Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Destiny: The Taken King (2015) - Video Game Expansion Review (Playstation 4)

Destiny: The Taken King is the first major expansion for the much divided game, The Dark Below and House of Wolves add ons were minor updates but this new one brought in a whole host of improvements to the core Destiny experience. As always the price is a sore point for many, people see the asking price of £40 as extortionate for what is not an entirely new game. As it is I am kinda hooked on Destiny, it is my drug of choice and so I had to check it out.

Following on from The Dark Below and this expansions story again concerns itself with The Hive who are the demonic style alien race. In that first DLC Crota; a kind of God like being was prevented from being summoned to Earth, now his father Oryx has brought his almighty Dreadnought to our solar system seeking revenge on the guardian who killed his son. Oryx has a special skill in that he is able to control the Taken army. These soldiers are made up of possessed soldiers from every race of aliens. Your mission is to find a way to breach the Dreadnoughts defences and then hunt down Oryx and stop his threat.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Until Dawn (2015) - Horror Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

I was waiting for reviews to come out before deciding on whether Until Dawn was a game for me, yet it was actually word of mouth that ended up with me paying full price for this PS4 exclusive horror game. The whole game has been created as if it is a playable teen slasher film and has a far bigger focus on story and decision making than actual gameplay.

Eight teenage friends head to a remote ski lodge in the Canadian mountains to commemorate the passing of two of their friends; twins Hannah and Beth who went missing out in a blizzard after a prank gone bad exactly one year previous. It is not long however before strange events start to happen, it seems there is a psycho on the loose who has it in for the group. From this initial set up a night of terror occurs, all the teens have to do is to survive...until dawn.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

P.O.V (2014) - Horror Film Review

P.O.V (written and directed by Richard Anthony Dunford) is an indie horror film with a difference in that the entire film is seen through the eyes of just one character, as well as this it also plays out in real time. Indie films can be hit and miss and with a budget of just £9,000 I did not know which side this would fall onto. However a film shot entirely from a single characters perspective is something that would never be attempted in a big budget movie and so is quite unique, plus I though the trailer looked pretty decent.

Zack (Tom Clear) has recently split up with his long term girlfriend and so in a bid to cheer him up his brother Sam, and two best friends Mackenzie (Lewis Saunderson) and Vickers take him to a party at a disused retirement home that is under going renovation. Initially things are going great but not long into the evening Zack friends start turning into demonic creatures who then begin to hunt him down. Is this the result of a curse put on the property by disgruntled immigrant workers, or is the mystery drug he took causing horrific hallucinations?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Halloween 2015 - General News

The scariest month of the year is coming up and as always I want to do something to celebrate this spooky month. Last year I did a blog post for all 31 days, this year I wanted to do something different and films was the idea.

At first I wanted to watch a film for every day of the month but that isn't practical as I don't have the time, I have instead decided to watch one every other day of October, starting on the first and ending on the thirty first, sixteen in total. I have a rough list drawn up but that will change depending on what films come out at the cinema and what films I get asked to review.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Forbidden Zone (1980) - Fantasy Film Review

What a weird film Richard Elfman's Forbidden Zone is, I have just finished watching it and am kind of at a loss how to explain it other than it has cult written all over it. Originally it was released in black and white, I believe it was only 2008 that a coloured version was created, and later this month a special edition is due to be released but I will mention more about that at the end of my review.

The Hercules family move into a house that just so happens to have a doorway in the basement that leads to the sixth dimension. In this realm lives King Fausto (Herve Villeechaize) and his sadistic wife Queen Doris who enslave or kill anyone who enters the zone. Susan B. 'Frenchy' Hercules (Marie-Pascale Elfman) who has recently returned from studying in France learns of this place from her family and ignoring their warnings decides to check it out. Upon arriving she is promptly captured and so it falls to the rest of the Hercules family to attempt a rescue.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Dead Island: Ryder White's Campaign (2011) - Video Game DLC Review(Playstation 3)

Having finished Dying Light recently I revisited Dead Island to do the story DLC. Dead Island is an open world survival game in which you play one of four survivors of a zombie outbreak. In Ryder White's campaign you play as a soldier who is not immune to the undead virus. There will be spoilers for anyone who has not done the main game.

Soldier Ryder White is put in charge of blowing up the bridges out of Banoi after a zombie outbreak occurs. Despite some difficulties he does this and gets air lifted to safety, however upon learning that his wife Emma is now infected he makes a detour to the prison where she is situated to try and cure her.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Dying Light (2015) - Zombie Horror Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

When Dying Light was released back in February I foolishly managed to leave the money I had planned to buy this with at a cash machine, I have finally picked it up a few weeks back, Dying Light is an open world zombie survival horror video game and shares a hell of a lot in common with the flawed Dead Island.

The city of Harran has become quarantined from the outside world due to zombie apocalypse sweeping it. The Global Relief Effort (GRE) send in soldier Kyle Crane with a mission to locate a terrorist named Kadir Suleiman located there who has gotten his hands on some sensitive documents that he is threatening to release to the outside world should anything happen to him. Crane's mission starts off badly as not long after he parachutes in he is ambushed by a bunch of thugs and when trying to defend himself he accidentally alerts a group of nearby zombies. A woman rescues him and takes him to her base but not before he is bitten and infected by one of the ghouls.  Now Crane must not only locate the files but also look for a way to cure the disease he has found himself with.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Visit (2015) - Horror Film Review

The Visit is the new film from M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village) who is obviously well known for his twists he includes in most his films. The trailer for this was slightly creepy and so I was almost looking forward to this,

Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) are off to spend a week with their grandparents who they have never met before due to their mother and them not being on speaking terms for fifteen years. Becca decides to chronicle their visit so that she can make a documentary for her mum to watch when they return. Their grandparents both exhibit strange behaviour which they put down to them being old, yet as the week progresses more and more unsettling events happen that lead the two siblings to start to believe they might be in real danger.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Destiny: The Dark Below (2014) and House of Wolves (2015) - Video Game DLC Review (Playstation 4)

This is going to be a bit of a strange review, I am going to combine the reviews for both of the first DLC packs for sci-fi shooter Destiny as I brought them both at the same time and am a bit lost as to what you actually got in each of the two. Destiny is constantly evolving, I had hoped to get this review out once I had experienced everything they had to offer, but with the next add on coming out next Tuesday (15th September) and with sweeping changes already made this is pretty much the very last opportunity I will get before my reviews are totally obsolete.

So starting off with The Dark Below that was released in 2014. Story has inexplicably always been Destiny's worst aspect, it baffles me how this came to be. From the bare bones of what you get it seems that Crota; a being the Hive worship is on its way to Earth, and so the Guardians have to try and stop his arrival. Your missions are provided by Eris Morn whose squad was obliterated when she tried to stop Crota's followers from summoning him. Eris Morn adds a further reputation tree making the total number of different ones around 45,000 (at a modest estimate). I do not know why there are so many, they confuse me so.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

The Laws of Nature (2014) by Ashley Franz Holzmann - Horror Book Review

I have always loved a good short horror story, I often find that they are far more effective in creating a feeling of dread than any full size story. Upon getting Ashley Franz Holzmann's The Laws of Nature I was hoping against hope for some quality stories. I will try my very best to spoil these as little as possible., and as an aside I really am not that great at book reviews!

I wouldn't normally mention it but kudos goes to the book design itself which looks very stylish with its black cover featuring minimalist scenes from three of the stories contained within. I also love the blurb below the title 'A Collection of Short Stories of Horror, Anxiety, Tragedy and Loss' which manages to conjure up a weird feeling of restrained terror. A solid cover is good and all but of course it is the stories contained within that matter. Within more design choices have to be mentioned before getting on to them. Opening with an introduction from the Editor and ending with a letter from the author this feels more personal than most short collections. Added to this is the fact that many of the stories end with an after word by Holzmann, usually providing his inspiration for the tales, these are all real interesting, it was cool to see the workings out that led to the stories.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (2011) - Adventure Video Game Review (Nintendo DS)

I was in two minds on whether this should warrant a review on my blog for while there are ghosts in this game there is no horror to speak of, still here I am writing away regardless.

In Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective you play as Sissel, or rather the ghost of Sissel as when the game starts you have just been murdered. As a spirit you have access to special abilities, namely that you are able to possess and manipulate objects, can travel via phone lines, and that you can head back in time four minutes before a persons death. A fellow spirit tells you that if you want to solve the mystery of who you are and how you came to die then you must do so before dawn as that is when you will cease to exist.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Lab Rats (2015) - Horror Film News and Trailer

It was only back in March of this year that I did a short post about a Kickstarter campaign for gross body horror Lab Rats. Well it turns out the campaign was successful and also they have received backing from both Eli Roth and Emily Booth.

In Lab Rats Kat and her eco-warrior friends break into a facility of shady company Ring-Amnion in order to prove that they are conducting experiments on animals, however it soon becomes all too clear that animal testing is the least of the company's crimes.

There is now a trailer for Lab Rats in which the hapless friends run around a lot being chased by creatures and men in bio suits, ending with a cool looking face prop, was a fun trailer. The film is now finished and is due to be shown at film festivals in the near future so might be one to watch out for.


Sunday, 6 September 2015

The Devil of Kreuzberg (2015) - Horror Film Review

The Devil of Kreuzberg is an indie film by Alexander Bakshaev that was filmed in Berlin, he has described it as 'modern Gothic'. Bizarrely one of his previous films Bittersweet was actually filmed in Northampton; my home town; small world!

Linda Karnstein is going through a difficult patch with her boyfriend Jakob who is repeatedly suffering nightmares in which she kills him. These dark dreams are slowly turning him insane and to make matters worse his intensely loyal best friend Kurt is a murderer and so doesn't bat an eye lid when Jakob orders him to kill Linda in a bid to end his restless sleep. On the outside it looks like he is the bad guy, but a sub plot involving a family curse of unspecified effect that has plagued Linda's family for generations makes it seem maybe he is just a pawn in a more powerful game.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

HeroQuest (1989) - Fantasy Boardgame Review

Having played and loved Zombicide I decided to revisit a beloved board game from my childhood; HeroQuest. I remember as a kid playing this in my garage with friends, it always seemed so fantastic, especially as I didn't own the game at the time. I have sometimes been criticised for going a bit too far down the geek hole on this blog, this is one of those times!

In HeroQuest you play as either one of four heroes or the evil sorcerer Morcar. The heroes include the strong barbarian, the weak wizard who has access to magical spells, the dwarf who can dismantle traps and the elf who is an average fighter and spell caster. These four are pretty well balanced and give some variation in abilities. Morcar is not actually a character but whoever plays this role gets to basically be the dungeon master; able to control the monsters the heroes fight as well as see the layout of the board.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

What We Do in the Shadows (2014) - Horror Comedy Film Review

I had heard this comedy horror from one half of Flight of the Conchords was a damn funny film but still I was unsure if it would appeal to me. It seemed just too many people had waxed lyrical about it but as it turns out this is pretty much hilarious, the funniest horror I have seen since the fantastic This is the End from 2013.

Set in Wellington, New Zealand What We Do in the Shadows is set up in the style of a mocumentary with three vampire house mates; Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) hiring a film crew to document their lives in the run up to an annual masquerade ball. Along the way newly turned vampire Nick brings conflict as well as providing the old fashioned vampires with introductions to modern technology, while the group have to deal with vampire hunters, their rivals; a pack of werewolves, and Vladislav's ancient nemesis...