Film, Horror

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Horror DVD and Blu-ray round-up - Hallowe'en 2013

10 Oct 2013

Featuring Creepshow, VHS2, My Amityville Horror, Smiley, The Wicker Man and The Mummy

We open the crypt with The Mummy (Icon) ●●●●, one of the first Hammer Horrors dating back to 1959. Hammer had two indisputable weapons in their arsenal and here Peter Cushing stars as the stoic hero while Christopher Lee plays the silent lumbering…

DVD review: Sharknado

7 Oct 20132 stars

Seriously silly aquatic disaster flick starring Ian Ziering, Jaason Simmons and Tara Reid

Let’s acknowledge one thing from the off: Sharknado is only too aware of how trashy a film it is. The tagline reads, ‘Enough Said!’ The cast includes D-list stars from Baywatch (Jaason Simmons) and Beverly Hills 90210 (Ian Ziering). There’s a reliance…

Autumn/winter horror preview 2013: In Fear, VHS2 and Carrie

3 Oct 2013

A Nosferatu reissue and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones also among upcoming horror highlights

The latter end of the year feels like an ideal time for a horror movie round-up: hallowe’en is just round the corner, and the rapidly lengthening nights provide more unlit hours in which to wet yourself at the sound of a creaky door. That said, it is a…

Patrick, Discopath and Mark of the Devil announced for FrightFest 2013 All Nighter

1 Oct 2013

The Station and Nothing Left to Fear also among the UK-wide horror screening programme

The line-up for the latest Film4 FrightFest 2013 All-Nighter has been announced, with Ozploitation remake Patrick and former Video Nasty Mark of the Devil among the highlights. The event will take place in locations around the UK, opening in London on…

WATCH: New trailer and photo gallery for Brit horror film In Fear

25 Sep 2013

The film stars Alice Englert and Iain De Caestecker as a young couple lost among some country roads

The first full trailer for British horror film In Fear has debuted and, quite frankly, we're a bit terrified. The film stars Alice Englert (Ginger and Rosa) and Iain De Caestecker as a young couple who get lost in the countryside on the way to a…

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Top 5 modern ghost stories

10 Sep 2013

As Insidious: Chapter 2 hits cinemas, we consider our favourite supernatural chillers

Ring (1998) Arguably the film that started off the current vogue for ghost stories, the Japanese Ringu was also responsible for the wave of J-horror that followed (which included Dark Water, The Grudge and a slew of sequels and American remakes). The…

Insidious: Chapter 2

10 Sep 20132 stars

James Wan's horror sequel is packed with scares but scuppered by convoluted plotting

The original Insidious was one of the better supernatural thrillers of late, at least until the first hour of sober suburban horror gave way to a wild and woolly exploration of the astral plane known as the Further. Although the notion of a haunted…

Top 5 student horror movies

5 Sep 2013

Featuring Black Christmas, Pieces, Vamp, Scream 2 and The House of the Devil

Black Christmas (Metrodome) 1974 Perhaps best to save this one for December, but many consider Black Christmas to be the first modern slasher movie (it precedes Halloween by four years). An unseen killer lurks in a sorority house, picking off the…

Top 5 Sharknado sequel ideas

30 Aug 2013

With a Sharknado sequel already greenlit, we imagine other potential sealife-weather disaster flicks

As you may or may not already know, low budget disaster-horror-comedy Sharknado – which is exactly what it sounds like – has swept over critics and audiences like some massive carnivorous freak meteorological calamity. The greenlit sequel – whose title…

You’re Next

28 Aug 20132 stars

Derivative home invasion horror from VHS contributor Adam Wingard

Low-budget, high profile offerings The Purge and The Conjuring have demonstrated that the horror genre has lost none of its appeal of late, but You’re Next is a pitifully poor effort in comparison. Adam Wingard may have garnered some interest with his…

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Interview: Eli Roth on Aftershock, The Last Exorcism II and Green Inferno

25 Aug 2013

Modern master of horror on busy year acting, directing and producing

‘Once you’ve acted for Quentin Tarantino alongside Christoph Waltz, Brad Pitt and Diane Kruger, you’re like “Ok, I can do this,”’ says Eli Roth with a mischievous grin. Best known for his work behind the camera creating and directing groundbreaking…

The Returned (Les Revenants)

16 Jul 20134 stars

The eerie 2004 French feature film originally titled They Came Back inspired the chilling TV series

Not to be confused with the French TV show currently screening on Channel 4 this is the original 2004 horror film the series is based upon. They share a similar eerie, moody ambience, the plot hits many of the same notes (and Frédéric Pierrot stars in…

Frankenstein's Army

27 Jun 20134 stars

Gory, inventive horror with fantastic bio-mechanical special effects

You've seen found footage horror and Nazi zombies before, but Frankenstein's Army mashes them together proving that a fresh approach can breathe new life into tired genre conventions. It's based around the wonderfully absurd idea that Victor…

The Conjuring

26 Jun 20133 stars

'Fact'-based ghost story from James Wan, director of Insidious, Saw and Dead Silence

'Based on a true story' has become the most over used cliché in horror cinema. It's become such a regular within the genre that viewers have become cynical, dismissing it also most as soon as it flashes upon the screen. *3The Conjuring*2 has slightly…

Ben Wheatley, director of A Field in England - interview

24 Jun 2013

The Sightseers director talks about the horror, filming in B&W and working with comedians

Ben Wheatley has a background in TV, working with the likes of Steve Coogan, Johnny Vegas and Matt Berry on shows including Modern Toss and Ideal. 2010 saw the release of his directorial debut suburban crime thriller Down Terrace swiftly followed by the…

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The Complex (Kuroyuri danchi)

20 Jun 20132 stars

Mundane ghost story from Hideo Nakata, director of Ringu and Dark Water

Ringu (The Ring) pretty much kick started the mainstream appetite for Asian horror single-handedly. It tapped into a new mythology of spirits and curses that hadn’t been explored in western cinema and the startling images of Japanese ghosts as brought…

Outpost III: Rise of the Spetsnaz

20 Jun 20133 stars

Third instalment in the Nazi zombie series, starring Bryan Larkin and Michael McKell

Outpost was part of the first wave of the current mini-craze for Nazi zombie movies (sitting alongside Dead Snow, the genre has also spawned Nazis at the Center of the Earth and War of the Dead) and has become Scotland’s most successful horror franchise…

A Haunted House

18 Jun 20131 star

A derivative, mean-spirited, misogynist Paranormal Activity spoof from Marlon Wayans

The Paranormal Activity model, whereby cheap, lo-fi horror films gain surprisingly high grosses, seems to work for horror spoofs as well; after contributing to the first two entries in the lamentable Scary Movie franchise, Marlon Wayans goes solo with A…

The Seasoning House

18 Jun 20132 stars

Paul Hyett's horror-thriller is tense but cheaply exploits the issue of sex slavery

First time director Paul Hyett has described his horror-thriller The Seasoning House as a dark fairytale based in the real world, a troubling description given the the nature of the film. Set in the war-torn Balkans, it takes place in a house where…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2013: the best horrors

13 Jun 2013

The Conjuring, Frankenstein's Army and Outpost 3 among our best bets for horror at EIFF 2013

The Conjuring Having reconfigured the modern horror template with Saw back in 2004, James Wan turned his attention to ghost stories, first with the less-than-perfect Dead Silence, then with the more successful (but still a bit iffy) Insidious. The…

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The Last Exorcism Part II

10 Jun 20132 stars

Horror sequel is a by-the-numbers rehash of the original film’s weakest elements

The Last Exorcism was a curiosity of the found-footage genre in that it purported to be a documentary exposé of fake exorcist, the Rev Cotton Marcus. This created a believable background to the drama before the film reverted to genre expectations.

The Film Formula: World War Z

3 Jun 2013

We discover the different elements behind Brad Pitt’s zombie apocalypse movie

One of the comparisons applied to one of World War Z’s initial scripts (by Ain’t It Cool, among others) was to dramatic thriller Children of Men. Like Pitt’s character Gerry Lane in WWZ, Theo (Clive Owen) is tasked with helping end a worldwide threat to…

The Purge

31 May 20133 stars

Dark sci-fi thriller set in a future where all crime is legal one night every year

New Labour might have led with their slogan 'tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime', but thankfully they didn't go as far as a state sanctioned night of murder, death, violence and rape. The Purge is set in America, 2022, where for one night a…

No One Lives

29 May 20133 stars

Ryûhei Kitamura's survival/revenge story is a visceral, sick and silly treat for gorehounds

Luke Evans plays the villain for the second time this month (following his turn in Fast & Furious 6)in Ryûhei Kitamura’s jaw-dropping genre thriller. The director, who has a penchant for such stories after making 2008’s The Midnight Meat Train, has…

The Moth Diaries

22 May 20132 stars

Suspense-less boarding school vampire thriller starring Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon and Lily Cole

Arriving a week before Neil Jordan’s vampire tale Byzantium, you have to wonder if those releasing The Moth Diaries were hoping to steal a march on Jordan’s film. They needn’t have bothered. A pale shadow of Byzantium, it doesn’t even hold a candle to…