Bodies are discovered, mutilated after each full moon so it’s upto the local sheriff and his deputies to find the killer before they strike again : Firstly let me say how visually stunning the introduction is to THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW almost like The Shining the camera follows the mountainous backdrop of the films location, at times it’s scenery is cleverly reflected above as the camera reaches it’s destination….. a big old grisly moon, what a terrific intro and the perfect mood-setter for what’s to follow : I personally LOVE everything about this bat shit crazy slasher from it’s director & star of the movie Jim Cummings who’s nutty sheriff is having the worst few days of his fucked up life and boy this guy loves to SCREAM : I found the dialogue really witty and at times I didn’t know whether to laugh, console or shout at this poor guy loosing his shit with everybody who crosses his path : the snowy Utah backdrop and action scenes are well shot by Natalie Kingston, it’s quirky Lynch-esque characters are somewhat adhering, we get to share in the great Robert Forster’s final screen outing, a stand out performance from the delightful Riki Lindhome and it’s Agatha Christie keep you guessing narrative The Wolf of Snow Hollow is an absolute riot that tackles addiction, dealing with your demons, marital separation and a killer on the loose : it’s so much movie goodness wrapped up in the smallest of run-times with a bunch of character’s I hope we get see more of….. some time soon : IT’S SO GOOD ★★★★½
On a secluded farm, a man is slowly dying. His family gathers to mourn, and soon a darkness grows and a sense that something evil is taking over the family : I really LOVE scary movies and Bryan Bertino’s THE DARK AND THE WICKED does not disappoint : it’s an unsettling rather loathsome horror film that reeks of EVIL at every turn, from it’s deliberately slow start that peels back the layers to it’s grim, nightmarish finale with grisly scene’s such as the knitting needle, dad on the cealing, the slaughtered cattle and those chopped mushy fingers The Dark and the Wicked is certainly in keeping with the filmmakers twisted horror style : I really love the farmhouse at the centre of the film’s bleakness, from those bottles, horseshoes and hooks that hang from the rope ends in the cattle pen to it’s nerve jangling interior including it’s dimly lit kitchen and dad’s death surrounding bedroom Bertino manages to get under your skin early on, not everything is what it seems and the emotion pouring from it’s cast including Michael Abbot & Marin Ireland who play siblings and Lynn Andrews who plays the nurse is compelling yet disturbing to watch : the scenes when Michael returns home to his wife and kids is wickedly upsetting and Louise waking up with lipstick drawn on her face is draining : so if like me your a fan of Bertino’s work that includes The Strangers and most recently The Monster then wait till you see The Dark and the Wicked it’s a movie that mirrors it’s title and one of the BEST horror movies of the year ★★★★½
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 15 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A group of camp counselors are stalked by an unknown killer while trying to reopen a summer camp which was the site of a child’s drowning and a grisly double murder years before : Originally titled A Long Night at Camp Blood Sean S. Cunningham’s FRIDAY THE 13TH was shot for a measly $500,000 and was released in 1980, becoming a box office success and spawning numerous sequels : from Harry Manfredini scary Hitchcockian score that screams Psycho, the film’s inventive and cruel kills created by the special effect guru Tom Savini, especially Marcie’s axe to the head and Jack’s arrow through the neck are grizzly & quite realistic, the beautiful cast including Jeannine Taylor, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram & Kevin Bacon and their colorful raincoats to the late Barry Abrams atmospheric, close up camera work that creeps around the lake & captures each scream, each kill with chilling gratification : I know the movie inside out & love everything about it, from the iconic Camp Crystal Lake sign to the wonderful yet brief role of Annie Phillips, the cute & bubbly councelor who hitchhikes to the camp at the start of the movie but there’s no doubt my favorite moment in Friday the 13th comes in the last 20mins where Alice played by Adrienne King uncovers the killers identity and then a showdown takes place as she battles to stay alive : being a huge fan of the slasher genre and especially the “golden age” from around the mid-70s onwards Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic horror movies of the last 50 years, we not only get to witness the origin story of one of the most terrifying villains of all time but also get to meet his creator : two words HORROR CLASSIC ★★★★★
Number 18 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : A real estate developer and his young family are haunted by a demonic presence that has taken residence in their family home : “They’re Here…” : Being scared of Tobe Hooper’s 1982 movie POLTERGEIST is so easy, the film is an absolute screaming riot, a classic that still makes me drool with unquenchable excitement : the film has the trappings of Spielberg’s typical family ideals along with Hooper’s energy fused horror : I love the scenes of chairs moving across the floor, ghostly portals opening from the cealing, an ancient tree coming to life, a creepy clown sat at the foot of a childs bed and the haunting sound of Carol Anne’s voice whilst inside the other world, you can tell this is a story from the maestro Spielberg, it just drips with his imagination : Poltergeist starts it’s first half in grand supernatural style and then Hooper turn’s up the pace, ending with a pulse racing, squeamish finale : along with the iconic performance of Zelda Rubinstein’s Tangina Barrons a spiritual medium who comes to the aid of the Freeling’s some of my favorite moments in the movie has to be Marty’s face turning into a melting skeleton in front of the bathroom mirror as he picks away at the decaying flesh, the boy being dragged under the bed by the possessed clown and of course those last 20mins of the movie which belong to Jobeth Williams, firstly being thrown around her bedroom whilst her kids are being terrorised by some demonic evil creature, then battling corpses that are emerging from the unfinished muddy pool and finally saving the day & her family from the hell monster and getting outa of dodge : Poltergeist is a glorious, nightmarish & intense 80s horror that’s packed with nostalgia and so much fun to revisit ★★★★★
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 teenager’s weekend at home with her dad takes a turn for the worse when a group of escaped convicts decide to interupt their plans – From the fab duo of Milott & Murnion who in 2014 gave us the insanely good Cooties comes their new horror picture BECKY a home invasion movie that will no doubt upset someone, somewhere at somepoint – There is no question that this film is the darkest of the the duo’s three movies to date, you get a nasty performance by Kevin James who plays a neo-nazi convict, some blood thirsty Home Alone style action scenes that’s not for the faint hearted, a real eye-catching moment during the film’s second half and the star of the show Lulu Wilson who is quite simply wonderful playing Becky this teenage girl who’s loss of her mother has hardened her mentally and given her this moody chip on her shoulder that serves her well in trying to survive – My only criticism is that the film runtime could have been slightly longer to allow a bit more characterization which would have helped explain Becky’s relationship or lack of with her father Jeff played by Joel Mchale BUT nevertheless the film is a credit to Milott & Murnion a real heart-stopper, a violent exciting horror thriller that I will no doubt revisit again and again ★★★★
I’m a sucker for these type of movies and this looks BRILLIANT – the premise looks fresh, dark & truly twisted and has a small hint of Fincher’s Seven blended with the bloody terrifying franchise we love so much !! Spiral (aka: Spiral: From The Book of Saw) is the ninth installment in the Saw franchise. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman who brought us Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV, and starring Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, and Marisol Nichols
The Babadook (2014) – Movie Review ★★★★½
“Baba dook dook dook!!!“
Director: Jennifer Kent – Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Tiffany Lyndall-Knight & Tim Purcell – Synopsis: a single mother, haunted by the death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but she soon discovers an evil presence all around her – Overall: Scary & well acted horror films are quite a rarity these days, sadly we live in a movie world of endless remakes that only a quarter of which are decent and the rest once watched sit gathering dust amongst our film collection’s SO as you can imagine when I came across this film, a horror that felt so personal, so dark and one that left the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention I DECIDED that I should shout the praise to all and sundry, to whomever would listen and most of all to the those who love a good old fashioned scare !! The Babadook starts with a thump, within its first 15mins I was already invested in its characters, I felt for Samuel we’ve all been there scared of the demons in our closet or under our bed – and I sympathized with Amelia Samuel’s mum, tortured by her loss, fighting to keep her own sanity and trying to bring up her son in a somewhat normal existence. Being a big fan of the horror genre and not easily scared by things that go bump in the night I was surprised by how haunting an effect Jennifer Kent’s film-making debut had on me, the story also written by Kent is almost like a ghost story of yesteryear, the majority of which is set inside a creepy house in the suburbs that adds to the movies scare, giving you the sense of confinement, suffocating you, a movie cabin fever that just keeps building, and building and building – of course along with its terrific story, it’s effective Kubrick-esque camerawork & an eerie score that at times would make your heart beat twice as quick – filmmaker Jennifer Kent also had to find an actress that would help bring her creation to life, become this broken women, this mum who would do unspeakable things and in Aussie Essie Davis she found exactly that, if I tell you that Essie Davis delivers the best horror performance for an actress since Shelley Duvall went visiting the Overlook in Kubrick’s The Shining then you know that this performance and this movie is something very special – Essie captures Amelia’s vulnerability, she’s a mother unhinged, you can almost feel her pain & you witness her terror as things really do go bump in the night. The Babadook is a nail biting, pillow hiding, lights on kinda horror that’s very reminiscent of early Polanski with splashes of Hitchcock, Kubrick and the imagination of Roald Dahl thrown in – the use of the illustrated book throughout is a master stroke, it’s images are effective and its words within pretty scary – there are some spoiler scenes throughout the movie that pull at the heart strings and these are only possible due to Kent’s groundwork in building characters you truly care for – I can’t remember many filmmakers making their horror movie debut with such gusto but Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook is up there with the very best of them ! This is one subtle, chilling horror that deserves your attention – just make sure you lock all the doors first….
Since I started collecting movies back around the age of fifteen (1986) I became fascinated by the Horror Genre, I loved watching the Hammer House of Horror films and started watching Hardcore Horror (well it was back then) from the likes of Fulci, Bava, Argento, Carpenter, Craven, Hooper and Romero these guys for me were the bees knees, the majority of their films have aged will and still terrify to this day – looking around at the modern crop of filmmakers I wonder how many of them truly stand out and make you white with fright or scare you enough to keep the lights on at bedtime? In recent years too many of the Horror Past Masters have turned to mediocre material to ignite their horror spark and have failed miserably – Wes Craven the guy who brought us Freddy Krueger in the early 80’s and who in 1996 re-invented the horror genre with his slasher flick SCREAM is one such example, his recent films Cursed, Red Eye, My Soul to Take and Scream 4 have been average at best and sadly the same can be said about Argento and Carpenter their movies in the late 70s and 80s are some of the best of the genre but in recent years it’s been a downhill slide – so WHO amongst the modern filmmakers are impressing in the scare department?
Over the last ten years my horror taste-buds have being actively looking for new exciting talent, filmmakers that can scare me, turn me on and elevate my heart rate to the point of explosion – during this period I have come up with 6 exciting movie directors, each with their own unique style and approach to the horror genre and each one of them at some point have managed to scare the bejesus out of me – from Left-Right and in no particular order we have JAMES WAN (Saw, Insidious & The Conjuring) I’m sure you will agree this guys creepy ass dolls are enough to scare anyone half to death, his imagination and camera work makes the hairs on the back of your next stand up – up next is ROB ZOMBIE (Devils Rejects, House of a 1000 corpses & The Lords of Salem) Zombie delivers hard hitting violent horror movies, if your squeamish & easily upset then don’t watch – onto one of my favorites, South Korean KIM JEE-WOON (Tale of Two Sisters and I Saw the Devil) these two films terrified me on so many different levels – next up MARCUS DUNSTAN (The Collector & The Collection) a surprise maybe but this guy is still only 38 and the two movies he’s directed have been blood curdling fun – next on the list NEIL MARSHALL (Dog Soldiers & The Descent) another modern filmmaker who’s violent & brutal horror will terrify and at the end of each you will have to retrieve your heart from your mouth – and lastly to SCOTT DERRICKSON (Sinister & The Exorcism of Emily Rose) Derrickson is a talented writer but an even better horror director – his 2012 horror Sinister is one of the best Supernatural movies in recent years….
Whether or not in twenty years time we will be talking about any of these filmmakers in the same light as Fulci, Bava, Argento, Carpenter, Craven, Hooper and Romero is debatable but with the old guard starting to fade a new chapter in the movie world of terror has begun….