Webcast (2016) Review

webcast1Webcast (2016)

Writer/Director: Paul McGhie

Stars: Samantha Redford, Joseph Tremain and Nicola Wright

Runtime: 95min

Synopsis (from IMDb): “When two young filmmakers suspect their neighbours are involved with the abduction of a teenage girl, they begin to run surveillance on them, and that’s when things start to go wrong.”

Webcast is a found footage/mockumentary style horror thriller, presented as a feature length film. The film starts with two student film makers, Chloe Webber (Samantha Redford) and Ed Dickens (Joseph Tremain). They are initially doing a follow up investigation of the disappearance of Chloe’s aunt many years ago by interviewing the neighbours who knew her at the time. We meet some colourful characters along the way and some are less cooperative with the questions than might be desired, considering how so many years have passed since the incident. In between takes of Chloe on active documentary duty, she records some video journals of her thoughts and catches us up on what has been happening. The camera is always rolling; with this however they uncover some questionable behaviour on film and begin to suspect that the neighbours are keeping a girl against her will, this is when things really start to get interesting.

webcast2The latter half of the film has our two protagonists trying to unravel the mystery of the rather dubious behaviour of the neighbours and the unexplained events, disappearances and illnesses that have certainly ramped up in frequency since they began to poke their respective noses into it all. This is all conveyed very convincingly by a very strong cast who come across very candid and natural. The camera work too is purposeful with no fancy aerial shots and the like that would break the immersion of the videos blog feel.

One main issue I would have with Webcast is that the feature length format does not suit it in the slightest, given that the middle of the film feels a bit bloated with filler, owing to the fact it is presented as a very genuine ongoing video blog. I would propose exactly that; the films own canonical methods as an alternative presentation. As they upload their findings and video at the end of each day. I would split the film up into five acts, also given that the climax itself is the only actual live webcast and in the context of the film is the only way possible that this “footage” made it out for public viewing following the climactic scene. I did personally have to watch this in packets to fully appreciate its style.

webcast3Overall however, Webcast is a competently made horror thriller and a feature debut for writer/director Paul McGhie with an excellent cast on hand too, to really push this from run-of-the-mill low budget horror to a genuinely engaging and entertaining film with subject matter that will really make you rethink how you see your neighbours, or anybody for that matter. If there was a hint less paranormal you could have taken this as 100% authentic docudrama with believable occult leanings. There is enough here to satisfy your horror needs for sure. McGhie is one to watch.

Verdict: Tony Blair Witch Project

7/10

Infected Books announce their first ‘Year of The Zombie’ release – Killchain by Adam Baker

killchain-YOZInfected Books announce their first ‘Year of The Zombie’ release – Killchain by Adam Baker

2016 is Infected Books’ YEAR OF THE ZOMBIE, and over the course of the year you’re going to be treated to brand new zombie novellas by some of the very best in the business.

Year of the Zombie promises 12 exclusive e-book novella releases throughout 2016 from some of the best in the business, the first being the awesome KILLCHAIN by Adam Baker (bestselling author of OUTPOST and JUGGERNAUT).

Elize arrives in Mogadishu with instructions to assassinate a Russian embassy official. She has tactical command of a US kill-team, CIA operatives, rookies and veterans of a dozen war zones. It should be a straightforward hit but her luck is about to run out. She will soon find herself trapped in a city gone to hell, struggling to complete her mission in the face of betrayal, a spreading pandemic and a population hungry for flesh…

Set within the same world as Baker’s bestselling novels OUTPOST, JUGGERNAUT, TERMINUS and IMPACT, KILLCHAIN will appeal to fans of zombie horror and high-octane thrillers.

Praise for Baker’s previous work:

‘JUGGERNAUT is hugely entertaining and as unstoppable as its namesake.’ (Financial Times)

‘There’s no denying the strength of Baker’s prose.’ (SFX Magazine)

‘An original and pacy debut.’ (Daily Mail)

‘It had me on the edge of my seat from page one.’ (Stephen Leather on OUTPOST).

‘A lock-and-load adventure of the highest calibre.’ (Adam Nevill on JUGGERNAUT)

Grab KILLCHAIN now at Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.de. The novella is also available to read for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited.

Check www.infectedbooks.co.uk at the beginning of each month for each new release.

New Trailer & Poster for UK chiller ‘The House of Screaming Death’

HOSD Vintage PosterNew Trailer & Poster for The House of Screaming Death

With its roots firmly in the world of classic HAMMER HORROR anthology films, THE HOUSE OF SCREAMING DEATH revolves around the sinister & mysterious storyteller, known as THE ARCHITECT who on one eerie night, in an old Manor House, is preparing to share four CHILLING tales with a captive audience he has invited.

As each story unfolds in their own unique, bloody & frightening way, the finale will shock and terrify as THE ARCHITECT also has one last story of his own to share.

The House of Screaming Death will be a truly innovative and welcome return to celebrated BRITISH GOTHIC HORROR of a bygone era and will definitely promise you sleepless nights!

Visit The House of Screaming Death at http://www.screamingdeath.co.uk
Like The House of Screaming Death on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/HouseOfScream…
Follow The House of Screaming Death on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/screamin_death

New UK Micro Budget feature THE WATCHER SELF Completed & Ready to Hit The Festival Circuit

New UK Micro Budget feature THE WATCHER SELF Completed & Ready to Hit The Festival Circuit

THE WATCHER SELF is a deeply unsettling psychosexual chiller written and directed by Matt Cruse about one woman’s descent into hell. Cora (Karen French) begins her day facing the consequences of a nightmare. Struggling to maintain a normal routine, she engages in a series of emotionally detached encounters and experiences a confusing psychological connection with the strange and elusive Van (Julian Shaw). Then echoes from the past threaten to derail her tenuous state of mind, and Cora becomes increasingly dislocated from her surroundings. Is she going insane, or is it something else? THE WATCHER SELF is about what remains when the layers of sanity are gradually stripped away… and what may or may not be real.

TRAILER:

THE WATCHER SELF was made on a micro-budget entirely with personal finance – “100% independent” – and shot in London with a small crew, and features an intense powerhouse performance from relative newcomer KAREN FRENCH who plays the lead role of “Cora”. Matt Cruse is currently in the process of submitting the film to UK and international film festivals and, in the meantime, is hoping to generate a bit of publicity and awareness to start building an audience. It’s been a long old journey for many of the team on this production, so I do hope you have a minute or two to have a look around the website and watch the trailer.

????????????????Support Indie Filmmaking and please visit and share the following links –

Website – http://thewatcherself.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheWatcherSelf

Twitter – https://twitter.com/TheWatcherSelf

Infection Horror ‘Survivors’ Heading To HorrorCon UK 2015 in July

SurvivorsLINFECTION HORROR ‘SURVIVORS’ HEADING TO ‘HORRORCON UK 2015’ IN JULY

The stars and director of the anticipated new movie SURVIVORS will present brand new, unseen footage from the movie as well as hosting Q and A sessions and signings at the event.

Fans eager to meet the team behind the film can head to HorrorCon UK on July 11-12th 2015 in Sheffield, UK where the stars and director will join a star studded line up of guests from the world of horror and horror movies including Gunnar Hansen, Ken Foree and Caroline Munro!

“We’re thrilled to be bringing brand new footage to HorrorCon UK” says the Director Adam J Spinks “It’ll be a brand new trailer and it’ll be some pretty intense viewing”

Synopsis:
From Director Adam J Spinks (Extinction) comes “Survivors”, a story about the depth of human courage in the face of an enemy unleashed by the authorities, who are meant to keep us safe. In a world without laws, without order and with nobody watching, how far would you go to survive?

“We’re delighted to welcome the Survivors team to HorrorCon UK 2015” say HorrorCon UK Organisers Gill & Wendy Bell “We can’t wait to show the exclusive footage ahead of its release to our attendees!”
Tickets for HorrorCon UK 2015 are available from www.horrorconventions.co.uk

Survivors stars Joanne Gale (Red Dwarf X, Run FatBoy Run) Simon Burbage (Extinction, Pulp: The Movie. Hollyoaks) David Anderson (How To Live Yours, 3some) Adrian Annis (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Eva’s Diamond) alongside Vanessa Mayfield (Outside The Box), Lydia Kay (Christmas Slay) and Rich Keeble (Birds Of A Feather, The Addicted)

For All the latest news about Survivors:
www.facebook.com/SurvivorsTheMovie
www.twitter.com/SurvivorsMovie
www.survivorsmovie.com

And for further news on HorrorCon UK 2015:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/HorrorCon-UK-2015
Twitter: @HorrorConUK
www.horrorconventions.co.uk

Die Laughing by Luke Walker – Book Review

dielaughingDie Laughing by Luke Walker – Book Review

Variety is the spice of life, as my mother probably once said. I suspect author Luke Walker would agree, as his new collection of short stories, Die Laughing has an almost Quality Street level commitment to variety.

Indeed, pretty much all the basics of modern and classic horror are touched on, or more accurately, slimed on, as Walker isn’t above the gross out. No bad thing, I’m sure you’ll agree. Opening Tale Static, a deft little number that may be about those nameless horrors in the void, or simply about a poor soul driven to utter madness by the mundane world, would not be out of place in a Mythos collection, but will also appeal to Bizarro fans. In fact you might say that Walker adds a little Bizarro to many horror tropes. Like serial killers? Well how about a story, The Unmarked Grave, with the most famous of them all, Jack the Ripper? The twist, the story starts in modern day Surrey and concerns time travel via oak tree.

The Monsters of Mulberry Street gets a modern, and stranger, updating in the terrifying The Approaching Darkness. Unlike in the Twilight Zone, the reader knows this tall tale will come to past with horrifying reality. The Faustian pact gets an update In Death’s Christmas Presence, where the Grim Reaper offers a new widow one last chance to talk to her husband. The nasty twist in the tale stings like a recently disturbed nest of mutant wasps. Zombies comes out to play in the very small screen They Always Get inside in the Films, a creepy rift on Shaun of the Dead style situations. There’s also horror without any supernatural underpinnings in Neighbours where readers will discover the odd lengths a father will go to protect his daughter and granddaughter.

Author Luke Walker

Author Luke Walker

As with any anthology, there are one or two stories that don’t work. The most frustrating of which, Prison Break, concerns a sentient AIDS virus, but alas Walker struggles to draw on the horror such a wonderful premise should reveal. However it’s one of only a couple of missteps in the book.

All in all, Die Laughing is a rewarding collection of scary tales that both looks back at horror’s rich history, particular the British short stories collections of yesteryear, but brings many welcome twists to the familiar. Fans of the popular Black Book of Horror anthology series will no doubt find plenty to love within the collection, but all readers of this site could do with chasing down this superior slice of horror entertainment.

8/10.

Please support and visit the links below and Die Laughing is available on Paperback & Kindle-

Amazon UK – CLICK HERE

Amazon USA – CLICK HERE 

Luke Walker’s Website – CLICK HERE

Luke Walker’s Twitter – CLICK HERE

Trailer & Synopsis for new UK Sci-Fi Horror ‘Post Human’

posth1Trailer for New UK Sci-Fi Horror Feature ‘Post Human’

Post|Human is the new science-fiction horror film event from Monkeypuzzle Cinema, telling the story of one woman’s return journey to the secluded and now-abandoned psychological research facility where her deceased mother once worked.

Accompanied by three friends, she discovers that the ghosts of the past find their way to the present when the hospital’s legacy of experimentation and madness tears away all known bounds of time, memory and space. All the while, the very real threat of nuclear apocalypse grows ever stronger in the cities over the horizon.

Post Human draws its genetics from the cinema of nuclear paranoia, rural Gothic horror, metaphysical science fiction and the British genre film, reinterpreting them in intense and startling new ways.

posth2Directed by Mark Robins & Luke Gietzen, Produced by Florencia Diaz & Mark Robins & Luke Gietzen, Original Music Score by Elias Mazzucco | Vaughan Bloomfield, Starring Anya Korzun | Danielle Arden | Andrew Jardine | Katie Keight | Kathryn Goldsmith and made possible by all our generous Indigogo supporters.

Monkeypuzzle Cinema is a London-based production company making films of vision and velocity, passionately and intelligently designed for significant cultural and commercial impact in the resurgent British genre scene. They are winners of the Most Promising Newcomer award at London’s 15th Annual Portobello International Film Festival.

Post|Human is actively seeking domestic and international distribution and sales agency representation. Contact Mark Robins via [email protected], join them on Twitter via @mpuzzlecinema or visit www.MonkeypuzzleCinema.com

PostHuman (C) Monkeypuzzle Cinema. All Rights Reserved.Trailer music by Elias Mazzucco.

Now enjoy the trailer-

The Twisted Death of a Lonely Madman (2014) DVD Review

14770303938_52d1081ec1_zThe Twisted Death of a Lonely Madman (2014)

Directed By – Will’ Terran

Starring – Stewart O’Reilly, Nicola Posener, Raquel Cassidy

Run Time – 81 minutes

Adam hasn’t left his flat in six months for fear of being attacked. Creating conversational videos of his favourite movie star Starlet Maddinson has kept him just about the right side of sane over that time. Just about. When a straightforward encounter causes Adam’s worst fears to come true, a malevolent psycho begins a campaign of intimidation and intrusion into Adam’s home. As the world shrinks around him and the company of Starlet Maddinson’s image turns on him, reality blurs with nightmare to tear Adam’s private little world apart. – Black Barn Productions

The Twisted Death of a Lonely Madman is a gripping study of agoraphobia & the related issues of anxiety and depression that emerge from Adam’s self-imposed isolation. It was clearly produced on a very tight budget, but the vast majority of this film manages to rise above the constraints this often gives to a film. Anyone who has sat through any number of feature-length no-budget movies at film festivals or the like will know the required mentality where every technical flaw or moment of poor acting can be overlooked, that you can gleam some positives from the sheer fact that they managed to get the film made at all. Twisted Death… does not require this at all. It stands on its own through very finely tuned pacing and a whole host of brilliant ideas.

14956579702_2412e5958c_zTaking place entirely in the confines of Adam’s flat, who is also the only main character and whose bored, deliberately monotone voice provides a narration, this film defies tried & tested ways of keeping an audience entertained for a feature length, but manages it better than many big-budget films with far wider scopes. There isn’t a single scene that feels pointless, or padded out for length; we’re given a half-heartedly optimistic insight into the world Adam has created for himself in his tiny flat, before slowly we get glimpses of the darker side to his solitude and illness. Without stopping him from being relatable, his own paranoia seeping through to the audience as tension is built out of the smallest things. As reality becomes harder to define in Adam’s world, key scenes offer some incredible imagery –one particular scene featuring nothing but his computer was jaw-droppingly intense and I genuinely couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.

Technically this film is impressive too; black and white is often used as an “instant art” attachment by inexperienced film-makers, but here it was clearly considered from the beginning of production, with fantastic use of light and shadows reminding us that even in modern times where Hollywood relies on super-saturated visuals, black and white movies can still be beautiful. Except for in just one scene, the subtle effects are well pulled off, and are very effective in creating a sense of paranoia & providing a handful of genuinely unsettling images. Stewart O’Reilly (as Adam) is the only actor given very much to work with and does a very good job with it, but Nicola Posener (playing Starlet Maddinson) also shows great promise in her brief scenes throughout the film.

14956918355_5434a6f355_zGiven the title of this film, along with the tagline “In The End He Will Die” that clears up any ambiguity there may have been, and the promotional website hewilldie.com, there are no prizes for guessing how this film ends. Spoiling the ending of a film in its promotion is of course an odd deliberate choice, often one consigned to bumbling marketing departments, but here it works to give the movie a certain morbid inevitability, and forces us to ask for the duration of the movie; “how?”. Clues are scattered throughout the movie, but still the final revelations are quite unexpected and shocking, ending what was already an incredibly engrossing, suspenseful film that deals intelligently with the very real issues of mental health alongside the more fantastical nightmarish visuals, on an unpredictable high note.

9/10

For more info click on the following links

http://blackbarnproductions.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/hewilldie

https://twitter.com/BlackBarnPros

Crying Wolf (2015) Review

Crying-WolfTitle: Crying Wolf

Directed by: Tony Jopia

Written by: Andy Davie, Michael Dale, Tony Jopia

Starring: Caroline Munro, Joe Egan, Kristofer Dayne

Running time: 91 Minutes

UK release: – ?

What do we need more of?

Sex?

Drugs?

Reese’s™ Peanut Butter Cups?

Clearly the one thing we do not need is another horror-comedy, as proven by Crying Wolf directed by Tony Jopia, who brought us  ‘DEADTIME’ , ‘Zombie Harvest’.

The story opens in the small village of ‘Deddington’ (Geddit? Deddington? Dead-ington? HAHAHAHAHA No). The village is being terrorised by some Unknown Wild Animal and the Police have no idea what’s going on. Of course.

Cue an unnamed, mysterious private eye searching for his colleague, who vanished under strange circumstances while investigating the disappearance of a local girl. Luckily for the viewer, the plucky PI even comes with his own horribly modulated voiceover, languishing somewhere between Darth Vader and Batman.

cryingwolf2After assaulting a local second-hand bookseller, he retreats to a pub to look through a particularly ancient tome. As a side note, I’m pretty sure he murdered an old woman to acquire it. Not cool.

Upon opening the volume, his oxygen-deprived voiceover begins telling us the tale of a pack of werewolves, getting ready to go on holiday.

It’s a story within a story.

The pack, led by Milly (Gabriela Hersham) soon bite off more than they can chew, with Camp Guides Rickie and Charlie as well as a pair of enterprising hitchhikers.

‘So Elliot, why are you so vehemently against this movie?’

Well dear reader, I shall start at the beginning.

The film opens with a series of spliced-together news reports, detailing the broad strokes of the attacks. Okay, we’ve seen this at the beginning of nearly every creature-feature ever made, but we can roll with it.

Then come the clichés. A suspiciously hairy customer in the bookshop has a creepy conversation, topped by a purchase price of £6.66. DUN DUN DUUUUUUN.

cryingwolf1But Wait! There’s More!

The acting is so wooden that it would make Keira Knightly cringe inwardly. I mean seriously, Robots would display more humour, and probably have better delivery as well.

What about the plot? Okay, we have the story within a story. But then there’s a story in that story. But don’t worry, we soon go back to the second story in order to cut into a fourth story and so on and so forth.

And the special effects-OH GOD THE SPECIAL EFFECTS.

I’ll admit, I am a fan of physical SFX. Sam Raimi’s rubbers masks in ‘Drag Me to Hell’, the head-sloughing scene in ‘Poltergeist’, there is so much lost charm in Latex and Modelling clay.

But there is not a single positive point about the effects here. Cheap rubber wolf suits are embellished by crappy CGI in post and it just makes me sad.

But it isn’t just the wolves-the blood and (in one scene) the flesh eating ants are so badly done that the film would be better off without it. Seriously. Having these people flailing around for no reason would give us something to laugh at.

So let’s summarise; an overly convoluted plot brought even lower by unfocused direction, clunky action and poor effects.

cryingwolf3‘But Elliot, isn’t there a single redeeming feature?

Actually, yes there is.

In what Scientists are describing as ‘pretty weird’, this film has the best opening credits I’ve ever seen in indie horror. They are SERIOUSLY good.

Now do not be deterred-I want you to watch this movie. That way, at least lots of other people will waste two hours of their lives, and I won’t be alone in my misery.

2/10

Wandering Rose (2014) Review

wandering2WANDERING ROSE – 2014

DIR: CORRIE GREENOP

WRITTEN: CORRIE GREENOP

STARRING: CARINA BIRRELL, DAVID WAYMAN, CAMERON JACK

RUN TIME: 70min

Corrie Greenop’s début feature is another pleasing example of how bright the star seems to be shining for independent British horror at the moment. Well- constructed, and stunningly photographed it is a sometimes disorienting and often unnerving thriller that captures the dark confusion of the human mind as it unravels.
Rose and Theo travel to the Scottish Highlands to rekindle their relationship. Rose is in the early stages of pregnancy and Theo sees this as the perfect opportunity for some together time before the impending child changes things forever. However things are far from perfect as Rose seems resistive of his advances and the relationship becomes increasingly strained as the trip goes on. Add to this the mysterious visions of a young girl only Rose can see and the sinister officer Thwaites and the stage is set for a journey into one person’s madness.

Tremendously atmospheric and making the most of its Highland locations, Wandering Rose proves to be a chilling piece of cinema that takes a relatively simple central idea and spins a complex emotional web around its characters. Rose and Theo’s relationship is well written, and the film carefully reveals layers as it goes adding an unsettling undercurrent to proceedings. The suggestion that nothing is as it seems keeps the tension high, and whilst the late reveals are hardly revelatory they do pack quite a powerful punch.

wandering1It’s a surprisingly claustrophobic affair too with Greenop and James Fuller’s photography casting the Scottish countryside in an eerie gloom. Here, despite their vast expanse, the Highlands feel like they are closing in on the characters, a shrinking prison for their failing relations. Scotland has always had a strange almost paranormal personality and the film exploits this incredibly well. However, as the film goes on it starts to become a little on the over indulgent side and the excess of location shots starts to look like padding; there to extend the running time rather than add to the atmosphere or drive the plot forward. It’s a small complaint though as the film never looks less than stunning.

The sound design is also excellent, using simple but well placed atmospherics to underline the films sense of creeping dread. An understated musical score sits in the background and the movie resists loud bangs and sharp shocks, instead choosing to build genuine tension. It is likely to alienate the passive film fan looking for a quick easy thrill, but the careful, considerate approach is one of the films major strengths. It is not often that film makers have the courage to resist the market and do what is ultimately right for their film, but here that is what Greenhop does.

Ultimately it is a character driven film, and there are very strong performances from the main cast. Carina Birrell as Rose carries the film well. Her haunted self-absorption is the films anchor and Birrell’s performance, rather than alienating, manages to bring you into and feel for the character. David Wayman has probably the more difficult role as Theo. Theo is the archetypal good guy who is always trying to do what’s best but is often left out in the cold. It could easily have been a cardboard role, but Wayman gives Theo depth and adds some dark flourishes to the character that make the later scenes all the more harrowing. Cameron Jack’s Officer Thwaites is also worth a mention. He isn’t in the film very much, but when he is he changes the dynamic and further unbalances the equilibrium of the central couple. His performance is creepily ambiguous and you are never quite sure if he can be trusted.

wandering3The film works incredibly hard to stay tight and to build its characters and story. But for all its hard work it ultimately falls at the final hurdle. In trying to bring together all of its loose ends the film becomes confused; Its final revelations are flagged a little early and don’t quite hold together. It doesn’t end disastrously it just winds down rather than building to a big dramatic crescendo. In fairness it wouldn’t have been appropriate for the film to end with everything tied up in a neat bow, but it doesn’t quite make enough sense to be fully satisfying.

Whatever its minor shortcomings, Wandering Rose proves to be a compelling chiller that gets under the skin in a way that few films often do. Dark and broody, it deals with some heavy duty themes like Abortion and Suicide, and like other recent Brit effort Claire (Kuru) captures the complex emotions and mental frailty of human relationships and child birth. Bold and shocking it is a film that deserves an audience.

8/10