The Shining: Horror Movies Explored

The Shining movie posterEliciting horror in film is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult tasks a director can take on. Meticulous planning in camera, lighting and pacing and so much more go into leaving an impression on the audience. As a huge fan of horror, I recently gave The Shining a watch, one of the undisputed champions of the horror genre.

Although it lived up to its reputation as being scary as hell, I was left scratching my head by the end of it. I couldn’t pinpoint why I found it so scary. There weren’t any jump scares or tense music cues to reveal an ugly monster or any other conventional horror means of scariness. Continue reading

Halloween (2018) review “A true successor to the original”

Halloween movie posterHalloween 1978 and little-known director John Carpenter terrifies thousands of impressionable horror fans with the introduction of ‘The Shape’. Jamie Lee Curtis becomes the new ‘scream queen’ and all is well in the world of the slasher genre.

Fast-forward to 2009 and Rob Zombie directs the sequel to his reasonably successful remake of Halloween, but it was poorly received by critics and audiences alike. Why? Well Zombie’s grungy, rock-anthem vibe didn’t really sit too well with Michael Myers and the result was a distasteful and messy outing that set the franchise back nearly 10 years.

Of course, in between 1978 and 2009, the series was ripped apart, put back together again until it was a shadow of its former self. Anyone remember Busta Rhymes doing a vague impression of a karate master in Halloween: Resurrection?  Best forget about that. Continue reading

The First Purge review “Yet another wasted opportunity”

The First Purge posterYes! Get in! Finally, the producers over at Platinum Dunes and Blumhouse realised that what fans of the Purge series were wanting was a look at how the night of legalised crime came to be. It’s all we’ve been asking for since 2013 after all.

After three films of decent quality in which the second, Purge: Anarchy is the highlight, The First Purge promises to shake up the formula by introducing a prequel into the horror franchise. But does it do enough to stop the series from feeling stale or are we looking at yet another paint-by-numbers horror flick? Continue reading

Hereditary review “What was that ending?”

Hereditary movie posterThe nauseating anxiety triggered by this film has only just receded from my psyche. It’s rare, nowadays, for a film to imbue such writhing terror onto a usually desensitised and skeptical audience.

The jump scares are scarce as the film titters towards a creeping-dread approach to horror; horror that emerges from our inevitable capacity to inflict pain on ourselves and those we love. Comparisons with The Exorcist and The Shining do this film little justice however, as Ari Aster’s directorial debut has much more in common with subdued tension-builders like It Comes At Night and The Witch (both films are also distributed by indie-powerhouse A24). Continue reading

Ghost Stories review “A horror movie that doesn’t fall flat”

Ghost Stories movie posterA horror film is a hard thing to do well. Most horror movies are predictable, with overused tropes and twists turning the story from scary, to sub-par. Ghost Stories, from writers and directors Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, is one of those horror movies that doesn’t fall flat.

Ghost Stories follows arch-skeptic Phillip Goodman (Andy Nyman), as he stumbles across a long-lost file containing three cases of inexplicable hauntings. With demons, ghostly little girls and a surprising twist, this movie is the epitome of a horror film. Continue reading