Gruesome Reviews

“Wrecker” (2015): Soundly Drives Its Inspiration But Is Far From Inspired

Wrecker, the new killer-behind-the-wheel thriller from director Michael Bafaro (along with co-writer Evan Taylor) currently out on VOD and part of the 8 Films to Die For 2015 collection, draws inspiration from the classic Stephen Spielberg tele-film Duel. On a long, lonely stretch of mountain road called “The Devil’s Pass” a pair of traveling girlfriends […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Wind Walkers” (2015): Wandering Tale of Terror in the Everglades Lacks Focus and Bite

If the rest of Wind Walkers kicked as much butt as the soundtrack, I could give this “8 Films to Die For” entry a strong recommendation. Unfortunately the power-chord rock and revisionist blues songs were more powerful and exciting to me than the movie’s characters, performances, or perplexing story. There are moments of promise, though. […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Chateau Sauvignon: terroir” (2015): Macabre Short Film Serves Up Vintage Fright

From its opening moments showing such objects as a gnarled tree branch, a cobwebbed animal skull, filthy plates, and a home in disrepair, accompanied by chilling music, director David E. Munz-Maire’s horror short Chateau Sauvignon: terroir sets up an eerie tone to which it stays true throughout. Nicolas (Michael Lorz in a performance you won’t […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Murder in the Dark” (2013): Improvised Dialog and Splendid Locales Make for a Unique Horror Experiment

What Hostel  did to the perceptions of backpackers traveling to Europe to stay in hostels, Murder in the Dark will do to the perceptions of tourists traveling alone to abandoned castles in European countrysides. As I watched Murder in the Dark I was in awe of the beautiful landscape and the magnificent castle most of […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Pillow Fright” (2015): Coeds Battle Cushions in Patrick Rea’s Fun New Horror Short

Auteur Patrick Rea has delivered  short-horror-film gold once again with Pillow Fright. With its combination of absurd premise, sharp humor, and startling kills, this 5-minute mini-marvel is well worth watching. Four college girls (Jessi Burkette, Jennifer Seward-De Rock, Jessica Logsdon, and Kristin Rea) spend an evening playing with a Ouija board, trying a levitation experiment, […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Tickle” (2014): Retro Babysitter-in-Peril Short Film Delivers the Bedtime Shudders

Director Corey Norman and his screenwriter wife Haley Norman have crafted a nifty throwback to 1980s horror in their short film Tickle (2014).  It’s Halloween season, and Trudy (Casey Turner) is babysitting 7-year-old Charlie (Andrew Lyndaker), who, naturally, would rather stay up past his  bedtime and watch scary movies with Trudy than go to sleep. […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Condemned” (2015): Seedy Characters Populate Odd, Bodily Fluid-Soaked Debut

Imagine [REC] peopled with the types of characters you might see in early Frank Henenlotter and John Waters movies, with low-budget attempts at early David Cronenberg-by-way-of-Troma body horror and goo effects, and a dash of David Lynch–homage-on-a-shoestring surrealism thrown in for good measure, and you might come close to guessing what it’s in store for […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Shi” (2015): Lush, Enigmatic Short Follows a Father’s Terrifying Downward Spiral

On a day when it seems that things can’t possibly get any worse than they just have, the short horror film Shi proves that they can, indeed. This stylish, gripping offering from writer/director Pablo Absento is rich with atmosphere and a sense of foreboding. As Shi opens, an unnamed man (Justin Berti) receives a call […]

Gruesome Reviews

“Shattered” (2014): A Grieving Mother’s Revenge Goes Too Far in Distressing Short Film

Writer/director Mikel Ledesma’s short film Shattered is a dark dramatic thriller with one foot planted firmly in the horror genre, specifically in torture horror. That foot may be what keeps it from reaching the wider audience it seems to seek. Rose Sterling (Scarlette Martin) kidnaps Tom Collins (Matthew Roy), the man who was tried for […]