Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
One of the greatest horror films of 2016.
I am literally on my knees here writing this review as I have fallen down in worship of this movie that has crept from the bowels of Hell. A true masterpiece of a horror film that for me, leaves The Witchs Black Phillips' head impaled on a stick.
The use of sound in the movie is truly artful. The wails, growls, eerie noises, tones, and whooshes seep in and out making the soundtrack a very important character of the film (make sure you turn up the volume and listen how it aurally menaces each scene). Im not even going to tell you what its about as any explanation would either not do it justice or spoil the ride for you (and its such a good one). This flick for me was very, very special.
It moves at a glacial pace, but the evil tone of it will have you glued to your seat trying to figure out where its going. You may find yourself a little confused (in fact i know you will) but hang in there (by your nerves) and all will become apparent by the end. Its plainly obvious by the way that some "horror fans" here should stick to watching the spookhouse dirge James Wan puts out these days as the low star reviews just couldn't cope with how artistically made Blackcoats Daughter is, but I guess even slasher fans get to write reviews haha.
Stunning. A bloody masterpiece. I have a renewed faith in horror tonight. Hail Satan.
The Monster (2016)
A Monster Fail
So....the new flick from the director of The Strangers.
The Monster operates on a very thin plot line and man, they really try hard to pad it out. The story involves a mother & daughter going on a road trip (to drop off the daughter at her dads) where their car breaks down in the middle of the night (after hitting a wolf in the road) and they come under siege from a monster outside.
The acting initially seems pretty decent, but once they get trapped in the car (which is the majority of the film) things soon degrade down to the level of being quite cringeworthy with more ham in the air than several swine filled pig farms. It was obvious too, that they couldn't keep the tension up (or make the film run long enough) by just keeping the scenes set to the car, so we get heaps of these silly flashbacks where we're shown just how bad the mother & daughters relationship has been up to this point which jars badly with the situation now running on screen (btw, if you want to see bad parenting in film go see The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things).
There are a few mildly thrilling moments when the monster appears on screen (looking like a man in a small Godzilla costume crossed with the alien in Xtro but hey, they put its picture on the poster) but its not enough to keep any sort of tension bubbling and as the movie trudged along I just wanted it to be over so I could say I saw all of it. Sadly then, The Monster was a monster fail for me.
Belly of the Bulldog (2015)
A Tank Full of Fun
I've just seen Tank 432. And I can predict that many are likely going to hate it, but I absolutely loved it.
I basically can't give anything away, particularly involving what its about as that just wouldn't be fair, but let's just say that all is not what it seems, and the mystery of the situation certainly adds to the atmosphere. My missus who saw it with me, didn't like the ending at all (which brings only some explanation of events) but I was happy enough accepting how things were left to the viewers own interpretation of the situation. And in some ways the film is about as straight forward as Benson & Moorheads Resolution (though maybe its not just as head scratching as that).
The scenes within the tank are tense and very well done, with all actors playing their parts in the enclosed space wonderfully and all on a limited budget too. This is the second horror film I've caught Gordon Kennedy in after the brilliant Borderlands movie and I enjoyed this one nearly as much. Tank 432 doesn't really kick into gear until the group get into the vehicle so just hang on for that.
Just don't expect to be dotting the I's and crossing the T's by the end haha.
Carnage Park (2016)
What indie thriller cinema is all about
I'm not sure what film the first reviewer here watched but it doesn't sound like the one I saw. Carnage Park is fantastic, with a great level of tension all the way through and while I've never been a fan of Ashley Bell (in her silly paranormal movies) she really was a revelation in this - her first appearance in the film not even looking that important until she takes over. Carnage Park is the kind of film Rob Zombie wishes he could make and while I wasn't that impressed with the directors last offering Darling (though many were) he knocked it out of the park for me this time. Thank god people still put effort into making movies like this instead of garbage and nonsense like The Conjuring 2.
Closer to God (2014)
Accomplished debut. Highly recommended.
I didn't expect much going into this, but what I got treated to was a pure disturbing joy. Impeccably acted, and downbeat from start to finish, the tension builds and builds to a horrific finish. I have to say, that on the subject matter therein this will be the definitive movie for years to come. Its astounding too that this is a debut feature by this director, being an extremely mature piece of filmmaking. What you get here is a Cronenbergian nightmare, which deals with an issue we will all find ourselves confronted with at some point in the distant future. Science and religion collide, but the very end of the movie leaves us with a piece of dialogue concerning just how much we might need to put our personal morals aside for the future of our species. This is easily one of the best horror movies I've seen this year, but if you're a horror fan who thinks that the genre must always be silly slashers and guts and gore then maybe you should go back to your Jason and Michael DVDs. This movie will play well to all lovers of great cinema however.
A Darker Reality (2008)
Not bad at all.
Having sat through such horror offerings as August Underground, A Serbian Film, all the Vomit Gore movies, the recent American Guinea Pig, Subconscious Cruelty, Melancholie Der Engel etc I guess you could say I'm at the pinnacle of ultimate horror experience. It doesn't really go above those movies unless you want to venture into real footage of humanities follies and Darker Reality just isn't up there with the big boys. That said, its surprisingly decent. The cop scenes are very pedestrian as a few others have said, but the victim and antagonist scenes are quite effective. The acting is easily an 8 on the 10 scale. I don't know what it is about those Baldwin brothers but all of them disgust me a little bit, their big fat faces and clunky look, so having one of them in here helped the plot for me, Daniel Baldwin is pretty good in this. A lot of the film actually doesn't show any physical body harm at all, most scenes are after the fact, or relayed via other means, but there are many shots of chained up women in a very distressed state and i really liked how they had the females adapt to their situation trying to stop each other screaming or doing anything that would bring the killer back into the room they were incarcerated in. As a whole, the film works pretty well, and I can see how for many here it was too much, but for those into the more extreme horror or those that enjoyed films like The Seasoning House, you'll probably love this. Grim, disturbing, and a little bit nasty. Ooh yeah! :-)
Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)
Insipidous - gawd, another one.
Oh my. I have to be honest here, I found the first Insidious hilarious, as it wheeled out every spook house trope in the history of horror cinema and then topped it off with a cameo by Darth Maul (as we all know), so I avoided part two like the plague as I really didn't need any more old Amityville throwbacks in my movies. So now its part 3 and a friend dragged me (quietly) kicking and screaming to see it and I honestly did hope things had improved. But.... Nope. This was quite easily much, much worse than the first one. For a start its a long time before anything even happens apart from some silly muddy footprints around a house and some dreadful SFX which are nothing more than actors covered in some grey greasepaint. The acting is incredibly hammy with heaps of cheesy dialogue (that guy from Sex & The City being the worst) then its time to bring in (wait for it.........) the paranormal investigation team!!! Yes, it's really THAT original. Once again we have a plot development used in like 1000 ghost house movies since time began (yawnnn) and I find it incredible how anyone can find any of this horrible tosh original. On then to a (much expected seance) and the ham and cheese really gets ramped up. I mean who are the audience for Insidious? They clearly know little about horror of the past (you just can't know anything and not see this film as rehashed dirge). I saw films exactly like this in the 1970s for goodness sake. But hey, maybe this film is for the newbies, maybe I'm missing the point. But for anyone else this is a tired, played to death, remake of a pile of old dusty movies that most of us really don't need to see again. Insidious is about as original as acne and I certainly enjoyed playing spot the movie watching it. And guess what? Darth Maul appears again. Yay!! We missed him (you gotta wait til the end though).
Flowers: Blooming Marvelous
Today, its very easy to feel a little jaded about the horror scene and its current state. In the mainstream we are bombarded with weak as water haunted house movies or some 100th attempt at found footage (often raising the question of just why anyone would keep filming in such a terrified situation) so this leaves us retreating much deeper, and darker, venturing into the independent, underground, or low budget realm where surely things must be different? And they usually are. The thing is though, while the horror mainstream caters mostly for the casual fan, out with their partner for the night, munching on popcorn, and wanting a few jump scares (and a plot from Amityville in the 1970s Mr Wan) the independent scene caters more for the gorehound which some smart folks like to call "torture porn" as they just haven't got the critical maturity to describe it any other way. Personally I detest this label, but at the same time I'm also quite tired myself of seeing plot less torture and shock in my movies because it reeks of a lack of directional skill or ingenuity, Im sorry but throwing gallons of fake blood and latex at the screen doesn't hide the fact that you sir suck at making movies, and while you may have your little band of followers (hey we were all teenagers once) you probably won't hit the mark for the more mature, seasoned fan who want something a little more artistic, atmospheric and disturbing, which brings me to Flowers.
On sitting down to Flowers I have to say I wasn't expecting much. Over the past few years I've experienced quite a lot of extreme horror films (many lauded as the next big thing around the indie horror forums) and to be honest, most fell foul of what I've mentioned above (gore with nothing else to offer). And true to expectations, Flowers kicks off with a girl locked up in a basement watching some faceless antagonist drag in his next victim from her grimy place of imprisonment under a house - and i thought to myself..... yawn... Here we bloody go again. But, it soon became apparent that this film was doing something very different indeed, something dark, something artful, and something quite disgustingly beautiful. Gone was the dialogue (which usefully eradicates any occasions of bad acting) and in its place were other sounds that conjured up much more dread and much more unsettlement than (the usual) victims screaming. Far off atmospheric sounds whooshed in and out, over the top of squelchy, sloppy, and mucky assaults on the ear holes This was a film that you experienced both aurally and visually as a surreal and messed up journey, not something crassly forced into your face like a motorway car crash. Flowers is claustrophobic, nightmarish, yet depressingly gorgeous in its stinky on screen presence (and from what I've read of what that muck was made from it was stinky for real haha). This film just has to be both seen and heard. I really don't want to give too much more away here, but this is a film for the more discerning horror fan, a film which shows that the low budget scene CAN be innovative and pop something out that's not repetitive scenes of disembowelment or mutilation, rather it strives to show horror can be art.
The constraints of budget here have forced the producers to proverbially think outside the box and not just come up with another tale of rape and torture (though many scenes within are graphic indeed) to me, atmosphere in a film is everything and it takes a true artist to be able to pull that off. I was hooked from start to finish watching Flowers and I didn't look at my phone even once (hey that's the modern grading scale isn't it haha?) so I conclude that this is a damn fine indicator of what it did for me. As it is, up until now this film has only had two quite small release runs so not a lot of people have caught it yet, in October however its getting a full scale retail distribution by Unearthed Films (which are a highly respected label in the indie horror world) and I expect things will really take off then. I wish the people involved all the best of luck with it and hope they continue down the more artistic road of horror they're on. Only time will tell, but for now this will be one of the best horror releases of 2015 for me. Oh, and ps. I have no connection with this film whatsoever, hopefully that's evident from my other reviews on the site.
What the indie horror scene should be
In an age of terrible haunted house and ghost movies, spurred on by the septic legacy of hacks like James Wan (ok he did two good flicks in Saw and Death Sentence) you'd kinda think that the alternative world of indie or low budget horror would be a breath of fresh air, but no, that sadly isn't the case. Without naming names, our greatest hopes today seem to be happy to churn out pathetic rehashes of tired old torture flicks relying on shock and gore to attain notoriety, but rather than actually shocking us, they end up putting us to sleep. Do we really want to see another male/female tied to a chair and be assaulted any more? With no effort at all put into plot, dialogue (or worst of all) acting? Horror fans are much more discerning now and we're sick and tired of being treated like imbeciles who must enjoy everything filled with buckets of blood and fake boobs bouncing around on screen. Yeah, maybe this works for teenage boys new to the genre, but it doesn't work for those of us born with (at least) half a brain so can we please ask those directors involved to kindly stop? Please? Now go away and watch a few good movies (not just a few 80s slashers and a couple of German splatterfests) then come back and see us when you've learned something eh? The independent/ underground area of any entertainment media is supposed to bring originality and innovation, so why aren't we getting it in the horror scene? Which brings me to Coyote.... Its still quite early in 2015, but already we've had a few promising offerings that bode well for the year ahead and Coyote is certainly one of those. The film is an insane headf*** of an experience, never relying on tired (current) torture tropes and remaining totally unpredictable throughout its entire runtime. Its hilariously twisted in parts where you will literally laugh out loud at what you're seeing (well I did) but on other occasions you'll be cringing at its nastiness. Bill Oberst Jr is a revelation in this movie, I honestly couldn't imagine many other actors pulling it off. His depiction of one mans descent into madness is just wonderful, and I gotta say there was a certain amount of bravery involved there too haha. Novel, fascinating, and enthralling, I watched it while really not knowing what to expect next. So, if you love horror, and (like most) you're getting a little sick and tired of what's being force fed to the underground scene these days, check out Coyote. Its a breath of (rancid) fresh air.
I've seen the future of horror, and its not Ryan Nicolson.
Well I just had the pleasure of witnessing Collar by Mr Nicolson. and I'm actually thinking of joining some submissive internet groups now, because even though I've seen, and hated every single film by our Ryan, I still watched and suffered one more. Another total poopfest, with horrible acting, and a plot seemingly written by a 12yr old boy. Even the gore sucked danglies. I really don't know now who this guy makes films for, maybe its his family and hangers on (pardon the pun) who keep convincing him that he's great, but personally I don't think he could direct a starving man to a banquet.
I'm old enough to remember going into video stores and hiring movies purely on the gory cover (and pictures on the back) and honestly, I rented out some real stinkers back then, but I thought that kind of terrible horror movie was gone in 2015, seems not though. That said, Ryan's groupies (I shall call them the Knicolheads) will probably still love it, (just like 9yr olds love One Direction, Ryan has his 12yr olds) and I personally can't wait to chastise myself some more with the upcoming Gutterballs 2.
Or perhaps not.