Digital Review: Final Recall (2017)

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Final Recall DVD CoverDistributor: Signature Entertainment

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Mauro Borrelli

Starring: Wesley Snipes, RJ Mitte, Jedidiah Goodacre, Laura Bilgeri, Niko Pepaj, Hannah Rose May

Final Recall, a.k.a. The Recall in the US, is the latest entry into the alien abduction library, stars action veteran Wesley Snipes (Passenger 57/Blade) along with RJ Mitte, Jedidiah Goodacre, Laura Bilgeri, Niko Pepaj and Hannah Rose May, is directed by Mauro Borrelli (Total Recall). In short, five friends go camping in the wilderness and run into ‘The Hunter’ (Snipes) and an alien attack.

As the story unfolds the campers mistake the Hunter for a “mountain man who may or may not be a cannibal”; it seems like the five main characters have spent as much time watching hillbilly cannibal Continue reading

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Digital Review: The Dark Tapes (2017)

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Distributor: Epic Pictures (US)/Thunder Road Inc. (UK)

Directors: Michael McQuown & Vincent J. Guastini

Starring: Emilia Ares Zoryan, Danielle Baez, Katelyn Bailey, David Banks, Jonathan Biver, Layne Castro, Sara Castro, Heather Compton, Michael Cotter, Sherry Dargahi, Trey Everett, Denise Faro, Brittany Fisheli, Jo Galloway, Mary Rachel Gardner

The latest entry into the found footage game, The Dark Tapes, was written by Michael McQuown and directed by McQuown and Vincent J. Guastini and the one unique thing this movie has going for it is that it is also an anthology. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of found footage and anthology movies so this ticks two of my favorites boxes. Wraparound stories can be essential to the movie and can be funny like in Body Bags or of a more serious nature like in Continue reading

Digital Review: The Void (2016)

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The Void PosterDistributor: Signature Entertainment

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Jeremy Gillespie & Steven Kostanski

Starring: Aaron Poole, Ellen Wong, Art Hindle, Kathleen Munroe, Kenneth Welsh, James Millington, Grace Munro, Stephanie Belding, Mik Byskov, Daniel Fathers

This morning I read an article written by movie director Harrison Smith (Camp Dread/The Fields/Death House) bemoaning the “dumbing down of horror” for moviegoing audiences. I agree with Smith’s assessment, particularly in that horror movies need to make you think; sure, popcorn movies are good but we also need movies that work on another level. If one subscribes to the premise that cinema is art, isn’t that art meant to invoke an emotional response that is unique to the viewer? If we believe this then horror movies should also do the same. By accident, fluke, serendipity or whatever Continue reading

Digital Review: Beyond The Gates (2016)

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Beyond The Gates PosterDistributor: Precision Pictures

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Jackson Stewart

Starring: Graham Skipper, Chase Williamson, Brea Grant, Barbara Crampton, Matt Mercer, Justin Welborn

Authentic retro-style filmmaking is difficult to achieve but when you can find the sweet spot it pays off dividends for the audience. Well-executed examples include House of the Devil, Lost After Dark and the Netflix original series Stranger Things. Beyond the Gates starts out on the retro note but is this just some opening notes or can we add this film as another example of a retro film done well?

Beyond the Gates was directed by Jackson Stewart, co-written by Stewart and Stephen Scarlata and stars the lovely Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator/From Beyond) and Brea Grant (Halloween II), along with Graham Skipper (The Mind’s Eye) and Chase Williamson (The Guest). It got Continue reading

Digital Review: V/H/S/2 (2013)

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V/H/S/2 CoverDistributor: Koch Media

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sánchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard

Starring: Lawrence Michael Levine, Kelsy Abbott, Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Mindy Robinson, Samantha Gracie, L.C. Holt

2012’s V/H/S was a brave but somewhat ill-executed attempt at expanding the boundaries of the found footage medium of storytelling and putting together an anthology of short films plus a wraparound story to try and tie it all together. There were a couple of great moments but overall the film never really reached its full potential and came across as quite cold and uneven. Somebody must have taken notice, however, as the sequel arrived in a pretty timely fashion but with a few improvements here and there.

Beginning with the wraparound story – entitled Tape 49 (directed by Simon Barrett – You’re Next) – one of the first shots we see is of a pair of naked breasts but instead of somebody being egged on to expose themselves like last Continue reading