SACRILEGE Film Review! Demon kids gonna be demon kids!

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Director: Paul Catalanotto
Writer: Mary Nguyen Catalanotto, Paul Catalanotto, and Mark Twain Williams
Starring: Jenn Foreman, Megan Few, Jordan Salloum, Kim Baptiste, Greg Pearson, and Chad Graham 

Sacrilege is of that particular breed of horror film centered on a possessed object tormenting those unfortunate enough to come into contact with it. The most recent spate of similar films range from 2013’s Oculus to this year’s killer-doll sequel Annabelle: Creation, and there’s something inherently interesting in the idea that the things in our home might be out to get us. That draw aside, Sacrilege’s well-worn tale of a childhood toy (in this case, a music box) harboring a demonic spirit doesn’t appear to have much to recommend it on the surface—however, despite uneven acting and the occasional rookie directing mistakes, there are unique points and a solid plot shining through the direct-to-video veneer.

Check out my full review with more screenshots at HorrorNews.Net!

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CLOWN KILL Review! Who doesn’t love movies that combine clowns and rape? Me. I don’t.

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Director/Writer: Mark J. Howard

Starring: Jessica Cunningham, Roy Basnett, Stephen Greenhalgh, James Thompson, Tim Paley, Jeff Downs, Rachel Dargie

Until I slogged through Clown Kill (also known as Lock In), my least favorite clown-themed film this year had been director Aaron Mirtes’ Clowntergeist. That film, which featured a weak protagonist and overlong, action-less scenes, has easily been usurped by Clown Kill, writer/director Mark J. Howard’s misogynistic attempt at a fun slasher romp that alternates between depictions of inept office management and sexual harassment with the deftness of a blind cow on a tightrope.

Read my full review of this truly awful movie at HorrorNews.Net!

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SUMMER SHARK ATTACK/OZARK SHARKS Review! Fun in the Sun–er, Swamp!

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Ozark Sharks, also known as Summer Shark Attack, is not what you’d expect—it’s actually well written. Script writer and Lifetime Movie Network alumn Marcy Holland (Fatal AcquittalSexting in Suburbia) adds quip-heavy dialogue and sleek character development to the bare-boned story provided by shark-themed SyFy channel movie auteur Greg Mitchell (Zombie Sharks writer). Combined with fine acting, Ozark Sharks wins the game, despite effects that prove even more comic than the dialogue.

This is another surprise pleasure from director Misty Talley, and is worth a watch if you like snark and goofy gore flicks. Check out my full review, and get more details at HorrorNews.Net!

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A ROOM TO DIE FOR, aka RANCOUR (2017) Review! Murder, rape, and bad audio!

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Director: Devanand Shanmugam
Writer: Matthew J. Gunn, Devanand Shanmugam
Starring: Loren Peta, Michael Lieber, Christopher Craig, Antonia Davies, Ben Ellis

A Room to Die For (or Rancour, if you prefer), is an English horror film of the insane-elderly variety. There’s a long tradition of mad old folks in horror movies, from the hagsploitation classic What’s the Matter with Helen? (1971), to M. Night Shyamalan’s 2015 creeper The Visit, and the makers of A Room to Die For try hard to reach the quality of their forbearers with mixed results.

Part of the reason for this half-success is the film’s division into what are essentially two separate films. The first half follows god-awful stand-up comedian Mark (Michael Lieber, RamanujanVideo Killer) and his run-ins with his crazy new landlords, Henry (Christopher Craig, Black Venus) and Josephine Baker (Antonia Davies, Lords of London). After his discover of their disturbing secret, the film switches focus to Mark’s more capable girlfriend, Jill (Loren Peta, Return of the Don), and her capture and subsequent torture. There’s a plot involving a baby running through the thing, but you probably won’t guess how it wraps up (unless you’ve got a real sick mind!)

Read the gory details in my full review at HorrorNews.Net!

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THE SUMMONING (2017) Review! Gothic ghosts and confusion!

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Director: Alberto G. Rodriguez

Writer: Alberto G. Rodriguez

Starring: Leila Almas, Jaime Zevallos, Manny M. Hernandez, Eric Roberts

The Summoning is the story of law student Rachel—played by Leila Almas (American Sharia)—and Detective Silva—played by Jaime Zevallos (American Horror Story)—both of whom run afoul of greedy southern land owners. Rachel is also haunted the angry spirits of dead slaves buried under her feet, and Silva is working to cover-up the murder of his daughter’s killer; both of these facts have nothing but the merest hint of attachment to the film’s plot, despite accounting for half of the 87-minute runtime.

Check out my full review for this confused attempt at southern fright over at HorrorNews.Net!

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PREVENGE film review! Unborn baby seeks revenge, mommy unhappy!

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SYNOPSIS:

Widow Ruth is seven months pregnant when, believing herself to be guided by her unborn baby, she embarks on a homicidal rampage, dispatching anyone who stands in her way.

REVIEW:

Director/Writer: Alice Lowe
Starring: Alice Lowe, Jo Hartley, Tom Davis, Kayvan Novak, Gemma Whelan

Prevenge is, by the title alone, a worthy impulse watch. A pregnant woman is driven to kill by the voice of her unborn fetus? Sign me up! The good news is that Alice Lowe’s feature length directorial debut is both funny and unnerving, and she brings brilliant life to her own script in the title role, a task few have accomplished.

This is one of the don’t-miss films of this year, no joke. Check out my detailed review at HorrorNews.Net!

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THE LOVE WITCH review! Awesome Gothic throwback with Burlesque!

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SYNOPSIS:

Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 1970s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.

REVIEW:

Director/Writer: Anna Biller
Starring: Samantha Robinson, Laura Waddell, Jeffrey Vincent Parise, Gian Keys

The Love Witch is writer/director Anne  Biller’s homage to the 60’s and 70’s Gothic romance films. We’re not talking Hammer or Amicus Productions, but the films born out of their successes from smaller production houses, such as Roger Vadim’s Blood and Roses (1960), or even Amando de Ossorio’s Malenka/Fangs of the Living Dead (1969). What those latter films had that Hammer and Amicus lacked is a sense of intentional awkwardness, a kind of self-conscious desire to hold camera shots extra-long for benefit of the melodrama, and at the expense of believe-ability. Luckily for the talented Biller, The Love Witch is all the better for this approach.

Check out the details on this awesome film at HorrorNews.Net!

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AWAKENING THE ZODIAC review! Serial killer + Unmotivated rage!

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SYNOPSIS:
The story follows a down-on-their-luck couple who discovers a serial killer’s film reels. They decide to take the law into their own hands, risking everything for the chance at a $100,000 reward. It isn’t long until they find themselves in the killer’s lethal cross-hairs.
 REVIEW:
Director: Jonathan Wright
Writers: Jennifer Archer, Mike Horrigan, Jonathan Wright
Starring: Shane West, Leslie Bibb, Matt Craven, Stephen McHattie, and Nicholas Campbell

 

Awakening the Zodiac is the most recent filmic attempt to exploit the real-life serial killer known as Zodiac for a good thrill. The film has a clever setup—trailer park couple Mick (Shane West, ER) and Zoe Branson (Leslie Bibb, Trick ‘r Treat), along with pawn broker Harvey (Matt Craven, X-Men: First Class), uncover the snuff films of the never-caught Zodiac Killer in an auctioned storage locker. Eager to get the $100,000 dollar reward for the killer’s arrest, the trio begins hunting the madman who just so happens to have retired to rural Texas. Their prodding into the past does not go unnoticed, and none-other than the Zodiac Killer himself is soon on their tail.

 

The hunter-hunted back and forth promise of the plot is unfortunately not born out in Awakening the Zodiac, as the killer—wonderfully played by seventy-year-old Stephen McHattie (Orphan BlackThe Strain)—doesn’t have a role until the final quarter of the film. Rather, viewers are treated to a somewhat pedestrian detective story depicting West and Bibb digging through files and overreacting.

Get the skinny on the film with my full review at HorrorNews.Net!

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IBIZA UNDEAD review! Zombies and British and Spring Breakers, Oh My!

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SYNOPSIS:

A group of young people head to Ibiza for the holiday of a lifetime – all the sun, sea and sex they can handle. If only there wasn’t a zombie outbreak getting in the way.

REVIEW:

Director/Writer: Andy Edwards
Starring: Cara Theobold, Emily Atack, Algina Lipskis, Jordan Coulson, Homer Todiwala, Ed Kear, Matt King, Marcia Do Vales.

I do not have a soft spot for teen sex romps, and that’s why I wasn’t much looking forward to Writer/Director Andy Edwards UK zombie rom-com Ibiza Undead. It was all the more surprising, then, that I enjoyed it—laughed, even, at the off-kilter jokes and sophomoric content riddling the film. There are several reasons for this: Ibiza Undead’s got unexpected heart, plants its tongue firmly in its rotting cheek, and acknowledges the stereotypes of the genre that it could so easily lose itself to.

Check out why I actually like this film at HorrorNews.Net!

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THE HOLLY KANE EXPERIMENT Review! Brain-washing and moping around, hurrah!

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In The Holly Kane Experiment (2017), the titular character (Kirsty Averton) is an isolated young psychologist who spends her time tweaking a do-it-yourself website about her subliminal mind-control techniques, and having beers with her chemist turned-drug-dealer friend. When she gets a call from the local hospital to help a patient manage surgery pain, Holly winds up with a malpractice lawsuit when the patient’s feelings fail to return.

This does nothing to brighten Holly’s daily routine of typing and submitting herself to drug-induced brainwashings, but things look up when she runs into the dorky yet charming post divorcee Dennis MacIntyre (James Rose.) Despite his overt fear of surveillance and clear history of mental problems, Holly takes a shine to Dennis. The two get along fine, until Holly’s professional idol, Dr. Marvin Greenslade (Nicky Henson), shows up to fund her research and make her malpractice charge disappear. Despite being several decades her senior, Dr. Greenslade comes on to his new protegee, and she accepts his advances, albeit with the vigor a sofa cushion exhibits when accepting the advances of an amorous puppy.

Check out my full review of this UK delight at HorrorNews.Net!

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