Director : James Wan – Cast Includes : Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young,
You just can’t beat the big screen experience, forget streaming the cinema is where you go to watch a big movie release… yesterday I was front row with a pretty good crowd in and I could smell the popcorn, feel the anticipation & when that first scare hits you can hear the anxious murmurs and the nervous giggles that all add to that ultimate film watching experience! and so to the film… MALIGNANT is a twisted, cocktail of horror from the finest exponent of the genre since Craven danced the dance… not only is Malignant the filmmakers most bloody & violent outing yet it’s also a real mixture of sub-genre’s that scatter the horror landscape, from it’s atmospheric almost supernatural start, the moments of unsettling domestic abuse, it’s killer slasher elements that gave off a De Palma & Argento vibe to that CRAZY final 30 minutes that if your squeamish then close your eyes… I loved it’s head spinning camera work by Michael Burgess (The Curse of La Llorona) that scene in the house where the camera is tracking Madison from above as she runs away from her assailant now that’s pretty darn cool, the vulnerable & terrifying performance by Annabelle Wallis to it’s blood lust carnage second half that delivers not only a high body count but huge amounts of gore Malignant’s director James Wan has given life to a new play thing… and this one BITES !! ★★★★½
During a vacation in the Catskills, an author and a stranger from a neighbouring cabin are thrown together after a power outage strikes the area : Both decide to pass the time by telling ghost stories which leads to chaos and their ultimate fears slowly starting to become reality : Josh Ruben’s Cabin in the Catskills horror movie SCARE ME is certainly my kind of movie jam, a slice of original horror that showcases the ability to scare whilst acting almost theatre like with it’s sharp and smart dialogue that’s executed in a fresh and creative style : Ruben and his co-star Aya Cash who’s energy matches the display she gives as Stormfront in the television show The Boys are outrageous, both feeding off each other like piranah’s with the movies ultimate payoff being delivered with satisfying style : I really dug how Ruben utilises the sound effects in the movie to enhance the visuals creating this scary vibe that’s deliciously atmospheric and adds so much to it’s horror telling, you just know something’s going to happen and it’s fun finding out when….. a low budget gem and one I feel would benefit from multiple viewings ★★★★
What can I say about the lovely DEE WALLACE who was born on the 14th December 1948 : what an actress, what a scream queen and what an impact this gal from Kansas City had on me, who lit up my favorite genre with superb turns in movies such as The Howling, Alligator II, The Hills Have Eyes, The Frighteners, Critters and the best of the bunch Cujo a Stephen King adaption that still scares me even now : the first time I remember watching Dee was back in 1982, when she played Drew Barrymore’s mum in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. and what a fabulous performance in such a great movie : luckily for us Dee Wallace is still knocking out the films and was seen recently in 2017’s Death House, 2019’s 3 from Hell and 2016’s Aussie Horror Red Christmas : me personally I hope Dee’s around making movies for another 30ys : such an ICONIC movie presence
One of my favorite Dee Wallace quotes : “Cujo was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s the film I’m proudest of. You know, how far can you break down? When do you break down? How do you break down? It was just relentless”
WOW !! take a look at these 3 Horror BEAUTIES from Jessica Seamans (Tenebrae), Greg Ruth (the Babadook) and Timothy Pittides (The Omen) : all three of these posters capture their movie perfectly and in scary detail, the blood splatter & shadows in Tenebrae is effective & like Argento’s masterpiece quite nasty looking too, the Babadook looming over the bathroom via the tiles on the wall as Amelia & Samuel sit in the tub is delicous and quite haunting and the jackal’s from that terrifying cemetery scene in the Omen seen here nurturing a young Damien is sublime
Number 16 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A group of people barricade themselves in an old farmhouse to remain safe from a bloodthirsty, flesh-eating breed of monster who are ravaging the United States. : “They’re coming to get you, Barbra!…” : There’s good zombie films and then there’s George A Romero’s 1968 ghoulfest NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD : crafted in black & white with a runtime of 96mins this slice of horror is pure suspense, alongside a towering performance full of energy & style by New Yorker Duane Jones & scares that would make most of today’s horror films blush Night of the Living Dead is high calibre filmmaking, by a director at his most raw & potent best : I recently rewatched the restored Criterion edition and was reminded (like I am every year) on how creepy the movie holds up, from it’s unique appearance, how fiendishly evil the undead look to the films unsettling graveyard and old farmhouse shot’s with it’s black-and-white filming only adding extra spice to the unnerving viewing experience : Judith O’Dea’s Barbra is terrific, the way she shows us her character’s shock after loosing her brother in the cemetary attack and the terror she’s overcome with is quite chilling : I love the scene in the movie which sees Harry coming up from the basement and arguing with Ben on why they should all be barricaded in down below, Hardman & Jones have the floor mostly to themselves and it’s all quite riverting, Tom & Judy’s ill fated trip to collect some gas from the barn is also one my movie highlights, from it’s chaotic build up, big explosion to the aftermath of Harry locking Ben out of the house to be breathtaking : since it’s release Night of the Living Dead has spawned a zombie franchise and countless other immitations but for me Romero’s original beats all others hands down and is still a spine-chilling masterpiece ★★★★★
Number 17 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A small-town farmer’s son falls for a beautiful drifter who’s part of a traveling group of Vampires : “I’m gonna separate your head from your shoulders, hope you don’t mind none…” : Since watching this movie in ’87 Kathryn Bigelow’s NEAR DARK has been one of my favorite movies of all time, let alone one of the darkest, scary movies I’ve ever seen : yes it may have tanked at the box office but over the years Near Dark has gained cult status, and I for one love watching the movie : I mean come on… has there been a better Bill Paxton performance (and there’s been some crackers) than Severen the psychotic, blood thirsty vampire that has all the best lines, the best moments, and the insanity he injects into the role gives Bigelow’s Near Dark it’s captivating performer : and is there a better bunch of vampire names than Severen, Diamondback, Jesse and Homer? there incredible, all kinda dark & twisted yet so yummy : amongst my favorite moments in the movie is the motel shootout, the beautifully shot scene when Caleb feeds on Mae near the derricks is as crazy and in love as you get and the films tense and burning finale is both dramatic and sad as you watch the vampire’s demise : Overall Near Dark is a moody neo-western horror with a scintillating, atmospheric score by Tangerine Dream, the RV with it’s tin foil covered windows that keep the light out & the darkness in, the energy & humor of the Aliens trio Paxton, Henriksen, Goldstein and quite simply the BEST bar scene in horror movie history : it’s FINGER LICKING GOOD ★★★★★
Number 24 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : When five friends arrive at a remote cabin in the woods for a little vacation, little do they expect the horrors that await them : I have rewatched Drew Goddard’s THE CABIN IN THE WOODS several times since the big screen back in 2011 and each & every time I have found something new to smile about : from Goddard & Whedon’s FRESH, FUNNY & ORIGINAL script to that bizzare feeling your watching two movies wrapped up in one it’s almost like an R rated Twilight Zone episode, it just keeps getting better and better, so much so that it recently made My Top 20 Movies of the Decade : The Cabin in the Woods is so far removed from their work together on Buffy the Vampire Slayer it’s actually insane to think it’s from the same team, but when it sinks in and you’ve watched it a few time the penny drops and you realise HELL YEAH this has their stamp it’s just on a different level, a more sadistic, crueler and blood splattered level : The Cabin in the Woods has so many horror layers and each time you peel one away the next is scarier, first you get the old garage attendent who’s creepy as fuck and at this point I would have turned for home, then it’s the cabin with it’s remote location, double sided mirrors and a goddam cellar and then the monsters start to come out to play, one by one each scarier and more violent than the next… well you get the picture….. it’s brilliant : the film is just everything you’d want from a horror movie, it’s scary, sexy and relentless, I mean watching Jules make out with the wolf is just…..wtf just happened have I been smoking some of Marty’s drugs or what?, the pair of Amy Acker & Fran Kranz add so much greatness and nostalgia to each scene their part of, the way the story arc twists and turns like a Rubik Cube is utterly bonkers and not since Wes Craven gave us Scream have I seen a better horror lead than Kristen Connolly, she’s fearless, gorgeous, takes no shit and she just owns her character : WHAT A MOVIE !! ★★★★★
Number 30 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : In the sixteenth century, Francis Barnard travels to Spain to clarify the strange circumstances of his sister’s death after she had married the son of a cruel Spanish Inquisitor : for me PIT AND THE PENDULUM is the best of the eight movies that Vincent Price and Roger Corman worked on together, it’s certainly the most haunting and beautifully filmed by High Noon’s Floyd Crosby : shot in just fifteen days the film is a bonafied 60s classic, a horror that has no doubt been a point of influence for horror filmmaker since, from it’s weird & ghostly flashback scenes, the shots of the waves hitting the rocks, it’s eerie nerve pinching sound, Vincent Price’s trademark expressions and dramatic eye movements to those other impressive cast members including John Kerr, Barbara Steele, Luana Anders, Antony Carbone but what really makes Pit and the Pendulum such a fine horror film is it’s chilling suspense, sweeping sets and that devious, evil little twist at it’s end ★★★★½
A young couple having trouble with their relationship take a trip to the families Beach House only to find their getaway turns into a struggle for survival – Jeffrey A Brown directorial debut THE BEACH HOUSE is my kind of movie jam, a slow burning chiller with enough going on to keep you interested and then WHAM BAM all shit rains down – It’s impressive how Brown keeps everything so damn eerie, from those opening 10mins to the final ten you really are biting your fingernails and sat on the edge of your seat in anticipation at what’s coming next, the drug induced scene is freaky in an almost uncomfortable sort of way and that cellar and beach scene messes with your mind – However the real payoff with The Beach House is that you have no idea how it’s all going to play out and more importantly what the actually shit is going really going on…. from Jeffrey Brown’s original story, it’s idealic yet sinister location but most of all Liana Liberato & Noah Le Gros innocence & fear driven performances make this one helluva trippy, atmospheric ride and a delicous horror gem that I’d highly recommend ★★★★
it comes at night is a devilishly unerving, pychological horror movie that grips, rattles and plays with your mind – along with the movie’s interesting concept it’s the camera work in the movie that allows this slow burning horror to come alive, capturing the house’s shadowy interior and the forest with haunting precision, with this style of movie the work of the camera was paramount and they nailed it – along with being a tense ride it comes at night is also very thought provoking and will have you talking about it for many days after, personally I may have acted the same as Joel Edgerton’s character Paul but let’s hope I never find out – oh yeah the genre of the movie is not “post-horror” it’s quite simply HORROR and a blooming good one at that ★★★★
When the movie starts up and we are first introduced to Richard Brake‘s sadistic abomination watching as he slowly utters the words “Hello, they call me Doom-Head” you know instantly that Zombie is back and his latest feature 31 is gonna be a whole lot of dark and twisted movie fun – it’s the way Doom-Head continues outlining his plans to his most recent, helpless victim that is not only brutal but is executed in a calm, truly horrifying manner that sucks you in and allows you to think “damn this is gonna be tense” – 31 is possibly the most bloodthirsty of Rob Zombie’s movies to date and after the let down that was The Lords of Salem it’s great to see this warped filmmaker returning to his roots and just like his earlier work The Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses I’m expecting this new depraved slice of insanity to gather a cult following – the film is not only directed but written by Zombie, it was made on a crowdfunded budget and brings together a casting of familiar faces, some of which you may recognize from not only previous Rob Zombie movies but cultist horror movies of yesteryear – if your a fan of this director and his style of gory terror then 31 will appeal, it captures the haunting mood of Rejects, the carnage & horror of Corpses and immerses you into a blood soaked vision of torture, murder and a deadly race of survival as the clock slowly ticks down….
There’s something very unsettling about Robert Eggers movie debut THE WITCH a horror film set around the infamous Witch Hysteria’s in the New England Puritan times – it’s slow pace and it’s fine narrative penetrates your soul, the picture entwinines your subconscious and fills your mind with creepy, haunting images some beautiful others terrifying, like Kubrick’s The Shining The Witch plays on your fear of isolation, your darkest thoughts are let loose and the not knowing of what will happen next becomes more relevant, all of this is greatly helped by Mark Korven’s harrowing score that pushes your pulse upwards and gives each haunting scene greater significance – it’s cast that includes Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie both known for work on HBO’s Game of Thrones are remarkable, they both deliver a harsh realism to their roles and you can’t help but be horrified by their circumstance but for me what gives THE WITCH it’s greatness is the young actress Anya Taylor-Joy who’s performance as Thomasin the elder daughter is utterly mesmerizing, her pale complexion & wide eyed innocence is something to behold, there’s a surreal beauty but also a cunning guile about her that Taylor-Joy captures perfectly, the scene where she tormentes her sister is both breathtaking & disturbing – Overall: this is no slasher movie and there’s ceretainly no great body count The Witch is not your mainstream horror movie, it’s masterful cinematography and direction allows the picture to be both unique and disturbing, my advice is don’t watch it alone – The Witch is a GEM in its genre a truly scary piece of work ★★★★½
Trying to pick 15 Movies that have stood out, excited & impressed the hell out of me in 2015 has been a difficult task and one that I started compiling over two weeks back – when making a Best of List it’s important to view the movie multiple times and for me personally I never choose any movie on pure sentiment, take the Star Wars movie for example, I’m a huge geek when it comes to them movies but it would be unfair of me to name it as one of my favorite movies purely on past glories, the movie has to be better than that and deserve a place by merit – everybody has their own personal favorites, whether it be at home or at the cinema movies are there to be enjoyed – don’t take my Top 15 as gospel and certainly don’t let friends or film critics decide what you watch, the beauty is we are all movie critics and we all have our own opinions – so if you’ve not seen some of these movies, give them a try and then compile your own list of Your Favorite Movies of 2015….
Sad News Movie Fans !! Wes Craven the director who brought us A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and many more classic horror films has died aged 76 – his horror characters throughout the years such as Freddy and Ghostface not only reinvented the horror genre but also gave me high blood pressure, phobia of sleep and a high electricity bill as my lights always stayed ON