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Fantaspoa 2021 Announces the Award Winners for Its Second Online Edition

Brazilian genre-film festival Fantaspoa served up an amazing array of horror, science fiction, thriller, and other exciting movies for its second online edition, as the fest’s 2021 awards attest. Following is the official press announcement for Fantaspoa’s wrap-up of this year’s edition. The seventeenth edition of Fantaspoa was again a landmark for the long-running Brazilian […]

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[Review] GOLEM [Warped Dimension Online Film Festival]: Clay Avenger from Jewish Folklore Rises Again in Effective Horror Short

In only about 4 minutes not counting credits, writer/director Ryan Cauchi’s Australian short horror film Golem spins an action-packed tale about the titular anthropomorphic clay creature from Jewish folklore while also setting the stage for a much larger story. The result is a gripping short creature feature boasting some fun monster effects. The set-up is […]

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Ten Questions with Howard J Ford, Director of “The Lockdown Hauntings”

Ahead of the U.K. digital release of his latest film The Lockdown Hauntings, director and writer Howard J Ford talks about being a one-man crew, casting Tony Todd, his do-it-yourself SFX kit, and losing his uncle to the pandemic. The following is a review for syndication. You shot THE LOCKDOWN HAUNTINGS during the UK’s first lockdown. […]

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[Review] HISTORY OF THE OCCULT (Fantaspoa 2021): Real-Time Telecast Approach Adds Immediacy to Argentinian Horror Outing

Argentinian horror offering History of the Occult (Historia de lo Oculto; 2020) is a tantalizing puzzle that takes place just before and during the final broadcast of a television news show. Cristian Ponce makes an intriguing feature-film debut as a writer/director, combining elements of fear fare, film noir, and mystery. Sixty Minutes Before Midnight is […]

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[Review] Bloodshot Heart (Fantaspoa 2021): Trippy Australian Chiller Delves into a Man’s Anguish over Loss

Writer/director Parish Malfitano’s Australian feature film debut Bloodshot Heart examines the themes of obsession, loss and the trauma it can cause, depression, visions of grandeur, and other psychological issues in its tale of the downward mental spiral of lonely Italian driving instructor Hans (Richard James Allen). The film uses multiple actors in one role à […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] The Moogai (SXSW Online 2021): Child-Stealing Supernatural Entity Terrifies an Indigenous Couple in Eerie Australian Horror Short

Australian short film The Moogai won this year’s SXSW Jury Prize in the Midnight Short section, and for good reason. Writer/director Jon Bell’s harrowing short film is rich in spine-tingling atmosphere, with a gripping, meaningful story and solid performances. Sarah (Shari Sebbens) and Fergus (Meyne Watt) have a newborn baby, and Sarah begins seeing haunting […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] The Thing That Ate the Birds (SXSW Online 2021): U.K. Horror Short Combines Creature Feature and the Drama of a Crumbling Marriage

The tension between Abel (Eoin Slattery) and his wife Grace (Rebecca Palmer) is palpable, but their strained relationship takes a back seat when the titular creature comes calling in the U.K. horror short The Thing That Ate the Birds. It’s obvious from their terse interactions that the couple has had problems for a long time, […]

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Ten Questions with Chris Bell, Director of The Heiress

In the following review for syndication, director Chris Bell talks about familial horror influences, his South London ‘hooligangster’ phase, and learning new lockdown skills, ahead of the U.K. Digital release of THE HEIRESS on March 15, 2021 courtesy of the Movie Partnership, in association with Old Way Film & Television, and its U.S. and Canadian […]

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[Review] Crone Wood: Irish Horror Outing Gives Viewers Another Good Reason to Avoid Camping in the Woods

Writer/director Mark Sheridan’s Irish feature Crone Wood (2016) combines folk horror elements with stuck-in-the-woods fright-fare basics. The result is an interesting effort that doesn’t cover a lot of new ground, but does offer an entertaining 86-minute ride. The film is shot in a cinéma vérité style with multiple handheld cameras. As I have mentioned in […]

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Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow’s 16th Edition Serves Up a Half Dozen of Enticing Chillers and Thrillers

Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow holds its 16th edition online from March 5–7, 2021, with six scintillating films from the United States, Canada, and France. From the divisive school-shooting thriller Run Hide Fight to the stylish film noir elements of The Woman with Leopard Shoes (La Femme Aux Chaussures Leopard) to the folk horror of The […]

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[Review] Bedtime Story (Another Hole in the Head Film Festival): Spanish Horror Short Sees a Family Haunted by the Possibility of a Witch Neighbor

Two young brothers drive their mother crazy in Bedtime Story (El Cuento), a Spanish horror short from cowriters/codirectors Lucas Paulino and Ángel Torres, but that’s nothing compared with what the night ahead holds for the trio. This atmospheric slice of supernatural fear fare is gripping from the beginning, and boasts an eerie, unsettling atmosphere of […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Attack of the Killer Scarecrow (Blood in the Snow Film Festival): Teen-Crafted Terror Finds an Urban Legend to Be True

Attack of the Killer Scarecrow delivers exactly what the title promises. Written, directed, and edited by teenager Octavian Kaul — who also stars as one of the three leads — this Canadian horror short has a nice 1980s vibe that doesn’t overdo that angle.  On Halloween night, Aaron (Kaul) and two of his fellow high […]

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[Review] MORTAL: Dark, Entertaining Superhero Origin Story Delves into Scandinavian Mythology

Norwegian/U.S./U.K. production Mortal is a breathtaking origin story boasting engaging characters and performances, a wonderfully crafted story, rich visuals, and impressive special effects. Director André Øvredal (Troll Hunter, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) returns to Scandivian mythology and crafts a dark take on a man coming to grips […]

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[Review] Benny Loves You (Arrow Video FrightFest’s Digital Edition 2): U.K. Killer Doll Film Boasts Side-Splitting Comedy and Blood-Splattering Gore

No matter where you stand on killer doll movies, prepare to give your heart — or whatever piece of your anatomy the titular animated evil stuffed toy wishes to take — to Benny. Benny Loves You is a riotous, grue-heavy U.K. horror comedy that is the winning result of a five-year labor of love for […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Abduction (North Bend Film Festival/Nightstream): Shaming and Blaming Follow a Young Woman’s Otherworldly Experience

Australian short film Abduction combines social messages regarding shaming and victim blaming with a science-fiction setting. Frances Elliott’s screenplay and Paul Komadina’s direction masterfully balance these two elements, not allowing the science fiction elements to overpower the serious messages and vice versa. Mathilda (Alexandra Nell) enjoys a night out drinking and listening to live music […]