A homeless soldier is sucked into staying in a decaying old house and falls for a young woman who’s lives their with her dying mother : Written and Directed by Romola Garai AMULET is my kind of movie jam, a slow burning, bat shit crazy demonic horror that’s tangled up in atmosphere, flashbacks and haunting performances by the likes of Alec Secareanu (God’s Own Country), Carla Juri (Brimstone) and Anah Ruddin who gives an unforgettable performance as Mother : The movie is quite mysterious, a bit like a jigsaw the pieces fit together the more you watch and during the picture’s second half you find which direction the story is taking and watch in horror as it’s pace & tension is ramped up, the mind twisting insanity is nearing boiling point and you find yourself uncomfortably enjoying it all play out : I found the whole movie quite creepy & unnerving, from the interior of the decaying house, the gory & unsettling finale to a rather delicious performance by the sinister looking Imelda Staunton AMULET really does a number on you : A superb horror that will leave it’s mark on the genre for sure ★★★★
A daughter, mother and grandmother are haunted by a manifestation of dementia that consumes their family’s home – RELIC directed by first timer Natalie Erika James is an Aussie horror that really does effect the way you look at the difficulties of coping with family illness as you watch Emily Mortimer’s character Kay attempt to unravel her mother’s dementia whilst trying to survive the advances of their spooky family home : Along with it’s real scary moments such as Bella Heathcote’s character Sam stuck in the walls of the house in a frighteningly unreal 20mins and the overall creaks and groans the house is making throughout I really found Relic to be like watching a family member grow old, slowly becoming frail, starting to loose their faculties & climbing the ladder towards eventual inevitability, the scariest thing imaginable and Natalie Erika James captures this perfectly with her meaningful, alarming slow burner of a horror movie that makes you think and contains one of the strangest yet genius finale’s in many a year ★★★★
Trapped in a cave, five men cut the arm off of another companion in order to ward off starvation. After they are saved, their victim seeks revenge on them one by one – THE SEVERED ARM is quite the rarity a 70s slasher movie that I had not seen or heard about until yesterday – Directed by Tom Alderman who’s short filmmaking career ended with this movie, and a cast including John Crawford, Paul Carr and the delightful Deborah Walley (1960’s Gidget Goes Hawaiian) – WOW !! what an incredibly atmospheric slasher, that contains some moody inventive camera work, a screamingly good synth score and a whole bunch of gruesome gore scenes (especially that severed arm moment later in the movie), I really enjoyed Walley’s turn as Ted’s daughter Teddy, as an actress her face lent to 70s slasher so well and I’m surprised she didn’t do more in the genre, also I loved the twist in the movie’s finale albeit a little predictable but it is well executed – If like me you love visiting these wildly odd B-Movie style slasher movies with a side plate of revenge and gory fun then The Severed Arm is worth the watch ★★★★
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 ★★★★
a little Polanski, slices of Kubrick but mostly MOTHER ! is Darren Aronofsky at his twisted, nightmarish best – those who knock the creativity on the big screen then take a good look, admire and be blown away by this original slice of movie making, the big screen was made for this. Javier Bardem is great as the mysterious husband but who would have dreamt up Ed Harris & Michelle Pfeiffer as a married couple? Aronofsky did and let’s thank the gods, they ooze chemistry, drip intrigue and look so bonkers together it’s unreal. Overall Mother! is a powerful, emotional and stunning piece of original movie making – the star of the movie is Jennifer Lawrence who is in my opinion one of the screens modern great film stars, she captivates her audience with boundless energy, natural beauty and raw emotion – she truly does give Aronofsky’s Mother! it’s heart ★★★★½
WIND RIVER is directed by the talent that is Taylor Sheridan the filmmaker who penned Sicario and Hell or High Water – the film is based on a true story and covers the dark, terrifying subject matter of the disappearance of young women in an indian reservation town in Wyoming – although Taylor Sheridan deserves the plaudits for his smart script & direction kudos must also go to Ben Richardson for his photography that captures the harshness of the terrain and simplicty of each character – this is Jeremy Renner’s best performance since Hurt Locker, he really is a quality actor who gives a towering display playing this humble, loss driven wildlife tracker who finds the body of a girl in the snowy terrain – Renner is backed up onscreen brilliantly by the impressive, natural Elizabeth Olsen who once again demonstrates her ability to inhabit a character making it believable to us the audience, her FBI character is one of determination and will stop at nothing to uncover the truth – Wind River is a haunting, gutsy thriller ★★★★
I absolutley loved Stephen King’s IT and was a huge fan of the 1990 mini-series so when I heard that Andy Muschietti was bringing it to the big screen and the fabulous talent of Bill Skarsgard was playing Pennywise the Clown I was intrigued, excited and pretty much beside myself counting down the months to opening – well having now seen the movie I can honestly say that Muschietti has delivered the goods, not only does the film do justice to King’s novel but it will scare the holy moly out of you, it’s more brutal, uncompromising than the 90’s mini-series, it’s also jam packed full of typical King humor, great music and some inspired casting in the form of the Losers Club – for me Skarsgård deserves some award love for his dark, twisted portrayal of Pennywise the dancing clown, the menace of his vocals and his terrifying appearance certainly scared me and was actually pretty acurate to the book – I was also blown away by the lovely Sophia Lillis who is destined for greatness, her Beverly was played like a John Hughes character, sweet, aluring exterior with a gritty tough interior – them difficult scenes with her onscreen dad and the bloody bathroom were handled with a self assured maturity that will no doubt make her a huge star in the future and I must also mention the young Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard who was dynamite as Richie, his expressions and funny one liners erupted the cinema in laughter on several occassions, he was so good – overall IT is a refreshing R Rated Horror Movie that will give you night terrors as you eagerly await it’s sequel ★★★★½
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 ★★★★
I wasn’t totally convinced by Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake but his latest the low budget thriller Don’t Breathe is a different animal – I’m sure my heart actually stopped for a brief second whilst being terrified by this darkly intense and at times brutally twisted horror movie – Alvarez really makes use of the house interior, his camerawork adds so much to the scares and along with Stephen Lang’s deranged victim come tormentor this is one creepy ass movie that will scare you senseless – do yourself a favor and don’t miss this on the big screen….
If you enjoyed Jeremy Saulnier’s epic “Blue Ruin” then you will love the grittiness, the uncompromising & at times the shockingly uncomfortable GREEN ROOM – from the time the punk band “The Ain’t Rights” hit the neo-Nazi club and takes to the stage you just know things are going to get downright ugly – Saulnier’s strength as a filmmaker is the weaving of realism into his characters, most are broken individuals (or soon will be) and Saulnier is the master of taking you into their world, a world that’s not pretty or glossed over, a dark unforgiving ferocious world and if you dare Saulnier will take you there – along with a very intriguing, delicious band lineup the movie is jam packed with interesting characters from the white supremacist club owner a creepy individual played by Patrick Stewart, a crowd of badass skinheads that look ready to peel your head from your neck like an orange, a mysterious girl at the scene of a crime, some vicious hungry looking dogs & a bunch of club management ready to spill blood for their leader – Saulnier weaves these characters almost Tarantino-esque in & out of his picture with great style, you just never know whats coming next – Overall: GREEN ROOM may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I loved it – it’s an unpleasent suspenseful and at times dark humoured little gem that nails you to seat and makes you beg for more runtime at its conclusion ★★★★½
Godzilla (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★
Director: Gareth Edwards – Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston – Synopsis: the movie starts deep in the Phillippines where archeological work uncovers some sort of gigantic skeleton and two egg-shaped pods – two scientists who work for a company called Monarch are called in to investigate, they realize upon inspection that one of the pods have hatched and whatever was inside have crawled out and made it’s way to the ocean – the action then turns to a Nuclear Plant near Tokyo, Japan where some rather unusual activity is being felt – minutes later an explosion occurs followed by a radiation leak that wipes out a crew of scientists and then suddenly the plant begins it’s collapse into ruin – the powers at be are calling this disaster a deadly earthquake but the plant’s supervisor Brody (Cranston) who lost his wife inside the plant is convinced otherwise – Verdict: Having watched Gareth Edwards showcase his directing skills on the small budget yet effective MONSTERS I was fascinated to see what he could do with a Hollywood blockbuster and a remake of the classic Japanese monster movie GODZILLA – I remember as a young boy watching them monsters (in rubber suits) battling it out in the original films and screaming at the TV in amazement and total wonder Godzilla was scary as hell, a destructive force but also hero and one you could root for – and then all grown up I set eyes on Roland Emmerich’s picture, a typical 90’s Hollywood Blockbuster that stomped and screamed all over my childhood memories, part of my dislike for the flick was Matthew Broderick who was awful and the film’s plot can only be described as hilarious, sure it did pretty well at the box office but as a screen spectacle it was pure garbage – so now in 2014 it’s the turn of British filmmaker Gareth Edwards to hopefully reignite GODZILLA in all it’s glory & on the biggest screen’s in 3D – hopefully this movie will be the start of a new chapter in the world of the King of Monsters – Overall: although at first the hiring of relative newcomer Gareth Edwards to helm this possible huge franchise may have been thought a brave and daring choice by the movie studio’s it could have also turned out to be the movie’s master stroke – Edwards obvious admiration towards the likes of Steven Spielberg is evident, the monster’s are slowly introduced to it’s audience teasing you, gripping you and allowing you to sweat a little whilst the action unfolds, the film’s buildup & tension is very reminiscent of Spielberg’s classic JAWS and is beautifully filmed, carrying some great nod’s to the monster movies of yesteryear and complimented by a heart thumping soundtrack – the film’s main trio of cast members do a great job too, first up you have the reliable star of TV’s Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston who comes across as this family guy, totally committed to his job & who’s eventually turned into this guy who looks to have some serious paranoia issues, secondly there’s the soldier come action hero Taylor-Johnson who many know from his role in action flick Kick-Ass and Oliver Stone’s superb Savages who has not only matured as actor but seems to exude lot’s of screen presence and looks every bit a Hollywood leading man and last but not least there’s the underused & super talented Elizabeth Olsen who plays a wife and mum, who shows great emotion and steals pretty much every scene she’s part of – GODZILLA is in an exciting, bold and refreshing monster movie that can be enjoyed by all – it’s certainly no masterpiece and it won’t win any movie awards but one thing for sure is that when you take your seat at your local cinema Gareth Edwards vision will entertain, surprise and make you smile like a school kid once more….
From director Mike Flanagan comes the new supernatural movie OCULUS following a woman who attempts to exonerate her brother who has been convicted of murder by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon – a haunted antique mirror – the movie stars Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan and Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff – take a look at this pretty creepy teaser trailer….
Oculus – US (11th April) – UK (N/A) – Australia (N/A)
CARRIE – (2013) – Movie Review ★★★★
Cast – Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Gabriella Wilde, Judy Greer and Ansel Elgort – from the mind of Stephen King and a remake of De Palma’s 1976 horror comes a re-telling of CARRIE, a supernatural tale of a child born by her deeply religious mum who abuses her and shelters her from society, at times locking her in a “prayer closet” beneath the stairs punishing her for any wrong doings & telling her to to pray for forgiveness – as Carrie grows into her teenage years, she discovers she has telekinetic powers and starts to control them – but during an incident at her senior prom Carrie unleashes an almighty fury on her peers and the town that pushed her too far VERDICT having loved Stephen King’s novel and being a huge fan of Sissy Spacek’s Oscar Nominated deliverance of Carrie back in ’76 I was initially dead against yet another dumb Hollywood remake – but having just seen Kimberly Peirce’s horror movie on the big screen, I’m here writing whilst eating humble pie and reflecting on a 100mins of fabulous acting, great camera work and a film that comes awfully close to surpassing it’s original – Julianne Moore is pretty terrifying and gives an unforgettable performance as Carrie’s mum, a religious woman who takes to self harming to rid herself of her demons, she truly is creepy, sadistic and unbalanced and if the Academy Awards rewarded great performances from ALL movie genres and not consistently ignore that of the Horror Film then Ms Moore would certainly be in the running for a gold statue, her turn as Margaret White is in my opinion that good – Kick-Ass’s Chloë Grace Moretz filmed this movie aged 15 and once again displays a talent far beyond her years, stamping her own disturbing print on that of Carrie White – also I must comment on an impressive movie debut by Ansel Elgort he is certainly one for the future – overall Kimberly Peirce’s Carrie is one to savor, a remake that’s truly worth watching and after a five year absence the Boys Don’t Cry director returns to helm one of 2013’s Best Horror pictures that will not only scare the bejesus out of you but also delivers a message to what can happen if one is pushed too far by those evil bullies of society….
STATIC – (2012/3) – Movie Review ★★★½
Cast – Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi and Sara Paxton – Static is the directorial debut of Todd Levin and in centered around a young couple Jonathan (Ventimiglia) and Addie (Shahi)who are facing marital difficulties after loosing their young child in a freak drowning accident, their life is thrown in to further disarray when a mysterious visitor knocks on their door in the middle of the night VERDICT all credit goes to first time director Todd Levin (who also wrote the script) on delivering a home invasion movie with a twist – the movies slow pace lends to the tension and creates some descent character building, Ventimiglia is an excellent young actor who handles the lead extremely well and is solidly backed up by Shahi & Paxton – the director does well in veering away from the standard slasher style flick and unlike most modern day horror’s Static has very little violence but is one of eerie suspense and great use of sound to deliver it’s message – overall Static doesn’t break any new ground but is a well produced, well acted and entertaining thriller that leaves you more than satisfied when them end credits roll….