The Witch (2015)
Director: Robert Eggers
Main Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Sarah Stephens, Daniel Chaudhry
Storyline: 1630 as New England is in a battle against witchcraft and see the outcome of one family
Review (Spoils): The film is placed in New England during the battle against witchcraft in the 1630s. A young couple with their children leave the village so that they can live on their own with their devoted Christian ways. One day when the eldest daughter is taking care of the youngest one, he vanishes when playing peek a boo and then things started to becomes darker for the family. The family start to turn on each other as they try to figure out what is what evil is haunting them and why.
This film has some very interesting and enjoyable scenery such as old buildings, trees and that damn black goat (which you are waiting for something to happen). The acting is actually really good and the storyline has prudential but the sound is not that great. The music and sound effects over take the script (character lines) and along with the hard accent sometimes difficult to keep up. Which is too bad but the film is likable. We have lots of blood, naked witches, a black goat, some nasty head wounds, and some symbolism of coming into adulthood, a coven, a wicked tree and a nice Snow White type seduction.
Rating: This film is not bad but it could have been a lot more enjoyable if they would fix the audio and less on the music. I personally liked the idea and I enjoyed Anya Taylor-Joy as the main character as she was interesting and played the sides of the character very well. I hope this film is not ruined with a sequel, as it was nice to have the open ending.
As Above, So Below (2014)
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Main Stars: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Francois Civil, Marion Lambert
Storyline: A young woman gets a gang of explorers to venture into some catacombs underneath Paris to uncover the secret of the City of the Dead.
Review (Spoils): The young and beautiful Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) is an adventurous explorer who wants to live up to her father’s name and make sure his life and death was worth it. She starts a documentary on her choices and her travels as she tries to break into where the City of the Dead is located. She travels to the eastern lands and cracks into a hidden catacomb and takes with her video and pictures of the lost words. She uses her charm and gets help from fellow explorer George (Ben Feldman) to get it translated and they end up in Paris. In Paris they track down a bigger group of young explorers and they travel underground to find the lost City of the Dead.
We have the typical young and wild party people, the very talented and gorgeous Perdita Weeks, ghosts, jumpy camera, a stone bull, flashes of supposedly scary people, some flying blows, a nasty gored out fall, a crazy head bash (one of the best in the film), a healing stone, the cute Marion Lambert, some closer phobic moments and the same damn film as Grave Encounters.
Rating: I was expecting a lot more from this film. I read a number of reviews and they seemed to be great but once I started watching the film it screamed Grave Encounters and/or a horrible version of [REC]. I am personally so tired of the video camera view when it comes to horror films. It has been overdone like 5 years ago! As soon as I see this now in a film I scream to myself no budget but wanted to make the film anyways. When you have such a beautiful talented actress like Perdita Weeks do not waste it with this replicated horror stuff. Such a waste.
Filed under Haunting, Occult
Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)
Director: Don Sharp
Main Stars: Christopher Lee, Barbara Shelley, Richard Pasco, Suzan Farmer
Storyline: The story of the power of the madman monk Rasputin
Review (Spoils): Grigori Rasputin (Christopher Lee) has the mental power to bend people to his will. When he uses his power to heal a woman and starts to gain the reputation from the villagers as a good guy eh starts to show his true colours. Rasputin uses his mind to brain wash women to become his slaves and bid his evil doing. To the point of their breaking point and their weakness.
Much like other Hammer Films this one is made up with beautiful gothic scenery and clothing. We have Christopher Lee at one of his best make-up setup as the mad monk. His acting stands out in this film and Rasputin should be a legendary character of his much like Dracula. The film tells the story of the drunken mad monk and how he uses his mind to control people to do his bidding so that he can live happily in wealth. The two damsels in this Hammer film are legendary scream queens Suzan Farmer and Barbara Shelley, we do not have the bosoms out like most Hammer films but at the same time we do have great acting as Shelley places the poor soul that the monk torments.
Rating: I will be honest I did not find it the strongest Hammer Film as it is lacking frights but the story and the acting alone is worth watching. Some of the story is lacking on how he gets the powers and the ending just kind of just ended but that is not much different other Hammer Films. I think we needed more cleavage and less mullets.
Horror Hotel (1960)
Director: John Llewellyn Moxey
Main Stars: Patricia Jessel, Dennis Lotis, Christopher Lee, Betta St. John, Venetia Stevenson
Storyline: A young woman takes a winter vacation in Whitewood while studying on the topic of witchcraft, what she does not know is that she has stumbled upon a coven.
Review (Spoils): A professor recommends that the young and beautiful student Nan (Venetia Stevenson) should settled in Whitewood to take some time to study on her topic of witchcraft. She comes across an old inn called Raven’s Inn to have her stay and she meets the caretaker Mrs. Newlis (Patricia Jessel).
As she is there she starts to see connections of her studies that what is happening around her such as celebrations of Candalmas Eve and the 13th hour. Oh and the truth of the spirit of the late witch Elizabeth Selwyn.
This film is heavy on the goth and heavy on the fog. The feel of the film is not much on the talk but leans on the scenery as we have the innocent Venetia Stevenson roaming around the village and hotel and trying to get a grasp on the nightmare slash dreamy visit she is having. Not sure how she did not put it all together with the noise of chanting at night and the dead birds but anyways. Patricia Jessel character screams witch but anyways this all slips past everyone in the film.
We got dead birds, fog, crucifixes, old books, chanting, some daggers, the lovely Venetia Stevenson in stockings (while reading in bed alone because that’s what all ladies do), Christopher Lee as a side character and some nasty holy fire!
Rating: This film is not bad but at the same time it has its flaws as some of the funny are actually funny on how people react to things. Is it a classic? Not sure of that but at the same time it was a nice little witchcraft film. The scene of Venetia Stevenson being dragged and captured sure is classic in its own right for horror, plus Iron Maiden used some of the scenes for the Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter video.
Manhattan Baby (1982)
Director: Lucio Fulci
Main Stars: Christopher Connelly, Laura Lenzi, Brigitta Boccoli , Cinzia de Ponti, Giovanni Frezza
Storyline: An archaeologist opens an Egyptian tomb and the spirit gets released and his daughter becomes possessed.
Review (Spoils): The Hacker family travel to Egypt, where there was an accident to the father George (blue blinding light) and the daughter Susie meets a blind woman and receives a ancient blue eyed amulet (see the connection?). We learn that the amulet has granted them powers to move through dimensional doorways. During all this weirdness starts like scorpions appearing, snakes and piles of sand. We learn that the voyages actually go to the desert in Egypt and that the amulet holds the secret of an ancient evil.
We have a mystery in our hands with this one, lots of dream like sequences and symbols of Egypt. Not much gore or little red blood in this one but instead focusing on the ancient writings and context of Egypt and the curse of the blue eye jewel
Rating: The story is not horrible but at the same time it is not one of Lucio Fulci stronger films. Plus we have that annoying kid from The House by the Cemetery Giovanni Frezza but the sound and music is so Lucio Fulci. Drink to all the blue lighting used in this film or chug to each view of a snake on the screen to enjoy.
Hellraiser 8: Hellworld (2005)
Director: Rick Bota
Main Stars: Lance Henriksen, Katheryn Winnick, Christopher Jacot, Doug Bradley
Storyline: A video game based on Hellraiser is dragging players to a rave which leads to the underground cult of Cenobites.
Review (Spoils): A bunch of young people grieve the death of their friend who committed suicide. Jake (a former friend of the group) narrows down that they were not there for their friend in his time of need before his death as they were all obsessed with a game known as Hellworld. Secret invitations and chats go out to the young people to come to a Hellworld house party/rave which then leads to be a trap into the hellish world of Hellraiser.
Sigh I hate it when writers decide it’s a great idea to place the franchise into the franchise, it’s not it always fails… see the series for Scream and Halloween for examples. It’s right up there with placing classic horror villains into space! Sure we have Lance Henriksen who is a horror legend but he cannot save this mind mess of an entry to the series. I personally loved the mind game idea in the series a few films ago but now it is just becoming silly and straying too far from the cube and Pinhead (Doug Bradley) himself. This film is more like a teen slasher than an actual Hellraiser film. Not even deaths and not enough classic feel in this one and it just might be the worse of the bunch.
Rating: This series has really driven off the rails and it does need to come back as I personally do normally enjoy them. Poor Doug Bradley and Lance Henriksen for this mess in the series, sorry guys. Not enough deaths, hooks, gore and cube for my liking …they need to focus on the Cenobites more and get back to the basics. I guess this film as Katheryn Winnick going for it?
Trick or Treat (1986)
Director: Charles Martin Smith
Main Stars: Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Ozzy Osbourne, Gene Simmons
Storyline: A famous devil worshiping metal rock star named Sammi Curr returns from the dead to gain sacrifices.
Review (Spoils): Sammi Curr (Tony Fields) a crazied devil worshiping metalhead dies in a fiery death in a hotel and the fans are shocked. One fan named Eddie (Marc Price ) gets hold of lost demo of the late star and plays it (backwards of course!) and darkness comes to live from Sammi Curr’s return. Eddie starts to act funny as he can communicate to the late hero and gets revenge on everyone that treated him wrongly (yes because in all movies this is normal if you listen to heavy metal).
Okay so this film was close to my heart for a few reasons, one it was about metal and two it’s a chessy horror film. We have the classic 80’s rebel Sammi Curr , some classic metal, pentagrams, Gene $immon$ as a DJ, Ozzy as a reverend, some cheesie 80s lightning, some shredding guitars and revenge upon the people for not letting him play in his home town many years ago.
Rating: Strap on your time machine and head back to the 80s when metal was hair spray and devil horns. Grabs your beers and chant and cheer for the one and only Sammi Curr!