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Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Review Of "Clownhouse" 1989

     1989's "Clownhouse" was the last of the slasher flicks to come out of the decade known for gratuitous violence and over-the-top on screen gore. Yet those very items were notably missing from this film. The film was directed by Victor Salva and stars Nathan Forest Winters, Brian McHugh, and Sam Rockwell as the brothers. The kill scenes are insinuative as the camera pans away on each of the on screen deaths. It is a slight lose to the films impact yet does not prevent this picture from actually giving a scare. The lighting, eery music, and those constant freakishly horrible clowns are enough to keep this film fueled with suspense and intensity.
     The story follows three brothers home alone after their parents both have to be out of town. Thankfully though the circus is in town to keep the kids occupied. Unfortunately for one of the brothers this means dealing with his fear of clowns. A deep and bone chilling fear that is known to make the youngest brother piss his pants! Sadly though that isn't the worst of the brothers problems because this same night just weeks before Halloween three psychos break free from a local mental hospital and after killing the clowns at the circus set out to terrorize the brothers dressed up in the dead clowns identities. Sucks to be you kid! Trust me I know, I hate clowns and have spent much of my own childhood in fear of them thanks to those fucking jack-in-the-boxes my parents insisted on buying even though I would break them. My screams were their antidote to a boring afternoon.
     Anyway back to "Clownhouse". The scenes are epically shot for the 80's. The film keeps with the classic dark, shadowy, slow, creepy vibe like earlier films like Halloween and Black Christmas. The clowns are megalithic in stature next to the kids in every shot. The way the light silhouettes the disturbing make-up and attire make these evil carnies look nearly demonic. Next to the "Killer Klowns From Outer Space" version I think these clowns in "Clownhouse" are probably the scariest clowns in early cinema.
     The story is pretty solid and has very little holes or missteps as the movie plays out. The only thing that I didn't catch was why exactly out of everyone in this small country town did the psychos pick these kids, who lived way out in the middle of nowhere! It is just a little quip that I found and petty actually because the lack of gore and kill shots did not bother me and the rest of the film moved pretty fluidly. I still catch myself tensing up every time I watch this movie when the clowns make it into the house, and just about every moment that the creepy soundtrack kicks in to let ya know something is about to happen. Those aspects along with shadowy chase scene through the house and down the dirt road where very intense.
      "Clownhouse" has a lot missing compared to most horror films, classic or otherwise. However the lack of bloodiness is a fleeting complaint because the film actually does have a scary and eery element that remains as fresh today as it did in 1989. It is a good film to let the little kiddies bite their teeth on without having to worry about trauma due to severed limbs on scene or decapitations. You do have to endure some "goddamns" and other curse words from the three brothers but it isn't anything never heard before, stereotypical of juveniles. For me the most creepy moment was the scene when the tall clown opens the front door for the first time and just stands there against the dark interior and the moonlight from outside then creeps into the house. My second favorite scene is the chase through the corridors of that big ass house with the clown only steps behind the youngest brother. Man I tense up on chase scenes quickly! Clowns are creepy, scary, and unnatural so this film is a great little scare story.



 "No man can hide from his fears; as they are a part of him, they will always know where he is hiding."

My Review Of "Fright Night" 2011


<KENOX S630  / Samsung S630>Admittedly I was one of the many fans super-excited about the remake of “Fright Night”. It is one of my all time favorite films to sit back on a chilly day when I am feeling blah and just enjoy based on pure nostalgia. I also remember setting in the theatre at 13 and being scared shitless of Jerry Dandrige. I think I held my breath through most of the picture terrified of what would happen next. So yeah I am still just a little disappointed when I watch the remake with Colin Farrell in the role of the seductive older man new in the neighborhood who just wants to be left alone to feed.


I do like the fact that the story was so different that there was very little to compare to the original. Other than the names and a few key moments that were more like nods to the 1985 film than mirror images there was little to go on with this film. The story was simple but smart, the characters were just a little too one dimensional and left the story feeling flat. It seemed that at pivotal moments when the characters should have been more animated they came off seeming unsure of who they were in relation to the story. Maybe the actors listened to all the hype or bad press buzzing around the net while filming “Fright Night” or maybe they just saw it as a paycheck. Either way the only character that seemed to care at all about her role in the film was Toni Collette as Ms. Brewster. She had a very limited role so that is saying something there. The characters I wanted to see really play out on screen was that of Peter Vincent and Jerry Dandrige. Those should have been the roles that pushed this film beyond re-animation and placed it into a reboot category. Instead they came off almost dead inside and pointless to the story-Like an after thought.

Now it pains me to say bad things about any film that is part of a genre I love but I really am slightly sad about this film being so under whelming. The effects seemed a little SyFy channel to me and at key moments when the scares could have really sold me on this film they seemed contrived. As if there was some check list off stage and the director just went through each kill and gore moment repetitiously then said “okay, cut!” The original had so much more wow and shock factor than this remake. Which I know you can’t really compare the two stories because there was enough of a variation to keep this newer version individual except by today's standards and abilities in film making there is so much more that a film can utilize in order to scare the shit out of us and this film just didn’t do that.

I am still on the fence about adding this film to my collection. On one hand it has Collin Farrell in it and I have a nice collection of his stuff on my shelves. I have to say though there are so many things that disappointed me in this film that I just don’t know if his hotness is enough for me to embrace this movie. I may just hold out for “Total Recall” to come out and prey they don’t fuck that film up as well.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New “MegaSpider” Images


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New images from the low budget sci-fi creature feature “Megaspider” from Mike Mendez. The film stars Greg Grunberg, Lombardo Boyar, Clare Kramer, Ray Wise, Patrick Bauchau, and Lin Shaye.
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“Cyborgs: Rise Of The Slingers” Teaser Trailer


“Cyborg” with Jean- Claude Van Damme was one of the coolest sci-fi films of the 1980’s next to “Terminator” and “Soldier”. It is also one of the reasons I am still in disbelief that we don’t have half human half machine people running around now! What a disappointment! No one told me the future was gonna be just as suckie as the past! Thanks ‘Jetsons’ !

Anyway Albert Pyun, the guy behind “Cyborg” now as a more loosely based story about the post- apocalyptic future where murderous borgs and freaks run rampant. It is “Cyborgs: Rise Of The Slingers” and is expected out this later this year.
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The story is about a young slinger who’s mission is to seek out and kill Flesh Pirates, a satanic gang of mutants in a post apocalyptic world.

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13 Superstitious Themes In Cinema


There are so many superstitions in the world that any one belief can become a supernatural no-no if obsessed over long enough. I personally make the sign of the cross more times daily than an Italian grandmother, and I am not even Catholic. I have tossed more salt over my shoulder than I can count and still gasp at the sign of a black cat or broken bird’s egg. So to celebrate Friday the 13th I am listing 13 films that were based on a superstition that grew into a cultural belief system.

1. The Black Cat (1980)/ Sign Of Black Magic or Witches/ Bad Luck To Cross One’s Path
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The townspeople of a small English village begin to die in a series of horrible 'accidents,' and a Scotland Yard inspector arrives to investigate. But when suspicion falls on a mysterious local medium who records conversations with the dead, the grisly deaths take on a sinister twist. Is a deranged murderer on the loose, or is an even more shocking evil silently stalking in the night?

The black cat has always been a sign of evil close by or an omen for bad things to come. If you cross ones path then something bad will happen to you, this becomes most troublesome if your in a car. I have made the sign of a cross many times when these devilish creatures have ran in front  of my car. If a cat lives in your neighborhood it is a sign that black magic has been practiced or evil is coming. A black cat is also the familiar most commonly associated with witch’s.

2. Bloody Mary (2006)/ Breaking A Mirror Is Bad Luck/ Mirrors Are Gateways To The Spirit World
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When a group of psychiatric hospital nurses invoke the spirit of Bloody Mary-a supposed urban myth-the slaughter begins. First, a young nursing assistant disappears, her body never found. Now, patients are turning up dead-battered beyond recognition, soaked in blood, their eyes ripped out. Mary's wrath has begun. Freed from her eternal prison behind the mirror's reflection, she unleashes a murderous, maniacal fury upon the asylum. Moving at will through mirrors, she strikes when her victims are unsuspecting, defenseless, and alone. Bloody Mary's legend is real, her vengeance is fatal, and to free her, all you have to do is say her name

Mirrors are a very mystical object. They can become a doorway into the spirit world and used to commune with the dead. They can also be used as a device to trap evil spirits. If you break on you will have 7 yrs bad luck and many urban legends say that if you speak a ghosts name in the mirror then that entity will come to you, better hope the bitch ain’t evil!

3. Route 666 (2001) A Sign Of Pure Evil And The Presence Of The Devil
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Smith, a mob informer hiding out with the Witness Protection Program, decides to make a break for it and hide out in the Arizona desert. The Feds catch up with him and rescue him just before a group of hitmen can manage to silence him for good. In the course of getting Smith away from the mafia thugs, the pair of agents assigned to protect him turn onto an abandoned stretch of highway nicknamed 'Route 666' after the mysterious death of a prison chain gang. As the three continue on their way, they soon discover just what happened to the chain gang, and how the highway earned its name.
The number 666 is just pure evil. The scariest number on the planet actually. It is associated with the Antichrist as anyone who as endured a sunday school lesson is aware. It is also an omen of bad fortune that when it appears to you then the devil is calling to you or you will soon cross his path. I still cringe when this number calls to me at the store or in some phone number I have to dial. In Ky we have a whole county subject to this number as their access code.

4. Trees: The Movie (2000) Wood Is Supernatural / Knock On Wood To Ward Of Curses
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All's quiet in the small Vermont town of Hazelville as Memorial Day approaches until a string of mysterious deaths begin plaguing forest ranger Mark Cody. As hikers and campers turn up dead, Cody struggles to figure out what's behind the murders while the Mayor looks to keep the deaths hush-hush, afraid it will affect tourism on the town's biggest money-making day of the year. Botanist Max Cooper arrives and determines them to have been victims of the dreaded "Great White Pine." After the Mayor refuses to close the woods and tragedy ensues on Memorial Day, Cody hires grizzled lumberjack Squint to hunt down and kill the voracious tree leading to Cody, Cooper, and Squint venturing out into the woods in Squint's old beat-up pick-up truck for a final showdown with the monster tree.
This stems from the “knock on wood” superstition. It has its origins in the belief that the wood of trees held spirits and later the association with the Christian Cross.  If trees hold spirits not all spirits are good and soon the superstition morphs into evil woods where nature can become deadly. I personally knock on wood so that I don’t jinx myself.

5. Friday the 13th (1980) Prepare Against Bad Luck On This Day
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Camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to re-open a summer camp that was the site of a child's drowning.
Friday the 13th is the total sum of superstitious beliefs. It is the most unluckiest day on the calendar. On this day any number of bad things can happen to you and you must prepare by arming yourself with varies things to ward off the bad luck. Rabbits foot, horse shoe, four leaf clover, salt, red brick dust, so many things can save you on this day. Unless your bad luck comes in the form of an evil re-animated killer wearing a hockey mask or his vengeful psycho mother, then your just fucked!

6. Insidious(2010) / Toss Salt Over Your Shoulder To Ward Off Evil
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A family looks to prevent evil spirits from trapping their comatose child in a realm called The Further.
Lurking evil spirits constantly around the house then salt works against them. It is believed that to spill salt is an invitation for bad energy and since spirits linger around you at all times, tossing salt over your shoulder will prevent them from causing you harm.

7. Nightwing (1979) / A Bat In The House Is Sign Of Death
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Killer bats plague an Indian reservation in New Mexico.
A bat in the house is a sign of death. Light a candle and plead with death to spare your household.

8. The Butterfly Effect (2004) / 3 Butterflies Together Bad Omen
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A young man blocks out harmful memories of significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life.
Three butterflies together is a sign of ill fortune. This omen stems from a Japanese belief that butterflies in numbers are sign of coming evil.

9. The Roommate (2011) Spilling Pepper Means Bad Argument With Friend
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College student Sara finds that her new roommate Rebecca has an obsession with her, which quickly turns violent.
If you spill pepper during your meal then it is a sign of a coming argument with a friend or someone close to you.

10. The Dark Half (1993)/ Sparrows Carry The Dead Into The After Life
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A writer's fictional alter-ego wants to take over his life...at any price.
The sparrow carries the dead into the after life and to kill one is to be cursed.

11. Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) / It Is Bad Luck To Start Cruise On Friday
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A passing boat bound for New York pulls Jason along for the ride. Look out New York, here comes hell in a hockey mask.
It is believed that beginning a cruise or taking a trip on water on a Friday will bring misfortune to the trip.

12. Cemetery Gates (2006) / To Step Over A Grave Is Bad Luck
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A genetically mutated Tasmanian Devil is "liberated" by two eco-activists and set loose in a woodland cemetery.
It is is ill-fated for anyone to step over a grave plot and to do so is asking for death or severe bad luck. To prevent this step backwards over the same plot three times.

13. Black Candles (1982) / Candle That Blows Out During Ceremony Is Sign Of Evil
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A young woman travels with her partner to England on the unexpected death of her brother. Staying with her sister-in-law, she finds her companion soon drawn into a satanic cult based in the house whose rites seem to centre somewhat on large-scale sexual congress.
If during a ritual or ceremony the flames blow out of a candle it is a sign of evil spirits close by and is a very bad omen towards your future.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

P.J. Starks Sets Out To Discover The Truth About Pure Evil


From the director of “Mind Beside Itself” and the writers of “Hallows Eve: Slaughter On Second Street” and “Three Tears On Bloodstained Flesh” comes a reality themed supernatural thriller with a satirical twist. Director P.J. Starks takes audiences on an amusing and often terrifying journey of a documentary film maker trying to discover the truth about pure evil.
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Synopsis: Grant, a documentary film maker, along with his cinematographer Kevin and two producers rent an alleged demonically possessed home with a very sordid past. While the Producers are hoping to cash in on what could be the next supernatural reality phenomenon, Grant has other plans. A harsh skeptic, he plans to make an over budgeted spook house flop to prove a point; that ghosts don’t exist. Soon things go wrong as malevolence hidden within the manor begin to stir. Grant is forced to make a deadly choice; let his film die or finish what he started and see this project to the grisly end!
“My Horror Project” is a joint effort of Verite Cinema and Cinephreak Pictures. The film is tentatively scheduled to begin principle photography in July, 2012. Casting is still underway and an official teaser trailer is in the editing stages, set to premiere within the coming weeks. Stay tuned…

For more info you can email Verite Cinema Films here! veritecinemafilms@gmail.com or starks.pj@gmail.com

www.imdb.com/name/nm3402067/
youtube.com/veritecinemafilms
www.ambimovie.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

“Detention” Trailer


So looking forward to seeing this movie…I am not into the whole Hunger Games thing so not just jumping on the Hutcherson band wagon…but this movie may get me there! He is from my neck of the woods!

The film stars Josh Hutcherson, Shanley Caswell, Spencer Locke, Aaron David Johnson, and Dane Cook. Directed by Joseph Kahn “Dentention” becomes mandatory on April 13th.
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A downtrodden 17-year-old girl is sent to detention where she must survive a slasher film killer and save the world in time for prom.

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“You Can’t Kill Stephen King” Trailer


Check out the trailer for one of the coolest cheesy-est horror comedies to come along that actually looks pretty fucking good.
The film stars Monroe Mann, Ronnie Khalil, Crystal Arnette, Kayle Blogna, Kate Costello & Justin Brown.
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“A campy horror film about a group of friends who visit a lake where Stephen King lives and begin to get killed off one at a time.”

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And Now A Message From Lucifer!

My Review Of “Red Kingdom Rising”




308794_252148108157452_143817935657137_726413_531205949_n     Navin Dev transports us into the dark realm of nightmarish memories through the eyes of Mary Ann, a woman plagued by horrific dreams and a troubled past where she is forced to deal with traumatic experiences as she journeys through a hellish fairy tale. The Red Kingdom holds the truth of her early years she desperately tries to forget yet is forced to live through vivid images of a twisted world ruled by the Red King. It is a world mirroring the story of Alice In Wonderland. The symbolism flows visually and disturbingly entwined within Mary Ann’s own nightmare land. However this story takes a darker, more sinister trip into a childhood of unspeakable suffering.

     “Red Kingdom Rising” was written, directed and produced by Navin Dev and shot of Super 16mm. The film is stunning, filled with images dangling between light and dark. An accent that helps to complement the emotional struggle between real and fantasy. It delves into the psyche of a disturbed young woman forced to face her past and free herself from her torment. It is a powerful struggle drifting within scenes that play out her childish nightmares in vivid detail. The story flows between the predictable moments of whimsy and the unexpected scenes of horror.

     Navin Dev’s “Red Kingdom Rising” is a perfect visual journey through childhood trauma and the attempt to reconcile those horrible memories in order to heal. The telling of this hellish fairy tale is intense and macabre. The dance between the characters Mary Ann has created and the actual truth of her childhood build epically as she is forced to face her biggest demon, the Red King. He is the representation of all her suffering.

     The story explores a very real and deeply personal problem that plagues society, the exploitation of innocence and the fragility of childhood. We are forced to go into the dark recesses of our own childhood fairy tales and explore their origins. Origins that may be founded in nightmare and pain. It is a trip into the past prayed forgotten, suppressed into a world of make believe that can keep us chained to our fears. Through a visual representation of horror and fantasy we face our demons and claw our way out of hell.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

“Snake Club: Revenge Of The Snake Woman”


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An ancient legend tells of Lamia a beautiful queen and adultress.... Her lover was put to death and she was transformed into a snake, roaming the earth on her belly, she murders and enslaves the innocent until the gods turn her into a stone statue... She now waits for her time to return...

Drunken Zombie Film Festival



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From Drunken Zombie Press Release:

Drunken Zombie International Horror Film Festival
The fifth annual Drunken Zombie Film Festival is now open for submissions! We are celebrating our 5th year of showing independent horror films to a horror audience that is hungry to see something outside of the studio system that can tap into the horror life line and bring them a great experience they have been craving. We show all types of horror films and not just zombie films which some take our name to imply. So whatever type of horror film you have feel free to submit.

Our submission process is easy. Head over to the website, www.drunkenzombiefilmfestival.com , fill out the online submission form, and mail it off with your movie. It's that easy. No entry fees. No complex rules. If you want your horror film seen by an audience that is craving the next great horror film then this is the festival for you. We are looking for feature films, short films, music videos, trailers, etc. Anything you got we'll take a look at. The deadline for submissions is August 31st, 2012.
Our film festival is taking place on November 2-3, 2012 at Landmark Cinemas in Peoria, IL. Have your film Slay In Peoria! This is our fifth year running our convention and have had a great time showing off some films that have gone on to great success. Some of the past films we have shown are Dead Hooker In A Trunk (DZFF2010), The Taint (DZFF2011), Zombie Apocalypse (DZFF 2008), Trippin' (DZFF 2010), and
The Selling (DZFF2011). We present a well rounded list of films from straight up scary to horror comedies to the full on surreal.

For further info on submitting films and keeping up with news, sponsorships, and more visit www.drunkenzombiefilmfestival.com or email filmfestival@drunkenzombie.com.
Praise For The Drunken Zombie Film Festival:
“The Drunken Zombie Film Festival is run by a group of diehard horror fans who's only desire is to help out indie filmmakers and that passion shines through in their treatment of your work, their interaction with you (the filmmaker), and their enthusiasm overall. I am very happy to support DZ as they have been more than supportive of my career over the years and are one of the reasons I have fans across the world.”Tony Wash – Director of It's My Party And I'll Die If I Want To (DZFF2008) and A Chance In Hell
(DZFF2011) “We had the distinct pleasure of having our film, "The Feed", screened at the 2011 Drunken Zombie Film Festival. Though unable to attend due to a work conflict, I had a number of people write to us saying how much they enjoyed the festival and our movie. Not only that, but a podcast was released shortly thereafter where a whole group sat around discussing the fest - and our film - in great detail! It was fantastic to hear. We rely quite a bit on social networking to keep our fans up to speed on our film's
progress, and the 2011 DZFF, as well as their devoted followers, allowed us to post many, many updates. We look forward to submitting our next work as well as attending!”
Steve Gibson – Director of The Feed (DZFF2011) "DZFF makes a real effort to reach out to its filmmakers, in order to help them connect with each other and with industry. That's why I'll keep sending my films to DZFF. Also, their name is really cool." Chris Walsh – Director Of Fitness Class Zombie (DZFF2011)

My Review Of “Tied In Blood”



     “Tied In Blood” is a supernatural horror story revolving around a father seeking the help of a psychic after returning home one night to find his entire family slaughtered. The father believes they died by paranormal events and with the help of the psychic he sets out to find the ghostly killer. He soon discovers a work more sinister and horrific than previously thought as the dead tell their story one by one. It is a dark tale of demons, seduction, and murder.
   
 “Tied In Blood” is from Rotunda Films in conjunction with Macabre Pictures and is directed by Matthew Lawrence. The cast includes Paul McEwan, Laura O’Donoughue, Kenneth G. Hodgson, Chris Leach, Denise Cooke, Alan Brent, Christopher Havard, Anthony Watt, Alison Rust, and Amie Morris. It will hit the streets on June 26th, 2012 thanks to American distributor Chemical Burn Entertainment.
    
The film starts off with a subdued melancholy that is kind of unsettling. There is a cold detached relationship between the character’s interactions that actually complements the seriousness of the story. The dialogue has the maturity expected from British Films and the cast express this with perfect emotion that lends a sense of belief to the story. It sounds simple but a lot of films loose their punch due to the actors inability to deliver the lines with conviction which makes the story less believable. This film does not have that problem. The brilliance of “Tied In Blood” is in the way the director lets the story unfold as the father learns what really happened to his family while he was away. The story flows easily from present to past without seeming choppy or confusing.
 
   The special effects are minimal, but the way the story is told the lack of graphic gore is forgivable. The attempt to make this film more bloody and violent would have actually cheapened the scenes. There is some blood and necessary effects, it’s not all insinuative. The sound effects and lighting give an emotional tie to the scenes without becoming over exaggerated.

   For me the best part of this film was the dark family dynamic that slowly revealed itself as the story went on. I could not wait to see how twisted and deep the secrets went as I watched this movie. The whole time I kept thinking ‘how intense and fucked up this family really was”. It was disturbing and wonderful. You never really knew if the dead were telling the truth or being manipulated by something more evil. The only clear truth that stays constant through the whole story is just how wrong the brother and sister’s relationship was, everything else came into question. I loved that about this film.
  
  “Tied In Blood” is more of a murder mystery with a supernatural edge than a traditional scary movie. It is a haunting and tragic story that is well written, well directed, and well acted. the story was written by David Ross. It is a classic, intense story much like “The Others” and “Ghost Story”, a great throwback to the era of gothic story telling. I enjoyed this movie immensely.
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