Black Sunday (Devil’s Advocates)
Fascinating reading, further highlighting how groundbreaking Mario Bava’s film was.
A well-written, well-paced screenplay gradually builds tension and intrigue, ensuring the viewer is riveted throughout.
100 Bloody Acres
100 Bloody Acres is an excellent example of comedy-horror that gets the balance just right, delivering a thoughtfully layered story.
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.
Coming from a confused premise, Killer Mermaids is an empty affair that lacks subplot and character arc.
A wealth of interesting ideas remain undeveloped, while rudimentary direction fails to make the most of the moody location.
Can’t Come Out to Play
What could have easily been melodramatic drivel is rendered surprisingly powerful with certain moments packing an emotional wallop.
Holland would be well advised to place the emphasis on stronger scripts and to dispense with his trifling on-screen introductions.
Burying the Ex
Populated by stock types, the story is backed by little in the way of characterisation, and missing a necessary campiness.
Wake Up, Maggie
An audacious effort that should be given praise for its unrepentant Maggie, portrayed with fearless honesty and confidence.
What’s Left of Us
Boasts edgy performances and a script which focuses on the here and now rather than excessive backstory.
The Sleeping Room
At times the film feels rather muddled, but atmospheric tension and taut pacing ensure it remains compelling.
With its retro-sleaze appeal and synth score, it perfectly emulates the gritty atmospheres of exploitation shockers such as Maniac.
Unflinchingly depicts women subjected to the same processes as the average dairy cow as it delves into the horrors ignored by society.
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.
Serves as a neat, interesting introduction to Asian folklore that allows some playing with storytelling techniques.
A slow-burn approach with a dreamlike quality that is at times hypnotic indicates a filmmaker to watch in director-writer Francis dela Torre.
A powerful rumination on the cost of fame and the monstrous things people are prepared to do in order to obtain it.
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.
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.
Attempts to create something more thoughtful than the usual Saw-inspired torture porn, but lacks the edge to pull it off.
Dead Funny as a collective emphasises the quality, depth and audacity of British comedy, with an enormous amount of surprises.
While the central concept obviously lends itself to crass humour, the film actually unfolds as a delightfully quirky comedy.
The Motherless Oven
A cleverly-layered effort packed with satirical humour, with a universe so outlandishly odd it is frighteningly similar to our own.
Begins as a fairly run-of-the-mill supernatural story but unpredictably gives way to a wickedly funny and bloody romp.
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.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
An absurd, one-gag pony, but these alien clowns look incredible even now.
Pollyanna McIntosh singlehandedly carries the film, but all good work is undone with a crude final act, leading to a laughable climax.
The Forbidden Door
Bleak and multi-layered, the performances are solid throughout, the film benefiting enormously from stylish cinematography.
FrightFest: Blood Moon
While undeniably quite remarkable in overall aesthetic, Blood Moon seems to build to a climax which never fully materialises.
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.
FrightFest: The Sleeping Room
A half-baked, ambitious ending, but the film is effectively creepy and satisfyingly lensed, its shocks permeated with a melancholy calm.
FrightFest: All Cheerleaders Die
Not a bad parody of 90s high-school horror, but its deliberate clichés fall short.
It is not just in its writing and direction that Housebound excels; the production design is a feast for the eyes.
With its icky transformation scenes, lashings of blood and gore, and bizarre sense of humour, this has cult stamped all over it.
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.
FrightFest: Late Phases
The inevitable showdown is a hoot, but overall, a throwaway experience that should have spent more time in development.
Tries to pass itself off as self-aware, but in the end it is, disappointingly, a rather vacuous and plodding mess.
Subversive Horror Cinema
An exhaustively researched, largely successful attempt to analyse the subversive qualities inherent in the horror cinema.
With long takes, reliance on sound and suggestion, and chilling climax, it is one of the better found-footage titles.
With its engaging themes of destiny, fate, and redemption, After emerges as a strangely touching and haunting film.
Halloween (Devil’s Advocates)
A joy to read; insightful and well researched, it serves as encouragement to return to Halloween once again.
Sheer Filth was one of the more eclectic fanzines, covering not only cutting-edge exploitation but strange music and literature.
The Best British Horror 2014
Not all of the tales are memorable but overall The Best British Horror 2014 is an agreeable, worthwhile anthology.
The Quiet Ones
A script crying for a horror backbone is frustratingly weak for the most part, its tedious jump-scares no substitute.
The body count is huge, the dialogue abysmal, the story perfunctory at best, yet the enthusiasm ensures it's never tiresome.
The promised 'extreme shock and tension' is a baffling assurance; what we have here is far from a true horror production.
Devil in the Woods
Delivers a number of tired tropes amidst a bland screenplay that largely consists of tedious, drawn-out padding.
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.
An incredible amount of humour, and the weird-for-the-sake-of-weird mentality is not just ballsy, but also highly entertaining.