Category Archives: Horror Movie Reviews
“Great movie – the best I’ve seen so far of the short ones!” – Paul Maritz ShortHorrorMovies.com
Sweden’s history of horror movies has both been scarce and lacking in quality. But with the increasing interest in short films online this seems to be changing. Recently we saw David F Sandbergs short “Light´s out” explode over YouTube resulting in a feature length version of the film produced by world-famous horror director James Wan.
And now we have “Storage”. Filmed on a shoestring budget, it contains five minutes of intense suspense, unsettling environments, skillful acting and tour-de-force cinematography and sound design. It has been met with equal shares of praise and screams and has now been unleashed over the world.
“This is a film made under excruciating circumstances inside dark, narrow and dusty culverts underground”, says writers/directors Henry Chu and Stefan Sundberg. “But we loved every minute of it because our ambition with the making of the film was to recreate the feeling we had as teenagers running around and making films with our parents handycams; to have fun – pure and simple.”
The short film centers around a man and his daughter storing boxes in an underground cellar when suddenly encountered by a mysterious being. But what is this beings intentions? Soon their ordinary afternoon turns into a struggle of life and death inside the catacombs below.
Shot in Nacka, outside Stockholm, it features up-and-coming actor Anders Lindahl in the lead role. The film is written, filmed, edited and produced by Henry Chu and Stefan Sundberg which both has long careers and experience as creators in many different areas. Henry Chu has made a name for himself as a beloved host of several TV-shows but also as a producer and director of movies, TV and radio. Stefan Sundberg is a praised documentary maker but also as a producer and director of film and radio. “Storage” is their first collaboration together
“Truly terrifying! Storage is the real deal and packs a hefty punch in under six minutes of running time.” – Chris Alexander comingsoon.net
“A killer short to bring us into 2017. I hope we can expect to see more from this team”
“A fantastic short”
– Short Horror Film Spotlight
“In five minutes this movie manages to truly scare you”
Length: 5 min 35 sec
Featuring: Anders Lindahl, Millie Chu, Robinson Chu
Written, Produced and Directed by Henry Chu and Stefan Sundberg
Director of Photography and Editing: Henry Chu
Sound Editor & Sound Design: Stefan Sundberg
Contact: storagefilm @ mail.com
Phone +46 705 849734
A wedded couple tries to determine odd goings-on in a house. It’s worse than they assumed.
Three people rob a blind war vet’s house – things go from bad to worst from there.
A mother has an imaginary buddy, yet – her little girl – believes she is mad. This while she couldn’t be more wrong.
Three horror flicks released this year – each a blockbuster in its own right – have so far earned well over $100 million each. It normally costs in excess of seven figures to produce a single film, but all three of these movies have each done it on a six figure budget.
“The Conjuring 2,” produced for $40 million, has earned $320 million at the box office. “Don’t Breathe” in turn earned nearly $120 million – on a budget of $9.9 million. Last but not least, “Lights Out” – which cost a modest $4.9 million to produce – raked in more than a $146 million at the box office.
These successes stand in comparison to some big-boomer films that set you back a heap of dough, yet lost in ticket sales and fell off a cliff in some cases.
The remake of “Ben-Hur” raked in $86 million at the box office, but failed to cover the $100 million it cost to produce. In fact, Hollywood Reporter is of the opinion, that if advertising and distribution costs are factored in, “Ben-Hur” could lose a whopping $120 million. It should be renamed “Been-Hurt.”
This while “BFG,” a Spielberg film, which cost a $140 million to produce, only brought in a $173 million at the box office. Again, bring post-production costs into the equation and it lost an estimated $90-$100 million in total.
Another example, the all-female remake of “Ghostbusters” might appear to be a hit, but fell off a cliff. It earned $224 million at the box office, but combined production, advertising, marketing and circulation costs of almost $300 million, left it an estimated $74 million in the red.
So the arterial-red writing is splashed around the wall: You do not need to invest a great deal of money to produce a scary movie that brings in the dollars.
“You can make 100 ‘Conjurings’ for the cost of one ‘Captain America,'” says Chris Dortch – a self-confessed fan of scary films. Dortch – the founder of Cine-Rama and Chattanooga Film Festival – is of the opinion that such under-the-radar movies attract a target market that wants “thoughtful, well-put-together horror films.”
Eric Niemi – a horror fan with a doctorate of education who instructs English at Chattanooga State Community College – is of the opinion that smaller sized, cheaper-to-make horror movies can be “character-driven and sometimes plot-driven films and the opposite of these big-budget special-effects films.”
According to Niemi, horror doesn’t need bone-shattering surges to capture the attention, he says, nor does it need heart-racing action scenes to get the heart pumping. Actually, when it concerns horror, subtlety could be a better tool than being loud and in your face. “Arachnophobia” and the original “Night of the Living Dead” count among his favorites.
New directors such as James Wan (“Conjuring,” “Conjuring 2,” “Insidious”) as well as Mike Flanagan (“Oculus,” “Before I Wake,” the upcoming “Ouija: Origin of Evil”) understand that slow-burn horror increases the fear, making the Boo! moments a lot more effective.
“Every 10 to 15 years a new generation of filmmakers is coming through and horror films are fairly easy to put together,” Niemi says. “It’s a way to test their skills.”
On the other hand, Shellina Blevins, seems to offer a less complex explanation for the success of horror this year. She claims “because they aren’t full of zombies.” She explains: “Now, granted, we all love a zombie, but if you get pizza all the time, at some point you are going to want a burrito or two. Hollywood has a tendency to harp on one idea until it’s nothing more than a dried-up husk of its former self.”
She has a point, especially considering that Hollywood is overdoing it. It is no secret that Hollywood unleashed a zombie love feast, including the super successful – “The Walking Dead.” However, in typical Hollywood fashion, they have overhyped it with numerous cheap, lousy spun offs. All of this have dampened the public’s interest for horror movies that feature zombies.
The reality is that moneymaking horror movies can be both a resurrection as well as short-term risk to the genre. Imitation might be a genuine form of flattery, but 1931’s “Frankenstein,” 1935’s “Bride of Frankenstein” and 1943’s “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” share one common pattern: All generated more cash than compliments. And the pattern has actually never stopped.
According to Dortch, “studios see a bunch of horror films making money and they take all the properties they have in the vault and dump them out.” For them, “it’s kind of a Groundhog Day test.” He adds: “If this movie comes out and the sun is shining and an audience comes, it determines what comes out the rest of the year.”
And yeah, a few of these films are genuinely wretched. However, according to Kellen Potts – the unavoidable glut of seen-that-before films is “not indicative of horror movies, that’s indicative of Hollywood.” Potts, a Red Bank high school graduate – whose fandom runs deep – did a thesis on the genre while he was a senior at Binghamton University.
According to Blevins, it seems that “horror thinks outside the box a lot.” While not always the case, it is not unheard of to “get some very creative story lines sometimes.”
The bad rap that the horror genre gets in films, books and other entertainment forms is another aspect Dortch highlights. Yet, a lot of the bad rap is driven by a stereotypical view that all horror films are “drenched in gore,” while nothing could be further away from the truth.
The reality is that there are various types of horror that cater to a bouquet of tastes. Types of horror, include but are not limited to: Japanese, slasher, supernatural and psychological horrors. If you search hard enough, chances are that you will find a horror film that you will like. For example, according to Dortch, “People who might be fans of classic, great ghost stories aren’t the ones who are going to like the new ‘Saw movie.”
He lists – Freddie Krueger with his razor-gloved hands in “A Nightmare on Elm Street” – as among his scariest moments as a kid. It got so bad, that “after seeing it, I padded the crack between my bed and the wall so Freddie couldn’t reach up to get me.”
But even in badness, horror films can touch a nerve, especially in a movie theater, where a horror movie comes to be a public event, a mixing of souls, so to speak. According to Dortch, “people love to see them with an audience.” It is either a “mixing of souls” or people are just seeking safety in numbers.
According to Niemi, followers of these movies, “really want to go see these and get the traditional movie experience. They don’t translate real well to the home audience.”
Followers of these movies “truly intend to go see these as well as get the conventional motion picture experience. They do not translate real well to the residence target market,” says Niemi.
For Blevins, who has a tattoo of a chainsaw to reveal love for the “Evil Dead” trilogy of movies, the destination of scary flicks is “the high you get from a good scare, especially shared with friends.”
As anybody who’s seen a terrifying film in a theater can attest, right after a scene that makes visitors tremble or shout, there’s normally a burst of laughter from the audience. According to Potts, this is “a letting go of stress.”
If Blevins’ one tattoo is an indicator of affection, Potts is a walking skin poster for horror. He has a tattoo standing for Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” series, one of starlet Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes in the movie for King’s “Misery” and, like Blevins, another one commemorating the film “Evil Dead.” And also those aren’t the only tattoos he has; his degree of body ink stands in disparity to his job as a criminal defense attorney.
And, as you may presume, 30-year-old Potts protected horror films in his senior thesis.
He claims: “Usually they’re kind of put down upon; they’re not seen as well-made or high art.” However, he believes that “they are art and also they have a helpful influence on society” as such movies appeal to a raw, primitive side of humans – it helps us to launch reactions that are normally suffocated.
He notes that “human beings are animals with a will to hunt, yet we are controlled by society so we stuff that down.” He feels “horror movies give a way to exercise those animal instincts vicariously” and allow us to confront our worries. It is a way of discussing society’s policies without being heavy-handed when it comes to delivering the message.
For example, according to Potts: “Too often movies try to have a message and people feel like they’re being preached to, so they shut down.” He concludes that while horror movies address serious issues, they don’t come off as preachy – this helps to get the message across to a larger audience.
Both he and Niemi agrees that “It Follows” – a horror film of 2014 – is “a clearcut allegory on rampant causal sex and STDs and the consequences of such.” This while horror films such as “Night of the Living Dead” are metaphors for the devastating and challenging aftermath of nuclear war. To add to the list, films such as the 1978’s “Dawn of the Dead” present commentary on consumerism – zombies shuffling along like eager shoppers in shopping malls.
To name another one, a movie such as “Frankenstein” was a reaction to the horrors experienced during WWII. A time of history when biological weapons such as mustard gas were deployed, turning soldiers exposed to it into “monsters.” Mary Shelley’s original novel – “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus,” published in 1818 – underlined the concern that the development of science was happening in a too quick manner and took away from God’s creation.
According to Dortch, horror connoisseurs – those who have a profound interest in horror – will see “those subtextual moments coming” and eagerly anticipate them. He is of the opinion that “horror is a great topic for intelligent filmmakers to smuggle in great ideas.”
I relax my instance that THEY ‘RE VIEWING is one of the most outright instances of a third act entirely ruining a horror film. Sarah, Alex, Kate, and Greg, are the team of a residence improvement show travelling to Moldova. Their goal is to film an episode on Becky, an American potter that has actually been hard at the office transforming an old deserted home into an art workshop. Quickly, a local legend including a witch begins to trigger quarrel in between the film crew and the citizens of Pavlovka, and it’s off to the races. While maybe not reinventing the wheel, the reality that the characters are involved with a tv show a minimum of offers the camera a reason to proceed to roll throughout the movie, which is much more than could be claimed for many found video footage.
It’s a general idea we have actually seen over and over again, yet THEY ‘RE WATCHING’s primary saving elegance is its tonal drink. For huge sectors of the first and 2nd acts, THEY ‘RE WATCHING is not appreciable as a scary film, which is both a point for and also versus it. Since of its comical chops, largely carried by the definitely fascinating as well as infectious Vladimir, Moldova’s sole realty broker, the competent scenes of traditional found video fare sprayed throughout are provided middling and also typically inadequate apart from two unpleasant exposes as things are heating. Yet, however non-frightening THEY ‘RE VIEWING could be, it still a minimum of checks the fundamental box for home entertainment value, a significant enhancement on the current swath of self-important found video price.
While THEY ‘RE VIEWING might not be a remarkable demonstration of horror tropes in and also of its own right, its narrative and also characters are remarkably well-written as well as shoot down a lot of the stereotypical beats we have actually come to be accustomed to. THEY ‘RE WATCHING handles to consist of a false trail in regards to just exactly what the residents want and simply that specifically they assume the witch is. Throwing us a couple of weaves in terms of friendly relations between the film staff and the denizens of Pavlovka, tension is juggled with uncommon flair. We’re also legally sad when a misunderstanding in a bar successfully cuts any type of hope of settlement.
Although the final 15 minutes of the film are irredeemable, the steady switch to more standard scary price starting around the hour mark is admirably handled by enabling personality stress within the group to assist our hand through the psychological change. Cutting its comedic connections by having arguments of boosting level of acidity materialize themselves, THEY ‘RE WATCHING prevents half-assed dark humor as well as confidently retires the laughes.
These storytelling endeavors are helped by the virtually totally outstanding acting and character writing. While the personality archetypes may not be specifically inventive, they all have distinctive shortcomings as well as personality imperfections that add to the toxic group spirits by the end of the movie. The only notable mistake is an unfortunate enchanting subplot between Greg as well as Sarah, makings use of a totally incongruous backstory entailing Greg’s participation as a photographer in Afghanistan.
But, alas, all advantages must come to an end, and also as stated a few times previously, THEY ‘RE VIEWING’s climactic scene is unforgivable. The amateur hr unique effects bonanza that closes the movie is as inexpedient as they come. Once the witch discloses herself as just that as well as begins to wreak mayhem on Pavlovka, cheaply animated flashes, lights, tentacles, and blood fly willy-nilly, adding to a jaw-dropping lack of taste and also grace that hadn’t existed as much as that factor. The whole thing seems like a sector of V/H/S: VIRAL, and I mean that in the least free of charge sense possible.
It’s a shame, as well, because THEY ‘RE VIEWING can have been an unforeseen surprise. Opposing category assumptions via both certain elements of its tale as well as overall tone and also environment, the movie is easily familiar but consistently enjoyable till it leaps the shark. Found footage was never ever indicated to highlight special effects, as its efforts at faux-vérité are meant to imitate rough portable cams manned by “normal” individuals, and THEY ‘RE WATCHING’s bafflingly masturbatory addition of collegiate digital arts cuts the legs out from under it.
OVERALL RECAP THEY ‘RE VIEWING is a pleasant surprise up until its 3rd act, where it completely misuses the excellent will built up with its ingenious use of humor on an orgy of inexpensive CGI and also special effects.
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Although Mickey Keating’s newest movie, CARNAGE PARK, is exactly what seems placing the director on the map, his student effort DARLING has a significant quantity even more of design as well as vision. Telling the tale of the eponymous Darling (Lauren Ashley Carter), an unique loner that gets employed as the caretaker of a strange New york city estate, points nearly right away show themselves to be sinister as Madame (Sean Youthful) information the regrettable end of the last caretaker. As Darling discover the mansion, she experiences a variety of stress and anxieties as well as hallucinations that leave us questioning her mindset, her understanding on fact, and just what in the Heck is in fact going on.
Credit score has to be offered where credit scores is due: DARLING does an impeccable work of developing an environment that’s both claustrophobic and schizophrenic. Alerting us at the extremely starting that it makes usage of blinking lights and also imaginary images, DARLING maximizes this to a severe, adding to an assaultive sensory experience that continually leaves the visitor on edge. Functioning in a kaleidoscope of murmurs as well as bumps in the night, along with occasional spells of hyperkinetic editing and enhancing that leave one reeling, DARLING could not be faulted for its feeling of passion and unease. Nevertheless, exactly what it can be faulted for is misusing this potential on a neverending string of split-second jump terrifies that feel amateurish as well as oddly reminiscent of the similar tactics made use of in INSIDIOUS 2. I mean that this does leave the viewer on the edge of their seat, yet it’s only for the gut level shock of being attacked with yet another shouting face as opposed to what might easily have actually been a slow-burning nerve shredder. Furthermore, all of the scares are so clearly predicated on a soundtrack shift to shrieking strings and also pounding pianos that, while adding to the full-blown damaging of comfort, really feel absolutely nothing much less compared to boorish.
All that being stated, although it has the tendency to leave an instead shady taste in the mouth, Lauren Ashley Carter is such an outstanding acting presence that the movie is still tacitly satisfying at its worst. Kipping down several of one of the most hurt, mentally deranged performing of current memory (a scene with her considering herself in a mirror as she breaks down is particularly emotional), I am definitely delighted to see just what she does next in the globe of scary, as we might have a genuine scream queen on her hands. That being stated, while her character isn’t necessarily lacking, the writing is never ever even more compared to functional. I like a good psychological break down as high as the next individual, yet DARLING has the strings fray much also very early and far as well conveniently for me to actually have a chance to latch on and be mentally spent in Darling’s wellness. It’s an experienced sufficient springboard for the succinct story the film tells, however just what’s truly a pity is the half-baked subplot including a possible demonic component that the movie establishes up, hardly cultivates, and afterwards more-or-less neglects.
The last point worth talking about are the issues that the film apes Polanski to a too much degree. I can’t differ with these statements, however the aesthetic signs are so blaringly obvious that critiquing this clear need for homage is less innovative compared to Keating’s homage itself. All in all, DARLING takes care of to rise above much of its much less stylistically established scary peers, however cannot rather handle to overcome its drawbacks. Personally having actually been less-than-impressed with CARNAGE PARK, I discovered DARLING to be an action up in top quality, yet Keating might still require an additional movie or more to iron out the kinks.
OVERALL SUMMARY Although possessing an obvious feeling of style and also vision, BELOVED self-destructs its interesting atmosphere with the routine look of adolescent jump terrifies.
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Although Mickey Keating’s most current movie, CARNAGE PARK, is what seems putting the supervisor on the map, his student effort DARLING consists of a considerable amount more of style as well as vision. Informing the tale of the eponymous Beloved (Lauren Ashley Carter), an unique loner who gets worked with as the caretaker of a strange New york city estate, points nearly right away confirm themselves to be scary as Madame (Sean Young) information the unfavorable end of the last caretaker. As Beloved check out the mansion, she experiences a variety of anxieties as well as hallucinations that leave us examining her frame of mind, her understanding on reality, and also just exactly what in the Heck is actually going on.
Credit report needs to be provided where credit rating is due: BELOVED does an impressive work of establishing an ambience that’s both claustrophobic and also schizophrenic. Cautioning us at the extremely starting that it makes use of flashing lights as well as hallucinatory pictures, BELOVED exploits on this to a severe, adding to an assaultive sensory experience that regularly leaves the visitor on edge. Working in a kaleidoscope of whispers and also bumps in the night, in addition to occasional bouts of hyperkinetic editing that leave one reeling, BELOVED could not be faulted for its sense of ambition as well as worry. However, exactly what it can be faulted for is misusing this possibility on a neverending string of instant dive terrifies that really feel unskilled and also strangely evocative the comparable methods utilized in INSIDIOUS 2. I intend that this does leave the viewer on the edge of their seat, but it’s only for the digestive tract degree shock of being attacked with yet an additional shouting face as opposed to what could conveniently have actually been a slow-burning nerve shredder. In addition, every one of the scares are so clearly asserted on a soundtrack shift to shrilling strings as well as pounding pianos that, while contributing to the full-scale battering of comfort, really feel nothing much less compared to rough.
All that being said, despite the fact that it has the tendency to leave an instead unsavory taste in the mouth, Lauren Ashley Carter is such an excellent acting existence that the film is still tacitly satisfying at its worst. Transforming in a few of the most hurt, mentally insane acting of recent memory (a scene with her looking at herself in a mirror as she damages down is particularly poignant), I am absolutely delighted to see exactly what she does following worldwide of horror, as we could have an actual scream queen on her hands. That being said, while her personality isn’t really necessarily lacking, the writing is never greater than useful. I enjoy a great psychological failure as high as the next guy, yet BELOVED has the strings fray much also early and also far too conveniently for me to really have a chance to latch on and be psychologically purchased Darling’s well-being. It’s a competent adequate springboard for the succinct tale the movie informs, yet what’s truly an embarassment is the half-baked subplot including a possible demonic component that the movie sets up, hardly develops, as well as then more-or-less overlooks.
The last thing worth discussing are the issues that the film apes Polanski to an extreme level. I cannot differ with these declarations, yet the aesthetic hints are so blaringly apparent that critiquing this clear need for homage is less creative than Keating’s homage itself. Altogether, BELOVED takes care of to rise above numerous of its less stylistically started scary peers, however can not rather take care of to overcome its drawbacks. Personally having actually been less-than-impressed with CARNAGE PARK, I located BELOVED to be an action up in high quality, however Keating could still need an additional movie or 2 to settle the twists.
OVERALL RECAP Although having an undeniable sense of style and also vision, DARLING self-destructs its appealing environment with the normal appearance of adolescent jump terrifies.
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