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Kingp35's Horror Viewing Log

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  • April Fools Day (1986)

    April Fools Day is one of a slew of slasher films that came out in the 1980's in order to cash in on the popularity of films such as Friday the 13th and Halloween. The vast majority of these slashers had very little new and original to say and many were simply terrible but April Fools Day managed to be both different and enjoyable.

    The plot follows a group of eight college friends who travel to a mansion on an island, which belongs to another of their friends, in order to celebrate April Fools Day. Once their though they realise that there is a killer among them has begun to pick them off one by one. They begin to suspect each other of being the killer and each one must try and survive the night.

    It sounds like your typical slasher set up and for the most part it is. We are again treated to about half an hour of filler material but the killer shows up and things really get going. Luckily though the filler material is quiet funny and entertaining as it features different members of the group playing pranks on each other and is an entertaining way of introducing us to each other. When the killer does show up the film becomes much more serious and becomes almost a character study in paranoia as various people are suspected as being the killer. I have to admit that it is in no way a frightening film, there are few jump scares and the atmosphere isn't all that creepy but it's who dunnit nature of the film and the famous ending that really elevates it above the usual fare.

    April Fools Day is definitely one of the best of the 80's slasher films with funny moments as well as horror and an excellent ending. Give this one a go but make sure read nothing about it beforehand.

    8/10




  • Unrest (2006)

    I had never heard of Unrest before but came across it on Netflix so decided to give it a watch. It was originally part of the After Dark Horrorfest series of films and is a low budget effort directed by Jason Todd Ipson who seems to have done very little since. It's not hard to understand why having seen Unrest.

    The plot is based within a hospital and follows a group of pathology students who are tasked with dissecting a cadaver as part of their study. A female student named Alison becomes convinced that the cadaver her group is working on has a spirit connected with it that is killing of all those who handle or cut up the body.

    The main reason I gave this film a look was because of the interesting synopsis, the idea that a dead body may not be as dead as first thought is ripe for horror moments and the setting of a hospital nearly always works well for a horror film. Unrest actually starts off interesting enough, the first half hour is solid as it introduces the characters and hints at strange happenings going on. From the second act on though things go downhill as not an awful lot happens and the pace of the film comes to a near halt. It's obvious that the script writer came up the basis for the film but was unable to flesh it out enough to create a good horror film. To put it bluntly, Unrest completely lacks any frightening scenes, we are not even treated to some cheap loud noise scares. The acting is also dodgy at times and it's clear that the film suffered from its low budget. The ending is satisfying enough but can't make up for came before it.

    Unrest had a nice idea but failed to capitalise on it, this is one to avoid.

    4.5/10

    Nine Miles Down (2009)

    Nine Miles Down is yet another film that I stumbled upon on Netflix that despite its large €22m budget many people have never seen nor heard of.

    The story is set within a research station based in the Sahara desert where a security expert is sent to investigate the disappearance of the research team as well as other strange happenings at the base. Once there he comes across a woman who claims to have been part of the team. The security man slowly begins to doubt her claims and begins to believe she may be someone entirely different.

    What makes Nine Miles Down mostly a success is the lack of characters, there are only two main characters throughout the film which gives the film a the feel of a character study which adds to the tension. There is a real sense of mystery throughout that works very well as the main crux of the story is whether or not the woman is who she says she is and whether the security guard is imagining the visions he seems to be experiencing. As a horror film it's frightening at all with the only scares amounting to loud noise scares but the script itself is interesting enough and provides just enough horror for the film to work and ending itself is satisfying enough.

    Nine Miles Down is by no means a classic but most of what it does it achieves well enough and as a mystery it works well. It's worth a watch but don't expect a masterpiece.

    6/10




  • Mama (2013)

    Mama is the latest "Guillermo Del Toro Presents" film that is based upon a 3 minute short film that Del Toro found and loved so much that he decided to get a feature length version made. The director of the short film, Andrés Muschietti, is also the director of this feature length effort which showed a huge amount of loyalty on the part of Del Toro as Muschietti had never directed a feature film before.

    The story is about two young sisters who were left to fend for themselves in the middle of a forest for 5 years after there father killed there mother and attempted to kill himself and the girls in a cabin in the forest. Their uncle spent the 5 years searching for the girls and once he finds them decides to take them into his home to live with himself and his girlfriend. Obviously the girls have suffered hugely in the intervening years and have a wild streak about them. They also keep mentioning Mama, a person it's believed they made up to help them survive in the forest. It turns out that Mama is anything but make believe and she wants to two girls back for herself.

    The opening of the film starts of strong as we are shown how the girls came to be left in the forest and that there is a ghostly presence in the cabin where they are left. We then skip forward 5 years to when the girls are found and moved in with their uncle. This is the point where Mama turns into your typical seen it all before horror film as the second act is a let largely a let down given the excellent set up. We are treated to dream sequence after dream sequence where you only know it's a dream when the final big jump scare happens and the character wakes up. This is very lazy film making, yes the odd dream sequence is ok and heightens the tension but to do it on four occasions is really pushing it. There are much better ways to scare the audience. Luckily though the final act is a huge step up as the back-story to Mama is revealed and she really makes her presence felt. The tension is really ramped up as are the scares due to plenty of frightening visuals. The ending is decent enough although I can't help but feel it could have been done better.

    In the end Mama is a slightly above average horror film let down it's lazy second act. It's essentially a story about a woman growing into her job as a mother as well as a horror story about a malevolent spirit. There are some frightening visuals and excellent sound production but if the second act was as good as the third then it would have been a real stand out.

    7/10

    The Tattooist (2007)

    The Tattooist is a horror film that I heard about a few years ago but never managed to see it. I noticed while browsing Netflix that it was available to view so I decided to give it a watch. I shouldn't have.

    The story follows a tattoo artist named Jake who steals an ancient tattoo implement from a group of Samoan artists and accidentally cuts himself with the wooden tool. This causes him to unwittingly unleash an ancient spirit that seems hell bent on killing anyone who Jake has tattooed since cutting himself. Jake must figure out what's going on and try to save the new love of his life Sina from suffering a harrowing death.

    The first 45 minutes or so of The Tattooist follows Jake as he travels around various tattoo exhibitions with the only interesting scene involving the Samoans and the taking of the tool. The actual main plot involving the spirit doesn't get going until the final half an hour which is actually an enjoyable 30 minutes of horror as various characters get killed off the spirit is suitably menacing. It just makes you wonder why the director couldn't have gotten the spirit to show up earlier and done away with a lot of the needless filler. Jason Behr as Jake is also incredibly annoying with his acting range limited to him looking broody. The CGI effects are well done and the film looks good but it's the inordinate amount of filler that ruins this film.

    The Tattooist is a film with an original idea that could have turned out very well but instead the director was too interested in showing us the world of tattooing and various people getting tattooed rather than letting the spirit be the main focus of the film. The final half hour is good fun but wading through the previous hour to get there is not.

    5/10




  • The Eye (2008)

    The Eye is the obligatory American remake for people who can't read subtitles of the Hong Kong Horror film Gin gwai that came out in 2002. That film was largely well received and provided some nice scares without being anything overly special. This remake, although inferior, does much the same thing and manages to be one of the better remakes of the time.

    The plot is a simple one; a blind woman (Jessica Alba) receives a cornea transplant that allows her to see again. She starts to experience strange visions however and sets out to find who her donor was and solve the mystery surrounding her visions.

    The Eye is about as Hollywood as horror films come in that the major plot almost plays second fiddle to the attempts of the director to scare us using a barrage of loud noises and and dream sequences. This isn't necessarily a bad thing when done right but when it is used to the detriment of the main story then obviously it is not a good thing. This is very much the case with this remake as the original film contained both the scares and an intriguing story whereas this remake focuses more on the cheap scares. Despite this the original is still the more frightening of the two which to most won't come as a surprise. The American version still manages to be entertaining however despite the predictability of the ending and is a perfectly acceptable watch.

    If you have never seen the original then make sure to watch that instead of this remake but if you have then there is no harm in giving this a look as although it's inferior it is still decent entertainment.

    6/10

    Below (2002)

    Below is yet another horror film that seems to have completely passed me by as I stumbled across it by mistake having previously never heard anything about it. I'm glad a managed to find it as it's a well made film that has a perfect setting for ghostly happenings; a submarine.

    The film is set on-board a US submarine during WWII with the crew tasked with picking up survivors of a downed British hospital ship. They pick up three survivors and almost immediately encounter a German warship. The two end up becoming engaged in a naval battle but the crew of the US Submarine begin to experience strange happenings and a number of freak accidents occur on-board. All this seems to be related to the disappearance of the subs previous captain with the remaining crew tasked with figuring out just what is going on.

    There is no denying that a submarine is an excellent setting for a horror film, it's a small confined space with practically no escape. Below uses its setting to pretty good effect as the crew on board suffer all manner of delusions that are only intensified as various people begin to show up dead. Straight from the off you know that something is no quite right when the three British survivors are taken on board and the submarines captain starts to act strangely. Below isn't just a horror film though, there are also some nice under water action scenes involving the German warship that keeps the film moving along at a nice pace. The main plot is revealed slowly enough and despite the reveal being somewhat expected it's still interesting enough to be satisfying and it all leads up to a decent ending. Below isn't really a frightening film, if it's out and out scares you're looking for then this isn't for you but there is plenty of paranoia and claustrophobia as well some good horror moments. It's also well acted which all adds up to a good horror film.

    Below isn't amazing but it's a good horror with an interesting plot, good WWII action scenes and a well used setting which all adds up to an entertaining film.

    7/10




  • Have you Bollywood remake of The Eye? Called Naina

    One funniest movies in world ,it's bad. it's funny!, I was not a big Fan of Eye remake but I liked ending a bit better, I would have gave 4/10

    I love The Tattooist (2007) I got on DVD, I thought was really good movie!


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  • No I never heard of it, might give it a look if I can find it.




  • The Bay (2012)

    The Found Footage style of film-making seems to divide people on whether or not it is a valid form of film-making or simply a gimmick. I would fall somewhere in the middle, when it is done right it can be a very effective genre and really add a sense or realism to the proceedings. When it's done badly though it's almost unwatchable. Luckily The Bay falls into the former category and ends up being quite an effective film.

    The story is based in a small town in Maryland, America where an ecological disaster occurs which causes much of the towns population to suffer serious boils on their skin and to eventually succumb to a painful death. The US Government has tried to cover up the disaster but a student journalist has gathered together her own footage and various other sources of footage of the outbreak and released it online. The film is this footage put together to show what really happened on the day in question.

    The Bay is directed by Barry Levinson who is quite a big name director to use the found footage style. He originally wanted to create a documentary to highlight the threat an ecological disaster would cause but instead decided to go down this route as it afforded him more dramatic license to portray the events. I have to admit that the documentary would have portrayed his message much better but The Bay is certainly the more entertaining way to do things. The story is told through news footage, police cameras, handheld camcorders and CCTV footage. It's very well made as we are slowly introduced to the scare by looking at the footage of two biologists and once the disaster hits then we the pace is ramped up as we see the carnage it causes, There are some nice horror moments and the effects are excellent thorughout but perhaps the scariest thought is that it's feasible for something like this to actually happen and the message that we should look after the environment is very well realised by the film.

    The Bay is an eco-horror film with a strong message that is entertaining and well made. A documentary would have been able to provide much more detail but this found footage film is still a powerful reminder of what could go wrong if we mess with the environment.

    7/10




  • I heard a lot good things about that movie, will giving that a watch tonight




  • A little Bit Zombie (2012)

    Just a short review for this one as it's certainly more of a comedy film than a horror.

    A Little Bit Zombie is a low budget comedy/horror film about a group of four people who travel to a cabin the wood for a little get away. One of them is bitten by a mosquito that has recently feasted on a zombie and so he is slowly starting to feel the effects of turning into a zombie and so gets an overwhelming urge to eat brains. He must also try and live with his bridezilla to be as his friends to try and help him with his condition.

    It's very much a hit and miss film. Some of the jokes are genuinely funny while other fall very flat. The entire town of the film is very cheesy from start to finish and it's clear that the director had no intention of trying to scare the viewer but rather to make them laugh. There are some nice practical effects and some decent gore and the film has to be given credit for trying to so something different with the extremely tired zombie genre but having someone slowly turn into a zombie.

    There is just the right amount of comedy and original ideas to make A Little Bit Zombie worth your time. Give this low budget film a watch, you might just enjoy it.

    5.5/10




  • Kingp35 wrote: »
    Shark Zone (2003)

    If there is any particular type of B-Movie that I love it's the shark attack film as you know that you are in for an utterly ridiculous film full of goofs and so bad they're good scenes. Shark Zone takes it to a new level of silliness though and you can't but laugh at how bad it all is. The plot is your typical shark plot, a small beach town community is overrun with sharks right before its annual festival. Through in some shady Russian diamond hunters and you have your story. The real fun though is had spotting the goofs, they range from countless stock footage being used over and over, divers speaking under water despite the fact their mouths don't move, a lost ship wreck that happens to be about 100 metres from the coast and near the surface, sharks that hunt in packs and roar as well as many more. There is no doubt that Shark Zone is an awful film but it's great fun with a few beers as you laugh your way through how silly it all is.

    5/10

    I heard this was sequel to Shark attack series , Shark Attack 4 but start after Shark Attack 1, That I what head,

    Seen the first 2, I wasted time watching both of those two, I didn't bother with 3rd, I only found about this movie few weeks ago!


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  • Kingp35 wrote: »

    The Echo (2008)

    The Echo is another horror film that completely passed me by but I am glad I managed to see it as despite the fact it is nothing special it still manages to be an entertaining film. The story focuses on an ex-con who has just been released moves into his mothers apartment who died while he was inside. It quickly becomes apparent that there is something not right about his apartment and it all seems to stem from the rowdy couple next door. There is nothing particularly frightening or new to The Echo yet is manages to hold your attention and entertain mostly due to some nice creepy visuals, decent acting and an interesting plot. Perhaps the final act is a bit of a let down, particularly the conclusion, but what comes before that is definitely good enough to be worth a look. Not everyone will enjoy it but for a low budget horror film that most people will have missed it's not bad at all.

    6.5/10

    Are you aware this is a remake The Echo (2004) aka Sigaw (I am giving this one a watch tonight!) ?




  • Tindie wrote: »
    Are you aware this is a remake The Echo (2004) aka Sigaw (I am giving this one a watch tonight!) ?

    No I didn't know that, I'll have to check out the original.




  • Evil Dead (2013)

    As far as remakes go, this Fede Alvarez directed and Sam Raimi produced film based on his own original has been getting solid reviews right across the board. With this in mind I was quite looking forward to giving it a look and I went in with my expectations raised somewhat. Unfortunately, for me anyway, it wasn't as good as I expected and I left a little underwhelmed.

    The main plot is almost identical to the original barring a couple of slight changes and the absence of the Ash character from the original; a group of five friends travel to remote cabin in the woods in order to help one of the group to kick a drug habit. They find a strange book closed with barbed wire in the basement along with a number of dead cats. One of the group decides to open the book and despite the numerous warnings contained withing, utters a chant that releases and Evil spirit that begins to possess and kill of each of them in gruesome ways. They must try to decipher the book which will help them to rid themselves of the malevolent presence.

    What made the original so good despite it's extremely low budget was the unique blend of comedy and horror that worked perfectly. The film was both genuinely funny but also genuinely frightening while also being very gory for it's time. This remake has decided to play it completely straight and do away with the comedy elements and instead aiming for an out and out horror film. The problem is that it just isn't frightening, not one little bit. Alvarez has simply made a completely gore soaked film that admittedly has some terrific gory scenes with top class practical effects but very little effort was made to try and scare the audience. There is even a near complete lack of loud noise scares making the film entirely devoid of scares. Now this doesn't mean it's a bad film, in fact it's great fun and the decision to only use practical effects really worked in it's favor but as an Evil Dead film it doesn't quite fit bill.

    Evil Dead is an entertaining film but comes nowhere near the quality of the original. I can't help but feel it should have been made as a stand alone film with nothing to do with the Evil Dead franchise and maybe it would have receive more credit. Do give it a watch though as it is still good gory fun.

    6/10




  • Kingp35 wrote: »
    Evil Dead (2013)

    As far as remakes go, this Fede Alvarez directed and Sam Raimi produced film based on his own original has been getting solid reviews right across the board. With this in mind I was quite looking forward to giving it a look and I went in with my expectations raised somewhat. Unfortunately, for me anyway, it wasn't as good as I expected and I left a little underwhelmed.


    6/10

    I agree, i gave one less point, I hope Carrie remake is better but i heard Maniac (2012/13) remake as some glowing reviews. i have yet to here one bad thing about that remake.

    I Missed it on it limited release UK! few weeks ago! Hoping it on DVD soon




  • Tindie wrote: »
    I hope Carrie remake is better

    The trailer looks awful, I have very low expectations for it.




  • ^
    Have in you seen on Carrie 2002? it more min-series put into a movie.




  • Hatchet 3 (2013)

    A very poor and disappointing sequel to the reasonably popular slasher series featuring the deformed hatchet wielding killer Victor Crowley. Alarm bells should immediately start ringing when you realise that creator and director of the first two films Adam Green is only producing this one and it's safe to say that this is purely a money making exercise. The acting is poor throughout although that is never huge a problem in films like this but the script truly is terrible, the gore effects have seriously diminished in quality and there is a half an hour in the middle where very little happens. When Crowley is on screen it picks up a little but the kills are very uninteresting and the whole film is just a disappointment. This could be the end of the series.

    4/10

    Would You Rather (2012)

    This is a film that not many people have heard about and if they have they could be forgiven for thinking that it is yet another Saw rip off. 8 people in desperate need of help are invited to a dinner party by a shady club where they are told a game will be played and the winner will have all of their problems solved. They are not informed what the game will be but all are so desperate that they show up anyway. It turns out (unsurprisingly) that the 8 of them are forced to play a sick game of "would you rather" a childs game where you are given a choice between the things and must pick one to do. These choices become increasingly more macabre and violent with the eventual planned outcome of only one person standing at the end.

    Yes it is a horror film that is based around torture and very little scares but it does flag some interesting moral choices throughout and begs the question what would you do given the choice. It's well made and acted but does suffer from a slow pace at times and a predictable outcome. It is a somewhat original idea, especially when compared to other Saw type knockoffs and it does manage to make you think a bit at the end. Certainly no masterpiece but this is worth a watch.

    6/10




  • Maniac (2012)

    First off I have to admit that I have never seen the William Lustig directed original film despite meaning to for quite some time now. This remake is written by Alexander Aja, directed by Franck Khlafoun and stars Elijah Wood as the killer. It is a very simple story that follows a serial killer around as he goes about his business but it is almost entirely shot in the point of view of killer, we mostly only glimpse him in refelections in mirrors etc. It is without doubt a brutal film with many violent scenes but it's also a fascinating insight into the mind of a killer as he struggles with his mental demons and tries to form a normal relationship with a photographer girl that he met.

    It's well acted and well shot but many people whether the film is supposed to be an insight into a killer or just depraved and brutal film. Personally I think it's the former and although it's not without it's problems it's certainly an interesting watch but probably not for the faint hearted.

    6.5/10

    The Last Exorcist Part II (2013)

    The Last Exorcism was a found footage film that did excellent business at the box office so there was little surprise when a sequel was made. What is surprising though is the fact that this sequel is not a found footage film and instead goes for the straight up horror film routine, immense amount of cliches included. This sequel picks up after the first film with survivor Nell being put up in a home for troubled girls and being convinced that the events at the end of the first film didn't happen as she remembers. Cue ghostly happenings beginning again as the demon Abalam still wants to use Nell for it's own deeds.

    Honestly this is nothing more than a cash in. Everything is done exactly by the book, cheap loud noise scares, cliche after cliche and poor attempt at an exorcism scene at the end. It is very well acted by Ashley Bell as Nell though and despite it's formulaic approach it is a passable film with an interesting ending. It has been universally panned by critics but I don't think it's quite as bad as it's made out to be. It's worth a watch if you have nothing else to see although it is almost entirely different to the first film.

    5/10




  • The Conjuring (2013)

    The Conjuring is without doubt this years biggest horror film release having already taken over $100m in the US alone. Directed by James Wan of Saw and Insidious fame, the plot is based on a famous case investigated by true life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren where a family was being terrorised by a dark presence within their secluded farmhouse.

    First thing is first, the Conjuring has every single horror cliche you can imagine in there somewhere and really offers absolutely nothing new. That being said everything it does it manages to do very well and there is a real sense of terror permeating throughout. The final half an hour is very intense and wonderfully shot and there plenty of creepy moments and jump scares that will catch out all but the seasoned horror film watcher. Unfortunately I fall into this category so I could see the majority of the scares coming but it was still an engaging, well acted and well filmed horror film that the average horror film watcher will love. The fact that it has done so well can only be a good thing for the horror genre. Expect the inevitable sequel some time soon.

    8/10




  • No One Lives (2012)

    Generally when you see the WWE logo pop up before the start of a film you begin to get worried, such was the case when I sat down to watch No One Lives. Luckily though it turned out to be a rather enjoyable slasher style film.

    The plot follows a group of ruthless burglars and kidnappers who kidnap a couple who are travelling across America. Unknown for the group they have kidnapped the wrong man as he turns out to be bloodthirsty serial killer who is hellbent on gaining revenge on those who kidnapped himself and his girlfriend.

    It really is a simple enough story with the occasional twist thrown in there but it's a well made film with plenty of horror action and Luke Evans is excellent as the serial killer bent on revenge. There are some nice little side plots that all up well together and despite there being very little in the way of scares horror film fans will still be pleased due to some nice gore and kills and a fast paced film. There is nothing new here but it's entertaining throughout.

    6/10


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  • Dark Skies (2013)

    Dark Skies is a film I managed to miss when it was in cinemas despite wanting to see it and although this is very much a by the book horror film despite the inclusion of
    Aliens
    it manages to be an entertaining watch with a solid ending.

    The plot follows the Barrett family whose idyllic suburban life is thrown out of whack by a series of disturbing events which eventually leads them to realise that something is after there son and wants to take him for itself. There are all the usual horror elements such as loud noise scares etc but there is some every effective use of imagery throughout and the plot is done well enough to hold your attention throughout. The ending is also a brave one and doesn't take the usual Hollywood route. If your looking for some solid entertainment despite not doing anything overly new than Dark Skies is a film worth watching.

    7/10




  • A Few Quick reviews as I'm stuck for time:

    Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

    I didn't manage to catch this in the cinema so I watched the 2D version at home. This has been pretty much universally panned by critics and viewers alike, the probable reason being the ending which doesn't quite fit into the world of Leatherface. If you disregard this then Texas Chainsaw 3D is not a bad film, it has plenty of gore, some nice kills and is well shot and acted for the most part. perhaps Leatherface running around in daytime scenes isn't quite as menacing and the ending is bound to annoy the fanboys but as apiece of horror entertainment it was perfectly acceptable to me.

    6/10

    Aftershock (2012)

    This is a film both produced and starred in by Eli Roth so as you would expect it looks good and is much more glossy than usual direct to DVD fare. The plot tells the story of a group of friends who get trapped within a Chilean town after an Earthquake unleashes the maniacs from the local prison. The films biggest issue is the amount of filler material at the start, it simply takes too long to get going. The prisoners don't show up until at least 50 minutes in and there are some outrageously ridiculous scenes but once you get past the opening act it's an n ride some nice gore and and plenty of kills. It's not frightening in the least but manages to be passable entertainment.

    5.5/10

    Evidence (2013)

    Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi of "The Fourth Kind" fame, Evidence is half found footage film and half regular horror film that managed to pull in a few recognisable actors/actresses for a film of this type. A bus load of people are found killed the American dessert but the police have found a number of camcorders and mobile phone footage of the day leading up to the incident that they must trawl through in order to find the killer. You do have to give the director some credit for trying to come up with a new way of using found footage to tell his story but at the heart of it it ends up being no different to the countless other films out there. That being said, what it does it does well right up until the downright crazy ending which is sure the annoy the majority of viewers. There are some tame scares ti be found throughout, very little gore though, and it is well acted but your enjoyment of this depends on whether you are a found footage fan and can stomach the ending. Average.

    5.5/10




  • Under The Bed (2012)

    Under The Bed is the latest film from Steven C. Miller who seems to be have 3 or 4 films out a year these days. It's clear that he was trying to produce an 80's style kids horror film as the plot is about a monster that lives under the bed of a young boy, a bed to used to be used by his older brother. Nobody believes the two boys that a monster lives under there so it's up the the two to try and defeat it before it can cause some serious harm. The first 50 minutes or so are excellent as it's full of mystery and intrigue with Miller only offering hints as to what is going on. It's when the actual monster shows up that the film goes downhill rapidly with some dodgy effects and questionable story choices. There aren't many scares to be found here but it does get a little gory near the end which makes you wonder who the target audience for this film actually is. An eerie and entertaining opening 50 minutes is unhinged by a poor final act but I have certainly seen worse film, Millers previous film Silent Night being one of them.

    5.5/10




  • You're Next (2013)

    I have been looking forward to seeing this film ever since viewing the trailer and hearing quite a lot of positive reviews but I have to admit that despite enjoying it I was left somewhat underwhelmed which may have to do with the fact that the film is nothing like the one portrayed in the trailer. The plot follows a family and their partners that congregate at the family home for a break away. They are then attacked by a group of masked men but all is not as it seems.

    The trailer make sit look like a straight up slasher film but instead it's a revenge film sprinkled with black comedy and odd straight up comedy moments, a very strange 80's style synth soundtrack and a few twists that are blatantly obvious. I just found the comedy moments a little strange when interspersed with the horror action which admittedly was excellent and full of gore. There were some inventive kills and effective jump scares and the revenge part of the film was great fun it's just the odd soundtrack and comedy moments that I felt were out of place.

    7/10




  • The Seasoning House (2012)

    The Seasoning House is an intense and violent horror revenge film that tells the story of a deaf mute girl who is imprisoned within a house with multiple other young girls that are prostituted out to clients. Her task is to clean and bring the other girls food but she strikes up a friendship with one of the newly captured girls by accessing her room through various crawl spaces. When fate brings the men that murdered her family and captured her to the house, she begins enact a violent plan of revenge with a seriously bloody conclusion.

    So there is nothing particularly new about The Seasoning House, the revenge tale has been told countless times before. Credit must therefore be given to director Paul Hyett for managing to create a film that seems fresh despite this and one that will entertain you from start to finish, The film wastes no time in getting straight into the action and never really lets up until the end. It is very well shot with bleak sets and a real foreboding atmosphere. Once the revenge segment kicks off it is very violent but never over the top, there is plenty for gore fans to enjoy here. In the end The Seasoning House is a film does what it intends to do very well despite being nothing new. It's violent, intense and entertaining and is well worth your time.

    7/10

    The ABC's Of Death (2012)

    The concept behind this film is an interesting one; 26 different directors are each given a letter of the alphabet and they must come up with a word beginning with that later and create a short film based on that word. As you can imagine this films are very short considering 26 of them must fit inside a 2 hour run time which for me is ultimately why the film fails.

    There is no point beating around the bush, there were only 3 segments that I enjoyed with the vast majority of the others being awful. Far too many of them try to be artsy and obscure instead of trying to tell a simple story. I was painfully bored for the vast majority of the film and couldn't wait for it to end. A sequel has already been given the go ahead so there are people that enjoyed this but it definitely wasn't for me.

    2.5/10




  • I Spit On Your Grave 2 (2013)

    Stephen R. Monroe's 2010 remake of the 1970's original was a surprisingly decent and successful film so I wasn't surprised when a sequel was announced. This sequel follows much the same formula as the original in that it is very much a revenge film. The plot follows a wannabe model who goes to a free photo shoot only to eventually end up being raped, kidnapped and taken to Bulgaria where she is held captive. She eventually escapes and begins to take bloody vengeance on her captors.

    The actual plot isn't as strong as the original as there are a number of things that don't make a whole lot of sense, particularly how exactly they managed to transport the woman from New York to Bulgaria. The film also suffers from pace issues as it feels quite slow at times up until the revenge section kicks in. Once it does then it becomes an entertaining and violent revenge film that will please most horror fans. The rape scene is quite graphic as are the torture scenes and many people will find watching this film extremely uncomfortable. An argument could be made that the director was aiming for shock value but I think that it mostly works. There is plenty of gore here and there is one scene in particular involving a vice that really had me squirming in my seat. This sequel is definitely worth a watch despite the familiarity, the pacing issues and what some may consider to be far too graphic scenes. Just be prepared to ignore the odd plot hole.

    6/10




  • Static (2012)

    Static is a straight to DVD horror film that actually features some reasonably well known actors including Milo Ventimiglia and Sara Paxton. The plot features a husband and wife who are trying to get over the death of their child. A mysterious woman shows up at their secluded home in the middle of the claiming she is been stalked by a group of men. Said group eventually show up and try to get into the house but all is not as it seems.

    On the face of it, Static is your run of the mill home invasion film. Two things manage to set it apart from others though; the first one is that for the majority of its running time it is painfully boring with very little in the way of action, gore, suspense etc which is eventually all explained by the second reason, an awful twist that the vast majority of people would have figured out long before its revealed. I really am becoming a little fed up with writers that come up with a twist ending and then try to write a film to suit that ending. Static is one of those films and it just doesn't work on most levels. The acting is fine and it's shot well enough it's just the lack of any real suspense and an obvious twist ending that make this one not worth your time.

    3.5/10

    Dark Circles (2013)

    Dark Circles is the first of the "After Dark Originals 2" films to be released. Unfortunately the original part of that title doesn't quite ring true for Dark Circles. The plot follows a couple who decide to move out to the countryside after the birth of their new child. Once they get there they realise that construction work is happening right next door and coupled with the baby crying non-stop throughout the night they both begin to suffer from sleep deprivation. To make matters worse they both seem to be suffering from visions of the same woman who seems to be taking an unnatural interest towards the child.

    First things first, not a lot happens in Dark Circles. Most of the films is spent dealing with the couples sleep deprivation problems with the very odd vision of the woman thrown into the mix. After you see her the first couple of times, any potential frightening aspect is lost due to seeing her far too often. Nothing really happens until the final ten minutes when we find out what's really going on. This isn't to say that Dark Circles is a bad film, it's well acted and well made and does have an interesting idea but it's just not all that compelling and just plods along without really grabbing your attention. Everything about it is average and you're left wanting a whole lot more.

    5/10




  • Come Out And Play (2013)

    Come Out and Play is a remake of a 1970's Spanish horror film called "Who Can Kill A Child?" that unfortunately I haven't seen. I can only assume that it is a vastly superior film to this remake.

    The plot follows a couple who are travelling world despite the fact that the woman is pregnant. They decide to head of to a remote Mexican island for a festival find the island completely devoid of adults with only children seemingly present. It soon becomes apparent that the children have been killing the adults and they must now try and survive.

    To say that nothing happens for the vast majority of this film would be an understatement. It plods along at an infuriatingly slow pace and once the "action" gets going it is few and far between. The entire film is shot in daytime meaning it lacks any kind of atmosphere which isn't helped by the fact that the kids are not even slightly menacing. Clearly the director rounded up the kids that actually live on the island and asked them to be in his film. There is one interesting scene though that is genuinely creepy but by and large it's an uninteresting and slow film that isn't really worth your time.

    3/10




  • The Dyatlov Pass Incident (Devils Pass) (2013)

    The found footage genre seem to be a love it or hate style of film making but I have always maintained that when it's done right it can be a very effective way to make a horror film. Not many "known" directors try their hand at the genre so it was with some surprise that I found out that Rene Harlin would be directing a found footage film with that film being The Dyatlov Pass Incident. Despite the films faults, I'm glad that he did.

    The plot based upon The Dyatlov Pass mystery where a group of Russians were found dead in the Russian wilderness with no explanation for what happened. A group of Americans decide to film a documentary about the incident and head out to where it happened. Obviously they find much more than they bargained for.

    First of all the film is very well shot. Despite it being found footage it still loves great, particularly the Russian wilderness which looks beautiful. It's well acted for the most part and it in no way relies on cheap scares that most found footage horror films rely on. Perhaps it takes a little while to get into the meat of the story and there will be people who think that the plot is a little too out there but there some very tense moments throughout and it never fails to keep you entertained. The ending itself will make you think a little which is always a good thing. I can't give away any more of the plot but it's suffice to say that Harlin has created a horror/thriller film that is well worth your time.

    7/10


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  • A quick review as I'm stuck for time these days

    V/H/S 2 (2013)

    This is the follow up to V/H/S, an anthology film that did surprisingly well. Again it features a main wrap around story with four short stories as well. The main difference between this sequel and the original is that the sequel clocks in 20 minutes shorter which is definitely a good thing as one of the problems with the original was that it stayed too long.

    The main story isn't all that interesting but the four shorts vary in quality with Safe Haven being the real stand out segment. It's set within the confines of a cult and it's a gory, violent and intense segment that is sure to entertain. The other three segments are passable without offering anything really original or interesting. It's well shot for the most part, does provide some occasional scares and has plenty of violence so there is plenty to admire here. It's certainly a step up from the original in my view.

    6/10


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