Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

The Possession of Michael KingThis is what horror for grown ups looks like.

The Possession of Michael King is a terrifying tale well told with solid performances throughout the cast, a smart script, and technical wizardry that all combine to deliver a story with an escalating sense of nihilism and dread, more than enough jolts of terror, a smattering of gore, and a taste of real taboo. In short, this flick has all the ingredients necessary for a superior scary movie. In his first feature film, director/screenwriter David Jung announces himself as a force within the genre and gives horror fans an unexpected and genuine treat. (more…)

COD3Crawl or Die has two things going for it, the first being the title. The exhortation with threatening consequences invokes a warm, familiar feeling for fans of the exploitation genre. And yet, how great would it have been if the movie had been released with its original title, Crawl Bitch Crawl? That name alone would have guaranteed the movie’s admission into a score of film festivals, while simultaneously generating invaluable attention and publicity from the professionally outraged and easily offended among us. Director/writer/editor/cinematographer/producer/set designer Oklahoma Ward promises a sequel at the end of this one, and the film’s official web site is http://www.crawlordietrilogy.com, so there’s still a chance for this Hall of Fame-level title to find its way into the record books.

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Midnight GameThe Midnight Game plays out like a loving homage to 80’s horror flicks, but with PG-13 love and horror. The sex is limited to a brief make out session, and the horror mostly to shadows and bumps in the night. The end result is an old fashioned scary movie that invokes more nostalgia than fear. Younger viewers new to the genre can safely cut their teeth on this offering before moving on to more intense fare.

Five high schoolers have an impromptu slumber party when Mom goes out of town, after admonishing young Kaitlan (Renee Olstead) to the last moment, “No parties, no boys.” Kaitlan’s sleepover friends, Rose (Shelby Young) and Jenna (Valentine de Angelis), have a different idea and invite Shane (Guy Wilson) and Jeff (Spencer Daniels) and beer to the festivities.

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at-the-devils-door-8Once or twice each NASCAR season, a car near the lead, maybe even in first place, will run out of gas on the last lap. Instead of racing to triumph, the driver does his or her best just to nurse the car across the finish line. The NASCAR metaphor is an apt description of what happens in the horror film, At the Devil’s Door. After roaring ahead of its genre competition for the better part of its 93-minute runtime, the movie runs out of gas and ideas in its final ten minutes and resorts to clichés to limp to the end credits. The absence of a strong finish is particularly notable for a film that successfully avoids the obvious, while delivering some real jolts and two terrific twists along the way. (more…)

WerThe list of superior werewolf films is short, relative to other monsters in the horror genre. Among the better entries are The Wolf Man, An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, and Ginger Snaps.

You can add Wer to the list.

Unfortunately named, but effectively produced, Wer delivers what it promises: a smart, modern take on the lycanthropy myth with enough gore and gristle to satisfy hardcore fans.

Director William Brent Bell and his screenwriting partner Matthew Peterman have delivered an artistic success to follow up on their financial one, the 2012 film The Devil Inside. That movie, made on a budget of one million dollars, grossed over 53 million, but was panned by both mainstream and genre critics. Strangely, Wer, a far superior product, is not currently scheduled for wide theatrical release, but is instead making the festival rounds and is available on iTunes.

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DAMNEDIFCEXCPICRELEASEFEAT“The Howling Man” is an episode from the original The Twilight Zone series in which a man taking a walking tour across Europe seeks refuge in a monastery during a ferocious storm. Once there, he comes across a prisoner who accuses the monks of being zealots and begs for help. Against the monks’ warnings, the man releases the prisoner, only to realize that he has set free the devil himself.

The Damned (aka Gallows Hill) takes that basic premise and transposes it rather smartly in time, place and circumstance to Colombia, where a group of five must seek refuge in a closed hotel in the midst of a ferocious storm. They discover what they believe to be the ultimate horror: a young girl locked in the filthy basement of the decaying establishment. Naturally, they free the girl, only to discover what true horror is. (more…)

NeverlakeThe horror at the center of Neverlake is genuine. The danger in the dark (figurative, not literal) that lurks throughout the majority of the movie until its reveal in the third act springs from one of our most primal fears. The foundation is present for the film to be an effective horror movie, a modern version of a terrible fairy tale in which children are abandoned or abused by those most responsible for their well being. Unfortunately, the filmmakers bungle the opportunity at certain crucial plot points and sink the central scare within a nonsensical subplot. The end result is frustrating rather than infuriating as we are left with a second-rate flick that is beautifully shot on location in Tuscany with a competent cast that is reduced to following a too-familiar formula all the way to a predictable ending.

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