Monday, 23 February 2015

FILM RECS: THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN, MAPS TO THE STARS

I really liked this horror film, even if it became two different films fighting to get out of the same sack. Though many have tried before, for me, this is one of few films that, while trying to ride the scaly tail of THE EXORCIST, actually captured some of that masterpiece's spirit. And through sound as much as anything else (you need the subtitles on, though). The use of sound as a primary tool of unease needed far more restraint in the second half, as did the touches of hocus pocus (the film didn't need them) and they tried, but mercifully failed, to spoil the story's chilling tone. But I liked the inventive use of digital film making, that was found footage in feel, and it really helped what was, at times, an already uncomfortable, sad and pretty horrifying first half. Overall, it maintained tension and put the wind up me a few times too, which ain't easy these days. Reminiscent of BORDERLANDS, and LEGION. The lead, Jill Larson, should have been in the running for one of those golden statues they gave out last night. Not a perfect film, and they should have entirely removed their eye from the more overt horror genre elements, but a real keeper.


And of those I have seen, this ranks as one of my favourite Cronenberg films. I was appalled and fascinated by the characters and the story; in fact, watching it revived some of the emotions I often had in my working life, in the media.

 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

NEW HORROR BLOG - SCARE ME SILLY - REVIEWS N.O.G.O.A

And there's a new horror blog out there in the vortex, which has flattered my N.O.G.O.A silly, so I heartily endorse it!

"82 Edgehill Road is a nightmare of a place and soon Stephanie finds herself trapped within its crumbling prison like walls. She begins to question her own sanity and plays with the idea that not all the buildings tenants are living. Although the horror and tension builds slowly, what Nevill creates is a fantastically disturbing and creepy experience that will keep you longing for more. Just make sure you keep the lights on!

No one gets out alive is horror writing at its best and rates amongst my favourite horror novels."

http://scaremesilly.com/2015/01/31/no-one-gets-out-alive-quick-review/

EDGE LIT 4 - I'M GOING

On July 11th, my ghastly visage will appear at Edge Lit 4. Alex Davis's Facebook group has all the details about the venue, and the many other writers attending. It'll be swell to be in Derby again too. Alt Fiction was always a highlight.

https://www.facebook.com/events/903212539699070/permalink/918232761530381/?pnref=story

Monday, 9 February 2015

FILM REC'; WAKE IN FRIGHT

One of the best depictions of a soul's unravelling I've seen, and Donald Pleasence is masterful; for me, his Doc is as fascinating as Brandon's Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. And dare I suggest, there's an element here that is not dissimilar to what Thomas Ligotti and others have mined in horror fiction about places and transformations (though this is not strictly a horror film). Wish there were more strange films set in the Australian outback (that aren't Wolf Creek).Thanks to all who recommended this on here.



FILM REC': ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE

Enjoyed this, and interesting to watch a film that takes its time and moves as slowly and sweetly as poured molasses, without constantly demanding emotional reactions. The style, characters, the many literary allusions and ideas made it work for me. There's a lush, psychedelic and bohemian tone throughout, that jolted me into a nostalgia trip for my twenties. Reminded me of Abel Ferrara's THE ADDICTION too - a film I have seen only once (and in a cinema in which I was the sole patron). Anyone who's been heavily involved in an arts or musical subculture may get a kick out of this too.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

KIRKUS ON NO ONE GETS OUT ALIVE - US EDITION

I won't post the whole review as it is littered with spoilers, but it's good and ends on this note:

"A macabre, otherworldly tale of a young woman swallowed whole and alive by the horror that refused to be sated."


SF SIGNAL - BOOKS "TO READ WITH THE LIGHTS ON" INCLUDE N.O.G.O.A

Looks like a toothsome "coming soon" list and I am delighted to have a book on there:

"Adam Nevill’s No One Gets Out Alive will chill you straight through to the core — a cold, merciless, fear-inducing nightmare to the last page. A word of caution, don’t read this one in the dark."

http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/01/13-horror-titles-youll-want-to-read-with-the-lights-on-in-2015/