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Latest Horror Reviews

Latest Reviews | Movie Reviews | Blu-ray Reviews | DVD Reviews | Book Reviews

IRONCLAD: BATTLE FOR BLOOD (2014)
Ironclad: Battle For Blood Reviewed: 25 July 2014
 
 

Jonathan English has followed up his 2011 medieval siege film Ironclad with a sequel along very, very similar lines. The story this time moves north as a survivor from the legendary events at Rochester Castle from the first film journeys to save his clan from the constant attacks of Celtic raiders.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932)
The Old Dark House Reviewed: 25 July 2014
 
 

Husband and wife Raymond Massey and Gloria Stuart come across a mudslide when travelling with friend Melvyn Douglas one dark and stormy night in rural Wales. They seek refuge at a nearby house, which turns out to be full of absolute nutters and neurotics. They include cultured but neurotic old man Ernest Thesiger, his bitter, bickering, and largely deaf sister Eva Moore, and their brutish mute butler, played by Boris Karloff. Staying for dinner with their (kinda) hospitable hosts, they are soon joined by fellow stranded travellers Sir Charles Laughton and Lillian Bond, the latter of whom tickles the fancy of Douglas. And that’s when the power goes out, the butler gets drunk and belligerent, and secrets of this eccentric family emerge, including a pyromaniac relative named Saul (Brember Wills), and another relative (Elspeth Dudgeon, a woman playing an elderly man!) bedridden upstairs. It’s going to be a long, long night.

Reviewer: Ryan McDonald
Rating: out of 5
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THE CAPTIVE (2014)
The Captive Reviewed: 25 July 2014
 
 

As we have said before, we like a little bit of ambiguity here at Horror Asylum. A film that leaves much to the audience’s imagination, one that challenges what the viewer assumes to be real is always a welcome thing. The problems begin to develop though when what is shown doesn’t really make sense and when those small, yet highly important reference points are missing the result can sadly become nothing more than an essay in tedium.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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AFTERMATH (2012)
Aftermath Reviewed: 25 July 2014
 
 

Post-apocalyptic worlds will always provide filmmakers with inspiration. Whether it is the disease ravaged society in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later or the dystopian imaginings of Terry Gilliam it is a subject that offers vast and varied potential and it is a sub-genre that director Peter Engert has entered into with his new film Aftermath.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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20 FT BELOW: THE DARKNESS DESCENDING (2014)
20 Ft Below: The Darkness Descending Reviewed: 10 July 2014
 
 

The IMDB page for Darkness Descends (or 20Ft Below: Darkness Descending which makes less sense as a title) contains a summary that is worth considering: Below the streets of New York is a dark and dangerous world hidden in the shadows of abandoned subway tunnels and miles of forgotten infrastructure. There are many misleading elements to this pithy one-liner so here is a clearer, more accurate, if longer version.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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THE SACRAMENT (2013)
The Sacrament Reviewed: 10 July 2014
 
 

There is a new community of horror film-makers, a collective mind if you will, that is taking the genre forward into new territory or reverently expanding on familiar, traditional themes. It would be lovely to think of gang leader Eli Roth hosting invitation only parties where the chosen few watched classic horror films and drank tequila. Potential head honcho Roth is credited at the beginning of Ti West’s new film The Sacrament and despite the varying quality of some early “Eli Roth presents...” fare; there is now a standard, a safety in the knowledge that films involving his collaborators are setting a high standard.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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STRIPPERS VS. WEREWOLVES (2011)
Strippers vs. Werewolves Reviewed: 03 July 2014
 
 

Good-hearted stripper Adele Silva stabs a creepy customer (Martin Kemp) with a silver pen in a private booth. Said customer was actually a werewolf and a member of a mafia-style brood of werewolves, headed by nasty Billy Murray. Now Murray and his gang are headed for the strip club, owned by tough-as-nails Sarah Douglas. Meanwhile, Silva frets telling her boyfriend about her day job, unaware that he’s harbouring a dark secret of his own. Alan Ford turns up as a former hard-arse who works the bar at the club, Steven Berkoff is a rival gangster, Lysette Anthony is a cinema patron, and Robert Englund turns up as a currently imprisoned, but viciously evil werewolf.

Reviewer: Ryan McDonald
Rating: out of 5
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CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO (2014)
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero Reviewed: 24 June 2014
 
 

When Cabin Fever was released in 2002 it not only launched the career of genre heavyweight Eli Roth, it also proved that something different could be brought to the well worn “cabin in the woods” plot line. It also brought body horror back to the masses, which became a speciality of Roth’s, and paved the way for the torture porn (a terrible sub-genre title) surge of the new millennium. Twelve years later Marvel comics’ maestro Kaare Andrews has brought us Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero which promises to erase the memory of Cabin Fever 2 and pay worthy homage to the original film.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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DEVILS KNOT (2012)
Devils Knot Reviewed: 24 June 2014
 
 

Quite how you approach Devil’s Knot, and ultimately what you take away from it, will very much be determined by how much you know about the real life events the film is based upon. If you are familiar with the revered 1996 documentary Paradise Lost about the murders at Robin Hood Hills in West Memphis then Atom Egoyan’s dramatised account may offer little of interest; if you are not then perhaps it will introduce you to an intriguing unsolved crime.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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THE PURGE (2013)
The Purge Reviewed: 21 June 2014
 
 

Set in a near future America where the new founding fathers have curbed crime via an annual, one-night purge, whereby all criminal activity is permitted, yes even murder. Apparently, this is meant to satiate all anti-social urges, but it mostly seems like a way for the affluent to murder themselves some po’ folk. Ethan Hawke plays an installer of hi-tech security devices, and obviously he makes a pretty penny around this time of year. He’s also a family man, and neither he nor wife Lena Headey see the need to participate in the purge, holing up in their well-protected house with tech-obsessed son Max Burkholder, and rebellious teen daughter Adelaide Kane. Unfortunately, as the purge begins, two intruders find their way into the home. Kane’s boyfriend turns up, wanting to have a talk with her dad, whilst socially-conscious Burkholder wants to save a homeless black man from being a purge victim. It’s this latter act which alerts the attention of and earns the ire of a bloodthirsty mob headed by suited, demonically grinning Rhys Wakefield (dressed in what looks like a private school uniform- he clearly comes from money and privilege). They want the homeless man…or else.

Reviewer: Ryan McDonald
Rating: out of 5
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ANNA (2013)
Anna Reviewed: 09 June 2014
 
 

The problem facing Jorge Dorado with his first English language feature Anna is that we live in a post-Inception world. The standard now demanded by audiences from any film tagged as a psychological thriller is so high that any writer or director entering the genre is immediately up against it. For that reason alone Dorado must be admired for his bravery and through a combination of impressive acting and clever direction he almost, almost succeeds.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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CRAWLSPACE (2012)
Crawlspace Reviewed: 06 June 2014
 
 

Home invasion is a well trusted idea that is returned to time and time again by filmmakers. Whether it be by human, alien, monster or otherwise there is little more frightening than feeling that your personal space, the place you should be most safe, somehow no longer is. With that in mind it would be fair to presume that a film based on this premise would go one of two ways; either those primal fears are awakened and exposed as in Dark Skies or Pacific Heights, or over familiarity has indeed bred contempt and what remains is a dull, bland affair with no originality or scares.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Reviewed: 05 June 2014
 
 

The title showman (played by Werner Krauss) and his act Cesare the Somnambulist (Conrad Veidt, yes that Conrad Veidt) come to town, with the latter apparently having been asleep for years. He can also predict the future, predicting that an enquiring fair patron only has until dawn to live. And that night, the man dies! The dead man’s friend (Frederich Feher) attempts to get to the bottom of things.

Reviewer: Ryan McDonald
Rating: out of 5
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TORTURE CHAMBER (2012)
Torture Chamber Reviewed: 27 May 2014
 
 

Filmmaker Dante Tomaselli has made a name for himself with religious themed horror films such as Desecration, Horror and Satan’s Playground. His latest effort sees a young boy from a deeply religious family possessed by a terrifying evil.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown
Rating: out of 5
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CANDYMAN (1992)
Candyman Reviewed: 19 May 2014
 
 

Virginia Madsen plays an anthropology student interested in an urban legend concerning the Candyman (Tony Todd, who deserved a much better career in my opinion), basically a hook-handed boogeyman who can be conjured via saying his name five times while looking in the mirror. This myth seems to haunt the graffiti-covered ghetto of Cabrini Green, Chicago, where a couple of grisly unsolved murders are believed to be the work of Candyman. But he’s not real, right? That’s what Madsen thinks...until she comes face to face with him. Or does she? Is it all in her mixed up head? Is someone just messing with her? Kasi Lemmons (later a director) plays Madsen’s best friend, and Xander Berkeley is Madsen’s professor husband who may have a wandering eye.

Reviewer: Ryan McDonald
Rating: out of 5
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ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE (2013)
All Cheerleaders Die Reviewed: 09 May 2014
 
 

There have been many films dealing with teen angst and troubles over the years and All Cheerleaders Die from Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson takes its inspiration from several of them. Maddy (Caitlin Stasey) is an outsider at high school until she reinvents herself in order to join the cheerleading group to gain revenge on the captain on the football team who betrayed her friend.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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FALLS THE SHADOW (2011)
Falls the Shadow Reviewed: 08 May 2014
 
 

It would probably be easier to review Steve Berryessa’s film The Forgotten (or Falls The Shadow for its original United States release) by listing all the other films it refers to and tries to emulate rather than actually write something coherent and original. That would, however, be cheating. The Forgotten follows three unrelated twosomes as they try to survive in an America that has been reduced to a barren and hostile wilderness following a war some three years previous of a non-specific type. To further complicate matters there are various infected humans running around all over the place with a taste for human flesh.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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HAZMAT (2013)
HazMat Reviewed: 08 May 2014
 
 

There are many, many found footage films set in abandoned asylums, hospitals and the like and Lou Simon’s latest Hazmat certainly has its cinematic roots in that genre. The difference is that while still retaining some of the tropes of those films, Simon has also chosen to use fixed cameras and traditional filming techniques to mix the action the style up a little and try to create a successful blend. Unfortunately she hasn’t quite made it work.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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WILLOW CREEK (2013)
Willow Creek Reviewed: 01 May 2014
 
 

There is no doubt that any new found footage film is greeted with a generally negative response from fans and critics alike before the majority of either have even seen the production in question. The problem with these pre-determined opinions is that some of the most interesting entrants into the canon have been released in recent times. Films such as The Borderlands and Evidence have shown there is still plenty of life and originality in a genre that truly began with The Blair Witch Project back in 1999. Now from the possibly unlikely source of Bobcat Goldthwait comes Willow Creek; a film that has the potential to rival that 15 year old standard bearer for shear suspense.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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LADY FRANKENSTEIN (1971)
Lady Frankenstein Reviewed: 29 April 2014
 
 

Rosalba Neri (under the pseudonym Sara Bay here) plays Tania, a recent University graduate who wants to partake in the latest experiments by her father Baron Frankenstein (Joseph Cotten), though the latter refuses. And just what is his latest experiment, you ask? He and his assistant Paul Muller are attempting to revive the dead, with bodies supplied by scummy gravedigger Tom Lynch (Herbert Fux). The experiment is a success...well, except for the part where The Monster (Peter Whiteman) kills its creator and flees to the countryside to scare the crap out of local villagers. Oopsy. But Tania (Neri) wants to pick up where her father left off, and Muller, romantically infatuated with her, goes along with it. The plan is to take the body of a hunky but intellectually disabled stable boy (Marino Masé), and transplant Muller’s brain into the stable boy’s head. Remember I said Muller is going along with it. Willingly. Mickey Hargitay plays a crusading local police captain, who knows there’s something sinister going on in the Frankenstein household (Not that Tania is one for subtlety).

Reviewer: Ryan McDonald
Rating: out of 5
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WOLF CREEK 2 (2013)
Wolf Creek 2 Reviewed: 25 April 2014
 
 

Wolf Creek, released in 2005, was a shockingly brutal story based on alleged true events of multiple murders in the Australian outback. Now eight years later comes the sequel and serial killer Mick Taylor is back and still pursuing his bloody hobby. Two German tourists (Shannon Ashlyn and Philippe Kraus) are hitchhiking their way across Australia when they are extremely unfortunate to encounter Taylor (John Jarratt) as he does his rounds searching for hapless individuals to quench his thirst for blood. As they try to escape his clutches they run into British tourist Paul (Ryan Corr) who unwittingly becomes embroiled in Taylor’s macabre plans.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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POSEIDON REX (2013)
Poseidon Rex Reviewed: 25 April 2014
 
 

Recent creature features such as Big Ass Spider have approached their task with a tongue in cheek humour that is essential if you are working within the confines of a tight budget. These filmmakers have an intelligent, knowing sense of their production’s strengths and limitations but unfortunately Poseidon Rex doesn’t fall into this category.

Reviewer: John Townsend
Rating: out of 5
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THE APPARITION (2011)
The Apparition Reviewed: 16 April 2014
 
 

Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan star as young couple Kelly and Ben who are being tormented by strange goings on in their new home. When they look into events deeper, they realise that they are out of their depth and call in paranormal investigator Patrick (Tom Felton). That’s all I really want to say about the plot, as it takes a basic premise and fuses it with a real-life event to make quite an effective little movie.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown
Rating: out of 5
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THE QUIET ONES (2013)
The Quiet Ones Reviewed: 16 April 2014
 
 

This experimental 70s set horror film sees Oxford University Professor Jared Harris and a bunch of his student’s set-up in a remote country mansion to attempt to help a young woman plagued by a terrifying supernatural force.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown
Rating: out of 5
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FRIGHT NIGHT 2: NEW BLOOD (2013)
Fright Night 2: New Blood Reviewed: 16 April 2014
 
 

Whilst this was marketed as a sequel to the 2011 remake, it’s more like a hybrid version of both the original Fright Night and Fright Night Part 2 as Charley, Amy and Ed (who have all been re-cast or resurrected in Ed’s case) travel abroad to study in Romania only to encounter the sexy and mysterious professor Gerri Dandridge who is actually a vampire. Just as well the gang have been through this before…except they don’t seem to have any knowledge of vampires. Confused? You will be!

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown
Rating: out of 5
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Horror Reviews


Ironclad: Battle For Blood Movie Review

Ironclad: Battle For Blood




The Old Dark House Movie Review

The Old Dark House




The Captive Movie Review

The Captive




Aftermath Movie Review

Aftermath




20 Ft Below: The Darkness Descending Movie Review

20 Ft Below: The Darkness Descending




The Sacrament Movie Review

The Sacrament



Funny Nerdy Shirts
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Horror Interviews


An Interview with Kaare Andrews
An Interview with Kaare Andrews



An Interview with Lou Simon
An Interview with Lou Simon



An Interview with Caity Lotz
An Interview with Caity Lotz



An Interview with Cuyle Carvin
An Interview with Cuyle Carvin



An Interview with Caradog W. James
An Interview with Caradog W. James



An Interview with Peter Dukes
An Interview with Peter Dukes



An Interview with Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson
An Interview with Andy Nyman
& Jeremy Dyson


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Cheap Thrills Blu-ray Giveaway
Cheap Thrills Blu-ray Giveaway



Zero Theorem DVD Giveaway
Zero Theorem DVD Giveaway



The Purge: Anarchy Goody Bag Giveaway
The Purge: Anarchy Goody Bag Giveaway



The Battery DVD Giveaway
The Battery DVD Giveaway



Almost Human DVD Giveaway
Almost Human DVD Giveaway



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