Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Last Night In Soho (2021, Edgar Wright)


This Horrorfest us horror fans were blessed with multiple options via both streaming and the movie theater. I included Last Night in Soho because it only came to my area after Halloween and thus I eagerly watched it before it left my area. Edgar Wright has sort of done horror before with Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz definitely had some horror movie moments. His latest isn’t as good as those films-well maybe it equals Shaun-however it is still pretty great and is one of the year’s best films.

Thomasin McKenzie plays a young woman named Ellie who ventures to London to be a fashion designer. There she encounters snobby classmates, a friendly young man played by Michael Ajao, and ghosts. Well at least she sees them, which either hints that they are in her mind or they are very real. The first half of the movie plays out as an eerie drama, the second half very bleak psychological thriller. I saw Repulsion vibes in several scenes, and I’m sure other films influenced this one as well.

Having acting legends Terence Stamp and Diana Rigg in the movie was a fine touch, and I sort of guessed some of the twists but one of them snuck up on me a bit. I think had I viewed this at home I probably would have figured it out sooner. That doesn’t diminish the movie, though, as there are multiple exceptional scenes. Particularly one where Ellie sees the ghosts at a Halloween party. This film also captures London in the 1960s very well, and has a fantastic soundtrack. Silly me I forgot to mention how wonderfully despicable Matt Smith is in this movie as one of the people who exploits Sandie.

What’s also notable is how Anya Taylor-Joy’s Sandie steals the movie even though she’s not the main character. Ellie’s obsession with her goes pretty overboard, yet no one watching this movie can blame her. She captives both men and women alike in this film, and is a device for Wright to comment sharply on the male gaze and men’s creepy actions towards women. My complaint is that such themes get a bit left behind towards the end of the movie. Regardless I’m a fan of Last Night in Soho, and it left a pretty strong impression upon me. Thus closes out Horrorfest 2021, until next year cheers!

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: Tigers Are Not Afraid (2019, Issa López)


The 2019 horror drama Tigers Are Not Afraid was depressing and well made. Equal parts Guillermo del Toro and Stand By Me with cartel members, the group of kids in this film know they’re all on their own and they act like it throughout the movie. Pursed by a ruthless enemy, one of their members is haunted by ghosts and sees an animated tiger roaming the neighborhood.

Magical realism meets ghost story meets crime drama here, and this film does not hesitate from showing life on the harsh streets. Although the film’s pacing is slow at times there are multiple suspenseful moments and the conclusion is quite violent. I might be thinking about this movie for a while and how it managed to combine politics with horror and sorrow. Those poor kids never had a chance.

Killing Them Loudly: Horrorfest 2021


10 Horror Movie Memes To Get You in The Mood For Halloween

This concludes Horrorfest 2021 which featured me watching 66 movies, the most I’ve ever seen in a three month span. I’m not sure I will do that again but you never know. See you all next year for Horrorfest 2022! 

July Viewings:

1. Vamp (1986, Vampires!), Arrow Films Video
2. Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th (2013, Jason Doc!), Shudder
3. Vampyres (1975, Lesbian Vamps), Shudder
4. Patrick (1978, Mind Powers!), Shudder
5. Child’s Play 2 (1990, CHUCKY!), Netflix Instant Viewing
6. Prevenge (2016, Slasher?), Shudder
7. Night Tide (1961, Mermaid), Shudder
8. The Queen of Black Magic (1981, Revenge!), Shudder
9. Here Comes Hell (2019, Demonic), Shudder
10. Frankenhooker (1990, Mad Scientist), Shudder
11. Def By Temptation (1990, Succubus), Shudder

August Viewings:

(1) 12. Black Roses (1988, Rock n roll is evil! Evil!), Shudder
(2) 13. Death Ship (1980, Nazi Boat!), Shudder
(3) 14. Don’t Panic (1989, Demonic), Shudder
(4) 15. The Whistler (2019, Fairy Tales Are Real), Shudder
(5) 16. Tigers Are Not Afraid (2019, Ghosts), Shudder
(6) 17. Turkey Shoot (1982, Dystopia), Shudder
(7) 18. Dave Made a Maze (2017, Dangerous Cardboard!), Shudder
(8) 19. Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981, Crazy Aunt), Shudder
(9) 20. White of the Eye (1988, Slasher), Shudder
(10) 21. Lisa and the Devil (1973, Telly Savalas is the Devil!), Shudder
(11) 22. Shock (1977, Ghost Possession), Shudder
(12) 23. Messiah of Evil (1973, Undead cult!), Shudder

September Viewings:

(1) 24. Vicious Fun (2020, Slasher Support Group), Shudder
(2) 25. Mortuary (1983, Embalmed), Shudder
(3) 26. Hellmaster (1992, JOHN SAXON), Shudder
(4) 27. The Dead Pit (1989, Like a Surgeon), Shudder
(5) 28. The Pale Door (2020, Witches and Cowboys), Shudder
(6) 29. Chillerama (2011, Anthology), Tubi
(7) 30. Mohawk (2017, Revenge!), Shudder
(8) 31. The Brain Eaters (1958, Parasites!), Tubi
(9) 32. Death Curse of Tartu (1966, Tartu), Tubi
(10) 33. Sting of Death (1966, Killer Jellyfish), Tubi
(11) 34. Blood Quantum (2020, Zombies), Shudder
(12) 35. I Bury the Living (1958, Cemetery business), Tubi
(13) 36. Candyman (2021, I’m not saying it), Theater Viewing
(14) 37. Head Count (2019, Mythical Creature Thing), Shudder
(15) 38. Found Footage 3D (2016, Meta), Shudder
(16) 39. Color Out of Space (2020, Aliens! Sort of), Shudder
(17) 40. Shakma (1990, Killer Ape), Shudder
(18) 41. Malignant (2021, GABRIEL), Theater Viewing

October Viewings:

(1) 42. The Church (1989, Man Is Evil), Tubi
(2) 43. Blood (1973, Monster Mash), Tubi
(3) 44. Cannibal Ferox (1981, Savage), Shudder
(4) 45. Sorority House Massacre (1986, Slasher Flashback), Shudder
(5) 46. Pledge Night (1990, Acid Sid), Shudder
(6) 47. WNUF Halloween Special (2013, NEWS AT 11), Shudder
(7) 48. Vampires vs. the Bronx (2020, Gentrification Sucks!), Netflix Instant Viewing
(8) 49. One Dark Night (1983, Raymar!), Tubi
(9) 50. Doom Asylum (1988, Power Tools), Tubi
(10) 51. Hannah, Queen of the Vampires aka Crypt of the Living Dead (1973, Undead Undead), Tubi
(11) 52. Death By Invitation (1971, She’ll have her revenge!), Tubi
(12) 53. Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964, The South Will Kill Again), Tubi
(13) 54. Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks (1974, The Monster!), Tubi
(14) 55. The Convent (2000, Satanic Nuns), Tubi
(15) 56. Demonia (1990, EVIL!), Tubi
(16) 57. Psycho Goreman (2020, ALIENS), Shudder
(17) 58. The Descent (2005, Underground Monsters), Tubi
(18) 59. Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000, Snowman In The Tropics), Tubi/Crackle
(19) 60. Habit (1997, Indie Vampires), Shudder
(20) 61. Halloween Kills (2021, EVIL DIES TONIGHT), Theater Viewing
(21) 62. Rituals (1977, Into the Woods), Shudder
(22) 63. Just Before Dawn (1981, Don’t Go In The Woods), Shudder
(23) 64. The House That Screamed (1969, Serrador), Shudder

Coda:

65. V/H/S/94 (2021, Tjahjanto, Barrett), Shudder

66. Last Night In Soho (2021, Wright), Movie Theater Viewing

Horrorfest 2019 Presents: Dark Water (2002, Hideo Nakata)


Due to having seen a lot of Italian, German, British, US and even French horror over the years I have sadly neglected Japanese horror, or J-Horror as fans love to call it. So I decided to view the well regarded Dark Water, of which the remake is only more well known since it is is American. I liked this movie, particularly because Dark Water is as much a moving drama as it is a really creepy movie where very creepy things happen. Some which are only explained later on, which ups the creep factor even higher. I loved the eerie shots of the apartment building, and I was reminded of how horror movies love to use empty hallways to freak out the viewer. Well Dark Water and The Sixth Sense are both great examples of utilizing space and dim lighting to scare the viewer, making them feel very uneasy. It helps that the ghost in this movie is that kind of foreign ghost that does not care if you believe in them or not. Disbelief never helps people in a ghost movie.

Hitomi Kuroki is fantastic in this movie as the struggling mother trying to keep custody of her daughter after a bitter divorce. She is both sympathetic and overwhelmed, dealing with issues no mother should have to go through. Although the movie also focuses on her daughter, I felt that the movie went through Kuroki and that she was the reason Dark Water is such a near great film, one that anchors the dramatic elements and makes us care even as we are nervously waiting to see what happens next. Oh and I rather liked the final act, which served more as a coda than an ending, just because it was a haunting of a different kind. Hideo Nakata decides that living can be a tragedy in itself, and that we may see ghosts of any kind no matter where we go. They haunt us, giving us a window into a past that we often do not remember, and they never go away very easily.

Horrorfest 2019 Presents: The Awakening (2011, Nick Murphy)


Even though The Awakening is a tad slow paced and would work better if The Others didn’t exist I still liked it. Based on my past reviews I rather enjoy ghost story movies, especially when they have some good creepy moments, which Nick Murphy’s film does. It helps that the cast is good: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Stauton are the main players. Isaac Hempstead-Wright also continues the modern tradition of having good child actors in movie roles as well, playing Tom, who holds a key to the film’s overall mystery. I actually did not guess the twist although I am sure some will argue it was fairly well telegraphed if you paid attention, but I was just enjoying the film so I didn’t think too hard about it.

Honestly The Awakening is as much a drama as it is a horror movie, and the same can be said for other modern ghost films such as The Woman in Black and The Others. There was a nice jump scare early on at the boarding school where the movie takes place, and Hall is really good at conveying a woman who is really hunting for the supernatural for her own personal reasons. Grief and loss sometimes brings people together, and the truth is not always an easy quest.

Horrorfest 2018 Makes Me Shudder: 10 Years of Viewing


Look, I know the last one was a bust. I blame work, laziness, whatever. However this time I have a new, better resource: Shudder. Also not going with a list again, just showing the ones I have seen so far. Plus this is the 10th year of me doing Horrorfest. Wow. So I plan on going all out this time.

Based on the viewing list, I think I did pretty well.

1. Tourist Trap (1979, Crazy People)-https://wordpress.com/view/madman731.wordpress.com
2. Sleepaway Camp (1983, Slasher)-https://wordpress.com/view/madman731.wordpress.com
3. Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988, Demonic)-https://wordpress.com/post/madman731.wordpress.com/8723
4. Daughters of Darkness (1971, Vampires)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/horrorfest-2018-presents-daughters-of-darkness-1971-harry-kumel/
5. Basket Case (1982, Creature Feature)-https://wp.me/pRBID-2gT
6. The Meg (2018, Big Ass Shark)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-meg-2018-jon-turteltaub/
7. The Void (2016, Weird As Hell)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-void-2016-steven-kostanski-and-jeremy-gillespie/
8. The Addiction (1995, Vampires)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-addiction-1995-abel-ferrara/
9. Bad Moon (1996, Werewolf)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/?p=8763
10. The House By The Cemetery (1981, Italian horror)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-house-by-the-cemetery-1981-lucio-fulci/

Image result for House By The Cemetery gif

11. Don’t Go In The Woods (1981, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/horrorfest-2018-presents-dont-go-in-the-woods-1981-james-bryan/
12. Curtains (1983, Crazy People)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/horrorfest-2018-presents-curtains-1983-richard-ciupka/
13. Magic (1978, DUMMIES ARE CREEPY)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/horrorfest-2018-presents-magic-1978-richard-attenborough/
14. Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971, Giallo)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/the-black-belly-of-the-tarantula-1971-paolo-cavara/
15. Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988, Angela)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/horrorfest-2018-presents-sleepaway-camp-ii-unhappy-campers-1988-michael-a-simpson/
16. Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (1989, Angela. Again)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/horrorfest-2018-sleepaway-camp-iii-teenage-wasteland-1989-michael-a-simpson/
17. Scream Blacula, Scream (1972, Blacula. Duh)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/horrorfest-2018-presents-scream-blacula-scream-1973-bob-kelljan/
18. Split (2017, The Beast)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/04/horrorfest-2018-presents-split-2017-m-night-shyamalan/
19. Burial Ground (1985, Zombies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/horrorfest-2018-presents-burial-ground-aka-the-nights-of-terror-1985-andrea-bianchi/
20. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989, METAL BECOMES FLESH)-https://wordpress.com/post/madman731.wordpress.com/8814

Image result for Sleepaway Camp 2 gif

21. Cannibal Holocaust (1980, Cannibals)-https://wp.me/pRBID-2ik
22. The Giant Spider Invasion (1975, Spiders. Duh)-https://wordpress.com/posts/madman731.wordpress.com
23. Teenage Zombies (1960, Zombies)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/horrorfest-2018-presents-teenage-zombies-1960-jerry-warren/
24. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1974, Duh)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/horrorfest-2018-presents-bram-stokers-dracula-1974-dan-curtis/
25. Creepshow 2 (1987, Anthology)-https://wp.me/pRBID-2iA
26. Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977, WTF)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/death-bed-the-bed-that-eats-1977-george-barry/
27. Zombie Holocaust (1980, Zombies)-https://wp.me/pRBID-2iJ
28. The Gate (1987, Demons)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-gate-1987-tibor-takacs/
29. Chopping Mall (1986, Killer Robots)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/horrorfest-2018-presents-chopping-mall-1986-jim-wynorski/
30. Halloween (2018, Ole Mikey)-https://wordpress.com/posts/madman731.wordpress.com

Image result for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 gif

31. Hell Of The Living Dead (1984, Zombies)-https://wordpress.com/view/madman731.wordpress.com
32. The Bat (1959, Slasher Mystery)-https://wordpress.com/post/madman731.wordpress.com/8915
33. Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994, Weird)-https://wordpress.com/posts/madman731.wordpress.com
34. Contamination (1980, Aliens)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/horrorfest-2018-presents-contamination-1980-luigi-cozzi/
35. We Always Find Ourselves in the Sea (2017, Ghosts)-https://wordpress.com/posts/madman731.wordpress.com
36. Madman (1982, Brutal)-https://wordpress.com/view/madman731.wordpress.com
37. Willow Creek (2013, BIGFOOT IS PISSED)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/horrorfest-2019-presents-willow-creek-2013-bobcat-goldthwait/
38. Ghostwatch (1992, BBC Ghost Hunting)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/04/14/horrorfest-2019-presents-ghostwatch-1992-lesley-manning/

Halloween Night:

Rewatch: Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987, Barnes & Noble Blu-Ray)

39. The New York Ripper (1982, Slasher)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/05/03/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-new-york-ripper-1982-lucio-fulci/
40. The Deadly Spawn (1983, Aliens)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/horrorfest-2018-presents-the-deadly-spawn-1983-douglas-mckeown/
41. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961, Duh)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/05/10/horrorfest-2018-its-hammer-time-presents-the-curse-of-the-werewolf-1961-terence-fisher/
42. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986, The Sawyer Clan)-https://madman731.wordpress.com/2019/05/12/the-texas-chainsaw-massacre-2-1986-tobe-hooper/

Horrorfest 2017 Presents: The Black Torment (1964, Robert Hartford -Davis )


Made during the height of Hammer Studios The Black Torment feels like a lost film from them, and it has some of the grace notes of Hammer films. One thing I enjoy about the 1960s is the number of period horror films, many of them well done and entertaining. The Black Torment has ghosts, a sword fight, class issues and some good creepy scenes. The main cast is full of people I did not recognize, yet I felt that added a degree of intrigue to the movie, since I would not be able to guess what happened next.

One of the film’s highlights is Sir Richard Fordyke (John Turner) riding after a ghost! Who then manages to chase after him, in eerie and suspenseful fashion. The movie’s gothic horror aspects are its strongest features, and overcome some weak melodrama early on in the film. Heather Sears as Lady Elizabeth is excellently cast as Richard’s wife, and she more than holds her own in the film.

Plus there is a staircase scene that reminded me of The Shining, which makes me wonder if Stanley Kubrick got the inspiration for one of his film’s most infamous moments from The Black Torment. Every Horrorfest I uncover a hidden old gem, and I eagerly recommend this film to everyone looking for solid entertainment.

Horrorfest 2017: Dead Can Dance!


Image result for Dead Can Dance gif
Go Zombie Michael, Go!

Okay enough Friday the 13th homage titles. If you have not listened to the band Dead Can Dance, do so. Anyways its time for more horror films, as I have fallen into the old habit of viewing them every year. Plus writing reviews, which I plan to do much faster this time. My public library (three separate branches in town) has enough to get me started, and I am finally making the switch to Blu Ray after years of slumming it with DVD’s. So for my few readers, time to get scared…again.

PS: Long overdue reviews being written now. Also unfortunately this one was a rare bust due to life issues, lack of streaming, etc.

Public Library Edition Planned List (in alphabetical order):

1. Bite (2015, body horror)
2. The Black Torment (1964, gothic horror)
3. Blair Witch (2016, duh)
4. Blood For Dracula (1974, duh again)
5. Bram Stroker’s Dracula (1992, DUH)
6. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935, creature feature)
7. Crawlspace (1986, crazy people)
8. A Cure For Wellness (2016, crazy people)
9. Drag Me To Hell (2009, demons)
10. Flesh For Frankenstein (1973, creature feature)
11. Final Destination 2 (2003, DEATH)
12. Fright Night (2011, vampires)
13. The Girl With All The Gifts (2016, zombies)
14. Green Room (2016, crazy people)
15. The Horror Show (1989, evil spirit)
16. Krampus (2015, duh)
17. Legion (Exorcist III Director’s Cut, 1990, demonic)
18. Leviathan (1989, creature feature)
19. Lights Out (2016, evil spirits)
20. Little Shop of Horrors (1986, creature feature)
21. The Neon Demon (2016, crazy people)
22. Prison (1988, evil spirits)
23. The Quiet Ones (2013, evil spirits)
24. The Ring (2002, pissed off spirit)
25. The Tall Man (2012, urban legends)
26. Wrong Turn (2003, cannibals)
27. 31 (2016, seriously crazy people)

Other:

28. Night Monster (1942, creature feature)
29. Mother! (2017, crazy people)
30. The Manster (1959, creature feature)
31. Raw (2017, cannibals)
32. The Satanic Rights of Dracula (1974, yep)
33. Urban Legend (1998, slasher)
34. It (2017, Pennywise the Dancing Clown!)
35. Pieces (1982, giallo)
36. Alice, Sweet Alice (1976, giallo)

Halloween:

Rewatch: Return of the Living Dead (1985, zombies)

37. Jennifer’s Body (2009, demonic)
38. Salem’s Lot (1979, vampires)

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: We Are Still Here (2015, Ted Geoghegan)


Barbara Crampton is the official actress of my Horrorfest. She’s been in a lot of famous and notable horror films, one of her latest being the creepy modern classic horror flick We Are Still Here. This film is one big wonderfully gory and frightening homage to 1980s horror films. I also love how this movie utilizes empty and quiet spaces, reminding the viewer how the mundane and the everyday can be truly unsettling.

Anne (Crampton) and Paul (Andrew Sensenig) are a grieving couple who lost their son in a car accident. Moving into an old New England house is supposed to aid then in grieving, yet instead it leaves them open to attack from dark forces beyond the grave. It’s interesting how this film also manages to move across different horror sub genres with ease.

Oh and that last act is truly something else. I didn’t expect this film to be so violent, and I was also amused by Larry Fessenden, one of the few directors to be a decent actor. We Are Still Here is tragic, comedic, terrifying and memorable. I’m a sucker for haunted house movies. This one is more than just that, in spades.

Horrorfest 2016 Presents: The Others (2001, Alejandro Amenábar)


Tragic, eerie, and semi channeling The Innocents, The Others is a movimg horror drama. It’s anchored by Nicole Kidman, who reminds us how talented of an actress she really is, at times carrying this movie. Also it helps that the kid actors are good, and that the film has style and grace. It guilds up its atmosphere slowly and carefully.

There are also strong religious elements, as Grace home schools her children and is devoutly Catholic. Her servants are led by Mrs. Mills, who is equal parts charming, creepy and grandmotherly. Without saying anything truly spoiler filled this movie offers a unique and fascinating take on the ghost haunted house style flick. Few movies like The Others come along in a while, and when they do its best to tune in.

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