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Night Of The Living Deb review [Frightfest 2015]: “Perfect blend of heart and ‘brains'”

2 hours ago

Night Of The Living Deb review: Avoids becoming a poor man’s Shaun Of The Dead, instead proving to be the perfect blend of heart and ‘brains.’ Night Of The Living Deb review

Director: Kyle Rankin

Cast: Maria Thayer, Michael Cassidy, Ray WiseChris Marquette

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 85 minutes

Synopsis: Following a drunken one-night-stand, mismatched strangers Deb and Ryan awaken to find their small town is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

As if the so-called ‘Walk Of Shame’ wasn’t harrowing enough for most people, Kyle Rankin (Infestation) has added flesh-eating zombies into the mix in his latest film Night Of The Living Deb.

Best described as a romantic zombie comedy, Night Of The Living Deb follows the trials and tribulations of Deb (Maria Thayer), a geeky, somewhat awkward girl who – following a drunken night out – has awoken in the apartment of ‘pretty boy’ Ryan (Michael Cassidy), with »

- Mike McCarthy

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Sun Choke review [Frightfest 2015]: “Beautifully crafted and exquisitely shot”

3 hours ago

Sun Choke review: An enthralling and engaging film that just creeps up on you again and again. Sun Choke review

Director: Ben Cresciman

Cast: Sara Malakul Lane, Sarah Hagan, Evan Jones, Barbara Crampton

Running Time: 83 Minutes

Certificate: Tbc

Synopsis: Recovering from a recent violent psychotic break, a young woman finds herself relapsing after developing a deadly obsession with an unsuspecting woman named Savannah whilst her lifelong caretaker and nanny struggles to control and pull her back from the brink of insanity.

As the credits begin to roll on Ben Cresciman’s Sun Choke, my mind is blank…contemplative, but blank. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a good thing and the type of reaction one would like to have when experiencing this kind of psychological thriller.

Beautifully crafted and exquisitely shot by Mathew Rudenberg, Sun Choke feels like a dream but with a through line full of haunting discomfort. »

- Sacha Hall

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Exclusive: Interview with Kyle Rankin for Night of the Living Deb [Frightfest 2015]

4 hours ago

Interview with Kyle Rankin Taking the horror of the ‘Walk Of Shame’ to a whole new level, Night Of The Living Deb sees awkward girl Deb stumbling into a zombie outbreak after a drunken fling, forcing her to pair up with the guy she spent the night with. A genuinely funny ‘rom-zom-com’ with the right balance of warmth, wit and walking dead, Night Of The Living Deb debuts at this year’s Frightfest and we spoke to the film’s writer-director Kyle Rankin about his movie. Night Of The Living Deb is a great original concept, how did you come with the idea?   A lot of zombie movies focus on the unlikely — and uneasy — band of characters who are forced to work together to survive.  I thought, what if the one person you had on your team was someone you drunkenly hooked up with the night before?  Only now they »

- Mike McCarthy

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Some Kind of Hate review [FrightFest 2015]: “A new spin on the slasher story”

5 hours ago

Some Kind of Hate review powerful and provocative attempt at breathing life into the stale stalk and slash story. Some Kind of Hate review

Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer

Cast: Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Noah Segan, Sierra McCormick

Running Time: 84 minutes

Certificate: 18

Synopsis: A bullied teenager finds himself shipped off to a retreat for troubled teens. Once again he finds himself a victim of the other kids and unknowingly calls forth the murderous spirit of a former student. 

For years the slasher flick has been overrun with men, Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, Michael Myers… all men, but now in Some Kind of Hate we get a female to rival them all. Moira, played by Sierra McCormick, is a vengeful spirit who steps in to help Lincoln (Rubinstein) when he finds himself tormented by his fellow students. Her weapon of choice is the razor blade which she wears around her neck like a strange extreme Goth necklace. »

- Kat Smith

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Hellraiser review [Frightfest 2015]: “A black gem of British horror”

6 hours ago

Hellraiser review: Clive Barker’s masterpiece screens at this year’s FrightFest. Hellraiser review

Director: Clive Barker

Cast: Sean Chapman, Clare Higgins, Andrew Robinson, Ashley Laurence, Doug Bradley, Nicholas Vince, Simon Bamford, Grace Kirby, Oliver Smith

Certificate: 18

Running Time: 94 minutes

Synopsis: After solving a puzzle box, Frank is trapped in a hell-dimension full of pleasure and pain. When he escapes, it’s only a matter of time before the demons want him back.

It may have been released in 1987, but Hellraiser is no less shocking today. It’s a genuinely warped, twisted and innovative piece of cinema which will disturb audiences at this year’s Frightfest with a newly restored edition.

Based on Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart (and directed by Barker too), Hellraiser follows two brothers, Frank (Sean Chapman/Oliver Smith) and Larry (Andrew Robinson). Larry’s the good (or is that boring?) family man, with second wife, »

- Claire Joanne Huxham

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Over Your Dead Body review [Frightfest 2015]: “A delightfully calm horror”

8 hours ago

Over Your Dead Body review: Slow, contemplative, and classical. Over Your Dead Body review

Director: Takashi Miike.

Cast: Ko Shibasaki, Ebizo Ichikawa, Miho Nakanishi, Hideaki Ito, Hitomi Katayama.

Certificate: N/A

Running Time: 90 minutes

Synopsis: A pair of kabuki theatre actors engage in an affair, only for the lines between the reality of their lives and the fiction on stage to become increasingly blurred.

Over Your Dead Body review

Takashi Miike has over 100 directorial credits to his name since 1991. That’s a hell of a lot of films, but what is even more impressive is the quantity and quality levels he has managed to sustain. Starting life in the popular Japanese direct to video market of the 1990s, Miike has brought about a fresh perspective to all his works, each one spiced up with unique moments of insanity. Lately, Miike has flexed his more restrained and mature muscles, with his »

- Luke Ryan Baldock

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Exclusive: Isabel Coixet interview for Another Me [Frightfest 2015]

9 hours ago

Isabel Coixet interview for Another Me – Screened at this year’s Frightfest. Isabel Coixet interview for Another Me

This year’s Film 4 Frightfest is in full swing and the site is packed with our reviews, as well as a heap of exclusive interviews. We’re not stopping there though as there are still two more full days, as well as this evening.

Tonight sees the UK première of Another Me, a film based on the novel by Cathy MacPhail which sees young girl Fay stalked by a dangerous doppelgänger. Starring Game of Thrones  and X-Men Apocalypse actress Sophie Turner, as well as Jonathan Rhys-MeyersAnother Me is definitely one of the more intriguing films to seek out at this year’s festival.

To whet your appetite further we have an exclusive interview with the lady behind the camera, Isabel Coixet, who is also known for the cult favourite, Me Without You. »

- Kat Smith

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Bait review [FrightFest 2015]: “An enjoyably nasty little film”

12 hours ago

Bait review

Director: Dominic Brunt

Cast: Victoria Smurfit, Joanne Mitchell, Jonathan Slinger, Rula Lenska

Certificate: 18

Running Time: 82 minutes

Synopsis: Two friends in a northern English town are caught in the grip of a vicious loan-shark. As they struggle to escape, their friendship will be put to the test and their health will definitely suffer.

British horror/thriller Bait was originally released as The Taking. Its new title seems to fit more aptly with the straight-up, no-nonsense violent tone of Dominic Brunt’s direction (yes, that’s Paddy from Emmerdale; he also directed zombie film Before Dawn).

The story follows two best friends, Bex (Smurfit) and Dawn (Mitchell) who are stuck in dead-end jobs in the local market, selling crap and surrounded by leering, groping men. They modestly dream of opening a little tea and cake shop, away from all the leering and groping but, like for many these days, money is an issue. »

- Claire Joanne Huxham

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The Nightmare review [FrightFest 2015]: “Interesting fusion of film and documentary”

12 hours ago

The Nightmare review: This will have you sleeping with the light (or television) on for weeks. The Nightmare review

Director: Rodney Ascher

Cast: Steven Yvette, Yatoya Toy, Elise Robson, Siegfried Peters

Running Time: 91 minutes

Certificate: 15

Synopsis: A documentary that probes into the phenomena known as Sleep Paralysis which affects thousands of us nightly.

Opening in 1984, Nightmare on Elm Street introduced the world to a certain Freddy Kreuger, a malevolent presence who stalks the dreams of the teen residents of the titular street. It was of course a massive success, the popularity never diminishing for the character that made Robert Englund’s career, so much so that it was only earlier this month that news broke of yet another reboot. The reason many found the film so traumatic to watch was because of the question that it raised; what do you when the thing that is stalking you can get you when you are asleep? »

- Kat Smith

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Never Let Go review [FrightFest 2015]: “Uninspired rehash of Taken formula”

28 August 2015 2:15 PM, PDT

Never Let Go review: Struggles to make any kind of lasting impression, no matter how loud the bones might be snapping or the crazy lady might be yelling. Never Let Go review

Director: Howard J. Ford

Cast: Angela Dixon, Nigel Whitmey, Lisa Eichhorn

Running Time: 93 mins

Certificate: Tbc

Synopsis: A single mother on vacation, takes the law into her own hands to take back her abducted child.

Ever since Liam Neeson first shook off the cobwebs and muscled his way in to a new on-screen action persona with 2008’s surprise smash hit Taken, movie theatres across the globe have suddenly been flooded with kidnap-thrillers attempting to replicate the shock success of the franchise. The latest of these, Howard J. Ford’s Never Let Go, does little to differentiate itself from the pack, and rather than shaking up the formula with new ideas, seems content to stick firmly to the Bryan Mills – mold. »

- Nick Martin

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Final Girl review [FrightFest 2015]: “Torture porn, sixty years early…”

28 August 2015 2:15 PM, PDT

Final Girl review: Often feels like a student film, bursting with ideas but missing some empathy. Final Girl review

Director: Tyler Shields

Starring: Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Alexander Ludwig, Cameron Bright, Logan Huffman, Reece Thompson, Francesca Eastwood

Cert: 15

Running Time: 90 mins

Tyler Shields has made a splash over the years as a Hollywood photographer, so it makes perfect sense his directorial debut would be a horror movie. Having said that, the crowd at FrightFest may well be divided over Final Girl, which sits as a curate’s egg amongst today’s crop of cinematic nightmares.

The convoluted story opens with a sinister scene where a young girl is interrogated by a shadowy, suited type (Wes Bentley) in sparse, concrete surroundings. Flash forward to over a decade later and Bentley has trained the girl – Veronica (Abigail Breslin) – as a party-dress-wearing death machine, programmed as bait for a group of psychotic teenage »

- Steve Palace

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Zombie Fight Club review [FrightFest 2015]: “A teenage boys wet dream”

28 August 2015 2:00 PM, PDT

Zombie Fight Club review: An average zombie movie that has some moments of fun. Zombie Fight Club review

Director: Joe Chien

Cast: Andy On, Jessica Cambensy, Jack Kao

Certificate: 18

Running Time: 95 minutes

Synopsis: A new drug turns a crime riddled apartment building’s residents into flesh-hungry zombies. 

Zombie Fight Club has no discernible plot. An unconnected sequence of events happen in rapid succession, and then everyone just starts killing each other.

The first hour is spent in an apartment building and plays out a little how The Raid might have done if it had occurred in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. During this section we are shown several clusters of characters who have no real bearing on one another, never meet and don’t last very long. The few that do either have no development or they change so much that it’s a struggle to remember who they were in the first place. »

- Kat Smith

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The Shelter review [FrightFest 2015]: “More horrifying than Carpenter”

28 August 2015 1:00 PM, PDT

The Shelter review: John Fallon’s first venture as director highlights a lot of visual flair and a head full of ideas. The Shelter review

Director: John Fallon

Cast: Michael Pare

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 76 minutes

Synopsis: Homeless man Thomas (Pare) realises that the abandoned house in which he has sought shelter, might not be as safe, or empty, as he hoped.

If you’re looking for something dark and a little different, then The Shelter, co-financed by film website Joblo.com, may be the film for you. Our protagonist Thomas is currently homeless. The embodiment of the man who had and tragically lost it all, Thomas now roams the streets haunted by his past, trying his best to block out memories with bottles of whiskey. He seems to be functioning at a base level at least but all that changes when he stumbles across an abandoned, but fully stocked, building. »

- Kat Smith

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Demonic review [FrightFest 2015]: “Better than most Dtv films”

28 August 2015 12:00 PM, PDT

Demonic review: Better than most of of your Direct-To-Video horror films. Demonic review

Director: Will Canon

Cast: Dustin Milligan, Frank Grillo, Maria Bello, Scott Mechlowicz, Aaron Yoo, Cody Horn

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 83 minutes

Synopsis: A pair of detectives try to find a missing person after a group of college students go ghost hunting. 

James Wan brought us Saw and Insidious. Now with his producer hat on he brings into life Demonic. Originally pegged as James Wan’s Demonic, somewhere along the line his name was dropped from the proceedings. The tale follows John (Dustin Milligan) the sole survivor to a vicious massacre in a house with a history.

The cast is interesting, featuring several old hats at this type of film, however anyone other than Milligan, Grillo or Bello is barely given the time of day. So much so that there are at least three, if not four, cast members that could easily be culled, »

- Kat Smith

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The Sand review [FrightFest 2015]: “A heap of harmless fun”

28 August 2015 11:09 AM, PDT

The Sand review: “Takes a silly idea and somehow makes it work.” The Sand review

Director: Isaac Gabaeff

Cast: Brooke Butler, Dean Geyer, Jamie Kennedy

Certificate: 18

Running Time: 84 minutes

Synopsis: A group of hungover college students awaken on the beach only to find that it has developed an appetite for anything that lands on it.

High concept, fun horror and Frightfest have always gone hand in hand, and The Sand is one of this year’s most fun films. As just words on the page The Sand shouldn’t work; man-eating sand anyone? It sounds like an awful SyFy / Horror Channel movie, and whilst it might eventually find its way onto one of those channel’s schedules, The Sand is much better than it sounds.

A group of college students party hard at the beach; the morning after the night before they find that something isn’t right with the ground beneath them. »

- Kat Smith

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Body review [FrightFest 2015]: “An interesting moral quandry”

28 August 2015 11:00 AM, PDT

Body review: An excellent idea that will spark debate with its audience. Body review

Directors: Dan Berk and Robert Olsen

Cast: Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, Lauren Molina

Certificate: 15

Running Time: 75 minutes

Synopsis: A trio of friends decide to have some fun around the holidays but then a gruesome discovery throws their plans into turmoil.

Cali, Holly and Mel are twenty-something childhood friends, reuniting for some fun around the Christmas holidays; yes, a film that reminds us that those festivities aren’t too far away. Dismayed to realise that they might very well have gotten old without realising it they decide to throw caution to the wind and seek out some fun.

That fun involves the lavish estate belonging to Cali’s uncle who just so happens to be away for the holidays. Their fun is interrupted by an unknown assailant and after a ruckus the three are left confronted with »

- Kat Smith

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New release Friday: This week’s movies reviewed & rated

28 August 2015 10:58 AM, PDT

It’s officially the last weekend of summer, and there are some great offerings out there this week. Before we go through this week’s new movies, we thought we’d remind you that our brand new weekly movie show Film Friday was launched earlier today. The show, which will be posted every Friday at 12pm midday UK time, previews the weekend’s new releases, and recaps our top three movies currently playing. Head over here, or take a look at the bottom of this post to watch episode one.

Onto this week’s releases.

Straight Outta Compton (UK, still playing in the Us)

Rating: *****

Synopsis: In 1988, a groundbreaking new group revolutionizes music and pop culture, changing and influencing hip-hop forever. N.W.A’s first studio album, “Straight Outta Compton,” stirs controversy with its brutally honest depiction of life in Southern Los Angeles. With guidance from veteran manager Jerry Heller, »

- Paul Heath

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Hitman Agent 47 review: “Dull, unsatisfying and pointless”

28 August 2015 10:35 AM, PDT

Hitman Agent 47 review: A pointless addition to a movie series that shouldn’t have been revived. Dull and drab from the off. Hitman Agent 47 review

The Hitman video game series was created in the year 2000 by Danish company Io Interactive. Since its conception there have been eight different games released on various platforms, a bunch of Hitman novels and that memorable first film adaptation in 2007, which saw Timothy Olyphant in the lead role, alongside Olga Kurylenko and Dougray Scott. The film got a critical mauling but did well in terms of dollars taken around the world, and more than doubled its initial budget.

Fast-forward to 2015 and 20th Century Fox decided to give us another movie. Hitman: Agent 47 revolves around the same assassin, though is this time Rupert Friend appearing with the shaved cranium with a bar code tattooed on his bonce. His mission this time is to take down »

- Paul Heath

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El Eslabón Podrido review [FrightFest 2015]: “Crosses Amelie and Irreversible”

28 August 2015 6:30 AM, PDT

El Eslabón Podrido review: Shocks with it’s unflinching sexual depravity but fails to engage the audience’s full emotions. El Eslabón Podrido review

Director: Valentín Javier Diment

Cast: Luis Ziembrowski, Paula Brasca

Certificate: 18

Running Time: 75 minutes

Synopsis: A small rural village becomes the setting for a series of ghastly events.

El Eslabón Podrido or as it’s known to use British folks The Rotten Link is an eclectic concoction that falls somewhere between Irreversible and Amelie.

Set in a small, isolated village El Eslabón Podrido tries to offer a quirky and oddly jolly (at times) spin on horror. Starting at almost its end point, the film kicks off with a puzzling bang before quickly rewinding to fill in the gaps. It is at this point we meet our characters, including our leading man Raulo, the village simpleton who earns a living delivering firewood to the whole community. The leading lady is Roberta, »

- Kat Smith

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Wind Walkers review [Frightfest 2015]: “Lacks bite”

28 August 2015 6:15 AM, PDT

Wind Walkers review: “Re-heats old tropes and scares to stitch together a by-the-numbers horror clone. Wind Walkers review

Director: Russell Friedenberg

Cast: Glen Powell, Zane Holtz, Phil Burke

Running Time: 93 mins

Certificate: 18

Synopsis: With one of their own missing, a group of friends travel to the remote Florida everglades where they discover that an ancient, malevolent curse is tracking them.

Wind Walkers, the latest big screen effort from writer / director Russell Friedenberg, attempts to bring to this years Frightfest a new twist on the classic ‘trapped and picked off one by one’ horror formula, blending in elements of Native American mysticism, zombie-outbreak paranoia, vampire threat and (bear with me), Iraq-war critiquing.

Wind Walkers review

The film charts the return of Lieutenant Sean Kotz as he lands back on American soil after a traumatic tour in Iraq. Haunted and unable to relate to the guys he once called friends, Sean reluctantly »

- Nick Martin

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