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Showing posts from May, 2014

Willow Creek

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2013
Dir. Bobcat Goldthwait

When young city couple Jim and Kelly venture into the wilds of Bluff Creek, California, in search of the legendary Sasquatch, they find much more than they bargained for in this lean, mean tale of man vs. nature.

While ‘found-footage’ horror has been much maligned of late, a few titles have proven the effectiveness of the formula — most notably The Blair Witch Project; [REC]; Lake Mungo; The Last Exorcism; and more recently Trollhunter and The Borderlands. Willow Creek also demonstrates that the format, when utilised effectively, can still offer a downright chilling viewing experience. Even though writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait never strays far from a well-trodden path, his subdued approach and subtle direction result in some rather nerve-shredding moments of tension.

Much like The Blair Witch Project, the tension and dread here is established largely through a reliance on sound, shadows and suggestion, and after the initial slow-burn approach, Goldthwa…

After

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2012
Dir. Ryan Smith

Bus crash survivors Ana and Freddie (Karolina Wydra and Steven Strait) awaken to find they are the only people left in their small town, and their attempts to leave are thwarted by a towering wall of impenetrable fog completely encircling the place. Before long they discover that all is not what it seems, and as the sinister fog continues to encroach upon them, they realise their time is running out…

Incorporating elements of sci-fi, horror, comic books and fairytales, and conveying a strong influence from the likes of The Twilight Zone and Carnival of Souls, Ryan Smith's feature debut is an intriguing genre hybrid that, despite revealing its major twist early on, unfurls as a quietly powerful and compelling yarn. With striking visuals, twisting plot, assured direction, strong lead performances, and engaging ideas concerning destiny, fate, and redemption, After is a strangely touching and haunting film.
Head Over to Exquisite Terror to read my full review.

Mount Jerome Cemetery

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While staying in Dublin for a couple of days last week, I took the opportunity to visit Mount Jerome Cemetery in the suburb of Harold’s Cross in the south of the city. With the second highest number of burials of any cemetery in Ireland, Mount Jerome is one of the biggest cemeteries I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.

Opened in 1836, the sprawling cemetery features all manner of exquisite Victorian funerary art including ornate memorials, tombs, angels, shrouded urns, vaults and crypts. Due to a population boom, and therefore increase in mortality rate in Dublin in the early 19th century, the British government set up commercial cemetery companies throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland to deal with the need for burial grounds. The land upon which Mount Jerome Cemetery stands was acquired by the General Cemetery Company of Dublin from the Earl of Meath, as their first choice – a section of Phoenix Park – was declined by local authorities. According to Vivien Igoe, author of Dub…

The Crypts of St Michan’s, Dublin

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Located on Church Street in Dublin’s North Side, just a stone-throw from the dark currents of the Liffey, stands St Michan’s Church; the oldest parish church on that side of the city. Founded in 1095, and named after a Danish Saint, the present church dates from 1685 and still retains many of the features from this time, including its galleried interior and intricately decorated organ; upon which, according to local lore, Handel practised for his first performance of Messiah

The crypts beneath the church are thought to have been created around the time of the 1685 renovation and they are the final resting place for many of Dublin’s most prominent and influential families from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. A combination of the limestone walls and methane seeping up into the air from the earth below is thought to have created the constantly dry atmosphere perfect for ensuring the preservation - mummification - of the bodies resting here. It is also believed that the church stands…