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WOUND

Wound

A number of adjectives spring to mind to describe this peculiar psychological fantasy/horror from New Zealand writer/director David Blyth, but the most appropriate is probably Lynchian. A sense of strangeness, of overwhelming unreality, dominates, making it impossible to distinguish fantasy from reality. Violence and humiliation abound, along with madness, paranoia and a dark vein of sexual fetishism.

Published on Saturday, September 3, 2011

WEIRD WEEK 6

Weird Week 6

Hey there, Sunday. Good to see you again. So what have you been up to all week? What's that you say? You've been working on a nefarious plan to capture Saturday and through a number of increasingly grotesque torture techniques reduce its runtime? And what's more, you've succeeded? You're going to progress to weekdays next, ultimately enabling the Sunday Fear to embed itself in every single afternoon? But isn't the entire reason for Sunday to relax and pond…

Published on Sunday, September 4, 2011

SUCKER PUNCH

Sucker Punch

The phrase ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ springs to mind. Co-writer/director Zack Snyder packs so many different genre moments into SUCKER PUNCH that it’s like watching a dozen movies at once. The only things he leaves out are characterisation and an engaging story.

Published on Friday, September 2, 2011

DON'T LET HIM IN

Don't Let Him In

It seems churlish to criticise a low-budget, independent British horror film. The British film industry needs all the support it can get, and the British horror film industry even more so. As such it brings me no pleasure to report that DON’T LET HIM IN is an absolute stinker.

Published on Wednesday, August 31, 2011

THE DEVIL'S ROCK

The Devil's Rock

Nazis and horror go together like strawberries and cream (THE KEEP, DEAD SNOW, World War Two), and THE DEVIL’S ROCK continues this storied tradition. It’s 1942, and Hitler’s forces have established gun emplacements in the Channel Islands. Recognising the strategic importance of the Islands the allies dispatch two Kiwi commandoes to disable the guns. After meeting no resistance and swiftly completing their mission they’re all set to leave when one of them, …

Published on Monday, August 29, 2011

WEIRD WEEK 5

Weird Week 5

Sunday. The most loved and loathed day of all. On the one hand you get to sleep in, swallowing painkillers like Skittles. You get to wear your PJ's until it's time to venture out for the Sunday papers and Red Bull. You get to admire your three day stubble before the rash-inducing pre-work shave (and that's just the ladies). On the other hand, post midday you suffer the inevitable onset of the Sunday Fear. Gradually growing in the pit of your stomach, leavi…

Published on Sunday, August 28, 2011

SCREAM 4

Scream 4

Wes Craven, best known for creating the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchise, is one of the wave of ‘masters of horror’ who burst onto the scene in the late 70’s, spent the 80’s scaring the pants off us with a succession of classic horrors, before faltering in the 90’s and embracing TV movie obscurity in the new millennium. Except he didn’t. Armed with a witty, post-modern script from newcomer Kevin Williamson, Craven bucked the trend and performed that rares…

Published on Friday, August 26, 2011

DAWNING

Dawning

Family get-togethers can be difficult at the best of times. Tensions often run high and (especially in the movies) it isn’t long before old resentments bubble to the surface. Imagine how much worse it could be if said get-together was held in the EVIL DEAD cabin, with a nameless malevolent entity encroaching on all sides… This is the premise of DAWNING, the debut full-length feature from co-writer/director Gregg Holtgrewe. Brother and sister Aurora and Chr…

Published on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

ROADKILL

Roadkill

ROADKILL (not to be confused with 2001’s ROAD KILL, directed by John Dahl and co-written by a young J.J. Abrams, about a psychotic trucker pursuing a group of friends. Or Bruce McDonald’s 1989 Australian comedy-adventure ROADKILL. Or 2007’s straight-to-video ROADKILL. Or any of the plethora of ROADKILLs currently clogging IMDb’s vaults) is the story of six friends, most of them American, who are taking a road trip in a battered RV across the Irish countrys…

Published on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BEHIND THE WALL

Behind The Wall

In many ways horror is like pornography. It’s often voyeuristic, it deals with taboo subjects and it’s not to everyone’s taste. And like pornography, half measures just don’t cut it. If there’s such a thing as softcore horror, BEHIND THE WALL is it.

Published on Monday, August 22, 2011

WEIRD WEEK 4

Weird Week 4

Sunday again. Really? It's time to take pause and begin to piece together the events that must have happened between Monday and Saturday. Time to remember what stopped us following our dreams for yet another week. Time to prepare for the arrival of the darkest of demons, The Sunday Fear. And of course time to discover how a bat can kill a man. Time to laugh at flying cows. Time to shudder at the evil that men do. Time to cringe at giant rodents. Time to lo…

Published on Sunday, August 21, 2011

SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE

Scream Of The Banshee

SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE is a Syfy original movie produced by After Dark Films. For those of you who’ve encountered either Syfy or After Dark before, you’ll know that isn’t much of a recommendation (in the same way that eating at Ed Gein’s restaurant or attending Harold Shipman’s surgery isn’t recommended). I was fully prepared to despise SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE, and to communicate my disgust in no uncertain terms, but something strange happened. It wasn’t as b…

Published on Friday, August 19, 2011

SUPER

Super

Given its credentials you might be tempted to think SUPER is a comedy, a light-hearted parody of all those bombastic summer tentpole superhero movies. You’d be wrong. It is a comedy (and a very funny one in places), but it’s one of the darkest, most twisted comedies you’re likely to see. It’s also an action movie (kinda), a horror movie (kinda), and a generally unsettling viewing experience...

Published on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

HUNTED: THE DEMON'S FORGE

Hunted: The Demon's Forge

According to the box, Hunted: The Demon's Forge (hereafter known as H:TDF) is ‘A Dungeon Crawler for a Gears generation.’ If by that they mean it’s a shallow, repetitive, macho co-op-based button-bashing fantasy romp, then I couldn’t agree more. Published by Bethesda Softworks and released in May of this year, H:TDF faded away with little fanfare, beaten back by waves of critical scorn and personal disappointment. But is that the whole story? Does the game…

Published on Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DRIVE-IN HORRORSHOW

Drive-In Horrorshow

Perhaps more than any other genre, horror lends itself to low budget filmmaking. As the likes of HALLOWEEN, EVIL DEAD and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY have proved, modest resources aren’t necessarily an impediment. But what do you do when your budget isn’t just restrictive but non-existent? In the case of DRIVE-IN HORRORSHOW, you combine five unrelated short stories by means of a post-apocalyptic drive-in framing sequence populated by zombies, ghouls and ghosts.

Published on Tuesday, August 16, 2011