Saturday, January 5, 2019

My Review Of "Doom Room"

"Doom Room" is directed by Jon Keeyes and stars Debbie Rochon, Matthew Tompkins, Johanna Stanton, Hayden Tweedie and Nicholas Ball. The film is an allegorical, mind-bending, dark fairytale of sorts. Originally it was released as 2013's "Nightmare Box".

A woman wakes up locked in a small room with no memory of how she arrived there. Unable to escape, and tormented by a series of paranormal entities, she must uncover the riddle of who she is and how she got here.

Inspired in part by a true story, a young lady was held captive in a slave chest under a sadistic couple's bed for seven years, "Doom Room" is a highly imaginative dark fairytale told stylistically as a sequence of nightmares and dreamscapes. Sometimes confusing,  and incoherent the scenes play out like broken episodes of a disturbed thought. Othertimes the screen feels more like whimsical musings from some Hell cast. 

The cast give good character. Expressive,  impactful creatures often melodramatic and 100%  theatrical. There are moments that the acting breaks scene cohesion,  slipping slightly,  but for the most part everyone was cream. I kept finding my mind flickering inspirations of Alice, not as she was in Wonderland, but as she truly was in the sanitarium. The film I compare it most to is "Red Kingdom Rising" from Navin Dev. 

The special effects and atmosphere is a cross between early 2000's grindhouse and German experimental arthouse. At to cinematography and sequencing begging of Scandinavian dark metal concept and "Doom Room" is truly creative and ambitious for a low budget indie horror. There is blood and a hint of gore,  all visceral,  but this isn't some celebratory torture porn anthem. 

It is at it's core about a girl locked in a box and dealing with a fight or flight psychological crossroads thing. Similar films have come out and it is a tricky style of storytelling to get right, but "Doom Room" has more good going for it than bad. Definitely check it out. (3.5/5)

My Review Of "Snowflake"

"Snowflake" is a German import thriller and the feature debut of Adolfo Kolmerer and William James. It stars Reza Brojerdi, Erkan Acar, Xenia Assenza, David Masterson, Alexander Schubert, Adrian Topol, Gedeon Burkhard, Eskindir Tesfay, Selem Tadese, Martin Goeres, and Judith Hoersch. "Snowflake" is part Richard Kelly, part Tarantino and part Troy Duffy with ennobled characters and uncompromised agendas and disenchanted backdrops.

Hunting down the murderer of their families in an anarchic Berlin of the near future, the outlaws Tan and Javid find themselves trapped in the wicked fairytale of a mysterious screenplay that entangles them in a vicious circle of revenge - apparently all written by a clueless dentist.

"Snowflake" is aptly titled, it is a rare and unique film that almost defies label, genre or description. The story is part pulp crime thriller , and part alt comic meta script. As I sat mesmerized by the method , and mesmerizing nature of Kolmerer's storytelling I could only think of a few other times I have watched this kind of cinema- "Pulp Fiction", "Southland Tales" and to some degree "Go". 

The story is layered, and ambitious, almost operatic. "Snowflake" gives a story with microcosms of revenge, motive and the mundane. All of which are told in a style that makes each character elaborate and superior. The cast give quality performances and feel authentic in their extravagant nature. Much like each and every character Tarantino creates,  and just like Tarantino,  Kolmerer's feel real. 

The special effects are almost non-existent,  and quite frankly irrelevant. People die, little onscreen splatter is celebrated,  but you don't think about that. The cinematography is excellent, the atmosphere is nearly stoic and seems to breathe. The writing is exceptional and creative. "Snowflake" is a wonderfully unique,  conception thriller that just has to be seen. (5/5)

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Festival Of Vica Pota

January 5th :

The festival of Vica Pota was January 5. Asconius identifies her with Victoria, but she is probably an earlier Roman or Italic form of victory goddess that predated Victoria and the influence of Greek Nike; Vica Pota was thus the older equivalent of Victoria but probably not a personification of victory as such. In the Apocolocyntosis, Vica Pota is the mother of Diespiter; although usually identified with Jupiter, Diespiter is here treated as a separate deity.

Pagan Festival Shout Out : Gamelion Noumenia

Gamelion Noumenia: Greek festival honoring all the Gods and Goddesses. Flutes were played; prayers were said; offerings of barley, olive oil, incense, and food were burned in an offering hearth; and libations of water and wine were made. [Gamelion 1]

January 6th :
The Noumenia took place when the first sliver of moon was visible. The celebration was held in honor of Selene, Apollon Noumenios, Hestia and the other Hellenic household Gods. The Noumenia was also the second day in a three-day household celebration held each lunar month; Hekate's Deipnon is on the last day before the first slice of visible moon and is the last day in a lunar month, then the Noumenia which marks the first day in a lunar month, followed by the Agathos Daimon (Good Spirits) on the second day of the Lunar month.

The 1st of the lunar month is celebrated as the Noumenia, the feast of the Visible New Moon. This is also sometimes called the Enikainea, the "Old and New." The 15th of the lunar month is celebrated as the Dikhomenia (from the ancestor of the modern word dikhiazo "I bisect, I divide"), which occurs on or very close to the full moon. This day is sacred to Selene, the goddess of the full moon.

Modern revivalists perform many of the same household religious practices and hold the Noumenia as important as their ancient counterparts. They make offerings such as incense or honey cakes to Selene, Apollon, Hestia, and their household Gods at their family altar. Other ways they mark the day include decorating their home or home altar with fresh flowers, eating a special family meal, making honey cakes, and replacing the ingredients in the kathiskos with fresh water, oil, and fruit, and bits of food. The Noumenia also considered an auspicious day to begin new projects.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Feast of Befana

Feast of Befana: Feast of Goddess Befana, the old woman who flies on a broom, bringing gifts to all good children.

In popular folklore Befana visits all the children of Italy on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany to fill their socks with candy and presents if they are good, or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad. The celebration starts the Eve of Epiphany, January 5th. Before St. Nick or Santa there was Befana.

A popular belief is that her name derives from the Feast of Epiphany (ItalianFesta dell'EpifaniaEpifania is a Latin word with Greek origins meaning "manifestation (of the divinity)." Some suggest that Befana is descended from the Sabine/Roman goddess named Strenia.

Befana is invoked in spells, mostly for good fortune.
  1. Write her a note that speaks to your desires.
  2. Place the note beneath a red witch-shaped candle and burn.
  3. Accompany with offerings of bread soaked in wine or milk.

New Trailer Released For Netflix Series 'Kingdom'

A new trailer has surfaced for Netflix original series 'Kingdom'. The series will premiere on the streaming service January 25th. Check it out below.

In a kingdom defeated by corruption and famine, a mysterious plague spreads to turn the infected into monsters. The crown prince, framed for treason and desperate to save his people, sets out on a journey to unveil what evil lurks in the dark.

New Trailer Released For "The Prodigy"

A new trailer has been released for upcoming horror "The Prodigy". The film is directed by Nicholas McCarthy and stars Taylor Schilling, Jackson Robert Scott, Peter Mooney, and Colm Feore. It hits theatres February 8th.

In her much-anticipated foray into the horror-thriller genre, Taylor Schilling stars in THE PRODIGY as Sarah, a mother whose young son Miles' disturbing behavior signals that an evil, possibly supernatural force has overtaken him. Fearing for her family's safety, Sarah must grapple with her maternal instinct to love and protect Miles in favor of investigating what - or who - is causing his dark turn. She is forced to look for answers in the past, taking the audience on a wild ride; one where the line between perception and reality remains blurry.

New Image Released Of Ghidorah From "Godzilla: King Of The Monsters"

 A new image has been released for "Godzilla: King Of The Monsters" of Ghidorah". Michael Dougherty revealed the image on Twitter with the caption, "And upon his heads the name of blasphemy..." 

"Godzilla: King of the Monsters" stars Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds and Zhang Ziyi. From Legendary Pictures, the film will be released to theaters on May 31st.

The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

Teaser Released For "Lords Of Chaos"

Check out the teaser trailer for "Lords Of Chaos". The film is based on the biography of the same name by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind. and stars Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, Jack Kilmer and Sky Ferreira, alongside Valter Skarsgård and Jon Øigarden. It is directed by Jonas Åkerlund. 

Gunpowder & Sky will release Lords of Chaos in theaters on February 8th and On Demand beginning February 22nd.

"A teenager's quest to launch Norwegian Black Metal in Oslo in the 1980s results in a very violent outcome. Lords of Chaos tells the true story of True Norwegian Black Metal and its most notorious practitioners - a group of young men with a flair for publicity, church-burning and murder: MAYHEM."

"Cherokee Creek" Banned By Amazon Now On VOD

The indie horror phenomenon Cherokee Creek  from Movie Mafia Productions has had some wild sold out screenings over the past few months and will finally be available on multiple VOD streaming formats. iTunes has the first exclusive deal for a limited time only for $9.99(pre-order available now) and then it will also be available on Google Play and VUDU on Christmas Day.

Cherokee Creek has been a labor of love for director Todd Jenkins and what he has brought to the screen is one of the best horror films of the last few years, not to mention it is one of the best entries in the Bigfoot horror sub-genre.

Producer and co-star of the film Billy Blair has been in several films, most notably, Machete, Machete Kills, Jonah Hex, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and the upcoming Rob Zombie film 3 From Hell, turns in an amazing performance as the actor friend in the group Vinny Blades.

Director/Co-star/co-writer Todd Jenkins who also has an extensive acting resume, most notably, MacGyver TV series, Knucklebones and Bigfoot Wars, gives a star-turning performance as Jinx the mastermind behind the ultimate bachelor party. Jenkins’ experience with Bigfoot Wars (a notoriously bad Bigfoot movie) compelled him to write and direct a really good Bigfoot movie of his own and with Cherokee Creek, he has succeeded greatly.

The films genius composer Jon Massari who has 102 television and film music composer credits on his resume, most notably for horror fans though is his memorable work on the cult classic Killer Klowns from Outer Space, creates a creepy and tense atmosphere with his music in this film that lends an air of seriousness in a film that is decidedly horror/comedy. His music specifically reminded me of Alan Silvestri's amazing score in the original Predator film.

January Release Date Announced For Scifi "Crossbreed"

Written/Directed by: Brandon Slagle
Starring:  Vivica A.Fox, Daniel Baldwin, Stink Fisher, Devanny Pinn, Vernon Wells

Screen superstar Vivica A.Fox (Independence Day, Kill Bill) stars in the sci-fi thriller Crossbreed, invading VOD this February Uncork’d Entertainment.
Marine takes on monster in an action-packed throwback in the tradition of Aliens and Escape from New York.
In the near future, the President of the United States of America hires a team of military veterans to retrieve an alien bio-weapon from a top-secret research facility orbiting the Earth. These highly trained mercenaries must infiltrate the space station and recover the deadly experimental alien cargo located onboard. All is going according to the plan until the cargo escapes.
Daniel Baldwin (John Carpenter’s Vampires), Stink Fisher (“Gotham”), Devanny Pinn (Party Bus to Hell), and Vernon Wells (Commando) star in a Brandon Slagle film, Crossbreed premiering February 5, 2019 on VOD from Uncork’d Entertainment.

Pre-order CROSSBREED here!

Crossbreed arrives On Demand and Digital HD Feb 5, 2019

Horror Thriller "Dry Blood" Will Lure You In And Spit You Out!

Epic Pictures and Dread Central Presents are dripping with excitement over the upcoming release of the horror-thriller, DRY BLOOD. Are you ready to review the film that will keep you up way past your bedtime?

In a rural mountain town, an unstable drug addict must unravel a surreal murder mystery as he’s terrorized by malevolent ghosts, a deranged sheriff, and the frightening hallucinations from his withdrawal.

DRY BLOOD is directed by Kelton Jones, written by Clint Carney and starring Clint Carney, Jaymie Valentine, Kelton Jones, Robert V. Galluzzo, Graham Sheldon, Rin Ehlers, and Macy Johnson.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Clip Released For Occult Horror "Blood Bound"

Check out the clip released for occult horror "Blood Bound". The film is directed by Richard LeMay and stars Joseph Melendez, Eden Brolin, Rosa Arredondo, Gerald McCullouch, and Vanessa Rubio. Clay Epstein’s Film Mode Entertainment will be releasing the film on VOD January 15th.

Every 25 years, it begins. Bound to an ancient pact, a family of unlimited power descends upon a small rural town to sacrifice four human lives, one being a member of their own family. This Rosemary’s Baby meets Drag Me to Hell thriller takes a dark look into how far the human spirit can take one soul in its most desperate hour.

Trailer No. 2 Released For "The Quantum Terror"

The second trailer has been released for metaphysical horror "The Quantum Terror". The film is heavy on Lovecraft and written and directed by Christopher Cooksey. It stars Kristin Cochell, Paula Marcenaro Solinger, and Matt Blackwell.

After learning that her twin sister Sylvia is missing, Samantha makes her way to the small college town where she was last seen. Once there, she meets up with a sociopathic grad student named Jacob, who claims he knows how to find her. According to him, the two of them were working together on a thesis based on old occult texts that seem to break down the boundaries between quantum physics and magic. However, the knowledge drove her sister to madness and caused her to go into hiding within nearby underground wash tunnels, a place she claimed to be the home to creatures from another dimension. Now, accompanied by Jacob, her ex-lover Lucy, and a young man named Noah, Sam will journey down into a subterranean realm of monsters and insanity.

Inspired by the works of Lewis Carroll, H.P. Lovecraft, and David Lynch, in conjunction with a love of horror movies like AlienThe Thing, and Into The Mouth Of Madness, director Christopher Cooksey shot The Quantum Terror in Austin, TX for a mere $15,000 and is now wrapping up production after almost four years. Funded through Indiegogo, a private investor, and selling his car, the entire movie was filmed in and around his home. A small skeleton crew of artists, such as Heather Lowe and FaceOff‘s Jenna Green, created faux sets, miniatures, and creatures all built from mostly household materials and methods learned from friends in the industry like the folks at studioADI and The Stan Winston School of Character Arts. The production was also lucky enough to have additional practical tentacle effects provided by the Oscar-winning FX company Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. (TremorsAlien3Starship Troopers) and visual effects help from Make-Up Effects Group (The MatrixChildhood’s EndThe Wolverine).

First Images Released For "Tales Of The Creeping Death"

The first images have been released for scifi horror "Tales Of The Creeping Death". The film is directed by John Williams and will feature for stories with a wraparound. The micrbudget anthology looks to be completed mid year.

The film will combine dark horror, Scifi, dark humour and grand set pieces, all done on a micro budget.

Concept Media Expanding It's House Of Horror

Concept Media Films is EXPANDING!!! Founded by filmmakers Shawn Burkett and Ryan Stacy, Concept Media Films has brought you such indie horror and thriller films such as Don’t F*ck in the WoodsFailing Grace, Betsy, She Burns in Hell, and many more! And now the company is expanding and adding several amazing and talented individuals to the fold!
Brittany Blanton – Actress/Producer of Don’t F*ck in the Woods 1 and 2, and writer/director of Breaking Vera.
Rob Collins – Writer/Director of Mr. Buzzkill and fx artist for Taintbad Productions (Don’t F*ck in the Woods 2, Cinematic Reality, She Burns in Hell.
Chris Gierowski – Producer of HEAD, Don’t F*ck in the Woods 1 and 2, Betsy.
Cheyenne Gordon – Co-writer of The Wicked One and Don’t F*ck in the Woods 2. Writer/Director of Scream for Summer.
Andrew Moore – Digital Effects Artist: She Burns in Hell. Audio Tech: Don’t F*ck in the Woods 2 and co-creator/producer of Heckles & Horror.
Travis Wilson – Director of Photography: Cinematic Reality, Scream for Summer. Producer and Camera Operator: Don’t F*ck in the Woods 2 and co-creator/Host of Heckles & Horror.
“Each member of this immensely talented group has been a major player in the awesome things Concept Media has been accomplishing as of late. I am incredibly proud to welcome this lot with Shawn, working in tandem as filmmakers & artists. CM means so much to us & we see what it means to The New Class. Glad we got a bigger boat for 2019.” – Ryan Stacy
“The drive, determination, positivity, and laughter that these people bring to Concept Media is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I’m thankful as hell that we are all jumping into 2019 together!” – Shawn Burkett

Indie Studio News From Studio 605

From News Release:
As 2018 comes to a full swing here at Studio 605, we have some exciting and monumental news. We took the time to look back and reflect on what we accomplished and what we will set our compasses to. We filmed our best feature film (Cinematic Reality) to date (release date TBD) with one of the best cast and crews we’ve ever worked with. We made new relationships that will forge greatness in 2019, and we found out just how much we love this business, and how much it fuels us! It is with ambivalence that we announce Brandon Prewitt and Travis Wilson of Studio 605 with be pressing on down a different road to do this thing we call filmmaking. Roman Jossart will continue to be the sole owner and CEO of the company. We wish Brandon and Travis the best in their endeavors.

CEO Roman Jossart stated“Of course it sucks. When you build something with someone or someones over time (5 years), it becomes more than a business, it’s a family, and losing that hurts. Times heals, though, and life takes people down different paths sometimes. I will continue on with 605 and its future enterprises.”

Studio 605 is happy to announce that we are in pre-production on 3 different projects with a short set to release this March. Keep an eye out this summer and the “Plague” that follows! An added bonus, if you were a backer or supporter VIA Indiegogo for Cinematic Reality last year, those perks will start being fulfilled next month.

New Poster Released For "The Amityville Murders"

A new poster has been revealed for highly anticipated true-crime horror "The Amityville Murders". Based on a true events, the film relays the nightmarish story that preceded the one detailed in the original 1979 classic film. It is directed by Daniel Farrands and will be released, courtesy of Skyline Entertainment February 8th.

On the night of November 13, 1974, Ronald DeFeo, Jr. took a high-powered rifle and murdered his entire family as they slept. At his trial, DeFeo claimed that “voices” in the house commanded him to kill. This is their story.

Trailer Released For Killer Tech Horror "The Drone"

Check out the trailer for upcoming killer tech horror "The Drone". The film comes from the team behind "Zombeavers". It is directed by Jordan Rubin and stars Alexandra Essoe and John Brotherton. "The Drone" has a world premiere set for January 28th at Slamdance.

A serial killer transfers his consciousness into a consumer drone right before he is killed, then flies off to terrorize newlyweds Rachel and Chris. The couple must fight to stop the device before it destroys them both.

New Chilling Poster Released For Horror Thriller "The Prodigy"

A new poster has been released for horror thriller "The Prodigy". The film features 'Orange Is The New Black' star Taylor Shilling in her feature acting debut. It is directed by Nicolas McCarthy and costars Jackson Robert Scott,  Peter Mooney and Colm Feore. 

"The Prodigy" hits theatres February 8th and follows Sarah, a mother whose young son Miles' disturbing behavior signals that an evil, possibly supernatural force has overtaken him. Fearing for her family's safety, Sarah must grapple with her maternal instinct to love and protect Miles in favor of investigating what - or who - is causing his dark turn. She is forced to look for answers in the past, taking the audience on a wild ride; one where the line between perception and reality remains blurry.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

UK Release Date Announced For "F.U.B.A.R"

The UK release date has been announced for horror-comedy "F.U.B.A.R." The film is directed by Ben Kent and stars Mark Heap, Sean Verey, Danny Kirrane and David Mumeni. It will be available on DVD, Digital May 2019.

The story involves a wedding Stag and an old nuclear bunker. When the group opens the door to the bunker, something is released and a strange situation develops.

F.U.B.A.R Trailer from Ben Kent on Vimeo.

Second Trailer Released For "Happy Death Day 2 U"

A second trailer has been released for horror sequel "Happy Death Day 2 U". The movie is due out Valentine's Day. Jason Blum once again produces and Christopher Landon returns to write and direct this next chapter, while Happy Death Day executive producers Angela Mancuso and John Baldecchi are newly joined by EP Samson Mucke (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse).

Jessica Rothe leads the returning cast of HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U, the follow-up to Blumhouse’s (Split, Get Out, The Purge series) surprise 2017 smash hit of riveting, repeating twists and comic turns. This time, our hero Tree Gelbman (Rothe) discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.

Clip Released For "The Lifechanger" On VOD Today

A new clip has been released for body horror "The Lifechanger", out on VOD Today. The film is directed by Justin McConnell and stars Lora Burke, Jack Foley, Elitsa Bako, Sam James White, Steve Kasan, Rachel Vanduzer, Peter Higginson, Adam Buller, Brian Quintero, Mark Rainmaker, Ry Barrett, Michelle D'Allesseandro Hatt, Uche Ama, Daniel Faraldo, and Francesco Filice, Read my review of "Lifechanger" here:

Drew has an identity problem. Every few days he has to shape-shift or face a painful death. He has to find someone and make a copy. He takes everything: their looks, memories, hopes, and dreams. Their entire life. He becomes them, and they die horribly. Enter Julia, the object of Drew’s affection. How can he make things right when he’s never the same person for very long? How do you gain back trust when who you keep changing? 

New Poster And Teaser For 'Stranger Things' Season 3

A new poster and teaser trailer has been released for season 3 of 'Stranger Things', hitting Netflix this summer.

The third season premieres on July 4th.Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Noah Schnapp, and Sadie Sink star. 

Monday, December 31, 2018

My Review Of "Christmas Blood"

A demented Kris Kringle dispenses bloody ax blows regardless of whether you’ve been bad or good. As the holiday approaches on one snow-covered town filled with revelers, a pair of detectives work against time to find and arrest this bearded serial killer. Will they manage to stop this demented St. Nick before he kills again? 

Director Reinert Kiil delivers a dark, disturbing and bloody holiday thriller. "Christmas Blood" stars Stig Henrik Hoff and Jørgen Langhelle, as well as Sondre Krogtoft Larsen, Truls Svendsen, Marte Sæteren, Julia Schacht, Frank Kjosås, Thomas Felberg, Sigmund Sæverud, Haddy Jallow and Karoline Stemre.

I found "Christmas Blood" to be both entertaining and a bit frustrating. The intro into this holiday nightmare was exciting and almost set a cool tone. Kiil definitely loves the horror subgenre. There are elements of Miller's "Silent Night" and the original "Black Christmas". Unfortunately there was a choice made to layer the story with subplots that just weigh the film down. 

The characters were typical horror tropes. Sometimes entertaining on screen,  at other times their presence felt clumsy. With two story lines  happening I didn't feel the characters,  on whole, had enough time to fully develop. I did get into them enough to be excited for what their fate would be. Fleshy blood bags.

The cinematography and atmosphere was nice. "Christmas Blood" visually played out like a series of motion horror postcards and 80's fab slasher fodder. That I liked. As I said earlier there are ememnts of Steven C. Miller,  and thanks to the location I got a chilly vibe akin to "30 Days Of Night". Overall this one will disappoint some horror fans. The big thrill is in the kills which are gory and great. The music score fits nicely and, despite the harsh convergence of the two plot story, Kiil stayed true to the Christmas slasher subgenre. (3/5)

My Review Of "The Harrowing"

Haunted by the  ritualistic  killing  of  his  best  friend,  a  vice  detective (Matthew Tompkins, Sicario)  determined  to discover  the  truth  goes  undercover  into  a  forensic  hospital  and  is  plunged  into  his  own personal  hell  where  demons  might  be  real.  

"The Harrowing" is directed by John Keeyes, who also wrote the screenplay. It stars legendary film icon Michael Ironside as well as Arnold Vosloo, Matthew Tompkins, Hayden Tweedie, and Arianne Martin. It is anot elevated, highly conceptualized horror art film.

Keeyes story blends fantasy horror with seedy  crime syndicate concepts that are poignant to real world issues. It is quite a heady storyline with a deeper meaning snaked through the film, revealing a larger story at play. It isnt a new idea to use a plotline as a metaphor of sorts to tell a bigger story , but Keeyes gets gritty and almost masterful in his attempt in a most creative way.

The characters are fully realized. Easily recognizable,  even as unsavory as most are, and you can connect with their plight. "The Harrowing" is a transitional nightmare that plays with perceptions. Although at times the film hits lags with wordy cliché dialog, there is not a moment you forget what you are watching. Mostly because the horror of the previous scenes or the understanding that things are going to get even more horrible afterwards. 

There are a few moments that hurt "The Harrowing". During the midway point as things get clearer,  during the story transition, the story gets a bit muddled in the beginning. Luckily just as it feels Keeves could be heading off the rails , the muddle fades and the story rebounds and kicks in to high gear. You still are made to watch the story unfold with a big question mark overhead,  but that is intentioal.

Overall "The Harrowing" is a killer movie. The special effects are stellar, both CGI and practical. I felt like I was watching a true modern giallo, with all the blood and gore a horror fan could want for. The creature design,  what time it is on screen is awesome, I wanted more of it. Definitely check this one out. (4/5)

First Look At Haunting Setting Of "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark"

The above image was released from the set of "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark" along with the caption "Digging the atmosphere in this photo from @Fandango from the set of SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK!"

The film stars Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Gabriel Rush, Austin Abrams, Dean Norris, Gil Bellows, Lorraine Toussaint, Austin Zajur, and Natalie Ganzhorn. It is directed by André Øvredal and due out August 9th 2019.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

My Review Of "The Demonologist"

"The Demonologist" is a supernatural thriller directed by J.M Stelly and stars Brian Krause, Lara Grice and Thomas Francis Murphy. The film is an amalgamation of several genres with classic crime thriller mixing it with a demonic agenda. Much like the 'Exorcist' series revealed in its short-lived run. 

A detective is haunted by nightmares of his past and visions he cannot understand. When he investigates a string of brutal murders, he discovers a Cult that worships the four King Demons of Hell, who plan on bringing them forth to destroy the Earth. He must stop the Cult from starting the Apocalypse and finally come to grips with his birthright and destiny as The Demonologist.

Stelly's story is a well crafted "fate of the world" concept, rich with nior overtures and supernatural whimsy. Part cop drama, part graphic novel, all framed in an antihero origin story. It isn't a bad movie, the movie buildstarts up a nice story arch. The problem I had with the film is the lack of substance and depth. Scenes were chewed apart with pointless, predictable banter instead of material that would fully realize the charactet's situations.

The acting was mixed, some scenes were on point, even though the characters felt more two-dimensional. At times dialog was delivered over-the-top, or came off cheesy. The consistency was slightly off. I did like the overall concept that Stelly was shooting for with "The Demonologist" , I just think it would have came out stronger as an 8 to 10 short episode webseries.

The special effects are the typical supernatural CGI stuff. The practical work was real nice. Overall it reminded me of some of the stuff they did on 'Charmed' and 'The Librarians'. This isn't going to be a movie that most demon cult, supernatural horror fans are gonna get into, but it has its audience. Check it out but go in lightly and have fun. (2.5/5)

My Review Of "Shellmont County Massacre"

Gus Trapani's slasher thriller "Shellmont County Massacre" is a modern indie splatter infused treat. The film stars Roderick Klimek, Matthew Lafferty, Jerred Hickey, Rick Rodgers, Chris Kyleen, Roger Kennedy, and Victoria Zito. It low budget horror done right.

After a masked maniac starts taking life, a small town sheriff struggles to keep is sanity while hunting down the animal that is killing off the people he loves.

I didn't know what I was going to see when I sat down to watch "Shellmont County Massacre". Man, I am glad for that because from the first blood stain in the park shot right up to the end I was sold. Gus Trapani obviously lives and breathes grindhouse and cult horror.

The story isn't anything we haven't seen in horror before, and the characters are pushing toward country cliché, but there is a confidence and smoothness to what Trapani shows which feels authentic. It is clear that there wasn't a major budget but based on the cast and crew of this movie, no one mentioned to them that was gonna be a problem. 

The acting was on point, and it was clear that the actors understood what was being asked of them.  The cohesion and chemistry was above low budget affair. "Shellmont County Massacre" isn't a "ticket on the big horror thrillride", there is a casualness to the pace of the movie as it unfolds that just is. It gives an indie cult ambience that is reminiscent of 70's spaghetti thrillers and early giallo. 

The special effects, both practical and CGI are killer. Honestly I couldn't be 100% if CGI was even used or the FX artist was just that good. The horror elements are visceral slices of gory, brutal awesomeness. The killer is memorable, terrifying and uncompromising. Overall I have to say that this is a definite one to check out, and a must for indie horror fans. (4/5)

My Review Of "Red Venom Kills"

A slinky young hooker finds her true destiny by discovering an old crate of magic venom, which leads to her revenge against her biggest nemesis who took the life of her most beloved.

Directed by Britton Stebbins, "Red Venom Kills" is a love letter to 70's cult film grindhouse era of indie filmmaking. It stars  Alexa Rae, Deana Hernandez, Britton Stebbins, David Bonandrin, Brian Kasgorgis, Melissa O'Brien, and Niki Haze.

The story is a simple retribution, payback thriller like "Angel" and "Hobo With A Shotgun", but with a comic book edge. More antihero than superhero, the heroine is as hard to swallow as the bad guys she puts down. And the big bad bitty she goes head to head with is more "mirror mirror" than polar opposite. So there is an overall lack of character development that exists.

Now for the good ole fun stuff. Told throw the the nostalgia of 70's poor quality filmography with scratchy frame , crackling sounds and color bleeds, Stebbins checks off all the boxes for retro-effects. It does seem a bit overkill but entertaining none the less. Had the story had more substance, or the characters more death, "Red Venom Kill" would have killed it! 

There are very few horror or violent effects on screen, most happen as the frames step away. Still most are effective in kicking in the imagination. I do wish Stebbins would have gotten a bit darker or grittier at times just to shake up the subject matter and squeeze out more emotional depth from the viewer. Still this film will definitely appeal to a big indie grindhouse audience, so check it out. (2.5/5)


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