Film

Lurid, gore-soaked and guaranteed to give you nightmares: new horror dissected by LaptopZombie...

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Review - The Den

Review - The Den

If found footage is the lowest form of horror, the lowest form of found footage is the burgeoning laptop- and smart phone-filmed subgenre. Made possible by the remarkable technological advancements of the last decade, almost anyone is capable of creating their own full-length movie (and almost everyone seems to believe they have the talent to back up the technology). The horror genre bears the brunt of this new fashion, as evidenced by films like VLOG and …

Published on Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review - Patrick

Review - Patrick

I’ve never seen director Richard Franklin’s original PATRICK, a cult Australian shocker released back in 1978, so I can’t tell you how last year’s remake – penned by Justin King and directed by Mark Hartley – stacks up. But I can tell you that as a horror film in its own right it’s superb. Self-consciously retro, it goes out of its way to align itself not only with Franklin’s original but with the greatest example of the telekinetic subgenre to date, Brian…

Published on Monday, May 26, 2014

Review - Way Of The Wicked

Review - Way Of The Wicked

I can accept Vinnie Jones as a tough-as-nails cop with a heart of gold, but Christian Slater as a priest? Granted, he’s the kind of crazy-ass priest who believes in ancient prophesies and the imminent advent of the antichrist, but even so. Dubious casting decisions are the least of the problems plaguing director Kevin Carraway’s satanic horror/thriller WAY OF THE WICKED, however – of greater concern are the risible script, recycled plot and unconvincing ch…

Published on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Review - Devil's Due

Review - Devil's Due

Horror fans can’t throw a rock without hitting a found footage chiller or Satanic baby shocker. It would take something pretty special, therefore, to combine the two in an interesting and innovative way. DEVIL’S DUE isn’t special. It’s quite the opposite, in fact. Bland, predictable and ordinary, it must surely sound the death knell for the found-footage-OMEN-on-a-shoestring subgenre?

Published on Monday, May 19, 2014

Review - TORN: a SHOCK YOUmentary

Review - TORN: a SHOCK YOUmentary

Low budget filmmaking is the backbone of the horror movie industry. Of course, there’s low budget and really low budget... and then there’s first time writer/director Justin Carter’s TORN: a SHOCK YOUmentary, which cost a mere £1,500 to make. Not that you’d know if from the finished product. With its lush cinematography, large cast and lofty ambitions (most of which are realised), Carter’s film is a triumph of aspiration over limitation.

Published on Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review - I, Frankenstein

Review - I, Frankenstein

It was obvious from the trailer that I, FRANKENSTEIN was going to be bad – just not how bad. Based on actor/writer Kevin Grevioux’s graphic novel, writer/director Stuart Beattie’s adaptation is exactly what you’d expect of an effects-centric 12A fantasy/adventure from the writers of the abominable UNDERWORLD, G.I. JOE and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchises.

Published on Monday, April 28, 2014

Review - Haunt

Review - Haunt

HAUNT is a paradox of a film, embodying both the best and worst of its particular subgenre. That subgenre is the haunted house movie, a niche that has been done to death (if you’ll pardon the pun), and rarely well. HAUNT does it well – Mac Carter’s direction is stylish and tense – but the film is also ponderous and painfully predictable.

Published on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review - In Fear

Review - In Fear

Veteran TV director Jeremy Lovering is going up in the world. His last two projects have been an episode of the BBC’s seminal revisionist detective series SHERLOCK, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and full-length feature IN FEAR. While the latter can’t match SHERLOCK’s star power and slick production values, it’s a smart, relevant chiller that manages to grip despite its slender plot and dearth of characters.

Published on Monday, April 7, 2014

Review - Buck Wild

Review - Buck Wild

When it comes to genre mashups, there are horror comedies and comedy horrors. While the former category boasts some of the greatest horror films of all time (EVIL DEAD II, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, BRAINDEAD), the latter boasts some of the worst (DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D, YOU CAN’T KILL STEPHEN KING, A HAUNTED HOUSE, and too many more to mention). BUCK WILD, the new zomcom from THE EVES director Tyler Glodt, is a comedy horror. It’s not nearly as bad as m…

Published on Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review - PMS Cop

Review - PMS Cop

When it comes to low-budget, horror does it better than most genres. While it’s difficult to make a convincing action or sci-fi flick on a shoestring, horror lends itself to a lo-fi approach (which is one of the reasons big name Hollywood chillers are usually so disappointing). It’s ironic, therefore, that PMS COP, writer/director Bryon Blakey’s ultra-low-budget satirical splatterfest, owes at least as much to sci-fi classics ROBOCOP and THE TERMINATOR as …

Published on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Review - Cabin Fever: Patient Zero

Review - Cabin Fever: Patient Zero

It’s a brave director who takes on the CABIN FEVER franchise. 2002’s original, helmed by newcomer Eli Roth, was a modest critical and commercial success, and launched the career of horror’s crown prince of torture porn. It hasn’t aged well, and even at the time had little innovative or interesting to say. Worse was to come in the guise of the first sequel, released in 2009. Helmed by indie auteur Ti West, SPRING FEVER was an unmitigated disaster, one West …

Published on Monday, March 17, 2014

Review - The Penny Dreadful Picture Show

Review - The Penny Dreadful Picture Show

Anthology films will always receive a warm welcome here at LaptopZombie. Whether they’re good (the V/H/S franchise), bad (NAZI ZOMBIE DEATH TALES, BARRIO TALES), or a bit of both (ABCs OF DEATH), we never tire of the format, and THE PENNY DREADFUL PICTURE SHOW is a welcome addition to the canon. Frequently stylish, occasionally subversive, it manages to look great on a budget, and is held together by a better than average framing sequence. Sadly, however, …

Published on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Review - The Monkey's Paw

Review - The Monkey's Paw

The Monkey’s Paw, W. W. Jacobs’ supernaturally-themed cautionary tale, has been a genre classic for over a century. A heartfelt warning of the dangers of meddling with forces beyond our understanding, its essence can be distilled into a single salient sentence: Be careful what you wish for. There have been countless adaptations and assimilations since the story was first published, from stuffy radio plays to a Treehouse of Horror episode of THE SIMPSONS. D…

Published on Monday, February 24, 2014

Review - Army Of The Damned

Review - Army Of The Damned

Horror caters to all tastes. Just look at the films we’ve reviewed over the last few weeks: big-budget A-list Hollywood remake CARRIE; sophisticated no-budget neo-zombie outbreak chiller PRETTY DEAD; brainless supernatural TV movie SCARECROW; über-popular haunted house flick INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER TWO. Whatever your fancy, horror has a flavour to suit you. Today’s offering – ARMY OF THE DAMNED – is aimed squarely at one of the genre’s key demographics; teenage…

Published on Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review - Scarecrow

Review - Scarecrow

In the wake of SHARKNADO, quite possibly the most preposterous film ever made (in a good way – kinda), Syfy Original Movies have had a lot to live up to. Needless to say, they’ve failed. But that hasn’t stopped the ambitious cable channel from pumping them out at a prodigious rate. One of the most recent, SCARECROW, also qualified for a DVD release. Business as usual for a Syfy offering, at least it manages to avoid the worst of the rampant clichés and lap…

Published on Monday, February 17, 2014