Saturday 13 February 2021

Maven's Movie Vault of Horror Presents Short Film, ROT (2021)

I'm proud to announce the very first film under the Maven's Movie Vault of Horror banner, short film "ROT." Directed by myself and written / produced by my wife and I, the 5 minute short has been selected by the Lift-Off Global Network's Lift-Off Sessions (the festival will be live on Vimeo On Demand: 15 - 22 February) and First-Time Film Maker Sessions (the festival will run on Vimeo On Demand: 22 February - 1 March).

ROT is an experimental piece that requires one's own subjective overview to formulate an opinion on what is transpiring. With its use of lighting, transitions and haunting score you will bare witness to a bleak yet beautiful nightmarish experience.


Tuesday 9 February 2021

Saint Maud (2019) Review


Saint Maud is the feature length debut from writer and director Rose Glass. The film did the rounds playing at various film festivals in late 2019 and has recently been released on DVD and Bluray.

The story is simple enough. We follow nurse Maud (Morfydd Clark) as she looks after the house bound Amanda (Jennifer Ehle). At the start of the film we catch a glimpse of some sort of accident in a hospital involving Maud. Some time after this event the film then picks up with Maud getting ready for her new job and praying to God before leaving her little bedsit as she embarks on a new journey, both with religion and her patient.

Throughout the rest of the movie we see Maud and Amanda's relationship grow, Maud's spiritual experiences manifest and eventually her faith tested, which in turn leads to something more sinister.

Like with everything I watch nowadays, I don't actually read up on too much information, plot details etc. in order to go into whatever I watch with little expectancy or mainly not over hyped. In fact I hadn't even watched the trailer for this! I did however do a little research into Rose Glass straight after watching the movie as I had a few questions regarding the motive behind what I'd just watched. This was met with pleasant surprise and Rose Glass sounds like she has her heart in the right place.

As I said before, it's a simple story. Almost too simply. To be completely honest, it was rather lazy. A victim of trauma finds faith and takes it too far. It's been done to death and done a hell of a lot better, especially the writing as it was very clichéd in some parts. I'd go as far to say that certain scenes were quite childish. But where the script falls short, the acting, overall bleakness and direction certainly make up for it.

The film itself is certainly open to interpretation. Was it all in Maud's head? It was also possible that everything she went through and saw was very real. However, in reality it was Maud's decent into madness that ultimately shines through.

Being raised in what I refer to now as a Christian cult, I can certainly see how much of a dangerous road it can be for someone like Maud so I guess that resinated with me on some level and I did feel a little sorry for her. Amanda played her part in Maud's demise, however, she didn't deserve what happened to her in the end and the very final scene balanced that out perfectly.

The only negative points for me about the film was, as I said before, the writing. Something that Glass will definitely get better at with more experience. Part of the pub scene wasn't needed (the childish part I refereed to).

The positives far outshone the negative though. The pacing was spot on, and that in itself is hard to get right, especially for a debut feature film. The acting came across as natural and flowed well. And if it wasn't for the excellent direction, in all honesty, it could've been a complete mess.


I also loved the fact that it was filmed in Scarborough. My family and I often have days out there and we still have a ticket from the very same Zoltar machine seen in the background in a particular scene.



So if you like slow burn psychological horror and don't mind the over obvious horror elements (which reminded me somewhat of The VVitch, which I wasn't a fan off) then I'd recommend it. I'm looking forward to seeing what Rose Glass does next.


Saint Maud gets 3 out of 5 Stars

Tuesday 7 July 2020

The First Purge (2018) Review

I'm not a massive fan of this franchise. In fact the first film, The Purge, is one of the most annoying and dumb films ever made! Anarchy was OK. Election Year was fairly decent entertainment. So I really wasn't expecting much from this latest instalment in all honesty. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon choice (picked by my wife) as it's on Netflix (UK). As it turned out I was rather surprised by The First Purge and would say it's the best one in the franchise, which still isn't saying much. However, it actually has some extremely relevant social commentary which I found interesting.

This prequel story follows the social experiment that we know as the purge, where all crime is legal for 12 hours. A scientific experiment over seen by Dr. Updale (Marisa Tomei) for the new US government or as it's called in the movie, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA). Of course they pick a low income Black and minority community to hold this experiment in, in which they offer to pay residents to participate in the festivities. 

Like any poor community, it has bad elements of criminals, drugs and crime etc, but has a lot of good people trying to live as best they can, work hard and look after each other. 

The main protagonists are Nya (Lex Scott Davis), who protests the against the experiment, while her brother Isaiah (Joivan Wade) is getting involved with the gangster lifestyle working for local drug dealer Dmitri (Y'lan Noel). The antagonist is of course the NFFA. So in typical Purge fashion, the horn blows and the fun starts.

Let's get to the nitty-gritty shall we? I avoided this film for this long because quite frankly it looked liked race baiting nonsense in the trailers. However, with what's going on in America at the moment, with the Black Lives Matter movement, protests and riots, it's easy to draw some real social commentary from this movie. The leads are stereo typical black characters. We have "sister soldier" our virtuous hero with a questionable past. Her brother who has no direction in life and blames his surroundings. And of course the anti-hero drug dealer gangster that everyone bar Nya seems to like. Last but not least, the evil white "powers that be" pulling the strings.

But this wear it gets interesting. The powers that be want this to be a successful event and hopefully become an annual America-wide  thing. They have an agenda. They then use the poverty stricken minority area and the people in them to further push that agenda. They pay people to take part and they pay other groups of people to bump the numbers up in order to guarantee the success of said agenda. They also "silence" anyone that opposes the agenda. 

Whether you chose to believe this or not, this is exactly what we are seeing right now in the States with all of this racial tension being created by the "powers that be" using and paying off groups like Black Lives Matter, Antifa, with a dash of white supremacists for good measure. And the sad truth is that people are buying into all the bullshit being created by the "powers that be" and the matter of fact is that these minority areas are being held back and pushed down by the very same people that are creating racial tension in order to stir them up into hatred to serve their agenda of control. So as regards the social commentary, this is a relevant film for these times.

Anyway, back to the movie...

Nya gives a good speech about how Dmitri is "killing people in the community the other 364 days a year." 

Y'lan Noel who plays Dmitri steals the show with his best "Black John McClane" impression and we get some genuinely creepy moments thanks to Skeletor (Rotimi Paul - below). 

I think I have to admit that James DeMonaco officially redeemed himself as a writer (he also wrote the first three) with this fourth instalment in the franchise. Gerard McMurray, only his second feature film, provides some well executed action scenes and striking visuals.

But don't get too excited. The film isn't amazing or mind blowing. It is however, considerable better all round than its predecessors. It also made me want to write a review about it, which I haven't really done in a while, if just purely because of the social commentary. So credit where it's due as both the wife and I really did enjoy it. 

The First Purge gets a solid and well deserved 3 out of 5 Stars 

Thursday 12 September 2019

Mayhem Film Festival 2019 - Short Film Line Up

11 September 2019

Mayhem Film Festival reveals Short Film Showcase line-up for 2019

With just under a month to go until its 15th edition, Mayhem Film Festival have just revealed the line-up for their Short Film Showcase, which will screen on the Saturday of the festival.

This year’s line-up include the following films (in alphabetical order):

A LITTLE TASTE (UK PREMIERE) // Dir. Victor Català, Spain, 5m12
BILL // Dirs. Dan Gitsham & Sophie Mair, UK, 3m14
CREAKER // Dir. Vidar Aune, Norway, 4m
DEAD QUIET (WORLD PREMIERE) // Dir. Alex Withers, UK, 8m50
EL CUENTO // Dirs. Lucas Paulino & Ángel Torres, Spain, 9m40
FROST BITE (UK PREMIERE) // Dir. Andrew Hunt, US, 10m2
IT’S NOT CUSTARD // Dir. Kate McCoid, UK, 6m24
LIMBUS (INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE) // Dir. Sekander Sharifi, Germany, 3m
NOM // Dir. Angel Hernandez Suarez, Spain, 10m25
ONE LAST MEAL // Dir. Jill Gevargizian, US, 11m
SOUVENIR (UK PREMIERE) // Dir. Luis Orti, Spain, 12m
THE DISTURBERS (EUROPEAN PREMIERE) // Dir. Michael Vermaercke, Belgium, 1m35
THE PROCEDURE 2 (UK PREMIERE) // Dir. Calvin Lee Reeder, Canada, 3m
TOE // Dirs. Charles Thurman & Neal O'Bryan, US, 7m
UNMADE (WORLD PREMIERE) // Dir. Steven Sheil, UK, 10m
WILD LOVE // Dirs. Paul Autric, Quentin Camus, Maryka Laudet, Léa Georges, Zoé Sottiaux & Corentin Yvergniaux, France, 6m59

This year’s Short Film Showcase is made possible with the support of MIYU Distribution.

Mayhem Film Festival originally started as a single collection of short films before growing into the four-day weekend it is now, and so its Short Film Showcase remains at the heart of the festival with its traditional Saturday slot, and one of the most popular and beloved events of the programme each year.

Mayhem’s full line-up was revealed last week and individual tickets, Frankenstein Ticket Packages and full festival passes are now on sale. For more information, please visit
Mayhem Film Festival takes place on 10-13 October 2019 at Broadway, Nottingham.

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Mayhem Film Festival 2019 Full Line Up


3 September 2019

Mayhem Film Festival reveals full line-up for 2019 edition

Mayhem Film Festival is proud to announce the full line-up for its 2019 edition, which will take place at Broadway Cinema, Nottingham on 10-13 October. The festival showcases the best features and short films in horror, sci-fi and cult cinema, through premieres, previews, and special events each year.

Mayhem is delighted to open this year’s festival with hilarious horror comedy Extra Ordinary on Thursday 10 October. A small-town driving instructor with supernatural abilities tries to get through life without communicating with the dead - but the spirits have other ideas. Also screening on Thursday is the brain-twisting Daniel Isn’t Real, in which a deeply troubled student summons his childhood “imaginary” friend but his grip on reality slips as the malignant alter ego unleashes a vicious, evil side.

From the producers of hallucinatory fever dream Mandy (a sell-out at Mayhem 2018) comes the most sought-after – and similarly psychedelic - genre film of the year, Richard Stanley’s Color Out of Space, screening at this year’s festival on Friday 11 October. This eerie H.P. Lovecraft adaptation sees a meteor fall to earth and onto the property of a New England family — its increasingly unhinged patriarch played by the one-and-only Nicolas Cage — with insidious and delirious results. It’s a double-helping of Cage this year as his 1989 cult black comedy Vampire’s Kiss takes the coveted Saturday late-night slot - it’s Nic Cage at his full-powered, cockroach-eating, and utterly insane best.

The 15th edition of Mayhem will play host to three UK Premieres, with exclusive first screenings of high-octane serial killer thriller The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil, Polish historical drama Sword of God (The Mute), and outrageous survival horror The Pool – all previously announced.

Taking a look back into the archives, Mayhem is pleased to present a rare screening of 1967 Russian folk horror Viy, and 1987’s cult sci-fi favourite The Hidden, featuring a standout performance from Twin Peaks’ Kyle MacLachlan as an alien-hunting FBI agent.

Mayhem 2019’s final day will begin with the unclassifiable Bullets of Justice. Having created human-pig hybrid super soldiers, mankind now finds itself dominated by these “Muzzles” who farm and eat human beings – a truly “what did I just watch?” experience to start off your Sunday morning.

Mayhem’s 15th edition also includes screenings of female-led horror She Never Died and genre-bending monster movie, Something Else – both previously announced – alongside preview screenings of the gleefully explosive revenge rampage Why Don’t You Just Die!, high-suspense thriller Door Lock, and sci-fi nightmare Vivarium, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots. Vengeful spirits are stirred into gory action in haunted house horror Girl on the Third Floor, and twisted thrill-ride Come to Daddy, starring Elijah Wood, will close the festival on Sunday.

Mayhem’s ever-popular Short Film Showcase and the fiendish film quiz, The Flinterrogation - hosted by author David Flint - both return to round off this year’s line-up.

Early Bird passes will remain on sale at the discounted price of £70 until Sunday 8 September 2019. Individual tickets and full festival passes – at the standard price of £80 – will go on sale at 10AM on Monday 9 September. We will also be introducing a new ‘Frankenstein Ticket Package’ for this year’s festival – piece together your choice of five films over the weekend for just £30. For more information, please visit

Mayhem Film Festival takes place on 10-13 October 2019 at Broadway, Nottingham.

The full line-up and schedule for Mayhem 2019 is available below:



Dirs. Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman, 2019 (Ire)


Dir. Adam Egypt Mortimer, 2018 (US) with Miles Robbins, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Sasha Lane


1.45PM VIY

Dirs. Konstantin Yershov, Georgi Kropachyov, 1967 (Russia)


Dir. Bartosz Konopka, 2019 (Pol)


Dir. Travis Stevens, 2019 (US) with CM Punk, Trieste Kelly Dunn


Dir. Richard Stanley, 2019 (US) with Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson


Dir. Jack Sholder, 1987 (US) with Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Nouri



Dir. Ping Lumpraploeng, 2019 (Thai) with Theeradej Wongpuapen, Ratnam Ratchiratham


Dir. Audrey Cummings, 2019 (Can) with Olunike Adeliyi, Peter MacNeil


Dirs. Jeremy Gardner, Christian Stella, 2019 (US) with Jeremy Gardner, Brea Grant


Dirs. Various, 2019 (International)


Dir. Lee Won-tae, 2019 (Kor) with Kim Mu-yeol, Ma Dong-seok


Dir. Robert Bierman, 1989 (Italy) with Nicolas Cage, Jennifer Beals



Dir. Valeri Milev, 2019 (Kazakhstan/Rus/Arg) with Timur Turisbekov, Danny Trejo


Dir. Kwon Lee, 2018 (Kor) with Hyo-jin Kong, Seong-oh Kim


Dir. Kirill Sokolov, 2019 (Rus) with Aleksandr Kuznetsov, Vitaliy Khaev

5.20PM The Flinterrogation Hosted by author David Flint


Dir. Lorcan Finnegan, 2019 (US) with Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg


Dir. Ant Timpson, 2019 (NZ) with Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie

Mayhem Film Festival will take place at Broadway, Nottingham on 10 – 13 October 2019. For more information, please visit

Thursday 6 June 2019

Leicester Horror Con 2019

Hello one and all! It's been a while since my last post, I know I know. Me and the Mrs haven't even done a YouTube video this year! Life seems to get in the way of our hobbies. But this post is somewhat personal to me as Leicester Horror Con is a local event and we always try to support them. Our tickets are bought. We're taking our boys. We're looking forward to it!

With just over two weeks to go to the convention, I got the change to ask organiser Nathan Leverton a few questions...

What's your background with the horror genre? 

As a kid who grew up in the 80s I'd love to say I was a fan then, but to be honest I was deathly afraid of horror films when I was young. It wasn't until I was approaching my teens that I got in to horror and cult cinema. A friend and I used to hit up all the local corner shops that rented videos trying to find "Video Nasties," mondo films or anything weird and wonderful as we were at that stage where you're trying to push boundaries and be shocked. The biggest influences on my tastes however were seeing The Curse of Frankenstein (1958) on TV and Dario Argento's Profondo Rosso (1957), which I borrowed on VHS from my brother. To this day gothic horror and Giallo are two of my favourite sub-genres. 

What made you decide to put the event on? 

I've always been a pop culture fan and as such been going to comic book and movie conventions for over 10 years. Wanting to do something along those lines myself I ran Leicester's first comic con in 2014 but didn't continue it as I was focused on my businesses and other projects. On a trip to LA I attended Son of Monsterpalooza convention and had a great time, seeing that event that made me want to do something in the horror genre and get back in to these types of shows, so I walked in to The Guildhall and booked it then started organising this show! 

With the choice of Horror Cons we have here now, what separates Leicester Horror Con from the others? 

The pop culture convention scene as a whole has changed dramatically. Many smaller shows with a lot of character have been squeezed out by the huge brands. And the arms race of trying to out do each other with bigger guests has led to cons becoming a numbers game funnelling in as many people as possible. What I always liked about the best events was the atmosphere, character of a con, meeting people into the same things, talking to traders and buying directly from the people who made the products. Some events have kept true to that even as they grew, like the comic con Thought Bubble, which is a brilliant event respected by creators and fans alike. I hope a smaller fan event like Leicester Horror Con can to some degree give that to people, a unique event with a friendly atmosphere. I've said I want this to be "a chance to meet people and celebrate the genre we love," which kinda sums it up.

Hopefully the con will be successful, I'm personally looking forward to it, being a "local." Will you make it an annual event? 

I think it'll be a fun event, with mostly local people there, so I think you'll know a lot! Excited to bring something different to the city. If it's well supported there's a good chance I'll bring it back next year. There's been a huge amount of interest asking for stalls so I know the traders want it and we've been talking about the event with the assumption it'll return.

The price of the con is excellent. Especially considering there isn't a great deal to do at the other horror cons other than spend more money once you've paid for entry. The fans seem to enjoy meeting up with friends etc. Is this something you've taken into consideration when organising the event, maybe concentrating on something more for the fans than expensive guest? 

There are a lot of reasons for the low price. Primarily we want the traders and guests to do well, so leaving money in the attendees pockets makes sense. But we also understand as a debut event people may take some convincing to try it out. Tickets are selling well and we aren't far off selling out so it must be working.

I would like to say thank you to Nathan for answering my questions and I look forward to meeting him, if he's not too busy! 

Leicester Horror Con takes place Saturday June 22nd at Leicester's Guildhall, so not long now to get your tickets booked! For more info about the Con, guest line up, stalls and what's happening throughout the day, hit up Facebook or CLICK HERE. You can also order your tickets by CLICKING HERE.

So who's going? I already know a few friends that are. This is perfect event for my fellow horror fans to show there support by attending. I look forward to seeing you all there!


Tuesday 27 November 2018

Cam (2018) Review

Cam girl Lola, real name Alice (Madeline Brewer), is trying to break into the top 50 girls on the site she broadcasts through by showing her tits and faking her own death. Adoring fans, or rather pathetic men, shower her in money for this. Till eventually her account is hacked and copied. The rest of the film is Alice trying to find out what the hell is going on.

This is yet another straight to Netflix film via Blumhouse, who seem to pump out any old shit nowadays (with the exception of a handful of movies). That's normally enough to put me of to be perfectly honest. Anyway, on this movie is first time director Daniel Goldhaber who's also credited with writing along side and first time writers Isa Mazzei and Isabelle Link-Levy. Their collective lack of experience shows heavily in this film.

The movie was interesting for the most part and had lots of potential as it could've gone down a really dark psychological path, but in the end it does nothing but glorify the fact you don't need talent to gain fame and fortune, which is so typical in this Internet age. There's even a massive plot hole. 

Slight spoiler here, but trust me it makes no difference. As regards Lola's hacked account, within the movie (and apparently in real life too) it's suggested that these cam sites do this all the time to exploit more money by copying accounts and have them become virtual accounts. But how is this possible within the workings of this film? The fake account looks and sounds exactly like Lola/Alice and is broadcasting live, being able to interact and take requests from the men watching. She also appears with a dead girl (also a copied account) in a live show. There is no logic to this and the writers completely ignore it. The only real positive thing about this flick is Madeline Brewer's performance as the erotic performer as she pretty much holds up the whole thing on her own shoulders.

As I mentioned previously, this could've gone down a darker route with her possibly having a mental breakdown and developing a split personality or something along those lines. But no. There's no moral outcome to this seedy little film because once she regains access to her original account, deletes it, opens up a new account, she carries on as if nothing happened! Instead of covering the dangers of the Internet, the addiction it can lead to or the harm of leading a double life can have on ones self and those around you, it only celebrates how important it is to be popular. There is no moral to this film other than that.

As regards the 15 certificate, with the subject matter of the film alone, it should've been an 18 as you have to be 18 and own a credit card in order to access these sites. It's filled with nudity, sex toys being waved around and the lead actress riding a mechanical vibrator machine at one point. Maybe I'm getting old, but I certainly wouldn't sit and watch this film with my 15 year old son or daughter. 15 year old boys will probably spank off to this film and 15 year old girls will probably want to become cam girls after watching it. When the age of consent is 16 in the UK, how can a film like this be aimed at younger teenagers as it quite clearly is.


Cam gets 2 out of 5 Stars