Friday, 18 August 2017

Games News: Friday the 13th

With a smart new update to their website Friday the 13th the game creators illfonic and gun media have done what at least a large portion of their fan base has asked.
Given us news and things to actually look forwards too, rather than keeping us in the dark about up coming things we've all been wondering about.

The site teases that yes they are working on new maps and not just the ones that are smaller versions of the existing ones. Which I myself have been guilty of saying what's the point in them?
But now with more information on my plate I'm seeing the smaller maps are actually different enough with new placings for items and vehicles, as well as the the parts to fix them.

But yes they also go on to say that there is A, 1, SINGLE, ONE, Jason in the works note my emphasis on one there as I'm sure with 4, Roy and both normal and Uber Jason left from their films rosters to choose from this won't be all we'll be seeing hopefully.
There's emotes, a HUD/UI update too, tweaks to existing Jason's and new music too!

Finally we see two more things coming 2 new councillors and 2 new clothing packs, one of which we Tiffany sporting a beach babe bikini get up. Hot or what?
The latter being a beach themed affair for all the councillors for $3.99 I'll gladly throw money at that to support more content in the future.
Considering it'll probably be about £3 UK side well hopefully unless the pound drops even lower by then.

All in all THN is happy with the way the creators are treating us lately, and yes I'm sure their working on those packanak and rocks in the water glitches too....

Head over to : to check it out yourself!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Review: Society (1989)

Cast: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez

Budget: $2 Million

Directed By: Brian Yuzna

Society a satirical comedy horror looking on how the upper classes basically leech off the poor. Which is what the actual films logo is.
Directed by one of my favourite comedy horror directors/producers good old Brian Yuzna. Despite having a large part in making Re-Animator this was his first actual directorial debut.

Thanks to his pull on both the Animator films he was able to snag this and a modest budget. Every dollar was used well in the making too, all the practical effects are brilliant too.

So we join Billy as Bill Whitney a well off kid in a well off family, he has it all going for him in every area of his life too. Girlfriend, school both academic and others. Except he doesn't feel like he fits in anywhere especially with his family. He regularly tells his shrink about this every time he goes to see him which the doctor tries to quell those fears. They do indeed seem to just be young boy angst, that is until his sisters ex boyfriend Blanchard gives him a tape with some weird shit about his family having a strange orgy.

He goes to his shrink with the evidence but when the doctor plays the tape back it has inexplicably changed since the last time he listened to it. When he goes to get another copy from Blanchard he discovers that he's been involved in a crash and has died. Though no else seems to particularly care about it other than Bill's other friend.
When Bill is invited to a persons party (Ferguson) he was not particularly friends with in school he is surprised, at the party though he properly talks to Devin's character Clarissa who he's admired a few times from afar. Ferguson meanwhile bullies Bill and admits to him that they did indeed have a strange with his sister. Angry and confused Clarissa takes him to her house and they have sex.

Unable to get it out of his mind though he goes to confront his family and finds them in a compromising situation in lingerie in his parents bedroom, freaked out he leaves them too it and runs.
When Bill and Milo, his other friend, go to Blanchard funeral then touch him they discover that his corpse doesn't appear to be real. Then his rival as student president tells him fearfully to meet him in the woods so he can tell him about something he's learnt.
/bill meets him in the forest but when he goes to his car to talk to him he discovers the young man dead with his throat cut. The next day in school however when Bill tries to explain to the collective people at the presidential run that Petrie is dead he is shown up when Petrie walks on the stage and says he's just had car trouble.

Totally freaked out at all the weird goings on Bill tries one last attempt at confronting his family only to be drugged by his doctor. Milo however trails them to the hospital and when Bill manages to escape Milo warns him that it was a bit to easy for him to escape like that.
He doesn't listen and stupidly goes back to his folks house where he's chased and trapped by the other and forced to watch as the 'society' weirdly eat in a strange absorption kind of way the real Blanchard. Escaping again thanks to Clarissa he finds his sister and folks all mixed in with each other having some kind of weird alien orgy. He makes his way back downstairs and is challenged to fight by the bully Ferguson, THN won't spoil anymore as Society is well worth watching if your a big fan of 80's comedy horror especially the weird kind of body horror Yuzna specializes in. For this THN awards with this class act of a film 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Review: Tremors (1990)

Stars: Kevin Bacon, Micheal Gross, Fred Ward

Budget: $11 Million

Directed By: Ron Underwood

Can I just say I loved Kevin Bacon in movies, I miss him being the main star in movies too.
To me the guy just oozed charisma and confidence in any role he was in especially in the 80's-90's.

Those were certainly his best years, in those years a certain film came out on the ends of the 80's comedy horror streak. That film was Tremors and it spawned a whole series of films and even a TV series, none as successful as the first film though.
The difference was Tremors horror was at times genuinely scary, again as is becoming a thing here on THN this film did scare me as a kid. Unlike other films of that kind though I managed to sit through and watch all of this thanks to the comedic elements.
The sequel's never truly felt as scary I felt they went in a more comedic way than horror that the first film did so well, more on those should I get to reviewing them.
This film also had amazing practical effects for its time, the grabboids looking as realistic and moving just as well as you could expect a real life creature like this to.

So let's get into the meat of the movie, a town called perfection in Nevada is home to two handymen Earl and Val (Bacon&Ward) it's an ex mining town and is close to being desolate. Earl and Val decide to pack up and leave for a neighboring community when they spot a guy dead up in an electrical tower.
Being a small town they know the guy as Edgar Deems, who has apparently died of dehydration afraid in the tower still holding his Winchester rifle.

So we then see an unknown thing killing a bunch of sheep and their owner, which low and behold Val and Earl stumble across again. Thinking some murderer is to blame for it all they rush to warn the others in town. unknown to them they have pulled some part of the creature away with them attached to their trucks axle.

They grab some horses from perfection to go and try to warn the people who live on the outskirts of town. They unfortunately find two people's truck buried near their camper trailer but them nowhere to be seen.
Then the two are suddenly attacked by the subterranean terrors and after an intense chase they end up in a thick concrete water duct thing. As the creatures are blind and only sense vibration it crashed into the duct killing itself leaving it's mangled head exposed on the other side.

Rhonda a seismologist in the area explains she's picked up vibrations from similar sized creatures, at least another 2 or 3 out there. They become trapped on some boulders they use as protection but the creatures don't let up all night and exhausted in the morning they don't know what to do.
That is until Rhonda uses a pole to start vualting from one rock to another until they reach her truck.

Not long after reaching town the remaining grabboids attack forcing everyone up onto the rooves of their buildings. This doesn't keep them safe long as the grabboids start learning to take out the foundations of the buildings making them collapse to the ground.
Meanwhile Burt Gummer played by Micheal Gross and his wife manage to kill another of the creatures. While in their survival/weapons shelter one slams into their reinforced walls.

Back in town however people keep dying until Val comes up with the idea to chain a large trailer thing to the back of a JCB to ferry people away. They try to make their way to a mountain range where the solid rock will help them, unfortunately the creatures get clever and make a sinkhole which disables the JCB.
Burt kills another one with some home made pipe bombs and they make it to the safety of some boulders again. The last grabboid however doesn't fall for SW the bomb and spits it back at them. This forces them down from the safety of the rocks and they have to run again until Val makes it chase him with the last pipe bomb.

I won't spoil the ending as usual as this is a start to a great series atleast the sequel, well maybe we'll, see when I get around to review them lol!
So THN awards Tremors with a 4 out 5 stars

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Coming Soon: Camp Cold Brook

Looking like decent b-movie chiller I recently received information on the film from its source, keep an eye out and if I get chance to review it I will as it sounds like it could be good'un.

Chad Michael Murray (House of Wax, TV's One Tree Hill) and Danielle Harris (Halloween, Hatchet III) will headline director Andy Palmer's Camp Cold Brook.

Script hails from up and comer Alex Carl, writer-director of Reeves Road. 

Produced by Warner Davis of Petri Entertainment, Gremlins alum Joe Dante and Mark Alan of Renfield Productions, and Jason Van Eman and Ross Marroso of Weathervane Productions, pic tells of a reality TV crew that get more than they bargained for when they decide to film the next episode in the legendary Camp Cold Brook.

Reality TV producer and host, JACK WILSON (Chad Michael Murray), finds himself in a tough spot. His finances have crumbled and his show, “Haunt Squad”, is about to be cancelled. In a last ditch effort to spark ratings to land a final season, he and his producers Angela (Danielle Harris) and Emma as well as their trusted cameraman Kevin choose the legend of Camp Cold Brook to save their show. The camp was host to a horrific incident, where the young campers were drowned in a nearby creek 20 years ago.  Their arrival begins like any other episode. Cameras are placed, lights spark to life, but this is not going to be a regular episode of chasing errant noises and measuring for EVP. The terror here was real and the 30 are about to rise.

Courtney Gains (The Burbs, Children of the Corn), Michael Eric Reid (TV's Victorious),Candice De Visser (The Funhouse Massacre), Mary Kathryn Bryant (Hellraiser : Judgement), Loren Lodesma (A.S.K), and Jason Van Eman (1 Mile to You) help make up the ensemble.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Review: Hellraiser 6 Hellseeker (2002)

Stars: Ashley Lawrence, Doug Bradley

Budget: $3 million

Directed By: Rick Bota

It's the sixth film in the franchise and it's a high point (of the lowest point) before a steep, sorry very steep plunge into the sheer abysmal. Again it features all the Hellraiser tropes, Lemarchands box, surreal moments and hallucinations. It also saw the return of Clive Barker in a minimal capacity too.

This one one though is a lot better than the previous one though and see's the return of some familiar faces even though like the last film no one in this one is someone you can really route for. Even the surprise return of Kirsty is let down by, even though it's totally justified, the fact everyone is just protecting their own ass.
Well that's enough with the explanations, I know I've made out here a major weakness in the film but it still is a peak for the series as the next three, like I said take it to the bottom especially with the last one!

A car accident sending their car plunging off a bridge Kirsty Cotton, the protagonist from the first and second films seemingly dies. Only her husband survives the fall, though the police cannot find Kirsty's body when they go looking.
A month later all the usual hellraiser things start to happen, When Trevor wakes up in hospital he starts having nightmares and seeing things. His memory of the accident is also in pieces. We are initially thought to believe that Trevor and Kirsty were happy but as the film progresses we learn this is not the case.

The unreality and phantasms slowly bleed into Pinhead revealing himself and showing Trevor and us, that he was an asshole to Kirsty. Cheating on her and actually trying to make her open the box and get rid of her. this is where i'm up in arms with the whole finding it hard to get behind a protagonist in this film. Yes she was wronged but she's also in cahoots with pinhead too as we'll learn now.

She offers up five other people in return for her own soul, self defense in the most part yes. Especially vs Trevor and his friend, who are after her fortune although the other three are his mistresses arguably not all to blame for the most part.
I'm giving away a major plot point here but to be honest you should be only watching this if your a big fan of the other films. You see Trevor is actually dead in limbo piecing together how he died as part of his punishment, I wont spoil the full ending as it's got a bit more to it than just that and worth watching if your fan, like I said.

THN enjoyed this as part of the franchise but if it was a stand alone maybe not as much so i'm giving it a strong 2 out of 5 stars and a recommendation to watch if you like the series.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Review: Lights Out (2016)

Stars: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman

Directed by: David F. Sandberg

Budget: $4.9million

I've not been a massive of the recent slew of mainstream horror films. You know things like paranormal activity and the millions of sequels.
Yes they've done well but they're just so run of the mill and the same things, like jump scares and creepy over used situations.

Lights Out is a recent horror film too from 2016, yes it's taken a while for me to review it but I've been put off afraid it's going to be so standard.
I finally tried it out and was reasonably happy by what I saw though. The effects are nicely practical for the most part and very good at conveying the point they needed to.
That point is an innate fear of the darkness and what lurks in there.
Unfortunately the main story kind of spoils it ultimately by making it not just about the dark but spirits attached to people too and mental illness.

problem is this film seems to try to stick to much in, as all the separate parts are good coupled with some decent acting even from the child actor (which can be rare). So i'll get on with the movie description and leave the choice in your hands ultimately.

So we join a man in work, he seems rather busy and it's late. When his co-worker/secretary tells him she's leaving for the night. She turns off the lights in one of the work rooms and briefly see's a shadowy outline there. Scared she turns the lights back on quickly, then off, then on each time the thing keeps appearing and disappearing.
She gets freaked out and goes to see the boss, he dismisses it but she warns him to look out and be careful. When he eventually decides to move, out in the storeroom he is attacked by the shadowy thing in between each over hanging light. Making back to his way back to his office turns on the lights to fend off the creature. The electric blinks off and the man is killed by the dark creature.

We learn the man was the step father of Martin a young child who is also terrified of the beast which pops up in the night scaring him from sleeping. When he starts to fall asleep in classes and they can't reach his mother they get hold of his sister.
His sister is a twenty something whose father left at a young age and has bonding problems with her current boyfriend. She goes to pick Martin up and when he starts to tell her about the the thing and about their mother talking to someone in the night times Rebecca seems to recognize something about the stories and takes him to see their mother.

We learn she suffers from severe depression and that Rebecca left when she was young, her mental state seems to be worsening though but not so far that child services are getting involved. Rebecca gets Martin to stay with her. That night the creature comes and scrapes a message into her floor that she doesn't see until the morning.

We learn the entity is a woman named Diana who had a weird skin condition and when their mother was was in a mental asylum was her only friend. Though it seems she was forced into the friendship by Diana, Diana is treated by the doctors with some extreme light therapy. This seems to kill her, though it doesn't she just loses her body and imprints herself onto Rebecca's mind.
Rebecca's boyfriend who loves her a lot despite her attachment problems believes her totally and helps so much throughout the film too. Near the end they all try to sort out the situation by helping the mother get rid of Diana but things go wrong.

Like it said it's a decent film and better than some of the other mainstream rubbish that's about these days, like usual i don't spoil the ending and it's a decent enough film to not spoil. THN awards lights out with a 3 stars out 5 and watch if there's nothing else to do.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Details: Cult of Chucky

Cult of Chucky
Release Date: 20th Oct 2017

No remake, no rehash, this is a straight up sequel seeing people from all the last movies return in a great come back of the series. This is what we as fans want more of the same especially in horror franchises we have grown with up and love very much.
Andy Barclay returns as the woman from the last film is incarcerated in a mental institution after being blamed for the deaths of everyone. Andy finds out and tries to help free her as the warden and a bunch of other seem in on a plot that involves Chucky himself.
We even see a return of Tiffany, in human form somehow. I'm so interested to see how this plays out and will Andy survive again?
It seems we are in for a violent and macabre twisted fun filled return to the franchise just from the trailer alone, it's posted above please feel free check it out for yourselves!

Review: Here Alone (2016)

Stars: Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Rod Blackhurst

The tired old zombie apocalypse setting needs to do something special these days to grab the attention of people.
(unless your a die hard zombie fan like me who'll give anything zombie based a go)

This movie thankfully does break the usual mold, still holding a few tropes and also making a few silly mistakes here and there.

Since the death of my son I also find it hard to watch films where babies end up in any kind of peril too. This, the hallows and a few others i find hard to watch due to this reason.
But thankfully this movie had a lot going for it that kept me powering through the scenes involving the baby.

The setting is more infected rather than zombie they are maddened and fast much the likes of 28 days later, yet they do crave food especially in human shaped form.

Lucy Walters stars as Ann a woman who has survived this viral outbreak thanks to her husbands fast thinking and skills in the wild. We join Ann in the woods where her husband Jason was brought up, she is alone and isolated. We realise Ann smears herself in dung etc to mask her scent from the crazy people when she needs to get food. We see her in this state as the film starts she then quickly gets naked and cleans herself off in the nearby lake.
We watch as she slowly eats her supplies then checks her traps to find nothing caught in them running low we see her do her dung trick and head off to a nearby house looking for supplies.

Finding some food she unfortunately makes some noise and attracts a few of the crazies. In so doing she drops a few of the tins on the ground after putting her pack down for a while.
On her way back she spots a young girl and a man stumbling around on the road she seems to decide whether to help them or not. Once the man stumbles once last time and falls to the ground as he passes out Ann decides to help them.
The young woman is Olivia and the man is her step father, Chris. In-between peeks at how her husband taught her to survive in the wild and then losing him We see her strike up a friendship with Olivia and Chris regain his strength.

Trust is hard though to begin with especially for the jaded Ann, Chris (in a bout of good acting and writing) starts to win over Ann though coaxing more and more information about her past. There is some real humanity on offer here, where they start to relax and laugh with each other.
This is where two of the things that make me go a bit off the film happen one is of course the flashbacks to just her and her child left surviving, of which the baby gets some blood smeared on her because Ann carelessly picks her up while splattered with crazy blood.
This of course leads to the baby getting infected and Ann having to crush loads of aspirin tablets (and blood) into some milk to send the baby off.

The second thing is a sub plot that Olivia is actually in love with her step father and when Ann and him start to fall for each other she gets jealous over it. I know they needed something, something other than an inevitable camp invasion from the viral's but this was just a little off putting especially as Olivia initially seems to come across as quite intelligent and wanting to learn from Ann.

So the film continues on in this fashion until Ann and Chris eventually have sex much to Olivia's chagrin as she had also the same night prepared herself to have sex with Chris too. She rebels after seeing them stealing food and eating loads while they spend the night together.
She is attacked in the forest too and just about saved by Chris and Ann, low on food they decide to go foraging again. Chris distracts the viral's while Olivia and Ann check out the same house as earlier. Again Olivia in a uncharacteristic and stupid jealous bout knocks Ann out and ties her to a cupboard and screams to attract viral's.

Ann being plucky escapes the bonds and the infected and gets back to her camp seeing both Chris and Olivia being attacked by the infected. With one bullets left she keeps aiming between Chris and Olivia unable to decide who to save (I know who I would).
But you know here at THN we won't spoil endings of good or even half decent films unless they're so abysmal it's not worth watching them. This despite it's flaws to me both in the story and person reasons is well worth a watch, THN awards Here Alone 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Review: Chopping Mall (1986)

Stars: Barbara Crampton, Kelli Maroney

Budget: £800k

Directed By: Jim Winorsky

This film seemed like a nostalgic pleasure of mine distributed by none otherthan Roger Corman the king of schlock horror films.
Starring two of the cutest ever scream queen's ever, Babs
Crampton and Kelli Maroney.

Both known for their active roles in the weird and wonderful. Bab's best known for Reanimator, Kelli possibly for night of the comet.
Both great films in their own respects, poor Babs though seems to cop it in any film she's in. Reanimator, this a bunch of other horror films too.

Now I hadn't seen Chopping Mall for quite a while. One of the things that caught me off guard was the running time,
I could have sworn nigh on 15 years ago the film I watched seemed longer than it is.

May be I'm right though as this 77 minute film may well have a 95 minute run time version too. Maybe that's the one I actually watched all those years back?
Anyway the film doesn't suffer in this respect from a short run time.

This film has all the classic tropes of horror movies even the typical drinking, sex and partying. Though all this is capped by evil robots, made evil by lightening!
If you needed a robot security system or army weapon robot to turn either good or bad back in the 80's or 90's all you needed was their systems scrambled by a blast or two of lightening. So the movie starts with a security firm showing off a demonstration of their new advanced robots, laser eyes, sleep darts, taser shots and sharp claws.
A nice cameo by Mary Woronov who was/is also a veteran to horror films as her and her work partner take turns cutting jibes at the robots expense. The Mall has employed the services of three of these robots. We are then shown our heroines of the movie Bab's as Suzie and Kelli as Alison Parks both working in a greasy little cafe in the Mall.

We are then shown the guys who work in a bed shop, Ferdy (played by Tony O'Dell) is rather nervous as the rest of the guys want to throw a party in the shop once the Mall is closed. Gerrit Graham from C.H.U.D. II is also in here as one of the technicians of the security bots.
His partner is in the security room relaxing before the robots go online when a random thunderstorm throws down three bolts of lightening that fry the central computer that controls the robots. They then kill the one technician and hide his body, Gerrit's then taken out next. The robots then go on patrol around the mall.

After partying and sex one of the teens is killed after he goes to get cigarettes for his girlfriend, not only that a cleaner played by Murray Futterman actor Dick Miller is electrocuted by one too. The girl goes looking for her boyfriend and is chased almost back to the others. The rest of the teens see her screaming outside and her head is blown up by a laser blast. The rest of them then go about arming themselves and trying to take out the bullet proof killer security robots.
They slowly get taken out one by one occasionally destroying one of the mad robots every couple of teens killed. It is yes, very standard and straightforward as many horror films, this time though there's just a certain chemistry that makes this feel good to. By far no gem but definitely worth a watch and deserving of a place in many peoples cult classics.

THN awards Chopping Mall a good 3 out of 5 stars and watch on a rainy day!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Review: XX (2017)

Stars: Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Numerous

Nice another anthology film I thought as I clicked on Netflix what a strange name though, then I read the description four shorts from women's point of view. I did also have some trepidation that it was magnet distributed but they do on occasion back some decent films.

Now these four movies are not without flaws, some of them downright puzzled me not in a how did that happen, more so the choices made and things not explained.
not that, that is a bad thing though,

Of the four stories the first story The Box and the third Don't Fall are by far the strongest of the four stories
told on this collection. Sun dance festival January 22nd 2017 was it's original debut then magnet released to video on demand services.

So these are all reasonably strong written pieces, some however have more than a few glaring flaws which I will go over when it's each segments time.

The first short The Box sees a mother on the subway with two excitable children after a long day out with them. It's close to Christmas so when her young son spots a man with a red present upon his lap he's quick to inquire what's in the box. After some badgering and his mum telling him off the man happily shows him what's inside, only the boy see's and he goes very somber afterwards.

That night at dinner the boy doesn't feel hungry the parents are fine but a little concerned he might be getting ill. That is until 3 or 4 days later the father starts getting very worried, yet the boy says he's fine.
They take him to a doctor who believes it to be a traumatizing effect that has made him this way. When the mother spots the son telling the daughter something in a whisper she gets concerned. Sure enough the girl stops eating to, it quickly passes to the dad too.

In a bizarre dream sequence we see them eating parts of the mother then, but it's not real. They even have a nice Xmas but everyone apart from the mother is dreadfully thin. I wont spoil the rest as this is probably the strongest story on here. But I tell you I'd love to know what's in that box and it's that, that keeps this so suspenseful just what was it that stopped them eating?

The second story the birthday party is possibly the weakest and oddest of the bunch. A woman setting up for a girls birthday party is beset by odd neighbors or family members as she does this.
Not only that she stumbles in on what I can guess is her husband dead, seemingly from an overdose. Although the woman see's this as more of an inconvenience than something sad. She then spends the rest of the short trying to either hide or divert people away from his corpse.
That's basically it for the short till the end so I won't spoil anymore other than the short does have a longer title than first seen!

The third short Don't Fall doesn't really have anything to do with it's name but is probably the second best story on this quadrilogy. Four friends/family members have found themselves, thanks to a tip off from some gas station worker in a remote yet beautiful part of the wilderness.
Having traveled there in their RV. So right at the beginning the one girl (Gretchen) is playfully mock pushed by her friend on top of a height. She gets scared and backs off to a little covered rock area, in that area the four of them discover an old wall painting. The painting is depicting 3 people being stalked by a giant demon/creature.
While outside later on Gretchen is attacked by a weird demon and transforms into a creature herself,she then proceeds to stalk the other three. There's not much more to it so THN won't spoil any more for you,

The Fourth is for me probably the worst of the bunch. Her Only Living Son see's a mother dealing with a seemingly rebellious teen son, nothing quite out of the ordinary there. That is until you see people acting strange around her and her son. We also get some get flashback story filler helping explain what is going on with her son. Of course all is not what it seems as there is definitely more to her son than meets the eyes.

This film is certainly a bold step forwards for every female involved and i would love to give it extra points based on just that. But as a movie which i have to judge it on this is a definite 50/50 hit and miss with it's 4 stories, even saying that the third one with it's pointless setting was hard to judge, so this film at least for me gets 2 stars out of 5 from THN, possibly only worth watching if you like me love multi story films like this.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Review: Lifeforce (1985)

Stars: Steve Railsback, Peter Firth

Budget: $25 Million

Directed By: Tobe Hooper

Wow this i beginning to become a series of 'films that shit me up when i was younger'
True maybe i shouldn't have watching shit like this when i was 7 or 8 years old, but well that's the thing about a kid with TV and cable in your room with channels like sci-fi and bravo.

So anyway a Vampire flick at heart but with a massive twist, in fact looking back on it and having recently re-watched it, i had the intense feeling of a live action manga film, Vampire Hunter D-esque in nature.
So yes the twist their vampires from 'spaaaaaace' that feed on your, get it, LIFE FORCE. like a kind of electrical energy sucked out of you.
Directed by Critters guy Tobe Hooper this film feels like a British film directed by an american guy, i can't explain why but it really does come across that strongly, mainly because that's whats it is but i feel it's something you'd get even if you didn't know. This is not a bad thing by the way, its a really bold and refreshing take and broke the mold of things like hammer horror films which would have been the thing of the time, you know thoroughly British what, what cup of tea etc, no this had some good action seriousness without getting wrapped up in British tropes.

The film stars an all star cast of Brits from the time too, Firth, Patrick Stewart, Frank Finlay and the beautiful French actress Mathilda May. Based on an actual novel from the 70's inventively called Space Vampires the film did not do well especially for its at the time huge budget of $25 million. It only made $11.6 million in the box office.

So the film starts with a joint American and British team in space to observe a rare comet, the ship the Churchill is an experimental ship that can produce it's own gravity. Whilst checking on the comet the ship finds another ancient craft in the stream of the comet. Within that craft most of it's bat like inhabitants are desiccated husks, that is until they come across three preserved bodies in some kind of hibernation pods. After a bit more digging by the crew ground control loses contact with the Churchill.

When they eventually find out it's coming back to earth they find the ship in bad condition everywhere burned and almost everyone dead. The girl from the pods is found and secured in a room for observation as are the two males in a different room.
The girl wakes up and drains the life force of he guard this is seen by another member of the staff on the security monitors. He tries to save him but the guard is dead by the time he gets there a husk of a man. She seduces the other and is again seen on the monitors by the head doctor, he however gets to the other guy but she hasn't drained him.

An investigator is brought in to see whats going on, the one guy is sent home complaining he's a bit drained. The girl however has escaped overpowering the security guards with ease. The two vampire males awake but are, after lots of bullets and grenades taken out. They go to do an autopsy on the totally drained guy but he wakes up and proceeds to drain the force of the lead operator. They quarantine both the newly regenerated guard in a very bemused state. This is definitely where most of the budget went the practical effects on this film are amazing and the way the drained people cry out and attract normal people to them to feed is what freaked me out so much as a kid. The way they almost wail in pain at their victims making you feel sorry for them.

So they quickly find out that without new energy the weird drained zombie husk vampire things quickly die and is a spectacular explosion of dust too.

It's then found out that Colonel Tom Carlsen is found crash landed in an escape pod. The film diverges into two here following Tom as he hallucinates about the girl as they seem to have some kind of weird connection now. Then there's the detective Col Colin Caine trying to stop this outbreak happening, they do help each other from time to time though.
Carlsen through regression tells of their master plan to absorb as much energy as possible so the ship can as it's passing by absorb it all. Throughout the film now more and more people start getting drained who drain more people as they try to work out a way to stop the vampires.
Leaden Metal is able to, as in traditional vampires kill them if pierced through their heart, the male ones who miraculously piece themselves back together are killed in this fashion. I like the main vampires have a lot of the usual vampiric like powers too, like entrancing, regeneration etc.

Now as always on THN i won't spoil the ending especially as this film has aged quite well and well worth a watch, it's currently on Netflix too. A really good and interesting take on the vampire genre with a lot of twists and turns thrown in. A very good and strong acting effort by all the cast new and experienced alike.
THN awards this freaky  film a very strong 3 out of 5 stars as with an almost 2 hour run time it might be a bit of slog for some people to watch through, otherwise a great film!

Monday, 19 June 2017

THN Top Fives: Head Kills

In horror film one of the nastiest ways to go is have something destroy your noggin, in any way shape or form a blow or otherwise to the most useful appendage on your body usually equals instant death to whoever was unlucky to take that hit.
THN  have what we think are five of the most horrendous ways people, or fodder have died in horror movies after taking a head wound...

5. Machete Wheelchair:
Right so this is from Friday the 13th part 2 Mark a wheelchair bound teen is happily taking in the night air when a machete is thunked into his face diagonally. Not only that the poor teen then goes rattling down some steps in the rain bouncing about like a rag doll.

4. Eyeball puncture!:
Zombie Flesh Eaters the infamous 1979 zombie film has on of the still best eyeball puncturing practical effect death i've ever seen or pretty much still have to see. A woman is grabbed by a rotting appendage and dragged eyeball first onto a giant splinter protruding from the hole she was grabbed from. at least she wasn't eaten alive, that's better right, right?

3. Indy Face Melt:
Not a horror film but still a frightful way to die, even in a pretty much family friendly film too. So the Nazi's have found the ark of the covenant believing it will grant them uber powers the greedily open the golden chest.
Unfortunately evil spirits are released which proceed to melt the face and heads of anyone stupid enough to look inside the box. Was clearly a gruesome scene and one of the most memorable scenes of the series.

2. Frosty Face Death:
That lovely scene from Jason X, the poor student doing an autopsy on big tall and killy doesn't notice when our frosty friend starts to thaw and reanimate upon the operating table.
While she's busy looking at stuff through a microscope she is grabbed and has her face thrust into below freezing liquid nitrogen. within seconds her face is a frosty mess. Then to add frosting on the cake, he smashes her face on the counter into tiny little crystalised pieces!

1. Brains Sucked Through a Straw:
Ok this is my top head death, it comes from none other than starship troopers and was one of the first true scenes that proper grossed me out. Being that i watched in the cinema when it was originally released as just a 15 age rated film.
You all probably know the scene i'm talking about the brain bug sucking out Zanders brain with it's straw like appendage, why this was so bad to me is your alive while your brain is literally being slurped out, can you imagine that? just slowly losing yourself as you brain is sucked out. Makes me shudder eeww.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Review: Leprechaun 3 (1995)

Stars: Warwick Davis, John Gatins

Budget: 1.2 Million

Directed By: Brian Trenchard-Smith

Aah the Leprechaun Series. This is one of my pet loves, well at least until the 'in the hood' sequels. Even the inevitable next sequel of 'in space' is better than those, that's a different film for a different time though.

Warwick returns as the titular wee guy with a different origin once again. I often wonder if it's the same leprechaun or different ones who just all lookalikes and a mad little killers!

A small budget and a not to great story line mars this addition to the series though especially since it's filmed in and around Las Vegas. In fact one of the alternate titles to this film was Leprechaun in Las Vegas.

So this time we see a porn shop come into the possession of a strange little statue. It is seeming made of gold and depicts the wee man with a golden medallion around his neck. The pawn shop owner is told that the medallion is lucky and magic, the owner greedily takes the medallion off which free's the leprechaun from his imprisonment in the statue. He then murders the shop owner. Again the Leprechaun has his gold and when the hero of the film, a down on his luck student, Scott who comes into the pawn shop to sell his Rolex watch. He picks up one of the gold coins then flees at the sight of the dead shop owner.

What Scott doesn't know is the coin can grant wishes, he ends up wishing for his luck to turn which it does. In turn he grabs the attention of both the leprechaun and the casino owners, as he keeps winning so much money. The casino also has a two bit magic act in the form of Fazio and Loretta, Loretta is an older woman worried about her looks. They steal the coin and when the leprechaun stumbles across these two looking for it and Scott.
Scott fights with the leprechaun and gets bitten in the process, some of the leprechauns blood also gets into the bite before Scott throws him from the hotel window. The leprechaun slowly starts kill people who made wishes with the coin twisting what they wished for. Once they are outside the power of the coins influence he is able to make the wish turn on them and kill them.

The casino owner is killed by a weird robot version of a girl he wanted to have sex with and Loretta who wished for the body of a younger woman loves it when her body plumps up. Then despairs as they keep plumping up like balloons until the inevitable and they explode.
All this time Scott is infected by the leprechaun blood which is in turn, turning him into a human sized leprechaun. This does however give him powers like the little guy but also his greed over gold too. This makes for some fun interactions between Scott and the leprechaun between gold and magic powers, his girlfriend Tammy is also caught up in all this but just seems to want the best for Scott including taking him to hospital where they refuse to see him due to his green cross insurance.

In a final show down between the two (after Fazio's last wish to be the best magician is reversed to kill him) the leprechaun actually tries to entice Scott into joining him with the lure of half of his gold. Does he take it or does he ignore it that you'll have to find out for yourself as we don't spoil the ending of decent films here in THN. Leprechaun 3 scores a 3 out of 5 stars.

THN Moving to YouTube

Yes we are transitioning to YouTube (hopefully) why do i say hopefully?
Well THN is pretty much run by just one person, me the guy you know as the horror master, I have someone who does the Facebook side of things but that's about it. So I say hopefully because i'm not rich, this is going to involve some help so i've set up a go fund me, here:

What does this entail?
I will be able to buy a new GOOD laptop to mix audio and visual files and a decent camera to produce that video content. This doesn't mean by any mean the blog will closing down no no no, i'll be doing both video and written reviews for both, then hopefully i can move on to getting in people to help make MORE content, even be able to make it to film premiers etc.

So any people who can offer a small amount of money to aid me in getting this equip would be in a great thank you video, named and thanked by me.
Thank you for all of the support you have shown me in the many years i've been doing this.

The Horror Master

Friday, 2 June 2017

Review: Hellraiser 5 Inferno (2000)

Stars: Doug Bradley, Craig Sheffer

Budget: $2 million

Directed By: Scott Derrickson

Okay so this is a series that after the 4th movie steadily went down hill. Despite that there's some decent acting and the always great turn of Doug Bradley as the demonic Pinhead.
It's also the first one where the you don't really route for any of the characters, you want pinhead to teach them a lesson.

It features all the things a Hellraiser film should though, the Lemarchand's box, surreal scenes and is it real or not?

This one starts off with clearly corrupt detective Joseph Thorne. We know he's corrupt as we frequently see him taking drugs and cheating.
It's also hot and getting hotter in Denver and murder is on the books. Joseph is called to the scene of a suspected ritualistic murder where he discovers the Lemarchand puzzle box.

Joseph naturally in a Hellraiser film is also very keen on puzzles and fiddles with the box until he solves it. Not long after solving the damned box Thorne begins to suffer from delusions and hallucinations, one such is being seduced by two horribly mutilated women. After being chased by a no eyed beast from hell Joseph tries to dig further into whats going on.
He finds evidence linking a suspect known only as The Engineer, to the original murder, he is also linked to the disappearance/kidnapping of a young child. When Thorne starts to get close to capturing him however The Engineer starts picking off some of his friends and acquaintances, most horrifically the killer leave behind one of the kids fingers at every murder.

Thorne tries to get psychiatric help for his hallucinations in an effort to try get his mind sorted out. Unfortunately this backfires when his doctor reveals himself to be none other than Pinhead, he explains about hell and the cenobites. Not only that but since Thorne first started using box he has in fact been trapped in hell himself where he has been being punished for his sins in life.
Not only that 'The Engineer' has been a construct of Thorne's mind embodying his cruelty where as the child has been his innocence. Thus in his mind the evil side has been winning out over his better judgement. Unbelieving of his situation Thorne tries to escape his own personal hell.

That is where THN stops and doesn't spoil the ending. Despite it's many flaws and no one to really route for it does have an intriguing plot and will keep you wondering whats going on. Although that's not exactly great when it can get just plain puzzling for no sake.
So THN awards Hellraiser 5 Inferno, a pretty strong 2 out of 5 stars with a recommend to watch if you've liked the other films up until this one.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Review: Beyond Re-Animator (2003)

Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Jason Barry

Budget: 3 Million

Directed By: Brian Yuzna

The Re-Animator series is one of the greats, mostly done by brilliant comedy horror director Brian Yuzna these like the ROTLD series have all his usual tongue in cheek schlock horror tropes. These include surreal moments and incredible gore filled, yet funny moments. Much like other films in it's time and genre like the Evil Dead series.

This series is based on HP Lovecraft's books chronicling the misadventures of one Dr Herbert West. A man obsessed with death and the prevention of it happening.

If you've seen any of the others his plans never go to well as his reanimating solution never seems to fully bring back full cognitive ability in his subjects. This often means the dead come back as anything from dangerous psychos to gibbering wrecks.

The first film is definitely a cult favourite and the second a very decent follow up in a lot of respects, this however is the distant cousin of sequels. Not so far removed that is changes to much or even replaces key characters but its 13 year gap, small budget, poor writing and only Combs returning make this a very unneeded sequel just to cash in on the name and star.
Not that this film is incredibly bad it just doesn't take the series anywhere other than oh more experimentation. Although despite this it is great to see Jeffery back as West and if you like the others you will like this, So lets get on with the movie.

West has been serving in prison for the past 13 years, nice see they bridge that gap!
Despite this and using any ingredients he can scavenge he is still managing to create enough of his serum to do little experiments on rats.
Despite this he has discovered something new in his research, a sort of energy that can be extracted from a living person. This energy is electric in nature so can be stored in something like a light bulb (which he does in this film). Though this puzzles me, you have to kill two people to one for the reanimation subject the other to extract this life force energy.
Then you reanimate the one person and use the stored energy to bring them back to ALMOST human levels. That right not even this way makes the dead come back to 100% close but still not full.

A new doctor Howard Phillips (HP get it?) (Barry) gets assigned to work the infirmary in the hospital, West with his experience (and the fact the doctor knows of his studies) gets to work with him. This enables West to increase his levels of experimentation.
We also learn that Phillips sister was a casualty of the original experiments and has been looking to work with West for a long time. It's also around this time a reporter, Laura, doing a paper on the prison meets Phillips and starts seeing him, unfortunately the prison warden also has a infatuation with her. Ultimately though his infatuation leads to him almost raping her and killing her when she resists his advances.

Phillips was initially reluctant to give West full experimental capability, now distraught over the death of Laura. West attempts to bring Laura back to life using the new technique and his serum though as soon as we see the human side of this it's clear there is still problems even using both of his techniques.
The prison warden discovers this too, so in true West form he kills the bastard. Then promptly resurrects him but uses a rats life force thing NPE i think it's called Neuro or nano plasmic energy. I haven't watched this for a while to remember that clearly!

Quickly everything descends into madness as usual in these films as phials of Wests serum is being distributed around the prison, i think they think its a drug. You should know what happens to live people who take the serum from the past movies.
As people start dying and resurrecting a big old riot breaks out in the prison forcing more death and gore to descend upon the populace. Laura gets decapitated along the way leaving Phillips even more distraught and a wreck.

So there's not much left to film after this and Beyond is just ok enough for me not to spoil the very end for you. If you love the first movies you'll like maybe even appreciate this third film in the franchise, I do love them and so to loved the chance to see more work from Combs and Yuzna who I both adore for their work in their areas. THN awards Beyond Re-Animator with a mediocre 3 out of five stars with a watch if your fan or there's nothing else on TV/Streaming etc.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

IT 2017 Trailer Breakdown

So this year we are getting a lot of remakes, or additions to old/existing franchises. From Child's Play to Saw, we were getting another Friday the 13th that has unfortunately been canned though. Still we are getting a super awesome game based on the series up to part 9 at least.
One remake that has peaked a lot of people interests is the Stephen King classic IT. A lot of people love the original not because it's a masterpiece but because of the brilliant Tim Curry Pennywise and the hammy nature of the entire film.

The remake however looks set to remove the jolly of the clown and make him definitively the clown from everyone's nightmares. Some people seem on the fence about this but others willing to give it a try. I for a while was more interested in this despite the looks of Pennywise (another reason some people aren't to hot on the remake) than the upcoming other King work, the Dark Tower, though since seeing the trailer for that I've been somewhat swayed to give it a chance.

IT however I both enjoyed and quite like the look of the evil clown. So much so I've cottoned on to some of the things in the trailer which may or not be important to the story, everything is in the viewers minds eye right?

So in the opening scenes we see who i can only guess is Georgie sailing his waxed paper boat down the streets in the rain just like the book and the original film. This is where something really interesting and in my eyes at least because it make me wonder if a concussion type nightmare is something that's going to be a theme in this film?

If so it would be a nice way to explain the surreal themes this film will bring up if its all a collective nightmare of sorts, why i think this si because right up until that scene there's happy music playing then bam head hit it stops, something to think about perhaps.

There is definitely a large theme of playing on fears in this film and the way things are done that not everyone notices things happening like balloons floating past in the middle of a room except the kid that's involved, suggests it is only a small shared psychosis too.
Along with the fact that each of these children have experienced abuse or bullying at some point in their life to would leave them open to suggestibility or maybe even gives them the ability to see danger where most who live a normal happy life wouldn't.

What we all would like is if this was a real terrifying thing that some rag tag bunch of kids did find the courage to beat, but it think the under laying mental state will always make you wonder...

Onto some fears i have from the trailer now, i'm hoping every scare isn't a typical high sound effect screech thing to elicit a cheap jump scare. I don't have massive fears of this as the trailer only really does this once when Georgie first see's Pennywise In the drain.

Everything else seems to be mind playing tricks on you like the balloons just there or floating past, or just out right freaky like a number of times where the slide show goes bananas, the part where Pennywise claws come out to play and the wild scene where the killer clown in chasing one of the children arms flailing like a mad man.

Overall i have not high expectations for this film but at least a good feeling that yes it will be a more serious telling than our cult classic but will be certainly better acting and pace wise and find a place in our hearts next to the classic, THN signing off.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Review: The Blob (1988)

Stars: Kevin Dillon, Shawnee Smith

Budget: $19 Million

Directed By: Chuck Russell

Aaah remakes sometimes they get it right (rarely) other times it's a total miss (most times) this at least to me is a very near case of right!

This remake takes everything of the original film and increases it ten fold. well maybe not everything some acting here is very two dimensional but aside from that its a ramp up in nearly every area. No surprise this was an early writing effort of Frank Darabont too.

The horror/gore are the most increased facets of this remake and in making those more graphic the effects have been upgraded exponentially too.
This may well of been one of the films downfalls ultimately as for it's budget it was quite high for a film of it's time.
Not a guaranteed box office smash took a massive gamble with the money pumped into this remake. Unfortunately it did not make it back and only found fame on VHS.
Only making $8.2 million back certified this film as a flop in a cinematic sense however.

There are minor changes to the story line to bring it up to date and be more relevant to the time it was released. Distrust of governments and echoes of war and weapons of mass destruction scaring people.

Starting off almost exactly the same as the 1958 version of the film a seeming meteorite crashes into the woods of California. A homeless man discovers the crashed sphere and pokes it with a stick, the giant amoeba like creature inside leaps up the stick and starts devouring the old mans hand.
Brian (played by Dillon), Meg (Shawnee) and Paul find the unfortunate man and take him to the hospital. This is where the aforementioned horror, effects and gore really ramp up, Brian leaves Meg and Paul at the hospital where Paul finds the blob has dissolved half of the old man.
Creeping along the ceiling the blob then drops on an unsuspecting Paul. The creature quickly starts to dissolve the poor boy right in front of Meg, squealing for her help Meg grabs his arm and pulls, pulls it right off! Meg collapses unconscious after bumping her head.

The police don't take to kindly to Brian aparantly but him and Meg team up, they both make it to a diner where Meg explains to Brian about the blob. Skeptical Brian doesn't believe her until George the diners handyman in pulled face first into the sinks drain. It then comes for them and in a scene hearkening to the original they make it to the diners walk in freezer.
Which again echoing the 1958 version seemingly causes the blob intense pain, it retreats only to Kill the diners owner Fran while inside a telephone box (we also see the sheriff has been devoured too here) Meg and Brian escape the freezer and leave.

The crazy old reverend witnesses some of this scene and goes to the diner, there he finds some crystallized pieces of the blob and puts them in a small kilner jar. After visiting the police station they are told Deputy Briggs is up where the meteor originally crashed.
Reaching there they discover a full on military outfit excavating the meteor led by head scientist Dr Meddow's. When the town is quarantined Brian manages to escape a truck he's trapped in and retrieve his motorbike

Meg on the other hand has been taken into town where she discovers her kid brother and his friend have vanished. They have however sneaked into the towns cinema where the blob is attacking and devouring people, Meg makes it back to see her brother fleeing from said cinema. She escapes with them both.

Brian manages to eavesdrop on Meddow's and, here's the cold war etc references in that the blob was a man made weapon deemed to powerful to use and was sent into outer space. He is discovered but manages to evade capture by head into the sewers on his bike.
Also in the sewers are Meg, her brother and his friend Eddie who is also devoured by the blob quite horrifically (yes kid death in this movie too). Her brother escapes through some grating and Meg is found by some soldiers who try to protect her. When they die Brian shows up and drives through the sewers on his bike with the blob in hot pursuit.
Brian and Meg make it out and blame it all on Meddow's, who in turn tries to blame it on Brian saying he's gone mad with infection from the blob. When people don't believe him he goes to shoot Brian only to be dragged to his death into the sewers by a blob tendril. When the army tries to shoot and blow up the blob in an attempt to kill it the blob gets really angry and starts attacking anyone who gets in it's way.

The reverend comes out preaching the end of the world just as the army tries to use flamethrowers against the blob and he gets caught in the crossfire. Meg manages to save him and in a process that echoes the original again she twigs that the cold hurts the blob when it recoils from an extinguisher.

The towns survivors barricade themselves inside town hall and use extinguishers to stop the blob attacking. Despite this the blob still kills the deputy and starts to engulf the building.
Brian escapes and manages to get to a snow making machine, he makes it back just in time to rescue Meg and a few others shooting cold snow over the creature. Angered it knocks the truck over and goes to kill Brian. Now i wouldn't as usually spoil a films ending as you know but just as in the original as here in the remake I will make an exception.
Meg manages to get the blobs attention and lead it back to the truck where she has placed a stolen bomb pack onto the nitrogen canisters. Sure as anything it explodes and manages to flash freeze the blob into thousands of tiny crystalline rocks. They then store this in the towns ice house, unlike the original where the blob was dropped off in the arctic.

The however doesn't end there, no we are treated to an extra scene where the reverend is scarred and preaching the end of the world. Low and behold it is revealed that the small pieces of the blob in the jar are now one small organism alive and well inside!

Now to me this version improves and expands upon the ideas of the original film in many ways and decently too. This doesn't warrant however the mass gore it also calls upon, this was again one of those films i watched as a youngster 8 or so and found unable to finish and came back to later on in life 12 or 13 to re-watch. Now some of the acting is a bit iffy but all the cold war and paranoia at your government lines are very relevant to it's time. this version however loses some of the tension of the original in using big effects shocks to scare you rather than clever little effects.
So with those downsides and plus sides i give blob the 1988 remake an equal score but for very different reasons to it's predecessor a 3 out of 5 with a recommendation to watch.

Review: Hunting Grounds (2015)

Stars: Bill Oberst Jr, D'Angelo Midili

Budget: Can't find, guessing very little

Directed By: John Portanova

Ok so i was sent this as a screener to review
It was originally called something different to this
it was rerelease this year of an older 2015 film
called Valley of the Sasquatch.

It stars THN friend Bill Oberst Jr and even though I wasn't sent it nor could i find it, this movie was probably filmed on a shoestring budget. Seriously i'm guessing the sasquatch costumes probably took up most of the budget.

So yeah, budget wise this b-movie suffers from all the usual tropes. Excessesively long chats in one or two locations that are constantly reused over and over again to pad out a 90 minute (or there about) run time.

Bill is a trooper and so loyal to the indie scene, he is a spectacular actor way below his pay grade, but i love that he loves and keeps coming back to film in movies like this and i'm talking on average 3-4 films a year! On with the movie:

First off we see b-movie veteran Bill alone in the woods, he comes across a camp where he finds a dead man, he is then seemingly killed also.
Cut to a town where a young man (Micheal) and his dad (Roger) have fallen on bad times after the wife/mother has died and they are having to move out of town to a small cabin in the woods. This sets them up having no mobile phones etc (nice little trick there to keep them isolated) the dad seems a little overly harsh. Especially when he says about the mobile phones not being essential but then buys lots of beer, it's obvious here he's got a bit of a problem.

When they reach the cabin they see it's been ransacked with the door busted open and all it's furniture messed up yet not broken or stolen. Dad then explains as they are tidying and fixing the place up that uncle Will and Sergio (Dad's friend) are coming for a visit. This further alienates Micheal as he seemingly doesn't like Sergio (for good reason too) When they both come Sergio is indeed a massive dick to Mike any opportunity he can get. Will however (who seems really young looking to be an uncle to someone Micheal's age) seems to be a very good influence.

Will comments on a meteor shower that's happening that night, sure enough Sergio acts like a dick and Micheal leaves in a huff. Will joins him later and they have a chat while the meteor shower goes on above them. Will explains that Micheal's mother was a good influence on his father she was the one stopping him from becoming the bum he's currently turning into.
He also offers Micheal a college fund as his gym's are doing well and he's even opened a second one due to this. Micheal is ecstatic at this but worried about his dad, Will assures him he'll deal with his dad when the time comes. Both happy they leave the roof and return to the cabin.

Sergio is once again a dick towards Micheal making him sleep out on the couch while he takes the boys bedroom. In the morning he is rudely awoken by the others and forced to go on a hunting trip with them, here Sergio and his father force Micheal to shoot a deer. He misses and Sergio and his father scold him for being so being so useless they then carry on hiking.
Sergio starts to get tired as well as agitated at all the walking and nothing happening, then he see's something he thinks is a creature. He gets scared and wants to go back to the cabin, they say about camping outside this alienates both Sergio and Micheal.
It's then they get jumped by the Sasquatch and Micheal's dad gets dragged off by one of them. Sergio forces the other two to go back to the cabin, in a ruckus Sergio stabs Will to death and gets Micheal to move his corpse to the bedroom out of his sight.

Her good old Jr pops back in he's been able to escape from the Sasquatch after being kidnapped by them, he caves in one of their heads. They knock out Sergio and go on the defensive, Micheal's dad also makes it back with a damaged leg. The Sasquatches start to attack the cabin and they all make an effort to escape but Micheal's dad drops the car keys.
Poor old Bill's character is captured and gets both his arms ripped off by the creatures so Micheal and his dad hide back in the cabin. Sergio awakes and Roger finds out from Micheal that he killed his brother, he seems to take it quite well. That is until they formulate an escape plan and then Roger bungs Sergio into the midst of the Sasquatches so they can escape.

There's not much left of this film so I won't spoil the ending it's not quite that bad enough to spoil, almost but not quite. Bill here is one of the saving graces, despite a short screen time his character is great, the film however is quite bunk and suffers from to many of the tropes that make b-movies bad.
Will dies so now whats going to happen to Micheal?
To much blah, blah in one spot meaning it can get very boring to have scene after scene.
A boring pointless plot and Sergio is a guy who just needs to die and no one, surely no one is that much of a dick to someones kid before the father would do something surely?
Aside from that the Sasquatch effects are great and Will being one of the stronger characters of the film is very well acted. These pluses minuses drive THN to give Hunting Grounds an unfortunate 2 stars out of 5 worth watching if there's really nothing else around or on at that point.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Review: The Blob (1958)

Stars: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut

Budget: $110,000

Directed By: Irvin Yeaworth

It creeps and leaps and glides and slides across the floor, be careful of the blob!

I had actually seen the 1988 version before this wonder. Traversing the pound shops as a youth I seen this on VHS in one and thought how bad can a 1958 version of a film that properly shit me up and gave me nightmares as a young child be?

Not bad at all, it's almost like watching a different film with the same premise to be honest.
its mostly in black and white but the version i had had the blob, once it had eaten once turn a red colour.
staring A reasonably young faced Steve McQueen in one of his first roles, though looking way older than a school teen as he was supposed to be.
Made on a small budget even for those times all actors were paid little and the effects were made very cheaply yet very practical and looked good for it's time.

These include the blob actually moving through stop motion and it pushing its way through some theatre doors, obviously done on a miniature set.

So McQueen (Steve, yes his character is called Steve) and his girlfriend (Jane) notice when a meteorite crashes into a nearby forest, an old man living near reaches it first only for the rock to split open and reveal a white glutenous gel like creature in it's centre. Poking it with a stick the blob quickly travels up the stick and engulfs the mans hand causing him terrible pain.
Steve and Jane find him crying out and when he shows them his hand they quickly take him to see the doctor. Doctor Hallen is a little flustered as he was about to leave for a conference but once he see's the thing his intrigue takes over.

The Doctor anesthetizes him then sends Steve and Jane to back to the site to see if there's anymore evidence etc. The blob is spreading rapidly so Hallen decides to amputate, unfortunately before he can the old man is totally consumed. His nurse is dissolved too and then Steve and Jane return to see the doctor being absorbed by the creature too.
Both heading to the sheriff  they get lieutenant Dave and Sergeant Burt go with them back to the doctors. Knowing the doctor was off on a conference and finding nothing Burt calls it a prank and gets the kids parents to pick them up.

The Blob has moved on and is clearly getting bigger and redder with every person it consumes adding their mass to it's own. It kills the town mechanic next and moves on again.
Steve and Jane have sneaked out to recruited a few friends to help them warn people of the danger when they are cornered by the blob after investigating his dads shop being open. The only place they can escape to is the freezer where it seems the intense cold is a perfect deterrent to the blob.

Meanwhile Steve's and Jane's friends have set off the towns air and fire alarms so as to get townsfolk's attention, where they promptly disbelieve everything the kids have to say. While this is happening the blob has entered the theatre and consumed many people, the survivors come screaming out of the building proving Steve right. The blob oozes out of the front doors too causing everyone else to flee, including Steve's younger brother Danny who along with Jane and his brother hide in a nearby diner.

The blob is now large enough to easily cover the whole diner, Steve has no plans when Dave patches his radio through to the diners phone. He tells them to enter the cellar as they are going to attempt to drop a live power line on the monster.
Bert shoots the wire once he thinks everyone is safe and it drops upon the blob. Although thousands of volts dance all over the thing it is unaffected by the electricity, which has started a fire in the diner.
Steve quickly grabs a Co2 extinguisher and puts the fire out, not before hitting the blob with it too and causing it to recoil. Steve coupled with the freezer incident finally realises that it's the cold the blob doesn't like.

It's not far from the end here so THN won't spoil no more for you. So whats my overall verdict of this film? For it's 59 year age and relatively low budget even for it's time this film sets up some good tension which i'll add is missing quite a bit from the 88 remake. This is done by the use of more of 'what you don't see' which really works in this film, the only let down is the ending (on both this and the new) THN awards the 1958 version of the blob a solid 3 stars out of 5.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

THN Top 5: Horror Anthologies

I may have mentioned before that I love anthology type horrors, any film that includes more than one story be it linked or just separate entities i can't get enough of them.
There are some bad ones, good ones and ones that make you go meh. But one thing i have noted is that i have yet to find one that is truly god awful.
So if you've never indulged or maybe looking for a gem you may not have seen check out my top 5:

5. Twilight Zone: The Movie
This one sticks in my head because i sure apart from maybe an old hammer Horror one was the first anthology to stick in my head. Featuring a multitude of stories from a boy with immense psychic powers to a man witnessing a gremlin demon tearing up the wings of the plane he travelling on. We even get 'do you want to see something really scary?' by Dan Ackroyd which truly did make young me shit my pants lol.
It is unfortunately dated and aged now, though this is still in my books a must see for any anthology fans.

4. The ABC's of death 2
Far superior to it's predecessor with some very chilling shorts, some twisted and funny also some are unusually thought provoking. The first one is certainly funny with the inept assassin. Then the one with the Russian roulette that looks like their being forced into it, they are but for entirely different reasons you might think. If you want a more modern take on anthologies this one will be right up your street.

3. Creepshow 2
The second in the three part series, i may be jaded because this one was the first I watched then the first one. To me though this one seems more horror than the first film which has a lot more comedy elements than this one. Old chief wooden head being one of my favorites the bad guys in this short really deserve the gory end they get.
Then there's the raft which is almost the blob it certainly acts and dissolves people just like the 1988 version of the film. Although I wasn't fan of the ending to that short a little undeserved, but the last one the hitchhiker is quite funny and the repeating thanks for the ride lady is something i can never forget even after he's mangled beyond recognition.

2. Trilogy Of Terror
From way back in 1975 this is almost my favorite for one reason and one reason alone, the little Zuni doll that screams like a little idiot and seems so stupid to be scared of or killed by. But when it's shooting little arrows at you or blow pipes it's so effectively terrifying.
A big influence over other media like games, in Diablo 2 the little Zuni are an effective enemy there too. The others are great to and even though I felt Twilight zone was aged, this has to but not so bad, don't get me wrong it's old but a fun film.

1. John Carpenters Body Bags
Possibly one of the best anthology films i've seen at least in my book, this is after all my list of favorites. Three very good stories book ended by some funny moments from John Carpenter himself as the morgue attendant introducing each segment.
From hair where a poor man obsessed by his looks and losing his hair goes in for some hair loss treatment that turns out not to be what it says on the pamphlet.
The Gas station is  a typical stalker, who is the killer? type story.
The best one being Mark Hamill who loses an eye then gets a replacement from a psychotic killer only to be slowly taken over by the replacement.

These may or may not be on your lists but i'm sure you'll agree these are by far some of the best anthology films available to watch. Please take my list and decide if you want to see any of them for yourself.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Review: Beyond the Gates (2016)

Stars: Graham Skipper, Barbara Crampton

Budget: $300,000

Directed By: Jackson Stewart

Bab's is back!
That's right good old scream queen Barbara Crampton appears in this film, a homage to 80's video board game crazes.

It also, like a few movies of recent times has some heavily influences from that time period too. From the filming style to the colours and even effects.
This is a massive feat considering this was made on the incredibly small budget of £300,000. Almost in micro budget territory with such a low amount of funds.

This film is also decently acted and cut well too with some good but basic effects thrown in for good measure.
Lets get on with the film shall we.

The film shows us a happy family a mother and father with two kids playing around outside a newly opened video shop.
The kids are two brothers and they all seem pleased with the shop. as they all look on towards it as the film fades to black.

A number of years later around 20 the father has gone missing and their mother has been long dead. The two brothers (obviously now older) meet up at the store.
Apparently their father has gone missing before except this time it's been for a long time. Since it's been such a long time they are assuming the worst this time. The brothers are two very different people also, one a hard working serious type (Gordon) the other a laid back down and out (John).
Gordon lives out of town with his girlfriend Margot who is coming into town later on, he doesn't seem to enthused about coming to the town. He also seems terribly unimpressed by his brothers choices in life too. They check out his old video store and actually begin to get nostalgic as they begin to pack the videos away.

An old friend from their past shows up and is now the sheriff of the town, he gets nostalgic over a particular tape and the brothers let him take it. John starts talking about video board games as he finds them upon the shelf. near the end of the day they realise they can't get into the back room and think the key must be back at the house.

We meet Margot now and she seems to be properly in love with Gordon despite something happening between them a little while back. Gordon finds the back office key just before they go to bed.
The next day both the brothers enter their fathers backroom, which isn't what they were expecting but they do find a video board game they haven't seen before.
The put the tape in and we are treated to the opening narrative of the board game by none other than Bab's Crampton. A weird time lapse happens as they are watching the video and it's already time to pack up for home.

Back at their dad's old house they continue to play the game and learn that it's not an entirely up to scratch, in fact it's quite possibly demon possessed. They learn more about the game from some other near do wells, especially where their father bought it from.
Despite coming to the conclusion that their father has disappeared into the board game they try to leave it be but the game won't let them stop playing. So Margot, Gordon and John continue to play the game at the video's behest. There's really not that much left to say about the film, in fact we are near the end which you know i won't spoil.

That's the trouble with this film though, it builds up and builds up vey well in fact only to have the end of the film splurge it's load in the last 15 minutes, despite this the pacing is pretty decent and goes quite well from scene to scene. Not quite a 4 star but above a three star too so THN awards Beyond the gates 3 out of five stars but with a Heavy recommendation to watch.