31 scary movie moments – 6) Ofelia awakens the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

Guillermo del Toro’s wonderful and very dark fantasy is full of fairy tale imagery, set against the backdrop of a post-Civil War Spain. Our young protagonist is Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) who encounters all manner of magical creatures as she escapes her bleak backdrop. A stick insect – which transforms into a fairy – takes her to a labyrinth. There she meets a faun who sets her three tasks to achieve immortality. One of these tasks is especially terrifying.

The Pale Man is a child-eating monster, who is blind until he puts his eyeballs into his palms and lifts them up to see. Yikes! He has a great feast in his lair and Ofelia is warned not to eat anything on his table; when she does, she wakes the Pale Man, he bites the heads off some fairies and there’s a frantic ‘chase’ for Ofelia to escape.

He really is very alarming.


Review: Raw (2016)

From the ‘shock! horror! people fainted!’ reviews from the mainstream press, we wouldn’t blame you for going into cannibal movie Raw feeling a little worried about what’s to come. Can you stomach it? Is this going to the grossest film ever? It’s really tame for horror pros actually, but don’t let that put you off what is a brilliant flick about a veggie veterinary student who develops a taste for human flesh after an initiation ceremony. It’s smart, cool and has some beautiful shots…and is even quite funny.

Garance Marillier plays first year student Justine, who has the unfortunate pleasure of going to the same veterinary school as her intimidating older sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf). This is a coming of age tale as Justine struggles to find her own identity at the school, underneath the bold supervision of Alexia. That her identity ends up with her being a cannibal isn’t the point really – this is also about Justine’s sexual awakening and hunger of all sorts.

The leads are brilliant and this isn’t a gore fest. There are some truly haunting shots that stay with you for a long time – making cars crash to feast on the victims, Justine’s hunger when Alexia accidentally amputates a finger, a morning after scene that reveals a shock under the sheets – but Raw is an intelligent watch that will have you thinking about it for days after.




RATING: 7/10

Watch it for: Lead Garance Marillier is captivating       

Watch out for: Your sister’s finger 

Review: Evil Ed (1995)

New to buy from Arrow Video, Evil Ed is a fun Swedish horror comedy which plays loving homage to Evil Dead and other cult horror classics and definitely has its tongue firmly in its cheek.

Ed (Johan Rudebeck) is a film editor who is transferred to a ‘Splatter and Gore’ department to work on the gory Loose Limbs horror film series, editing hours upon hours of grisly footage. The on-screen violence soon gets to him, and Ed becomes a killer – despatching of his victims in increasingly gruesome ways.

Evil Ed is about the strong film censorship in Sweden, which ran until the mid 90s, but it’s also a true horror film fan’s movie – fast camera shots moving through houses from the perspective of Ed,  a staple of Sam Raimi/Evil Dead and one of the characters even says ‘Groovy!’ like Bruce Campbell. There’s hints of Troma and the comedy horror of Lloyd Kaufman. Keeping the movie going is Rudebeck’s portrayl of Ed – he is wonderful to watch and has a great, cult film face.

If you’re not familiar with it, check it out if you love horror. We think you’ll enjoy it.




RATING: 6/10

Watch it for: A loving homage to horror 

Watch out for: The beaver did WHAT?! 

Review – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

An atmospheric, beautifully shot Iranian vampire Western, A Girl Walks… is a stunning film which also features one of the best cats in cinema – just as good as Ulysses from Inside Llewyn Davis.

Arash (Arash Marandi) is a hardworking young man who cares for his drug addict father. He also looks super cool, like James Dean. The Girl (Sheila Vand) stalks the streets of Bad City dressed in a chādor, taking drug dealers as her vampiric victims, and listens to moody indie music in her home. One night Arash and The Girl meet – Arash aptly dressed as Dracula, straying from a Halloween party – and she takes him back to her apartment. The rest…that’d be telling.

There are nods to David Lynch throughout – the point of view night time driving, people dancing and throwing strange shapes, the general oddness – and it’s an achingly hip film. Vand is captivating as the quiet but threatening Girl, and Marandi is an old school cinematic heart throb. Be prepared to be absorbed into the strange goings on in Bad City, and to be swallowed by this movie.




RATING: 7/10

Watch it for: The cinematography is exquisite

Watch out for: Finger lickin’ good 

31 Days of Halloween – Day 22 – Demons (1985)

This bonkers Lamberto Bava Italian classic is produced by Dario Argento and features a large amount of exploding pus, gratuitous 80s heavy metal and some reallllllly nasty demonic transformations. It’s also oh so self reflexive, yes!

Student Cheryl (Natasha Hovey) is stalked on the Berlin subway by a mysterious masked man. When he catches up with her, he gives her an invitation to a free film screening at a cinema. Cheryl turns up with her friend, and lots of other guests too – why they are selected is never explored.

A prostitute Rosemary (Geretta Giancarlo) puts on a demonic mask in the cinema lobby, which scratches her face. Whilst watching the free movie – which turns out to be a bloody horror film – her friend notices what is happening in the film is also happening to Rosemary. The mask is making the protagonist on screen bleed uncontrollably from his cheek, and so is she – Rosemary staggers to the bathroom and turns into a demon. Then all hell breaks loose.

Demons is a relentless gorefest but also stylishly done. Some bits make absolutely no sense – for example, the punks in the car who are completely pointless demon fodder – but it really doesn’t matter. It’s a joy to watch – frantic, scary and deeply unpleasant, and a real horror movie fan’s favourite. We love a bit of cinema reflecting cinema!






Watch it for: Revenge by motorbike, sword and heavy metal

Watch out for: Carmen’s surprise tongue. YUKKKKK

31 Days of Halloween – Day 5 – When Animals Dream (2014)

This is a fine Danish werewolf movie, with our sixteen-year-old protagonist Marie (Sonia Suhl) realising that the changes in her body may be a bit strange – especially the excess hair and bloody nails which seem to have something growing under them. Her mother (Sonja Richter) is catatonic and wheelchair-bound, and it looks like things run in the family with father (Lars Mikkelsen) desperate to protect his daughter from the fishing village folk who may want to cause her harm.

The tension builds as Marie slowly realises her destiny, and there’s an effective denouncement. It’s a smartly put together horror film, and well worth checking out.

AWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO: *awwooooooooooooooooo* 





Watch it for: Sonia Suhl is fantastic as she embraces her fate

Watch out for: A jumpy doctor