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

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Blu-ray Review: Afflicted (2013)

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AFFLICTED-dvd-art2Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

MPAA Classification: R

Directors: Derek Lee & Clif Prowse

Starring: Derek Lee, Clif Prowse, Michael Gill, Baya Rehaz, Jason Lee

Afflicted is a horror release in the found footage genre, a genre that is typically dismissed by horror fans as the badly-done shaky camera style of cinema. This genre certainly has its badly-made movies but it is still viable, so can filmmakers still make good, relevant films using this method?

Afflicted can hold its own with any of the better found footage films any day of the week and twice 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

DVD Review: V/H/S (2012)

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V/H/S DVD CoverDistributor: Momentum Pictures

BBFC Classification: 18

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Radio Silence, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West, Adam Wingard

Starring: Calvin Reeder, Lane Hughes, Adam Wingard, Frank Stack, Jas Sams, Simon Barrett, Joe Swanberg

V/H/S is an anthology film made up of five found footage shorts plus a wraparound story. Having had a life on the film festival circuit in 2012 – including a showing at Film4 FrightFest in London in the summer of that year – the film managed to create something of a buzz amongst horror fans at the time, and given the involvement of a couple of key names and the nature of some of the content it is easy to see why.

Much has been made of the tone of V/H/S and its gratuitous use of nudity, and that is fair comment as there is plenty of flesh to see here (and not all of it Continue reading

DVD Review: The Borderlands (2013)

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The Borderlands DVD CoverDistributor: Metrodome Distribution

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Elliot Goldner

Starring: Gordon Kennedy, Robin Hill, Aidan McArdle, Sarah Annis, Lee Arnold, Luke Neal

Oh good, more found footage nonsense set in the British countryside. We need more of them, don’t we? Well, no we don’t but what we do need are ones that actually have more in the way of content rather than the seemingly obligatory two-or-three-people-running-around-in-the-dark-with-a-night-vision-camera-screaming-at-nothing-for-90-minutes, so does The Borderlands offer anything different from what we’ve seen already? Sort of.

Technical engineer Gray (Robin Hill – Kill List) has accepted a job from the Vatican to help investigate a 12th century church in rural Devon. Joining him are world-weary Deacon (Gordon Kennedy – Hacks) and Continue reading