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The Pact (2012) review

The PactReviewed By: Chris Wright, Morehorror.com

The Pact
Directed By: Nicholas McCarthy
Written By: Nicholas McCarthy

Starring: Caity Lotz (Annie), Kathleen Rose Perkins (Liz), Haley Hudson (Stevie), Sam Ball (Giles), Mark Steger (Charles), Agnes Bruckner (Nichole), Casper Van Dien (Creek), Dakota Bright (Eva), Petra Wright (Jennifer), Sam Zuckerman (County Clerk)

“The Pact” exceeded my expectations. I honestly had never heard of this film until I was doing a search for horror films during that particular year and decided to give this unnoticed film a shot. I am glad I did. I was expecting a rather predictable haunted house flick that turned out to be . . . the exact opposite of what I thought would happen. Upon research, I found out this film had a good reception at a festival and then the director was given a shot to make it “again” with a better budget. This is one of the better horror films of 2012!

The movie begins with a young woman named Annie having her past come back to haunt her after the death of her mother. Soon, she finds out all is not what it seems in the house she grew up in. The pacing is wonderful. To many who are use to a fast paced movie, this will not be the film for you. I would be the first to complain if a movie dragged and added more footage than it needed to have. I felt each scene was needed and it didn’t feel overly long to me at all. For a film to not have that many characters in it and still be well paced, that is a good achievement.

I have to give credit to Caity Lotz for putting up a good portrayal as Annie as the central character. Without her, this film would have fallen pretty flat. The character was to portray a lady who went through some abuse as a child in her parent’s home. What the movie does not do is give out every single detail that went on, which leads the audience to have to figure out what went on. I know many films pride themselves on telling you everything about the history, but this is not one of them. I think some imagination is in order in horror.

Jessica Cameron's 'MANIA' gets a little Risky

MANIA - Jessica Cameron, Tristan Risk and Ellie Churchby Seth Metoyer, MoreHorror.com

Scream Queen Jessica Cameron (Truth or Dare, Silent Night, Camel Spiders) is bringing her vast knowledge of horror to the big screen again (and to the director's chair).

We've recently been told that Cameron's upcoming "Fucked up Lesbian Love Story" feature film MANIA has just cast one of my favorite actresses Tristan Risk (American Mary) in the film. Additionally, the beautiful Ellie Church (Time to Kill) has been added to the cast, and producer Mem Ferda has joined the production. Check out all the official details below.

From The Press Release
Jessica Cameron and Jonathan Scott Higgins have re-teamed with their Truth or Dare producer Mem Ferda on their next 3 films. Ferda will serve as the sole producer on all three movies. They have cast actress Tristan Risk of the Soska Sister’s American Mary in the feature film MANIA. Actress Ellie Church of the grindhouse film, Time to Kill has also joined the production. Risk will play the role of Brooke and Church will play the role of Mel.

MANIA is one of three features in Jessica Cameron’s triple feature cross-country extravaganza. In it, Risk will play the crazed lesbian lover of Church’s character Mel. It will mark her 2nd feature as a director from a script Higgins wrote. Desolation will be the 2nd feature film and directed by Ryan M. Andrews from a script he wrote. Risk has also signed on to star as the villain in Andrews’ movie. A feature length documentary titled Kill the Production Assitant, will chronicle the making of this very ambitious project.

On Truth or Dare, Cameron and Higgins were met with difficulties trying to secure a director who could handle the gory script until Cameron finally decided to pull up her sleeves and do it herself. They, along with Ferda, met a new challenge with casting the female leads in MANIA.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride (2014) review

Haunted Hayride 2014by Jonathan Weichsel, MoreHorror.com

The sixth annual Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is a huge event with a county fair vibe that offers visitors a full night's worth of Halloween fun. There are two haunted houses, a haunted maze, a number of theatrical performances, and of course, the haunted hayride itself.

The two haunted houses are The Deadly Sins Sideshow, and The House of the Horsemen. The Deadly Sins Sideshow, set in a carnival sideshow, puts visitors face to face with grotesque reenactments of the seven deadly sins. Each of the sins is personified by a sideshow freak, who acts out one of the sins. For example, Sloth sits on a couch watching TV, literally covered in his own filth, while Gluttony eats disgusting rotting meat while lying in his own excrement.

The House of the Horsemen is based on the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and is set in a mental hospital. Visitors are ushered through scenes of deranged madmen and madwomen acting out apocalyptic scenes in a madhouse setting.

The haunted maze, called the In-Between Haunted Maze, is a lot of fun. It is the most interactive experience at the Haunted Hayride, and pits visitors against all sorts of monsters and ghouls as they try to figure out how to navigate the twisting and turning labyrinth.

Of course, the main attraction is the Haunted Hayride, an elaborate production that brings visitors through the nine circles of Hell. The Haunted Hayride features cool sets, amazing acrobatics, and the novelty of riding through a transformed Griffith Park while sitting on hay.

There are other events as well, such as live music, fortune tellers, live theater, and a photo opportunity where you can photograph your friends in execution devices such as the guillotine and electric chair.

Psycho (1960) review

Psycho Movie CoverReviewed by Grace Fontaine, MoreHorror.com

Psycho (1960)
Starring: Janet Leigh (Marion Crane), Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates), Vera Miles (Lila Crane), Martin Balsam (Detective Arbogast) and John Gavin (Sam Loomis)
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock

Well gee. What can be said about Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ that has not already been stated in the past by people better at writing than me? It’s one of the best horror thrillers ever made, oozing suspense, style and subliminal subtext. Well, there is nothing really I can say to argue against or support that because the way I see it, ‘Psycho’ was the birth of contemporary serial killer films with indomitable style to boot. However, what I can offer is how I personally see the film and how it affected me because to the best of my knowledge there is only one Grace Fontaine and she’s enough for the world to handle.

There are several aspects at work here; voyeurism, duplicity, psychosis, sexuality and the power of secrets are all part and parcel of what is undoubtedly Hitchcock’s seminal masterpiece and all of these things resonate loud and clear. However, allow me to give my take on two major themes in the film- birds and sexual politics.

One of the biggest visual motifs in the film is undoubtedly the fixation on birds. Let’s have a look at the evidence we are presented with;
- Janet Leigh’s lead role as Marion CRANE.
- Birds are highly inquisitive by nature which explains a vast majority of how characters behave in the film. Marion asks questions about Norman when they talk, Arbogast is a detective which requires him to inquire those involved in Marion’s disappearance and Norman while playing the gracious host is curious about Marion herself and why she has chosen to ‘fly’ away to the Bates Motel. Oh and the fact he was creeping on her while she was in the shower.
- Norman’s sizeable hobby of taxidermy as we see in his parlour has particular favour towards birds. In fact, the entire room comes off as an enormous statement in regards to the character differences between Marion and Norman Bates when they converse. A couple of inferences could be drawn from the physical depiction of the room with the types of birds and, part of the conversation between Marion and Norman. The owl and the hawk are predators; the crow and the raven are predators as well as scavengers. All of these things make up what Norman is and what he stands for. He’s a predator, but he is also incredibly opportunistic. The smaller, more docile avian species that reside in the parlour such as songbirds are the prey (or victims) of owls, hawks and often crows. At the beginning of their conversation Norman tells Marion that she "eats like a bird", which heavily imply her being a dainty, pretty and vulnerable songbird, not a predator. Janet Leigh seems to illustrate this by fastidiously picking a piece of bread throughout the brunt of the conversation.

Horns (2013) review

Horns Movie PosterBy Jonathan Weichsel

I had an experience while watching Horns, which given the way things are going in entertainment, is becoming an increasingly common part of the movie going experience. Sometime during the first act of the film, my ears pricked up at some of the strange dialogue about The Lord working in mysterious ways and some of the other odd banter about religion spouting out of the character's mouths, and I thought to myself, "Oh fuck. Am I watching a faith based feature?" I quickly pushed the thought out of my mind. "I can't be watching a faith based feature," I thought. "This film has cursing. It has gore. It has nudity and sex." But then, at the end of the second act, it became clear and undeniable that I was, in fact, watching a faith based feature.

You see, at the end of the first act of the film, Daniel Radcliff's character, "Ig" Perrish, smashes a Virgin Mary statue that is part of the memorial for his murdered girlfriend, declaring that she went to church every week and believed in God, and didn't deserve to have this happen to her. He decides that there is no God, and that Christianity is all a lie. The next morning he has horns sprouting out of his head. At the end of the second act of the film, Perrish puts on a cross that was worn by his murdered girlfriend, and has a sudden moment of clarity. His horns disappear, he regains his faith, and now has the power to make things right in the world. So the entire second act of the film, although it is constructed as a murder mystery, is actually about a guy who has lost his faith, and must regain it in order to correct an evil in the world.

There are other hallmarks of faith based filmmaking present in Horns. For example, the lives of the main characters revolve around church, and they are defined for the most part by their relationship to Christianity. There are devout Christians, hypocritical Christians, non-believers, and so on, the soundtrack features Christian rock interspersed with alternative music, the license plates on many of the cars are chapters and versus of scripture, and (spoiler alert) at the end of the movie Perrish is reunited with his murdered girlfriend in heaven.

Rabid (1977) review

RABIDReviewed by Emir Husain

“[C]an we truly call this a monster club, if we do not boast amongst our membership a single member of the human race?”
---Vincent Price as vampire “Eramus” in The Monster Club (1981)

Ivory Snow cover “girl” (depicting hygienic motherhood). Groundbreaking porn star. “Body horror” actress. While each job might sound exclusive of the others, Marilyn Chambers (1952-2009), of Behind the Green Door fame/infamy, wore these hats and then some. The artistic American jill-of-all-trades crossed over from smut into the latter role through Canadian director David Cronenberg’s Rabid (1977), bringing her diverse professional experience to an arguably rich and deep character portrayal. For the record, this person, for one, has never watched any hardcore pornos, Green Door or no, but we could still say she was made for the part, given that the film’s premise oddly mirrors Chambers’ sharp career departure from an image of wholesome innocence.

The ensuing description of Rabid, one of the earliest feature films both written and directed by Cronenberg, should provide some idea of what body horror is (a genre type widely identified with the long-running auteur). Chambers’ character, Quebec-based Canuck “Rose,” is traumatically injured in a highway collision while riding on her boyfriend’s motorcycle. Faster than you can say crash makeover, she receives urgent yet untried, experimental plastic surgery with “morphologically neutralized” transfer tissue, despite remaining unwittingly comatose in the wake of the accident. Nevertheless, the operation is successful and she eventually comes to, but with a completely unexpected need to feed on warm blood.

And talk about new twists on vampire lore, its implied eroticism and all, Rose 2.0 seductively and sensuously gets her bloodsucking on through a stinging phallus-like organ housed in an orifice under one of her armpits! But good times, that’s not the whole story. We have an early variant of the zombie apocalypse, no less: Survivors among Rose’s victims become violent, rampaging maniacs, causing social pandemonium and, through their virulent bites, an epidemic rise in their numbers.

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985) review

Friday the 13th Part V: A New BeginningReviewed by Kevin Scott

Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning (1985)
Written by: Martin Kitrosser, David Cohen, Danny Steinmann
Directed by: Danny Steinmann
Cast: Shavar Ross (Reggie), Melanie Kinnaman (Pam), John Shepherd (Tommy Jarvis), Richard Young (Matt), Debisue Voorhees (Tina), John Robert Dixon (Eddie), Juliette Cummins (Robin), Jerry Pavlon (Jake), Dominick Brascia (Joey), Tiffany Helm (Violet), Mark Venturini (Vic), Miguel A. Nunez Jr. (Demon)

This film was the very first one that I wrote any kind review for on an online platform. That was the first brave step in my cause for championing this film. Albeit, it was a small step, because maybe two people probably stumbled across it. Either way, I did it and I’m not ashamed. Matter of fact, I’m taking it to the big show by including it here. All of my feelings for this bastard child of the series just happened to resurface after reading about it in “Camp Crystal Lake Memories”.

For anyone that doesn’t know about that book, it’s a must for the any fan that chronicles the complete history of the series from the original to “Freddy vs. Jason”. Frankly, Part V just can’t catch a break, not even in any tribute to the Friday series that I have seen. I just happened to pick up a double feature disc of part 5 and part 6 the other day, and the behind the scenes actually had an objective point of view about this film. It was worth having duplicate copies of part 6 (I always buy movies on a single disc days before they include them with another film that I’m gonna buy too). No complaints though, first world problems.

Silent Hill (1999) Video Game Review

Silent Hill Video Game ReviewBy Jesse Miller

Sure, it’s not much to look at now in 2014 and the voice acting is mostly atrocious and unintentionally hilarious (I dare you to not laugh during a cut scene involving some heavy exposition between characters) but Silent Hill was something else back in its day, crafting a unique psychological horror and gaming experience that was quite unlike the horror games that came before it.

It certainly wasn’t the first survival horror video game to come out on the market. Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil were making waves with their terrifying approach to the genre for a few years before. And is there anybody out there that can remember Clock Tower on the Super Nintendo? Sheesh man – I still get shivers thinking about that one. Yet it’s the approach to the horror, not only in terms of storytelling but also sound design, creature design and imagination, that sets Silent Hill apart from these other titles. That and it holds a special place in my heart as being the first encounter with survival horror I had, as I first played this entry as a sixteen year old huddled in the dark, gripping the controller as I wandered the dilapidated hallways of an abandoned school listening out for the guttural moans of the local creatures.

You step into the shoes of father Harry Mason who was on his way to Silent Hill with his daughter Cheryl for a vacation. When we first meet Harry, he’s gaining consciousness after their car was in an accident – only his daughter Cheryl is missing and a sinister fog is over the town around him.

Desperate to find his daughter, Harry sets off into the fog and into the twisted town of Silent Hill where nightmarish creatures, an ancient evil and a disturbing secret await him.

Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys (2014) review

Blood Lake PosterReviewed by Kevin Scott

Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys (2014)
Written by: Anna Rasmussen and Delondra Williams
Directed by: James Cullen Bressack
Cast: James Brooks (Michael), Shannen Doherty (Cate), Zack Ward (Will), Christopher Lloyd (Mayor Akerman), Ciara Hanna (Nicole), Yar Koosha (Kyle), Fred Stoller (Rich), Rachel True (Marcy), Jeremy Wade (Lamprey Expert)

I’m a huge “Piranha” fan, and I’ll watch anything (anything that is!) pertaining to lake horror. Hockey masked killers, prehistoric monsters, government altered mutated fish, toxic waste mutated marine life and even zombies, are all enhanced when set at a lake. It’s in a more confined space than the ocean, there’s usually plenty of expendable characters getting their vacation on to up the body count, and it makes one think twice that fresh water is absolutely, positively safe.

“Blood Lake” is an Asylum film that deals with something that is creepy enough as it is without giving it a B movie bloodthirstiness. Lampreys are pretty much vampiric eel or snake like things, with a sucker for a mouth that’s lined with rows of teeth. It’s pretty good fodder for a horror film and it could work pretty well. The poster art is a bit deceiving because it looks like humans are mutated into lamprey like monsters, but no, this is a straight up “nature gone crazy and the lone hero has to stop it” kind of flick. It has a lot of tropes in it, but sometimes that’s not bad thing. It also has a cast of semi notables that were much more notable for something more well known give or take a couple of decades ago.

The Bay (2012) Review

The BayReviewed by Jesse Miller

When it comes to horror films, there are two particular subjects that really get under my skin and make me cringe in my seat. One of them is demonic possession and the other is horror films featuring foul and gruesome flesh eating of any kind and this just happens to be the main plot point in The Bay, which sees the population of a small Beachy town that comes into contact with a nasty parasite.

The story spins off into multiple threads as we follow characters ranging from a lovely little newswoman to the folks at the CDC as the outbreak unfolds over the next couple of hours in horrific, stomach churning fashion.

The film is directed by Barry Levinson and it is quite exceptionally shot, taking the form of an explicit documentary that you might find late at night on Animal Planet but at the same time managing to orchestrate thrills and chills without falling into lacklustre territory. Everything is pulled out for show here, from lagging Facetime cameras to police car cameras to webcams and each element plays its part beautifully, which is to say, horrifically.

The cast all play their part effectively and with enough heart so that each member and character here feels naturalistic and never feeling forced or bland which is unfortunately what some characters in found footage films end up like, ruining the realistic approach. This isn’t the case with the actors of The Bay, as they manage to breathe life into their characters and you even come to like and care about a few of them.

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