Tuesday 19 November 2013

Fright Meter Awards 2013 Official Longlist

It's nearly nomination time for time for the Fright Meter Awards committee. As a senior committee member, I can't wait to hand in my ballet come December!

The Fright Meter Awards are presented annually by the Fright Meter Awards Organisation, a non-profit 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.
Members consist of horror fans, bloggers, actors, producers, directors, and others, making the Fright Meter Awards truly the most prestigious horror award given. The Fright Meter Awards aim to select and nominate worthy films regardless of budget, means of release, or popularity.

The eligibility requirement for a film to be eligible for the Fright Meter Awards is that it must have had its UNITED STATES theatrical, DVD/Blu-Ray, VOD or television (if made for television) release anytime between December 1st to November 30th of each year.

The winners will be announced on February 22nd, 2014.

From the Press Release:
The following 200 films have been chosen as the official contenders for this years awards. All of the nominees will be taken from this list.

100 Bloody Acres
Cameron Cairnes & Colin Cairnes
13 Eerie
Lowell Dean
Gilbert Chan
6 Souls
Mans Marlind & Bjorn Stein
9 Miles Down
Anthony Waller
Abandoned Mine
Jeff Chamberlain
The ABC's Of Death
Jimmy Loweree
Adam Chaplin: Violent Avenger
Emanuele De Santi
Nicolas Lopez
All Hallows Eve
Damien Leone
All The Boys Love Mandy Lane
Jonathan Levine
Alyce Kills
Jay Lee
An American Ghost Story
Derek Cole
American Mary
Jen Soska & Sylvia Soska
Among Friends
Danielle Harris
Quin Davis
Brandon Cronenberg
Apartment 1303
Michael Taverna
The Awakening
Nick Murphy
Ryan Lee Driscoll
Axe Giant: The Wrath Of Paul Bunyan
Gary Jones
Babysitter Massacre
Henrique Couto
Bad Kids Go To Hell
Matthew Spradlin
Bad Meat
Lulu Jarmen
Bad Milo
Jacob Vaughan
The Battery
Jeremy Gardner
Larry Fessenden
Berberian Sound Studio
Peter Strickland
The Big Bad
Bryan Enk
Black Rock
Katie Aselton
Bleeding Through
Henrique Couto
Blood For Irina
Chris Alexander
Blood Runs Cold
Sonny Laguna
Bloody Homecoming
Brian C. Weed
Butcher Boys
Duane Graves & Justin Meeks
Neil Jordan
Cannibal Diner
Frank W. Montag
Kimberly Peirce
Anthony DiBlasi
Cherry Tree Lane
Paul Andrew Williams
Chilling Visions: The 5 Senses Of Fear
Eric England, Nick Everhart, Emily Hagins, Jesse Holland, Miko Hughes & Andy Mitton
Ciaran Foy
Cockneys vs Zombies
Matthias Hoene
Coffin Baby
Dean Jones
Cold Prey 2
Mats Stenberg
The Collection
Marcus Dunstan
The Colony
Jeff Renfroe
Come Out And Play
The Condemned
Roberto Buso-Garcia
The Conjuring
James Wan
The Conspiracy
Christopher MacBride
Eric England
Cool As Hell
James Balsamo
Justin Dix
Creep Van
Scott W. Mckinlay
Curandero: Dawn Of The Demon
Eduardo Rodriguez
Curse Of Chucky
Don Mancini
Dark Circles
Paul Soter
Dark Feed
Michael Rasmussen & Shawn Rasmussen
Dark Skies
Scott Stewart
Dark Touch
Marina de Van
Dead Before Dawn
April Mullen
Dead In Tombstone
Roel Reine
Dead Mine
Steven Sheil
Dead Sushi
Noboru Iguchi
Yudai Yamaguchi
The Depraved
Andy Fetscher
Detention Of The Dead
Alex Craig Mann
Devil's Pass
Renny Harlin
Do Not Disturb
B.C. Furtney
Doomsday County
Joe Badiali, Art Brainard, Shawn Haran & Steven Shea
Dario Argento
Luca Boni & Marco Ristoni
Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal
Boris Rodriguez
Elfie Hopkins: Cannibal Hunter
Ryan Andrews
Steve Stone
Olatunde Osunsanmi
Evil Dead
Fede Alvarez
The Evil Inside
Pearry Reginald Teo
Richard Griffin
The Expelled
Johannes Roberts
Alastair Orr
The Factory
Morgan O'Neill
Frankenstein's Army
Richard Raaphorst
The Frankenstein Theory
Andrew Weiner
Fright Night 2: New Blood
Eduardo Rodriguez
The Frozen
Andrew Hyatt
Andrew Goth
Gangsters, Guns & Zombies
Matt Mitchell
Ghost Team One
Ben Peyser & Scott Rutherford
Girls Against Boys
Austin Chick
Jon Wright
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Tommy Wirkola
Harold's Going Stiff
Keith Wright
Hatchet III
BJ McDonnell
Hate Crime
James Cullen Bressack
Vincenzo Natali
A Haunting At Silver Falls
Brett Donowho
The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia
Tom Elkins
The Haunting Of Helena
Christian Bisceglia & Ascanio Malgarini
Terron R. Parsons
Hell Baby
Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon
J.T. Petty
Holla II
H.M. Coakley
Home Sweet Home
David Morlet
Horror Stories (Moo-seo-woon l-ya gi)
The Hounds
Maurizio del Piccolo & Roberto del Piccolo
House Of Good And Evil
David Mun
I Didn't Come Here To Die
Bradley Scott Sullivan
Alex Chandon
Glenn Ciano
Inhuman Resources
Daniel Krige
Insidious: Chapter 2
James Wan
Iron Doors
Stephen Manuel
I Spit On Your Grave 2
Steven R. Monroe
Larry Wade Carrell
John Dies At The End
Don Coscarelli
Jug Face
Chad Crawford Kinkle
Kiss Of The Damned
Xan Cassavetes
Kiss The Abyss
Ken Winkler
The Last Days On Mars
Ruairi Robinson
The Last Exorcism Part II
Ed-Gass Donnelly
Last Kind Words
Kevin Barker
The Last Will And Testament Of Rosalind Leigh
Rodrigo Gudino
A Little Bit Zombie
Casey Walker
David Dunn Jr.
Lord Of Darkness
Ricky Wood
The Lords Of Salem
Rob Zombie
Loss Of Life
David Damiata & Michael Matteo Rossi
Magic Magic
Sebastian Silva
Andres Muschietti
Steven Kostanski
Franck Khalfoun
Ake Gustafsson, Fredrik Hedberg & Jacob Kondrup
Mimesis: Night Of The Living Dead
Douglas Schulze
Mischief Night
Richard Schenkman
Missing (Sil jong)
Sung-Hong Kim
The Monkey's Paw
Brett Simmons
The Mooring
Glenn Withrow
The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones
Harald Zwart
Patrick Rea
Night Of The Living Dead: Resurrection
James Plumb
No One Lives
Ryuhei Kitamura
Nothing Left To Fear
Anthony Leonardi III
Brian Cunningham & Matt Niehoff
Yiuwing Lam
Plus One (+1)
Dennis Iliadis
President's Day
Chris LaMartina
The Purge
James DeMonaco
The Rambler
Calvin Reeder
Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
A Resurrection
Matt Orlando
Robert Schwentke
Sadako 3D
Tsutomu Hanabusa
Saturday Morning Massacre
Spencer Parsons
Scare Zone
Jon Binkowski
Greg White
Shadow People
Matthew Arnold
Julian Richards
Ben Wheatley
Silent Night
Steven C. Miller
Simon Killer
Antonio Campos
Sinister Visions
Henric Brandt, Doug Gehl & Andreas Rylander
Sin Reaper
Sebastian Bartolitius
Skinwalker Ranch
Devin McGinn
Todd Levin
State Of Emergency
Turner Clay
Conor McMahon
Park Chan-wook
Storage 24
Johannes Roberts
Roger Christian
Sushi Girl
Kern Saxton
The Taint
Drew Bolduc & Dan Nelson
Texas Chainsaw 3D
John Luessenhop
The Thompsons
Mitchell Altieri & Phil Flores
A Thousand Cuts
Charles Evered
Till Sunset
David Woods
Takashi Shimizu
True Nature
Patrick Steele
Francis Ford Coppola
Sean Bardin & Robert Cooley
The Unbroken
Jason Murphy
Under The Bed
Steven C. Miller
A Vampire's Tale
Drew Cullingham
Vamp U
Matt Jespersen & Maclain Nelson
Visible Scars
Richard Turke
War Of The Dead
Marko Makilaakso
Warm Bodies
Jonathan Levine
We Are What We Are
Jim Mickle
The Wicked
Peter Winther
Sonny Laguna & Tommy Wiklund
World War Z
Marc Forster
Would You Rather
David Guy Levy
X- Game
Yohei Fukuda
You're Next
Adam Wingard
Zombie Hunter
K. King
Zombie Massacre
Luca Boni & Marco Ristori

Monday 4 November 2013

The Machine (2013) Review

The Machine, is my third and final review from Mayhem Horror Film Festival.

Now, there is an to exception to me reviewing this movie as it's a Sci-Fi Thriller and not Horror. But I as it was part of the festival and I enjoyed it a great deal, I simply had to share it with you.

This British film is written and directed by Caradog W. James, who's previous work includes a handful of short films and the comedy feature Little White Lies. I was lucky enough to shake his hand and congratulate him on his film shortly after the screening!

The movie follows a scientist called Vincent (Toby Stephens). He works for the Ministry of Defence at a time where they are on the brink of a cold war weapons race with China. His job is to develop an advanced weapon using artificial intelligence. He's developed a brain chip that can be implanted into the brain of injured soldiers, but when a glitch manifests itself with deadly consequences Vincent enlists the help of A.I. expert Ava (Caity Lotz).

Under the watchful eyes of their boss Thomson (Denis Lawson) and his assistant Suri (Pooneh Hajimohammadi), Vincent and Ava set about creating the perfect android. During the process, the co-wokers become close and Vincent reveals that he's also using the MOD's funding to research ways to help cure his daughter's illness.

The end product is "The Machine" with full free thinking and learning capabilities. But it's not long before Thomson steps in and makes some controversial decisions that leads to everything Vincent has worked hard for to crumble around him.

The film is very atmospheric from start to finish. The cold blue lighting and soft focus lense work helps create a very solemn mood that all the best Sci-Fi flicks have and the cinematography is absolutely spectacular. My eyes were constantly glued to the screen!

It wasn't just the visuals that were great, the script was too. It was of the highest standard and didn't just fill our heads with technical jargon and unbelievable plotlines. The threat of an arms race, nations rising to power through technological advances is a very real thing in the world we live in today. The characters are so well written, that each of them can be related to. It also gives you a very real feeling that this isn't actually that far into the future. The firearms used are on par with today's advanced guns, the lead actors drive newer cars that we see on the roads today and a lot of the gadgets used could be the next generation tablet/iPad type technology.

The cast was a varied collective, but performed brilliantly together. Lawson played the main antagonist, displaying a mild but menacing demeanor. Stephens in the main role gave a great deal of depth to his performance. He was the angry scientist, the doting father and the warm caring friend. Hajimohammadi's role is worth a mention too, although not a great deal of screen time compared to the rest of the cast, she's delivers a creepy and an important performance. But it was Caity Lotz that stole the show! She's not just the sassy A.I. expert we see at the start of the film. She also plays the role of "The Machine" for reasons I won't give spoiler too. She's elegant, child like, formidable and deadly in the role and performed all her own stunts!

The direction was simply fantastic, for all of the above reason too. And even though the movie was made for under £1million the SFX/CGI is second to none. I honestly could not fault this film!


The Machine gets 5 Stars
Check out the clip below...

Sunday 3 November 2013

The Borderlands (2013) Review

Here's my second review of the day and the third film shown on Saturday November 2nd as part of Mayhem Horror Film Festival.

The Borderlands is more indie horror goodness that comes to us from right here in the UK. I was lucky enough to meet producer Jennifer Handorf, the writer/director Elliot Goldner and the 2 lead actors Gordon Kennedy and Robin Hill at yesterday's event. They were pretty damn cool to say the least!

What we have here is a religious/supernatural found footage piece. Now before you start moaning saying "Not another one," this isn't your normal shaky cam job. This film brings quality from all angles.

Deacon (Gordon Kennedy) and Gray (Robin Hill) are part of a team of investigators employed by the Vatican. Gray is the "tech" in charge of the recording equipment and all kinds of electrical toys. Deacon is the religious believer and debunk expert with a bit of a dark past.

The two men set up temporary home in a cottage in the beautiful British country side while they await their team leader, a priest called Mark (Aidan McArdle). They've been sent to investigate claims of a miracle by local priest Father Crellick (Luke Neal), who has presented some video evidence of his own. But the team is there to determine whether or not a miracle is what really happened.

The location of the event in question is the local run down church. Father Crellick has a very small congregation and is in the process of refurbishing the building. The team set up cameras and sound recording equipment throughout the church and do a full sweep of the property and grounds.

They struggle to explain their findings and as time goes on Father Crellick's erratic behaviour causing more concern. With more digging into church records comes the discovery of something darker than what they had expected, which is when they call in Father Calvino (Patrick Godfrey) from Italy. Further investigation and research only brings to light some sinister history and along with that comes disturbing and life threatening events.

The first thing I noticed about the movie was the very natural acting from the talented cast. The two main leads delivered memorable performances from the very well written script. Hill plays the non-believer with ease and provides the comic relief to Kennedy's tense and solemn character. Their characters are at different ends of the spectrum, but arc together progressively throughout the film. And this is testament to the exceptional writing and direction by Elliot Goldner.

The only negative point I will raise is that it's a little predictable in places, but this is compensated by the real presence of tension. The simply practical effects, the sound FX and score helps create some genuine fights too. I don't jump easily and it's very rare that any new film has that effect on me, but this movie accomplished it, even if it was only once. The real pleasure I took away from it was the one feeling I love to hate getting from such a film. 

That's the feeling of being "Freaked The Fuck Out" and this happened to me more than I care to admit. I get that chill up my spine that eventually moves to the back of my neck then through the top of my head ending up making my eyes misty with pressure. I don't like that feeling, but as far as watching horror goes, it's the ultimate scare to me. This has only ever happened to me twice before. The first time was when I watched the 1982 classic Poltergeist. I was 11 or 12 years old at the time! The second time I was hit with the feeling was watching Paranormal Activity when it first came out (Yes, I can hear some of you sneering!).

The movie doesn't just simply give us scares and jumps. It also causes you to think about your own believe system, whether or not you believe in one almighty god or have more traditional believes, like myself, that are routed in paganism.

This is Goldner's first feature film and he accomplished something that most seasoned of directors completely fail on! Even the camera work is smooth compared to a lot of other found footage flicks. Goldner scares us with what we can't or don't see rather than splashing our eyes with cheap thrills. To me, all of this is a sign of greatness!


The Borderlands gets 5 Stars

Unfortunately the film is so fresh there isn't a trailer yet! So I'll just treat you to a photo...

From Left to right: Robin Hill, Gordon Kennedy, Me, Jennifer Handorf, Elliot Goldner

The Demon's Rook (2013) Review

This poster is "extra large" because it's so god damn awesome!
Yesterday (Saturday, November 2nd) I was lucky enough to attend Mayhem Horror Film Festival (Nottingham, UK). The film that kick started the day was James Sizemore's The Demon's Rook.


The story follows young Roscoe who lives in what appears to be a quiet and peaceful community. He has a keen eye for art, but all of his drawings include what looks like a frightening demon, the same demon appears to him on a regular basis.

One fateful night, upon discovering the death of his parents, the boy runs into the woods. He is now being lead by the demon in his drawings to a certain place. This place is a magic portal to another dimension! Roscoe slides down into a hole to face the unknown.

Cut to "YEARS LATER" and we see a grown man with long hair and, if I do say so myself, a very impressive beard, crawling out of the ground.

Roscoe (James Sizemore), now a fully grown adult is back in the mortal world, but with his reappearance comes mayhem and carnage! He's followed by some vengeful demons, ones that only want death and destruction! They go about influencing the people of the community to their biding. Roscoe is the only person that can stop them.

Through flash back scenes we get a glimpse at what happened to him on the other side of the portal. The demon of his drawings, Dimwos (John Chatham), has raised Roscoe, taught him powerful magic and many secrets. But all was not peaches and cream! When Roscoe discovers a certain secret, it leads to his escape and the release of the very same demons that now threaten the world around him.

Reuniting with childhood friend Eva (Ashleigh Jo Sizemore), they must face these forces of evil together and save their community by destroying the evil that has been unleashed.

Pagans, demons, zombies and a hero with a most manly beard, what more could you want in a film?! Well, how about a boastful amount of practical FX? Because that's exactly what we get from this horror indie goodness! From start to finish the movie has a throw back feel it, from what I felt the 60s/70s with 80s style FX and gore. It's bloody good fun too with some real laugh out loud moments!

Made on a low budget, the film was shot on the weekends over a two year period with a volunteer crew and cast. But this doesn't hinder what we see on screen. In fact, it adds to the realness of what we see and hear. The heavily back light lit and smoke filled scenes are just simply inspiring to look at. The make up FX, all done by Sizemore himself I might add, are so creative that they put some CGI monsters to shame! This was all added to by the striking score of fearful tones and heavy sounding folk rock.

The script was kept simply which was actually a great thing. Don't take that the wrong way, the acting was decent. There was prolonged scenes of no dialogue, which is where the score and the visuals came in, again giving it that bygone ambiance of what felt like the British Hammer flicks of the 70s.

It's not a perfect film by any means, but that doesn't mean it has any weakness. It is what it is. An indie horror made by a very passionate film maker. I loved it when you get the chance, WATCH IT. And this why...


The Demon's Rook gets 4 Stars
Check out the trailer below...