Monday, 31 December 2012

A Look Back in Horror - My 2012 Review

2013 is fast approaching and behind it it leaves the ups and downs of 2012 in horror film. Another year where we saw sequels, a prequel, more found footage and a remake along with a few gems plus releases that haven't hit the United States yet and one that originally came out in 2009 but only reached the shores of America this year and a festival favourite that's not on general release till next year.

Here's a few of my personal best and worse movies... I'll start with the worst!

Straight to DVD was The Haunting of Whaley house (read my review here), the ending was decent, but what proceeded it was a complete shambles.
Then there was Airborne, although it had some potential, it needed someone special behind the camera, but that was missing. (read my review here).

Both had weak scripts and poor acting.

Hitting cinemas everywhere was Paranormal Activity 4 and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

Watching PA4 was like listening to a really long joke expecting the punch line to be amazing, but alas, it turned out to be nothing more than a bad joke that I could have done without hearing.
As for ALVH, well, I hated every minute of it!


A couple more worth mentioning: 80s slasher homage The Sleeper which I found rather dull. Michael Biehn's The Victim, which I'm sure he wrote, directed and starred in just so he had an excuse to have sex with his wife on screen! And the biggest let down of the year for me was Prometheus (read my review here) It wasn't a bad film, in it's own right it was a good film, but with the connection to the Alien franchise and the fact that I'm such a fan, I was completely underwhelmed by it!


Now for the fun stuff...

Once again Kate Beckinsale donned the rubber outfit to play Selene in Underworld: Awakening. This was exactly what I was expecting, GUN BLAZING ACTION! Beckinsale slipped back into the role so easily and looked more comfortable than ever during the brilliantly choreographed fight scenes.
The Cabin in the Woods was one of the biggest releases this year and I've seen a lot of mixed reaction. I found it very entertaining. It was a roller coaster ride of fun with a mix of different sub-genres all mixed together.

Other movies worth mentioning: Fathers Day, Resident Evil: Retribution, Silent night, Detention, Cockneys vs Zombies (read my review here), The Revenant, Girls Gone Dead and Some Guy Who Kills People.


Now for the best of foreign horror...

Penumbra, Sleep Tight and [REC]³ Génesis (read my review here). All Spanish and all great films with some of the best acting this year, especially Cristina Brondo who plays the lead in Penumbra and Luis Tosar, the lead actor in Sleep Tight. If you haven't seen them, then you should!



Now for some of my favourites of the year...

Although Kill List and The Innkeepers were released very late in 2011, most of us got our first look at these two early 2012. Again both of them got a very mixed reaction from fans, but I enjoyed them both.

The Australian 2009 film The Loved Ones was only released in the US this year and what a gem of a film you were missing out on! The lead actress, Robin McLeavy, gave one of them most memorable performances in a very long time as the sweet and evil Lola ('Princess').
Cassadaga (read my review here) is another that was a 2011 film but got released this year to DVD in the UK. You guys in the US will have to wait till next year though!



The Woman in Black, Apartment 143 (read my review here), Midnight Son (read my review here) Excision, The Bay and V/H/S (read my review here) were also among my favourites this year.

My top two films that came out on general release this year, one in the theatre and one to DVD are Sinister (read my review here) and Lovely Molly (read my review here). They're what I consider to be the best of the mainstream and best of the independents.



So what was my most favourite? What was the best of 2012? Well, for most of you, if you're in the UK you'll have to wait till the end of January or if you're in the US, even longer! If you were lucky like me you caught this at a film festival. It is of course the Soska sister's body modification horror, AMERICAN MARY (read my review here).




The twin magic of Jen and Sylvia Soska really shines through in their second feature film, showing their true genius that flickered throughtout Dead Hooker in a Trunk and proving their leadership in the new breed of horror writers and directors. This is a must see for horror fans!

Check out the trailer below and if you watch carefully, it shows the qoutes and star rating from various sources and at 1:20 minutes this pops up: "5 stars - Horror-Movies.ca"... That's from my review!




I did miss a couple of films this year but hope to catch up soon. They were Silent Hill: Revelation, The Possession and The Collection (which hasn't been released in the UK yet!)

So there you go, that's my best and worse of 2012. What's yours? Comment below...

Monday, 17 December 2012

Fright Meter Awards 2012


When it comes to film awards, everyone looks towards the Oscars as the pinnacle of achievement. The only thing wrong with the Oscars? Our beloved genre of horror is often or completely overlooked! That's where the Fright Meter Awards comes into play. Along with myself, there's 25 plus committee members made up of genuine horror fans, bloggers, actors, writers, directors and producers "making the Fright Meter Awards truly the most prestigious horror award given."

From mainstream to independent, big names to newcomers, popularity or form of release, nothing is overlooked and if it's worthy of a mention, we consider it. So without further ado, here are this year's nominees...

Best Cinematography

Chris Norr - SINISTER
Danny Ruhlmann - THE RAVEN
Dariusz Wolski - PROMETHEUS
Peter Denning - THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Tim Maurice-Jones - THE WOMAN IN BLACK

Best Editing

Aaron Yanes - THE BAY
Frederic Thoraval - SINISTER
Joe Gressis - V/H/S
Lisa Lassek - THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Steve Ansell & Yvonne Valdez - EXCISION

Best Score

Christopher Young - SINISTER
David Julyan - THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Jeff Danna & Akira Yamaoka - SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D
Marco Beltrami - THE WOMAN IN BLACK
Steve Damstra II & Mads Heldtberg - EXCISION

Best Make Up/Special Effects

EXCISION
PROMETHEUS
SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D
SINISTER
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS

Best Screenplay

Joseph Kahn - DETENTION
Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard - THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Mike Flanagan - ABSENTIA
Richard Bates Jr. - EXCISION
Sean Byrne - THE LOVED ONES

Best Ensemble Cast

CHAINED
(Vincent D’Onofrio, Eamon Farren, Conor Leslie)
EXCISION
(Roger Bart, Traci Lords, AnnaLynne McCord, Ariel Winter)
LOVELY MOLLY
(Gretchen Lodge, Ken Arnold, Alexandra Holden, Johnny Lewis)
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
(Amy Acker, Kristen Connolly, Tim De Zarn, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Richard Jenkins, Fran Kranz, Bradley Whitford)
THE LOVED ONES
(John Brumpton, Robin McLeavy, Jessica McNamee, Xavier Samuel, Victoria Thaine)


Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Alexandra Holden - LOVELY MOLLY
Jodelle Ferland - THE TALL MAN
MyAnna Buring - KILL LIST
Suzan Crowley - THE DEVIL INSIDE
Traci Lords - EXCISION


Best Actor In A Supporting Role

Fran Kranz - THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
John Brumpton - THE LOVED ONES
Matthew Kennedy - FATHER'S DAY
Michael Fassbender - PROMETHEUS
Richard Jenkins - THE CABIN IN THE WOODS


Best Actress in a Leading Role

AnnaLynne McCord - EXCISION
Elizabeth Olsen - SILENT HOUSE
Gretchen Lodge - LOVELY MOLLY
Robin McLeavy - THE LOVED ONES

Sara Paxton - THE INNKEEPERS


Best Actor In A Leading Role

Daniel Radcliffe - THE WOMAN IN BLACK
Ethan Hawke - SINISTER
John Cusack - THE RAVEN
Neil Maskell - KILL LIST
Vincent D'Onofrio - CHAINED

Best Director

Drew Goddard - THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
Joseph Kahn - DETENTION
Richard Bates Jr. - EXCISION
Sean Byrne - THE LOVED ONES
Ti West - THE INNKEEPERS

Best Horror Movie

DETENTION
EXCISION
SINISTER
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
THE LOVED ONES


For more details about the Fright Meter Awards the full list of contenders head to the website - http://www.frightmeterawards.com

You can also find two pages on facebook here - Fright Meter Horror Movie Reviews & Awards and here - Fright Meter Awards

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)

A JCB on a building site is digging up the ground when the operator is told to stop as it's uncovered something. What seems to be a bunker type structure has an entrance but it's been sealed, by King Charles II in 1666!

There's no prizes for guessing for what happens next!

The two builders smash there way into the sealed room to find a load of skulls and bones, suggesting that this was some kind of burial chamber. As they stumble around in the dark one of the a dead bodies, with barely any flesh on it, drags itself up and takes a bite out of both workmen.

Begin the Zombie pandemic...

After the opening scene follows a very cool title sequence with a "Frank Miller / graphic novel" (Sin City) feel to it which actually gives it a touch of class.


The story then follows brothers Andy and Terry (Harry Treadaway and Rasmus Hardiker) as they go about planning a bank robbery so they can support their grandad Ray (Alan Ford) as the retirement home he is living in is being closed down.

Teaming up with their cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan), Mental Mickey (Ashley Bashy Thomas) and Davey (Jack Doolan), they all head to do the bank job. This isn't as simple as it sounds, specially with someone called Mental Mickey tagging along! After setting off a silent alarm, the police turning up outside the bank is the last thing they need to worry about though. Their first attempt at fleeing the scene is halted by the police, but after regrouping back inside the bank, the second attempt leaves them to find the cops dead or gone. Is good fortune on their side? Maybe not, as there's now Zombies roaming around!

While the gang drive to safety, the old cockneys at the retirement home also have their hands full with the undead. But with the old hard nut Ray leading the way the well seasoned codgers fight back and barricade themselves in.

Will the bank robbing misfits get to their grandad in time to save the day and while doing so will they survive in between?


There's no surprises in this movie, it's pretty standard Zombie issue stuff. If your British, you might like it more than the Yanks. For those in the know, think Snatch (2000) crossed with Shaun of the Dead (2004) but with way lower quality acting, direction and writing.

The lead cast of Treadaway, Hardiker and Ryan gel well together and provide some decent comedy moments along with some fun Zombie killing action that's gory enough to keep blood thirsty fans happy. The stand out character for was Ashley Bashy Thomas as Mental Mickey. His name says it all!

Alan Ford still hasn't put in a better performance for me since his role in Snatch though and it was strange seeing Honor Blackman (most famous for playing Pussy Galore in the Bond film Goldfinger (1964)) but she did her fair share of Zombie beating too!

If you want a bit of fun and bloody entertainment and something to pass the time on a friday or saturday night in, then it's worth giving a go.

Cockneys vs Zombies gets a generous 6/10

Check out the trailer below...