Horror Films

ramonmercado

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The Invitation: Evie is a struggling New York ceramicist, unable to survive on an artist's income she caters at events as she tries to finish her MFA. At one event she gets a goodie bag with a free DNA Test. The results show that she has English relatives who are well off. A cousin pays for her to come to England to attend a family reunion in Whitby where they are all attending the wedding of their aristocratic acquaintance and patron, Walter DeVille. If we hadn't been forewarned by the prequel we would still reckon there was something creepy about DeVilles stately manor, given the paintings and sculptures, the way the internal gloom counterpoised the gleaming stone exterior. A creepy butler appears to play a part in the disappearance of waitresses hired to cater for the wedding. Wonder eerie cobweb encrusted wine cellars and a dark library room provide the perfect locations for attacks where we can't quite make out the assailant. As the narrative unfolds the nature of the attacker becomes clearer and the horror scenes are more explicit, Some gore is spilled but more is saved. while yiu might guess as to what's going on from an early stage I'll refrain from spoilers here. The mansion itself is virtually a character as are it's environs with some vivid overhead shots of dancing. not really original but it does try a new angle on an old trope, a romance as well as a horror story, it's well worth a viewing. Directed by Jessica M. Thompson, written by Blair Butler. 7/10.

In cinemas.
 

ramonmercado

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Giant R

Ephemeral Spectre
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402
I am not sure it is strictly a horror film but Paper House is a film that sticks in my memory. It is a British film made in 1988 and is a story of a young girl who draws a picture of a house which she subsequently sees in her dreams or subconcious. Quite Fortean settings with the strange house set in a stone circle. I just did a search and it is on Amazon Prime so may take another looks and see if it is as interesting as I remember!
 

ramonmercado

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Vampyres: A remake of the 1974 film. Not great and a bit disjointed. Two Vampire sirens live in an old dilapidated house, they seduce or ambush their victims in the woods. There are plenty of throats slashed with knives (these vampires don't have sharp canines) and victims being hung upside down so that the blood drinkers may bathe in their blood. The plot really could be more coherent but the vampire lore and their hunting methods are entertaining if you are a horror fan, not for the squeamish though. There's also a victim who strikes back with a crossbow. Instead of villagers in the inn giving warnings we have women who run a B&B who caution travelers. Just about worth watching. Directed & written by Víctor Matellano. On Netflix. 5/10.
 

ramonmercado

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Hatching: Finnish Horror Film about yet another unhappy family, unhappy in it's own way. Very dark a Tinja (Siiri Solalinna), a 12 year old gymnast is literally henpecked by her influencer mother (Sophia Heikkilä) who has to present he perfect family in her vlog. The truth is rather different as the mother lives vicariously through Tinja's gymnastic progress, the pushy mother from hell. Tinja develops a monstrous alter-ego as a an egg hatches. This monster lives under her bed and in her closet. Plenty of metaphors here dealing with everything from adolescent rage to unfaithfulness. The monster in both it's avian and "human" guises is terrifying and disturbing. Made all the more so as it is presented through prosthesis, make up and puppetry rather than CG effects. Elements of extreme body horror and some good jump shocks add to an aura of strangeness which will leave you shell-shocked. Directed by Hanna Bergholm, written by Ilja Rautsi. 8/10.

In cinemas.
 

ramonmercado

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Bodies Bodies Bodies: Horror/Black Comedy with elements of slapstick but even with these the chuckle might die in your throat. There are some plot twists which I can't reveal but you will be entertained by this tale of mostly spoiled brats. A game of Bodies, Bodies, Bodies starts to go wrong as they quarrel among each other, the low level violence of a drinking game worsens. Suddenly a real dead body is discovered and it looks as if one of the survivors must be the killer. The house is isolated due to a storm and the power is off. The body count and jokes mount but there is real tension and paranoia her as the group disintegrates. Not particularly original but the drama is well maintained. Directed by Halina Reijn in her English-language debut. Written by Sarah DeLappe. 7/10.

In cinemas.
 

ramonmercado

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Smile: The idea of a chain curse, spread from person to person is a well worn trope, it's how Smile approaches the idea makes it a well worth watching film. Rose (Sosie Bacon) is a doctor in an Emergency Psychiatric Unit, working long hours, you can see how tired she is. she assesses a patient, Laura (Cautlin Stasey), who is seeing entities, suddenly Laura starts smiling and cuts her own throat. Rose discovers that Laura had also witnessed a suicide only days before. This sets her off on a quest for patient zero or someone who has broken the chain. with the help of her ex, Joel (Kyle Gallner) who is a detective. The chain of smiling suicides stretches way back. There are some good jump scares in Smile, a lot of the horror scenes take place in her reveries where she sees terrible visions. Flashbacks to her youth and her mentally troubled mother in a distorted form also happen in these day-nightmares. There is also the psychological horror of Rose's disintegrating personality, she has no insight into her behaviour or how it is perceived by others. Smile's 115 minute running time is fully justified as the narrative unfolds. Written and Directed by Parker Finn (in his feature directorial debut), based on his 2020 short film Laura Hasn't Slept. 8.5/10.

In cinemas
 
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