PRIMAL (2010) Review

Directed by: Josh Reed
Starring: Krew Boylan, Lindsay Farris, Wil Traval, Zoe Tuckwell-Smith

A group of friends take a road trip to check out some ancient Aboriginal cave paintings which apparently nobody has seen in over 120 years. One of the guys Dace (Traval) is working on his thesis and the rest of the group are basically just tagging along for some camping and adventure.
A group of friends taking a trip out into the wilderness? Could it get anymore cliché? Of course it could.
The first half hour or so of the movie introduces us to the characters who are exactly as we expect them to be. There is the couple who seemingly came along only for the chance to fuck in their tent. There is the girl with a past traumatic experience which she must overcome, there is the leader of the group, the joker and another girl thrown in with the single purpose of dying horribly.
But soon after taking a nude dip in some leech infested water, Mel (Boylan) begins a horrifying transformation. First she breaks out in a fever, starts talking gibberish and then her teeth fall out and are finally replaced by extra long pointed fangs. She reverts back to some primal, animal-like state and begins violently attacking her friends. Before long they realize that face a moral dilemma. Do they kill Mel or do they risk death themselves by trying to capture her alive?

PRIMAL reminds me of movies like The Ruins and Cabin Fever but especially the latter, with the protagonists being pitted against not only a killer virus but also against each other. I'm not a huge fan of either though and I actually have to say that I preferred PRIMAL over both of them.
The first hour or so gets pretty intense particularly after Mel's transformation, and the way the friends deal with their situation is intriguing to say the least. After Mel kills and then chows down on one of them, the rest seem to make up their mind that she needs to be killed. All of course except for her stupid boyfriend Chad (Farris) who seems to think that she's 'still in there' and that he can 'get through to her'.
Apart from the sometimes frustratingly stupid characters and the shoddy looking CGI (especially the scenes involving any kind of super-high jumping or people being thrown) I found the movie to be entertaining and engaging and it kept me intrigued right up until the last 20 minutes or so where things fell apart a little. The final scene however did get a little chuckle from me.

Despite being about as predictable and cliché as you can get and not scary at all, I actually found PRIMAL to be an enjoyable enough movie with some good action scenes, decent acting and a fair amount of blood. Veteran horror fans will find nothing new here, but casual watchers will probably enjoy it although the violence (including rocks smashing heads, teethe falling out, throats being torn open etc) may be a little too much for some.


DAMNED BY DAWN (2009) Review

Directed by: Brett Anstey
Starring: Renee Willner, Bridget Neval, Dawn Klingberg, Danny Alder

Being Australian myself I'm always up for seeing a good Aussie film, especially if it falls into the horror / thriller / drama categories. But I will also be the first to admit that this country will definitely not be remembered for it's contributions to horror cinema. I could name a whole bunch of fantastic Australian movies like Mad Max or Romper Stomper or Snowtown or Two Hands but when it comes to horror not much really comes to mind. I guess Razorback is good, and The Loved Ones is great and I enjoyed Wolf Creek but other than that they are mostly average or below such as Patrick or Black Water. Unfortunately DAMNED BY DAWN continues this tradition.

Claire (Willner) travels with boyfriend Paul (Alder) to visit her relatives whom she hasn't seen for a year and a half. It turns out that her grandmother (Klingberg) is dying and she has entrusted Claire with a special urn, telling her that she wants to be cremated. She also tells her of the 'lady of sorrows' who will come when it's time for her to die and take her soul. This lady is a banshee and must not be prevented from doing her job Claire is told, but on the night that this banshee comes she decides to interfere. Bad idea. The banshee gets pissed off and uses it's wail to raise the dead who come after Claire and her family. Claire has to find a way to stop this banshee and her hordes of undead before her it's too late.

I applaud DAMNED BY DAWN for utilizing the legend of the banshee which is not often done in horror films (the last one I saw was Syfy's Scream of the Banshee which was fucking terrible) but unfortunately this main story is underdeveloped and it's not long before the film skews off in a different and well tread direction which involves a group of people in a house trying to survive a supernatural attack.
The similarities to The Evil Dead are too numerous and obvious for me to overlook, from the familiar looking woods permanently shrouded in fog to many of the camera setups to even the fucking title itself which is clearly ripped straight from Evil Dead II. I'm not sure whether this was supposed to be seen as an homage or just a rip-off but personally I think it has borrowed way too much.
Visually this movie looked great especially the outdoor shots but they were ruined a little by the fog some of the time which I couldn't really make up my mind as to whether it was real or CGI. Whatever it was sometimes it looked good and sometimes it looked shit. And speaking of CGI this is where the movie really lost points from me. It was a shame too because there was some quite good use of practical effects but these were offset by the laughably fake flying ghouls.

Being an independent, direct to video movie with amateur actors and a first time director, DAMNED BY DAWN has obviously been made by passionate horror fans. However I didn't find it scary in the slightest, the writing was average, the acting a bit shabby and the CGI just ruined it for me. With perhaps a bigger budget and more development of the banshee myth this could have been more enjoyable but as it is it's really just another below average Australian horror flick.

PEEPING TOM (1960) Review

Directed by: Michael Powell
Starring: Karlheinz Böhm, Anna Massey, Moira Shearer

Widely remembered as the film which single-handedly ruined Michael Powell's career and often wrongly labeled as a 'slasher', PEEPING TOM is a brilliantly dark look at the voyeuristic and almost pornographic element in the act of filming. It has been over 50 years since it's release, but the film is perhaps more relevant now in a period of reality television and CCTV, than it ever has been. A movie well ahead of it's time.

Mark Lewis (Böhm) works as a focus puller at a film studio. After hours however he provides photographs for a small newsagent / porn store and creates his own special home movies while dabbling in a bit of murder.
A lonely, shy and quiet man, Mark has a strange obsession with fear and more importantly capturing that fear on somebody's face at the moment they are about to die. We learn that this obsession comes from the experiments his father conducted on him when he was just a young boy, trying to research fear and it's effect on the nervous system. 
He meets Helen (Massey), a woman who lives with her blind mother in his building and they begin a close relationship. But can he keep his deadly hobby a secret?

A lot of people consider this to be one of the first slasher films, but I'm not one of them. I definitely agree that this has heavily influenced a lot of horror movies including the slasher sub-genre but along with Psycho I don't believe that this should really be considered a slasher film.
One of the film's strengths is the great performance by German actor Karlheinz Böhm as Mark Lewis, and indeed the rest of the cast are almost as good. Mark's character is likeable and there are some scenes where  it seems that he genuinely wants help, so it's easy to sympathize with him even though we all know he is a killer.
Other positive points include the use of color which reminded me almost of some of Dario Argento's work, and also the effective, mesmerizing piano score which creates a perfectly eerie atmosphere for the film.
Of course the film does have its negative point too. Some of the dialogue is awkward especially between Mark and Helen, and there are a few pacing problems with sections of the movie dragging on while others are tense and powerful.

Lots of comparisons are made between this movie and Psycho since they released around the same time, but in reality they are two completely different films and I actually prefer this one over Hitchcock's classic.
Although this movie is ultimately about a serial killer, don't expect to see blood and gore or a high body count. Do however expect to see a very bleak and very human film that unfortunately was ahead of it's time.



Directed by: Abel Ferrara
Starring: Abel Ferrara, Carolyn Marz, Baybi Day

There were two things which led to my viewing of this film. First was the simple fact that it made the infamous 'video nasties' list in the UK, and the second was an image of the original VHS cover which showed a rather brutal scene in which a man was getting a power drill right through the skull. As it turns out these two facts are actually very misleading, but that's not to say that the movie was bad it just wasn't what I expected.

Director Abel Ferrara plays (under the name Jimmy Laine) the man character Reno Miller, an artist who is struggling to make ends meet as he finds himself dealing with professional problems, personal problems and a band which has just moved into the building. It's not long before Reno seemingly goes insane, running around the streets of New York at night murdering people with a power drill.

I have to say that even though I was expecting more of a slasher / splatter film I still enjoyed it for what it was. It kind of has a similar feel to Taxi Driver and Maniac Cop especially with the filthy New York streets and Reno's insane hatred for the scum living there. As for being on the 'video nasties' list I really don't think this deserved to have been included. It's a lot more violent than a movie like AXE but even for the late 70s I would think that there were plenty of worse films around. The scene I mentioned earlier with the homeless man's skull getting drilled is probably the most violent image in the movie, but even that looks fake so it really doesn't hit as hard as it probably did 30 years ago.
I'm still not quite sure why Reno decided to murder vagrants when he probably should have taken the drill to that amazingly terrible sounding punk band who moved into his building. Another thing which was strange was the fact that there is not a single police officer in the entire movie. With such a high body count in New York City you would expect the cops to come into it at some point, but no (this isn't a bad thing though, I actually thought it was a clever decision).

THE DRILLER KILLER is more of a drama / social commentary than a horror movie, which you may not guess by the way it was marketed, but it is still a pretty solid film. A few pacing problems lead to some boring areas but once the action resumes you forget all about it. Worth a watch, just don't expect to see a blood-soaked slasher.

THE GREY Red Band Trailer

THE GREY is a film I'm definitely looking forward to seeing, especially after seeing this brand new red band trailer. I'm always interested in these type of survival movies, in particular the ones which pit man against beast.
What's that you say? Unprovoked wolf attacks on humans never happen?
Well who really cares? Since when did the facts ever get in the way of good entertainment?
Just shut up and watch the trailer.

Press release:
Open Road Films will release the highly anticipated, action-packed survival thriller, The Grey, in theaters nationwide on January 27, 2012. The Grey stars Liam Neeson and is directed by Joe Carnahan (A-Team, Smokin’ Aces, Narc); it was produced by Liddell Entertainment.

In The Grey, Liam Neeson leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements – and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt – before their time runs out.
The Grey also features Frank Grillo (Warrior and Lay the Favorite), Dermot Mulroney (Burn After Reading, About Schmidt), Dallas Roberts ("The Good Wife", 3:10 To Yuma), Joe Anderson (Across The Universe, upcoming ABC series "The River"), James Badge Dale (upcoming World War Z, The Conspirator, HBO’s "The Pacific"), and Nonso Anozie (Conan the Barbarian, Atonement, RocknRolla).
The Grey is produced by Jules Daly, Joe Carnahan, Ridley Scott, and Mickey Liddell. Executive producers are Tony Scott and Jennifer Hilton as well as Jim Seibel, Bill Johnson, and Marc Butan of Inferno Entertainment.


AXE (1977) Review

Directed by: Frederick R. Friedel
Starring: Leslie Lee, Jack Canon, Ray Green

Logically you'd think that the infamous 'Video Nasties' list would be comprised of only the sickest and most depraved films to ever be released on video, right? But the reality is that for every Cannibal Holocaust or The Toolbox Murders on the list, there is a much more tame counterpart which really has no place being included at all. AXE is one of the latter.

Essentially AXE (aka LISA, LISA) is a home invasion / rape / revenge flick similar to Last House on the Left or I Spit on Your Grave, albeit much more mild. It's inclusion in the nasty list is probably due to its marketing, with the trailer describing it as the most terrifying movie since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Echoing this comparison is one of the movie's alternate titles 'The California Axe Massacre'. The misleading trailer even describes a 'killing spree' which never actually happens. But unlike the three films I've just mentioned AXE isn't overly violent (most of the violence happens off camera) and its single rape scene is awkward rather than brutal. Even by 1977 standards this movie would seem tame compared to most other horror releases.

Three men - Billy, Steele & Lomax - have been involved in a murder and decide that they need to find a place to lay low until the heat dies down. After having a bit of fun with a female clerk they drive out to a house seemingly in the middle of nowhere. A young girl named Lisa lives in this house with her paralyzed grandfather.
After deducing that Lisa and the wheelchair-bound man are the only inhabitants of the house the three men decide that they've found as good a place as any to hide out. At first things go smoothly, they order Lisa to make them food etc but in general they aren't too aggressive towards her or her grandfather. But later that night Lomax gets a bit horny and decides to sneak into Lisa's room where he proceeds to slip into her bed and rape her. Lisa pulls out a straight razor and kills Lomax, but curiously she does so by hacking at the back of his neck instead of his throat for some reason. While he's being sliced he screams fairly loudly but miraculously nobody in the house wakes up. Lisa uses an axe (it's a hatchet really" to dismember the body.
You can probably figure out the rest of the movie yourself.

I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this movie, especially with it being a very low budget film from the 70s but it does have a certain charm. Technically it is terrible, with laughably fake red paint blood, horribly dubbed sound bites and possibly the most annoying soundtrack I have ever heard in my life. I honestly think that somebody must have said "Hey let's gather the most annoying instruments ever made and use them for the soundtrack" because AXE's music is almost entirely comprised of bongos, tambourine and a very irritating high-pitched synthesizer-like sound. The only way it could have been worse is if it had included bagpipes.
There are plenty of plot holes, some stupid writing and the acting is nothing to be proud of. Basically the movie looks bad and sounds bad. But as I mentioned there is something enjoyable about it. Maybe it's the simple fact that it was one of these 'video nasties' and subconsciously we know that it was once 'forbidden'. It's inclusion on that particular list is actually the only thing this movie has going for it, well that and the fact that the character Billy looks exactly like Bob Ross. AXE is a very tame, dull movie and ironically if it hadn't been included on the nasty list it would almost certainly been forgotten by now.

COLD FISH (2011) Review

Directed by: Shion Sono
Starring: Mitsuru Fukikoshi, Denden, Megumi Kagurazaka

COLD FISH tells the story of two fish store owners who, apart from their occupations couldn't be any more different. Shamoto (Fukikoshi) is a timid man with a modest shop, recently re-married with a daughter from his first wife. Murata (Denden) on the other hand is a successful, loud and outgoing man who owns a store five times that of Shamoto's.
Shamoto is called into Murata's store after his daughter is caught shoplifting, but instead of contacting the authorities Murata decides to let her off and even offers her a job at the store. Murata 'befriends' Shamoto and even offers him a position as a business partner. On the surface Murata seems to be a genuinely nice and friendly guy but we soon discover that underneath he is a monster. Shamoto witnesses him murder another business partner after a misunderstanding and Murata forces him to help with the disposal of the body.
Murata brags about killing over 50 people (or 'making them invisible' as he says) and never being caught. Shamoto finds himself being pulled down into the other man's world of violence and murder and unable to escape due to threats against his wife and daughter. Will Shamoto find a way out? Or will Murata be successful in making him his 'apprentice'?

Once the main character witnesses the first murder things kick into gear and move along at a swift pace. During the rest of the film you will witness plenty of scenes of murder, abuse, rape, dismemberment, blood and guts but somehow all of this violence doesn't seem gratuitous at all, it feels needed. And by the end you'll realize that the movie isn't just about telling the story on which it is apparently based, but is also a look at more universal issues such as responsibility, abuse, dependency and family dysfunction. It touches on life, death, madness, anger and regret with a lot of pitch black humor laced throughout.

At just under two and a half hours COLD FISH is much too long and drawn out and could have been much more effective had that time been sliced almost in half. Fortunately the actors all do their jobs well so watching this isn't as tedious as you might imagine. Denden is especially good as the insane and over the top Murata.
This movie is not for everybody but if you like a lot of gore, realism, a well written story and a bit of social commentary then you'll definitely want to see COLD FISH.


THE INNKEEPERS (2011) Review

Directed by: Ti West
Starring: Sara Paxton, Pat Healey, Kelly McGillis

This movie confused the hell out of me. Since watching it I've read a whole bunch of positive reviews from all different people because honestly I don't see what the fucking point of this movie was and how anybody actually enjoyed it. And even after reading all of these reviews I still don't get it, they're all just as vague as the actual movie itself.

THE INNKEEPERS follows two employees at the supposedly haunted Yankee Pedlar Inn. The inn is just about to close down and these two friends Claire (Paxton) and Luke (Healey) are working the final weekend. With almost no residents staying at the inn, Claire and Luke decide to hunt for the ghost of a woman named Madeline O'Malley who supposedly died way back when.
With Luke feeding her descriptions of his own paranormal encounters, Claire is more than excited to find this ghost. After not much happens, there is finally some unexplained activity (voices and piano keys are heard) and eventually one of their few guests (who just happens to be a psychic) warns them not to go into the basement.
So of course Claire decides to go into the basement.

Now you would expect by this point in the film that some scary shit is going to go down. Up until this point THE INNKEEPERS has been slow and drawn out with it's character development, but it genuinely feels like it's building up to something big. But you'd be wrong.
Almost nothing happens in this movie and the things that do happen seemingly happen for no reason at all. No explanation is given for anything. Normally I don't have a problem with movies that leave some unanswered questions at the end, but this is taking it way too far. The entire movie is slow and vague and not scary at all. It's like they spent too much time concentrating on the characters joking and chatting and walking around that they just didn't leave enough time to resolve the whole ghost plot.
And I know that stupid characters seem to be an essential ingredient in most horror/thriller films but nobody is as stupid as Claire. She gets told not to go into the basement so she does and bad things happen. Later she is told by the same person to leave the building, so what does she do? Back down to the basement of course.

What the movie lacked in storyline it (almost) made up for in other areas. The entire film looked good, the inn was a great location, the acting was above average and the atmosphere created was actually not bad at all. Unfortunately though this wasn't enough to counter the lack of tension and numerous other problems.
The most disappointing thing for me is the fact that this could have made for a really good, slow burning, atmospheric horror flick. Instead it turned out to be an hour-and-a-half of nothing happening, and will probably appeal to fans of the Paranormal Activity franchise.

THE DARKEST HOUR 3D (2011) Review

Directed by: Chris Gorak
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella

Well I can't say that I actually expected this to be a good movie after watching the trailer. However the current line-up at my local theatre is so bad that THE DARKEST HOUR 3D seemed to be the best choice. It was either this or Happy Feet 2, and now I'm thinking that it probably would have been a better idea to go see the latter instead.
And before I get to the actual review there's something I need to say. I have nothing against 3D movies. If people want to watch them that's fine, as long as people like me have the option of watching them in regular old 2D. Unfortunately the local theatre didn't offer that option.

A pair of software developers arrive in Moscow to pitch their newest idea which they're convinced will make them multi-millionaires. Unfortunately they are beaten by a rival who has stolen their idea and is pitching it himself just as they walk in. So they do the only sensible thing by going to some sort of trendy nightclub to drown their sorrows. They not only run into their software stealing friend Skyler, but also a couple of attractive girls. Maybe things are starting to look up! Or not. Suddenly the nightclub is plunged into darkness and everybody finds themselves outside. There is some strange sort of Aurora Borealis type phenomenon going on in the sky and strange orange balls of energy are drifting down to the ground. Everybody stands back except for one brave (or stupid) police officer who decides to get a little closer. He is instantly vaporized. Everybody runs around in a panic, and our main characters find themselves locked inside some kind of storeroom. After a week of waiting it's finally time for them to venture outside and see just what the fuck is really going on.

There are a couple of refreshing elements to this movie, namely the location and the enemy. Rather than being a familiar location such as NYC or Los Angeles or Tokyo the choice has been made to set this in Moscow, Russia. The aliens aren't something you normally see either, mainly because you hardly get to see them at all. They are invisible for the most part except for the brief orange flashes of energy they emit and the fact that anything electrical lights up like a Christmas tree if they go near it. This actually adds another little twist to the film in the form of night travel being safer than day travel.
So the movie isn't a complete piece of shit, but as far as the good points go I really can't think of anything else. Everything else was below average or just downright terrible. The script was ridiculous, the characters were idiots, the acting was sub-par and the CGI was made-for-TV quality. And of course the 3D aspect was pointless as usual. There were one or two scenes which incorporated 3D but other than that there was just no reason for it.

Save your money and avoid THE DARKEST HOUR. You could certainly do worse, but you could definitely do a hell of a lot better. 
And don't be fooled by Timur Bekmambetov's production credit.


MANIAC COP (1988) Review

Directed by: William Lustig
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Tom Atkins, Richard Roundtree

The MANIAC COP trilogy is in my personal opinion one of the most underrated in the horror genre. Although none of the three movies feature amazing storytelling or award-winning performances, they are truly entertaining. As is usual with trilogies, the first film is the strongest. It also has one of my all time favorite taglines.

Somebody is roaming the streets of New York City at night and violently killing innocent and unsuspecting civilians. What makes this even more frightening though is the fact that this killer is no average Joe. He's a cop!
Or at least a guy who dresses like a cop. Anyway, once this fact is made public the residents of the city go into a panic. If they can't trust the police, who can they trust?
Soon after this Detective Jack Forrest (Campbell) is accused of being this so-called 'maniac cop' after the body of his wife is found in his hotel room. As he tries to clear his name he is joined by Lt. McCrae (Atkins) and together they discover the identity of the real killer. A supposedly dead police hero named Matt Cordell. But can they prove it?

MANIAC COP is really half slasher and half police thriller. It's a good mix though and Lustig takes what he needs from each genre and splices them together seamlessly.
New York City in the 80s is a perfectly seedy backdrop to this film. It's rain-soaked streets and grimy alleyways giving the city an uneasy vibe especially in the night scenes and are the perfect location for the high-speed car chases, explosive shootouts and violence that follow.
Accompanying these fast-paced scenes is some of the best B-movie talent of the time. Bruce Campbell of course at his most popular after starring in The Evil Dead II the previous year. Tom Atkins from such films as Halloween III and The Fog, and of course Richard Roundtree the one and only 'Shaft'. All of their performances are above average, but it is a shame that Bruce doesn't get to showcase his humor.
I should also mention the fx / makeup which for the time are actually pretty good, especially on the villain's face.

Of course the movie has it's bad points too. The story isn't terrible but honestly it's pretty predictable and generic. And why exactly does this maniac cop seem to be invincible? It's never really explained, I guess it's just one of those slasher clichés. The movie is very dated too what with the 80s music, the hair, the shoulder pads etc. But even with these negative points, MANIAC COP succeeds in being a very entertaining film and  a great setup for the two movies which follow.


When the first RESIDENT EVIL movie came out I personally never thought it would even get to three films, but here we are now with the fifth entry into the RE franchise on the way. Not only do we have the first official trailer for the upcoming movie, but also some slick looking stills. You will find both below.
There is also a new logo (above) for those who may be interested.

Synopsis: “The wildly successful film franchise adaptation that has grossed nearly $700 million worldwide to the popular video game series, Resident Evil, returns in its highly anticipated fifth installment, RE5IDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION in state-of-the art 3D. 
The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, ALICE (Milla Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella’s most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun.” 

RE5IDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION 3D hits theatres September 14th 2012.

RESIDENT EVIL 6 Official Trailer & Artwork

After a number of leaks and a viral ad campaign, Capcom have now officially confirmed the much anticipated Resident Evil 6. Not only is the game in full development but a release date has already been revealed along with new artwork and a launch trailer.

From the press release:
Capcom®, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, is very proud to announce that Resident Evil® 6 is in full development and scheduled for release on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system on November 20, 2012, with a Windows PC version to follow. Blending action and survival horror, this latest installment in the multi-million selling franchise is the most ambitious, immersive, and feature-rich title of the series to date and promises to be the dramatic horror experience of the year.
It has been ten years since the Raccoon City incident, and the President of the United States has decided to reveal the truth behind what took place in the belief that it will curb the current resurgence in bioterrorist activity. Due to be by the President’s side is his personal friend and Raccoon City survivor, Leon S. Kennedy, but when the venue suffers a bioterrorist attack, Leon is forced to face a President transformed beyond recognition and make his hardest ever decision. At the same time, Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance member Chris Redfield arrives in China, itself under threat of a bioterrorist attack. With no country safe from these attacks and the ensuing outbreaks, the entire world’s population is united by a common fear that there is no hope left.
In a first for the franchise, Resident Evil 6 sees series favorites Leon and Chris come together to face this unprecedented threat. They will be joined by new characters, each with their own unique perspective and involvement, in this relentless dramatic horror experience enacted on a global scale.
“Resident Evil 6 represents a giant stride forward in the evolution of the series,” commented Katsuhiko Ichii, Head of R&D and Global Marketing. “The development team, led by Hiroyuki Kobayashi, is working tirelessly to deliver the most impressive Resident Evil® title ever both in terms of scope and production values. We are all genuinely excited by the title and cannot wait to share it with the world.”
Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Resident Evil 6 Executive Producer added: “From the outset the team’s intention was to create an experience that delivers a gripping storyline, tense single-player and co-op action all set against a constant theme of horror. We are calling this fusion 'dramatic horror' and are confident it will resonate with both existing fans of the series as well as newcomers.”
RESIDENT EVIL 6 will launch on PS3 and XBOX360 on November 20th 2012 with a PC release date soon after.
Hit up the official website for more info.


Full Synopses For REC 3: GENESIS & REC 4: APOCALYPSE

As much as I normally bitch and moan about all of the endless sequels coming out, REC 3 and 4 are two which I am actually really looking forward to. And now thanks to Bloody-Disgusting here are the full synopses for both of these upcoming films.

Synopsis: "Koldo and Clara are about to celebrate the most important day of their lives: their wedding. Everything appears to be running smoothly and the bride and groom and their families are enjoying a wonderful day; that is until some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness. Before they know what’s happening, the bride and groom find themselves in the middle of a hellish ordeal, as an uncontrollable torrent of violence is unleashed on the wedding. Amidst the chaos, Koldo and Clara become separated and begin a desperate search for one another. What started off as an idyllic day quickly descends into a nightmare of the worst kind…"

Synopsis: "Angela Vidal, the young television reporter who entered the building with the fireman, manages to make it out alive. But what the soldiers don’t know is that she carries the seed of the strange infection. She is to be taken to a provisional quarantine facility, a high-security installation where she will have to stay in isolation for several days. An old oil tanker, miles off shore and surrounded by water on all sides, has been especially equipped for the quarantine."

REC 3 will see a March 30th 2012 release in Spain.

HOSTEL: PART III (2011) Review

Directed by: Scott Spiegel
Starring: Kip Pardue, Thomas Kretschman, Brian Hallisay

There were three signs that told me this was going to be a terrible movie, and I ignored them all. I wish I hadn't.

First of all was the fact that Eli Roth was nowhere to be seen, and instead we have Scott Spiegel who's last attempt at a sequel gave us the terrible From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money.
Then there is the location change. All of a sudden we're taken from a creepy little European town all the way over to the bright lights of Vegas? Why?
And then of course there's the fact that HOSTEL: PART III had no theatrical release and instead went straight to video.

A group of friends take a trip to Vegas to celebrate the impending marriage of one of them. After a big night out one of the friends goes missing and the others go looking for him. Soon enough they find themselves involved with the Elite Hunting Club who are hosting a new perverse game of torture.

The first Hostel may not have been the best movie out there, but at least it actually accomplished something. It carved out it's own little niche, and the term 'torture-porn' was coined because of it. The sequel was a nice, if unneeded follow up but this third entry is just horseshit.
I will admit though that there is a twist and it actually had me fooled for a second. I feel a little ashamed to say that, but it's true. Other than that though, this movie was as predictable and yawn-inducing as you can get.
The torture scenes are extremely tame and there is no tension or build-up at all. They just kind of happen. It's like Scott Spiegel didn't bother to watch the first two films and instead decided to make a child-friendly horror movie. Yes it really is that tame. 
And remember the really dark, gritty atmosphere from the first two movies? Well don't expect that here. The decision for this to take place in bright and shiny Las Vegas was a bad one.

There is really only one reason to watch a Hostel movie. The torture, gore and violence. Nobody watches them for their acting, storytelling or character development, they just want to see gratuitous violence. 
HOSTEL: PART III is nothing like the previous two films. It is boring, the acting and casting are awful, the FX are crap and pretty much everything else is just plain bad.  Don't even waste your time.


Directed by: John Erick Dowdle
Starring: Stacy Chbosky, Ben Messmer, Samantha Robson

I am usually a fan of low budget found-footage films and mockumentaries. But of course there are always exceptions (Blair Witch & Paranormal Activity come to mind) and THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES is one of those exceptions.

A mockumentary about a one of a kind serial killer known only as the 'Water Street Butcher', the film starts by telling us about the boxes of VHS tapes which were found in an abandoned house. These particular tapes contained scenes of torture and murder and were apparently filmed by a notorious serial killer known only as the 'Water Street Butcher'. The movie then continues to chronicle the Butcher's crimes and the subsequent police investigation. It does this by introducing us to a whole slew of characters, from the family members of victims to police officers, FBI agents, experts, news reporters, and the list goes on. This is where I first had issues. 
These fake documentaries are supposed to look as realistic as possible, otherwise there really would be no point to display them in this type of format. And since the bulk of the movie is made up of interviews with people, it would make sense that for the movie to seem real these people should be believable, right?
Well that's where the movie loses a lot of points. Not only does it have way too many characters, but the acting (or over-acting) is horrible. I was not convinced at all.
While on the subject of realism though, I do have to admit that there were a couple of clever devices used to make parts of the story seem factual. 
First of all is the fact that Poughkeepsie actually had it's very own serial killer in the 90s named Kendall Francois (A lot of people seem to think that this movie is based on his crimes, but if you do a little research there aren't really a lot of similarities between the two) who was linked to the deaths of at least 8 women.
Second is the use of real locations. Not only is Poughkeepsie a real town in NY, but it really does have a Water Street and a Dutchess Ave. During the film you will notice that a signpost depicting the intersection of these two streets is shown more than once.
And thirdly there is the reason why the Water Street Butcher didn't make headlines around the world. The excuse used is the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, which is perfect if you think about it. That event overshadowed any other news event at the same time.

But even these clever devices weren't enough to save the movie. Not only was the acting horrible, and the characters too numerous, but some of the scenes involving 'found-footage' went from being slightly disturbing to being just plain ridiculous. And asking an audience to believe that a serial killer is actually some sort of mastermind genius who can not only evade the police for so long, but actually frame a police officer? 
The premise is a good one, and I think that if it was all simplified a little it might have been better. As it stands though, it's definitely one of the weaker entries into the found-footage / mockumentary subgenre.


Sundance Poster For JOHN DIES AT THE END

With the Sundance Film Festival just less than a week away, the lineup for horror-related films is looking great. Park City at Midnight will be premiering a bunch of movies including Excision, Black Rock, Grabbers, The Pact, V/H/S and of course John Dies at the End. Below courtesy of Bloody-Disgusting is the festival poster featuring the savage-looking 'Bible Belter'.

Synopsis: "On the street, they call it "soy sauce." It's a paranormal, psychoactive drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. Its users drift across time and dimensions, but some who come back are devoid of all humanity. While most of Earth's inhabitants remain blissfully oblivious to its threat. Make no mistake, an otherworldly invasion is under way, and mankind needs to be saved. Enter John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. How can these guys possibly be expected to rescue mankind from certain destruction?"

The Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19th through to the 29th in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.


Sundance Poster For EXCISION

The 2012 Sundance Film Festival will be starting in about a week, and one of the more interesting looking films which will be showing is Richard Bates Jr.'s EXCISION. From the information available so far it's looking decidedly bloody and messed up. Below is the official festival one-sheet.

Synopsis: A disturbed and delusional high school student with aspirations of a career in medicine goes to extremes to earn the approval of her controlling mother.

The Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19th through to the 29th in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Tobe Hooper's DJINN Official Trailer

You may have heard in the past week or so that there has been some controversy surrounding the release of Djinn. Something about one of the members of Abu Dhabi royal family not agreeing with the film's portrayal of the UAE, and paying producer Mohammed Al Mubarak to bury the film. Something like that anyway.
But now apparently these reports are all false according to this statement from production studio Imagenation:

“These rumours are unfounded.  Djinn is in active post-production, and Image Nation looks forward to releasing the film in theatres later this year.  As for offers, there have been no formal offers were made for Djinn.

Whatever the case, here is the full official trailer for the (hopefully) upcoming movie Djinn.

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION Gets A New Title & Full Synopsis

So it seems that Sony Screen Gems has decided that they want to emphasise the fact that Retribution will be the fifth film in the RE franchise. From now on the full title will be RE5IDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION. Get it?
So I kinda lied, it's not really a title change they only replaced one letter but anyway... what's more interesting is that an official synopsis has been revealed! Read on below.

Synopsis: “The wildly successful film franchise adaptation that has grossed nearly $700 million worldwide to the popular video game series, Resident Evil, returns in its highly anticipated fifth installment, RE5IDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION in state-of-the art 3D. 
The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, ALICE (Milla Jovovich), awakens in the heart of Umbrella’s most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex. Without a safe haven, Alice continues to hunt those responsible for the outbreak; a chase that takes her from Tokyo to New York, Washington, D.C. and Moscow, culminating in a mind-blowing revelation that will force her to rethink everything that she once thought to be true. Aided by newfound allies and familiar friends, Alice must fight to survive long enough to escape a hostile world on the brink of oblivion. The countdown has begun.” 

RE5IDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is set for a September 14th 2012 release.

Upcoming Horror Movies 2012 - Part 5

List number 5. This makes a total number of 50 films to expect over the next 12 months. I still have an ass-load more too. You know the best part about this particular list? There no remakes on it at all. Amazing isn't it? Even more amazing is the fact that there are also no sequels here. Unfortunately most of these don't have any specific release dates yet, but they should be coming this year.


Synopsis: Tyler Crawley needs his friends, now more than ever. Recovering from mental stress in the wake of his mom's death, Tyler has been counting on a weekend with the guys to bring him back to normal. For Tyler's sake his old buddies rally themselves, though the "glue" which keeps them together has weakened with the passing of recent years -- a natural enough occurrence.
But with the introduction of a single unnatural occurence -- the corridor itself -- the knots in these male bonds will come loose with a terrifying speed. Both a fantastical passageway to somewhere and a passageway into the mind of the male animal, the corridor will lead Tyler and his friends to the very edge of sanity and beyond...

The Corridor has been described as 'The Big Chill slammed into The Evil Dead' but actually reminds me more of Dreamcatcher, what with the friends meeting in a cabin in the woods for some male bonding. Fortunately the trailer makes this look a lot better than Dreamcatcher though.
IFC Films acquired the rights a few months back, so expect to see this one soon.


Synopsis: Focuses on two television crews of paranormal experts: one team of skeptics looking to de-bunk myths about ghosts and another consisting of believers looking to prove their existence. Teaming up for the first time for a special episode, the crews get more then they bargained for when they actually make contact with a spirit of tremendous power and must band together to stop it before it destroys them all.

The first movie which came to mind when I read this synopsis was Grave Encounters, which I didn't think was a very good movie at all. Unfortunately the trailer just makes it look even more like Grave Encounters.
According to Image Entertainment this film is headed for an April 17th DVD release.


Synopsis: Based on true events, the movie is about a family that unwittingly brings a supernatural force home with them from vacation. Feeding off their own fears, the evil presence threatens to destroy them from within as it takes over their lives and home, with terrifying results.

Whenever I read a synopsis for a supernatural horror film and it includes the words 'based on true events' it puts me off straight away. However this is being directed by Greg McLean, and since I liked his work on Wolf Creek and Rogue I will probably check this out anyway. It's currently in development so no release date as of yet.


Synopsis: Eight classic monsters fight to the death in an explosive wrestling tournament set inside an abandoned and cursed graveyard.

I already hate this movie. It sounds like Mortal Kombat but with famous monsters, which should be a cool concept. But as a general rule I hate horror comedies, and especially ones which can't even get a certain famous creature's name right. It's Frankenstein's Monster NOT Frankenstein!
Monster Brawl will be out on DVD & Blu-ray March 27th 2012.


Synopsis: Cesar works as a doorman in a Barcelona apartment building. Happiness eludes him and he feels the need to reaffirm his reasons for living on a daily basis.  In Clara he has found the perfect target, and he will go to extreme lengths to make her life miserable. But Cesar is starting to get a bit too cocky, and soon his carefully thought out plans will start to unravel… Luckily for him, he has one last ace up his sleeve.

Kind of reminds me a little of The Resident, which really disappointed me. But since this is directed by the same man (Jaume Balaguero) who brought us REC I will definitely be checking it out. No release date as of yet, but hopefully we will be seeing it soon.


Synopsis: Small town radio personality Charlie Crowe (Dallas Roberts) is thrust into the mystery when a strange caller relates a terrifying experience during Crowe's late night call-in show. At the same time, CDC Public Health Agent, SOPHIE LANCOMBE (Alison Eastwood), is hot on the trail of the cause of the rare medical condition known as SUNDS. Her investigations entwine her with Charlie's own discoveries and take them both into a dark world and a decades old cover-up about the phenomenon we now call, The Shadow People. Once you open the door to the mystery...you'll never sleep soundly again.

Pontypool is the first thing that comes to mind, which isn't a bad thing I mean it was a decent film I suppose. More interesting though is the fact that SUNDS (Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome) is actually a real condition and this film is (unfortunately) 'inspired by true events'.


Synopsis: A detective hunts down a killer using video footage shot by the victims of a massacre at an abandoned gas station.

Sounds interesting. My only worry is how much of the film will involve the officers sitting around drinking coffee and sifting through the video footage compared to how much time they will be doing some actual field work. Guess we'll have to wait and see. I'm having a little trouble find much info on this film, because if you type the words 'evidence' and '2012' into Google you just come up with a bunch of doomsday bullshit. I can't find a trailer or poster yet, but since Radha Mitchell is in this film I guess a pic of her will be good enough.


Synopsis: It is 1983. A group of high school students are having a great time near Hollywood Hills one weekend when they bump into the Loser from their school, Sam, who's just on his way home.
Sam would do anything in order to get Jenny's attention, one of prettiest girls in school. Unfortunately she's also the girlfriend of the school's bully, Biff, the quarterback of the football team.
Biff and his buddies are keen to take Sam to the old abandoned amusement park to make him prove his courage as part of their initiation ceremony. They involve Jenny in their cruel game as the grand prize of the competition. Sam accepts the challenge but the girl wouldn't let him go in by himself, she follows him into the amusement park and a night they'll never forget.
Because in the old park, hidden in the darkness are frightening and somewhat eccentric monsters that love to torture innocent human beings while intensively annoying each other.

You may have noticed earlier that I said I hate horror comedies. Well that's just a general rule, every now and then I will find one that I enjoy. So far this seems like it will be one of them. It has an amazing voice cast too with Tim Curry, Brad Dourif, Lance Henriksen, Michael Winslow and Sean Young.


Synopsis: "When frightening events start to occur in their home, young couple Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) discover they are being haunted by a presence that was accidentally conjured during a university parapsychology experiment. The horrifying apparition feeds on their fear and torments them no matter where they try to run. Their last hope is an expert in the supernatural (Tom Felton), but even with his help they may already be too late to save themselves from this terrifying force..."

I gotta say I'm a little sick of all of these paranormal, haunting movies. That sentence "When frightening events start to occur in their home" could apply to so many films, all of which end the same. Perhaps this will have an awesome twist to set it apart from every other evil spirit movie, but I doubt it.
The release date was already pushed back from 2011, but we should be seeing it released August 24th 2012.


Synopsis: Passengers aboard a flight across the Pacific Ocean encounter a supernatural force.

I don't think I've ever seen a movie that I've actually liked which has been set on a plane. Maybe that one part of the Twilight Zone Movie, but that wasn't even a whole movie. Nevertheless this could always turn out to be a great movie but I won't be getting my hopes up.
Oh yeah, the movie should be out around August 31st 2012.