All posts by James Gracey

James is the author of Dario Argento (Kamera Books) and a monograph on The Company of Wolves (Devil’s Advocates). He contributes to Diabolique, and has also written for Paracinema, Film Ireland, Eye for Film, Little White Lies and The Quietus.

The Unnatural History Museum

This window into Viktor Wynd's unknown world is an invitation to be disarmed and seduced by the strange, the forbidden, and the inexplicable.

/ May 26, 2020

The Wind

A highly enjoyable, atmospheric thriller that unfortunately tails off into a mere breeze instead of building into the raging, frenzied tempest it could have been.

/ April 12, 2020

Why Don’t You Just Die!

Peppered with moments of pastiche, Kirill Sokolov's debut has a zany, kinetic energy that will appeal to admirers of off-kilter, graphic and darkly comic cult cinema.

/ April 7, 2020

Cromwell Stone

A spellbinding tale of forbidden knowledge, ancient otherworldly entities, strange cults, and alien worlds that lurk unseen on the periphery of our own.

/ November 25, 2019

The Strangers: Prey At Night

Offering the same taut suspense as its predecessor, there is much to enjoy in this terrific exercise in nerve-wrecking tension.

/ August 27, 2018

Demon

Darkly absurd humour, with a deeply unsettling score and cinematography that bolster the portentous atmosphere of dread.

/ May 28, 2018

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary Vol. II

While the tales are condensed, key dialogue and memorably nerve-jangling passages are retained. All are hauntingly effective.

/ October 12, 2017

Nope, Nothing Wrong Here

In conversation with author and film historian Lee Gambin on his monograph on the adaptation of Stephen King's Cujo.

/ July 26, 2017

Demon Hunter

Possessing a strong comic book aesthetic, Demon Hunter echoes the likes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Blade.

/ June 11, 2017

We Go On

A fascinating central premise strongly evokes The Twilight Zone, the focused script ensuring an insular, intimate atmosphere.

/ February 21, 2017

Rare Breeds

A dark, terse and keenly paced little chiller that brims with unsettling ideas and nightmarish detail, subverting expectations.

/ February 15, 2017

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

Cuts to the core of the horror without ever diluting or compromising M. R. James’ carefully woven plots. Recommended for die-hard enthusiasts.

/ October 21, 2016

Some Kind of Hate

Beautifully filmed, with a bleak karmic mantra that makes for a frequently intense viewing experience.

/ May 6, 2016

Night of the Living Deb

A comic, upbeat tone throughout that features more one-liners than you can shake a severed arm at.

/ May 2, 2016

Curtain

Gleefully absurd, a gonzo sense of humour ensures that Curtain is a disarmingly compelling and bizarro genre gem.

/ March 5, 2016

Landmine Goes Click

An almost perfect exercise in queasy tension, but would benefit from a tighter script and better characterisation.

/ March 2, 2016

The X-Files FAQ

The X-Files FAQ is an enriching and accessible exploration of one of television’s most imaginative and popular shows.

/ February 29, 2016

Frankenstein (2015)

Bernard Rose’s Frankenstein is a compelling and thought-provoking yarn that retains an air of unpredictability.

/ February 22, 2016

Navy SEALS vs. Zombies

With its pallid execution and rudimentary story, Navy SEALS vs. Zombies is a highly unremarkable film indeed.

/ February 12, 2016

Sound is Half the Picture

Talking the effectiveness of aural terror with award-winning sound designer and composer Alan Howarth.

/ October 29, 2015

The Blair Witch Project (Devil’s Advocates)

Successfully posits the film as one of the most influential titles in horror cinema history.

/ July 30, 2015

Black Sunday (Devil’s Advocates)

Fascinating reading, further highlighting how groundbreaking Mario Bava’s film was.

/ July 27, 2015

Housebound

A well-written, well-paced screenplay gradually builds tension and intrigue, ensuring the viewer is riveted throughout.

/ July 20, 2015

An Evening of Irish Horror

With their ingenious recreations of radio productions from a bygone era, the troupe afford us a glimpse into the past.

/ July 8, 2015

Unhallowed Ground

A wealth of interesting ideas remain undeveloped, while rudimentary direction fails to make the most of the moody location.

/ June 25, 2015

Can’t Come Out to Play

What could have easily been melodramatic drivel is rendered surprisingly powerful with certain moments packing an emotional wallop.

/ June 21, 2015

The Sleeping Room

At times the film feels rather muddled, but atmospheric tension and taut pacing ensure it remains compelling.

/ May 5, 2015

Discopath

With its retro-sleaze appeal and synth score, it perfectly emulates the gritty atmospheres of exploitation shockers such as Maniac.

/ May 4, 2015

The Herd

Unflinchingly depicts women subjected to the same processes as the average dairy cow as it delves into the horrors ignored by society.

/ April 20, 2015

What We Do in the Shadows

Charming and oddly heart-warming, it’s testament to all involved that the film feels so fresh, energetic and cuspid-sharp.

/ April 12, 2015

Starry Eyes

A powerful rumination on the cost of fame and the monstrous things people are prepared to do in order to obtain it.

/ March 16, 2015

The Haunting of Black Wood

A carefully constructed and deliberately vague set-up that milks every ounce of tension, with twists coming thick and fast.

/ February 2, 2015

Stage Fright

A ludicrous blending of musical comedy with slasher flick that sets itself up as an over-the-top, camp romp, but sadly never quite nails it.

/ January 24, 2015

Iron Doors

Attempts to create something more thoughtful than the usual Saw-inspired torture porn, but lacks the edge to pull it off.

/ January 19, 2015

Interpreting Lovecraft’s Dream

We talk adapting HP Lovecraft with INJ Culbard, who is widely known for his graphic novel adaptations of classic literature.

/ November 14, 2014

Bad Milo!

While the central concept obviously lends itself to crass humour, the film actually unfolds as a delightfully quirky comedy.

/ October 20, 2014

FrightFest: Doc of the Dead

A light-hearted introduction and jumping-off point for anyone new to zombies, with enough know-how to cope when the dead rise.

/ August 24, 2014

FrightFest: Wolfcop

With its icky transformation scenes, lashings of blood and gore, and bizarre sense of humour, this has cult stamped all over it.

/ August 22, 2014

Camp Dread

Tries to pass itself off as self-aware, but in the end it is, disappointingly, a rather vacuous and plodding mess.

/ June 23, 2014

Willow Creek

With long takes, reliance on sound and suggestion, and chilling climax, it is one of the better found-footage titles.

/ May 26, 2014

After

With its engaging themes of destiny, fate, and redemption, After emerges as a strangely touching and haunting film.

/ May 26, 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive

Rich characterisation, an intriguing premise and delicately handled direction enhance this full-blooded yarn.

/ February 21, 2014

The Complex

Atmospheric and beautifully shot, it may not take any original paths, but should appeal to admirers of Japanese horror cinema.

/ January 6, 2014

Frankenstein (TV Miniseries, 2004)

A bloodless take that merely skims the surface of the story’s rich depth. Uninspiring direction further renders this dreary.

/ January 3, 2014

The People Under the Stairs

While it is often overlooked, it is an effective horror flick with a dark sense of unease that is still incredibly palpable.

/ October 29, 2013

My Amityville Horror

My Amityville Horror poses many questions, but by the film’s conclusion, very few have actually been answered.

/ October 23, 2013

Lifeforce

Unstrained and anarchic, Lifeforce may not be considered Hooper’s best work, but it’s certainly one of his most wildly entertaining.

/ October 10, 2013

FrightFest: Missionary

Anthony DiBlasi maintains a firm hand on the reins and ensures Missionary slow-burns its way to a satisfying and moving finale.

/ August 25, 2013

FrightFest: V/H/S/2

Improves on the formula established by the original film; by slim-lining the segments, and by featuring fewer, the impact is undeniable.

/ August 23, 2013

FrightFest: Wither

An entertaining if not very original demonic possession slash zombie gorefest that, at the very least, showcases energy and zest.

/ August 23, 2013