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Don’t Look in the Basement (1973, USA)

Don't Look in the Basement (1973)

Directed by S.F. Brownigg and released in 1973, Don’t Look in the Basement is an independent horror film that was unfortunate enough to fall foul of the UK media upon it’s 1981 home release; yet fortunate enough to not be prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act in 1985.

For me, Don’t Look in the Basement was an impulse buy on home video, spurred on by the film’s cult status and history as a ‘video nasty’.

“The line between sanity and madness can be crossed in a single step. And with this step you enter the nightmare world of terror. On the day the insane took over the asylum!”

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The Wailing (2016, South Korea)

The Wailing (2016)

The Wailing offers images that appear in many a horror films: disembowelled livestock; creepy candlelit shrines plastered with odd photographs; curtains of blindingly heavy rain; a foul-mouthed, possessed child; blackened, rabid zombies lunging at stunned victims and blood-splattered murder scenes.

It’s unlikely however, that any horror aficionado has seen all these tropes thrown with such bravado into the same melting pot, producing such a rich and unsettling brew.

“You awoke something recently that you weren’t supposed to. You disturbed it.”

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A Cure for Wellness (2016, USA / Germany)

A Cure for Wellness (2016)

What a delightful coincidence that the young actress in Gore Verbinski’s latest feature A Cure for Wellness should be named Mia Goth. Never has an appellation been more appropriate.

A Cure for Wellness proves to be an audacious, intoxicating, feverish piece of cinema – administering copious doses of Freudian symbolism and classic Gothicism. If you’re not a fan of things Gothic, or if you suffer from ichthyophobia, this may not be the film for you…

“Do you know what the cure for the human condition is? Disease. Because that’s the only way one could hope for a cure.”

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John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017, USA)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

John Wick: Chapter 2 is a ride into hell, or, a hell of a ride – either way it’s going to drag you along with it, maybe gasping, maybe kicking and screaming, but either way, it’s an adrenalin rush. The John Wick movies are all about the momentum of action, with Wick moving so precisely, so speedily and yet so gracefully that it all becomes a mesmerising ballet of Grand Guignol.

A pre-credits action set-piece starts the movie as it means to go on, and cripes, if it isn’t an absolute corker!

“John Wick, you’re not very good at retiring.”

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Fright-Rags Gives MY BLOODY VALENTINE Fans a Gift from the Heart

Fright-Rags' The Ballad of Harry Warden Collection

Remember what happened as the 14th draws near! Fright-Rags has a gift from the heart for fans of George Mihalka’s 1981 Canadian slasher My Bloody Valentine: The Ballad of Harry Warden Collection. Valentine’s Day will never be the same again…

“Valentine’s Day will never be the same again…

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Train to Busan (2016, South Korea)

Train to Busan (2016)

I usually have a bit of a problem with zombie movies – I find them dull. Yes, I know zombie fans will be throwing their Walking Dead box sets at my head (and those are some hefty tomes) but I find that, although they may be a popular horror monster, zombies are forced to rely heavily on the cheap, gross-out factor in order to distract from the fact that they have scanty horror mileage, no rich mythos to draw on and offer little scope for variation, tension or development. I am left to suppose that zombie fans are in it for the fashion statement. I am however, an Asian horror enthusiast.

“Life-or-death survival begins.”

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Split (2016, USA)

Split (2016)

Few directors have experienced quite as public a fall from grace as M. Night Shyamalan. After his hugely popular debut The Sixth Sense, the director’s subsequent features appeared to be a series of close misses or shots that veered way off target.

I can’t say I have always wholeheartedly embraced his movies, but I have found that Mr. Shyamalan’s singular imagination usually comes up with an interesting and unusual premise.

“Kevin has 23 distinct personalities. The 24th is about to be unleashed.”

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Fright-Rags’ THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE Video Series + Alfred Hitchcock Collection

Fright-Rags The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Video Series / Alfred Hitchcock Collection

Fright-Rags are tapping into that collective nostalgia with the first in a planned series of box sets paying homage to VHS; launching with one film that defined the home video era: Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Fright-Rags are also proud to present the Alfred Hitchcock collection of four new t-shirts.

“Who will survive and what will be left of them?”

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The Neon Demon (2016, USA / Denmark / France)

The Neon Demon (2016)

Of all of the films released in 2016, Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon is one that I have thought about most. The reviews of the film are polarizing. Some people loved it, others hated it. Films like this are exactly the kind that I love to watch, films that really bore into your brain; films that you can’t quite pin down into a genre or a simple one dimensional theme. I could feel the director’s narcissism through the screen… I am still not sure how to feel about The Neon Demon, but since viewing it some time ago, I still can’t seem to get it out of my head.

“Beauty isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.”

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A Bay of Blood (1971, Italy)

A Bay of Blood (1971)

Originally released in 1971, A Bay of Blood was later refused certification from the BBFC in 1972, ensuring that the film could not be shown at any cinema within the United Kingdom. Fast forward to 1984, and the unmonitored home video market was beginning to find traction with consumers. Bava’s A Bay of Blood would finally find a UK audience upon it’s simultaneous release on VHS and Betamax (from Hokushin under the title Blood Bath) that same year.

“Diabolical! Fiendish! Savage… You may not walk away from this one!”

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Saturn 3 (1980, UK / USA)

Saturn 3 (1980) Theatrical Poster

As you are no doubt aware, having found this particular website, in the late ’70s space was the shit. In the wake of Star Wars, numerous projects were green-lit, ranging from Ridley Scott’s franchise-launching Alien to the bottom-of-the-barrel Disney project The Black Hole. Saturn 3 was American-born, British TV supremo Lord Lew Grade’s attempt to cash in on the public’s new-found love of sci-fi. And, on the surface, its got a lot going for it.

“Trapped between unnatural love and inhuman desire.”

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Cell (2016, USA)

Cell (2016) Theatrical Poster

Those who might shift the blame for Cell’s shortcomings onto a writer with a feeble understanding of the source book should be aware that Stephen King himself had a hand in composing the screenplay. Not only that, he also warned admirers of said novel that some changes that might rub them the wrong way would be imminent. King wasn’t lying, having willingly helped turn a visceral and harrowing work like Cell into a limp-wristed 28 Days Later riff with too many cut corners to freak out seasoned horror buffs.

“When everyone is connected, no one is safe…”

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