Posts

Showing posts from July, 2015

'The Blair Witch Project' - Peter Turner

Image
Few films of any genre have had the influence and impact of The Blair Witch Project (1999). Its arrival was a horror cinema palette-cleanser after a decade of serial killers and postmodern tongue-in-cheek intertextuality, a bare bones ‘found footage’ trend-setter.

In this Devil’s Advocate monograph, Peter Turner tells the story of the film from its conception to its pioneering internet marketing campaign and critical reception. He provides a unique analysis of the mockumentary/non-fiction film-making techniques deployed by the film, its appeal to audiences and the themes that helped make it such an international hit (it made more than $140 million in the US alone). Turner also explores the film's lasting impact on the horror genre with a look at other found footage phenomena, such as the Paranormal Activity series, that followed in the wake of The Blair Witch Project.

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my review.

'Black Sunday' – Martyn Conterio

Image
Devil's Advocates is a book series devoted to exploring the classics of horror cinema. Contributors to Devil's Advocates come from the worlds of academia, journalism and fiction, but all have one thing in common: a passion for the horror film and for sharing that passion.

Each instalment delves into a specific horror film, exploring everything from its conception to its impact on genre cinema and wider popular culture. Titles thus far include Let the Right One In by Anne Billson, Witchfinder General by Ian Cooper, SAW by Benjamin Poole, The Descent by James Marriott and Carrie by Neil Mitchell.

Despite its reputation as one of the greatest and most influential of all horror films, there is surprisingly little literature dedicated to Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960), and Martyn Conterio's contribution to the Devil’s Advocates series is the first single book devoted to it.

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my review.

Housebound

Image
2014
Dir. Gerard Johnstone

When delinquent Kylie is placed under house arrest after a botched robbery, she is forced to return to her childhood home and the guardianship of her overbearing mother and timid stepfather. A series of strange occurrences lead her to suspect the house is haunted and as she delves into the building’s history, she not only uncovers a darkly tragic past, but shady family secrets.

Beginning as an oddball haunted house yarn, the plot of this New Zealand comedy-horror soon veers off into some very unexpected places; with each twist and turn the well measured pace and careful editing gradually build tension and intrigue, ensuring the viewer is riveted throughout.

A rare gem in genre cinema, Housebound is a comedy-horror that provides well timed laughs alongside genuine shocks, chills and suspense, sometimes in the same scene.

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my full review.

An Evening of Irish Horror

Image
Established in 2010, Belfast’s Wireless Mystery Theatre is an audio theatre company devoted to invoking the spirit of vintage radio suspense plays. Comprised of a small troupe of actors, writers and musicians, their productions incorporate live music and imaginative sound effects with players frequently multi-tasking and acting out different roles.

Their most recent production, An Evening of Irish Horror, was a suitably spooky double-bill featuring adaptations of Sheridan Le Fanu’s classic ghost story ‘Green Tea’ - which tells of a timid clergyman who is hounded by a demonic spectral monkey - and Bram Stoker’s short story, ‘Dracula’s Guest’ - an excised segment from Dracula which documents a creepy encounter between Jonathan Harker and Count Dracula by the grave of the undead Countess Dolingen of Gratz...

Head over to Exquisite Terror to read my full review.

In Conversation with Composer, Jonathan Snipes

Image
Starry Eyes is the Faustian tale of an ambitious young actress whose encounter with a sinister production company propels her on a harrowing spiral into despair, madness and diabolism, as she attempts to make her dreams of fame a reality. At any cost…

Enhancing the ominous atmosphere is a throbbing electronic score courtesy of LA based composer Jonathan Snipes. An electro love letter to the likes of John Carpenter, Fabio Frizzi, and Goblin, Snipes’ music is the perfect accompaniment to the protagonist’s hellish transformation. According to one critic, “its importance to the film’s ability to disturb cannot be understated.”

With the recent release of the score on vinyl, courtesy of Waxwork Records, I thought it was high time we caught up with Jonathan, who very kindly agreed to an interview about his work on Starry Eyes. 

Head over to Paracinema to read the interview and sample some of the score.