Thursday, October 31, 2019

My Review Of Blood Myth"

Folk horror "Blood Myth" is a British horror built on a urban myth called the "Thirty". It is directed by Sean Brown and Luke Gosling and stars Jonathan McClean, Anna Dawson, and Hannah Chalmers. Part occult, part mystery thriller "Blood Myth" is a slow, suspenseful story filled with atmosphere. 

journalist desperately tries to find his missing fiancee and finally uncover the truth behind a sinister folklore, leading him down a dangerous road of discovery.

The story has a creepy cool set-up. A rural folklore with hints of occult practices. I only hope that there is a legitimate legend it is based on. Then, maybe something of substance is available to prop this film up. It has a great concept, it just needed to be fleshed out more and amped up a little. It moves a bit too slow and the thrills are non-existent. 

The acting is superb. The characters have depth, they feel real and relatable. They just play out with an air of melancholy. The beginning starts off interesting, it sets up a cool premise that is intriguing. Unfortunately once the story gets going it looses energy and gets a bit boring. The last 35 minutes pick up and acting gets dark and chilling, but by then it all seems a bit "too little too late". 

"Blood Myth" has some cool atmosphere that permeates the whole movie. What little horror is present is done well. The music score and lighting is proper. The only downside is the lack of energy or build up to more thrilling events. Plus there is a brilliant, witchy component that seems to brushed over. A real missed opportunity. And I am not a hundred percent sure if I really understood the ending.

Overall "Blood Myth" will have some fans. British folk horror inherently  feels elevated and this film has some of that going for it. Still it does quite reach intended expectations. There is big chunk of movie that seems to be aimless and just eats up time and very little actual horror. Still, given the subject matter and quality of the acting, check it out. (3.5/)

My Review Of "One Night In October"

Indie horror "One Night In October" is directed by Christopher M. Carter. The film stars Jessica Morgan, Casey Norman, Rachel Netherton, and Kaitlan Renee. It is a clever anthology-esque story reminiscent of iconic rom-com films "Valentine's Day", "New Year's", and "21 Cigarettes", only in this case the lives intersect with horror. 

Strange things are happening to the residents of a suburban town, who are tormented by a series of murderous characters both real and supernatural. As their tales intertwine, they weave together a haunting, inescapable night of terror.

"One Night In October" may forego the traditional anthology format, instead choosing to expose different people's lives as they deal with specific horrors on a single night. The concept may not be original but it is clever in that I can't recall too many films in the horror genre that have done this. Usually this is a style utilized in pulp film and rom-coms. And even with a low budget and basic storytelling, Carter is able to capture the feeling that this all connected to this single night. 

The acting isn't great, it is obvious this is a new experience for a lot of the cast. At times the lines are more recited than delivered, and many characters feel "acted out" in more of a workshop manner. Still enough is present to create entertaining characters and bring some life to the story. I have seen these tropes many times but I still enjoyed seeing them again. Plus I liked the turn each took towards the end.

The horror elements are on the cheaper end, which is expected given the limited budget. Still I always applaud practical effects used proficiently. There is death, blood splatter. A definite body count. For the most part it all works well enough to create a horror celebration. The sound effects and music score is iffy but the cinematography is done good enough to give the film decent atmosphere.

Overall "One Night In October" will appeal to a select indie fan base that enjoys the low budget, homemade subgenre. It could have been tweeked a bit but I still found it entertaining. There is a Samhain slasher ritual that reminded me of "Rites Of Spring", a home invasion where the tables are turned and a demoness (succubus I think) with man troubles all on Halloween. (3/5)

My Review Of "Devil's Junction: Handy Dandy's Revenge"

Indie puppet horror "Devil's Junction: Handy Dandy's Revenge" is directed by Jeff Broadstreet. The film stars Bill Moseley (Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, 3 From Hell) and Bill Oberst, Jr. (3 From Hell, Death House) alongside Jake Red, Cody Cameron, Arthur Marroquin, Danni Spring, Kyle Anderson and Katelynn Newberry.  

Returning to the abandoned Detroit television station where they once delighted a generation of children viewers, master puppeteer Mister Jolly re-incarnates his minion puppets for a final performance to settle an old score with Richard. The rare blood moon casts an ominous glow as Mr Jolly unleashes his puppets, lead by the infamous Handy Dandy to seek his revenge. Further complicating Richard’s dilemma is the unexpected arrival to the Studio of his son Steffen and his friends. The group become entangled in the thrilling pursuit by Mr Jolly and Handy Dandy through the annuls of the old studio building. They soon realize that they are in a new version of “Mister Jolly and the Handy Dandy Show” -where pain is the game!

Based on the synopsis, "Handy Dandy's Revenge" sounds like a fun, inventive splatter film. Individually each of the horror tropes actually explored in the film would, and should work fine. Unfortunately having killer puppet horror, supernatural occult mayhem and the added slasher elements combined does more damage than good. What we get is a jumbled mess of concepts with no logic or reason written into the story.

There really should have been someone on staff to maybe reign in Broadstreet's ideas. And of course do some background research and soundboarding of choices to see what works and what doesn't. A lot of what we see on screen doesn't work and nothing spoken by the characters justifies it. I didn't buy it anyway.

The acting is mediocre at best. Most of which comes down to underdeveloped dialog and exposition. Not even two iconic cast members are given enough to really elevate the viewing experience. I really don't think much about "Devil's Junction: Handy Dandy's Revenge" is understood by anyone attached to the project. And it shows with the quality of the movie we are presented with, I just didn't find it convincible. 

Puppets, sinister Masonic motives and a large metal-headed killer in the tunnels could have been fun, gruesome entertainment. There just isn't cohesion or reasonable writing to explain why all of this exists in what should have been a low-budget horror about killer dummies and their evil master. Overall I was disappointed with "Devil's Junction: Handy Dandy's Revenge". (2/5)

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Samhain

Samhain is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. In modern times, Samhain (a Gaelic word pronounced “sow-win”) is usually celebrated from October 31 to November 1 to welcome in the harvest and usher in “the dark half of the year.”.

Rituals surrounding Samhain include bonfires, dancing, feasting and building altars to honor deceased ancestors. Some pagans bake special loaves of Samhain bread and leave offerings to the spirits outside their homes.

 They base their celebrations and rituals on traditional lore as well as research into the beliefs of the polytheistic Celts. Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans (or CRs) often celebrate Samhain on the date of first frost, or when the last of the harvest is in and the ground is dry enough to have a bonfire.

The Apple is a symbol of life and immortality. In Celtic tradition, apples were buried at Samhain as food for those souls who are waiting to be reborn. The Apple, cut crosswise, reveals the five pointed star, or pentacle at its core, a symbol of the Goddess.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Trailer Released For BBC's 'Dracula' Series

BBC has revealed the trailer for upcoming series 'Dracula'. Mark Gattis and Steven Moffat, from Sherlock and Doctor Who fame come together for a retelling of
the classic Bram Stoker tale. Claes Bang stars as the dark prince. 

New Clips Released For Upcoming Thriller "Girl On The Third Floor"

Four new clips have been released for upcoming horror thriller "Girl On The Third Floor". The Dark Sky Films feature was released on Digital and theatrically October 25th. It is directed by Travis Stevens that stars WWE legend Phil “C.M. Punk” Brooks and Trieste Kelly Dunn.

Bursting pipes, rotting walls, and unidentifiable slime were not what Don Koch (WWE legend Phil “CM Punk” Brooks) expected when he convinced his wife, Liz (Trieste Kelly Dunn), that he could rehab their new Victorian home himself. In over his head, under duress, and tempted by his old weaknesses, Don soon discovers that the house has its own dark, sordid history and won’t be so easy to renovate after all….

Thirteen Tales Haunt TERROR FILMS’ Upcoming 2020 Release Slate

Genre distributor TERROR FILMS is getting a jump on their 2020 release slate with a wide variety of films that will surely delight the appetite of horror fans! The films tackle topics from: possession, back-stabbing friends, agoraphobia, selling your soul for fame, vampires who sell an immortal narcotic, crazy intruders, killer animals, an anthology and much more. 
The slate will also include the release of Hell House LLC III: Lake of Fire, from the popular Hell House LLC franchise. The film, which is currently only available to stream on Shudder will hit digital platforms on January 3rd, 2020.
Here is a glance of the indie genre distributor’s slate in no particular order:
RED LETTERS – Making its World premiere at FEARnyc this past October 27, the film follows two private investigators as they embark on an assignment leading them into the hands of darkness. And, neither investigator is prepared for what lays in wait. 

ALL THE WRONG FRIENDS  - A group of high school friends reunite for a vacation a year after graduating. After one of them turns up dead, suspicions and accusations begin to fly - in this twist filled thriller.
SERENA WAITS - An alcohol fueled hookup takes a violent and horrifying turn as three college athletes find themselves haunted by the very girl they left for dead.
THE TORMENT OF LAURIE ANN CULLOM - A woman, who suffers from agoraphobia, soon realizes her fear of the outside world is nothing compared to what she finds in her own home.
DARK ROADS 79 - When a southern rock band's time in the spotlight has come to an abrupt end, they decide to head off and experiment musically at a secluded cabin. But, what they discover is that the front man for their band sold his soul for their fame and fortune and the time has come to collect.
TROPICAL VAMPIRES - There is a dark side to Rio de Janeiro. Here, vampires deal Vampire Powder - providing its users with a small taste of immortality.

THE EVIL RISES - A group of young friends discover an ancient statue that unleashes an evil spirit. This spirit enslaves them to collect human blood. 
A KNIGHT’S TOUR - In a post-apocalyptic world, a young man and a detached hermit attempt to form a friendship, in the midst of swirling suspicions and the threat of unseen invaders from the outside world.
DERELICTS - A strained suburban family's Thanksgiving is disrupted by a gang of vicious vagrants.
10/31 - A Halloween treat bag full of all the things that go bump in the night! Five spooky tales featuring villains spanning masked killers to tricksters and scarecrows and even to witches!
STILL LIFE - In a small town in Argentina, people linked to the cattle industry start to disappear. As a journalist start to research, she finds a dark secret.
Current Trailer:

THE BONE BOX - A grave robber comes to believe he's being haunted by those he stole from.
IRRATIONAL FEAR - Six therapy patients are brought together at a secluded cabin to confront their strangest fears. But, these fears won't just hurt them...they may very well kill them!

My Review Of "Echoes Of Fear"

Paranormal Horror "Echoes Of Fear" is directed by Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley. It stars Trista Robinson, Hannah Race, Paul Chirico and Marshal Hilton. The film is straight forward haunting material but with a very prominent mystery thriller edge. 

Alysa inherits her grandfather’s house following his sudden death from an apparent heart attack. She cannot keep the house so travels there to prepare it for sale. While she is packing away her grandfather’s belongings some strange and unexplained events inside the house start to spook her and she soon comes to the conclusion that she is not alone there. Even her pet mouse senses a presence. Something supernatural lurks in the house and she begins to believe that her grandfather was trying to find something before he died. When her friend Steph arrives they attempt to solve the mystery and what they uncover together forces them to confront the diabolical truth and the evil that hides inside.

The story, at its core is a great- conceptually. It takes the basics of a creepy, haunted house tale and layers in a couple of complexities that heightens the interest level. . For most of what "Echoes Of Fear" is, it is really chilling, dark and well directed. There is some moments when expositional stuff feels forced. At times line delivery weakens story momentum. 

The inconsistency is only barely noticeable, and for the most part the film is strong. The acting is good, at times great. The characters are developed and the cast never take them too far into 'theatrics'. It is obvious this is ultra indie work, still Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley create a cool, atmospheric thriller. 

The horror elements are a mix of traditional haunted house tropes, chilling visual scenes and very dark subject matter. Most of the gimmicks are practical effects with expected CGI work. It all is well controlled, purposeful and affective. The jump scares are genuine moments and just going along with the main character uncovering such a disturbing past is horror done right.

Overall "Echoes Of Fear" has more to like than I initially expected. It isn't sensationalized for the sake of sensationalism, but it keeps a chilling, "this house possessed" attitude from start to finish. The paranormal tricks used look good, the build up of suspense and tension is gripping. There are a couple of minor issues with some of the writing- the ones I mentioned earlier but definitely check this one out if paranormal horror is your thing. (3.5/5)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

"Ice Blue" Premieres This November On Demand

Survival thriller "Ice Blue" is set to be released On Demand this November. The film stars Michelle Morgan (“Diary of the Dead”, “Batwoman”), Sophia Lauchlin Hirt (“Bad Times at the El Royale”) and Billy MacLellan (“Star Trek: Discovery”) and is directed by Sandi Somers.

When home-schooled Arielle’s long-estranged mother mysteriously returns to their isolated family farm, it drives a wedge into her seemingly-perfect relationship with her father and reveals a chilling, dark past.

Official Trailer Released For Slovenian Horror " The Curse of Valburga"

 Check out the official trailer for Slovenian horror comedy "The Curse Of Valburga". The film is directed by Tomaz Gorkic and stars Jurij Drevensek, Marko Mandic, Tanja Ribic, Sasa Pavlin Stosic, Niklas Kvarforth and Luka Cimpric. No word on the release date yet.

Set in a local manor, several tourists are led into an attraction, that promises vampires and ancient history. But, the horror here is more real than fake. With French Goths, Swedish Satanist and German tourists , well...

Sci-fi Thriller "Code 8" Gets December Release

Sci-fi thriller "Code 8" is set to be released digitally December 13th. The film is directed by Jeff Chan and stars Stephen Amell, Laysla De Oliveira, Robbie Amell. Check out the trailer below.

The film focuses on a growing population with supernatural abilities. Forced to the fringes of society, these super-humans struggle to survive and are persecuted for their powers.

Watch original short film:

Trailer Released For Upcoming Horror "47 Hours"

Check out the trailer for upcoming horror "47 Hours". The film is directed by Patrick Johnson and stars Allie Marie Evans, Annie Hamilton, Luke Shelton, Alexandria DeBerry , Tom Proctor. Artist View Entertainment will show the film, through a wider release, later this year.

A strange online game is uploaded to two girls' phones. Once downloaded, the game forces the two girls to play a supernatural game.

World Premiere Of Supernatural Short Film “Black Moon” On Nov 2nd.

MORBIDO FILM FESTIVAL: World Premiere Of Supernatural Short Film “Black Moon” on Nov 2nd.

The Morbido Film Festival in Mexico will host the World Premiere of the much anticipated horror short Black Moon by director Ryan Graff. The dark and spine-chilling film tells the story of rare occasions when there are two new moons in the same month; the second is known as a black moon. 
Saturday, November 2nd @ 6PM
Centro de Cultura Digital CCD
Mexico City, Mexico
In the presence of director-writer Ryan Graff (director)
and Julian Malagon (producer).

Black Moon is an experiential and intimate film following the terrifying misfortune of one woman on the night of a black moon: Fabienne Tournet (woman), Jamie M Timmons (lost girl), Brett DelBuono (man).

Directed by Ryan Graff. Story by Ryan Graff. Screenplay by Daniel Shafer. Produced by Julian Malagon & Daniel Shafer. Cinematography by Tim McCombe. Sound Design by Nathan Ruyle. Music Composed by Adam Hill. Editing by Michael Shaw.

Irregular events cause supernatural occurrences that are hidden in plain sight. In this case, a pedestrian tunnel lures a young mother inside with the whimpering of a young girl. Once inside, she is unable to leave again, and to make matters worse, there is something else in the tunnel with her.

Release Details Announced For Horror Throwback "Animal Among Us"

In November, Uncork'd Entertainment release ANIMAL AMONG US on digital and on disc. A frightening '80s throwback from director John Woodruff. The film stars Christian Oliver, Larisa Oleynik and Erin Daniels. It will be released on Digital/DVD November 19th.

Fifteen years ago, two teenage girls were murdered at Merrymaker Campgrounds. The case was filed as an animal attack, the camp was condemned, and the killer never found. But something horrific still waits in those woods, ready to kill again.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Blu-ray Release For "The Gallows: Act II" Set For December

"The Gallows: Act II" Blu-ray/DVD release date has been set for December 24th. Written and directed by Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff. The Gallows Act II Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD include an audio commentary with the filmmakers, a never-before-seen making-of featurette, and deleted scenes. The film opened in select theatres October 25th.

When teenage vlogger and aspiring actress Auna Rue logs onto a sinister website, she’s trapped in the malevolent world of a cursed stage play, The Gallows. After performing a passage from the play for her tiny online fan base, Auna instantly achieves the stardom she seeks — as well as a twisted challenge from a deadly spirit (The Hangman) in this nightmarish supernatural thriller.

Trailer Released For Upcoming Thriller "The Jonestown Haunting"

Check out the trailer for upcoming horror thriller "The Jonestown Haunting". The film is directed by Andrew Jones and stars Derek Nelson, Tiffany Ceri and Andromeda Godfrey. The High Octane Pictures release is due out sometime 2020.

In 1978 a remote settlement occupied by The People's Temple, an infamous cult led by Reverend Jim Jones, became the site of several murders and one of the biggest mass suicides in history. All members of the cult were supposed to die that day, but one survived. Ten years later, Sarah Logan is still plagued by terrifying nightmares. She decides to return to the abandoned settlement hoping to finally put the ghosts of the past to rest.

Trailer And Release Details Announced For "Crypsis"

The trailer and release details have been released for upcoming horror "Crypsis". The film is directed by and also stars Paul Anthony Rogers (making his feature debut), the movie also stars Michael Armata, Anthony Hoang, Jordan Mitchell-Love and Eddie Nason. It will be released on VOD by Uncork’d Entertainment on October 31st.

A group of friends make a bet to survive on an island. Unbeknownst to them, a mysterious old creature begins hunting them throughout the night. What began as an innocent bet quickly turns into a fight for survival. As night falls, this becomes a fight to the death that no one had anticipated…

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Kali Puja

Hindu festival honoring Great Goddess Maha Devi as Kali - decay, death, and transformation. Hindus believe all Gods and Goddesses are aspects of the limitless, attributeless, immanent, and transcendent Brahman-Ishvara-Maya.

It coincides with the Lakshmi Puja day of Diwali. While the Bengalis, Chittagonians, SylhetisRangpurisOdiasAssamese and Maithils worship the goddess Kali on this day, the rest of India worships goddess Lakshmi on Diwali.

Kali Puja (like Durga Puja) worshippers honour the goddess Kali in their homes in the form of clay sculptures and in pandals (temporary shrines or open pavilions). She is worshipped at night. She is prescribed offerings of red hibiscus flowers, sweets, rice and lentils, fish and meat. It is prescribed that a worshipper should meditate throughout the night until dawn

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Isia Festival

October 28-November 3

OldRomano-Egyptian festival recalling Set (God of Destruction) killing God Osiris; Goddess Isis mourning Him, resurrecting Him, and conceiving God Horus with Him; and Osiris becoming Lord of Amenta, realm of the dead. He weighs souls against the Feather of Truth on Goddess Maat's Scale of Justice, but defers to Isis for those who fail the test.

In the Egyptian month of Khoiak, the ancients held a festival for Osiris that remembered His conflict with His brother Set, His death, and His resurrection through the holy magic of Isis. In ancient Rome the festival is only mentioned minutely, making it known simply that the festival existed. 

The Egyptians moulded images of Osiris from the Nile mud, special spices, talismanic stones, and seeds. The images were watered so that the grain sprouted, a fitting symbol of new life. (We should also know that this was about the time of year when the Nile flood was receding so that the fields could be planted with new crops.) The festival ended with the raising of the Djed pillar, symbol of the resurrection of the God Himself as Lord of the Otherworld.


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