Thursday, 30 June 2016

Ghosthunters (2016) - Horror Film News and Trailer

Ghosthunters is a horror that is due for release on VOD on 5th July. The film was directed by Pearry Teo (Curse of Sleeping Beauty) and stars Stephen Manley (Star Trek III) as well as David O'Donnell, Liz Fenning, and Francesca Santoro.

From what I can gather this is the general plot. The film takes place at the base of a serial killer which a group of ghost hunters have visited in order to try and get in contact with the spirits of some of his victims (I assume the psycho is no longer in business). Once at the house however the hunters find no end of hostile ghosts who have no intention of letting them leave alive.

The trailer for Ghosthunters is below, sure it is always hard to tell what a film is like from its trailer but it reminded me quite a bit of House on Haunted Hill (1999) which can only be a good thing. The ghosts have cool make-up effects on them and the plot device of only being able to see ghosts whilst wearing special headwear is applied. Check out the trailer below to see for yourself.

Ghosthunters from The Asylum Net on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Witching Season Episode 2: Princess (2015) - Short Horror Film Review

I first mentioned The Witching Season a few posts back, it is a free horror anthology web series that is available to watch on YouTube. The first episode titled Killer on the Loose was a homage to old slasher films, second episode Princess (written, edited, and directed by James Morris) is about a creepy doll.

A single mother and her young daughter move into a new house, later that day the girl hears a strange noise in the basement, investigating she discovers a creepy rabbit doll that she names Princess and decides to keep. Soon some pretty strange things start to happen which the mum puts down to her child acting up, but could it be the result of something far more horrifying?

Sunday, 26 June 2016

The Conjuring 2 (2016) - Horror Film Review

I finally got around to watching The Conjuring 2 tonight, I thought the first film wasn't bad, it certainly showed promise and had some decent acting. The less said about the mediocre spin off film Annabelle the better. This sequel is again directed by James Wan (Insidious, Saw) and there is a real fear he is running out of ideas.

Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprise their roles as paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren who this time have headed to England to help out a family being haunted by the spirit of a mischievous old man calling itself Bill Wilkins. It is the youngest daughter of the family; Janet that the supernatural activities are happening around. Lorraine after frequent visits by a demonic looking nun promising the death of Ed is wanting to leave the paranormal world behind, but asked to investigate as a favour to the church she feels duty bound. The Warrens job is just to obtain proof that anything unnatural is occurring or not but soon they find themselves caught up in events.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011) - Horror Film Review

So I found myself watching the fourth in The Twilight Saga this evening and once again I find myself writing up a review for what many would argue is something not deserving of featuring on a horror blog, but which I feel does have a place. Spoilers for the other films are bound to feature.

Breaking Dawn starts a few months after the events of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse with Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) getting married, something which really upsets werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) who not only loves Bella, but fears should the two be intimate the vampire's super strength could kill the girl. So Edward and Bella go off on their honeymoon and indeed do get intimate but this results in a impossible impregnation. Now she has some sort of creature growing in her at a rapid rate, and the werewolf pack are determined at any cost to kill what they see as an abomination.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Witching Season Episode 1: Killer on the Loose (2015) - Short Horror Film Review

I first heard of this back in January of this year, as always it has taken me until now to get around to seeing it. The Witching Season is a free anthology of short horror films that is available to watch on YouTube. All the short films in the series are based around Halloween. So far there have been three episodes, one released every few months, the first of which was Killer on the Loose.

As the title suggests in this first short there is a killer on the loose, one that is pursuing a frightened young woman. She takes refuge in a random house but the masked maniac follows her, arming herself with a kitchen knife she hides and hopes for the best, but is everything as it really seems?

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Horror Video Games of E3 2016 Round-Up

It is that time of year again when tonnes of upcoming video games are announced at the big E3 video game event in America. Previously I have covered 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2015 so am pretty locked in for this year. Thankfully there were quite a few horror and post apocalyptic games shown off and announced. Personally the only bit of E3 I actually watched was Sony's press conference which was quite entertaining.

So starting off with pure post apocalypse as opposed to horror we have Horizon: Zero Dawn from Guerrilla Games. This is an action RPG that sees you play as a girl in a world over run with robotic wild life. Humans have reverted back to tribes and must destroy these giant robot animals in order to scavenge electronics. A game play demo was shown at Sony's conference, it looks like it could be ok but didn't really get me excited. Nier: Automata is the sequel to the excellent Nier and is being developed by Platinum Games. This is another post-apocalypse action RPG but looks set to continue the darkness of the first game, dealing as it does with a war between the remnants of humanity and a machine army from another world. Also shown was the next expansion to Destiny in the form of Rise of Iron which is going to have story missions, PvP maps, new weapons and a new social space. I don't know if it is to be a huge expansion or something smaller, but it concerns itself with the Fallen who have managed to breach the wall of the last surviving city on Earth, and are armed with a deadly nano virus. This expansion is due for release in September.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Resident Evil 7 Teaser: Beginning Hour (2016) - Thoughts on the demo (PS4)

I had heard that there was a new Resident Evil game in the works, one that would bring the series back to the old style of slow exploration rather than convoluted action. I went into the demo having seen or heard nothing of it and so I was quite surprised with what I found.

Resident Evil 7 is played in a first person perspective, so immediatly different to what has come before. You awake in an old house, while looking for the key to the exit you come across a videotape, if you head back to the first room then you can play the tape and things get slightly meta. The videotape shows a producer, a camera man and a TV show presenter arriving at an old house in order to make a America's Most Haunted type program. You actually get to control the camera man in this part of the demo which I found quite fun. It all leads to a Blair Witch style ending that reveals to the watcher where the back door key may be. Getting to the exit you discover things are not going to be that simple...

This demo felt like a cross between Silent Hill (specifically the P.T demo) and Outlast. The seemingly supernatural goings on combined with random figures walking around, as well as the obvious trope of filming via a camera all made this feel like those, and bizarrely nothing like Resident Evil at all. It looks pretty decent, the character models were not the best, and sound wasn't too interesting but I still loved the new direction. Apparently rather than have hordes of zombies Capcom are concentrating on fewer enemies, but ones that will leave an impact, just like Outlast did. The demo seemed to indicate psychotic hillbillies rather than monsters, I will miss zombies if that's the case, but least there is a new game in the series, unlike Silent Hill which Konami have forever shelved. The most exciting thing I discovered was that this is being made with VR in mind, so I simply cannot wait to play this with Playstation VR when this is released towards the start of 2017.

I live streamed my first play of the demo, I have included that below, though be aware I'm not used to speaking to the camera so come across a bit stilted and unsure of myself! I have discovered I have missed plenty of secrets on my initial play, but that's to be expected. Like the P.T demo this also is a stand alone game that is not going to be in Resident Evil 7 proper. Great times for horror we live in indeed, I shall be doing a round up of all the horror games shown at this years E3 later in the week if all goes to plan.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2011) - Fantasy Video Game Review (X-Box 360)

Once I had finished The Witcher I moved straight on to the sequel; The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and for me the difference was awe inspiring. I had played through the first game with an isometric overhead view so to suddenly be in third person was as much a leap to me as Super Mario Brothers was to Super Mario 64. There will be The Witcher spoilers as a warning.

The game starts with Witcher Geralt in a prison, suspected of assassinating King Foltest (who you saved from assassination in the ending of the first game). From your cell you recount the events that led up to the Kings death, it turns out it was an evil Witcher who had done the deed. With this prologue done you set out with Commander Vernon Roche and the sorceress Triss (your love interest) to find out the actual person responsible for the regicide, not only to bring him to justice, but to clear your name.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Witcher (2007) - Fantasy Video Game Review (PC)

Sometimes I will get the desire to play through a video game series all in once go, a few years ago I did it with the God of War series, this year The Witcher trilogy is the one I chose. I have heard so many good things about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt but I really wanted to play the previous two games first. I had no intention to review these games as they are fantasy rather than horror but then I decided that I might as well after having put so many hours into them.

You play as Geralt; a Witcher (a mutant that kills monsters for a living) who is found severely injured and with amnesia by a group of fellow Witchers, he is taken back to their HQ but isn't there too long when the castle is assaulted by a gang of bandits calling themselves Salamandra. These thugs steal dangerous secrets before escaping. Geralt heads to the city of Vizima in search of them, here he finds the city in need of his services.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Counter Clockwise (2016) - Sci-fi Film News and Trailer

I love the notion of time travel and all the upsets it can cause, the way it can make your brain hurt with all the paradoxes and altered futures. While there have been plenty of great time travel films (Terminator, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure for example) there are not many that really scratch that horrifying itch of events spiralling out of control, off the top of my head just The Butterfly Effect comes to mind. Counter Clockwise is an indie sci-fi thriller/dark comedy that hopefully could be something special.

A scientist accidentally creates a time machine and is plunged six months into the future, but this is a future that is both sinister, confusing, and violent where he finds himself on the run both from the police (for the apparent murder of his family), as well as a bunch of hitmen. He decides to travel back in time to change history and to find out just what has happened to make his life such a nightmare...

The award winning Counter Clockwise stars Michael Kopelow (who also helped write it), Devon Ogden, and Kerry Knuppe and is due to be released by Artsploitation on DVD and VOD on 4th October later this year. The Artsploitation president Ray Murray says of the film "Totally inventive, fun, and complex. I immediately watched it a second time just to fully understand all the wild happenings!". Check out the trailer below and see what you think...

Counter Clockwise Official Trailer from George Moïse on Vimeo.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Zombies in Love (2014) by Nora Fleischer, narrated by Martin Wurst - Zombie Audiobook Review

Back last August I received an email from Martin Wurst telling me about the book Zombies in Love (written by Nora Fleischer) that he had narrated in audiobook form. I listened to half of it, enjoyed it then somehow completely forgot it existed until a week or so back when I rediscovered it. Like the living dead I may be very slow at doing things, but I never give up (that analogy sounded better in my head).

The story takes place in Boston where Jack Kershaw is struggling to not only hold onto his job at a small pizzeria, but also to hide the fact that he is a zombie from his boss Lisa Alioto. It turns out that Jack as well as a variety of other dead people had been reanimated accidentally by two graduate students over at Winthrop University. Jack's new lease of life has made him really appreciate un-living due to a blossoming romance with Lisa, but one that may be cut short due to the bumbling grad students on a desperate mission to capture all the zombies, and the sinister heads of Winthrop University who will go to any length to cover up what has happened...

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Them or Us (2011) by David Moody - Horror Book Review

Them or Us is the third book in the Hater series (previous ones being Hater and Dog Blood). Where the first book was the lead up to the apocalypse and the second being the apocalypse itself this one is quite post-apocalyptic. There will be unavoidable spoilers for the previous books as a warning.

After a sudden unexplained split in mankind led to people becoming either Unchanged or Haters there was a huge war that led to nuclear bombs being dropped on all the major cities of at least the UK. Despite being fewer in number the Haters emerged victorious with Unchanged hunted to near extinction. Danny McCoyne (anti-hero of the previous books) now finds himself at Lowesoft; the base of a local psychotic warlord named Hinchcliffe who values Danny for his ability to 'hold the Hate' (that is, the ability to resist the urge to instantly slaughter any Unchanged encountered). Soon Danny inadvertently becomes key in the issue of what is to become of the human race.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Even Lambs Have Teeth (2015) - Horror Film Review

First of all I loved the title for Even Lambs Have Teeth, not only was it a memorable one but I could tell immediately it would likely be a revenge horror in the vein of I Spit On Your Grave and Bound to Vengeance, and indeed it was.

Best friends Sloane (Kirsten Prout from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) and Katie (Tiera Skovbye from Supernatural) head out to a summer work placement in the deep countryside of America in order to raise money for a shopping trip to New York. While waiting for a bus in a rural town two young brothers befriend the duo and offer to take them to the place they are due to work at, However the girls are instead taken to the men's farm where they are drugged, they awake to find themselves chained up in shipping containers where they are to be used as sex slaves. From the film's title it is easy to infer that they manage to escape and decide to turn the tables on their sadistic kidnappers...

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) - Horror Film Review

Starting off, yes I realise Twilight gets a whole tonne of hate, or at least it did at the time, now with the passing of years I think maybe people don't care so much. I had not planned to review Twilight: New Moon when I was watching it last night but I noticed that six years back I did in fact review Twilight and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse so thought I may as review this one as well.

After a load of shenanigans in Twilight Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) should be having a grand old time, however fearing that just by being around him Bella is exposed to danger he decides to move away from Forks with his family, promising she will never see him again. Distraught for many months she finally starts to recover when she befriends native boy Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), but he has secrets of his own, namely that he is a werewolf...

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Shat (2012) by S.Lawrence Parrish - Post Apocalyptic Audiobook Review

When S.Lawrence Parrish first contacted me to give Where Evil Grows; one of his horror audiobooks (that he narrates) a listen for review he also suggested a few others of his that included the novella Yog-Sothoth's Box, short story collection Chicken Pi: Twisted Tales, and a weirdly titled post apocalyptic book named Shat. It has taken me getting on for a year but I have now listened to the book and so here's my thoughts.

Shat takes place years after a catastrophic plague swept the world, this plague not only killed a huge chunk of the worlds population but it also affected plant life, changing the world into a barren wasteland. A cure was discovered that for unknown reasons resides in cat waste, and so the survivors must eat this to survive, it is also discovered waste from siamese cats can reinvigorate plant life. The book takes place at a human settlement named The Park where the residents find themselves at the mercy of an enemy army...or least that is what the people in charge want them to believe. Enter John Whistler who accidentally finds himself caught up in the machinations of the leaders of the settlement...