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Synopsis:
After the family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and begin to unravel dark secrets.

Tagline:
Every family tree hides a secret.

Starring:
Toni ColletteMilly ShapiroGabriel Byrne

Release Date: 2018-6-8 | Runtime: 2h 7m | Coolthulhus: 5/5

Hereditary Review

Horror films do not scare me. Some of you already know this. While watching Hereditary though, I had a revelation. When I think of horror films I think of stuff like A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Exorcist, or Pumpkinhead. They’re outlandish and filled with over-the-top blood, gore, and violence. The problem is they’re completely unrealistic. I love them and think they’re tons of fun, but not scary. I’ve finally realized what I do find scary though: realism.

Hereditary, just like another picture released by production company A24, The VVitch, grounds its horror in reality. Where, even when there is a supernatural element, it’s very subtle. It’s that subtlety that enhances the “real life” horror and manages to make the unbelievable terrifying. The first film I ever saw that had this quality was Rosemary’s Baby and I wish it had hit me at the time that this is the kind of movie I had been searching for.

Having said all that, I absolutely loved Hereditary. It’s a very emotional film to watch. I was nearly brought to tears more than once. It’s completely covered in sorrow. Really, I don’t think there was one genuinely happy moment in the entire 2 hour and 7 minute runtime. It’s crushing, and the performers who played the four main family members totally gave it their all.

I’m trying not to give away any details cause if you haven’t seen it yet, you really should go in ignorant to what you’re about to experience. There is a scene in this film that is suspenseful, shocking, dreadful, and heartbreaking. As I watched this scene I was in disbelief because I felt like I was also living it. I’ve mentioned before that I have very vivid dreams and this felt like one of them. It was difficult to experience but I was frozen, as if I was asleep and couldn’t wake up. It was surreal.

I just want to quickly mention the soundtrack. Colin Stetson’s score gives the events in Hereditary a chilling atmosphere of tension and dread. It completely pulled me in and got under my skin. It’s brilliant.

I would consider Hereditary to be a “slow burn” horror movie that builds up to one hell of an ending. Besides everything else I mentioned, it’s also just a really well made film with great cinematography. I highly recommend you watch it as soon as you can. It’s well worth it.

Hereditary | Official Trailer HD | A24 - YouTube

The post Hereditary #FilmReview appeared first on Sci-Fi & Scary.

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The Road to Hell is Paved with Ice… And Terror… Apparently…

A Bad Movie Recap and Review by J.B. Rockwell

There are two things you should know about Ice Road Terror. First, I’m 90%  sure the plot for this flick was spawned by a midnight bake session between a couple of stoned-out-of their-gourds Canadians who were watching reruns of Ice Road Truckers and thought, “You know what would make this show even better? A DINOSAUR!” And so this movie came to be.

Second, it’s freaking amazing. By which I mean, so incredibly terrible that, like a trainwreck, you simply cannot look away.

Did I watch this movie purely because of that poster over there? Why, yes. Yes, I did. And because I strongly suspected it was a SyFy Original (turns out, I was right) and just so happened to be in the mood for entertaining stinky cheese.

Which this is. Whoo, Nelly this movie is rank. I mean, calling this movie bad doesn’t do it justice. What it is, is terribly, horribly, phenomenally bad.

I THINK I’M IN LOVE.

If you’re a fan of cheesy bad movies, like me, this one has everything you could possibly want: a mostly no-name cast culled from a recently popular TV show, cheaper than cheap CGI, and buckets upon buckets of fake blood and rubber body parts. I would mention the plot but, well, there wasn’t much of one, and most of the plot points along the way made hardly a lick of sense. What we get is ice, trucks and a big-ass komodo dragon-cum-dinosaur thing called Wentshukumishiteu that is supposedly drawn from Inuit legend. No idea if this is true, and honestly I don’t really care, though considering the on-set of the ice age supposedly killed off all large, scaly, lizard-like critters and this movie is set in Alaska… well, let’s just say I have hard time believing this oversized chomperoo would actually exist. Also, fair warning, while this movie most definitely features an ice road (we’re treated to long shots of said ice road to fill out the movie’s total run time), it falls far short of its claim of ‘terror’—the CGI is that bad. Mostly I just started laughing every time Dinomunch appeared.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at this picture here.


That, my friends, is the Wentshu—Windy shoe—Winnie-the-Pooh—look, I have no idea how to pronounce the ugly thing’s name much less spell it. I’m not even really sure if this is based on actual Inuit mythology (I suspect not since my internet sleuthing mostly leads to movie fandom and card game sights) so I’m just gonna call this big chomper Wendy Sue Who.

That’s right, Wendy Sue Who. Or Comrade Lizard Lips. For the weirdo, Russian camouflage looking color pattern on its hide.

Right. So. The Plot.

The Plot of Ice Road Terror:

Two truckers driving across frozen Alaskan rivers to deliver equipment to a remote diamond mine, encounter a long-dormant prehistoric creature on the frozen ice.

Simple, uncomplicated, straight-forward. Ice Road Truckers with a dinosaur, just like I said. Oh. And for anyone who’s not familiar with Ice Road Truckers, go here: Ice Road Truckers: a Condensed History.

The Cast:

Brea Grant (Best known for… *searches, searches, searches * apparently she had a recurring part in Dexter at one point) as Rachel Harris: Eco chic gone walkabout to try and find herself in Alaska. Carries a torch for lonely truckers.

Ty Olsson (Best known for a lot of small, recurring parts, including Benny from Supernatural and Captain Kelly from Battlestar Galactica) as Jack Simmons: The trucker with a heart of gold. Makes stupid decisions, gets others killed.

Dylan Neal (Best known for… again, looks like a number of small, recurring parts… let’s go with Dr. Anthony Ivo from Arrow… yeah, why not…) as the Neil Conroy: Wait, I get it: Dylan Neal/Neil Conroy that’s cute.Yes, Neil Conroy, square headed big rig jockey and trucker code aficionado. Periodically reminds viewers that a trucker never leaves another trucker behind.

Malcolm Stewart (Best known for… small parts, small parts, small parts, boom! Marshall Bagot from Battlestar Galactica) as Karl Kruger: Scaredy-cat boss of the Arctic Diamond Mine. Also, future lizard snack.

Michael Hogan (Best known as Colonel Tigh from Battlestar Galactica) as Terry Lowman: The crusty owner of Alaska’s most out-of-the-way coffee, bait and diesel shop. Builds lizard-proof houses in his spare time.

A bunch of other people. I’m betting the majority had small parts in Battlestar Galactica at one time or another.

Budget & Box Office Info:

  • Release Date: 11 June 2011
  • Budget: $2M
  • Box Office Sales: N/A. This is a SyFy Original, that means straight to the small screen, my cheese loving friend!

Sequels & Crossovers:

Surprisingly, none. Like George R.R. Martin, SyFy loves a ten-part movie drama series but the Ice Road Terror dynasty begins and ends at #1. That said, I wouldn’t put it past them to pump out a sequel in the future. Maybe a crossover with Maximum Overdrive where the sons of Comrade Lizard Lips moves south to the Dixieland Truck Stop, or maybe that Green Goblin truck spawns a new life on the ice road and takes on the dino-munching horde.

Oh! Oh! Even better: Tremors crossover. Yeah, yeah, let’s do that. Please, SyFy? Pretty, pretty please do that? No? You suck.

The Story (in a Nutshell):

Way up north where the icicles grow long as pythons in Okefenokee, there’s a diamond mind (specifically the Arctic Diamond Mind) located at the terminus of longest road in the world.

Note: ‘Terminus’ in this case is fancy talk for ass end of nowhere with snow.

Working said mine is a small troop of glory holing idiots who like to play it fast and loose with the explosives and, as a result, uncover a big ‘ol subterranean cavern filled with…

You guessed it, DEATH.

Being idiots, and glory holers, the miners naturally attempt to go into said cavern, only to realize it’s currently inhabited by one very large, very hungry komodo dragon type dinosaur critter thing. As you can imagine, hijinks ensue.

Elsewhere, at the Fairbanks, Alaska trucking depot, there’s lots of flannel-and-diesel infused testosterone flowing around the big rigs when suddenly… a chic arrives! WUT? A fem-type-male in manly-man territory? What is this? What the hell is going on? Don’t—Don’t tell me uterus packer has arrived to actually drive a truck, ‘cause that—that—well, that would be—

Oh. Of course. She’s an environmentalist. Figures.


Right. So. Apparently, it’s the end of the trucking season, but Boss Rig has one more delivery of explosives that needs to get hauled up to the lizard-infested diamond mind. For extermination purposes, I suppose, though no one here is supposed to know Captain Crunch Muncher. Anywho, said delivery requires two trucks, not one—there’s that much blow that needs packin’—and lucky for us, Boss Rig just happens to have two hard-chargin’, rival truck jockeys willing to take on the dangerous job of transporting both bang and chic to the frozen up diamond mine where the deer and the ridiculously large lizards roam.

You can see where all this is going, can’t you? Sure you can. You guys are smart, and this movie’s plot is about as thick as poorly made rice paper.

The Rest of It:

Okay, so while our heroes… what the hell are our heroes’ names? Nick and Pete? Seamus and Dugal? Fauntleroy and Pontchartrain? Aw, who the hell knows. I’m gonna call ‘em Square Head and Smiley. Oh, and so you can tell them apart, Square Head has exactly that—a really, really square head—a massive ego, and an overabundance of testosterone-fueled confidence. Smiley is our good guy with the heart of gold and a painful past who you just know is going to end up wooing Green Girl, Rachel.

Oh. The chic’s name is Rachel. Forgotten to mention that.

Right. So. Back at the diamond mind, most of the idiots are dead. Turns out that after all that time trapped in her Death Hole, Big Lizzie is a tad hungry andin no mood for messing about. After rampaging his way through most of the mining camp and its employees, she peels open a steel-sided trailer and sets about munching on the last three people inside.


Side Note: Wow. I can tell this is going to be a quality cheese flick. The CGI lizard is horrible. I mean, horrendously, laughably HORRIBLE. Throughout the movie, the size of it changes, the shape of it changes, mostly it scuttles around on its four, 90 degree angle bent legs but every once in a while—to let us know she’s really pissed off—Wendy Sue Who rears up on its hind feet and shakes the front ones likes she’s holding pom poms to make sure we understand she’s super-duper pissed. Oh, and despite the komodo dragon shape, Wendy Baby comes equipped with T-Rex teeth and that Russian army camouflage. What she does not seem to have is anything that would be remotely useful in the Arctic—the place where she was born, raised and (I can only assume) popped out some wee ugly bebbehs.

Right. Little Wendy Sue Who, I dub thee Comrade Lizard Lips: Tsar of the Vast and Frozen Tundra. Also, world’s most useless and ill-equipped prehistoric monster that somehow survived in an underground glory hole.


Back on the ice road, our three heroes are getting to know each other better as they navigate that bad old, sometimes slushy, sometimes just fine road. In between bouts of unsticking their trucks from potholes, Smiley and Green Girl makes eyes at each other and swap tales of woe in his cab, while Square Head squawks out some first rate trucker banter and, in general, does his best to impersonate the most cliched vision of a long haul trucker ever.


Also, apparently these two ‘professional truckers with many, many years of experience on the ice roads’ are completely incompetent at their jobs, because less than… I don’t know, an hour? Fifteen minutes? Who the hell knows. They never say how long the journey to the mining camp is and honestly it doesn’t seem all that long, but AT SOME POINT IN THEIR JOURNEY, Smiley’s poorly secured but extremely boomable load of explosives starts to come loose and leak its guts all over the inside of his trailer.

Everything will be fine, though. I’m sure nothing at all bad will happen.

Okay, after rolling along to the end of the road, the Three Trucketeers reach the mostly abandoned diamond mine and bumble around gawking at all the blood and severed body parts. At some point, Square Head—who, in an unexpected turn of events, is apparently the brains of this operation—sensibly suggests they get the hell out of there, but Smiley decides it’s better if they just stand around in the open and yell loudly in case there’s someone around who isn’t dead. Or, like, Wendy Sue Who missed their arrival or something.

To his credit, all that caterwauling does have an effect. They find Tyee—an Inuit miner who spills this business about the Wentshu—crap. I really can’t spell this—about Wendy Sue Who and, very soon after, Big Lizzie herself hungry scuttles in.

Right. Gang’s all here, things are about to get interesting.

Or not. See, our heroes are what you’d call chickenshit. No sooner does Wendy Sue Who arrive than they take off running, hightailing it—with Tyee in tow—to a nearby and conveniently placed pallet fort which inexplicably renders them completely invisible to their over-sized and lizard-shaped stalker. No idea how or why since the brief, Predator-style creature-vision shots we’re treated to are pretty much crystal clear, but there ya go: an ancient and incredibly lethal predator rendered completely useless by a slat-sided wall of wood.

So, completely safe, with nothing at all to worry about, our heroes grow bored and decide that, rather than simply waiting for Crunch ‘n Munch to go away, they better make a run for their big rigs and burn diesel back to the mining camp. And that’s exactly what they do. Oh, and they pick up Krueger the boss of the mining camp along the way—he conveniently took refuge in Square Head’s cab so we don’t have to spend a lot of time saving him or anything.

By the way, it occurs to me that this whole ‘drilling too deep and unleashing a big lizard’ idea feels oddly familiar. Where have I—?

Oh. Right. Reign of Fire. Those weed bakers totally stole that idea as well.

Okay, so after a spin around the parking lot, the two trucks take to the ice road once more. I’ll admit, I could’ve sworn they were going to use those leaking explosives to give Comrade Lizard Lips an enema to end all enemas but, nope! Still leaking back there, so I guess we’ll just have to wait for that earth shattering kaboom.

So, we’re rolling along with Negative Nancy Tyee spewing out doom and gloom about how the Winkle-Poo will never let them get away, and Smiley’s rig poking like an old, broken down tractor on account of he apparently blew out a tire or two in his rush to leave the mining camp, when suddenly—and again, predictably—DinoMutt appears! Now, I’m not sure if this thing’s some kind of teleporter, or a sneaky-ass ninja or the goddamn Usain Bolt of the lizard world, but somehow, somehow she’s managed to climb up onto the trailer towed behind Smiley’s truck.

You know, the one with the leaking explosives.

Right. Anywho… It’s the end of the road for Tyee when Big Lizzie snatches him through the open window—by the way, its 34 degrees outside, why the fuck is the window open?—prompting Smiley to execute some pretty impressive powerslides to shuck Wendy Sue Who loose. Did I mention his trailer’s on fire? Yeah, that too. No idea how that happened, but presumably its related to the explosives. Maybe we’re finally gonna get that big boom.

So, with the trailer on fire, Smiley decides the best course of action is to bail out of the rig AT FULL SPEED and into the cab of Square Head’s truck. After a few nail biting moments of uncertainty and a Mad Max style ‘he’s dead, oh wait he’s not dead!’ fall on Smiley’s part, everyone is cozied up in Square Head’s rig and safely out of danger when Smiley’s truck finally goes boom. After which, they immediately decide they need to stop and shuck Square Head’s trailer free so they can go faster.

SERIOUSLY? WHY DIDNT THEY STOP FOR THE PEOPLE TRANSFER AND DITCH THE RIG AT THE SAME TIME??? Also, WHAT HAPPENED? TWO EXTRA PEOPLE REALLY MAKE THAT MUCH DIFFERENCE TO A DIESEL POWERED BIG RIG????????

Oh, right. This is a crap movie. With crap righting. And a non-sensical plot. Also, our heroes are  idiots. Moving on.

So, while they’re stopped, our three—four, there’s still four because we haven’t lost Kruger yet—heroes realize Wendy Sue Who is now UNDER the ice road. How did she manage that you ask? No idea. Let’s go with teleportation. I mean, why not. We do get one amazing butt shot of Crunch ‘n Munch going all piledriver at one point so maybe she’s just a really fast swimmer. Who knows.

However she got there, Comrade Lizard Lips bursts through the ice to have herself a little Krueger snack, prompting Smiley and crew to hop back into the truck and run away again. After a few failed attempts to drop the trailer at speed—they love the powersliding truck idea, by the way—the brain trust decides the best course of action is to stop dead to ditch the trailer.

YET AGAIN. Never mind that they seem to have gotten away cleanly. Never mind that Big Lizzie is absolutely nowhere in sight. Mama and the Three Papas have a need for speed and the best way to go fast is to slow things way down. Like, all the way down. Pretty sure these dumb-ass would stop for a nap and a picnic if they could.

Anyway, having come to a complete and utter standstill, guess what happens? Yup, Dino Boogie pops up to grab herself yet another snack. This one Kruger shaped. Apparently, she’s got a hankerin’ for some German and nothing but a roadside schnitzel will do. And what, you ask, has become of our three brave heroes while Kruger is getting himself murdelized? Glad you asked! They ran away again. To hide in a snowbank this time.

Yup. A snowbank.

Because, apparently, this extra-large people munching machine is not only wood blind, she’s also snow blind. And has terrible hearing. And no sense of smell. Basically, she’s the absolute worst predator Mother Nature ever created and only manages to actually catch prey through the sheer idiocy of said snacky cakes. Also, she’s randy. And confused. With her mid-day snack plans foiled, Big Lizzie turns her ardor on Square Head’s big rig and starts giving it a little taste of her arctic lovin’, at which point our two dudebros and Sister Eco decide it’s probably best to just bail and trek across country to find some help.


This…this is not a good plan…

Against the odds, they make it to..

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Note: This is the first of many upcoming movie reviews from V. Castro, who answered the Twitter call to help us bring more movie reviews to the site. You can find out more about her at the end of the review. Thanks, V!

Edited: 1/19/2019 – Originally we had the wrong cover/synopsis up for this movie. This has now been corrected. – LG

Synopsis: Four best friends test their intelligence when an escape room they participate in takes a dark and twisted turn.

Tagline: Will You Survive?

Starring: Evan WilliamsAnnabelle StephensonElisabeth Hower 

Released: 2017-7-9 | Runtime: 1 hr 21 min | Coolthulhus: 1/5

Warning: May contain mild spoilers

Escape Room Review

Oh, boy. Here goes.

It all starts with promise. There’s a dark room with a man frantically trying to solve a puzzle. You see a black gloved hand driving while an off-screen scene of violence can only be heard. You want to know more!

Then we get introduced to Tyler and Christen, a good-looking couple driving to his birthday party in a fancy sports car. The conversation is couple chit chat about how much they love each other. You’ve just heard my eyes rolling. What happened to the puzzle room?

Christen and Tyler arrive at their destination where their friends wait to celebrate Tyler’s birthday at what seems to be a pretty posh restaurant. The group is friendly enough after consuming copious amount of champagne, however, you can tell there are secret rifts between the friends. It’s incredibly obvious there is jealousy between Christen and another woman who is dating someone else. As a gift, Christen, has purchased tickets to an “Escape Room” that night. The invitation was sent to her mysteriously after searching online for escape room experiences. A van with an unseen driver picks them up to take them to a secret destination.

Since this is a horror/thriller according to the film description you can imagine what ensues is far from a fun night of booze and laughter. I’d love to tell you there is more to the story, however, this film does exactly what it says on the tin. They are trying to escape a bunch of rooms that are locked with silly puzzles. The End.

The couples are placed in their own rooms while Tyler is on his own. The way each couple reacts in the room reflects the state of their relationship. Not much time passes with them fumbling around dumbly before the group is finally reunited after solving part of the puzzles. Everyone is there except Christen.  It soon becomes apparent this is no game, but a matter of survival.

Yawn. You will need something a little strong to get through this one because you’re left with the feeling you’ve just ate a tub of stale popcorn washed down with lukewarm, flat soda.

This film draws inspiration from Saw (2004) and Cube (1997), however, it doesn’t have the balls to be either. There is nothing original or exciting to keep your attention, not even the pretty cast could make this a winner. I think I have seen episodes of Scooby-Doo with more creep and mystery elements.

 The writer tries to increase the tension by introducing the little secrets between the group as they struggle with the puzzles, yet none of it is believable nor do you feel any connection to any of the characters. I don’t like or hate them, I just don’t care. It was obvious from the restaurant scene what secret might lay in wait so when there is a “reveal”, it’s hardly a reveal.

Lastly, the setting isn’t scary. Take me to an asylum, derelict prison, museum of oddities, a freaking Home Depot with a bunch of loose tools! You know what would really terrify me? An entire room covered in Legos glued to the floor. You’re barefoot and you got to make it to the other side in thirty seconds.  I would pay money to see that!

One star out of five.

V. Castro

V. Castro is a Mexican American writer living in London. She is the author of Maria The Wanted and the Legacy of The Keepers and the forthcoming erotic novella, The Erotic Modern Life of Malinalli The Vampire. When not caring for her children she is writing, exploring London and watching way too much telly. www.vvcastro.com         Instagram/Twitter @vlatinalondon 

The post Escape Room #MovieReview appeared first on Sci-Fi & Scary.

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Synopsis:
Detectives Sean and David Carter are on the case to find a gruesome serial killer terrorizing the city. Joining forces with Detective Christine Egerton, they dig deeper into a spiraling maze of horror that may not be of this world.

Starring:
Damon CarneyRandy WayneAlexandra Harris

Release Date: 2018-2-3 | Runtime: 1h 21m | Coolthulhus: 4/5

Hellraiser: Judgement Review

The Hellraiser series is one that I love, though I haven’t seen every entry. The first and second films are my favorites, as I imagine is the case with most fans. Hellraiser: Inferno (the fifth tale in the line), is another one of my faves, and I think Hellraiser: Judgement fits nicely right beside it.

Ok, first let’s get this out of the way. Doug Bradley doesn’t play Pinhead in this one. I know, I know, he is great, but for whatever reason they didn’t cast him. In his place we have Paul T. Taylor, who I think does a fine job. He looked like Pinhead, he acted like Pinhead, he Pinheaded with the best of ‘em (the best of “‘em” being Doug Bradley cause the only other person that’s played Pinhead officially is Stephan Smith Collins in Hellraiser: Revelations and from what I understand it-it’s not good).

Gary J. Tunnicliffe (who wrote and directed Hellraiser: Judgement), plays The Auditor. The Auditor is a new addition to the Hellraiser universe and I really love him. He’s a mild-mannered German man with scars on his face and his job is to audit the sins of individuals who happen to find him, which is just the first step of their judgement system. It’s a really fantastic concept and I hope this isn’t the last we see of him.

Now, the process of their judgement system is very creative and visually interesting. I don’t want to spoil it so I won’t elaborate, but it involves a host of new and intriguing characters and lots of bodily fluids. This is the kind of creativity I long to see in films in general and I’m so thankful that Gary J. Tunnicliffe dared to try something different.

The rest of Hellraiser: Judgement is kind of a standard cop drama following three detectives that are trying to locate a serial killer. I found this part of the movie pretty entertaining and it ties into Pinhead and his world rather nicely. Also, there is a twist ending that I didn’t see coming and I thought it was quite good.

So, if you enjoy the Hellraiser films, or like cop dramas with a supernatural edge to them, I’d give this one a shot. I wasn’t expecting much, but it surprised me and is now one of my favorites in the series.

The post Hellraiser: Judgement #FilmReview appeared first on Sci-Fi & Scary.

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The Harrowing, from director Jon Keeyes (American Nightmare) and starring genre icons Michael Ironside (Total Recall, Starship Troopers) and Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy, G.I Joe : The Rise of Cobra), premieres on VOD Christmas day from Film Mode Entertainment.

Jon Keeyes, writer and director of the film, says “We’ve carefully crafted an intelligent, suspenseful, tense thriller that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats while driving them down a road of psychological twists and turns. Right out of the gate, we pull them in with an explosive opening sequence, and then keep them guessing as the mystery unfolds until we blow their minds in the final moments. Being able to construct such an intricate puzzle like this – that is both entertaining and thought provoking – has been a joy.”

Matthew Tompkins, Producer: “The Harrowing is carefully constructed to be a powerful synergy of elements that make it one of those rare ‘elevated’ genre films with true crossover appeal to a wide variety of hardcore fans…The film is a potent mix of horror and supernatural elements that underpin a very smart, disturbing, and complicated psychological thriller…the idea of being able to drive the narrative utilizing all of these things, to truly pull that off, from both a commercial and artistic perspective, was a fantastic opportunity for us as Filmmakers.”

In addition to Ironside, Vosloo and Tompkins, the dynamic ensemble cast also includes ‘’The Haunting of Hill House’’’s Arianne Martin and Damon Carney (Hellraiser : Judgement).

The Harrowing

Haunted by the  ritualistic  killing  of  his  best  friend,  a  vice  detective (Matthew Tompkins, Sicario)  determined  to discover  the  truth  goes  undercover  into  a  forensic  hospital  and  is  plunged  into  his  own personal  hell  where  demons  might  be  real.

The Harrowing Trailer The Harrowing Thoughts:

Michael Ironsides and Billy Zane add a bit of weight to the trailer that made us take it a bit more seriously. It looks like a pretty good psychological horror film. What do you think? Do you have any interest in watching this one? Let us know in the comments below!

Jason joined the Coolthulhu Crew in May 2018. He primarily reviews science fiction and horror movies, and is in the process of taking over the reins for the movie portion of the site. He also enjoys gaming, and can often be found streaming on Twitch. He enjoys being part of the podcast crew as well.

The post Press Release and Trailer: The Harrowing appeared first on Sci-Fi & Scary.

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Synopsis: 
On her way to school, high school girl Nana sees a train accident. Then Nana and her friend Kanae start to come across various bizarre phenomena, including red fingerprints and a female spirit who ‘lives’ on the station platform. One day, Nana’s younger sister is lost, and the only possibility seems to be that she had been taken by these spirits. The missing tracks. The predictions that a mysterious woman makes.

Starring:  Erika SawajiriChinatsu WakatsukiShun Oguri 

Release Date: 09/30/2006 | Runtime: 1hr 32mins | Language: Japan | Coolthulhus Rated: 3 out of 5

Ghost Train Review

I’ve been watching a lot of Asian horror lately. I love it but it’s hard to watch while you’re doing other things because you have to watch the screen for the subtitles. And I refuse to watch dubs since they usually don’t sound very good. I like Asian horror because in general they rely on practical effects instead of CGI overload. 

Ghost Train wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible, either. First off, don’t read the synopsis. It is so far off from the main story. This seems to be a common IMDB failing. They either don’t have a synopsis at all or it’s so far off from the plot that it might as well be describing a whole other movie. So, the plot of Ghost Train is this: A spirit of a woman who was killed by a train leaves her stuff on the train and platform. When Random Traingoer picks it up the spirit comes for them to reclaim its property. 

The pacing is really, really weird and the hauntings, spirited aways (and returns) don’t seem to make any sense. When they get returned they’re something akin to zombies but they’re not. It’s not even really clear on if they are returned to normal after the haunting/curse is resolved. There also are weird time passages. For example: Nana’s sister goes missing and it seems to take Nana a couple of days to start looking for her. Nana also takes a time out for her and Kanae to go for coffee and chat and become friends. The subplots don’t go anywhere and the character interactions seem really off.

The one relationship that is developed well is the friendship between Kanae and Nana. They frame it more of a romantic friendship which I liked. The actress who plays Kanae (Chinatsu Wakatsuki) also played in a movie called Ju-Rei that was really good and I think she’s a pretty good actress. Her character wasn’t very developed in Ghost Train but she did what she could with it. The sets are very strange as well. Everything is empty. Even the train platform has only one person on it. That just seems weird to me. It looks like a fairly large city and the streets are literally empty. 

The ending seems abrupt and also has an odd resolution that presents more questions than answers. Did the haunting actually begin with this person? Because she looks pulled down by a disembodied hand. And it’s never explained. A random character is introduced near the end which seems a bit cheatery and while her role does make sense it also raises even more questions. 

All in all it’s a decent movie that is worth a watch but there are far better ones to enjoy. Like the aforementioned Ju-Rei.

GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Coolthulhu Crew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.

Gracie is also a member of the Ladies of Horror Fiction crew.

The post Ghost Train #MovieReview appeared first on Sci-Fi & Scary.

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The Cabin Synopsis: When a couple visits a remote cabin and cross paths with a compulsive liar, their vacation takes a dramatic turn for the worse.

Starring:  Christopher Lee Page, Caitlin Crommett, Erik Kammerland

Release Date: 2018-12-04 | Runtime: 1 hr 26 min | Coolthulhus Earned: 2

The Cabin Review

Confession time: I love low budget horror movies. I spent my teenage years watching them on grainy VHS and countless hours at university trying to persuade my professors that they were a valid study topic. Yes, they’re often rough around the edges but they can also be packed with imagination and artistic creativity. The best low budget horror movies push the boundaries and try things that mainstream cinema is afraid to. That’s what makes them great – they often shock and get under a viewer’s skin in a way that higher budget films, that have a profit margin to protect, can’t.

Taking that as my yardstick, ‘The Cabin’ is an anti-low budget horror. It’s technically accomplished and slick with some pretty cinematography and a decent soundtrack. Unfortunately it’s also entirely unimaginative, lacking in any real scares and leaves every envelope unpushed.

The film starts really well, with a creepy and effective prologue and a pretty cool credits sequence that harks back to the Euro horror of the 70s. After that it goes downhill fast and stays there.

The plot is incredibly slight. That doesn’t have to be the death of a horror film, but it does make it harder for a movie to really work. In ‘The Cabin’ a young couple, Rose and Harry, who are going through what seems to be a pretty horrific bad patch in their relationship, travel to a remote cabin that Harry’s family own. They bicker and snipe at each other a lot in scenes that feel like they’re much longer than they actually are. Unfortunately for the couple, their arguing isn’t the worst of their problems. There’s also an enigmatic psychopath living near the cabin who has slaughtered a local farmer at the start of the film. Once the set-up is done (and it takes a while), the film follows exactly the course you’d expect – the killer stalks the couple and they try to get away from him.

All of that could work if you cared about the characters, but I just didn’t. Neither of them are particularly sympathetic and the performances from the small cast are far less accomplished that the technical aspects of the film. Worse still there are so many scenes where nothing happens. The dialogue often feels like it is there to fill time rather than advance the plot or our understanding of the characters and there are some lengthy sequences where the couple just wander around while nice music plays.   

There’s clearly some talent involved here. As I said earlier, the soundtrack is good and well used and the cinematography is pleasing even if it’s a bit uninspired. Some of the budget obviously went on a drone, so there are lots of aerial shots that make it feel like a more expensive movie. There are also some hints of talent from the director – there isn’t much  violence in the film, but what there is manages to be visceral and effective despite an absence of gratuitous gore.

None of that can make up for the film’s flaws, though. At 86 minutes it’s not long at all, but the lack if incident and tension makes it drag horribly. Like Harry and Rose it wasn’t long before I just wanted the horrible ordeal to be over.  



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