DVD Review: The Innkeepers (2011)

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The Innkeepers DVD CoverDistributor: Metrodome Distribution

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Ti West

Starring: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis, Jake Ryan, George Riddle

For fans of what one may call ‘proper’ horror movies, director Ti West’s 2009 retro-shocker The House of the Devil was something of a revelation. A slow-burner in the proper sense of the word, the film took inspiration from the best of classic Hammer by way of Rosemary’s Baby, The Amityville Horror and The Exorcist and proved that gratuitous CGI gore, cheap jump scares and a faceless cast are no match for pacing, escalation, a knack for storytelling and stylistic flair. The Innkeepers is West’s follow-up and sees the Continue reading

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Blu-ray Review: Dressed To Kill (1980)

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Dressed To Kill BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Brian De Palma

Starring: Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen, Keith Gordon, Dennis Franz, Ken Baker, Susanna Clemm

Brian De Palma is a director who often gets criticised for using several of Alfred Hitchcock’s tricks in his films, and to his credit he acknowledges Hitchcock’s influence and freely admits using Hitchcock’s “film language” – as he puts it – to make his movies. Probably more than any of his other films, Dressed To Kill is so reminiscent of the legendary director’s ‘language’ – particularly Psycho – that it only needs Anthony Perkins to show up and Continue reading

DVD Review: Hostel: Part III (2011)

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Hostel: Part III DVD CoverDistributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Scott Spiegel

Starring: Kip Pardue, Brian Hallisay, John Hensley, Sarah Habel, Chris Coy, Zulay Henao

You know that’s it now, don’t you? Those of you who were hailing Eli Roth’s Hostel as one of the new millenniums great hopes for the horror genre can now be silenced as the so-called ‘torture-porn’ benchmark has now gone the way of the straight-to-DVD horror film, alongside other such notable franchises as Hellraiser, Amityville and Wrong Turn. To be honest, Hostel has gotten a lot of flak over the past few years as many see it as a blight on the horror scene, a tasteless, talentless and scare-free excuse to Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Sisters (1972)

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Sisters BR CoverDistributor: Arrow Video

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Brian De Palma

Starring: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, William Finley, Lisle Wilson

In Sisters (or Blood Sisters, to give it its original title) director Brian De Palma’s Hitchcock-inspired book of tricks is working at full pelt as he weaves a story about wannabe actress/model Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder – The Amityville Horror/Black Christmas), who goes back to her apartment after a date with her game show co-star Phillip (Lisle Wilson – The Incredible Melting Man). The following morning Phillip overhears Danielle arguing with her twin sister Dominique and, after Danielle persuades him to stay, he goes off to buy a birthday cake for the twins. However, upon his return he is viciously stabbed by a demented Dominique in a brutal attack that is witnessed through the window by Continue reading

DVD Review: The Thing (2011)

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The Thing DVD Cover Distributor: Universal Pictures UK

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen, Kim Bubbs, Stig Henrik Hoff, Kristofer Hivju

Remake, reboot, prequel, sequel, premake, re-imagining – there, that’s got all of those irritating phrases out of the way, although there aren’t many movies that can claim to be most of those in one. Held in high regard amongst genre fans, John Carpenter’s 1982 version of The Thing (itself a retelling of the 1951 sci-fi classic The Thing From Another World) is seen as up there with The Exorcist as one of those films that should just be left alone and not tampered with. Although The Exorcist has had sequels and prequels, none have come close to touching the majesty of the original and, at the very least, none of them ever tried to Continue reading