Monday, 31 December 2012

13 Most Anticipated Films of 2013

My 13 most anticipated horror movies of 2013

As the year draws to a close, it is customary to take a look back at the horror we’ve been given over the past 12 months. After you’ve debated your list, and argued with others about theirs, it’s time to start thinking about the new feast of horror that will be hitting your eyes in the coming months.

In the spirit of looking forward, and with my own new year’s resolution in mind (to watch 365 horror movies next year), I bring you the 13 horror movies to look out for in 2013.

These are the movies I am highly anticipating seeing in 2013, and so far, it looks like it’s going to be a good year for horror!

*The release dates and synopsis are from IMDB*

Texas Chainsaw 3D

“Evil has many faces”

Release Date: 4th January 2013
“A young woman travels to Texas to collect an inheritance; little does she know that an encounter with a chainsaw-wielding killer is part of the reward.”

Looking forward to this because:

I love the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It’s in my top 10 horror films of all time, and there’s something I find totally fascinating about the Sawyer family. I have liked all of the different interpretations of their story over the years, some more than others, of course, although Tobe Hooper’s original will always be the best for me. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this sequel and, despite the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of the 3D gimmick, I’m looking forward to meeting up with the family again!

American Mary

“She’s an artist”

Release Date: 11th January 2013
“The story follows medical student, Mary Mason, as she becomes increasingly broke and disenchanted with the surgical world she once admired. The allure of easy money sends Mary into the world of underground surgeries which ends up leaving more marks on her than her so called 'freakish' clientele”

I have heard a lot of good things about this film, and if the Soska sisters’ last effort, Dead Hooker In A Trunk, is anything to go by, this is going to be brilliant. I was gutted I didn’t get to see it at festivals this year and this is probably the film I am most looking forward to seeing.

The ABC’s of Death

“It’s not educational”

Release Date: 31st January 2013
“A 26-chapter anthology that showcases death in all its vicious wonder and brutal beauty.”

This is one of the most interesting horror films to be coming out this year. Anthologies always have the potential to be good, and this one more than most - there are 26 individual chapters, and each has been created by a different director. They were assigned a letter of the alphabet and told to choose a word around which to base a story about death. This alone makes the film sound like one of the most interesting concepts I’ve come across in years. Fangoria called it "a stunning roll call of some of the most exciting names in horror across the world.” and I can’t put it any better than that.

Warm Bodies

“Bros before brains”

Release Date: February 8th 2013
“After a zombie becomes involved with the girlfriend of one of his victims, their romance sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.”

Zombie movies and TV shows are gaining in popularity all the time, meaning that for something to stand out, it has to have a different spin on the genre. I haven’t seen a film based on zombie-romance before, and that might just give Warm Bodies the edge it needs to break away (or walk, arms out-stretched, slowly away)  from the rest of the pack. Also is stars Nicholas Hoult, the once sweet little kid from About A Boy, so the acting should be decent, and it’s apparently loosely based on Romeo & Juliet, which, for a zombie film, should make it a laugh!


Release Date: 22nd  February 2013
“Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years.... but how alone were they?”

‘Presented by Guillermo del Toro’ is the exclamation that faces you when you research this film, and any film that has a tagline like that was always going to make this list. The guy is a genius, and his backing of this film as executive producer is like a golden seal of approval. The trailer is intense, chilling even, and films with creepy kids are always some of the most frightening for me, not to mention being a speciality of del Toro’s. Mama looks fantastic, and I’m willing to bet it will be gracing people’s top lists of 2013.


Release Date: 15th March 2013
“The owner of a mannequin shop develops a dangerous obsession with a young artist.”

A lot of people remember the 1980 original of Maniac, and I’m sure a lot of them never pictured Frodo Baggins Elijah Wood as the psychotic Frank. I certainly didn’t. However, Wood is a quality actor and I’m sure he will give his all in this role, indeed the early reviews are showing that he does manage to pull off his performance as the insane serial killer well. I am a fan of the 80’s version of this film, with it’s tense atmosphere and the great gore it contains, and I only hope that a remake doesn’t mean we lose a lot of the gore. Alexandre Aja proved that he can take a great film and give it a thoroughly decent remake with 2006’s The Hills Have Eyes, so let’s hope he does the same again here!

John Dies At The End

“Just so you know...they’re sorry for anything that’s about to happen”

Release Date: March 22nd 2013
“A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion?”

Now, as a general rule, I’m not a huge fan of horror comedy. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I prefer my horror straight-up. I’m just that sort of girl. However, I’ve been impressed by the trailers for this movie, and particularly liked the tongue-in-cheek viral ad warning against pirating it. The early reviews for it are looking goof, and the fact that Don Coscarelli, who directed the 1979 classic Phantasm, was at the helm, makes this one to look out for in 2013


Release Date: 5th April 2013
“A sheltered high school girl unleashes her newly developed telekinetic powers after she is pushed too far by her peers.”
“You will know her name”

What to say about this one? Another remake in 2013, Carrie was a film that I loved first time around, and I’m not sure why a remake was really needed. What is good is that it will bring the story to a new generation, and possibly prompt that generation to check out the other adaptations of Stephen King books, virtually all of which I’ve love. That is the reason I’m looking forward to Carrie, King’s stories are so enveloping and entertaining that this has to be good. I hope!

A Haunted House

Release Date: 5th April 2013
“Malcolm and Keisha move into their dream home, but soon learn a demon also resides there. When Kisha becomes possessed, Malcolm - determined to keep his sex life on track - turns to a priest, a psychic, and a team of ghost-busters for help.”
I’ve already made my case clear on my general dislike of comedy horror, but this satire looks set to be a new ‘Scary Movie’, and so I’ve included it, because a lot of people like these sorts of films. Most people I’ve spoken to are looking forward to a bit of light relief with this one, so maybe I should stop being a grump and enjoy it!

Evil Dead

“The most terrifying film you will ever experience”

Release Date: 19th April 2013
“Mia, a young woman struggling with sobriety, heads to a remote cabin with her brother and a group of friends, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads to danger and horror.”
This is the one everyone is waiting for. It really needs no introduction. In 1981 a cult film was born and in April 2013, 32 years after the original, comes the remake. It seems that 2013 will be the year of the remakes, four big ones are in this list alone, and let’s all hope that this one in particular is done well. You don’t need me to tell you that the original is an amazing piece of work, and it looks as though the remake has been made with a love for that film, which has to be a good thing. I’m looking forward to this one so much!

Lords of Salem

“We’ve been waiting … we’ve always been waiting”

Release Date: April 26th 2013
“Residents of Salem, Massachusetts are visited by a 300-year-old coven of witches.”

I am a big Rob Zombie fan, The Devil’s Rejects is, in my opinion, a near perfect film, and I’m one of the people who enjoyed his version of Halloween, along with loving House of 1,000 Corpses. So it’s far to say, I was always going to look forward to this film. A lot of people I’ve spoken to are highly anticipating this one too, and from what I’ve seen I can see this one becoming one of my top 10 for 2013. Let’s review that in 12 months!

World War Z

“Remember Philly!”

Release Date: June 21st 2013
A U.N. employee is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.

This is an apocalyptic end-of-world zombie horror, based on a novel of the same name. I enjoy apocalypse type movies, and this one has been highly anticipated for quite a while. I have high hopes for it, as it has a stellar cast and a good storyline and I think this is one that will be enjoyed by a lot of people.

The Conjuring

Release Date: 19th July 2013
“A family encounters spirits living among them in their New England farmhouse.”

James Wan directed two of my favourite films of the last 10 years, Saw and Insidious and so this ghost tale, inspired by the real life story of a family who claimed they “lived among the dead”, promises to be a creepy hit. Set in the 70’s, two paranormal investigators, Patrick Wilson (Insidious) and Vera Farmiga (Orphan), are called in when strange and unexplained things start happening. The story sounds suitably spooky, and after seeing what Wan did with his last supernatural hit, I cannot wait to feast on this.  

Insidious: Chapter 2

Release Date: 30th August 2013
A continuation of the 2010 horror hit about the fate of the Lambert family and their haunted house.
I was a bit dubious when I heard they were making a sequel to Insidious; I loved this film so much and I don’t want to see the spark it had fizzle out by people trying to cash in on it. I’m going to leave my cynicism at the door, however, because with a lot of the cast from the first film signing on to be in this, and James Wan taking the helm again, I have a feeling it could retain that special something and give my Insidious blu-ray a break!

There are also a few films I am NOT relishing seeing:

Paranormal Activity 5 - Just let it go now. It wasn’t clever the first time round and it’s getting worse each time. I'm going to cry blood if I have to watch any more.

The Human Centipede 3 - I have no idea why this needs 2 sequels. One film by itself was more than enough.

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero - I did not enjoy Cabin Fever and I disliked the second even more. A third can’t possibly bring anything new.

So overall, 2013 seems to be big on remakes. A couple of original-sounding possible gems and some stars in the making, and I think we’re in for a good year! And don’t foreget, these are only my picks. There are plenty more out there! Let me know what you’re most looking forward to in the comments

Happy new year everyone, hope you have a safe, happy and horror-filled 2013

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) - Review

Four Flies on Grey Velvet

4 mosche di velluto grigio Poster


Sub-Genre: Giallo

Director: Dario Argento

Four Flies on Grey Velvet is the third of Argento's films, and the third I have seen. It stars Michael Brandon as Roberto Tobias and Mimsy Farmer as his wife, Nina Tobias, and is the third and final film in the unofficial 'Animal Trilogy', the others being The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and The Cat O'Nine Tails. Of the three, I would consider this one to be the weakest in storyline, and consequently the most confusing, although the final scene is the best ending of any of the films. 

The film is fragmented and sometimes maniacally shot, with scenes being edited together in such as way so that as a viewer you are never quite sure which part of the film you are seeing. This works quite well at building up the confusion, as in typical Giallo style there are a lot of characters and a lot of red herrings, pseudo reveals and possible villains. The storyline itself concerns the protagonist being blackmailed over an accident that occurs at the very start of the film, and from there on, we are taken on a chaotic and pretty befuddling journey of kills, private investigators, flashbacks and an array of characters. Sadly the kills were very tame, even for Giallos of the time, and I can't help but feel that, although the film built tension very well, and the suspense did ratchet up throughout, there would have been a lot more suspense if the kills had been more shocking. The acting is not top class, Brandon being particularly stale in some scenes, but I'd be lying if I said Mimsy Farmer wasn't captivating in the final few minutes. 

As in all of Argento's films, the beauty is there in the visuals, and although this is not as visually striking as his other films, there is one scene where a woman is in a park in the daytime, surrounded by creepy carnival music and lots of playing children. All of a sudden the park turns to darkness and we see the woman running through an increasingly mazy, fog-filled scene, trying desperately to escape her pursuer. This is one of the most beautifully shot pieces of the film, and, barring the ending, the most stunning visually. It showcases Argento's immense skill at building suspense in eerily beautiful surroundings. Another captivating visual is the frequent dreamscapes/flashbacks to a person being beheaded in a very washed out desert setting, which is also probably the most graphic scene in Four Flies. This becomes all the more mesmerising after the credits begin to roll.

Overall, while it is not the best of Argento's first three films, it is still definitely worth a watch, and although it can be confusing at times, it is not overwhelmingly so. It is a good suspenseful film, and the ending is memorable and very well done. 




Full Movie

The Good, The Bad and the Mehitwasokay Films of 2012

Initially when I thought about doing my top 10 horror movies of 2012, I assumed it would be a pretty tough job. Off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of more than 5 that I liked that were released this year. In light of this, I present to you my list of The Good, The Bad and Mehitwasokay
First I give you the good. These are the films that I adored this year, and I know I will watch again and again. If you want to watch anything from 2012, watch these.

5 – The Woman In Black
I love the original 1989 version of this film, with its sensational atmosphere and chilling, haunting locations. It’s a favourite of mine, so I approached this remake with more than a little hint of apprehension, particularly with it being rated as a 12A/PG-13, something which can put off a lot of horror fans. Thankfully, the film didn’t disappoint and delivered on the promise of a solid, creepy flick, with a very well written storyline and a refreshingly downbeat ending.
The shots of Daniel Radcliffe walking around the old house dripped with tension and fear, and were amongst the best in the film, the acting was stellar all round and it made a nice change to have a ghost story told without shaky cameras, screaming and snot. It didn’t quite match to the original, but then not many films do. It gave it a good shot and I enjoyed it, which is what counts, at the end of the day.

4 – The Innkeepers
The Innkeepers is Ti West film, following 2 employees who are running a hotel through it’s last days before closure. The supernatural goings on become more and more intense, until we reach the finale, which is built up well enough to shock you when it happens. The film is a slow-burner, for sure. We don’t jump straight in to anything, which is the film’s greatest feature.
It allows for a natural progression of the storyline, and gives time for character development, which in turn allows the tension to mount with every scene. If you’re after a well made, well acted supernatural film, that has something a bit different from the rest, then you won’t be disappointed with Innkeepers.

3 – Paranorman
Virtually the only two genres of film I watch are horror and animation. You can keep your action, drama tends to bore me and romance makes me want to choke to death on my own tongue. Therefore when I went to the pictures to see Paranorman, I had my fingers crossed, hoping it would be all I was wanting it to be. It was. A near perfect blend of horror and stop motion animation, Paranorman tells the tale of a little boy who can see ghosts, and we join him in tackling the problems this can cause.
The way it was told had me instantly gripped, the storyline itself being very strong and I fell in love with the horror references that bombarded us throughout the movie. Some subtle and some in your face, I found even more on my second watch of this fantastic film. I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t like this fun little offering, and even if you just decide to watch it as a light break from heavier stuff, you won’t be disappointed. A really great all round film, and also a fantastic way of introducing children to horror. It’s not super light on scares, either, which was a big plus.
As a side note, I was particularly enamoured that this was the first animated film to include a gay character. The LGBT community doesn’t get a whole lot of positive representation in horror, and I was really pleased to see that done so well here.

2 – The Loved Ones
Okay, this is a bit of a cheat. I did not see this for the first time this year, rather my very first viewing was 2 years ago, but due to the fact that it had a US release in 2012 I had to include it. Not only is this my joint pick of the year, it is one of my favourite films of the last 10 years.
We follow Lola, a gloriously creepy Australian teenager, as she sets about trying to win the heart of a classmate, with a rather unusual flattery technique, including nails, syringes, drills, one particularly devoted father and a song you won’t be able to hear ever again without shuddering.
Brutally fantastic, Lola Stone is one of the most original psychopaths we’ve seen for years, making this film without doubt a must-see.

1 – Inbred
My other joint pick of the year is this wonderfully shot, British backwoods movie. I just loved it. Directed by Alex Chandon, Inbred packs a punch with some brilliant gore shots, a darkly comic, engaging storyline and
It’s fair to say that hillbilly horror is a true love of mine, so there’s a slight possibility I may be a little biased toward this indie hillbilly/backwoods gem. Also, because it is filmed in Yorkshire, only 30 minutes from where I live, it feels more personal to me, but I think anyone who enjoys a good hillbilly movie, with a healthy dose of black humour, a touch of bizzarity and some great gore should put this at the top of their to-watch list, because they will love it too. Not one person I’ve shown this to so far has been disappointed.

Mehitwasokay 2012 Horror Films:
These films weren’t terrible, but I wasn’t overly enamoured with them, for one reason or another. Decent enough to check out, but don’t break your necks trying to do so.
Cabin In The Woods
I enjoyed this, but I didn’t love it like a lot of my horror brethren did. As one of the most talked about films of the year, I won’t go in to great detail about it, as I’m willing to bet everyone knows a lot already, so I’ll just say this. There is nothing wrong with this movie. Indeed it is a well made, fun and above all ORIGINAL film. It can only be praised for that.
The only reason it isn’t in my Good list, is because for my personal tastes it was too sci-fi. I’m not a big fan of horror/sci-fi films, and I tend to find myself being pulled out of the storyline by the sciency elements of them. I’d feel as though I was lying if I included this in my top list, and I won’t say I love something just because everyone else did. This is by no means knocking the film, however, and I’d recommend that everyone should at least give this one a go.

Rosewood Lane
Controversial director, Victor Salva (Jeepers Creepers) directed this little chiller, and I found it to be good, if a little contrived. A psychiatrist moves back to the place she used to live as a child, and begins to notice the odd behaviour of the paper boy.
For obvious reasons, the paper’boy’ is actually played by an adult, which detracts from the creep factor this could have had, but despite this the first ⅓ of the film held some pretty decent scares and jumps, and one of them (in the basement) was one of those glorious heart-stopping moments, that genuinely gives you a jump.
I love those moments. After that, the film holds the tension it creates well, and builds a storyline you grow to care about. However, the ending and the ‘reveal’ was a fairly confusing mess, and it felt pretty laboured. There were a lot of ways to end this film, but the way they did it was definitely not the right one to pick. It was too ambiguous, and there were a whole host of options that would have been a lot scarier. Despite the poor ending, I did enjoy a lot of the elements of this film. Don’t rush to see it, but if you’ve got nothing better to do then it’s worth a watch.

This was a film I was looking forward to quite a bit. I enjoy anthology horror, Trick r Treat being the last really decent one I’ve seen, and although I don’t love found footage, I can enjoy it if it’s done well. This one consisted of 5 shorts, held together by one over-arching storyline. It took a while to get into the films and that felt too drawn out, but when we got in the first film was really well done.
A shock filled short film that provided a decent twist, and some good shocks. I enjoyed it, and was anticipating the next one being just as good. It wasn’t. It was really not that good, and neither were films 3 or 4. The last film in the anthology, however, was decent again. So it’s a stop and start film.
The first and last films were worth watching, decent shorts, whereas the middle portion of the film was just average. Not the film I was expecting it to be, V/H/S was decent enough. Nothing amazing, and I probably won’t watch it again, but if you like anthology horror you may as well give it a crack.

I was looking forward to this one so much, which is probably why I felt so disappointed by it. It just didn’t deliver on any level for me, and for a film I was expecting to scare me, creep me out and give me an edge-of-your seat experience it fell flat on its face. Let me be clear. This is not technically a bad movie. It’s just a movie that doesn’t make me care about anything happening on screen.
Ethan Hawke plays a journalist who’s looking to recapture his lost brilliance with one last stab at a true crime best-seller. He moves into a house, finds some old Super-8 film in the attic and begins to watch it. He soon realises there is a connection between those films and the case he is working on. Now, all of this sounds like the makings of a good film. It has a decent idea behind it, good actors, potential.
Where it fell down, for me, was it’s lack of a distinct direction. It felt as though they couldn’t decide whether the film should be a crime-thriller, a serial killer expose, a supernatural tale or a psychological horror. It had elements of all of these things, which made it feel confused and disjointed, whereas if they had decided to go down a strictly supernatural route, or make it into more of a violent serial killer film, it could have been great. They went for too many elements, and it failed.
The acting was decent all round, and there were two or three scenes from the video footage which I found creepy with a shock element. If there had been more like that and less of the other bits, I’d probably have been putting this film in my top 5. As it stands, it’s worth a watch but don’t expect anything great from it.

The Worst Horror Film of 2012
There was only one film I really wouldn’t bother checking out. This is the worst 2012 film I saw.
Paranormal Activity Bore, sorry, Four
I make no bones about the fact that I hate this series, mainly because I got suckered into the hype like an idiot for the first one, and went to it expecting to be terrified. I was bored witless, and ever since then I’ve sat through these mind-bogglingly dull dreck-fests, slowly hating them more and more.
This one was no different. This time round not much happens then there are some LOUD NOISES. I rated the first one 2/10 and they’ve only gone down after that. This film did not change that. There is literally no reason for anyone to see this. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

Is your favourite in this list? Do you think I’m nuts for leaving something out? Let me know your top 10 in the comments below!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Yay, first ever post!

I officially declare this blog OPEN! This blog is going to be my personal vessel, taking me to the darkest depths of horror and to each and every corner, crevice and decrepit old mansion that I can find. It will be my friend and confidant, and hopefully a guide to others who wish to follow the path, as I watch and review every horror film I can get my hands on! Aiming for 365 horror movies in 2013, I will review each one and post them here, along with writing articles and discussing the amazing, terrifying or downright atrocious horror that I come across. I hope you will join me on my journey, and enjoy my reviews and mad ramblings. Thanks for reading! Beth