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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018, USA) Season 1 Review

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

In the original series you could really root for Sabrina as she learns witchcraft and all the negative aspects that came with it but here the stakes are much higher, not just regarding whether she will be a mortal or witch, but to be a witch she has to sign her name in Satan’s book and he could call on her at any time. There’s a stronger sense of Sabrina’s desperation to learn about her family history and what had happened to her parents, along with the struggles of being a half witch, giving the series a bit of a Harry Potter feel, even though the original Sabrina comics and 90s series predate it.

“Happy birthday, witch.”

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Veronica (2017, Spain) Review

Veronica (2017)

When Netflix dropped Spanish director Paco Plaza’s new film Veronica earlier this year, I doubt even they predicted it would get the attention it’s had? Some people have dubbed it “the scariest film ever!” and it’s supposedly based on a real events, so naturally I had to check it out to see what all the fuss was about. I’m a fan of Plaza’s [•REC] movie so I knew he would cook up some decent scares.

The story is set in Madrid in 1991 and focuses on teenager Veronica.

“Someone answered your call.”

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The Unholy Rollers (1972, USA) Review

The Unholy Rollers (1972)

When I interviewed the esteemed Producer/Director Roger Corman for Claudia Jennings’ biography, he said Unholy Rollers was his favorite of the four films Claudia appeared in for him. As Claudia’s breakthrough film, Unholy Rollers established the character she would be identified with until her death. Beautiful, fearless and ruthless, Karen Walker epitomized the Hollywood Bitch Goddess that many thought represented Claudia’s true nature. The film is noteworthy because it marked Claudia’s debut as a major B movie actress.

“A locker room look at the toughest broads in the world!”

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Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990, USA) Review

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Having bought the rights to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre slasher franchise from The Cannon Group, New Line Cinema, “the house that Freddy built”, began production on a new sequel with the intention of “going back to hard-core horror”. Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III attempts to bring back the franchise to its unhinged roots, where the saw is family and dire situations lead to viscera. If only scriptwriter David J. Schow and director Jeff Burr’s vision had remained intact. “Some tales are told, then soon forgotten… but a legend is forever!”

“The saw is family.”

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The Dead of Night Film Festival (Sunday 21st October 2018)

The Dead of Night Film Festival (Saturday 21st October 2018)

Liverpool Horror Club (LHC) and Two-Headed Snake Entertainment presented their second The Dead of Night Film Festival – this time in Liverpool – and like all LHC events there was a great club atmosphere where everyone is friendly, and you can chat to the people involved in the festival and the films.

“Liverpool’s only horror film festival!”

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Possum (2018, UK) Review

Possum (2018)

Matthew Holness is best know for his turn as Garth Marenghi, the darkly comic horror novelist that spoofs trashy 70’s British television, but here in his directorial feature debut there’s nothing humorous, in fact things are extremely grim indeed. What formula he does stick to is keeping with the style of trashy 70’s British horror films.

“Mother, Father, what’s afoot? Only Possum, black as soot. Mother, Father, where to tread? Far from Possum and his head. Here’s a bag, now what’s inside? Does he seek or does he hide? Can you spy him, deep within? Little Possum, black as sin.”

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Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982, USA) Review

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Masks, dressing up and spooky Halloween tunes. When you think of Halloween your mind turns to, what will I wear? I need to look good for trick or treat. This was before you watched Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Tommy Lee Wallace creates a nail biting movie which plays on all the main things that make Halloween and trick and treating fun. He turns it on its head, pardon the pun and terrifies the life out of anyone choosing to wear a mask and watch TV during the Halloween season. This classic horror uses three different types of mask; a pumpkin, a ghost and a witch.

“The night no one comes home.”

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Defarious (2016, USA) Review

Defarious (2016)

Defarious is gorgeously shot, with a tinged-blue colour pallet reminiscent of 80’s retro horror, with hints of slasher genre thrown in. Pallante is able to build the atmosphere well with an easy on the eye leading lady – Janet Miranda (as Amy) – and a wonderfully large environment to broaden its scope. As Amy roams the house her visions manifest into a crazed killer or demon, which raises the questions of what’s reality and what’s only in her head. Overall Defarious hits a few marks. Not as unsettling as it thinks it is, but is a nice nod to the inspired classics of the 1980s.

“Fear is all in the mind.”

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It Came from the Desert (2017, Finland / UK / Canada) Review

It Came from the Desert (2017)

Marko Mäkilaakso’s movie It Came from the Desert evokes the creature features of the 1950s by way of the late 80s, making it a cheesy, nostalgia-packed thrill ride from start to finish. Inspired by the 1989 video game by Cinemaware, it never once takes itself too seriously, and keeps you watching with clever effects, over-the-top action sequences, and a number of hysterically funny lines that are sure to offend. What more could you ask from a monster movie?

“Okay, listen we need your help. We’re trapped by this giant ant… A giant freakin’ ant!”

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The Spawning (2017, UK) Review

The Spawning (2017, UK)

When an alien from another world crashes to earth via meteor and takes human form to hide in plain sight, it’s not rocket science to establish they’re not here to do any good. In fact all nastiness is planned as it’s on the hunt to impregnate a female to birth its own spawn!

The Spawning’s premise is simple enough, with clear influences of 70s & 80s British low budget sci-fi which I do have an affinity for, so I was so wanting The Spawning to succeed. Unfortunately what we get is a strained affair that may have played out better as a short.

“To save his race, he will devour yours.”

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Bad Apples (2018, USA) Review

Bad Apples (2018, USA)

Craaaazy killers decked out in scary masks, wreaking havoc on Halloween night! Pretty spooky plot for a film right? Eeeeh, you’d think so wouldn’t you. All Hallows, and the anonymity it provides those with devious tendencies has been an informative and conducive background to some of our cherished seasonal classics. So, for the premise to be utilized once again comes as no real surprise. Unfortunately, neither does ANYTHING in Bryan Coyne’s Bad Apples, which strives for Carpenter charisma, but winds up leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.

“Rotten to the core.”

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Under the Tree (2017, Iceland) Review

Under the Tree (Undir trénu) (2017)

There’s an old saying about how you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. You also can’t generally choose your neighbors, and sometimes they can be even harder to avoid than family. It can be a real risk to try to befriend a neighbor, because if it all goes wrong somehow your only option is to pack up and move, and that’s a hassle nobody wants. Still, in Under the Tree, both sets of neighbors would have been much better off if they’d fled to opposite sides of the country. Admittedly Iceland isn’t a very big country, but that might have worked.

“Two families. One tree. A bloody mess.”

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