Directors: David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Adam Ingard, Radio Silence
Starring: Hannah Fierman, Mike Donlan, Drew Swayer, Joe Sykes, Joe Swanberg, Sophia Takal, Norma C Quinones, Drew Moerlein, Helen Rogers, Daniel Kaufman, Chad Willella, Nicole Erb
“You’re all gonna fucking die up here.” (Wendy, V/H/S)
I’ve spoken of the low-budget junkyard that is the found footage genre a number of times on TWABM in the past.
While early examples like Cannibal Holocaust and The Blair Witch Project felt fresh and genuinely terrifying, for the most part the genre has since become a cop-out, an easy way for talent-starved directors to make a cheap horror movie without much effort or skill.
For every umpteenth Banshee Chapter, The Tunnel and Frost out there though, there’s the occasional Paranormal Activity or The Taking Of Deborah Logan – films that actually use the limitations of the found footage style to their advantage.
V/H/S falls firmly in this latter category, offering a selection of creepy tales that are made better by their low-quality production values rather than forced to grudgingly accept them as a necessary evil. Continue reading “V/H/S (2012) review”
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier
HENRIETTA: “I’ll swallow your soul! I’ll swallow your soul! I’ll swallow your soul!”
ASH: (points shotgun) “Swallow this.”
When The Evil Dead was released in 1981 it completely blew away the horror film industry.
With their titchy $375,000 budget director Sam Raimi, producer Bob Tapert, actor Bruce Campbell et al created a horror classic jammed fit to bursting with effective scares, laugh-out-loud moments and gallons of gore.
Usually a success like this leads to a sequel following soon after but fans of the original had to wait six years for Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn. Continue reading “Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987) review”
Starring: Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Carlson Young, Amadeus Serafini, Connor Weil, Tracy Middendorf
MR BRANSON: “The gothic genre is all over TV right now. American Horror Story, Hannibal, Bates Motel…”
JAKE: “What about Texas Chainsaw or Halloween?”
NOAH: “Those are slasher movies. You can’t do a slasher movie as a TV series.”
The recent tragic passing of the legendary Wes Craven led to an outpouring of support on social media as dedicated and lapsed fans alike took to Twitter to namecheck their favourite Craven movies.
The vast majority of them didn’t realise just how fitting their tributes were, as Craven died just before the airing of the final episode of Scream, a TV series based on his genre-redefining horror film and airing on MTV.
You see, whereas the original Scream, released in 1996, had the killer mostly contacting his victims via phone calls, this time the reimagined Ghostface uses all manner of techniques – yes, including social media – to stalk potential future corpses. Continue reading “Scream: The TV Series (2015) review”
It is my intention to eventually watch and review all 72 movies on the ‘video nasties’ list released by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the UK in 1983. In a time before videos were classified by the BBFC, each of these films were considered so shocking by the DPP that any video shop owner found to be selling or renting it could have faced prosecution. To see my other video nasty reviews so far, click here.
Director: Luigi Cozzi
Starring: Ian McCulloch, Louise Marleau, Marino Masé, Siegfried Rauch
“Help! Let me out! There’s an egg!” (Stella, Contamination)
I’ve got a lot of time for Italian horror from the late ’70s and early ’80s. This was a fruitful period for low-budget horror, mostly thanks to the countless Italian rip-offs that were churned out in next to no time.
No film was safe from the Italian ‘homage’: when Jaws came out, a bunch of killer shark (and piranha and whale) films were released within a matter of months. Following Dawn Of The Dead, you couldn’t move in Italy for cheapo zombie flicks.
Meanwhile, Contamination – in case you couldn’t tell from the poster – was inspired by Ridley Scott’s Alien.
Continue reading “Contamination (1980) (Video Nasty review #11)”
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Lili Sepe, Olivia Luccardi, Jake Weary, Daniel Zovatto
“She can do the same thing I did. It should be easier for her, she’s a girl. Any guy would be with you. Just sleep with someone else and tell him to do the same thing. Maybe it’ll never come back.” (Hugh, It Follows)
Slasher film convention dictates that the killer will often walk slowly towards their victim, who in turn will happily provide suspense by falling over any number of times and making themselves easier to catch.
It Follows takes this often mocked trope and makes it scary again by adding a couple of clever twists. Continue reading “It Follows (2014) review”
Director: Matty Beckerman
Starring: Corey Eid, Jillian Clare, Katherine Sigismund, Jeff Bowser, Riley Polanski, Peter Holden
JILLIAN – “Are those stars?”
RILEY – “Stars don’t move like that.”
By this point in my life I must have seen more ‘found footage’ movies than I’ve had lamb vindaloos, and let’s just say Indian Express in Wandsworth greatly appreciates my custom.
After all, a quick gander at the ‘handheld footage’ tag on this site will reveal that I’ve reviewed no fewer than 15 of the bastards on this site already.
Alien Abduction at least tries something slightly different by going with a subject matter you don’t often get in these first-person frightfests. See if you can guess what it is by the title. Continue reading “Alien Abduction (2014) review”
Director: Gil Kenan
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kennedi Clements, Kyle Catlett, Jared Harris, Saxon Sharbino, Jane Adams
“They’re here.” (Madison, Poltergeist)
As you’ll know if you already read my review, the original 1982 Poltergeist is one of my favourite films of all time.
I should also point out that I’m not the sort of person who instantly hates remakes because they’re remakes. I got all that out of my system during my film buff university days and these days I’ll happily judge remakes – such as the brilliant 2004 Dawn Of The Dead and 2005 King Kong (hey, I liked it) – on their own merits.
That said, this new Poltergeist is shite. Continue reading “Poltergeist (2015) review”
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Irrfan Khan
CLAIRE – “Think it’ll scare the kids?”
MASRANI – “The kids? This’ll give the parents nightmares.”
CLAIRE – “Is that… good?”
MASRANI – “It’s fantastic.”
“I can’t wait any more!”
This is what young Gray (Ty Simpkins, the young lad from Insidious) says near the start of Jurassic World as he whips open the curtains of his hotel room window and gets a glorious view of the park.
In a way, he’s speaking for every Jurassic Park fan crossing their fingers for 14 years for a new movie (and, some would argue, 22 years for a truly brilliant one). We couldn’t wait any more either. And now the wait is over. Continue reading “Jurassic World (2015) review”
Jurassic Park was one of the biggest films of the nineties. Based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, it brought to life a thought every one of us has had as a child: “What would it be like to see a real life dinosaur?”
With the novelty gone, Jurassic Park’s sequels lacked the first film’s initial impact but there was still a giddy pleasure in seeing more dino hijinks. A fourth film, Jurassic World, is planned for summer 2015.
Click each poster for the full review.
Jurassic Park (1993)
“Eccentric Scottish billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has opened up a theme park in a remote tropical island, a theme park that features real life dinosaurs he’s managed to clone using the DNA extracted from blood found in fossilised mosquitoes. Excited about his park, he invites some guests to see the park before it opens and get their expert opinions. Oh, and he’s invited his two grandchildren too, because things definitely won’t go tits-up.” Continue reading “Series Overview – Jurassic Park (1993-2015)”
Director: Levan Gabriadze
Starring: Shelly Hennig, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson, Heather Sossaman, Moses Storm, Will Peltz, Renee Olstead
KEN: “It’s probably just a glitch.”
VAL: “Well the glitch just typed.”
Here’s a tip about being in horror films that Scream forgot to address. If you were either directly or indirectly involved in someone’s death, it’s probably a good idea to lie low on every major anniversary of said offing.
For some reason, those affected usually decide to take revenge one, five or ten years to the day after the incident. Personally, I’d go for the element of surprise: “It’s been seven and a half months since you killed me, so time for you to get all dead and that.”
Unfriended takes place exactly a year after high school student Laura Barns committed suicide. Guess what happens next. Continue reading “Unfriended (2014) review”