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Glasgow FrightFest 2016 Review: PANDEMIC, A Bleak If Derivative Viral Apocalypse

"Just try to think of it as a game. It'll help." This is the unnamed Gunner (Mekhi Phifer) speaking to his unit's new doctor Lauren Chase (Rachel Nichols), as he describes the best mental attitude to adopt while beating people from their moving...

Glasgow FrightFest 2016 Review: ANGUISH Is Two Films In One Body

A mother Sarah (Karina Logue) and her teenaged daughter Lucy (Amberley Gridley) are out driving. "It's not fair!" complains Lucy, upset about the boundaries being imposed on her adolescent conduct. This leads Sarah to cite the traditional saying amongst the...

FrightFest 2015 Review: A FAVOR Engenders Favour

One of our own, the incorrigibly wicked Izzy Lee, is back with another macabrely mirthsome short film - A Favor - which just screened at no less a "dark heart of cinema" than FrightFest. Though I have only seen Lee's most...

FrightFest Glasgow 2015 Review: 88, Two Women, One Body

In British bingo, if the number 88 comes up, the caller will shout, "Two fat ladies!", as a conventional code for the two figures' pictographic appearance. Similarly the title of April Mullen's 88 represents a conundrum in need of decoding:...

Frightfest Glasgow 2015 Review: THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE Examines A Harrowing Legacy

Straddling the grey area between found footage and faux documentary, The Atticus Institute purports to investigate the events leading to the sudden closure of an underfunded centre for parapsychological research in 1976, and the disappearance, maybe even demise, of its...

FrightFest 2014 Review: ALLELUIA, A Fire-Charged Thriller

The madness and obsession of love is a recurring theme in Fabrice de Welz's first two films Calvaire and Vinyan, and his latest, Alleluia, continues this trend. Taking on the infamous tale of the Honeymoon Killers (an American couple who conned...

Frightfest 2013 Review: ODD THOMAS Panders To The Geek Crowd

Odd Thomas is a film that thinks it's aimed at geeks, a target market who would enjoy a film that wants to be The Frighteners via way of Edgar Wright. Heck, I would enjoy that film. Sadly, Odd Thomas is...

Frightfest 2013 Review: THE LAST DAYS Presents A Beautiful But Flawed Take On The Apocalypse

Disaster / apocalypse films can be tricky. How much time do you spend on explaining the disaster? Do you investigate and examine the causes and symptoms? Do you give a cursory look at how the world got in trouble and...

Frightfest 2013 Review: DARK TOURIST Disturbs In All The Right Ways

Why do we slow down to look at car accidents? Why do we put our hands in the moulded handprints of dead celebrities in Hollywood? Why are we obsessed with the lives of serial killers? There are the questions...

Frightfest 2013 Review: THE DEMON'S ROOK is Trippy, Old-School-DIY Fun

On my way into last night's screening of The Demon's Rook, a friend who had seen it asked me if I was a marijuana smoker. When I said no, he told me it might help with watching the film. Within...

Frightfest 2013 Review: THE DESERT is an Intense Post-Apocalypse Love Story

To paraphrase Jean-Paul Sartre, post-zombie-apocalypse hell is other people. This is the situation that three people find themselves in Christoph Behl's fiction feature debut The Desert. But unlike most horror film, the zombies rarely make an appearance. This is about...

Frightfest 2013 Review: THE HYPNOTIST, Cold Crime And Heated Tempers Collide

Swedish thiller The Hypnotist has some good pedigree behind it. It is based on a novel by Lars Kepler, one of the stars of the new wave of Scandinavian crime fiction; it's directed by Lasse Hallström, whose previous films include...

Frightfest 2013 Review: DEMENTAMANIA Brings Good Laughs And Scares

Poor Ed Arkham is not having a good day. He steps on a strange wasp that somehow found its way into his flat, causing Ed to bleed. His neighbour, with whom he has sex occassionally, doesn't seem to understand that...

Grimmfest 2012 Review: You'll Be Dozing Off Long BEFORE DAWN

Very few zombie movies are actually about the zombies. Whatever their scope and scale, these are generally stories about troubled people trying to keep on doing what they do even while the world's coming to an end. And the idea...

FrightFest 2012 Review: HIDDEN IN THE WOODS Is Bloody Disgusting

The first (but certainly not the last) film to rub audiences the wrong way at this year's FrightFest was Hidden In The Woods, the latest effort from Chilean director Patricio Valladares. A relentlessly rough, misogynistic and amoral story of brutality...

FrightFest 2012 Review: God Bless AMERICAN MARY

Jen and Sylvia Soska's (aka "Twisted Twins") latest effort, American Mary, was dripping with an added layer of anticipation in advance of its world premier at FrightFest on Monday, as news of the film being acquired by Universal Pictures International...

FrightFest 2012 Review: COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES Is All Cheek, No Teeth

After the critical and commercial success of his big screen debut, Severance, it comes as no surprise that screenwriter James Moran would continue to introduce East London geezers into recognisable horror movie settings. Cockneys Vs. Zombies, however, proves as over-reliant...

FrightFest 2012 Review: THE POSSESSION Fails To Compel

The latest English language film from Danish director Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch, Deliver Us From Evil) attempts to put a new spin on the familiar demonic possession yarn, replacing the more common Catholic setting with themes from Judaism. The script,...

FrightFest 2012 Review: THE SEASONING HOUSE Promises Atmosphere and Blood

Make-up and special effects maestro Paul Hyett (Citadel, The Woman In Black, everything from Neil Marshall) delivers an impressive directorial debut in this assured and atmospheric thriller that is only let down by a script that never capitalises on...

HOFF 2011: JULIA'S EYES Review

Seldom has a film with as many impressive moments as the Guillermo Del Toro produced, Guillem Morales directed Julia's Eyes struggled so mightily to link them together in any sort of meaningful way. Designed as an atmospheric throwback to...