Review – Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981)

The most underwhelming installment in the original The Omen series, The Final Conflict pits a damp Sam Neill as Antichrist Damien (he’s just not evil enough!) against, well, the Second Coming of Christ. THE MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES. You’d think so, right? Not in this film.

Damien, now all grown up as U.S Ambassador to Great Britain, orders his followers to kill every infant boy born on the morning the Second Coming happened, and some Italian priests try to kill him so he won’t kill the Christ Child. It’s rather lame, the baby killing isn’t very nice at all, and there’s no ferocity in Neill as the Antichrist. You’d think he’d be a real turd.

There’s some good set pieces involving a devil dog and someone falling into a river, but the film lacks the previous impact and chilling shocks of the first two Omen movies. It’s all rather boring. You’d expect the Second Coming to be a bit interesting, yo.

GORE RATING: 2/5
SCARES: 1/5
DISTURBIA: 2/5
RATING: 3/10
Watch it for: The demon dog – he’s a good actor!
Watch out for: The baby reveal. Unpleasant

Review – The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

This isn’t going to be a film for everyone. At Dead By Words, we like to think we’re pretty broad-minded and not easily shocked and this film stayed with us for a longggggg time after we watched it. There’s a scene which is up there, as disturbing as anything in Martyrs, which will get you. You’ll know it.

Yorgas Lanthimos is quickly becoming one of our favourite directors – The Lobster was absorbing and phenomenal – and once again he is reunited with Colin Farrell (who knew he would turn out to be an arthouse indie darling?!), who plays his lead protagonist in this movie. Steven Murphy is a heart surgeon and has a beautiful family – wife Anna (Nicole Kidman – fantastic performance) and two kids – in a beautiful home. He regularly meets with a strange teenage boy called Martin (Barry Keoghan – chilling) and the nature of their relationship becomes evident as the film progresses. We’re thrown into a scenario so dark, so disturbing, where Steven has to make the ultimate choice. What path will he take?

From the start, Sacred Deer grips hard with unsettling imagery, dialogue and a score which chills to the bone. Comparisons will be made to Stanley Kubrick and The Shining, from the music through to Murphy stalking the stark corridors of the hospital like Danny on his trike around the Overlook Hotel. Everyone is slightly off-kilter and not present. Murphy family life revolves around select, isolated locations. Steven and Anna’s sex life involves her pretending to beĀ anaesthetised. It’s difficult viewing but a masterpiece of cinema. Give it a shot…*

Your interpretation of Sacred Deer may well be different to ours, but to say anything further would be to give the game away. Let us know your thoughts below in the comments section…we’d love your interpretation on who Martin actually is…(we’ll let you know ours!)

GORE RATING: 1/5
SCARES: 3/5
DISTURBIA: 5/5
RATING: 9/10
Watch it for: A stunning piece of filmmaking, however unsettling it is
Watch out for: Steven’s selection. Bloody hell

*a bad choice of wording

Review – The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

2013’s The Purge was a fresh and scary premise about an annual night of crimes andĀ  killing in the U.S to keep law and order throughout the rest of the year, and this sequel is a solid entry in the franchise.

At first it starts a bit mehhh – the characters aren’t that captivating, the dialogue is slow and the lead, flawed hero the Sergeant (Frank Grillo) isn’t very exciting – but something changes about 40 mins through where we’re suddenly in a contemporary version of Escape from New York (well, LA), The Warriors, Judgment Night and The Running Man. The Sergeant leads a group of non-purgers through the suburbs of LA to survive the night against various would-be murderers. But there’s something more chilling yet to come…

A neat turn is how rich people enjoy the purge, and the group is caught and sold to the elite and they have to enter a killing ground to be hunted down. It’s all very sinister and a bit Society-esque.

From a dodgy start, Anarchy pulls it back and actually becomes a very tense film.

GORE RATING: 2/5
SCARES: 2/5
DISTURBIA: 3/5
RATING: 7/10
Watch it for: The elite hunting ground
Watch out for: A sharp shooter in the back of a truck

31 scary movie moments – 31) Michael Myers wakes up behind Laurie in Halloween (1978)

There couldn’t be anything else. This is our scariest moment in horror, when supposedly out for the count Michael Myers (Nick Castle) – the ultimate Boogeyman – wakes up behind unsuspecting Final Girl Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). It’s the ultimate jump, a masterpiece by John Carpenter of scary things happening just out of your main gaze, a classic of evil never being dead/the persistent threat never-ending, and a seminal slasher.

31 scary movie moments – 30) They’re Here in Poltergeist (1982)

When little Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) utters those infamous horror movie words – ‘They’re Here’ – this is the reason why static has haunted us for 30+ years and we still have issues with a blank TV screen. Kids in horror flicks are inherently scary too so Poltergeist has the perfect combination for Halloween viewing. There’s also the myth around the ‘Curse of Poltergeist’, with the tragic deaths of many of the movie franchise stars – including Heather O’Rourke, at just 12 years old.

31 scary movie moments – 29) London is empty in 28 Days Later (2002)

One of our biggest fears in humanity is change that is out of our control, and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later deals with that on a massive scale for lead Jim (Cillian Murphy) as he wakes from a coma in a deserted St Thomas’ Hospital, London. As he leaves the hospital, he finds the streets of London empty – something so sinister, something portraying a disaster of epic proportions. It really is very unsettling. You’re put slap bang in Jim’s shoes as you know how you would feel in his situation.

31 scary movie moments – 28) Mother is revealed in Psycho (1960)

One of the greatest chillers of all time, we all know about THAT famous shower scene. The part that really scares us is when Lila Crane (Vera Miles) – the sister of missing Marion (Janet Leigh), the motel shower victim – discovers what really happened to Norman Bates’ (Anthony Perkins) mother. She may be sitting in a chair, but as she’s turned around she’s revealed to be a mummified corpse…and then Norman bursts into the room with a knife, dressed as his mother. Yikes!