Tuesday, 13 November 2018

We Know You Are Home (2018) - Short Horror Film Review

Back when I reviewed Andrew J.D Robinson's two minute film Trick r' Treat little did I know that it was made up of footage taken from a much longer short film he had been working on. We Know You Are Home is that film and being around seventeen minutes long as opposed to two it of course builds on the foundation of what came before.

Years in the past three children out trick or treating on Halloween went missing, they were never found. Due to this tragic event Halloween has been effectively cancelled with a strict 7pm curfew in effect. It is on this day that a woman (Julie Landriault) lands a job as a house sitter but she soon finds herself caught up in events much larger than she expected.

The first five or so minutes of this is pretty much an extended version of Trick r' Treat, there is more backstory given to the three missing children, while there are extended scenes of the woman arriving at the house. This seemed inspired by Halloween before in how it had samples from Night of the Living Dead but here, like Halloween this time around we actually get footage proper on a few occasions. This footage features scenes that nicely tie in with this short in that the shown dialogue from Night resonates with what is going on with the visitors that come knocking for the woman.

This came across as a supernatural home invasion horror in its first half and there were some nice moments of build up, the favourite for me being the sound of something rubbing on the back window behind a blind. At some point We Know You Are Home changes tracks slightly with the feeling of peril being reduced to change this into something still horror focussed but the suspense mostly gone, more a story of making amends from the past. This worked well for the short though I admit I had been hoping for something to make my skin crawl. At times aspects of this felt a little too bit clean and tidy, such as a neatly written message, and the sparse bland look of the house the woman is looking after (though there is explanation for that).

While I may have expected something different than what We Know You Are Home changed into it was well made with some good moments, I liked a flashback sequence that took place from a different characters perspective for example. I also liked that Robinson has been able to make two different films from the same footage and make both of them work. After the initial build up of supernatural terror this settles down into something that has a solid central idea and also something that becomes almost sweet.


Sunday, 11 November 2018

Witching Hour (2014) - Horror Anthology Film Review

While I did not know anything at all about Witching Hour I will say that I expected it to be low budget rubbish when I turned it on. That was until I realised it was a horror anthology, and that is a particular sweet spot for me as I love the variation this style of film making brings. Sure enough there were some shorts here which were pretty terrible, yet there were also a couple that actually were pretty decent even with the limitations of this low budget indie.

Two housemates: Logan (Emily Johnson-Erday) and Dee (Reanna Roane) are out shopping in an antiques store when one of them is drawn to an old mantlepiece clock that she feels she just has to buy. Talking to the store owner (Patrick Ferrara who also appears in the sequel to this Witching Hour II) he warns her that the clock contains within it an ancient powerful artefact that had been hidden away to stop the Nazi's getting their hands on it during World War II. The warning is ignored and the clock purchased, but it turns out there really is some power within the device, an evil power that is able to influence people's minds for bad.

The wrap around story is literally titled Framing Story and sees one of the housemates desperately try and find a way to destroy the clock which she realises has brainwashed her friend. Rather than just an excuse as a method to neatly fit in the shorts this actually has additional scenes that give it enough meat to stand out as a proper short in itself. It was interesting that one of the housemates was deaf, both in that it leads to prolonged scenes of sign language, but also that it seems that maybe that's why that housemate couldn't be influenced like the one able to hear.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Semester's End (2008) - Horror Film Review

Semester's End is a low budget indie horror that uses the classic idea of a slasher operating on a college campus. I wouldn't say this is a good film, the identity of the killer is painfully obvious from the start, no one seems to act that naturally and all the kills either take place either off camera, or in between scenes. However at 70 minutes this doesn't outstay its welcome at all and was not actually something that was a hard watch, it was entertaining regardless of the overall quality.

Allison Bloch stars as Rachel: a teaching assistant at a college, a college which is being plagued by a serial killer. No one, police included have any idea who is doing this foul murders, but in the world this movie takes place in no one is really that bothered either. As the body count rises Allison and her new lover Mike (Sam Masotto) find themselves caught up in it all, but just who could this deranged slasher be?

I genuinely did not mind this film at all, it had a lot of issues but regardless I was not the slightest bit bored, in fact the opposite, in a trashy kind of way this was great. The main issue was just how all the characters act in Semester's End, no one seems that worried that students are being picked off by an unknown assailant. The police presence seems to consist of one clueless gruff detective, so incompetent are they that their prime suspect: the lecturer that Rachel assisted went on the run from the law...but never actually left the campus. Rachel the perpetually horny tutor is a weird protagonist, having just came off an affair with a married man her next lover is a student from her class and sees nothing at all wrong with this. The student Mike looks older than she is and again seems nonplussed about all the murders. Both of them are happy to cover up crimes of their own without a care in the world, maybe it was a secret aspect of the film that the campus was a special place for sociopaths to study?

Friday, 9 November 2018

Transference (2018) - Horror Video Game Review (PSVR)

I really don't use my PSVR device as much as I should, it is always the case that I forget just how amazing it can be until I actually put it on. Also it is sad to admit but I hate being removed from my phone, in VR I don't hear any texts or calls and so I get a pathetic sense of anxiety! I played the Transference demo last week for Halloween and found it be darn scary, luckily for me a couple of days later the game proper went on sale and so I quickly snapped it up. While Transference isn't as scary as the demo was it was still an enjoyable couple of hours.

The story is a bit abstract with it spread out in snippets throughout the game, I will sum it up but this is just my interpretation. Raymond: a brilliant scientist has created a 'transference' device which is able to transfer the memories and souls of people into a digital recreation to act as a sort of eternal heaven for them. You play as an unknown person who has found his device and travelled into it where you find out that Raymond, his young son Ben, his wife Kathryn, as well as the family dog Laika are all now residing. However far from be a heaven this unnatural reality has turned into living hell for each of them, each of the family members trapped in their own perpetual nightmare. It is up to you to find each of the crystals housing their essence and reunite them to fix the corrupted device.

I'm first going to mention the demo as rather than be a slice taken from the game itself it was a stand alone experience. Transference: The Walter Test Case was a fantastic fifteen minutes of tight creeping terror. In the demo you are exploring the mind of a PTSD suffering soldier and his abused son. There were jump scares, but more importantly there was a pervasive sense of dread with the sound in particular being a real highlight. I didn't review it at the time but it would have gotten a 9/10 due to not only being free, but also in how effective it was due to a combination of amazing 3D sound design and how well the story is told. It was also brilliant in how it skipped between two different time frames: that of the son as a loving child, and him as a bitter teenager.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

High Tea (2017) - Short Horror Film Review

The award winning High Tea is a short Canadian horror film that was directed, written, and produced by Luke Meneok. It is very indie with a budget of around £155 (when converted into pounds) according to the IMDB page. This single room horror uses a traditional idea of a masked madman setting a task for his victim but this time around it is slightly different.

Tina (Courtney Make) wakes up to find herself tied up in a shed with no memory of how she got there. It isn't long before a masked man (David Kolenski - Blackbags, The Ojibway Switchback) enters, he tells the girl that if she is able to roll the perfect joint she will be free to leave, she has three attempts, but should she fail...

The very fact that to survive the victim has to roll a joint means this is very much a dark comedy horror. They could have even made that serious but there isn't really a sense of peril in the sinister sense, the masked man ('The Meathead' according to IMDB) has anger problems but appears quite impotent when it comes to threatening behaviour, banging his fists on the table in a way that even the victim doesn't find that intimidating. On the subject of Tina; while she is tied up my an unknown madman she never really seems that much scared at all, apart from when Meathead first appears, I guess this was purposeful but did take away from the horror a bit, after all if she isn't scared then why should the viewer be scared for her?

The meat(head) of the short is her trying to roll a joint, of course to be suspenseful she doesn't do it on the first attempt. This whole sequence was a lot of fun, I especially liked the visual effect that compliments one action. I also liked the editing here, there are lots of splintered almost jump cuts, and it was great how the camera would shake in time with Meathead's anger, and also how the music would change to reflect this anger. He was a fun character and this is actually the third appearance for him, appearing in the other two films I mentioned for Kolenski earlier in this review. He has a dorky look to him which is helped by his distorted voice that reminded me of a villian from Saturday morning cartoons.

High Tea was a fun little short that gets around the small budget by utilising what it does have. Even with the twist of rolling a joint there wasn't much surprise in how this played out but I did really enjoy 'The Meathead', he was an entertaining antagonist, and I did like the unique editing and camera work, so not bad at all.


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Overlord (2018) - Zombie Horror Film Review

When I first saw Julius Avery's Overlord advertised at the cinema it was a nice surprise yet I can't say I was too excited about it. This was weird as zombies and World War II are two of my favourite topics and so a blend that brought them together like a live action Call of Duty: WWII: Nazi Zombies game should have had me shouting with joy from the rooftops. Despite my lack of abject enthusiasm I decided to check it out, and really, it wasn't that bad.

It is 1944 and a squadron of American soldiers are being flown into France. D-Day is due to take place the following day, but for that to be successful a key radio tower needs to be destroyed so that air support can be given. Under heavy fire many of the planes are shot down, it ends up being just five soldiers who survive the ordeal, these include rookie with a conscience Boyce (Jovan Adepo - Mother!) and his group's commanding officer, a seasoned soldier named Ford (Wyatt Russell - Black Mirror 'Playtest'). Meeting up with local girl Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) the survivors make it to the village nearby the radio tower that is situated at the top of a large church, however their plans to destroy it are hampered by the fact that unspeakable experiments are being conducted in the church's basement, experiments that can bring the dead back to life...

I didn't expect to get what I wanted but I would have liked hordes and hordes of undead to be featured in Overlord, instead there are about five to ten in total. I can't say I was disappointed as the trailer didn't make this seem like it would be full of undead. The whole zombie aspect is a key plot line here yet despite that this is about 75% war movie and 25% horror. This is more war from a Quentin Tarantino Inglorious Basterds exaggerated perspective with a few over the top characters, and heroes who are strangely competent for relative newcomers to fighting. The key antagonist here is Nazi commander Wafner (Pilou Asbaek - Ghost in the Shell, Game of Thrones) who is imposing enough before he is turned into more of a two dimensional being. The Nazis in general lack much character to them, aside from Wafner there isn't anyone else of note, just faceless soldiers and scientists.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Zombified (2012) - Zombie Horror FIlm Review

Zombified was directed and written by Todd Jason Cook who also co-stars in this. While the story felt kind of like it was a sequel to something I assumed this was all just in world. Turns out doing a tiny bit of research that there was actually a previous film in the series, way back in 1995 with Death Metal Zombies. This features a couple of the same characters, and the same killer, but thanks to flashbacks, accounts and historical documents it isn't essential to have seen that one I feel.

A serial killer wearing a Richard Nixon mask (Tayvis Dunnahoe) enters a club and mixes in a special cassette tape labelled 'Zombified' to the music that a rock band is performing. The frequency on this cassette transforms everyone there into flesh hungry crazies who soon pour out onto the streets. A few survivors that include among them Alana (Rebecca Torrellas), Tony (Cook) as well as Angel (Kathryn Rene' Ginzel) and Tommy (Mike Gebbie - Death Metal Zombies) band together to stop the madness. Thankfully due to Angel and Tommy having encountered this situation before they know exactly how to deal with the flesh eaters part, it is just the psychotically strong and deranged serial killer that is the real problem.

This was quite a low budget film that featured acting that while never terrible wasn't stunning either. It was quite a dark film with a bit of a blurry look to the footage quality and one that featured a heck of a lot of generic rock music, especially during the many action scenes. However I found the mix of slasher film and zombie film to be an interesting one, it certainly had some highlights when the two combined. This felt a bit like the low budget, indie horrors from early this century, though with an added bit of quality that mostly stopped it being dull. It did fall into the trap of being slightly over long, at an hour forty five minutes it did start to get a bit dull towards the end with a few too many scenes that while action packed did feel like they didn't add anything to the movie. One that comes to mind is when one of the protagonists heads outside his house to have a drink and immediately gets attacked by the zombies. With it known that the ghouls are roaming around outside this felt like a ridiculous decision created only for some more fighting.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Baghead (2017) - Short Horror Film Review

Baghead is an award winning short fifteen minute horror that was directed by Alberto Corredor in his directorial debut and written by Lorcan Reilly. Initially starting off as pure horror this soon changes into something a little bit different, and something which has a vein of black humour running throughout.

A grieving man named Kevin (Oliver Walker) arrives at a grimy pub run by a gruff barkeeper (Julian Seager) one dark night. With the correct queries and the appropriate items he is led down into the dank cellar for a meeting with the person known only as 'baghead'.

It really has been a good year for short horror films as Baghead is yet another great little gem. There were two main parts to this, the initial section was creepy and I was anticipating to be scared. This was helped by great atmosphere, and the great dilapidated look of the pub and the cellar. It then changes into something that was more fantastical using an idea I hadn't seen since back in the video game Monkey Island II: Le Chuck's Revenge. I don't really want to ruin it but I will say there was a good twisting of characters intentions, while the concept of only having 'two minutes' added a lot of speed to this. Seager was fantastic and by far the best thing about this, I loved his off camera comments as dialogue between two people on camera went on, he was funny without being a distraction.

The plot was interesting as was the way it was framed, the prologue for instance had a man strapped to a chair begging and apologising to a partially seen man. When in the story itself we see this same chair it led to all sorts of questions. In a wrap around way this then gets addressed at the end, and I felt it was neat to have the story continue into the credits with extra dialogue playing out over them. I guess if there was any complaints it would be that it wasn't what it initially seemed to be, but that is also a plus as well as it defies expectations with a nice little perfectly paced story about coping with loss. Once Baghead finishes its festival run it will be available online.


Sunday, 4 November 2018

Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel (2018) - Horror Film Review

Hell House LLC was a pretty great indie found footage that never really left my mind and so when I heard there was a sequel coming out (a Shudder exclusive) I was excited to see where things would go next. Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel isn't as good a film sadly, it left me feeling a little bit cold.

After receiving an anonymous tip investigative journalist Jessica Fox (Jillian Geurts) comes to believe that hidden in the basement of the notorious Abaddon Hotel (where eight years previously the opening night of a Hell House attraction led to the unexplained deaths of fifteen people) is evidence that the hotel's original owner was part of a devil worshipping cult. She assembles a small team to head into the place, retrieve this evidence, and get out. They include among them cameraman David (Dustin Austen), Molly (Joy Shatz), spirit medium/TV personality Brock Davies (Kyle Ingleman) and his cameraman, and most importantly Mitchell (Vasile Flutur) who worked on the documentary that the original film was styled as.

So while the first film was set out as a documentary this time around we get some initial text saying that the footage shown has been edited together by an unseen character. This time around it isn't a documentary but more a traditional found footage even if it has other elements sewn in, the biggest one being a talk show that Brock, Mitchell, and an Abaddon town councilman appeared on discussing the hotels dark past. The problem with this Frankenstein's monster of editing means that at times it can feel very disjointed, especially early on where rather than any sort of plot it is just different video footage of random people over the years entering the hotel and then getting Blair Witched (the camera suddenly falling to the ground I mean). These segments didn't really add much at all other than to suggest it is a death sentence to go there, something which is obvious anyway. I couldn't really tell if these were all here to pad out the run time. Then the talk show sections are so brightly lit that they feel jarring whenever they show up and drag you out of the horror.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

A Doll Distorted (2018) - Short Horror Film Review

A Doll Distorted is a short award winning British horror film by Niall Shukla who was the director, writer, producer, editor, sound designer, set designer, VFX artist and cinematographer. In fact the short was created entirely with a two man crew, the other being James Averiss who was the lighting and camera assistant. This becomes very arthouse in style at times and it was here that it nearly lost me, however an effective twist coupled with some nightmarish images really assisted with my enjoyment.

Jane (Nicci Brighten) is a lonely woman who suffers from haphephobia (fear of touch). For years she has been unable to get over the split that seemingly occurred between her and Michael; the man she loves deep in the past. To cope with this obsession she purchases a synthetic love doll and dresses it up to look like him, but this decision is only the start of her real troubles...

Over fifteen and a half minutes we get to see the sad and isolated world of Jane with the camera never leaving her apartment, and it always being night time outside. Starting with a voice over light is shed on the lead up to the present time where she purchases the doll. This is a really messed up short! That is a good thing of course and I particularly liked where the story went to, especially when clues are referenced throughout but not given context until the realisation hits, such as something small fluttering on a window, strange stains on her pillow, bruises on her back, and the pills that Jane is constantly seen to be taking. As mentioned this is quite arthouse in style and after the initial narration there is not any dialogue at all, due to the short consisting of Jane and her life sized man doll.

At times this seemed like a series of nightmares as horror happens only for it to then seem to have settled down again. When I saw the Annabelle series of films I was always disappointed that the doll itself wasn't shown to move, luckily with A Doll Distorted that is the case and there are a series of wonderfully crafted sequences that both build up tension and suspense and bring on the horror. One particular scene had Jane standing by a window while a breeze blew mirrors on either side of the shot, so that when the mirrors were resting you could see the doll on a rocking chair, then the wind would blow the mirrors off this scene to have then fall back and show a slightly different sight. This was wonderfully done and in general there is a lot of use of mirrors, such as a great scene with a shattered mirror on a wardrobe as well as reflections in windows.

I'm never a fan of footage being sped up and so one sequence involving Jane on the floor crawling backwards seemed rushed in how it played out. There were also sex scenes between Jane and her doll that kept popping up throughout which I found plain weird and off putting...until the later context was given at least. This gets really quite arthouse at times with discordant images out of context but Shukla is also able to craft together some wonderfully paced scenes, there were a couple here that were really quite clever in how they panned out. The make-up effects were also quite good, as were the VFX used on occasion.

A Doll Distorted is a film that I appreciated but didn't love for much of the run time, I can't state how much a difference the later part of the film made in making me get tipped over the edge into thinking this was pretty great as a piece of horror. This is a dark messed up tale of madness and obsession that isn't afraid to stay focused on the bleak side. For more information check out the Facebook page and Instagram page.


Wednesday, 31 October 2018

The Rotting Zombie's Round-up of Horror News for October 2018 (Spooky Halloween Edition)

Another month and another chunk of horror news. In personal blog news I have screeners coming out my ears at the moment so I'm hoping my week off my day job next week will allow me to shift through some of those! Terrible, terrible news to start with news that the UK Festival of Zombie Culture is no more. That Leicester based zombie event held a special place in mine and my cankled besties hearts, we went 5 years in a row and so it is genuine heartache the cancellation of it brings. Zombie Ed (well, I guess just Ed now) who ran the event said that due to busy work and children to take care of he just doesn't have the time to run it anymore. Really really sucks, if anyone knows of a UK based zombies exclusive film festival then please let me know!

Trauma was released on Blu-ray, DVD, Cable and Digital HD on October 23rd thanks to Artsploitation Films. This Chilean horror is a cinematic depiction of the horrors committed by the Pinochet regime and the cycle of abuse that followed its fall. It concerns a group of woman who head to the countryside for a weekend getaway but find themselves hunted by the rageful victim of government torture.

Phoenix based dark alternative rock band The Spider Hole currently have a Kickstarter campaign running to help support their upcoming LP and graphic novel To The Monsters. Their third full length CD is an ode to Halloween, weird fiction and timeless horrors and will feature 11 new tracks. There is currently 5 days left on the campaign with the target surpassed. To contribute head to the page here.
Swedish cult movie maker Jonas Wolcher (Hermit Monster Killer, Cannibal Fog) has created his first music video which is A Life Pretending with Swedish duo Mechatronic. In the video a bored cleaning droid working at a theatre gets out in the night to discover the city.

Klayton has released 'two chilling tracks guaranteed to make your skin crawl'. Shadow of Death is said to have a classic haunted house feel, while Hell or High Water apparently will make you sleep with the lights on 'for weeks'. The tracks can be purchased and streamed here.
More music news with death-metal band Bloodbath who have released a horror themed music video for Chainsaw Lullaby. Their latest album The Arrow of Satan is Drawn is out now via Peaceville.

Filming has finished on Dark Resurrection: Keepers of the Force. This is the final chapter of the sci-fi saga that is loosely based on Star Wars, written and directed by Angelo Licata. Post production is due to start shortly. Once work is completed it, like the previous episodes will be free to view.
The Butcher Brothers A Beginners Guide to Snuff got a street release on 16th October, I gave this a grand 8/10 when I reviewed it last year and said "All in all I was impressed".

New horror film Trick has been announced, it is to be directed by Patrick Lussier (My Bloody Valentine, Drive Angry, Terminator: Genisys). It is about an elusive serial killer who annually goes to a small town to do what he does best. The man hunting this killer known as Trick is Detective Denver who in the past shot and seemingly killed him.

Horror anthology Tales of Frankenstein premiered on October 24th theatrically, while it was released on VOD and DVD on October 19th. The film stars Mel Novak (Bruce Lee's Game of Death, An Eye for an Eye), Jerry Lacy, Ann Robinson (War of the Worlds), Jim Tavare, T.J Storm and Len Wein (the creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing). The anthology features four short films based on the short stories from the book of the same name by Donald F. Glut. These include My Creation, My Beloved, Crawler from the Grave, Madhouse of Death and Dr. Karnstein's Creation.

Next up is Tuftland which is a Finnish hillbilly thriller acquired by Subliminal Films for US distribution and is due for a theatrical release on March 1st. A head strong student accepts a summer job offer in the isolated village of Kyrsya only to find it full of sinister offbeat hillbillies. It has been noted for its 'controversial and provocative blend of feminist themes, arthouse refinement, and slasher tropes.

Horror/thriller D-Railed starring Lance Henrikson (Aliens, The Terminator) has recently been completed. A train derails into a river where the surviving passengers 'are faced with a grim challenge...die in the wreckage or face the unknown that awaits them in the murky waters below'. It has been coined with the hilarious genre name of Agatha Creature, check out the trailer below.

Andrew J.D Robinson's fourth annual 15 Second Horror Film Challenge has released a festival trailer. As the title suggests all the 500 plus films entered clock in at just 15 seconds long each. Judging takes place from November to December with two judge panels: a community panel and an impressive celebrity judges panel The list of celebrity judges is over 40 and features such people as Lloyd Kaufman (Troma), Jessica Cameron (American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon) and Jason Lively (Night of the Creeps). The final 20 last year were a lot of fun to watch and so I look forward to seeing what is chosen for this years contest winners.

The official trailer for Human Hibachi has came out now. This found footage horror is due for release in 2019 and is about a Japanese man documenting his girlfriends 35th birthday from the moment she wakes up to the moment everything goes wrong. This is currently in post production.

Finally as a Halloween treat is the free online release of short horror Goodnight, Gracie. When I reviewed this last year I gave it a solid 8/10 and thought it was pretty special. You should definitely check this one out. That is all to say for this round-up, except Happy Halloween!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

An Hour to Kill (2018) - Horror Film Review

Another day and another anthology, this time the gangster themed An Hour to Kill that was directed and co-written by Aaron K. Carter (Dead Kansas). I'm a fan of anthologies so another one isn't bad news at all. While this one had its problems I still got some enjoyment out of this due to some spirited performances.

Taking place in Los Angeles two hitmen: seasoned veteran Gio (Aaron Guerrero) and rookie Frankie (Frankie Pozos) have been sent out on a mission by their boss Mr. Kinski (Mel Novak - Bruce Lee's Game of Death, An Eye for An Eye). Before they can start though they have an hour to kill, so to while away the time the duo tell each other stories about horrific events that are purported to have taken place in the area.

There are four stories here including the wrap around one with each one being different enough to stand out. The main story An Hour to Kill is not horror related in the slightest (it had a feeling of Reservoir Dogs), yet the ones the characters in this tell are. This created a weird divide between genres but with such casting for Gio and Frankie I didn't mind. Frankie in particular shined due to Pozos entertaining turn as the eager newbie who constantly likens himself to a snake. There was good chemistry between these two and their wrap-around plot actually went places with a decent finale and a nice little cast of characters such as the mohawk wearing bartender Vince (Vince Kelvin) and the crazy tattooed gangster Arash (Arash Dibazer).

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Trapped Within (2017) - Horror Anthology Book Review

So I definitely do not read as often as I used to as I started reading horror anthology Trapped Within on 22nd September 2017 and only finished it last week! I blame video games to be honest...no, seriously. So the sign of a good anthology is the topic that ties the stories all together and the concept is as the title suggests being trapped. I will start off by saying though that the most horrific story out of all these isn't even a story, it is instead the introduction by Debbie Bradshaw who describes the real life event that was her father having a stroke. I didn't really know much about strokes and so it was heartbreaking to read about how much this affected both this man and those who love him. All proceeds of Trapped Within go towards the Stroke Association so even if I were to give this a bad review (spoiler; I don't) I would still implore people to buy the book.

This anthology features twenty four different short horror stories that as stated go with the idea of being trapped. Some of the authors of these I had heard of (such as James Newman - The Wicked, Duncan P. Bradshaw - Class Three, and Adam Millard - Larry) but the majority I had not read any of their stuff before, as I said I really do not read as much as I should. Looking at the mess of notes I made over the course of a year I can't see that there was any one story that I didn't like in one way or another but there were certainly ones that really stood out for me. I was not too impressed with the anthology to begin with and I think that was more how the stories were set out. The first three; That Damn Slit (Newman), With Blackest Moss (Christine Morgan) and ChaGrin (Jonathan Butcher) were each good in their own right, but all used an abusive family member as the idea of being trapped, I started to fear that all twenty four would follow the similar idea rather than branching out and trying different things. It is when some variation starts that Trapped Within really comes to life.