Horror Films

brownmane

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I was surprised to see Dave Made a Maze turn up on Shudder. I wouldn't have thought of it as a horror movie. However, I enjoyed it and will probably watch it again now it's free (I think I originally paid for it on Amazon Prime).
Good to know. I”ll have to watch it now. I’ve seen a few crap ones on Shudder and hate that I wasted my time. Yes, some of the movies aren’t quite “horror”, but are entertaining in their own way. And, personally, the movie reviews written on Shudder are the worst part of Shudder. Very few are true horror fan or movie fan reviews. Most are just complaints of “not enough gore” or silly comments and most ratings are 5 skulls regardless of what the merits of the movie really are. Occasionally, I do find an actual sincere review, but you have to scroll through a lot of useless junk to find them.
 

GNC

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Jakob’s Wife (2021). Starring Barbara Crampton (she is also producer). For all of you Barbara Crampton fans, you’ll love this one. A fun and entertaining movie about a mouse of a woman who comes into her own. I won’t say any more, just watch it. On Shudder. 8/10.

Barbara has had quite the career renaissance, and she's still as brave as ever with her choices. Same goes for Larry Fessenden! Never thought I'd see a sex scene with both of them! I think the female Nosferatu is the same actress who played The Nun in that Conjuring spin-off...
 

GNC

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Oh, and Dave Made a Maze is a bit "one-joke", but it does have gore in it. Very papery gore. Also, great choice of theme song (by Eddy Grant's band The Equals).
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Villains: Mickey and Jules (a bit like Pumpkin & Honeybunny in Pulp Fiction) rob a gas station and head for Florida but their car runs out of gas in the middle of wood. Finding an isolated house they break in but find a young girl chained in the basement. Th house owners, Sweetiepie and Gloria return and things turn strange. A battle ensues between the two couples, it's not just a life and death scenario for Mickey and Jules but also for the girl. Elements of black comedy and horror meld with a thriller and tension mounts as you never know what the deranged residents will do next. The mystery of the girl in the cellar and the real motivations of Sweetiepie and Gloria are explored as the narrative unfolds and heads towards a grand guignol denouement. Directed/Written by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen. On Netflix. 7/10.

Watched it last night.
The old "they sure picked the wrong house to break into" motif is a fairly common one, but this was competent enough, with a hefty dollop of black humour to speed it along. It's very similar to The Owners, starring Sylvester McCoy and Rita Tushingham (who even looks rather like Kyra Sedgwick - aka Mrs Kevin Bacon in Villains). Both movies seem to be loosely based on the French graphic novel Une Nuit de Pleine Lune (night of the full moon).

une nuit.JPG
 
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Kryptonite

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I remember seeing the early-80s film Superstition at FAR too young an age (7 years old at the most), and remember scenes where;

a) a man tries to climb out of a sash window, which slams down severing his torso from his legs

and

b) something that to my young and terrified mind looked like a skip rose out of the ground and moved back and forward making a grinding noise.

I may well be misremembering these, and they are almost certainly not as scary as they seemed to me at the time, but I had sleepless nights for weeks after that.
 

ramonmercado

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The Night House: A Haunted House Tale which strays into Folk Horror territory at times. Beth (Rebecca Hall) has lost her husband Owen, he suddenly committed suicide, no warning signs. Now strange events occur in the lakefront house that Owen built in Upstate New York. Noises, knocking, music centre turning itself on, nightmares. She also learns that Owen was keeping secrets from her. There is a hidden unfinished house in the woods, the plans for their house contain strange notations and occult references. Beth's attempts to solve these mysteries sets her on a path to a confrontation with dark forces. The woods by day and night present a brooding presence in this film, they almost seem to be capable of pushing people into the lake; so it's no surprise when Beth has a vision/dream of running women leaping into the water. Only a coupe of jump shocks as most of the horror here is psychological but the attacks by an invisible entity adds to the fear/tension, as do the grim discoveries made by Beth. Directed by David Bruckner from a screenplay by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski. 8/10.

In Cinemas.
 

ramonmercado

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Censor: Social Satire as well as Horror as the moral panic of the video nasties in the 1980s is explored. TV and radio talking heads including Mary Whitehouse expound on the filth and depravity being allowed in the videos. Indeed the eponymous censor Enid (Niamh Algar) is caught up in it as a film she approved (with cuts) is blamed for real life mass murder. Enid is actually conservative in her approach while one of her colleagues likens eye-gouging in the films to that of Gloucester in King Lear. When Enid views one film it reminds her of a childhood trauma when her sister disappeared; viewing another by the same director she is certain her sister is the actress. So begins a grim quest which results in murder and terror. People are beheaded, axes lodge in chests and a Horror Film Award Statuette impales an attacker. Woods are used to good effect, being creepy and threatening in dreams, visions, films and at night on a film set. Only in a fantasy sequence do trees bring any joy. Extreme violence but Enid's inner turmoils provide much of the horror in Censor. Directed/Co-Written by Prano Bailey-Bond. 8/10.

In cinemas.
 

FunkyTT

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I don't think it's been mentioned (had a look through last few pages), saw a film online last night from 2020.
The Hunt.

Based on the conspiracy about elites kidnapping people and having "human hunting parties" in the woods. Not as predictable as I thought it would be, lots of gore as to be expected. Decent acting , not a b-movie.

Not bad, 7/10.
 

Swifty

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I thought I'd seen every JAWS behind the scenes stuff documentary there was but this one's new to me .. and also very good ...

 

GNC

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I don't think it's been mentioned (had a look through last few pages), saw a film online last night from 2020.
The Hunt.

Based on the conspiracy about elites kidnapping people and having "human hunting parties" in the woods. Not as predictable as I thought it would be, lots of gore as to be expected. Decent acting , not a b-movie.

Not bad, 7/10.

It started to be discussed when a certain US President criticised it (without having seen it, naturally). Betty Gilpin is fantastic in it, you think you know what she's all about at the start, but then doubts set in - is she there by mistake? Is she a spy? Whose side is she supposed to be on, anyway? But I guess ambiguity doesn't go down well with a lot of people, so it didn't do very well. Loved Betty's "I can't believe things have gotten to this point" expressions (and noises!). I'd call it underrated.
 

Mythopoeika

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I don't think it's been mentioned (had a look through last few pages), saw a film online last night from 2020.
The Hunt.

Based on the conspiracy about elites kidnapping people and having "human hunting parties" in the woods. Not as predictable as I thought it would be, lots of gore as to be expected. Decent acting , not a b-movie.

Not bad, 7/10.
Sounds like 'Hostel'.
 

Swifty

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A tune based on that bit in The Thing where he knew those gentleman had been through a lot but he'd prefer to not spend the rest of the winter "TIED TO THIS ****ING COUCH!" .. NSFW because of swearing

 

ramonmercado

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Candyman (2021): Perhaps a tad didactic, Jordan Peale has dealt effectively with the same theme of institutionalised racism in a less doctrinal manner but he's not the director here and the issue is primarily police violence so perhaps the emphasis is warranted. This doesn't take away from Candyman's effectiveness as a horror film, scenes of terror and violence abound as gentrification has swept away the Cabrini-Green towers and replaced them with Art Galleries and luxury apartments. The Candyman returns, first to a gallery, slaying two curators. He can only be seen in mirrors or as a shadow. The slashing of throats and impalings are vividly shot, we see an art critic cut down in a long shot from outside a window. A worthy sequel to the original as we see how the Candyman is reborn anew through another unjust killing every generation, though each is linked back to the original. Some really impressive shadow puppetry in the film itself as well as in the credit sequences. Directed by Nia DaCosta, Written by DaCosta, Jordan Peale and Win Rosenfeld. 8/10.

In cinemas.
 

ramonmercado

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The Old Ways: A refreshingly new take on possession and exorcisms. Cristina (Brigitte Kali Canales) returns to the remote Mexican village where she left as a child; now a journalist in the U.S. (Cristina was fostered there) she wishes to write an article about local folk traditions. She's kidnapped, though not by gangsters, her relatives are involved, believing that Cristina is possessed by a demon. As far as she is concerned her only demon is her heroin habit. A Bruja begins the ceremony, milk instead of holy water is thrown on Cristina. The ritual proceeds using methods alien to the Christian forms of exorcisms. Snakes, bird skulls, even spirit surgery are used as She appears to do battle with a demon within. Some really disturbing scenes as the demon reacts and Cristina is scarred as the Bruja and her assistants fight on. A tale of two cultures, a clash which brings about some surprising results. Directed by Christopher Alender from a screenplay by Marcos Gabriel. On Netflix. 7/10.
 

ramonmercado

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I don't believe that insect horror films are going away.

Creepy-crawlies usually signify death, decay and evil in films – there’s a vast canon going back decades. But has the ‘When Insects Attack’ sub-genre had its day?


In Quentin Dupieux’s Mandibles, a pair of chuckleheads called Manu and Jean-Gab (think Dumb and Dumber, but French) steal a Mercedes and find, in the boot, a housefly the size of a pitbull. They name it Dominique and train it to rob banks. At no point do they find it scary, even after it eats a dog. It’s so endearing, you will share their feelings.
This is a turn up for the books, since flies in cinema are more usually signifiers of death, decay and evil. Sometimes, as when Annie Graham goes up to the attic in Hereditary, their presence presages the discovery of a cadaver. They buzz symbolically around the grubby cheesecloth-wrapped bundle in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, while Father Delaney’s attempts to bless the cursed house in The Amityville Horror are thwarted by demonic bluebottles. In Phenomena, Jennifer Connelly plays a schoolgirl insect-whisperer who can summon flies for protection, but that doesn’t save her from getting submerged up to her neck in maggots. In the bonkers Indian action-fantasy Eega, a man murdered by his love rival is reincarnated as a vengeful housefly, but fusing your molecules with those of a Musca domestica is more likely to end in loss of vital anatomical parts, as happens in both the 1958 and 1986 versions of The Fly. (Help meeee!)

At best, insects in films are pesky. At worst, they can be downright malevolent, reflecting western society’s attitude to creepy-crawlies in general. It’s estimated that 6% of humans suffer from some form of entomophobia – and for the purposes of this article I am grouping arthropods (spiders, centipedes), gastropods (slugs, snails) and non-arthropod invertebrates (worms) under the broader entomological banner. In the immortal words of the tagline on Shaun Hutson’s novel Slugs: “They ooze. They slime. They kill.” Depending on number of legs or wings, they also creep, hop, scuttle and dive bomb. They can be trained to kill, like the lethal lepidopterans in Tsui Hark’s directing debut, The Butterfly Murders, which behave more like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds than the colourful flitterers we know and love, while The Abominable Dr Phibes manoeuvres a biblical mini-plague of locusts into gnawing the flesh off one of his victims by dripping mashed-up Brussels sprouts over her as she sleeps.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/20...orror-films-tell-us-to-hate-them-who-will-win
 

brownmane

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Candyman (2021): Some really impressive shadow puppetry in the film itself as well as in the credit sequences. Directed by Nia DaCosta, Written by DaCosta, Jordan Peale and Win Rosenfeld. 8/10.

In cinemas.
I saw this just the other day. I really enjoyed the shadow puppetry.
 

ramonmercado

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Pentagram: Four young tearaways rob a cafe but the hillbilly waitress puts a bullet through their car's radiator. They find a derelict house in the woods but there's a guy there, trapped in a Pentagram. Soon they are the ones trapped within it. Some interesting aspects of a Ritual and the gang struggle to escape but have their own differences. This might have worked better as a Twilight Zone episode or a section of an anthology film. It's too drawn out and the effects are a bit cheesy but the acting is not bad. Just about worth watching. Directed/Co-written by Steve Lawson. On Netflix. 5/10.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Wrong Turn (2021) - aka Wrong Turn 7.

My expectations weren't high, but this is actually rather good and probably the best of the franchise since the original.

Starts off in time honoured tradition, with a bunch of young hedonists out for some thrills, along the Appalachian Trial.
With a nod to tokenism and the current moviemaking Zeitgeist, this is a multi-racial group, featuring a gay couple.
Unsurprisingly, they receive a rather frosty welcome in the rustic, redneck town they select to be their base and, inevitably, choose to ignore the obligatory "make sure you stick to the trail" warning.

So, cue the hillbilly cannibals you would think?

Well not quite.

Instead, we have a quite nuanced encounter with a reclusive community of wannabe Vikings, who speak something resembling Icelandic and whose dress sense places them somewhere between shamanistic rock group Snapped Ankles:

snapped.JPG


and Skyrim's Forsworn:

forsworn.JPG


It's exceedingly brutal at times, but with some subtleties in there too which, for a while at least, will keep you guessing as to who are the villains and who are the heroes. A degree of social commentary is thrown into the mix as well.

Well worth a look, now that it's arrived on Netflix.

Even my wife said "that wasn't bad" at the end and this really isn't her preferred genre.

My rating? 7/10.

Make sure you watch to the end of the credits!

wt7.JPG
 

ramonmercado

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School of the Damned: A rather blatant rip off of Children of the Damned/Village of the Damned. It opens with a teacher being defenestrated by young children using ESP. A new teacher arrives and gradually notices something is odd about the Herbert West (!) School. Conspiracies, bullies bricked, nasty janitors dealt with, all by a group of seven year old children. Effects aren't always great but it's worth a watch. Again this might have worked better as an episode of an anthology series. Directed by Peter Vincent, written by Philip Dyas. On Netflix. 6/10.
 

ramonmercado

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Night Wolf (13Hrs): A Werewolf drama which with a bigger budget and better effects could have been pretty good. As things are it's not bad, a Werewolf traps people in an old sprawling house and starts devouring them. Some good jump scares and horror as the creature hunts his victims, trapping them in confined spaces, leaving some injured by bites. The Werewolf has infra-red vision and while it's identity is eventually revealed, there's no real explanation of how they became lupine. Interesting fight between a newly turned lycanthrope and the original beast. Anyway there aren't enough Werewolf films and this one is worth a watch. Directed by Jonathan Glendening, written by Adam Phillips. On Netflix. 6/10.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Night Wolf (13Hrs): A Werewolf drama which with a bigger budget and better effects could have been pretty good. As things are it's not bad, a Werewolf traps people in an old sprawling house and starts devouring them. Some good jump scares and horror as the creature hunts his victims, trapping them in confined spaces, leaving some injured by bites. The Werewolf has infra-red vision and while it's identity is eventually revealed, there's no real explanation of how they became lupine. Interesting fight between a newly turned lycanthrope and the original beast. Anyway there aren't enough Werewolf films and this one is worth a watch. Directed by Jonathan Glendening, written by Adam Phillips. On Netflix. 6/10.

Started watching this tonight, on your recommendation.
Realised, after a few minutes, that we'd seen it 8 or 9 years ago, under its original title of "13 Hours".
Looks like Netflix has pulled its old trick of retitling and redating previously released movies.
Think it was originally a straight to TV release (Film 4?).
Agree that it was worth a watch though - even for a second time!

Simon MacCorkindale's final movie, filmed just months before his death.
 

ramonmercado

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Soul Reaper: This film had potential: an English pub called The Jolly Hangman, full of odd locals; a gathering at a cabin in he woods. A well meaning Psychotic killer dispatching people with a hammer, Occult Rituals. Even a Gateway to Hell. But the whole thing is a mess, just does't hang together and the effects are wanting. Somehow it kept me watching until the end. Directed/Co-Written by Bob Pipe. On Netflix. 3/10.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Static (2012).

Started off rather like a time-honoured home-invasion thriller, but then blindsided me with a WTF twist I definitely didn't see coming (although, with hindsight, the clues were there).
Can't say any more without including spoilers, but I can definitely recommend this movie, now it's become available on Prime Video.
7/10.

static.JPG
 

ramonmercado

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Prey: Five guys go hiking in the woods and come under fire from a sniper. It's been done before and there's nothing particularly original in this film but it keeps the tension going. The shooter alternatively toys with and targets the hikers. The forest itself is a character, providing cover but also posing dangers, trip hazards, steep slopes. A soapish subplot detracts rather than adds to the narrative. Reminiscent of Red Dot but not as good, still worth watching though. Directed & Written by Thomas Sieben. On Netflix. 6/10.
 

Rerenny

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currently watching all three films in the Conjuring series (not the universe, so no Annabelle :(). Love them all, especially The Conjuring 2. The only issue I have is the size of the kitchen shown on screen. The film is set in a council house, but the kitchen is the size of a flat. It should be the size of a mousetrap. I can just imagine the American producers staring in disbelief at an image of a real council house kitchen, and saying no one will believe that, let's make it look like an American sized kitchen. Whilst British people are looking at it going, they'll have to have knocked through.
 

GNC

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Britain as depicted in The Conjuring 2 is a joke, like a parody of how Americans see the Old World. Plus Mrs Hodgson would never have lived in a total dump like that, she had her pride! What an insult.

I preferred Conjuring 3, apart from the whole "he's just a lovely murderer, because he was possessed and not a violent drunk" thing. Note: he was a violent drunk.
 

Rerenny

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Britain as depicted in The Conjuring 2 is a joke, like a parody of how Americans see the Old World. Plus Mrs Hodgson would never have lived in a total dump like that, she had her pride! What an insult.

I preferred Conjuring 3, apart from the whole "he's just a lovely murderer, because he was possessed and not a violent drunk" thing. Note: he was a violent drunk.
I think they did quite well, not a total parody. The accents are a bit DIck Van Dyke, but it does look mostly British. I think the Americans couldn't cope with British council houses, so made the house look more American: the square arch where a door should be, the addition of a basement where, inexplicably, the family kept the washing machine (the kitchen is HUGE!), and basically having a house that was a TARDIS: bigger on the inside. They told an odd British poltergeist story, through an American lens. They were never going to top Ghostwatch, or the Enfield Haunting, but they didn't fail.

My fondness for the Conjuring and its babies is endless. Even the Nun...what it lacked in sense it more than made up for in atmosphere.

The Conjuring films fill a gap in my imagination; they are a bit like my love for Countess Dracula - I constantly want to watch it, and then wonder why the hell am I watching this awful film, except the Conjuring films aren't awful: they are what I want them to be - comfortably mad.

Plus, I referred to myself as Annabelle in a Zoom job interview (I had too much reflective makeup on, and looked like a doll), and still got the job. My new employers are going to fit when they realise I really do look like a possessed doll/demonic conduit!
 

PeteByrdie

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Britain as depicted in The Conjuring 2 is a joke, like a parody of how Americans see the Old World.

[SARCASM]Yeah, that's what was inaccurate in that film![/SARCASM]

After watching that movie with my ex, I said something like, 'I don't remember the Warrens having much to do with the Enfield case.'

She replied with something like, 'It's based on their files.'

That's the first time I realised some people basically see these movies as more or less true accounts.
 

GNC

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[SARCASM]Yeah, that's what was inaccurate in that film![/SARCASM]

After watching that movie with my ex, I said something like, 'I don't remember the Warrens having much to do with the Enfield case.'

She replied with something like, 'It's based on their files.'

That's the first time I realised some people basically see these movies as more or less true accounts.

I believe the Warrens were there for an afternoon or something. Still, they made a bit of cash out of it, which was their purpose in life.
 
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