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Showing posts from August, 2013

Missionary

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With its twisted tale of obsessive, unrequited love, and the dark and violent places it can take us, Missionary follows a more or less typical woman-stalked-by-crazed-suitor narrative. While it refuses to stray too far from a well-trodden path, it doesn’t feel too conventional due to its slow-burn approach, careful characterisation and decent performances.

At times it echoes those early 90s cuckoo-in-the-nest psycho thrillers like Fatal Attraction, Unlawful Entry, Fear and myriad made-for-TV thrillers, in which an unhinged outsider worms his/her way into an all-American family, only to eventually show their true psychotic colours when their obsession reaches fever pitch.

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my full review.

While you're there, check out our coverage of the other titles screening at this year's Fright Fest.

V/H/S/2

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Anthology movies can be tricky to pull off properly; by their very nature they can be uneven in tone, the narrative constantly upended when we pull back to the framing story, the differing tones and pacing of the individual segments.

When done well though, we get such classics as Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath, the chilling Ealing classic Dead of Night and George Romero’s lurid pulp-fest Creepshow.

V/H/S/2 improves on the formula established by the original film; by slim-lining the segments, and by actually featuring fewer segments, the impact is undeniable.

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my full review.

While you're there, why not check out our coverage of the other titles screening at this year's Fright Fest.

Wither

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Over the past few years Scandinavian horror has been making quite the mark on genre cinema, with filmmakers finding ways to surprise audiences and subvert expectations with titles like Let the Right One In, Not Like Others and Cold Prey. Some even mine spooky Nordic folklore for frights — think Marianne and Trollhunter — lending their films a unique tone quite unlike anything else around.

The latest Scandiwegian chiller, Wither, has been touted as the Swedish Evil Dead, and with good reason. Gratuitous splatter FX aside though, it fails to offer much in the way of ingenuity, its set-up all too familiar to horror audiences.

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my full review.

While you're there, why not check out our coverage of other titles screening at this year's Fright Fest.

Broken Mirrors/Bleeding Ears: An Evening with The Claudio Simonetti Horror Project

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Last night saw Belfast’s Waterfront Hall play host to a very special screening of Dario Argento’s nightmarish, witch-infested classic, Suspiria. The screening, courtesy of the lovely folks at the Belfast Film Festival, was accompanied by a live score performed by none other than original Goblin member and long time Argento collaborator, Claudio Simonetti, and his band, the Simonetti Horror project. My ears are still ringing…

Suspiria, for the uninitiated, is the terrifying tale of American ballet student Suzy Banyon, who enrols at an exclusive dance academy in Germany. Her arrival coincides with a raging storm and the savage murder of another student. Increasingly odd occurrences and other grisly deaths suggest that there is something evil lurking within the school, and Suzy eventually discovers that it is actually a witches' coven. Often hailed as Argento’s masterpiece, Suspiria is a visceral onslaught of vision, sound and colour. The viewer is bombarded by graphic scenes of extr…

Don't Look Now

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1973
Dir. Nicolas Roeg

Based on the short story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, Don’t Look Now is from a collection of stories revolving around the intrusion of the supernatural/paranormal upon the lives of everyday, normal people. Released on a double bill with The Wicker Man – whose protagonist’s death is, in hindsight, also very much pre-conceived - Don’t Look Now ripples forth as a devastating and often terrifying study of grief. When their young daughter drowns in a pond in the family garden, John and Laura (Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie), attempt to come to terms with their loss and reconcile their relationship by travelling to Venice. John throws himself into his work and denies the possibility that their daughter could be trying to communicate with them from the afterlife. After befriending a spooky psychic and her sister, Laura opens herself up to the possibility that their daughter is trying to reach out to them from beyond the grave. But why? Ghost-like, the …