Like the tagline, you shouldn’t take this film seriously. If you’re a horror fan who has never seen this sequel before, I would recommend it. There’s plenty of humour where you don’t expect it, great fight scenes, and it’s bonkers in a way only an independent film can be.
When will I learn that a great premise doesn’t necessarily mean a film will be great or even good. Just like the enjoyable Werewolves Within, the similarly titled Beast Within is a werewolf whodunit that references the party game. However, that is where the similarities end. The acting in Beast Within is woeful. There is no emotion, no chemistry, and no believability in most of the characters. When the werewolf is finally revealed, that particular character becomes a bit more three-dimensional and believable. I don’t know how much of the film’s issues lie with the bad writing or directing.
“It’s no longer a game.”
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.”
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?”
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.”
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.”
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.