• Please click on the ad below and support our sponsor!!

Andy Deen’s Top Ten Films of 2015

Andy Deen’s Top Ten Films of 2015

So here we are , a little later than planned, my Top Ten horror films of 2015. The year was a strange one as it started pretty well especially with It Follows then it went very quiet until of course Frightfest kicked it and then all hell broke loose !! Some absolute amazing horror films that have really stretched the genre, there is so much thought now going into horror making for far more intelligent viewing than in many years previously.

howldvd10) Howl (Dir – Paul Hyett)

So I am a massive fan of Paul Hyett’s début feature The Seasoning House, which if you haven’t seen it then check it out, so I was really looking forward to Howl. Full of fantastic British actors and set in the confines of a railway carriage Howl brings the werewolf genre a new and fantastic addition. Funny, claustrophobic and full of wonderful physical effects , Howl looks amazing and the cast work so well in such a confines space. Well worth checking out and keep an eye out for Paul Hyett and his new feature coming in 2016!

 

reel19) Reel (Dir – Chris Goodwin)

When UKHS writer Nick Trenchard reviewed Reel , he just raved about it and said in his review “A must watch for any horror fan”. So with REEL being available to watch online and for FREE I did just that. Anyway I am not a huge found footage fan nor am I a gore hound , so I was not expecting to like REEL but I loved it. The story of an online horror critic Todd Smith who is stalked by a deranged obsessive . It is a phenomenal feature especially as the budget was an incredible $4000. The practical effects are jaw-droppingly nasty and look out for Reel 2 soon. And watch it for free here – http://hiddenhorizons.net/reel/ .

bloodsucking-bastards8) Bloodsucking Bastards (Dir – Brian James O’Connell)

The first night at Grimmfest threw up Bloodsucking Bastards which was a film I had very little knowledge of and beforehand Grimmfest big-cheese Simeon told me to expect The Office with vampires ! And that’s exactly what it was. Bloodsucking Bastards is a horror comedy that really does almost all the right notes. From the start we are introduced to a group of slackers working in an office call centre and then a new office manager takes over and all hell breaks loose. At times laugh out loud funny and with lashings of blood , it is definitely a film for a weekend night with a few beers and a few friends.

 

lgc7) Landmine Goes Click (Dir – Levan Bakhia)

The first of a few films on this list that I saw at Grimmfest. We had already got a review of Landmine on UKHS before I had seen it plus an interview with the director, so I knew what I was going to see! RUBBISH! Landmine Goes Click starts with a trio of young American tourists exploring the gorgeous Georgia countryside, then while posing for a photo one steps on a landmine. So where does the film go from there? Well you will just have to track this down and watch for yourself as Landmine Goes Click is one of the most unusual, hard-hitting and thoroughly nasty films you will see , yet it is in equal measure beautiful. A Must See as it goes to places you would never expect!!

thegift16) The Gift (Dir – Joel Edgerton)

One of the big releases this year The Gift follows the story of a married couple Simon & Robyn (Jason Bateman & Rebecca Hall) who move to a new home and Simon bumps into an old & creepy schoolmate Gordo (Joel Edgerton). After Gordo takes a present and they have an uncomfortable meal, Simon decides enough is enough and tries to put an end to their new friendship. But will it be that easy? A superb and immensely tense thriller that is full of twists and turns. Bateman is brilliant as Simon who while being initially the victim is immensely unlikeable  from the start while Joel Edgerton gives a wonderful turn as the socially awkward Gordo and as director gives one of the finest débuts in years.

Cruel-_-Unusual_poster_small5) Cruel and Unusual (Dir – Merlin Dervisevic)

Another directorial debut is Merlin Dervisevic’s Cruel and Unusual. The story of a man who is wrongly convicted of the murder of his wife. He is then incarcerated in an unknown location where he is forced to relive her death for eternity. Cruel and Unusual was a recommendation from a friend, and the only place I could find it was on Amazon UK on VOD. I rarely watch anything online but I plumped for it and by god it was a good choice. A stunning piece of cinema that is both utterly bleak and yet full of hope. Cruel and Unusual is a film that must be seen and WHY is it not available on DVD? It might not be everyone’s cup of tea , as it is slowly paced and very deliberate. But for me it was beautiful and so very emotional at times. As débuts go then almost as good as it gets.

turbokid14) Turbo Kid (Dir – François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell)

Where do you start with Turbo Kid? Well I caught it at Grimmfest on the massive screen and holy fuck!! A young orphaned comic book obsessed teenage boy spends his days in a post-apocalyptic wasteland riding round on his BMX scavenging so he can trade for water which is scarce. He then meets a completely bonkers girl called Apple and they form an odd and beautiful friendship. This friendship is put to the test when they cross paths with leader of the wasteland Zeus (Michael Ironside) . Turbo Kid is just a blast from start to finish, it is a throwback to Eighties action and post apocalyptic films but does it far better than 99% of them. Not just that but it is full of OTT action, blood and comedy. A film with a heart , a story and BMXs !! Definitely cult and definitely a classic.

itfollows3) It Follows (Dir – David Robert Mitchell)

Nineteen year-old Jay (Maika Monroe) has a sexual encounter with Hugh (Jake Weary) , then immediately afterwards he chloroforms Jay and she awakes strapped to a wheelchair with Hugh rambling about how sorry he is and how she must sleep with someone to pass on ‘the curse’ . Hugh also tells Jay that she will she ‘it’ and ‘it’ may take on the form of people she knows. Seriously if you have not seen It Follows where have you been? It Follows is a gorgeous throwback to late Seventies to early Eighties horror. It Follows looks amazing, and the lack of technology (apart from an e-reader) is brilliant . From the time Jay is cursed she sees people coming for her, and she is the only on who can see ‘it’. And when she runs ‘it follows’ . The thing that makes It Follows so scary is the dread! It made me uneasy throughout, I was quite literally on the edge of my cinema seat , yet there are few jump scares but the pacing is just bang on!! Every so often a horror film comes along and is a game-changer, and in years to come It Follows will be seen as such. There is just so much to It Follows that I could rant on for ages and although it is not number one I do think it is the best straight up horror of 2015 and I expect it will grow on me more as time goes on. Oh and the soundtrack is superb.

deathg12) Deathgasm (Dir – Jason Lei Howden)

Anyone who knows me, will understand why Deathgasm is so high in the list. I love horror films (no shit) but I also have a deep love for everything Heavy Metal. SO when a film comes along with a poster as fucking metal as Deathgasm then it had me literally shaking in my boots. I even gave up the chance of seeing one of my fave bands on a reunion tour to see Deathgasm on the big screen at Grimmfest, and I made the right choice. Deathgasm is the story of Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) a metalhead who is moved to a dead-end town in New Zealand to stay with his god-bothering Auntie & Uncle , oh and his obnoxious jock of a cousin. Once there he becomes firm friends with Zakk (James Blake) an off the rails metalhead and they then form a band called Deathgasm with two nerds Dion & Giles. The band unwittingly summon a demon and blood-soaked hilarity ensues . As a heavy metal horror Deathgasm NAILS IT. Funny, bloody, and with the most hilarious music video shoot (Black Metal fans will know what I mean when they see it), Deathgasm is a MUST SEE!

he-never-died (1)1) He Never Died (Dir – Jason Krawczyk)

And Number ONE for 2015 is He Never Died. Now I went into seeing HND at Grimmfest knowing absolutely nothing about it. All I knew was Henry Rollins was in it, that’s it! And I was completely and utterly blown away. Henry Rollins plays Jack a curmudgeonly bad-tempered loner. Jack goes to the same cafe every day, sleeps a lot, he visits a local church and plays bingo and oh yeah he is a cannibal. Then a couple of things throw him from his daily monotony. Firstly a couple of local gangsters knock on his door looking for a mutual acquaintance (with brilliant consequences) and secondly his teenage daughter, whom he has never seen, knocks on his door . Henry Rollins just makes He Never Died, he is almost monosyllabic yet delivers the lines with pinpoint accuracy and physically he just throws himself into the role. The acting is superb, the script and dialogue runs so smooth and is near perfect. And finally the whole backstory for Jack just wraps He Never Died into one of the finest horror films of the last 10 years. Just watch it. And finally it is currently being made into a TV series starring Henry Rollins which just makes me so fucking happy.

Below are the honourable mentions , films that I loved yet couldn’t fit on my list. Check them out!

Amigo Undead
The Stranger
Clown
Suburban Gothic
Honeymoon
Pay The Ghost
Blackwood
A Christmas Horror Story
Tales of Halloween
The Final Girls
Charlie’s Farm
Spring
Creep

DUD of the year.

Cherry-Tree-Movie-Poster-David-KeatingCherry Tree (Dir – David Keating)

I never like to slag films off but each year I always make room for the one film that made me angry. Cherry Tree opened FrightFest and was featured at Grimmfest. How?? Cherry Tree looks amazing and the poster was superb. However it is a dreadful horror film, it is all over the place and features so many horror tropes which it mixes up and spits out all in the wrong places. Faith is a schoolgirl who finds out her Dad is dying and then gets involved with her hockey teacher who is a witch and she tells Faith that she can save her Father’s life. The problem is that Faith (luckily on her 16th birthday) has to get pregnant and give birth to the spawn of Satan!! For me as the film progresses it gets worse and worse, I also really disliked the way the schoolgirls seemed to objectified throughout including an awful girls hockey game. The only good thing in Cherry Tree are the centipedes !! Just steer clear , avoid and don’t watch.

Daniel Stillings Top Ten Films of 2015

DANIEL STILLINGS TOP TEN FILMS OF 2015

Not a definitive list as I didn’t see everything that I really should have this year, but there was some great stuff nonetheless. As last year, no documentaries, but if you haven’t seen Mark Hartley’s Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story Of Cannon Films, you really need to…it’s essential viewing. Now I’m thinking that Crimson Peak should have been in there somewhere.

duke 1sheet mailTHE DUKE OF BURGUNDY
Dir: Peter Strickland
If Berbarian Sound Studio (2011) was director Peter Strickland’s homage to seventies Giallo movies, this is his take on the lesbian themed European horror films of Jesus Franco and Jean Rollin, a connection made clear by the casting of frequent Franco collaborator Monica Swinn. Chiara D’Anna (star of Berbarian Sound Studio) plays a young woman who every day cycles over to the house of an older woman (Sidse Babett Knudsen) who she cleans for. She makes frequent mistakes and is punished in a series of bizarre scenarios which she seems to accept willingly, but as time passes we begin to realise the the relationship is not what it at first appears to be. Strickland’s film gets at the subtle undertones and power plays in a BDSM relationship that E.L. James didn’t even get close to. There are no men in the film at all, the tone is almost hypnotic and on top of all that it’s funny. The scene near the end where Knudsen finally finally crumbles and makes clear her feelings on the couple’s relationship is the finest acting of the year. Knuden, still best known for her role in the acclaimed Danish political drama Borgen is deserving of an Oscar nomination for this, though I’m guessing the chances of that are extremely thin. It’s a brilliant film, and the score by Cat’s Eyes is terrific too.

itfollowsIT FOLLOWS
Dir:David Robert Mitchell
Girl meets boy, girl gets it on with boy in the back of a car, and then girl gets chloroformed and wakes up to be told that boy has passed a curse onto her, and that from now on something or someone will follow her intent on killing her, she won’t know who, where it will be or when…but it is coming, and the only way to avoid being killed is to pass the curse on by having sex with somebody else. This is really an extension of Mitchell’s fantastic début feature The Myth Of The American Sleepover (2010) into the horror genre. The idea of a transferable curse reminds you of Jacques Tourneur’s classic Night Of The Demon (1957), but many people missed the point with this one. Passing the curse onto someone is no guarantee of safety because It – whatever It is – will still come for you if It kills the person you passed it on to. It’s an entity that is constantly working its way back down the list of people that have over time been cursed. Encouraging promiscuity in everyone in order to move the curse further away from you seems to be the best solution, meaning that this could be the most subversive teen horror film since Cherry Falls (1999).

sicarioposter-241x350SICARIO
Dir: Dennis Villeneuve
Villeneuve released two films this year. The first was the underrated doppelgänger drama Enemy (2013) with Jake Gyllenhaal, something that was more identifiable as a horror piece, but it was Sicario that was scarier…maybe the most terrifying film of the year. Emily Blunt is the FBI agent recruited / talked into volunteering for a CIA special forces operation against the drug cartels along the Mexican border, but the deeper into the situation she gets, the less clear the motivations of those around her become. While there are sudden bursts of violent action and several horrific set pieces, it’s the grinding menace that seeps into every frame of the film that makes this so powerful, and it doesn’t wimp out at the end. Villeneuve has since been announced as the director of the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel.

inherent_vice_ver4_xlgINHERENT VICE
Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
Paul Thomas Anderson has established himself as one of the best director currently working, and though not a horror film maker, the horror is never far away in his films. Boogie Nights (1997), Punch-Drunk Love (2002) and especially There Will Be Blood (2007) all intersect with the genre in some way and this adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel is no different. Set at a time in the early seventies when the sixties dream of peace and love had clearly and irreversibly soured, Joaquin Phoenix’s plays a private investigator at the mercy of forces neither he nor we really understand, and a plot which is almost incomprehensible, all the while trying to figure out how his ex girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) is involved. There are references to great seventies LA movies such as Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974) & Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye (1973), and the fact that this film can stand those comparisons is an indication as to how good it is.

exmachinaEX MACHINA
Dir: Alex garland
Having already scripted several strong genre films including 28 Days Later (2002), Sunshine (2007) and Dredd (2012), Alex Garland made his directorial début with this visually stunning film about the nature of artificial intelligence. Domhnall Gleeson is the computer programmer charged with administering the Turing test to a human looking robot called Ava (Alicia Vikanda). Oscar Isaac who plays the Machiavellian genius who created Ava gives strong support, but it’s Vikanda who dominates pretty much everything, and with just her face. You’ve got to go back thirty years to Android (1982) and Blade Runner (1982) to find a film that makes you think as hard about what it means to be human as this film does.

bat001ATTACK OF THE BAT MONSTERS
Dir: Graham Kelly Greene
This is a bit of a rescue from obscurity. Attack Of The Bat Monsters was first screened at the Austin Film Festival in 1999 and then went on to win Grand Jury award at the 2000 Dances With Films festival in Los Angeles. Despite further screenings in the years since and almost universally positive word of mouth, the film never really gained the audience it deserved, but that looks set to change as the film is finally made available for streaming. It has been compared to movies like Larry Blamire’s The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra (2001), but Greene’s film – about a group of low budget film-makers in the fifties trying to get a creature feature finished in three days before a bullying crew from a major studio comes in and takes over the location – actually has more in common with Wim Wenders’s The State Of Things (1982) and especially Joe Dante & Allan Arkush’s Hollywood Boulevard (1976). It’s a cult movie in the best sense: it’s well made with strong acting and a witty script full of references and in jokes to films past. If you grew up watching fifties monster movies on TV, you’re going to love this.

mmfrMAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Dir: George Miller
After thirty years – and several dancing penguin movies – Australian director George Miller finally returned to the franchise that he made his name with. It could have gone so wrong, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for a level of bonkers vehicular mayhem that made Mad Max 2 (1981) seem restrained, action that at times threatens to burst off the screen. The only flaw was the fact the film seems confused as to who the real Mad Max is. Though Tom Hardy ostensibly plays Max Rockatansky, it was Charlize Theron who actually seemed to be the embodiment of the famous lead character. It’s really her film.

 

lgcLANDMINE GOES CLICK
Dir: Levan Bakhia
The plot is simple: Three friends are on a camping trip in the Georgian countryside and one of them accidentally steps on an old landmine which will explode if he steps off it. Anyone who saw Levan Bakhia’s previous film, the underrated 247°F (2011) knows that he’s pretty skilled at milking a minimal scenario for maximum effect, and that’s what he does here, using the victim’s helplessness to torture the viewer as bad things happen. It’s a strong, efficient thriller, but it’s the last half hour that pushes the story beyond what we have been led to expect, and takes the audience near to the limit of that they can take.

 

wildtalesWILD TALES
Dir: Damián Szifron
This Argentinian anthology begins with a brilliant pre-credits sequence in which the passenger on a plane begin to realise that they are all in some way connected, and that pretty much sets the tone for series of blackly comic tales of revenge that follow. These include a road-rage incident that turns deadly, a man’s attempts to get even with the city after his car is towed and a wedding party that descends into into mayhem. The only familiar face is Ricardo Darín, star of the Oscar winning The Secret In Their Eyes (2009) which you really need to see before the American remake comes out next year.

 

Zombeavers posterZOMBEAVERS
Dir: Jordan Rubin
This was really more fun than it had any right to be. Some college kids decide to go and stay in a cabin by the lake, a lake full of beavers that have been exposed to toxic chemicals that have turned them into unkillable flesh-eating monsters with glowing eyes. After Sharknado (2013), its equally witless sequels and the assorted films in a similar vein that followed, films that treated their target audience with the level of sneering disdain the film-makers thought they deserve, Zombeavers was a relief. More in the tradition of older films like Critters (1986) and more obviously Piranha (1978), it’s gruesome and funny, and it had characters you cared about.

BEST OLD DISCOVERY

thestrangenessTHE STRANGENESS
Dir: David Michael Hillman*
A group of people go down into an old goldmine which was abandoned years earlier after several unexplained deaths. As they go deeper, their guide tells them of the bizarre fate that befell the miners who worked on the lowest levels of the mine, and eventually they come face to face with the tentacled creature responsible. This low budget creature feature was made for practically nothing back in the late seventies. It’s has a great stop-motion monster (it reminded me of the one filmed for but eventually cut from John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)) and makes good use of the real abandoned mine it was filmed in…except that it wasn’t filmed on an actual location. Almost all the scenes in the mine were filmed in a garage owned by the director’s grandparents, and dressed to look like a series of caves. It was this revelation in Stephen Thrower’s book Nightmare USA that really increases your admiration for what Hillman and his two colleagues – Mark Sawicki & Chris Huntley – achieved will almost no resources. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s a great deal of fun, and considerably better than Ciro Ippolito’s Alien Terror (1980) made at around the same time, and which I also saw for the first time this year.

* Since making the film, Hillman transitioned into a woman, Melanie Anne Philips, founder of the world’s first transgender support site, and it’s under this name that she provides the audio commentary for Code Red’s limited release of The Strangeness a few years ago.

videodromeBEST DVD’S

Arrow’s special edition Blu-ray of Videodrome was the release of the year. Not only did you get a brilliant array of extras including Cronenberg’s early short films and features, but it was also the first proper release of the original director’s cut which – apart from a rare laserdisc release in 1999 – has been unavailable in the UK for three decades. Arrow also scored with the Black Cat double bill of which Sergio Martino’s You’re Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key with Edwige Fenech was the reason for buying it. Also the restored Blood And Black Lace, Coffy, Society and many more. It was pretty Arrows year, but Eureka’s new edition of Seconds was certainly up there as well.

An Interview with Levan Bakhia – Director of Landmine Goes Click by Ryan Coby

landm1An Interview with Levan Bakhia – Director of Landmine Goes Click by Ryan Coby

Here is the UKHS interview with Levan Bakhia – a film director and producer from ex soviet state, Georgia. Founder and CEO of the largest production company in Caucasus region Sarke Studio.

Since 1998, he has been producing and directing commercials. In 2011, Bakhia made his directorial and writing début with a feature film – 247°F. And now he has hit us with the much anticipated and highly rated (by myself) horror/thriller Landmine Goes Click , which hits the UK with it’s European première on August 28th.

1. How has your Georgian heritage and upbringing directly influenced your films? How much of what you show is reflective of culture in Georgia?

LB – You would not expect anyone to assault you physically like Ilya does in the story, that is true, Georgia is the safest country to come as a tourist.  Then why is this happening in my film you might ask?  Well, because it can happen anywhere, including Georgia, but it does not mean that it happens everywhere and every day.

As for Georgian upbringing, I don’t think it has any influence on my films. I’m Georgian, and I’m proud of it of course, but at the same time I recognise the necessity to open up.  I want to inspire my fellow citizens to break out of the eggshell of our own past and join what is earth now.  NOW there is Earth 2.0, it’s not time to enslave yourself to past.  I see huge difference respecting and appreciating your culture, and then being stuck in it.  So, why not make English language films, why not consider communication with the world, despite the fact where you are.

landm22. What have been your greatest cinematic influences (directors, films, movements, etc)? If you could meet with one director, any time in history, living or dead, who would it be and what could you learn from him/her?

LB – I like to think of myself free of authorities.  Not only in filmmaking.  You see, I believe that you can only be in the state of creativity if you free yourself from your past self, the one who has been fascinated when that past self of yours have seen this or that movie.  I enjoy many directors, and love many different films, but I like to keep it there, at the moment of viewing.

Maybe 5 years ago if you would have asked the same question, I would have answered that it’s Spielberg, and my argument would have been that he is the only director that can tell any kind of the story from E.T. to Schindler’s List in most comprehensive and clear way, and my argument would then continue with comparing him to Quentin Tarantino, who is my most anticipated filmmaker, but with a specific style.  And I would say that I consider someone to be a master if it’s not a style but any style that he can do so well.

But that was 5 years ago, since then I changed my mind.  And I chose to free myself from this superficial judgments and evaluations.  You can always learn by observing other directors and what they do, but then you have to flush it off from your point of view. Or at least try to.

landm33. Is it difficult balancing business with art? Which do you prefer (directing, advertising vs. producing)? Why?

LB – I think when something is balanced it becomes easy, answer is already rooted in your question.  I prefer leading.  That’s what I do best, and leading is my balancing act between those disciplines.  And I have a great team who like this dance that we are now performing, be it in business, art, directing or producing.

As for which one I prefer is actually none of “directing, advertising vs producing”, my favourite stage is writing.  Because it is only then that you are creating. Out of thin air comes the story, of a character that has never lived, and events that have never happened.  But you force them into existence.  When you are directing, it’s only like translating, which of course I love, but of the stories I wrote or took part in writing.

4. How would you describe Landmine Goes Click to someone who has never heard of it before? What would be your greatest selling point?

LB – “Landmine Goes Click – and the only thing keeping it from exploding is you.”  and then I would clarify: “It’s a rape and revenge thriller”.
I think that’s maximum the pitch can be, it either clicks or it does not – and if it does and you watch it, then I hope you will appreciate that the film is much more than just that.

landm45. Do you feel that violence is a necessary evil in genre films? Why or why not? How have people received some of the more graphic scenes and images from Landmine Goes Click?

LB – Well, you see that is the whole point of my film.  I don’t know what is necessary and what is not.  I think reminding of people that violence exists is as good as reminding them that they themselves are kind.

On the other hand, there is a specific sub genre in horror that is revenge.

And it is called exploitation genre, and for a reason.  You enjoy watching them because it cultivates desire to do a revenge in response to certain unjust stimulus that you see in the picture before the revenge starts, and then you enjoy the feeling of getting back, making unjust just, and your cheer for violence, you like how one is tortured and killed just because 30 minutes ago he/she did something horrible.  But is that right?  Should that be cultivated in audience?  That is the question I like to explore.

I guess readers have to see the film to get the point.  But to go back to the question, it’s not being exposed to violence that can be bad for society; it’s the point of view that can damage.  I think reminding people of Yin Yang side of kindness is necessary.  We know who we are by comparing our own selves to those we are not.  In this way, violence is not bad, at least in films.

2476. Explain your influence, and its impact, on Georgian film making. What was film making like before you created your production company and where do you see Georgian cinema headed in the next ten years? 

LB – There is definitely a new wave hitting Georgian filmmaking landscape.  Georgian cinema was famous and had it’s big role in Soviet culture, we have over 100 years of filmmaking history.  And we are now breaking out to the world, and everyone has his or her own role.  In recent years, Georgian films have won some major film festivals. A film of Georgian directors was nominated for an Oscar in the international category this year.  But I think what Georgians have to recognise is to break free from the past, and dance into the future.  And my company does exactly that.  We try to envision global filmmaking community, and see ourselves taking Georgia there.  What will happen in 10 years? I don’t know, I don’t like to live in future, I like it now.  But maybe in 10 years Georgia will dominate the world cinema, no more Hollywood and even Bollywood.  Only Geollywood.

7. Advice for aspiring film makers? What would be the most important character trait or skill that an individual can have in order to make it in the industry?

LB – I started a blog on www.landmingoesclick.com, where I propose the idea that indie filmmakers should become indie distributors as well, or otherwise they become extinct.  There is not much that I can tell filmmakers that has not been said already, things like it’s only about doing it rather than dreaming about it.  Being brave enough and etc.  But I think something new that I can advise is to stop saying that their job is done when film is finished, it’s exactly then when their job starts.  And if you don’t like this truth, then move on to something else or count on a lottery.

landm58. What are you working on for the future? How does it stack up to your other films and where do you see yourself going, artistically, in the future.

LB – Philosophy.  Translating complicated philosophical ideas into easily comprehensible stories is what I want to do.  I am fascinated by life.

UK Screening at FRIGHTFEST FRIDAY 28TH August – EUROPEAN PREMIÈRE – LANDMINE GOES CLICK
Film 4 Screen 1.00pm – Arrow Screen 3.35pm – Horror Channel Screen 11.30am.

You can read Ryan Coby’s review of Landmine Goes Click here – http://www.ukhorrorscene.com/landmine-goes-click-2015-review/

You can follow Levan on Twitter here – https://twitter.com/lbakhia

And watch the Landmine Goes Click trailer below

Landmine Goes Click (2015) Review

landm1Landmine Goes Click (2015)

Director: Levan Bakhia

Starring: Sterling Knight, Spencer Locke, Dean Geyer

Sarke Studio

European Première – FrightFest 28th August 2015

Dare to step off

When three friends decide to take a vacation through the country of Georgia, off the beaten path, little do they know of the events to ensue. Daniel (Dean Geyer) and Alicia (Spencer Locke) are expecting to get married, happily backpacking through the wilderness with Daniel’s best friend Chris (Sterling Knight) before the special day, but when the relationship turns sour the trip takes a much darker turn. If the thought of stepping on an un-triggered landmine makes you squirm, then what follows may be hard to digest.

I was initially underwhelmed with the beginning of the movie and was not sure much potential was going to show throughout the running time of the film. The opening twenty minutes was a cliché mess of poor writing and acting that seemed to be headed toward a typical American horror film with younger actors. However, I’m glad I stuck it out and waited as the script tightened back up with some sharper writing and more believable performances as time elapsed. To boot, the plot, seemingly centred around a landmine and the poor wretch who stepped on it, evolved past the obvious into something a little darker than the expected Saw-booby trap setup.

landm2Once the plot lines up, the film turns from a simple isolation horror story into a film of depraved madness and revenge. Kote Tolordava steals the film as Ilya, our purveyor of aforementioned madness, and his arrival spins the story arc into a test of will, both for the viewer and the characters, that mirrors such films as Funny Games or Last House on the Left. Although the cast is light I never felt as though something bigger would have meant better and was hooked as soon as the film intensified. Even the shaky acting during the opening was excusable as both Spencer Locke and Sterling Knight give out some uncomfortable, intense performances for the remainder.

Sound is minimal, highlighted at tense moments and only for a matter of seconds. This fortifies the acting and allows Kote to remain the centrepiece during all key moments save for the ending. His dialogue is a shining example of how much can be done with so little, as Ilya goes from likeable to terrifying in a manner of minutes. There is a surreal quality to some of the more off putting scenes, as though a character like Ilya would not be capable of the atrocities he commits. The effects are also brief and lightly handled, but who needs gore and over the top theatrics when raw acting and visceral scenes push the film’s value beyond the superficial?

landm3I was surprised by Landmine Goes Click, and after watching the film will seek it out for my ever growing horror movie collection. Some films take time to sink in, stumbling through a few rough patches and missteps along the way. As unnerving as it becomes, this is a movie worth watching. If you do not mind indulging in the bleak or stepping outside of your comfort zone, push through the first portion of the movie and continue trekking until you find what you are looking for. I guarantee it will not disappoint.

9/10

For more info please visit – www.film.landminegoesclick.com

Landmine Goes Click secures its London première at Film4 Frightfest

lgcLandmine Goes Click starring Sterling Knight and Spencer Locke secures its London première at Film4 Frightfest.

Landmine Goes Click starring Sterling Knight (Melissa & Joey; MacKenzie Falls), Spencer Locke (Resident Evil; Cougar Town) and Dean Geyer (Glee; Terra Nova) will make its London première as part of the selection at Film4 Frightfest in August.

Three American tourists are backpacking through the remote countryside of European Georgia when one of them steps on an armed landmine. But that seems to be a minor threat compared to the nightmarish happenings the rest of the afternoon will bring on. A psychopath takes advantage of the tourist’s immobility and brutally assaults the woman he loves.

Sterling Knight is familiar to many as Chad Dylan Cooper in hit TV series MacKenzie Falls, So Random! and Sonny with a Chance, as well as for his role in Melissa & Joey. Spencer Locke is known from the massively popular Resident Evil franchise and the Spielberg/Zemeckis motion capture hit Monster House, but is also no stranger to television with work on Cougar Town. After wowing with his singing ability on Glee and Australian Idol, Dean Geyer has shown he’s also a talented actor with his leading role on US sci-fi series Terra Nova.

lgc1Landmine Goes Click is directed and produced by Georgia native Levan Bakhia who made his feature film directorial début with the thriller 247 F starring Scout Taylor-Compton. The tense script for Landmine Goes Click is written by Adrian Colussi, known for his work on prime time Canadian shows The Jane Show and ‘da Kink In My Hair.

Landmine Goes Click plays at Frightfest 2015 on Friday 28th August.

www.film.landminegoesclick.com