For the most part, The Game of the Clock had me intrigued. Michele Olivieri’s short film begins well and in typical horror fashion. A beautiful girl visiting her friend finds she’s not answering the door, so she enters her home, quickly realising that she’s missing and that there are some sinister, supernatural shenanigans going on. Once on the premises, she’s faced with a ringing alarm clock and a series of unnerving notes left asking her if she can endure the next five minutes; along with other handwritten and hand-drawn riddles.
Artist/writer/creator Paul PJ Johnson has been a consistent and prominent figure on the UK independent comics scene for the past 7-8 years. Being well known for his character Razor Bastard is only half the story, as Johnson’s versatile imagination and unique artistic style has seen him also release some absolute gems, such as the epic graphic novel Death Truck and the amazing Once Monster. Now he’s back, with what may be his most raunchy, most graphic, and most violent creation: Cannibal XXX.
“Yeah, what’s the worst? You drop your toast, butter side down? … Oh yeah, being eaten alive by fucking cannibals!”
Director Adrienne Lovette came to my attention through the release of her 2016 short horror/mystery film Hidden Daylight. A film that almost plays as a companion piece to The Dark Room, as it not only has some of the same cast, but most notably actor John Rice plays a psychic in both. The characters are very different, but Lovette is now carving out a name for herself in the horror genre as a director to definitely keep an eye on. Both films seem very similar in pacing and style and it’s easy to identify it was directed by the same person, which I always believe is a good thing.
“Some things are better left in the dark.”
Clocking in at little over two minutes, Hangnail certainly packs enough of a punch to raise an eyebrow or two. Everything on show here is to be applauded. This is low budget indie-filmmaking thinking big.
“Oh, fuck, fuck, FUCK!”
With a title such as Accidental Exorcist you’d be mistaken for thinking this movie was firmly rooted in the comedy-horror genre. I was. So it was a total surprise when on viewing that I realised this was definitely not comedy and moderately horror, more a psychological-thriller – which is fine, but very misleading.
Okay, so I now settled into what I soon discovered to be a very serious, brooding thriller about Richard Vanuck, who’s only talent in life is successfully being able to perform exorcisms.
“Evil touches us all.”
Dark, poetic and a visual masterpiece.
The Crow is a movie that is very much dear to my heart. Released in 1994 on the back of some very serious hype (for all the wrong reasons) involving the death of star Brandon Lee, it was billed as a sort of adult version of Tim Burton’s Batman. I can clearly see why people would perceive this as it’s a very dark piece. Audiences hadn’t really seen many movies stylistically like Burton’s Batman, so it was easier to class them in the same vein. Even more so with both being comic book incarnations…
“It can’t rain all the time.”
Clocking in at just over one minute twenty seconds (including credits), The Tattooist is the briefest of short films, but has enough visual flair to grab your attention. The story revolves around the murderous exploits of the titular character. Because the film is so brief and quick, it’s barely enough time to fully comprehend how the narrative flows. What we do witness is the kidnapping of multiple people and them being subjected to horrendous torture, that resembles something straight from the Saw or Hostel movies.
“Behind his obsession is a sinister secret.”
When writing reviews I always make a decision of if I want to reveal plot points or spoilers. This isn’t in any way to ruin the experience of the film for people who haven’t seen it, but I like to write as if you, the reader, and me are having a cup of coffee and chatting about a film we’ve just watched together. I find it a lot more engaging and intimate. So I apologise if during my reviews there’s a lot of spoilers, but that’s my process. This won’t be the case with the short film Occurrence at Mills Creek because I’d found it very difficult to fathom anything interesting?
“See me. Hear me.”
So as the dust settles and people start heading back to their normal everyday lives, it’s a time for reflection of the weekend that’s just past.
Horror fans from all across the UK travelled in their droves to attend For the Love of Horror 2019, which took place at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester.
“A spine chilling death defying experience.”
There’s a problem with Rob Zombie. As a filmmaker he’s a conundrum. He’s a jigsaw puzzle, but with a few pieces missing and those missing pieces are what’s stopping him from connecting fully with fans of the horror genre.
Never has a director in the horror genre been as polarising. There are the people that see Zombie as an extremely creative talent and there are the ones that absolutely despise him
“The evil returns.”
There’s a very poignant line given by a therapist to character Arthur Fleck in the movie Joker that basically sums up its overall message: “Nobody gives a fuck about people like you.” The character of the Joker has been featured on screen four times previously, but this is the biggest change in dynamics than ever seen before. So too is the environments those previous incarnations have played in. This time around there’s no mention of superheroes or capes. This is the most grounded, gritty and most realistic take on the character and the city of Gotham ever.
“Put on a happy face.”
Back in 2015, Ted Geoghegan released his directorial debut We Are Still Here and took a lot of people by surprise, including myself. A well-crafted horror that didn’t follow the same old cliches that a lot of horrors do today. His follow up, Mohawk, is kind of following the same route. Not so much a horror this time, but a film that depicts plenty of horrors and a complete diversion from his previous movie. The tale follows the events of 1812 where war is boiling over between the Americans and the British. Sandwiched in between is the Mohawk tribe who reluctantly refuse to take sides or fight.