Wednesday 19 June 2013

Mini Reviews - The Frankenstein Theory (2013), The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013), The Last Exorcism Part II (2013), V/H/S/2 (2013)

With the amount of films I've watched this past couple of weeks, here's a few more mini reviews.

The Frankenstein Theory (2013)
Starring: Kris Lemche, Joe Egender, Timothy V. Murphy, Eric Zuckerman, Christine Lakin, Heather Stephens.
Director: Andrew Weiner.
Writers: Vlady Pildysh, Andrew Weiner.

What if one the most chilling novels of all time was actually based on a true account of a horrific experiment gone awry? This is the theory of Jonathan Venkenhein (Lemche) and due to his outlandish ideas he is suspended from his university job. In a desperate effort to vindicate his academic reputation, he leads a documentary film crew to the rim of the Arctic Circle in search for Frankenstein's legendary monster.

This is a found footage piece and it reminded me of The Blair Witch Project (1999), albeit a weak attempted at a similar idea. Despite the good acting, a couple of eerie moments and superb cinematography, it's the story that was the week link and let it down.

The Frankenstein Theory gets 2 Stars

Check out the trailer...

The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)
Starring: Abigail Spencer, Morgana Shaw, Emily Alyn Lind, Chad Michael Murray, Grant James, Katee Sackhoff.
Director: Tom Elkins.
Writer: David Coggeshall.

A young family moves into an historic home in Georgia, only to learn they are not the house's only inhabitants. Soon they find themselves in the presence of a secret rising from underground and threatening to bring down anyone in its path.

Even though a sequel, "Number 2" is a completely separate story and as it turned out, a worse film! This is a prime example of jumping on the money making band wagon, making a sequel for the sake of it. The acting level was decent, but there's nothing else worth mentioning. Basically, it's all been done before a hell of a lot better.

The Haunting in Connecticut 2 gets 1 Star

Check out the trailer...

The Last Exorcism Part II (2013)
Starring: Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spencer Treat Clark, David Jensen, Tarra Riggs, Louis Herthum, Muse Watson.
Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly.
Writers: Damien Chazelle, Ed Gass-Donnelly.

As Nell Sweetzer (Bell) tries to build a new life after the events of the first movie, the evil force that once possessed her returns with an even more horrific plan.

I have to admit that I really didn't rate the first film, I was not a fan, but, I loved this sequel! The week point was the script which was more than made up by the direction. With a creepy atmosphere throughout and a fantastic performance from Ashley Bell, I genuinely enjoyed the movie and loved the non typical ending.

The Last Exorcism Part II gets 4 Stars

Check out the trailer...

V/H/S/2 (2013)
Kelsy Abbott, Devon Brookshire, Kevin Hunt, Jeremie Saunders, John T. Woods, Mindy Robinson, Hannah Hughes.
Simon Barrett - Tape 49.
Jason Eisener - Slumber Party Alien Abduction.
Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto - Safe Haven.
Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sánchez - A Ride in the Park.
Adam Wingard - Phase I Clinical Trials.
Simon Barrett - Tape 49 & Phase I Clinical Trials.
John Davies, Jason Eisener - Slumber Party Alien Abduction.
Gareth Evans, Timo Tjahjanto - Safe Haven.
Jamie Nash, Eduardo Sánchez - A Ride in the Park.

Another found footage sequel finds it's way to our screens in the form of V/H/S/2, but whatever bad taste the first movie left in your mouth, it will be made up for with the second instalment. Learning from the few and slight mistakes in V/H/S, this movie is a lot better as a whole. I liked the first film, but I liked the sequel even more. All the stories deliver this time, each one revolved around by the centre piece of Tape 49 which follows a private investigator in search for his client's missing son. Regardless of how you feel about the first film, this anthology is definitely worth watching.

V/H/S/2 gets 4 Stars

Check out the trailer...

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Mini Reviews - Maniac (2012), Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), In Their Skin (2012), Dark Skies (2013), Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal (2012)

With the amount of films I've watched this past couple of weeks, I've decided to do a few mini reviews! So here you go...

Maniac (2012)
Starring: Elijah Wood, America Olivo, Liane Balaban, Nora Arnezeder, Sammi Rotibi.
Director: Franck Khalfoun.
Writers: Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur, C.A. Rosenberg.

In this remake of the 1980 classic, we follow and see things through Frank's (Elijah Wood) eyes via some impressive first person perspective camera work. As the owner of a mannequin shop, Frank develops a dangerous obsession with the young artist, Anna (Liane Balaban).

Even though we don't actually see Wood that often, his performance is fantastic, with some great support from Arnezeder. The score is worth mentioning too as it's very cool. This really is one of the best remakes you will get to see as well as one of the best films this year!

I highly recommend watching Maniac!

Maniac gets 5 Stars
Check out the trailer...

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Pihla Viitala, Derek Mears.
Director & Writer: Tommy Wirkola.

We all know this childhood story and if you're not aware, the Hansel and Gretel theme has been represented by 5 different films this year!

This adaption is action packed and quite brutal at times with some great SFX. Renner and Arterton play Hansel and Gretel, but for me Janssen stole the show as the evil witch, Muriel. The story itself was a nice little twist to the fairy tail.

I was rather surprised by how much I enjoyed it! It was a lot better than I expected and made for a very fun, bloody and entertaining watch.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters gets 4 Stars
Check out the trailer...

In Their Skin (2012)
Starring: Selma Blair, Joshua Close, James D'Arcy, Rachel Miner, Quinn Lord, Alex Ferris.
Director: Jeremy Power Regimbal.
Writers: Joshua Close, Justin Tyler Close, Jeremy Power Regimbal.

The Hughes cottage vacation is violently interrupted by a family on a murderous and identity stealing journey, in search of the "perfect" life.

This is another instalment in the home invasion sub-genre, but lacks the same feel and quality as other films in that category such as The Strangers (2008) and Funny Games (2007).

Even though the acting was solid, it all felt like it stuck to the formula a little too close which made it less interesting and unoriginal. 

In Their Skin gets 2.5 Stars
Check out the trailer...

Dark Skies (2013)
Starring: Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, Kadan Rockett.
Director & Writer: Scott Stewart.

As the Barret family's peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them.

This Sci-Fi/Horror kept to a very simple formula and delivered it well. Russell gives the best performance in the movie. With solid acting and decent SFX, I found it entertaining and creepy.

This one is worth giving a go.

Dark Skies gets 3 Stars

Check out the trailer...

Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal (2012)
Starring: Thure Lindhardt, Georgina Reilly, Dylan Smith, Alain Goulem, Stephen McHattie.
Director: Boris Rodriguez.
Writers: Boris Rodriguez, Jonathan Rannells.

A painter, Lars (Lindhardt), struggling for inspiration finds an unexpected muse after he accepts a teaching position in a small town and becomes the caregiver to Eddie (Smith), a seemingly docile art student with a rare sleepwalking condition.

This really was a fun ride from start to finish with lots of gore thrown in for good measure. Excellent performances were giving from Lindhardt and Smith, even thought Eddie has no lines. Lars provides comedy timing and Eddie gives us the blood!

Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal gets 4 Stars

Check out the trailer...

Friday 14 June 2013

Legitimate (Short Film Review)

Legitimate is produced, written and directed by Izzy Lee. This 6 minute short starts off with a seedy senator entering a strip club. A strip club with a difference! What begins as a sexy and seductive night turns into more of a nightmare with the senator waking up the next morning writhing in pain.

With an undertone of getting more than what you bargained for and feminine empowerment, barely any dialogue is needed as Lee's short piece delivers with ambiance, practical effects, a witty score. It's quite simply PROVOCATIVE WITH A BLOODY TWIST!

Legitimate will be doing the rounds at various festivals over the upcoming months and will also be available to the general public in November. So keep your eyes peeled!

Legitimate gets 4 Stars

Thursday 6 June 2013

Fright Meter Awards 2013 Short Horror Film Announcement

Another year in horror and another year that the Fright Meter Awards will be standing up and paying attention to what the genre has to offer. As a committee member, along with my fellow members, we are currently on the look out for short films to be submitted to the new short film category. So if you, or someone you know has a horror short that is or will be available to watch this year, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

You can contact me directly on Facebook here, or the Maven's Movie Vault of Horror page here and you can also contact the Fight Meter Awards direct on the website here.

Check out the Official Press Release:


(June 6th,  2013)—The Fright Meter Awards Organisation is excited to announce that it is add a new category to the 2013 awards: Best Short Horror Films.  We are seeking submissions to be considered for this award.  To be eligible, the short film must be submitted to a film festival between December 1st, 2012 and November 30th, 2013.  

Now in its seventh year, The Fright Meter Awards are presented annually by the Fright Meter Awards Organisation, dedicated solely to honouring and recognising excellence within the horror genre. The nominations and winners are determined by members of the Fright Meter Awards Committee.  Past winners of the Fright Meter Award include John Cusack, Chloe Grace Moretz, Rutger Hauer, and Marcia Gay Harden.

The Fright Meter Award Committee consists of horror fans, bloggers, actors, producers, directors, and others involved in the industry. The aim is to select and nominate worthy films regardless of budget, means of release, or popularity. The Fright Meter Awards Organisation intends to make the Fright Meter Award one of the most prestigious horror awards given.
Additionally, the Fright Meter Awards will be presented LIVE in March of 2014!  If you are interested in having your short film considered, please contact us.
Individuals can visit for more information about the organisation.

Troy Escamilla
President of the Fright Meter Awards Organisation

Check out last year's winners here.