Thursday, 26 May 2016

Warren files promo for Conjuring 2

A new featurette has been released to promote upcoming The Conjuring 2. The terrifying audio is taken from the real life files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigators on whom the Conjuring franchise is based. James Wan will once again be directing with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprising their roles in the horror sequel due out on 10th June. Check out the disturbing audio clip...if you can handle it!

What do you think of the Warren audio? Are you excited for the sequel?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Other Side of the Door (2016): Review

The Other Side of the Door is a 2016 supernatural horror film. Directed by Johannes Roberts (Storage 24, F) and starring Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead) and Jeremy Sisto (Wrong Turn). The film was produced by well-known French director Alexandre Aja (Haute tension, The Hills Have Eyes).

Maria (Callies) and Michael (Sisto) are an American couple living in India. They are recovering from a tragic car accident in which Maria Was forced to choose between her children Lucy and Oliver, in which Oliver drowned. Wracked with guilt, Maria takes an overdose and, whilst recovering, her housekeeper Piki tells her about a special temple where “the line between the living and the dead is extremely thin” but warns her to never open the door. Maria travels to the temple where she is able to commune with her dead son and, of course, ends up opening the door and releasing his spirit back into the world of the living. Oliver returns to the family home to haunt Maria who must return him to the world of the dead before the gatekeeper comes to reclaim him.

Not knowing too much about the film before watching it, I was pleasantly surprised to see the film was set in India. Whilst still very much an American production, the Indian setting was refreshing and gave a slightly new twist to the classic ghost story approach. The tragic atmosphere surrounding the death of a child put me in mind of the great foreign films by Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Nakata. Roberts shows real attention to detail in the direction and the weaving and swooping of the camera through the vast family home kept the tension ramped up and added to the payoff of the many jump scares throughout the film.

I can’t say I was completely comfortable with the portrayal of the Indian characters as superstitious, spiritualists at best and cannibalistic shamans at worst. Given the redundancy of the Michael character, I felt there was definitely room for another Indian character that was not drawn quite so much with racial stereotype. Some have criticised the amount of jump scares in the film and, I will admit, as the film progresses the number of scares in general is far too much, with no time to breathe. That being said, I was definitely scared by many of them including the piano scenes, the fountain scene and, in particular, the Gatekeeper character. The multi-armed wraith, surely modelled on the Hindu gods, was really effective and is a pretty fresh creation (if a little similar to Kayako from The Grudge series).

The Other Side of the Door may not be an entirely original setup, but it does stick to tried and tested horror techniques, making for a pretty intense horror experience. Despite the ham fisted approach to the native characters, setting a horror film in India and trying to draw on Hindu concepts of ghosts and the afterlife is a great concept that I’d like to see explored further by an Indian filmmaker. Somewhat of a music video version of greats like The Devil’s Backbone (01) or Dark Water (02), The Other Side of the Door throws a lot at the wall but most of it sticks, and I’ve got a feeling that some of the more clever scares will stick with me for a while too.

**** 4 Stars

What did you think of the movie? Did you like the Indian setting?

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

John Carpenter returns to Halloween

After wandering in the movie rights wilderness for the last few years, news has emerged that Blumhouse pictures have acquired the rights to make the next Halloween film (along with Trancas int. and Miramax). However, the real bombshell here is that Horror legend, and creator of the Halloween franchise, will be executive producing the project!

This marks the first time Carpenter has been involved in a Halloween sequel since Halloween III (amidst rumours that he will also score the film), and yes this will be the 10th sequel and not a remake or reboot. It's no secret that John Carpenter is my favourite director and Halloween is my favourite horror film so I couldn't be more excited for this. The project presents a real opportunity to get the franchise back on track after Rob Zombie's dire reboot and, if you weren't pumped already, the film is due to come out next year! No news on a director/writer yet.

What do you think of the news? Who do you want to direct?

Friday, 20 May 2016

"30 Years of Garbage" trailer


A new trailer has been released for the upcoming Garbage Pail Kids documentary "30 Years of Garbage". The film will focus mainly on the popular bubblegum cards that were started in the 80s as a response to the sugary Cabbage Patch Kids and could be found in the pockets of every horror kid. Whether or not it will make reference to the atrocious  1987 live action movie, remains to be seen but you'll be able to find out on 1st July. Check out the trailer over at Vimeo

Are you looking forward to the documentary? Did you have Garbage Pail Kids cards when you were a kid?

Thursday, 19 May 2016

New trailer for The Purge 3: Election Year

A third trailer has been released for the upcoming Purge 3: Election Year. Returning director James DeMonaco is joined once again by Frank Grillo from the previous installment as well as Elizabeth Mitchell of "Lost" fame. This franchise seems to get better the more it veers into Warriors/Escape From New York territory and I love the framing of the trailers as political adverts (very reminiscent of Paul Veerhoven). The film comes out in July, check out the new trailer...

What do you think of the new trailer? Are you looking forward to the threequal?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Most Likely to Die (2016): Review

Most Likely to Die is a 2016 slasher film. Directed by Anthony Diblasi (Cassadaga, Last Shift) and starring Heather Morris (Spring Breakers), Chad Addison (It’s Dark Here) and Perez Hilton. The film also features Jake Busey (Starship Troopers) in a small role.

The film follows a group of former classmates as they gather in the hills for their 10 year school reunion. When they get there, they discover all their yearbook photos on the wall, along with their “most likely to”. As they continue to arrive, it’s revealed that they all helped to bully a student known only as John Doe back in their high school and defaced his yearbook picture, adding the caption “most likely to die”. As they begin to get picked off one by one by a maniac wearing a graduation gown and a razor sharp mortar board, they assume it’s John Doe come back to take his vengeance. However, as more of the past starts to come out, they start to turn on each other until the true identity of the killer is revealed.

Most Likely to Die is a loving homage to the more cheesy slashers of the 80s (Return to Horror High, Sleepaway Camp) as well as the more knowing slashers of the 90s (I Know What you did Last Summer). The high school reunion concept is a neat one, although I’m not sure why all these characters would agree to meet since they obviously hate each other. A lot of the characters are also pretty unlikeable, namely Perez Hilton’s character, and the acting pretty lousy at times, but this does make it all the more satisfying when they’re dispatched. The effects and gore are good, but I didn’t really feel like any of the kills were massively original and it’s very much the usual fare.

I think the real strengths of the film are the direction, the original score and the design of the killer. We’ve seen more than enough masked killers in horror movies, but the design of this mask being an approximation of the defaced yearbook photo is really clever and the deadly mortarboard a stroke of genius. At times I felt there were way too many characters to cram in all the back story and the plot rattled along at a pace that rendered many of them unnecessary but, on the other hand, I was rarely bored and the constant action kept the momentum up.

It doesn’t quite hit the ambitious plot points it aims for and isn’t quite as clever as it would like to be, but Most Likely to Die is great fun. Faithful to the classic slasher films of yesteryear but with enough of its own spin on the genre to keep you interested, Most likely to Die will be most likely to entertain you for 90 minutes.

*** 3 Stars

What did you think of the movie? Did you like the design of the killer?

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Woods teaser trailer makes big promises

A teaser trailer has dropped for upcoming horror The Woods and the hype train starts here. The film has an impressive pedigree behind it in the form of writer/director team Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard, the team behind A Horrible Way to Die, You're Next and The Guest. However, there have been many horror movies set in the woods and there's nothing in this trailer to convince me that this will be "one of the scariest movies ever made". We'll find out in September, check out the trailer... 


What do you think of the trailer? Will the film live up to the hype?