Saturday, January 11, 2020

My Review Of "American Hunt"

Survival horror "American Hunt" is directed by Aaron Mirtes. The film stars Lacy Hartselle, Taylor Novak, and Allison Shrum. It is a low budget backwoods, psycho killers running wild story. 

group of friends is torn apart when they become part of two human hunter’s sick game. The men give them ten minutes to hide, and then the real hunt begins.

"American Hunt" is really low budget, which isn't a bad thing. What is bad is the total lack of substantive material available. The film kicks off with killers hunting people. There is no thrill to the moment, no atmosphere and little fanfare besides a stereotypical caricature psycho impression. It really let me know what to expect, and what not to expect.

There is a lot that is wrong with "American Hunt". Mostly the fact that the story is only developed in the most surface way. There is no depth or real character development. That being said, I was impressed by several of the cast's performances. The real problem was with the mediocre dialog and the fact that the scenes weren't given enough breadth to fully form. 

The horror could have saved it all in this film, and it almost did. Right up till the choices made to pull off the kill sequences. Poor CGI options, ridiculous interpretations of death moments, and an overall lack of restraint from a directorial position makes it impossible to enjoy the horror aspects in "American Hunt". 

Overall "American Hunt" is a disappointment. I almost liked it, at times even finding it entertaining. Unfortunately most scenes are hindered by bad editing, poor effects or just a lack of character building. And as I say all this, I have to admit that I found the ending, you know - that final girl moment, satisfying. Right until the silly tease that the story isn't over just yet. (2/5)

My Review Of "Blood Bags"

"Blood Bags" is a modern Italian horror directed by Emiliano Ranzani. The film stars Makenna Guyler, Emanuele Turetta, and Marta Tananyan. It is a great blend of classic giallo, urban legend and a touch of horror Americana, both entertaining and creepy.

A creature stalks the corridors of an abandoned mansion. Two friends break in and discover that all exits have been sealed off and the creature that hunts them is growing hungry for their blood; there is no escape.

"Blood Bags" had my attention from the title sequence with its solidifying moments of placing a light on real life medical macabre, Gunther's Disease. It is close to the chilling excitement I felt over the inbreeding images teased in the "Wrong Turn" and "Hills Have Eyes" franchises. Plus this film sets up a creepy cool urban legend of day trip urban adventurism gone wrong. It is a clever, well developed concept that hits all the horror tropes without being boring.

The acting is pretty good. A few of the scenes feel a bit over-rehearsed, but the majority of the film feels quality. The cast, though stereotypical, are interesting and fully developed. Plus they are easily relatable personas. I do wish that the "creature" and old man's story would have gone deeper into their history. I feel that desire is purely my own morbid fascination with these two characters. Still there is plenty here to invest in. 

The horror is what we come to expect and fully love in quality Italian horror. It feels contemporary and yet pays tribute to classic giallo and shock horror. For some of "Blood Bags" length I kept recalling the thrilling enjoyment I get watching "Cat O' Nine Tails". This film is entertaining, creepy and atmospheric without over exploitation of the gore aspect- which will make shock horror gorehounds happy. 

Overall "Blood Bags" is a fun, modern giallo that never rips off it's roots, nor does it become boring. The flaws are minimal and the story is chilling, straightforward horror. For me this film offers a great example of where Italian horror should thrive in modern horror. I think the weakest moment in the film may be at the end, it should have ended with a bit more "shock'n'awe". Still "Blood Bags" is worth checking out. Pay attention to the nice love letter to Argento toward the end of the film- classic. (4/5)

Friday, January 10, 2020

My Review Of "Red Handed"

"Red Handed" is a psychological thriller directed by Frank Peluso and stars Michael Biehn, Christian Madsen, Owen Burke, Ryan Carnes, Kenzie Dalton, Caroline Vreeland and Michael Madsen. It is described as a suspense ride with an electric cast. 

When their father is murdered, three brothers descend upon an Oregon mountain river to spread his ashes. After they arrive, one of their children goes missing. One of the brothers was himself abducted 30 years ago when they visited this same river, but he has blocked the incident out of his mind. Only by unlocking the mysteries inside his subconscious, will they be able find the child and return him to safety.

Not gonna lie, I found "Red Handed" curiously confusing. The film had my attention at first but it didn't take long for that momentum to wane, and soon turn to boredom. In principle the story reads as very interesting. However, the story's arc seems broken, and at times aimless. Not to mention that a lot of this film's plot trajectory is really predictable. 

The acting, despite the film's flaws, is pretty tight. The cast is an attractive, mature group (aside from the obvious kid involved). It all does move a little too slow at times. The overall effect feels more of a psychological drama with moments of suspense. A couple of the characters seem to be overstated, and the female characters seem cliche. 

The thrills and chills are really minimal. The suspense is mostly muted. "Red Handed" does have moments where the story starts to build up, but before some real adrenaline can kick in, the scene turns to more character based melodrama. Still there is a creepy atmosphere that hangs uneasily over the film.

Overall "Red Handed" offers a mild, mature psychological drama to movie fans. There is suspense, but it is weighed down by characters that feel ancillary, and exposition that seems to go on forever. Still, the film has an attractive cast that can act. Even with no real horror present some thriller fans may wanna check this one out. But horror fans will probably want to pass. (2/5)

My Review Of "Animal Among Us"

Horror thriller "Animal Among Us" is directed by John Woodruff. The film stars Don Frye, Christine Donlon, Jonathan Murphy, Erin Daniels, Heather Tom, Jasmine Dustin, and Whitney Davis. It is a bit of a psychological Russian nesting doll of a story that has it's moments.

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.

"Animal Among Us" starts out as a classic horror with decent characters, and interesting set-up points. There is a strong push to sell it as a creature feature. Which is done pretty well. Unfortunately, other than a few thrilling moments, the first hour drags, and the energy is almost non-existent. Which is disappointing considering it had an exciting start.

The acting is good. A couple of the characters seem to stall out somewhat, mostly the stereotyping does more to trip up an otherwise straightforward thriller, than they do to advance any story. It is clear these were put in as simple fodder for the killer. Still, there is some nice character interaction, quality acting, and good drama in a lot of the film. 

The horror was a bit of a disappointment. There was some good kills that happened in "Animal Among Us" but they happen so quickly that you never get to enjoy those moments. Other than that, the horror elements offer atmospheric scenes of traditional creature horror. Until you get to the last third of the film. A surprise reveal, a horror trope switch off , and then a few more twists just muddle the story. 

Overall "Animal Among Us" disappointed me a bit. It had a interesting start, great tease of some indie creature horror, and promise of some classic storytelling. Unfortunately the film isn't what I thought it was going to be, the pace was sketchy, and far too many surprise twists just ruined the entertainment value. It will have its fans, "Animal Among Us" has moments that work, but I have seen this type of gimmick ending done better without hurting the story.  (2.5/5)

Emerald Wolf Studios Debuts First Trailer And Art for "Death Trap"

Emerald Wolf Studios has released the first trailer and poster from director Deandra Spinner's Death Trap.  Spinner's directorial debut takes place on Halloween 1999, when six friends crash their car and cross paths with sadistic Baptist zealots.

Spinner, alongside producers Christopher Smith and Darien Moultrie, enlisted the talents of actors Bruce Klefstad, Emma Butler, Laith Wallschleger, Mercedes Gutierrez, Nicholas Denmon, Dafni Sufra and Troy Brookins.

Death Trap follows the story of six friends on Halloween 1999 in what promises to be a night of mischief and debauchery.  The night quickly turns sour when a deadly combination of Florida wildlife, inclement tropical weather and a youthful assumption of invincibility set the stage for an accident that leaves the group stranded in the dark interior of the night.  Quick-tempered Jake disappears into the dark. Derek and Jamal search for their furious friend while the girls stay behind. Eventually, the girls' patience wears thin and they set out to seek help on their own. They will all soon discover that alligators are not the only predators living in the Sunshine State.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Supernatural Horror Covenant Available On Digital This February


This February, they will hide in plain sight.

From director Manuel H. Da Silva comes an atmospheric and chilling supernatural horror film to get the New Year started with a scare.

After receiving word of his estranged mother's untimely passing, a reluctant former army lieutenant must travel to a secluded town in the Pacific Northwest to unlock the mystery surrounding her suspicious death.

Covenant is available February 4 on Digital and Disc from High Octane Pictures.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Warner Bros "Snatchers" Out Now On Digital, New Clip Available

Warner Bros has released a new clip with the release of horror comedy "Snatchers". The film is available on digital with DVD/Blu-ray coming February 18th. It is directed by Stephen Cedars, Benji Kleiman and stars Gabrielle Elyse, Mary Nepi, Mark Sande, JJ Nolan, Nick Gomez, Rich Fulcher, Austin Fryberger, Ashley Argota and Amy Landecker.

After status-obsessed teen Sara has sex for the first time, she wakes up the next day nine months pregnant-with an alien.

Official Trailer Released For Netflix's 'Locke & Key'

Check out the official trailer for Netflix's upcoming'Locke & Key' adaptation. The 10-episode first season will premiere on February 7th. The cast includes Darby Stanchfield, Emilia Jones, Connor Jessup and Jackson Robert Scott as the Locke family.

Locke & Key, written by Joe Hill, is a horror/fantasy series that revolves around three siblings who, after the gruesome murder of their father, move to their ancestral home in Massachusetts only to find the house has magical keys that give them a vast array of powers and abilities. Little do they know, a devious demon also wants the keys, and will stop at nothing to attain them.

Release Details And Trailer Released For "Brahms: The Boy II"

The release date and trailer has been released for horror sequel "Brahms: The Boy II". The film will be released in theaters on February 21st via STX Entertainment. It is directed by William Brent Bell, and stars Katie Holmes, Christopher Convery, Owain Yeoman, and Ralph Ineson.

Unaware of the terrifying history of Heelshire Mansion, a young family moves into a guest house on the estate where their young son soon makes an unsettling new friend, an eerily life-like doll he calls Brahms.

New Clip Released For "The Sonata" Ahead Of January Release

A new clip has been released ahead of "The Sonata" January 10th release date. The film is directed by Andrew Desmond and stars Freya Tingley, Rutger Hauer, Simon Abkarian, and James Faulkner. It will see a theatrical and VOD release on the 10th. 

After being informed of the sudden death of her long lost composer father (Rutger Hauer), a young virtuoso violinist Rose (Freya Tingley) inherits an old mansion in which he used to live. There, she discovers her father’s final work: a mysterious music score marked with strange symbols. With the help of Charles (Simon Abkarian), her agent and manager, she deciphers the symbols and, little by little, starts to unlock secrets concerning her father’s past, setting in motion the mechanisms of a somber plan imagined since the very day she was born. They soon discover that there’s more to the sonata in question than meets the eye which, when played, triggers and unleashes dark and terrifying forces.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Upcoming Horror "Extracurricular" To Release This January

Samuel Goldwyn Films is set to release upcoming horror "Extracurricular" this January. The film is directed by Ray Xue and stars Keenan Tracey, Brittany Raymond, Spencer Macpherson, Brittany Teo and Luke Goss. It hits digital January 17th. 

The film focuses on four high-schoolers. They have come together, not for sports or home ec', but to plan out a killing. However, they are unaware of how plans do not stand up once executed, leading to one chaotic night.

Release Details And Trailer Released For "Camp Cold Brook"

"Camp Cold Brook" is set to release in theaters, Digital, and VOD in February from Shout! Studios. Directed by Andy Palmer, the film stars Chad Michael Murray and Danielle Harris. It will be released in select theaters and on Digital and VOD beginning February 14th. 

Reality TV producer and host Jack Wilson (Chad Michael Murray, House Of Wax, Riverdale) finds himself in a tough spot when his show Haunt Squad is about to be cancelled. In a last-ditch effort to spark ratings, he and his producer Angela (Danielle Harris, Halloween, Halloween II) choose to film their next episode at the legendary Camp Cold Brook, which was host to a horrific incident when the young campers were drowned in a nearby creek 20 years ago. Their arrival begins like any other episode … but when this remote, backwoods camp begins to reveal its secrets, the TV crew find that they’ve gotten more than they bargained for.

Clip Released For Sci-fi Horror "Sequence Break", Out Now On VOD

Check out this clip released for sci-fi horror "Sequence Break". The film is out now on VOD platforms and digital. The film is directed by Graham Skipper and stars Chase Williams, Fabianne Therese.

A reclusive video arcade repair technician experiences bizarre biomechanical mutations and Cronenbergian hallucinations when a mysterious new arcade machine appears in his shop. Reality itself threatens to fracture as he works to solve its mystery and the new chaos that has entered his life.

Official Trailer Released For Fantasy Adventure "Mortal"

The official trailer has been released for fantasy adventure "Mortal". The film is directed by André Øvredal, inspired by Norse mythology and stars Nat Wolff. It is due out February 28th. 

Eric is a young man who discovers that he has God-like powers.

Horror Chiller "Stalked" To Release This February On VOD

Uncork'd Entertainment is set to release horror chiller *Stalked" this February. The film is directed by Justin Edgar and stars Nathalie Buscombe (Red 2) , Billy CookeVanessa DonovanAmber EdgarImogen IrvingRebecca RogersLaurence SaundersIan Sharp and Stephen Uppal. It will be available on DVD and On Demand February 4th. 

A young woman wakes up in a deserted factory where she is hunted by an invisible force.

Monday, January 6, 2020

RLJ Entertainment To Release Taiwanese Horror "Mon Mon Mon Monsters" This February

RLJ Entertainment will release Taiwanese horror "Mon Mon Mon Monsters" this February. The film is directed by Giddens Ko and stars Eugenie Liu, Kent Tsai, Yu-Kai Teng. It will be released on Blu-ray and DVD February 4th. 

A bullied boy discovers a creature, which he hides and uses for his own revenge. The film covers the difficulties of morality - in a horror world.

Halloween-Themed Horror Anthology "10/31 Part 2" To Be Released This January

Scream Team Releasing is set to release their horrorific vision "10/31 Part 2" this January. The film brings together directors Brett DeJager, Max Groah, John Hale III, Zane Hershberger, Robert Lanphere, Jennifer Nangle, Tory van Buskirk,Stephen Wolfe. It stars London Grace, Mrs McClaron, Jennifer Nangle, Anastasia Elfman, and will be released January 17th.

The shorts: "A Samhain Lithurgy" involves a Halloween celebration. "Dead Lift" deals with alien strangers and their need for fresh meat. "Sister Mary" is about a nun and something unholy. "Apache Hatchet Massacre II" has hatchets at a Halloween party.

Scream Team Releasing website: 10/31 2 at Scream Team Releasing

Official Trailer Released For "The New Mutants"

The official trailer has been released for much buzzed superhero movie "The New Mutants". The film is directed by Josh Boone from a screenplay by Boone and Knate Lee. It stars Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga. Due out April 3rd. 

20th Century Fox in association with Marvel Entertainment presents “The New Mutants,” an original horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring. When strange occurrences begin to take place, both their new mutant abilities and their friendships will be tested as they battle to try and make it out alive.

Crowd Funding Campaign For Creature Feature "Bloodspawn: Attack Of Utkena"

Cult Genre Star Bill Oberst Jr. Battles A Giant Creature Of Native Legend In BLOODSPAWN: ATTACK OF UTKENA!

There is still time to get in on the perks for upcoming creature feature "Bloodspawn: Attack Of Utkena". The campaign is set up on Indiegogo.  From CSB Legend LLC comes a groundbreaking new creature feature BLOODSPAW: ATTACK OF UTKENA!

In the untamed Appalachian wilderness of the 1830's, a small group of misfits find themselves trapped and surrounded by evil ravenous creatures of Native American legend.
  Written and Directed byDerek S. Campbell and David Rotan.Starring Bill Oberst Jr. with more cast to be announced!


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