horror tagged posts

Halloween (2018)

Director: David Gordon Green

Writers: David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Jeff Fradley

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Haluk Bilginer, Rhian Rees, Jefferson Hall, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle

Cert: 18

Running time: 106mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: 40 years after the events of Halloween, Laurie Strode (Curtis) must protect daughter Karen (Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Matichak) from unstoppable killer Michael Myers when he escapes from prison.

What’s the verdict: For a franchise with an unkillable boogeyman, a 40th anniversary movie was always likely. Less certain was if said movie would be any good.

Halloween’s 1998 20th anniversary instalment, H20, was a worthwhile reuniting of Jamie Lee Curtis and her most enduring co-star...

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2018 London Film Festival – Mid-Festival Round-Up

An exquisite torture when attending the London Film Festival is working out how many movies can be viewed over the twelve days before physical shut down occurs. Two or three a day seems reasonable. But, with 225 feature films showing (plus a further 160 shorts), 24 or 36 movies begins to seem like small beer indeed.

A first amongst first world problems, we know, but there is so much to feast upon and so little time. And sleep tends to encroach at some point (typically around day 4).

What is genuinely good fun is seeing how the disparate films can be bunched together. What themes emerge across the movies? Below are our observations of this year’s London Film Festival at the midway point.

Sure, it is arbitrary as all hell – key films we were unable to attend include Vox Lux, Beautiful Boy...

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Hidden Stains – Jon Knautz Talks The Cleaning Lady

His 2007 feature debut may have been titled Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, but writer/director Jon Knautz has become a filmmaker notable for movies providing women with complex, meaty roles. Sure, the films he directs and co-writes swim in the more shadowy side of the lake, but works such as The Shrine, Girlhouse and Goddess of Love are notable for their compelling female leads and character driven stories.

This also applies to The Cleaning Lady, Knautz’s latest movie, co-created with regular collaborator Alexis Kendra. As well as performing co-writing and producing duties, Kendra also stars as Alice, a “love addict” feeling trapped in a joyless affair with a married man. To distract herself from this, Alice befriends Rachel Alig’s shy Shelley, the cleaning lady in her building...

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Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich

Director: Sonny Laguna, Tommy Wiklund

Writer: S. Craig Zahler (script), Charles Band, Kenneth J. Hall (characters created by)

Cast: Thomas Lennon, Barbara Crampton, Michael Paré, Jenny Pellicer, Nelson Franklin, Udo Kier, Charlyne Yi, Skeeta Jenkins

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 90mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: Edgar (Lennon) and friends travel to a small town to auction a puppet belonging to a serial killer murdered there decades before. But, in the hotel Edgar and other puppet bearing guests discover some toys bite back.

What’s the verdict: A bargain bin horror franchise since inception back in 1989, audiences are likely to be drawn to this soft Puppet Master reboot chiefly because it’s scripted by Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99 creator S. Craig Zahler.

Yet, wherea...

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Terrified (2017)

Director: Demián Rugna

Writer: Demián Rugna

Cast: Maximiliano Ghione, George L. Lewis, Elvira Onetto

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 87mins

Year: 2018


 


What’s the story: When supernatural occurrences on a quiet suburban street lead to death, a police detective enlists the help of parapsychologists.

What’s the verdict: Reportedly Argentina’s first foray into paranormal horror, Demián Rugna’s Terrified lives up to its mission-statement title. Exploring territory previously charted by Ju-on, Insidious, Paranormal Activity and dozens of other supernatural shockers, writer/director Rugna nevertheless mines fresh jumps and jolts out of his fiendish little tale.

On a suburban street in a nondescript town something odd is happening...

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Videoman

Director: Kristian A. Söderström

Writer: Kristian A. Söderström

Cast: Stefan Sauk, Lena Nilsson, Amanda Ooms, Martin Wallström, Sven Wollter, Carolin Stoltz

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 93mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: Former video store owner Ennio (Sauk) begins to doubt his friends when a valuable VHS that could solve his money problems is stolen.

What’s the verdict: A surprisingly touching examination of late middle-age regret, Videoman is a slippery debut from Swedish writer/director Kristian A. Söderström. Part Ken Loach or Aki Kaurismäki social drama, part giallo thriller, it takes a sensitive look at curdled nostalgia and obsession.

Ennio lives in the basement of a snowy Gothenburg apartment block...

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The Night Sitter

Director: Abiel Bruhn, John Rocco

Writers: Abiel Bruhn, John Rocco

Cast: Elyse Dufour, Jack Champion, Bailey Campbell, Joe Walz

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 88mins

Year: 2018



What’s the story: Christmas time. Amber (Dufour) is hired to babysit Kevin (Champion), the nervy son of wannabe paranormal TV host Ted (Walz). Along with her friends, Amber plans to rob Ted’s house. But, their plans go awry when three vengeful witches are accidentally summoned.

What’s the verdict: Horror film babysitters typically endure a rough ride to the end credits. If they reach them at all.

The Night Sitter’s Amber, spiritedly played by Elyse Dufour, also must run a gauntlet of mayhem and bloodshed. But, she faces her tormentors with the punk sass of someone who begins the film believing they are the...

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Ghost Mask – Scar

Director: Takeshi Sone

Writer: Etsuo Hiratani

Cast: Yurika Akane, Lee Yuha, Yurisa, Choi Yona, Miya Sakimoto, Lee Eun-woo, Sou Hirosawa

Cert: 18 (TBC)

Running time: 81mins

Year: 2018


 


What’s the story: Japanese woman Miyu (Akane) travels to Seoul to find her sister and right a past wrong. While in Seoul she meets brilliant plastic surgeon Hana and her female lover Hyoshin.

What’s the verdict: Director Takeshi Sone acted as cinematographer on Shinichiro Ueda’s wild Japanese horror-comedy One Cut of the Dead, and is his own cinematographer on Ghost Mask – Scar.

But, the rough n’ tumble hand-held visuals of Ueda’s movie are here replaced with a restrained style that coolly records the tragi-horror events of Etsuo Hiratani’s script.

Taking its cue from Takashi Miike’s classi...

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Incident in a Ghostland

Director: Pascal Laugier

Writer: Pascal Laugier

Cast: Crystal Reed, Anastasia Phillips, Mylène Farmer, Emilia Jones, Taylor Hickson, Kevin Power, Rob Archer

Cert: 18

Running time: 91mins

Year: 2018


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What’s the story: Years after a violent home invasion, successful horror writer Beth returns to the house where her mother and traumatised sister still live. But, the pain and horror lingers on.

What’s the verdict: Six years have past since Pascal Laugier’s criminally underseen The Tall Man snuck out straight-to-DVD. With Incident in a Ghostland he returns to the themes and screams of his brutal sophomore feature Martyrs for another astonishing five-star experience.

As with Martyrs this centers on two young women, here sisters Beth and Vera, trapped in a large mysterious house with ...

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Crystal Eyes

Director: Ezequiel Endelman, Leandro Montejano

Writers: Ezequiel Endelman, Leandro Montejano

Cast: Anahi Politi, Camila Pizzo, Silvia Montanari, Victoria Del Rosal, Augustina Del Rosal

Cert: 15 (TBC)

Running time: 82mins

Year: 2017


 


What’s the story: In mid-80s Buenos Aires, on the anniversary of a fashion model’s fiery death during a photoshoot, magazine staff members begin disappearing…

What’s the verdict: Blood and Black Lace directed by Pedro Almodovar best describes Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano’s love letter to the films of Mario Bava, Dario Argento, and other Italian masters of suspense.

The writer-director duo have a blast weaving the giallo style and plots into their own deliciously dark movie...

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