Wednesday, 26 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: THE MIND'S EYE



It’s day twenty-six of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

THE MIND'S EYE is an 80's stylised piece of cinema, that is hugely inspired by the classic horror SCANNERS. Featuring similar set up it is telling the story of a man and a woman with telekinetic abilities, who has escaped from the secret compound, where they were subjected to gruesome experiments. Pursued by a psychotic doctor, they have to die, or face their attackers head on. Full of piercing needles, flying axes and exploding heads, THE MIND'S EYE is a gore feast, but it also manages to deliver on tension. The electronic soundtrack  will bring out nostalgia, and the practical effects and the make up are awe inspiring. Good bye CGI!

If anything negative to be said about THE MIND'S EYE, it's that it is taking itself too seriously, plus the story is a little one dimensional. Nothing original was really brought to the table, but what was done, was done well.

THE MIND'S EYE Is a low budget film that manages to deliver an excellent look and sound. In fact, the sound is one of the most interesting features of the film. The opening title suggest: THIS FILM MUST BE WATCHED LOUD! Follow this advice if you can.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: SCREAM TV SHOW HALLOWEEN SPECIAL


It’s day twenty-five of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

My challenge will not be complete without a review of a TV show. There are number of fantastic horror shows out there, including American Horror Story, but tonight I will talk about the "underdog".

SCREAM is a NETFLIX show (originally produced by MTV) that I love to hate. So far SCREAM TV SHOW has spawned two very uneven seasons, but with the Halloween special movie, it seems to start finally finding its voice.

It is not necessary to know any of the SCREAM TV characters to watch this one, but it is beneficial, as a few storylines from TV show get a resolution and it sets up for the next season. At the core of the story is a bunch of teenagers, who had not once, but twice had survived a serial killer massacre; decide to escape their hometown for Halloween and get stuck on an island, and plunge right into the heart of a new murder mystery. The storm is coming, the last boat is gone, and they are now facing the new killer, whose main objective, once again, is beautiful Emma Duvall, a fragile heroine who had escaped the clutches of death a few times before, and seems to get a hang of it.

The set up is simple, the murders just keep on coming, and the film just feels too good to be a TV special. With yet another killer stalking the same bunch of kids the premise should get tiresome, but if you take it as a modern, darker version of SCOOBI-DOO, it sort of works. The real disappointment here is the killer reveal - too predictable and too cliche. But his (or her) final showdown with Emma is worth all the wait!

SCREAM TV SHOW is not for everyone. You are either onboard or not. But this little movie sets the standard high for the future season.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: MANHOLE


It’s day twenty-four of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

Korean movies always put drama on the forefront of any genre film including horror. MANHOLE -  a slasher movie, that takes part almost entirely in the underground of Seoul, is no exception.

When her deaf sister suddenly disappears, Yeon-Seo descends into the underground labyrinth, beneath the city to find her. The entire film is a cat and mouse game between the two women and a psychotic serial killer who is out to destroy them. The film is stylishly shot and for the small set up the underground setting provides, no expense is spared.

Another famous feature of Korean movies is the high standard of acting. Both leading ladies and the serial killer are believable and very human characters. While evil is never redeemed, it is made understandable.

Korean audiences crave horror more than any other country (must have something to do with the political situation), and they manage to make any cliche set up turn into an original movie.

MANHOLE may be too gritty and violent for some, but this is the horror  movie that deserves praise: rich in character, spot on pacing, and just enough violence to make you believe you've seen a lot, when in fact it all happened off screen. Creepy, intelligent and SCARY!

SCORE OUT OF 5


SCARY SCORE: 👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: REBIRTH


It’s day twenty-three of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

REBIRTH is a story of Kyle,  a middle aged guy stuck in his home-work-home routine, who goes to a spiritual camp weekend recommended by his old pal, he had not seen in ages. To give away anything that transpires would be a spoiler… just to mention its not a comedy we are reviewing after all!

REBIRTH is a Netflix commissioned movie and there’s been a row of very successful ones in recent years: art-house movies with descent budgets, that would never have been produced otherwise. Bravo Netflix.

The one word to describe REBIRTH would be “intriguing”. It has the same “lunacy” vibe as THE INVITATION, one of my favorite horror of this year. It does not go as far, but it does not have to. We can make up our minds ourselves. In my books, REBIRTH could be a prequel to THE INVITATION also but  it has no connection   whatsoever to it.

It always fun to watch a movie that does not play by the rules and makes you think, but is also engaging at the same time. If it was a book I would have finished it in one day, just because the  ending is so hard to predict.

And, ironically, it is the ending of REBIRTH which is the only let down. While it not at all a disappointment, there’s nothing spectacular or shocking about it. On the bright side, it will make you want to discuss it with a friend. Don’t watch it alone!


SCORE OUT OF 5


SCARY SCORE: 👻👻
GORE SCORE: NONE
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: ABATTOIR



It’s day twenty-two of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

In ABATTOIR a young journalist loses her sister's family to a terrible crime, only to find out that the the house where the murder was committed had been sold and the murder room had been ripped out of it. She shortly finds out similar incidents all over the country, and discovers that a mysterious collector is harvesting the crime scenes and building one very special house...

Originally created as a comic book by director Darryl Lynn Bousman (a director of  some SAW sequels) ABATTOIR is an indie film with great potential, its only minus could be the limited budget. You could only imagine what this idea could really look like on a bigger scale!

It is rare to find such an original premise in an independent horror film, but to have top notch cinematography and suspense is a real rarity. ABATTOIR'S main achievement is it's superior writing and comprehensive dialogue. Here come the characters of flesh and blood you can root for in a horror film!  A special mention is to Lin Shaye (INSIDIOUS movie franchise)- a fantastic actor, who can turn any episodic role into the most important performance of the film.

The camera work is wonderfully old fashioned and the mystery is delicious. The creepy choral soundtrack creates the mood and the pacing hooks you in and never lets go.

Once in a while you stumble on a real gem of an independent film that will surprise and inspire. ABATTOIR is such a film.

SCORE OUT OF 5

SCARY SCORE: 👻👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Friday, 21 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: THE ZERO BOYS






It’s day twenty one of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

This time it's another 80s horror, called THE ZERO BOYS. It's must have been a pioneer of the survival horror, with unusually and unsettling for the time snuff movie references and very human villains. The story revolves around a team of young survival game champions, who suddenly find themselves hunted by a group of psychopaths. Are they as good at survival game for real?  This time the prize is their lives.

My thirteen year old self would love THE ZERO BOYS, because it is full of booby traps, explosions and some very well executed suspense. But looking at it through the eyes of a modern viewer it is obvious that the characters are badly developed, the acting is weak and behaviour is illogical. It is also hard to like anyone, and the boys who play with guns too much are just asking for the arrow through their heads.

I also did not appreciate the small body count. Come on! It's a horror movie for god's sake. There were more maniacs killed than innocent victims, and this is a sign that something is wrong with the film.

ZERO BOYS is one of the 80's film that would do well as a remake, with a better script and acting it could be a pretty scary movie. As it is, the film is just an interesting example of 80's pulp, that will require a few beers and some friends around you to be truly enjoyed.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃

Thursday, 20 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: CHOPPING MALL




It’s day twenty of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

I am told I am not watching enough 80's horror films, so tonight I am reviewing CHOPPING MALL, a horror film from the 80's I had missed as a teenager and have discovered it's existence just recently, stumbling on a poster. God, I wish they made similar posters these days!  A perfect marketing tool!

The plot is simple, but effective. A lightening strike causes the safety guard robots to go mad at a large shopping mall, just when a group of young people decides to have a sneaky party after hours. The exits are locked, and the victims are stuck with the homicidal machines overnight.

The film has a dumb dialogue, lots of topless girls, is filled with neon laser beams and has plenty of explosive gore - everything 80's is famous for. There is barely a boring moment, as the kids don't take long to fight back, and the murders come in rapid fashion. The body count is staggering!

The electronic soundtrack is a marvel, and the whole experience will make you go back in time, if you grew up with these films like I did. The final showdown between the pretty blonde and one of the devil's machines is cathartic, culminating in a punchline right before the evil creature is sent to electronic hell, or wherever the bad robots go.

My thirteen year old self would have enjoyed CHOPPING MALL much more, but I must admit at almost forty I still had a blast.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: NIGHT FARE



It’s day nineteen of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

NIGHT FARE is a French horror movie directed by Julien Seri, who normally specialises in action films, and it is visible in this 2015 horror effort. The premise is intriguing enough: during their reunion in Paris, two friends skip the taxi fare, only to be stalked by the relentless taxi driver with a mania to kill.  What should be a straightforward formula thriller is not what it seems, and the last 20 minutes shift the gear into a different direction, showing what happened in a different light... and not in a great way.

NIGHT FARE is basically one relentless chase thorough the seedy Parisian suburbs, and is entertaining enough. The cinematography resembles carefully constructed music video and the suspense, unfortunately, is never really there. The love triangle aspect of the story, however, is a terrible cliche.

I had great expectations of NIGHT FARE, as French do horror best, but this independent feature tries to borrow from too many other films, and then, as if remembering how important it is to be original, adds an ending that came form a completely different genre and undermines all that came before it.


SCORE OUT OF 5

SCARY SCORE: 👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: WE ARE WHAT WE ARE



It’s day eighteen of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

Officially WE ARE WHAT WE ARE is an American re-make of a very good Mexican film of the same name. But I would rather call it re-imagining, as after the familiar set up, the movie takes a completely different direction from the original.

Parkers is a small town family who had just experienced a tragedy - Emma Parker, the mother of three children had passed away. But for Parker's family, apart from the feeling of grief and loss, her death presents a very practical problem - they will have nothing to eat. And mom had provided them with a very special type of food...

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE stands out for its very human portrayal of monsters, to the point that you can almost feel sympathy towards them. Two innocent girls, the small boy and the maddened with grief father, all seem vulnerable and desperate. As hunger overtakes them they start to slide into panic mode... and make mistakes. The movie is slow, but mysterious. It's a family drama and detective story in one. And the gory ending is borderline nauseating.

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE is almost a perfect horror film, except it could do without the backstory explanation. The flash back sequences feel out of place and take away some magic from the set up. Monsters' motives and origins don't always need to be perfectly explained to be scary.

It is nice to see the American remake doing a good job. Instead of trying to steal the glory of the original, WE ARE WHAT WE ARE simply compliments it, by giving us a different storyline and a bunch of new interesting characters.

SCARY SCORE: 👻👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

Monday, 17 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: WHEN ANIMALS DREAM



It’s day seventeen of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

In the Danish movie WHEN ANIMALS DREAM, a young girl Marie discovers strange changes in her body. Realising that her family is not what it seems, she makes a decision that no one will dictate to her how to deal with her future.

WHEN ANIMALS DREAM Is a coming of age story with a twist. Using the Werewolf legend as a basis for Marie's transformations, the movie is more concerned about drama than the straightforward horror, focusing on frustrations of being young and facing inevitable decisions about the future. The movie is dark, elegant and stylish, with performances to match, Sonia Suhl as Marie being a particular revelation.

The film is short, less than 90 minutes, and this allows it to tell this small story at the right pace and finish at the right time. WHEN ANIMALS DREAM toured the world festivals a few years ago and to very positive feedback. Not many independent films, horror or not, live up to the expectations, but this film effortlessly manages to capture one's attention, to scare and to amaze.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: JACK GOES HOME


It’s day sixteen of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

Once in a while watching a lot of independent films your stumble on a hidden gem, such a gem is JACK GOES HOME, from a first time director Thomas Dekker. Just like the title suggest, a young man Jack returns home from LA for his father's funeral, to discover some shocking truths about his early childhood and his parents. With his mother being alive, she is the only one he can ask questions. How far will he go to get the answers, and how far would his mother go to cover up the terrible truth?

JACK GOES HOME is best described as "intriguing". Just like the protagonist, we want to know the answers to the secrets, and we get them eventually, but the ending will make us question ourselves. What was true? Was anything?

JACK GOES HOME is a kind of a movie that give you all the answers. But at the same time offers you none. It is a dark tale of family secrets and betrayals and the way one learns how to live with them. It is populated by live, well fleshed out characters, and Rory Culkin gives it his everything and more. The movie is a solid and focused piece, but once again, it could do with a shorter running time.

I would have given this film a perfect score just for its originality and for an interesting approach to a film about dealing with grief, but an ambiguous ending ruined it a little bit for me. This is an original piece of cinema that deserves your attention.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃 🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: PATIENT SEVEN



It’s day fifteen of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

Anthology horror movies are almost a sub-genre, and my challenge would not be complete without one of those. The plot of PATIENT SEVEN revolves around a renowned  psychiatrist Dr Markus who visits an asylum for the criminally insane, in order to interview six of the patients for his new book. But it's patient Seven who is  hiding a dangerous secret.

This overarching storyline is designed to connect seven short independent horror movies from around the world. Michael Ironside as Dr Markus does a good job, but the problem is that his character is irrelevant, just like the rest of the mental asylum set up. As a connection between seven short stories it definitely doesn't work.

The good news?
 The seven short horror films of PATIENT SEVEN are pretty good. They are bloody, suspenseful and inventive. My favourite being THE BODY where a contract killer drags the dead body through the Halloween crowds, never suspected, because he is one of many in weird costumes. There is also a child killer story, a vampire story, a monster story, a ghost story and two zombie stories.
And in spite of overall movie's lengthy time of 120 minutes I thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

PATIENT SEVEN would be a much better, compact film if it had abandoned the mental asylum storyline as it is completely redundant. If you like short and effective scares PATIENT SEVEN is definitely worth a look.


SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: EDGE OF WINTER


It’s day fourteen of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

In EDGE OF WINTER an estranged father takes his two teenage sons on a trip. As their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, the kids' father slowly, but steadily, starts losing his mind...

The movie is a slow burner, with tension gradually rising, just to erupt in the end with violence and madness. The few members of the cast are doing fine job building the eerily atmosphere of isolation, that corrupts the family from the inside, as well as physically surrounds them. The film has THE SHINING vibe to it  (a psychotic father and a snow ridden landscape - it's hard not to draw the parallel), but it has its own violent heart in place.

EDGE OF WINTER paves its way with fine performances and an interesting (and a very real) premise. It may be a little slow, and not gory enough for the genre fans, but it has a fine payback of an ending.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: SHIN GODZILLA



It’s day thirteen of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

My challenge would not be complete if it did not feature one of the most famous monsters of all times - GODZILLA! The new Japanese movie SHIN GODZILLA had a huge budget, massive advertising campaign and was supposed to reboot the franchise. What came out is an overwrought, overly serious and extremely long movie that will appeal only to the fans.

As the story goes a giant monster resurfaces in Tokyo bay, destroying all in its wake, while many protagonists must decide whether they have to destroy or learn to co-exist with this incarnation of a god.

In an avalanche of characters, an average movie goer will find his bearings only half way through the film. There are many unintentionally funny moments and some supposedly Americans speak with preposterous accents, impossible to comprehend. I never have problems with subtitles, but the machine gun dialogue makes it impossible to catch everything, unless you went to speed reading courses. The patriotic message of the movie is unceremoniously shoved down your throat, which does not sit well with the political satire this movie essentially is. Messy!

On the bright side the monster itself has an interesting design, and the application of practical effects to real life surrounding, while not looking overly realistic, is still awe inspiring. But the effects and explosions are not many. The aimless chats are a lot.

Regretfully I will not recommend SHIN GODZILLA to anyone, unless you are an absolute fan of this monster.


SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: NOONDAY WITCH (POLEDNICE)


It’s day twelve of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

NOONDAY WITCH was an opening night movie for the Melbourne Czech Film Festival and therefore caught my attention. Based on a famous Czech poem ( later turned into a symphonic piece of music) the movie tells the story of a mother, who arrives at her husband's hometown, looking for a safe haven after her husband's apparent suicide. She is bringing her little daughter with her. The girl is unaware of her father's death, and as mother refuses to raise the issue the relationship between the two becomes increasingly distant. It does not help that the local legend about the Noonday Witch who comes to claim a child, is becoming reality. Or is it all in our heroine's head?

NOONDAY WITCH has a similar premise to Australian BABADOOK where a single mother, little by little, starts to lose her grip on reality. Intentionally bright colours create an idyllic image of the countryside, almost painfully so. The movie does not have any familiar horror gags. There are no jump scares, no creepy music that tells you when to get scared. Where other films use darkness, NOONDAY WITCH uses bright sunlight to a similar effect.

The movie is competently shot and acted, but is painfully slow. It would be forgiven if the ending had delivered, alas, it falls flat and predictable. NOONDAY WITCH is less scary than an average episode of THE GOOD WIFE. It is unfortunate, but apart from some nice cinematography and the original setting of a fairy tale Czech village, NOONDAY WITCH is a family drama masked as horror, that makes very little effort to scare or to invent.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: none!
GORE SCORE: none!
FUN SCORE: 🎃



HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: SACRIFICE


It’s day eleven my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

SACRIFICE is based on a novel, and it is easy to tell, because of the complicated and precise layers of the murder mystery that's at the film's core. Frustrated with her inability to conceive a child, Tora is moving from busy New York to a remote Scottish island - her husband's homeland. When a dead body is found near her house, and it is clear that the victim had been pregnant just before she was murdered, Tora starts her own investigation and uncovers a century old conspiracy.

SACRIFICE has a few surprises in store. It is nicely paced, as questions being answered one by one, with the final half an hour devoted to chases and thrills. The island is beautiful, atmospheric and a perfect setting for a horror movie. Radha Mitchell as Tora had done such character a few times before, so she slips into it as if into a pair of old shoes. She is believable, however, and fun to watch. The rest of the cast, does a decent job looking creepy and suspicious from the get go till the end.

SACRIFICE does not break any new ground, but it has an interesting story to tell. It is tense enough to be entertaining instead of scary, and has a good balance of action drama and mystery.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: HAPPY BIRTHDAY



It’s day ten of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

In HAPPY BIRTHDAY two friends embark on a trip to Mexico to celebrate the birthday of one of them. As they pay two strange men to discover "the real Mexico" things spiral out of control pretty quickly and they soon find themselves in a fight for survival.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY is a genre blender. Sold and advertised as a horror film, it is so much more than that. Taking the comedic element of HANGOVER, it also delivers the sticky tension of HOSTEL. Shot on a tight budget the movie looks expensive, with decent acting, especially from Mexican part of the cast, who all look authentic and creepy.

This is as much fun with an independent movie you will ever get, and  all thanks to the script that delivers funny, scary and tense in good measure. The only let down is a twist in the end, but it is a fun ride all the way through. Recommended.

SCORE OUT OF 5:

SCARY SCORE: 👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Sunday, 9 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: DESIERTO




It’s day nine of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

 In DESIERTO the illegal migrants  from Mexico stumble on a different kind of danger, while trying to cross the border to US, when a crazed sniper and his dog hunt them down one by one.

The frames of the horror genre had been expanded recently to involve social issues (Recent success of DON'T BREATHE is a good example of that) and DESIERTO is an effective wake up call to those who believe that drastic measures can solve the American immigration problem. Shot on location in one of the most picturesque places in the world DESIERTO is a relentless chase movie in the vein of Spielberg's famous DUEL.

DESIERTO is short and focused, all the character development is action driven a la MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and the violence is sudden, gratuitous and realistic. The minimal soundtrack supports the natural sounds of the desert, which seems to be ready to devour the characters at any time. In fact, the desert is the real character in the story: unforgiving to all weaknesses, it appreciates only one quality - the will to live.

DESIERTO is an exciting little feature, and for what it is, a near perfect cinematic thrill ride.

Score out of 5:
SCARE SCORE: 👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Saturday, 8 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: #HORROR



It’s day eight of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

In #HORROR, a sophomore feature from  a designer turned director Tara Subcoff, a group of 12 year old girls,  during a sleepover decide to lock up their phones in safe and then interact socially. The game backfires as one of the girls is exiled and gets lost in the woods, surrounding the house, while an intruder starts picking out the girls one by one.

The scariest thing about  #HORROR is the interactions between 12 year old girls who act as a pack, but are also ready to turn on each other at a moment's notice. The setting in the film is top notch - a glass house in he middle of the forest, as creepy as it is beautiful. Much of the film's pacing and tension lies on the shoulders of the young actors and they manage to pull off a realistic portrayal of young generation, the kids who even in each other's company can only be themselves in the virtual world.

The violence in the film is as gratuitous as a film involving 12 year olds can allow, but it is not the main focus of the film, where the portrayal of the modern family is terrifying and depressing. 

#HORROR Is an entertaining little movie. It has many loose ends and it lacks real scares, but the premise and the pacing are intriguing enough to entertain.


Score out of 5:
SCARE SCORE: 👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃

Friday, 7 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: THE OTHER


It’s day seven of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month of October and write a short review for each one.

It’s time for a classic feature. THE OTHER was made in 1972, and inspired many well known thrillers - Sixth Sense, The Uninvited and most recently GOOD NIGHT MOMMY to name a few. The story centers on the lives of two twin brothers, Holland and Niles. Niles is a sensitive and loving child, while Holland is a cold-blooded sociopath and a killer. As bodies in the village begin to pile up, the grandmother Ada starts to suspect that something is wrong with the boys…

THE OTHER has a very grim story line, high body count and while the violence is minimal it has some very disturbing moments. The film shot in bright colours, bringing a dream-like quality to every scene, making us question all the time what is real.

The movie’s twist must have been quite a shock in 1972. The movie posters even begged not to reveal what they called “the secret of THE OTHER”. Nowadays this twist was used and abused and hardly surprising, but the realistic and at times touching acting of the twin boys (the only ever role of Martin and Chris Udvarnoky) is worth it all.

THE OTHER is full of long shots and the angelic music of Jerry Goldsmith (he will later score THE OMEN) highlights the contrast – a thin line between darkness and light in the film, darkness slowly overtaking as the score dissolves itself towards the end.


THE OTHER may be too slow and too esoteric for modern viewer, but it is an immaculately shot and atmospheric piece of cinema that deserves all the attention it could get.

Score out of 5:
SCARE SCORE: 👻👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃

Thursday, 6 October 2016

HORROR MOVIE REVIEW: RIGOR MORTIS


It’s day six of my HALLOWEEN CHALLENGE where I have to see a horror movie a day during the month October and write a short review for each one.

Hong Kong Horror movie RIGOR MORTIS made a splash in the festivals a few years ago. At the centre of the film, is a down-on-his-luck actor, who moves into a crummy apartment block with the aim to end his life. Saved by one of the eccentric residents, he realises that the building is haunted, but not only that…  one neighbour is determine to resurrect an ancient evil and there’s little can be done to stop it.

The whole generation in Hong Kong was raised on the MR Vampire Kung-FU horror series, and RIGOR MORTIS is a tribute to those films, featuring actors and references from the originals. It is a nostalgic and emotional piece, that unites the old style of Hong Kong movie making and the modern J-Horror tendencies (the director for the RING series Takashi Shimizu produced the film), but it never struggles with its identity. The over the top violence and Kung-Fu battles manage to generate  just enough suspense  to suppress the silliness, and the quirky characters are easy to care for.


Using the first hour to create the atmosphere and establish the drame, RIGOR MORTIS is a rewarding and unexpected movie experience, which proves that old fashioned Hong Kong cinema, just like that old and forgotten vampire, was never really dead. 

Score out of 5:
SCARE SCORE: 👻👻👻👻
GORE SCORE: 🗡🗡🗡🗡
FUN SCORE: 🎃🎃🎃🎃🎃