“Plot twist, it’s actually good” Split review

Split review: by Rob Stoakes

UK certification: 15

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nIt would be like M. Night Shyamalan to throw an out-of-nowhere, poorly telegraphed plot twist into reality itself.

There he was. Hollywood’s very own Icarus. Once called the new Stanley Kubrick after two knockout classics and one overrated but still alright flick, now one of the most popular punchlines in cinema history, a man who has no editing process in his own head and will let any idea get to paper without consideration of its worth.

It is a cautionary tale of what happens when an artist is told so early in his career that he is untouchable, and then continues to believe it long after the rest of the world changes its mind. Continue reading

“Better than it has any right to be” Ouija: Origin of Evil review

14886217_1040838869357950_851251975_nOuija: Origin of Evil review: by Rob Stoakes

UK Certification: 15

Halloween is over, everyone, and has been for over a week as of time of writing. But now seems to be when the horror movies start to crawl out of the ground. Because of course. And since we live in a world where even xXx is getting a sequel or reboot (seriously, xXx? Really?!) almost all of them are continuations of stories that did not need continuing.

Blair Witch exists thanks to this environment, and there’s that weird sequel to The Ring that’s on the horizon, but while those two were self-contained stories that didn’t need bolting onto, Ouija didn’t need continuing because it sucked like a Dyson Black Hole. Yet another uninspired, paint-by-numbers ghost story with all of the blood and monsters and psychological trauma (you know, things that HORRIFY people) replaced with jump scares. Continue reading

“Some messed up Wolverine sequel” Don’t Breathe review

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Don’t Breathe review: by Rob Stoakes

UK certification: 15

If there’s one thing that the horror genre teaches us, it’s that disabled people are more evil than the hypothetical lovechild of Ernst Blofeld, Skeletor and an angler fish. Deliverance, Saw VI, Don’t Look Now, all of these films teach us that the disabled are to be feared and distrusted. When they aren’t asking you for help up the stairs, they’re stabbing you to death. Trick R Treat is the only time the disabled are at all treat sympathetically, and that’s only the one, and the rest of them turn into autistic murder zombies, which incidentally is also the name of my university black metal band. Continue reading

“Do Blairs Witch in the Woods” Blair Witch review

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Written by Rob Stoakes

Oh come on!

I thought video gaming was the realm of terrible, reductive sequel names, what with Thief being the fourth Thief game and Wolfenstein following on from Escape from Castle Wolfenstein 3D, but I guess 2016 is the year that Hollywood catches the same awful virus.

Jason Bourne was the first sign of infection, but now we have Blair Witch as the point it goes terminal. It isn’t even grammatically correct.

“Hello, Mrs Witch? Can Blair come out to play?” Continue reading

“Put the horror back in horror” Lights Out review

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Looking back on it, I’m not so sure that I liked It Follows as much as I thought I did. While it is tense and much smarter than the average modern horror, there’s not much in the way of scares and it’s got a very ho-hum anti-climax.

Aside from that really good beach scene, it’s mostly an inferior version of Under The Skin. And yet if you read reviews or went on the internet, It Follows was the Second Coming of Horror Christ. The Witch was pretty similar, a film I enjoyed but thought was just good being lauded as a masterpiece. Why? Continue reading