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RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 13/5/2011 2:55:47 PM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

I've never seen a slasher movie I've enjoyed, but you have the gift of being able to write about something in which I supposedly have no interest and make it very fun to read. I think when someone gets to the stage that they have an encylopaedic knowledge of their subject, an understanding of how everything slots together, and they can also write well, it's kind of exciting. So, yes, I read all of that about Re-Cut. It was really interesting. I'm still not going to watch it, though. Linky to your complete slasher movies series?


Thank you for the praise!  Its nice when I have feedback because there is not much horror fans on here, so its nice to know that my reviews get read!

I will be starting my spin off to this thread this weekend, I have already posted two slash films up on the other site, but waiting to write two more before starting it on here! I really love it on Empire, you such a great bunch that I just wanted to do it here as well! Its a daunting and quite impossible task but I try the best I can!



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Post #: 2491
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 13/5/2011 3:07:55 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet
Cool, I'll look forward to it.

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Post #: 2492
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 23/5/2011 11:27:37 AM   
Discodez

 

Posts: 795
Joined: 2/9/2010
quote:

ORIGINAL: HughesRoss

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

Did I tell you I quite enjoyed the fourth one? I didn't like it anywhere near as much as you did, but I think it's the best since the first one.

Regarding Catfish, fictional or not, my biggest problem with it is that I found the guys to be douchebags and the central idea less than enthralling. That said, I think they're probably a smart idea for Paranormal Activity 3. The two directors both have a background in film (directing shorts, cinematography, art direction, etc) so they know their basics and they've shown they can craft a narrative in the style that PA3 will need.



I did not think you would enjoy Scre4m so I am more than shocked!  Can I ask what you enjoyed out of it!  I mean the battle I have had with this, it would be nice to hear why you thought it worked!  I have to PM you now and tell you how I worked it out from watching the trailer!  I stunned all those at HCF when they asked me who I thought it was and I told them before the film was released!  The trailer gave a real big clanger away!

Still have mixed feelings for PA 3 and that decision, have to wait and see!

DISCODEZ- let me know what you think of The Objective!  From the ones who have seen it, they have enjoyed it!


Hughes...

I watched The Objective on Friday...

Great little film I thought. Both me and my gf went, "well that was an odd little film!"

Really wasn't what I was expecting, and was all the better for that.

(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 2493
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 23/5/2011 11:54:29 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
I have been wondering if you liked it!

It really is an oddity, the headlight scene was my favourite movie scene of last year!.....



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Post #: 2494
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 23/5/2011 1:07:47 PM   
Discodez

 

Posts: 795
Joined: 2/9/2010
quote:

ORIGINAL: HughesRoss

I have been wondering if you liked it!

It really is an oddity, the headlight scene was my favourite movie scene of last year!.....




There were plenty of touches like that that I really enjoyed..

The (what the soldiers assume are) Taliban fighters that dissapear like dust devils when watched in infra-red!!!

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Post #: 2495
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 28/5/2011 2:49:15 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr


TITLE
Fertile Ground

WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY
Adam Gierasch

STARRING
Gale Harold
Leisha Hailey

Certificate (UK) – 15
 
Runtime –  93mins
 
Out Now To Rent and Buy On DVD/Blu-Ray




There are films that you know are not really awful and should be enjoying the experience but somehow you can just not connect with what is gong on!  Fertile Ground has all the foundations of a wonderful horror, probably the best yet from this new range of After Dark horrors that are swamping the market every single week.  Following on from the likes of Husk and Prowl, this is a more classier affair that comes straight out of the fold with a high class pedigree in the shape of director Adam Gierasch.  For those who do not know this man he wrote the not so good re-make Tool Box Murders but before you turn away he also wrote Mother Of Tears a film directed by a certain Dario Argento, which that alone at least makes Fertile Ground a curios watch!

We start with a naked pose!  Emily (Hailey) looking at herself in the mirror while holding her stomach that shows the bump of her baby to be.  Proud and glowing, it is obvious from the start that this woman is longing for this baby, its arrival to bring the joy she so deeply wants.  Of course this is a cue for something bad to happen and this occurs during a dinner party when Emily feels unwell and goes to the bathroom only for her husband Nate (Harold) to follow her up and to discover his wife sitting in a pool of blood which shatters their perfect life.

To try and get over this tragedy the couple sell up and move to the countryside into an old house that once belonged to ancestors of Nate.  The plan is for Emily to recover and and start dress making again and Nate can continue with his painting that is beginning to sell a lot of money!  Their love shines through the early stages and they have this determination that this awful experience will not beat them down, that their bond is strong that nothing can break them apart.  What they did not expect though is the house they move into has an agenda, a dark secret that is so evil that nothing will stop in its path, and for poor Emily what was her worst nightmare is nothing that is about to arise from the depth of the ground!




I watched Fertile Ground over two days ago and I left it to now to write this review for the simple reason is that its one of the most confusing feelings I have had in horror!  It be interesting to see what Matt Wavish, my fellow Critic at HCF writes in his review because I won't be too surprised if he lavishes praise on the film!  There is so much to like that I find it hard to criticise even though it left me cold!  The film plays more like an emotional drama than a downright horror and the slow pace reminded me a bit like last years House Of The Devil, a film I totally adore!  Gierasch shows some real quality and restrain with the shocks that may frustrate the new gore-porn crowd!  We get a good half hour when nothing happens and then like a bullet the we have a shocking scene that makes you sit up in delight before settling back into the slow mode.  I have no problem with this, some of the best horrors of all time share this trait, The Shining takes its time before Jack picks up the axe while if you watch Halloween the killings do not really start until the night falls!  So for me to criticise this film for its slow approach will make me a hypocrite so its not that I had a problem with!  Even the two leads are very likeable, even though they do ignore the obvious at times that will make you cry out in frustration.  Emily catches a glimpse of ghostly figures moving through the corridors of the house,  an handprints appears in a window but no one is there and does not disappear even after cleaned.  The only scene that is missing is the blood coming from the old taps but we do get a toilet scene which dangerously sails close to the wind!

Looking back, maybe the plot was just too familiar to my horror taste!  Here we have a whole meal of classic haunted house themes that we have seen all before with an added mix of Rosemary's BabyFertile Ground does not really offer nothing new to this recipe and the older generation of horror fans will second guess the twists and turns way before it hits the screen!  The main problem is The Shining looms large over the entire film and for that you can not help but think its all rather silly at times!  The most annoying factor is the captions that appear on screen to tell us what is going on!  After the miscarriage we get a black screen with white writing that states "Moving In", in which we see these two err! move in!  Five minutes later we see another caption state "Moving On!" which we now see the couple move on with their lives!  Just when it you thought it can not get any more stupid we see a caption "Strange Happenings" in which things that go bump in the night appear!  This policy may seem stylish and some fans may like the look but I did not really need the entire plot spelt out at me at every opportunity!

Again you can see that I am criticising the film but there is no doubt in my mind that fans of old 70's horror will really enjoy Fertile Ground simply because of its old fashioned style horror that not once goes towards the gore path!  It also has a vicious nasty streak running through which stuns at times because it feels so out of place with its drama style story telling!

But its the lack of originality through out for this horror fan that made it seem so shallow, even bordering on a running theme once witnessed in 80's comedy High Spirits, and when you come to the climatic finish which again riffs on the Kubick classic there is a sense of better things to come from Gierasch, in which Fertile Ground is just the conception and one day the birth of this talented director is just around the corner!

                                                                                          2 out of 5


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Post #: 2496
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 28/5/2011 2:53:24 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
 

 
Directed By Elias Matar
Screenplay By Elias Matar, Edward E. Romero
Produced By Elias Matar, Aaron Ockman, Kim Ogletree
Starring Brian Krause Kadeem Hardison, Barbara Nedeljakova, Sierra Fisk

PLOT
A brilliant, obsessive doctor working for a cure for AIDS, unwittingly invents an aggressive new bacteria that deteriorates the body and enrages the mind.  Now he must stop the infection before it destroys him and everyone he loves!
 
THE REVIEW
 
Now and again a film comes out of nowhere that takes you by surprise!  When I was informed of this film via email from one of our loyal readers, I have to be honest and admit that I was not expecting much!  To say I owe the Film Director Elias Matar an apology is an understatement, but here it is, Elias Matar- I am sorry!
 
Ashes is one of the most original horror films I have seen for many of year.  It takes a genre that is so dominate at the moment and makes a whole new spin on it that you can not help but be left breathless!  With The Walking Dead doing great guns on Television and thanks to Shaun Of The Dead creating a new wave of films jumping on the bandwagon including last years Zombieland,  you may sigh at yet another mention of an undead movie coming your away but Ashes is different!  It takes place right before the chaos emerges, how mankind suffers from the backlash of the dead rising from their grave and it all surrounds a man, not just any man, but a good person, someone who just wants to do good for his human race.  But Ashes shows that any good intention can backfire and for Dr Stanton his good deed could bring the end of the world!
 
Stanton played by Brian Krause is one of the most dedicated in his field!  He works long hours, sees every patient possible and is one of the most respected Doctor's around, basically he is a great person who will help anyone in need even though the high demand he sets himself means he does not spend much time with his wife and daughter.  The neglect of his family life is not just for the job he does but also for the research he is doing on a special Vaccine that may cure AIDS if given the chance!  All Stanton wants is to do the right thing and when a young boy gets brought into the hospital after a Jellyfish sting which puts his life in peril Stanton decides there and then that this poor child should be given a chance in life and injects him with his vaccine!  But the boy suffers a reaction and goes into shock, biting Stanton on the arm,of course anyone who has seen enough films of this nature will know the direction that Ashes is going, but I have to put my hand up and say that the journey is well worth the wait!


 
What I loved most and I am telling you there is so much to admire of this film, is that for a horror film with Zombie set at its core, the action is very quiet, the lack of gore-porn is a refreshing change to the many films that are dominating the market and for that Matar has to applauded for his stance on making sure Ashes is a story worth telling!  It would have been easy to just have Stanton turn into a flesh eating creature attacking all the nurses and everyone who stands in his way, but what we see is a breakdown of a man who is losing control of his existence!
 
Even after the bite, the film slowly goes back to the family life, there is no rush to sell out to the horror crowd, this is intelligent film making and a hark back to the days when horror films relied on good old fashioned scares!  Matar refuses to show his hand, instead builds up the suspense to an astonishing high level and not only is the direction superb from the first frame to the last, the film also owes incredible debt to Krause who carries the whole picture and makes you feel for his plight! As Krause is in virtually every scene, its important that we the viewer believe in this character because if we don't the film fails, but somehow he delivers what is his finest performance and no doubt will be in the top three for the HCF Movie Awards for best actor at the end of the year!  
 
ts not only Krause who delivers, the entire supporting cast are memorable from  Kadeem Hardison whose Matthew stands side by side of Stanton in their mission to rid the world of this disease and they scenes together show a huge amount of chemistry that sparks on screen!  Another mention must go to the beautiful Sierra Fisk who underplays her character of Nicole really well!  This is a woman married to a doctor who may be the saviour of the world and yet while she admires his work and what he can achieve, there is just a part of her that wants him to be a proper husband, someone she can share a life with! 
 
As you can read, Ashes is more to do with an issue of a family man that that of brain eating Zombie but what is wrong with that?  Last year's fantastic House Of The Devil showed that there was still a market for horror films that make you think and there is no doubt in my mind Ashes is this year's main template! 
It is hard to find anything new for a Zombie movie but Matar somehow manages to, delivering a stunning film in which we witness the begining and not the middle of a well worn formula!  Its a movie that needs to be discovered because its simply one of the best horror films of the year and one that puts Elisa Matar on a path that I eagerly await to follow!
And for those readers still unsure about seeing this,
 
To put it in better terms Ashes is simply the best Zombie film not about Zombies to come out in many of years!

                                      
                                                                                Rating:

< Message edited by HughesRoss -- 28/5/2011 2:54:27 AM >


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Post #: 2497
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 1/6/2011 1:04:18 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
 
FILM Seconds Apart

Directed By Antonio Negret

Written By Geogre Richards

Starring Edmumd Entin, Gary Enitin, Monica Acosta, Gabe Begneaud, Kent Jude Bernard
 
Running Time 89 Minutes

Out Now To Rent and Buy on DVD
 

This weeks DVD release from AFter Dark, a studio that seem intent in delivering a horror to us fans every single Monday is this nice little creep fest involving a set of twins who are causing a little mayhem and murder at their local school!  Well I say maybe but the truth is they really are and before any one shouts spoiler we witness their brutal idea of a game right at the start with a little game of Russian Roulette involving the High School Football Team!  For no apparent reason we see these "jocks" talking the usual smut about the girls at school when all of a sudden they pull out a gun and decide to copy the Deer Hunter!  While the mayhem is all set to kick off, we see a glimpse of these twins filming the whole show which already gives away any guess of what this plot is going to be!

Seconds Apart serves up not one but two Carries, in the form of  Jonah and Seth played by real life twins Edmund and Gary Entin who are best remembered for playing the freaky siblings in the two Rest Stop films!  Here they are really effective in the role, bringing  the required freaky energy to the film and most importantly being its biggest stength, I mean, how can a horror film go wrong when you have these freaky twosome has the centrepiece attraction.

Telekinesis is a well known horror trait  that has been underused in recent years with only the splendid Dead Ringers ringing any bell in my old mind even though I do remember a similar themed episode of The X Files a few years back that had twin sisters playing havoc so you can guess that Seconds Apart while not really offering anything new to the genre, it does seem fresh among the usual blood soaked horrors hitting the market.  I can safely say after Fertile Ground and Prowl, this is probably the strongest of the After Dark set of films to hit the shelves
 
 Well they not auditioning for the next Chuckle Brothers
 

The shocking deaths from the Russian Roulette game brings Detective Lampkin (Orlando Jones), to the school and while he is talking to all the other students he stumbles on a young girl who sorts of hints that there is something not right about those two after having a similar experience herself involving sex with an a hot stud who suddenly transforms into a ghastly man.  While she was doing this dirty deed she believes she a glimpse of the two brothers filming it all, but as she says "its hard to remember when those two are around!".

Lampkin's suspicions of Jonah and Seth ends up in a deadly game especially when he is still dealing with the death of his wife who burnt to death at home which left him badly scarred while trying to save her!  Its here we see the the difference between the two brothers in which Jonah just wants to keep their heads down while Seth is determined to keep playing the game and even begins to taunt the detective about his sad loss! 

When a new pretty student Eve (Samantha Droke) turns up and befriends Jonah the already tension between the two brothers escalate and while Jonah starts to feel regret to what he and his brother are doing, Seth is determined to keep their brotherly bond alive even if it means destroying his brother's new relationship with Eve and everything around them, including their own family!

I would love to write here "what follows is a battle of the brothers in which only one can survive" but sadly I can not!  The film does threaten to go down this route and I for one was really expecting it to kick off in the last twenty minute mark but sadly Seconds Apart is not that kind of film!  Yes its horror and we are greeted with some startling images on occasions, none more so with the boys game of eat the glass out of the cereal bowl  which delighted my horror heart.  But this film refuses to go down the typical blood fest route that in many hands it would have!  I do not know if this is a good or bad thing, its all down I suppose to what you want out of an horror but I have to say for much of the running time, the film kept my attention and not once did I find myself bored!

All the characters you care for which is a must in horror with Lampkin himself bringing out a lot of sympathy for his tortured soul and extra marks goes towards the parents of these twins who probably serve up the most frightening aspect of the entire show in which you know something is not right there, but you just can not put your finger on it!  The two boys like I have already said are brilliant and worth the watch alone but there just seems to be a lack of something to rise the film from decent to a great watch!

The film builds up an incredible amount of tension and dread and maybe that is the problem, the end does not have the required nasty bite it so desperately needed.  What I wanted was Carrie Vs Carrie but instead it had an easy resolution that suggested the film just run out of ideas which is a shame, because for 75 minutes, Seconds Apart was turning into a quite wonderful delight!

                                                                3 OUT OF 5

< Message edited by HughesRoss -- 1/6/2011 1:06:36 AM >


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Post #: 2498
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 12/6/2011 10:59:58 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
Elab or any mods...

Is it allright if I post an interview I done with Steven Mena on here alongside my review of his film?  The interview is really good and we and the guys on the Weird thread would like to share it with those on here who don't read our "website!"

If its a no then just say, no harm in asking!

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Post #: 2499
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 12/6/2011 3:24:03 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54557
Joined: 1/10/2005
I don't think we really do interviews in review threads although I'm not sure there is much of a precedent for it either - you guys seem to be doing amazing work getting links to the makers of the films you love.

Why not just add a specific link to the interview in your sig for a while and mention it within the review? Normally we don't allow advertising of sites within posts but that's because some people can't help themselves constantly mentioning their site in posts without posting content so it's a direction off-site and little else. I'm not sure if that's a bit contradictory though - but people can link in their sigs and use text to expand the link.

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Post #: 2500
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 12/6/2011 4:02:25 PM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
No probs, just did not want to get into trouble by posting is that's all

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Post #: 2501
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 12/6/2011 4:10:24 PM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
  I suppose the question is "why I love Malevolence so much?"

I recently sat down with Stevan Mena the director of this fine film and talked to him about his love for horror and everything that mattered.  It made me realise even more why his horror is in my Top 10 of all time Slash films which is quite a statement considering regular readers of HorrorCultFilms and this Thread on Empire know that this is the genre that I love the most!  There are so many films out there that many consider the best, for every Scream fan you meet a Hatchet fanatic and then you have the crowd who can spend an evening arguing who is the best between Freddy and Jason even though a film itself failed to end this argument!  Then of course you have got the Granddad of them all, a film that all should look up to, Halloween and its that name that registers in your mind when you first watch Malevolence simply because the pararells between the two are to hard to ignore!  But then before I get to the answer to the question that started this review, I suppose I need to go back to the beginning, and this story starts in 2005, a year when my favourite football club lifted the European Cup for the fifth time and the name Stevan Mena would enter my life!

2005 saw the beginning of the end of J horror!  Films of a crazed woman ghost with long black hair were beginning to tire especially with the American re-makes of the original films beginning to hit the screen at an alarming rate.  That year had already seen The Ring II and Dark Water get the glossy treatment to not much critical joy and the theme of spooky freaky stuff was awash with other films like Hide and Seek and Bogeyman all jumping on the bandwagon.  Other films did not fare better and the biggest shock of the year was the Scream duo of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson flopping big time with their Werewolf disaster Cursed that still to this day you can feel the deep level of gasp the fans suffered on first watch.  Unknown at the time a new theme was beginning to rise from the depths of the horror ocean and it was going by the name of Jigsaw whose second outing in Saw II gained even more fans and bucks that the term gore-porn was all set to enter the mind of horror fans everywhere.  Saw was the name on everyone's lips, the blood and violence was just what the fans wanted after a few years of haunting and while the cinema goers were thrilled by the body parts flying across the screen,  a Slash film of old was begging to be found, and I am not talking about the Paris Hilton film -no not that one- House Of Wax of course!

The film in question is of course MaleVolence a movie that was released in 2004 and was criminally ignored by mostly everyone!  Its not my job to complain about the injustice of it all and why it did at the time not get the appreciation it fully deserved but the power of the film was too good to ignore, like all good stories it refused to die and something strange was happening, for Mena it was a start of something that was quite stunning!

The lack of advertisement in Great Britain meant that MaleVolence headed straight for the DVD market where one day on my way to work I picked up my monthly film magazine and my eye was drawn to a small advert of the film.  I remember the quote "Possibly the best Slasher film for years" underneath the art cover which struck a chord with me.  I really needed to this film to see how such a critic could dare say this about a film that was unheard. of, but watching it back then it was near impossible.  All my local Video stores did not have it stock and online rentals were not even heard of then, so trying to get this film was near impossible.  Not even the shops that stocked videos and DVD's to buy had any so I knew that this was a film that will probably pass me by.  A few weeks later  I had to work away and one day on my lunch break I stumbled into the local Supermarket and while glancing at the DVD section my heart stopped. My eyes were drawn to a cover that was staring back at me and my horror juices were going in full flow, no I did not find a deluxe copy of Halloween but that of MaleVolence and the thrill of getting this film was too much to bare and with haste, I paid for it, finished work early and rushed home to watch it.

You can guess I was not disappointed!

MaleVolence is a throwback to years gone bye.  Like Mena said in is interview with me that his main intention was to remind fans what was great about these films in the first place.  Its not just a lavish love letter to slash of old but a gentle reminder of when the late 70's and early 80's were awash of slash films that were destined to be loved.  You could easy put a copy of the 1979 classic Tourist Trap and then MaleVolence and you really would believe that the two films were born in the same era!

But then MaleVolence is not that simple when it comes to the Slash formula! What is amazing now if you watching for the first time is that the opening sequence will bring a sigh of despair, if only for a brief few minutes but that is no fault of Mena or the film!  The films starts with a  kidnap of a young boy who then has to witness a woman being strung up and all set to be tortured and killed by the local serial killer!  For that few seconds we see on screen there is no denying that the newcomer will think that what they about to watch is just another Saw wannabee and that is because so many films have been released that start the same even though the jigsaw story was just starting to walk when Malevolence was released!  Lucky this dip into what seems the gore-porn wave is a blink and miss moment and we set off in a total different direction that actually throws you off the scent for a while.


TEN YEARS LATER   The main thrust of the story is of a bank job that goes wrong!  Julian (Brandon Johnson) and Marilyn (Heather Magee) are in  desperate need for money and take the iillogical step of robbing a bank.  Hooking up with Julian’s brother Max (Keith Chambers)and his friend Kurt (Richard Glover) the plan goes all Reseviour Dogs with Max shot and the entire police force chasing them.  With the dual chaos of the gang seperating, Kurt is left all on his own and running for his life until he stumbles on an empty car at a gas station and jumps in.  Of course being an horror there is no such thing as an easy ride, and sitting at the back seat is an innocent child called Courtney (Courtney Bertolone) who is waiting for her mum Samantha (Samantha Dark) to return.  When she does, Kurt in sheer survival mode kidnaps the two and forces them to drive him to an abandoned farm house in the middle of nowhere, where he will meet up with Julian and Marilyn. If you new to this film and yet to watch, you can tell by reading that this is no straight Stalk and Slash horror which you may come to expect.  There are no silly girls with big breasts running up the staircase when they should be heading for the door.  Its a film that I would call the anti Scream, in which there is no time for playful antics.  It also works because the set up moves away from the usual cliche of high school virgins getting hacked to death.  Its like what Shrek said in his onion speech, its all about the layers and MaleVolence is all about stripping away them all until we get to the Slash part.  In the first half hour we have an abduction, a bank robbery, a kidnap, before we finally hit the night time.  You would only guess that you are watching an horror movie due to the fact that Mena's own personal score which is haunting and signals that there is something evil lurking in the shadow.   When Courtney is brave enough to try and escape and runs away towards a house nearby with Kurt following, the film swings from wrong heist to full fledged horror and its here we get an introduction to the new bogeyman in town!  What is great is that there is no sense of what is going to happen.  In different hands, any other director would have showed their hand early and not been brave enough to show the same restrain that Mena managed to.  There is an argument that some horror fans may find the lack of horror at the start a bit off putting but it reminded me of say Halloween, where the slow build up pays off to a tremendous affect.  You can say the same here, because when Kurt bumps into the last person on earth he should have, and then when we see Julian and Marilyn turn up to look for him, its right at this moment your horror juices are flowing and if you are a slasher fan of old, then you will be in your element! MaleVolence becomes the very thing you love about slash and the nods to the great films of the past will have you cheering with joy.  There is a moment that will have Myer fans smiling from ear to ear, it comes when we see Julian and Marilyn talking to each other and we the viewer see this Boogyman looking at them through the window.  But it gets better. The killer who could easy be Michael but is dresed up like Jason from Friday 13th Part II creeps silently in the shadows, unseen and always watching but ready to move without any disregard for human life.

There is just something very simple and beautiful about the movie, from the music that nods to Carpenter and the way its filmed, it plays  like the bastard offspring of the films you loved has a child and you can see why it is so universally loved by those who have seen it!  Also what works even more so in its favour is that Mena does not throw buckets of blood to the screen so for those who are sick of scenes of excessice torture and limbs flying across at them will find great delight at the old fashioned setting.  The main intention is to build the suspense and then shock the viewer when the killings start, it surely makes the point that they do not make them like this anymore.

Of course even for my undying love for the film I can not deny that Malevolence does not offer no new suprises to the genre.  When the Bogeyman starts to have fun, the sequence is set for Halloween type shots that you find hard to shake.  The moment that that sums this up is when Julie is standing to her back from the staircase and the killer slowly starts to creep behind her.  It is a pure horror slash moment that makes you wonder just what Mena could do if he was offered a Halloween film.

Maybe my love for Myers is a bit biased towards MaleVolence because make no mistake this is the closet I felt with a horror that touches the blueprint that Carpenter wrote.  If I had to find fault and its a small one, is that once the killings are done and the film moves back to the daylight, we get a 10 minute sequence that explains a lot of the back-story. Its always good to keep the horror viewer in the dark and not have everything explained to them but again in Mena's defence I believe that he wrote this in mind in hope that a prequel/sequel would be made or if not and this was just a one off, then he leaves the viiewers with all the answers they require.  Of course with the now official prequel in the cinemas (see trailer below), Mena should not have worried. The film does end though in a typical slash fashion, you know that its coming but you do not know how, and I have to say its a belter which makes you wish that in the cinema now was the third film which continued this story from this end point and hopefully we do not have to wait another 7 years to see this story arc finally come to its conclusion.
Lets go back then to the original question "Why I love MaleVolence so much?"  To answer that I have to give you two reasons: The First is that I simply believe that if all Slasher fans including myself were given a budget of $200,000 and was told to go out and make a Slash film, then nearly 95% of us would make something just like MaleVolence.  It really does have this feel of being a slasher made for all the fans of the genre.  On first watch I could smell the love of these films throughout and I instantly had a connection with Stevan Mena. The film gives this air that this is a director who is living his dream, doing something many of us wish we could but have not got the drive to do anything about it.  For 90 minutes of the running time I was in a jealous rage that Mena had done something that I always wanted to do, but was also in awe that he managed to pull it off! 
The other reason is that many films that I cherish in my life hold so much debt to Malevolence.  Back in 2005 I was still a young lad under the impression that films that were not released to box-office glory were not considered good enough to seek out.  Malevolence changed my outlook to this awful attitude.  It introduced me to a world where the thrill is to seek out films that were so good but unloved, to have a mission to spread the word about films that deserve their time in the limelight!  Only a few weeks after watching Malevolence, others came to light like the truly classic Session 9 which caught my eye and that was followed by Lighthouse and many others.  Its a trait that have stuck with me to this day and films like The Torment, Baby Blues, The Objective, are all which I believe are masterpieces of horror but widely not known to the wider public which have now entered my best of all time chart!  its thanks to this film that I now look forward to seeing what hidden delights get released on Monday Morning DVD shelves than the big hitters which sail straight to the top of the box-office!
While doing my research for MaleVolence I stumbled on a few negative reviews that made me weep and angry.  "Its just a copy of films of old!" was one that stuck out and made me shake my head with frustration.  Yes there are moments that you can see are homage to films like Halloween, Texas and Friday but what is the problem with that.  MaleVolence struck a chord with fans everywhere because it offered a new Bogeyman to the genre.  How can you criticise a film that follows the blueprint of Slash and offers a new character to the horror vault.  Mena who is surely destined for big things, offers more in the ninety minute running time than any of those dire re-makes of old classics that seem to be coming out an alarming rate.  There is no comparison between this and say the Jason re-make.  What did that offer?  Nothing, no I am sorry it did show us that Jason can run and that was it, did every horror fan watching that turn to their partner or friends and say straight after "Oooh, can not wait for the sequel!"  I guess my answer would be no, but at least with MaleVolence you WILL want to see the continuation of this story.  Not many films are made on the cheap like this and become such a worldwide cult hit, and one of the best signs you can have is that this, an unheard horror, has now actually got a sequel nearly 7 years later.  Not many films manage to pull that off but that is what is happening to MaleVolence with the prequel BereaVement that is already gaining rave reviews.   Unlucky for me it seems that history is repeating itself with my local Cinema not showing it and with my refusal to download to support Mena with his ambition to make the trilogy, it seems you the readers will have to wait a few months yet for my review when once again I will keep an eye out at a local Supermarket to pick up my copy, lock up work early and rush home to watch. If history is repeating itself, then I hope for me personally after finally watching BereaVement, I will have a new film to shout from the rooftops like I did all those years ago when a little film called MaleVolence came into my life

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Post #: 2502
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 12/6/2011 4:36:04 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54557
Joined: 1/10/2005
I'd been trying to find Ashes but I can't see a film or DVD release date for it. Best non-zombie zombie movie for me is Pontypool I think - is it better than that?

Saw Yellowbrickroad the other day - very disappointing. I see Stakeland is getting a release this week though.

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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Post #: 2503
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 12/6/2011 4:46:26 PM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
Oh yes....but Ashes is not really a Zombie movie, its more like The Fly.... We see the starting point of the Zombie infection........not the chaos that nearly every undead film starts from.

I had a peview copy sent to me, but I let you know when its due for release!

Shame about YellowBrickRoad, I am yet to watch it but that is about the sixth person whose told me its not good! Stakeland looks a belter  though, I hope to see it by the  end of the week.

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Post #: 2504
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 12/6/2011 4:56:34 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54557
Joined: 1/10/2005
Look forward to the review - it'll be odd to have seen one before you for once

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 2505
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 14/6/2011 1:40:37 PM   
great_badir


Posts: 4662
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle
HR - slightly , but I've just read the interview with John Carpenter on your website. Major props for getting that one, but reading through he seemed like really hard work, to the point that you were almost having to feed him answers at times. Took me by surprise a bit, considering he always seems chatty and jovial in interviews and commentaries. Did you get him on a bad day, or do you think his answers just didn't translate very well to written word?

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Post #: 2506
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 14/6/2011 1:58:25 PM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
He just did not seem bothered which was a massive disappointment......he has done a few on the road  over the last week or so,  and there is only one for another site which was really good.  Another website actually pulled the interview and just made it into a very small feature.  Something which we who run HCF were tempted also to do...

I suppose we caught him at the tail end of the interview route, where he was sick of answering the same old.  I also blame myself for coming across more has a fan boy, and asking him questions that I knew the answer to.  I should have challenged him more, asked him about other films in his CV and such.  But then the way he was he probably would have done a "no comment!" on everything like he did when I mentioned Zombie's Halloween!

Being such a huge fan, I was very disappointment.  It was great to get him and I suppose we are happy to have done it than never have, but on reflection we learnt a big lesson on it....

Lucky for us, Stevan Mena -MaleVolence, Daniel Myrick- Blair Witch and Andrew Cull-The Torment- have really come up trumps with theirs.  Stevan Mena in particular who is tagged the "new Carpenter!" is a really nice bloke, down to earth and just a horror fan at heart.  The problem with his is that I should have asked him loads more, because he was willing to say anything.

< Message edited by HughesRoss -- 14/6/2011 1:59:44 PM >


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Post #: 2507
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 15/6/2011 1:01:01 PM   
great_badir


Posts: 4662
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle
Shame. What's the saying? "You should never meet your heroes"?

I completely understand though - reminds me of the time I met Alex Cox, one of my film heroes. Though he was a really nice and approachable guy, my incessant fanboying about Moviedrome and my woe-is-me-ing and bad-mouthing about his replacement quickly made him decide that he would rather talk about his petition against the privatisation of British Rail. Which, of course, I was happy to go along with, but it meant that I'd shot away any chances of talking to him about Repo Man, Three Businessmen and Highway Patrolman.

Still, the important thing is you got a chance to properly interview JC (the REAL JC) - not many people who post on a free forum can say that.

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Post #: 2508
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 16/6/2011 11:59:47 PM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr


FILM:
STAKE LAND

DIRECTED BY:
Jim Mickle

WRITTEN BY:
Jim Mickle
Nick Damici

STARRING:
Conner Paolo
Nick Damici
Danielle Harris
Kelly McGillis

REVIEW BY SUB-EDITOR Ross Hughes
 
Vampires along with Zombies have had a rough time of late in the horror field.  Shaun Of The Dead was the best and probably worst thing to happen to the Zombie genre with many films since being released without the care for scare and making the walking undead nothing but a serious backdrop in an overall funny situation. Vampire's too have had the rough treatment with the genre now becoming nothing but a stable of hot teenage Vamps fighting over the High School young girl while the under fifteen's in the cinema cry to be bitten by this new sexy hunk.

Some may say that the two genres have never been so popular and that the two needed to evolve so they did not to fade away from the public eye.  There are those who believe Twilight is the best thing too happen to the bloodsuckers for many years, while Zombies weren't cool until Woody Harrison bumped into Bill Murray at his mansion.  But then there are fans like me who just wish to be scared again.  I remember the days when these icons were one of the most frightening things on screen, when horror fans could not wait for Christopher Lee to rise again and for another Flesh Eater to cause a stir from behind the grave.  Maybe the trend started to buckle when Buffy was born and become this universal hit, I mean if a young girl can take on these fiends with just a gang of friends and a bad ass attitude, while making a mint in franchise, then why make a horror for the over 18 crowd.

To be fair to director Jim Mickle he has risen from this new found craze and tried to be different.  His last film Mulberry Street was a critically acclaimed little horror about a Zombie virus attacking a block of flats that won him many fans and his new film is about Vampires and of a few people trying to survive in a world of ruin.  To say he is trying to get back the feel of what made these characters tick and loved is an understatement and he should be applauded for going back to the roots that will no doubt make him respected among many fans.  But while the undying respect will be no doubt be there, there will also be a sense of frustration that by creating such decent two films, they lack the ingredient that makes good horror films become great horror films, and that is being scary.  Like Mulberry Street before it, you will find many things to like about Stake Land, you will no doubt enjoy the film and it may become a top ten best of the year, but one thing that you will all agree on is that for a horror film, it just does not rock your boat.  You may have been screaming at Insidious a few weeks back, but  Stake Land will just make you curious at how the story develops, and another problem it faces, is the road the characters travel on, is the same path you have seen countless times before.

 (Scream Queen Danielle Harris takes a backseat role)

Stake Land offers nothing new to the recent craze of post Apocalyptic America.  If you have seen The Road and the Book Of Eli then everything that happens in this film will come to no suprise.  America is a wasteland after an epidemic of vampirism strikes, cites are ruined and the remaining survivors are on the run from these vicious, feral beast. When his family is slaughtered, young Martin (Gossip Girl's Connor Paolo) is saved and taken under the guidance of a grizzled, wayward hunter (Nick Damici) who is only known as Mister, a fearsome vampire stalker who kills Vamps with ease and  takes Martin on a journey through the locked-down towns of America's heartland, searching for a better place while taking down any bloodsuckers that cross their path. Along the way they recruit fellow travellers, including a Sister (Kelly McGillis) who is caught in a crisis of faith when her followers turn into ravenous rapists, a pregnant girl  Belle (Danielle Harris) who Martin becomes quite attached to and a former marine in the shape of Willie (Sean Nelson) who joins the fight against the bloodsuckers but also to avoid the human Brotherhood, a fundamentalist militia headed by Jebedia Loven (Michael Cerveris) who are more dangerous than the creatures that fill the night.

The non explanation of why the virus struck is a refreshing change.  We the viewer are plunged head first into this nightmare world without a safety belt and its a theme that carries throughout the movie.  The characters we share the journey with do not get any back-story so its hard to relate to them but that does not mean we can not sympathise for their plight.  Mickle seemed intent to just show us a story of this "Family" without the need to bore us of their previous lives  Like Mister says to Sister when she does start to tell us about her how she got to this part of her life, "We don't do stories!" and the film moves on.  Mickle probably feels that we the viewer do not really care about how they got there but where they are going to end and while it may put off those who love the deep character driven stories,  this ploy does make Stake Land have a real steady flow to the narrative drive. Unlike The Road which was deep in misery and build up the suspense,  this horror like version makes sure its keeps the gore hounds happy with numerous scenes of blood soaked images.  There does not seem like a ten minute break before we get to another vampire attack and while I can not fault one or two of the set pieces on display, Stake Land 
does suffer from a case of repetitive loop in that the whole plot shows a gang moving from A to B, getting attacked, moving from A to B before getting attacked again, there is no variety and sadly offers nothing new to well known formula.  Not quite Twilight is it? The delights are the simple scenes that you can not help but marvel at.  The traps they set around an empty house after they gate crash it when night fall arrives are quite ingenious and for me personally, the best scene of the film is when at one of these houses they stumble across a young Vamp in an attic which brings a much needed emotional pull for the viewer.  The thoughts "what would you do?" ring through you mind and its there you realise that this wasteland that Mickle has created has wonderful potential but its wasted on the same old play we have seen countless times. One of the main negatives is the Vamps.  The film could have easily been about Zombies because they are so similar in style that it was hard to sport the difference, they lack the bite and teeth of the much superior bunch of 30 Days Of Nights.  The best villains are not that of the undead but of the Brotherhood whose brutal policy in this ravaged land is a stark reminder that humans too can be just as dangerous and the religious element that surfaces throughout for a while puts Stake Land onto a different path which gets lost within the drive of the plot to get our four from one destination to another. The two leads are great fun with Nick Damici kicking ass for fun while Conner Paolo shows great potential as his young learner.  Kelly McGillis is totally unrecognisable and somewhat wasted in the role of Sister, flirting in and out of the film while Scream Queen Danielle Harris is a welcome for underplaying the role of Belle quietly.  The direction is superb and for a film made out of such a small budget, the movie looks great and once again it shows great potential in Mickle who is no doubt destined for great things in this horror genre. Sadly though while I enjoyed Stake Land and would recommend it to all the readers of HorrorCultFilms, the film itself was just not scary and that is a major flaw when you are trying to sell a horror to the die hard crowd.  The moody depressing tone and gloom setting reminds you of it being a Road knock off with a vamp element squeezed in which may have worked if it had one or two set pieces of frightening terror that enthralled the horror goer.  You like for Stake Land will depend on you love for that Viggo Mortensen film.   If you thought The Road was perfect in every sense then its best to leave Stake Land, but if you thought it lacked a bite, some great scenes of gore and a touch of the old Vampire, then Stake Land may just be up your street, and besides it knocks the fangs of anything Twilight!                                                                                                     3 OUT OF 5

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(in reply to great_badir)
Post #: 2509
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 17/6/2011 12:11:06 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54557
Joined: 1/10/2005
Oddly the bit where there was some agreement here was my husband didn't really see it as a horror, which I thought was quite interesting. I disagree with quite a bit though - and referencing the dreadful Book of Eli is just plain rude!

I think there's a lot more to the world created than you do - far more depth to the townships clinging to various forms of normality really unexpectedly well drawn, in a far quieter way than you might anticipate with the small things, like a haircut, taking on a deeper meaning. I thought soundtrack and cinematography was tremendously impressive, particularly as they started to leave the old parts of the world behind, the colours changing and the world getting quieter. Also, I think McGillis brought a lot of strength to the more confident faith that was needed to balance out the zealots.

I liked the fact the vamps themselves were a bit different - harder to kill, eg although the mutations went a bit far for me. And that does seem to be more of a trend with Del Toro's books and the doorstop Cronin book The Passage - and there were clear distinctions to zombies with eg the berserkers - cunning, seemingly intelligent enough to hunt, and very fast. It's a step beyond the monster element in 30 Days and, for me, a welcome one.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 2510
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 17/6/2011 12:27:45 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
Oh, the book of Eli was dreadful but what I meant was the film set in the wasteland offered nothing new to the previous films of that nature....

I have changed my score over the other site to a three and a half stars because on reflection Mickle done a great job on such a restricted budget.  I just wanted a bit more bite, some terror which would have really shaped the film into something else. I have to agree with your husband and thought it was more of a drama than a horror. 

I am not a fan of 30 Days like people know, but my point was they could have easily have made this film into a sequel of Mulberry Street, the Zombie virus spreading worldwide.  You could not tell the difference between these standard vamps and that of Zombies.  At least the 30 days gang were vicious fang biters and had a great design.

I liked the characters, It was really sad on occasions but the only one I related to was McGillis in terms of her brief battle in believing if what these two who rescured her are doing is right.  I thought she was underused and should have had a more prominent role, especially with the child in the attic scene whcih would have been a much better scene if she was included. 

I enjoyed Stake Land, but it borrowed too much from previous films to be considered a stand alone classic like some are saying.  It needed that little bit of originality through its horror veins to get me excited.  Not once did I go "wow!" which is needed in an horror, well perhaps a little bit with the night time in the car trunk, which was great but for its brief moment

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Post #: 2511
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 17/6/2011 12:33:33 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54557
Joined: 1/10/2005
 I do see it as more refreshing in the world created, so it's a pity - I'd hoped you'd like it more 

I can see where you (and t'other half) are coming from on the non-horror front though. Do you think if you'd gone into it not expecting a horror as such you might have viewed it differently?

SPOILERS FOR STAKELAND

Also - the set-pieces you mentioned liking. I'm guessing the 'it's raining vamps' WTF moment?




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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 2512
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 17/6/2011 12:44:59 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
That bit was really, totally out of the blue and unsettling......

Interesting point you make of Do you think if you'd gone into it not expecting a horror as such you might have viewed it differently?
 
That is hard to say!  To be honest I expected Stake Land to be exactly what it was.  We seem to be hitting a trend where all horrors are either going to be camacorder style and also a new breed of Post Apocalyptic wasteland that is rearing its head after that brief spell when Mad Max was the rage.

I believe my biggest problem is for watching this too soon after The Road, which of course minus the horror elemet are very similar in structure.  I may cause a stir here and say I did not enjoy The Road that much, it was way too depressing and a film I do not wish to see again for a long time, so maybe that negative made the viewing of Stake Land and the review be influenced a lot.

Its going back to my original gripe of Stake Land not offering something new and fresh, its the same path again over and over.  What did you rate the film?  I mean my 3.5 out of 5 is pretty good at the end of the day



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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 2513
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 17/6/2011 12:50:54 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54557
Joined: 1/10/2005
It is. From second viewing, forgiving it a couple of the things I was concerned about on first viewing and being even more impressed with certain other aspects, I'd probably have it about the same as Empire - 4/5. I don't think it has quite the repeat watchability of something like Pontypool, which I've seen heaven knows how many times now!, but when it finally turns up on the Horror Channel I'll be happily sitting through it a few times more. 

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Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 2514
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 17/6/2011 12:53:38 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
Its amazing how much you love Pontypool!

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Our first ever HCF MOVIE AWARDS

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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 2515
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 17/6/2011 12:55:58 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54557
Joined: 1/10/2005
My husband actually compared his reaction to Stakeland to that of Pontypool, which is why I thought of it. He's not sure either are actually horrors and he's not entirely sure how he feels about parts of them - expecting one thing and getting another threw him off. He didn't go to see it with me at the GFF, but now says he'd have been happy to, though. 

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 2516
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 17/6/2011 1:03:27 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr
Pontypool is more in tune of horror than Stake Land, it has this creepy vibe that you can not shake.  A real different Zombie movie that is fresh and original!

You said YellowBrickRoad was not that good, that disappoints me really...that was a film I was looking forward to the most!

_____________________________

Our first ever HCF MOVIE AWARDS

http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/2012/01/horrorcultfilms-movie-awards-of-2011-all-the-winners-right-here-of-our-first-ever-hcf-awards/

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 2517
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 17/6/2011 1:12:20 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54557
Joined: 1/10/2005
It has an idea - but it hasn't a clue what to do with it. It's like they came up with a question and made a film with no idea what the answer was and lost the plot fairly early on. It was really disappointing. 

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 2518
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 19/6/2011 1:27:50 AM   
HughesRoss


Posts: 5668
Joined: 19/12/2008
From: Merthyr


Oh Insidous, for the first forty minutes you were like a dream for this horror fanatic.  I am being serious when I tell you that I have never seen a horror film like this before that has made me jump out of my skin so much.  I was virtually at the edge of my seat with such outstanding set-pieces that made my heart jump from my chest and my wife screaming by the side of me.  It was horror at its most brilliance and the scene that summed up the creative force on offer was the around the kitchen table scene that is probably thee best horror moment of the year.  That alone summed up what Insidious at that moment was offering to the horror fans.  A simple shock fest with a mission to scare the crap out of all who watched and oh boy did I love it!  My blood was ripping through me with excitement, I could feel that I was watching something special here, a horror that was all set to sail straight into my list of best of and I waited to see what the rest of the film offered.  What other scare could this offer to my horror bone, so I waited, and then I waited and I waited some more...........and then something bad was happening, the overwhelming feeling I had of joy was slowly slipping away to be replaced by frustration and reasons began to enter my head into why Insidious is one horror I am not going to join the ever growing fan club.

Insidious stars Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as Josh and Renai, a young couple who with their three kids move into their new home and are just settling into their new life when their young son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) goes up to the attic, falls of a broken ladder and bangs his head.  Seeming fine and putting him to bed, the young couple to their horror wake in the morning to discover he has inexplicably lapsed into a coma.  The doctors are at a loss and can not diagnose what has happened to him and its here the film skips to three months later with Dalton still in his comatose state and is at  home to be monitored in comfort and of care with his parents.  Its at this point strange things start to happen, first slowly but building more frequent and leading to terrifying events that leads Renai to see ghosts in which she begs Josh to move away from their new home.  In what must be a horror first and an idea that bursts with originality, they move, into a new house so they can put all the recent trauma behind them, but only a few days in, the spooks are back, have they followed them to their new home?  Or is it something else?, to their horror, they discover that it's not the house that was haunted at all.

Insidious is to put it blunt, the bastard offspring of Paranormal Activity.  It was purely created for those fans who did not care for the slow build up of Activity, where you spend many nights with a couple sleeping in their beds while you scan the bedroom room straining to see something in the dark.  Insidious is for those who like their horror in their face which the intent is shown straight away with the music score that blasts from the screen.  There is no time here to be wasted on slow scares, the film has a need to reach out to those Final Destination gang who head to the cinema on a Friday Night on a look out for blood and gore.  With not offering any of that, the makers decide to go all out with multiple shock scenes that generally work and are pleasing to the eye, but with all this haste they forgot about the plot.  Its all very well filling out the first half with the horror scare, the last half also needs to offer something new and while it may please the new horror goer, for the older generation it all becomes a very laughable with a very tiresome story. 

Before I get to the last half, I need to stress how good the first part is.  If it carried on in this path then you are surely looking at a horror masterpiece-its that good.  I do not think I have ever seen a Haunted House film that puts you right in the place of the people involved.  It really was brilliant film making by James Wan, but the downward spiral starts when the parents decide to seek out help, its here the film goes all daft and you can not help and think of a certain Tobe Hopper film when the three "ghostbusters!" arrive on scene.  Before you can shout Carol Anne rip off, the cameras are set and these investigators led by a Tangina Barron type Lin Shaye are calling out to all things that go bump in the night and a massive sigh came across this horror fan who has seen this story done too many times before.  The arrival of these three with their backpacks ruins the tension and build up that the film managed to create.  No longer was this a freaky ghost story about a young family trying to survive the night, Insidious had moved into 80's cliche.

Die-Hard fans would dismiss the word cliche and call it homage, but being of a certain age there was nothing from this point which excited me and it got worse, well not worse, just laughable.  The script becomes a daft chunky plot about Astral out of body experiences and when we hit the reality of the very dumb name The Further which is too stupid to even go into here, you realise how far this has gone from its original concept!

We even have the potential of a new bogyman to grace the screen for further sequels.  The figure of Lipstick Face (that is the name in the end credits) is shown heavily towards the films climax which I can only guess is on purpose, because not only does play like a Freddy Kruger style icon, but the entire "What is behind the red door!" finale comes across like A Nightmare On Elm Street film.  The house, mist on the floor, dark corridors, a staircase, watch this moment and think of the scene of Kristen in Elm Street III and you get what I mean.  Even then with that in mind another film hits you hard when you hear the "Follow My Voice!" simply because its way too similar to the "Don't go into the light!" that has become an infamous quote from a much better movie that was the obvious inspiration for this film.

Wan can not end a movie with a twist in the tail and its not bad, even though it does not make much sense when you think about it (but then much of what happens in the later half doesn't), and of course the film has enough for the cheap thrill to get excited about and no doubt a franchise is born here. At the end of the watch I was left with the assumption that Insidious is a perfect horror for those who are way into the new craze of re-makes and endless sequels.  Its simple approach and need for scares at every moment will thrill the new generation.  For me and others, we can only weep at the lost opportunity that was on offer here, its goes from brilliant to daft in a matter of minutes and probably in a few years time will not share the same status with the much superior films of say The Devils Backbone and The Orphanage, when looking back it should have for only those opening 40 minutes!

                                                                                    3 OUT OF 5



_____________________________

Our first ever HCF MOVIE AWARDS

http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/2012/01/horrorcultfilms-movie-awards-of-2011-all-the-winners-right-here-of-our-first-ever-hcf-awards/

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 2519
RE: Hughes Horror Collection - 19/6/2011 2:25:00 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54557
Joined: 1/10/2005
I tend to tune out the 'couple move into house with family' films now - they all seem to have merged into one in my head. I'd be really crap at that in a film quiz round - like single beat dance music all sounding the same. 

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to HughesRoss)
Post #: 2520
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