Friday Night Fright – October 13th

This month we will see two special Fright Nights! This week it’s a Friday the 13th special, whilst in two weeks we have halloween! So to keep it short and sweet and let the scares commence, don’t forget to check out this week’s addition to the ongoing series as this week we hit the 90’s. Sadly i won’t be really referencing them too much in my recommendations based on the fact that Friday the 13th is a sacred date in the horror-verse.

 

Horror Buffs: Ringu (1998) – Now i didn’t say it wouldn’t completely be unrelated to the 90’s. All horror buffs should have seen Jason and ‘mummy’ cause havoc on the 13th, so in relation to the series, this original of the same name to the 2000’s scare fest is worth a watch. Although the premise won’t shock you, the pure horror the Japanese induce into their films is immense. If you love the Americanized version, you’ll eat this up.

 

Beginners: Friday The 13th (1980) – If you haven’t seen the original Friday The 13th by now, this Friday is your best chance yet. The reason why the date rings a bell for many, although maybe not the best out of all Voorhees films, the originals a no brainer-first-ballot-horror hall of fame movie and influence.

 

Casual Fans: Friday The 13th (2009) – The remake, a teen fest and turn of the decade inspired remake of the original is one of the better remakes of iconic horror films from centuries past. I believe that with supernatural star Jared Padelecki playing a great role as Clay and some pretty awesome death scenes, this flat out murder fest starts heavy and will keep you entertained all the way through.

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Peel and Lee double team a new afro-american true horror film

Jordan Peel and Spike Lee are both African-american filmmakers who have often tackled the outstanding prejudice and racism within american culture. Peel’s recent film, Get Out, was phenomenal in this aspect, and if it’s any indication of how good this new film will be then we should all be excited.

The film is called The Black Klansman (not the revenge blaxploitation film of the same name in the 60’s) and will e based on the true evens of a black detective who infiltrated the KKK,

They will be running the banner of Peel’s company Monkeypaw Productions, and teaming up with QC and Blumhouse productions, the later which worked with Peel in Get Out.

More details to come.

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‘Wish Upon’ review

For those who read my review of Death Note recently, then don’t be alarmed or deceive my ability of how to differentiate when reviewing films. Both films are extremely similar, and both reviews will consist of similar comments due to their consisting likeness.

Wish Upon is an american teen haunting/paranormal horror, where a mysterious ancient Chinese wish box finds a new home and owner,Clare Shannon. Clare is a misunderstood and loner teen who finds comfort in her two best friends and widowed dad. With a few mother issues and usual cruelties of being bullied and isolated, Clare has a infinity pile of wishes and without knowing she begins to use them, with the help of her knew finding. From here, her wishes are granted and a powerful price is paid in return, which begins to torrent and turn her life upside down.

With a big budget and a target audience in mind, this film carries out the teen movie perfectly, encompassing Instagram, gaming, skateboarding, bullying, out of school activities, and of course, a love interest. Setting the teen scene well and with a reasonably fresh scheme, this movie is and will be a hit for the casual horror fan searching for a scare. Pretty fun and quick, the movie escalates and with some very suspenseful death scenes, makes for great viewing with a party. Yet there are some intricate downfalls that upon reviewing, reflecting and watching more than once, not to mention the ending.

It was predictable, from the get go we knew what her last wish would be, and once understanding what happens with her final wish, we knew how the movie would end. Not to mention it was shockingly quick and abrupt, the ending left us wondering if their was a more deep and memorable  way to conclude the movie. It was contrastingly different too the long drawn out, anti-climactic deaths scenes, that did have some brutality, but really laced in comparison to the build up. Unlike Death Note or Final Destination, these designed death scenes lacked the brutality needed to deliver on one of the main premises on the movie.

Final takeaway is that although her character and scripted upsetting scenes should have had us bending over backwards for our protagonist, her acting and lac of real emotion did not drag me in or make me feel for her in any way. This killed the emotion and sensuality behind the characters development. Mix this in with anti-climatic kill scenes and what looked like an exciting movie from the trailers really didn’t live up to be anything special

All in all this movie was hit and miss in so many ways.

6.5/10

‘The Gracefield Incident’ review

I hate doing negative reviews, especially when someone has worked so hard to usher their baby into this world, but writer, director, producer and star of this film, Matthieu Ratthe……..your film was a viewing conundrum.

A group of friends and family are searching for a fun time away in a secluded cabin in the woods of Quebec, Canada. Of course, something goes wrong. But this is where for one time only, i will take my hat off to Ratthe for being original. A meteorite slams into the woods nearby and following this an extraterrestrial being begins to haunt their every move. To survive and create something new there has been a cool additive, incorporating the unknown from outer space being his X factor, and i say that this idea is quite diverting when adding his own flavour, so for that cudos Ratthe.

Now, why this movie is both bizarre, puzzling and laughable is based solely around it’s production, because so far, the basic plot sounds pretty sound and standard right? It’s a hand held film, which usually gives us as fans a great POV scare factor, but unfortunately the acting is a bit broken and a lax of emotion, meansthe actual prompted scares are far from confronting. What’s cool and different is the main character, played by brainchild, Ratthe. His character Matthew Donovan has a prosthetic eye with a camera inserted inside of it, which makes for a cool little difference. Yet, the found footage adage relies heavily on scares and it’s realism, but with the acting, poor dialogue and really average voice overs/acting in this film, even in the stressing scenes it just seems droll.  On top of this, which does kill majority of the point, especially due to the last 40-50 minutes relying on scaring their audiences through chase scenes and deranged behaviour.

Although the outline sounds reasonable, the films natural path takes a sharp u-turn with an odd ending where we see an alien nestling an egg, everyone escaping safely, and a similar design in a crop field, reminiscent of Signs. With the final scene being Matthe and his partner, nursing their newborn child which has to do with the sub-text that is also very apparent one second, and not the next.

The movie jumps in and out of scare tactics and humorous dialogue, moves from a sci-fi to a haunting/paranormal sort of found footage film and is all over the shop. Why this movie is so in-explainable is due to it’s theme and sub-text overload. I wish this movie was better, i really do, but it just had me shaking my head one too many times to believe it really was worth watching.

5.5/10

Friday Night Fright – 4th August

This week i drove through countless frosty mornings laden with thick fog. The darkness that waited for me in my early morning shifts was cold and uninviting. This week as i get away to a secluded beach cabin with my partner, i will be fleeing from the fog. Just like Jamie Lee Curtis did in Carpenter’s masterpiece. I think these suggestions are fitting for those who braved the frost this week.

 

Horror Buffs: Curtains (1983) – Although I myself am yet to watch this it is on my list, and maybe this Friday i will be joining some of you to watch it. A remarkably low budget horror with a unique story line that encompasses an ice skating killer that has gained a cult following. Renowned as underrated.

 

Beginners: The Fog (1980) – John Carpenter’s masterpiece that inspired spin offs and a reboot is one of the all time greatest horror movies. Scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis is the main protagonist, and the soundtrack and music that comes in and out with the fog is chilling. A must watch to understand how influential Carpenter has been on the genre.

 

Casual Fans: The Mist (2007) – The Mist has everything the casual fan wants, it starts quickly, and has a bunch of scares that will keep your heart pumping warm blood through your frozen state. Although it has it’s jump scares, it’s overall more intriguing than terrifying with the sci-fi themes making for a really cool plot. The Mist is effectively a jacked up version of The Fog (1980). Just bare in mind that The Fog will always be better.

 

 

‘AHS: Cult’ is quickly becoming everything and more for fans

With already a plethora of snipets and posters, the 7th season of horror TV series, American Horror Story, has a yet again added to the hype with a new trailer.

The series which has been created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck, is adopting a ‘cult’ theme for the newest season. Thus far the pair have wowed us with a vast horror imagination and the new season will more than likely give those who haven’t watched it, every reason to begin. The series interpretation’s of horror from many different era’s and scenes has been more than intriguing, and this new enlightening trailer is exceeding the already high ceiling that rests above them.

Peer into the devilish minds of the directors here.

Join the cult September 5.

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Romero Vs. Carpenter

I thought for the very beginning of these showdowns it would be most appropriate if it incorporated two heavyweights, and of course, in honour of the late George A Romero who passed  away last week.

Both legendary in there field, both pioneers of their craft, these two horror movie gods have gifted us with so much inspiration that without them we would not have a horror movie genre today. The three fields i will be pitting them against each other in are, greatest horror movie, influence and awards. It will be hard to separate these two, and everyone else will have their opinions but here is mine.

Greatest Horror Movie

For Romero, it is undoubtedly his 1978 indie zombie apocalypse masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead. Being claimed by many including Clive Barker, as his greatest film ever. Dawn of the Dead is also his highest grossing film at $55 million off of a $1.5 million dollar budget. Although his debut indie horror Night of the Living Dead was the trend setting origin for zombie horror and undoubtedly the reason for the sub genre, his follow up in Dawn of the Dead was his greatest. It is very much the reason this sub genre of horror carries so much weight still to this day, encouraging more and more remakes, sequels and TV show’s such as The Walking Dead. Within video games, movies such as 28 Days Later, and even The Walking Dead, hiding out in shopping malls, using shotguns to blow off chunks of body from flesh eating somewhat humans is a main stereotype that has been both played out both tastefully and poorly.  Without this mainstay in zombie horror we wouldn’t have the themes of the undead. It doesn’t just stop there, the themes of this film have reached TV shows of all genres, with scenes from Dawn of the Dead being replayed without notice. The film also has been recognised as one of the greatest in general, making it’s way into the top 500 films of all time by Empire magazine. This film has been as influential as any on the whole film scene and for that, George A Romero, you will always be cherished.

John Carpenter’s greatest film was much harder to pick, but the highest grossing and the film that came to my mind first was Halloween. At $70 million it is is highest grossing, and the signature Michael Myers mask is the face of Carpenter as a character. This slasher film, much like Romero’s Dawn of the Dead was a pioneer film that was as influential to the slasher scene as any. Although not the first official slasher, out of the three mega franchises, being Halloween, Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday the 13th, this was the first to hit our screens, and it could be said that it was the reason why the other two were so well received. The original babysitter stalker-invincible killer,Michael Myers, is a creation that has creeped out US teens for generations, his blank mask eerily embedding itself in the conscious of all fans. Selected to be inducted in the Library of Congress due to it’s cultural significance, this film has been award winning in almost all categories, and finding itself ranked in 2010 by Total Film, in the Top 100 films of all time.

Although both have great influence on their genres, and both are inspirations to independent film makers, with Halloween being voted in majority lists over the internet as a top 100 calibre film, Michael Myers being such a significant character, it grossing higher and the Library of Congress recognising it for it’s impact, this first round goes to Carpenter.

Carpenter > Romero

Influence

Romero created the zombie sub genre. There is no way around that and no arguments against this will hold validity. His Night of the Living Dead is the first zombie movie on record, it was genre defining, and the themes stemming from his series of ‘Dead‘ movies encompass everything Zombie/Apocalypse related to this date. Although the reboot is more well known and critically better, he also created The Crazies. From the 70’s on wards, any TV show/game/movie/reference to the dead rising from the ground or being isolated years later after an Apocalypse you can bet stems from Romero and his mind. Has there been anyone more influential in film, independent, horror or not.

Carpenter is known for being one of the main influences of the slasher genre, but next to Craven, Hitchcock and Hooper, it’s hard to name who is the mastermind behind the sub genre. Carpenter’s ability to adapt to other genre’s is evident, but within the horror industry his standout performances are just that. I am not taking anything away from his ability, as The Fog is a testament to his diversity, but his influence upon the genre is not outstanding due to the craze of serial killers being created in the 80’s from  more than one director or writer.

Although The Fog and Halloween are two of the most immensely popular and impactful horror films of their generation, Romero’s zombie idea has spawned tireless spin offs and themes that reach out to every medium of media and film creation all around the world. Without his original and without this idea of humans returning from the grave, the landscape of film and entertainment would not look the same.

Romero > Carpenter

Awards

George A Romero has won a plethora awards across the independent film scene, Fantasporto, Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & horror, USA the list goes on. Majority are for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, which is all courtesy of his own individual work. His greatest accolade is the New York City Horror Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, and that’s undoubtedly one that recognises him for his influence and for his standings amongst other horror directors, writers and filmmakers. All in all, his greatest films were all acknowledged and he has a total of 13 wins and 5 nominations.

Carpenter has his similarities, as he also has won across all similar film festivals and independent award ceremonies. Fantapsporto, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards and Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror, USA to name a few. Although there seem to be more nominations then wins, Carpenter was nominated in 1976 for the Nebula Award for Best Dramatic Writing by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He has a total of 15 wins and 18 nominations.

It seems that despite their shared awards and similarities across the independent scene, Carpenter has been nominated a staggering 6x more than Romero, and still accomplished more wins. Although some of the greats never win Oscars, never get nominated when they should, award wining is a indication of talent and is still a reputable indication of their work. Due to this, Carpenter takes this final round based on his overwhelming number of nomination’s, whilst still winning more than Romero.

Carpenter > Romero

Verdict

There is no doubt in my mind or anyone elses that both men have been as influential as any, both deserve the accolades if not more than they have been awarded with, and both’s greatest films are undoubtedly two of the greatest horror films to ever reach our screens. This being said,  Romero’s influence has donned a sub genre, and influenced a greater reach than Carpenter but, this is his downfall, being less diverse and his continual instalments left him one sided. Carpenter has created a portfolio of horror movies that has wowed us for all different reasons and from all different perspectives. This battle was close, but Carpenter with his greater holistic hold over the genre due to earnings, recognisable films and diversity, he has won this inaugural battle.

 

Carpenter > Romero.