Directed by: Jarno Lee Vinsencius Written by: Jarno Lee Vinsencius Starring: Demis Tzivis, Ida Gyllensten and Ellinor Rosander
“After playing the infamous urban legend game “The Madame in Black”, Alex and his sister, Sarah, experience the wrath of the evil witch Madame in Black.”
On some levels, short horror films can be far more effective than full length movies. With short horror films there is little time for the audience to second-guess surprise developments. Knowing that there’s less than half an hour of a film makes us (as viewers) aware that every second of the narrative is important and will likely have some bearing on the resolution. This brevity of time is one hell of a tool for focusing attention. The Madame in Black uses this brevity to shrewd effect.
The storyline is relatively simple and it’s nothing we haven’t seen touched on in Candyman (1992), Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005) and countless other movies. A character sits in front of a mirror and says a name three times in an attempt to … Continue reading →
Dir: John R Leonetti Stars: Joey King, Ryan Phillippe, Sydney Park, Shannon Purser, Mitchell Slaggert, Ki Hong Lee, Elisabeth Rohm, Sherilyn Fenn
Released 28 July by Orion Pictures
Clare (Joey King) is a teenager who has plenty to deal with. After her mother committed suicide before her eyes when she was little, her father Jonathan (Nineties star Ryan Phillippe) has struggled to make ends meet, resorting to scavenging for valuables in dumpsters. This makes Clare a target for bullying from the popular kids at school and leaves her without the confidence to pursue her unrequited crush on handsome fellow student Paul (Mitchell Slaggert).
But this all changes when her father discovers a curious music box – one that Clare soon learns has the power to grant wishes. After turning her fortunes around, Clare is living a charmed life… until she realises there is a price to pay for each wish.
I think it’s best to cut to the chase and state that Wish Upon is very much a teen horror movie. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but if … Continue reading →
“Poverty stricken lovers Eden and Matilda have enough trouble just getting through the days. Their Landlord is trying to terrorize them and strange things seem to be going on at “Juicy Girls”, the place where Matilda works… but when Eden buys a pet spider the real troubles start.”
Despite a myriad of technical issues, Spidarling’s is a pretty endearing piece of trash cinema, and it’s easy to see why it was picked up by Troma.
Opening with a funk-tastic animated title sequence that’s accompanied by a quite polished punk song, Spidarling’s immerses you unapologetically in the lives of skint couple Eden and Matilda, lovers who are the definition of punk. Their tiny flat and style screams “I don’t give a fuck and I don’t give a fuck if you give a fuck that I don’t give a fuck” but a lot of this is blamed on their lack of income. Eden is smart but lazy and … Continue reading →
Father William: Part 1 by Shaun McLaren – Book Review
Inevitably, when you put a priest in a horror story, there comes that question of trust. Do we trust that Father Merrin is able to beat evil in The Exorcist, seeing as he’s a last resort? Why should the Thorns trust the ramblings of Father Brennan in The Omen? There’s a healthy lack of trust in religion throughout many macabre tales, but the church is generally seen as a force of good.
Not so in Shaun McLaren’s Father William (Part one). Right from the off, you can tell the titular Father’s a wrong ‘un. That side is well hidden from the townspeople, until young girls start going missing. Suspicion grows as their disappearances are linked to offers of redemption by wicked old William. And just who are those weird masked figures hefting around wriggling sacks in the night?
The story has the rough, pulpy feel of a Guy N Smith novel, with the same kind of melodrama, mixed with overly floral descriptions of locations evocative of the time period. There are also … Continue reading →
From Sergio Martino, director of the stylish ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK and the truly disturbing MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD, comes this fine gem of a slasher giallo that sits well up there with the best of Mario Bava and Dario Argento.
Delicious students, who we can only assume are studying for a masters degree in stripping, head off for a vacation in a mansion remote enough to ensure undisturbed carnage, should a killer be lurking nearby…
Luckily for fans of psychosexual thrillers, a black-gloved, saw-wielding nutter has followed them to their bordello of nudity and soon starts mutilating his way through a cast of fine beauties, including the ever delicious Suzy Kendall.
Now for the first time in the UK, sink your teeth into Sergio Martino’s sadistic giallo classic, restored on limb-slicingly glorious Yell-O-Ray!
Please note this is the reverse artwork – the main artwork will be revealed closer to the release date.
Release date: 28 August 2017
EXTRAS Brand new interview with director Sergio Martino Shameless trailer park Collector’s reversible sleeve with new and original … Continue reading →
Directed by Thomas Lee Rutter Cast: Lee Mark Jones, James Underwood, Traci Templer, James Taylor Running time: 36 minutes Distributed by Carnie Film Production.
In 1943 four young boys were out poaching illegally on the Hagley Hall estate in Worcestershire when they discovered a human skull hidden inside a wych elm tree trunk. Initially reluctant to tell anyone, one of the boys was too shocked by their discovery and confessed all to his parents. Upon police investigation, an almost complete human skeleton was found forced inside the trunk of the tree, with a hand discovered some distance away.
Bella in the Wych Elm is a black and white documentary short which tells the tale of the skeleton from discovery to her presumed identification. It was two years in the making and is clearly a labour of love for all those involved with two versions of the film existing, the original and a special silent movie edition with intertitles. I watched the original version which is narrated by ‘Tatty’ Dave Jones, who … Continue reading →
Starring Stefanie Estes, Brittany Falardeau, Deep Rai and Jessica Strand
Written and Directed by Matthew Sconce
“ALTAR is the terrifying story of a group of former college classmates who get lost driving to a college reunion camp out in the Sierra Nevada mountains. After stopping for the night, they stumble onto something much darker. They must battle to escape the evil they unleashed to not only save their own lives but their souls as well.”
I’ve watched so many found footage horror movies at this point that I kind of want to know what attracts filmmakers to the format. It’s not like they have a particularly good reputation now with critics and audiences, and the big hitters like Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity feel like an age ago now. I’m honestly curious, because the amount of found footage movies in recent years that have found a real genuine reason to be made in such a way is very small. Most of the time it just seems to be an excuse by a filmmaker to get away with dodgy camerawork and … Continue reading →
Director: Judson Vaughan Writers: Chris Barnes and Judson Vaughan Starrings: Max Cavenham, Emma Kelly and Matti Kolirin Runtime: 15min
Synopsis (from IMDb): “In the midst of national hysteria and incomprehensible personal tragedy, a child is born bearing the scars of other people’s sins.”
To say I was burning to see this would be an understatement. It feels like forever since I found out Chris Barnes would be going on his very own film journey. We had since discussed the film a little bit but finally I have had the pleasure to watch it.
Burn tells the story of a personal tragedy and life thereafter for the family involved. The father of the family Peter (Max Cavenham) has made some videos to be played after he is gone for his son Charlie (Matti Kolirin). Due to the circumstances surrounding his father’s death, young Charlie becomes distant and disconnected as his mother Lou (Emma Kelly) tries her best as a single parent, with the added pressure of public scrutiny weighing heavy on her.
THE TRANSFIGURATION | UK DVD and Blu-ray release 14th August 2017 Dir: Michael O’Shea Starring: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine
“A defining vampire film of the mid-2010’s” ★★★★ Empire “Cleverly written coming-ofage horror” ★★★★ i Newspaper
“A strange, haunting film that sticks with you for days” Shortlist
An atmospheric, intricate study of a troubled young mind, THE TRANSFIGURATION follows orphaned teen Milo (Eric Ruffin) as he immerses himself in vampire lore to escape his troubled life.
In Queens, New York, 14 year-old Milo is a total outsider. Ignored by his schoolmates and bullied by older children, he takes refuge in the apartment he shares with his older brother. To escape his solitude, he studies vampire mythology, to the point of obsession. Milo hides a terrible secret, but a chance encounter with neighbor Sophie (Chloe Levine) leads him to develop new feelings. But will it be enough to quash his dark urges?
This first feature from writer/director Michael O’Shea took Cannes 2016 by storm, where it competed in Un Certain Regard, and received widespread praise for it’s bold, unusual take on the classic … Continue reading →
“A hit-and-run driver leaves Ernesto Martinez to die by a Miami canal. Then an alligator comes along to finish the job. Being dead gives Ernesto plenty of time to think. He thinks about his wife, taken from him too soon by illness. He thinks about his daughter, the victim of a drunk driver. He thinks about his death as he watches his body slowly decompose. Most of all, he thinks about injustice.”
Full disclosure before I begin: I’ve known Mitzi Szereto for more than a decade. Not only is she an author I respect and admire, and someone with whom I’ve collaborated in the past, but she’s also a good friend. So, if you’re thinking this review is going to be biased in her favour: you’re absolutely right.
Florida Gothic is a well-crafted story with a strong focus on character. Written in the present tense, which gives all events a powerful sense of immediacy, the story shifts chapter-by-chapter into the lives of various characters who develop … Continue reading →