Tag Archives: Horror

Something for the Weekend

7 Nov

This week has been a busy one – I’ve mostly been preparing for my trip to Glasgow for the MTV EMA Awards this weekend (which is very exciting), so didn’t have chance to post the Weekly Viral Vaccine. In it’s place I’ve put together a little ‘Something for the weekend’ – a couple of juicy links to keep you entertained when you’re on the bus or waiting for a friend at the pub.

Enjoy!

  • Honda The Other Side – this incredible video allows you to switch between two stories with the click of the ‘R’ key. Beautifully (and meticulously) shot, it will have you watching again and again to see the different sides of the story.
  • The Motherlode of Deliciously Disturbing and Disgusting VHS Horror Art – naturally!
  • The John Lewis Christmas TV Ad Recut – the internet has been inundated with comments and tweets about Super-Agency Adam&Eve DDB’s newest heart-melting festive ad, but I always have more of a soft spot for the parodies – this one is winning by a country mile. Introducing The Babadook recut:
  • All the Best Fake Commercials from the Movies, in One Amazing Supercut – some of these are awesome!

applause

Halloween Food Pinspiration

30 Oct

If you didn’t know (where have you been?) it’s Halloween tomorrow, and as it falls on a Friday you have a whole weekend to celebrate one of the most fun holidays of the year. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for some fun Halloween-inspired recipes so you don’t have to. So why not take a crack at making some of these fabulous recipes at home to fuel your horror movie marathons – everyone does that right? It’s not just me, surely…

Click on the titles to go to the recipes. Enjoy!

Alien Chest-Buster Macaron

alienchestbustermacaron

 

Shattered Glass Cupcakes 

shatteredglasscupcakes

Cream Cheese Brain Dip

cheesebrain

Monster Donuts

Monster donuts

Witches Fingers

Witches Fingers

Spooky Spaghetti

spooky spaghetti

Cheese Broom Sticks

heese Broom Sticks

And Finally…..

halloweenfood

The Rules of Zombieland – Just in Time for Halloween

28 Oct

Halloween is just around the corner, and I know you’ll all thank me for giving you a recap of these rules (and a heads up that this might be the year that the undead come to shake things up and generally wreak havoc), so that you can live to survive another day.

So without further ado (time is tissue), here are the rules of Zombieland – learn them, live them, respect them.

 

zombieland

 

RULE #1 – CARDIO

rule1

Now we’re not saying skinny = fit, not by any stretch of the imagination, so whatever your size, genetic makeup or natural athletic ability, now’s the time to start getting fit and build up your stamina because you’re going to need it to run rings around these stupid things.

RULE #2 – DOUBLE TAP

double tap

Ok, so we don’t have guns here, but this rule still applies. Don’t be the dumbass that hits a zombie once in the face, then walks right by their outstretched arm, only to be grabbed by not-quite-dead-undead zombie and eaten alive. Mistakes cost lives. Double tab that walker with whatever weapon you have. Make sure they’re dead. Destroy the brain.

RULE #3 – BEWARE OF BATHROOMS

BATHROOMS

You should beware them in general, but especially when there are zombie hordes lurking. Remember, bathrooms typically have very small windows that are almost impossible to get out of (have you seen Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead?), so cubicle = cornered. Don’t do it – go in public, use the facili-trees if you have to.

RULE #3 – SEATBELTS

seatbelts

Safety first – it’s what every almost-survivor forgets. They get so caught up in the adrenaline-fuelled action that they forget the simplest things. You’re not going to be able to defend yourself from the undead when you’re splayed out on the road now, are you?

RULE #5 – NO ATTACHMENTS

It’s statistically proven that people without close family members or friends last longer in a zombie apocalypse, this is mainly because they don’t have to think about anyone other than themselves. Self-preservation is key. The minute you start trying to save other people, that’s when you make stupid decisions and end up risking your own life. Sad but true.

RULE #7 – TRAVEL LIGHT

TRAVEL LIGHT

Chances are, when the hordes attack, you’re not going to have time to pack all of your treasured possessions to take with you, so learn to travel light – ideally taking nothing at all. Get practicing now, detach yourself from material possessions, then it will come as less of a shock when you’re on the road with just a flashlight and a baseball bat to keep you company. Depressing but entirely possible.

RULE #17 – DON’T BE A HERO

don't be a hero

At least, not unless you’re willing to die for it. This one’s all about picking your battles. If a zombie is about to eat the only friend you have left in the world and you can’t imagine life without them, then THAT’S when you go for it – be the hero you’ve always dreamed of, and risk going out with a ‘bang’!

RULE #18 – LIMBER UP

limber

This kind of goes hand in hand with rule #1 – you wouldn’t run a race without limbering up first, so how do you expect to out-run a horde of hungry zombies for several miles? Whenever you get a few quiet moments (which are few and far between in the zombie apocalypse), stretch your limbs and mentally prepare yourself for what may lie ahead…

RULE #22 ALWAYS KNOW YOUR WAY OUT

zombieland rule22

Trust me when I say ‘smart people survive longer’ – you know why that is? Because they plan ahead – they keep their cool and look for signs and opportunities when others are in a state of panic. By quickly checking your suroundings and planning a way out, you hopefully won’t be caught short if an unexpected guest arrives *gulp*

RULE #31 – CHECK THE BACKSEAT

31check-the-back-seat

If there’s one thing to learn from horror movies it’s ‘check the backseat’ – this can be extended to checking the following areas too: under the bed, behind the door, behind the shower curtain – basically open plan with plenty of windows and open space is the way to go. Don’t let the fear of finding something put you in danger. Chances are, you’re going to be in a lot of cars (to get to where you want to go), so don’t let the sly suckers catch you out.

RULE #32 – ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS

enjoy

Finally, one of the most important rules – ‘enjoy the little things’. What’s the point in fighting bloody battles with the undead if you’re not going to enjoy what you have at the end of it? So swing from the Chandelier of the mansion you just broke into, go Skinnydipping in the river like you’ve always wanted to, or just eat as many Twinkies as you like (without someone nagging at you for being ‘unhealthy’) – now’s the time to enjoy life while you still can!

Trailer Drop

17 Sep
I’ve been scouring the web to find some of the best, new trailers to be released online this week. Enjoy!

 

SERENA

 

First up is Serena. This is the third film that Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have worked on together, and the high-profile pair will no doubt draw a big crowd for this Depression-era Drama.

 

 

 

 

JOHN WICK

 

20 years after Speed and Keanu Reeves is back in the Action Thriller saddle again with fast-paced revenge flick, John Wick. The moral of the film? Don’t piss off ex-hitmen! Count me in.

 

 

 

DAYS AND NIGHTS

 

An ensemble cast that promises a great performance for this comedy drama, set in rural New England in the ’80s. A Memorial Day weekend that turns sour after an unexpected event, reveals some truths and ultimately salvation for a troubled family.

 

 

 

THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN

 

A modern re-take on a 1976 horror movie ‘loosely’ based on a true story, The Town That Dreaded Sundown picks up in Texarkana, 65 years after the original ‘moonlight murders’ took place, with a new masked murderer on the loose. Is it the same guy or a copycat? Is there more to this plot than meets the eye? Perhaps not, but it looks like it could be a fun horror flick anyway…

 

 

 

THE BOY NEXT DOOR

 

If I told you this stars Jennifer Lopez as the lead, would you be surprised to know that it isn’t another dull rom-com? The latest addition to the growing trend of Creeper Thrillers, The Boy Next Door looks like a promising take on obsession movies, a reverse Fatal Attraction, if you will. It’s not out until January 2015 though…

 

 

 

EFFIE GRAY

 

Written by Emma Thompson, Effie Gray is an historical drama starring Dakota Fanning in the titular role. It tells the tale of the first woman in history to seek a divorce from her husband. Fascinating stuff!

 

 

 

GTA V

 

Rockstar has just released a new trailer for GTA V to celebrate the new-gen console version release date announcements. Xbox One and PS4 players will be able to buy the new version from November 18th. Additions to the game include new vehicles, new weapons, and even new wildlife!

 

 

RESIDENT EVIL REVELATIONS 2

 

Capcom has released this new trailer, and announced that the game will be released episodically (odd, but perhaps a smart move).
“The party is crashed, Claire and Moira are knocked unconscious and taken to a mysterious detention center located on an island. They soon encounter demented, writhing enemies called Afflicted roaming the halls of this abandoned facility, and have to team up to survive. The real question is, who brought them here? And… why?”

 

Film Friday – New Trailers

12 Sep

Not been keeping up with the latest trailers to be released? Fear not, I’ve compiled them all for you here – and will be updating each week along with a little blurb to explain what it’s about.

First up – CUB:

A new campfire horror flick, in which a group of cub scouts find themselves terrorised during a camping trip to the woods.

 

MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT

This is the first trailer for the follow up to Gareth Edwards micro-budget film, Monsters. Since landing mega-budget gig directing Godzilla, Edwards is now ‘big time’ and so has passed the directing helm to newcomer Tom Green (not the comedian), whose previous work includes the channel 4 series, Misfits.

 

THE WALKING DEAD

Two new teasers have landed for the new season of The Walking Dead, which starts on Fox TV UK on the 13th October (not too long to go)!

Co-creator of the Graphic Novel Robert Kirkman has described this season as “explosive”, “messy”, “brutal” and “thrilling” and added “this is a season that is going to be pretty close to the comics”.

 

GOTHAM

Gotham is an origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes, from executive producer/writer of The Mentalist and Rome. Starring Sean Pertwee and Jada Pinkett Smith, Gotham premieres on FOX on the 22nd September.

 

Jason Voorhees, This Is Your Life: A look back at the Friday the 13th series

13 Jul

Jason ‘mummy’s boy’ Voorhees is looking pretty pleased with himself these days (eyes right), and so he should – How many other socially inept, unfortunate looking dudes like him do you know that can say they’ve made a successful cult franchise with 11 movies and are a household name? Not many!

Here’s a run down all 11 films (watched/ re-watched in only 4 sittings, I’m hardcore) and what makes them awesome (or indeed awful)!

Friday the 13th:

It all started here. The year is 1980 – We follow a group of innocent teens to Camp Crystal Lake for the summer, where they are picked off one by one, by an unknown killer. Great early use of the killer’s POV camera shots and some stunning SFX from the master, Tom Savini. Don’t get me wrong, this movie scared the absolute bejesus out of me when I first saw it (aged 12) but it doesn’t hold up as well now, against some of the other classic slashers of it’s time such as Halloween or A Nightmare On Elm Street. Having said that, if we didn’t have the original, the below beauties would never have existed… Check out the trailer for Friday below, and enjoy the pointless counting to 13 – it may be entertaining now, but it soon gets dull when you realise they do it on EVERY trailer up until about part 6!

Friday the 13th Part 2:

It’s exactly one year later – and still somehow also Friday the 13th, that’s impossible, but let’s allow a little creative license shall we? even though it defies the laws of physics…

The trailer for this one again gives away all of the details of who dies, how and in which order – what is the obsession with body counts? If you missed the first film or forgot how it ended, don’t worry, the first 10 minutes of part 2 is pretty much a shot for shit recap of the whole thing.

Friday the 13th Part 3: 3D:

My favourite of the first 3 movies, by a country mile. It’s got everything: A biker clan, a fat girl eating a donut, some unruly sex-crazed teens with particularly awesome ’80s hair and attire. Oh and it’s in 3D! Some clever use of that eye-popping new 3D technology including yoyo gags, pitchfork fun and hot poker jiggery-pokery. A particular highlight from this film for me is the upside down, machete-meets-crotch kill – any guy showing off doing a handstand when there’s a killer on the loose is asking for it.

Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter:

…Except it’s not, is it? What I didn’t realise until putting the DVD on was that Crispin Glover was in this one, and boy did he put on a good show! Check out the video below of his super-cool dance moves – my heart did a little dance when I first saw this. Note to all genre filmmakers: Just because you’re making a scary movie, doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a little ‘funny’:

Back to the movie, this is perhaps one of the most sophisticated in terms of direction (in particular that beautiful slo-mo shot of a girl falling through a window) and Jason is more dynamic than ever; bursting through walls and doors, pulling peoples heads through windows – there’s no stopping him!

Part 4 introduces a younger character to the previously predictable and stale ensemble, Tommy Jarvis. Younger brother to our central heroine Trish, Tommy is fascinated with horror films (he even creates his own latex masks) and this sets him up as the perfect candidate to go head to head with Jason. Cue the child actor who never grew up Corey Feldman, who kicks some serious ass and goes balls-out batshit crazy in the final scene. I like to think this is how I would have dealt with Jason as a kid (I was a bit mental back then!)

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning:

Damn right it’s a new beginning – the Friday series gets a new lease of life the same year as I was born, yay! How can you follow up the brilliant dance moves of Crispin Glover in part 4? I hear you cry. With a goth girl doing ‘the robot’ to His Eyes by Pseudo Echo, of course! Just watch the dancing (not the death – don’t spoil the surprise):

Someone really needs to work out a timeline for the Friday the 13th franchise because it seems to get very confused. I’m not sure how many years are supposed to have passed after part 4, but with the exception of the intro/ recap, Tommy Jarvis is now played by someone who looks completely different, and appears to have aged about 15 years!

There is a lot of mixed feeling towards this installment, partly because is breaks one of the fundamental rules of the horror genre – don’t cheat. I won’t say anymore than that in case you have yet to see the film (what are you waiting for, get a copy and see it now!), but I will say not everything is as it seems…

Friday the 13th part VI: Jason Lives:

With yet another, couldn’t-be-more-different-looking actor playing an even more grown up Tommy (how old he is supposed to be now is anybody’s guess), Jason Lives is the first of the series to turn Jason into a zombie (how else were they going to bring him back?) – the opening scene shows Jason being accidentally raised from the dead thanks to Tommy and his dumbass mate, who intend to dig up the corpse and cremate it, but just as they start digging with a big spike, a bolt of lightning strikes and re-animates Jason. Uh-oh.

This episode sees Tommy return to Crystal Lake (now renamed Forest Green) to put right the damage, so he warns the town Sheriff – unfortunately he recognises Tommy as having escaped a mental insititution and locks him up in a cell. Cue sheriff’s good-girl-gone-bad daughter, Megan, (whose idea of entertainment is balancing chairs on two legs – hardcore), who takes a liking to the sightly unhinged Tommy and wants to help him out.

Everyone raves about the paintballing scene, which I think for the most part is overrated – except for a bit where a guy gets his head smashed against a tree to reveal a bloody, smiley faced imprint (which I didn’t realise was actually there before).

Friday the 13th part VII: The New Blood:

Everyone seems to be having sex in tents or the back of a van in this one.

Lead girl Tina has a very Amy Smart vibe about her, the mum has possibly the best gravity-defying ’80s hair and the Doctor won’t stop harping on about Tina’s dad.

You can’t ignore the massive Carrie homage in this one with our heroine Tina (who even happens to look like Sissy Spacek) harbouring telekinetic powers. She kills her alcoholic, wife-beating dad by willing the porch to fall on his head – he disappears underwater never to be seen again, at least, that’s what we’re meant to think.

Without a doubt the two best bits of the movie are when Tina’s mum and doctor go out into the woods to look for her, and the mum ends up shouting her name maniacally, with a crazed facial expression to match. The other is when a nerdy kid is about to get it on with one of the popular girls only for her to reveal that it’s not really gonna happen cos he doesn’t turn her on – his response to this ‘rejection’ is classic and should be carved in stone: “I’ve been rejected by some of the finest science fiction magazines in the continental United States”.

This is the first entry of the series where for great chunks of the movie you completely forget you are watching a ‘Friday’ movie – Jason is a minor character (more so than in any of the other films), and he only really bothers to show up properly in the last 20 minutes. It’s verging on Hellraiser territory.

Part 7 also marks the first appearance of Kane Hodder as Jason (perhaps the actor best known to play him in the series), as well as the introduction of the possibility of a collaboration with the Nightmare on Elm Street series (albeit subliminally); the changes in soundtrack from jarring strings to a more dreamlike electro sound and the supernatural element of having the main character with telekinetic powers. Funnily enough this was supposed to be the first film of the franchise where Jason and Freddy come to blows, but didn’t go ahead due to Paramount and New Line not coming to an agreement (a problem that was eventually solved when New Line bought the rights to the Friday films and released Freddy vs Jason in 2003).

Friday the 13th Part 8 – Jason takes Manhattan:

Manhattan, rather like Jason in several entries of the franchise, hardly makes an appearance in the film – in fact, most of the story takes place on board a boat en route to Manhattan.

It’s pretty unique not only in it location, but also it’s methods of dispatch. Jason’s done with the machete – that was sooo ’88, no man it’s all about using what you’ve got to hand now, and getting creative with it. Cue a harpoon gun, control panel, an electric guitar, a needle, and just punching someone’s head off!

This is by far my favourite trailer – it totally has you in it’s grips; that cheesy, sax soundtrack, the romantic New York skyline – you think you’re watching a trailer for the latest Tom Hanks ’80s Rom-Com as they slowly pushes in on a male figure with his back to us, then BAM! He turns round and it’s Jason! Fooled ya…

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday:

In the opening credits sequence the tension is palpable, this is the first Jason movie (up to this point) that has actually felt threatening and scary, and features perhaps the most memorable role reversal setup in a horror franchise – cue the female bait, a SWAT team, and Jason Voorhees being obliterated into a million pieces. All of this in the first 15 minutes.

I’m not usually a fan of jumping the shark, but I usually give horror films a bit of a break, especially if they bend the rules creatively. I knew we’d be in good hands with this one when I saw Sean S. Cunningham’s name with a Producer credit, returning to the helm to spice things up and drag this antiquated series kicking and screaming into the 21st Century (way ahead of it’s time, I might add!)

Having done the standard slasher stuff, then zombie thing, and the telekinetic tom-foolery, part 9 allows for things to get freaky with the occult. It turns out that Jason was just a mindless killing machine vessel, for a demon that possessed his heart, all along. When a coroner examines the infamous lifeless corpse of the serial killer, he gets a little too close and ends up EATING HIS HEART?! What the….? (stick with it, people…) This film has everything including a seriously badass Bounty Hunter named Creighton Duke and some of the best deaths of the entire franchise (deep fried head anyone?)

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that despite it being totally bloody mental, part 9 is one of my all time faves of the series, save for the next entry – Jason X.

Jason X:

Jason in space – WHY DID NOONE THINK OF THIS SOONER?! Usually reserved for part 4 of any franchise (see Hellraiser, Critters, Leprechaun for examples), Jason’s far too cool for that, instead holding out for part ten to be set in space – let’s face it, they’ve exhausted every other possible avenue by now.

This movie is tongue-in-cheek all the way, and revels in the fact. Every character is bursting with energy and charisma – there are no unforgettables in this one, you either love ’em or hate ’em. Sure, it borrows heavily from the best and original Sci-Fi Horror movies of all time, Alien and Aliens, but it has fun and sets out to do nothing but entertain.

It has perhaps the best re-watchability of all of the films in the franchise, as there’s always plenty going on and it requires little neuron activity to take it on board. If you don’t love this movie, to borrow a much loved end of a horror movie tagline: you’re dead already!

Freddy vs Jason:

Ten years in the making, and the more forgiving, 18 year old me, watching it for the first time at Nottingham Odeon thought it was awesome – but having revisited it more recently (having seen a great deal more horror films since then) it didn’t hold up so well, and definitely not in comparison to the previous ten Friday films.

Let’s take a look at the evidence – you’ve got a member of ’90s R&B pop group Destiny’s Child in a lead role (that’s strike one), there is a scene where Freddy fights Jason by using him as a marble in a human pinball game (lame move, strike two), and there are way too many CGI effects where real effects could have been used instead (that’s three strikes, you’re out).

Worth a watch if, like me, you waited for ten years for the promise of a Freddy and Jason tete a tete to come to fruition. But just don’t go expecting anything life changing.

If you have a spare 10 minutes and wanna check out all of the inventive – some just downright ridiculous – deaths from the franchise, then you’re in luck – a helpful YouTuber has compiled the lot in this video. Enjoy!

Review: Storage 24

29 Jun

Plot

Rising star Noel Clarke (Kidulthood) and Johannes Roberts (‘F’) join forces to bring you the ultimate S.F.H. (Science Fiction Horror) movie – is that even a genre? – Storage 24. Set almost entirely in a London storage depot, the film follows recently dumped Charlie (Noel Clarke) and his best mate Mark (Colin O’Donoghue), as they head over to their local storage facilities so that he can collect his belongings. To pour salt on the wounds when they arrive the Ex-girlfriend (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) is there along with her friends Nikki (Laura Haddock) and Chris (Jamie Thomas King), and it doesn’t take long before arguments ensue.

A domestic is the least of their problems though, as the lights begin to flicker and strange noises fill the room, distracting them from their Jeremy Kyle like situation; Something is on the loose, and it’s picking the people off one by one.

 

Review

The main problem I had with this movie (and it’s only a minor one) is that the Alien is revealed in it’s entirety a little too soon – there isn’t enough mystery surrounding the reveal of the creature. Having said that, both the special and real effects (Roberts revealed at the Q&A that a lot of what you see of the alien is a guy in a suit as opposed to CGI) are pretty damn good and there are some tense scenes involving the Alien that had a couple of girls on the row behind me screaming for their lives!

The same girls could be heard throughout, wincing “I can’t take any more of this, it’s too much!” – it’s got some nice tense moments, sure, but it’s not that scary. Examples like this are a great barometer for a typical audience reaction – you could tell that these girls weren’t hardened horror or Sci-Fi fans, they are the people who will see this film on a whim or because Noel Clarke’s name is attached. For these particular audience members, Storage 24 will do a grand job of scary the crap out of you!

Written by and starring Noel Clarke, it could easily have turned into a self-indulgent, Tommy Wiseau style affair, but it didn’t. Some of the dialogue is a bit clunky at first but the humour throughout is genuine – there are some great laugh out loud moments and considering that 95% of the movie is set in a storage depot (which gives it an eerie spaceship feel) it flows quite nicely. At no point do you find yourself checking the time because it feels like its dragging. One of my best friends happens to work in a storage depot – unfortunately I didn’t get to watch the film with her (despite going to see it twice), but I’m keen to see what her reaction is to it.

The movie focuses quite heavily on the characters’ backstory and relationships which, while it may seem very obvious and over-saturated, it works quite nicely here. The fact that the biggest audience reaction (both times) was an audible gasp (in horror) at a non-alien related plot twist, says it all.

It’s also quite refreshing to see a modern British Horror/ Sci-Fi movie with a cast of solid actors – they all have a relatively natural acting style, going against the archetype of the genre; overacting. But not here, the performances remained understated for the majority of the film, only ramping it up in the final act for when it ‘hits the fan’ in the final act for extra effect.

The microcosmic script works so well – with almost all of the action taking place inside the storage depot you don’t even think about how it will effect the outside world and that’s the beauty of it. It is a story that is containable, a necessity when working to a tight budget. In the Q&A, Roberts and Clarke revealed that the film was made for an eighth of Joe Cornish’s Attack The Block budget – a fact I think most would need to be told, as it certainly doesn’t show. The script, effects, moral underpinning and cast are far superior in Storage 24, and more importantly it is more original – I’m sick of seeing these council estate horror films (Cherry Tree LaneAttack The BlockOutcast), it’s been done and we’re over it now.

Overall a pretty awesome movie. Half a star deducted for the last 30 seconds of the film – it may have been a budgetary decision or perhaps an attempt to pave the way for a sequel, either way it ‘jumps the shark’ and the film would have been better without it. Half a star added purely for the plot device involving a battery operated toy dog, which was a pure stroke of genius!