List Film

Reviews & features: Horror

The Guest

1 Sep 20145 stars

Dan Stevens ditches his Downton image in Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett's superlative psychothriller

Taking gasoline and a match to his drippy Downton Abbey image, Dan Stevens reinvents himself in genuinely gobsmacking style. He's the titular houseguest: a soldier with a mysterious past, Terminator-like fighting skills and a knowing smirk. Directed and…

FrightFest 2014: All Cheerleaders Die

28 Aug 20142 stars

Hypocritical horror remake from Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson

Gender politics has always been at the beating heart of horror. While it could be argued that cinema as a whole is preoccupied with the white male experience, no other genre gouges such an indelible gender divide. Scary movies usually embrace the tired…

FrightFest 2014: The Babadook

28 Aug 20144 stars

An emotionally impactful, sad and scary horror from debut director Jennifer Kent

Overwhelming grief and depression takes the form of a top hat wearing, slithering monster with knives for hands in debut director Jennifer Kent’s genuinely upsetting and at times terrifying modern day fable. It's been six years since Amelia (Essie…

FrightFest 2014: White Settlers

28 Aug 20143 stars

Referendum-themed horror starring Pollyanna McIntosh offers entertainment but little depth

Simeon Halligan's second feature White Settlers takes the argument for Scottish independence to bloody extremes. Sarah (Pollyanna McIntosh) and Ed (Lee Williams) are a young couple from 'down south' taking advantage of the Scottish housing market to…

As Above, So Below

27 Aug 20143 stars

Atmospheric but inconsistent horror set in the Paris Catacombs starring Perdita Weeks

Taking the bulk of its cues from The Descent, director John Erick Dowdle's found footage horror adds a dash of The Da Vinci Code and seasons with some supernatural goings-on. The result is a suitably tense chiller that delivers the requisite shocks and…

FrightFest 2014: Faults

20 Aug 20144 stars

Riley Stearns' debut pitches a cult expert against a traumatised follower with interesting results

It’s not often you see a film where you have literally no idea what’s going to happen next. That’s one of the main reasons people seek out dark-side cinema, and it’s one of the appeals of American writer-director Riley Stearns’ intriguing feature debut.

FrightFest 2014: Housebound

20 Aug 20144 stars

Gerard Johnstone's riotous debut skilfully mixes horror and hilarity

Hollywood could learn a thing or two from Kiwi first-time writer-director Gerard Johnstone, who casts two exquisitely expressive ladies in his deliriously funny and downright scary haunted house horror. A combination of fantastic performances and a…

FrightFest 2014: Wolfcop

20 Aug 20143 stars

Fun, furry retro horror from writer-director Lowell Dean

Some films take on a life of their own before they are even released, with the internet going into overdrive before anyone's seen the first frame of footage (recent examples being Snakes on a Plane and Sharknado). Wolfcop now joins these illustrious…

FrightFest 2014: Alleluia

20 Aug 20144 stars

Volver's Lola Dueñas stars in a blood-splattered psychodrama outlining the perils of online dating

A directors' fortnight selection at Cannes 2014, this blood-splattered Belgian-French psychological horror is the fourth feature from writer-director Fabrice Du Welz. The subject is the dangers of online dating; Du Welz conjures up a small scale but…

FrightFest 2014: Creep

20 Aug 20144 stars

Tense two-hander written by and starring Mark Duplass and Patrick Brice

Mark Duplass and debut writer-director Patrick Brice breathe new life into the found footage horror film with this incredibly tense two-hander which is hilarious and terrifying in equal parts. Duplass's indie beginnings (particularly Baghead, on which…

Deliver Us from Evil

18 Aug 20142 stars

Preachy horror from the director of Sinister, starring Eric Bana and Joel McHale

The face of law enforcement in writer-director Scott Derrickson’s latest horror is a horribly self-righteous tough guy who finds religion and lays down his own kind of violent justice. Derrickson's fourth feature is loosely based on the memoir of ex…

Interview: horror prog legend Claudio Simonetti of Goblin

1 Aug 2014

The regular Dario Argento collaborator talks to us ahead of his live soundtrack gig at FrightFest

The Italian giallo films have a particular hold over horror fans. Their garish use of gore, overtly sexualised themes, bold use of colour and fantastic scores make them a unique cinematic experience. Dario Argento and Goblin were a perfect match, the…

Blackwood

28 Jul 20142 stars

An unsurprising 'old dark house' horror starring Ed Stoppard, Sophia Myles and Paul Kaye

In the manner of so many supernatural tales, Blackwood begins with its protagonist, Ben Marshall (Ed Stoppard), relocating to a remote country pile looking for a fresh start. Following a nervous breakdown, Ben moves to the isolated Blackwood estate…

Interview: producer Jason Blum talks The Purge: Anarchy, micro-budget filmmaking and franchises vs creativity

22 Jul 2014

'If all I’m ever making is sequels, I should look for work elsewhere - that would be bad'

In the future, crime, unemployment and homelessness in America are at an all time low, thanks to one night a year where all crime is made legal. That's the concept behind The Purge, a low-budget action-horror that came out of nowhere to become a…

The Purge: Anarchy

22 Jul 20143 stars

Sequel to the unexpected smash entertainingly expands on the original's premise

‘Profit-making is not the essence of democracy’ offers one of the more eloquent characters in James DeMonaco’s engagingly blunt sequel to 2013's The Purge, a low-budget sensation which turned a massive profit despite being little more than standard…

Haunter

15 Jul 20142 stars

Grey, dreary, reptitive ghost story starring Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin

There have been so many variations on the ghost story of late. Usually that the main character is already dead is the final twist a la The Sixth Sense but we learn early doors that Lisa (Abigail Breslin aka Little Miss Sunshine herself) and her family…

Let Us Prey

27 Jun 20143 stars

Liam Cunningham and Pollyanna McIntosh star in Brian O'Malley's intriguing horror debut

Game of Thrones seems to employ nearly every available actor in the UK so it’s hard to avoid cast members when it comes to British films. This Scottish production features Liam Cunningham as a mysterious stranger who insinuates himself into a local…

Doc of the Dead

26 Jun 20143 stars

Lightweight zombie doc featuring interviews with George A Romero, Simon Pegg and Bruce Campbell

Zombies are definitely in vogue – they are the monster of the moment, chomping their way through movies, books, comics and TV. The Walking Dead is currently the highest rated show on cable in the US while 2013’s World War Z was the biggest budget horror…

Honeymoon

26 Jun 20143 stars

Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway deliver solid performances in this cabin-in-the-woods horror

If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise, etc. Director-slash-co-writer Leigh Janiak's nicely atmospheric horror is both creepy and disturbing, though it tips its hand slightly too early and has the usual genre-associated…

Life After Beth

25 Jun 20144 stars

Superlative zombie dramedy starring Dane DeHaan, Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick and John C Reilly

‘Imagine The Graduate, but with zombies.’ That seems to have been Jeff Baena’s brief for Life After Beth, a ‘zomromcom’ that couldn’t be further from the Shaun of the Dead vibe that label suggests. Dane DeHaan is expertly cast as Zach, a gothier version…

The Green Inferno

19 Jun 20143 stars

Eli Roth delves into jungle cannibalism and gives gorehounds plenty of gristle to chew on

A plane full of student protesters head off half-cocked into the Amazon trying to protect the rainforest and the indigenous tribes. After confronting a team of loggers, their ordeal really begins. On their way back to civilisation their plane crashes in…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: The top 5 horror movies

17 Jun 2014

Featuring Honeymoon, Let Us Prey, Fish and Cat and Eli Roth's The Green Inferno

Fish and Cat (Mahi va Gorbeh) Inspired by rumours of a restaurant which served human flesh to its customers, this Iranian film uses a kite-flying competition to make urban visitors come into contact with creepy locals, testing slasher conventions to…

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014: Eli Roth on his Amazon-shot cannibal horror The Green Inferno

10 Jun 2014

Director's affectionate tribute to the Italian cannibal movies of the 80s screens at EIFF 2014

Eli Roth revels in his reputation as the bad boy of horror cinema. He shocked movie fans with the flesh eating virus of Cabin Fever and for many epitomised the gory excesses of the mid-00s with the ultra-violent Hostel. ‘As a kid I loved sitting round…

Interview: Stuart Gordon, director of Re-Animator, From Beyond and Castle Freak

20 May 2014

The filmmaker has also turned his hand to theatre, directing Re-Animator: The Musical and Taste

For aficionados of the undead, Re-Animator is counted as a true great alongside Dawn of the Dead and Zombie Flesh Eaters. The film is a smart, funny and gloriously gory slice of horror cinema starring Jeffrey Combs as an insanely driven medical student…

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

20 May 20142 stars

A vaguely spooky Latino twist on the found footage subgenre that just feels repetitive

Found footage has become the most over used device in horror. Paranormal Activity not only hold the dubious honour of ushering in this new age of shaky cam cinema but are also the masters of the over crowded sub-genre. We’ve already had a Japanese take…