Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: The Faith Community



Review: The Faith Community
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everyone! For my review this time I’m going once again into the intriguing sub-genre of found footage films with the first film from filmmaker Faith R Johnson, The Faith Community.

The Faith Community tells the tale of three young documentary filmmakers who go to a supposed religious get away to film a promotional video. When they get to the location they are greeted by The Messenger (played by Jeremey Harris) and his “flock.” Soon the three filmmakers find that things are not as they expected. For one thing on their way to the “getaway” they are lead past a number of wooden crosses set to the side of the trail. Then when they get to the getaway instead of finding cabins and facilities they are met with a bunch of tents and folding chairs. When they question this The Messenger simply tells them that they are living simple to get closer to God by getting closer to nature. After that things get disturbing. The camera person, Colin (played by Jeffrey Brabant), interviews The Messenger, but is unable to get his name, the leader insists that The Messenger is his only name. Then Colin interviews one of the members named Michael who turns out to be a former soldier who was thrown out of the army for killing an officer because he was having delusions of seeing a dark, demonic, shape. Then after having a meal with the group Colin finds his associates acting odd. Are they drugged? Of course it is after the after meal entertainment that things unfold and becomes deadly. Their hosts are not a simple religious group, but a twisted cult whose focus is to find those who are worthy. Will Colin and his friends escape this cult or will they become its latest victims.

Though I’m not a huge fan of found footage films, there are some that break the mold of the simple cookie cutter plots and stereotypical faults of this sub-genre. I find this to be one. For one thing there wasn’t the typical introduction expressing that this is actual footage found hidden in the woods. Nope, Johnson forgets those trappings and lets the footage speak for itself. Also, she adds to the fake realism by not even having the camera operator keep the camera level. There are several shots that are of people’s feet and several shot where the camera is trying to auto adjust and all we see is flared and barely intelligible images. Also, there is no attempt at making this film over dramatic or Hollywoodish. This film is as rough as it gets and does look like someone with little camera skills was shooting true events. The unfortunate drawback to this is the film loses a lot of its impact by being too far away from the main action, much like a person at a concert trying to film the action with their camera phone.

So, in the end I found The Faith Community a disturbing look at the very real horror of the extreme religious cults that have popped up in the world. This film is a cautionary tale that warns you to look closer into any religious retreats, because they might not be what you expect….

Keep on Creepin’ Horror Bob’s Blog

Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: Talon Falls



Review: Talon Falls
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everybody. I’m back yet again with another movie review on a new film either on DVD or VOD. This time it the new film in the subgenre torture porn, Talon Falls.
This film tells the story of a group of four teenagers who decide to check out an extreme Halloween attraction located in the Kentucky woods. The attraction, The Talon Falls Screamland, features the usual jump scares, killer clowns, and chainsaw welding psychopaths. But it also features sections that feature people being horribly tortured, and these look unsettlingly real. Well, when two of the group decide to slip in behind the scenes they find out the horrifying truth, that the torture scenes are exactly what they appear to be, very real. Now, they have been chosen to be the next featured attractions and now they must find a way to get free before they become part of the fun.
I have to say, besides the recent SAW film I haven’t seen any torture porn films in years. This was never really a favorite with me. Honestly I have to say that besides the SAW franchise, with its complicated plot, I’ve found torture porn films very cookie cutter and not very interesting. This film on the other hand I found a tad more interesting. I liked how they took the idea of an extreme Halloween attraction  and took it to this extreme level. It is one reason I avoid such things like the plague. I fear that one day I will hear on the news that one of these operators might do exactly the same thing this story tells.
As for the acting, writing, and film technique, there was nothing special. Even the twist at the end was actually telegraphed and was expected.
So, if you are a fan of torture porn films and films like The Houses that October Built you will definitely like this film. If you are every other horror fan I would grab yourself a twelve pack, then it will be a party….LOL… Oh, also they could have done a bit better with the title. Talon Falls brings to mind a creepy town film or a murder mystery. I think if they had titled it Talon Falls Murderland or something more descriptive of what the film actually is it would have been better, but that’s just me….
Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog….

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: Found Footage 3D




Review: Found Footage 3D
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and Scares everybody, this time I’m reviewing the new found footage film by filmmaker Steven Degennaro, Found Footage 3D.
This film tells the story of Derek and his film crew who are planning to film their own found footage film in a cabin in an isolated wooded area. Derek, who is the producer, surprises his director with his latest great idea. They are going to shoot their found footage film in 3D. The director isn’t thrilled with the idea, given that it is a found footage film and the idea breaks the illusion that this is “found footage,” but in the end Derek convinces him. On the way to the location they stop at a store to get food and end up asking a couple of old rednecks to be the creepy warning givers for the film. After the rednecks do their parts they ask where the crew is shooting. When they are told they give the crew a real warning. After that in true horror fashion the crew goes to the cabin and their found footage shoot becomes a real life horror as a mysterious force, like the one in the story they are shooting, starts causing chaos with the shooting and takes them out one at a time.
I have to say I found this film amusing. I’m actually a fan of this subgenre and I loved how they played around with the stereotypical hallmarks of the typical found footage film. There is one sequence where they have to do a surveillance footage shot. The director reminds Derek that that footage won’t be in 3D like the other footage. Derek fixes the problem by taping two cameras together. Also, there is a sequence where they are doing a POV running scene and Derek complains about the fact that the “shaky cam” is going to make the audience sick in 3D. The director tells him that there is nothing that can be done because the camera is in the hand of the girl who is running. Derek straps a shoulder harness on the girl and hooks to camera to it to lessen the shaking. The director argues that it won’t look real, because the girl in the story wouldn’t have a harness. Derek reminds him that it isn’t reality and they are going to do it his way. The director huffs off complaining that he has no control and why does Derek need a director at all since everything is done “his way.”
There is one thing that really messes with the film for me. The thing is they never really make a clear separation between the scenes shot for the film they are making in the movie the characters are filming and the footage “behind the scenes.” There are times that it gets a bit confusing at times which is kind of distracting. But all in all, if you are a fan of found footage films, Found Footage 3D will be and an amusing time for you, no booze required….
Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog….

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Review: House of Evil (2017)




Review:  House of Evil (2017)
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everyone and welcome to my latest movie review. This time I’ll be looking at the retro 70s style demonic haunted house thriller House of Evil.
House of Evil tells the story of Kate and John McKey (played by Lucy Drive and Andrew Harwood Mills) who have moved into a remote old mansion in the countryside. Kate is a portrait artist and John is a photographer. They have come to the country for inspiration, the quiet and to start a family.  Unfortunately, unknown to the couple the mansion is infested with a demon and the spirits of its victims. As time goes on the couple begins to suffer horrifying nightmares. John starts to get obsessed with his photography and spending all his time in the cellar where he has his darkroom. Kate sees phantom children and keeps dreaming of the demon stalking her and her unborn baby.
I loved the style of this film. It reminded me of the haunted house films of the late 60s and 70s, like House of Dark Shadows. The clothing, hair styles, light blue Volkswagen van the couple drives screams the 70s. John even has the long sideburns that were popular.  Also the pace of the film is very 70s, meaning slow, which will annoy a more modern audience, but for me it was a nice change. The annoying part for me was when the cult with the old guy in the Catholic priest outfit show up.(Spoiler) Having them explain to Kate that they had called up the demon, before the last owners of the house murdered themselves, and that Kate’s baby is not really John’s but the demon’s. I just found that a lazy, sloppy, way to end the film. After all the build-up and work the filmmakers  put into the story to end it in that way, like The Last Exorcism, spoiled the film for me. So, unfortunately, I can’t recommend this film. Though it did manage to capture the 70s feel and pace the last ten minutes of the film trashes all that good work.  I ended up leaving this film feeling cheated and I don’t want to put anyone reading this through that….Also they tried to end the film by saying that it was based on a true incident…I sorely doubt that….

Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Review: Circus Kane



Review: Circus Kane
By William Pattison
For Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and scares everyone! For my review this time I have the torture porn style fun house from hell film Circus Kane.

Circus Kane tells the story of a group of people from various parts of the horror community, a memorabilia collector, a scream queen a blogger, a movie reviewer, a website owner, and an everyday horror geek, who get sent messages to meet in a certain place for a chance to win $250,000. When they get to the meeting place they are all roughly put in an old S.W.A.T. van by men wearing clown masks. In the van they find that the wall are covered with old posters that promoted a traveling horror circus called Circus Kane. Big Ed, the collector (played by young Al Pacino look a like Ted Monte) remembers and is a fan of The Circus Kane and it’s circus master Bathazar Kane. He also reminds the others that Kane is infamous for burning a man to death in his act, so famous that he inspired a song all of them know. It is then that a monitor lights up and the shadowy image of Bathazar Kane (played masterfully by Tim Abell) appears. Kane informs them that they are in route to take part in the revival of the Circus Kane and the chance for one of them to win the money if they can face their fears. After this, knock out gas is released in the back of the van. The group is woken up when they arrive at their destination, a huge mansion decked out in plastic gargoyles and other horror decorations. After the guys in the clown masks let them all out they all head up to the house and are greeted at the door by a tall pale man in a bowler hat (played by former Night Court star Richard Moll). Inside the house Kane appears again on another monitor and informs them that in order to win the money they must make their way through his house of horrors and his “friends” that they will meet along the way. He tells them that some of them will die during this journey through terror and pain. He also tells them all they have to do to give up is say the magic words “Bathazar Kane, you win.” and they will lose out on the money and will be set free. What these unfortunate people find is a hell full of horrifying rooms full of traps, a demonic killer clown, a sadistic court jester swinging chains with hooks on them, a cannibalistic Nazi zombie, and the burned and scared master of this house of terror Kane himself.

I have to say I really enjoyed this film. It has been quite a while since I saw a really good film of this type. The pace of this film is perfection. There is no filler in this film and it keeps your interest from the beginning to the end.
I also loved the makeup work as well. All the characters were well designed without being so over the top as to distract you from the story.

And I have to say I was completely caught by surprise by the twist at the end, which is a rare thing for me.

All in all I can highly recommend Circus Kane if you want a slick well craft horrorfest. This is a horror pleasure you will enjoy…

Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog….!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: IT




Review: IT
By William Pattison for Horror Bob’s Blog

Gore and Scares! Yes, I know you’ve probably read so many reviews of the mega blockbuster, which has become the biggest grossing horror film ever, film adaptation of the first half of Stephen King’s novel IT.
Ok, since you’ve been through this so many times, IT tells the story of the small town of Derry, which has a horrid history of mayhem every twenty-six years. The reason for this? An evil thing that can only be called IT has nested there and has been feeding on the fears and flesh of the town during its feeding season.  This thing loves to take the form of a demonic clown called Pennywise. A bunch of the “loser” kids in the town have noticed IT’s pattern and one of the kids, who lost his little brother to IT has vowed to stop it.
Now I have to admit I was a huge fan of the mini series of IT that came out in 1990 with Tim Curry playing Pennywise, but I was willing to give this adaptation a try. I have to admit I was impressed. This film did not feel like a retread. The filmmaker did the right thing am moved this part of the adaptation from 1956 to 1980 and changed scenes to fit an audience that for the most part had been born in the 80s period. For one thing the filmmakers made the things that Pennywise used to scare the kids more on track to what scares kids now a days, like zombies.  But one thing they kept true to the novel as well as the mini series was that they focused on the kids and spent a lot of time developing their characters and their individual sub-plots, thus making the audience care for these characters, which is the only way to really build tension and bring on some real scares.
As far as the special effects, I was pleased to see that they weren’t perfect. There is a certain charm about a little cheese in the special effects, at least for me. I have to say the only makeup effect that I really didn’t like was the one with the diseased leper. For me it felt way over the top and pulled me away from the scene. Though I do have to acknowledge that this was the image of a leper from a germ sensitive kid’s perspective, I would have liked it to be a bit more realistic for the gross out factor. Seriously, people were actually laughing at the scene.
But all in all I can honestly say I enjoyed this version of IT and I look forward to Chapter 2 in 2019….


Keep on Creepin’, Horror Bob’s Blog….

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Galaxy of Horrors



Review: Galaxy of Horrors
By William Pattison, aka Eric Morse
For Horror Bob’s Blog

As a person who absolutely loves original anthology films I was excited to get my chance to see Galaxy of Horrors. It is really rare to find a horror/sci fi anthology. This one was created with the help of Rue Morgue Magazine and Unstable Ground Productions using shorts films from their Little Terrors Festival.
The wrap around story is about a man trapped in a malfunctioning life pod. Each segment is of him trying to figure out the password that will release him. Unfortunately every time he fails to say the correct password he is forced to watch a film, which cuts down his life
expectancy.

There are eight films in this anthology, all radically different.

The first film is titled Eden and the world it presents is far from that. It shows us a dystopian world where the air is so polluted you can’t breath without a mask. Also the government is corrupt and the rebellion is using children as freedom fighters. Finally the place also has what appears to be the beginning of a zombie problem.

Iris tells the story of an intelligent Smart Phone that is unfortunately in the hands of a killer for hire. What can a killer do when he has to face a phone with a conscience?

The next film, The Flesh Computer, introduces us to a half biological half mechanical computer that monitors a building. This story asks the question is this device conscious?

The story Pathos tells a story where people are hooked to machines to control their bodies. In order to advance in society you must pass a series of test which are simply to go to one side of the room you are in learn a code and punch it into a keyboard on the other side of the room. If you do it right you win prized that will give you a good life.  If you fail you lose a sense and eventually if you continue to fail you die.

Eveless tells the story of a male couple in a society where women have died and men must now carry children for the future of humanity.

They will all Die in Space tells the story of a technician that is woken up from hyper sleep to do repairs on a disabled ship but he soon learns that the two other men who are awake have horrific plans for him.

Entity tells the story of the survivor of a ship explosion who finds herself alone tumbling through space in a spacesuit until she come face to face with a strange space anomaly.

The final story is titled Kingz and tells the story of two drug dealers who go to drop off a bag of drugs to a night club owner only to find out he has been taken over by an alien entity and his security guards are now remote controlled drones.

Ok, well I found this to be an ok anthology, and I stress on the word ok. The stories varied from interesting to just plain boring. The writing varied as well. A couple of the stories were extremely weak. They had interesting ideas but the stories weren’t fully developed. Another problem was a couple of the films came from other countries and the viewer was stuck having to labor through a lot of subtitles. Also, the wrap around story was weak and did nothing to enhance the film at all.

So, in the end I have to say film was ok and I wouldn’t suggest you rush out and check it out. This is more something you might want to check out as a 99 cent VOD. It is definitely nothing I’d want to include in my anthology collection….

Keep on Creepin, Horror Bob’s Blog!