Archive for Before Dawn

Leeds Horror Film Festival, 26th April 2015!

Posted in Horror Attractions, Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews


Next Sunday, Hayley’s Horror Reviews will be heading to West Yorkshire to attend the first Leeds Horror Film Festival (formerly The Leeds Zombie Film Festival). Run by Emmerdale Actors Dominic Brunt (Before Dawn, Inbred) and Mark Charnock (AKA. Paddy and Marlon), the festival will be showcasing six bloodthirsty films, celebrating classic movie monsters from the past and present. Even more amazing is the festival is a charity event, admission is £15 (cash only on the door) which will go towards World Animal Protection.


The monstrous line-up consists of Night of the Demon (1957), followed by Lamberto Bava’s cult classic Demons (1985), iconic controversial chiller, The Exorcist (1973) and last year’s festival crowd pleaser Dead Snow 2 (2014).


We are then being treated to the UK premiere of  Australian horror Charlie’s Farm (2014) starring Friday the 13th favourite Kane Hodder. To close things off will be a screening of my all time favourite horror film, An American Werewolf in London (1981), a chance to re-live the bad moon rising all over again!

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Leeds Bleeds takes place at the Cottage Road Cinema, beginning at 12pm and concluding at 12am! With this being my first visit to the festival, I’m looking forward to a goretastic time of watching some of the genre’s best offerings with like-minded horror fans.

For more information check out the Facebook Page:

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Celluloid Screams 2012: Day Three Coverage

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Day Three proved to be the most spook-tastic day at Celluloid Screams with strong contenders in both genre features and shorts. Unfortunately Celluloid were unable to screen the UK premiere of Memory of the Dead due to a technical difficulty which could not have been rectified at the time. I missed Entity also due to taking a break, but I really hope I can view it soon as I’ve heard very good things. Sunday had so much to offer in terms of films and guests and was full of surprises!

Leyenda (2011) (UK Premiere) (Short)

This short from Spain plays out as a warped post-modern fairytale, reminiscent of the style and tone of the Brothers Grimm. A ten-year-old girl named Claudia reads her fairytale about a “big bad wolf” type creature much to her mother’s dismay on a car journey. When the family make a stop at the gas station, a mysterious woman appears and creates carnage and bloodshed. Leyenda is dark and brutal and holds no barriers, its a terrifying watch and requires a strong stomach, however the violence is done very well and leaves the heart racing.

Before Dawn (2012) + Q&A with Director/Actor Dominic Brunt and Producer/Actress Joanne Mitchell

With their marriage on the rocks Alex (Played by Dominic Brunt) and Meg (Played by Joanne Mitchell) retreat to the Yorkshire countryside in an attempt to fix their troubled relationship, but little do they know a zombie epidemic has spread across the area. As they attempt to fix their problems in a tense atmosphere, Meg soon falls victim to the virus after being attacked and bitten by a zombie, now Alex must do all he can and figure out what lengths he will go to in order to save his wife, will they be able to salvage what they have before its too late? Before Dawn incorporates stunning cinematography of the Yorkshire landscapes, and a sense of gritty British drama as it hybrids a social realist style with edge-of-the-seat, gory horror. The film is most definitely a refreshing take on the Zombie sub-genre. Joanne Mitchell proves that there are more avenues available to go down as a writer when it comes to the zombie concept rather than churning out a repetitive formula that’s been done over and over again. Along with Dominic Brunt’s direction, they really pull it off and the result is a relate-able story with identifiable characters.

Its every day life with a horror metaphor as a backdrop, Meg is very career driven while Alex is out of a job, the social and economical frustrations that affect many relationships in today’s society is therefore played out. Brunt and Mitchell ensure that the audience gains a sense of understanding and empathy with Alex and Meg and are compelled into their story. The whole scenario feels very naturalistic due to Dominic and Joanne’s existing chemistry and a lot of authenticity is brought into their performances. Nicky Evans is brilliant in a small role, his character Stephen’s scenes with Alex are great to watch with the right balance of humor and intensity. Apart from the performances, the FX used were outstanding and are some of the most detailed zombie make-up effects that have been featured in a recent horror film, Meg is barely recognizable when she turns. The FX team have achieved special effects of an impressive standard. Before Dawn is a must see and holds a wider appeal even beyond only genre fans. If you enjoy Horror, British realism or even Emmerdale and Shameless then this is the film for you!

Resolution (2012) (UK Premiere) + Q&A with Directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead

An unexpected and unconventional entry into the Horror circuit, Resolution is psychologically creepy while at the same time has an endearing commentary on what it truly means to be friends and what we do for those we care about. After seeing directors Aaron and Justin’s dynamic during their introduction and Q&A it is clear where the heart of this story really comes from, not only that but they are hilariously funny guys and stole the show at this year’s festival! Their collaboration has resulted in a genuinely interesting, heart-warming and sinister film. Resolution begins when Michael (played by peter Cilella) is sent a video of his best friend Chris (played by Vinny Curran) passed out in an abandoned cabin high on drugs, he then makes the decision to intervene. Chris is apathetic about the situation and has accepted that he is nothing more than a junkie, Michael handcuffs him to a pipe and forces him to go cold turkey in an attempt to help his friend sort his life out. The tension between the two friends is played out well with very sincere performances from the lead actors. Michael soon realizes that Chris never sent the video and from then on the two find themselves caught up in a series of odd events as they try to investigate who or what is manipulating them. Resolution is cleverly written, it takes genre fans out of expected cliches and does something different, the idea of the unknown and the mystery surrounding the events that unfold for Michael and Chris gives out an unsettling feeling for the viewer but keeps the audience gripped throughout. With likeable characters and a strong narrative Resolution shines as a genre piece, however there are so many layers to it than first imagined.

Him Indoors (2012) (Short)

An agoraphobic serial killer on the brink of eviction falls into disastrous consequences when his nosy neighbor/potential date unexpectedly visits! This is one of the funniest, comedy/horror shorts that’s emerged recently. The humor is laugh out loud funny and the dynamic between Reece Shearamith and The Woman’s Pollyanna McIntosh is just brilliant. Gregory Brewster is a modern day, bumbling version of Norman Bates, notions from Hitchcock’s Psycho are loosely referenced as well as Rear Window in terms of how no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. It has a bit of a kitchen sink feel to it as well however it exaggerates an every day occurrence and uses it to its advantage. Him Indoors is without a doubt a highlight!

Excision (2012)

Take Tod Solondz and mix in some Lucky McGee with a hint of Ginger Snaps and the result is Excision! Visually, Excision is intriguing and mesmerizing to look at with its disturbing fantasy sequences. Its a twisted coming-of-age tale with some truly squeamish moments, Excision depicts the dark side of suburbia and how appearances can be deceiving. Pauline (played by Annalynne McCord) is a severely cynical and socially awkward teenager with a morbid and eventually dangerous obsession for surgery, she lives with her controlling mother (Played by Traci Lords), reserved father (Played by Roger Bart) and her long-suffering sister Grace (played by Ariel Winter) who has cystic fibrosis. Her family fail to understand her and the film portrays a breakdown in family communication as Pauline struggles to make sense of the world around her.  She goes as far as convincing herself that she can perform a surgical procedure to “cure” Grace resulting in horrific and devastating consequences. There are some wonderful cameos from the likes of John Waters and Malcolm McDowell which adds to its promising cult feel. Its a fairly satisfying film that pays off well, leaving the audience unsettled. Annalynne McCord is mostly known for her part in TV’s 90210, an American teenage-based drama, therefore the fact she plunged into this unconventional role as a repulsive and disturbed teenager is an interesting move. She proves herself as an exceptional young actress, and makes the character difficult to achieve empathy with for the majority of the film. Even if the main character is unlikeable, her psychological state keeps the audience drawn in and questions whether she will redeem herself by the film’s end. Excision is beautifully shot and edited and was the perfect way to close Celluloid Screams 2012.

And now for the fun…Short Film and Feature Winners + Closing Ceremony…I also encountered some INBREDS!

Final Thoughts (and a summary of my festival highlights):

Hayley Alice Roberts

“I’m dreaming of a blood red Christmas”- An Interview with Steve Davis (Kent Independent Films)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2012 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Steve Davis set up an independent film company back in 2010 with the intention of supporting aspiring, independent filmmakers around the Kent area. Kent Independent Films has proved versatile as it constantly producers a wide selection of features, shorts and music videos and has teamed up with Indywood Films in order to do so. With an interest in the horror genre Steve currently has a slasher Santa film in pre-production titled Christmas Slay, which he describes as “modern” but with the heart of the stalk and slash flicks of the 70’s and 80’s firmly in place, the feature is expected to be released in 2014, so we will have to wait patiently like all good children on Christmas Eve before we can unwrap this festive piece of carnage! With plenty of projects in the pipeline Steve took time out of his busy schedule to talk independent filmmaking, fan funding, horror, Christmas, his inspirations plus working with Emmerdale’s Dominic Brunt (Before Dawn).

Steve Davis (Kent Independent Films)

1. Your production company Kent Independent films offers a versatile range of media forms, can you tell us a little bit about what you do?

Steve Davis: Well i suppose we try and do a little of everything within the industry, we do offer a few services to assist other filmmakers but to be honest we barley get time to do anything other than our own projects, our main aim is to produce quality independent shorts, features and documentaries which cover a wide variety of genre’s, so their is something for everyone.

2.       How did you become involved with Indywood films?

SD: I became involved with AD Lane, IndywoodFILMS and his EPIC movie project INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD a few years back now after stumbling across his fan funding website, like hundreds of other people across the world i LOVED what AD was doing and the way in which he was funding his project so i became a VIP Executive producer to help support the film, a while later AD and myself got talking on Facebook and it turned out that we both lived in Kent so we arranged to meet up for a chat and we clicked, the rest is pretty much history, and we have been good friends ever since,  i am now Co-Producing INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD with AD and assisting with all aspects of the film.

3.       What film projects are you currently working on?

SD: Quite a few and it seems to be growing lol, the biggest project at the moment is of cause is the EPIC INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD, its very exciting times for us at the moment, we have already filmed our intro over in Bulgaria, and filming will continue here in Kent this September and November and finish in February of next year, i then hope to start fan funding for CHRISTMAS SLAY via Kickstarter from April, and fingers crossed if funding goes ok we will be able to film our intro towards the end of next year and the bulk of the film in Bulgaria in February 2014, but during our two films i will also be taking on a small part in a great film by Ogy Stoilov called MADE IN LONDON which is about an Eastern European crime family operating in London, and i am also going be an extra in our friend Dominic Brunt’s next film project THE DEBT COLLECTOR, which i am very excited about.

Kent Independent’s collaboration with Indywood Films.

4.       You have projects planned up until 2014, the latest one being Christmas Slay? Is there anything you can reveal about the film at this stage?

Yeah lol my website seriously needs updating, i think between myself and AD we have probably got film projects planned for the next 10 years, if not more, both INVASION OF THE NOT QUITE DEAD and CHRISTMAS SLAY will be having sequels, plus we have several World War Two films planed and a really nice music related film called JOURNEY IN TO DARKNESS, not to mention various other features and shorts.
CHRISTMAS SLAY is the first feature i have written, and is going to be my first attempt at directing, i am very excited about it but also very nervous.

‘CHRISTMAS SLAY’ is a unique take on the slash and stalk genre, a film inspired by so many great movie such as FRIDAY 13th, HALLOWEEN, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and so many other cult horror classics of the 1980’s.
Our aim is to make an original slasher film franchise with a modern look and twist which stays true to the genre’s original roots.

The story of CHRISTMAS SLAY begins on a wintery Christmas Eve, the horrific murder of a loving family, and the capture of a Santa Claus obsessed blood thirsty killer.
One year later, a group of collage girlfriends decide to get away from it and relax and party over the Christmas holiday, they decide to escape to the idyllic Mistletoe Lodge nestled within the beautiful snowy mountains of the Scottish Highlands, what starts off as the perfect festive getaway of fun in the snow and a glass of eggnog or two, suddenly descends in to gruesome blood bath of terror and a fight for survival.

5.       You tweeted you have some amazing cast and crew involved with the film, what can you tell us about that?

We certainly do, we have some AMAZING cast and crew involved but unfortunately at this very early stage in the project i am very restricted to who i can mention, and i am trying keep those attached hush hush until the CHRISTMAS SLAY website goes live this December, all i can say is expect to see some new talent and some tv and film favourites.

6.       Would you say the film is inspired by Christmas themed classics such as Black Christmas or will you be putting your own spin on the sub-genre?

People are going to hate me for this but i am not really a fan of BLACK CHRISTMAS at all, its beautifully shot, and the cinematography is AMAZING its just a little slow paced for my liking, even the original doesn’t do anything for me, film wise my inspirations are movies such as FRIDAY 13th and SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT, i just love the look and feel of 70’s and 80’s horror, i want CHRISTMAS SLAY to have that feel, and want the audience to feel like there watching a modern classic, but the real inspiration behind CHRISTMAS SLAY is not a film it was my good friend AD Lane, if it wasn’t for him i wouldn’t be living my dream, and there is no way i would be working on my own film, AD is the most passionate guy i know, and it is such an honour to be able to call him my friend, he has been through all the good times and bad times in my personal life and given me so much to look forward to, if it wasn’t for his encouragement CHRISTMAS SLAY would just be a thought in my head that would never get acted upon, AD is such a MASSIVE inspiration, not just to be but to hundreds the world over.

7.       Are you a big fan of the horror genre? Which films would you say have left an impact on you in terms of style?

 I am a HUGE fan of the horror genre, but not many horrors these days inspire me, RARE EXPORTS left a huge impact on me, the film is BEAUTIFUL, a pure work of art, i highly recommend everyone sees this film, you even forget about the few minutes of bad CGI ( which i hate ) because the film is so beautiful, another film which left a HUGE impact was a zombie film made by my friends Joanne Mitchell and Dominic Brunt called BEFORE DAWN, it premiered at this years Film 4 Fright Fest, and simply looks AMAZING on the big screen, its a real tribute to old skool horror and shows what can really be achieved with a lot of hard work, dedication and passion, seeing BEFORE DAWN and all the work Jo and Dom put in was a HUGE inspiration for me.

8.       How long have you been interested in filmmaking and what aspects do you enjoy the most?

I became interested in filmmaking as a very young child at primary school, my Dad is a HUGE HUGE fan of Emmerdale, or Emmerdale Farm as it used to known back then, every year during the summer holidays we used to drive up to Yorkshire from Deal in Kent to watch two weeks of Emmerdale being filmed, and i LOVED IT, there’s something pretty special about being on set or location, and as a young boy i was hooked, i knew there and then what i wanted to do in life.

9.   Would you say that creating short films and music videos are a very similar process?

With filming a short, the principles are the same as filming a feature, all the same rules apply, i haven’t really had much experience with music videos as yet, but i did joine AD Lane on several tour dates for the documentary he is doing on the AWESOME band WHEATUS, i only helped with a very little bit of camera work for this, but WOW what a difference, when filming a short or a feature, your the one that’s in control, but when filming live performers you have none what so ever, you have to be all over the place, there are no second chances, if you miss something, you cant ask a live performer to stop and do a re take, you need to be every where at once, its bloody hard work, AD went on three UK tours with the band and every time he came back he was that little bit thinner lol

10.   And finally what advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers from your own experience?

DON’T GIVE UP, it my take time but if you really want it, it WILL happen, you just need to be patient 🙂

Thanks for taking your time to speak with Hayley’s Movie and TV Reviews and good luck with all your exciting projects.

To keep updated with Kent Independent Films and to look out for future news on Christmas Slay, follow these on Twitter:

Interviewer: Hayley Alice Roberts.