Better Watch Out (2017) Review

Beaten to the Christmas punch by Netflix’ “The Babysitter”, “Better Watch Out” is the latest home inversion thriller to try to shake up the genre, a sort of festive slasher snow globe of adolescent toxic masculinity and entitlement. In the snowy suburbs, a babysitter finds herself having to defend her twelve-year-old charge from a home … Continue reading Better Watch Out (2017) Review

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017) Review

Colin Farrell faces Rosemary’s Sophie’s Choice in “The Killing Of A Sacred Deer”, the latest movie from cinematic provoc-auteur Yorgos Lanthimos. Blending classic Greek tragedy, existential horror, psychological drama and medical thriller, it’s a challengingly twisted mystery, an Art-“House, M.D.” Dr Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell), a renowned cardiovascular surgeon lives a seemingly perfect life with … Continue reading The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (2017) Review

Jigsaw (2017) Review

I have some friends who are super into ‘Escape Room’ puzzles. I kind of wished they were with me when I saw “Jigsaw”, so they could offer me some tips on the fastest escape route from the cinema. It’s not quite cut-your-own-foot-off-to-avoid-watching bad, but it’s pretty close. Ten years after the notorious serial killer Jigsaw’s … Continue reading Jigsaw (2017) Review

Happy Death Day (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

For my final #MonthOfSpooks review of the year, I went to see one of the few horror movies which have been released in cinemas for Halloween this year, meaning I started with 1931’s “Dracula” and finished with 2017’s “Happy Death Day”. I ended up watching this film an hour or so after watching the latest episode … Continue reading Happy Death Day (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

I Am Alone (2015) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Hello cupcakes! Today I’m going to share with you my thoughts on indie zombie flick “I Am Alone”.  Bottom line with this film is I really enjoyed it.  It’s not perfect, but it’s well worth a watch. When an unknown virus begins infecting the local population almost instantly, the CDC uncovers footage of one man, … Continue reading I Am Alone (2015) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Witches (1990) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Much as Ian Fleming did with “Dr. No”, Roald Dhal dismissed the film version of his novel “The Witches” as ‘utterly appalling’ and much like Fleming was, he’s was being far too harsh. When Luke’s parents are killed in a car accident, his Norwegian grandmother Helga (Mai Zetterling) accompanies him back to England, regaling him … Continue reading The Witches (1990) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Monster House (2006) #MonthOfSpooks Review

A family-friendly horror movie seems like an oxymoron, but it’s exactly what 2006’s “Monster House” is. It has all the hallmarks and ingredients you’d expect from a really good haunted house movie, it's structured exactly the way a 'real' horror movie would be, except you can watch it with your kids. When DJ, his best … Continue reading Monster House (2006) #MonthOfSpooks Review

To The Devil A Daughter (1976) #MonthOfSpooks Review

I’ve often used @TheMarckoGuy’s #Month Of Spooks as a chance to catch up on classic horror movie’s I’ve never seen before but this year, I decided to revisit a film which freaked me all the way out when I first saw it at probably far too young an age. John Verney (Richard Widmark) is an … Continue reading To The Devil A Daughter (1976) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Monster Squad (1987) #MonthOfSpooks Review

As the years went past and cinematic tastes changed, Universal’s Monsters found a new home as beloved perennial TV favourites, gathering new generations of fans year after year and breaking out into popular culture through Saturday morning cartoons and reinterpretations. As the cinema reinvented and reinterpreted the creations, Universal’s pantheon continued to be the benchmark … Continue reading The Monster Squad (1987) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Babysitter (2017) Review

Slashing its way onto Netflix this Friday 13th, McG’s “The Babysitter” is a Hallowe’en “Home Alone” delight. When his parents leave for a weekend getaway, 12-year-old Cole (Judah Lewis) doesn’t really mind that he’s the only kid in his class who still has a Babysitter. And, to be fair, who would if their babysitter was … Continue reading The Babysitter (2017) Review

Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) #MonthOfSpooks Review

For over a decade, Universal had been content to recycle and remix their roster of monsters in increasingly crowded crossovers, even matching them up with Abbott and Costello for a fun-filled romp but the world was changing, and with it the audience’s taste for terror. The full moon might have been setting on the gothic … Continue reading Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Ritual (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

A quick, contemporary #MonthOfSpooks detour, looking at “The Ritual”, released in UK cinemas on Friday 13th. Based on the novel by Adam Nevill, the movie takes us into the woods for a chilling supernatural survival horror that would put even Bear Grylls off his grubs. When a group of friends’ lad’s night out ends in tragedy … Continue reading The Ritual (2017) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) #MonthOfSpooks #Review

Having pioneered the 'shared universe' concept by producing a slew of crossover monster movies, Universal decided to go one meta step further and crossover movie genres as well. Tempting Bela Lugosi back to arguably his most famous role as "Dracula", as well as Lon Chaney Jr as "The Wolf Man" and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's … Continue reading Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) #MonthOfSpooks #Review

The Wolf Man (1941) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Universal originally tried to introduce werewolves to its roster of monsters in 1935’s “Werewolf Of London” but the film flopped at the box office and it would be another six years before Universal would shoot for the moon once again. After learning of the death of his brother, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr) returns to … Continue reading The Wolf Man (1941) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Initially reluctant to do a sequel to the smash hit “Frankenstein”, director James Whale finally relented when Universal agreed to give him full creative control. With the studio out of his way, the only thing standing between Whale and his ultimate vision was Joseph Breen and the Hays Code. Having survived the inferno at the … Continue reading Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Invisible Man (1933) #MonthOfSpooks Review

There’s a real shock right at the start of Universal’s “The Invisible Man” as it proudly proclaims its membership of the NRA. Thankfully, it’s a reference to President Franklin D Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration of 1933 and not the politicised mass murder apologists of today. Good job too, because “The Invisible Man” needs no help … Continue reading The Invisible Man (1933) #MonthOfSpooks Review

The Mummy (1932) #MonthOfSpooks Review

“The Mummy” is the first of Universal’s monster movies to be based on an original idea instead of being adapted directly from an existing work. What it lacks in pedigree, it makes up for in classy production values, attention to detail and continuing the series’ surprising subtextual depth. Where “Dracula” was all about sex and … Continue reading The Mummy (1932) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Frankenstein (1931) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Universal’s 1931 production of “Frankenstein” opens with a preamble from actor Edward Van Sloan stepping from behind a curtain and delivering a brief cautionary announcement before the opening credits ‘How do you do? Mr Carl Laemmle [the movie’s producer] feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a friendly word … Continue reading Frankenstein (1931) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Flatliners (1990) Review

Nineties with a capital 9, stripped of the rose-coloured shroud of nostalgia, Joel Schumacher’s morbid thriller emphasises the ‘flat’ in “Flatliners”. Inspired by the near-death experiences of patients, a  group of brilliant, ambitious medical students decide to probe beyond the veil to establish empirically what happens when you die. But as each of them becomes … Continue reading Flatliners (1990) Review

Star Trek: Discovery – Context Is For Kings (S1E03) Review

*SPOILERS* Oh, “Star Trek: Discovery”, you’re a cunning one. Here we are on our third date and you know what that means. Do we have a future together or was it just a brief fling? No wonder you kept the best of your new goodies until this episode. Because make no mistake, “Context Is For … Continue reading Star Trek: Discovery – Context Is For Kings (S1E03) Review

Dracula (1931) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Once again, What The Craggus Saw is joining in with TheMarckoGuy’s Month Of Spooks. Last year, it prompted me to finally get around to watching the classic Hallowe'en movie, “Halloween”. This year, I’ve used it as an excuse to go all the way back to where modern cinema horror began, exploring the original Universal Monster … Continue reading Dracula (1931) #MonthOfSpooks Review

Gerald’s Game (2017) Review

I vividly remember reading “Gerald’s Game” the first time, because it’s maybe the only book that’s ever made me physically jump while reading it. On first consideration, Stephen King's story of psychological survival horror, notably lacking in overtly supernatural elements, would seem unfilmable yet writer/ director Mike Flanagan (“Oculus”) has nevertheless fashioned the twisted tale … Continue reading Gerald’s Game (2017) Review

mother! (2017) Review

I have a near-pathological dislike of people coming into my home uninvited or unannounced. I remember when we first moved into the house we live in, it had a front door which, if it was unlocked, you could just open and walk in, as friends, relatives and in-laws were wont to do. Now, don’t get … Continue reading mother! (2017) Review

Harbinger Down (2015) Review

In 2010, Amalgamated Dynamics were hired to create the practical special effects for the 2011 “The Thing” prequel. Before the film was released, however, the majority of the effects work was digitally replaced in post-production by CGI. Amalgamated Dynamics were apparently pretty upset about it – it wasn’t the first film they’d been involved in … Continue reading Harbinger Down (2015) Review

Vampires Suck (2010) Review

I’m unapologetically fond of dumb spoof movies. I’m sorry, but that’s just how I am. Oh, I can embrace the abstract intellectualism of Jonathan Glazer or disdain the nihilistic art house pretension of Nicholas Winding Refn till the cows come home, but a little bit of me is forever the sniggering school kid who watched, … Continue reading Vampires Suck (2010) Review

It (2017) Review

I remember when I first saw “Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone” in the cinema, it was one of the strangest cinema experiences of my life. I didn’t feel like I’d just watched a film of the boy wizard’s adventures, I just felt like I’d re-read the first book in two and half hours, so … Continue reading It (2017) Review

It (1990) Review

A lot of people have been going back to rewatch (or maybe watch for the first time) the 1990 TV movie adaptation of Stephen King’s “It” in anticipation of the forthcoming feature film remake. And why not? Dated as it is, there’s a lot to like but it’s almost solely renowned for one central performance: … Continue reading It (1990) Review

The Limehouse Golem (2017) Review

On the surface, “The Limehouse Golem” seems like just another Victorian murder mystery, a Sherlockian tribute act riffing off the legend of Jack The Ripper but it’s what beneath the surface, behind the façade that drives the narrative and gives it a thematic power which helps it rise above its clichéd although handsomely executed trappings. … Continue reading The Limehouse Golem (2017) Review

The Dark Tower (2017) Review

I’m a pretty big Stephen King fan, although admittedly I’ve been a bit lax in keeping up with the prolific author’s output since around “Cell”. The first time I read “The Stand”, I did it in one sitting, forgoing sleep to finish it sometime in the early hours of Sunday morning (having started it on … Continue reading The Dark Tower (2017) Review

Shin Godzilla (2017) Review

The first ever Japanese production to completely reboot the venerable monster’s movie series, “Shin Godzilla” is so called because it’s deliberately ambiguous (written in katakana instead of kanji) and can be interpreted as ‘new’, ‘god’ or ‘evolved’ and not, disappointingly, because the makers made the gutsy decision to stick with the ordinary Japanese citizen’s perspective … Continue reading Shin Godzilla (2017) Review

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017) Review

As I hope #SharkWeak has proved, I’m a  huge fan of Shark movies, be they the prime cuts like “Jaws”, the gourmet burgers such as “Deep Blue Sea” or the dirty kebab van sustenance of SyFy original movies. I can tolerate wooden acting and look past the occasionally shoddy special effects (I grew up watching … Continue reading Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017) Review

The Last Shark (1981) #SharkWeak Review

“Jaws” was a huge box office success, one of – if not the first – bona fide summer blockbusters and in its wake came many, many crappy cash-ins, like remoras swimming after a real shark. “The Last Shark” is one of the most blatant – and most entertainingly laughable – remoran rip-offs out there. Produced … Continue reading The Last Shark (1981) #SharkWeak Review

Dinoshark (2010) #SharkWeak Review

The film opens with a baby Dinoshark swimming away from a broken chunk of Arctic glacier that calved due to global warming. Three apparently uneventful years later, the Dinoshark is a ferocious predatory adult and starts killing tourists and locals off the shores of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Our hero, Trace, is the first to notice … Continue reading Dinoshark (2010) #SharkWeak Review

Sharktopus vs Whalewolf (2015) #SharkWeak Review

Unreleased and, so far, unbroadcast in the UK, "Sharktopus vs Whalewolf" sees the return of the sharp toothed tentacled menace, this time getting tangled up in genetic experimentation and voodoo as he does battle with the fearsome Whalewolf. Oh yeah, SPOILER ALERT: Sharktopus survives the events of “Sharktopus vs Pteracuda”. Shark Weak veteran Casper Van Dien … Continue reading Sharktopus vs Whalewolf (2015) #SharkWeak Review

Sharktopus vs Pteracuda (2014) #SharkWeak Review

SyFy movie! Some fun, all gimmicks Two creature ideas go round having fights Round having fights, round having fights Two creature ideas go round having fights Round having fights, round having fights Guess who's back? Back again? Sharktopus! Tell a friend Guess who's back? guess who's back? Guess who's back? guess who's back? They created … Continue reading Sharktopus vs Pteracuda (2014) #SharkWeak Review

Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002) #SharkWeak Review

Make no mistake, this is the movie Jason Statham's forthcoming “Meg” needs to beat. “Shark Attack 3” completely ignores the previous two films (returning cast member Jenny McShane plays a completely different character) and moves the action from South Africa to Mexico. Ariba! This time out our biggest ‘name’ is John Barrowman. Ay ay ay, … Continue reading Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002) #SharkWeak Review

Shark Attack 2 (2000) #SharkWeak Review

“Shark Attack 2”, the imaginatively named follow-up to 1999’s “Shark Attack” opens, as is traditional, with an unexpected shark attack. This time it’s a pair of scuba diving sisters and only one of them makes it back alive, albeit after managing to injure her attacker. For a brief moment, I wondered if we were in … Continue reading Shark Attack 2 (2000) #SharkWeak Review

Shark Attack (1999) #SharkWeak Review

If you’re worried that we’ve moved beyond the era of movie star led shark shenanigans, never fear: “Shark Attack” (kudos on the effort in titling this one, guys) brings us none other than Casper Van Dien and Ernie Hudson. Yes, the stars of “Starship Troopers”, “Ghostbusters” and “Congo” are giving up bugs and spooks and … Continue reading Shark Attack (1999) #SharkWeak Review

Planet Of The Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak Review

“Planet Of The Sharks” is the selachian sequel to “Waterworld” that nobody needed or even asked for. This is as high concept as SyFy movies come and, surprisingly, it’s actually pretty good fun. In the future, climate change has completely melted the polar ice caps and the entire world is under water. Humanity survives in … Continue reading Planet Of The Sharks (2016) #SharkWeak Review

Jaws: The Revenge (1987) #SharkWeak Review

Among this movie’s few achievements is the coining of the instantly cliché tag line ‘This time it’s personal’. It also, like many “Jaws” fans, pretty much ignores “Jaws 3” completely, although not – it has to be said – to deliver a higher quality and more fitting end to the “Jaws” saga. When Sean Brody … Continue reading Jaws: The Revenge (1987) #SharkWeak Review

Bait (2013) #SharkWeak Review

Well, this is unexpected. Often found lurking in bargain bins or the same ‘you may like’ suggestions as “Sharknado” and “Sharktopus”, “Bait” is actually a pretty decent film. The opening scenes feature a beach that actually looks like a beach (and not a scrubby waterfront). There’s actual cinematography and decent acting. I’m all in on … Continue reading Bait (2013) #SharkWeak Review

Sharktopus (2010) #SharkWeak Review

Leaving behind the shark + topographical feature formula, “Sharktopus” takes the opposite tack and raises the concept to dizzying new heights by splicing our predatory protagonist with the DNA of another famous movie monster. Commissioned by the US Navy, Dr Nathan Sands (Eric Roberts) creates a genetic hybrid between a great white shark and an … Continue reading Sharktopus (2010) #SharkWeak Review

Avalanche Sharks (2014) #SharkWeak Review

“Avalanche Sharks” offers us a grab bag of plot elements as native American supernatural snow shark spirits come back to haunt the residents and visitors of a ski resort. The film does actually provide an avalanche but it’s not really that integral to the plot. Originally planned as a sequel to “Sand Sharks”, it’s another … Continue reading Avalanche Sharks (2014) #SharkWeak Review

Sand Sharks (2012) #SharkWeak Review

Well would you look at this, a faint vestige of production values and technical ability! We even have a star name attached (Corin Nemec, “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”, “Stargate: SG-1”). Now, there is actually a species of shark named sand shark but this film has little use for them. Instead, we’re still stuck with the … Continue reading Sand Sharks (2012) #SharkWeak Review

Jurassic Shark (2011) #SharkWeak Review

Another shark movie, another Spielberg pun and it turns out that I didn’t judge “Raiders Of The Lost Shark” harshly enough, because one of its writers should have known better given they directed this errant nonsense some three years earlier. Welcome…to “Jurassic Shark”. When an oil company unwittingly unleashes a prehistoric shark from its icy … Continue reading Jurassic Shark (2011) #SharkWeak Review

Raiders Of The Lost Shark (2015) #SharkWeak Review

Sharks are fascinating creatures, worthy of protection and study, their place in the oceanic food chain more complex and precious than we realised. But we’re not here for a nature documentary. No, no no. We’re here to revel in the myth of the shark as nature’s soulless, remorseless, evil, killing machine and sensationalist budget movies’ … Continue reading Raiders Of The Lost Shark (2015) #SharkWeak Review

The Lost Boys (1987) Review

For a film that prides itself on a promise that you’ll ‘never grow old’, “The Lost Boys” has betrayed us all and turns 30 this year, released on this date all the way back in 1987. I watched it recently for the first time in maybe ten years and it still holds up pretty well … Continue reading The Lost Boys (1987) Review

47 Metres Down (2017) Review

“47 Metres Down” might have the alluring lustre of a cinema release, but under the surface lurks the silent, gliding cliché of just another dumb shark movie. I gave serious consideration to folding this review into #SharkWeak but I’m feeling generous and although “47 Metres Down” makes some mistakes, it’s nowhere near “Sharknado” bad. Sisters … Continue reading 47 Metres Down (2017) Review

Monster Island (2017) Review

Exclusive to Cineworld Cinemas in the UK (although I suspect the bidding wasn’t particularly fierce), “Monster Island” is running in their Movies For Juniors range as a school holiday time waster. When young Lucas transforms into a monster in front of his entire class at the coolest party of the year, he suddenly has a … Continue reading Monster Island (2017) Review

Once Bitten (1985) Review

Available right now on Netflix, "Once Bitten" is a decidedly anaemic sex comedy that's been consigned to the crypt of forgotten Eighties comedies. But is it time for it to rise from the tomb once more? The Countess (Lauren Hutton) must feed on the blood of a young male virgin three times before Halloween each … Continue reading Once Bitten (1985) Review