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  • Thor: Ragnarok

    Thor: Ragnarok

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I can see why some are not enamoured of this film. I didn't feel that its approach came completely out of left field, given that my and my partner's recent rewatch of the first two THOR films highlighted the type of humour already established in the MCU version of the THOR mythology. It felt very much of a piece both with those (especially the attack on Asgard in THE DARK WORLD) and the Phase II/III approach that brought us Shane…

  • Tenebre

    Tenebre

    ★★★★½

    Tenebrae came as a bit of surprise to viewers at the time, who were expecting the third part of the Three Mothers Trilogy after the Maestro’s previous outing, the New York nightmare that was Inferno. While still providing shocks reminiscent of Suspiria’s (though without the visual vocabulary of that film), it is far more of a restatement of pure giallo principles for the 1980s. The plotting is simplicity itself, nothing more than a framework built for the suspense and gore…

  • Riddick

    Riddick

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    One of the unexpected pleasures of last year was discovering that Vin Diesel’s other big franchise genuinely had legs left in it when the independently-financed Riddick hit our screens at the other end of the blockbuster season from Fast & Furious 6. After the crowd-pleasing, big-budget excess of the latter, it was a real pleasure to see him get back to something leaner and meaner, under the watchful eye of fellow writer-director David Twohy.
    The latter has had the career most…

  • Banshee Chapter

    Banshee Chapter

    ★★★½

    Another film pushed as a “found footage”/faux-doc feature that premiered at 2013 Frightfest, this had good word of mouth from those who saw it. Out now on DVD thanks to the team-up of 101 Films and Intense Distribution, how does it fare away from the Empire Leicester Square Screen 1 packed full of hardcore fans?

    On its own it makes a pretty good case for being one of the highlights of last year’s crop of microbudget horror films in this…

  • Frost

    Frost

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    And so another “found footage” chiller hits the U.K. DVD market *yawn*. Except this is an Icelandic feature from director Reynir Lingdal, who has two successful comedies under his belt over there as well as hit TV show The Cliff, which had supernatural elements, and writer Jón Atli Jónasson (Thicker Than Water, The Deep) so it’s not just a bunch of newbies hoping to hit horror gold. Unfortunately, despite good acting and stunning location work in difficult shooting conditions, the…

  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation

    G.I. Joe: Retaliation

    ★★

    Wasn't nearly even the trashy fun the first one was or the trailer promised. Those reshoots were a complete waste, leading to bloat and some truly bizarre editing choices. Only joy was in seeing Dwayne outclass everyone effortlessly at striking the right tone (other than Tatum, Walt Goggins and Ray Stevenson), Lee Byung-hun's gobsmacking torso, and the ninja mountainside fight. God what a mess! Who's bright idea was it to make so much dialogue song lyric quotes?!

  • The Dead

    The Dead

    ★★★★

    Thursday 22nd August sees the world premiere of The Dead 2: India from the Ford Brothers. Hopes are high following their 2010 Frightfest screening of The Dead, which was a genuine surprise that year: a Romero-style zombie flick shot on film in difficult circumstances in Burkina Faso that packed decent punches in both action-horror and character terms. The local acting was good, with a breakout performance from Prince David Osei alongside Rob Freeman (Smallville, Shanghai Knights); the effects were solid,…

  • Rabies

    Rabies

    ★★★½

    Of the films talked about after Frightfest 2011, Rabies was strongly recommended by those who saw it as one of the best that year. The first Israeli-made slasher flick, it is definitely a cut above the rest.

    The set-up is simple. Four young tennis players drive into the woods where a slasher is holding a woman captive while her brother goes to look for help. A hunter and two cops also end up in the woods, and paths cross for…

  • The Dyatlov Pass Incident

    The Dyatlov Pass Incident

    ★★★½

    It used to be that horror films were released in the autumn, then around Halloween more and more. Winter has become a big release date as well now, with February and March often carrying horror titles in cinemas. With new horror films being produced constantly and released every week to DVD in the U.K., however, theatrical windows are becoming shorter and shorter, sometimes non-existent. And many are looking to premier at Frightfest and then get 0ut to DVD as quickly…

  • No One Lives

    No One Lives

    ★★★½

    There were some real crowd pleasers at this year’s Frightfest, horror films that did what horror fans want to see done, but with enough originality and wit to stand out and become re-watchable minor classics. WWE Film’s latest offering this year, No One Lives, starts off a thriller like their two previous WWE Studio releases (Dead Man Down and The Call), but then veers into full-blooded slasher territory, with a nice simple twist to it. To say any more would…

  • Frankenstein's Army

    Frankenstein's Army

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    There are various ways by which one becomes a film director, with some of them more straightforward than others. Some are better training for directing than others – actors, writers, producers, 2nd unit directors, all tend to become directors more often than cinematographers and stunt directors. Unusually, Frankenstein’s Army comes from the mind of Dutch long-time storyboard/conceptual artist and titles designer Richard Raaphorst, including Brian Yuzna productions Faust, Dagon, and Beyond Re-animator and Paul Verhoeven’s terrific WW2 Dutch Resistance flick…

  • V/H/S/2

    V/H/S/2

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The second portmanteau of PoV horror shorts, and the third notable such horror anthology in less than two years, V/H/S/2 comes to the U.K. bearing high expectations from its showing at Film4 Frightfest 2013. Welsh director Gareth Evans, who co-directed the best short here, and shot to fame the other year with The Raid, the fine follow-up to his cracking feature Merantau, was on hand to present it, and maintained a Frightfest tradition by bringing with him an exclusive clip…