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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 Reviews, Monday 22nd April 2019 Black Moon Rising Arrow Video Cetificate 15
Most Sci-Fi thrillers from the 80s often suffered from lack of budget and lack of imagination as they tried to bring visions of tomorrow to an audience weaned on a diet of Star Wars and other such fodder. Black Moon Rising was different, it kept its hopes high but kept itself in the here and now and viewing some thirty plus years after its initial release only fashion and the odd dodgy piece of SFX lets its age be known.
Tommy Lee Jones stars as Sam Quint, a master thief working for the government who hides a computer disc loaded with evidence of corporate crime in a prototype supercar, the Black Moon...SHARE: READ MORE Dark forces invade Horror Channel in May
Posted in Features, Thursday 18th April 2019
Dark forces arrive on Horror Channel in May when the UK's most popular genre TV channel unleashes Invasion Season: a collection of Saturday night alien attack sci-fi movies.
The line-up includes Chris Gorak's Moscow-set apocalyptic fantasy, The Darkest Hour, Colin Minihan's wonderfully effective sci-fi shocker Extraterrestrial, Scott Stewart's compulsive alien home-invasion thriller Dark Skies and the high velocity alien battler drama Skyline, directed by Greg and Colin Strause.
In the Channel Premiere of The Darkest Hours on the 4th, young entrepreneurs Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) find themselves stranded in Moscow, alongside fellow travellers Natal...SHARE: READ MORE Dare you enter The Twilight Zone at The Ambassadors Theatre?
Posted in News, Monday 15th April 2019
Full casting was recently announced for the highly anticipated West End transfer of the Almeida's sell-out production of The Twilight Zone, which has now transferred to The Ambassadors Theatre.
Reprising their highly praised performances from the Almeida run are Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Adrianna Bertola and Neil Haigh, who will be joined for the West End premiere by Alisha Bailey, Natasha J Barnes, Nicholas Karimi, Dan Crossley, Dyfan Dwyfor, Lauren O'Neill and Matthew Steer.
Adapted by Anne Washburn (Shipwreck, Mr. Burns) and directed by the multi award-winning director (winner of 7 Olivier Awards), Richard Jones, this production of the acclaimed classic CB...SHARE: READ MORE The League of Gentlemen - Live Again this RSD
Posted in , Thursday 11th April 2019
Created in conjunction with the League Of Gentlemen, limited to 1250 copies and featuring beautiful original artwork by horror legend Graham Humphreys, The League Of Gentlemen - Live Again is this years LoG offering for Record Store Day 2019.
This title is pressed on 2 x 180G heavyweight Lazarou coloured vinyl, and is presented in an incredible pop up gatefold sleeve featuring key characters Pauline and Mickey.
All your LoG faves are here including the classic characters Tubbs and Edward, Papa Lazarou, Les McQueen, Dr Chinnery, Charlie and Stella, Pam Douve, Hilary Briss, the reverend Bernice Woodall and more.... SHARE: READ MORE Scared Stiff - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Thursday 11th April 2019 Scared Stiff Arrow Video Certificate TBA
Arrow Video continue to trawl the vaults of 80 horror fodder and have dug up a title that's taken too long to come to Blu-ray, Richard Friedman's Scared Stiff. Starring Mary Page Keller and Andrew Stevens the movie follows the classic 80s formula of slow-burn, some gore, more slow-burn and cracking final reel, it's a classic well worth getting re-acquainted with.
Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries wi...SHARE: READ MORE Take a journey through time and space on RSD 2019
Posted in News, Thursday 11th April 2019
#RSD19 goes on a journey through time and space to the world of the Mighty Boosh.
This is the classic BBC Radio 4 comedy, which launched the careers of writers and leads Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt. This is the first time the series appears on vinyl and presents the surreal world of the Zooniverse on 3 pieces of spectacular splattered coloured 180g vinyl.
Limited to 1500 copies this will be housed in a gatefold sleeve with brand new artwork by Noel Fielding, Dave Brown and featuring sleeve notes by Julian Barrett.SHARE: READ MORE The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2
Posted in Reviews, Monday 8th April 2019 The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2 88 Films Cetificate 15
Cannibal Holocaust is probably one of the most debated horror movies of all time. A blend of exploitation, extreme gut-munching and violence (and some real animal torture) its notoriety is still talked about. It was inevitable a sequel is some shape or form, official or not, would follow and did so but not in the way fans thought it would. In The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2, gone are the hardcore splatter and sensationalist shocks, instead we have a movie that almost satirises what has gone before, seemingly in a ...SHARE: READ MORE Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2
Posted in Reviews, Monday 8th April 2019 Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2 Demon Records
Here we go again with another slice of superb sounds with an Italian flavour from Demon Records and let's just say its just as strong as the movies they're culled from.
Starting off with the hazy chill of Savana from Savana Violenta (The Violent World) by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, we get the chance to experience some of the most wonderful pieces without the graphic images that accompanied them. Make Love on the Wing from Zombie Holocaust is as 70s Euro lounge as you can get, and both these tracks create images of sunsets and calm waters.
It's not long before Fabio Frizzi turns up with the disco...SHARE: READ MORE EXCLUSIVE! New clip from Pet Sematary
Posted in News, Wednesday 3rd April 2019 Sometimes dead is better!
Here's an exclusive clip from Pet Sematary which is being released on 4th April by Paramount Pictures.SHARE: READ MORE Free Armed Forces screenings of REDCON-1
Posted in News, Wednesday 3rd April 2019
Intense Distribution and 101 Films have announced a partnership with Forces Cinemas, to provide a series of free screenings of Redcon-1 to the British Armed Forces around the world.
Like the relentless zombies in the film, Redcon-1 just won't quit. Following a highly successful theatrical release of the action-packed horror thriller at Vue Cinemas last year, REDCON-1, about eight soldiers on a suicide mission after Britain is brought to its knees by a zombie outbreak, made its home entertainment debut last month and immediately entered the Official Top 20 on its first week of release.
REDCON-1 features over 1,500 extras, some of whom were war veterans who had served in the ...SHARE: READ MORE Catch Dom Brunt's first two features on Blu-ray!
Posted in News, Tuesday 2nd April 2019
101 Films are releasing two modern British classics on Blu-ray for the first time this Monday, 8th April, both directed by Dominic Brunt; brutal crime thriller Bait, and bloody zombie horror Before Dawn.
Both feature brand new extras, and to make the releases extra special the first 100 copies of each have been signed by the filmmakers; Before Dawn by director/star Dominic Brunt and star Joanne Mitchell, while copies of Bait are also signed by Dominic and Joanne, along with star Victoria Smurfit.
Before Dawn: In a last-ditch effort to save his marriage, Alex (Dominic Brunt) travels with is estranged wife Meg (Joanne Mitchell) to an isolated country cottage. Little do they realise, their...SHARE: READ MORE Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - new trailer and posters
Posted in News, Tuesday 2nd April 2019
Entertainment One UK has released the first trailer for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, from the visionary mind of producer Guillermo del Toro. Two new posters have also revealed for the upcoming adaptation starring Zoe Margaret Colletti, based on the classic horror anthology series for children.
It's 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind... but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book...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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