Tired of all those saccharine sweet Christmas Rom-Coms on the box? Need a change? Will here’s a few suggestions for those of you with strong stomachs:

Animalistic is brought to the screen by the directing duo of Sonny Laguna & Tommy Wiklund whom together are responsible for, amongst other things, the latest in the Puppet Master franchise, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018). They are also credited with the writing, together with their creative partner David Liljeblad.

Hanna Oldenburg does a reasonable job as the unfortunate Emma. She’s scared, she’s cocky, she’s scared again, and then she is quite wonderfully twisted and vicious at the end, to the point where she seems even to scare herself. The trio of bad guys is made up by the acting talents of Ralf Beck as the main man Jim, Torbjörn Andersson as the simple side-kick Pete, and the late Niki Nordenskjöld as taxi driver Shirley.

If you fancy a rather vicious and uncomfortable hour of viewing, then you need to look no further than Animalistic. There are quite a few movies in this grim subgenre, and most follow similar plots, so don’t expect anything new, you won’t find it here. That being said, there are some excellent performances and a bloody satisfying, if short finale. Hurrah!

Bite contains my favourite film quote explaining everything: “People always get sick after vacations.”

Ummm. They certainly do in this film. Those egg sacs still trouble me, boys and girls, they really do.

 

In Death Ward 13 we join a group of four nubile nursing students who arrive at Stephens Sanatorium for the Criminally Insane to help with the institutions permanent closure. There should just be one or two harmless patients but in fact the four are confronted by a mob of vicious psychopaths. Shame.

Happy viewing children.

Socks…

December 14, 2019

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Horror is a genre of excess, of abundance — and food is the perfect metaphor in its narratives because it holds so many meanings at once. Food, from the grotesque to the delicious, populates the screen: the raw steak crawling across the kitchen counter in Poltergeist (1982); a distracted Drew Barrymore burning her popcorn in the opening scene of Scream (1999); the chocolate bars Charlie routinely snaps with her teeth in Hereditary (2018). Hunger is everywhere in horror: from werewolves to zombies to cannibals, the protagonists we find on screen are either devouring or being devoured. But what I’m interested in is not the readings of food as metaphors for capitalist consumption, the disintegration of the American family unit, or sexual taboos — but simply in the act of eating itself.

Laura Maw
There’s Nothing Scarier Than a Hungry Woman

Lullaby

December 10, 2019

an ancient power captured

December 3, 2019

After all, I’m the horror writer; it’s why the editors of this publication have asked me to conduct this interview. I’m supposed to judge the veracity of Sarah’s footage and, assuming I accept it as true, trace its connections to Lost in the Dark, explain the ways in which the fiction refracts the facts. It’s a favourite critical activity, isn’t it? Especially when it comes to the fantastic, demonstrating how it’s only the stuff of daily life, after all. The vampire is our repressed eroticism, the werewolf our unreasoning rage. The film Sarah has shown me, though, isn’t the material of daily life. I don’t know what it is, because to tell you the truth, I’m more of a sceptic than a believer these days. Strange as it sounds, it’s one of the reasons I love to write about the supernatural. The stories I tell offer me the opportunity to indulge a sense of the numinous I find all too lacking in the world around me. But this movie…I can’t help inventing a story to explain it, something to do with an ancient power captured, brought to a remote location, and imprisoned there. Those dead men at the entrance, maybe they were there as a sacrifice, a way to bind whatever was in that nameless woman to the mine. The stuff inside the tunnels, the caves beyond, was that evidence of someone or someone’s tending to the woman, worshipping her? And Isabelle Router, her experience underground — was the movie she cowrote an act of devotion to something that found her in the dark? I half remember the line from Yeats about entertaining a drowsy emperor.

None of it makes any sense; it’s all constructed with playing cards, waiting for a sneeze to collapse it.

John Langan
Lost in the Dark

Last night’s film

December 1, 2019

Possession – Directed by Andrzej Żuławski

A spiral staircase movie, a never-ending metaphysical game of cat-and-mouse, a moral aspiration to the Heavens, a “spotlight” on God, a scornful detective movie, a horror movie and frightful, high-octane baroque work — Possession is all of that at once.

The Power of the Witch

November 10, 2019

No more Public Schools

October 9, 2019

So the Labour Party wish to abolish public schools like Eton, Harrow and Rugby. My God! What will become of those like Reginald Baliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher, who had a (not so) secret obsession for Eton boys? Those ‘golden laddies’ provided the inspiration for Brett’s small book of verse, Foam.

With a single stroke of Comrade Corbyn’s legislative wand, these inspiring young men will be no more! Can such a move be anything other than catastrophic? Like the closure of Punch, that once famous but now defunct weekly periodical, these things are symbolical of what makes Britain Great. That and the much-demonized Trident nuclear deterrent…

women in porn

September 14, 2019

In film theory everything has meaning. Everything is symbolic. Similarly, in pornography, as Dworkin points out “everything means something.” Gender means something, bodies mean something, body parts mean something, the acts done to women mean something. Getting a facial in your bedroom doesn’t necessarily have the same meaning as a woman getting a facial in a porn movie does and, in fact, the relevance of whether or not the individual actress in the porn appears to be ‘enjoying’ the cum shot to her face is less important than the larger meaning of the image on screen. I am not at all surprised that “the majority of porn shows women basking in and positively loving receiving a facial” or that “a lot more straight porn features women happily accepting facials than reacting with disgust and evident humiliation” because women in porn are presenting a fantasy and that fantasy is that women enjoy being objectified, cum on, gang-raped, called whores and bitches, whatever. Porn is about male fantasy. The fantasy is that women like everything you do to them, as man.

Megan Murphy
Facials, feminism, and performance: On f**king men in a patriarchy

So many thieves

September 13, 2019

Conrad Veidt & Sabu – My Favorite Version.