Thursday, 15 September 2016

Blair Witch (2016) Review

It seems like an eternity since I wrote a review. Life has been hectic to say the least and my blog has been on the back burner, so to speak. So, here's my first review since October 2015!

I've been to see Blair Witch tonight. It seems like this movie has just sprung out of nowhere with very little press and promotion, especially considering how big The Blair Witch Project was! Now, talking of the first film (I rewatched it last night), I didn't think a great deal of the first film, although I did like a couple of parts and thought the ending was good. However, I do appreciate how important the film was to the horror genre looking back. And, yes, I did like Book of Shadows!

This sequel is directed Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett. There's films so far have been a bit hit and miss for me. I didn't like You're Next, but i really enjoyed The Guest.

Blair Witch sees James (James Allen McCune) going on the trail for his sister Heather who disappeared in the first film. Being lazy, if you didn't know, here's the synopsis from IMDB...

"After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his sister's experiences in the demonic woods of the Blair Witch, James and a group of friends head to the forest in search of his lost sibling."

That's all the info you really need to know as regards the storyline.

Look, I made this for you. Try not to snap it...

There's no point going into more characters, names etc. etc. There will be a couple of spoilers in this review, but nothing that will ruin it for you. OK, my thoughts, not good I'm afraid. It's pretty much a rehash of the first film, but with a few extra characters thrown in. There's more going on, a lot quicker this time, and less subtle which I feel was a good point in The Blair Witch Project. It's got more tech like head cams, a helicopter drone video thing, walkie talkies, GPS gadgets and updated video equipment in general, so yes it's a found footage flick. But the whole thing felt like the rest of most modern sequels where everything is ramped up and supposedly bigger and better. Quite frankly it's filled with cheap jump scares that started to grate on me to be honest. Loud noises, even louder noise and more cheap thrills that one could shake a stick at!

A couple of spoilers here...

They all end up at the house at the end of the first film, which you see on the trailer anyway. A lot more time is spent in the house. You see the witch! Yes, all the things that you'd expect in what seems like this modern era of horror we're heading towards of watered down shit for kids who have too many feelings. There's nothing original, nothing scary, nothing worthy of any note about this film. Actually, I'm lying, I did like the thunder, lighting and rain sound effects. There, that's the only thing I found enjoyable. But then, I like the sound of thunder, lighting and rain anyway.

Her acting at this point was so bad she even scared herself!

It actually became laughable towards the end, mainly due to the poor acting from the hysterical Lisa (Callie Hernandez) who blubbers more than Heather did, but at least that was believable. I don't know what more to say. Honestly, it seems like in this new era of political correctness, social justice warriors ruining everything for everyone, and the generation of movie goers (yes, the latest edition of fucking teenagers!) being all to too touchy feely, our once beautiful genre of horror is becoming (and has been for a few years now) more and more watered down as to not offend anyone. Plus, it's more apparent that the studios just want bums in seats to keep the profits as high as possible instead of making something note worthy. Seriously, there's only a handful of horror films out this year that I've actually enjoyed and 3 of those I saw at a horror film festival last year.

I stood looking at the huge Blair Witch poster in the cinema lobby after watching the film. Reading what other critics/reviewers had said about...

"One of the scariest movies ever made"
"A new beginning for Horror films"
"Chilling and intense, a truly terrifying cinematic experience"

NO! Don't believe the hype. Or maybe I'm just that much of a seasoned horror fan and/or too old (nearly 40) that it takes something seriously special to impress me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Lights Out, it was fun. But there's been nothing for years that has genuinely frightened me or really disturbed me. Anyway, here's the official part...


 Blair Witch gets a big fat 1 out of 5 stars!

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Mayhem Film Festival 2016 Short Film Showcase Announcement

Mayhem Film Festival have announced this year's short films for their Short Film Showcase which is held on the Saturday. Here's the line up...

A Father's Day
Directed by Mat Johns
Unexpectedly reunited with his daughter amongst the ruins of the world as they knew it, a father is determined to make this day special, even if they are already dead.

Directed by Liam Banks
When Sandy is woken from a strange dream nothing could have prepared her for the nightmare she finds herself in now she's awake.

White Lily
Directed by Tristan Ofield
A tense ship captain and co-pilot set out to investigate a comet, when a technical fault cuts to the core of their relationships problem…

Strangers in the Night
Directed by Conor McMahon
Two lonely people find the love they were searching for. Well, one lonely person and one banshee!ate a comet, when a technical fault cuts to the core of their relationships problem…

Dawn of the Deaf
Directed by Rob Savage
When a strange sound wipes out the hearing population, a small group of Deaf people must band together to survive.

Directed by Prano Baily-Bond
It's 1982. Twelve-year-old Doug is drawn into the lurid world of VHS horror as he explores the mysterious disappearance of his father.

The Home
Directed by L. Gustavo Cooper
Set in Ireland at a 19th century home for pregnant women out of wedlock, THE HOME tells the story of a young pregnant woman fighting for her sanity (and her unborn child) as an ancient evil descends on the convent.

The Stylist
Directed by Jill Gevargizian
Claire is a lonely hairstylist with an unnerving desire to escape her disappointing reality. When her final client of the evening arrives with the request to look perfect, Claire has plans of her own.

The Procedure
Directed by Calvin Lee Reeder
A man is kidnapped and forced to endure a strange experiment. Frank Mosley (UPSTREAM COLOR) makes a surprising, brutal cameo.

Quenottes (Pearlies)
Directed by Pascal Thiebaux & Gil Pinheiro
In everybody's mind, the little mouse (or Tooth Fairy) is a benevolent and generous character... What if it isn't ? What if it is actually a neurotic psychopath obsessing about its collection of dental trophies? If a tooth is missing, it must be replaced. By any means necessary...

Mayhem Film Festival (Horror, Scifi & Cult Cinema) is held in Nottingham at the Broadway Cinema from 13th to 16th October. Check out the Mayhem website HERE to find out more info on films, tickets and more.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Fright Meter Awards 2016 Short Horror Film Press Release

It's that time of year again! Part of my responsibilities as a senior committee member of the Fright Meter Awards is to find short horror films for the "Short Film" category. So, any film makers out there got a short horror film? Read on for the details...

From the Press Release:

The Fright Meter Awards Organisation is seeking submissions to be considered for the “Best Short Film” award.  To be eligible, the short film must be submitted to a film festival or available on social media outlets such as YouTube, Vimeo etc. between December 1st, 2015 and November 30th, 2016 and be available for the Fright Meter Awards Committee to view.

Now in its ninth 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.

If you are interested in having your short film considered, please contact us.
Individuals can visit for more information about the organisation.

Michael “Mad Mike” Nagy - Senior Committee Member

Troy Escamilla - President

Fright Meter Awards Organisation

Mayhem Film Festival 2016 Full Line Up

Autumn is nearly upon us! My favorite month October brings 3 awesome things, in this order of time... 1- My birthday. 2- Mayhem Horror Film Festival. 3- Halloween.

The annoucement came in today, via the magic of the internet, of the line up for this year's Mayhem Film Festival which is held at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham.
The full line up and schedule for Mayhem 2016...
7.00PM THE DUKE ST WORKSHOP Live feat. Laurence R. Harvey
Presented in association with Kino Klubb
8.30PM RAW
Dir. Julia Ducournau, 2016 (FRA) with Rabah Nait Oufella and Garance Marillier
Dirs. Kimo Stamboel & Timo Tjahjanto, 2016 (Indonesia) with Iko Uwais and Julie Estelle

Dir. Emiliano Rocha Minter, 2016 (MEX) with Maria Evoli and Diego Gamaliel
6.00PM THE REZORT + Special Guest Steve Barker
Dir. Steve Barker, 2015 (UK/SPA/BEL) with Dougray Scott and Jessica De Gouw
Dir. Jim Hosking, 2016 (UK/USA) with Sky Elobar and Michael St. Michaels
Restored and remastered under the supervision of Nicolas Winding Refn
Dir. Mario Bava, 1965 (ITA) with Barry Sullivan and Norma Bengell

Dir. Gabriele Mainetti, 2016 (ITA) with Claudio Santamaria and Luca Marnielli
2.30PM PET
Dir. Carles Torrens, 2016 (USA) with Dominic Monaghan and Ksenia Solo
4.15PM THE GHOUL + Special Guest Gareth Tunley
Dir. Gareth Tunley, 2016 (UK) with Alice Lowe and Tom Meeten
7.00PM SHORT FILM SHOWCASE (The full Short Film line-up will be announced soon)
Dirs. Various, 2016 (International)
Dir. Sean Byrne, 2015 (USA) with Ethan Embry and Shiri Appleby
11.30PM BLOOD FEAST, preceded by GWILLIAM
Dir. H.G. Lewis, 1963 (USA) with Connie Mason and William Kerwin
GWILLIAM is the new outrageous short film from Brian "Crow Hand!!!" Lonano

Dir. Mike Mendez, 2016 (USA) with Dolph Lundgren and Kristina Klebe
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2015 (JAP) with Hidetoshi Nishijima and Yuko Takeuchi
5.00PM I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER + Special Guest Billy O' Brien
Dir. Billy O' Brien, 2015 (USA) with Christopher Lloyd and Max Records
7.30PM The Flinterrogation
8.30PM THE VOID + Special guests Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski and Casey Walker
Dirs. Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski, 2016 (CAN) with Art Hindle and Aaron Poole

Mayhem Film Festival was founded in 2005 by filmmakers Steven Sheil and Chris Cooke. They screen the best in contemporary horror, science-fiction and cult cinema and television from around the world. Featuring premieres, previews, masterclasses, international special guest filmmakers, and unique live cinema events, the festival has developed a reputation as one of the strongest and most innovative genre festivals in the country.

To book EARLY BIRD PASSES - phone Broadway Box Office (0115 9526611. General tickets on sale next week!