which is exactly what a trailer should be leaving you with. I honestly cant wait to see what comes next with this film, and really hope it can live up to all the early hype its receiving.

John Dies At The End (2012) Review

mv5bmtuynziynzc0mv5bml5banbnxkftztcwotm5odg1oa-_v1_John Dies At The End (2012)

Directed By: Don Coscarelli
Written by: David Wong (Author) and Don Coscarelli (Screen Adaption)
Starring: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti. Arnie Blondestone, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman
Release Date: 22 March 2013
Score: 9/10

Introduction
‘John Dies At The End’, is a horror/comedy/fantasy film, which stretched my mind to lengths I never thought possible. Not only is this film extremely clever, its absolutely hilarious, and terrifying at the same time.
You’d be forgiven, for thinking that the title of the film, perhaps ruins the ending, and things don’t really end to well for John, but you’ll soon come to find out, that things are not quite as clear cut as they may seem.

Synopsis:
There’s a drug called ‘Soy Sauce’. The sauce for short. The people that use it, or come into contact with it, develop the ability to travel through time and space, to different dimensions. When they come back, sometimes, they’re no longer human, and bring back with them, all manor of demonic creatures, and worst of all, an evil entity, that goes by the name of Kurok, intent on wiping out humanity. The fate of the world, is in the hands of John and Dave. Two college drop out, lay about’s, who’s day job revolves around being demon spiritualist/exorcists, kicking the ass out of anything evil coming over to their plane. The pair are about to embark on a make or break journey to face evil, and save the world.

john-dies-at-the-end_10Review:
From the director of the hilarious horror/comedy ‘Bubba Ho-Tep’, comes ‘John Dies At The End’.
The way the film begins, does not ease you in gently, and this is a good thing. The energy needs to be up to make something like this work, and it does, to great effect. This is one of those films that will immediately encapsulate you. It’s not a film to watch on a Friday night with a beer and a group of friends, who are going to talk through the integral parts of the formation of the plot, and then 10 minutes later, say this film is confusing, and they don’t know whats going on.

The first few lines of dialogue, are both confusing but utterly intriguing and leave you wanting to know more about what this guy is babbling on about. As the story is further introduced to you, in what I can only describe, as some of the most insane, and best delivered dialogue, my ears have had the privilege of hearing, you begin to understand more of how this man known as David Wong, has come to be who he is, and form an appreciation for what he does, what he has been through, and what he is going to go through.

Lets set the scene. David Wong, sits down for an interview with a journalist called Arnie. He wants to make public, the adventures that he and John have been through, Therefore, you can probably guess that the plot centres around a flash back, were David recounts his story, of a series of fascinating, and utterly terrifying events. It revolve’s around he and his friend John, how they came into contact with ‘The Soy Sauce’, and how their lives dramatically changed from that very moment.

john-dies-at-the-end-soy-sauce-550x229The soy sauce, which is also referred to as ‘The Sauce’ is a horrible looking black goop in a syringe, its alive. It will literally grow spores, turn into a small fly and find its way into your body. If you come into contact with it, you’re whole world is going to change, and you’re life is never going to be the same again.  The sauce isn’t evil, and doesn’t use a person as a host. It heightens every sense, and opens up many gateways. Your brain will work faster than any computer, you can communicate telepathically, you can pass between dimensional planes, and scariest of all, you can see the evil creatures that are hidden just out of sight, that are all around us. The kind that you only see in the corner of your eye, if you concentrate hard enough, and you’re unlucky enough to see it. The grease trap of the universe is in your line of sight, and you can fight or die, or, be consumed by evil, and used as a host to serve its will, and then die. Either way, you’re gonna need to get your pistol, and get ready.

In every good film, next to the lead characters, there’s always the person in the supporting role, that just ties it all together nicely. In this film, its the detective. His dialogue is brilliant. Like all the dialogue in the film. not only is it clever, but it has wit, and humour.
One seen in particular, at ‘Robert Marley’s’ trailer, the detective comes into his own, and the film goes up another level from this point.

maxresdefaultThe evil creatures Dave and John are fighting against, and the way the evil trying to consume the earth, always needs a host, to fulfil its will, they all have a feeling of the creature(s) in John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’. They’re gross, hideous looking things, and the poor souls that become the hosts to these things, once they’re no longer of any use, they meet a truly brutal, and vicious end to their existence.

Make no mistake about it… As wonderful as the fantasy element is in this film, and how funny it is, and how witty, and clever the dialogue is… the horror element is brutal. There is one scene especially, when they pass to another dimension, that sees something you could only attribute to the nazi’s. Human beings are thrown into a mass grave while still alive, and then the rest of that scene becomes animated, like something akin to Tarantino’s Kill Bill… I will say that the violence is not human on human, but there is lots of blood, dismemberment and decapitation. ‘Groovy’.

2016 saw the revival of scary clowns, both in film and popular culture. In this film, there is no clowns, ghosts, or zombies. But if spiders, snakes, and creatures so disgusting, your mind couldn’t even begin to comprehend them, make you squeamish, then you’ll be watching this film through your fingers.

But never fear, because alongside David and John, is their boss, and all round bad ass, ‘Marconi’. The superb ‘Clancy Brown’ portrays this living god superbly. He is a mentalist/spiritualist/exorcist and everything else all in one. With a single thought, or the mere muttering of a single word, he can make a demon literally explode. If our two hero’s find themselves literally up to their necks in it, enter ‘Marconi’ with the solution.

john-dies-review-3Since first seeing this film, it’s one of those that I have always gone back to, and will regularly recommend to anyone looking for a decent film. When I speak about it to people, and they have no clue what i’m talking about, it shouldn’t, but it astounds me that this film never got more coverage than it did. It has a cult following sure, and maybe its better that way. The majority of the better films are. The film isn’t just solid, it isn’t just funny, dark, and outlandish… its completely brilliant and enlightening, and a film that everyone should see at least once in their life.

9/10

Blessed Are The Children (2016) Review

batc1Blessed Are The Children (2016)

Directed By: Chris Moore
Written By: Chris Moore and Chris Wesley
Cast: Kaley Ball, Keni Bounds, Arian Thigpen
Release Date: November 5th, 2016 (USA)

Introduction:
Blessed Are The Children, is an independent horror/thriller film, set in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. The story follows a young woman, who has accidentally fallen pregnant, and needs an abortion. Due to controversial comments made by business tycoon, and the now President-Elect, of the United States of America, ‘Donald Trump’, there has been much talk and debate about the subject of abortion. He has made it clear in many speeches, that all lives matter, and he wants to put a law in place, to ban abortion. This has of course, sparked outrage. Needless to say then, this film has certainly come around at the right time, when the subject is high on the list of discussion in all levels of society, all round the world.

Synopsis:
After a recent break up from her physically abusive ex-fiancé, Traci Patterson, portrayed by Kaley Ball, accidentally falls pregnant, and is unsure as to who the father is. Her house-mates Mandy and Erin, portrayed by Keni Bounds, and Arian Thigpen, help her in deciding, that it would be best to get an abortion. Upon having the procedure and leaving the clinic, she is stalked relentlessly by anti-abortion fanatics, who were protesting at the clinic. They’re ringing her mobile phone, and leaving threatening messages and wherever she goes, they’re breathing down her neck. They’re the rattle in bushes, the whistle in the wind. Is this sub-conscious guilt, or are Traci and her friends about to find out, that there are things that go bump in the night?

Review:

batc2Blessed Are The Children, is a major throwback to the grindhouse era of horror. It has a major 70’s, B-movie feel to it, which whether intentional or not, works very well. There was very low budget, and the cast of actors and actresses, were complete novices . In the case of the lead actress, and her two house mates, this was their first ever film. In the most part I found this feature a little frustrating, and this is mainly to do with the pacing of the film. There are instances, where scenes that are not of huge importance to the film, drag on a little longer than they should. I didn’t get the impression that the film knew what it was, or what direction it wanted to go in. For the majority of the film, it was a drama, about a girl coming of age, then it got to being a stalker-slasher horror, and the quality of the film improved dramatically. When the two antagonists come into the film, and start being used to proper effect, the fear factor cranks up to 11. There are genuinely scary moments, that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end.

From the moment that the stalking properly starts, the fright factor escalates dramatically, and you get a proper feel for what direction the film should have been going in from the beginning. The lead up to these mad men getting to their victims is really creepy. Its not just murder, its the fear they put into their victims whilst they’re stalking them, and hunting them down. It all starts off with following her around, and letting her know, that no matter where she goes, they can get to her, and they are watching. Next comes the chilling, and then more threatening phone calls. Then, they start leaving baby dolls round her house, with pre-recorded messages inside them. They now know, that these mad men can get into their home. No matter what they do, or where they go, they are incredibly vulnerable.

When they arrive, the killing scenes are completely brutal and nothing is left on the table. A straight razor is the weapon of choice, and it is used to devastating effect, and plenty of imagination. This is where the 70’s grind house element really shows itself, in full on gory fashion. In this era of film making in the horror genre, I completely understand that each writer and each director, wants to strive for originality, and to present fresh and innovative ideas, that will provide big interesting twists, that will put their stamp on a film. Sometimes, taking such a bold approach really works.

The idea that has been attempted here, I respect for trying to be original, and for trying to do something different. The thing is, it left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I didn’t know where the film could have gone from this point. A pretty major event with the main character occurs and it really did leave me in a weird space. It was good in the sense that it was something I’d never really experienced before, but at the same time, it felt as if someone had slammed the breaks on, stepped out of the vehicle, and left the engine running.

batc3The story does move on from this event, and does pick up again to approach its conclusion. With the final act, the director has gone for home invasion, and the stalking method that has been used to good effect through the film, is used again here, with a pretty brutal, and blood soaked ending.

4/10