Did you ever see Waxwork 2- Lost In Time? ... that was great, out heroes ended up bouncing around loads of classic horror films via the portals so we got ALIEN, Dawn of the Dead and a fantastic riff on The Haunting with the incomparable Bruce Campbell ..
Did you ever see Waxwork 2- Lost In Time? ... that wasn't geat, out heroes ended up bouncing around loads of classic horror films via the portals so we got ALIEN, Dawn of the Dead and a fantastic riff on The Haunting with the incomparable Bruce Campbell ..
The Tall Man (2012): Children disappear in a small town in Washington State. Cold Rock was once a prosperous mining town but with the mine closed it is poverty stricken, even the school has just shut. There is local legend that The Tall Man is responsible for snatching the children. Jenny (Jodelle Ferland) who is selectively mute due to a traumatic upbringing has seen The Tall Man and communicates this to Julia (jessica Biel) the local nurse. On her rounds Julia observes the deprivation, abuse and neglect suffered by all but by children in particular. Arriving home Julia finds her nanny (Eve Harlow) tied up and her son missing. She pursues a figure she sees carrying her son David, eventually clinging to the back of a van and being thrown to the road in a crash.
After this things start to take odd turns which cannot be revealed in detail without giving the plot away.Elements of Urban Legends seemingly mix with Folk Horror as it appears there is a conspiracy in the town. But this morphs into an even vaster intrigue. Nothing is quite what it seems and some people have motivations whose true nature are only slowly revealed. Vast tunnel complexes are searched in attempts to find the children and The Tall Man. There is much in this film which is disturbing not least being the final reveal and unmasking of the The Tall Man.
There may well be one plot twist too many (but it’s not the final one) in this film directed and written by Pascal Laugier (Martyrs) but it holds interest throughout in spite of any awkwardness in the narrative. A satisfying Mystery/Horror film. 8/`10..
Happy Death Day 2U: Tuesday 19 September, Ryan (Phi Vu, Carter's room mate) gets stuck in a time-loop, constantly being murdered by a new baby-faced killer. Tree (Jessica Rothe) explains what she went through on Monday 18 September (Happy Death Day). They discover that Ryan's experimental Quantum Reactor was responsible for this and the new time loop. Then doppelgangers start to appear and they realise that new timestreams have been created. But in an attempt to fix this Tree is thrown once more back to 18 September and faces death each day. To complicate matters this time it is yet another timestream with different killers and many of the characters motivations are not the same. Tree, Carter (Israel Broussard), Ryan and his classmates try to send her back to her own reality but have to start from scratch each day, Tree dies many times. Oh and the Dean of Science is intent on closing down Ryan's experiment because it causes power outages. Phew!
This is a sequel which introduces a refreshing twist to the plot and moves the film from the Fantasy Genre to Science Fiction. Tree cannot use her memories from the previous time loop to uncover the killer in this reality so events also change. While the film is very much a comedy it also takes a dark turn with some disturbing scenes: to hurry things along Tree doesn't always wait to be killed, she tries various forms of suicide. There are also heart-wrenching choices to be made regardless of which reality she chooses to remain in.
Happy Death Day 2U is also a homage to Back To The Future which is repeatedly referenced by the main characters but it is certainly not a pastiche or rip off of that classic. Written and directed by Christopher Landon this is an engaging Science Fiction/Horror Comedy. 8/10.
I've had Paperhouse for a few years but still haven't watched it yet, I loved Escape Into Night, that is weird 70s British supernatural/fantasy/horror TV at it's best.
The Wyrd Britain blog posted today about this episode of the 80s ITV series Shades of Darkness, The Intercessor. Based on a 1911 story by May Sinclair, (published in 1931 in The Intercessor and Other Stories).
Indigenous (2014): A Chupacabra attacks a group of tourists even though none of them are named Billy. Panama is a nice place to visit, two friendly locals drink and hang out with the US tourists. The indigenes tell a tale about a beautiful isolated spot in the Darien Gap which has a beautiful waterfall with convenient swimming holes at it's base. One, Julio, warns that they cannot go there because of dangerous creatures but the other Panamanian, Carmen, is dismissive of this. That night one of the tourists looks up the Darien Gap online and finds uploaded footage of tourists being attacked by some shadowy figure in the Gap. Undeterred they head into the jungle the next morning accompanied by Carmen. Then things start to turn strange.
The Chupacabra isn't fully revealed in the first attacks but you will know from the trailer that it is vaguely humanoid. It takes a break from sucking goats and rips out the throats of humans for a cnge before eating them or storing their cadavers in it's lair. Some pretty good shots of Carmen and the others fleeing in terror through the jungle both at night and by day. The myriad shades of green exude menace. The Chupacabra is well imagined and though a jungle dweller, ir will pursue it's prey in the open. An uploaded footage rather than a found footage film. An OK B Movie directed and edited by Alistair Orr from a screenplay by Max Roberts. Cinematographer Brendan Barnes deserves a mention for the jungle filming. 6.5/10.
The Phantasm, I'd not seen this before but had been meaning to see it ever since reading a description in FT years ago. I liked the atmosphere, general air of weirdness and Carpenter-esque soundtrack and it's got an admirably bonkers premise. It's very rough around the edges, though mostly in an endearing way, though I found myself laughing out loud at many points throughout, I presume that most or all of these things things weren't supposed to be amusing? Not sure what I made of the "twist" towards the end by that point it just washed over me as part of the general oddness, it makes little sense that I could see. Will watch the others soon.
The trailer to Phantasm left an impression on me as a youngling. Really scary. For some reason I thought the film would make more sense if I ever saw it. It doesn't. But as a collection of fever dream imagery, it's top entertainment.
It's on Amazon Prime now (to rent or buy, not for free). It was supported by the BFI so it might also be on their player.
Creepy with an old 70s/80s "folk-horror" vibe. Very British by which I mean the colours, landscape, and sense of the interior. The main actors are Sean Harris and Alun Armstong; the Radiophonic Workshop provides the score. Set in Norfolk so there's a bit of M.R. James in the mix.
A dark little thing that is very, very worth watching.
I was so disappointed with Possum, it might have made a good short film but even at an hour 25 it was streeeeeeetched out to breaking point. Plus the idea of that guy being a popular children's entertainer was preposterous. Light entertainment in the 70s was not the same as its ghost stories, not at all.
I've seen every one of the films in that trailer and still own nearly all of them on VHS tapes, the 80's are my favourite decade for horror films although I'd sympathise with anyone arguing that the 70's were better.
The Lighthouse: Based on a true story, the events occurred in 1801 when two keepers were cut off on an offshore Lighthouse for months by a freak storm. Atmosphere is everything in this film, the silence, then the quarrelling. Food runs low. One of the keepers dies but seems to haunt the other. Or is it just imagination/hallucinations? The surviving keeper already blames himself for the deaths of six sailors when he fell asleep and let the light go out at another lighthouse. 7/10.
Nic Cage's Missus the woefully underused Andrea Riseborough is kidnapped by a Satanic cult. Nic goes out to kick Arse.
That's all you need to know. The trippy camera shots and psychedelic cinematography which hark back to the low budget films of the late 60's and early 70's do nothing to lift this film. We have no depth to any of the characters, we have no idea of who they are and what turns Nic into a bad arse. Even if it's tongue in cheek it's still a complete waste of space. The demon biker gang - soft as shite - weak Hellraiser wannabes.
2 out of 10. Most people thought Nic Cage's acting was amazing I thought he was just doing Crazy Nic Cage acting 101. Linus Roache was the best thing in it and stole every scene. Ned Dennehey, as usual, was excellent as well, but when isn't he?
The latest Russian horror flick, just out: Queen of Spades: Through the Looking Glass.
This is a follow up to Queen of Spades: The Dark Rite which came out about 3 years back( and was reviewed by myself somewhere above). This one, however, is by a different director and, as far as I can see, the only connection with the previous film is that it features the same eponymous ghoul - a vengeaful female spirit that can be summoned if you call to her three times into a mirror - a la Candyman (and very, very loosely referencing Pushkin tale with the same name). So it seems we have here a franchise - somehwat along the lines of Insidious, which is allright with me.
The trailer makes it look a bit like Harry Potter - with the gloves off.
Bound To Vengeance: Eve (Tina Ivlev) is held as a slave in a basement but manages to overpower and chain her captor, Phil (Richard Tyson). Upstairs she discovers photos of other chained. She forces Phil to bring her to where the girls are held. But things take a decidedly bizarre turn as the captive girls act in strange ways when set free. Eve also has flashbacks of her time in captivity and what happened before that but not of her actual abduction.
A dark film in several senses as much of the action takes place in cellars at night or in dark rooms. Nothing is simple as betrayals emerge and Phil attempts to play mind games with Eve. Violent but much of that savagery is inflicted on slave masters. A complicated tale of vengeance, not for the squeamish or faint hearted. 7/10.