Blu-ray Review: The Raid (2011)


The Raid BR CoverDistributor: Momentum Pictures

BBFC Classification: 18

Director: Gareth Evans

Starring: Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah, Yayan Ruhian, Pierre Gruno

Apart from the old-school rumblings of The Expendables films and the grindhouse tribute that was Robert Rodriguez’s Machete series, there haven’t been many major balls-to-the-wall action flicks in recent times that deliver thrills like the classics. Yeah, you can have your Bourne or Bond films but those are far too polished and – by comparison – quite tame when put next to The Raid, an Indonesian film directed by Welshman Gareth Evans.

A run-down apartment block is about to get purged of its more corrupt inhabitants as an elite team of SWAT soldiers take advantage of the early morning darkness and Continue reading


DVD Review: V/H/S (2012)


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 Bay (2012)


The Bay DVD CoverDistributor: Momentum Pictures

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Barry Levinson

Starring: Will Rogers, Kristen Connolly, Kether Donohue, Nansi Aluka, Frank Deal

“Oh good!” was the sardonic response as another found footage potential cure for insomnia was loaded into the DVD player, but The Bay has a little bit more of a pedigree than most, being directed by Barry Levinson (Sleepers/Good Morning, Vietnam) and produced by Steven Schneider and Jason Blum (Insidious/Paranormal Activity).

The film begins with a webcam video from amateur reporter Donna Thompson (Kether Donohue) setting up the framework for the events that happened during the fourth of July celebrations in Claridge, Maryland. Using footage sourced from cameras, mobile phones and television broadcasts we learn a bit of the town’s history and how the local bureaucracy had installed a water filtration system to help feed the local livestock to help improve farming. But what has all of this to do Continue reading

DVD Review: Insidious (2010)


Insidious DVD CoverDistributor: Momentum Pictures

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: James Wan

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye, Ty Simpkins, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Barbara Hershey

When a film boasts that it is “from the people that brought you Paranormal Activity and Saw” it’s quite difficult to know what exactly you’re going to get. On the one hand it could be a dull, handheld camera movie that thinks it is better than it actually is or a torture porn gorefest with little substance. If either of those scenarios fills you with dread then don’t panic (too much) as Insidious is neither of those things.

The story revolves around Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson – The A-Team), his wife Renai (Rose Byrne – 28 Weeks Later) and their three young children. Their idyllic life is thrown into Continue reading

DVD Review: Frozen (2010)


Frozen DVD CoverDistributor: Momentum Pictures

BBFC Classification: 15

Director: Adam Green

Starring: Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell, Kevin Zegers, Kane Hodder, Rileah Vanderbilt, Adam Johnson, Ed Ackerman

Directed by Hatchet director Adma Green, Frozen revolves around the trio of Dan (Kevin Zegers – Wrong Turn), his girlfriend Parker (Emma Bell – Final Destination 5) and best friend Joe (Shawn Ashmore – X-Men) who have gone to the ski slopes of Mount Holliston to have a weekend of fun and frolics. Having spent the day accommodating Parker on the beginner’s slopes, as evening hits the group bribe the cable car worker to let Continue reading