Review “The Cabin in the Woods” (2011)

I’m not sure what I expected, watching this. Something a bit silly, a bit schlocky, a bit of mindless fun, soon to be forgotten. I was pleasantly surprised. “The Cabin in the Woods” is a horror/comedy, and on a superficial look seems like it ought to be the ultimate in cliché. I mean, five (young)…

Review “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)

Fifty-four years ago a low-budget horror movie called “Night of the Living Dead” was released. The director, George Romero, and everyone involved did not anticipate how this film would become a horror movie classic, inspiring endless imitations and homages through to the present day. “Night of the Living Dead” was by no means the first…

Review “The Body Snatcher” (1945)

Produced by Val Lewton, and directed by Robert Wise (who would direct “The Sound of Music” twenty years later), “The Body Snatcher” involves a doctor and student in Edinburgh in the nineteenth century, who are involved with a grave robber who sells them cadavers for dissection. The wonderful Boris Karloff stars as the grave robber…

Review “I walked with a zombie” (1943)

“I walked with a zombie”, in spite of it’s incredibly lurid, B-movie title, is surprisingly decent. The main character Betsy Connell (Frances Dee) is a nurse who is hired to go to a Caribbean island (fictitious, but with similarities to Haiti), to look after a sugar plantation owner’s sick wife. Tom Conway plays Paul Holland,…

Review “Cat People” (1942)

“Cat People” is a fantasy/horror B movie, directed by Jacques Tourneur. It is one of the films of the period produced by Val Lewton, who has become well-known for his production of these types of films that are a cut above the quality of this sort of film. While “Cat People” has many flaws, it…

Review “The Devil’s Backbone” (2001)

What is a ghost? A tragedy condemned to repeat itself time and again? An instant of pain, perhaps. Something dead which still seems to be alive. An emotion suspended in time. Like a blurred photograph. Like an insect trapped in amber. These words begin “The Devil’s Backbone”. Written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro, this…

Review “Night of the Eagle” (1962)

“Night of the Eagle” is based on a story by Fritz Leiber, and the screenplay was written by Fritz Leiber, Richard Matheson and two others. It concerns a university professor who is a sceptic, dismissing all superstition and insisting everything can be explained rationally. When he discovers his wife has been practising magic for years,…

Review “The Conjuring 2” (2016)

Yes, I know, it’s another ghost story review from me. What can I say - I love them. Directed by James Wan and starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, this story is loosely based on ‘true’ events (reported events, anyway) about an incident in England in 1977, known as the Enfield haunting. I make no…

Review “A Cure for Wellness” (2016)

This film, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Dane Dehaan and Jason Isaacs, has been labelled a horror movie. I didn’t really see it as such, and I would call it a fantasy/mystery. It’s also weird and quite atmospheric. Dehaan plays a young business executive called Lockhart, who is ordered by his company to go…