It’s Halloween today, the scariest day/night of the year (apart from Election Night…but that only comes every few years or so!). So it’s time to dress up like a dead person/ghoul/serial killer, go trick or treating, and watch a scary movie. What’s your favourite scary movie? Do you even like scary movies? I love scary movies! It takes a lot to scare me (apart from Election Night…and not doing the dishes/washing before my fiancée comes in from work!), but there are notable scary movies that have interrupted my sleep with terrifying nightmares. I know it’s all fake, but doesn’t that make it even scarier? With those thoughts in mind, here are my Top 10 Horror Movies! Continue reading

Halloween Special Review: Stephen King’s Danse Macabre (Waltz With This Book!)

“Why do people want to be horrified…why do people pay to be horrified?”

Who doesn’t love Stephen King? Probably a great number of people, but I’m a lover of Stephen King. He is truly the modern master of horror fiction and understands how to get beneath the reader’s skin and scare the bejesus out of them. I never thought of picking up Danse Macabre before, his non-fiction work about the horror genre (in film, fiction and radio). Yes, I picked up his ‘On Writing,’ but as a budding writer that’s just par for the course. However, I picked up Danse Macabre for a pound from a local charity shop a few weeks ago. If you are a lover of horror, or even just like to dip your toes into the muddy waters once in a while, I insist you pick it up as well. It’s insightful look into what makes horror work is incredible. Continue reading

‘Halloween Special’ Review: I Spit On Your Grave (1978) (A True Video Nasty?)


“You came to a nice place”

Halloween is approaching…so I sought out a true video nasty: the original ‘I Spit On Your Grave.’ Last night I settled down with some tomato soup and popped the DVD in the player…

The plot can easily be summed up: a New York lady (Jennifer) goes to the countryside, gets raped by several men, then in various acts of revenge kills them. And there isn’t much in between: the rape scenes take about forty-five minutes of the film up; the murders about forty minutes. So there is little room for exposition, character development, or any of those things necessary to weave a cohesive story. The lady is a novelist, retiring to the country for some inspiration. Of course, when people retire to the countryside, they get a lot closer to ‘nature’ than they intended to in horror films! The men are no-good hicks, referring to women as ‘chicks.’ According to one of them, city girls only come to the village to get laid. So that’s a perfect justification rape! One of them, Matthew, is a ‘retard’ (in their words). So, they are the main characters, and we don’t find out much more about them. Continue reading

‘Halloween Special’ Review: Nosferatu (1922) (The Original Vampire Film…And Best?)



nosferatuIt’s Halloween today, and what better film to watch than one of the original horror films? Yes, the vampire sub-genre has been done to death lately. Think of ‘Twilight’, ‘True Blood’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’, ‘Being Human’, etc. But ‘Nosferatu’ came a very long time before those modern examples. Because everybody loves vampires! The vampire emerges every so often in popular culture, preying on adolescent sexual nature, and the fear and fascination of giving up the body to a stranger. But, let’s be honest here, nothing in the recent vampire boom can hold a candle to ‘Nosferatu’! Continue reading

‘Halloween Special’ Review: The Green Inferno (2013) (Gorefest or Borefest?)



“Honestly, I hope they starve to death”

Halloween is approaching, so what better time than now to watch a horror film? Looking through my ever-expanding pile of unwatched DVDs, I found Eli Roth’s ‘The Green Inferno.’ How did it get there? I certainly don’t remember buying it, as I had heard/read terrible reviews about it. But you can’t validate a negative review unless you view the product yourself, I guess, so I sat down and watched ‘The Green Inferno.’ Unfortunately, the reviews were correct. Roth’s homage to films like ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ is derivative, boring, and even disappointing in the gore factor… Continue reading

‘Halloween Speical’ Review: ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (1974) (A True Horror Classic?)

texas chainsaw 1974

“It’s all the more tragic in that they were very young”

I’ve reviewed the remake of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ on my blog (click here for my review), so to balance the scales of quality I thought I’d review the original. The remake was so terrible, and reviewing it. I felt sorry for myself for watching it. The original gave me all I wanted in a horror film: it’s rough, nasty, and leaves a lot to the imagination! The remake was interchangeable with any other silly horror remake that pollutes the cinema screen. Obviously, at the time, the original Chainsaw Massacre didn’t have any competition; yet today, it still stand out as a horrific experience. Continue reading

Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) (Another Horror Classic Slaughtered?)

texas remake

“For them, an idyllic summer afternoon became a nightmare.”

I finally caught The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Or, rather, I caught the REMAKE of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Of course, I’ve seen the original, but after hearing the news of Gunnar Hansen’s death, I thought I’d watch it again. However, I couldn’t find the original, and have had the remake on Sky Plus for a while. I’ve not had the pleasure of watching the original and I hate remakes. But with no other option present, and a curiosity building inside of me, I settled down with some tomato soup, and got ready for the Michael Bay-produced remake (a bad omen!)… Continue reading

‘Halloween Special’ Review: Paranormal Activity (2007) (An Ordinary Horror…)


paranormal activity


“I’m not going to kiss the camera. I’ll kiss you, but I won’t kiss the camera.”

Paranormal Activity was touted as the scariest film since The Blair Witch Project. This is a downright lie, but I’ll get on to that later. The first-person handheld camera horror genre both began and ended with The Blair Witch Project. Admittedly, most of the film is merely creepy, but the end…oh the end. Pure psychological terror.  I’ll never get over that lingering shot in the end, full of ambiguity and sheer terror. Paranormal Activity has a few creepy moments, but the overall experience was one of disbelief and laughter. The main grievance is not just a fault of the film, but of the genre itself. I find it hard to believe that in the direst of situations, the first instinct is ‘I’ve got to film this!’ For example, in Paranormal Activity, at one point Micah finds his partner, Katie (the one who’s being haunted), missing during the night. Instead of thinking ‘Holy Shot, where is my wife?’ and immediately rushing to find her, he grabs the camera and then goes to find her. Continue reading

‘Halloween Special’ Review: Ju-On: The Grudge (2002) (Forgive and Forget?)

halloweenju on

I saw The Grudge (the original Japanese one, not the one with Buffy The Vampire Slayer!) for £3 the other day, so I snapped it up. According to the sleeve cover, Ju-On: The Grudge “scares the socks off The Ring” (according to the cover sleeve). In plain English, it didn’t “scare the socks off Ringu.” That’s a tough challenge to achieve (Ringu left an ex-girlfriend of mine in tears due to the sheer terror of the experience! And it left me unable to watch the TV for a few days). But it was an admirable attempt to do something a little different from your typical J-horror flick (if, indeed, there is such a thing). Continue reading

Thoughts on Directors: Wes Craven and Sigmund Freud-A Marriage Made On Elm Street?

One, two, Wes is coming for you...
One, two, Wes is coming for you…

Today is Wes Craven’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mr. Craven!), so I thought there was no better time to comment on the relationship between Wes Craven and Sigmund Freud! Now, because his movie ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ involves dreams, it’s obvious to interpret the film in a Freudian manner. However, I wondered if this was the right way to go about it. I remembered a line from ‘The Last House of the Left.’ Krug is asked by Weasel about the greatest sex crime of the century. He replies by saying anything the Boston Strangler did. Then, the girl travelling with them shouts out ‘Sigmund Freud!’ and mentions something about the phallus. Continue reading