The Voices: A Human Body Takes A Surprisingly Large Amount Of Tupperware Containers To Hold

The Voices is a black comedy horror film directed by Marjane Satrapi. The film follows the life of Jerry Hickfang (Ryan Reynolds), a mild-mannered office worker who is just trying to live his best life. However, Jerry hears voices particularly the voices of his cat and his dog and sometimes these voices lead him astray, such as when they encourage him to become a serial killer.

I have tried to watch this film before but watching it this most recent time I decided that I would stick it out until the end. Now, before I get into it I just want to say that I know comedy is subjective and black comedy even more so, however this film was just a bit too much for me in two regards.

Firstly, the cringe, there are multiple scenes in this film that are crawl up into a ball and die kind of cringe. Any scene when Jerry is trying to hit on women is particularly bad cringe to a point where it made my whole-body cringe, I think they over did it a little bit.

Secondly, this film is depressing, and you will leave it feeling bummed up. I understand that this is a dark comedy about a morbid subject but damn, this film is hard to get through. It made me laugh once or twice but for the most part it just made me feel sad. Particularly the ending.

The performances from Reynolds, Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick are all okay, I cant fault the acting though I will say no one blew me away with their performance.

Overall, this may just come down to comedic sensibilities for me this film was a bit too much, you might disagree with me and think it is hilarious: comedy especially dark comedy is very hard to judge.

Pros.

The premise is interesting

The acting is okay

Cons,

The cringe is too much

It is depressing

It feels familiar

2/5

Reviewed by Luke

Wolf Creek 2: Making A Hero Out Of A Cold Blooded Serial Killer

Wolf Creek 2 is an Australian horror film directed by Greg McLean. We again follow Mick Taylor (John Jarrett), the tourist killer extraordinaire as he cleans up his part of Australia once again from those evil invading backpackers. This is vaguely based on a true story, incredibly loosely though.

So yeah basically this time around Mick is the hero, or at least the main focus of the film. We don’t really get a protagonist (maybe the English dude), we just get a series of characters for Mick to pick off over the course of the film. None of them seem to have any shred of personality or character development, but I’ll get to that.

Maybe the executives realised that no one really cared about the boring vanilla survivor characters from the first film hence the Mick focus this time around. Also this film plays up Mick’s craziness a lot more, making him way more manic and almost strangely a lot more comedic too. Though I didn’t like the first film, at least the way it portrayed Mick was accurate to the cold-blooded killers that his character is based on, here he is a one liner cracking, goofy, pain sponge that can get up from any hit with minimal damage. They turned their villain into somewhat of a joke.

Jarrett is again the best part of this film and is clearly having fun and you can tell that throughout, sadly it does not translate to audience enjoyment.

Pros.

Jarrett is having fun

Cons.

Sadly it is not fun to watch

They don’t have characters just victims

They make Taylor less scary

The jokes don’t work

1/5

Reviewed by Luke

Red Dragon: Replacing Clarice Again

Red Dragon is a crime thriller film directed by Brett Ratner; serving as a prequel of sorts to the Hannibal films. Obviously, Ratner is a very troubling person for a lot of reasons, but I will try to look past that for the purposes of this review. The plot this time around focuses on the man who caught Hannibal Lecture (Anthony Hopkins), Will Graham (Edward Norton). Once again, an FBI agent needs Hannibal’s help to catch the latest twisted serial killer; they really need to start paying him to consult.

I would rank the Hannibal films I have seen so far in this order, descending in quality, Silence Of The Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon. I don’t by any means think this is a bad film, far from it in fact, I just think it can’t hope to compete with the others. The relationship between Norton’s and Hopkins’ characters is interesting, but it is no will they Clarice and Hannibal; though I did enjoy that little tease at the end.

My thoughts on the film’s villain The Tooth Fairy (Ralph Fiennes), are the complete counter to what they were when I reviewed Hannibal. I think unlike in that film, where Gary Oldman’s character was pushed to the side in favour of Hannibal, this time it is the other way around. For a Hannibal Lecture film we get surprisingly not a lot of him, Fiennes is definitely the main focus. Hopkins gives his all when he is onscreen, which is commendable as always.

The balancing act between Hannibal and whatever serial killer him and his FBI associate are trying to catch is always the crucial thing with these films and it goes both ways, neither good, with the only film in the series to get the balance right being The Silence Of The Lambs, but that is a hard film to follow.

Overall, it is still good, just not as good than the film that proceeded it.

3.5/5

Reviewed by Luke

Hannibal: A Maddening Romance

Hannibal is a crime thriller film directed Ridley Scott. The plot follows Hannibal Lecture (Anthony Hopkins), as he lives as a freeman in exile, keeping close tabs on special agent Clarise Starling (Julianne Moore), who has fallen on hard times and become disgraced. As forces rise to bring the two back together again, Lecture’s thirst for blood leads him to come back out of retirement.

Firstly, if you expect me to believe Hollywood that Jodie Foster aged into Julianne Moore then you expect too much. If they had created a new character it would work better, but clearly, they wanted to carry on the Lecture/Starling relationship from the first film; and Foster wasn’t game. That I can understand, as the relationship between the two is the key piece of these films.

Moore for the most part is terrific, I prefer Foster’s performance, but Moore is giving it her all here. She has great chemistry with Anthony Hopkins and has almost a sexual tension with him whenever the two of them are on screen together; adding another twisted angle to their dynamic.

On the casting front, I feel Gary Oldman was wasted as Lecture’s only surviving victim Mason Verger. He brings a presence, but he does very little and has very little screen time. I understand why from a plot perspective his character is needed, but in every other aspect he feels unnecessary, as he fades into the background with Moore and Hopkins taking centre stage. The same can be said of Ray Liotta.

Overall, this is still a mostly good film, it has a few issues that are more noticeable when compared to the near excellent first film, however few films could live up to that. A slightly disappointing sequel, that suffers for the lack of Foster.

Pros.

Anthony Hopkins is still great.

The Clarice/ Lecture relationship is fantastic.

This feels like an ending.

It feels like a natural sequel.

Cons.

Oldman and Liotta are wasted and feel unnecessary.

4/5

Reviewed by Luke

All Hallows Eve: Creepy Clowns Are Back!

All Hallows Eve is horror thriller film directed by Damien Leone. The plot sees a babysitter finding a video tape that features a series of grisly murders committed by a sinister looking clown. As the film progresses the murders featured on the tape start to spill over into the real world and the babysitter becomes the clowns next target.

Despite being quite the low budget affair, this film is scarier than any horror film I have seen in recent memory and shows that talent trumps big budgets any day of the week. This film is consistently menacing from start to finish, the clown is by far the creepiest thing about this film and only becomes more frightening as the film goes on; he put Pennywise to shame.

The one thing I didn’t understand about this film was how it all fit together. At first, I thought all three of the tales on the videotape were connected and it was all part of a larger narrative, but then the second feature has an alien in it and really has very little to do with the other two segments. So, I don’t understand what it was meant to be because surely if it was an anthology film the third segment would be unrelated to the first. I thought that was a strange decision.

I liked the ending when the clown broke out into the real world, I thought this was for sure the scariest moment of the whole film.

Overall, I think this is one of the best hidden gem horror films I have seen in a long time, it is terrifying and bone chilling to watch. The clown is the scariest I have ever seen in cinema and I wouldn’t be surprised if he shows up in my nightmares. If you’re a fan of horror, then this film is a must see!

Pros.

It is terrifying.

The clown is hellish.

There are some great jump scares.

The ending breaks the fourth wall in the best way.

Cons.

I don’t understand if it was supposed to be one whole feature or an anthology.

4/5

Reviewed by Luke

Kill List: A King To Be

Kill list is a British crime horror film directed by Ben Wheatly. The plot follows two ex-soldier hitmen Jay (Neil Maskell), and Gal (Michael Smiley), who’s job soon takes a turn for the strange as they become entangled with a cult, though they don’t realise it at first.

I think this film is excellent, truly excellent. I think if any film could be the Wicker Man equivalent of our modern times it is this; and that is not just because they share some similar plot threads. The reason why I think so highly of this film is because of how subtle it is, you don’t realise that you’re watching a horror film, most of the film is more crime focused, until the last 10 minutes; but then when the film ends you see how it was really a horror all along.

The performances are superb and so are the characters. Jay and Gal are not written to be likable, right from the off we see Jay through a negative lens, but that is the point. This film achieves something few others do, it takes characters that are fundamentally bad/unlikable and by the end it makes you care about them. In the final sequence of the film you want Gal and Jay to be okay, you really do.

The folk horror aspect is also really well done, as I mentioned before a good comparison would be The Wickerman, but there is also some Hereditary in there too. I think the ending is fascinating and it makes all of the events of the film take on a whole other meaning; a rewatch is a necessity. I loved how all the actions of the two main characters had been mapped out by the group and everything was leading up to that moment.

Overall, I think from a writing and structure point of view this film is a triumph and I think from a horror point of view this is also incredible. I think more people should see this as it seems to be quite unknown to some. One of the best films I have recently.

Pros.

The folk horror.

The crime thriller aspect.

Making you care about awful people.

The ending.

All of the little details.

Cons.

None

5/5

Reviewed By Luke  

Wolf Creek: The Australian Michael Myers

Wolf Creek is an Australian horror thriller film directed by Greg Mclean. The plot follows a group of tourists that become targeted by a demented xenophobic serial killer who hunts them down with the intent to kill them. This film was based on a series of real-life backpacker murders that happened in Australia a few years before the film was released.

In horror circles, this film has a reputation, it is held up as being a great slasher film and one of the best Australian horror films. However when I put it on I was incredibly disappointed with it. I thought it was boring and that it couldn’t hold a candle to other Australian horror gems like The Babadook and Boar.

I thought the only redeemable thing about this film is John Jarrett. Jarrett is an Australian national treasure and his involvement with this is the thing that got me excited for it. He plays the evil killer Mick Taylor and he gives the best performance he can, he is manic and off the wall and his character is the only really memorable part of this film.

My issues start with the fact that this film is boring, there is only about 10 minutes of it that are actually interesting and watchable. This film suffers from some of the worst pacing issues I have seen in a long time, the first act is a chore to get through and makes you want to turn it off and it doesn’t pick up until the last 10 minutes; even they aren’t worth the wait.

The characters are bland and forgettable and the based on true story bent to it has been done to death and this film is not doing anything new or interesting with it.

Overall, this film is a bore and one that is a test of strength to finish

Pros.

John Jarrett.

Cons.

It is boring.

It does nothing new with the format.

The characters are paper thin.

It takes a lot to finish it.

1/5

Reviewed by Luke

The Silence Of The Lambs: A Nice Cut Of Meat

The Silence Of The Lambs is a thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme. The plot follows young FBI recruit Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), as she attempts to track down the newly infamous serial killer Buffalo Bill and save a senator’s daughter. During the course of her investigation she turns to deranged cannibal phycologist Hannibal Lecture (Anthony Hopkins), for advice and help and the two then go on a twisted journey into madness and the evil that lives within.

This is a cinematic classic, for good reason, however until recently I had never seen this film before, so I decided that I would fix that mistake and it turns out this film is as excellent as everyone says it is. It is an acting masterclass and it is one of the best thriller films I have ever seen before in my life.

Firstly, the performances are great, Hopkins is of course the best and manages to give genuine chills every time he is onscreen being a truly menacing presence. However Foster is also an incredibly compelling lead and one that you want to see win. Also Ted Levine is terrific as sick, twisted, skinner Buffalo Bill he is convincing but also strangely sympathetic in his gender struggle.

The best thing about this film is the tension that courses throughout it. From the minute the investigation begins you can’t look away, you need to see it through, you want the answers as much as Foster’s character does. What’s more, the conversations between Lecture and Clarice are also incredibly well done and manage to be effortlessly dramatic and intense despite never becoming more than just a conversation.

There is no flab on this film’s run time, every second is vital and used to the fullest; that is the best compliment I can give this film. A true classic.

Pros.

The tension.

The acting.

The characters.

The mystery.

You can’t look away.

Cons.

None.

5/5

Reviewed by Luke

Tusk: I Am The Walrus

Tusk is a horror comedy film directed by Kevin Smith. The plot sees internet famous podcaster Wallace Bryton (Justin Long), go to Canada in search of a weird story for his podcast, there he meets Howard Howe (Michael Parks), a man who is obsessed with bring his dead best friend Mr Tusk (a walrus), back to life. What follows is an increasingly menacing situation as Howe tries to turn Bryton into a human walrus hybrid.

This film marks the start of Smith’s True North trilogy, (which as of the time of writing only has Yoga Hosers as the other film in the trilogy), however unlike Hosers, this film is tonally a mess. Yoga Hosers was a comedy from the get-go, it didn’t take itself seriously and was slightly serious at times. Tusk, however, has moments when it tries to be serious and dark and moments that are comedic and over the top, these two parts of the film don’t mesh together and feel at odds with one another. It seems to be as though Smith couldn’t make his mind up over how he wanted the tone of this film to be.

The performances in this film are a mixed bag, one the one hand you have Parks who plays the crazed walrus fanatic superbly; he is menacing and threatening whenever he is on screen. However, Long is not a convincing hero, his Wallace is deeply unlikable (before you even find out how bad he is towards his girlfriend), from the moment he opens his mouth he is irritating. As a result of this you end up wanting him to suffer and be turned into a walrus as it seems a fitting punishment.

Johnny Depp as disgraced detective Lapointe is easily the best thing about this film and much like in Hosers has all the best lines. He is the only character you will remember once the credits role.

Overall, this is a weak start to Smith’s trilogy as it is tonally inconsistent and Long is loathsome. However Parks and Depp make up for it. A very so-so film.

Pros.

Depp

Parks

It is an interesting idea.

Cons.

Tonally inconsistencies.

Long.

The end.

2.5/5

Reviewed by Luke

A Descent Into Horror And Madness: My Top 5 Shudder Recommendations

Shudder bills itself as the Netflix of horror films, they claim to have something for every kind of horror fan. Their library is made up of some old classics and some original content, there are gems to be found if you know where to look. Fear not dear reader, over the last month (ish), I have been on an odyssey going through Shudders entire back catalogue; only the stuff that interested me though mind. As such, I have written this post to give you some hand-picked recommendations; which hopefully will scratch your horror ich and maybe give you some new horror favourites. In the UK you can get Shudder as an extension to your Amazon account, it will come up as a video channel. I don’t know how you get it elsewhere.

  1. Body At Brighton Rock

This goofy camp thriller soon takes a turn to the dark side. Set in an American national park, a ranger get lost and has to spend the night next to a corpse. There is a lot going on here and the twist at the end is genius. It is absolutely dripping in style and has such a unique voice. The horror with this one comes from the idea of being stranded in the woods alone over night; which in and of itself is a terrifying thought. She also fights a bear briefly so there is that!

  1. Stitches

Stitches is a pitch-black horror comedy about a dead clown who has come back to get his revenge on the group of kids that killed him. This is a rare treat as it is a horror comedy that actually manages to be both scary and funny. Ross Nobel nails the jokes and there are several laugh out loud moments, he is also menacing as hell. Another two reasons this is great is because it creates a fantastically weird mythology for clowns and also because it has some of the best gore, I have ever seen in a horror film.

  1. Dead Hooker In The Trunk

This is the debut film of the Soska Sisters that should be all you need to know. However for those of you who aren’t die hard fans, this film kicks ass because it is a low budget exploitation esque film and knows it. The look of the film is very early Robert Rodriguez, grindhousey and grainy, the sort of film that looks like it was shot on film but wasn’t. The Sisters are standout as the lead characters, but there are also plenty of other memorable characters and moments. It was this film that put them on Eli Roth’s radar.

  1. The Hell House Trilogy

Found footage as a genre is played out, it is very, and I do mean very rare to get a good found footage film, yet the first Hell House LLC is just that. The series is about a hotel that is also a gateway to hell and as you can imagine a lot of ghostly goings on happen in the hotel and different groups of people fall prey to them over the course of the series. Though the second film is a dip in quality for sure, all three of these films are good found footage films and the ending of the third film may be the best ending to a series I have ever seen, no spoilers here though.

  1. Monster Party/Killer Party

This dark comedy film is about a group of thieves that break into a house to find a meeting of recovering murders going on. It is worth a watch for that premise alone, however what follows is a tense well-acted masterclass in suspense. What’s more it has Lance Reddick in, and that man can do no wrong, he is great as a crazed cult leader. This film is manic and maddening in the best way.

Bonus Recommendations

Mayhem is a great film, with a terrific sense of angry energy and one hell of a performance by Samara Weaving, if you like The Babysitter and Ready Or Not you will love this.

Also The Midnight Swim is superb and one of the most unsettling films I have ever seen, to say more would ruin it.

I have full spoiler reviews of all of these films up on the site, so check them out to after you have watched them, or before if you’re not bothered about spoilers; either way.

I hope you enjoy these films as much as I did, happy viewing!

Written by Luke