Archive for January, 2017

Agatha (2015, short) Review

Posted in Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

In the late 1800’s a young orphan known as Sophie (Louise Ogle) earns her keep by delivering slabs of meat to an ambiguous creature that resides at the top of the stairs in an old, eerie mansion. As Sophie climbs the stairs night after night her curiosity grows as to what inhabits that room. Is she prepared to discover the sinister presence that lurks in the shadows? Who is Agatha and what does she want…?

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Written and Directed by Timothy Vandenberg, Agatha is a prelude to what will eventually become a feature film, expanding on the mysterious narrative even further. Agatha is genuinely creepy in it’s tone and Vandenberg wholly utilizes the gothic location achieving a constant sense of tension and dread. With a concept such as this it would be so easy to throw in jump scares in order to unsettle and surprise the audience however the direction it takes is much more unnerving, notably with the use of rising music as Sophie enters the room.

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Shrouded in darkness with the prime focus on young Sophie’s reactions and the close ups of the unappealing food she is made to deliver, Agatha makes for a short but stomach churning viewing. Having the protagonist as a seven year old child makes the piece more heart-rendering as she is all alone and vulnerable in a frightening situation. Old photographs are extremely creepy and the photo on display with the baby’s face scratched out proves effective, allowing the audience to wonder what is wrong with Agatha.

There is plenty of scope to take the story further and heaps of unanswered questions and backstories to explore, particularly the mother character (Penny Kohut) and her motivations.

Agatha is a spine-chilling period piece with quality production values and gallons of potential for a much longer run time. Bring on the creep-fest!

In Autumn 2016, Agatha premiered at Screamfest LA in the Shorts Block. 

Watch the Trailer for Agatha Here:

https://youtu.be/kRNuI0ZqxxY

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

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A Floresta das Almas Perdidas (The Forest of Lost Souls) (2017) Review

Posted in Uncategorized on January 11, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Short film director Jose Pedro Lopes (Survivalismo, 2011) has produced his first feature length film, the dark and disturbing, A Floresta das Almas Perdidas (The Forest of Lost Souls).

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The titular forest is Portugal’s most infamous suicide spot. One morning two complete strangers with their own demons to bear meet within the wood. Ricardo (Jorge Mota) has planned to end his life but is interrupted by the arrival of Carolina (Daniela Love) who shares similar motivations. Ricardo attempts to make sense as to why a young woman with her whole life ahead of her has a desire for a premature death while Carolina is hostile towards him. She soon gets under his skin in analyzing his situation. Events head into a tense and sinister direction that proves unpredictable and absolutely compelling.

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A Floresta das Almas Perdidas is shot entirely in black and white and while it comes across as cinematically stylish it also complements the melancholic tone of the film. It contains striking cinematography, and each frame is polished and beautifully composed. The cinematography makes the most of the beauty of the location. Overall it’s a very visual film, mostly telling the story through imagery with little dialogue. However, the dialogue spoken proves powerful and effective.

Daniela Love delivers a stand out performance as a complex young woman with extremely dark thoughts on her mind. Carolina is a chilling character and her actions throughout the film are fascinatingly disturbing.

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Plot-wise, A Floresta das Almas Perdidas is surprising and heads down an unexpected route from the film that first begins. It tackles a hard hitting subject matter artistically making it somewhat different and experimental.

The film incorporates a beautiful and haunting score which adds to the already chilling atmosphere as well as brilliantly fitting soundtrack.

With a relatively compact run time of 71 minutes, A Floresta das Almas Perdidas achieves a great deal in its narrative and visual storytelling. It’s a film that offers up complex and riveting characterization that drives the story. The violence is tastefully portrayed however it’s a film that packs an emotional and psychological impact.

4

A Floresta das Almas Perdidas is a filmmaking achievement for Lopes, taking on a very real and emotionally difficult subject matter and creating something truly inventive. The film is an intriguing entry in the horror/mystery genre.

A Floresta das Almas Perdidas receives its world premiere in February 2017 at the Fantasporto Film Festival.

 http://www.fantasporto.com/

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJeL_vi9EQ8

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

Happy New Year from Hayley’s Horror Reviews

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Love Horror, Uncategorized with tags on January 1, 2017 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Wishing all my fang-tastic followers a Bloody, Gory but Happy New Year. Thank you to you all for your continued support with this blog and my work with Love Horror and Ghostface Girls. 

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Head over to my Facebook page for plenty more updates and my new feature, “Scary Soundtrack” where once a week I will post a piece of music from some of my favourite horror movies.

https://www.facebook.com/HayleysHorrorReviews/

Let’s make 2017 the scariest year yet as I enter my sixth year of horror reviewing!