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    “THE HALLOW” (Stanley Film Festival Review)

    Once in a while, the horror genre just needs a damn good monster movie. Thanks to trends in studio horror, fright fans are often saddled with gritty exploitation-adjacent genre films, minimalist ghost stories or psychologically taxing tales of psychopathia on a regular basis. So when a movie like THE HALLOW comes along, to call it refreshing would be an understatement, especially one as effectively scary and gorgeous as Corin Hardy’s creature feature.

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    “SOME KIND OF HATE” (Stanley Film Festival Review)

    For a very long time, even here at FANGORIA, fright fans have long wondered what will happen to the once-prominent slasher subgenre in the future of horror. In the years since the SCREAM franchise offered a post-modern commentary on slasher tropes and expectations, the subgenre has struggled to maintain popularity, especially as the rise in supernatural horror coincided with the retroactive vilification of the slasher archetype. Some wondered if slashers would have to rewrite their formula altogether, while others imagined the subgenre would stick to the torture porn-adjacent straight-to-video output seen today. But for many, there remained a glimmer of hope that the subgenre would find an original, engrossing story that would act as an adrenaline shot to the dying heart of the slasher. And now, that film has been found with Adam Egypt Mortimer’s SOME KIND OF HATE, which, under the right circumstances, could hit contemporary audiences with a brutal, cringe-inducing and legitimately frightening rush in the same way Freddy Krueger did over 30 years ago.

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    “BATES MOTEL: Season 3, Episode 8″ (TV Review)

    Say what you’d like about BATES MOTEL, especially during its problematic first two seasons, the show certainly finds strength in building tension. Few shows can build up a confrontation or carry a foreboding atmosphere as well as BATES, especially a show that puts its character drama ahead of its horror. Yet with that tension comes the inevitable: sooner or later, Norman is going to become the psycho we all know and love.

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    “ROAR” (FANTASTICA Film Review)

    “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” A simple yet effective phrase that not so subtly implies that bad ideas that lead to worse consequences are often rooted in a generally positive thought. And while that phrase is often applied to more dire situations, the phrase can also be applied to Noel Marshall (and friends…)’s ROAR, especially if your idea of hell is an isolated house filled and surrounded by wild, untrained lions and tigers.

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    “JUDAS GHOST” (Film Review)

    In the surge of haunting films coming out of the independent horror landscape as of the past few years, the struggle for originality has become harder and harder. Of course, many of these films have become reliant of jump scares, familiar imagery and a wealth of off-screen demises to mask the unfortunate limitations of their budget. However, a rare few of these films are approached with ambitious stories with genuinely unique scares, and the filmmakers are so enamored with those tales that they tackle them head on, despite their budgetary restrictions. And in that experience lies something much more gripping, imaginative and chilling, and is what makes Simon Pearce’s JUDAS GHOST such a welcome addition to the haunting film canon.

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    “BODY” (Stanley Film Festival Review)

    With contemporary horror, the approach by many filmmakers in the independent and studio system is that to please hardcore fright fans, they have to go for broke. By heightening so many aspects of a film, from gory SFX to the body count to the stylized visuals of the film, these filmmakers guarantee somewhat of a target audience to appreciate their film, even if the story can’t stand on its own merit. But there’s almost an equal amount of filmmakers who subscribe to the “less is more” mentality, although many find this as a way to pad out their budgets and push the limitations of the term “slow burn.” Yet for some horror filmmakers, simplicity is a weapon: by cutting out the bullshit, you keep the options of the filmmakers and the characters limited, which creates an intense, almost claustrophobic atmosphere to the film and leads to some incredibly intimate interpersonal drama.

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    “Salem: Season 2, Episode 4″ (TV Review)

    I must admit that with a show like SALEM, the repeated efforts to be bolder and brasher beyond the limits of taste are motions to be respected. Whether it’s graphic foreplay, gore or just uncomfortable thematic material, SALEM caters to its audiences love of the taboo while crafting their own unique brand of horror. This is largely effective of an approach, yet with 13 episodes to service per season, that balance doesn’t always equal a narrative home run. And while the pacing of this episode is a bit rocky at times, SALEM still has many admirable moments in the latest episode, bluntly entitled “Book of Shadows.”

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    “SCHERZO DIABOLICO” (Tribeca Movie Review)

    After his first experience working in English with LATE PHASES, Latin American filmmaker Adrián García Bogliano has returned to his native language and home turf. SCHERZO DIABOLICO, world-premiering at the current Tribeca Film Festival, brings Bogliano back to not only geographically familiar territory, but thematic; the werewolves have been traded in for human horrors and a blood-drenched moral conundrum.

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    “THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH” (Blu-ray Review)

    It’s not easy being a sequel, especially when you’re the sequel to an acclaimed remake of an acclaimed film based off an acclaimed novel and produced by the grandaddy of horror houses, Hammer. But in any case, being a sequel such as THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2 is even harder considering the nature of the first film, which took stock in hard-to-replicate environmental scares instead of cheap jump scares. And while THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH isn’t quite as effective as it should be, the film still makes an admirable and classy attempt at capturing the literal and figurative spirit of the first film.

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