Tuesday, 25 July 2017

For the Love of Shorts: Stitches (2011)

Another one from the Bloody Cuts team - starring Beth Hanks and directed excellently by Ben Kent - you'll not want your five minutes back:

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Unhinged (2017)

A remake of an eighties video nasty, Unhinged is pretty much just that.


Four friends travelling across the UK to a wedding, things go awry. People die. Pretty typical wedding? Not quite. The four in question, the bride, Melissa (Kate Lister), her sister, Lisa (Lucy-Jane Quinlan), and friends Gina (Becca Hirani) and Thalia (Lorena Andrea) run into a deranged local at a gas station, who after a lot of stalking goes all, um, rapey. So they kill him, understandably. But in deep panic, they bundle the body into the trunk of the car and do a runner, which leads them to the house of Miss Perkins (Michelle Archer). Then things go really wrong.

With strange things afoot, the body missing, and someone lurking in the shadows, the four are left fighting for their lives.

Kate Lister

Once the four are at the house of Miss Perkins the film really begins - and Miss Perkins is clearly an odd one. Archer balances the character on a knife edge of 'set in her ways' and 'down-right creepy' perfectly. Directed by Dan Allen the film feels raw - much as you'd expect from a remake of the ilk, but is visually appealing.

Kate Lister and Lucy-Jane Quinlan are excellent as siblings with a troubled past. Hirani and Andrea are solid as always. But Archer is terrific - one to watch. As the plot twists along, we finally get a reveal of the villain of the piece (no spoilers here), and what a reveal it is. To say that I want more of them is an understatement.

Kate Lister / Lucy-Jane Quinlan

The film is fast paced, gory and most importantly edge of the seat scary.

While I haven't seen the original (something I now need to correct), you can see little sprinkles of classic horror in Allen's work - the way the dining scene is filmed reminisces on Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The villain reveal feels like a early classic - back when the reveal should have shocked - and this one does.

It's must see British horror.

Michelle Archer

For something that feels so classic, it also feels so fresh. I can't recommend it more.

Unhinged comes to DVD and VOD in September.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

House on Elm Lake (2017)

This one will give you nightmares.

House on Elm Lake

A man convinced that Lucifer was within him murdered his wife and child at the house on Elm Lake. Years later a young family move in. But Lucifer is still at home.

The opening scene of House on Elm Lake is straight up disturbing. It's gory and graphic. Horrifying. Watching, I thought that was the end of it. Oh no. How wrong I was. Hayley (Becca Hirani), Eric (Andrew Hollingworth), and Daughter Penny (Faye Goodwin) move in. All is well at first with the exception of Eric's job which may not be available. Then Eric finds Lucifer within him...

Becca Hirani

Elm Lake is one of those films that is unrelenting. From the first scene, the only lull in the running time is the introduction of the family. Don't waste those seven minutes, because when the tension returns it doesn't stop.

What director James Klass has created is a film so taut and graphic it's harrowing. It's certainly not an easy watch with themes that many will find extremely disturbing - but so gripping it is that you can't look away either.

Hirani, Goodwin, and Hollingworth maintain a solid presence - and the supporting cast are great. Noteworthy in the supporting roles is Tim Freeman, on screen for seconds, and scene stealing. Shout out goes to Tony Manders though, as one of the creepiest creations ever put on film.

Tony Manders

With it being clear from the start that no one is safe, the movie twists until it reaches its shocking conclusion. With each blow to the family and their friends the film shakes your own psyche - chipping off a little at a time until there's nothing left.

At the end of the watch I was mentally exhausted and ready to watch cartoons for a couple of hours.

While certainly not for the faint of heart, if you want to be knawed at by a horror movie, let this one do it. It's certainly effective.

House on Elm Lake is released on September 11 on DVD and VOD.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

For the Love of Shorts: Rasp (2017)

Another one from Danny Donahue this week. The excellently creepy Rasp, staring Jamie Daniels.

3 Minutes you won't forget.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

12 Deaths of Christmas (2017)

A cinematically chilling movie - one that caught me by surprise.

Over the span of seventy years children disappeared into the forest near a town in Belgrave, with one who survived for only a few hours, her mind gone, saying, "The Witch" over and over. Then the killings stopped. All was well.

Twenty five years later the witch is back...

Based on the myth of Frau Perchta, 12 Deaths of Christmas is a classy horror film. These days it can be hard to use the word 'refreshing' when it comes to horror. So much is remade, re-imagined, or just the same old. 12 Deaths is refreshing. From the very opening the film oozes class and I land this at the feet of relatively new director, James Klass. The opening scene sets the film up perfectly, and while gives a glimpse of the witch from the very start, never gives away too much.

The acting is standout, excellent from pillar to post. Again Becca Hirani gives a great performance, but perhaps the stand out is from Oliver Ebsworth as young Callum and Faye Goodwin as Amy. The child actors in the film are notable and I expect to see much more from all of them.

So the big question. Is it scary?

Part of the charm created by Klass is the unrelenting atmosphere, and the way he plays with the audience, moving from scene to scene. Some playful. Others taut. He uses fear as a big player in the movie. He charismatically uses light, shadow, and some crafty camera work.

There's plenty of gore on offer, too. The deaths are nasty, inventive, and new. (Can I say refreshing again?) The effects are excellent to go with. And of the most part, it all remains Christmas centric.

There's little bad I can say about it. It's a must see.

Oh, and the twist? All horrors have a twist. It's a terrifying twist you won't see coming.

12 Deaths of Christmas comes out on VOD and DVD in November. You can find out more about it here:  https://www.facebook.com/12DeathsOfChristmas/

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Fox Trap (2016)

Opening on a high, Fox Trap sets itself up to be an engaging horror. It's a new breed of slasher at it's core. 

Fox Trap

When Niall and Lorraine are jumped in their car by a gang of masked, knife wielding, lunatics, Lorraine runs from the car to safety, getting knocked down and badly hurt in the process. But it was all a prank. 

Now, eight years later, the whole gang responsible are reunited at a mansion house. And a masked killer is looking for vengeance. 

Could be anybody...

Director Jamie Weston clearly has a good eye. The opening of Fox Trap is impressively shot. It brings a sense of dread. Foreboding. Georgina Dugdale and Alex Sawyer do a bang up job as the unlucky couple. The masks used are inherently creepy. It bodes well. With nice sound design and camera work, the opening three minutes lay solid ground work.

When the cast ensemble years later things ramp up. Some have new partners. Some having been in prison after the incident. What follows is obvious resentment. Hackles are raised. Venom spat. Then a killer emerges, and the body count starts.    

Kate Lister

There are a few things that set this slasher beyond others. The first is the acting. Across the board, the acting is undeniably strong. Stand outs are Becca Hirani as Frankie, and Kate Lister as Connie. But that's not to put anyone else down. Next is the setting. How can you go wrong with a stately mansion in the middle of nowhere? But most of all is the mask. 

I don't think I've been quite as impressed with the eerie, creepiness of a mask since Jason donned his. Don't watch it alone. 

The kills are inventive. The atmosphere is ripe. If I can find one gripe? Some of the scenes are a little dark. I can highly recommend this one, when it comes out on VOD in September, and DVD in October. You can find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/FoxTrapFilm/

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

For the Love of Shorts: Don't Move (2013)

From the amazing Bloody Cuts team, 2013's Don't Move is ten minutes of absolute terror.

Director Anthony Melton get the most from his stars in one of Bloody Cuts best: