Thursday, 21 November 2019

The Frankenstein Theory (2013) - Found Footage Horror Film Review

I love getting recommendations as it really is an opportunity to see something I would have otherwise missed. Back in July when putting up my review of the anthology film Tales of Frankenstein I received a comment on my Facebook page from Mikal CG saying I should check out the Andrew Weiner directed movie The Frankenstein Theory. This is a found footage horror with a premise that had me hooked right away, having seen it, it does suffer many of the pitfalls this type of movie often brings with it, yet I also found the setting, and the mystery to be worth the watch.

Professor Jonathan Venkenhein (Kris Lemche - Final Destination 3, Ginger Snaps) has become obsessed with a theory that most people thinks is insane. He believes that the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley was actually an account of a real life event that was disguised as fiction. This wild theory of his has caused him to be kicked out of university, as well as put a strain on his relationship with his girlfriend. In a last ditch attempt to show the world he isn't crazy he has put together a small film crew, and with them decides to head up into Antarctica in order to get documented proof that this creature does in fact exist...

I loved the idea behind this, within the context of a found footage it really was something different. With found footage though the more believable the acting, and the more believable the footage is, the more creepy it can feel. It starts off well enough with the traditional text on screen giving the set-up, but then it doesn't explain just how this footage came to be found and pieced together. Either the footage can just be shown as it was without context, or it can be edited together to make a cohesive story with an explanation given. Here it is the later, the story flows naturally, there is text on screen to indicate whenever it is a new day, yet it has some artistic licence with the inclusion of music playing at times. Music by Beethoven appears at a few points, while music plays out over the end credits. It fits the film well, and makes for a good ending, but I couldn't help but be removed slightly by wondering just who decided to add music to what was a tragic event, while they were editing the footage together.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

The Fare (2018) - Horror Film Review

I really loved the idea behind the D.C Hamilton directed mystery romance thriller The Fare. It falls into the sub genre of the Groundhog Day style repetitive time loop, though this time taking place entirely in a taxi, and the loop lasting all of twenty minutes. While this is not exactly horror it does have its moments, and blends together a romantic storyline with these elements.

Harris (Gino Anthony Pesi - Battle Los Angeles) is a taxi driver who has been sent by his dispatcher (Jason Stuart) to pick up a fare out in the middle of nowhere. He discovers a woman named Penny (Brinna Kelly - The Doll Collector, and who also wrote this) and they immediately have a connection. Twenty minutes into the journey Penny mysteriously vanishes, with no explanation for this occurrence Harris is told by his dispatcher to just reset his meter and head back. After resetting the meter Harris is once again on his way to pick up a fare out in the desert in the middle of nowhere, again his passenger is Penny, and the same thing occurs time and time again. Slowly Harris begins to realise he is stuck in a time loop with the woman, who also is aware of the phenomenon, together they try and find a way to break the cycle, but slowly start to fall in love as they do so.

I do love time travel and time loops in different types of media, from the obvious Groundhog Day and Happy Death Day, to the Black Mirror episode White Bear, and the Netflix show Russian Doll, this is a concept that works a lot, especially with horror. I liked how The Fare does something a little different, it felt unique that the character stuck in a time loop doesn't initially even realise he is in one. I had also not seen one of these types of idea set over such a limited scope as well. Nearly the entire film takes place inside the taxi cab, while being out in the desert there is nothing to distract. Instead you are brought into the dynamic between the two main characters. This is at its best when it is pushing the boundaries of the mystery of the loop, Harris trying to find ways to break out of the cycle, and the more horror based elements that comes from this. There was a lot of mystery to it all, I feel it could work if this was never explained, but here there is a pretty detailed reason revealed for just what is happening, with the film even carrying on a good ten to fifteen minutes after all the answers have been provided.

Monday, 18 November 2019

The Cunning Man (2019) - Short Horror Film Review

The award winning The Cunning Man is a short fantastical film that was directed by Zoe Dobson, and written by Ali Cook (who also appears in a role here). While it is not horror, it is instead based on folklore, and specifically on a man from history - John Harris, who lived in the late 18th and early 19th century who was known as a 'cunning man', and who is said to have used folklore magic to heal.

Afran Harries (Simon Armstrong - Game of Thrones TV show) spends his time gathering up animal corpses out in the countryside. The local knackerman (Cook) comes up with a plan with a friend to swindle Harries out of the corpses he has collected, so that they can sell them for a profit. However, Harries has his own ideas for exactly what will happen to the animals...

This is just over twelve minutes in length and was shot with a lot of care and attention. The rural setting, as well as the cast combine to give this a realistic feel that plays well with the more magical elements of this. This had some nice cinematography to it as well with some well framed shots, such as the pile of animal corpses, and the whole set-up of the ritual to be performed. It made a change to have something that could so easily have been horror not go down that route, and while I did expect something different I was pleased with how this all turned out. There is a limited cast but all were excellent and fitted the roles they played well. I also liked the use of music, during one particular moment the music cuts out entirely to build tension, and works as intended.

The Cunning Man was a wonderfully shot little film that worked as a cohesive package. This was a perfect length with everything included being essential to the tale of selflessness vs greed. The Cunning Man premiered at the Morbido Film Festival on 1st November.


Sunday, 17 November 2019

Crepitus (2018) - Horror Film Review

I have to say I had been looking forward to watching the Haynze Whitmore directed clown horror Crepitus. Over the past decade there has been many great clown based horror films, such as It, Clown and the fantastic Terrifier. With the horror legend Bill Moseley being involved here I expected great things. While Moseley himself is as fantastic as ever, this film was let down by a bit of an aimless plot.

Eli (Caitlin Williams) and her younger sister Sam (Chalet Lizette Brannan - Terror House) live with their abusive alcoholic mother (Eve Mauro - Age of the Living Dead TV show, Land of the Lost) in their grandfathers dilapidated house.They spend their days trying to avoid the wrath of their perpetually furious mum, while investigating the house to try and discover the cause of strange noises within the walls. Unknown to them a potentially immortal cannibal clown (Moseley - The Devil's Rejects, Repo! The Genetic Opera) resides in the basement.

I had high hopes for this movie but it soon become clear that it wasn't going to appeal to me. The majority of the film takes place in the house, with most of the screen time dedicated to the two sisters. Their story begins in a really dull way with them trying to find out the cause of strange noises. This didn't make for a riveting story. Better would be the interactions they have with their vile mum, played with demented glee by Mauro. She mentally and physically abuses her children, but the effect of this is lost due to the children's monotone performances. They are children so it isn't fair to be too harsh on them, and it isn't really even that they are bad actors, it is more that whether they are meant to be happy, sad, angry, or scared they always look and speak in the exact same measured way. It may well be how they were directed to act, maybe the years of abuse was meant to have numbed them, but it didn't make for exciting protagonists, or people I cared about.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Nefarious (2019) - Horror Film Review

Richard Rowntree's (Dogged) Nefarious is a frustrating film to review purely for the fact that at just over the halfway mark it transforms genres completely with a twist I just did not see coming. Due to how late this occurs I can't spoil it, so I will have to dance around that part a bit. For the first forty five minutes of this I was concerned this wasn't actually a horror, it wouldn't be the first time I had agreed to review a film only to discover the genre didn't really fit my blog. The film felt like a crime drama, something that would be on TV in the evening, but then this abruptly, and fantastically changes tracks.

Wasters Darren, Lou, Jo and Mas owe a lot of money to a local criminal and so need to quickly raise the funds before he makes an example out of them. Jo is a cleaner and works for a wealthy man; Marcus (Toby Wynn-Davies - Escape from Cannibal Farm, Dogged), coincidentally enough she had happened to recently accidentally discover the combination to his safe. Desperate to get money quickly Darren comes up with a plan to break into his house in order to rob him, they know Marcus will be out, and that the only person they will need to deal with is his mentally challenged brother Clive (Gregory A. Smith - Dogged). However things do not go exactly according to plan...

I spent a lot of this thinking it was something different to what it turned out to be. Even during this time I was enjoying Nefarious, I figured it would go something along the lines of Cruel Summer in which the group would end up torturing and killing Clive. What I really liked about this first section was that it is established early on that most the film is taking place in the past, as it keeps going forward in time to show a police interrogation room in a similar fashion to Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. It was fun watching these interrogation scenes and trying to guess what was going to happen, by the clues the detectives gave as they ask questions, and by who is, and who isn't present in these scenes. It created a real aura of mystery that kept me involved despite a cast of mostly nasty characters.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Jurassic Night (2019) - Short Horror Film Review

Andrea Ricca excels in making short sci-fi and horror films, many of them only a few minutes in length. At first glance they don't look great, featuring basic CGI and often telling a very similar story. Dig a little deeper and it becomes more impressive when you take into account that Ricca creates these almost completely by himself. Not only starring in the majority of them, but being responsible for the creation of the CGI and most other aspects.

In Jurassic Night there is an accident at a genetics company, resulting in the dinosaurs they had created getting loose. A man (Ricci) discovers this, and soon arms himself with a pistol and brings the fight to the escapees, taking on raptors, and even a T-Rex as he does so.

This is two and a half minutes of madness, with the nonplussed man fighting a variety of Playstation 2 era computer generated dinosaurs. These creatures never look like they fit into the real world they inhabit, and there is some lighting issues on them that make them stand out even more. Also the plot is a comfortable one, seen in many of his other films such as Spider Danger, Aliens Night and The Giant Scorpion. With Ricca's films you come to expect this though, it is part of the charm for this self created style of movies he makes. The D.I.Y attitude cannot help but be charmful, there is something endearing about watching these, that are always made to entertain first and foremost. I could watch these all day.


Monday, 11 November 2019

She Will Return (2019) - Short Horror Film Review

She Will Return is chapter 2 of Jeff Payne's The Pale Faced Lady saga, the first part being released back in spring. While I liked the idea behind that one it did feel a bit traditional in how it was set out. Also it didn't really tell a story in a satisfying way. Despite some issues I had with the camera work it was still fairly decent, thanks to Payne's sublime editing skills. She Will Return tells somewhat of a more rounded story.

John L. Altom (The Stranger TV series) stars as Father, a man who not only lost his wife due to an accident, but who has recently lost his only daughter (Rachel Taylor). He stays secluded in his remote dilapidated home, yearning to be able to see his daughter one last time. However he really should be careful what he wishes for...

Again here the editing is wonderful, there is an added injection of art-house style quick edits of the daughter while she was still alive that I found to be very effective. I also enjoyed how the pale faced lady is hidden in the background of many scenes, similar to what they did in The Haunting of Hill House. It made for some creepy visuals, especially when she is in the background of scenes Father is also in. I also found the whole after credits sequence to be fantastic, it was the highlight of this ten minute short for me, and had genuine moments of horror. I did feel that the majority of this, like The Pale Faced Lady before it was a bit underdeveloped, while I liked how this was made, not much really happens. It seemed like this ended just as it was really getting started. It does seem to tie into the first film in a clever way though so watching that first will add a bit to your enjoyment of this. This is a part in a saga, however many shorts that turns out to be, but I still would have preferred a resolution, rather than this feeling like it was a slice out of a bigger plot going on.

The quality of She Will Return is obvious to see, and from a directing and cinematography perspective the films of Payne will always draw me in like a moth to flame. The story itself though I felt to be the weakest part, it can sometimes feel traditional to a fault. Saying all that I do eagerly await to see where this goes next, colour me interested. Check it out for yourself below.


Saturday, 9 November 2019

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) - Comedy Zombie Horror Film Review

Zombieland came out during a time when zombies really where in vogue, nowadays they seem to have slightly slipped off the radar a tiny bit. The movie was quite funny, and well made, but after a TV show based on it failed I really didn't expect there to ever be a sequel. To celebrate the ten year anniversary a sequel has indeed been made, and it brings together all the original cast members, as well as director Ruben Fleischer (Venom, 30 Minutes or Less). Zombieland: Double Tap isn't something I had heard much about, so when I went to see the film I was expecting to be disappointed. While it doesn't do much differently to what came before it was nice to reunite with all these old characters.

Ten years after zombie apocalypse, and ten years after the events of Zombieland, survivors Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson - War for the Planet of the Apes, Natural Born Killers), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Wichita (Emma Stone - The Amazing Spider-Man), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin - Signs) are living a stable, if dull life at the White House. After Columbus proposes to Wichita, fearing commitment she decides to leave the group, Little Rock going along with her due to wanting to find people of her own age to spend time with. Around a month later Wichita returns with news that her sister has ditched her after meeting a pacifist named Berkeley (Avan Jogia - Shaft). Fearing for her safety due to the appearance of evolved zombies that are near indestructible, the group set out to find her, along with ditsy newcomer Madison (Zoey Deutch).

This is more of the same, but after a gap of ten years this really was no bad thing. The comedy hasn't changed which on occasion does make some of the jokes feel a bit dated. The format is also similar. Columbus narrates the story as it goes along, much like before, and for his character his many rules are still a focal point of a lot of the humour. I really enjoy these fourth wall breaking moments though, his rules physically showing up on screen (well CGI, but are able to be affected by stuff happening) were always amusing. The 'zombie kill of the week' awards are back, and even more crazy than they were before, this time upgraded to 'zombie kill of the year' awards. Occasionally the characters are left behind to then show a little skit of a random survivor killing zombies in funny ways, my favourite of these being one part set in Italy, not that I can say more as I don't wish to spoil the surprise. The movie starts the same way with zombie attacks playing out over a song, this time it has the group battling zombies in slow motion on the lawns of the White House as Metallica's Master of Puppets song plays. This was a very cool way to start things off.

Friday, 8 November 2019

MediEvil (2019) - Horror Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

In the late 1990's a fun Tim Burton-esque horror adventure game MediEvil was released, having loved the demo of it I went and and purchased it on its day of release. Well, time is cylindrical as a few weeks back a remake of MediEvil was released on the Playstation 4, and again I purchased it on day one. When I reviewed the original game back in 2014 I pointed out quite a few issues I had encountered, but would these issues be rectified for this remake?

As I have technically already reviewed this game, albeit an older version I will concentrate here more on what is new and changed. To briefly sum up the story...evil sorcerer Zarok believed defeated by legendary knight Daniel Fortesque hundreds of years in the past has returned to wreak havoc across the kingdom of Gallowmere. Part of his plan includes bringing the dead back to life to create an undead army, however this magic also resurrects Fortesque. While Daniel was remembered as the saviour of the land when Zarok first attacked with his army, he actually fell at the very start of the battle, and so newly revived he sees this as an opportunity to finally be the hero the world thinks he already is.

So MediEvil is a third person level based adventure game that sees you playing as Fortesque battling your way across twenty or so levels, all with a horror theme to them, and music that sounds very much like something Danny Elfman would come up with. The remake remains extremely faithful to the original, sometimes to a fault. The level layout is identical, as is the enemy placement, and bosses. This makes muscle memory soon kick in, and so I knew exactly what I should be doing. It is a shame then that along with this faithful recreation comes many of the problems I always had with the controls. Daniel is a slippery character that makes the combat often chaotic, with your character often unable to avoid attacks. There are a few platform sections that become needlessly tricky due to the slidy feel of your character, made more frustrating by the fact that you lose an entire life bar of energy should you fall into water/off a cliff. The controls have improved somewhat I noticed, the level Pools of the Ancient Dead I always approached with dread due to the narrow pathways around pools of water. This time around though it just may be the easiest level in the entire game. The camera was always terrible in the original game, and here it is improved, but that doesn't mean it is any good yet, as I found myself wrestling with it on more than one occasion. Like before it is not uncommon for the camera to get stuck on scenery and so remains a bit of a pain.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Art of the Dead (2019) - Horror Film Review

Art of the Dead is an indie horror film written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky (Party Bus to Hell). Much like that one this features plenty of over the top acting, one dimensional characters, an entertaining plot, and some make-up effects that both look good at times, and bad at others. One part that unquestionably shines is the many paintings by Clint Carney that feature here. They not be masterpieces as the story asserts they are, yet they are still good and added a lot to the general plot.

Businessman Dylan (Lukas Hassel) and his wife Gina (Jessica Morris) purchase a series of paintings by a master 19th century artist (Danny Tesla as Dorian Wilde) in a charity auction. The seven paintings are of a series of animals and represent the seven deadly sins. The couple put up the paintings in their mansion, but unknown to them these hold a deadly power, able to corrupt victims into becoming the personification of each sin. The couples son, Louis (Zachary Chyz) and his girlfriend Kim (Alex Rinehart - They're Inside, The Black Room) happen to be visiting during the time of the purchase and soon Kim finds herself in a race against time to stop the paintings evil influences before it completely destroys the family.

Many aspects of this horror were cheesy, which isn't helped by a generally weak script. There were elements of the plot that especially later on led to me being taken out of the film due to the wild things that happen. Occasionally the story beats here are defeated by designs that make this feel a bit low budget, even if the ideas are nice enough. I loved the idea of these paintings corrupting people, and this was done in a variety of ways. Louis becomes the focal point of Dorian Wilde, whose brought to life in a very over the top way by Tesla. Each victim becomes exaggerated in how they act which in a film like this actually kinda works. Gina gets possessed by lust, Louis by wrath, the two young children by sloth, Dylan by greed, and daughter Donna (Cynthia Aileen Strahan) by envy. Each plays up to their sin in an increasingly dramatic way, with Donna in particular becoming a highlight to the growing mania, her scenes were always a delight to watch. The acting is never amazing, but at least with the concept this can be hidden. I found the protagonist Kim to be the most dull of the characters here, there just wasn't much to her character and compared to everyone else she just seemed a bit lifeless. The wider cast includes among its actors Tara Reid (Alone in the Dark, Urban Legends), Richard Grieco (22 Jump Street) and prolific actor Robert Donavan who were all used well in their small roles.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Doctor Sleep (2019) - Horror Film Review

I try my best to watch any horror film that plays at the cinema. While most the stuff I review is what people have sent me, I do like to watch horror on the big screen when I can. I wasn't particularly feeling Doctor Sleep though. As I have stated on many occasions I don't really think the works of Stephen King are that great (I am trying to read more of his stuff though, currently a quarter of the way into Needful Things). I also don't think The Shining was as stunning as it has been made out to be. I think Stanley Kubrick is an astounding director, but that film just couldn't match the expectations I had for it when I first saw it many years ago. Doctor Sleep is a sequel to that movie specifically, even going as far as to include a remade clip or two from it, and with horror director Mike Flanagan (The Haunting of Hill House, Hush) at the helm it was in good hands.

Danny (Ewan McGregor - Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace, Trainspotting) is a recovering alcoholic haunted by the experience he had as a kid at the remote, haunted Overlook Hotel. Now grown up he lives in a small American town where he works as an orderly at a nursing home. A young girl named Abra (Kyliegh Curran) psychically contacts him one day, as the pair both share the 'shining' ability, that gives them access to a whole host of psychic powers, from astral projection, to mind reading. Abra has discovered there is a demonic group of travellers that are led by a woman called Rose (Rebecca Ferguson - Life, The Girl on the Train). This group travel around America searching out children who can 'shine', in order to kill them and consume their light. Eventually Danny is convinced to help out Abra to try and put a stop to these dangerous people.

I found quite a bit of Doctor Sleep to fittingly be quite dull and tiring to watch. I put most of this down to me though, I was not in the right mood to be watching this, while the film being over two hours in length couldn't help but make me feel like there could be better ways to spend my last day off before returning to work. Thankfully the second half of this has much more going on in it, and while I was still clock watching I was able to quite enjoy that part a lot more than the first. While this is a sequel to The Shining it is a brand new unrelated story. The most carried over is how much trauma Danny experienced from that time, and how it has shaped his life. No actor from the first film appears (aside from unrelated background characters) but the characters themselves do, from Danny and his Mum, as well as the various ghosts of the Overlook Hotel that mostly appear in flashback sequences (even Jack himself, though not played by Nicholson). As the trailer shows the Overlook Hotel itself makes an appearance, and I don't know if it was just nostalgia but I loved returning to this place, the part that most delighted me and what kept me going throughout knowing it would turn back up at some point.

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

The Evil Within: The Interlude (2017) - Horror Graphic Novel Review

The first The Evil Within graphic novel was released to serve as a prologue to the first game in the survival horror video game series. The Evil Within: The Interlude in a similar fashion is designed to help set up the events, or at least the themes of The Evil Within 2. By using the protagonist of that series - Detective Sebastian Castellanos there isn't so much wiggle room to make something too horror orientated. Being an official graphic novel it would be strange if Sebastian got caught up in anything overtly horror based and to then make no mention of it in the second game. While the previous book combined four issues, this one combines just two, and so makes for a slimmer story.

Not long after the events of The Evil Within Sebastian is back at his job, cleared for duty despite the fantastical tale he told in his police report, stories of being trapped in someone else's mind due to a device named STEM. Him and his new partner Tobias are investigating a series of murders that have been committed by a serial killer that appears to be obsessed with nursery rhymes, however unknown to the pair this killer might actually have some connection to the mysterious organisation responsible for the creation of the STEM device. That is if any of this is actually true as Sebastian may be dreaming this happening, he may be suffering from delusions, or he may have never actually ever left the nightmare reality he got trapped in during the first game.

The art style for this second novel is a lot more realistic, in a stylised way, it looses the more cartoon like bright colours and goes for a more murky tone with moody visuals and dark environments. It brought to mind more the style of the Silent Hill graphic novels, though with more consistent artwork that made it easier to follow than those often confusing ones. This too is quite a confusing story due to the amount of swapping around, with Sebastian getting caught in dream sequences, only one of which features a familiar monster from the game series. I was even more confused due to the apparent rewrite of history for the protagonist. Previously his wife had gone missing, and his daughter had died in a house fire, but here suddenly Sebastian is still with his wife Myra, and instead their daughter went missing while out playing. It all makes sense by the end but it led to be having to have a quick Wikipedia read of the first games story just to make sure I had remembered it correctly.

As an in between story this at times felt kind of pointless, the set-up for The Evil Within 2 is minimal, and what happens doesn't really affect anything. As much as I enjoyed the brief read of this story, and enjoyed the jumbled up way it has of telling its story it added nothing. There are some interesting ideas for why Sebastian is seeing so much strange stuff, and I particularly liked the double page spread of him explaining to his therapist what happened to him, due to how funny it sounded. There is also some bloody scenes here that the good artwork helps display.

The Interlude was a good enough graphic novel, however it is a bit shallow and I could never shake the feeling I had that this just wasn't needed at all. Unless I'm mistaken it adds nothing to the series, and as such it just is not essential reading.


Sunday, 3 November 2019

Countdown (2019) - Horror Film Review

When I first saw the trailer for Countdown (written and directed by Justin Dec)  I wasn't that taken with it. It seemed like yet another by the numbers horror that brought to mind One Missed Call. However everyone else seemed to really be looking forward to it. The Fright Meter Awards committee I'm a part of seemed excited to see it, and I overheard people at my day job saying how much they wanted to see it. Then, an hour before I was due to go see it for myself I received a text from my sister saying she found it so scary that she couldn't last till the end and had left halfway through, followed soon after by her boyfriend. This gave me a greater desire to check it out for myself, to see if I could finally find a horror legitimately scary again.

Quinn (Elizabeth Lail - Unintended) is a nurse who one day learns that one of her patients believes the operation he is due to have is going to kill him, due to a phone app called 'Countdown' he downloaded that allegedly predicts when someone is going to die. She decides to download it for herself, thinking it to be nonsense, but later learns her patient did indeed die. Her own stated time of death is in four days time, and after a series of frightening hallucinations she starts to believe the app is legitimate. She ends up teaming with a man named Matt (Jordan Calloway - Black Lightning, Riverdale) who is also destined to die within the next few days, and together they set out to try and find a way to survive past their predicted death dates.

So this does indeed share similarities with One Missed Call, but more so it felt this was familiar to Drag Me to Hell, The Ring, and the Final Destination series. Having a specific time frame with which to cheat death was prevalent in all of those movies and so from the beginning this never felt too original. This has a strong first act, but this became to the detriment of the overall film as all the most creepy parts were front loaded here. By around the halfway point the horror has mostly been diluted, with it just being a race against time for Quinn and two others to save themselves. I felt that it would have benefitted this more if there had been more victims, as the victim count is low here, where something like the Final Destination films have more victims, and more inventive deaths. I liked the idea that if you changed what you had planned to do in order to prevent getting killed then you would still die anyway, but with each death shown it gets less and less unique. This wasn't helped by the scariest kill in the film being shown in the trailer, so I knew it was coming.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Beloved Beast (2018) - Horror Film Review

When I sat down to begin watching Beloved Beast I was a bit taken aback to discover it was nearly three hours long. Sometimes people just don't know when to edit and so I was worried I was going to be in for a snooze-fest. However, there was only really one scene that felt a bit over long, surprisingly the vast majority of this horror was excellent.

After being in a car crash that left both her parents dead, a young girl named Nina (Sanae Loutsis - The Black String) is sent to live with her Aunt Erma (Joy Yaholkovsky). Erma doesn't want to be looking after the girl as she would much rather be drinking and doing drugs, and so she neglects the girl, leaving her home alone for days at a time. Elsewhere a dangerous mentally retarded man (Jonathan Holbrook, who also wrote and directed this) escapes from a nearby asylum, and stumbles across Nina as she is getting attacked by some local teenagers in the woods. He kills her attackers, and due to wearing a rabbit mask that she had lost earlier, and with the head injuries she sustained in the car accident, she identifies him as her saviour and invites him to come live with her. However it starts to become more and more apparent to the girl that the man she calls Harvey cannot control his murderous impulses, and soon friend and foe alike are in danger of the 'Rabbit King' and his wooden mallet. The killers actual name is Milton, but for the sake of this review he will be known as Harvey due to that being the name he is most referred to as by the protagonist.

I loved this film, from the very start I was drawn in to this very bleak world. It starts off with the car crash scene which showed off the great make-up effects for corpses, the blood looks congealed and plentiful, a visually attractive choice that worked so well for the many, many corpses, this has quite a high body count! Often it would be hard to identify with a main character who is so obviously twisted, yet by setting the film in such a nasty place means that the majority of the victims are more than deserving. I did think it was a bit over the top just how many degenerates and criminals live in the town, but this is specifically brought up in one scene in which policeman Paul (Morgen Johnson - Grimm) has a conversation with his superior about why such a small town needs eight coroners. It is still pretty ridiculous that on one small walk Nina gets robbed at gunpoint, witnesses a kidnapping and a murder, and then nearly gets murdered by Satanists! A bit over the top for sure but it does make the scenes of violence more satisfying.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

The Rotting Zombie's Round-up of Horror News for October - Halloween Edition

If all has gone well this news post should be going up on my favourite holiday of the year, obviously Halloween. The only downside of living with horror all year round is that it can be hard to do anything special, the amount of films I get sent for review, coupled with the limited free time I have means I don't have too much additional stuff planned. As for Halloween itself I am planning to go cinema with my bestie to watch Zombieland 2: Double Tap, and my stream some horror games to my poor neglected YouTube channel at the weekend. It turns out that didn't exactly happen, instead going for a spooky curry instead of the cinema, which shall now happen at the weekend.

Some video game news to begin with, starting with the late announcement of the fourth and final Zombies DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops IV. This new map is again actually a remake, this time it is Call of the Dead brought kicking and screaming into modern day with it this new version called Tag Der Toten. Gone is the George Romero boss zombie and the four celebrity characters, instead you now play as one of the four characters from the Black Ops II Zombies mode.
Back in the 90's there was a horror themed action game called MediEvil, and last Friday a remake of this came out. It is very faithful to the original making it quite nostalgic, though it suffers old fashioned issues such as a bad camera, and can be quite unforgiving due to the fact your health doesn't refill in between levels.
Finally, 1971 Project Helios is an upcoming turn based strategy game that combines modern warfare military tactics and close combat. It takes place in a frozen world where eight people (the characters you control) team up to find a missing scientist. On their journey they deal with raider attacks, investigate military headquarters, and infiltrate a anti-technological religious sect. I love this style of game despite being terrible at them, but it does look pretty.

Psychological horror film Anyone Home (previously Model Home) has recently been released by Gravitas Ventures. This stars Jasper Cole (The Rookie), Kathy Baker (Picket Fences) and Monique Gabriela Curnen (The Dark Knight), and is the first feature film from director Patrick Cunningham. In this horror a single mother (Curnen) moves into an unsold property in an empty development and soon get entangled with a creepy local voyeur (Cole).

Filmmaker David Axe (Shed) has a new film in development named Lection. This is a political thriller set in a post-apocalyptic world, and is about a mayor of a small town seeking to gain power. The cast includes Sanethia Dresch and Mike Amason in leading roles. There is currently an Indiegogo campaign running to help finish production and distribution of this that can be found here. With a description as good as 'a local election in a Mad Max-style universe' this may be one to watch out for.

Documenting the Witch Path (love the title) is a found footage horror from director Carl Sundstrom that Terror Films have acquired worldwide rights to. Inspired by actual events this follows three young documentary filmmakers (Nathaniel P. Erlandsson, Robin Franzen and Carl Sundstrom) who discover a path in the woods to a secluded lake named 'Witch Lake' where in the past those accused of witchcraft were drowned in. This award winning film was released on 11th October on a variety of VOD sites.
Talking of Terror Films, they and Global Digital Releasing are set to begin putting their films on Roku. Twenty one films have been selected including Hell House LLC, Patient Seven, and the documentary Untold and Unearthed: The Path to Pet Sematary.

Veronica Carlson (Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed) has signed on to play Dr. Whittingham in Anthony Calvitti's new short film Night of the Devil. Other cast members include Lauren LaVera (Terrifier 2, Clinton Road), Rachel Keefe (Vessel, Watchtower), George Williams (Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks), and Richard Lyntton (Creed). This movie is also to feature music by Cactus and Black Sabbath. The synopsis is that in 1978 four teens enter the woods the night before Halloween and come face to face with the Devil. For more information check out the Indiegogo campaign page here.

What seems surely like a post designed merely to drive traffic to a curtain shop website actually was pretty cool so I am going to mention it. Over on The Mill there is an article about iconic movie posters recreated out of felt. These include Alien, Jaws and The Silence of the Lambs, I have used the Jaws one as this months news header image, so the obligatory credit to The Mill Shop for the use of the image.

Music news now, first a pop/rock song called I Want Red. It is available to listen to on Spotify which I don't actually use. However if you want to check it out for yourself head here.
Lola Black has released the official music video for the cover of Concrete Blonde's Bloodletting (Vampire Song). Originally premiering on Dread Central this will become available via The Label Group/INgrooves Music Group on November 1st (Day of the Dead)

Minnesota based cinematic rock band Coyote Kid have released a concept album named Skeleton Man that is based on the dark world first revealed in the debut single Femme Fatale. This album contains 13 tracks and can be pre-ordered now. They have also created a treasure hunt that can be initiated by a secret code hidden in the album. Finding the treasure will result in free shows for life for the band, as well as a merch bundle.

I actually have plenty more news this month I have received in the half week since I wrote this news post, sadly I don't have the time to be able to add that on to October's news so it shall have to wait till the end of November.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Transit 17 (2019) - Post Apocalyptic Zombie Film Review

I am always more than happy when a zombie film is sent my way, and so upon hearing about Transit 17 I knew it was something I needed to see. This was written and directed by Guy Bleyaert (The Last Inquisitors) who also has a starring role here. Despite featuring the undead it would be disingenuous to call this a zombie film, as those creatures sadly only appear in the one scene. However, despite this I found Transit 17 to be an entertaining watch despite any issues that popped up.

The film takes place in a world where a virus caused worldwide zombie apocalypse six years back. During this time a group calling themselves 'Marshals' (I may be wrong on the name) took over control of Europe, their aim to not only wipe out all the undead, but also to wipe out any opposition to their rule. To counter this a resistance group emerged that seems to be made up of ex-military. The resistance learns of a possible cure for the deadly virus, and are tasked with delivering a teenage girl to the UK that will facilitate the creation of a vaccine. A group of soldiers led by Tex (Bleyaert) that include among them Eve (Zara Phythian - Cannibals and Carpet Fitters, Doctor Strange) and, Brad (Lee Charles - Cannibals and Carpet Fitters) set out to complete this dangerous task, helped by their handlers who include Snow (Stefanie Joosten - the inspiration and voice of Quiet in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain).

For such a grandiose story there were going to be constraints with how Transit 17 was created. One of the most obvious ones here is how sparingly the outside locations are used. Outside of a few key scenes around two thirds of this takes place inside, whether it be inside an armoured vehicle while travelling, or inside a variety of disused warehouses. The scope of the devastation of the virus outbreak is only ever suggested, though there is a good sense of this in how the characters talk. The other obvious constraint was the overarching use of CGI. Sometimes this could be a problem, but Transit 17 really goes all in with this, everything from muzzle flashes, to explosions is full of CGI that looks slightly too clean. I didn't mind this though, as most the time it was not bad, and when it was bad it was funny rather than distracting. A whole sequence involving a helicopter looked quite terrible, but this one section managed to look so bad it swung the other way and become entertainly so, I let out a happy laugh with the culmination of that scene. Elsewhere the CGI really works wonders. This takes place in the near future, so has sci-fi elements such as computer interfaces everywhere, and holograms. Scenes taking place in the antagonists base were a highlight, I loved the parts that have the main bad guy, credited as 'Commander' (Silvio Simac - Transporter 3) talking to a hologram of his boss.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Killer Unicorn (2018) - Horror Film Review

I admit to not being that sure what I would think of slasher Killer Unicorn. A hot pants wearing killer targeting drag queens sounded a little bit out there. Rather than try to make this subject matter serious there is instead a line of humour throughout that plays to the self obsessed and vapid cast of characters.

It is nearly a year to the day since Danny (Alejandro La Rosa) was attacked by an unknown man who drugged his drink at a gay bar, before being saved by his friends who left the attacker for dead. Now there is a unicorn mask wearing killer on the loose (Dennis Budesheim), who has started killing Danny's friends off one by one. He soon begins to realise this unicorn killer's main target is him, and that if he is to stop the killing he will have to confront this demon from his past.

Unsurprisingly for a film about drag queens this is quite a camp film with all the characters acting and speaking with exaggerated gestures. With their unique make-up (costume design and make-up are a highlight of this) and the locations that are mostly made up of various gay clubs this has a strong visual design to it. The cast of conceited and self absorbed people make for some amusing moments as no one is treated seriously. These are people who walk right by corpses without even noticing them, and whose immediate thought upon seeing a blood soaked victim is that it is a 'new look' the person was going for. From the very beginning the films tone is set out, particularly with a fun intro credit sequence that has all the actors and the characters they play introduced via a series of text messages in a group chat they are all in. It can be exhausting at times with so many dramatic acting people but leads to some humour such as when someone comments "that's a really cute look for a killer".

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Halloween at Aunt Ethel's (2019) - Horror Film Review

Halloween at Aunt Ethel's is a comedy horror film written and directed by Joseph Mazzaferro (Scathing). After a decent enough start I had hopes this might actually turn out to be good. However with a plot lacking substance, humour that mostly falls flat, and too much unnecessary archaic titillation it soon becomes clear this couldn't become anything really worth watching.

Best friend high schoolers, Melissa (Madeleine Murphy) and Mandy (Stephanie Town - Phantom Flyer) are walking home one day in October when Mandy starts talking about a local woman known as Aunt Ethel (Gail Yost - Anne). There is an urban legend in the area saying decades ago the old woman murdered her entire family, and that every Halloween she kills and eats anyone who dares trick or treat at her house. Melissa thinks the story is ridiculous, but it turns out to be true, and this Halloween Aunt Ethel has her sights set on the girl...

The best part of this entire movie is the prologue, so it was all downhill from there. It is established straight away that Aunt Ethel is in fact crazy, after she is shown killing two teens with an axe. This horror is quite comedy orientated but can come across as not funny, and at worst even a bit awkward to sit through. A lot of the jokes come from the Aunt Ethel character who attempts to be a wise cracking slasher in the vein of Leprechaun (it even features a terrible rap performed by the cast that plays over the end credits, much like Leprechaun 5: In the Hood did). For all the jokes here I can only think of one that worked for me, that of a trick or treating father and son deciding to skip Aunt Ethel's house when they hear screams coming from there during the finale. To the films credit though there isn't really many sex jokes, and bodily function jokes are absent altogether, these are often the most low brow type of jokes these type of films often include. It is also good that the comedy doesn't really get in the way of the action, there are moments here played for horror exclusively.

Thursday, 24 October 2019

The Curse of Lilith Ratchet (2018) - Horror Film Review

The Curse of Lilith Ratchet is a horror that was both written and directed by Eddie Lengyel (Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride, Scarred). It fits into the sub-genre of horror of young adults messing with things they really shouldn't be, resulting in paranormal haunting (think Truth or Dare, The Bye Bye Man). It has long been a criticism of mine about these types of films that they always feel very formulaic, typically having a second act lull where the origins of the supernatural evil are explored. Having now watched a film in which there is no second act lull I am considering my previous wishes, as this movie really wasn't the most exciting one out there.

After stealing a shrunken head from a new age magic shop, friends Alice (KateLynn E. Newberry - Auditorium 6) and Lauren (Brianna Burke) sell it to a local paranormal podcaster - Hunter (Rob Jaeger - Chill: The Killing Games). His research leads him to discover the head belonged to a woman named Lilith Ratchet (Crissy Kolarik), who apparently hundreds of years back performed a ritual that would grant her eternal life, so that she could forever force the world to feel the pain her husband's betrayal caused, by placing a curse on herself. By reciting a rhyme and playing a game (seemed to basically be 'hot potato') with the shrunken head participants are able to summon the spirit of the woman. Thinking all this wouldn't actually do anything, Hunter decides doing a live podcast at a Halloween party in which him and others play the game is a good idea. It is not long after though that people begin to die, in the order in which they lost the game of 'hot shrunken head'.

At around one hour forty five this felt like it was a bit too long, I felt that a good fifteen minutes of this could have been cut, there were even entire scenes that I felt added nothing at all to what was happening (Hunter talking to his mum, and a seance, as two such examples). It is quite slow to start, with the first victim dying around the forty minute mark (not including the obligatory prologue that shows the final participants of a previous game getting offed). So while usually there would be some research into just what is happening midway through, this instead occurs nearly right away. Thanks to the internet Hunter is able to immediately explain the whole backstory of Lilith Ratchet. This takes place as a flashback sequence, and it was a good way to show the story. Lilith herself at least looks cool, contact lenses to give her eyes a freaky look, pale skin, a Victorian style dress, and long black claw like fingernails. Her character isn't that interesting though, she doesn't speak, her story isn't at all sympathetic, and she has a physicality to her that makes her presence not as creepy. She really doesn't do too much either.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Spine Chiller (2019) - Horror Anthology Film Review

2018 saw the release of the indie horror anthology film Weird Fiction that I absolutely loved, despite some constraints from the budget that meant some of the mini-films included in it could be a bit low on quality. Well, director and writer Jacob Perrett is back with another horror anthology - Spine Chiller, that could be seen as a spiritual successor to Weird Fiction in that it is also based heavily in the eighties, and also has been 'aged' to make it seem like a lost cult classic. The quality of this new Halloween themed film is very impressive, though the plot I admit left me a lot confused, so apologies if my summary isn't completely correct.

Spine Chiller is set out much more like a traditional film, rather than have a host introducing the shorts. They are instead flawlessly edited in, so much so that on occasion it took me a while to even realise I was watching a short and not the main story going on. The main story is called Devil's Night and is about an urban myth of a serial killer who only appears around Halloween in a small American town, and who abducts his victims from the annual 'Spine Chiller' Halloween party held there. This one had some interesting ideas going for it, and I liked the idea of the victims having their faces removed by the abductor. It culminates in a finale that was frankly the best part of the movie, it really gave off vibes of Mandy with the protagonist (possibly Derric Hyde as Ryan) coming off like Nicholas Cage's Red Miller. It goes to some grindhouse places, anything involving a pumpkin mask wearing psycho armed with a chainsaw, in a grotty bathroom, as well as strangulation via intestines gets a rotted thumbs up from me!

Don't Go In The Basement is the first short contained here. It features Isabella Rodriquez (Weird Fiction) as a housesitter who has been warned by the owners of the house she is at not to go into the basement. Curiosity gets the better of her, and after a series of incidents finds herself getting stalked by a knife wielding man disguised as a zombie. Due to the similarity of the prologue it took me a while to realise this was a short. This is also to its credit though as there is a large overlap with characters drifting in and out of the main story that is going on. This wasn't bad but it did feel like a slight retread of that prologue, and running around a house being slowly chased didn't make for something that was particularly exciting. I did like the killer though, his slow movements reminded me a lot of Michael Myers from Halloween. Spine Chiller as a whole takes a lot of inspiration from the look of that film, from horror movie marathons various characters are watching, to the whole way this is filmed, heck, it even starts with a camera shot from the perspective of the mask wearing killer. This again is no bad thing, I adored the look of this film, and the purposeful low-fi look to it, from constant film grain, to some muffled audio.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

3 from Hell (2019) - Horror Film Review

Rob Zombie is one of my favourite directors, I love the grimy, dirty style the look of his films go for, and I love the despicable characters he creates. 3 from Hell could be seen as the sequel no one asked for, 2005's The Devil's Rejects had one of the best horror film endings ever created, as the anti-heroes drive full speed towards a police blockade, Lynyrd Skynrd's Free Bird plays over the scene, until the film ends in freeze frame of the characters getting shot up. So to get a sequel to this in which the ambiguous ending is made clear is something that technically I should have a problem with. However, as stated I love Rob Zombie's films (with the exception of  The Haunted World of El Superbeasto), and so not only a chance to see another movie of his, but also to revisit such fun characters was something I was well on board for.

After being shot to pieces the deadly trio of Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie - Halloween, House of 1000 Corpses), Otis (Bill Moseley - Repo! The Genetic Opera, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Part 2), and Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig - High on the Hog, Night of the Living Dead 3D) are rushed to hospital. Miraculously all three survive, only to be imprisoned, with Spaulding later getting executed. Then in the late 80's Otis's half-brother Winslow Foxworth Coltrane (Richard Brake - 31, Halloween II) breaks Otis out, with their next plan to free Baby. To do so they decide to target the arrogant warden of her prison - Virgil Harper (Jeff Daniel Phillips - Westworld, The Lords of Salem) by kidnapping his family and friends.

I thought this was a good movie, though I wouldn't say it was a great one. Following on from the amazing The Devil's Rejects was always going to be hard, and with a noticeably lower budget, as well as that one not really needing a sequel this doesn't manage to reach the highs of before. That isn't to say at all I didn't think this was a great Rob Zombie movie, I had a lot of fun with it, though the first half is a lot better than the second half where the events move to Mexico. When I first heard of 3 from Hell Sid Haig was meant to be one of the main leads. Sadly, due to his ill health in real life (tragically having died earlier this year) his role was cut down to just a single scene, but it was good to see him again, even if I also admit to being disappointed by how little he is in this. Thankfully they decided to replace him with Richard Brake, who had a stand out role in 31, in fact he pretty much made that film for me with his amazing performance. Sheri Moon Zombie has improved a lot over the years, here brings her to the best she's been. Her character of Baby is now more crazier than before, but also a lot less irritating. I loved how much of a wild card she was, like a Black Label Harley Quinn. Moseley is just great in everything he does, his Otis is as entertaining as ever. Meanwhile with Brake he had some funny scenes, but he wasn't all that memorable due to being around established characters.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Shredders (2019) - Short Comedy Horror Film Review

This past weekend was quite a lazy one for writing blog posts, thankfully though I had a lot of short films waiting to be watched for review, and so I bumped comedy horror Shredders up the chain a bit due to being just under eighteen minutes long. This was directed by Darren A. Furniss, and written by Michael James Dean (the director of Already Dead), who also co-stars here as one of the three main characters.

During an office Christmas party there is an outbreak of lethal murderous creatures, which leads to Stan (Dean) and boss Richard (Darren Ruston - Already Dead) barricading themselves in his office. Soon they are joined by fellow survivor Peggy (Sophie Mensah - Yesterday) who comes up with a plan for the three to avoid the monsters and escape the office block.

From the very start there is a sense of urgency to this, with the outbreak already in full swing. There is no explanation given which adds to the comedy elements that often work so well here. The comedy seemed very British with the humour mostly coming from the humourous interactions between the three characters. An early example being Stan and Richard barricading a door with a heavy desk, only for it to be revealed that not only is the door a sliding one, but the desk itself is on wheels. This absurdist humour runs throughout and always worked well due to how straight faced everyone acts, with a descent into out of place small talk during down time (such as when one of the characters asks Peggy what her plans for Christmas are while they are riding a lift). Characters never over react unless called for, and their calm interactions in the face of insanity was well done. Of the three the character of Peggy is the straight one, being the catalyst to bring the plot forward outside of the initial room. As such Mensah doesn't get that many funny moments, but the duo of Stan and Richard make up for that.

I really liked the feel of this, and I liked how it was filmed. Despite this being about killer creatures (named 'Shredders' due to apparently 'shredding' their victims) you never actually get to see them. There is one early part showing the silhouette of a creature through a clouded window, and later one glimpse of a creature at the very end of a long hallway. It is left up to the actors to react to these creatures who are nearly always off screen, done by the camera pointing at the characters, or later on, by the camera staying inside a lift as the characters go off screen to do battle. This really worked in saving on cost, surprisingly well in fact. The set design is sparse, but the amount of Christmas decorations everywhere was effective, as was the amount of screaming occurring from off in the distance. I guess any complaints I had was the slightly underwhelming end, and just a couple of the jokes falling slightly flat.

Shredders was a short that exceeded my expectations, it is very well made with some well lit locations, good music, and dialogue that was more funny than it should be due to the performances of the leads. All in all a great comedy horror that really leans into its strengths. Shredders will be available online on October 31st.


Thursday, 17 October 2019

Glass Cabin (2019) - Short Horror Film Review

Glass Cabin is a short 14 minute psychological horror that comes from Can Turedi who both directed and wrote this. It was executively produced by Maya Korn who has been touted as being a young up-and coming producer of horror and genre films, and it was produced by Luca Marcovici. This short attempts something a little different by never explicitly stating whether the horror unfolding onscreen is actually real, or if it is just assumed by the protagonist.

Professional tennis player Scarlett (Revell Carpenter) is away at a remote snowy retreat to get in some uninterrupted practice. One evening a groundskeeper named David (David Mar Stefansson) arrives at the house to help her set up the wi-fi, his behaviour immediately creeps out Scarlett. A day or so later the man once again appears at the house unannounced, and she begins to suspect that he has hostile intentions...

There are many elements here designed to make this seem like a horror, yet the build up of the atmosphere means that the first ten minutes of this nothing bad actually seems to happen. This time is spent showing how isolated Scarlett actually is, while giving enough signs that something is not really right. The score sounds like something straight up from Hereditary, all screeching violins, and suspensful beats that feed into the desolate frigid surroundings. A glass house is something that can't help but invoke paranoia due to the contrast between the lit interior and the dark exterior.

Due to the way this is set out it is ambiguous just what is going on, I could see this from the two perspectives, it is easy to see this as a home invasion film, but also one more psychological in nature. That did lead to a slight issue for me in that by keeping this a mystery it means that not much actual horror can take place. It is a slow build up but much of the tension comes from the music, with what is actually being shown on screen not that creepy. There are moments for sure, and it is done in such a way that you can relate to the idea of a scared woman fearing the worst about a young strange man dressed in black appearing at her house.

While there was a slight feeling of dissatisfaction by how this ends I did appreciate what was gone for here. The location was fantastic, and the weather really added to the atmosphere, while both the two main actors did good jobs. The sense of isolation is palpable here, and that is perhaps Glass Cabin's greatest strength. Glass Cabin had its world premiere at Screamfest LA on October 13th.


Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Deranged Foxhole (2019) - Short Horror Film Review

Deranged Foxhole is a short 16 minute horror film from Dave Sweeney, who wrote and directed this, as well as playing a character here. While not perfect there are some great casting choices, and it is full of nice cinematography and camera work.

Darlene (Jolie Curran) turns up at the apartment of Johnny Delmonico (John Calavanico) looking for her estranged father Jimmy. Johnny tells the girl he no longer lives there, and then invites her in for drinks. Wanting to find out more about her dad Darlene heads in. Later more people show up at his apartment, all with their own agendas.

The quality of the filming in this short was something that I appreciated from beginning to end, the shots are nicely framed, and I loved the lighting, that is used to best effect when showing the glistening sweat on the face of the slobbish Johnny. In tandem with this is the great soundtrack that complimented every scene it was in. From the chilled ambience while Darlene and Johnny are talking in his kitchen, to the more John Carpenter esque urgent beats of the more action orientated sequences, this was all very good stuff.

Calavanico was perfect for the lead role of the unhinged Johnny, from his very first appearance there was something notably off with his character, his presence made him the focal point of all of this. The other actors range in quality with most of them doing good jobs, in particular Nicholas M. Garofolo as the Detective stood out for me. In terms of the actual story here this was enjoyable, but the format of various people appearing at the apartment couldn't help but make this feel a little bit disjointed. I liked where this ended up going, as bananas as it was, but personally think some makeup, or effects should have been used to indicate dead characters as their appearance was all a little bit too crisp and clean.

Deranged Foxhole was a well made short that had quite a few good things going for it, from the perfectly cast main character, to the professionalism of the camera work, and the lovely score, this all unified for an enjoyable little film.