Ginger Nuts of Horror
Agatha is a short ten-minute horror film that packs in more creepiness, and insidious dread than most movies manage these days. A simple tale of an 1800's street urchin paid to bring food to a room each day, with the strict instruction, do no venture past the dresser in the in the room. As she brings the food tot eh room, her interest and curiosity are magnified with each delivery. Who is the mysterious occupant of the room, and why do they like to eat raw meat.
This is a simple yet highly effective ten-minute film. Apart from the brief discussion at the start of the film where the owner of the house sets out her instructions to the street urchin, there is no more dialogue in the film. A clever move as the viewer becomes wrapped up in the sense of wondrous, curious fear that the urchin feels as she goes about her duties. Why is the person chained, why is room in such disrepair, and why do they only eat raw meat.
The film cleverly utilises and almost Groundhog day narrative, where we repeatedly are shown a shot of her bring the food in, picking up the used the plate from the day before and then getting paid in pocket change by the owner of the house. But with each repeat of the shot, we are teased with a little bit more information as to what is going on.
The film is helped by some excellent cinematography and a great lighting of the set both of which add to the claustrophobic feel of the movie. Despite not having any lines the young actress gives a strong performance and carries the film admirably.
The final reveal, while might be apparent to some seasoned horror films is nevertheless satisfying and handled well. Overall this an effective chiller, that shows a lot of promise for future films from the writer / director.
A full length version of Agatha should be coming your way later this year, in the meantime keep an eye out for it on the Festival circuits.
I apologise for the lateness of this review, every year I forget just how busy and messed up my life can get during the festive period. However, bare with me, for Brian Keene's The Naughty List , is a film worth watching at any time of the year.
Based on the excellent short story The Siqquism Who Stole Christmas featuring two of Keene's most enduring characters Vince and Tony, who are like a sort of bizarro / antimatter version of Hap and Leonard and their memorable encounter with the man in red, is everything a short horror film should be.
High production values and tight direction from Paul Campion, the man behindDevil's Rock (the very first film I ever reviewed) fight with three excellent performances for the star of the show. Vincenzo Nicoli is perfect as the world weary Tony Genova, a no-nonsense hard nose gangster, is a perfect counterfoil to the wide-eyed almost innocent portrayal of Vince by Sebastian Knapp, the weird offspring of Steve Buscemi and Elijah Wood. The chemistry between the two is electric, and hopefully, with any luck, we will see further adventures from this hapless duo.
Mac Elsey's Santa Clause mixes ho ho ho charm with a lovely dark streak, you want a Bad Santa, then this is the original bad Santa.
The Naughty List is a short but captivating watch, ideal for those new to Brian's work, and perfect for those of us who are long-term fans with the nods and winks to some of his other work; I raised a wry smile when the names of gangsters were rolled off.
Until watching this A Wish For Wings that Work was my favourite festive movie, sorry Bill and Opus, you have been usurped, The Naughty List now sits at the top of my list.
You can watch the full film for free on You Tube by clicking here
by Kit Power
So then. That happened.
Not a review. Not really a critique. More a brain vomit. Spoilers will abound, so if you have yet to see it, go no further - not least because I’ll be writing in the assumption that you have, and this probably won’t make a whole heap of sense otherwise.
And I mean, I enjoyed it, so let’s start with that. I get that there will be Star Wars fans who prefer this to The Force Awakens, and I get why that’s the case. Like TFA, if feels palpably like a film made by Star Wars fans who are love with the original trilogy and desperate to play with those toys that have captivated them since childhood. And unlike some other sci-fi franchises, it doesn’t feel like the new creators are obsessed with remaking the whole thing in their image (yeah, that’s a swipe at Moffat’s Who, I guess, which I enjoy, but blimey, mate, leave some mystery on the table for the rest of us, eh?).
2016 was a year that proved beyond a doubt that Hollywood had no clue when it came to making great horror movies. Insipid, and regurgitated plot ideas and franchises, if you wanted a horror that challenged or dared to explore new avenues, then you had to keep to the smaller independent movie companies.
Thankfully the flip side of this was 2016 being a glorious year for inventive, thought provoking and entertaining horror movies. For every Satanic, and Conjuring 2, we had films such as Baskin, The Green Room, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, The Eyes of My Mother, and the list goes on and on.
Which makes this, the first film review of 2107 on Ginger Nuts of Horror, something that hopefully keeps the great work of 2106 flowing into 2017. Will I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER maintain the trend for great indie horror films, or will it prove to be the first stumbling block of the year?....