I’m a huge fan of found footage. I stand behind this method of filmmaking 100 percent. There is a certain aspect that makes it feel like it’s more of a reality than your normal film. Even if a found footage film has ghosts or goblins in it, it can still hold that realism for me. I know it’s not for everyone but I think that’s because we are given a lot of garbage found footage films in addition to all the good ones.
Please Note: This review was written after seeing an unfinished version of the film during SXSW on March 13, 2015.
It seems that computer screen horror is catching on rather quickly and I’m not sure how I feel about it. In the past couple years we’ve had The Den and Open Windows; in both films the actions is presented through a computer screen. The Den worked to an extent and was creative for the most part, but Open Windows didn’t work out because it was so silly. . . well, to me anyway.
Unfriended has the same presentation but it works. Like Open Windows, it runs in real time and that’s one of the main things that works. Our story is told through a Skype chat between five friends who hold a secret. During one of their chats they are introduced to another visitor. They are unsure who this person is and try to get rid of this unknown entity, but remain unsuccessful despite multiple attempts. Soon they realize this person may be someone that they know from their past who is dead set on terrorizing them.
Does every horror film need some originality in order for it to be good? I think half of people surveyed would say yes and the other half would say no. Personally, I’m a “no” because I feel if the film has the right elements, it can be just as good as something completely original. Do we constantly have to be surprised or shown something new each and every time we see a new film? I think as long as the film has a good script, solid acting, good characters, and a decent soundtrack it will be successful to me. This is how I feel about Pod.
The original German title of Michael Armstrong’s infamous Mark Of The Devil was Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält, literally translated into Witches Tortured Till They Bleed. It’s a horrifying, yet accurate title for a movie that contrasts lush scenery and exquisite period costumes with some of the most excruciating scenes of torture ever put on film.
My mom and I watched horror films consistently all through the years of my youth. My mom wasn’t a horror buff, but was really into slashers, so naturally I was as well because I soaked up whatever she would show me. Almost every night we would go to my room and watch at least one film and I would stay up late to make it a double feature. (To this day she will come over to my place and we will either watch a classic or I will show her something new I’ve discovered.)
I’ve been obsessed with horror films all my life. Early on I had a fascination with 1970s and British horror films. This was mainly because our local video store stocked a lot of the Hammer titles and those caught my eye first before I discovered the nitty gritty SOV horror films from the ’80s.
That is one of the main reasons why I absolutely loved We Are Still Here. It feels like it was pulled right out of 1976 and thrown into our laps with modern gore and special effects. Virtually everything shown in the film uses practical effects and there is minimal CGI. This made it much more enjoyable and gave it that old school feel.
Dinner party movies are becoming a favorite of mine. I love the premise of a dinner party because most of time we are dealing with a group of friends and usually the characters are relatively close to one another. These past few years I’ve seen films like Would You Rather, The Perfect Host, Coherence, and now, The Invitation. Each time I’m surprised at the routes the films take and how different each film is in its own way.
At the beginning of the Deathgasm screening Sam Zimmerman from Shock Till You Drop asked the audience, “Have you ever seen a movie and thought, ‘Yes, that film was made for me’?” I truly feel that the filmmakers of Deathgasm somehow knew that I love and cherish heavy metal horror and decided to bring me their movie. Heavy metal and horror movies are similar in many ways and they work even better when they are blended together.
Most horror parodies aren’t smart and in recent years they have gotten really tedious and boring. Towards the beginning we had films like Pandemonium, Student Bodies, and Saturday The 14th. Then the craze died down but came back with a huge bang due to the success of Scary Movie. Ever since then we’ve had a few films pop up here and there (Cabin In The Woods, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil, and Scream) and more serious filmmakers even started making these kinds of movies. With the newer flicks, parody was thrown out of the window and they turned into horror comedy throwbacks. The Final Girls will give a new meaning to these kinds of comical throwback flicks.
As any regular reader of this site knows, especially if you follow Brad Henderson’s reviews, ’80s throwback horror and action films are a hot commodity right now. Sometimes they work; sometimes they don’t. The ones that do have two things in common: enthusiasm and commitment. Even when these films aren’t total successes, there are usually enough enjoyable elements to make them well worth watching. Which brings me to Wolfcop.