Movie Review: A DARK SONG – overlong and repetitive with a “WTF?!” ending, but pays dividends for those with knowledge of the occult

Immodestly, I have a pretty wide knowledge of what’s considered “black magic” – it’s been an interest of mine since my very early teens.  I say this as someone who, simultaneously, has no belief whatsoever in the supernatural or magic, it’s just a subject that I’m endlessly fascinated by.  Recently, I saw a blurb on the internet claiming that a horror movie explored the Abremalin ritual in detail, so I had to see it for myself.  That movie is 2016’s A Dark Song.

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Movie Review: 7 WITCHES – low budget and a waaaaay too short running time dilute this indie horror’s potential. Could, and should, have been better.

One of my favourite horror elements is that of black magic, specifically witchcraft, and specifically performed by witches.  I never really took too much to the idea of wizards or warlocks – there’s just something about female practitioners of black magic that appeals to me, they seem darker, somehow.  Not that men can’t – the real world has a much higher ration of evil men to evil women, and maybe that’s where the appeal lies; it’s different in the world of the supernatural.  And I will be even more specific here – I prefer younger witches to the old ones.  Like the archetype of the vampire, there’s a strongly sexual appeal in the youthful-looking witch image.  They’re women who yield power confidently, unafraid, unrestrained.  I’ve always had a thing for Samantha from Bewitched, and Samantha Robinson as The Love Witch is about as sexy (and sociopathic) a practitioner as you could possibly find.  The movie 7 Witches features a another darkly sppealing witch, as part of a familial coven.  I watched this movie last night, knowing nothing about it, arriving as it did from a mysterious benefactor …

Continue reading “Movie Review: 7 WITCHES – low budget and a waaaaay too short running time dilute this indie horror’s potential. Could, and should, have been better.”

Movie Review: THE LOVE WITCH – extremely faithful homage to the camp horror of the 60s and 70s, with a great performance from its star.

I’ve seen some bizarre movies in my time, and I have to say, The Love Witch is up there.  If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone.  Released in November of 2016 it ended up with a domestic box office of less than a quarter million, but I feel it’s going to have an extended streaming shelf life through word of mouth.  Billed by many sites as a horror movie, I’ll tell you that it barely rises to meet that definition.  The witchcraft driven plot isn’t strong enough for it to be considered horror – it’s more of an occult thriller than anything else.

Continue reading “Movie Review: THE LOVE WITCH – extremely faithful homage to the camp horror of the 60s and 70s, with a great performance from its star.”

Movie Review: THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE – supernatural horror movie falters in places, but still delivers

the_autopsy_of_jane_doe

There are worse movie titles than The Autopsy of Jane Doe, I suppose, but it’s up there.  Having said that, it made me notice it enough to find out it was a horror movie starring Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch, which I found a little surprising.  Sure, it isn’t unheard of for name actors to be in horror movies (even B listers like Cox and Hirsch), but it’s rare – especially when the movie has no name talent attached behind the camera, something that generally signifies low budget and low smarts.  By this, I’m referring to the fodder you can see in Netflix’s horror lists – mostly a stream of shit that heads swiftly down the drain.

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Movie Review: SOUTHBOUND

southbound

If Southbound feels like part of the V/H/S franchise, the reason for that is not just the obvious anthology format, but the fact that some of the same talent is involved.  Roxanne Benjamin who wrote/directed the Siren segment of this movie was a producer on the first two V/H/S movies, and David Bruckner, who wrote/directed The Accident here also directed Amateur Night in the original V/H/S.  In terms of production quality, freed from the stifling “found footage” format, Southbound is a step up, allowing a much broader storytelling scope.  Side by side, the V/H/S franchise is the ugly sister.  It’s a neat coincidence that I watched this back to back with Carnage Park last night – while vastly different, the American southwest setting tied them together.

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Movie Review: THE WITCH

the witch

As someone with a deep attachment to the horror genre I consistently find myself thrilled or disappointed by it – there’s rarely a middle ground for me.  Being a purist, that limits my options even more.  I have no patience for schlock horror, and over reliance on gore is a real turn off for me too, mostly because it eschews the need for strong writing.  I don’t shy away from sub genres, though.  It’s just that the piece itself needs to contain strong characters and a sense of internal logic – once those two boxes are ticked, I’m largely good. Continue reading “Movie Review: THE WITCH”