Sunday, 19 February 2017

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare: Rave in the Redwoods (2017) - Impressions of the new Zombies map

Rave in the Redwoods is the second Zombies map to be released for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and was included in the Sabotage DLC pack. With regards to the multiplayer DLC I just have to first say the map Noir is great, it takes place in a city at night with the rain pouring down. Anyway onto the Zombies info. As always this is merely my first impression, I in no way have seen everything this map has to offer.

The intro sequence is set up once more as a cartoon, the style didn't impress me the first time around so left me cold once again. After the four characters (Andre, Sally, AJ, and Poindexter) defeat the undead hordes in Zombies in Spaceland a portal opens up that teleports the group somewhere new. They are dismayed to find that once again they are slap bang in the middle of a zombie outbreak, this time they are in the 90's, the location; a remote rave in the redwoods.

Scream: Halloween Special (2016) - Horror TV Show Review

Scream was a revelation when it first came out, over the years the films had gotten more and more cliche ridden and ridiculous, yet here was a TV show that not only rebooted the plot, but also made it ever so slightly more realistic with it's vision. Season 2 of Scream while again pretty great did make me start to wonder how future tales could remain effective, and how often it could get away with the same group of characters finding themselves at the mercy of yet another killer. Some months after the second season aired, and in time for Halloween 2016 came a two part Scream special, mostly unrelated to the main show, but giving us yet another killer going after the unluckiest group of friends that ever existed. Warnings that there will be spoilers for the previous seasons, as well as a needed spoiler for the very start of the special.

It is some months since Kieran's reign of terror was brought to an end, and in fact the special picks up with his trial. After being sentenced to life imprisonment he is taken to a holding cell where a new mask wearing killer carries out his own sentence on the guy, albeit a more swift and brutal one. Meanwhile Noah and Gustavo who are now business partners are about to head to a place known locally as 'Murder Island' with their agent to carry out research for a new book. Emma wanting to get away from the media buzz surrounding her once again decides to tag along, with Audrey and Brook following for their own reasons. However the gang now find themselves at the mercy of a new psycho, one who is looking to meld together the Lakewood Killer persona with that of the 1920's based Murder Island persona...

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition (2014) - Horror Video Game Review (PS4)

When dark fantasy RPG Diablo first came out in 1996 I ended up with a demo of it. The game took place in one huge procedurally generated dungeon under the town of Tristram, it saw you hack and slashing your way to the bottom where the demon Diablo awaited. Up until getting Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition that small demo was all I had played of the series. As such I went into this fully expecting barely any story, and just the one dungeon, much in the way Torchlight was. I was pleased to discover not only quite a big plot, but also that you travel to many, many different places.

The game takes place in a fantasy world where there are three layers of existence; Hell, Sanctuary (Earth) and Heaven. After choosing your character you arrive in the small town of Tristram to investigate reports of a fallen star that has caused the dead to rise from their graves. From this humble beginning you uncover a plot by the arch demons of Hell to once again try and conquer Sanctuary.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Deep Shock (2017) - Short Giallo Film News and Trailer

I first mentioned Davide Melini's upcoming short giallo inspired film Deep Shock back in 2013 where it was still in pre-production. Some years later and this is now in post-production with a release due for summer time. As the title itself is a homage to two well known examples of Italian giallo; Deep Red (by Dario Argento) and Shock (by Mario Bava) it is very clear what type of short this will aspire to be.

The synopsis is; Sarah is unable to come to terms with the deaths of her grandfather and older sister. This grief coupled with lack of sleep leads her to embark on a strange journey of apparitions and murders, seemingly conjured from her mind.

So it is written and directed by Melini, and is produced from some notable names that include among them Luca Vincenzo (Avengers, Thor), Alexis Continente (Thor), Vincenzo Mastrantonio (Titanic), Bobby Holland (Game of Thrones, The Dark Knight Rises), Ferdinando Merolla (Hannibal Rising), and Roberto Paglialunga. Giallo is a unique genre, something I have read much about but only seen a handful of films. Check out the teaser trailer below that was effective in making this seem like something to care about...


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Truth or Dare (2013) - Horror Film Review

Sometimes not reading up on what a film is about before viewing it can really bite you on the backside. It's funny thinking back to the start of award winning Truth or Dare that my thoughts were how nice it was to get a fun horror that didn't seem to take itself too seriously. Fast forward an hour and a half and I am there in my front room, sweating, clinging limpet like to my sofa, a grimace on my face, wishing for it all to be over. An ordeal! This film was most certainly an ordeal.

The Truth or Dare Devils are a group of six friends including Jennifer played by Jessica Cameron (who also directed and co-wrote this), and fellow scream queen Heather Dorff who plays Michelle, who make seemingly real extreme truth or dare videos on the internet. Their latest video; a twist on Russian Roulette becomes the most popular one yet and it seems their increasing fame is all but assured. However while in the midst of making their latest masterpiece at a remote house, a crazed fan (played by Ryan Kiser from House of Manson) gate crashes and takes them all hostage. Discovering that what they do is staged he has decided to force them to take part in a real truth or dare, a game that as the night goes on gets more and more horrific with each passing round...

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Horror News Omnibus February 2017

It is that time again when my inbox has filled up with horror news, and so here is another combination post to siphon off some of it into the world of the internet. First off Johnny Macabre and The Blood Shed have announced a new horror based VOD site called I Bleed Indie. To picture it think of Shudder (a horror based Netflix), crossed with Vimeo. The site is focused on American indie and international horror films and so far there are over 100 films on there. The best part is that for indie film makers it offers a non-exclusivity deal where they get to keep 90% of any profit made. The films on offer are all dirt cheap to rent for 72 hours and include ones as Be My Cat: A Film for Anne, Killbillies, and Night of Something Strange. Check out the site here.

I have a trailer for Faces of 4. This is the debut short horror of photographer/videographer/musician Alexander Azzi. The synopsis is that a man finds himself forced to roll dice to determine his own fate and survival, and it has been described as having the minimalistic feeling of Saw crossed with the suspense of Alfred Hitchcock. The trailer looks intriguing, I did ask for a screener of the short but heard back no reply, almost as if my tiny fan blog is not the biggest of priorities! Anyway check out the trailer for yourself.

Next up are a couple of upcoming releases from MVD Entertainment Group, the first being Child Eater that comes to North American DVD and Digital formats on March 28th. This is based on the short film of the same name and is director Erlinger Thoroddsen's debut film that is described as 'a creepy, stylish roller-coaster ride inspired by the classic horror's of the 1980's'. A small boy goes missing from his bedroom in the middle of the night and so his babysitter heads out into nearby woodland to find him. However these woods used to be the hunting ground of a child focused serial killer whose death many years previously doesn't seem to have stopped him. Child Eater won four awards at the Fantastically Horrifying Cinema Festival that included 'Best Film', 'Best Actress', and 'Best Cinematography'.

On March 21st comes a 2K restoration of cult horrors House and House II: The Second Story in one package that is limited to 5000 copies, this will mark House's Blu-Ray debut. I own all four House films on VHS, they certainly vary in quality. The main thing I recall is an evil talking pizza (I believe that was House III). In the first one a horror novelist inherits his aunts old mansion that is full of evil supernatural beings. In House II a boy moves into the mansion of his deceased parents where he discovers his mummified great-great grandfather as well as an evil zombie cowboy. Both films have audio commentaries as well as making of documentaries.
Lastly from MVD Entertainment is The Burningmore Deaths which actually saw a release on 14th February. This is inspired by true events (isn't everything these days?) surrounding unsolved murders caught on security cameras during a production shoot of a home improvement style TV show pilot. Former Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate plays James Parrish; a man who vanished after apparently killing his wife and three kids. It turns out the home improvement show is filming at his old house, and that he has returned to carry on the murder.

Last but not least is zombie comedy horror Peelers (that I'm happy to say I got to see last year) has now got distribution. It is getting a Canadian theatrical release on March 24th, while it is getting American VOD release on 28th March. To celebrate this fact there is a new trailer, I have to say it is a hell of a lot better than the original trailer, check it out below.  That reminds me, I still need to watch Skew (the director of Peelers previous film).


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Reel Nightmare (2017) - Horror Film Review

Reel Nightmare is an indie horror that was written and directed by Amand Petri (who also acts in the film). Upon starting this I recoiled in horror when on-screen text talked about some footage that had been found at a bizarre crime scene. Found footage is a very over saturated genre, thankfully it is mostly found footage in name only, while characters are shown to occasionally be filming, the majority of this is far more traditional in the way it is shot.

The intro features an online horror investigator who speaks about some footage hacked from the local Police showing what happened in the unexplained Goodwin Manor murders that took place three years previously. We then follow the exploits of a group of friends who have gone to a remote Victorian house in order to help Christian (Garrett Morosky) film his university thesis. These people include his older brother, cousin, best friend Sophia (Mary Elizabeth Winstead lookalike Madeline Heil), as well as video blogger Hassan (Petri) and a few others. A series of weird occurrences that include one of the group getting inexplicably sick, discovering the tyres on their car have been slashed, and the power to the house going off make the friends think that someone is messing with them, so they decide to hold up in the old house over night, so that they can get help in the morning. However the actual cause may be down to the spirits of three witches who once used to live in the mansion.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart (2016) - Horror Video Game Review (PS4)

Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart is a hidden object puzzle game. My Dad is perhaps the biggest fan of this genre, he seems to have hundreds of the things. I noticed looking through them that a bizarre amount are set around horror in some way, this one is no exception dealing as it does with zombie pirates, ghosts and curses. This game first came out back in 2012 on the PC, this is apparently the first one of it's type to come out on the PS4.

You play as the owner of a museum who has just received the body and artifacts of legendary pirate Captain Remington. However once you adorn the corpse with it's belongings it comes to life and kidnaps your teenage daughter. Sneaking aboard it's pirate ship ( with the living dead acting as crew members) you end up at his old fortress; Skull Island. Here you must seek out the golden doubloons that will return the undead pirate back to his mortal form so that you can rescue your daughter.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Havenhurst (2016) - Horror Film Review

Havenhurst is a Gothic horror set in modern day New York, more specifically an apartment building that shares the film's title. It is directed by Andrew C.Erin who also co-wrote this with Daniel Farrands who I know best for also writing Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (not the best entry in the series). Danielle Harris has a bit part here, still on the Halloween trail to me she is best known for portraying young Jaime Lloyd in that series.

Julie Benz (Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dexter) stars as Jackie; a recovering alcoholic who has just left rehab. As part of her programme she is to move into Havenhurst; a gigantic apartment complex that seems to be exclusively for recovering addicts. She is told by the matriarchal owner Eleanor (Fionnula Flanagan) that the rules are simple, stay off her addiction and she can stay forever, break that rule and she will be evicted. However the building has a dark side to it, evicted tenants are dealt with quite harshly, and while they have been forced out their apartment, actually leaving Havenhurst is a different matter entirely.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Deadly Virtues: Love.Honor.Obey (2014) - Horror Film Review

I wasn't particularly looking forward to watching Deadly Virtues: Love.Honor.Obey, the cover featuring a naked woman in bondage ropes brought to mind Fifty Shades of Grey, while I have never seen that, it is with good reason I haven't. Despite that I am going to use a blanket term and say this is probably that film but done in a horror style (a most lazy comparison). Two random interesting facts; first this movie was filmed in Watford, UK, secondly the director Ate de Jong also directed the classic 90's comedy Drop Dead Fred.

A stranger (Edward Akrout) breaks into the home of married couple Tom (Matt Barber) and Alison (Megan Maczko) one evening. He ties up Tom and dumps him in a bath tub, and then tells Alison that for the weekend they are going to act as husband and wife, and that if she is believable enough doing this he shall leave her and her husband alone. Over the course of a few days Alison slowly starts to realise how broken her real marriage is, and that maybe this home invasion is the wake up call she needed...

Friday, 10 February 2017

Wicked Conclusions (2016) - Short Horror Film Review

Wicked Conclusions is a short horror film that was made by Fear Crypt Productions and directed and co-written by Phillip G. Carroll. I always love a good short horror, to me the short length means there really is no opportunity to get bored, while the tight time frame means usually a lot of thought has gone into each and every moment to create a piece that is as artistically great as humanly possible.

Amber (Chloe Hendrikson) accidentally discovers a young boy (Boy-yo Korodan) chained up in the basement of the house of the man she had been dating. Discovering this the man (Erik Searle) sees no option but to chain her up also. He tells her the boy is very dangerous and promises to release Amber once she has seen for herself what a threat he is. Is Ben completely insane, or does he know something terrible about the kid?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) - Zombie Horror Film Review

I have long awaited Resident Evil: The Final Chapter which as the title implies is the end to the divisive series. I have always liked the films, while they have never been amazing (with the exception of the very first, 2002's Resident Evil) they have constantly been good, even the worst in the series such as Resident Evil: Apocalypse and Resident Evil: Retribution had their fantastic moments. This final film loops around to complete the often disjointed and meandering tale. Spoilers for the previous films are bound to follow.

Humanities last stand at the White House in Washington DC turned out to be one huge trap set by Wesker (Shawn Roberts) to kill Alice (Milla Jovovich). However several weeks later and she emerges from the ruins of the once proud city, seemingly the only survivor. The Umbrella A.I named The Red Queen contacts Alice and tells her that there is an anti-virus to the zombie plague hidden back in Raccoon City, in the place the outbreak first occured; The Hive. Despite not trusting the devious A.I Alice decides to head back there to find it. However not only does she only have 48 hours to activate it before the last remaining bastions of humanity are wiped out, but she is being hunted by the leader of the Umbrella company; Dr Isaacs (Iain Glen) and his small army of deadly soldiers.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Cruel Summer (2016) - Horror Film Review

Cruel Summer is a dark British thriller that is realistic in it's portrayal of real world horror. I found this quite hard to watch as rather than monsters and psychos you have a scenario that plays out that seems like it could have happened. This movie is based on true events, but reading more into it, it is an amalgamation of different real life crimes rather than being based on one story.

After aggressive Nicholas (Danny Miller from Emmerdale) gets dumped by his girlfriend he heads to the house of his best friend; Julia (Natalie Martins) where in an effort to cheer him up she tells him his ex wasn't truthful with him so he's better off without her. As an example she happens to mention that his ex in the past had once slept with an autistic boy named Danny (Richard Pawulski) despite having told Nicholas she was a virgin. Enraged by this and looking to take out his extreme anger at the break up out on someone Nicholas initially decides he is going to find this boy and beat him up. Him and Julia get their friend Calvin (Reece Douglas) on board to help by lying that Danny is a paedophile. Meanwhile Danny has gone camping near some woodland, little does he suspect that the trio are on their way, and that they are going to do something truly awful to him...