Twenty-seven years since they first faced off and defeated Pennywise, things are getting bad in Derry again and Mike decides the time has come to call the Losers back home, to come together and fulfil their vow. An advantage the 1990 adaptation had over the modern remake is that it was conceived and commissioned as … Continue reading It Chapter Two (2019) fails to pop and leaves me feeling a little deflated
Knowing very little of the original property, I didn’t know what to expect going in to “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark”. What I got was a competently made and good looking anthology film where the framing narrative – an interesting idea in itself – is constantly interrupted by the need to service fans … Continue reading Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (2019) is a bland, timid entry suitable perhaps for patients recovering from surgery.
It’s said that the easiest way to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile is whether you see them later or in a while. This may not help with multiplex-friendly monster movie “Crawl” though, because shortly after the headline critters make their literally scenery-chewing debut, they then abruptly disappear from the movie for … Continue reading What a croc! Crawl (2019) tries to run before it can walk.
“Evil Aliens” is something of a Ronseal movie: it does exactly what it says on the tin. A gleefully grisly grindhouse indie sci-fi horror movie, it’s a shlockfest that revels in its sophomoric humour and vulgar splatter-movie aesthetic. Heavily – and obviously – influenced by Peter Jackson’s “Braindead” and Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead”, it … Continue reading Evil Aliens (2006) invades your eyeballs with shock and gore!
When 15-year-old Cassandra (Alexa Mechling) awakens to find herself on display in a casket under the vigil of her elder sister Clara (Ava Psoras) in their home. As a weak Cassandra tries to communicate her desperate attempts to be seen and heard are perceived as terrifying supernatural occurrences by her sister, forcing her to consider … Continue reading Occurrence at Mills Creek (2019) Short Film Review
In following up on “Hereditary”, Ari Aster’s sophomore effort “Midsommer” was almost predestined to become the latest yardstick by which that most rarefied strata of cinephiles would embrace to prove their bona fides. A pity, then that he has delivered a glacial two-and-a-half-hour Instagram filter with ill-founded pretentions of psychological profundity. A group of friends … Continue reading Ari Aster’s Swedish folk horror Midsommar (2019) combines the existential terror of a trip to IKEA with the crushing tedium of a trip to IKEA
I’m not the biggest fan of zombie films, especially when they’re by-the-numbers brain-eating gore-fests, or tired re-treads of ‘humanity is the real monster’ trope (looking at you, “The Walking Dead”) so I’m pleased to say that Jim Jarmusch has avoided all of those tired clichés with his trademark mischievous wit. As the end of the … Continue reading The Dead Don’t Die (2019) brings us the most laid back end of the world ever.
After the copy and paste approach to an underwhelming second season of the Duffer Brothers 80s sci-fi homage, a new tactic was desperately required to freshen up Netflix’s major USP to prevent stagnation. The good news is that the show’s creators haven’t rested on their laurels and delved into their magical sack of science fiction … Continue reading ʍǝıʌǝᴚ 3 uosɐǝS sƃuıɥ⊥ ɹǝƃuɐɹʇS
It’s clear from the moment the opening credits start that something has gone very wrong with the “Jaws” franchise. Everything instantly looks cheaper as the new production team bring in a tackier, naffer aesthetic to the whole set-up. Director Joe Alves is certainly no Steven Spielberg and he’s not even a Jeannot Swarzc but then … Continue reading Jaws 3-D (1983) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
Skulking in the shadows of the mode headline-grabbing “Sharknado” series, another franchise has been chomping its way through people’s precious time and now finds itself on its fourth instalment and sixth head. “6-Headed Shark Attack” continues the series’ strong theme of having absolutely no connection to the previous movies save for one-upping the headcount and … Continue reading 6-Headed Shark Attack (2018) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
When “Jaws” shattered box office records and blew minds in 1975, it inspired countless imitations but maybe none took as long to swim their way into cinema screens as India’s 1996 epic “Aatank”. Started in the early 1980s, it went through a couple of directors, various producers, rewrites, reshoots and even body doubles to finish … Continue reading Aatank (1996) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
By now I’m used to sharksploitation movies being garbage, but “Trailer Park Shark” takes it to a whole new level of Great White trash. Oh, and to save you some time, if you’re thinking of watching this because it ‘stars’ “Sharknado” leading lady Tara Reid, be aware she’s hardly in it at all. When the … Continue reading Trailer Park Shark (2017) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
Imbued with special powers by a toxic waste spill, mild-mannered ocean dweller Shark Kent dedicates himself to using his newfound abilities to fight for truth, justice and...nope. As fun as that movie would be, “Super Shark” is just another killer shark, bikinis and bites B-movie. It does, at least, open excitingly in media res with … Continue reading Super Shark (2011) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
In the final days of World War II, a secret experiment to weaponise sharks is shut down by the Third Reich and thought destroyed but sixty years later, a small seaside town finds itself under siege by a mysterious bloodthirsty monster - one assembled from the reanimated parts of the world’s most ferocious species of … Continue reading Sharkenstein (2016) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
“Deep Blue Sea 2” is a movie that poses a lot of questions. Not just the obvious ones like what? or why? But also 'what if the raptors from “Jurassic World” but sharks'? And what led Warner Bros to value this IP so lowly they rented it out for this generic, cheap sharksploitation flick? But … Continue reading Deep Blue Sea 2 (2018) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
Star names are no rarity when it comes to bad shark movies, but there are two distinct styles the genre adopts. Some, like say Kirsty Swanson in “Swamp Shark” are in the movie for the long haul whereas others, like Michael Madsen in this movie, were obviously filmed in a couple of hours one morning … Continue reading Megalodon (2018) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
Having consulted Google Maps and confirmed that, yes, a shark in the Ozarks in technically possible, let’s dive head first into not horror fiction, but horror fact as a family vacation to the Ozarks takes a bloodthirsty turn when killer sharks invade the picturesque waterways. “Ozark Shark” doesn’t start well. The initial bloodless shark attacks … Continue reading Ozark Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
Many shark movies focus on making the sharks big. Very big. But what happens when you make the sharks really, really, really small? That's the plan behind a government-funded project to develop tiny sharks but when weaponization turns out to be problematic, the project turns to selling them to fill the aquariums of New York’s … Continue reading Piranha Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
Behind every terrible shark movie, there is a great shark movie being ruthlessly strip-mined. With “Frenzy” (or “Surrounded” – neither of which adequately describe this cinematic cloud of squaline egesta) that film is “The Shallows”. When a group of ‘extreme adventure travel’ vloggers are stranded by the most unconvincing CGI plane crash you’ll ever have … Continue reading Frenzy (2019) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
There are great shark movies. And there are bad shark movies. And then there are great bad shark movies. Opening this year’s Shark Weak 3, we take a look at a forthcoming movie that definitely falls into that latter category. Reminiscent of Shark Weak 2’s winner of the coveted and totally not made up ‘Golden … Continue reading Bad CGI Sharks (2019) #SharkWeak3🦈 Review
As the dad of a 12-year-old boy who will imminently turn 13, there was an element of “Brightburn” which struck a chord as Tori and Kyle Breyer (Elizabeth Banks and David Denman) watch their beloved little dude turn into a sullen, moody and downright malevolent young man almost overnight. Of course, the wrinkle here is … Continue reading Brightburn (2019) brings us Batman’s worst nightmare
With the popularity of the zombie genre simply – heh – refusing to die, when What The Craggus Saw heard about “Day 66”, a new independent horror movie filming practically in our own backyard (or, more accurately, literally in the backyard of a friend of the family), we weren’t going to sleep through the end … Continue reading If you went down to the woods today, you’ll have been in for a big surprise as the dead have risen in Hampshire for “Day 66”. Surely it can’t be the apocalypse? Now?
The most horrifying thing about this lukewarm all-filler, no-killer thriller is how much on-screen talent is wasted in telling its flaccid, predictable and profoundly stupid story. When Maggie (Diana Silvers) is moved back to her mum’s hometown, she’s quick to make new friends and starts hanging out with them outside the local liquor store, hoping … Continue reading Ma (2019) doesn’t need to spike your drink to put you to sleep.
An utterly implausible B-movie thriller transformed into an effective thriller by the power of its cast, “Greta” just wants to be liked and will go to any lengths to do it. When Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) finds an abandoned handbag on the subway, she resolves to return it to its owner, Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert) … Continue reading Greta (2019) is a dark urban feminist fairy tale masquerading as a B-movie potboiler.
Hellboy (2019) is notably the movie Ed Skrein got the best notices of his entire career for – and he’s not actually in it. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to be the only good reviews this botched, bad-faith reboot is likely to get. During the Arthurian age, Nimue the Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich) is betrayed just … Continue reading Well I’ll be damned. Hellboy (2019) is a special form of purgatory.
Handsomely produced and atmospherically shot, this re-adaptation of Stephen King’s powerful exploration of grief serves to underline the key message of the original novel: it’s best to let dead things rest. Louis Creed (Jason Clarke), a doctor from Boston, moves to the small town of Ludlow in Maine to enjoy a quieter life and spend … Continue reading Pet Sematary (2019) just goes to show that when it comes to certain stories, sometimes read is better.
Relentlessly charming, funny and constantly surprising, “Dave Made A Maze” mixes comedy, horror and fantasy for a richly rewarding, stylistic treat. Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a cardboard box fort in his living room while his girlfriend is out and finds himself trapped within it. Despite … Continue reading Bill Watterson boxes clever with quirky comedy horror Dave Made A Maze (2019)
Planting its tongue firmly in cheek, the sequel to 2017’s delightfully peppy “Happy Death Day” takes the timey-wimey slasher story and gives it a decidedly sci-fi twist that sees it play out like an over-caffeinated mash-up of “Back To The Future Part II” and “Russian Doll”. Finding himself trapped in a time loop on Tuesday … Continue reading Happy Death Day 2 U (2019) brings us a happy return to the big screen for Jessica Rothe
There’s a laziness to “Escape Room” that’s hard to shake off. From its cookie-cutter characters to its predictable checkbox approach to disposing of its cast, it can’t seem to find the will to try and differentiate itself from its obvious influences. When six strangers receive mysterious invitations to participate in an Escape Room, they quickly … Continue reading Escape Room (2019) will have you searching for the nearest exit too.
What if “The Happening” but actually, you know, pretty good? That seems to be the starting point for “Bird Box”, an apocalyptic horror from producer/ star Sandra Bullock and director Susanne Bier, adapted from Josh Malerman’s novel by screenwriter Eric Heisserer (“Arrival”, “Lights Out”). When a malevolent force manifests on Earth, it causes a wave … Continue reading It’s the blind leading the blind in Netflix’s post-partum apocalypse thriller Bird Box (2018) Review
*SPOILERS* Shirt watch: Blue This week, it’s Doctor wHomage as we get spooky and surreal and writer Ed Hime brings us a Whovian spin on some familiar horror tropes. Having arrived back in the present, the Doctor, Graham, Yaz and Ryan find themselves in Norway. Intrigued by a nearby cottage, the gang investigate only to … Continue reading Doctor Who: It Takes You Away (S11E09) Review
It takes nerve and vision to remake something as cinematically revered as “Suspiria” so there’s no doubting director Luca Guadagnino’s ambition and confidence. In reimagining the sacred, Guadagnino manages to take the bones of the original and reshape them into something disturbingly new and yet primally familiar. A darkness lurks at the heart of the … Continue reading Suspiria (2018) Review
*SPOILERS* Shirt Watch: Blue (I’m the only person doing shirt watch, aren’t I?) If last week’s episode was a move towards Doctor Who orthodoxy, “The Witchfinders” positively revels in Doctor Who tropery and it’s all the better for it. I found myself hunting for something to snark about and being thwarted at each turn by … Continue reading Doctor Who: The Witchfinders (S11E08) Review
Nerve-shreddingly tense, atmospheric and exquisitely crafted, “Possum” is an artisanal horror movie, the craft of both cast and crew shining through in every detail. When a disgraced children’s puppeteer is forced to return to his childhood home, he must confront his wicked stepfather and the secrets which have haunted his entire life, personified by his … Continue reading Possum (2018) Review
Twenty years before “Black Panther”, Marvel partnered with New Line to release a black-led superhero movie which would see them help kick-start the current superhero boom as well as changing the course of their movie adaptations to that point. Born as his mother was dying from a vampire attack, Blade (Wesley Snipes) possesses all of … Continue reading Blade (1998) 20th Anniversary Review
If Hammer House Of Horror had produced “Spaced”, the result could have been a lot like “Slaughterhouse Rulez”. A common room home brew of British Boarding School classics like “If….” and “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (the 1969 version specifically) mixed with “Ghostbusters” and dash of “Harry Potter”, this intoxicatingly lowbrow comedy horror offers a novel spin … Continue reading Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018) Review
In the build-up to D-Day, Private Boyce (Jovan Adepo) and Corporal Ford (Wyatt Russell) believe they’re the only survivors of an ill-fated paratrooper mission behind enemy lines to knock out a radar jamming post so the Allies can provide air support for the beach landings. They eventually meet up with a few more survivors of … Continue reading Overlord (2018) Review
What better way to close out #Dractober than with a brand new interpretation of the legend of Bram Stoker’s celebrated vampire from the visionary director of “Suspiria”? Well, as it turns out, probably quite a few things. During the Walpurgis Night celebrations in the Carpathian village of Passo Borgo, a young couple sneak off into … Continue reading Argento’s Dracula 3D (2012) Dractober Review
British comedy horror is a bit of a dicey prospect at the best of times. For every “Shaun Of The Dead” there are a dozen “Lesbian Vampire Slayers”, so when “Double Date” popped up on the old Sky Q box, I was wary but willing. Jim (Danny Morgan) is about to turn thirty and his … Continue reading Double Date (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review
“The Batman” is one animated incarnation of Batman which passed me by, but he seems to have been the only one I can find who tangled with the Prince Of Darkness himself. Walking a slightly darker path than the more kid-friendly TV series did, this feature-length direct-to-DVD spin-off features not only the title combatants but … Continue reading The Batman vs Dracula (2005) Dractober Review
Universal have been trying to resurrect their Dark Universe for a lot longer than you may think. Back in 2004, emboldened by the quick one-two hits of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns”, they decided to give director Stephen Sommers the whole Universal Monster toy box. Unfortunately, what he came up with was a textbook … Continue reading Van Helsing (2004) Dractober Review
A reimagining before reimaginings were ‘cool’, “Dracula 2000” – released a mere nine days before the end of the year 2000 in America and therefore in 2001 everywhere else brings the myth of Dracula into the modern millennial age, without a smashed avocado or deconstructed cold-brew oat-milk latte in sight. When a group of thieves … Continue reading Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 (2001) Dractober Review
A blackly comic metafictional account of the making of “Nosferatu”, positing the idea that F W Murnau was prepared to go to any lengths in order to capture his masterwork, even turning a blind eye to the real-life vampire he has found to ‘play’ Count Orlok. Supported by a great performance from John Malkovich as … Continue reading Shadow Of The Vampire (2000) Dractober Review
It may open with a Hammer-esque galloping horse and carriage but this Mel Brooks spoof has the whole Dracula oeuvre in its sights. From Lugosi to Coppola, Brooks and his co-writers leave no coffin unopened in the search for gags. A pity, then, that they found so few. When Renfield (a wildly overacting Peter MacNicol) … Continue reading Dracula: Dead And Loving It (1995) Dractober Review
Having secured the title rights to the name “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”, Francis Ford Coppola set out to bring his vision of the Dracula legend to unlife, the first straight ‘Dracula’ adaptation for thirteen years. Believing the fiancée of young solicitor Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) to be the reincarnation of his dead wife, centuries-old Count Dracula … Continue reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) Dractober Review
Initially, I accidentally started watching the German language version of this film (Herzog made two versions, one in German and one in English rather than use dubbing) but it took me a while to realise it such is the visual power of the movie. I’m pretty sure I could have continued to watch the film … Continue reading Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979) Dractober Review
There’s something inherently funny about the idea of an individual as famously permatanned as George Hamilton portraying the notoriously sun-shy Count Dracula but it’s not quite enough to lift this dated and lightweight comedy above the ordinary. Evicted from his ancestral Castle by the Communist government of Romania who plan to turn it into a … Continue reading Love At First Bite (1979) Dractober Review
Back in 1979, Universal dusted off its back catalogue and made plans to make a feature film featuring Dracula for the first time since 1948. And they didn’t even think to wrap a whole shared universe around it, dark or otherwise. Ah, those were the days! Shipwrecked off Whitby, Count Dracula (Frank Langella), the apparent … Continue reading Dracula (1979) Dractober Review
This is a real dogs’ dinner of a Dracula movie. It would have been risible nonsense if it had been played for laughs as a comedy but as a deadly serious horror movie, it’s more dog’s egg than dog’s bollocks, and it owes its entire plot to the idea that Dracula once got so hungry, … Continue reading Zoltan: Hound Of Dracula (1977) Dractober Review
Seeing as I first watched and reviewed the original 1978 “Halloween” for last year’s #MonthOfSpooks, it makes sense that I’d pick up this one for this year’s, especially as I still haven’t got around to seeing any of the other “Halloween” movies so this franchise timeline – the fifth so far – is the only … Continue reading Halloween (2018) Review