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The Dead of Night Film Festival 2021 Review

The Dead of Night Film Festival 2021 Review

After last year’s ‘Virtual Edition’ of The Dead of Night Film Festival, we finally got a traditional DoNFF in 2021, returning with a weird and wonderful selection of horror films.

“6 horrific feature films, 18 terrifying short movies, 2 insightful Q&As.”

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PG: Psycho Goreman (2020, Canada) Review

PG: Psycho Goreman (2020, Canada) Review

Special effects in the style of 1990s TV series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are what attracted me to PG: Psycho Goreman. Within the first few minutes, and throughout PG, I had spotted several tributes to Power Rangers, from the soundtrack to the concept of a villain trapped underground, freed unwittingly, to the Planetary Alliance. That’s not to say PG wasn’t an original film, as Mimi’s family, and Mimi in general, are unusual characters.

Mimi is a spoilt brat who obtains a gemstone that can control the ultimate intergalactic supervillain, Psycho Goreman.

“I do not care for hunky boys. Or do I?”

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Benny Loves You (UK / 2019) Review

Benny Loves You (UK / 2019) Review

Benny Loves You is an original comedy horror about a possessed, jealous toy that will kill anyone who gets too close to his grown-up owner. This film has it all! Comedy, horror, gore aplenty, and a sympathetic main character in Jack. The dialogue in Benny Loves You is frequently funny; the awkwardness of Jack as he sneaks around the office to avoid his boss or to dodge Dawn’s advances isn’t laugh-out-loud, but more the quaint British humour you see in films like Extra Ordinary. There’s also plenty of black humour surrounding Benny and his murders, not least with the dog, Precious!

“Don’t throw him out.”

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Kingdom (2019-2020, South Korea) Season 1-2 Review

Kingdom (2019-2020, South Korea) Season 1-2 Review

Kingdom, in a nutshell, is about a group of people surviving Korean fast-moving zombies in medieval times, with court intrigue thrown in for good measure. The setting – including locations, costumes and values – is what immediately sets this apart from other zombie media. Being set over 500 years ago makes the Netflix series all the more terrifying, as the rural communities try to survive against zombies when they lack food, weapons, and live in squalid overcrowded villages. In several episodes the zombies catch fire and because everything is built on wood, it doesn’t end well.

“Blood will spill.”

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Extra Ordinary (2019, Ireland / Belgium / UK) Review

Extra Ordinary (2019, Ireland / Belgium / Finland / UK) Review

Funny, heartfelt, and unconventional are three words that sum up the Irish horror comedy Extra Ordinary. Rose Dooley reluctantly has to use her talents in talking to ghosts (and sending them to the afterlife) after Christian Winter, a one-hit-wonder rock star makes a deal with the devil to be on top again.

Despite its dark subject matter, there isn’t anything really scary about this film, and if it wasn’t for the language and sexual content, it could be rated 12. The humour throughout most of the film is more silly than laugh-out-loud. Each character has their own quirky trait, like Rose and her awkwardness.

“Putting the normal in paranormal.”

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Better Watch Out (2016, Australia / USA) Review

Better Watch Out (2016, Australia / USA) Review

A home invasion at Christmas is what I expected when I first heard about this film, but what I watched was different… The home invasion elements are there, and as it’s based during Christmas, it reminded me of Home Alone; the trip-wire outside being an obvious reference. But Better Watch Out is even more disturbing than I imagined; a story about a child obsessed with his babysitter who is planning to leave town after Christmas. Levi Miller as 12-year-old Luke is the star of the film and flips between a range of emotions at ease. This makes him Luke more unnerving than if he was pure evil.

“You might be home but you’re not alone.”

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💀 The Dead of Night Film Festival Virtual Edition 2020 💀

The Dead of Night Film Festival Virtual Edition 2020

The Dead of Night Film Festival returned this year despite everything happening in the world, proving you can’t keep a good horror hound down. After all, look at how many different ways Christopher Lee died as Dracula. This year’s festival was a free virtual edition!

“27 Short Movies. 4 Filmmaker Q&As. Across 12 Horrific Hours.”

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Powerbomb (2020, USA) Review

Powerbomb (2020, USA) Review

Powerbomb has an interesting premise. A superfan kidnaps his favourite wrestler who he thinks isn’t realising his potential. But there isn’t much wrestling in the film.

The first five minutes of the film are mostly showing the main character, Matt Cross (Matt Capiccioni), in action and his athletic ability; including performing a Lethal Injection (handspring stunner) and Shooting Star Press (mid-air backflip) which demonstrates that he should be performing in big venues.

“Lights out.”

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Dragonheart Vengeance (2020, USA) Review

Dragonheart Vengeance (2020, USA) Review

The latest Dragonheart was only released this year, but continuity wise it takes place between Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse and Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire. This is a standalone film however, and the only mention to a previous film in the series occurs during the opening minutes, when it explained that this story focuses on one of dragons born from the dragon eggs in Dragonheart 3.

Dragonheart Vengeance is a film of Dragonheart firsts in many regards, and I wonder if this will be a new direction for the franchise.

“I’m out to avenge the death of my mother and father.”

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Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire (2017, USA) Review

Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire (2017, USA)

Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire is a sequel to the third film, Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse, but you don’t need to see the earlier film to understand the plot. Battle for the Heartfire begins during the last moments of King Gareth, the once young knight from Dragonheart 3 (now played by Valeriu Bazu), and focuses on potential rival rulers. The dragon in this story is still Drago from the previous film, but he is now voiced by Patrick Stewart; whose voice is on par with Sean Connery as Draco from the original Dragonheart.

“Boy king! You ready for a man’s death?”

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Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse (2015, USA) Review

Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse (2015, USA) Review

Dragonheart: A New Beginning was released in 2000 and for 15 years it was the last Dragonheart. Probably because it didn’t do as well as the original – it no longer had Sean Connery as the voice of the dragon, Draco – and the story elements were too similar. Another possibility for the long delay is because storywise Dragonheart: A New Beginning was about the very last dragon, so it left little room for a sequel. However, there have now been three direct to DVD/streaming prequels produced for the Dragonheart series in the last five years. Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse is a prequel to the original film.

“Gone are the days when good men ruled.”

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10 Reasons Why You Should Watch Altered Carbon

10 Reasons Why You Should Watch Altered Carbon

I’m hooked on the Netflix sci-fi series Altered Carbon. I’m trying to watch more sci-fi and find myself preferring ‘soft’ sci-fi, where the world isn’t too far removed from our own. The premise of Altered Carbon is simple: how would humans cope with immortality? It’s ‘hard’ sci-fi, but I decided to give it a go…

“No body lives forever.”

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