Saturday, 31 October 2020

The Rotting Zombie's Round-up of Horror News for October 2020

This month I have been trialling the reintroduction of news posts detailing singular news items. This means I am now putting out a new blog post every single day, shall see how long I can keep that going! Despite this my inbox is still full of news items, and so shall be putting a bunch of them into a monthly news post still. Don't take it to mean this compilation of news stories means they don't deserve their own post, more that having a full time day job it means I just don't have the time to write individual posts for each bit of news I receive.

The Dead Ones is now out on DVD/Blu-ray and digital. I said of this school based horror "From start to finish the nightmarish tone remains consistent, thanks to some inventive moments and a great looking set."
Similarly titled My Dead Ones comes to iTunes and Google Play on October 31st. This Brazilian psychological slasher film also came to Vimeo on October 26th.
From Midnight Releasing, Evil Under the Skin is now streaming on VOD platforms, including all the ones you would expect. I said of this "I have to give kudos for where this eventually ended up."

Adrian Tofei's standout Romanian found footage horror Be My Cat: A Film for Anne has been released on DVD in two versions, one featuring the new poster and one with the original poster. Both include 12 minutes of extra footage, closed captions, improved image and sound. This horror was partially improvised and had Tofei method acting for the duration, partially living in character. The creator is currently working on a trilogy which includes this film, We Put the World to Sleep (in post-production) and Dr. Frankenstein (in development). Signed copies of the DVD can be purchased on Tofei's site.

The follow up to supernatural thriller Mayday was announced on September 17th. Tara Reid and Robert LaSardo have been added to the film's roster. The synopsis for this has air marshall Adam Anderson (Michael Pare) on board a flight when a strange smoke engulfs the plane. He awakens to find only him and five passengers remain, and the plane running on autopilot. That sounds very much like the excellent time travel horror The Langoliers, which can only be a good thing. Mayday II is currently on Indiegogo seeking additional funds.

Habitual comes to theatres and VOD on November 13th and has been described as 'A Clockwork Orange meets Saw!' This psychological drug fueled horror is about a group of drug taking ravers who go to an underground rave party called 'Habit' at an abandoned asylum in Salem. The night changes into chaotic hallucinations with characters falling deeper into a metaphorical mind-bending hole. It certainly sounds interesting. This comes from writer/director Johnny Hickey, and allegedly during one screening of the movie an audience member on LSD ended up in a harm reduction center as a result of his experience.

Frolic Pictures have released a special batch of 20 new triple feature DVDs. These are based on the golden age of 'silent screamers and depression-era staples'. The collections features some icons such as Bela Lugosi, Max Schreck, Lon Chaney Jr, Boris Karloff, Tod Slaughter and Soledad Miranda. 'Each DVD is a one-of-a-kind experience, like going to the drive-in back in the day, except in the comfort of your own home. Every carefully curated program is 3-4 hours of shocking, bizarre, and tantalizing entertainment from a bygone era. Packed with cinematic surprises, such as pre-show shorts, trailers, and intermission cartoons'. The list is too much to go into, but some chosen at random include: Face of the Screaming Werewolf/The Wasp Woman/The Bat, King of the Zombies/Revolt of the Zombies/Teenage Zombies, and Curse of the Aztec Mummy/Sound of Horror/The Atomic Man. For more details head here.

From the creator of The Blair Witch Project comes Ithaca: A miniseries of horror. This comes from Eduardo Sanchez and season1 is now available now and can be seen for free on Man In The Arena Films YouTube Channel. The first season is made up of four chapters and is about a man's attempt to heal his broken legacy. It was inspired by Homer's Odyssey, modern mythology and includes Balinese Hindu mythology. It was made over 7 years with no budget, and with a 2 to 4 man crew. Season 1 can be seen here.

Music news now, firstly, Sharone has released a music video for her track Can We Pretend. This is the first single off the dark rock artist's upcoming album, Morbid Illusion that is due out on 28th May 2021. Her second single will be revealed on Halloween (the day this blog post goes out). Sharone says of the single " about living a lie, and hiding behind a facade that's destroying you from the inside out".

Sammi Doll has released the official music video for her debut single AN OM IE. This is 'an amalgamation of pounding dance beats and industrial keyboard hooks'. Sammi Doll says of the video "We filmed the video over the course of four months due to quarantine restrictions, so we had the luxury of time to build on our characters. I really gave my blood, insomnia, and tears to everything I do artistically and tend to think about the consequences later...but I knew I was committed when a frozen octopus from Seattle showed up at my front door..."

Finally, a new UK short anthology horror is due to go up on YouTube at 9pm tonight (GMT). End of October features three short films from Nicolai Kornum, John Whitaker, and M.W Daniels. Earlier in the year the three worked on a different short anthology horror, The Isolation Horrors. A review of End of October shall go up next week, it's worth a watch, so check out the premiere at 9pm today (October 31st).

Friday, 30 October 2020

Oxenfree (2016) - Horror Video Game Review (X-Box One)

Oxenfree is a combat free adventure game that is heavy on story but short on gameplay. It feels kind of like what modern day text adventure games have become. While personally I didn't feel the need to do a second playthrough, the story is set up in such a way that you would need to do so in order to get a true ending.

Alex (voiced by Erin Yvette - Firewatch) heads to the currently uninhabited Edwards Island along with her best friend, Ren (Aaron Kuban), and her new step-brother Jonas (Gavin Hammon) for a weekend of partying, as is the coming of age tradition of teenagers in her town. There she meets Clarissa and Nona, two other school mates. There is a local legend that certain radio frequencies cause supernatural events in a large cave on the island and so Alex and Jonas decide to check it out. They discover a strange 'tear' deep in the cavern and are surprised when tuning the portable radio Alex has that this tear begins to open...then all chaos breaks loose. Some time later Alex and Jonas awaken to find themselves somehow transported to the opposite side of the island. Lost and confused they eventually learn that all their friends have also been transported to random places within the island. It seems they have somehow awakened a living frequency, a force whose intentions are unclear, but which has the power to not only create time loops, but to also be able to possess Alex and her friends.

Oxenfree is a beautiful looking 2D adventure game that features vaguely ugly 3D character models. It is both the graphics and the superb soundtrack that really got me hooked. The island is split up into different areas, such as the beach, the military base and the mountains, each of which has a lovely look to it that made it seem like it had been hand built via arts and crafts. In each area you are restricted to a 2.5D path. Occasionally there are minor puzzles, such as working out how to open locked doors, and how to power on various devices, but mainly this is all about walking and talking. Over the course of the roughly five hour game you play as Alex, but often who you are with changes up. Dialogue is the main way the story plays out, with characters walking and talking constantly. Usually you are often given multiple responses to what the other characters are saying, typically agreeable, disagreeable or sarcastic and angry responses. In terms of what you actually do this is mostly just walking around, with the story playing the main draw.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Blood Immortal (2019) - Horror Film Review

Blood Immortal
 (directed and written by Robert Joseph Butler) is a vampire film that uses horror elements in a way which allows it to explore deeper issues than you would initially expect. I admit to expecting plenty of blood sucking and brooding here, instead at times the topics it covered felt all too real and as a result became interesting to watch. This works almost as an anthology, three interconnected stories taking place in America's past, present, and future.

At some point in the 1800's a land prospector, Mr. Duncan (Richard Tyson - Black Hawk Down, Battlefield Earth) arrives at the remote home of  recently widowed Josephine (Aphrodite Nikolovski - Agramon's Gate) and her daughter Eliza (Julie Kline - Mimesis Nosferatu) with an offer. Perhaps due to recognising Josephine is dying he reveals he is a vampire and turns her, expecting her fealty.
In modern day, the vampire Fiona (Jordan Trovillion - Jack Reacher) attends night classes in which she befriends her economics lecturer, lonely Patricia (Erika Hoveland - Before I Wake). This, set against a backdrop of a world on the brink of disaster due to rising pollution and impending economic collapse.
Then in the near future we return to Josephine and Eliza who are struggling to survive in a world where law and order has nearly ceased to be and in which desperate people resort to desperate methods.

It was interesting to show the decline of mankind from the perspective of immortals, and it was interesting to see how issues affecting us all today could change into via a 'what-if' version of the future. This isn't a tertiary look either, the middle segment features plenty of discourse between Fiona and her lecturer (a class that Fiona excels in due to having conveniently lived the past being examined). The theme is of breakdown and how that is poisoning humanity, from pollution, to increasing self centered ruthlessness. This can be seen literally with the afflictions drinking polluted blood has on the vampires, who wish to shape mankind for everyone's benefit. There is a hopelessness and inevitability to the overarching story, both in how it can be seen where the world is going and the vampires inability to stop this, and with the addiction to blood that is the root of many problems for them.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

See What She Did (2020) - Short Horror Film News

UK based Ark Indie Productions have this year finished work on their third short horror film, See What She Did. This was directed and written by Daniel Keeble, produced by Alice Rya, and based on a story by lead actor Samantha Anderson. 

In this latest short, two close friends, Cassie and Stephanie go away on a camping trip to enjoy a night of excess. Things don't go according to plan with the question arising being 'How well do you truly know someone, as well as you know yourself?' This follows on from previous films Off The Hook and The Woods Near Jacob's Farm. All three films are united by an attempt 'to take the audience out of their comfort zone with plot twists, hidden messages and plenty of subtext.'

See What She Did premieres this Halloween, and for one night only at that. To watch this follow Ark Indie Productions on Facebook and Instagram.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

The Nights Before Christmas (2019) - Horror Film Review

The season to be jolly for whatever reason works really well when combined with horror. Such is the case with The Nights Before Christmas, which is a festive horror featuring a cruelly sadistic killer. This is a sequel to the 2017 film Once Upon a Time at Christmas, and it plays out very much as a sequel, meaning I was left playing catch-up for the majority of this one due to not having seen the first. It seems to be the middle part of a trilogy, with the third film, One Christmas Night in a Toy Store currently in pre-production. All feature Paul Tanter as the director and co-writer, with main lead Simon Phillips also co-writing. Even though I haven't seen the previous film there will be spoilers for that one.

Some years previously, mad man Nicholas (Phillips), who revels in taking on the persona of Santa Claus, faked his own death at the asylum where he had been imprisoned. Now he is back, and with the help of his crazed assistant, Mrs. Claus (Sayla de Goede) he goes on a new killing spree, targeting people on his 'naughty or nice' list. As he settles old scores and cleans house, F.B.I agent Natalie Parker (Kate Schroder) sets out to stop him once and for all.

I will start off with the best thing about The Nights Before Christmas and that is Phillips. He is amazing as the twisted Santa Claus, stealing every scene he is in. He has a real presence to him, and his demented plans, and disregard for life makes him a formidable opponent. He felt like a combination of The Joker from the Batman franchise and Papa Lazarou from The League of Gentlemen and seemed to have a lot of fun with his role. Mrs. Claus felt like an obvious stand-in for Harley Quinn, she even looks the part with her hair in bunches, and being very physical with the way she moves. It is good that the bad guys are so memorable, as the protagonists are all infuriatingly stupid people. They make so many dumb mistakes and decisions that it managed to hamper my enjoyment. The good guys make unbelievably dense errors in judgment throughout the movie. There is a serial killer on the loose who fashions himself on Santa Claus, you would think that information would be important to the authorities. Instead when a bloody man in a Santa costume sets up an obvious roadblock for a police convoy, the police assume he is just a civilian with a broken down car, it was maddening how stupid everyone was. It got to the point where I gave up, as far as I was concerned all the protagonists deserved to die. A little bit of this is fine, but when literally every single good character is acting dumb it begins to get hard to really care about what happens. Also, I lost count of the amount of time the bad guys were being held at gunpoint, but the gun holder would refuse to shoot, even when they are killing people right in front of them!

Monday, 26 October 2020

Far Cry 5: Dead Living Zombies (2018) - Horror Video Game DLC Review (Playstation 4)

I am a fan of the Far Cry series of action video games and have been slowly working my way through them over the past couple of years. Personally I think that Far Cry 5 was the best game in the series so far. The main game dealt with a crazy cult in America. As much as I loved it, it wasn't horror and so didn't warrant a review. The game featured three additional downloadable experiences. The first had you as a soldier behind enemy lines during the Vietnam war, the second was a comedic jaunt through alien infested Mars, the third is the one I will be looking at in this review as it is all about zombies.

Dead Living Zombies is different to both the main game and the expansions as rather than a large open world area it is instead split into seven different episodes, each of which takes the form of a movie pitch that wannabe director Guy Marvel is describing to a different producer. This is the shortest of the expansions, with each episode totalling anywhere from five to fifteen minutes. So, each episode is a self contained story revolving around the undead. First is Fields of Terror. This takes place in rural America, and has you as a farmer dealing with a zombie outbreak that occurs when a plane crashed in your fields. This was a nice introduction to the expansion, and mainly has you needing to destroy machines which constantly spawn zombies around them.
Burned Bridges is the second one and is one of the better ones here. This has you as a soldier working your way across a devastated bridge. I loved the level design for this one, it remained inventive from beginning to end.
Keeping the imagination going is Undying Love. This is set in a large graveyard and is a retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story, with of course added undead. I will add here that each episode opens and closes on a comic book style intro and epilogue, both detailing Guy Marvel's latest attempt to sell his ideas, but also showing the beginning and end of the stories he is explaining.

The real stinker of this expansion is Escape From the Rooftop. It had a cool backstory to it (zombie apocalypse has meant the survivors all live on rooftops now), but the level itself took place in a moderately sized arena and saw you fighting waves of undead. This was what I had feared the whole of Dead Living Zombies would be, thankfully just restricted to this one level.
Killer Climate is one of the larger episodes here. It has you as a park ranger battling zombie animals, such as wolves, deer, and even a bear. What was cool about this one was the argument Guy and the producer were having as to the direction the story would take, this was reflected by things within the level constantly changing back and forth.
The Fast & The Fiendish was the shortest one here. It had you as an infected scientist who is on a race against time to get to his lab and develop a cure. With a time limit of seven minutes this led to plenty of running and driving, short but sweet.
The final episode is the excellent Laboratory of the Dead. Starting out in marshland you had to get to a secret underground lab and find the source of an undead uprising.

While the short length may put some off this was on the whole pretty fun. There is replay value in that you open up a score attack mode upon completing each episodes. One complaint I did have was that if you die you have to replay the entire episode again. No so much a problem on the shorter levels, but getting nearly fifteen minutes in and then perishing made my heart sink each time. Overall, while not essential to play, Dead Living Zombies was a fun, albeit brief experience, not bad, but not amazing either. It was a cool idea though.


Sunday, 25 October 2020

Sebastian's Unholy Flesh (2020) - Horror Film Review

Sebastian's Unholy Flesh is the seventh film from Denver based filmmaker Dakota Ray (The Dark Days of Demetrius, American Antichrist) and in terms of content it is his most demonically charged one yet. There has been supernatural elements in many of his previous films, but with this one the whole film takes on a hellish tone that makes this the most experimental in feel yet.

Ray stars as the titular Sebastian, a demon in human form who is on a mission to get control of Lucifer's ancient unholy book. Anyone who has this in their possession has the power to bring about the destruction of mankind. The book had been hidden away for countless years, its re-emergence sees not only Sebastian, but also other dark beings out to get it for themselves.

This manages to have the most world changing plot yet, but at the same time tell this story in such an abstract way that it is often happy to let this plot fade into the background as the camera just soaks in the nasty atmosphere of the various locations. The entire film has had a purple tint applied over it making everything seem otherworldly. Ray's films have always felt like they take place in a meaner reality where life is dirt cheap, here that feel is even more intense. If it were not for the plot of trying to bring about the end of life on Earth I could easily accept that the whole movie took place in literal Hell.  All of the film takes on a dark feel due to the purple tint that drowns everything.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Malvolia: the Queen of Screams Releases Season Four - Horror Web Show News

Malvolia: the Queen of Screams
has recently started up a fourth season on YouTube. This web series stars Jennifer Nangle (Irrational Fear, Ugly Sweater Party) as her Malvolia persona. I hadn't heard of this show before, it sounds like each episode features a different short film, with Malvolia opening and closing the episode. This has previously won awards, the most recent being at last years Zed Fest Film Festival where it won Outstanding Acting Performance (Nangle), Outstanding Direction (Richard Trejo), Outstanding Ensemble Acting, and Outstanding Screen Story (Nangle) for season two's Halloween special. Jennifer also won the Independent Filmmaker Spirit Award there.

Obviously, as with everything, this year has brought with it its own challenges. In a recent podcast interview Nangle said of this new season: "2020 has been such a hard year on all of us...lots of life lesson were learned when the blinders were pulled off. I had no idea how to deal with or release a lot of the pain and hurt that I was experiencing except through my art. Some of the scripts I've written are very personal. Lots of limits are being pushed. Breaking free. A lot more bloodshed, revenge and chaos!"

The highlight for each season is apparently the annual Halloween special, and this year season two's director, Richard Trejo has been brought back to direct both the special and the photography. Malvolia: the Queen of Screams season four started on October 13th, and can be seen on the shows YouTube channel, here.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Camp Twilight (2020) - Horror Film Review

Camp Twilight is a modern day slasher that very much bases itself on the retro tropes of the classics from the 1980's. This was director Brandon Amelotte's first feature film, and he co-wrote the story alongside cult actress Felissa Rose (Terrifier 2, Ugly Sweater Party, Sleepaway Camp) who also has quite a large role here. While the format is identifiable enough I did feel the death scenes left a little to be desired.

Six students, all on the verge of failing to graduate, are offered an opportunity by the school. If they agree to go away on a weekend camping trip with their teacher, Jessica Bloom (Rose) and principal, Mr. Warner (Barry Jay Minoff - Among the Shadows) they will be given the extra credit they all need to pass the year. The location chosen is 'Camp Twilight', a place that had a shady past, and a place whose reputation will be once again tarnished over a weekend of murder and bloodshed at the hands of a mysterious hooded figure...

By leaning so heavily on the classics Camp Twilight comes across as a little generic and by the numbers. The six students all fit into the stereotypes you would expect. There are the meathead jock characters, the sarcastic outsider, the jock with a secret heart of gold, the promiscuous one, and the trouble maker. These characters are all played earnestly and while it is entertaining to see who will be the next victim, it was also very hard to care about any of them. There are a fair few comedy characters here, such as Ranger Bob (Dave Sheridan - Scary Movie, The Devil's Rejects) and the two cocky detectives, their appearances don't help change this slasher into anything meaningful. It was nice to see scream queen Jessica Cameron (Truth or Dare) show up in a small role as do a few other notable names.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Spell (2020) - Horror Film news

Spell is due to be released on download & keep or rental formats on 30th October from Paramount Home Entertainment. This thriller stars Omari Hardwick (Power, Sorry to Bother You), Loretta Devine (Black-ish, Crash) and John Beasely (The Sum of All Fears, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), and is directed by Mark Tonderai.

On the way to the funeral of his father, Marquis (Hardwick) loses control of the plane he is flying himself and his family with. He awakens injured, and in the attic of a strange woman (Devine) who claims she can heal him via the use of the 'Boogity', a Hoodoo figure made from his own blood and skin. Marquis must find a way to escape in order to save his family from a sinister ritual that is to take place during the upcoming blood moon. 

Spell will be available on a variety of digital platforms including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Sky Store, Google Play and more.

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Sweet Taste of Souls (2020) - Horror Film Review

Sweet Taste of Souls is an indie horror that had a premise that really interested me, even if, quite bizarrely it was a premise I had already seen in action, in last years Art of the Dead. This was directed by Terry Ross (R.I.P), with a story written by F. Scott Mudgett.

Four members of a small time band are on a road trip to attend a gig they hope will make their careers. They are comprised of Nate (John Salandria - Club Dead), his best friend Kyle (Mark Valeriano - Zombie), Kyle's girlfriend Wendy (Amber Gaston - Mermaid Down), and Lily (Sarah J. Bartholomew - voice work on the Life is Strange 2 video game). The foursome stop off at a roadside cafe where they catch the eye of the eccentric owner, Ellinore (Honey Lauren - Bram Stoker's Dracula), and unknown to the group she hides a terrible power. She is able to somehow turn people into living photographs, who are then displayed on the walls of her cafe as part of a twisted art collection, and she does this with the band. While they try to find a way to escape their timeless imprisonment, the discovery of their abandoned car leads to a man, whose daughter went missing in similar circumstances some years previously, to restart his investigation.

I love the idea of people being trapped inside a photograph, and reminded me to a similar event in Art of the Dead in which characters get trapped in paintings. I was interested to see how this would play out, and if it would be as cheesy as it sounded. The photos characters get trapped in are minimalistic white backgrounds, with props to fill up the space. Within the film these photos are soundproof, and inescapable, aside from having the photo window smashed, with the characters frozen in place whenever a person enters the cafe. There are feelings of Black Mirror at times with how long some of the people have been trapped, one couple indicate they had been there for 20 years! With Ellinore often interacting with the photo frames I thought they might do some sort of effect to show the perspective from the protagonists viewpoint, but this never happens. You get reaction shots of the group shouting at her, then shots of her looking at the photo frame, but never a mixing of the two. This felt very indie, which can best be seen with the cheesy looking way characters fade from the screen when they are initially captured, it's all charmingly cheesy though.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Shelter - Horror Film News

With all that has been going on in the world this year film releases have been noticeably fewer. A combination of companies wanting to wait until the right moment to release their films, and the logistical factors of being able to actually create a film in the first place with all the various restrictions in place. Shelter is an apocalyptic horror that has recently wrapped filming. This comes from director Alex T. Hwang, from a script he co-wrote with his wife, Kathleen Hwang, both of which were responsible for Paranormal Attraction.

Shelter stars Scream Queen Jessica Cameron (Truth or Dare), as well as Thomas Haley (Fear the Walking Dead) and Michael Murphy (Lilith). It is about a woman named Karen who is trying to survive during an apocalypse in which an outside force threatens all of humanity, and who receives help from an unexpected source. Producer Kathleen Hwang said about the experience of filming; "Producing a movie during the Coronavirus pandemic, introduces a whole new set of obstacles to meet head on. Keeping cast and crew safe on set was of the utmost importance. We were fortunate to have a script that lent itself to mask wearing other opportunities to keep both the cast and crew safe. Having a very small cast was also beneficial. Director Alex Hwang and I were able to fill many roles off camera in an attempt to keep the cast and crew small and safe. Finally, casting was important so that we could get through scenes efficiently."

Monday, 19 October 2020

Eve (2019) - Horror Film Review

Eve is a UK horror that comes from director Rory Kindersley (Sweet Tooth), who also co-wrote this, alongside Drew Sherring-Hill. To say this stylistic thriller was a head scratcher is no exaggeration, as the credits rolled I was literally scratching my head wondering what on earth had actually happened over the course of the seventy five minute film. I admit to often liking style over substance, and so much of this movie appealed to me, even if I will be hard pressed to write a synopsis.

Alex Beyer (Christine Marzano - Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy) is a formerly successful actress whose popularity has faded. She hopes to rekindle her fame by getting the part of 'Eve' in a film adaptation of a stage play which saw her win awards as the Eve character. Returning to her stylish London apartment after a holiday with her photographer boyfriend, Liam (Andrew Lee Potts - Primeval) the couple are shocked to discover the place has been vandalised with fake blood, apparently by an Airbnb guest who police suspect may have been a deranged fan. With that on her mind, as well as not being successful at her audition, Alex's mental state starts to deteriorate, and her and Liam's relationship begins to suffer as a result.

First things first, the multi-storey apartment that Eve and Liam live at is the star of the movie. This is very uniquely designed, and includes a brightly coloured spiral staircase as a centrepiece, a gym, a huge white room that is half bathroom half bedroom (separated by a net curtain), and the living room even has a slide going into it. As an aside, I spent the whole movie hoping that at some point a character would use the slide, but mild spoiler...they never do. With such an interesting building it is good that the majority of Eve is spent in this location, with about 10% showing characters in other places within London. Going well with this attractive building is some wonderful cinematography, which was shot by Douglas Milsome (Full Metal Jacket). A scene near the end in particular was wonderful, with a character at extreme close range in the bottom left corner, and another character blurred in the background. Helping both of these elements was some neat set design, an often re-visited 'insanity room' in particular really stood out. This room was integral to the films plot (I think) so I wont go into much detail, but think a madman's lair with cut out magazine collages, manic writing on the walls, and a projector forever playing footage from an old black and white movie.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

Boo Premieres on ALTER October 19th - Short Horror Film News

Rakefet Abergel's award winning short horror, Boo is set to premiere on ALTER on October 19th. ALTER produces and releases feature movies, series and short form stories from the horror genre across all platforms. Abergel said of her film "I'm really proud that Boo will be featured on ALTER, which is arguably one of the best distributers a short horror film can have...I'm excited it's finally going to be available for online viewers and I'm looking forward to hearing feedback from fans all over the world!".

Boo is the second film from Abergel's production company, Cyclamen Films, with her first movie, Jax in Love currently streaming on Amazon Prime and Vimeo On-Demand and playing on ShortsTV. When I reviewed Boo last year I gave it a respectable 8/10 and said that it felt like a step up from her previous movie.
Boo heads to ALTER on October 19th to kick-off their Halloween programming, with more platforms to be announced soon. Abergel will be doing a live Q&A on the Boo Facebook page with some of the cast and crew on the week of the premiere.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

The Walking Dead: Season 10 (2019-20) - Zombie Horror TV Show Review

It is that time where I attempt to do my annual review of the latest season of The Walking Dead. Due to the way the show airs I always struggle to write these reviews. Usually each season is split into two halves, one airing towards the end of the year, and the second part airing around February of the following year. I always tell myself I need to write after each half, rather than waiting till it has all ended. Well, this year with the darn pandemic has meant season ten of The Walking Dead is even more fragmented than usual. The pandemic hit before the season finale, A Certain Doom had been completed, and so that episode was pushed all the way back to the start of October. I'm now putting up a review of the season, but bear in mind there are an additional six episodes still to come at the start of 2021. I had heard they will be anthology like in style, each one dealing with a different set of characters. Unavoidable spoilers for previous seasons to follow.

With Alpha (Samantha Morton) and her Whisperers proven to be a dangerous threat, the settlements of Oceanside, New Alexandria and Hilltop live out an uneasy existence. While Alpha gave them her word they will be safe if they don't cross into her land they nonetheless begin to prepare for the inevitable battle. She has in her possession a horde of undead, a collection so large that they would decimate anyone they are unleashed upon. Carol (Melissa McBride) in particular carries a burning hatred for Alpha, and seems ready to break the terms of their shaky truce in order to claim her revenge...

I will be honest here, the way I in particular watched this season means parts of it are very fuzzy. Me and my best friend ended up watching this sporadically, this led to forgetting details of what had occurred previously, and who characters were. In more recent seasons there has always been a overly large cast, I long since gave up on trying to learn any of the newer characters names. Without spoiling much this is a season where the heroes are given a break in terms of shocking demises, plenty of good guys do die, but I can't think of a single character whose death I cared about. The Walking Dead in my opinion is at its best when it features stand alone episodes, and this season contains one of my favourite ones of this type. The 13th episode, What We Become sees Michonne (Danai Guria) experiencing a 'what if' scenario, showing the dark path her life may have led if she had never met up with Rick Grimes. This was created in part by nifty editing, and with digitally adding her to scenes from previous seasons, but with her as a bad guy. It was fantastic stuff, though personally that was due to both Rick and Carl appearing (even if it was just recycled footage). 

Friday, 16 October 2020

AMC - October Highlights - Horror TV News

Slightly late to the month but here is AMC's schedule for October, which includes a slew of Halloween appropriate horrors. Firstly, as I have already covered, Fear the Walking Dead is back for a sixth season. It premiered on Monday 12th at 21:00.
Not horror, but still a darn good show, Better Call Saul season 4 starts in October, in its TV premiere. It will air Thursdays at 21:00 until 9th December.

Now onto the Halloween films. 17th October sees the triple bill of Scary Movie 1-3. These horror comedies are quite ridiculous but have some good moments. 24th October is when the original Scream trilogy is shown, all of which are decent in their own right. Finally, on 31st October comes Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, and Halloween: Resurrection. A bit of an odd selection seeing as Curse is the end of one saga and H20 and Resurrection are part of a different timeline, but any excuse to see anything Halloween is good by me.
These shows and films can all be viewed on AMC, which is on BT channel 332/381 HD.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Welcome to the Circle (2020) - Horror Film Review

It is with good timing that I came to be watching David Fowler's feature length directorial debut, Welcome to the Circle. I have just recently finished playing the video game Far Cry 5, both of which feature crazy cults. This film was very limited in scope, and while it suffers due to a tiny cast and a sometimes ridiculous script it at least offers up something to think about with how it tries to tell its story.

While out camping, Greg (Matthew MacCaull - Black Fly) and his young daughter, Sam (Taylor Dianne Robinson - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2) suffer a bear attack. Greg awakens to find himself at a strange commune out in the woods, being looked after by some female cultists. He soon learns his daughter is fine, maybe too fine, as upon discovering the cult is not as wholesome as first appears he struggles to convince her to make an escape with him. Meanwhile, Grady (Ben Cotton - Slither) is on route to the commune, hired to extract a cultist and de-program her. However, while much of the cults beliefs appear to be crazy, it does seem there is some truth hidden behind the facade of madness.

What exactly happens here? That is not so clear to say. The whole vibe of the film reminded me of a dream sequence episodes in an established series, such as the ones in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Walking Dead. The films first act trundles along perfectly sensibly, with it appearing the movie would all be about Greg and his attempts to escape. However, the films second act switches tracks and the story never gets back to a logical footing. Much of the film seems like it is taking place in an alternate reality, it is hard to explain what is going on, but includes the idea that mirrors hold some strange power, that people can be changed into mannequins/mannequins can be brought to life, and the whole location being some sort of an inescapable circle. Some of this works, some does not, and the film expects you to just let events wash over you rather than think too deeply about the washy ideas presented.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Toxic Alien Zombie Babes From Outer Space to Help Save Cinemas - Sci-fi/Horror Film News

This month I have been experimenting with putting up a blog post daily, with the hopes being that I may be able to get rid of my monthly news post round-up. I have David Black (Sinister Symbiosis), the writer and producer of upcoming sci-fi/horror film Toxic Alien Zombie Babes From Outer Space to thank for the idea, as his film was the first in a good few years that received its own news post, and I found it was not too much extra work for me to get done on the weekend during my blog time.

Anyway, it is another week and another press release about his upcoming movie. The film is now going to be offered to all cinemas worldwide for free, which is a cool thing to offer. Toxic Alien Zombie Babes From Outer Space pays homage to b-movie sci-fi and horror of the 1950's to 70's while also keeping current by including such topics as the pandemic, murder hornets, 5g and various conspiracies. David Black said of the offer "Challenging times like these necessitate creative thinking. We've been under stage 3 and 4 lockdown from the moment we started filming so we had to come up with unique ideas to make this movie. I believe that if cinemas wish to survive then they will have to open their minds too and find new ways of doing things. We are offering them an opportunity to screen a film and keep 100% of the revenue. It's now up to them as to what steps they take next." The film will be free to cinemas in January 2021. For more details about the film check out its Facebook page.

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Chop Chop (2020) - Horror Film Review

Chop Chop is a farcical crime horror that felt like one of those stoner movies where characters are bounced from ridiculous situation to ridiculous situation, but with murder and mayhem instead of comedic hijinks. It was directed and co-written by Rony Patel (In Me) in what was debut feature film role as director. He also had a hand in the editing, production design as well as being a producer on the film. This was an odd horror that always kept the viewer guessing as to the real intentions of the mysterious protagonists.

Liv (Atala Arce) and Chuck (Jake Taylor) have their romantic evening ruined by the appearance of a sinister serial killer (David Harper) who is there on the pretence of delivering pizza. They end up inadvertently killing the man, and then make the decision to dispose of the body themselves, rather than alerting the authorities. This begins a surreal night in which the couple go on a calm and collected mission to dispose of the corpse, yet each step in their journey results in a higher and higher body count from the two. It seems they really are having the worst luck.

The way Chop Chop plays out makes it at times feel like a bit of a black comedy, as each situation the couple find themselves in results in no end of mistaken intentions. It can be inferred from the films wafer thin story that they are not entirely innocent people, which can be seen both in the unemotional way they deal with death, and the contacts they have that are obviously not on the right side of the law. The film is split into Quentin Tarantino style episodes, each one with its own title card. An early example titled 'Brother' leads into the realisation from Chuck that the pizza guy they killed had an identical twin brother. These title cards often give obscure hints as to the direction the movie is going to head in. Speaking of Tarantino this at times felt like an indie homage to Pulp Fiction with the way scenes build upon each other.

Monday, 12 October 2020

Stories of the Dead (2018) - Zombie Horror Anthology Book Review

Stories of the Dead is a zombie anthology with a difference. The book was created as a tribute to the late great George A. Romero and so each of the eighteen stories contained within it have their undead based on the style of walking dead he created. In fact eight of these are directly linked to some of the films that Romero put out. This collection was edited by David Owain Hughes and Duncan P. Bradshaw (Class Three) and they both have stories featured here.

The anthology can be neatly split into two styles. Those which directly take their influences from the films, featuring the same locations and characters, and those who take Romero's world of the walking dead and create their own unique stories. As much as I love Romero it is only The Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead films from his zombie series that I enjoy. Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead were both forgettable, while Land of the Dead was so terrible that I found myself going to watch it twice at the cinema. I just couldn't believe how bad it was, and so had to see it a second time to make sure that I wasn't the problem. Thankfully then it is only Romero's first three zombie films that have stories dedicated to them here.

It starts off with Dan Howarth's Grounded that takes place in a NASA control room and shows a possible catalyst for the zombie plague. Aside from the bizarrely quick way this 'space radiation' manages to get about the place this was a classic zombie story featuring plenty of trapped survivors battling a force they don't understand.
Beekman's Diner by Jeff C. Stevenson is where I saw the potential for this anthology. It slowly dawned (of the dead) on me while reading this that it serves as a prequel to Night. Harry, Karen, and Helen are at a diner when the zombie plague reaches them, they of course being the doomed family who are found hiding out in the basement in Night. This, as with many other stories all felt like fan fiction, but that is of course because they are fan fiction, but written by competent authors.
Mama by Nikki Tanner still takes place during the events of Night, but with a different farmhouse, and seemingly (by the upbeat conclusion) a different reality to that of the films. Here abuse, both sexual and physical is explored, being a bit of social commentary into proceedings as was standard with Romero.
The Last Scare of Johnny Blair is Nathan Robinson's contribution to the anthology and as the title suggests is all about Barbara's ghoulish brother, Johnny. It was fun to see a possibility of what he was up to during the events of Night (the remake seemingly).
The final story based around the first movie is Collateral Damage by Anthony Watson. In this one a posse member discovers his dark but truthful calling in life.

Sunday, 11 October 2020

#Alive (2020) - Zombie Horror Film Review

I had heard good things about #Alive and thought the trailer looked good, so I was excited to get around to watching this Netflix zombie film. Being a South Korean movie it is hard not to compare this to Train to Busan. While it is not as good as that movie it is still a solid zombie movie in its own right, especially considering it is director/screenwriter, Il Cho's debut feature length movie.

While the rest of his family went away on vacation, Oh Joon-woo (Ah-In Yoo) stayed behind, being a big gamer and a generally lazy person. For him it turns out this was a good decision as one day he wakes up to discover a zombie outbreak occurring in his city. Pretty soon he is barricaded in his apartment and swiftly running out of food and drink (his laziness meant he hadn't been shopping like he had been meant to). The last message he received from his parents before the network went down was to 'survive', it is that singular goal that drives him. At his most desperate time he becomes aware of a fellow survivor in the apartment block opposite to him, Kim Yoo-bin (Shin-Hye Park). While they cannot meet, they slowly, over the course of several days find ways to get in contact with each other and start to form a friendship.

This isn't the first zombie film I have seen that takes place in apartment blocks (that would be the German Siege of the Dead), but it is the first film I can think of where the protagonists thinking was in line with mine. I have often said if somehow a zombie outbreak occurred in real life I would hole up in my house, though I realise that like Oh Joon-woo my supplies would be extremely limited. I liked with this film that there is never some grand plan to make an escape, the characters main goal is to survive, and with all the creature comforts of home that is seen as the place to do it. There are little moments here that work really well, such as Oh still playing online games until everything goes down. I am not sure the characters portrayal was totally my thing. I get that Oh is meant to be a bit dense, and certainly not used to having fend for himself, but I found the exaggerated physical acting for comedic effect to be a bit grating at times. The character has a good contrast with Kim, she is someone who personality wise is almost the polar opposite of Oh. She always comes across as deadly serious and someone who always plans ahead.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

9th Dawn III: Shadow of Erthil - Fantasy Video Game News and Trailer

The latest installment in Valorware's 9th Dawn franchise, 9th Dawn III: Shadow of Erthil was due to release on Steam, iOS, Android, X-Box One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch on Tuesday 6th October. I have never heard of this series before, but I will let the press release do the talking...

'9th Dawn III is a huge 2D open world RPG and "collect-a-thon" dungeon crawler packed full of adventure, allowing you to explore dungeons filled with more than 270 unique monsters - and enough treasure, loot, and rare materials to last a lifetime. There are also 1,400 uniquely drawn items to collect - including more than 300 weapons and 550 armor types and accessories!'

This indie RPG takes place in a typically sounding fantasy world, taking in fields, snowy regions, forests and mountains. As you play you can unlock spells and abilities and level up your crafting abilities. You can also recruit monsters to fight alongside you (upto a maximum of ten). In addition you can recruit a companion who too can also have upto ten monster fighting alongside them. Also included in the game is an in world card game that includes 180 collectible cards, and fishing mini-games. On PC and consoles local co-op is an option. Check out the trailer below to see if it looks like your thing.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Abigail Haunting (2020) - Horror Film Review

Abigail Haunting
is a no thrills low budget paranormal horror that was directed and co-written by Kelly Schwarze. It could easily be seen as a slow burn as not much of note happens from the very beginning to the end. With a decent enough protagonist I didn't mind my time here, though is not going to leave much of an impression.

After escaping from an abusive relationship, Katie (Chelsea Jurkiewicz - The Tormenting of Jones) returns to her childhood home. There she finds her foster mum, Marge (Brenda Daly) is now suffering severe dementia and lives as a shut-in. Katie decides to spend a few days there, but she can't shake an unsettling feel about the place. The longer she stays the more she begins to suspect that something is haunting the place, something that relates to a dark secret from Marge's past.

Barely anything happens during this eighty minute horror, and even when it does it is so slight as to be quite forgettable. Objects occasionally move around on their own, Katie experiences audio and visual hallucinations, and sometimes Marge does creepy things. Aside from that not much else occurs. Thankfully Katie has someone to talk to outside of the monosyllable speaking Marge, in the form of a childhood friend she rediscovers, Brian (Austin Collazo). The scenes with them together were the most interesting, only in that it makes a difference for her not to just be wandering around the house on her own. A lot of the horror revolves around a large garage area that Katie was always warned not to go into as a child. What could be an interesting revelation is told in a strange way that seemed to suck away any importance.

There isn't really much more to say about Abigail Haunting. On the one hand it is perfectly watchable, has decent performances from the small cast, and seems to be filmed competently. On the other hand though it doesn't succeed as a horror, those moments are few and far between and manage never to make much of an impact. There are elements to the story that I did find interesting, but the basic plot is roughly explained without giving the viewer a reason to really get invested with it. Abigail Haunting is due for release on 25th January 2021 thanks to High Fliers Films.


Thursday, 8 October 2020

3FORCE Releases New Track "The Watchers" (2020) - Music News

With October obviously being the most hallowed month of the year for lovers of horror I am filling up my blog schedule with smaller news posts. I get so many emails that often I have to pick and choose what gets covered in my monthly news post. Things, like 3FORCE's new track would often not make the cut just due to lack of time. Sure, this music isn't horror, but anything with synth is always associated to me with the sounds of the eighties, the era that arguably included some of the most fun horror films ever created. While absolutely nothing to do with the upcoming video game Cyberpunk 2077, this track still reminded me that that game is due to arrive in November (even if it is sadly at the cost of crunch). Onto the actual news...

EDM/synthwave group 3FORCE have released a new track titled The Watchers. This four minute journey into the world of cyberpunk follows previous release Pursuit, in paving the way towards their next full-length album. The track is available on all platforms from independent synthwave label FiXT Neon. For more details on how to stream or purchase the track head here.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Hall (2020) - Horror Film Review

(directed and co-written by Francesco Giannini) had its world premiere at Frightfest this year, and has been selected at the Blood and the Snow Film Festival 2020. This is a film that grabbed me from the very start, the story is like a jigsaw, with additional pieces revealed to the viewer as it plays out. It also does that  thing that I like so much in movies, starting in the present and then switching back to the past to show how events unfolded.

Naomi (Ymiko Shaku - the voice of Aya Brea in the Parasite Eve II video game) is sat slumped against a wall in a hotel hallway, gasping for air, infected with some type of horrific disease, as are many others in the hallway. Rewind to four hours earlier in the day and Val (Carolina Bartczak - X-Men: Apocalypse), her husband, Branden (Mark Gibson - Exit Humanity), and their daughter, Kelly (Bailey Thain - Pet Sematary) arrive at the hotel as part of their road trip. Kelly plans to leave her abusive husband, but is just waiting for the right time to do so.

Hall spends the first two acts cleverly jumping back and forth between the two time periods. The majority of the present is spent with an obviously extremely sick Naomi as she slowly crawls down the titular hallway. As she journeys you slowly get shown what has become of the other guests. The part of the movie that takes place four hours previously mainly focuses on Val and her family. You get a real sense of what the family is going through, thanks to Bartczak and Gibson who bring their characters to life by the subtle ways they act around each other. It is very obvious all is not right with their relationship, but the way they slip in and out of their personas, depending on if their daughter is around or not was something quite special. I'm not usually keen on precocious children in films, I find it offputting, yet the character of Kelly just works. Thain brings with her a mature performance that works when you consider that the character herself would have picked up on the tense signals that both parents are shown to be trying to hide from her.
It would have been nice to get more time spent with the character of Naomi, despite her big presence in the present sections she only gets a few scenes before that. It is enough to know that she has fled an abusive relationship, which makes her into somewhat of a mirror image for Val. Hall does not have a good view of men, the key male characters are all bad people (including Julian Richings (Blood Hunters, Septic Man), with the female characters shown to be victims, yet also shown to be survivors, whether literally or figuratively. It was interesting to see how the side characters exist outside of the main characters, while occasionally they interact there storylines are mainly completely separate.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

In Darkness I Wait (2020) - Short Horror Film Review

It began with The Pale Faced Lady, a 10 minute short horror film that released towards the start of 2019. This introduced the titular ghostly woman, though the story wasn't so much about her as about a girl whose journey took her to the house it haunts. Towards the end of last year came She Will Return which focussed on the origins of the ghost, and now chapter 3, In Darkness I Wait has released which could possibly be the last in the series.

Ashton (Sam Love) and his girlfriend, Mara (Hannah Swayze) have headed to the dilapidated house of horrors which the pale faced lady (Rachel Taylor) haunts, with a singular goal in mind. The place holds bad memories for Ashton, as it was the home of his abusive uncle. He intends to burn it down to the ground, little realising the untold dangers he has put himself and Mara in. The pale faced lady is never keen on letting visitors leave...

Each film in the series has been better than the last and that is the case here. It helps that there is a bit more of a logically paced story this time around. It builds upon what has come before, and it plays to the strengths of the previous films. Paradoxically the pale faced lady is at her very best when she is doing nothing at all, merely appearing on camera in her fixed stance, just staring, this creates genuine chills. At many points during this there are moments that seem to be set-up to give jump scares, but thankfully that cheap way of making thrills is never utilised. It was strange to think, but I was mostly reminded of the opening prologue of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard while watching this, both with the modest size of the building, but also with elements such as the mannequins that move around off camera. 

This was again written, directed, and edited by Jeff Payne and as ever the editing in particular is very strong. I felt that there was one sequence with the character of Mara that felt a little fabricated to create scares rather than feel natural, but for the most part this flowed really well. I liked that the character of Ashton seemed to be a bit of a klutz, and I thought his particular journey was great. It leads to an ending that I adored, I re-watched the final shot of the film itself multiple times to just appreciate the amazing cinematography of that scene. The end credits repeat the idea of She Will Return by showing clips from the short to reveal the pale lady hiding in plain sight during several scenes, a nice touch.

This saga has improved with each entry, and there has been restraint in not bombarding the viewer with the ghost, but instead dripping it throughout, giving it a presence that feels far more Japanese in style than American. As fun as the story is, it is the set design, the lighting, and editing that has always been the star of these films, almost worth watching just for that alone. In Darkness I Wait made its world premiere on September 24th and can be seen on YouTube.


Monday, 5 October 2020

The Dark Frontier (2020) - Horror Anthology Book Review

Back in August when I reviewed the animal horror anthology Animal Uprising! I was offered the chance to review another anthology, the western themed The Dark Frontier. I used to read so much as a teenager but nowadays barely get through more than four or five books a year. Maybe due to not reading as much as I should, with this anthology I discovered a new genre that I somehow didn't know even existed, which combines the feel of the Wild West with the post apocalypse.

The Dark Frontier is split into two different styles of story, those that literally take place in western times America, and those that certainly do not, but whose vibe makes it feel like they share common traits. What all stories also share in common is a feeling of taking place in a world whose outcome is already set in stone. Many of these worlds are doomed, so much so that the characters who populate the tales are too small cogs to have much effect, this in its own way creates a feeling of vast emptiness, and desperation, echoing the endless plains of the dark frontiers. I must add that after the final story there is an interesting afterword that explains exactly how the order of the stories were put together, it was neat to see the reasoning.

This all kicks off with Cargo Mountain by Charles R. Bernard. This was the story that introduced me to the concept of the future meeting the past as I was quite thrown when the protagonist here is shown to have a motorbike. I'm very on board with the idea thankfully! This one had a dreamy atmosphere which I loved, have to admit I had no idea how it ends, it just seemed to finish abruptly, but that seemed to go well with the feverish feel.
The fifth story, The Harvestmen by Aubrey Campbell returns to the post apocalypse with a story about a woman with a magical gun capable of destroying the gigantic demonic spider like creatures that have overrun the world. Almost a companion to this one is Take the Desert with You by Joanna Parypinski that features a protagonist who wasn't as innocent as at first appears. Both these stories are really quite bleak which is always a good thing.
I wasn't entirely sure about Douglas Smith's Memories of the Dead Man. It had some really neat ideas to it, but the titular 'Dead Man' character cemented in my mind Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator and so that was all I could think of when reading this, which was a bit distracting. It's a classic story of revenge and features a psychotic biker gang and plenty of violence so was still a decent read.
At the time I read it The Bride's Road by Hawk and Young was my favourite. This sci-fi yarn felt like A Clockwork Orange mixed with Logan's Run. I enjoyed the idea of a future regressed society shepherded by robotic drones who are seen by the people as religious beings, a lot of cool ideas.
The final story that felt post-apocalyptic was the Mad Max feeling One Way Out by Bryan Dyke, that tells the story of a ranger trying to make his escape from a twisted cult's compound in a dark future world. Like so many of the stories here I would love to read more from this world, it was fascinating, even if slightly cliche at times.

Sunday, 4 October 2020

ARROW - New Horror Streaming Platform Launching in North America

Arrow Video have announced details of their new subscription based streaming service, ARROW. This became available in the US and Canada on 1st October. It promises to bring 'a selection of cult classics, hidden gems and iconic horror films, all curated by the Arrow Video team.'

Immediately on the service straight away are a whole host of films that includes The Deeper You Dig, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Crumbs, The Hatred, Cold Light of Day, Videoman, The Herschell Gordon Lewis Feast (a collection containing over a dozen of his best films), Hellraiser 1 & 22, Elvira, Ringu, the complete Gamera series, as well as 'full collections from the ARROW archives packed with exclusive extras, rarely seen interviews and documentaries.'

The service will come to iOS, tvOS, Android, Fire TV, Roku and on the web here. There is a 30 day free trial, with subscriptions at $4.99 monthly or $49.99 annually. A UK rollout is planned in 2021.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

Abominable (2020) - Horror Film Review

It is almost comforting to find that indie films such as Abominable are still being made. The style and the format of creature features like this has been the same for countless years. Directed by Jamaal Burden (Elves), this horror occasionally delights with its good looking practical effects, yet for the most part is one long slog to get through.

A group of armed researchers have headed to a mountain top in order to find a mythical plant that is said to grow there. This plant is rumoured to hold the cure to cancer among its many other benefits. The recon team vanish without a trace and so the rest of the group split up. Two groups are tasked with setting up relay beacons, so that Pete (Justin Prince Moy) can radio back to base the teams location. They soon discover they are not alone up on the mountain, a yeti is also there, and it has an innate instinct to protect the mythical flowers at all costs.

Typically films follow a three act structure, with Abominable though it just felt like one long act. After a nice little prologue showing the conclusion of the previous ill fated expedition to the area we are introduced to the cast. They are already up in the mountains, and they all speak so much techno-jargon that I was never really sure exactly what was going on. Sarah (Katrina Mattson), the main protagonist for instance is often shown doing something on some big blue tablet like device, no idea what though. Of the five or six main characters there was barely any development for them. You find out the leader has brain cancer, and that one of the group hopes to find the plant to help cure his sick wife, but aside from that these characters are blank slates. It was hard to really care about these people, going the other way I didn't find them unlikeable either, they were just people and nothing more or less.