Saturday, 28 May 2016

Hush (2016) - Horror Film Review

Hush is a home invasion film with one vast difference that sets it apart from all the others; the heroine of the film; Maddie (Kate Siegal from Oculus) is both deaf and mute. This one fact means that despite quite heavily following the tropes of the home invasion genre the film constantly feels fresh and exciting.

Deaf and mute Maddie is a struggling writer who lives a secluded life at a home deep in woodland. One night while writing, a masked attacker (John Gallagher Jr. from 10 Cloverfield Lane) appears at her property, one who seems to want to torment and kill the woman for seemingly no reason. Yet as the night goes on it starts to seem the maniac may have underestimated his target who is determined not to go down without a fight...

Thursday, 26 May 2016

# I'm Zombie: A Zombie Mosaic Novel (2016) by Tony Newton - Zombie Horror Book Review

# I'm Zombie is a book that collects together different accounts from an (obviously) fictional zombie apocalypse, these include chat room and phone transcripts, found letters and even poetry. Rather than cover a whole time frame of the apocalypse author Tony Newton instead decides to mainly focus on the day his outbreak occurred worldwide; 10th October 2019. He writes these as if they were from real people so there are lot of intentional spelling mistakes and bad grammar throughout the novel.

I like the idea of a story told through various accounts, Stephen Jones's Zombie Apocalypse! (2010) did this to fantastic effect emulating a wide variety of different styles such as police reports, handwritten notes and newspaper clippings, I hoped for the same thing here and for the first forty or so pages it's not bad, the expected phone transcripts and secret memos all on show. In a weird move nearly half of the three hundred page book is set out like an online forum, one that we are told was from the day the outbreak erupted. At first glance this isn't a bad thing, it's set out like a forum with post numbers, site status and gender images but unfortunately it is uniformly both boring and bizarre in what people report on there. There is no sense of story, a few recurring characters keep posting such as Prepper Max, but for the most part a random person will post a random couple of sentences then vanish to be replaced by the next completely random post. Throw into this mix humorous oddities such as someone who has been bitten by a zombie asking for help (after they have taken the time to create a guest account, even giving themselves the user name 'Bitten') and I began to get confused as to the tone of the book, whether it was meant to be serious or not.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Lion (2016) - Short Horror Film News

Davide Melini (director of short horror films The Puzzle and The Sweet Hand of the White Rose as well as trainee assistant director on the Penny Dreadful TV series) has a new horror short coming out that he has written and directed; Lion. The film, filmed in the UK is currently in post production with an aim to release it this Halloween.

From the teaser trailer (included below) it seems an abusive husband and father meets his comeuppance at the hands of...a lion, maybe? The synopsis I was provided with states "An isolated chalet in a snowy forest...A man blinded by alcohol...A woman unable to rebel...And an 8 year-old child troubled and dark...The silent night is broken with cries...The start of a terrible nightmare!". It certainly sounds interesting enough and the teaser does a decent job of showing promise for the full short.

Lion stars Pedro Sanchez, Michael Segal (Anger of the Dead) and Tania Mercader and some big names have worked on the short. It has been produced by Luca Vannella (Thor, Harry Potter), Alexis Continente (Thor, Penny Dreadful), Vincenzo Mastrantonio (Titanic), Bobby Holland (The Dark Knight Rises, Game of Thrones), Ferdinando Merolla (Hannibal Rising), and Roberto Paglialunga. Check out the teaser below and see what you think, as always I hope it turns out to be great as there can never be too much horror.


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Fever (2014) - Thriller Film Review

Fever is a French thriller that was released on DVD by Artsploitation on May 24th (today if you are reading this). It has been nominated for several awards and director Raphael Neal won the 'German Independence Award - Special Mention' at the 2014 Oldenburg Film Festival.

It starts with two students; Damien (Martin Loizillon) and Pierre (Pierre Moure) having just killed a completely random woman in her flat, as they flee the scene a passerby Zoe (Julie-Marie Parmentier) bumps into Pierre and he drops one of his gloves. As the days pass it begins to seem like they really have gotten away with murder, but with Zoe ever more suspicious of the twosome, and their own consciences eating away at them can they truly escape?

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Murdered, Presumed Dead - Play Review

So a bit of a weird blog post in that I am going to review a play I saw that was playing at the Duston Community Centre in Northampton. The play is put on by the Duston Players who are an amateur group and so with that in mind there will be some leeway.

After finding her husband John (Time Dwelly) in the arms of her supposed best friend Carol (Sarah James) Lynne shoots him dead. Being a pretty nasty woman Lynne blackmails Carol in to helping her cover up the murder, also enlisting the help of a shady P.I named Ronnie (Alastair Way). All seems to be going to plan until that is John shows back up, but as a ghost that only Lynne can see. From this point there are many, many twists and turns, is everyone as they really appear?

Friday, 20 May 2016

Doom (2016) - Horror Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

Doom 3 is one of my all time favourite video games of all time, I believe it to be a masterpiece with the level design and plot, as well as the gameplay all combining together to create the feeling that you really are on the doomed Mars UAC (Union Aerospace Corporation) facility surviving a Hell invasion. With Doom Id have gone back to their roots which many people felt Doom 3 strayed too far from, due to this knowledge I didn't have high hopes it would outclass the third game.

It seems that new Doom doesn't follow on from DoomDoom II, or Doom 3 (if not for the game taking place at a similar time to the third one I feel it could have easily included that one as canon). You play as a nameless man known as Doom Marine who at the games start is freed from an ancient stone sarcophagus. The UAC had found a gateway to Hell, instead of doing what normal people would do and closing it up they instead decided to explore it and in doing so discovered a cheap and powerful energy source called Argent (as well as the resting place of the Doom Marine). The whole base is occupied with both finding new ways to use the limitless energy, as well as performing experiments on captured demons in hopes of making them into controllable biological weapons. However head researcher Olivia Pierce goes rogue and opens a Hell portal that summons in a demonic army who soon kill all on the base. You have been revived by the base's head of operations; the cyborg Samuel Hayden, who along with a powerful A.I called VEGA help you on your journey to close the portal to Hell, as well as stop Olivia.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Green Room (2015) - Horror Film Review

Green Room has gotten a lot of word of mouth mainly due to the fact that it has acting legend Patrick Stewart in it. Despite this it is not mainstream enough that my local cinema would show it, and so I had to travel to the next town over, but would it be worth the journey?

Ain't Right are a small time underground punk group who are on the final part of their American tour, after their final date turns out to be very underwhelming a more off beat local venue is suggested by someone; a remote bar frequented by white supremacists. With the pay being good enough the foursome that includes Alia Shawkat (The Final Girls) as Sam agree to the gig. After their set they accidentally stumble across a murder scene in the titular green room which causes an escalation of events that soon turn pretty nasty. Barricaded in the room the band as well as a young woman named Amber (Imogen Poots from 28 Weeks Later) must find a way to escape, a task not made easy due to the bars owner Darcy (Stewart) and his men determined to cover up the murder at any cost...

Monday, 16 May 2016

Flower of Death (2015) - Short Horror Film Review

Flower of Death (or Fiore di Ferro to give it it's native title) is a short Swedish giallo film that was directed by Viking Almquist who previously directed the bizarre Evil Easter 3: The Final Easter (2013). Whenever I speak of giallo I must Google it to remind myself of what exactly it is, to me it is something that features a female in peril, being stalked by an unseen killer who is usually disguised, and is often wearing leather gloves. A quick search says it is a "Italian genre of literature and film, usually with mystery elements and often with slasher, supernatural horror or crime fiction elements".

On her way home from a night of drinking with her best friend a woman witnesses a masked figure hunched over a prone body in the street. The woman runs home, dropping her phone in the process and so unable to call the police she falls asleep. The next day she decides to walk to the police station to report what she saw, but it seems the masked killer knows where she lives and is stalking her...

Sunday, 15 May 2016

The Anatomy of Monsters (2014) - Horror Film News and Trailer

On May 12th Artsploitation announced that it had picked up the North American rights to American indie horror The Anatomy of Monsters (directed and co-written by Seattle based Byron C. Miller). In the film a homicidal young man (Jesse Lee Keeter) meets a woman (Tabitha Bastien) and goes to a hotel room with her where he plans to murder her as his first kill, however it turns out that she has a secret that is far more shocking than he could ever have imagined.

Ray Murray; President of Artsploitation says of the director "Byron ignored the constraints of his limited budget to make a creepy, dark, disturbing and immensely creative thriller". The trailer (below) doesn't really explain exactly what the film is to be about, other than the kidnapped woman soon turns the tables on her captor by revealing information that she shouldn't possibly know. Personally I love the idea behind the movie so hope it turns out to be a good one. The Anatomy of Monsters is released on DVD and VOD in early Autumn in the U.S.A so keep a look out if it sounds like your thing.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Already Dead (2016) - Short Zombie Comedy Horror Film Review

Already Dead is a short horror based film that is set out as a mockumentary, it was written and directed by Michael James Dean and features the best of all movie monsters; zombies. The mocumentary is set fifteen years after a wide spread zombie outbreak and in it several zombies are interviewed to see how they have adjusted to their undead lives (deaths?) and how society as a whole treats them.

Over the fifteen minute run time we get introduced to several different zombies, the main one being middle aged George (Darren Ruston) who was turned at the start of the outbreak. We also get an interview with his friend Jeff, as well as Lynn and David whose wedding plans nearly got scuppered when Lynn got turned at their engagement party. The zombies speak nearly incoherently and there is some humour with their groans being subtitled as full sentences. Throughout are the interviewer's genuine sounding questions (voiced by Michael James Dean) which gives a feeling of legitimacy to the goings on. There is talk of eating brains of course, but the more mundane questions such as the expensive pills the zombies need to be able to retain some of their humanity, the NHS's treatment of them and how family and friends are affected are what makes this more interesting.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Dark (2015) - Horror Film Review

As always I went into this film having read nothing at all about it, I really find this is the best way to approach new films if possible as it keeps you guessing. Dark isn't a horror in the traditional sense of the word, this very much takes place in the real world  with the only perceived threat being in the lead characters mind.

Dark is set in New York in 2003 where we follow troubled Kate (Whitney Able) whose rocky relationship with girlfriend Leah (Alexandra Breckenridge) seems to be heading towards an end. Leaving an unresolved issue Leah heads away for the weekend on a business trip which puts Kate all alone in their apartment. There happens to be a widespread black out in the city (that actually did happen) and this coincides with the break down of her sanity...

Saturday, 7 May 2016

One Drop (2016) - Horror Film News

Nearly a year ago I first mentioned One Drop, back then the film had yet to be filmed and an Indiegogo campaign was running to raise funds for post-production. The film has now been shot and is in it's post-production so I imagine the campaign was at least partly successful.

One Drop is about a single mother who awakens in a medical facility to discover not only is everyone else in the building dead, but that she is nine months pregnant. The film is directed by Tricia Lee whose previous films include the bloody Silent Retreat (2013) and psycho girlfriend thriller Clean Break (2014), while it has been written by Corey Brown.

The movie was first presented in Brussels at the Frontieres Market in 2015 and is currently seeking distribution, it is planned to be ready for an American Film Market premiere in November of this year. It is also going to be screened as part of the Goes To Cannes Marche Program on May 15th. It's always nice to see the progress of films from inception to fruition so as always I hope it's a good film.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Party Hard (2015-16) - Horror Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

Originally released late last year murder simulator Party Hard has now arrived on consoles. A colleague at my day job was going on about this on a daily basis but I thought he was talking about an actual party game, as soon as I realised he meant this game was now on consoles I rushed home and brought it (£9.99 UK).

You play as a man who is unable to get to sleep due to a loud party next door (I can sympathise), something in him snaps and he decides to don a mask, grab a knife and head to his neighbours to shut up the party goers for good, all the while avoiding being spotted by anyone. This initial slaughter leads him to going on a state wide murder-a-thon, all the while pursued by a rugged detective obsessed with the killer...

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Seize the Night (2015) - Short Horror Film Review (and the short itself)

Seize the Night is a short indie action/horror film that has now been released on Vimeo. The film has won Emma Dark (who produced, directed, edited, and stars in the short) a MMBF Rising Star award at Ireland's The Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival, as well as being featured on a variety of film websites and magazines.

Dark stars as renegade vampire assassin Eva who has recently escaped from a secret bio-research facility and is looking to get bloody revenge on those who put her there. On her search for vengeance she learns of a pack of werewolves led by Tobias (Carey Thring) that are hunting her, so she decides to turn the tables on them...

Monday, 2 May 2016

Zombie Army Trilogy (2015) - Zombie Horror Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

Nazi Zombie Army was a spin-off of the Sniper Elite series, originally it was released in two parts in 2013. Last year those two chapters along with a brand new third chapter were combined and released as Zombie Army Trilogy. I don't know why but I had it in my head this was purely an arena horde mode style survival game, I was both surprised and delighted to find it had a fully fleshed out story mode that is around ten hours in length.

It is nearing the end of World War II and Hitler desperate to defeat his enemies who are closing on his Berlin bunker from all sides decides to enact Plan Z. This plan involves using ancient magic to resurrect his Nazi army as flesh eating undead, it works but at a terrible cost, Germany is plunged into hell and due to not having the correct artifacts Hitler discovers he cannot control this zombie army. Playing as one of eight soldiers you must enter damned Berlin and search for a way to reverse the process that threatens to engulf the world...

Sunday, 1 May 2016

2058 Zombie Island: The Zombie Hunters (2016) - Zombie Horror Film Preview

2058 Zombie Island: The Zombie Hunters is a indie zombie horror film written and directed by Gary Davis, it is the third in a trilogy, the previous films being 2056: Escape From Zombie Island (2012), and 2057: Return to Zombie Island (2013). The email I received said this the link for the film was a 'sneak peak' as such I take that to mean the film is not yet finished and so am not going to review this as such but more a long preview. The film is available to watch on YouTube and Davis has said it can be shared so I will include the film after my preview for you to check out.

I hadn't heard of this or the previous films in the series and so plot wise I was pretty much super confused and struggled to make out the back story. An intro sequence tells of how there was an apocalyptic war (the voice over was very hard to understand so not sure of the specifics). The survivors of both sides now work together with one such mission bringing a group of scientists and soldiers to an island of the dead. The head scientist (played by Aeja Pinto) wants to collect some of these zombies (which are actually failed attempts at creating super soldiers) and kit them out with some electronic interfaces to make them cyborgs.