Mandatory family game night is usually when we “make sure that we take time out of our busy lives to take part in the magical time,” you know? Hot food, maybe some wine for the adults, a few family games – Monopoly for example – and a blood sacrifice to Satan… Just remember what the one rule at the dinner table is: “No cellphones.” Directed by Nicholas Ferwerda, and written by Ali Chappell and Jon Kohan, Family Game Night is a short 12-minute comedy/horror film that explores the awkward bonding of a middle-class family. “So, what kind of games do you play on family night?”
Written and directed by Pearson Jenks & Nickon Hemati, Exorsisters is a three episode web series from Troma Entertainment: the story of Sister Kristen, who was banned from the church after warning people about a rise in demonic possessions.
“Eat well and exorcise.”
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.”
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!”
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.”
I heard of this anime film years ago but heard such bad things it put me off, then last week I found a good review on it that mentioned the plot and I thought I’d give it a go. Firstly like many other reviewers I must admit this is probably the craziest Dracula plot ever. It’s based of Tomb of Dracula issues 40-75 and as such there’s a lot going on…
Overall this film is very true to the comic and has a good storyline but it’s too rushed. The visuals in part are faithful to the comic but frequently seem low budget. If you liked Tomb of Dracula I’d definitely recommend this. If you’re looking for a different Dracula film you should enjoy it.
“Darling, I want to tell you about the man I used to be before I became the cursed slave of Satan.”
Also known under the name The Devil’s Daughter, Michele Soavi’s The Sect (1991) is an intricately stitched, cult masterpiece; from a decade not well regarded for its genre output. Soavi himself had already cemented his career as a director of the macabre, with his feature length debut StageFright (1987) and Dèmoni sequel-turned-standalone horror The Church (1989). Indeed, The Sect would also be branded a Dèmoni sequel upon its home video release.
“Satan has chosen his victims. The battle with evil has begun.”
Also known by the appropriate name Cathedral of Demons, Michele Soavi’s 1989 Italian Gothic horror The Church is widely considered as the official sequel to Lamberto Bava’s Demons 2 (1986).
Indeed The Church was originally conceived as Demons 3, but upon Soavi’s insistence the film stands alone. For those of you who intend to purchase the new release from Shameless Screen Entertainment, The Church has no direct thematic link to either Demons (1985) or Demons 2 (1986).
“In this unholy sanctuary you haven’t got a prayer…”
During the videotape format war of the late 1970s and early 1980s, JVC’s VHS would compete for market share against Sony’s Betamax. Betamax was, in theory, the superior recording format but VHS would ultimately emerge as the preeminent home video format in 1986. Consumers could not justify the extra cost of a Betamax VCR, which was often more expensive that the VHS equivalent due to the higher quality construction of Betamax recorders.