Archive for Ghostface Girls

September 2016: Horror Catch Up

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Halloween Month, Horror Festivals, Love Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2016 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Hello Horror Hounds!

I know it’s been an age since I’ve updated this blog but I can assure you that I haven’t stopped working on all things Horror these past few months.

The main bulk of my reviewing will now be on LoveHorror.co.uk; however I will provide regular links on here to all my recent work. This blog will be active for articles such as personal top 10 lists, Halloween month etc. I’d really love to bring Halloween Month back this October so if you have any requests or suggestions for films you’d like me to talk about, drop me a comment below.

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I was unable to attend this year’s Horror Channel’s FrightFest due to work commitments however I have reviewed a few films that were shown at the festival. So far, stylish body horror Let Her Out is available to check out on the site. If you haven’t seen this one I highly recommend it, it has a gore-geous visual style accompanied by an intriguing premise. You can read my full thoughts here: http://lovehorror.co.uk/horror-reviews/let-2016-review/

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I watched/reviewed Night of Something Strange today so be sure to check out my review of that when it’s available on the site. It’s a real blast and if you love parodies, horror/comedy and gross out humour then it’s certainly worth checking out. Also coming up will be reviews of the independent short films of Mark McFarlane and Jimmi Johnson and Welsh language thriller The Library Suicides

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I finally saw The Neon Demon this week at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre Cinema. I went into the film with mixed expectations but was incredibly impressed. It’s such a stunning, messed up film and even though the pacing is rather slow in places I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen and needed to know what was going to happen.

Ghostface Girls are back! Following our trip to Horror Con UK back in July, Caitlyn and I have recorded and uploaded another podcast where we discuss Horror on TV. With the new season of American Horror Story coming out soon and Stranger Things currently being one of the most popular genre shows on Netflix and in general we had a lot to talk about. Accompanying the podcast we interviewed author and interviewer Tony Earnshaw on his book Fantastique which has incorporated interviews from the world’s most iconic filmmakers from Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy:

Read our Fantastique interview here: https://creators.co/@ghostfacegirls/4034542

Our latest interview was published this week where we spoke to Russell Hillman of Freaktown Comics on his Kickstarer project and graphic novel, Slashermania. His campaign ends on September 13th so if you’d like to show some support click the link below:

Read our interview with Russell Here: https://creators.co/@ghostfacegirls/4070488

In other Ghostface Girls news, we will be heading to Celluloid Screams from the 21st-23rd October then Wales Comic Con on the 5th and 6th November. As always you will find us at the Abertoir Horror Festival from the 15th-20th November. There’s a lot of exciting things coming up.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

 

**Fifth Anniversary Review** Hayley’s Top 10 Favourite Horror Death Scenes Of All Time

Posted in Anniversary Pieces, Ghostface Girls, Love Horror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2016 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Five years ago I was a film and television student in my first year at University. I decided to start a blog as a side project separate from my studies. It began as a way to express my views on recent films both independent and mainstream that I’d seen from all genres. Naturally, the first review I ever wrote was of Scream 4 (2011) then eventually I made the site completely horror specific and Hayley’s Horror Reviews is what it is today. Several great opportunities have come my way since beginning the blog, including the chance to get to know and review the work of a number of talented filmmakers. I am now very lucky to be writing for the Horror Movie review site LoveHorror.co.uk and working alongside Caitlyn Downs (from Scared Sheepless) on our collaborative project Ghostface Girls where we provide festival video coverage and record podcasts. Our next event will be the UK’s Horror Con in July 2016!

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In previous years my anniversary reviews have covered My Top 10 Horror Films of all time (since 2011 it has more than likely altered!), Urban Legends on screen and behind the scenes, why we watch Horror Films and last year my favorite underrated slashers. This year I’m taking on a countdown of a subject I’m surprised I haven’t covered by now. It’s all about the visual effects as I reveal my personal favorite horror movie death scenes. Death scenes are at the core of horror movies, even if a film might be particularly badly executed sometimes the saving grace can be some good old splatter. On the opposite end of the spectrum sometimes it’s what you don’t see and what’s implied that can really get under the skin. There’s also nothing more heart-breaking for a horror fan than when one of your favorite characters is hacked to pieces leading to emotional trauma!

Here are my top Horror Movie death scenes of all time! Remember folks, as always its subjective.

There will be spoilers, so get that TV on if you haven’t seen any or some of these films and come back to this article.

**WARNING** This Article will include blood, guts, gore and strong language. Not for the faint-hearted! 

Comment below if you agree or disagree with my choices or tweet me on @Hayleyr1989.

10. Final Destination (2000): Terry Chaney is splattered by a bus!

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To kick things off is a death scene so quick and unexpected it’s pure brilliance! This moment marked the beginning of the darkly twisted sense of humour in the Final Destination franchise. Up until this point Alex Browning (Devon Sawa) and his friends have survived a harrowing plane crash and are grieving over the apparent “suicide” of best friend Tod (Chad Donella) whose brother died on Flight 180. Both scenes deliver a suspenseful build up with gruesome results. This moment however takes place in the middle of the day, Alex and love interest Clear Rivers (Ali Larter) are trying to figure out death’s design. Enter rival Carter (Kerr Smith) and girlfriend Terry (Amanda Detmer). Carter is convinced that Alex is to blame for the deaths of the plane victims as well as Tod but he soon gets more than he bargained for! While antagonizing Alex, his long-suffering girlfriend finally snaps. In an ironic speech, Terry speaks about never wasting another second of her life and states Carter should have better things to do than fight with Alex. She then utters the immortal lines of “you can just drop fucking dead!”. Backing into the road Terry is hit by an incoming bus and the remaining survivors recoil in horror as her blood splatters on their faces. It’s the twisted irony of this scene that makes it surprising and thrilling letting the audience know that anyone can go at any time by any means.

9. Zombie Flesh Eaters (AKA. Zombi 2) (1979): Eye Splinter Scene

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Even without context the eye splinter scene from Lucio Fulci’s notorious ‘video nasty’ Zombie Flesh Eaters is an iconic cinematic moment in horror. The scene is so sqiurmworthy as you (literally!) see it coming a mile off but it doesn’t let up on the suspense. Paola, the wife of Richard Johnson’s character Dr. David Menard is alone in the house when a zombie breaks in. Actress Olga Karlatos displays a genuine look of horror as her vulnerable character attempts to bombard the Zombie from entering the house. Unluckily for her she is dragged through the door and impaled right through the eye with a piece of splintered wood. Her eye is pierced right through in a masterful visual effect, we see the eye squelched and the object penetrate right through her skull!  The moment sets the tone for the carnage to come making it one of Italian Horror’s nastiest kills.

8. I Spit on Your Grave (1978): Blood Bath

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The second video nasty on this list. I Spit on Your Grave is unapologetically exploitative cinema centering on the brutal, unrelenting rape of a young woman. Aspiring writer Jennifer (Camille Keating) retreats to the backwoods as she works on her novel, but she is horrifically brutalized and gang-raped by a group of local men. However, it wouldn’t be a rape-revenge film without a nasty dose of payback! After some time has passed Jennifer is back tougher and stronger than ever as she sets about to seek vengeance on her attackers. In one of the film’s most gruesome scenes Jennifer lures ring leader Johnny (Eron Tabor) into her car, inviting him around for some wet, and bubbly fun…or so he thinks! Jennifer hides a knife under the bath mat and as she begins to seduce Johnny when he least expects it she takes a knife to his most sensitive area!! It takes him a few moments to comprehend what’s happening while Jennifer leaves him there to bleed to death. She proceeds to lock him in the bath room and makes her way downstairs while Johnny yells that he can’t stop the bleeding. She drowns his screams out with a nice bit of classical music. The scene is particularly disturbing as Jennifer allows herself to be in a sexual situation with her rapist. Johnny completely goes along with it showing what a horrendous character he really is. It’s so well executed and unsettling, making ‘blood bath’ from I Spit on Your Grave one of cinemas best revenge death scenes of all time.

7. Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987): Welcome to Prime Time Bitch!

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There are many inventive death scenes in the most highly regarded Elm Street Sequel Dream Warriors but this one had to be selected as it captures Freddy Krueger’s (Robert Englund) darkly menacing, twisted sense of humor. While the Puppet Master moment and Needle fingers sequence are exceptionally creative and unique death scenes it’s difficult to overlook fame-seeking Jennifer’s (Penelope Sudrow) TV demise. This moment is fourth wall breaking and surreal as Freddy possesses the television, manifesting himself onto a late night talk show. The television turns static encouraging Jennifer to approach it. In a crazy visual effect mechanical arms emerge from the sides of the television, clutching Jennifer. Freddy materializes from the top of the television set sprouting antennas. He then smashes her skull through the television set uttering the iconic line “Welcome to prime time, bitch!”. The Elm Street franchise is known for its elaborate and creative death scenes that are more entertaining than a man in a mask just slashing with a knife. This scene is a solid example of how the franchise utilizes its special effects accompanied with quirky dialogue enhancing that when it comes down to Freddy Krueger anything is literally possible!

6. The Burning (1981): We’ve found our canoe!

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The Burning appeared on my list last year as one of my favorite underrated slasher films. It centers on a scorned caretaker who seeks revenge on the inhabitants of a summer camp where he suffered a horrific accident several years previous. It’s under the radar due to the success of Friday the 13th (1980) but then became infamous in the UK once it appeared on the Video Nasties list, and this death scene is the reason why! Tom Savini’s sensational gory FX during this scene cemented The Burning as being one of the first to receive it’s ‘video nasty’ reputation. A few of the camper’s head down the lake on a makeshift raft in order to fetch their canoe back. The typical teenagers argue while rowing but become excitable as they get nearer to the abandoned canoe. The scene is set up well using a sense of dread as they become closer and closer. No matter how many times you watch it and are aware what lies ahead it’s still shocking as the killer Cropsy (Lou David) appears from the canoe with his shears and the bloody massacre commences! This moment of the film features the image that appeared on the iconic cover art of Cropsy’s silhouette holding up the shears. It’s pretty harrowing as unlike the majority of slasher films the teenagers cast in the film genuinely look their age rather than having 25-year-old’s playing a 16-year-old’s. The fact that it takes place in broad daylight in an idyllic location makes this deadly moment even more horrific.

5. Hellraiser (1987): Jesus Wept

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This scene is one of my earliest, goriest cinematic memories and has made the list for being downright gruesome. At a young age this was one of the coolest death scenes in horror that I’d ever seen. It’s time for Uncle Frank (Sean Chapman) to get his just desserts at the hands of the Cenobites. Wearing the meat suit of his brother Larry (Andrew Robinson) he attempts to kill niece Kirsty (Ashley Laurence) in the attic but thankfully (as thankful as it gets in a horror movie situation!) Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and his demons appear ready to drag Frank’s damaged soul directly back to hell. Pinhead promised he had “such sights to show” us and this unrelentingly proved what the Cenobites were capable of. There’s an otherworldly presence to the scene with the bell chime ringing and the mist surrounding the attic. Hellraiser was famed for its dynamic make up effects, with Pinhead’s appearance making him an intriguing horror villain; but it’s Frank’s demise that is as grizzly and gory as it gets. As he raises a blade to Kirsty he is stopped in his tracks with a hook through the hand, chaining him to the Cenobites world forever. Hooks pierce his skin, tearing his face. As Kirsty recoils in sheer disgust Frank says “Jesus Wept” before being ripped apart, with blood and guts galore!

4. Inbred (2011): Dwight’s Dirrrrty Death!

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Over the past five years Inbred has become one of my favorite horror films. One of the several reasons is due to its creatively nasty death scenes. It stands out in what it does, with strong character development allowing the audience to empathize with its protagonists, as well as a twisted sense of tongue in cheek humor that equally puts us on the side of the villains. It’s somewhat of a black comedy but goes right for the jugular with a set of cruel and mean spirited methods of bumping off its victims. The warped villagers of Mortlake attend a show put on by local landlord Jim (Seamus O’Neill). Having already killed off one of the young lads involving vegetables and a horse, this time the Inbred’s capture Dwight (Chris Waller), the remaining protector of the group. Sacrificing himself for the safety of his care worker and fellow youth offenders, Dwight is subjected to a rather dirrrrrrty demise! Tied to a chair and forced to wear a wig, he is cruelly tormented by a man resembling a droog from A Clockwork Orange (1971) who proceeds to empty a hosepipe of shit down Dwight’s throat until he explodes all over the unusual members of the audience! It needs to be seen to be believed but commended for its use of old school FX over CGI giving us an old school backwoods bloodbath!

3. Der Fan (AKA. Trance) (1982): Killer Obsession

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Der Fan is a film I’ve mentioned a bunch of times on the site. An undiscovered gem that screened at Celluloid Screams in 2013, Der Fan enters unexpected territory with an unforgettable and bizarrely crafted death scene. A German Exploitation film, it pushed the boundaries with its female lead being played by a 16-year-old. Household name Desiree Nobuch of Radio Luxenburg fame played psycho fan Simone and did full frontal nudity in the film as well as acted out a scene of murder and cannibalism which certainly would not be done in cinema today! Simone sleeps with R (Bodo Steiger), a Gary Numan inspired pop star who she’s absolutely obsessed with. When reality bites and Simone becomes another used fan girl to R what happens next is completely out of the left field. In my original review I described it as one of the most “chilling and extreme” deaths in cinema. It’s lengthy, horrific, controversial and unsettling leaving the viewer feeling grubby once the credits roll, making it feel like a completely different film from the one that started. This is one I won’t spoil for you however if you’ve already had the experience of watching this underrated exploitation check out my original review.

2.Scream 2 (1997): Randy Meeks Death Scene

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Master team Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson taught us no one was safe in their iconic slasher-revival Scream. When Drew Barrymoore is killed off in the opening moments of a film it’s guaranteed that anything can happen! Scream 2 is the strongest sequel in the franchise as it raised the stakes. There are so many excellent set pieces in the entire film from the cinema slashing’s at the beginning to Sarah Michelle Gellar’s brutal demise being stabbed in the back and thrown out of a window; however, the death that really cuts close to the bone is that of Jamie Kennedy’s popular character Randy Meeks. Self-confessed “movie buff” Randy survived Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) and Stu Macher’s (Matthew Lillard) reign of terror in the first installment closely following the horror movie survival rules. But even he knows that he could be disposable as a new Ghostface stalks the campus of Windsor College. Randy’s death scene is well executed and unexpected. The most shocking aspect is that unlike the previous deaths this one takes place in broad daylight. He is pulled into Gale’s (Courtney Cox) news van and stabbed repeatedly. It’s horrific as it goes unnoticed by crowds of people on the campus. The camera focuses on the van’s wing mirror as Randy is brutally killed, a group of students unknowingly walk by with a boom box drowning out his screams of pain! His bloodied face is then revealed. It’s tragic and heart-breaking as he never does get the girl and is a missing presence from the dynamics of the core characters. It’s certain that it’s Mrs Loomis (Laurie Metcalf) who murders Randy as she viciously attacks him for speaking “poorly” of her delightful son Billy in an act of revenge. The most ironic element of Randy’s death is because he knows the rules of a horror movie inside and out the killer cleverly catches him at the most unexpected moment and doesn’t wait until dark. Craven and Williamson kept the franchise fresh with surprises like this!

  1. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997): Death of the Beauty Queen 

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What sets I Know What You Did Last Summer apart from its slasher counterparts is the well written and well-acted main characters. Sarah Michelle Gellar gives a tragic performance as Helen Shivers, the former Beauty Queen who loses her future after being involved in a hit and run and an ill thought out cover-up. After she witnesses the murder of her boyfriend Barry (Ryan Phillippe) at the hands of the psychotic fisherman; the police do next to nothing to help her. Helen’s death scene is harrowing as she almost makes it to safety. There’s a slow-paced build-up of tension from escaping a crashed police car to running for her life and hiding out in her sister’s store; Helen fights for survival. Her death isn’t shown explicitly but is incredibly effective and atmospheric set to a chilling score composed by John Debney. Helen falls from the stores window but then finds an alleyway leading to the 4th July Summer parade. Fireworks blast into the air and there’s a sense of relief; albeit momentarily, Helen then approaches the parade but becomes distracted and looks behind her. She is then face to face with the evil fisherman and slashed with his sharp hook amongst a stack of tires. There’s quick cuts, flashing lights and the sound of screams but one thing is certain, the true heroine of the film has met her demise. Helen’s body is later discovered by traumatized best friend Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) on the fisherman’s boat officially confirming there is no return for her within future films in the series. It’s Gellar’s helpless performance as the doomed young woman that hits hard with emotional impact. As sad as the scene is it’s essential to the progression of the film as many fans agree if Julie had been the one to meet her maker it wouldn’t have achieved the same upsetting impact. Helen’s death goes to show that you don’t need to go gory to execute an effective and gut-wrenching death scene.

As always thank you for reading and supporting Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

….

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews Update

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Horror Festivals, Love Horror with tags , , , , , , on May 9, 2016 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Hello gorehounds! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything new on here. April was a busy month. Throughout I’ve been writing reviews for Love Horror from the FrightFest Presents releases. The first being Night of the Living Deb (2015), a low budget zom-rom-com from Portland, Maine. Check out the review over on their site: http://lovehorror.co.uk/horror-reviews/night-living-deb-review/

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Love Horror have had a re-vamp with a new site layout which is looking awesome so please head over there and take a look at all the fangtastic reviews and interviews on offer. Keep your eyeballs peeled for my review of Some Kind of Hate (2015) coming soon… http://lovehorror.co.uk/

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As part of my collaborative project Ghostface GirlsI completed editing a series of videos from our Abertoir Horror Festival collection. You can enjoy our thoughts on the career of Vincent Price, the artwork of Graham Humphreys and Gilles Vrankx, The Descent ten years on and our reactions to groundbreaking new offerings from the genre including The Invitation, Bone Tomahawk plus many more! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6787j4qAXM&list=PLlJNvsnOn5skNBuFNhOarx6Hv0y4QS2tO

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Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews 

 

 

 

Look Who’s Back…!

Posted in Ghostface Girls with tags , , on September 22, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

That’s right! Ghostface Girls ARE BACK, all ready and bloody for festival season! Check out our brand new trailer, featuring our greatest hits so far and even greater horror movies!

A new podcast is coming soon…

See all you fiendish folks at Celluloid Screams & Abertoir!

Hayley

Hayley’s Horror Reviews

Caitlyn

http://www.scaredsheepless.com

Coming Soon…

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Halloween Month with tags , on September 6, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Halloween Month.

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Hayley’s Horror Reviews takes a look at some spooktacular classic films that are perfect for Halloween Season…

Ghostface Girls

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Podcasts, Articles, Videos and more from these two Scream and all things Horror fanatics.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Abertoir Horror Festival Passes to go on Sale this Wednesday!

Posted in Horror Attractions, Horror Festivals with tags , , , , on August 23, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

That’s right you bloodthirsty freaks, festival passes for Abertoir’s biggest and best year yet will be available to purchase on Wednesday 26th August from 10:10am. 2015 is a significant and special year for Wales’s darkest film festival as it marks the tenth anniversary of blood, guts and gore!

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Festival Organisers Gaz Bailey and Nia Edwards-Behi have put together an incredible selection of events to celebrate the special occasion including Fabio Frizzi in concert and the return of the wonderful Victoria Price who will be looking at her father’s UK connections alongside Peter Fuller.

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Following last year’s successful Horror Express event, the icing on the cake this year will be the collaboration with The Silver Mountain Experience in Ponterwyd where festival attendee’s will be taken into the depths of terror down the dark Welsh mine followed by a 10 year anniversary screening of acclaimed British Horror, The Descent at the cave’s entrance. Keep your eyeballs peeled for more announcements along the way in the run up to November.

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Abertoir will run from the 10th-15th November at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

A limited number of early bird passes will be available from £49 then will increase to £58 then will be available to purchase at the final price of £65. Give the Arts Centre Box Office a call on 01970 623232, don’t miss out!

Visit the links below for more information and updates:

https://www.facebook.com/abertoir

http://www.abertoir.co.uk/

www.silvermountainexperience.co.uk

Tweet @AbertoirFest

While we wait in excitement for more announcements, here’s a look back at 2014’s Ghostface Girls coverage, which saw Abertoir flashback to the 1980’s complete with a video nasty theme!

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Hayley’s Top 5 Disturbing Moments in Horror!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

Being a seasoned horror fan you think you’ve seen it all, therefore when you discover a film that unexpectedly gets under the skin, infiltrating the mind and completely disturbing you then you’ve found something truly effective. Being scared by a horror movie is completely subjective and mine may be a little more obscure than most. Here is my top 5 personal list of moments in movies (and one television show) that have utterly freaked me out since childhood and beyond.

WARNING: There will be spoilers.

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5. Trust (2010): Rape Scene plus End Credits.

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Positioned at number 5 due to being the most recent and inspiration for this list, Trust is directed by David Schwimmer, best known as Ross Gellar in hit sitcom Friends. Trust is a cautionary tale about the dangers of online relationships. The premise centres around naive fourteen year old girl, Annie (Liana Liberato) who develops an online relationship with a boy named ‘Charlie’. ‘Charlie’ turns out to be a man in his 30’s and lures Annie back to a seedy motel room where he goes on to rape and molest her. Its harrowing viewing as Annie pleads with him to stop and we hear everything while the camera fixates on the ugly, garish wall paper creating a somewhat nauseating feeling, we see that ‘Charlie’ has placed a camera discreetly in order to capture the ordeal. While not even a horror film and more of a crime drama, Trust is an eye-opening film experience that all should see, parents and children alike. It goes to a dark place with how much it portrays and the devastating effects on both Annie and her family. Without revealing too much the end credits provide some heartbreaking revelations with an unnerving final shot. The film led me to read about a found-footage horror with similar thematics titled Megan is Missing (2011). From what I’ve been told about the film its not very well made and there’s some brutal images associated with it related to fetish torture, however the final 22 minutes are gut punching and highly disturbing taking the online predator concept to all kinds of depraved levels. For at least the time being, Megan is Missing is a film I’ll avoid. Forget the boogeyman, this is realistic horror.

4. Pet Sematary (1989): Zelda.

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Forget Freddy and Jason, this creepy character from the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is one of the scariest elements of 80s horror. Within a flashback segment, we are told a traumatic childhood tale from Rachel Creed (Denise Crosby) of how her gravely ill sister Zelda was locked away until her final days. Zelda is skeletal and inhuman in appearance, the scene is both sad and frightening, especially viewing it at a young age as many of us did, my recollection being late night on Channel 5 watching it alone in the dark. We see a young Rachel reluctantly feed Zelda in disgust and choking noises are heard. She is played by a male actor Andrew Hubatsek who does an exceptional job at freaking the audience out with his portrayal. Hearing her call Rachel’s name sends chills down the spine. Rachel speaks of her hopes of Zelda’s death and her fears that she’ll be held responsible, an absolutely disturbing notion for a child to contend with. A later scene shows Zelda menacingly address the camera screaming at Rachel that she’ll “Never get out of bed again”. If you grew up in the 80s or 90s no doubt the idea of Zelda being at the end of your bed was a terrifying thought.

3. Frighteners (1997): If You Meet a Fairy…

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This one was discussed on the Ghostface Girls podcast episode of Childhood Horror and is pretty much an obscure choice. Not many will remember the seemingly forgotten CITV Horror anthology series, Frighteners. Apparently airing between 1996 and 1997 Frighteners showed four episodes in total, the final one being “If You Meet a Fairy…” I recall viewing it one afternoon after school, if memory serves me correct the episode was about a young girl in the Victorian era who discovers fairies at the bottom of the garden. At first the creatures are nice but soon turn sinister as they torment the girl and her family. Its explained on this old 2006 forum, Vault of Evil:

“During the 90’s i remeber seeing a episode from some horror anthology series which creeped the hell out of me as a kid. Ive looked high and low but i cant remeber what it was called and its driving me mad.

The one episode i can remeber goes like this. I think it was set during early 1900’s and was about a little girl finding a little fairy at the bottom of her garden. She takes it in and keeps it in her dolls house but then things take a sinister turn. Her little sister begins acting strangly and the fairy (which looks more and more evil) It begins folowing her to dinner and stabbing her ankle untill she tosses it some meat to eat. More and more of the evil creatures begin showing up and she resorts to locking them away in her celler and asking her cousins for help. When she shows them the captive fairies in the gloom they mistake them for small animals and let them out. Horrific screams echo through the house as we see the mother, youngest daughter and maid in the nursary. The maid hurries down the hall but sees something terrible offscreen and begins screaming at the unseen horde of giggling/screeching monsters. The mother hears the maids cries and looks at her child which suddenly has the distorted giggling face of one of the fairy/trolls. It then faded to black as the sound of her screams were slowly drowned out by the giggling voices of the fairies. This is the only episode i remeber and i have a nagging feeling that it was part of a kids TV show on CITV or CBBC. I doubt it however as the children were actually eaten alive by the troll/fairies but i cant help shake the feeling.”

It was definitely the fairies giggling and distorted face that I recall which bothered my seven year old former self. There’s barely any information about the anthology or this particular episode online, no youtube footage and no google images. Its as if its faded into obscurity like some sort of creepypasta Candle Cove style!

2. Resurrecting the Street Walker (2009): Snuff Murders.

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British horror Resurrecting the Street Walker was part of the Abertoir Festival line up back in 2009, the first full year I attended. It was a film I went into completely blind and one of my first experiences of a hard-hitting indie film through the festival circuit. Resurrecting the Street Walker is about an ambitious, low budget filmmaker that comes across an incomplete black and white underground film from the 1980’s. He gradually becomes fascinated with the idea of finishing the film which leads him into the mysterious and sickening world of snuff. The film is presented in a mockumentary style documenting the filmmaker’s downfall toward the dark side as he grows more and more obsessed with the ambiguous Street Walker, evoking the video nasties panic and fear over the existence of snuff films. The performance from James Powell as James Parker and direction were powerful and convincing enough to create an unnerving reaction as he is driven insane by the enigma of the snuff film that he goes to complete it by murdering innocent people, including a pregnant colleague, taking things to a whole other shocking level. Having the film shot in black and white contributed to Street Walker’s grim and gritty tone as it breaks the fourth wall creating something that cuts closely to the bone. The movie undoubtedly upset me with snuff being a disturbing topic and left me speechless as I left the cinema. Resurrecting the Street Walker is available on DVD with some positive reviews over on amazon however its not a film I’ve discussed much since amongst the horror community and seems to have faded into the background despite being utterly effective and quite a nasty, mean-spirited movie.

1. The Witches (1990): Stuck in the painting.

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Without a doubt The Witches is a strong contender for most frightening children’s film of all time. Its consistent sinister tone throughout is uncomfortable viewing incorporated with its nightmarish visuals. Its even uneasy re-watching as an adult. Years ago I would have said the moment where the Grand High Witch (the superb Anjelica Huston) reveals her true self by peeling off her own face to be the scariest or possibly the scene at the beginning where Luke (Jansen Fisher) is goaded to come down from his tree house by an evil witch with glowing purple eyes. Intense stuff! However the most nightmare-fuelled moment in Nicholas Roeg’s Children’s chiller is where a young girl is captured down an alley way by a witch in a traumatic flashback told by the Grandmother (Mai Zetterling). The next time the girl is seen she is trapped in a painting forever with no escape until eventually she fades away. Adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name, the moment is creative and frightening setting up a dark, twisted and threatening world for children’s imaginations. Its bold and daring in what it does. If you grew up in the 90s this film was responsible for numerous nightmares and was the first film that ever truly scared me. The strangest part was as I got older and began watching A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser etc. nothing came as close to the fright factor as The Witches, its an exceptionally chilling piece of children’s horror cinema.

Do you agree with the list? Comments & Feedback is appreciated, also tell me what have been your most disturbing on-screen moments in film and television.

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Women in Horror Month 666: Top 6 Fierce Females of Recent Horror.

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Women in Horror Recognition Month with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

February means one thing for the female horror fan and no it’s not Valentine’s Day! Although if you’d like to get me a fresh, warm, bloody beating heart or a bouquet of red roses, I’m not complaining! (Just Kidding!). It’s the sixth annual Women in Horror Recognition Month. The cause began as a way to reflect and promote female talent within the genre and give support to various groups in horror who are under-represented mainly relating to race and gender and on the whole both together. Horror has been a male-dominated genre for decades and for a long time the traditional horror heroine came in the shape of the all-American white girl. While we’re not completely there yet, things have started to change; we have a range of female directors showcasing their bloodthirsty visions on screen as well as more dynamic roles being created for women in modern horror.

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You can’t really discuss Women in Horror Month without mentioning the twisted twins Jen and Sylvia Soska who have inspired a new generation of female filmmakers and fans alike. Most recently they teamed up with WWE Studios to create the sequel to See No Evil, and just completed their second collaboration with WWE with the action film Vendetta, proving they can take on any genre! 2014 saw Australian director Jennifer Kent gain well-deserved success on her terrifying and unique addition to the genre, The Babadook. All-rounder Jessica Cameron debuted her first directorial effort, inspired by Dead Hooker in a Trunk, titled Truth or Dare which I’m told is incredibly twisted and violent! On the short film circuit, Jill Sixx Gevargizian has recently garnered attention for Call Girl, a menacing little piece that’s interestingly shot, starring Tristan Risk and Laurence R Harvey, and in 2013 Isabel Peppard created an innovative and beautiful stop-motion animation titled Butterflies which was most recently screened at Australia’s Monster Fest. A groundbreaking all female anthology is also on its way, the eagerly anticipated XX that’ll feature segments from Jennifer Chambers Lynch and Mary Harron to name a few.

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For more information on Women in Horror Month 2015, visit Hannah Neurotica’s wonderful website: http://www.womeninhorrormonth.com/ which includes AxWound, a blog dedicated to gender and horror. Its a great way to look out for talented women working in the genre today, including an interview with award-winning actress, director and artist Gigi Saul Guerrero. Take a look at the Massive Blood Drive PSA where several of the above names have created short segments to encourage blood donation. This year has proven to be an awesome collection of twisted gender-bending and goreific effects:

As a female horror fan there have been plenty of strong women characters in place over the years to identify with, problematically they have all been created by men and if you agree with Carol Clover’s theory their purpose is to provide an outlet for a male audience which links to iconic characters such as Laurie Strode or Ripley. There are so many ways in which horror needs to move forward and this is just the beginning, we need to see horror movies with a diverse range of strong female heroines of all ethnicities and backgrounds. Genre women are beginning to find their voice and despite the obstacles and challenges we must continue to support this movement so these voices continue to be heard.

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As a dedicated horror fan and reviewer my contribution to raising awareness for women in horror is a countdown of some of the most intriguing and dynamic characters from films all over the world to have emerged from the genre over this past year. This is a look at the well-written and developed characters that made the top titles of 2014 the most talked about horror films. Will they become future genre icons? There’s a strong possibility and here’s why…

WARNING: There will be some spoilers. 

  1. Amelia, The Babadook, Portrayed By Essie Davis.

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While she may not be the most glamorous of characters, single mother Amelia is an unforgettable force that drives the terror in the critically-acclaimed, The Babadook. Suffering from terrible nightmares re-living the tragic night of her husband’s death and the birth of son Samuel, Amelia struggles to hold down her job, care for her boy as well as deal with snide comments from fellow mothers. Amelia is a fragile character, which is interesting in terms of this expectation where lead females in horror have to be strong and kick ass. There’s most definitely a human quality about her as she’s written with honesty and realism which then corresponds wonderfully in how she copes with the threat of the ‘monster under the bed’ trope. For those of you who have seen the film, you’ll know that with Amelia there is more than meets the eye. For a seemingly ordinary character there is much more to her than first imagined.

 

  1. Kylie Bucknell, Housebound, Portrayed By Morgana O’Reilly

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Twenty-something tearaway Kylie Bucknell is an unlikely heroine in Richard Johnstone’s highly entertaining horror/comedy Housebound. Moody, cynical and antagonistic, Kylie is the opposite of the traditional lead female protagonist in terms of likability. She isn’t best pleased to be put under house arrest after she is caught robbing an ATM machine. What makes matters worse is she is forced back under the same roof as her overbearing, yet well-intentioned mother who has her suspicions that their house must be haunted. Johnstone claimed he wanted to create a leading lady that ‘wouldn’t scare easily’ which works perfectly as along with Kylie the audience is able to remain as sceptical as she is until further developments are revealed over the course of the film. There is certainly something different about her, she’s frustrating yet endearing to a degree. Her characterisation comes full circle as she shows she isn’t afraid to take risks and proves to be resourceful when it comes to saving the day.

 

  1. Anna Peterson, The Guest, Portrayed By Maika Monroe

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Anna is the only daughter of the grief-stricken Peterson family, the subjects of Adam Wingard’s fantastical love letter to 80’s action flicks, The Guest. Smart and sophisticated, Anna is one step ahead of her family in figuring out there is something darker at play when it comes to their mysterious new house guest, David who claims to have fought alongside their deceased son in war. Incredibly stylish with an awesome taste in music, Anna is no fool and will do what it takes to survive and protect her family even if it means taking on an unstoppable force in the shape of experiment-gone-horribly wrong David. Anna carefully researches who she’s up against, aligning her facts before facing confrontation. On the whole she is just an average girl in an extraordinary situation however manages to outlive a number of armed military men! Anna is The Guest’s standout female character and a surprising survivor.

 

  1. Louise, Spring, Portrayed By Nadia Hilker

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Beautiful, mystical and enchanting, Louise is the core female character in the most romantic genre film of the year. She captures the heart of protagonist Evan in the idyllic Italian setting. Louise harbours a dark secret that threatens their entire romance but also enhances the vulnerability behind the confident exterior she projects. Louise is charismatic, charming and fun but also enigmatic and fearful. She has a naturalistic quality to her under the monster movie metaphor as she represents the fears and anxieties of beginning a new relationship and having that jeopardised if the other person was to discover something ‘different’ about the person they’re with. At times she comes across as a lonely creature that holds herself back but at the same she has a lot to offer. Louise is a captivating yet complex character and unique within her own mythology (you’ll have to watch the film to find out more!).

 

  1. Amy, See No Evil 2, Portrayed by Danielle Harris

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If you read my review of the Soska’s most recent feature See No Evil 2, you’ll be aware I wasn’t 100% sold on the film. Its redeeming feature for me was Scream Queen Danielle Harris’s portrayal of morgue attendant Amy. Amy is forced to cancel her birthday plans when a number of blood-soaked bodies slaughtered by serial killer Jacob Goodnight arrive at the hospital causing her to become stuck on the graveyard shift. Her loyal friends subsequently bring the party to her, unknowingly offering up fresh victims to the not-so-dead killer. In typical post-modern slasher style, Amy has been written with depth, allowing the audience to empathize and root for her as we should for a traditional final girl. What makes Amy all the more heartbreaking is her view on life and reasons for working in the morgue instead of chasing her ambitions as well as the unexpected twist on the character making her part in the film all the more meaningful. Amy is See No Evil 2’s saving grace, strong, intelligent and endearing, there’s a reason Danielle Harris is the ‘final girl’ because she plays roles like this incredibly well.

 

  1. Eva Sanchez, The Purge: Anarchy, Portrayed By Carmen Ejogo

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A character unaware of her full potential until her whole world is thrown into chaos. Eva Sanchez is a hard worker, trying to get by and earn whatever little money she can to provide for her ill father and teenage daughter. After her father offers himself up for purging to the wealthy in order to pull his family out of debt, Eva locks down her apartment and hopes that she and her daughter make it through the night. However when a scorned enemy breaks in and attempts to murder them, Eva and Cali are thrust out onto the streets. Luckily they join forces with a mysterious protector named Frank who has a hidden agenda, followed by a young couple also caught up in the anarchy when their car is jacked. Eva proves headstrong and somewhat of a leader as she works along with Frank to ensure the groups safety. Eva is compassionate and fierce; she comes to realize her true strength when faced with a harrowing ordeal.

Do you agree with my choices, are there any other kick ass females of recent movies that should have made the list? Feel free to comment below or tweet me on @hayleyr1989.

As a special extra, here’s something a little Nasty from the Ghostface Girls:

Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

DVD Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Posted in Ghostface Girls with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2015 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

**WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS**

As it is every year, us horror fanatics don’t always get to see all the genre movies we’d like therefore the new year is the perfect time to catch up. I’m not exactly sure how The Purge: Anarchy slipped me by, it made its way onto my list of most anticipated horror of 2014 and played an integral role in  mine and Caitlyn Downs home invasion podcast episode and article as we debated whether the film would begin a whole new horror franchise. Up until viewing I attempted to avoid any sort of spoilers surrounding the crimes/deaths in the film, however when I glimpsed at some of the reviews and imdb forums it appeared that The Purge: Anarchy hadn’t made the expected impact. It even made its way onto some of the worst films of 2014 lists which wasn’t reassuring.

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The Purge: Anarchy is set in a dystopian near future, it uses exactly the same concept from the 2013 James DeMonaco original. The new founding father’s created The Purge, one night of the year where all crime is legal including murder. The Purge is essential to the survival of American society meaning that throughout the year crime, poverty and unemployment statistics are amazingly low. Unlike the 2013 film where the focus is on one middle class suburban family with a home invasion plot, this sequel diverts from that taking the concept in a whole different direction, depicting the wider impact of The Purge on several members of society and also provides a deeper insight into issues of race and class.

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There’s some powerful imagery that suggests a power struggle between upper and lower class, particularly with the masked thug who has ‘GOD’ written on his forehead. As seen in the original film there was prejudice and tension relating to the poor African American male that sought refuge in the Sandin family’s home, this time round the masked thugs are in fact African American, but rather than kill they capture anyone and everyone who are on the streets in exchange for money. An African American protester named Carmelo (Michael Kenneth Williamsis also at the forefront of the chaos, bravely speaking out against the new founding father’s and is joined by Dwayne (Edwin Hodge) the bloody stranger previously mentioned from part one. For everyone involved its all about survival. The sick and twisted ideologies of the upper class is exposed which is most startling with the image of a group of wealthy aristocrats ready to slice up a poor, ill man they have bidded on with a machete in order for him to leave some money behind for his struggling family. The scene is simply implied with no blood or gore in sight but is enough to evoke fear, demonstrating how the purge is designed for the rich to take the upper hand especially with the use of the flashback meaning that his family are too late to save him.

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If you’re a fan of the first, The Purge: Anarchy is unlikely to disappoint. The characters are well written and on the whole likeable which is not always the case with mainstream horror. Its about a group of strangers from different walks of life with different agendas that come together and are forced to trust each other in the ultimate fight for survival.

There’s mother and daughter Eva (Carmen Ejogoand Cali ( Zoë Soulwho are brutally forced out of their home. As an audience we experience the fear along with them as the two are almost brutalized based on their race and status. Carmen Ejogo and Zoë Soul are electrifying as terrified women who keep away from the carnage every year only to be thrown into it to realize their full potential and strength when it counts.

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Frank Grillo plays the mysterious sergeant Leo Barnes, the anti-hero with an ambiguous agenda. He risks it all in order to protect others but what is his dark secret and what was he doing on the streets during the night of the purge?! Grillo’s performance is intense, everyone’s lives are in his hands and it leaves us to question, can this man really be trusted?

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Finally there’s unfortunate couple Liz (Kiele Sanchez) and Shane (Zach Gilford) who’s car breaks down minutes before The Purge commences. The couple face a difficult stage in their relationship however after being caught up in the chaos of the night, will they make it out alive or will their problems cause distraction? While being the least favourite characters within the film, Liz and Shane are harmless enough and certainly don’t deserve the devastation and panic endured by their unlucky situation.

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Acceptably The Purge: Anarchy won’t hold appeal to everyone especially those not sold by the first one. For me, its still a slick thrill ride of suspense, action and danger with some disturbing yet interesting ideas at play. Its far more explosive than the original and is bold in what it does by not sticking to a repetitive formula. The hybrid of genres with it being a horror, action and thriller makes it all the more gripping. While I wasn’t sold on the idea of any more sequels, The Purge 3 will be hitting cinema screens this summer on the 1st July. DeMonaco is at the helm once again as director therefore it’ll be interesting to see how he refreshes the concept for a third instalment. Admirably the consistency so far of DeMonaco’s vision strengthens the films as a franchise. They are far more intelligent than the churned out Paranormal Activity sequels for sure. The Purge: Anarchy is certainly worth a watch as it once again demonstrates how dangerous a human being can turn if given the ultimate permission to kill!

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Hayley Alice Roberts.

Hayley’s Horror Reviews.

Abertoir 2014 Review: The Canal (2014)

Posted in Ghostface Girls, Horror Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2014 by Hayley's Horror Reviews

In a sub-genre that’s been mostly dominated with jump scares and found footage, a truly spine-chilling ghost story has been hard to come by these past few years. Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal is a breath of fresh air, returning to the old school style of haunting films where less is more. The Irish independent production that deals with themes of family breakdown, paranoid horror and dark secrets manages to get it right. It’s the scariest film that screened during this year’s Abertoir line-up and a standout amongst the films that incorporated a serious tone.

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**Note** This poster does not do the film justice, its too generic and doesn’t capture the essence of what The Canal is.

 

The Canal centralizes on married film archivist and father David (Rupert Evans). After living peacefully in his nice house with his young family for the past five years, David’s world is turned upside down when his colleague Claire (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) presents him with some unsettling film reel that reveals a murder took place in his house around 1902. To add to his woes, David is suspicious of his wife Alice’s (Hannah Hoekstra) behaviour. Whatever she’s hiding is the catalyst that sets off a series of horrendous events that alters David’s life forever. In this psychological drama, David must protect his adorable young son Billy (Callum Heath) and come to terms with his own personal demons. Is there a malevolent spirit lurking in David’s house? Or is it something even darker?

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It’s difficult not to reveal too much regarding the film’s plot as each surprise that unfolds on screen provides a jaw-dropping experience. The Canal is a slow burner, which works well as it takes its time to develop David as a strong and layered character and his relationships with those around him, his son, colleague, wife and the babysitter. As an audience we garner plenty of empathy for him and care about him as the protagonist so that when ominous and enigmatic events take place we’re on board with him for the entire time.

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Rupert Evans’s performance is striking. He portrays David with both likeability and vulnerability making his story especially compelling.  The relationship between him and his five year old son Billy comes across as naturalistic, enabling us to invest in them. Callum Heath is one of the sweetest child actors in any horror film, his delivery is believable and he’s perfectly cast as the innocent child unaware of the chaos surrounding him, allowing some truly heart-breaking moments.

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A highlight performance comes from Steve Oram (Sightseers) in the small role of police detective McNamara. Oram attended a funny and insightful Q&A at the festival explaining that the back to basics style of horror attracted him to being part of the film. His character is deadpan and highly suspicious acting as a foil for David.

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Steve Oram chats with Abertoir Festival Director Gaz Bailey about his involvement in The Canal.

Steve Oram chats with Abertoir Festival Director Gaz Bailey about his involvement in The Canal.

What works in The Canal’s favour is its genuinely creepy, the tension is constantly high and the frightening moments come in unexpectedly. As stated it doesn’t rely on loud noises and jump scares to generate fear in its audience, it remains suspenseful by gradually revealing the twists and turns to a satisfying effect. In some respects its reminiscent of the classic ghost story The Innocents (1961)  in the sense that it easily gets under the skin or an Irish version of  Sinsiter (2012) (as me and Caitlyn discussed in our Ghostface Girls Video, see below) but done slightly better. It’s atmospheric, beautifully shot, with intense lighting that echoes the giallo sub-genre. The old film reels used to signify David’s discovery of the previous horrors that occurred at his home look authentic adding to the macabre tone of the film.

Kavanagh has created a disturbing, memorable and traditional ghost story with plenty of twists to keep up interest. If you’re going to watch one haunting film this year make it The Canal, it is guaranteed to linger in the mind for a long time and make you sleep with the light on!

Hayley Alice Roberts

Hayley’s Horror Reviews