All posts by Naila Scargill

Naila is the founder and editor of Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, 
ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance. She is the Culture Editor at Trebuchet, and generally gets around.

I Blame Society

This at times excruciating feminist satire is propelled forward by Gillian Wallace Horvat’s delightfully deadpan delivery.

/ April 19, 2021

Do You Trust Me?

Roger Spottiswoode’s Terror Train is an effective comment on social order, teaching that trust in our hierarchy is a dangerous assumption.

/ March 31, 2020

Rift

Ambiguous and beautifully insidious as result, Rift is an impressive sophomore effort from Icelandic filmmaker Erlingur Thoroddsen.

/ October 5, 2017

A Dark Song

An astonishing and brave feature debut that marks director-writer Liam Gavin as one to watch. Highly recommended.

/ August 15, 2017

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage

Arrow present a limited 4K restoration of Dario Argento's startlingly assured directorial debut.

/ June 19, 2017

Halfworlds Season One

Halfworlds brings a strong aesthetic via excellent concept but is ultimately let down by poor pacing and a bad cast.

/ April 6, 2017

Santa Clarita Diet

Drew Barrymore shines in a stylised affair that revels in a refreshing juxtaposition of viscera with middle-class suburbia.

/ February 3, 2017

Blair Witch

Dream team Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett bring an unusually hit-and-miss affair that nevertheless delivers in a frenetic final act.

/ January 23, 2017

Lucifer (TV Series)

Featuring the Devil in his most vanilla of forms, horror fans will be left wanting; Lucifer is disappointingly sparse on strong imagery.

/ October 17, 2016

Wolf Creek (TV Series)

Australian outback killer Mick Taylor returns in Wolf Creek the series, an addictively unsettling watch that comes highly recommended.

/ October 10, 2016

Holidays

As is generally the case for an anthology, Holidays is a mixed bag, touching all bases between effectively chillsome and irritating.

/ October 10, 2016

Observance

Presented as more a thought piece than coherent story, Observance is a truly psychological film and effectively unsettling.

/ October 7, 2016

Bachelor Games

Ultimately, Bachelor Games falls flat due to lacking commitment to its ideas, but the comedy stitches it together, albeit loosely.

/ July 7, 2016

The Sand

There is nothing to recommend here; as a creature feature (mostly) missing its creature, The Sand is an arduous watch.

/ April 22, 2016

Backtrack

With a tenuously linked story that lacks supernatural finesse, Backtrack is confused, and a tiresome experience.

/ January 29, 2016

The Messenger

A missed opportunity for exploration of the relationship between mental illness and the supernatural.

/ September 17, 2015

Bait

Burrows beneath your skin from the off, with a sly edit that ekes out the tension to unbearable levels.

/ September 7, 2015

Cub

For a first-time feature, Cub is a multi-faceted approach that proves too ambitious, let down by incomplete narrative.

/ August 1, 2015

100 Bloody Acres

100 Bloody Acres is an excellent example of comedy-horror that gets the balance just right, delivering a thoughtfully layered story.

/ July 13, 2015

Killer Mermaids

Coming from a confused premise, Killer Mermaids is an empty affair that lacks subplot and character arc.

/ June 28, 2015

Burying the Ex

Populated by stock types, the story is backed by little in the way of characterisation, and missing a necessary campiness.

/ June 19, 2015

Afterimages

Serves as a neat, interesting introduction to Asian folklore that allows some playing with storytelling techniques.

/ March 29, 2015

Blood Ransom

A slow-burn approach with a dreamlike quality that is at times hypnotic indicates a filmmaker to watch in director-writer Francis dela Torre.

/ March 28, 2015

Shrew’s Nest

Begins as a fairly run-of-the-mill supernatural story but unpredictably gives way to a wickedly funny and bloody romp.

/ October 8, 2014

The ‘Burbs

For a film not well received at the time, The 'Burbs has dated very well. There is nothing a hard-core fan could want for in this package.

/ September 15, 2014

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

An absurd, one-gag pony, but these alien clowns look incredible even now.

/ September 14, 2014

White Settlers

Pollyanna McIntosh singlehandedly carries the film, but all good work is undone with a crude final act, leading to a laughable climax.

/ September 6, 2014

Fun for the Family

From the archives, an interview with the jovial Joko Anwar, writer-director of The Forbidden Door.

/ August 29, 2014

FrightFest: Housebound

It is not just in its writing and direction that Housebound excels; the production design is a feast for the eyes.

/ August 22, 2014

FrightFest: The Last Showing

With frustratingly little to sink one's teeth into, the film is just as forgettable as the formulaic films it seeks to mock.

/ August 22, 2014

FrightFest: Late Phases

The inevitable showdown is a hoot, but overall, a throwaway experience that should have spent more time in development.

/ August 22, 2014

The Quiet Ones

A script crying for a horror backbone is frustratingly weak for the most part, its tedious jump-scares no substitute.

/ April 10, 2014

Ghost Stories

The promised 'extreme shock and tension' is a baffling assurance; what we have here is far from a true horror production.

/ March 3, 2014

Devil in the Woods

Delivers a number of tired tropes amidst a bland screenplay that largely consists of tedious, drawn-out padding.

/ February 28, 2014

We Are What We Are (2013)

Carefully conceals the cannibalism at its heart in favour of the examination of familial roles, rites of passage and ritualism.

/ February 25, 2014

Shackled

A wonderful beginning to a story that promises surreal, and what follows calls to mind David Lynch in its dreamlike quality.

/ November 25, 2013

FrightFest: Big Bad Wolves

Deftly balancing genres, it's a remarkable script that never misses a beat, truly belying the writers' inexperience.

/ August 26, 2013

FrightFest: In Fear

A smart screenplay delivers an effective psychological thriller that wastes no time in initiating a tension that remains taut.

/ August 25, 2013

FrightFest: No One Lives

Ryûhei Kitamura's second US venture is a riot; revelling in its throwaway nonsense, it's fun from the get-go and knows it.

/ August 24, 2013

FrightFest: The Paranormal Diaries – Clophill

One hell of a dull time, with nothing other than repetitive speculation to lull one to sleep.

/ August 24, 2013

FrightFest: Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman

Crams in every bit of exploitation style it can into the first 10 minutes alone.

/ August 24, 2013

FrightFest: Haunter

Showcases a great deal of devil in its detail, with a tight-knit, metaphysical framework that may require multiple viewings.

/ August 23, 2013

FrightFest: The Dyatlov Pass Incident

The final act crosses the line between fantastical to slightly amusing ridiculousness.

/ August 23, 2013

Possession

Stark, exhilarating and utterly lacking in compromise, Andrzej Zulawski's film is an emotionally brutal watch.

/ July 29, 2013

Infection Z

Flounders between drafts, as confused as its one-dimensional characters. A jarring edit does nothing to help matters.

/ June 7, 2013

Konga

A hoot from beginning to end, this is sheer B-movie lunacy of remarkably bad proportions, and all the more essential for it.

/ May 13, 2013

Slice & Dice: The Slasher Film Forever

Enjoyable enough, but is more fond nostalgia as opposed to a true study of the subgenre.

/ May 12, 2013

The ABCs of Death

The real standout is "Dogfight" from Marcel Sarmiento, an unsettling piece that lingers longer than any other story here.

/ April 26, 2013

Evil Dead

Overall, what the film does, which is torture porn, it does well. But Evil Dead does not do The Evil Dead well.

/ April 18, 2013

Evil Dead 2

The extras on offer here earn this release its entitlement to the term 'special edition', where so many others fail.

/ April 15, 2013