The prospect of reading and reviewing this book had appeal. I too was a ten year old horror devotee in the year 1979 and looked forward to gaining the perspective of a peer. If there’s one aspect I’ve come to understand and appreciate about the horror culture, it’s how deeply it roots in nostalgia. Horror fans are above all sentimental. Go to any horror convention, and one will observe adults purchasing toys, books, movies, and other memorabilia from their childhood.
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.”
There can be few things as psychologically damaging as being trapped in solitary confinement with someone you hate. For his follow-up to The Witch, Robert Eggers delivers a grim, hallucinatory story about two men shut up in a lighthouse tower, going slowly mad in their mutual loathing. Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are Tom Wake and Ephraim Winslow – arriving to work for a month-long shift at a remote, rain-lashed lighthouse, somewhere off the coast of 19th century Maine. Wake is a veteran lighthouse keeper (wickie), as salty a sea dog as one might wish to meet…
“There is enchantment in the light.”
Traditionally, Halloween is the time of year for scares. The perfect holiday to run through your top 10 horror films of all time, visit any of the local “haunted attractions”, or listen to “Monster Mash” without any shame. But what of those unfortunate souls that can’t stomach the gore, spooks and Bobby Pickett? Surely, there must be something out there to “get them in the mood”, so to speak. Well, Halloween Party might just be the perfect film to get even the most squeamish in the holiday spirit.
“A woman searches for love on the most deceptive night of the year.”
I have to admit, straight off the bat, that I’m an absolute sucker for Agatha Christie-type whodunnits, so too is self-confessed fan, writer/director Rian Johnson, as he admitted during his talk at the recent BFI London Film Festival. He certainly demonstrates his love for the genre in his spirited and inventive homage, Knives Out. Johnson knows that half the fun lies in our recognition of the rules of the game, so he immediately provides his audience with a rambling, labyrinthine, old house in the countryside, full of curiosities and knick-knacks, a wealthy patriarch, and a large family with many secrets.
“Everyone has a motive. No one has a clue.”
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.”
The Dead of Night Film Festival returned to Liverpool and this time there were more short films (and a quiz too!), all for the low price of £12 for the day. In total there were three feature films and nine shorts screening on Sunday 13th October.
“Made for horror fans by horror fans.”
Take a group of six friends, add five courses of sumptuous food and sprinkle a generous amount of suspicion and motive before garnishing with a generous slice of debauchery and you have Murder Made Easy! As the opening titles roll against a jazz infused score I’m put in mind of both Woody Allen’s Annie Hall and Hitchcock’s suspenseful one-shot masterpiece, Rope. Directed by David Palamoro, Murder Made Easy is also (as the title insinuates) rooted in the playroom drama of Agatha Christie’s great murder mysteries.
“Dinner will be killer.”
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 few things I’d like to get off my mind before I go’ confesses the deep voice of an unseen man with a South London accent. Before us is a desk with three objects laid out on its surface; a reel to reel tape recorder, a telephone and an ashtray. In The Ingress Tapes we will hear the detailed and confessional musings of an unidentified criminal but intriguingly neither they nor their interviewer are ever identified, a detail which adds to the film’s overall atmosphere of ambiguity. It would appear that the tapes are first-hand accounts of a catalogue of brutal and shocking crimes.
“Fantasy, confession or evidence?”
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.