Film

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

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Bunnyman

Bunnyman

As anyone who knows horror will tell you, empathy is key. The more an audience empathises with the characters, puts themselves in their place and assumes their plight, the greater their emotional investment. When bad things happen to the characters the audience cares. Conversely, when the characters do stupid things or behave in ways the audience wouldn’t, they get frustrated. BUNNYMAN is one long exercise in frustration.

Published on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hybrid

Hybrid

From time to time a horror film comes along that is the very definition of B movie. Ron Underwood’s classic worm-fest TREMORS is perhaps the best example, but comic book artist-cum-director Kaare Andrews’ 2010 horror/sf/Lovecraftian mashup ALTITUDE also springs to mind. And now we have HYBRID.

Published on Monday, August 1, 2011

Stake Land

Stake Land

I have a confession: I hate vampires. There are exceptions – NOSFERATU, NEAR DARK, TRUE BLOOD and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN are all personal favourites – but the majority of vampire films and TV shows, well, suck. For one thing vampires are so fussy, with a seemingly endless array of arbitrary afflictions (the inability to cross a threshold unless invited, an aversion to garlic [??], running water, wooden stakes, sunlight), and for another they’ve been redefine…

Published on Friday, July 29, 2011

The Passing

The Passing

It’s difficult to define what makes a truly great horror film. There are as many definitions as there are horror fans. The only thing that’s certain is that you know one when you’ve seen it. Just as you know when a film is truly, irredeemably awful...

Published on Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Quarantine 2: Terminal

Quarantine 2: Terminal

The original QUARANTINE, released in 2008 and starring DEXTER’s Jennifer Carpenter, was an almost scene-by-scene remake of sublime Spanish chiller [REC]. The inevitable Spanish sequel, [REC] 2, picked up where the original left off, continuing the story of the condemned tower block and its infected inhabitants. The American sequel, QUARANTINE 2: TERMINAL, has chosen to abandon this approach and strike out in its own direction, transplanting the action to a…

Published on Monday, July 25, 2011

The Orphan Killer

The Orphan Killer

Audrey and Marcus are brother and sister. When sadistic killers break into their home and (without explanation or provocation) stab their parents to death, they are orphaned and the Church takes them in and cares for them. The older sibling, Marcus, is bullied by the other children, and retaliates by exacting a brutal revenge. He is whipped by the nuns who run the orphanage and (inexplicably) forced to don a terrifying mask, further ostracising him from hi…

Published on Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Shrine

The Shrine

I’ve got a great idea for a movie. A group of Europeans travel to America on holiday or with work. After seeing the sights/taking lots of drugs they fall foul of the locals, who at first appear friendly and eager to help but who are in fact the very definition of evil. The Europeans spend an hour being tortured/anally brutalised by a parade of overweight, sexually-sadistic rednecks (which all Americans are, without exception), before one of them effects an…

Published on Thursday, July 21, 2011

Insidious

Insidious

Writer Leigh Whannell and director James Wan, best known as the creators of the popular SAW franchise, come together again for INSIDIOUS, a haunted-house-cum-action chiller. No sooner have Josh (Patrick Wilson) and his wife Renai (Rose Byrne), along with their three children, moved into their new house than they encounter strange goings-on. Books fall from shelves, boxes transport themselves into the attic and Renai hears sinister noises on the baby monito…

Published on Tuesday, July 19, 2011

John Carpenter's The Ward

John Carpenter's The Ward

How the mighty have fallen. Romero went from the heights of NIGHT and DAWN to the depths of DIARY and SURVIVAL. Tobe Hooper, at one time one of the most infamous directors in the world, was relegated to making occasional (bad) TV pilots. Now John Carpenter has joined their inglorious ranks...

Published on Sunday, July 17, 2011

Psychoville Series 2

Psychoville Series 2

You might think a half hour BBC2 comedy/drama series wouldn’t be an obvious fit for a review website predominantly dedicated to horror cinema. You’d be wrong. PSYCHOVILLE, written and performed by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith (of THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN fame), is every bit as macabre, and as sweepingly cinematic, as the most effective Hollywood chiller.

Published on Friday, July 15, 2011

I Saw The Devil

I Saw The Devil

A word of advice – if you’re going to watch a hyper-violent Korean tale of brutality, obsession and revenge, don’t watch the poorly dubbed version with the laugh-out-loud-bad dialogue. Byung-hun Lee plays secret agent Kim Soo-hyeon, a poor man’s James Bond who goes rogue and dedicates himself to hunting down serial killer/rapist/all-round psychopath Kyung-chul (played with convincing intensity by Min-sik Choi), after the killer kidnaps, dispatches and dism…

Published on Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Tunnel

The Tunnel

THE TUNNEL has two things going for it from the outset – it’s Australian and it purports to be a true story. Fine horror credentials if ever I heard them. A four-person news crew (consisting of presenter, cameraman, soundman and producer/trouble-shooter), descend into the maze of abandoned tunnels beneath Sydney, searching for evidence of itinerant dwellers and a possible Government cover-up. Natasha, the presenter, needs a win after a run of bad luck, and…

Published on Tuesday, July 12, 2011