Sunday, June 28, 2020

My Review Of "Cry Havoc"

"Cry Havoc" is a hybrid slasher/ action horror directed by Rene Perez and stars Robert Bronzi, Richard Tyson, Emily Sweet and JD Angstadt. The film is a high energy bloodbath, blending classic elements of action thriller gunfire and 80's inspired gore. 

An ambitious young reporter is granted an interview with one of the FBI’s most wanted. While entering his compound she finds one of his prized possessions, a serial killer who murders at call, called HAVOC. Her only hope is a rogue police man searching for his daughter.

Rene Perez packs a lot in this multilayered hybrid horror. There are elements of "not without my daughter" story points, dark web inspired "games madmen play" evilness and traditional slasher carnage. Where a lot of directors fail to maintain this level of storytelling, Perez manages to hold control and really bring the vision to life. The film isn't perfect, some aspects drag on the crescendoing energy, but so much more works wonderfully.

The elements of "Cry Havoc" that I didn't get into are few. The film starts off with a bloody bang that really sets the tone and let's you know what to expect. However the introduction of the story that deals with a sort of dark web investigative aspect seems a bit over dramatic and caricature. Honestly, I believe that was the only real problem I had with the film. The bulk of the film is a joyful reign of blood. 

The horror elements in "Cry Havoc" are a wonderful reminder of what has always made slasher movies so great. The kills are full on visceral moments filled with blood splatter all done using practical effects. The masked unstoppable killing machine is formidable, memorable and intimidating. A cross between Leatherface and Jason Voorhees. 

Overall "Cry Havoc" is a fun slasher that both entertains and excited. There is some slight drag in the storytelling were exposition and dialog is concerned. However it is minor considering how much of the film is filled with action and carnage. A few characters seem too contrived but for the most part this film has too many gory death scenes not to enjoy. Definitely check it out. (4/5)

Saturday, June 27, 2020

My Review Of "Human Zoo"

"Human Zoo" is part psychological, and part voyeuristic reality nightmare. The film is directed by John E. Seymore and stars an extensive indie film cast. Among the cast members are Robert Carradine, Jessica Cameron, Jose Rosete, Rachel Amanda Bryant, Megan Le, John D. Crawford, Heather Dorff, Raw Leiba, Edward Hong and many more.

The internet watches live, as reality-show contestants struggle against time to see who will stay in solitary confinement the longest and take home the one million dollar prize.

"Human Zoo" has a pretty cool concept but somehow the film loses the ability to manifest Seymore's vision. The story starts out by really dragging on the runtime with pointless character introduction and "faux contestant intros" which could have been sped along to allow for more development of the actual reality show story. Plus choosing a solitary confinement theme where everything is dependent upon the actors ability to portray an authentic psychological conflict and deep emotional outburst on a level that will connect with audiences is a big risk. 

In this risky reality show concept a lot of the film becomes encumbered by clunky improvisational melodrama that very few in the cast seem capable to project convincingly. Still there are a few stand out actors who seem to have a grasp on what is being asked of them and really sell their characters. Those were the moments I really got into the story. Plus about 50 minutes in it becomes clear what the true goal of this social experiment really is meant to be. 

As far as horror elements, there is no real aspects of risk/reward that would allow for true suspense. There are deaths but they fall a bit flat because there is no build up and no real feeling of anxiety that holds you to the scenes of death to allow any sympathy for the characters. Mostly it all just plays out like actor sizzle reels. "Human Zoo" falls short of expectations but as always check it out for yourself. Just go in forwarned. (2/5)

Friday, June 26, 2020

My Review Of "A Nun's Curse"

"A  Nun's Curse" is a psychological horror that plays on themes of psychosis with hints of paranormal horror and urban legend. The film is directed by Tommy Faircloth, and starring scream queen Felissa Rose, Erika Edwards, Kristi Ray, Damian Maffei, and Gunnar Willis.

On a weekend trip, a group of friends are forced to seek shelter inside an abandoned prison where a nun named Sister Monday had once been assigned. During her time at the prison, Sister Monday was suspected of killing prisoners who were serving out their sentences but before she could be questioned, she disappeared. Once inside the prison, they will learn the terrifying truth.

I have to say, I am on the fence about this one. The film is a standard horror film that stays within traditional horror tropes. It is a little to familiar, with a lot of the material having been seen and done before. And yet, it the cinematography is good, it taps into that comfortable horror styled atmosphere, and it offers a somewhat memorable baddie in Sister Monday.

With "A Nun's Curse" I think my biggest complaint is just how long it takes before anything significant happens. For the first 40 or so minutes it is filled with too much dramatic dialog, exposition and melodrama that really eats into the runtime. But from there on things get somewhat interesting and the story transitions into a full on horror story. Again, the atmosphere is cool. I found myself really starting to get into.

The horror elements are pretty well done. There is some stereotypical paranormal styled moments that are your standard gimmicks used. The best part is that the kills are done with practical effects that look good. The down side that the time starts running out on the film so the kills seem rushed. 

Overall, as much as I wanted to really like "A Nun's Curse" there was just more that I didn't like. I enjoyed Felissa Rose as Sister Monday but it takes too long to get her on screen. There is a "surprise" twist to the ending that will become clear before it is intended to, but it is a cool one. Unfortunately instead of ending the film there the story goes for another, weaker ending that kinda ruins things. As always check it out but don't expect much. It has some moments that are interesting, but not everyone will enjoy this one. (2/5)

My Review Of "Evil Little Things"

Horror anthology "Evil Little Things" is a wicked little film that plays like 'Two Minute Horror Stories' but with a traditional feel of "Creepshow". It is directed by Matt Green and stars Zach Galligan, Hannah Fierman, Courtney Lakin and Jonathan Horne. 

A young boy finds a mystical toymaker with stories to tell. The first is of a leprechaun seeking revenge on a defenseless family. The second is of a doll who works evil on her fragile owner. The toymaker gives the boy a clown named Giggles. Clowns are supposed to be the guardians of happiness, right? These Evil Little Things will cause you many sleepless nights.

The story about the leprechaun is probably the longest of the two shorts that make up the body of the film. It is a cute story, it isn't really scary but it has a very creepy atmosphere that permeates the story. It does seem to take longer than necessary to tell, and the horror elements are kinda minimal. Still the killer leprechaun doll used is creepy as it gets and it ends with the classic twisted ending we all love about classic anthology series.

The second of the stories deals with an evil porcelain doll that has a jealous streak fed by the demonic. It is a pretty familiar tale, but still it is told nicely. It is a bit shorter than the first and there is a little bit more horror in this one. Mostly paranormal-esque gimmicks and occult themes toward the end. I was crazy about the choice of voice for the Patty doll but she looks evil. Plus the story had another wicked little ending. 

The wraparound is my favorite story. It is classic "Creepshow" style storytelling. The first half plays as your basic set up for the two middle stories, but it starts out with a hint of domestic violence. The second half is the fun part, and although it is short it has the most horror in the anthology. Plus a clown doll that goes all demony is always a treat. 

Overall "Evil Little Things" is a cute horror anthology. I do enjoy a bit more horror in the films, but I did appreciate the throwback feel of the stories. Plus I am a sucker for evil, creepy doll movies. "Evil Little Things" will find a fan base, it is pretty PG so hardcore splatter/gore fans may not get it, but check it out and decide for yourself. (2.5)

Freestyle Digital Media Acquires North American Distribution For Psychological Thriller "Woodland"

Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, has acquired North American rights to the psychological thriller, WOODLAND. WOODLAND will be available to rent and own on DVD and North American digital HD internet, cable, and satellite platforms through Freestyle Digital Media on July 28, 2020.

Written and directed by Jon Silverberg, WOODLAND features an ensemble cast including Richard Harmon (‘Jake’), Amanda Tapping (‘Donna’), Frank C. Turner (‘Kohler’), Philip Granger (‘Sparky’), and Catherine Jack (‘Anna’).

WOODLAND stars Richard Harmon (CW’s THE 100), a photojournalist whose future is revealed to him through the images he shoots. Set in 1989, photojournalist Jake is out-of-work and struggling with addiction when he takes a job as watchman of a wilderness lodge on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest, alongside veteran handyman, Sparky. Jake sets up a darkroom to develop his photographs, which begin to expose disturbing premonitions of their future.

“I’m incredibly proud to share my horror/thriller fever dream and labor of love that is WOODLAND – brought to life with explosive and achingly beautiful performances from both leads, Richard Harmon and Philip Granger,” said filmmaker Jon Silverberg. “Richard Harmon, as both star and Executive Producer on the film, was such a dedicated and supportive collaborator. On behalf of the entire cast and crew, I’m thrilled to be working with MPX and the team at Freestyle to bring the film to audiences on so many platforms.”

WOODLAND official website:


Dark Sky Films today announced it has acquired all North American distribution rights to the new horror comedy IT CUTS DEEPS, the directorial debut from Nicholas Payne Santos.

Greg Newman, Executive Vice President of MPI/Dark Sky Films, negotiated rights for the film and Dark Sky’s parent company, MPI Media Group will be representing worldwide international sales for the film. Nicola Goelzhaeuser, MPI’s Vice President of Sales and Acquisitions will be introducing IT CUTS DEEP to buyers at this year’s virtual Cannes.
The film is an 88/90 Production in association with BullMoose Pictures. Producer on the film is Kristy Richman. IT CUTS DEEP will be released in November 2020.
IT CUTS DEEP lives up to its title, revealing the extremes to which the fear of getting married and having children can go. While on Christmas vacation, a young couple contemplates their future together. Ashley (Quinn Jackson, The Blacklist, Hunting Season) is interested in marriage and kids, which terrifies Sam (acclaimed comedian Charles Gould, The Big Sick, Bonding). But when the handsome and paternal Nolan (John Anderson, Quantico, Mozart in the Jungle) enters the picture, Sam’s life spirals out of control as Ashley questions their relationship. Chaos reigns as Sam desperately clings to Ashley while fending off the threatening Nolan.
IT CUTS DEEP stars rising comedian Charles Gould. Gould is an LA-based stand-up comedian who was named a “Comic To Watch” by Comedy Central and was most recently named a “New Face of Comedy” at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.

First Images Released For Horror Sequel "The Collected"

LD Entertainment has released the first Images for "The Collected". The film is the second sequel in "The Collector" franchise, following "The Collection". It is directed by Marcus Dunstan and brings back leads Josh Stewart and Emma Fitzpatrick. "The Collected" costars Tom AtkinsRandy Havens (Godzilla: King of the Monsters), Dot-Marie Jones (3 From Hell) and Navi Rawat (Feast). No word on full plot details but if it keeps with the brutal and tense energy as the previous entries then I am here for it.


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