Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Tale of the Deaf [SLASH Film Festival]: Mesmerizing Russian Black-and-White Short Is a Gorgeous Gothic Horror

Writer/director Philipp Yuryev’s Russian short Tale of the Deaf is one of the most visually extraordinary films of this year. Shot in sumptuous black-and-white by director of photography Mikhail Kasaya, this gothic chiller is a diabolical delight. A deaf man (Russian rapper Husky) tries to entertain a tavern full of paupers with shadow play but […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

[Review] THE BRILLIANT TERROR (Arrow Video FrightFest): Documentary Looks at the Ups and Downs of Grassroots Horror Filmmaking

Basically a movie about grassroots horror for filmmakers and fans of grassroots horror, The Brilliant Terror (2021) is an earnest, big-hearted effort that probably won’t convert many viewers into new fans of the subgenre but that shows the dedication and passion of people who live to make horror movies whenever they can find the time […]

Gruesome Reviews

Father Knows Unrest – PAT HEALY Plays A Dad Who Loses It In The Apocalyptic WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING

Chicago-born actor Pat Healy has been a welcome presence in horror films over the years, including memorable turns in Compliance, Cheap Thrills, The Innkeepers, The Pale Door and Velvet Buzzsaw. The 50-year stage-trained performer frequently plays excitable, edgy characters, both on big screen and small. In We Need to Do Something, Healy dials that persona […]

Gruesome Reviews

[Exclusive Interview] Siblings Jason and Peter Filardi on Creating CHAPELWAITE

The careers of screenwriters Jason and Peter Filardi could not be more different. Peter’s been the horror guy, having scripted the successful Flatliners and The Craft, as well as TV Stephen King adaptations ’Salem’s Lot (2004 version) and Nightmares & Dreamscapes. Younger brother Jason is the comedy guy, whose credits include the hits Bringing Down […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews

[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 […]

Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] TOY TERMINATOR: Man vs. Puppet in Irreverent Horror Short

Director Matt Wisniewski’s puppet horror short Toy Terminator is his follow-up to the 2019 short film Pappy’s World, and somehow it is even more irreverent and mind-boggling than its predecessor.  Pappy the puppet was a maniacal Christmas present in that earlier short, and here he makes a return as the best friend of a human […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] PEAKING [Portland Horror Film Festival]: Aural Horrors Await a Sound Recordist

Director Daniel Rands’ U.K. horror short Peaking relies heavily on sound design to get its eerie atmosphere across. It does so quite impressively, resulting in a 7-minute shocker fraught with tension. After Sound Recordist Sandy (Louisa Harris) overhears one of her colleagues making a sexist remark about her, she stays behind in the house where […]

Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Laura Hasn’t Slept [FilmQuest]: The Face of Fear Awaits a Young Woman’s Slumber

Writer/director Parker Finn’s terrific short film Laura Hasn’t Slept combines the concept from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise (along with other horror properties) of avoiding sleep so as not to confront a horrific entity with the theme of mental illness. The result is a stirring effort led by an incredible performance from Caitlin […]

Film Festivals Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[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) […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] Big Wheels [Twisted Dreams Film Festival]: Long-Festering Secrets Surface in This Fine Stephen King Adaptation

Alcohol, insults, and dredging up the past rarely mix well together, and they certainly don’t in the Canadian short film Big Wheels, director Andrew Simpson’s take on a Stephen King short story. This taut thriller is a nail-biter throughout thanks to nerve-wracking atmosphere and acting-clinic–level performances. Bob (Andrew Bee) is a mechanic who is about […]

Foreign Films Gruesome Reviews

[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 […]

Gruesome Reviews Super Scary Shorts Saturday

[Review] The Unvisited: Short Fantasy Film Takes a Lighthearted Approach to Issues with the Elderly and Their Families

Writer/director Rebekah Fieschi’s latest short film The Unvisited is a playful fantasy exploration of growing older and being separated from immediate family. Though the short has supernatural and horror overtones, the emphasis is on the messages the film delivers rather than shudders and shocks. An aging couple (Cathy Washburn and Kathi Bairnes) live with their […]