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Beyond Fest Offers Folk Horror, 4K Restorations, and Frights Galore

Los Angeles’ Beyond Fest triumphantly returns to indoor cinemas this year with an incredible lineup of horror, science fiction, and genre-film fare from around the world. From September 29th–October 11th, the festival features world and west coast premieres, 4K restorations of beloved classics and more obscure titles, and much more. Following is the official press […]

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[Review] HIRUKO THE GOBLIN (Japan Cuts): Weird Collides with Wacky in This Mind-Blowing Japanese Demon Romp

Two years after his dark, surreal cult classic Testsuo: The Iron Man was unleashed on an unsuspecting world, director Shin’ya Tsukamoto unveiled his first studio effort, Hiruko the Goblin (1991). Based on two yōkai stories from manga artist Daijiro Morohoshi, the film is a frenetic, madcap tale of demons whose gate from Hell happens to […]

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Creepiness and Creatures Galore Highlight Arrow Video FrightFest 2021’s Short Film Program

Short horror films can range from diabolical delights to monstrous mayhem, creepy comedy to scintillating suspense, and much more, with film-making voices ranging from new talents to old favorites. Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 is proof of this, as its just-announced slate of fear-fare shorts is absolutely astounding. Following is the London-based festival’s official press announcement. […]

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[Review] Hungry Joe [FilmQuest]: People and Systems Fail a Distraught Mother Whose Son Has a Voracious Appetite

I strongly recommend watching U.K. horror short Hungry Joe on an empty stomach. Codirectors/cowriters Samuel Dawe and Paul Holbrook pull no punches in their 23-minute meeting of body horror and family drama, a tale of a child’s insatiable appetite and the trouble it brings to his family. As the short film begins, Craig (Joe Sims) […]

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[Review] Face of the Devil: Supernatural Legend Comes to Slasher-like Life in This Peruvian Chiller

Peruvian horror film Face of the Devil (La Cara del Diablo; 2014) combines the beats of a slasher film with supernatural goings-on. The result is a fun, eerie watch bolstered by solid characterization. In a familiar set-up, seven college-age friends, including two couples, go on a weekend vacation to a remote area. After some topless […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Changeling [FilmQuest]: A Fatigued Mother Is Plagued by an Otherworldly Terror

The cries of a baby and the slow but caring response of the child’s weary mother kick off a sense of dread in Scottish writer/director Faye Jackson’s U.K. short horror film Changeling. That sense builds ever more relentlessly during the film’s 10-minute running time, leading to a gut-wrenching climax featuring a novel approach to the […]

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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 […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[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 […]