07 February 2018

Happy Death Day 2017 - REVIEW

Groundhog Day (1993) is quite the masterpiece for it's time and continues to hold up well today. It's such a fun movie that countless other films have tried to mimic it's greatness but none have ever come close to measuring up, in my opinion anyway. TV shows like Charmed, Supernatural and even The X-Files have had episodes that involved some sort of time loop. So why not a horror movie?

After a night of partying, self centered college student, Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) wakes up in the dorm room of Carter Davis (Israel Broussard). Confused and embarrassed, she quickly dresses and goes about her day as usual. Later that night, as she's headed to a party, she's murdered by an unknown assailant. Next thing she knows, she's waking up in Carter's room again and the day starts over again. She, of course, writes off all the familiar happenings as deja vu, at least until she's headed back to the party. Creeped out, she decides to go a different way and ends up being killed again. When she finally figures out what's going on, she realizes in order to stop the cycle, she has to find out who wants her dead and why.

Honestly, I didn't have high hopes for this movie. Admittedly, I haven't been watching a ton of movies lately but main stream horror hasn't been really given me the urge to do so either. However, Happy Death Day was refreshingly clever. It gets moving pretty quickly and doesn't let up much at all. It's like a riding a roller coater for the first time. Given the amount of times Tree is killed, the death scenes were quite creative. It's like director Christopher Landon and writer Scott Lobdell sat down in a room together and asked, "Ok, how many different ways can we kill someone?", then just went for it and nailed it. I appreciate that they didn't go over board with elaborate kills and shove blood and gore down the audience's throat. Sometimes simple is better and it's nice to see a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously. They knew going in what they were going for and made it look easy.

Speaking of making things look easy, Rothe definitely steals the show with her performance. She brings a lot of life to an otherwise unlikable character and does an incredible job conveying growth over the course of the movie. It takes a special writer and actor to make an audience root for such an obnoxious character. In fact, I found that every actor involved did a pretty outstanding job. Rothe and Broussard mesh well together and I can see each of them doing more great things in the future.

While the film is far from perfect, it is tremendously fun. It has a great mix of horror, comedy and, dare I say, even a little romance. It's a rare thing to see a slasher movie take all those elements and successfully bring them together. If you're a fan of the slasher genre, do yourself a favor and watch it. And, I hear they're working on a second part as well so here's to hoping it's as good as this one.

13 January 2018

Amityville: The Awakening 2017 - REVIEW

For a long time I didn't think this movie was ever going to be released.  Countless times it was pushed back from the theatrical release till they finally pulled it for good and just released it straight to dvd.  Nevertheless I still was pretty enthused to see a new entry to an Amityville franchise that isn't that all impressive.  I actually enjoy the first 4 but then they get a little too cheesy and just bad after that.

I have to say I really liked Awakening.  I know that is not a popular opinion but I thought the cast was great and really just not a bad movie.  I am not giving this a raving review but if you are familiar with the franchise it certainly is better than most of them. 

Joan (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a desperate Mother that will try anything to cure her  son (Cameron Monaghan) who has been in a coma for a couple years.  She believes the Amityville house's powers will bring him out of his condition and all will be good again.  Joan fails to tell the rest of her family about the house's history and the real reason they moved there.  This is something that her teenage daughter Belle (Bella Thorne) has to find out for herself. 

I was a little hesitant to watch this after all the delays and people saying how bad it was but i already loved who was in it.  The acting to me did not disappoint.  Jennifer Jason Leigh may not be as young as she once was but she still has a presence about her and young stars Cameron Monaghan  from Shameless and Bella Thorne are excellent as well.  I would give this film 6 out of 10 stars.  Definately recommend giving this one a chance.  There are a few scenes that were so creepy they made me uncomfortable.  Stay twisted everyone

20 August 2017

Billy Club 2013 - REVIEW

Aaaaaand, we're back! I would like to give you some fluff and bullshit about why I haven't reviewed anything lately. I'd like to use the excuse that I've been to busy but that's not true. The truth is, for a while, independent films just beat me down. Most that we were getting were lackadaisical and uninspired and quite frankly, weren't even worth wasting the time to review them. I pride myself on being brutally honest when it comes to reviewing and it started feeling more like I was just beating a dead horse. However, I am also stubborn as hell and refuse to let the website that I put so much effort into for so many years simply dry up and die. So.... onward and upward!!

Fifteen years after a gruesome triple homicide devastated their Little League baseball team, four friends (Erin Hammond, Marshall Caswell, Mathew Dunlop, Nick Sommer) reunite to commemorate their dead coach and fallen teammates. A mystery unfolds as the secrets from their past return to haunt them and a vengeful killer, hidden by an antique umpire's mask, returns to even the score.

I have to admit, I didn't have high hopes for this one. For some reason, the artwork and title of the film didn't give me a great feeling. Yes, I'm a judgmental bitch, BUT, I am completely ecstatic to say that I was wrong. 

The film is well shot and the acting, for the most part, is on point and much better than you normally see in lower budget indie films. However, the film is not without it's flaws. There are some flashbacks that drag on a little long but are needed to round out the story. As always, I appreciate the use of practical effects and the majority of them were well done, there was a face smash effect that blew me away, but there were also some that fell a little short (final scene). However, none of those things take away from the overall watchability of the film. Written and directed by Nick Sommer and Drew Rosas, Billy Club is an old fashioned slasher with a little bit of comedy mixed in to make it an enjoyable ride.  

Besetment Coming to DVD September 5

Uncork'd Entertainment invites you to a hotel of horrors this September with Brad Douglas’s highly anticipated thriller/chiller Besetment.

Besetment stars Abby Wathen (The Bay) as a young woman who takes a hotel position in a small town where she ends up fighting for her life.

Amanda Millard, struggling and desperate for a job, takes a position at a hotel in a small town in Oregon. It’s a creepy, back country kind of town but owners Mildred Colvin and her son Billy seem nice enough at first. It’s not long before Amanda discovers their real intentions, and her struggle to make a living becomes a nightmarish fight for her life.

Besetment won first place at the recent Rhode Island Vortex Horror Film Festival.

Abby Wathen and, Marlyn Mason (The Trouble with Girls) star with Michael Meyer, Douglas Rowe, Lindsea Kline, Greg James, Hannah Barefoot, John T. Woods, Sonya Davis, Max Gutfreund, Liam O'Sruitheain, Sadndra Doolittle, Tanner McCullough, Ashley Layton, Nona Bigham, and Edward Simper in a Brad Douglas film.

Besetment hits DVD September 5.

Studio: Uncork'd Entertainment
Director: Brad Douglas
Cast : Abby Wathen, Marlyn Mason

Terror Films Releases I Know You're in There

Horror genre distributor Terror Films is releasing I Know You’re in There today, August 18th!

I Know You’re in There was written and directed by Robert Lawson Gordon. The film stars: Will Hurst, Grainne McDermott, Mindee de Lacey and Karin Lee. In the story, Tom Redding (Hurst), after his mother’s suicide, discovers that he has a sister named Chloe (McDermott). Chloe is catatonic and completely paralyzed. Later, Tom takes her on a trip to their dead mother’s isolated home partly - in hopes of documenting her rare illness. Their bonding time is disrupted by unexpected twists into madness as a supernatural evil presents itself.

The film has been met with some critical acclaim. Wicked Channel has stated: “…the story is kick-ass and the suspense in the film is ever present.” Peter ‘Witchfinder’ Hopkins of Horrorscreams Videovault states: “if you like…a story that keeps you hooked, check out I Know You’re in There.”

In their ongoing effort to bring the best and most diverse indie horror content to the masses, Terror Films will release this film across multiple digital platforms. Platforms include: iTunes, Amazon Instant/Prime, Vudu, Google Play/You Tube, X-Box Live and many others. The release begins with North America and will be followed up by a worldwide digital release on idlix. 

Official trailer:

For more information on Terror Films, visit: www.terrorfilms.net and Facebook

06 January 2017

TheBloodShed Launches New PPV Horror Site

Johnny Macabre and TheBloodShed have announced the launch of www.IBleedIndie.com - a first of its kind VOD website dedicated to promoting American indie and international horror films.

There are many indie film makers who don't want to deal with sales agents and distributors. They choose instead to self distribute. And this choice says nothing of the quality of the films themselves as there are some amazing horror movies released in this manner. But, while it leaves the film makers with full control of their movie, it also severely limits what they can do with it. One area it limits is their VOD options. A self distributed film's only real options before now have been creator-operated Youtube or Vimeo channels.

This is where IBleedIndie.com comes in. The site offers a PPV platform for indie horror films, all the while allowing the film makers to keep all rights to their film in non-exclusive agreements where they receive 90% of all revenue from rentals.

We launched with over 100 feature films with more on the way and a good handful of short films as well. Features on our site rent for 72 hour periods for $3, shorts for $1. Select films are also available for digital download.

We have films from literally dozens of amazing indie horror film makers and have even gotten on board several indie-friendly distributors like Wild Eye Releasing, Brink Vision, Self Destruct, Cinema Epoch, SGL, and Artsploitation. Titles include: Japan's HORROR STORIES, AMITYVILLE: THE VANISHING POINT, the Romanian shocker BE MY CAT: A FILM FOR ANNE, the Slovenian KILLBILLIES and the American ALL HELL BREAK LOOSE.

You can keep up to date by following us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IBleedIndieVOD/ or going to the website at www.ibleedindie.com

Stray 2015 - REVIEW by Jay Pendlebury

I have always felt that if a movie can stay in your thoughts after the viewing it has succeeded. Horror movies in particular I think are successful this way. I have movies on my must watch list for those who haven't seen them that I hesitate to re-watch myself because of this reason. They affected me, stayed in my head and possibly disturbed me somewhat. I appreciate the ones that elicit this reaction if it is integral to the plot. Yes gore and violence for gore and violence's sake are fun too for us horror fans but something that is beyond eye candy is needed now and then to feed the soul.

2015's Stray directed by Nena Eskridge is not my definition of a horror movie. It is however an extremely honest and sincere effort that will elicit feelings from the viewer. This, as I said previously, falls under my definition of successful as a film. It is an extremely slow burning plot that builds and builds to an even more extremely sad ending. I hesitate to call this movie depressing because that suggests its of poor quality. Depressing maybe the most accurate description though. While not an overly shocking ending or horror movie gory payoff at the end, it creeps up and "gets you in the feels" for lack of a better description.

Stray centres on Jennifer, played by Gabrielle Stone. She's homeless and we see her do what she must to survive and get what she wants. Jennifer is a complex character who reveals more and more of herself emotionally as the story goes on. Gabrielle does an excellent job as she shows us every side to herself, changing how you feel about her every step of the way. Once her basic needs are fulfilled she attempts to fill other voids in her life. Such as a relationship

She stumbles upon Greg, played by Dan McGlaughlin, and once her sights on set on him, nothing gets in her way. Greg's girlfriend Sarah (Samantha Fairfield Walsh) see's what Jennifer is attempting but becomes powerless to stop her. Greg's mother Edna (Arita Trahan) sees something else in Jennifer, and relates to her somewhat. This all leads to the characters getting caught in Jennifer's wave of destruction whether intended or not. I hesitate to say much more at risk of spoiling your own feelings and opinions of Jennifer. She ranges from "Fatal Attraction" to relatable and the key to the plot is the discovery along the way. Her story is what leads me to my depressing description when I could relate to Jennifer's hopelessness in the end.

The film itself is of great quality. It does not feel like an indie picture at all. I did find the slow burning plot almost painful at times but like any good picture everything is justified by the end. Every actor does an excellent job with their role. Nena Eskridge does a great job of directing and gets some great camera angles and shots. I wouldn't call this a must watch movie and quite frankly if you are feeling sad or depressed I would encourage you not to watch it because it is so successful at taking you on Jennifer's journey. I think this was a very well done movie and is worth a watch. Don't expect true horror but please keep an open mind and be wary of who you help along the way.