Ginger Nuts of Horror
It’s about a million degrees outside (slight exaggeration) but I don’t care as I slip into my Tuxedo for the film premiere of K-Shop. I’m excited to see this Sweeney Todd inspired film set in a Kebab Shop ever since my lawyer sent me the trailer and made the introductions to the filmmakers. This, I thought having watched the trailer, is my kind of film. Or at least the trailer was my kind of film.
when the film shifts the tone completely away from a tense thriller into an almost gleeful Carry On Killing pastiche.
EVEN LAMBS HAVE TEETH (2016)
There is a history of films that for one reason or another decide to take a stylistic and tonal left turn partway through their running time. Sometimes it works and keeps in with the overall theme of the film, however in too many cases it ends up failing miserably. These left hand down moments tend to come across as though those involved with the movie had no idea what to do next and decided to listen to someone who had no business being involved with the film at all.
Even Lambs Have Teeth is a film that takes a rather odd shift in tonality, from at first glance looks like a typical rape-revenge thriller, to a more comedic sassy girls get even in lots of funny ways type film. It is a film that despite a rather heavy-handed approach to filmmaking sort of works.
I am about eleven years old. I am sitting in front of the television and I am watching a BBC show about a haunting. A family is being terrorised by a poltergeist in their London home. It is throwing the children around, along with furniture and - I won’t lie - I am petrified. I do not sleep for days afterwards and even when the BBC admits it was a hoax, nothing more than a spectacle for a Halloween Special, it does not make me feel any better. Nor does it make others feel better either as they continue calling through with complaints. This was The Enfield Haunting. To this day there are people who continue stating it was a hoax but there are also people who stand by what they saw in that documentary (police officers, news reporters, neighbours…). More than that, they look deeply uncomfortable when discussing it, as though they want it erased from their lives. I’ll never forget that documentary and I never want to because, whether it was true or not, it was horror done right. We, as an audience, want to be scared. We want to feel uncomfortable watching or reading anything in this genre and we want to walk away questioning our beliefs. Due I believe in ghosts and things that go bump in the night? Well, not really, but I want to believe and horror done correctly helps me to do just that. You might be wondering why I am waffling on about this old BBC show - let me tell you. Last night I saw James Wan’s unexpected and unnecessary sequel to The Conjuring and it was based on The Enfield Haunting - a case which went on to become one of the most documented cases of paranormal activity. So infamous was the haunting that - and I did not know this - it got the attention of Ed and Lorraine Warren who, on behalf of the church, headed over to Jolly old England to investigate for themselves…
"Dark Signal's" serial killer ends up coming across as being more like Norris Cole from Coronation Street.
Spirits, serial killers and secrets should, in theory, make for an entertaining film. Throw in a feisty disgruntled radio DJ and a mysterious psychic and you really should be onto a winner.
Opening with a masked killer killing a young woman, the film then cuts to the heroine of the film, the strapped for cash Kate (Joanna Ignaczewska), who must be the victim of the world's worst debt collectors. Why they decide to take a small cheap television, instead of taking her flashy laptop, is one of the first signs that this film may well be in trouble. Of course, we need the laptop as it is required to set up the relationship that Kate has with the very nice Ben, who just happens to be the technician for the feisty radio presenter. Her boyfriend then enters and gets angry about her use of Facetime to chat up nice Welsh bloke, and manages to convince her to accompany him to rob one of his clients. Who conveniently lives on an isolated farm in the heart of the Welsh countryside. One quick, pointless twist later and a totally wasted cameo from James Cosmo and we are thrust into horror country, where serial killers and vengeful ghosts, compete for film's attention.
AN UGLY AND HARD TO WATCH FILM FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS
When it comes to horror, as a fan, have my limits, and they dictate what I will watch and read, but as a reviewer, you have to try and put these aside so that you can look at the product with an unbiased view.
I knew going into watching "We are Monsters" that this would be a hard watch that would push the limits of what I think is acceptable to the boundaries of my personal taste. The tagline was simple and conveyed the sense of the film "Three Men, One Woman. No chance of escape". The plot of the movie is as basic as you could get
the film turns into a mess when it uses a well-practised cliche to give you answers to things which would have been better served had they been left alone.
I don’t often get excited about horror films anymore. It’s a shame but since writing horror for a living, I find most films to be a let down. The jump-scares are so obvious you see them coming a mile off, the premise has been done to death, there are twists that are obvious from the start of the film and so on, so fourth. I still go and watch them though in the hope I am going to be surprised and actually enjoy the film. It’s a shame then that the last decent “horror” film I watched was Krampus over Christmas time and that I only really enjoyed because it reminded me of my childhood and films such as Gremlins and Critters. Whilst the concept might not have been original, it was still a fun film with some great effects thrown in there too. Gone was CGI and back was practical effects! Hoorah! But this review isn’t about Krampus. This review is about another film I genuinely got excited about when I first saw the trailer. This review is about The Boy.
CHERRY TREE (2015)
Life is full of disappointments. From opening up a bar of your favourite chocolate, only to discover that it has shrunk overnight from a regular size to what you would describe as a fun-sized version, to finally getting to watch a film that you have been excited about watching, only to find that the film is a complete mess.
Since watching the trailer to David Keating's Cherry Tree last year, I was intrigued by the concept - folk horror witchcraft in a Modern Irish setting, that mixed magic, death, and sex with creepy crawlies into what looked like a very interesting film. Sadly this was not to be the case, instead, Chery Tree ended up being a confused, and cliched coven of bad ideas.
Jamie Marks is Dead (2014)