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Pazucus: Island of Vomit and Despair (2017, Brazil) Review

Charles Bukowski once said “Some people never go insane. What horrible lives they must lead!” Clearly this is not the way for the characters in Pazucus: Island of Vomit and Despair, as whilst they seem to act and look crazed and insane their lives are blighted by horrors all around them. Their insanity is reflected in Gurcius Gewdner’s film which is somewhat of a strange piece of underground genre cinema, art house horror, b-movie monster horror, and deliberately maddening genre flick that is deliberately frustrating and uneasy to pin point as to what it actually is about. The plot, if there is one to focus on, follows Carlos who is constantly vomiting…

“You won’t be coming home!”

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Don’t Let the Devil In (2016, USA) Review

Don't Let the Devil In (2016)

John Harris works for a property/land development firm in New York City. After his wife Samantha has a miscarriage, his life begins to change. This unfortunate event has traumatized her and John thinks that some time away from the city would do both of them a world of good. Writer/director Courtney Fathom Sell created a film that is less about shocks and horrific moments and more about building an imposing sense of fear. From the moment the Harris’ move into their new house, there is an air of unnerving trepidation.

“What kind of sick people would do something like this?”

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Quiet Places: A Novella of Cosmic Folk Horror by Jasper Bark (2017, UK) Review

Quiet Places by Jasper Bark (2017)

When you pick up Jasper Bark’s short novel Quiet Places, know that you’ll be holding a stick of dynamite in your hands. It’s got a slow-burning fuse, but when it goes off, you will be completely blown away. Billed as cosmic folk horror, a classification of genre fiction heretofore reserved for this book alone, so far as I can tell, Quiet Places tells the story of Sally, her lover David, and the Scottish town of Dunballan.

“Then there were the bodies she had to pull from crashed cars, and the corpses that had fallen from ladders, or scaffolding. They had to be disposed of and there was never enough time to do that…”

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There’s No Place Like Home: Class, Conflict and Violence in Ils (2006) Part 3: Violence and the Victim

There’s No Place Like Home: Class, Conflict and Violence in Ils (2006)

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.

“They wouldn’t play with us…”

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There’s No Place Like Home: Class, Conflict and Violence in Ils (2006) Part 2: The House As A Safe Place

There’s No Place Like Home: Class, Conflict and Violence in Ils (2006)

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…”

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There’s No Place Like Home: Class, Conflict and Violence in Ils (2006) Part 1: The Outsider Moving In

There’s No Place Like Home: Class, Conflict and Violence in Ils (2006)

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.”

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The Unholy (1988, USA) Vestron Video Blu-ray Review

The Unholy (1988, USA) Vestron Video Blu-ray Review

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.”

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Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018, USA / UK) Review

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

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.”

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American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon (2017, USA) Review

American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon

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.”

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40th Anniversary of Ridley Scott’s Alien: A Sci-Fi/Horror Milestone Against All Cultural Odds

Alien (1979)

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.”

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Vault of Terror II: The Undead (2015, USA) Review

Vault of Terror II: The Undead

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!”

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Castlevania (2018, USA) Season 2 Review

Castlevania (2018, USA) Season 2 Review

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!”

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