Posts Tagged ‘monster’

31 Days of Horror – Day 27 – 6 Films to Keep You Awake

6 Films to Keep You Awake

We’re almost through 31 days and I’ve managed not to include any horror anthologies . . . until now. 6 Films to Keep You Awake is a horror anthology from some of the finest horror directors in Spain featuring Mateo Gil’s Spectre, Alex De La Iglesia’s The Baby’s Room, Jaume Balaguero’s To Let, Enrique Urbizu’s A Real Friend, Paco Plaza’s A Christmas Tale, and Narciso Cerrador’s Blame. Spectre tells the story of a man haunted by a bizarre and supernatural love affair from his past, The Baby’s Room focuses on a shadowy figure who haunts a family’s new home, in To Let a young couple faces the onslaught of the landlady from hell, imaginary friends prove to be deadly in A Real Friend, a group of kids face down a vicious criminal dressed as Santa in A Christmas Tale, and Blame provides a grim abortion fable. The crown jewels of this collection are To Let, The Baby’s Room and A Christmas tale, but that should come as no surprise as that group of filmmakers would go on after this anthology to work on The Last Circus and the REC franchise. This is not to say that the other 3 are not solid and entertaining films. I’m just a little biased towards De La Iglesia, Plaza, and Balaguero’s work. In short, it’s an excellent, relatively unknown collection that offers a primer on some of the finest horror filmmakers Spain has to offer.

The Baby’s Room on IMDb

To Let on IMDb

The Christmas Tale on IMDb

A Real Friend on IMDb

Spectre on IMDb

Blame on IMDb

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31 Days of Horror – Day 21 – Splinter


Former visual effects artist Toby Wilkins’ first feature, Splinter, is an old school monster movie with a modern, claustrophobic feel of uncertainty that makes for a memorable ride. The film follows a young couple, Seth and Polly, on the road and headed for a romantic weekend in the wilderness. Being that this is a horror movie, fate intervenes as the pair are carjacked by an escaped convict, Dennis, and his girlfriend who are bound for the Mexican border. Car trouble forces the quartet to stop at a remote gas station where they are cornered by a mutant parasite that kills and absorbs its victims and forces the central characters to cast aside their differences and work together to survive. Splinter takes its lead from classics like The Blob and John Carpenter’s The Thing and delivers a tense creature feature with well crafted digital & physical effects, solid acting, and plenty of gore.

Splinter on IMDb

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31 Days of Horror – Day 13 – Outcast


British director Colm McCarthy delivers a gritty urban tale of ritual magic and the hunt for a monster on the loose. Mary belonged to a secret clan who perform rites of a special kind of magic but left the group in an effort to hide her son, Fergal, who the clan believes to be a monster. Two hunters are dispatched to track down Mary and Fergal utilizing the ritual magic of the clan and, when Mary and her son are exposed, the truth of Fergal’s nature becomes clear. Outcast is a great film that could have easily been an excellent breeding ground for a modern werewolf film, but the bizarre, magical traditions of Mary and her pursuers give the film its own murky mythology that allows it to stand apart without the trappings of a previously established genre. The script, acting, atmosphere, and effects are all top notch making this not just a great horror film, but a damned good movie in its own right.

Outcast on IMDb

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31 Days of Horror – Day 10 – The Woman

The Woman

When I think of horror directors whose films that I rent blindly as soon as I see their names attached, Lucky McKee definitely makes the list for his skill in crafting a film that delivers a unique and creepy tale time after time. That was definitely the case with The Woman, a movie so intense that my wife asked me for a break from horror for a week or so. Needless to say, it’s not for the faint of heart but certainly not the most disturbing thing my twisted eyes have dropped their gaze on.

Regardless, The Woman tells the tale of a brutally misogynist husband (who looks a lot like Smiling Bob from those creepy Enzyte commercials) who captures a feral woman in the woods, binds her in a cellar, and commands his family to assist him in her re-education. The husband’s intentions are far from noble and are shared with his equally abusive son whose sadistic tendencies barely scratch the surface of this family’s deep-rooted dysfunction. The incomparable Angela Bettis delivers another memorable turn as the embattled wife and Pollyanna McIntosh is amazing in her command performance as the title character. The Woman provides another haunting morality tale where the evil of humanity trumps that of the grotesque.

The Woman on IMDb

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31 Days of Horror – Day 05 – The Burrowers

The Burrowers

Something about Civil War era America seems to make it a ripe playground for a good monster movie. It probably has something to do with the then undiscovered West and the naivete of the settlers that the land and its native inhabitants are oh so willing to surrender themselves to invaders. That’s the case with the Burrowers, as a frontier family disappears and a hunting party is dispatched to track down the Sioux who are thought to have accosted the settlers. To their peril, they realize that the culprits are a race of subterranean monsters who are more than willing to make the posse their next meal. It’s C.H.U.D. meets the Wild West . . .

The Burrowers on IMDb

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31 Days of Horror – Day 01 – The Host

Well, it’s that time of year again and, being inspired by seeing The Cabin in the Woods this weekend, I thought I’d try to put together a list of some great horror movies you’ve probably never seen. I’m not trying to assemble this list as a countdown or even a best of the best, but rather a compilation of great horror movies that never got the press they should have. So, in the spirit of the season, here’s the first of 31 great horror films you should see.

Day 1 – The Host

The Host is, first and foremost, a straight-up creature feature. Created by FX masters at The Orphanage, the monster is beautifully rendered and totally believable. The entire creature production was an amazing feat in and of itself as the post crew had to be able to teleconference regularly with the film’s creators in Korea with dailies and design samples to ensure the integrity of the filmmaker’s vision. In other words, watch the behind the scenes featurette if you can track down the DVD or Blu-ray to get a better idea of the logistic challenges of making the monster! Aside from the creature, alone, it’s actually a really good movie that will remind alot of people of Jaws. Anyway, here’s the links for more info . . .

The Host on IMdB

The Orphanage’s Transpacific Creature Effects for The Host

and, of course, the trailer

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Big Boy VFX

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Just came across this vfx breakdown from Cloverfield the other day.  I feel the same way now since I first saw the movie Рthe matchmoving, my god, the matchmoving!  Amazing Stuff!

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