Tuesday, 27 September 2016

John Carpenter "Reviews" Rob Zombies Halloween

It's taken nearly 10 years, but Horror legend John Carpenter has finally given some thoughts on Rob Zombie's remake of his classic Halloween (1978). Carpenter stated that “I thought that he took away the mystique of the story by explaining too much about [Michael Myers]. I don’t care about that. He’s supposed to be a force of nature. He’s supposed to be almost supernatural. And he was too big. It wasn’t normal.”

Whilst none of this is news to any of us who had to endure Zombie's abomination, and it's equally horrific sequel, it's interesting to finally hear Carpenter's thoughts on the most recent incarnation of his famous creation. As the widely acknowledged "Master of Horror", Carpenter had a streak of classic movies in the 80s, but is no stranger to making a few clangers in his career (whereas Zombie mostly makes clangers).

It is also worth noting that Carpenter stated Zombie was "a piece of shit" and he "lied about me", possibly indicating more personal feelings in the mix. Zombie's latest film "31" is out now, whereas, the Carpenter produced Halloween reboot is expected in the near future. The battle continues!

What do you think of Carpenter's comments? Is the Halloween remake really that bad?

Monday, 26 September 2016

Rings gets delayed...again!

Paramount's much delayed sequel to the American Ring franchise has received another setback on it's never-ending road to release. Despite being given a firm October release date and an extensive trailer, the film has somehow been pushed back to 2017. 

Considering Rings was originally slated for a November 2015 release, this can't be good news for the eventual project. There has been no explanation for the move.

Do you still care about Rings? Do you think the delays will improve the final product?

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Blair Witch (2016): Review

Blair Witch is a 2016 found footage horror film. Directed by Adam Wingard (The Guest, Your Next) and starring James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Corbin Reid and Brandon Scott. The film was known simply as “The Woods” until this July, when it was revealed to be a sequel to The Blair Witch Project (1999).

The film follows James (Allen McCune), who is putting together a crew to go and look for his sister Heather, who was never found following the events of the first film. After being contacted by some locals who claim to have information which may lead them to the mysterious house in the woods, he sets off with girlfriend Lisa (Hernandez) and friends Paul (Scott) and Ashley (Reid). However, soon after entering the woods, the group becomes lost as the locals confess they may have exaggerated their knowledge of the local area. This leads to them being pursued through the woods by the dreaded Blair Witch, culminating in a showdown at the creepy house where the original film’s characters met their demise.

When I first became aware of “The Woods” I thought it appeared an incredibly generic horror movie, despite my appreciation of Adam Wingard’s previous films. Then, when it was revealed to be a Blair Witch sequel, I was intrigued as I have a great affection for the original movie (being the first horror film I saw in the cinema) but, I was wary of that all important word “sequel”. Nowadays, directors are terrified of being perceived as a remake so often masquerade as a sequel/prequel (see 2011’s The Thing) in an attempt to preserve the integrity of their film and, I’m afraid, that’s exactly what’s happened here.

Despite some excellent direction and atmospheric sound design, Blair Witch follows the plot of the original extremely closely failing to take any risks and lacking the subtlety of the original movie. The film is rife with horror clich├ęs, jump scares, plot holes and lazy characterisations such as the useless female character that keeps falling over. Other than the mission to find Heather, the motivations of the characters never really became clear and several sub plots were half baked to say the least, strange objects being pulled out of wounds and the irregular passage of time. Not only were the mysteries in this film left unexplained, the filmmakers also seemed intent on demystifying the franchise by actually showing the Blair Witch, clearly missing the entire point of the original movie.

For every effective scare and authentic found footage moment, there’s a lazy jump scare or a baffling plot decision. Blair Witch commits the cardinal sin of a sequel in not only failing to support its predecessor but actively undermining it. This is a remake of The Blair Witch Project, and a disappointingly by the numbers remake at that and Director Wingard, and writer Simon Barrett, are so much better than this.

** 2 Stars
What did you think of the film? Did it copy the original too much?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Don't Breathe (2016): Review

Don't Breathe is 2016 home invasion horror film. Directed by Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead) and starring Jane Levy (Evil Dead), Dylan Minnette (Goosebumps, Let Me In) and Daniel Zovatto (It Follows). The film premiered at South by Southwest festival earlier this year.

The film follows three young burglars looking for one big score so they can escape the harsh realities of Detroit life. Money (Zovatto) discovers an army veteran that appears to be sitting on a fortune after his daughter was ran over and killed by a rich girl. Desperate to escape her domestic hell with her younger sister, Rocky (Levy) convinces Alex (Minnette) to join them and utilise his father’s security credentials to stage the break in. However, Money fails to mention that their target is also blind and will seldom leaves the house. This leads to obvious complications as the blind man turns the tables, trapping the burglars in the house and revealing he’s got a few more secrets in the basement.

Sensory based home invasion thrillers are like buses, you wait years for one, then two come along at the same time. I’m referring to Mike Flanagan’s Hush and now Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe, films featuring a deaf protagonist and a blind antagonist respectively. Both films use sound and vision as key plot devices but, it has to be said, Alvarez’s flawless direction pushes Don’t Breathe into a more ambitious arena. It took me a long time to like the Evil Dead remake(2013), but it eventually won me over with its intensity and vision and Don’t Breathe is no different.

However, like Evil Dead, it’s not without it’s flaws. I found the central characters to be pretty unsympathetic (perhaps intentionally) and unconvincing as seasoned burglars, apart from Money who was a parody of a criminal (I mean,his name's Money!). Similarly, although certainly imposing, A jacked up blind guy with a gun is not the most imaginative villain (I personally found the dog a lot scarier). Also, I felt they could have left the blind man as a more ambiguous character rather than going all Fritzl on us as, up until the third act, I wasn’t quite sure who was the villain and who was the victim.

A vintage home invasion set up with a sensory twist, Hush might have got there first, but Don’t Breathe manages to weave a more unpredictable plot around a neat gimmick. Alvarez has proven he’s capable of much more than gore soaked remakes and shows his flair for suspense, whilst not being afraid to “go there” (Jizz pipette anyone?). Don’t Breathe will thrill you, confuse you and disgust you.

**** 4 Stars

What did you think of the movie? Did you prefer Hush?

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The Toxic Avenger being remade

In one of the more odd choices for the never ending remake machine, The Toxic Avenger appears to be next. A schlock classic from the infamous Troma studios, the film is the classic tale of nerdy janitor turned heroic mutant that spawned several sequels. With the creators of Sausage Party and Archer on board, time will tell if Toxie is cut out for the 21st Century.

Are you a fan of the original? Will the remake work?

Monday, 12 September 2016

Full Death House trailer

A full red band trailer has emerged for upcoming horror ensemble Death House. Styling itself as "the Expendables of horror", the movies features an all star cast of horror legends such as Kane Hodder, Tony Todd, Barbara Crampton, Sid Haig and many more. The trailer features all the cheesy mayhem you would expect as well as some great lines such as "some are dosed with JUST lsd" and "I will fuck you in hell". The film is released next year, check out the trailer...

What do you think of the trailer? Is it too over the top?

Friday, 9 September 2016

Ben Wheatley returns with Free Fire trailer

A trailer has emerged for the next Ben Wheatley film, the dark crime caper Free Fire. After this years fantastic High Rise, Wheatley will return to direct a great cast in the form of Cillian Murphy, Brie Larsson, Sharlto Copley and, of course, Michael Smiley.

Wheatley is my favourite director in the country right now and he gets better and better with every movie. This one also appears to be a return to the comedic gangster style of his first feature Down Terrace (2009). Release is March 2017, check out the trailer...


What do you think of the trailer? Are you a Wheatley fan?