Special

Welcome to 2015!

newsflash

Happy New Year everyone! No new review this week (boo) but an update about the coming year. Terror Tuesday is going from strength to strength and it is nearly one year old. Things are going to change slightly in the coming year, due to work commitments I am moving to Sweden meaning there are hopefully going to be a lot more guest posts. If any of you want to contribute a review the only requirements are that it has to be approximately 500 words long on any horror film (that hasn’t already been reviewed), it could be zombies, monsters, ghosts or serial killers, from any country and any decade, if you are interested email me with what film you’d like to do (so I make sure it doesn’t get done beforehand!) at charlie.wand[at]gmail.com.

happy 2015

Advertisements

Aesthetica Short Film Festiva

ASFF_New_Logo

Last weekend my wife was lucky enough to win a pair of weekend tickets to the Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) held in York. Obviously I was the glaring choice to take with her and we spent three days watching a variety of short films from all around the globe. Whilst there was no specific “horror” category, after rigorous reading of the programme we managed to squeeze in most of the horror themed shorts. Most of the relevant shorts were in the thriller showings but we also managed to see a couple in both experimental sections (some of these were really weird) and in the animation section.

Obviously with a festival showing 300 films in 15 venues over 4 days it is likely that I will have missed some of the gems but here are some of the films that stuck in my mind. I wasn’t sure how to group them so I’ve stuck with the original screening groupings.

Thriller 1

The Stomach – Examines brotherly relationships through Frank, a medium and his brother and manager. Frank channels the dead through his stomach which bulges when he touches something belonging to the deceased person in question. Things start to go wrong when a gangster seeks his services.

Gently Gently – This is an excellent example in building suspense, however annoyingly it is never fulfilled and nothing actually happens. Anna lives alone and is terrified that someone is prowling around her house, the only person who believes her is her friend James. Is it her imagination or not?

Newborn – Newborn was one of my favourite films I saw over the weekend. It follows two security guards in an apartment building in which a hideous infant starts attacking the residents. It was an entertaining, fun quarter of an hour that sucks you right in. It uses the CCTV cameras to great effect.

Thriller 2

Naïve –  Another one of my favourites this French film sees Emma find that her boyfriend and friends have been paid to surround her by her mother. The film follows Emma’s struggle to discern between paranoia and the truth.

Infringe – When Naomi bumps into a blind lady she inexplicably follows her back to her empty apartment where she starts to torment her. There is no motive and just left me questioning why would anyone do this?

The Birthday Gift – I’m not sure The Birthday Gift is a horror film in a traditional sense rather a psychological thriller. A couple are out celebrating his fortieth birthday when it transpires that the babysitter is his snubbed ex he was having an affair with. This is the classic spurned other woman story.

Dawn – Dawn follows vampire Leroy as he comes home late to his wife, Becca. I thought this short showcased what happens in these relationships when one person ages but can lead a ‘normal’ life and the other is perpetually young but must live nocturnally.

Status – Another good film, Status is set in the near future where people are connected to the ubiquitous social media via chips in their wrist and head. However, these chips ‘evolve’, turning users into killing machines bringing about the end of humanity.

The North Side – Filmed in a deserted London all credit has to be given to the filmmakers for managing to orchestrate that. Harry is the only survivor in the city and finds himself hunted by a man in a suit.

Thriller 3

Purification – The acting in this short is wooden, I’m pretty sure Purification was only included because it was made by the local university. The story was an interesting idea involving a cult and purification pills, although they did strongly resemble Tic Tacs.

Black and White – Set on the balcony of an ultra-hip house during a sex party. It is pretty predictable, hinting at rape with the victims in white and the perpetrators in black with huge black eye make-up.

Trajectories – This French film is similar to the ozploitation film The Loved Ones. Three petty thieves plan on holding up a café in a deserted town but unfortunately for them the owners get to them first and they become toys for their naïve adult children.  

Responsibly Sourced – At just under five minutes long, Responsibly Sourced is again set in the near future, this time the impending food crisis and the possible use of humans as a food source.

Former Things – This was a very confusing film, if it wasn’t for the blurb in the booklet I wouldn’t of known the main character was returning to his childhood home rather than a stranger. On returning home he finds the corpse of a recently deceased man (his father?).

Killer – Another psychological thriller, a detective’s son gets kidnapped by a teenager who saw the detective shoot dead his father. Set in Scotland it is fast paced and the parallels between the two boys is cleverly done.

Animation 3

Leviathan Ages – More of an animated poem than a film as such it features the most amazing steampunk octopus emperor and nine giant stone kings rising from the Earth.

Lady and the Tooth – I’m not sure if this counts as a horror but it certainly disturbed me and stuck with me. Done in pink and red and set in a land where people worship teeth that fall from a face in the sky. There is one poor unfortunate man who doesn’t possess any teeth and so ‘steals’ them from an unfortunate man.

Experimental (2 and 4)

Tigeritera – Originally filmed as an exhibition piece, Tigeritera features a cat-like Egyptian looking creature as it realises that the audience exists. The actor portraying the creature has a felines mannerisms down to a tee.

Perpetuum Immobile – Heavily influenced by silent black and white films, a sleeping couple are haunted by a horror of death. Very short at only three minutes and forty seconds I wonder what would have happened if it was longer.

Rather than rate each film I’m rating the whole festival overall. It was very much worth going however you have to pick your venues carefully (some were much better than others). There was also too much for us to fit in which meant careful planning to squeeze in as much as possible. I would be very impressed if someone managed to see all 300 films!

Overall Rating – 4/5

blood4a

Fun Fact: If you went to ASFF (or even if you didn’t), what short film did you enjoy the most? Was it one I’ve mentioned or one I’ve sadly missed?

Newsflash!

newsflash

No review this week, “What?!” I hear you all cry? Well I have lots of very exciting news (and not much time) so I thought it would be good to let you all know what’s going on. As some of my regular visitors may or may not have noticed the site has changed slightly with a new bar down the right-hand side containing both a way to easily follow so you don’t miss out on your weekly horror fix. There is also a lovely word cloud of tags, so if you are looking for anything in particular, for example a movie from the 1980s or you are in the mood for a creature film then there is an easy way to see what’s been reviewed previously there. You may also have noticed a new header complete with blood drops, just to make it clear that Terror Tuesday is a horror blog.

I’ve also become a member of the Horror Blogger Alliance, an online community for, well, Horror Bloggers. So if you get time head on over there to check out the other great blogs on all different aspects of horror. I’ve also recently had my first guest review, Dead Silence by Jenny Mugridge which I thoroughly enjoyed reading and can’t wait for any more guest reviews. With that in mind, consider this a call out for submissions! All I need is 500 or so words on a horror film of your choice, it can be any film you like as long as it falls within the horror genre and hasn’t already been reviewed. It’s a great chance to get your writing out there and at 500 words, it’s not a massive commitment.

There are some exciting films coming up in the near future including Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (a suggestion from a while back but I have only recently found my copy) and the Warrior King 2, a thai martial arts film (loosely horror, it’s my blog so I get to decide what goes in!) which I recently won in a competition over at Horror Cult Films.

Normal service will resume next week, you’ll have to wait to see what film it’s going to be!

20th Post special!

20th wordle

I can’t believe it’s been twenty blog posts already, I’m really pleased that I’ve managed to keep it up every week despite travelling thousands of miles, graduating and moving house. Something a little different this week, I’m introducing a new film rating system out of five blood drops (a bit of a cliché for a horror blog but let’s go with it!). So this week I’m going to do a quick overview of the twenty two films I’ve reviewed so far and give them the new rating system.

  1. Boy Eats Girl (2005) – A zombie romantic comedy or ‘zom-rom-com’ starring 00s pop starlet Samantha Mumba. Boy Eats Girl contains everything a low budget horror film including spurious plot points and naïve special effects. Not a ‘serious’ horror film in either substance or execution but a lively romp through the comedy horror genre. Rating: 4/5
    blood4a
  2. Maniac (2012) – Elijah Wood removes all traces of the hobbit Frodo Baggins in this French-American serial killer flick in which he stars as the eponymous maniac, Frank Zito. Shot from Zito’s point of view the viewer gains an insight into the warped mind of the killer and his outlook on life and women. Unlike many serial killer films, Maniac is gore light, relying on psychological fear. The plot is a well-known one but the unusual shooting style makes it an interesting watch. Rating: 3/5
    blood3a
  3. The Sender (1982) – After an amnesiac John Doe is institutionalised after a failed suicide attempt. Soon after his arrival at the mental institution the staff begun to notice strange things occurring. I found The Sender to be predictable (I guessed the twist after half an hour) and lacking scares. Rating 1/5
    blood1a
  4. The Golem: How He Came into the World (1920) – This is a fine example of 1920s German Expressionism directed by Paul Wegener, who also portrays the Golem, a large man-like clay creature. In five chapters, it is set in the Jewish community in medieval Prague. It features all the hallmarks of Expressionism with unusually shaped and expressive set designs and the use of colour filters. I really enjoyed this film and anyone should watch it. Rating 5/5
    blood5
  5. Apartment 143 (2012) – Originally titled Emergo, Apartment 143 follows a team of ghost hunters investigating the haunted White family. The film is a good example of the use of handheld cameras to produce scares and keeps them coming, making use of almost all the techniques employed in similar films. The main downside of the film is the use of pseudo-scientific language and pop psychology used to link the set pieces.This is the first film by director Carles Torrens but it leaves me looking forwards to what he does next. Rating: 4/5
    blood4a
  6. 13 Ghosts (1960 and 2001) – My first double review! The two versions turned out to be completely different except for the presence of 13 ghosts. The plot to both films is pretty weak, a haunted house inherited from a deceased eccentric uncle but both have innovative gimmicks. In the original, director William Castle makes use of blue and red filters and glasses to remove and highlight the ghosts making it fun to watch. The 2001 remake however has the most incredible house which is more of a machine containing the ghosts. Rating: 3/5 (1960) and 2/5 (2001)
    blood3a(1960) blood2a(2001)
  7. Shikoku (1999) – Meaning ‘four providences’ or when altered slightly ‘the land of the dead’ this film focusses on the dual nature of the title. Shikoku follows Hinako on return to her small rural childhood town where she learns of the death of her friend along with a few home truths. Shikoku is slow to get started, but sucks you in, treating the viewer as intelligent enough to grasps facts without being spoon fed. Rating: 4/5
    blood4a
  8. World War Z (2013) – A huge block buster here featuring Brad Pitt with a huge budget to match. A plague of zombies is released into the world from which only Gerry Lane (Pitt) can save us from. World War Z features many large set pieces with hundreds of zombies with shocks and gore from start to end. A great watch for all action lovers out there. Rating: 4/5
    blood4a
  9. Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (1974) – One of the last films produced by Hammer Horror in the 70s it is set in ‘Ye Olde Times’ along with every single cliché that goes along with that. Kronos himself is a swashbuckling travelling ex-army officer turned vampire hunter who is called to help with a vampire problem in a small village. With its dark fairy tale like qualities but predictable and clichéd plot, it is an average film. Rating: 3/5
    blood3a
  10. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) – The fifth instalment in the Paranormal Activity franchise there is little to recommend watching if you have seen any of the others. The Marked ones adds very little background to the Paranormal Activity plot and showcases few new scares. As is often the case in these things, stick to the original film. Rating: 1/5
    blood1a
  11. Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) – The final part in Dario Argento’s Animal trilogy this is a fine example of the Giallo genre in which an accidental murder is caught on camera and used to blackmail the unfortunate Roberto Tobias. There are twists and turns aplenty in this 1970s thriller but a number of bizarre out of place scenes serve to keep the film getting too bogged down. Rating: 4/5
    blood4a
  12. Suicide Club (2001) – Starting with a brutal scene with the suicide of 50+ schoolgirls, Suicide Club is more a commentary on 21st century life than a typical horror film, ending with no real resolution. The film starts normally enough but about halfway through takes a turn for the weird with a glam rock inspired psychopath and hidden conspiracies. I think Suicide Club would be equally entertaining on multiple viewings, if no less confusing. Rating: 3/5
    blood3a
  13. The Deadly Bees (1966) – A film that does what it says in the title, it is about a swarm of deadly man-made bees. There is not a great deal to recommend this film except to marvel at the awful special effects used for the swarms of bees, including plastic flies. Rating: 1/5
    blood1a
  14. Dead Kids aka Strange Behaviour (1981) – A short film that focusses on the local Chief of police as he tries to solve a rash of murders committed by different people, all of whom turn out to be under the control of the presumed dead Dr LeSange. The finale is surprisingly tense and the film is characterised by a lack of morality, making it stand out from the crowd. A great film for any evening, it has blood, intrigue and tension aplenty. Rating: 5/5
    blood5
  15. Häxan: Witchcraft through the ages (1922) – An early 20th century documentary on the history of witchcraft, it is split into seven chapters covering topics from how the world was perceived in ancient times to medieval witch trials (including several short fictional films) and comparisons to contemporary beliefs. Häxan is an undeniably brave and incredibly interesting film. Rating 5/5
    blood5
  16. Cannibal Holocaust (1980) – One of the most traumatic films I’ve watched and one of the most controversial, Cannibal Holocaust revolves around four young documentary makers who come a cropper with a cannibalistic Amazonian tribe. This film features scenes of genocide, rape and castration alongside cannibalism and isn’t for the faint hearted, however underlying the gore the viewer is lead to question if the cannibals are the real heathens. Watch with caution Rating: 4/5
    blood4a
  17. Black Sheep (2006) – A kiwi comedy horror about killer sheep this film features great special effects from the team behind The Lord of the Rings and the demonic sheep are the undeniable stars of the film. Black Sheep strikes the right balance of gore, laughs and plot and is a satisfying romp around the New Zealand countryside. Rating: 5/5
    blood5
  18. I Spit on your Grave aka Day of the Woman (1978) – Another controversial film featuring one of the longest rape scenes on film. The dialogue is stilted and there is very little plot. Unlike the equally shocking Cannibal Holocaust, there seems to be little reason for the traumatic violence beyond shocking the viewer and the film left me with an unclean feeling after watching. Rating: 1/5
    blood1a
  19. Carrie (1976, 2002 and 2013) – The second multiple film post! Here all three films are pretty similar sharing some scenes word for word. All films have good points and are stronger in some places than others, the 1976 film generally being my favourite but lacking the full impact of the disaster on the town best realised in the 2013 version. The 2002 film is a TV movie which shows in the abysmal CG but has an interesting take and great acting (especially for a TV movie!). Ratings: 4/5 (1976), 3/5(2002) and 2/5 (2013)
    blood4a(1976)blood3a(2002)blood2a(2013)

Phew! When you look at all the films like that it makes me realise how much I’ve done! I hope this has given you a chance to catch up with any posts you may have missed and I look forwards to the next twenty reviews.