Yet another found-footage thriller, this chilling horror film at least has some solid roots as a fictionalised version of real events. The fact that something like this actually happened (on a vastly larger scale in 1978) gives the movie a lot of weight it might not otherwise have. And the realistic setting and grounded performances help sell the story.
It opens in New York, where hipster magazine reporter Sam (AJ Bowen) enlists cameraman Jake (Joe Swanberg) to travel with photographer Patrick (Kentucker Audley) to visit a mysterious commune called Eden Parish deep in a foreign woods. There Patrick's sister Caroline (Amy Seimetz) is working as the assistant for Father (Gene Jones), who has created a religious paradise far from the crime and greed of civilisation. Of course, the cynical journalists begin to wonder if anything can truly be this idyllic. And sure enough, before the end of the day someone hands them a note that says, "Please help us!"
While there are several potent issues gurgling throughout the story, filmmaker Ti West keeps the focus on the lean, mean scary-movie aspect, adding an atonal score to ramp up an underlying feeling of tension beneath the otherwise beautiful scenes of hippy parishioners living in peace. But the mask begins to slip, and things turn genuinely unsettling before breaking out into all-out nastiness. After the slow and involving build-up, what comes next feels rather a lot more staged. And grippingly terrifying.
Continue reading: The Sacrament Review
If you’re going to call a movie ‘The Last Exorcism,’ you should probably resign yourself that you can’t really make a sequel to it, containing an exorcism. Except, apparently, these guys just did. The Last Exorcism Part II has a production credit for horror don Eli Roth and is scheduled for release in March 2013.
The movie continues where the first one left off, with Nell Sweetzer (played by Ashley Bell) found alone and terrified in the woods. She slowly pieces the missing last few months of her life back together and has to deal with the realisation that she is the only surviving member of her family. Oh – that and the fact that the demons haven’t gone away. If they had, it wouldn’t be much of a horror movie now, would it. The trailer gives a glimpse of the bone-breaking body-distortion that we all watched the first one for, as Sweetzers frame is twisted by the demon that possesses her; there might not be much in the way of progress here, but if ‘more of the same’ was what you wanted after their first movie, then ‘more of the same’ is just what you get here.
It’s looking as though this could well become our next long-running horror franchise, competing in the stamina stakes, with the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Saw and Paranormal Actvity.
Continue reading: Spine-Twisting Horror Sequel - The Last Exorcism Part II (Trailer)
Aftershock is the new movie written by Eli Roth – best known as the guy behind Hostel, Grindhouse and The Last Exorcism – and we reckon there’s going to be a whole bunch of gore and violence in this film that you’re not going to catch a glimpse of in the trailer. There’s a tell-tale clip of a woman poking her head above earth level, only – we presume – to bit by something… you don’t get to see it in the trailer, but we reckon the movie itself could be a touch more hard-hitting.
The movie is based on the real life events of the 8.8 earthquake in Chile in 2010. Though obviously, we’re getting the Hollywood treatment here. When the earthquake strikes, a group of travellers are revelling in a Chilean nightclub. However, the earthquake turns out to be just the start of their troubles. Early reviews on Rotten Tomatoes hint at a “gruesome finale” and is also described as a “blood soaked horror.” Ah – that would be that hidden gore that we don’t get to see in the trailer then.
In terms of thumbs up / thumbs down, the response to the movie is mixed. It’s scored an impressive 75% on the reviews site so far but that’s before the top professional critics have weighed in with their own opinions. Niche gore and horror movies don’t tend to fare so well in their hands, so that score could drop fairly rapidly. If you like a spot of bloodshed in your movies though, Aftershock could well be one to watch.
Continue reading: A Hint Of Gore: Eli Roth’s Aftershock Trailer!
When a bunch of tourists including American guy Gringo hit a party town in Chile, they anticipate a night of fun and frolics and Gringo just wants to meet a girl. However, what happens instead is a catastrophic earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale collapses the roof of a packed underground nightclub killing many of the late night revellers. When Gringo and his friends manage to stagger out of the ruins, they learn that the disaster has caused a high security prison to collapse, releasing a hoard of dangerous criminals on to the street where they revel in the destruction and use it as an excuse to exact even more chaos including brutal murders and makeshift bombings. The madness unfortunately doesn't end there as the regular civil members of society find themselves transforming out of fear and panic into the monsters they are trying to escape in a deadly struggle for survival.
Appropriately named, 'Aftershock' is loosely based on the real life events following a devastating earthquake in Chile in 2010 which caused society to briefly break down. It has been co-written, produced and is starring Eli Roth ('Cabin Fever', 'Hostel') with direction and co-writing credits from Nicolas Lopez ('Promedio rojo', 'Santos') and screenwriter Guillermo Amoedo ('Retorno'). It is a horrifying, blood infused thriller due to hit the US later this year.
Director: Nicolas Lopez
Continue: Aftershock Trailer
Rapper-turned-actor-turned-filmmaker RZA is clearly influenced by cohorts Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth as he indulges in this crazed pastiche of 1970s kung fu action romps. It's energetic and often quite funny, but far too silly to come together properly, mainly because he never adds any sense of post-modern wit. If the action scenes were more coherent, it at least could have been a guilty pleasure.
In a 19th century Chinese village, an American ex-slave (RZA) is known only as Blacksmith, forging weapons for gang members to raise the money to buy his girlfriend Lady Silk (Chung) from the local brothel's Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu). But their fate is caught up in a battle for power after the patriarch of the Lion clan is murdered and the swaggering Silver Lion (Mann) challenges rightful heir Zen Li (Yune). After a vicious attack by Silver Lion's muscled henchman Brass Body (Bautista), Zen Li is rescued by Blacksmith. And they get help from Englishman Jack Knife (Crowe) to fight Silver Lion and his thugs.
The title refers to something that happens about halfway in, when Blacksmith forges new arms for himself after being attacked by Silver Lion for helping Zen Li. This sets the stage for an orgy of metal-on-metal battling (there are also bronze and copper characters), leading to a clattering showdown between Blacksmith and Brass Body, who for some inexplicable reason can morph his body into, yes, brass. As such a wild fantasy, it's not surprising that the plot makes so little sense, although a bit more genuine character depth would have helped hold our interest.
Continue reading: The Man With The Iron Fists Review
All eyes are on Flight and Wreck It Ralph this weekend as the main contenders for box office glory. Denzel Washington’s performance in Flight has already sparked whispers of an Oscar nomination from insiders, something that’s always guaranteed to get people fleeing to the movie theaters. However, with much of the East coast of the USA blighted by Hurricane Sandy earlier in the week, the attentions of much of the US public will be elsewhere as people try to recover from the devastation caused there.
Denzel Washington last won an Oscar in 2002, for the crime thriller Training Day. Flight is Washington’s latest stab at the prize. Described on Rotten Tomatoes as an “action packed mystery thriller,” Denzel plays the lead role of the pilot Whip Whitaker, who manages to land a passenger plane after a mid-air catastrophe and saves everyone on board. After being hailed as a hero, it soon becomes clear that something may be amiss with Whitaker and all is not as it seems.
The critical response to Flight has been largely positive, with Roger Ebert hinting at the power of Denzel’s performance by saying “Not often does a movie character make such a harrowing personal journey that keeps us in deep sympathy all of the way.” High praise indeed from Ebert. In fact, the bulk of the praise for Flight is centered on Washington; Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers surmises “Flight reminds us of what Washington can do when a role hits him with a challenge that would floor a lesser actor. He's a ball of fire, and his detailed, depth-charged, bruisingly true performance will be talked about for years.” Sounds like one not to be missed! Wreck It Ralph might not have ‘Oscar Winner’ stamped all over it but it’s still shaping up to be a strong contender in the popularity stakes this weekend, with only one dissenter failing to give it the thumbs up on Rotten Tomatoes’ round-up of the top critics’ remarks.
American director Roger Corman is one of the film industry's most influential directors. Born in 1926, he is best known for the numerous low budget B movies which he has directed. Not only is he influential to many of Hollywood's great directors, Corman has also launched the careers of William Shatner; Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro, to name but a few.
Continue: Corman's World Trailer
Rev Cotton Marcus (Fabian) has been a preacher since he was a little boy, following in the footsteps of his father (Wright) to hold his congregation in the palm of his hand and exorcise demons when necessary. But a crisis has undermined his faith, so he hires a TV crew (Bahr and Grimes) to document the the ridiculous trickery he uses to perform one final exorcism. But nothing about this possessed girl (Bell), her father (Herthum) or brother (Jones) is as expected. And Cotton starts to doubt that there's a logical explanation.
Continue reading: The Last Exorcism Review
Arizona's Lake Victoria is being invaded by virtually naked young people during spring break, but teen Jake (McQueen) has to babysit his young siblings (Brooklynn Proulx and Sage Ryan) because his mother Julie (Shue) is especially busy as the town sheriff. As a sleazy filmmaker (O'Connell) hires Jake to show him the lake, Julie is investigating evidence that an underwater rift has released a school of voracious prehistoric piranhas. So not only must she get all of these drunken revellers out of the water, but she needs to make sure her kids are safe.
Continue reading: Piranha 3D Review