2015: Films of Interest

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I’ve been really enjoying the REC film series from Spain and this fourth installment looks to be just as good as the previous flicks.
REC 4

I’ve been hoping that Guillermo del Toro would get back to something on the level of Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, and, the more popular, Pan’s Labyrinth for a while now. This film seems to be promising in that regard.
Crimson Peak

After being disappointed by District 9 director, Neill Blomkamp, with his film Elysium, I was really hoping he would get back on track. Based on this trailer, he may be getting there.
Chappie

Everytime I think I’m getting sick of superhero films something like this film comes along.
Ant-Man

I’ve been hearing some buzz about this flick for a bit now. Even as a teenager, I wasn’t much of a “teen Horror” fan. But, there’s times it can be done right. I’m sensing it here.
It Follows

–Charles T. Cochran

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death–Review

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woman_in_black_angel_of_death-quad

A once quaint town in the British countryside, now mostly abandoned and in ruins. The one living resident is a man, blind and insane, his only companions are his childhood mates, long since dead; victims of the ghostly dweller of the mansion on the island nearby. The British authorities during World War 2 view the mansion, known as the Eel Marsh House, as nothing more than a house in the country, a perfect refuge for the children of London who need a safe haven away from the bombing raids.

This is where three characters who, in their respective lives, are haunted already by trauma. There’s Edward (Oaklee Pendergast, Wer), who had just lost both his parents in the air raids. Next is teacher, Eve (Phoebe Fox, War Book), who harbors a painful secret. Lastly, we are introduced to Harry (Jeremy Irvine, Mary Shelley’s Monster), a military pilot who suffered a war-related trauma. In walk all three to an all too real haunting where, at first, the audience is lead to believe that the Woman in Black (Leanne Best, Ripper Street) centers in on Edward due to a sort of sympathy for the boy. But, in the course of the film it becomes clear she has an issue with Eve and her secret and expects to do battle over the boy’s fate.

Phoebe-Fox-in-The-Woman-In-Black-2-Angel-of-Death

Before I even saw this film the reviews were rushing in. And most of them were pretty bad. I didn’t read any of them, but their ratings told the tale. Even a colleague and fellow Fright Meter Awards committee member didn’t have much nice things to say about it. Needless to say, I didn’t go into this film with high hopes. And, I hate to admit it but, I was doing my best to have the same view. I was trying to dislike it. It didn’t work though. I came away from this film wondering how anybody could come away from it without at least thinking it was okay. There really isn’t anybody who can convince me that this isn’t a good film. In fact, it’s better than the first one, in my opinion. If an element of the production isn’t superior from what was part of the previous film, it equaled it, like the acting. Elizabeth McCrory (Skyfall) is a highlight (pictured below).

WOMAN IN BLACK 2

Director Tom Harper (The Borrowers 2011) maintains a tone that’s much like a historical drama and not a horror film throughout much of its running time. But, there’s a steady and deliberate pace that sees the tension increasing more swiftly during the second part of the film. Harper does rely a little too much on the jump-scares, though not all of those are unwelcome. The look of the film is very impressive. From cinematographer George Steel (The Honourable Woman) to production designer Jacqueline Abrahams (How I Live Now), and everything in between, this flick looks like a grade-A production.

And, let me blunt, this is the new Hammer Studios best film so far. They really should be proud of it despite the poor critical reactions. But, the poor box office is one thing that’s not easy to shrug off. As of this writing my local theater has dumped the film from its lineup.

It’s a pity that so many people are missing out on a good time at the movies.–Charles T. Cochran

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

2014 FRIGHT METER AWARD WINNERS!!!

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winners art

http://www.frightmeterawards.com/

Well folks, they’re finally here! The winners of the 2014 Fright Meter Awards have been announced! As was done last year the winners will be in bold print and the ones I voted for will have a * next to them. This time around most of the winners will have a * next to them.—Charles T. Cochran

-BEST HORROR FILM-

The Babadook*
Cheap Thrills
Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead
Found
Housebound

-BEST DIRECTOR-

Mike Flanagan, Oculus
Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive
Gerard Johnstone, Housebound
Jennifer Kent, The Babadook*
Scott Schirmer, Found

-BEST LEADING ACTOR-

Gavin Brown, Found*
Mark Webber, 13 Sins
Pat Healy, Cheap Thrills
Rupert Evans, The Canal
Shane Johnson, The Possession of Michael King

-BEST LEADING ACTRESS-

Alexandra Essoe, Starry Eyes
Essie Davis, The Babadook*
Jill Larson, The Taking of Deborah Logan
Karen Gillan, Oculus
Morgana O’Reilly, Housebound

-BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR-

David Koechner, Cheap Thrills
Ethan Embry, Cheap Thrills
Ethan Philbeck, Found
Gene Jones, The Sacrament*
Michael Parks, Tusk

-BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS-

Alfre Woodard, Annabelle
Amy Seimetz, The Sacrament
Anne Ramsay, The Taking of Deborah Logan*
Katharine Isabelle, See No Evil 2
Rime Te Wiata, Housebound

-BEST SCREENPLAY-

Cheap Thrills
Found*
Housebound
Oculus
The Babadook

-BEST MAKE UP-

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero
Dead Snow 2: Dead Vs. Red*
Exists
Starry Eyes
The Taking of Deborah Logan

-BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS-

Afflicted
Dead Snow 2: Dead Vs. Red*
Oculus
Rigor Mortis
Witching & Bitching

-BEST SCORE-

Grand Piano
Starry Eyes
The Babadook*
Under the Skin
Witching & Bitching

-BEST EDITING-

Housebound
Oculus*
The Babadook
The Sacrament
Under the Skin

-BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY-

Oculus
The Babadook
The Sacrament
The Town that Dreaded Sundown*
Under the Skin

-BEST SHORT HORROR FILM-

Call Girl
I Am Monster
Lights Out*
Little Red
The Tour