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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

KNOCKING REVIEW

 


A woman leaves a psychiatric ward after a nervous breakdown, only to start hearing mysterious knocking sounds in her apartment.


Starring: Cecilia Milocco, Albin Grenholm, and Ville Virtanen


Directed by: Frida Kempff


Written by:  Emma Brostrom and Johan Theorin


  There’s some “Knocking,” but where’s it coming from? That’s the big question Molly (Cecilia Milocco) has to figure out. Molly has recently been released from a psychiatric ward after having a nervous breakdown. As one might expect, entering back into the real world can be hard. She moves into an apartment, and tries to get back to a regular routine. However being alone is just the start of her problems.

  Soon enough she starts hearing some knocking, but isn’t sure where it’s coming from. It can’t be from her apartment so she starts going around the building listening for the sound. It moves from knocking to crying, and she’s convinced that there’s a woman in trouble. Molly calls the police, and basically harasses the  neighbors in trying to find out the truth. Is she spinning out of control again, or is there really a woman in danger in the building?



  The film is going to start off a little like a slow burner. It’s never going to go too fast, but does pick up some as Molly becomes more desperate to find the woman. Clearly the film wants to focus on someone who can be in a position like Molly. Someone who can’t escape their trauma, fears, and anxiety. Someone who’s alone, and can’t find the right help. It shows how hard it is for her to get help, and try to make the people around her believe her. She’s strong and trying to move on, but then there’s the knocking!

  To pull this off there needs to be a great performance and Cecilia delivers. The pressure is certainly on, as the camera seems focused on her most of the time. The camera is going to help showing her emotions, and her desperation at times. Before the audience knows it, they will also feel some desperation in finding out what’s going on here. It all comes to a interesting conclusion, and will definitely have the audience thinking about Molly and all she goes through. 



  “Knocking” is going to be a lot about the horrors that come from within. Molly was traumatized, and fought her way back. She reenters the real world, and quickly finds out that her fight isn’t over. Everyday is a challenge, and that challenge is even bigger when she hears a knocking. The knocking becomes the center of her universe, and makes it almost impossible to move on. A great performance from Cecilia, and some creative camera work will take the audience deep into Molly’s mental state. This film won’t be for everyone, but accomplishes what it sets out to do. With that, I give it 3 pools of blood.


  HorrO


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/09/15/yellow-veil-pictures-releases-trailer-for-critically-acclaimed-sundance-psychological-horror-hit-knocking-theatrical-and-vod-release-next-month/

Monday, October 18, 2021

LAST MAN DOWN REVIEW


 John Wood left the pieces of a broken civilization behind, to go back to his roots in the woodland, after a virus pandemic struck the world.

Starring: Daniel Stisen, Olga Kent, and Daniel Nehme


Directed by: Fansu Nije


Written by: Fansu Nije, Daniel Stisen, and Andreas Vasshaug


  The “Last Man Down” means he must have put up a fight and that’s what John Wood (Daniel Stisen) does. Unfortunately the fight for his wife is over early, as Commander Stone (Daniel Nehme) kills her when John fails to answer his questions. John is then experimented on before managing his escape. Years later he’s isolated himself in the woods, away from the soldiers and the community that’s fighting a virus.

  Like many soldiers have found out before, you just can’t escape it. Soon enough Maria (Olga Kent) wonders through the woods to his cabin in pretty bad shape. She was being held captive because her blood has the cure for this virus. John helps her recover, and gets her settled in just as a few soldiers come looking for her. He disposes of them, but knows they’re only the beginning. The two now get ready for the fight of their lives…literally!

  It’s a little surprising that this action film starts off a little slow. Yes, there’s the dramatic scene of John’s wife getting killed, but it didn’t open with a bang. Even right after that, John manages a less than dramatic escape. Then the film takes time to paint John as a woodsman, and has to get Maria into the mix. 

  To their credit, they finally get the balling moving by sprinkling in more and more soldiers to die at the hands of John and Maria. They actually make a good team while taking out the bad guys. While not a largely comedic movie, there’s an interesting scene of John taking a few men out while handling his business in the bathroom. It builds and builds as Commander Stone has to almost send his entire army to get them before of course the two men come face-to-face again. 

  “Last Man Down” shows just how hard it is to take that man down. John suffers tragedy early on not to mention being experimented on as well. Just when he thought that life was over Maria enters leaving him no choice but to protect her. The two become a great tag team taking down bad guy after bad guy. The action gets bigger, the gun fights go wild as an entire army basically shows up to take them down, and it continues to drop one liners left and right. It sets up another dramatic ending with a little bit of a twist. With that, I give it 2.5 pools of blood.


  HorrO


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/08/14/saban-films-last-man-down-on-digital-and-on-demand-on-october-19/

Friday, October 15, 2021

THE FEAST REVIEW



 

Filmed in Welsh, the picture follows a young woman serving privileged guests at a dinner party in a remote house in rural Wales. The assembled guests do not realize they are about to eat their last supper.


Starring: Annes Elwy, Nia Roberts, and Julian Lewis Jones


Directed by: Lee Haven Jones


Written by: Roger Williams


A Beyond Fest Film Festival Review 


  Everything here is going to lead to “The Feast,” but who will be left feasting? Times have changed and that’s shown on what was Glenda’s (Nia Roberts) family farm. Now her husband Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones) and her have made a lot of changes to it like making a modern house, and letting energy companies basically destroy the land. They live there with their two sons, one of which is a drug addict, and the other obsessed with being a triathlete. Certainly a family that has been taken in by modern riches, and trying to put the past behind them in more ways than one.

  Part of their new way of life is Glenda hosting dinners for people, and tonight she’s having over a neighbor to pretty much talk about the destruction of more land. She usually has help preparing for the dinner, and tonight’s help is going to come from Cadi (Annes Elwy). She’s extremely quiet has she gets herself comfortable with the surroundings, and of course taking orders from Glenda. Glenda isn’t rude, but definitely knows how she wants things for the feast. A feast that they put a lot of work into, and it’s most certainly not going to go as planned.



  The first thing to know about this film is that it’s a slow burner. The audience is going to get introduced to the family to start, and gradually learn a little more about them as it goes. Between the father and sons, the audience will wonder what their deal is. The sons are strange, and the father is going to do something that isn’t going to win many people over. Even though she does a lot of talking Glenda might seem like the most normal one. And then there’s Cadi, whose silence is going to leave an uneasy feeling through much of her time there. 

  She seems to get along with Glenda even without saying much, and that bond grows quickly when she does show the ability to sing a song Glenda is familiar with. She has some unusual run-ins with the rest of the family, and again shows at times to be more than just a shy young girl. Of course any horror fan knows as soon as she enters the house things aren’t going to go as planned. Cadi is just too odd to not be up to something. And that something, well lets just say there will be blood, there will be a gruesome moment or two, and the feast may come out well done!



  Yes, it’s a very pleasing ending for horror fans. Slow burn might not be for everyone, but with an ending like this it certainly makes up for it. Credit the film for keeping that pace, and unraveling just enough of the mystery along the way as far as the family is concerned. As for Cadi, the audience might never know who she truly is, but that’s alright. The audience will probably see things her way in the end, and horror fans will thank her for a job well done. Feast your eyes on “The Feast,” as I give it a delicious 3 pools of blood!


  HorrO


“The Feast” played as part of the 2021 Beyond Fest Film Festival


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/04/29/ifc-midnight-devours-north-american-rights-for-welsh-language-revenge-horror-the-feast/

Thursday, October 14, 2021

THE MEDIUM REVIEW

 


A horrifying story of a shaman’s inheritance in the Isan region of Thailand. What could be possessing a family member might not be the Goddess they make it out to be.


Starring: Narilya Gulmongkolpech, Sawanee Utoomma, and Sirani Yankittikan


Directed by: Banjong Pisanthanakun


Written by: Cha-won Choi, Chantavit Dhanasevi, and Na Hong-jin


  “The Medium” isn’t going to be able to help prepare you for the horror to come! The film starts off in a very documentary manner, as it introduces the audience to Nim (Sawanee Utoomma). She has inherited being the next shaman in their family. Nim spends the first part of the movie discussing their religion, and their beliefs. From there, it moves on to the family, and the other important players here. 

  There’s her sister Noi (Sirani Yankittikan), who couldn’t accept the position that Nim did as shaman. She brings along a husband, a baby, and most importantly a daughter Mink (Narilya Gulmongkolpech). Nim believes Mink might be the next one in the family to be a shaman, and channel the spirit of Ba Yan. No long after the documentary crew begins following Mink as well do strange things start to happen. Is it Ba Yan, or something else that has its eyes on Mink?



  This movie is in no way going to be in a hurry to terrify the audience. If the audience didn’t know this was a horror movie, they wouldn’t know it until Mink dives into some crazy stuff. The beginning takes it nice and slow making sure the audience got all the background it needs. Even as Mink starts acting strange they try to play it off to her just being young and rebellious. It’s not until others feel in danger that the family starts taking it serious. Nim vows to save her, but she might not even be able to do so. All while not breaking pace, and sprinkling in more and more frightening moments with Mink.

  And then like being on an elevator that suddenly drops, this film is going to drop the audience into hell! The stakes rise when the baby disappears, and fears from the family and the audience run wild. An exorcism is needed to save Mink, but this one goes oh so wrong. No one will be safe from this evil. Not even the cameramen will be able to hide behind their cameras. It’s bloody, brutal, and creepy as hell!



  Watching the first few minutes of “The Medium” never gave me a clue at the horrors to come. It really felt like a true documentary, and almost was a turn off with all the religious talk. It’s also easy to get lost in all the subtitles because this one is spoken in Thai. However, it’s well worth combing through that set up to get to the scary good stuff. Being the possessed is never an easy job, but Narilya has several moments where she truly brings out the the evil in Mink. The ending certainly turns this film up-side-down in a way no one will come back from. With that, I give it 4 pools of blood! 


  HorrO


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/10/01/shudder-drops-new-trailer-for-supernatural-horror-the-medium-ahead-of-october-14-release/

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

THE RETALIATORS REVIEW

 


An upstanding pastor uncovers a dark and twisted underworld as he searches for answers surrounding his daughter’s brutal murder. A high-octane original soundtrack and cameos from some of the biggest names in rock music set the tone as this horror-thriller reveals a game of revenge played using a new set of rules.


Starring: Michael Lombardi, Marc Menchaca, and Joseph Gatt


Directed by: Samuel Gonzalez Jr and Bridget Smith


Written by: Darren Geare and Jeff Allen Geare


A Screamfest Film Festival Review


  This movie makes it clear that in life you’re one of the “The Retaliators,” or be prepare to be run over time and time again. Bishop (Michael Lombardi) is a pastor, and a father to two girls. He has to set a good example for them as a father, and because of his religion. That puts to the test early on when they’re trying to buy a Christmas tree, and a rude man takes the tree they wanted. Bishop could’ve retaliated, but let the man take off with the tree. 

  Later he uses this story in church as a lesson to all. Everything is going so well that he decides to let his daughter Sarah (Katie Kelly) take the car, and go to a party. A series of unfortunate events happen before she gets there, and ends in her death. Bishop is overcome with grief, and will soon enough end up with a chance to be a retaliator again.



  The film opens with a scene that gives the audience an idea that it’s going to be one type of film, but actually really isn’t anywhere close to that until the final act. It then sets up the tragedy, grief, and then a quick police investigation. Bishop meets Jed (Marc Menchaca), who is the detective on his daughter’s case. He promises the pastor that he’ll find out who did this, and tells him why solving cases like this is important to him. There’s also an introduction into a war between some gangs that has been reignited, and played a part Sarah’s death and events to come. The audience will eventually get how everything is connected, however it seems a discombobulated.  

  Once the film starts moving into the third act things really pick up. No spoilers here, but Bishop will get a chance to come face-to-face with his daughter’s killer. Can he actually be a retaliator when it counts? While he worries about the consequences of that, he doesn’t realize a whole different set of consequences that are about to unfold as well. The audience finally sees how that opening scene came to be. For those looking for blood and guts (which I always am) they’re going to get plenty of it. Lets just say everything evil in this town got a whole lot worse, and has been unleashed.



  Say whatever you want about “The Retaliators,” but the film sticks to its name. Bishop is faced with several opportunities to retaliate before eventually realizing that in some cases it's alright. Other characters get their retaliation as well, even going to some extreme levels. The crime war continued on because someone always has to make the next move. All of the retaliations here lead to a beautiful blood bath of an ending. Oh and to top that off there’s a great soundtrack, and killer rock cameos from Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach, The Hu, Ice Nine Kills, and Escape The Fate. With that, I give it 3 pools of blood, and hope there’s no retaliation for that rating!


  HorrO


“The Retaliators” played as part of the 2021 Screamfest Film Festival.


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/10/06/better-noise-films-acclaimed-gorefest-the-retaliators-to-open-las-screamfest-horror-film-festival/

Thursday, October 7, 2021

THE SECRET OF SINCHANEE REVIEW

 


An industrial tow truck driver suffering from insomnia returns to his childhood home after the untimely death of his father, to discover that a paranormal presence has been living in the house and haunting the sacred land it was built on.


Starring: Laila Lockhart Kraner, Steven Grayhm, and Rudy Reyes


Directed and written by: Steven Grayhm


  “The Secret of Sinchanee” is another secret that should have been kept hidden. Speaking of secrets, Will (Steven Grayhm) seems to have some of them, or he’s just an odd person. That can be understandable after surviving a double homicide when he was younger. While he tries to put that behind him, it proves difficult when he’s forced to return home after his father’s death. 

  His return home is also at a bad time because there has been a murder of a mother and daughter in the area. Detectives Carrie Donovan (Tamara Austin) and Drew Carter (Nate Boyer) get called in for the case. It’s a family reunion of sorts because they share a daughter, and a past relationship that didn’t end well. They're able to put feelings aside just long enough to follow a trail that seems to lead to Will. So is Will just a strange but innocent person, or has his past turned him into a killer?



  One of the important things this film appears to do is use Will’s character to show the lasting effect of childhood trauma. It’s obvious he suffered from a terrible event, and coming back home doesn’t help. Early on, the film will use his mental health issues to create an uneasy feeling around him, and then a few decent scares. It’s a matter of determining if it’s truly his mental state of mind that’s causing weird things to happen, or is there a supernatural force at play here.

  The other half of the film and a big part of it is the investigation by the detectives. Obviously their past relationship will continue to be an issue between them. Their daughter will play a part, as she will find herself in trouble. It ultimately helps the detectives come together, and figure this out before it’s too late. Fortunately for them, they get help from someone a little more familiar with what’s truly happening here. Something that the audience might have wanted more of.



  “The Secret of Sinchanee” is going to give audiences a little mix of horror and thriller. With murders out there, a case is formed and two detectives will be searching for the killer. The audience will have to watch the case unfold, and take different directions. One of those directions is towards Will, who brings the horror into the film. His continuing trauma gives the film a chance to try and scare the audience, and set a weird vibe when Will is around. All these pieces create a solid movie, which I give 3 pools of blood.


  HorrO


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/09/19/uncover-the-paranormal-thriller-the-secret-of-sinchanee-on-vod-october-8th/

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

V/H/S/94 REVIEW

 


A police S.W.A.T. team investigates about a mysterious VHS tape and discovers a sinister cult that has pre-recorded material which uncovers a nightmarish conspiracy.


Starring: Anna Hopkins, Steven McCarthy, and Sean Patrick Dolan


Directed by: Simon Barrett, Chloe Okuno, Ryan Prows, Jennifer Reeder, and Timo Tjahjanto


Written by: Simon Barrett, Chloe Okuno, Ryan Prows, Jennifer Reeder, Timo Tjahjanto, and David Bruckner


  The days of the VHS are pretty much gone, but the VHS franchise still has some life in it bringing horror fans “V/H/S/94.” Similar to the other entries in the series, a group of directors/writers team up to each contribute a short film that makes up this anthology. This one brings in some new faces along with some who have worked on some of the previous movies. All with the experience to create some good horror, and raising the expectations for this chapter of the franchise.

  The movie starts with the wraparound story of a S.W.A.T. team converging on a warehouse. Someone is filming the raid, as the team enters the building looking for the bad guys. Unfortunately, it’s absent the drug dealers they’re looking for, and filled with a lot of mysterious things. Of course one of those things are the VHS tapes that are being played on television sets in the warehouse.



   The first tape starts with a newscast that mentions sightings of a ‘rat man.’ It then follows a reporter and her cameraman as they film outside a sewer entry. Soon enough, they find themselves inside the sewer, and confronted by some unusual people. It all leads to a really fun and unexpected ending.

  After a brief view back in the warehouse, the next tape starts in a funeral home. A young woman is left in charge of a wake, as the director of the home leaves for the night. A thunderstorm is happening, and no one has shown up yet. Before she knows it, she starts hearing things, and becomes convinced that the body is moving in the casket. Things take a turn just when she finds out who really is in the casket. It won’t be a total surprise at what happens next, but it’s definitely creepy and a bit disgusting.



  Back to the S.W.A.T. team, who continues to come across strange settings, and more dead bodies. They were so brave heading into the building, but now can’t wait to get out. The third tape involves a mad scientist, who’s trying to combine man and machine. He's working on both a male and female subject, and has a certain level of success with each of them. Before he can finish his lab is found by police, and killed for his crimes. 

  However that’s just the set up, and the excitement is about to begin. The police force is going to end up trapped in the building, and having to fight one of the scientist’s creations in order to escape. The audience is treated to some brutal deaths before they get probably the most interesting perspective of all the films. If any of the audience members are gamers, they’ll certainly appreciate what’s about to come. And if they’re just horror fans, they’ll also enjoy the carnage that’s coming as well.

  There will be a clue to what’s happening in the wraparound story before jumping into the final tape. While this is supposed to be in 1994, part of this story could have been played out over the last few years. A group of anti-government militia members are planning a dangerous mission while hiding out in the woods. They come up with a very creative way to make a secret weapon to plan their attack with. Too bad after having a little too much drinking fun their weapon backfires on them. The audience will be treated to yet another blood bath!



  With that the wraparound story comes to a conclusion as well. Probably the least surprising ending of them all, but certainly fitting with how most of the films played out. As expected, “V/H/S/94 turns out to be a solid group of short horror films. The directors/writers craft films that are perfect for the V/H/S franchise, and more than one might find its way near the top of the best shorts of the V/H/S series. It warms up the audience with some creature effects, and creepiness. It then finishes with two very different films that will satisfy any fan of blood and guts. The wraparound story does its job of holding it all together in-between tapes. Because of its creativity and blood splattering moments, I give it 4 pools of blood.


  HorrO


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/09/29/new-stills-for-v-h-s-94-ahead-of-the-release-on-shudder-oct-6th/

Monday, October 4, 2021

APARTMENT 413 REVIEW

 


Marco is running out of time to find a job before his girlfriend, Dana, has their first baby. He’s also losing his mind.


Starring: Nicholas Saenz, Brea Grant, and Dave Buckman


Directed by: Matt Patterson


Written by: Ron Maede


Check out the video below and find out how many pools of blood it received...


Friday, October 1, 2021

CLEANIN' UP THE TOWN: REMEMBERING GHOSTBUSTERS REVIEW

 


Remembering Ghostbusters is the definitive documentary charting the making of the iconic film that inadvertently changed the film industry forever. Featuring interviews with Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson and including never-before seen footage. The documentary hallmarks the extraordinary achievements made for the era, and emphasizes just how ambitious an undertaking the making of Ghostbusters really was.


Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts


Directed by: Anthony Bueno


Written by: Anthony Bueno and Claire Bueno


  “Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters” takes fans on a journey through the making of one of the surprise hits of the 80’s “Ghostbusters.” A surprise hit that has continued to effect generations to this day. It mixes in interviews with the cast and crew, and even includes some never-before seen footage. Fan will get to see how some of their favorite scenes came to be. It really doesn’t seem to miss a beat, as it basically covers the film from the beginning script through the many changes along the way. 

  And what are some of those changes? Well start with some of the people who ended up being casted, and those who didn’t. Say ‘Sigourney Weaver’ and obviously “Alien” comes to mind, but don’t forget about her role here. She talks about how she played her character, and the casting process. The documentary shows some other familiar faces who also tried out for the part. Another familiar face not in the film is John Candy, and they talk about his funny request and why he never got the part. 

    They cover a lot of the special effects in the film including their proton packs, Slimmer, the Terror Dogs, and of course the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Each has an interesting conversation and shows the audience how these scenes came to life. One of the more interesting stories was about lighting the Marshmallow Man on fire. They didn’t have many people lined up for that, and turned out they were a little more cautious than need be.

  If you’re a fan of “Ghostbusters” than “Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters” is easily a must see. It’s just so interesting to see how this film shaped out. How the story could have been so different, and so could have the faces that fans see. The interviews are great, especially watching how happy everyone is to talk about the film. The only disappointing thing is not getting to hear from Bill Murray, and maybe even Rick Moranis but fans are probably used to that by now. With that, I give it 3 pools of blood, and a loud yell of ‘Ghostbusters!’


  HorrO


Extended Version In Theaters October 1st, On Demand October 5th


More information at: http://promotehorror.com/2021/09/03/cleanin-up-the-town-remembering-ghostbusters-extended-version-in-theaters-10-1-on-demand-10-5/

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