Monday, 31 August 2015


(Frightfest Day 5)
It couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a deeply average survival movie or a deeply average psycho movie and instead ends up falling between the stools.


(Frightfest Day 5)
A film made by a fourteen year old boy who clearly enjoyed The Last Exorcism, amongst many others. His emulation of Found Footage tropes is remarkably assured and he's certainly mastered the mechanics of the jump scare but at the end of the day this is distinctly a film made by a fourteen year old. I look forward to following a career that if he continues into his old age, I probably won't get to see the end of.

Night Fare

(Frightfest Day 5)
A perfect blend of Duel, Drive and Maniac with the most audacious third act I've seen in some time. Full marks for making it work too, it took every muscle in my body to not whoop and punch the air at the end.

They Look Like People

(Frightfest Day 4)
With a superbly performed friendship at its core and a generous sprinkle of moments that not only made my skin crawl but inspired it to try and walk, this film manages to do so much with so little. Fantastic.

Summer Camp

(Frightfest Day 4)
Cleverly mutates through a variety of shifting genre tropes that keep the audience on their toes, though everything would sometimes get lost in the irritating clatter of angry people letting off shrill roars as they hammered on doors.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key [Il tuo vizio è una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave/Eye Of The Black Cat/Gently Before She Dies]

(Frightfest Day 4)
Begins as a standard whodunnit giallo then Edwige Fenech turns up and shags anything with a pulse and by the time she leaves, everything's managed to turn into Poe's 'The Black Cat' instead.

Inner Demon

(Frightfest Day 4)
Act 1: A scared girl runs about in some woods, an angry man stands about and smokes and a sad lady hunts for a story.
Act 2: The scared girl sits in a wardrobe, the angry man commits random drawn out acts of brutality and the sad lady is sad because she still can't find a story.
Act 3: The scared girl stays very, very still, the angry man gets blown about by some fairly strong gusts of wind and the sad lady completely gives up on there being any story.

Over Your Dead Body [Kuime]

(Frightfest Day 4)
Miike's Kwaidan, which explores the roots of Eastern horror's long haired girl obsession whilst showing how the morals of ancient literature still hold true in the modern day, all at the same time as being an almighty headfuck.
A master returns.

Some Kind Of Hate

(Frightfest Day 3)
A very muddled handling of a very sensitive issue.

Saturday, 29 August 2015


(Frightfest Day 3)
All your favourite bits of Evil Dead, Braindead and The Gate raised to the power of METAL.

Rabid Dogs [Enragés]

(Frightfest Day 3)
A sleek crime thriller that appears to be out of place at a Horror festival until the last two minutes. Two minutes that also manage to elevate this really good film into a great one.

Shut In

(Frightfest Day 3)
Home invasion thriller with a twist. Unfortunately the twist is mumbled and the invasion isn't thrilling.

The Nightmare

(Frightfest Day 3)
Needs more science.

Bait [The Taking]

(Frightfest Day 3)
The loan-shark as an unstoppable force of cold terror, embedded in a heartfelt love letter to tatty British towns that eventually erupts in crazed catharsis.
And if that's not enough Charlie Chuck's in it. Fucking win all round.


(Frightfest Day 2)
Filmed entirely on 'smart glasses' giving it the feel of a successfully extended V/H/S segment, with occasional software displays that pop up and support the film in clever little ways.

Friday, 28 August 2015

We Are Still Here

(Frightfest Day 2)
A tone perfect homage to early eighties horror that explodes in a glorious shower of gore.


(Frightfest Day 2)
An astonishing intermingling of ape and human behaviours that is completely unlike anything you've ever seen or will ever see.
Jam packed with shitting and sex too.

The Entity [La Entidad]

(Frightfest Day 2)
A found footage movie where everybody shouts 'KEEP FILMING!' even when there's nothing going on worth filming.

The Diabolical

(Frightfest Day 2)
It was nice to not have to sit through the half hour of setup haunted house movies usually subscribe too. It was good to see a unique skew on the usual phenomena which kept all the chills intact. It was disappointing that there wasn't more commitment to the ideas expressed in the last third.
Provoked more discussion than any other FF film so far this year though.

Landmine Goes Click

(Frightfest Day 2)
Essentially plays the same trick twice - build a situation up to a level of offensive repugnance before going 'Aha! Real life is horrible it's not like the movies!' despite the fact that this is a movie and most definitely not real life.


(Frightfest Day 1)
There were points during this when I had genuine concerns over whether it was actually going to end. Then when an ending did drag itself across the screen it was so bad I wished the film had just kept going.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Turbo Kid

(Frightfest Day 1)
A very particular blend of OTT gore and beat perfect comedy timing that I haven't seen since Jackson's early days. Only two films in and it's gonna be a struggle to beat 'Run through by a plastic unicorn mounted on a BMX' in the best death stakes. King.

Cherry Tree

(Frightfest Day 1)
A script with no concept of what a human relationship actually is interpreted in monotone by actors who struggle with any emotion beyond 'apathy', all rendered unintelligible by editing that expertly destroys all sense of time and geography. The director presumably just sat back and watched to see who could piss on his bonfire the most.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Lesson Of The Evil [Aku no kyôten]

Sets up a slow, subtle examination of a sociopath and then washes it away with an unsubtle tide of unstoppable, nihilist brutality.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Gift

Aims for a European arthouse cinema vibe but is spoilt by the usual Hollywood trappings of overwrought music and signposted twists.
Which doesn't necessarily make for a bad thing, ask yourself when was the last time you went to a multiplex and got a half-decent Haneke pastiche? In that context, a thundering achievement.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Fantastic Four

The kind of fucking awful, clumsy, mishandled comic book adaptation you'd usually find in the 90s.
The child said she liked it even though the start was too long, the middle was boring, the end was rushed and Miles Teller was better in Divergent.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Loved Ones

Does its very best to not be 'just another torture movie' by deploying heavy emotional back story for every character no matter how minor, a smart counterpoint sub-plot and a Jack Ketchum level of derangement in the final act.
Despite all this it will probably be best remembered for a bit with an electric drill.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

I Am Chris Farley

Determined to be celebratory rather than muck-rake so we get lots of early SNL footage before the last quarter of his life gets seriously glossed over. Did laugh myself to tears at Farley falling through a table though.

Monday, 3 August 2015


I was going to be clever and simply say 'Linklater + Lovecraft' but then I realised the poster already says that, so i'll go with 'Accomplished slacker romance with tentacles' instead.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Tiny Tom Cruise manically rushing from one death defying scrape to the next whilst the rest of the film bravely tries to keep up.