The Found Footage Phenomenon is a fun and informative documentary about one of horror’s newest sub-genres…or is it? Flick from Sarah Appleton and Phillip Escott traces the start of the sub-genre back to moments and films from the 60s and 70s, such as the opening moments of the classic slasher Peeping Tom to Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, where the seeds of this sub-genre first were sown. We then cover films like The Last Broadcast and The Blair Witch Project where found footage really started to take form, to some of the newer entries like the Paranormal Activity series, [REC] series, Cloverfield andMegan is Missing. Along the way we get interviews from found footage filmmakers like Jaume Balagueró, Oren Peli, Eduardo Sánchez, André Øvredal, Ruggero Deodato himself and many more. We learn about how some of these films were made and of some of the titles we haven’t seen, or that missed the spotlight and credit they deserve. It’s a lot of fun! All in all, a very entertaining and interesting documentary for found footage and horror fans alike. Now available to stream on Shudder!
H.P. Lovecraft’s Witch House is an impressive low budget indie horror based on the legendary writer’s short story Dreams in The Witch House. The story finds graduate student Alice (Michelle Morris) staying at an old house that allegedly was the scene of much occult and supernatural activity. Alice intends to prove that witchcraft was actually used to open dimensional doorways, but her investigation only opens up a nightmare for the pretty young student.
Flick is atmospherically directed by Bobby Easley from a script by he and Ken Wallace, and Easley gets a lot accomplished on his low budget. The director has a good visual eye and there is some very spooky imagery here. He gets good use out of the atmospheric old house that a lot of the film is shot in, the dream/hallucination sequences are spooky, and what minimal make-up and gore FX there are, such as a very effective demonic entity, are well shot and executed. The story has been done before, and the ending is no shocker if you are a horror fan, but it’s still quite effective. Lead Michelle Morris gives a really good performance as Alice, a woman with a scientific interest in witchcraft and who is also emotionally wounded by a toxic relationship with an abusive boyfriend (Andrew Hutchinson). Aubrey Smith-Leonard is spooky as the owner of the allegedly haunted house and Julie Anne Prescott is good as her daughter Tommi, whom Alice forms a friendship and romantic relationship with. Not all the acting is as solid and some of the surreal dream sequences are shot a little too dark, with the color filters and lights being used a bit too much. Flaws and budget restraints aside, though, Bobby Easley crafts an effective little horror with some legitimate chills and some very impressive and spooky visuals on what appears to be an extremely modest budget. Worth a look when it comes to VOD on 7/5/22!
Indie horror finds pretty McKenzie (Hattie Smith) and her brother Mark (Zac Titus) traveling with friends to the expansive Cinder Park to find their lost sister Marylyn (Maria Granberg). They are told by local bar owner, Leon (William Kircher) that Marylyn has gone through a portal in the woods that leads to an alternate dimension called “The Axiom”. Desperate to find her sister, McKenzie follows his directions, despite her disbelief and soon she and her friends find out The Axiom exists and it is a dangerous place indeed.
Alternate dimension spin on the traditional cabin in the woods horror…and there is a cabin…is written and directed by the aptly named Nicholas Woods. It’s a low budget indie, but one that tries to freshen up the traditional deep woods horror with some inventive twists. It has some effective moments, as our group of five meet some strange beings in this otherworldly place and experience delusion and madness amongst themselves. There is a vague explanation as to how this portal got there and director Woods knows not to let his ambitions exceed his budget. There is some effective violence and bloodshed and the sparse seen occupants of The Axiom are well rendered, mostly with practical effects. The cast try hard, with Hattie Smith making a very suitable final girl. Add in murder, betrayal and a last act that goes in an interestingly different direction and it’s an offbeat and imaginative effort that’s definitely worth a look. Also stars Taylor Flowers, Nicole Dambro and Michael Peter Harrison as Edgar, Darcy and Gerrik, respectively, the rest of the group of friends.
You can fInd The Axiom on Amazon Prime.
A new and bloody red band trailer has arrived for the upcoming Hellboy reboot. Looks like it could be fun and I am a fan of director Neil Marshall, but still am of the old school thinking that if you are going to spend money on a new Hellboy flick, let Del Toro finish his trilogy with Perlman. New flick opens 4/12/19 stars David Harbour as Big Red and Milla Jovovich as the villain.