Just when I thought it was time for me to give up on the Horror Genre THE COLLECTION has come along and restored my faith in it. Possibly one of the best horror slashers since the first film THE COLLECTOR and my favorite so far of 2013, THE COLLECTION follows on from the aftermath of the first film.
When Elena is talked into attending an underground warehouse party with her friends, she finds herself caught in a nightmarish trap where the revelers are mowed, sliced and crushed to death by a macabre series of contraptions operated by a masked psychopath. When the grisly massacre is over, Elena is the only survivor. But before she can escape, she is locked in a trunk and transported to an unknown location.
Fortunately for Elena, one man— Arkin —knows exactly where she’s headed, having just escaped from there with his life and sanity barely intact. Going back is the last thing on Arkin’s mind, but Elena’s wealthy father hires a crack team of mercenaries to force Arkin to lead them to the killer’s lair. But even these hardened warriors are not prepared for what they encounter: an abandoned hotel-turned-torture-chamber, rigged with deadly traps and filled with mangled corpses. Can Arkin and the team get to Elena before she too becomes part of his gruesome “collection”?
THE COLLECTION goes down a very different path than it's predecessor, Where THE COLLECTOR was more Home Invasion Horror this instalment is more along the lines of SAW with a Hotel full of traps, and lets be honest here who does SAW like traps better than these guys? Melton Has created a new genre villain here, something we have been missing in recent years. Gone were the days of Jason and Michael Myers, replaced by ghosts and one time demons or below par remakes of former classics. The Collector joins a hand full of modern killers that will stand the test of time including Jigsaw and Crowley (check) from the HATCHET series and I hate to say it, as I am not one for to many sequels, I would love to see THE COLLECTOR 3 follow on from this one. The end sequence leaves this film open in a way and I would love to see what happens in the aftermath of what happened (look see no spoilers). It is was good to see Arkin (Josh Stewart – THE COLLECTOR) make a return and this time joined by a well acted lead girl in the form of Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick – IN TIME). A good supporting cast in this film and a great setting! I love the whole abandoned Hotel setting especially as the police don't venture out that way. It gives that film that SAW like edge to it.
THE COLLECTION is a blood and gore soaked masterpiece, a top contender for my favourite horror film of 2013. It is a shame the soundtrack isn't as good as the first film but this is made up for with the action and the shear enjoyment of the film itself. This is my pick to recommend to EVERYONE! Go and buy it NOW NOW NOW!!!
Ah the supernatural horror genre, it is a fickle thing. I have reviewed god knows how many over the last few years and I have had a mixed bag of really good or really (and I mean bottom of the pile) crap films that should never have seen the light of day. THE ECHO is one of the rare occasions where I actually really enjoyed it. It reminded me a little of THE CALLER, without the phone calls, and the feel of the film, even though it has a slow build, is actually pretty gripping in parts.
THE ECHO follows ex-con Bobby, out on parole after being locked up for killing a man who was trying to sexually assault his girlfriend in a bar. Bobby moves into the apartment of his dead mother, who was found dead in her apartment after a suspected mental breakdown. From the very start Bobby begins hearing noises from the apartment next door. He can hear the couple next door arguing and the husband beating on his wife. Scrapings and banging at hours and a strange noise coming from inside the apartment itself. The voices begin to follow Bobby as he also begins seeing ghostly images in random places. Is he going crazy? Or did his mother hear and see the same things?
This is a lower budget horror without it being obvious which is always a good start and It had the same dank and grimy look as THE CALLER had. Also this isn’t a crappy acted horror unlike other films such as DEADLINE or THE FIELDS which couldn’t carry off the supernatural horror edge to the story. THE ECHO is a good little film which may go under the radar in time, and that will be a damn shame.
I recommend you go and pick this one up. If you enjoy the supernatural horror genre then this will keep you satisfied no end. This is a good weekend film with a few friends or on your own on a horror night in. One of the better films of 2013 so far, well-acted and a good story backed by good direction.
Release Date: 8th April 2013
Age Rating: 15
R.R.P: £15.99 (DVD)
The first thing that springs to mind about American Mary is just how funny it is. I found myself laughing out loud during several scenes!, not a normal reaction you would expect from a movie essentially set in the seedy underworld of Body Modification!. The script is packed with wit and plenty of smarts too. Mary Mason(Katherine Isabelle) plays a Trainee Surgeon whilst practising her trade at home on Turkeys, all the while looking for extra money to get her through. Its this desperate need that leads her into a world she cant quite fully control, and a warning about surgeons and mistakes by one pivotal character becomes horrifically realised when said character makes a massive mistake himself. And so in turn its Monsters that make a Monster!!, themes of duality are explored here in a fun and somewhat sexy way, but Mary is on an ever descending path of destruction, not least within herself!. Katherine is a revelation here, smart and sexy, with a way of expressing much through her eyes in scenes that require she masks up!, A scene involving Revenge is played to gleeful effect with added emotional impact, not least in its choice of music that accompanies this. The music in this movie is fantastic, and I hope it will be released as a soundtrack as my feet were tapping away in several key scenes.
The Soska's have never been ashamed to name check their influences, and I would have to say Mary Harron is a definite influence here, I was often reminded of her earlier work whilst watching this, particularly in its duality theme that is explored, as well themes of beauty, both inside and out. One Character 'Beatress' Played with utter relish by Burlesque performer Tristan Risk, is both deeply funny and utterly heartbreaking, She is astonishing as this Character, and in a sense is a major catalyst for events that come. The Soskas themselves turn up as Twins involved in the running of a massive Modification website, The scenes with them are very telling of the lengths people can go with this extreme lifestyle, and its strange and beautiful culture.
Beauty looms large over this Movie, its a visually stunning film, amazingly acted and funny through out. For gore hounds alike, you will not be disappointed, but if your after a quick leave brain at the door kinda Horror, then this is not for you. Its Smart and hits its points..Hard!, It really is a hard movie to fault, it tells a disturbing story wrapped up in a Beautiful bubble, and is simply one the years best Movies, and I for one look forward to the Twins next output.
Chaos consumes a small town when a chemical facility explodes releasing a deadly toxin. Moments after the leak, the town's residents show signs of mutation, causing the military to quarantine the area leaving any survivors helpless and trapped inside. The story follows Jim, a young man isolated within the red zone, as he eludes flesh eating zombies in an attempt to win back his freedom. . .
Anyone expecting a full out zombie horde devouring a small town might find themselves a little disappointed. State of Emergency is a slow burning thriller which concentrates more on humans binding together in order to survive rather than guns, brains and blood-soaked escapes that you might be used to in traditional zombie yore. I only counted about five ‘zombies’ throughout. But the setting of the desolate warehouse on the outskirts of town safely dictates that the majority of the danger is in the centre of town. So it all makes some sort of sense.
The first twenty minutes as our hero establishes himself a safe haven are a joy and another scene in which he ventures outside for medical supplies are well written. But what let’s it down slightly are the matter of fact way in which the survivors deal with the situation. They almost seem too prepared to begin with.
Director Turner Clay makes good use of the setting with lingering shots of vast space interior spaces that create an unnerving sense of doom and tingle the viewer with what awaits around the corner. Most of the time it’s nothing. Other times it’s one of them. . .
The zombie make-up is decent enough job; Red eyed and with the sprinting gait of the Infected from ‘28 Days Later’, but they harbour a strange intelligence which could have been explored a little more.
All in all, State of Emergency is a decent night in. If you enjoyed Carriers (2009) and would like a zombie movie you can watch with the other half without wincing at rotting hands tearing through gloriously red innards, check this out. Turn off the lights and cuddle up.
Release date: December 24th
Format: Blu-Ray & DVD
R.R.P: (Blu-Ray) £10.00 (DVD) £9.70
From the author of the book Pride and prejudice and zombies Seth Grahame-Smith and the director of the films NIGHT WATCH and WANTED, Timur Berkmambetov, comes a vampire action film of historic proportion.
After seeing his mother killed by a vampire when he was a boy, a young Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker – FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS) sets his sights on revenge against the monster behind it. After a failed attempt at killing the man Lincoln meets Henry (Dominic Cooper – THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE, CAPTAIN AMERICA) a mysterious man who tells Lincoln he can train him to be a fearless vampire hunter but with one catch, Abe must kill only the vampires Henry sees fit and only when Henry thinks Abe is ready can he hunt the beast he really wants. Spurred on by his desire to avenge the gruesome death of his mother, Lincoln rises to power as he is thrust into an epic fight against vicious creatures threatening the future of the United States.
If like me you like your vampire films full of REAL vampires and not these sparkly teenie ones then you are in for a treat right here. ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is a bit like films such as VAN HELSING and BLADE with a hint of western chucked in there for good measure. The film mixes a healthy level of history and myth which I loved to be honest. Okay so the vampires are not as creepy as 30 DAYS OF NIGHT or STAKE LAND but who really cares! This film is a fun thrill ride that will keep any film fan wanting more. This isn’t Berkmambetov’s first vampire outing as he has also directed the adaptations of NIGHT WATCH and DAYWATCH and you can tell he knows his vampires.
This isn't art house, this isn't teenie this is just big budget Hollywood at its best. The acting was brilliant and I was even surprised to see THE LOVED ONES actress Robin McLeavy make a quick appearance as Abe’s mother. The fight scenes were over the top and bloody, and that is what we want right?
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER is a great watch, maybe even a good choice for a Halloween marathon starter. Horror newbies will be fine with this too so make sure you grab your copy today.
Release date: 22nd October 2012
Format: DVD, Blu-Ray & Blu-Ray 3D
R.R.P: (DVD) £12.99 (Blu-Ray) £24.99 (Blu-Ray 3D) £29.99
Take a look back to 2011 and you will find my review for the very dull, 2 star rated film THE SILENT HOUSE
, a Ukrainian horror film which is said to have been shot in one continuous shot. I hated the film is all honesty and I shocked even myself when I agreed to review the American version. I am always in two minds when it comes to remakes, a lot of hard-core horror fans are dead against them also, however I have to say SILENT HOUSE was miles better than its Ukrainian original is so many ways.
SILENT HOUSE follows the story of Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen – RED LIGHTS), her father and uncle who have returned to their run down house in the countryside to fix it up to be sold. In real time we follow Sarah as her home is invaded by a violent intruder. However things are not as they first seem in the house as slowly hidden memories of her past in the house come to light.
The film focuses mostly of Olsen’s character Sarah, a role which makes the film better than the original. We are treated to a real feeling of terror and the slight moments of clumsiness, which may or may not have been unintentional, that gets you into the flow of the film and never lets you go. The supporting cast are a little stale but thanks to Olsen you don’t really worry about it.
The feel of the film is a bit different than the original. The house looks different inside, giving the film a more homely feel and you can tell that the directors really went to town to make this their own. Yes the ending is still the same (a major part of my hatred of the original) however it was presented in a better, more polished manner.
If you want an on the edge of your seat horror film with real jumps then SILENT HOUSE would be a great choice. This is a top contender for this year’s 2012 top 10.Release date: Out Now
Format: DVD & Blu-Ray
Certificate: 15R.R.P: (DVD) £17.99 (Blu-Ray) £22.99Running Time: 88 Mins
Two hitmen, veteran Pinner (Billy Clarke – HUNGER, WARSHOTS) and the first timer Cully (Jack Gordon – PANIC BUTTON, WRONG TURN 3: LEFT FOR DEAD) are sent to the house of Kist (Jonathan Hansler – DEATH, THE GRIND), a man who has something of value that belongs to Pinner’s boss Bruno (Harry Miller – WHITE ANGEL). Sitting in wait the Pinner shares a story of a job which has haunted him for his whole career but before he can finish they men are interrupted by a noise outside. As they investigate Pinner and Cully find items of devil worship and the occult which leads them to a chilling confrontation with something truly evil. This is all I am willing to tell you of THE DEVIL’S BUSINESS, as this is a film you really have to watch and find out what happens in the films chilling conclusion.
I do love a film that makes you think, and with THE DEVIL’S BUISNESS that is what you get. The film is gritty, shocking and at some points pretty messed up. Clarke and Gorgon play the parts of Pinner and Cully perfectly giving the viewer a view point from the trainer assassin and the new boy who just wants to make the big boss happy. The devil worship angle was nicely played out, especially as there are a fair few British horror films that have gone down this route over the last few years. There are so many good point of the film which I don’t really want to spoil for the readers of this website so I will let you go out and make your own minds up. All I will say is that this is one of the top British horror films I have seen so far this year next to PIGGY and KILL LIST.
At an hour and ten minutes THE DEVIL’S BUSINESS is indeed a shorter film then most, HOWEVER with its Hammer Horror style story and Sean Hogan’s ability to drag you into the story this is a film that should not be missed.
Release date: 10th September 2012
R.R.P: (DVD) £15.99
Now we all know my thoughts on the found footage films and that I normally totally rip into them like a hungry zombie…well here we have THE TUNNEL, a found footage film which, and I would sit down if I was you, I actually enjoyed. Now okay it is nowhere near as great as REC or PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (very little have or will be that good) but THE TUNNEL is one of those films which follow the same kind of tenseness and fear as films like THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and REC without it falling flat on its face within a few minutes.
THE TUNNEL is filmed in a documentary style, a rare thing in this kind of subgenre title, and is told through the eyes of the survivors. Investigative reporter Natasha (Bel Delia) and her team Peter (Andy Rodoreda – BLACK WATER), Steve (Steve Davies) and Tangles (Luke Arnold – BROKEN HILL) sneak into the unused tunnels under New South Wales in search of answers after reports of homeless people, who have been living in these tunnels, have started going missing. With the government and the police covering up the story Natasha sees it as her duty to show the world the truth. When the make their way into the vast tunnels they begin to feel someone watching them in the darkness and as they make their way deeper into the dark they find themselves hunted by a demonic creature out for human blood.
The reason I enjoyed this film is that it doesn’t take till the final 10 minutes to throw the action at you. The tunnels are pitch black and the inferred seems more real than usual with gives the film an edge. The creature is also a fantastic part of the film, we don’t see much of the things face but as with REC the pure presence of the creature puts you of the edge of your seat. The acting was a lot better than I was expecting (from previous experience) and mixed with a well thought out script THE TUNNEL finally makes me believe that there is still a light at the end of the long found footage tunnel (no pun intended)
Release date: 6th August 2012
R.R.P: (DVD) £12.99
Running Time: 90 mins
FINALLY a decent horror film up for review here at Snakebite Horror. My love of the supernatural and my love of teenagers getting killed off one by one makes PLAYBACK the saving grace of my June so far (see the last 4 horror film reviews before this and you will see what I mean).
PLAYBACK is the story of Julian Miller (Johnny Pacar – WILD CHILD, LOVE HURTS) , an inspiring media student who, along with his friends, decides to make a film about the murder of the Diehl family who were slaughtered by the son of the family Harlan Diehl (Luke Bonczyk) in 1994. Wanting a deeper look into the case Julian asks Quinn (Toby Hemingway – IN TIME, BLACK SWAN), an achieves boy at the local news station, to get his hands on some lost footage of the murder scene. The footage however holds a demonic soul who has been traveling through the generations of the Diehl family becoming stronger and stronger. Now inside Quinn the demon looks for the baby of Harlan’s sister while killing anyone who gets too close to the case. Unwittingly Julian continues to dig deeper leading to his friends and his family into danger.
I love a good teen slasher styled horror film and I like a decent supernatural possession film so PLAYBACK ticks all the major boxes for me. We have some young talent of display here, all who are pretty talented as a whole. To add a little bit of professionalism into the film Christian Slater (TRUE ROMANCE, HOLLOW MAN 2) makes a small appearance as pervy cop Frank Lyons. Was the role enough? Well I am sure he could have done more but it seemed to be just right for this film.
The visuals were passable to good which you would expect from this kind of film to be honest. As a whole I actually really enjoyed the storyline and the acting. Maybe this is because I have seen so much crap in the past month or I have just given up on horror as whole but I can find little wrong with this film.
If you like an easy to watch supernatural horror then PLAYBACK is a good watch for a weekend with friends. I would say PLAYBACK is a mix between SHOCKER and RING with a little added slasher film placed into the mix, a good mixture of styles in my opinion.
The normal boring life that Joe (Martin Compston – THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED) once had is destroyed when his brother John (Neil Maskell – KILL LIST) is stabbed to death by a gang following an altercation in the pub. Distraught that his brother has died Joe is surprised when an old friend of John’s, a man calling himself Piggy (Paul Anderson – A LONELY PLACE TO DIE, SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE GAME OF SHADOWS), arrives at his door to give his condolences. As the days pass Joe and Piggy build a friendship, being a shoulder for the troubled boy. Piggy then drops a bombshell, telling Joe that they are going to get revenge on the five men behind his brothers stabbing.
One by one, with plastic pig noses to hide their faces, they kidnap each of the men. Joe watches as Piggy tortures each one, trying to find out which one of the five actually did the damage. Dragged into a world of violence Joe’s life changes for the worst. Joe begins to question who Piggy really is.
What I was expecting when I was offered PIGGY to watch for review was another one of these serial killer films that America are so famous for. I knew nothing of the film, no plot, nothing only a DVD cover art which I have seen floating around the internet. I have to say I am so happy that PIGGY didn’t end up the way I thought it would. We are given a top class and very gritty British horror thriller which I would class as HARRY BROWN meets FIGHT CLUB. Paul Anderson was fantastic in the role of Piggy giving the performance of his career so far. The thing I liked about Piggy was you still had no idea what was going on even at the end. Was Piggy just the violent part of Joe? Or was he really there pulling the strings. The reason I wonder this is because you only really see Joe talking to Piggy, none of the victims talk to both so it leaves to guessing till the very end.
As a fan of gritty British Cinema this was a great film in my eyes. It was pretty much flawless overall but it won’t be to everyone’s taste. If you like your films violent and gritty then this is perfect for you and stars some of the best in new talent in the UK.
Release date: Out Now
Running time: 100 Mins
Amazon Price: (DVD) £8.99