Bobby Burns has taken the beloved Disney Film and run it through the Hammer Films blender.
A genuinely disturbing, if slightly hokey psychological horror from the new iFeatures digital filmmaking scheme, In The Dark Half beats the odds predicted by its micro-budget to produce a sensitive and finely detailed exploration of a particularly toxic grief, the claustrophobia of small-town life and the sheer scope of the power of denial.
A stunning performance from newcomer Gretchen Lodge saves the occasionally misjudged but undeniably disturbing Lovely Molly ; a tale of one woman’s descent into madness at the hands of demons past and – unfortunately for our Mol – very much present. The scares may be patchy, but when they hit, they fester.
When a synopsis involves a group of American college students setting off on a road trip to an empty forest cabin, instinct tells us that the story will probably be a familiar one. Whether it’s to cannibals, zombies, or unwelcoming spirits, these kids are going to bite it – one after the other – until there’s just one of them left (final death optional). But have you ever stopped to wonder why it has to be that way? Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard have, and luckily for us, they’d like to share.
Loosely based on true events, this South American horror promises “real fear in real time”, with its action purportedly playing out in a single, uncut take. Delivering for the majority of its running time, the film is let down most by its conclusion; a sigh that undermines the shocks. Yet for genre fans, The Silent House remains a curio that deserves to be watched – especially before the American remake arrives.
Directed by the late David Hemmings, whose acting credits include Gladiator and Gangs Of New York, The Survivor is a tense, psychological horror, but one that raises more questions than it answers. Sometimes tense, sometimes scary, sometimes making no sense whatsoever, The Survivor is a captivating watch. Though I guarantee you’ll spend most of it baffled at how much Robert Powell and Jenny Agutter look alike.
Wes Craven: Two words that by their associative powers alone, can conjure inimitable phantasmagoric visions from which you cannot avert your eyes, but in the dead of sleepless night, so desperately wish you had. Whether it’s the snicker-snack of finger-knives or an Edvard Munchian bogeyman that threatens our dreams, it’s high-time that we got ourselves educated on the hand that wields them…