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By James Whittington, Tuesday 1st January 2019
It's been a real bumper year for horror movie fans. 2018 delivered up more cinematic scares than most years, it also saw he return of some of one of the most iconic monsters of all time.
Ghost Stories The movie that breathed new life into the portmanteau genre, Ghost Stories is a sublime excursion into the smart minds of two incredibly talented people; Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman. Phillip Goodman (Nyman), professor of psychology, arch-skeptic, one-man 'belief buster' - has his rationality tested to the hilt when he receives a letter apparently from beyond the grave. Played totally straight and written and directed by Dyson and Nyman from their own celebrated stage play, Ghost Stories delivers an unforgettable experience and proves once again that Andy Nyman is one of our finest actors and each scene he appears should be cherished.
The Ranger Jenn Wexler gave us one of the biggest hits of FrightFest 2018, The Ranger. This full-bloodied, retro shocker delivered big style as well as having one of the coolest soundtracks of the year. The idea is straightforward; a park ranger sorts out some unruly teens in his forest but one of them who stands in his way. By using smart camera work and an even smarter attention to pacing, Wexler is certainly going to go on to even bigger things. Can't wait to see what she does next.
Pyewacket Teen horror is a difficult horror genre to get right, mainly because most of the time the teens in the movie are just brats and you don't connect with them. Adam MacDonald's Pyewacket jumps this fence perfectly and delivers a film that refreshes the concept of black magic whilst building up the tension to an off the scale level. Leah (Nicole Munoz) is forced by her unstable mother (Laurie Holden), to leave her friends behind and move to a house in the woods. Isolated, Leah turns to Black Magic to release her anger. Naively she performs an occult to invoke the spirit of a witch to kill her mother. Jumping from nightmarish visions to pure horror moments, this is the slow-burner of the year with standout performances from Munoz and Holden. Their ability to give a natural depth to their characters makes it and even more chilling experience.
Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil Ever wished that Terry Gilliam made more movies? Paul Urkijo's demonic movie Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil fills that void amicably being a joyous celebration of inventiveness and satisfying storytelling. Ten years after Civil War in Spain 1833, Usue (Uma Bracaglia) seeks escape from her abusive guardians and constant harassment from villagers. But her doll ends up at the property of Patxi (Kandido Uranga) a lonely and feared blacksmith who is the keeper of a terrifying secret. Urkijo gaves the audience exactly what it wants, a joyous piece of cinema that mixes folklore, superb characterisation and real heart. Eneko Sagardoy who plays the demon Sartael steals the movie.
Anna and the Apocalypse Hands up who likes musicals? Now hands up who likes horror movies. Now hands up who likes both at the same time? Anna and the Apocalypse is such a beast which has given us all a new Christmas movie to watch annually. Anna is a straight-A student, struggling with her mom's death, total friend drama, and the fallout from wasting her time on a very attractive boy. But a zombie apocalypse majorly disrupts the holiday season. This crazy premise really works thanks to a truly talented cast and crew and some great tracks. The young players perfectly and director combine the two genres in a movie that wouldn't be out of place in the West End.
Lifechanger If you like your horror that's surreal but has one foot firmly in reality, then Lifechanger is for you. A shape-shifter sets out on a blood-soaked mission to make things right with the woman he loves but had to leave behind for her own safety's sake. But moving between body snatches is becoming confusing, mind-bending and more debilitating by the minute. This heart-breaking movie has real soul to it, a perfect blend of pathos and smart fiction, you really don't know where the film will go and ultimately leaves you an emotional wreck.
Halloween Probably the most anticipated horror movie of the year, Halloween became the biggie with fans and at the box-office. With Jamie Lee Curtis back as Laurie Strode and original director John Carpenter doing the score, the movie became an event. And boy did it deliver! It's been 40 years since Laurie survived a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers, now faces a terrifying showdown when Michael returns to Haddonfield. By picking up directly from the 1978 original, director David Gordon Green took the themes and some of the camera work from the original and polished them into one of the finest slashers. Curtis owns this movie, her empowered take on Strode is mesmerising to watch and Carpenter's score cranks up the tension perfectly.
Leigh Whannell added another string to his creative bow in 2018 with a stylish piece of Sci-Fi that delivered so much action you needed a lie down after watching it. Set in the near future, tech controls nearly all aspects of life. When Grey is made quadriplegic in an accident his only is an experimental computer chip implant called STEM that allows him to achieve miraculous feats of mind and strength. But then STEM starts to take full control of his body and the true nano nightmares begin. This is only Whannell's second feature as a director and proves he has a vision for style as well as writing scripts full of substance.
One Cut of the Dead The breakout movie of the whole of the FrightFest event, One Cut of the Dead is a superb, low-budget piece from Shin'ichiro Ueda. A film crew is shooting a zombie horror flick in an abandoned water filtration plant, allegedly used for human experiments by the military. Just as the director browbeats his actors and demands more special effects blood, a real zombie apocalypse erupts, much to his auteur delight. A meta movie that builds on an incredible 37-minute opening shot, it turns itself on its head leaving you in a spin of originality and precise storytelling. This movie will be huge when it gets its big release this year.
A Quiet Place
Another movie that generated so shedload of buzz was a new piece from actor/director John Krasinski, and it made all the right sounds and got a lot of people sitting up and taking notice. In A Quite Place, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threaten their survival. To put it simply, if they hear you, they hunt you. A real hit at the start of the year, the movie became known as something you had to experience rather than just watch and if anyone was sitting next to you eating popcorn, well, you weren't responsible for your actions!
Posted in News, Wednesday 17th July 2019 The next two titles on the 101 Films Black Label will be released in August and September. A pair of gruesome cult horrors; one a David Cronenberg classic, and the other a lost gem from the early '90s. Both titles are presented in Limited Edition versions with slipcase and booklet, limited to 3000 units.
On 26th August get set for Rabid (1977), David Cronenberg's early classic, stacked with extras, including a brand new feature-length documentary and an audio commentary with the Soska Sisters... and on 23rd September a UK debut on any format for Skinner (1993), starring Ted Raimi as the eponymous serial killer, in a film that was quite literally lost for several years.
Rabid is the enduringly te...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest fave Big Bad Wolves finally coming to HD
Posted in Frightfest, News, Wednesday 17th July 2019
101 Films presents Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado's Big Bad Wolves (2013), a brutal and unpredictable thriller that addresses the perils of victimhood and the consequences of vengeance.
A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings - a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.
Released on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK, this release includes Last Night at the Empire: Big Bad Wolves at FrightFest, a brand new documentary on the background a...SHARE: READ MORE Important information for Freeview viewers in south and central Wales
Posted in News, Tuesday 16th July 2019 Horror Channel fans living in parts of south and central Wales using the Freeview platform please take note that TV signals in this area will be updated on Wednesday 17th July and you may need to retune on this date.
If you are still missing services after completing a full retune, or would like more information, visit the Freeview website or call the Freeview Advice Line free on 0808 100 0288 for assistance.SHARE: READ MORE Man of a Thousand Faces will appear in HD in October
Posted in News, Saturday 13th July 2019
One screen legend pays homage to another in Man of a Thousand Faces, an enthralling biopic which sees Oscar-winning tough guy James Cagney give a multifaceted portrayal of silent cinema legend Lon Chaney. This classic is being released onto Blu-ray on 28th October thanks to Arrow Academy.
In early horror classics such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of The Opera, Lon Chaney captivated audiences with his vivid personifications of grotesque and afflicted characters. His extraordinary make-up skills, and miraculous ability to completely transform into grisly yet sympathetic and tragic monsters, garnered him international acclaim and the famous moniker of this fil...SHARE: READ MORE Asylum - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Saturday 13th July 2019 Asylum Second Sight Films Certificate 15
When you read that a film has the writer Robert Bloch (Psycho) and been directed by Roy Ward Baker your interest will be pricked. When you also learn it's from Amicus the you know it's a "must have" purchase. This is exactly what Asylum is, a cracker of an anthology movie which has been given the special HD treatment thanks to those lovely people at Second Sight Films.
Asylum boasts an all-star cast including Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Robert Powell, Patrick Magee, Barry Morse and Charlotte Rampling each who play this bizarre but entertaining movie perfectly straight. This was the fifth portmanteau film from Amicus and is a fine and beaut...SHARE: READ MORE The House that Dripped Blood - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Saturday 13th July 2019 The House that Dripped Blood Second Sight Films Certificate 15
Amicus was famous for its anthology movies, and The House that Dripped Blood was one of their most famous ones. It contains a few good scares, as well as more than its fair share of in-jokes and homages to horror cinema's past. Written by Psycho author Robert Block and directed by newcomer Peter Duffell, the film boasts the usual Amicus star line-up coupled with some great set designs and an over enthusiastic score. Oh, a spoiler here, there's no blood!
Scotland Yard's Inspector Holloway (John Bennett) investigates a mysterious mansion with a ghoulish history and a chilling fate for its occupants in four tales...SHARE: READ MORE Sponsored by Horror, catch Marina Sirtis starring in the play Dark Sublime.
Posted in News, Friday 12th July 2019
Making her West End debut, Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation) is starring in the acclaimed play Dark Sublime from Michael Dennis. Supported by Arts Council England and sponsored by Horror Channel, the production is running at Trafalgar Studios, London.
The piece concerns Oli who arrives at the door of Marianne (Sirtis), a fading jobbing actress. He's impatient to make an impression, to make a friend. Marianne knows about waiting - for her turn at something more substantial than a half-remembered role on a cult TV show, for her best friend to see her differently. As Oli forces her back into the past, and a strange, outrageous world she hasn't visited in almos...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest reanimates its "New Blood" search for new writers
Posted in Frightfest, News, Wednesday 10th July 2019
With FrightFest entering its 20th year, the search is set to resume for new writers in the horror genre. For the third year running, New Blood reunites FrightFest with Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures with its mission to find emerging UK-based writers dedicated to the genre and nurture their projects from script to screen. Queensbury is ultimately interested in buying the finished script rather than the idea, and so, this year all successful final candidates if selected should be able to send even a rough draft of the first ten pages of their script through with their acceptance.
Already the scheme has delivered one new project Broadcast Signal Intrusion. Written by Phil Drinkwater and Tim Woodall...SHARE: READ MORE The Blair Witch Project on the big screen thanks to Grimmfest and Horror
Posted in News, Sunday 7th July 2019
Grimmfest will be having a special 20th Anniversary screening of The Blair Witch Project on 35mm on July 24th at Plaza Cinema, Stockport and is being supported by Horror.
Unless you've been living in abandoned cabin in the woods for twenty years you'd know that The Blair Witch Project concerns three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.
The movie showed the power of the internet, telling the world about this 'real-life' documentary style film with an incredible campaign, it also re-awakened the 'found-footage' sub-genre into the horror-sphere. Whilst the film was made for only...SHARE: READ MORE Relive those dog flashbacks in HD as The Hills Have Eyes Part II comes to Blu-ray
Posted in News, Saturday 6th July 2019
The hills are once again alive with the sound of screaming in Wes Craven's hugely entertaining follow-up to his own groundbreaking 1977 The Hills Have Eyes.
A motocross team on their way to trial a new super-fuel head out across the desert lead by Rachel, who, unbeknownst to the rest of the group, is a survivor of the cannibal clan which menaced the Carter family several years before. Opting to take an ill-advised shortcut across the desert, the busload of youngsters drive straight into the path of the remnants of Rachel's demented cannibal kin - the menacing Pluto, and a hulking, blood-hungry brute by the name of The Reaper.
Made by Wes Craven immediately prio...SHARE: READ MORE Hammer's Lust for a Vampire to rise on Blu-ray
Posted in News, Saturday 6th July 2019
The second in Hammer's racy and rapturous Karnstein Trilogy, Lust for a Vampire - directed by Jimmy Sangster (writer of the legendary Dracula and The Curse of Frankenstein) - returns to wreck gloriously seductive horror once more. Bursting at the seams with lovingly put-together extras including a new featurette on Hammer in 1970, Lust for a Vampire will arrive on Blu-ray for the first time and DVD on 12th August.
In 1830, forty years to the day since the last manifestation of their dreaded vampirism, the Karnstein heirs use the blood of an innocent to bring forth the evil that is the beautiful Mircalla (Youtte Stensgaard). The nearby Finishing School offers rich pickings not...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest 2019 announces 20th year record-breaking line-up
Posted in Frightfest, News, Thursday 4th July 2019
The UK's biggest and boldest horror and fantasy film festival is celebrating its 20th bloody year. Since 2000 it has made its indelible mark, not only on the ever-burgeoning horror community but also on the UK genre landscape as a whole. The internationally renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre, its reinvention and its growing importance in the cultural landscape and this year is no exception.
Arrow Video FrightFest 2019 is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema from August 22nd - August 26th. Hosting a record-breaking seventy-eight films, embracing fourteen countries and spanning six continents, this year's...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
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