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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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?”
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.”
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.”
The Howling is rightly seen as one of the best werewolf novels and one of the best eighties’ horror film adaptations. However, it also spawned a series of sequels which have awful review scores, and just a few years ago another sequel to the original film was published in the comic book format. But, how does the comic book series compare to one of the strangest and most disappointing sequels ever made? And what about the novel?
“The rocking, shocking, new wave of horror!”
More superhero films now hit our cinema screens after the success of The Avengers (2012), and financially most of them make a killing. However, they are not without their detractors, pointing out how they are formulaic and lacking depth. But what about the superhero films before the post-2012 boom?
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Whilst the 2010s are probably my least favourite decade for creature features, it got me thinking about my favourite monster movies. I’ve focused on the big two horror creatures – vampires and zombies – and then various other monsters…