Friday 31 December 2021

Here's to 2021

Last year I wrote this heading into a new year when I usually write this last thing in December. Going back to tradition here it is to whoever is actually reading these posts. 

Once again, this has been a difficult year, with further lockdowns, ‘freedom day’ whatever that was meant to mean, more worries and changes that might not have been wanted or needed. But I am thankful that my friends and family are safe and well on the most part. 

Although I don’t have all the new events that happened last year I did celebrate two milestones, my 10 years of writing and a more personal one I share with someone special. I’m still in my flat, a room of my own and actually started a new job last month which I’m enjoying. I didn’t go on a long holiday but I did escape the city for the coast a few times which was very welcome and I hope to do so again. I even got to see friends in person who I hadn’t seen for over a year. I’m thankful for the little things too which is why my resolution won’t be a long list again. 

Of course I’m hoping to write more, watch more films, go to more festivals in person, go on a longer holiday (I’m talking a week by the way), more adventures and I would of course like to get in shape. But like last year I’m also going to keep positive. 

Happy New everyone!

Friday 24 December 2021

Dial Code Santa Claus

3615 code Père Noël, aka Deadly Games, aka Dial Code Santa Claus, aka Hide and Freak, aka Game Over. The many named horror thriller about a boy genius vs a psychotic Santa Claus who play cat and mouse in a mansion gained cult status after its brief 1990 release in France. Having only seen the light of day once again with a Blu-ray release, now 4K, from American label Vinegar Syndrome, now more people can enjoy this bizarre Christmas film and add it to the pile to watch each year. 

Full article at Filmhounds HERE.

Tuesday 7 December 2021

Le Samouraï


The elusive hitman story is one that we have seen many times portrayed on the big screen over the years from around the world but Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï is a story that has influenced other filmmakers and films across the crime, neo-noir genres. It’s the silhouette we know so well, the coat and hat we usually associate with a detective that now is synonymous with the hitman too.

Full review over at Filmhounds HERE.

Monday 6 December 2021

How The Fellowship of the Ring changed the blockbuster epic


Most articles about films that changed the scene start with ‘back in whatever year the film was released, things were different’, which would be absolutely true about Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Not only was this the return of epic cinema, but everything about the film was new, the CGI, practical effects were ground breaking. But this was a fantasy genre film, the kind of story that would be saved for a small release or in worse cases straight to video. The fantasy genre had not been looked upon favourably by Hollywood but here was the planned trilogy of films, shot back-to-back over a year and half, several years in the making, The Fellowship of the Ring changed cinema. 

The full article is available HERE.

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Slumber Party Massacre


As with all remakes of any genre, there will always the original that overshadows the new imagining, new adaptation or interpretation, whether the remake out shines the predecessor or not. Some classic horror slasher films are better left untouched with the grime, the red paint and the video aesthetics. However, if a film just so happens to be a feminist slasher of its age, then bringing it into the present day could actually be a twist on the stereotypical genre traits it comes with. In the case of Slumber Party Massacre, it’s a mixed bag of energy, legacy and dare I say, a superficial glance of what could be, the female gaze. 

 Nearly 30 years after escaping the crazed murderer Russ Thorn as the sole survivor, Trish worries about her daughter Dana going on a trip with her friends. On the way to the car breaks down and the girls are forced to stay in the exact same house that Trish stayed in all those years ago. Not wanting to waste the night the girls decide to have their slumber party in the house, but an uninvited visitor soon shows up. 

Making the tagline ‘You know the drill’ could not be more apt for this film. Not only is the drill, weapon of choice for the killer as it was in the original, but history repeats itself within the film as well. As a slasher, you know what beats it will hit and you know what to expect. You can already guess who will make it to the end and when it comes the final showdown, you know who the killer is. The film tries to show us what to expect but throws a few curve balls in the form of an unexpected escape, the timings of the (SPOILER) second killer and the fact that the girls planned the whole damn trip on purpose. 

The reasons for the girls being at the house are convoluted; Dana wanting to get revenge on behalf of her mother who has moved on from the previous events. If the girls were there just so they could kill Russ Thorn, this might have been simpler and cleaner. But having her friends all play roles as well as imitate everything that happened previously, slightly over kill. They come across as obsessed fans even though that’s meant to be the boys across the lake’s roles. Not the mention the very messy, not gory, end scenes when Trish randomly shows up yelling at her daughter for not calling. There could have been a better way to end the story and some of the characters. 

 Despite the questionable character motives and the overly long shots of the boys taking a shower and the exaggerated pillow fight they have; the film has merit in its moments of self-awareness and poking fun itself. They don’t quite balance out the more serious and terrorising scenes but it does homage the original in the tongue and cheek tone and even in some of the kills. The extended story twist that its not over yet is tiresome but at least it gave the killers something more to do and show that even the toughest characters are never prepared in horror films. Although the original still is very entertaining and first of its kind, the remake has merits, along with some memorable scenes, even if they aren’t kills.

Slumber Party Massacre will be available on Digital Download from 13th December