150 Words About: MANIAC (2012)

I was one of the few who didn’t scoff when I heard Alexandra Aja (Haute Tension, Piranha 3D, the amazing 2006 version of The Hills Have Eyes) was producing a remake of William Lustig’s sleaze-classic Maniac.  I enjoyed the original, but was never a huge fan.  2013’s update, directed by Franck Khalfoun (P2, Amityville: The Awakening), proved to be one hell of a gruesome yet oddly beautiful film.  I knew lead Elijah Wood could be scary — his performance in Sin City is nightmare fuel — but in this one he’s sympathetic too (sure, his character…

150 Words About: BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO (2012)

Berberian Sound Studio is a film that I can’t recommend to everyone.  Why?  Well, because it’s not really a horror film.  But it is about giallo films.  Toby Jones (The Mist, Kaleidoscope) plays Gilderoy, a sound designer who has been hired to fly to Italy to work on a movie called The Equestrian Vortex. While we never see said project ourselves (at least, no more than a few frames), we hear it.  And the things we hear make it very clear that our mild-mannered hero is helping to create what might be the most terrifying film ever…

150 Words About: BLUE RUIN (2013)

Blue Ruin is a revenge flick from Jeremy Saulnier (director of Murder Party, Green Room, and the Netflix Original Hold the Dark), but calling it that hardly does the film justice.  Revenge flicks typically follow a standard formula, and although that formula usually works for me, Blue Ruin adds much more to the genre.  The main character gets his revenge early in the film . . . it’s the repercussions that are the focus here.  Blue Ruin asks what might really happen in such a scenario — what if you wanted bloody revenge, but…

150 Words About: HOUSEBOUND (2014)

Hailing from New Zealand, Housebound is a film I recommend to horror fans who don’t mind a few giggles with their goosebumps. In fact, that’s my only beef with what is otherwise a very effective fright flick — I wish the folks who made Housebound had gone darker with the material (even if the humor doeswork more often than not). What’s it about? When perpetual delinquent Kylie is busted in the act of robbing an ATM, the courts sentence her to house arrest in her own personal hell: her mother’s home. If things weren’t…

150 Words About: OMNIVOROS (2013)

This Spanish film reminded me of a story by one of my favorite writers, Graham Masterton’s “The Secret Shih Tan”, although there’s no connection.  A food critic investigates “clandestine restaurants”, where rich patrons dine on exotic dishes not found on the menu at McDonald’s.  But when his search for the ultimate taboo leads to some folks who feast on human flesh, he’s forced to reconsider how far he’ll go to further his career.  For a film about cannibalism, I admired how Omnivoros avoided the obvious trappings like blood n’ guts splashing around. …