May 27th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Films |

Storm Warning (2007)

by Ghastly McNasty

Storm Warning is an Australian horror film directed by Urban Legend director Jamie Blanks. The film stars French actress Nadia Farès and Aussie Robert Taylor as a happily married couple who, after an enjoyable afternoon boating, are stranded on an remote island and take shelter in a local farmhouse.

Storm Warning

Unfortunately the farm is home to a family of lawless Aussie rednecks made up of the psychotic Jimmy his mental brother Brett and their insane tyrant of a father Poppy. Already pissed off with the intrusion in their house the sadistic hillbillies imprison the yuppy couple and submit them to degrading abuse and torture. It soon becomes clear that in order for the pair to survive the ordeal they’ll have to play the tormentors at their own game. To quote the film’s heroine, “To catch a mad dog, you must think like a mad dog – only madder.”

Opinion
I’m trying not to sepnd too much time talking about this movie. It has both good and bad points, the marvelous amount of gore being one of it’s finest attributes. However, it’s just another torture-porn movie in a time when every other horror film is just another torture-porn movie.

Robert Taylor’s portrayal of Rob, the ‘hero’ of the film is rather lack lustre but maybe that’s because his character is a complete and utter pussy. You almost want him to get his ass tortured just so maybe he will grow some balls. In comparison Pia, his wife, becomes a hardened killer bitch, dishing out bloody retribution with unnatural ease.

Storm Warning

The 3 villians are suitably crazy enough to fill the standard crazy redneck role we see in so many of these movies. There’s nothing hugely original though. It feels like any other movie where some one gets lost in the woods and stumbles across a proper nightmare.

Rating
Nothing new to see here but it will keep you mildly entertained. 6/10

 

Theatre of Terror



May 23rd, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Films |

The Orphanage (2007)

by Ghastly McNasty

Spanish horror film The Orphanage (El Orfanato) is director Juan Antonio Bayona’s debut movie. Mexican director Guillermo del Toro is listed as a producer of this film and it’s possible to draw some similarities between this movie and Toro’s own Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), both drifting between reality and fantasy in an unusual but effective manner.

Spanish actress Belén Rueda gives a strong performance as a mother who returns with her husband and son to the orphanage she spent time in as a child, to re-open the home as a sanctuary for disabled children. Located near a lovely beach and overlooked by a lighthouse the beautiful house holds many secrets that our heroine doesn’t know as she was re-homed before the orphanage was closed. Secrets that the living want kept secret and the dead need the world to know!

The family’s only child Simón, who was adopted by the couple, starts playing games with a group of imaginary friends who teach the child thing about himself he has yet to be told by his parents. When suddenly Simón disappears without a trace, his mother has to join in the ghostly games to solve the mystery and save her son.

Opinion
It’s nice to watch a ghost film that has an original plot and charming storyline. The majority of modern horrors churn out the same gang of teenagers being brutally murdered in as many horrific ways as possible. The Orphanage manages to get its scares without relying on gore.

It’s not massively scary. There are a few moments that will tighten the sphincter, in particular a very tense séance session that gets your heart racing. There’s also a little deformed orphan boy that wears a mask that could give you a few nightmares. Mostly the film relies on creaks and groans and things going bang in the night to put the frights up viewers.

This film is about the terror of losing a loved one to the unknown and relies on you becoming emotionally involved with the movie in order for you to fully appreciate it. As the film nears its conclusion there is a twist that’s both heart breaking and joyous. It should stay with you for a few days after which is often an indicator of a good film.

Rating
Beautifully shot film relying on atmosphere for its creepiness. A chilling yarn without any bloody violence, and for that it gets an 8/10.

 

Theatre of Terror



May 21st, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Films |

Free films

by Ghastly McNasty

I love horror and watch a scary movie at least once a week. I’m hoping that the people who look at this site are going to be influenced to watch some of the films I have reviewed. If I have rated it at 7 or above then, in my opinion, it’s worth viewing. Obviously I’m no authority on movies but I reckon if you’re reading this then you probably have the same interests and tastes as me.

If you do watch a Theatre of Terror recommended film then please review it yourself on this site. The more opinions the better and I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with what I have written.

Most of the film I watch are downloaded off the internet. Yes it is illegal, but I still go to the cinema and sometimes buy good films. I can’t see too much point investing in a great DVD collection when 10 years down the line it’s going to be replaced by a new technology. Also most film review are biased and unbelieveable, the IMDB is used as a battle ground between movie studios, and film advertising can claim 5 star status when secretly it’s promoting an absolute stinker.

I’m all about free peace and sharing the love. So, for those who don’t know how to download free shit from the net, here’s a little guide:

HOW TO DOWNLOAD FREE FILMS
A lot of people I know still use programs like Kazaa and Limewire to download music and movies. This method is about 5 years out of date and has been replaced by something know as torrents. Just an alternative method of file sharing to Limewire. I won’t bore you with the technical details but here is Ghastly McNasty’s 3 step guide to modern file sharing.

  • 1) Download a bit torrent client I use a program called Azureus to download films. There are many others available but this one currently works for me. Visit their website and click on the big download button. Just like any other programs you download from the net, save the download to your desktop, and when the save is completed open the file and install the Azerues bit torrent client.
  • 2) Download a movie torrent Next step is to find yourself a movie you want to download. Axxo is good for movies, while Mininova has a good range of everything including music, TV programs, games and books. Go to Mininova and search for a movie you would like to watch. The search results should bring up a list of torrents available. Check the list and look for a file that has a high number of seeds. (Seeders are uploading, Leechers are downloading) Click on the link, download the torrent and save it to a folder on your computer
  • 3) Start the download Finally all you need to do is then double click on the torrent file you have just loaded. This should open up the bit torrent client program we downloaded in the first step. Choose where you want to save the movie and click OK. The download will start and all you need to do now is wait.

It really is as simple as that. Some downloads can take longer than others but just be patient. I only have a 2mb line and sometimes I have downloaded a whole movie in 2 hours! Sometimes it can take 2 days! Happy viewing.

 

Theatre of Terror



May 20th, 2008 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Films |

30 Day of Night (2007)

by Ghastly McNasty

Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith’s vampire graphic novel gets the big screen treatment by director David Slade. Niles originally wanted his story to be a movie but a lack of interest from the studios forced him to release it as a comic book miniseries. Big comic fan Sam Raimi helps out as producer while Niles does get to have his creative input by co-writing the screenplay.

30 Days of Night Poster

30 Days of Night takes place in Barrow, Alaska, a town that suffers an extended winter period where the sun doesn’t rise for 30 days. The majority of the town don’t like to live in permanent darkness so many head south or visit relatives leaving a skelington crew of 150 hardcore locals to sit out the shitty weather. During the exodus local sheriff Eben Olesen (Josh Hartnett) finds himself investigating a series of unusual crimes including telephone theft, sabotage of the town’s helicopter and the brutal slaying of all sled dogs. It seems that someone is trying to destroy communications and means of escape. Eventually, when the power gets cut off, a band of ruthless vampires attack slaughtering the hapless townsfolk and feasting on their corpses.

Opinion
This is turn up for the books, a film better than it’s source material! While the graphic novel version of 30 Days of Night isn’t too bad, it does rush through the entire excellent concept and cram the whole 30 days in to what feels like 24 hours. The film has a chance to flesh out the story and characters and makes an entertaining tale of us puny humanity trying to survive in a perpetual state of darkness against the all time creatures of the night. There’s no barricading yourself in the ammo room and making a stand. It’s about cowering in the smallest hole you can find and hoping when the vampires find you it will be a quick death.

Even with Hartnett as the lead the first half hour manages to build up an awful amount of tension. There’s a sense of impending doom as the sun packs its bags and the omen spouting stranger the sheriff picks up in the local diner only add to the feeling that something bad is just around the corner. It’s very nicely handled and by the time the real horror kicks in you should be a gibbering bag of nerves. Of course the film has it’s faults and stumbles occasionally with the 30 day timeline. Fortunately dialogue is kept to a minimum mostly because the survivors are too busy being scared shitless.

 30 Days of Night

The Buffy-fication of vamps humanized the bloodsuckers beyond recognition, giving them feelings and a desire to do good behind their undead eyes. Thankfully, the vampires in 30 Days of Night are right at the other end of the scale. I’ve not seen a vampire movie portray vampires in such a scary way in a long long time. Rather than having all the vamps wear the same tired vampire mask as seen in Buffy, Dusk till Dawn, and countless films since, these vampires all as individually freaky as you can get. Not only that but they are portrayed as animal in instincts and desires. Savage, brutal, and bloodthirsty just the way real monsters should be. When they finally attack barrow full force it’s quick and ruthless. It’s an unnatural rather than supernatural.

This film also pulls no punches in the gore department. There are plenty of squeamish deaths and decapitations and bucket loads of blood. Lovely!

Rating
A sorely missed return to form for the vampire movie. Big on scares and gore. 8/10

 

Theatre of Terror



May 15th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Films |

Doomsday (2008)

by Ghastly McNasty

Directed by Neil Marshall, the British director who previously brought us the enjoyable film Dog Soldiers (2002) and the extremely scary The Descent (2005), gets to make the film he always dreamed of making, in this futuristic action thriller Doomsday.

In 2008, the ‘Reaper’ plague sweeps across Scotland, turning the infected temporarily crazy followed by a permanent state of death. In order to prevent the disease from spreading the British government erects a solid wall around the Scottish to quarantine the population. 25 years later the deadly virus resurfaces in London. In a desperate attempt to find a cure the English Prime Minister send a crack team of special agents, lead by Rhona Mitra as the kick-ass bitch Eden Sinclair, over the wall and into the unknown.

Doomsday Movie Poster

Opinion

This film is a labour of love for Neil Marshall who wrote the movie as well as directing. Marshall confessed the film is homage to post-apocalyptic films from around the 1980’s and it’s quite clear that he has been thinking about this film for a long time. Well, why else would anyone make it? Don’t get me wrong the movie is an entertaining ride down nostalgia avenue. It just feels out of place for a movie in 2008 like it should have been released at the same time as Mad Max when apocalyptic futures were full of road warriors and wide eyed men with mohicans who scream a lot.

The film has so much ground to cover and so many homages to make that fortunately it just skims the surface rather than trying to get too deep and trip over its own ridiculous storyline. The abandoned Scotland still has a few lucky survivors of the plague who have turned in to either cannibalistic cyber savages or castle-dwelling medieval knights. Society has dropped back hundreds of years. It really couldn’t have got any worse!

Doomsday Movie

Other silly little touches don’t really add to the film either. Our heroine’s detachable spy camera bionic eye is a prime example of where this film is at. Stupid for stupids sake, but at least it shows the film doesn’t take itself seriously which would have been a fatal mistake. Instead the film has a good dose humour. Knowing it is merely covering old ground the film decides to just have a bit of fun and therefore could be described as enjoyable if you like these sort of movies.

One excellent point I must add is that the film is very gory with some rather excellent death scenes. Always gets a thumbs up in my book.

Rating

Not a bad attempt at a movie and should keep you entertained for a couple of hours if you switch off the sensible button and set your teeth to popcorn chomping mode. 7/10

 

Theatre of Terror



May 12th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Films |

Sunshine (2007)

by Ghastly McNasty

Sci-fi horror from 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle. Set in the year 2057, the Sun is dying and a solar winter has enveloped the earth. In a desperate attempt to save the planet, the Icarus II, a spacecraft with a crew of eight men and women is sent deep in to space to deliver a nuclear device in to the heart of the fading sun.

As the spacecraft draws closer to the sun, the crew hears a distress beacon from the Icarus I, which mysteriously disappeared on the same mission seven years earlier. The crew feel duty bound to investigate even though it could endanger the entire mission and set a new course for the original Icarus. A decision that proves disastrous for the whole crew.

Opinion
As a science fiction movie Sunshine works really well. We are treated to some interesting ideas about how space travel will look in the future and the solar-shielded ship has a few neat tricks to keep sci-fi buffs interested. It’s a very well cast film with everyone performing to a high standard. The crew are likeable and Cillian Murphy does an amicable job as the lead. You can feel the weight of the crucial decisions the crew have to make and you do feel part of their little family. The first two thirds of the film are very entertaining.

Unfortunately, as soon as the villain is introduced, to add a few scares to the movie, the film begins to show its flaws. The main problem for me is that once we know who/what the bad guy is the movie loses all sense of mystery. The ‘monster’ is so unscary the director allows us only glimpses of it through almost impossible to decipher vibrating camera work and weird angles and unusual lighting.

There is also an entire scene that seems to be missing from the film. There’s no oooo we discovered the other ship. It’s more like, lets dock to that ship we are suddenly right next to. Annoying.

Rating
An interesting plot with engaging characters is suddenly spoilt when they strap a vibrator and disco light to the front of the camera. However, if you love your sci-fi, you’ll probably love this film. 7/10

 

Theatre of Terror



May 8th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Films |

The Mist (2007)

by Ghastly McNasty

The Mist is based on a novella written by horror legend Stephen King back in 1990. Directed by Frank Darabont, director of King’s other works The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, who also co-wrote the screenplay with the big man himself, has made a few minor tweaks to the novel and a significant change to the films chilling conclusion.

The Mist Movie Poster

The townsfolk of Bridgton, Maine (I’m so glad I don’t live in Maine) experience a ferocious thunderstorm causing widespread damage. Artist David Drayton, his son, and estranged neighbour head to town the following morning to stock up on supplies at the local supermarket. When a strange mist suddenly sweeps in to town the locals find themselves trapped inside and fighting for their lives.

Opinion
Many previous film adaptations of King’s work have fallen well short of the mark, the most notable exceptions being the 2 films directed by The Mist helmer Frank Darabont. I’m a huge Stephen King fan so I’m extremely pleased to report that Darabont has pulled off an amazing hat trick with this instalment. The Mist is a throwback to a twighlight zone type story, a cautionary ‘what happens if’ affair that leaves you on edge for a long time before revealing at least a possible cause for the mysterious events. It’s not breaking any new ground here and could be considered cheesy in places due to some second-rate acting and singular location. However, it reminds me affectionately of a 50’s B (Monster) Movie with modern CGI. A small town fighting off unknown creatures from another dimension. Perfect! The Cthulhu type creatures are a nod to H.P.Lovecraft and we are only allowed glimpses of the larger things in the mist when someone who leaves the building is brutally slain.

Stephen King's The Mist

As with many of King’s novels it’s us humans you really have to be careful of. The film initially creates the fear of something unknown outside in the mist. However, as the religious zealots attempt to take control of the bizarre situation we begin to realise that it’s just as dangerous to stay indoors as it is to head in to the mist. The power plays between the survivors to assume control of what’s left of their world is a key theme within this film. Especially as out hero is placed on the losing side of this battle. We are given the view that if the shit really does hit the fan, any form of safety or authority will be easily be overthrown by the fearful masses.

Rating
I’ve not read the book and was fortunate to not hear anything about this film prior to watching it. I’d like to say they don’t make films like this any more but apparently they do. An absolute rollercoaster of a movie experience that uses an unknown apocalypse to leave you feeling very vulnerable indeed. 9/10

 

Theatre of Terror



May 7th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Films |

[REC] (2007)

by Ghastly McNasty

REC logo

[REC] is one of the recent batch of films to employ the use of first person storytelling, the others being Diary of The Dead and the smash hit Cloverfield. Some people may find the handheld shaky camera work to be annoying but in REC’s case it certainly ads to the tension that builds gradually throughout the film. This is a low budget Spanish horror movie that can easily hold its own when compared to the grand-mommy of the genre, The Blair Witch Project (1999).

Documenting the humdrum working lives of a local firecrew, reporter Angela Valesco and her cameraman Pablo are so bored the decide to join along with an emergency call out to help an old lady locked out of her apartment. The news team and firecrew then find themselves locked inside, unable to escape as the authorities have completely sealed the building as part of standard quarantine procedures. The chaos and terror then begins to escalate as each new attempt to escape is thwarted and the remaining tenants succumb to an unknown disease.

[REC] Movie Poster

Opinion
[REC] is clearly influenced my many different types of horror movies and could be described as slightly unoriginal because of this. However REC’s influences are also its strengths. It’s taken only the scariest of horror movies as a guide to horror should be made. The result is, in places, absolutely petrifying!

The hand held style only adds to the movie in that you feel trapped inside the apartment with the cameraman and remaining survivors. You are seeing what the characters in the story are seeing and, like them, are powerless to control the unfolding events.

REC is a scary film

This is a zombie movie at heart, and using the turbo-zombie style from 28 Days Later (2002) in such a confined area only manages to crank up the sense of urgency and impending doom that make this film so scary. There are only so many places the survivors can hide and the infection is spreading fast.

Rating
A movie that uses the first person camera style to good effect and has some genuinely terrifying images. 8/10

 

Theatre of Terror



May 5th, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ Blah, Films, Italian Spiderman, Movie Trailers |

Italian Spiderman!!!!

by M.I.K.

Alrugo Entertainment is releasing the full movie of Italian Spiderman to the internet in 10 weekly installments from May 22nd and it will be available from MySpace, Youtube and Yahoo.

Alrugo logo

For those of you unfamiliar with this lost classic of Italian cinema, here’s the story behind it’s production, as related on Alrugo’s MySpace profile ; (sic throughout)…

“Alrugo Entertainment was founded in 1961 in Palermo, Italy by Orange Farming mogul Alfonso Alrugo. After collecting huge wealth in the citrus trade Alfonso decided to start a film production company that produced films that he felt “did the job”. Alfonso was very supportive of up and coming practitioners and helped to nurture the blossoming career’s of a spate of Italian Directors like Gianfranco Gatti, Massimilliano Buonatempi, Carlo Zoffa and of course Giacomo Dentibiachi.

Alrugo Entertainment began producing low budget, nudie cutie pictures such as Busto Busto (1961) and Sex Cops II (1962). During this period, Alfonso was to discover two men who would play a large role in the next part of his life, director Gianfraco Gatti and Actor Franco Franchetti. In 1964 Alrugo went into production of Gatti’s Opus, Italian Spiderman. Spiderman was a heavily adapted and abridged interpretation of a novel Gatti had read during a summer in Moldova entitled ‘Death Wears a Hat’. When applying for the option, however the Author felt Italian Spiderman held such little resemblance to his work that payment was not necessary and felt that his name should be distanced as far as possible form the production.

Italian Spiderman

After three years of turbulent production and about 15 million dollars later (a sum unheard of for any production of the time) Italian Spiderman was finally completed in 1968. Even though Alrugo had survived the epic production period, a venture that Gatti described as “Opening the gates of hell” the company was in debt. There was no money left to distribute the picture, Alfonso pulled every last favour he had during the production process. In a desperate attempt to show Italian Spiderman to the world, Alfonso sent the only existing print across the atlantic on a cargo ship to a distributer friend of his in New York, the ship however, never reached it’s destination.

In the summer of 1969, Alfonso Alrugo closed the gates to Alrugo Entertainment and donned his orange picking glove once more. Gianfranco Gatti went on to direct hard core pornography and Franco Francheti died in a spear fishing accident. On Alfonso Alrugo’s dying wishes, his two Grandsons Vivaldi and Verdi Alrugo led an expeditioan to scour the Atlantic for the cargo ship carrying the only existing print of Italian Spiderman. On the 9th of January 2006, after four years at sea, they discovered the sunken vessle with the cans intact inside. In the excitement of this amazing discovery, Vivaldi and Verdi re-opened Alrugo Entertainment and spent two years restoring the full length print of Italian Spiderman from it’s water grave.

Vivaldi and Verdi believe that the internet is the best device to expose Italian Spiderman to the world. In November 07, they uploaded the Theatrical Trailer and in 2008, ten remastered excerpts form the feature will be roadcast for free over myspace, youtube, yahoo and other video hosting websites. Hopefully through the internet, the world will now have a chance to behold Alfonso Alrugo’s dream, Italian Spiderman.”

You can see the trailer for yourself here…

 

Theatre of Terror



May 1st, 2008 | → 3 Comments | ∇ Films |

The Watchmen Movie

by Ghastly McNasty

Who Watches the Watchmen
I’ve been following a couple of Watchmen websites related to the upcoming movie.

 www.watchmencomicmovie.com
www.watchmenmovie.warnerbros.com

I gotta admin I’m getting quite excited about the film. Especially since they released images of the characters that look superb.

I’ve read Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ masterpiece about 5 times. Incredibly geeky thing to do but I do love it as a shining example of how graphic novels can be written for adults and include intelligent, thoughtful and mature ideas. I’d love to be able to give the book to all my non-comic loving friends and make the realise that comics can be as thrilling as any hollywood blockbuster.

Of course it’s possible that Director Zack Snyder will make a steaming turd of movie, closing the door to all those who possibly could have been persuaded to read the graphic novel if they had enjoyed the movie. Alan Moore himself was so disgusted by what they did with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG) that he removed his name from all future adaptions of his work and became a recluse.

There will be some Watchmen fans who will never be pleased with anything except an exact copy of the GN in screen format. However, I’m willing to remain optimistic that this film WILL rock!

 

Theatre of Terror



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