Archive for category: Horror

Blu-ray: ‘Dead Kids’ (aka ‘Strange Behavior’)

31 March, 2014 (06:57) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Originally released in the U.S. under the name Strange Behavior, Dead Kids is the debut screenplay by future director and Oscar-winning screenwriter Bill Condon (he Oscared for Gods and Monsters) and the directorial debut of producer Michael Laughlin (Two-Lane Blacktop), two Americans who got their offbeat horror movie made by filming it as an Australian […]

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Review: Larry Fessenden’s ‘Beneath’

25 March, 2014 (08:18) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Beneath was one of the best horror film of 2013. But most people never heard about it. Produced by Chiller, a horror-themed sibling to the SyFy cable network still struggling for name recognition and access to cable systems, Beneath is the first feature in almost a decade directed by Larry Fessenden. It played a few […]

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Watching with Larry Fessenden, director of ‘Beneath’

24 March, 2014 (15:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror, Interviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Larry Fessenden loves horror movies. As a director he has brought his own unique approach to the classic horror stories and conventions in such films as Habit, Wendigo, and his animist ghost story / environmental thriller The Last Winter. Through his production company Glass Eye Pix his has produced or co-produced dozens of films, including […]

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Videophiled Classic: ‘The Visitor’ Brings Satanic Incoherence with a Side of Bizarre

8 March, 2014 (17:38) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

The Visitor (Drafthouse, Blu-ray, DVD), a 1979 Italian giallo-esque supernatural horror with an American cast and a former Fellini assistant taking the directorial reigns with more imagination than storytelling discipline, is not the first Exorcist knock-off to come out of the Italian genre factory. It may, however, be the least coherent. Opening on Franco Nero […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Frankenstein Created Woman’

8 March, 2014 (06:39) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

When British production studio Hammer Films first found success reviving the classic movie monsters with remakes of Universal horror films of the thirties in full, blood-dripping color and lurid Gothic style, they tried their hand at every iconic horror classic they could, but they found their biggest successes minting sequels to The Curse of Frankenstein […]

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Blu-ray: Paul Schrader’s ‘Cat People’

5 March, 2014 (06:33) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Ostensibly a remake of the 1942 classic by the same name, Paul Schrader’s 1982 Cat People is a cat of a different species entirely. At the time, it was accused of being garish and gory and literal in its exploration of sexuality as an animal impulse, in contrast to the shadowy psychological suggestions of the […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Dracula: Prince of Darkness’

3 March, 2014 (06:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Seven years after resurrecting Count Dracula for a new generation in Hammer Films’ The Horror of Dracula, Christopher Lee returned to role under the direction of Hammer’s defining director, Terence Fisher, for a direct sequel. In fact, Dracula: Prince of Darkness opens a recap of the Horror of Dracula finale, which is the first and […]

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Videophiled: JT Petty’s ‘Hellbenders’ 3D

18 February, 2014 (09:56) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Hellbenders (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, Digital HD) – It’s an unusually thin week for New Releases on disc, so I took the opportunity to grab something that might ordinarily get overlooked. I’ve been a fan of JT Petty since he made Soft for Digging more than a decade ago. He’s got a gift for […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Fifth Estate’ and ‘Argento’s Dracula’

28 January, 2014 (10:57) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

The Fifth Estate (Touchstone, Blu-ray, DVD) – Benedict Cumberbatch makes such a fascinating Julian Assange that it only focuses attention the problems with Bill Condon’s portrait of Assange, WikiLeaks and the Bradley Manning revelations. Ostensibly about how Assange and WikiLeaks rocked the word with a whistleblowing leak on a scale unseen since The Pentagon Papers, […]

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Videophiled: ‘The Big Gundown’ and ‘Nightmare City’

31 December, 2013 (09:57) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

It’s hard to believe that The Big Gundown (Grindhouse, Blu-ray+DVD Combo), easily one of the best spaghetti westerns ever made, has never been on home video in the U.S. in any legitimate form before. It features Lee Van Cleef in a rare heroic role as Jonathan Corbett, a dogged lawman without a badge who applies […]

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Blu-ray: ‘Byzantium’

21 December, 2013 (08:35) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

Neil Jordan has long been captivated by the meeting of myth and magic and storytelling with the material world of love and sex and family, from the fairytale reworking of A Company of Wolves through the folktale on the Irish coast in Ondine. Byzantium, based on a play by Moira Buffin, is his second take […]

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Videophiled Cool and Classic: The most gothic ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Nosferatu’ restored

14 November, 2013 (10:46) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Horror | By: Sean Axmaker

The 1943 Jane Eyre (Twilight Time, Blu-ray) stars Joan Fontaine as Jane, the heroine of Charlotte Brontë’s classic Gothic romance about a meek orphan hired by a brooding aristocrat to be governess to his young ward, but it’s Orson Welles who dominates the drama with both his dark, electric presence as Edward Rochester and his […]

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Why John Carpenter Is the Most Underrated Filmmaker Of Our Time

23 October, 2013 (05:45) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Essays, Film Reviews, Horror, John Carpenter | By: Sean Axmaker

About a decade ago while I was attending the Vancouver International Film Festival, I ended the screening day over beers with a small group of critics. By the end of the evening, we came around to proclaiming John Carpenter the most underrated American filmmaker of our time. Here’s a filmmaker who has made only one […]

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‘We Are What We Are’ walks a fine horror, art house line

12 October, 2013 (09:07) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Robert Horton

I keep mis-remembering the title We Are What We Are as “We Are What We Eat.” And it seems that’s not so far off. Spoilers allowing, maybe we can get to an explanation. In the meantime, this supremely creepy film finds a groove between arty horror and throttle-out craziness. Director Jim Mickle, who did a […]

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‘Maniac’: Elijah Wood in a Creepy, Needless Remake

11 July, 2013 (10:02) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Robert Horton

The 1980 Maniac is one of those periodic exploitation concepts that pay off handsomely: low budget, killer title, horrified reviews that can be used to drum up interest, and good timing (the malaise era was at its death-gasp nadir). The thing made a huge profit. A remake can’t capture that nervy, subversive vibe—there’s no surprise […]

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