Tag Archives: Horror

Ghost Stories (Jeremy Dyson/Andy Nyman, 2017)

Horror anthologies are tricky beasts. For every terrifying tale in a trilogy of terror, there’s often a dud or two to spoil the cumulative experience. Less in the vein of V/H/S and more in the spirit(s) of Dead of Night, Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories bucks the usual curse in maintaining solid scares throughout…

Full review for The Skinny

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The Open House (Matt Angel/Suzanne Coote, 2018)

Horror movies are popular for first time filmmakers for many reasons. One is that the genre is well suited to low budgets; in many of the best horrors, a little goes a long way. Another reason may be that horror, particularly via sub-genres like the slasher or home invasion thriller, is more prone to template-based filmmaking than most other genres. If you’re just looking to show that you can write and direct something, anything, it’s ostensibly easier to produce a horror movie that hits expected genre beats than it is to, say, write a comedy that actually makes people laugh.

Bringing to the screen a horror movie that simply resembles a horror movie seems to have been the sole mission statement behind The Open House, the feature debut of directors Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote. It’s a Netflix Original without an ounce of originality…

Full review for VODzilla.co

Nicolas Pesce talks ‘The Eyes of My Mother’

Following the premiere of his directorial debut, The Eyes of My Mother, at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, young filmmaker Nicolas Pesce has fast become a rising star in the world of horror cinema. He’s already wrapped his next feature, Piercing, which stars Mia Wasikowska and Christopher Abbott and is based on a novel by Ryû Murakami, the author behind the story of Takashi Miike’s Audition. And, at the time of writing, Pesce has just been tapped to direct and rewrite a reboot of The Grudge/Ju-on for Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures.

A fondness for Asian horror comes up in our discussion with Pesce about The Eyes of My Mother, which is now available on VOD in the UK. The film follows the unsettling actions of a young, lonely woman consumed by dark desires, triggered by both a childhood tragedy and memories of her mother, a former surgeon who taught her daughter to be unfazed by death.

We sit down to talk working with Borderline Films (Martha Marcy May Marlene, Simon Killer), southern gothic classic The Night of the Hunter as a key influence (spoilers for that 1955 film ahead), The Eyes of My Mother’s black-and-white aesthetic, and how he wanted to make viewers scare themselves…

Full interview for VODzilla.co

Ratter (Branden Kramer, 2015)

With Levan Gabriadze’s Unfriended and Nacho Vigalondo’s Open Windows, tech-bound terror has become an increasingly popular source of inspiration for directors looking to thrill, while also keeping an eye firmly on the more problematic elements of society’s ever-developing relationship with the Internet. Joining this small but growing genre is writer-director Branden Kramer’s feature debut, Ratter

Full review for VODzilla.co

Branden Kramer talks ‘Ratter’, hackers and the FBI

After last year’s Unfriended offered a vision of tech terror told entirely through Skype on a laptop screen, Ratter, the feature debut of writer-director Branden Kramer, ups the unsettling factor by placing viewers in the shoes of a stalker capturing someone’s life via elaborate hacking; a tale entirely visualised through the recording equipment within laptops, smartphones, and other web-connected devices.

Ashley Benson (Spring Breakers, Pretty Little Liars) is excellent as the unseen stalker’s target, whom we witness, to an uncomfortably intimate degree, going about her everyday life, none the wiser that she is perpetually being watched, until events escalate to a point where the threat is very much pronounced.

With the film now available on VOD in the UK, we sit down with Branden Kramer to discuss the creation of this unique thriller, as well as his own run-ins with hackers and, amusingly, the FBI…

Full interview for VODzilla.co

The Hallow (Corin Hardy, 2015)

Outside of the Leprechaun series, Irish mythology has been rather underserved by genre-inclined filmmakers. With his debut feature, backwoods horror The Hallow, director and co-writer Corin Hardy goes some way to trying to rectify this, even if the end result isn’t completely successful, nor as psychologically resonant as the best of legends…

Full review for Little White Lies

Cat People (Paul Schrader, 1982)

Made between his milestones American Gigolo and Mishima, Paul Schrader’s Cat People is a blend of the more commercially minded concerns of the former and the stylistically experimental features of the latter. Like The Thing, its Universal stablemate from 1982, Schrader’s film is a very loose remake of a beloved thriller, and one that’s only become more interesting with age…

Full review for The Skinny