A son of a respectful member of the local Community is running for mayor but faces many obstacles including a corrupt police captain, his own brother being an arms dealer and a newspaper reporter determined to bring down the wannabe mayor just to make the front page news. The brother wants to move on after their fathers recent passing but is dragged back in for one last deal which goes badly and ends up putting reputations (and lives) on the line.
This is a pretty decent crime drama that focuses on family, loyalties and ones struggle to leave behind their mistakes and move on. It certainly shines a light on just how corrupt people are and how far they are willing to go to get what they want. Oliver Seitz certainly earned his award for Best Supporting Actor at The Laughlin Film Festival for his performance as a Gang leader just trying to get his deal complete by any means necessary. I did enjoy this grounded drama from Director Jake Thomas Armbruster. 3.5/5
During detention a group of out of place students come together when they discover the ability to create spells with a little help from Jules (Britt Flatmo). They immediately use their new found abilities to benifit their own selfish needs but soon enough the magic they conjure comes back to haunt them with severe consequences including a detective who is investigating their actions…with her own personal agenda.
This Found Footage indie flick has a decent plot with an interesting backstory which sadly lacks the required budget that could make this a GREAT Movie….or better yet a Netflix Series. I like the bold idea of Making this found footage and at times is executed well with some clever writing. I just wish this was either remade or shot with a bigger budget. But let’s be honest when’s the last time you’ve seen a found footage film about witches in high school. Holly Taylor holds her own as Claire whilst Alice Ziolkoski also stands out as the popular no F’s given Brooke 3.5/5
The Witch Files will be available on digital platforms and to buy on DVD From October 9th. Do check this one out as it’s a likable high school Witch Mystery that I did enjoy a lot.
I was invited to a screening of an interesting short movie produced and starring Vivien Reid called ‘The Box’
Directed by Christopher L Cook ‘The Box’ follows a woman who is pretty pissed off at her husband….for what reasons we are not certain of…..but if she’s hiring 2 creepy guys to send her a mysterious box (with strict Instructions on how to use it) then I doubt that he’s done something that she’s gonna forgive overnight. As she follows the instructions of the box to the letter she is plagued with nightmares and the possibility that she may have taken her revenge too far.
This film was shot brilliantly and added to the tension throughout but of course like most movies featuring a mysterious box its obviously gonna leave it with many unanswered questions that Christopher L Cook & Co can easily play around with for a potential sequel or follow up. Vivien Reid played well as a wife who is clearly upset with her husband and is desperate to do whatever it takes to make him pay.
This is an interesting short that is now making its rounds hopefully at a Film Festival near you so keep an eye out as this one is worth seeing so you can make up your own theories. 3.5/5
So FrightFest proved that they can turn heads and cause some controversy with the selection of Their 2018 closing film from director Gasper Noé ‘Climax.
In 1996 a group of dancers are spending the night at a Lock in at a building in the middle of nowhere that has its own seedy history. After a while the dancing gets a little out of control and the dancers themselves start going out of their minds and start viciously attacking one another.
This has to be one of the most difficult films I’ve ever had to review as CLIMAX is a movie that has not only divided the FrightFest audience down the middle but has put me on the fence in between loving this movie and wondering why it played at Frightfest let alone closed the festival.
It’s incredible to see the comments from The FrightFest Community on social media from those who praise Gasper Noé for his crazy, out of control decent into madness and those who slated CLIMAX saying it shouldn’t have closed FrightFest.
After much consideration I’ve decided to give this a 3/5 and Here’s Why….It’s Just about good as I do respect Gasper Noé for going where he went with his one crazy super long take and for the performances of the amazing dancers who make all those Britains Got Talent Dancers look amateur by comparison…..But I also don’t think it should’ve closed the festival. This years FrightFest had a lot of contenders that could’ve better closed the festival. CLIMAX is the 1st Gasper Noé film I’ve seen and it won’t be my last.
At FrightFest 2018 we were treated to The World Premiere of The Paz Brothers latest feature that shines a light on The Jewish myth known as ‘The Golem’.
Hannah lives in a small Jewish village when it is attacked by outlaws who blame the village for a recent plague outbreak that is threatening the life of the lead outlaws Daughter. The villagers have only days to heal the daughter or they all die. Hannah wants to protect the village so she decides to (in secret) create a Golem to fight back against the outlaws. Only the Golem bares a resemblance to her dead son Joseph. Eventually Hannah refuses to let go of the creature and eventually loses control of a creature that threatens to destroy the village itself.
The Golem definitely had a western vibe with the outlaws threatening to destroy a peaceful village and the few who wanted to fight back against them. The story of the mother refusing to let go of The Creature is very deep and tragic. The score was great also and The vibe of the movie was oldschool and dark throughout. Another great film from the brothers who gave us Jeruzalem. 4/5
International Horror has certainly made its mark at FrightFest 2018 and Director Jerome Pikwane’s South African chiller ‘The Tokoloshe’ is certainly no exception.
Busi is a depressed cleaning lady working in a hospital in Johannesburg whilst saving up to one day see her sister again. She also has to deal with a sleazy manager doing all he can to get his perverted hands on her… But that’s not the only monster that Busi has to face. She eventually runs foul of demonic South African myth known as ‘The Tokoloshe’. From there she is forced to protect herself and a young girl from The Creature and confront her troubled past.
The Tokoloshe is a scary and intense chiller that has a dark and unsettling tone throughout. The creature itself is terrifying also when you (Eventually) see it and they do a Great job with teasing the creature throughout the movie. This is South Africas’ way of saying ‘This is how we do things where we come from’ and I’m 100% with South African Horror and excited to see what comes next. 4/5
Christmas time is where families come together to celebrate. Which sometimes can be awkward when you don’t particularly like certain members of your Family and you then wish you beat their asses all over the dinner table. Director Adam Marcus brings this twisted fantasy to Life in Secret Santa.
A family with both private and outrageous public issues come together for Christmas dinner where they open up on how they really feel about one another. But as the truth spills out so too does the carnage as they unleash their hatred towards one another in a series of violent outburts. But are they really in control of what they say or do?
This is one of The most clever ideas for a Christmas horror movie since ‘Once upon a Time at Christmas’ with the most obnoxious assholes in one room who just let it all out. Secret Santa is Brilliantly Scripted and has some great kills and that reference from ‘The Thing. So if you want an offensive, Laugh your ass off, Violent Christmas movie then Adam Marcus & Debra Sullivan have the movie for you. 5/5 One of The most entertaining films of The Festival.
FrightFest is The amazing film festival that it has been for almost 20 years due to its selections of unique films that in a film festival of horror/genre films stand out and have their own message and style. The hit high school musical horror masterpiece Anna and The Apocalypse is certainly no exception to this.
Anna is a young high school student who wishes to travel the world when she lives school much to the dissaprovel of her protective but loving father…..but first she and her high school friends just have to survive a Zombie Apocalypse…With a little singing and dancing in between the mayhem and carnage all around them….No big deal.
Some of the best songs you may find in a musical EVER features in John McPhail’s lyrical emotional rollocoaster which has an upbeat but also brutally honest truths about the times we currently live in. The kills are amazing. The performances from the Entire Cast are FANTASTIC. Gotta give a shout out to Anna Herself (Ella Hunt) and Paul Kate as the sadistic Vice Principal Savage who loses his sanity in his attempt to maintain order of his school.
Anna and The Apocalypse is THE Film we all need RIGHT NOW and will be out in Cinemas November so I Highly recommend you all check it out then. 5/5 all singing, all dancing, all slashing sensation.
Usually at Frightfest you can find some hidden gems hiding away in The discovery screens at The Prince Charles Cinema. Sadly Piercing is not entirely one of them.
A Husband with a loving wife and baby goes away to a hotel on ‘Business’ when really he intends to spend a night with a Prostitute…and kill her. But in his attempt to fulfill his darkest desires he finds that he has chosen the wrong girl to mess with and eventually the tables are turned.
Piercing was based on a book from Ryu Murakami (who wrote the screen play for Audition) so I was expecting a lot more then I got in the The film. It certainly has a one or maybe 2 twisted WTF Moments that I believed were just the appetizer for the meal to come but sadly the film in my opinion ended way too early and despite its twisted and at times interesting carachters this could’ve worked better as a short with its Anti-Climax. 2.5/5
3rd film of the day saw a decent Home invasion Movie about a mother who is put in a difficult situation where she needs to protect her scared and sick children from a psycho killer.
‘He’s Out There’ Follow a mother and her 2 daughters (with Daddy a few hours behind on the road) take a break at a Lake House in the middle of the woods. The 2 Girls follow a trail that lead to a tea party and cupcakes. But who set up the tea party? Later on one of the girls is sick and from there the terror begins as mommy and her 2 Daughters are tormented by a maniac in a mask who comes and goes as he pleases to further frighten the family with a sadistic game of Cat and Mouse.
This is a typical by the numbers slasher with a sadistic killer seamingly playing with his food however the atmosphere is chilling and the mask he wears is quite scary. But it has that ‘We’ve seen this before’ vibe. 2.5/5