Last month saw the release of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, the latest instalment in the X-Men franchise, to largely negative reviews. Most focused on the underdeveloped characters, the villains, and the fact that it didn’t bring anything new to the genre. X-Men meh sums it up. Now, after a few weeks, I think it’s time to look at some of the good points of the film, where it ultimately failed, and what’s needed to make the X-Men stand out in the saturated superhero film genre. The X-Men comics are about discrimination – about being different – and this needs to be referenced…
I needed to know for myself how far Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House had diverged from the 1959 book and if it had actually improved on it. So I read the book first and then watched the 1963 film, The Haunting, which I’d heard was a classic. I must admit I enjoyed both of them – and found them very different from one another – so I decided that so I decided that all three needed to be compared.
“You may not believe in ghosts but you cannot deny terror!”
It’s rare that I write a review of a film I really hated, but Goosebumps 2: Happy Halloween held such promise I’ll make an exception. The first film had a fair few faults of its own, such as straying from the source material. But for the most part, the original stayed true to the tone of the books and had some good comedy moments. The second film however has fewer comedic parts that made me laugh, but at least does feel true to the tone of the books – more so than the TV series – with the main plot being similar to Night of the Living Dummy.
“Halloween comes to life.”
Netflix have done a brilliant job at exploring the Castlevania story with this season, which is twice the length of the first and has a lot more Dracula. For anyone who didn’t see the first season there’s only two things you need to know: First- Dracula has declared war on the human race after the Church killed his wife. Second- Trevor Belmont (the last descendant of the famous monster fighting family) and Sypha Belnades (a witch) have joined forces with Alucard (Dracula’s son) to defeat the vampire lord himself.
“In killing my wife, humanity has proven to me that they don’t deserve the Earth… We will scour them off the land!”
People have been raving about this Netflix series for a while now. Even Stephen King has praised it, so I’ve given it a go. The Netflix series differs from the novel. The advantage of only being loosely based on the novel is with the differences the Netflix series has made. Eleanor “Nell” Vance, for example, was the main character in the novel, but by mid-season the dynamic changes, so you don’t know what is going to happen.
“A ghost can be a lot of things. A memory, a daydream, a secret. Grief, anger, guilt. But, in my experience, most times they’re just what we want to see.”
In the original series you could really root for Sabrina as she learns witchcraft and all the negative aspects that came with it but here the stakes are much higher, not just regarding whether she will be a mortal or witch, but to be a witch she has to sign her name in Satan’s book and he could call on her at any time. There’s a stronger sense of Sabrina’s desperation to learn about her family history and what had happened to her parents, along with the struggles of being a half witch, giving the series a bit of a Harry Potter feel, even though the original Sabrina comics and 90s series predate it.
“Happy birthday, witch.”
Liverpool Horror Club (LHC) and Two-Headed Snake Entertainment presented their second The Dead of Night Film Festival – this time in Liverpool – and like all LHC events there was a great club atmosphere where everyone is friendly, and you can chat to the people involved in the festival and the films.
“Liverpool’s only horror film festival!”
The Liverpool Horror Festival took place in a new venue this year, known as the Invisible Wind Factory which is a re-purposed warehouse, so is really grungy and suitable for a horror festival.
“A celebration of horror!”
With the release of Avengers: Infinity War and a packed year of comic book films to come, mainly adapted from Marvel, it’s important to note it’s not just the big two [including DC Comics] that release comic book film adaptions.
“You know the difference between you and me? I make this look good.”
I heard of this anime film years ago but heard such bad things it put me off, then last week I found a good review on it that mentioned the plot and I thought I’d give it a go. Firstly like many other reviewers I must admit this is probably the craziest Dracula plot ever. It’s based of Tomb of Dracula issues 40-75 and as such there’s a lot going on…
Overall this film is very true to the comic and has a good storyline but it’s too rushed. The visuals in part are faithful to the comic but frequently seem low budget. If you liked Tomb of Dracula I’d definitely recommend this. If you’re looking for a different Dracula film you should enjoy it.
“Darling, I want to tell you about the man I used to be before I became the cursed slave of Satan.”
The Dead of Night Film Festival took place at The Atkinson, Southport, UK between 20th-21st October 2017. Overall this was a brilliant festival with two films – Sequence Break and The Corpse Series – which I would put in the top 10 films I’ve saw this year. I’d definitely go again next year.
“Made for horror fans by horror fans.”
Grimmfest, screening the best in fantastic film, took place at Vue Printworks, Manchester, UK between 5th-8th October 2017. Overall this was a brilliant event where I enjoyed all but one film and even that was only a short, so it wasn’t too bad.