The most gratuitous violence we witness is at the hands of those positioned in the role of victim. Clem leaves Lucas to look for a way out and is chased by one of the assailants through an unfinished room containing a number of hanging plastic sheets, another metaphor for the social divisions and obstacles that exist between the couple and the youngsters. This culminates in her being pursued through an attic space; so far, no physical violence has been directed from the youngsters towards the couple.
For Clem and Lucas, their house represents not only their success and status in society but it functions as a place where they can relax and feel assured that they are protected. The home they have chosen reveals a lot about how they perceive themselves and perhaps most importantly, how they’d like to be perceived by others. Originating from France, a country widely known for upholding its values and traditions, it’s telling that their house is the embodiment of these things. Grand and spacious, it reflects the opulence of eighteenth-century France with its vast corridors and period detail.
“This can’t be happening…”
Stradling the sub genres of the new French extremity, home invasion and the controversial, oftentimes topical subject of the young and alienated working classes, Ils offers up a set of complex questions that are juxtaposed with its very simple and fast paced framework. We can all recall a time when we have been alone in our homes at night and felt under threat for some reason, even if that threat transpires to be nothing more than a creaking door or a loose floor board…
“You’ll never feel safe in your home again.”
Directed by Camilo Vila, The Unholy is an 1980s horror flick with an identity crisis. Oscar-winning screenwriter Phillip Yordan originally wrote The Unholy in the 1970s, shortly after the successful release of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist (1973). Audiences were terrified by the film adaptation of The Exorcist because, regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack thereof), Friedkin had adapted William Peter Blatty’s novel into a horrific tale of demonic possession that somehow felt plausible!
“You haven’t got a prayer.”
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.”
The American Guinea Pig series was one I had yet to encounter, though it’s telling to see Unearthed Films taking the concept of the original Japanese Guinea Pig series and transferring it to an American market, with The Song of Solomon a more traditional, albeit very gory narrative driven slice of genre cinema. If you’re not familiar with the Guinea Pig films then, well, here’s a quick film history lesson, kids! The Guinea Pig films where a series of direct to video features, short in length and made in Japan around the mid to late 80s. The first two were considerably grizzly in their reputation…
“When the song is finally sung, Lucifer will be unleashed.”
This year sees the 40th anniversary of Ridley Scott’s Alien, and to mark the occasion 20th Century Fox is releasing a 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray package that will be available in the UK from April 1st, 2019. Don’t miss the chance of seeing the alien, bursting out of John Hurt’s chest in glorious HD! Alien is one of the most discussed, dissected and academically analysed movies in modern cinema. Considering so much has been said about it, the film seems to be simplicity itself: a tense, linear storyline, an innovatively envisioned setting, sparse dialogue – simple, but close to perfect.
“In space no one can hear you scream.”
Let me preface this review by saying that I’m a huge fan of anthology films. Films like Twilight Zone: The Movie, Creepshow, and Tales from the Darkside were among some of my favorites as a kid. Sure, there are some stinkers out there, but they always have at least one gem, one shining moment hidden among the schlock, somewhere.
Vault of Terror II: The Undead was a pretty fun ride from start to finish. We get five short films, given to us as a part of a wrap-around horror story.
“Witness six tales… Each one more horrifying than the last!”
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!”
In March 2019 Arrow Video is re-releasing Hideo Nakata’s Ringu in celebration of its 20th anniversary; restored from the original negative in vivid high definition.
Ringu is based on a novel by Koji Suzuki, (known as the ‘Japanese Stephen King’) and for any western viewer this film is the starting point for any exploration of modern Asian horror.
“How did the rumours about the video even start in the first place? This kind of thing… It doesn’t start by one person telling a story. It’s more like everyone’s fear just takes on a life of its own.”
London 1888; the Jack the Ripper murders are gripping the nation and the people of Whitechapel are growing increasingly scared. Chief Inspector Abberline is struggling to figure out who the killer is, and with the added pressure from above to catch the murderer his demons begin to get the better of him. But there is someone out there who wants to help…watching…in the shadows…waiting to strike. Mixing Jack the Ripper and Batman is a formula I’ve been waiting for since reading the steampunk/superhero mash-up Gotham by Gaslight back in 1989.
“There are worse things out there than Jack the Ripper.”
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. However, I decided I’d take the opportunity to look back at some movies that didn’t particularly float my boat and see if I can find some good points in them. With the best intentions in mind, I picked the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street as the first movie to give a second watch. I was aghast when I heard this movie was being made. But, I like to have an opinion about things so, I gave it a watch. On that first go I was just as disappointed as I expected to be. Let’s face it, the original film is a genre defining classic…