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Movies At Midnight



Horror movie blog Movies at Midnight features film and DVD reviews, photo galleries and trailers from new releases to classic favorites, plus coverage of exploitation, sci-fi, martial arts and cult cinema.



Updated: 2017-08-03T09:44:01.873-04:00

 



Top Ten Best Horror Movie Soundtracks

2011-10-06T20:43:58.715-04:00

Different kind of music listeners have their own favorite musical genres and music lists. If you are a horror fan, you probably enjoy music that evokes creepiness,weirdness and terror. You can find these pieces on some of the best horror movie soundtracks. Below are the top 10 horror movie soundtracks that you should have in your collection if you love horror movies and the music that enhances their mood. Needless to say, these albums are best experienced in the dark.1. Halloween: 20th Anniversary EditionThe soundtrack contains the staccato rhythmic devices of Mike Oldfield's classic Tubular Bells, combines them with dissonant The Exorcist-sounding score, and overlaid them with a few simple Grand Guignol-esque synth chords. The results are tracks that unsettle you as it gives you musical pleasure.2. Jaws: Anniversary Collector's Edition Music From The Original Motion Picture SoundtrackThe theme music is so well known, that it automatically elicits a flight or fight reaction. Some say the movie will not nearly be as effective without that theme (a hallmark of a great soundtrack), and won composer John Williams his first Original Score Oscar. So much of Williams’ score depends on the nearly silent tension buttressed by deep, probing notes. It is what empathic movie scoring is all about.3. The Exorcist: Music Excerpts From (1973 Film)The soundtrack contains unsettling music and strange sounds from Penderecki and various other artists(including Jack Nitzsche). The classic tinkling of the Tubular Bells haunts you with its insistent sinister rhythm. 'Five Pieces For Orchestra' is absolutely beautiful with an eeriness hard to forget. 'Night Of The Electric Insects' is so full of emotion and thought that one can often become lost in the notes that pour out of the speakers. On 'Polymorphia' the stringed instruments are used to their utmost in the many different sections of the piece. But it is the perfect chord that seizes the finale of the whole piece that will blow you completely away.4. Psycho: The Complete Original Motion Picture ScoreThe soundtrack composed by Bernard Herrmann is known Much for the razor-sharp, slashing strings that accompanies the iconic shower scene. Herrmann evokes dread and tension with just a few notes, or captures Janet Leigh's flighty panic in pizzicato as she hits the fateful road to the Bates Motel after impulsively stealing a large sum of money from her employer.5. Friday the 13thHarry Manfredini's score is built around eerie whispers that foreshadow the killer's identity and make use of Manfredini's own voice. The soundtrack features music from Night Ranger, The Hives, The Kills and the classic "Friday the 13th theme" by composer Steve Jablonsky. The theme evokes the bloody slashings of the movie.6. The Omen: Original Motion Picture Score (Deluxe Edition)With help from orchestrator Arthur Morton, Goldsmith uses splashes of sound to great effect, bending pitches and inserting bursts of atonality until even the cheerful sections (very few) sound spooky. This soundtrack, which won Goldsmith an Oscar for Best Original Score in 1976, plays an enormous role in setting the tone for the classic horror film about an ordinary couple who unwittingly adopt the Antichrist. Composer Jerry Goldsmith won the only Oscar of his long career for this score, whose highlight is the chant "Ave Satani," or "Hail Satan."7. A Nightmare On Elm Street I & IICharles Bernstein's score eschews traditional orchestral approaches while employing state-of-the-art synthesizers and sound effects to convey the horror of Craven's suburban dreamscapes. The inorganic, dehumanized tones produced by the composer's synthesizers underscore the narrative's detachment from waking reality. In A Nightmare on Elm Street II, the composer is Christopher Young. The children's song will haunt your thoughts long after you see the movie. The slow, simple chant of jump roping young girls on the street is fantastically horrifying.8. Suspiria: Complete VersionYou get everything in this amazing soundtrack - creepiness, horror, laughter, gaiety, and d[...]



The Walking Dead TV Episode 4 Review

2010-11-28T10:53:51.768-05:00

The Walking Dead TV Episode 4


Review by Bill Bedlam

Episode 4, "Vatos" is the first episode that Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, wrote for the television series, and man did he write a good one!

The episode itself is a major divergence from the original comic continuity, with the inclusion of a Hispanic gang who Rick and his group of survivors run across in their attempt to find Merle and retrieve the bag of guns Rick left behind in the first episode of The Walking Dead. As with the prior changes made to the show from the comic storyline, it didn't feel shoehorned in whatsoever, and although the concept of the "bad guys" who are really misunderstood good guys isn't anything new, its set-up is an important aspect of The Walking Dead's mythos in that you cannot take anybody you encounter for face value.

Also in this episode, we get to see more examples of how living in the zombie apocalypse can just play hell with a person's mental stability. We see Jim digging graves for no other reason than a combination of a bad dream and too much exposure to the sun, which ends up with Shane once again stepping in to take control of the situation. Thankfully for Jim, it ends much better for him than it did for Ed.

For those of you who have been waiting for a full-on zombie attack, wait no more! As the survivors are sitting down for a fresh fish dinner around the campfire, a group of walkers invade leaving carnage in their wake! We see the expected munching of wife-beater Ed and the surprisingly early demise of Amy. Amy's death came as a surprise to me, because it comes much sooner then it did in the comic, but it was great to be surprised yet again by the television series! Her death captures another important aspect of the comic, in which nobody is ever safe. NOBODY!

With only two more episodes left of the inaugural season, I'm dying to see where we will be left with the season finale. I have my guesses on where it could in contrast to the comics, but as we're seeing, anything can happen!



The Walking Dead TV Episode 3 Review

2010-11-21T14:59:30.315-05:00

The Walking Dead TV Episode 3Review by Bill BedlamEpisode 3 of The Walking Dead, "Tell it to The Frogs", again reaffirms the greatness of the series with another massive increase in viewership! The phenom television series is spreading like a zombie epidemic, picking-up new watchers with every episode, and for those who have been in the know, it isn't a surprise.Case in point, lets look at episode 3:As I pointed-out in my review for The Walking Dead episode 2, I mentioned the difference in tone of the first two episodes. Where episode 1 was methodically paced and had chilling feel to it, episode 2 was more face paced and intense. With episode 3, we have yet another tone with an emotional roller coaster of human drama. Watching the reunion of Rick with his wife, Lori and their son, Carl was a perfect example of the compelling drama that drove the comic series for so many years. Where Rick and his family were awash with disbelief and joy, you see Shane being torn apart. Besides the shock of seeing that his partner and best friend Rick has "returned from the dead", he also has to come to grips with the relationship he was having with Lori and Carl coming to a crashing end. The reunion is short lived as Merle's brother, Daryl (played by Norman Reedus of THE BOONDOCK SAINTS) returns to camp and the news of his brother's fate. Understandingly, Daryl lashes-out, and once Rick and Shane calm him down, Rick decides he must return to the city to not only rescue, Merle, but to retrieve the bag of guns, ammo and his walkie-talkie to contact Morgan and Dwayne who we last saw in episode 1. Merle, being the shiny ray of sunshine that he is, doesn't have many sympathizers at the camp supporting his rescue, but ultimately T-Dog's guilt gets the better of him and he volunteers for the mission. Rick also enlists Glen, since he knows the ins and outs of the city, and is their best bet to help ensure their return. In episode 3 we also get a glimpse into the day to day life of the survivors in the camp, and how they are coping with life in a world with none of the comforts that they have grown accustomed to. We see the women have been designated for laundry duty while the men hunt, repair their vehicles, and keep watch. During one particular scene of the women down by a nearby lake, the ladies discuss some of the things they miss most, from their washing machines to their vibrators. And hey, who wouldn't miss their sex toys during the zombie apocalypse? A growing plot thread that is developing is Shane's struggle with the return of Rick, and the fallout of his relationship with Lori and Carl. As mentioned earlier, when Rick returns Shane becomes a conflicted man. You see both the sheer shock and devastation underlying his happiness to see his best friend back from the grave. You almost wonder if he's happy at all? My answer is, "hell no". We see the night after Rick's return, Shane keeping watch... watching, Lori's tent that is. You can see him getting twisted-up inside with the thought of her laying with her husband once again.Later on, back at the lake where the women are doing laundry, a confrontation between Lori and Shane reveals that Shane lied to Lori about Rick being dead, and she warns him to stay away from her and her family. Here is where the story deviates from the comic. In the comic, Shane never lied to Lori about Rick being dead. It was just assumed by both that he was. I feel that this is something of a slight cop-out for the character of Lori for the series. While it maintains the guilt she feels for being with Shane, it absolves her from taking responsibility for her actions, being able to blame in on Shane's deception. I don't think it will really take away from the story in the long run, but that little change to her character makes her more of a sympathetic character then she is in the comics and may alter some of her more choice moments from the comic.After this scene, you can see Shane start to come apart even further. An incident breaks out at the aforementioned wo[...]



SCREAM (1996) Movie Review

2013-10-30T11:17:31.833-04:00

SCREAM (1996)



Review by Bethany Ramos

Don’t answer the phone… This is perhaps one of my favorite horror movie lines from the last several decades, and for good reason. SCREAM has a wonderful familiarity for many of us who enjoyed it in the 90s, yet it still has the ability to make you jump in your seat. As a side note, you may enjoy revisiting this film since it features Courtney Cox and David Arquette, who are now divorced. Blast from the past!

SCREAM starts at a classic high school campus somewhere in the United States, although we can’t overlook the fact that all of the students appear to be in their 20s, reminiscent of the adultS cast as students in 90210. No matter. The point is that a maniac with a knife is on the loose, and for Sidney (Neve Campbell), her fate may be in his hands. SCREAM is directed by Wes Craven, who created the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series and brings the same unique perspective to this horror film.

Yes, you will definitely find horror clichés in this movie, but you have to appreciate the self-awareness of the characters as they discuss what to do and not to do when a killer is on the loose according to classic horror movie "rules". In essence, you will get the “best practices” for a horror film, directly from the mouths of the lead characters. SCREAM, for that reason, brings a bit of cleverness to the horror genre, although you will still experience many of the same stereotypes and holes in the plot that seem almost ridiculous.

Bottom line? SCREAM is an enjoyable slasher movie that’s fun to watch even 15 years later as we await the new release of SCREAM 4 (or is that SCRE4M) next year. Most of all, don’t miss the scene with Casey (Drew Barrymore) trying to spend a quiet night alone watching a scary movie, when she makes the mistake of answering the phone. It’s a wrong number, but the caller keeps calling again and again, until he reveals that he is watching Casey from outside as she is alone in her house. Casey then turns to see her boyfriend bloody and tied up outside, where he is disemboweled before her eyes after she gets the caller’s horror movie questions wrong over the phone.

This is just a sample of what you can expect from the first in the SCREAM series, and remember, when watching this movie don’t answer the phone…



The Walking Dead TV Episode 2 Review

2010-11-21T14:52:18.404-05:00

The Walking Dead TV Episode 2 ReviewReview by Bill BedlamIf episode two (Guts) of The walking Dead has proven anything to us, it's that:A. Alot of zombie mayhem and compelling story can be accomplished in just an hour.B. With another high rating of viewership for the second episode, AMC gave the green light for a second season, which means The walking Dead is here to stay!With episode two, we begin to see some real departure in the storyline from the comic. As in the comic, Rick is helped by Glen but in the show he meets-up with a group of survivors trapped in the city. Among the group of survivors is Andrea, who is somewhat older than her comic counterpart, T-Dog, and Merle, played by Michael Rooker. After an encounter between Rick and Merle to establish who is running the show, the group puts a plan together to escape the zombie horde who are quickly working their way into the building.For me, this was the real test of how I would feel about the changes made to the story. In episode one, elements seemed to only be tweaked to flesh-out more aspects of the world of The walking Dead, where in episode two, events playing-out and the inclusion of new non-comic characters were much different than the comic. Again, everything felt very organic and made sense for the show. Each new aspect which venture off the path set in the comics didn't take away from the story at all. I can't see any fans of the comic taking issue with the changes, because it doesn't hurt the story, nor change the characters whatsoever. The inclusion of the many new survivors delights me to no end, not because I'm eager to learn their backstory or get to know them, but I know their inclusion is pretty much going to allow for some awesome zombie chomping!One aspect I found interesting about the pacing of the second episode is how it was drastically different from the first. Where the first was chillingly tense and almost methodical in laying-out the story, the second was fast-paced and heartpounding! In the comic book, each issue can be completely different in tone with story elements ranging from the survivors dealing with each other and their relationships, adjusting to the the world they live in now, to full-on zombie mayhem! I feel if that pace is maintained in the show, it will give The walking Dead that uncertain uneasiness and keep viewers on their toes throughout the series.We also get to see some more characterization of Rick, having him start pulling the group together, which foreshadows the man he becomes in the comic. As far as the rest of the comic originated characters, such as Glen, Andrea, Amy, Lori, Shane, and Dale, we get some more glimpse into the type of people they are, which will be more fleshed-out as we go on.Finally, lets talk about the zombies. I've noticed that the ones that exist in the world of The walking Dead are different from each other based on their state of decay. Some of the fresher ones move and function alot better than their more rotten compatriots. First and foremost, non of them are quite "runner zombies" as we've seen in the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, or the gun-toting and almost human reasoning as we've seen in LAND OF THE DEAD, but these zombies have basic tool and problem-solving skills on par with a chimp. They seem to be able to "remember" aspects of their past lives, such as how to turn a doorknob and climb a ladder, as well as know that a rock will help break a window all of which is all fine by me. I think that gives them the element of danger where the survivors will learn that simply hiding and waiting is not going to be an option for long once the zombies find them.All in all, I'm really digging the show. With episode two, The walking Dead is still on the right track and has me glued to the TV from start to finish. As we go into episode 3, I'm interested in the reunion between Rick, Lori, Carl, and, Shane. From what we've seen of the relationship which Lori and Shane have been developing in Rick's [...]



THE LAST EXORCISM (2010) Movie Review

2013-10-30T11:17:58.188-04:00

THE LAST EXORCISM (2010)Review by Gunter JamesonWhatever THE LAST EXORCISM is, it is not predictable. Director Daniel Stamm and writers Huck Botko and Andrew Gurland came up with a great twist on a mostly dead horror sub-genre, exorcism movies, and made the tired material somewhat new again.In THE LAST EXORCISM, which is due on DVD January 4th, a former child preacher turned agnostic, Reverend Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian), receives a letter requesting his help with the exorcism of a teenage girl named Nell (Ashley Bell). Since Marcus no longer believes in the reality of demonic possession, he sets out to show that exorcisms are nothing but hoaxes by performing a fake exorcism as a film crew follows him, documenting his tricks and slight of hand. However, once he’s pulled off his fake exorcism, Nell begins to act in erratic and unexplainable ways, leading Marcus and the film crew to believe that she is in fact possessed by a demon.The film is shot in the shaky-cam, documentary style of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and CLOVERFIELD, which adds to the overall sense of claustrophobia and terror. And as the Reverend and the film crew dig deeper into each unexplained event, more and more questions arise. Each time the reverend feels that his job is done and that the possession was simply some sort of mental illness, his theories are obliterated, leaving more questions than answers.Although the exorcism genre has had doubting evangelists before, Marcus’s doubt is not melodramatic or overplayed, thanks to the superb acting by Patrick Fabian. And Ashley Bell is able to bring real creepiness to her character by deftly maneuvering between a sweet and innocent teenage girl and the demonically possessed in a way that draws the audience in and leaves them questioning, as well as Marcus, the true impetus behind her increasingly horrifying acts.However, although both Fabian and Bell do a fine job and the initial setup is original, the balance of the film falls flat, especially the hugely disappointing ending which is par for the course for this type of fake documentary-style film. Although, at some points, the documentary style adds to the feeling of anxiety in the audience, at other times it is simply confusing, leaving the audience to sort out exactly what is happening rather than cringing in terror. The end result is a movie that is innovative in its approach to the genre and has great potential to transcend the usual teen horror fare at the box office, but ultimately doesn’t deliver on its promise due to its necessarily limited documentary-style point of view. All-in-all it’s not a horrible film, but it is disappointing, knowing that it could have been so much better.Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



THE MIST (2007) Movie Review

2013-10-30T11:18:19.566-04:00

THE MIST (2007) ReviewReview by Bethany RamosTHE MIST is yet another Stephen King theatrical adaptation by Frank Darabont, further proving that they both make a good match when it comes to creating a quality horror film. This movie will not only keep you on the edge of your seat, but it will take you on an emotional journey that will stick with you long after the credits roll.THE MIST begins with a storm, where David Drayton hides with his family in their basement to stay safe from the bad weather. When they wake up in the morning, they find that a tree has crashed through their front window, and they have lost power. David and his son go into town for supplies, leaving his wife at home. When they get to the grocery store, David realizes that something has gone horribly wrong. A bleeding man runs into the grocery store screaming about something in the mist, which is when David and the other grocery store customers see a thick mist rolling toward the city.David soon discovers that he’s trapped inside the grocery store since he can’t go out into the mist and risk unspeakable horrors. David and the customers stay hidden inside the grocery store, with tensions mounting as time goes on. However, the survivors soon realize that there are creatures lurking inside the grocery store that are just as frightening as what may lie outside in the mist. These fears cause many of the cast members to unravel as they fight to stay alive, with David ultimately deciding to escape to get to his car and get free of the mist.Overall, the entire cast is compelling and shows different aspects of how human nature reacts in adverse circumstances. This movie is a unique horror film since you become truly invested in the characters until the bitter end. The only criticisms of this film would be that some of the plot points are utterly predictable, but the film offers a deep emotional connection that will leave you thinking about it days afterward.For those of you who can’t get enough of what Frank Darabont brings to the horror genre, he has now collaborated to bring the zombie epic The Walking Dead to AMC. This is a show following the storyline of the zombie apocalypse, where you will again get to know a group of survivors and most certainly become emotionally invested in their journey along the way as they survive the zombie disaster that has hit their town. These days, many of the best plot lines have hit the small screen, giving you one more reason to become addicted to a TV show that you just can’t quit watching. As a whole, the series takes a few detours from the original graphic novels but remains true to the characters and the theme of the books.Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



AUDITION (1999) Movie Review

2013-10-30T11:18:41.796-04:00

AUDITION (1999)Review by Tom ParnellWhat draws us to horror movies? Is it the feeling of being scared while in a safe and comfortable environment? Is it the heart-racing shock of imagining what could be lurking in the shadows? Or is it a kind of perverse schadenfreude as innocent victims suffer a fate worse than death on the screen in front of us?These may seem like quite weighty questions for a mere film review, but anybody intending to watch Japanese director Takashi Miike’s AUDITION should be prepared to find themselves pondering them.Prolific filmmaker Miike has explored cartoonish violence in films such as ICHI THE KILLER and the DEAD OR ALIVE series, but AUDITIO is all too real, which is where perhaps the horror is created. Everything that happens in AUDITI could happen; the main character is familiar and believable, his motivation understandable and his surroundings homely and comfortable. If Miike had chosen to add a ‘based on true events’ caption at the beginning I doubt few viewers would have questioned it.The film begins with widower Shigeharu Aoyama being encouraged by his teenage son to find love again. Shigeharu’s friend, film producer Yoshikawa, suggests they hold a fake audition for an actress to play Shigeharu’s wife in a fictional film, and from there he can woo the applicant of his choosing.Despite opening with the death of Shigeharu’s wife the beginning of the film has quite a positive feel and could easily have gone on to be a story of unconventional romance and clichéd ‘learning to love again’. Miike is not one for clichés and this is far from where the story is headed.What does happen is that into this seemingly innocent story an unnerving undertone is introduced, in such a subtle manner that at first the viewer would be hard pressed to say exactly what it is that is making them uncomfortable. Miike’s style is reminiscent of David Lynch’s as he slowly builds tension and makes the mundane seem somehow surreal. Our expectations are continually confounded and the sinister atmosphere increases, until the film’s dramatic, difficult and disturbing crescendo.It is difficult to review this film entirely without giving something away, although I defy anybody to predict the ending accurately. What I will say is that AUDITION ends with one of the most difficult movie scenes I have ever had to watch and I’m still not sure how I should feel about it. What I would say is that I don't believe it is entirely gratuitous.AUDITION is a good film and I would definitely recommend it, it is engrossing, stylish and subverts the viewer’s expectations. What I would be uncomfortable in saying is that I enjoyed it all. Nothing is more tempting than being told something may be too extreme for you to see, but if you do watch AUDITION be aware that you may very well end up seeing more than you wanted to.Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



ANTICHRIST (2010) Movie Review

2013-10-30T11:19:02.573-04:00

ANTICHRIST (2010)Review Joe JohnsonANTICHRIST, directed by Lars Von Treir, never made it to the big screen, at least at my local multiplex, and with good reason! It is difficult film to watch and therefore does little to appeal to a mass audience. Having seen the trailer for this in 2009 I was immediately excited at the prospect of seeing what looked like a pretty grim horror, somewhat of an understatement I later found out. I waited patiently for the picture to debut but it never materialized. This only added to my anticipation when I found it nestling lonely on a shelf in my local Blockbuster months later as I assumed it had been deemed too scary for cinema audiences!Scary is not really the right word to describe ANTICHRIST. Party poppers are scary when they make you jump, ANTICHRIST is downright disturbing. It follows just two unnamed characters, a husband and wife simply referred to in the film as ‘he’ and ‘she’, played by William Defoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg respectively. At the start of the film their son falls from his bedroom window to his death, neglected by his mother and father who are getting it on in a variety of locations around the house at the time.The couple are understandably traumatized and, in seek of some respite, they take a vacation in a deserted cabin in the middle of a forest (personally I’d have choose a sunny beach with a cocktail bar but each to their own). While exploring the forest he and she both experience odd visions and rather than becoming closer and helping each other, they actually become alienated, when they’re not romping that is! The film is, visually, a work of art and some of the images associated with death and decay are truly disturbing. A talking fox does lighten the mood, even if its monologue to Defoe is somewhat ominous.As the film proceeds the pair become increasingly mentally unstable and ‘she’ performs unspeakable acts of genital mutilation on both herself and her once loving husband while he sleeps. These scenes are incredibly graphic and all the more harrowing, as they lack the melodramatic pomp of Hollywood hits like HOSTEL, instead presenting them in stark, full frontal reality. All the while the scenes are played out against a juxtaposing cacophony of an opera soundtrack. Even if you are a die-hard horror fan this is a difficult watch, and I find hard to fathom gaining enjoyment from watching ANTICHRIST. As an artistic, sensory experience however it is unparalleled.Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



The Walking Dead TV Episode 1 Review

2010-11-06T17:57:14.881-04:00

The Walking Dead Episode 1Review by Bill BedlamSo, were you one of the 5.3 million people to tuned-in to the premier of The Walking Dead on AMC? If you weren't (and you should hang your head in shame), you missed out on a historical moment in not only in the history of the zombie genre and comic book adaptions, but television as well!Now you may say thats a bold statement, but I can back it up with ease.First of all, any doubt of the show being faithful to its source material can be put to rest. From the opening scene of Rick's grisly encounter with a diminutive zombie, to his shoot-out with crazed gunmen, as well as his first venture into the city on horseback is like watching the comic come to life!Although I knew exactly what was different from the comic, the changes were all very organic and enhanced story elements, rather than trying to "improve" on them like so many other comic adaptions in the past. Obviously, the creative team knows the old saying, "if it's not broken, don't mess with it".I sit here now trying to figure-out where to start with this review, but it's almost impossible to pick out just one aspect of awesomeness. Do I begin with the gore and violence that go hand and hand with a zombie apocalypse? How about the spot-on characterization of Rick Grimes and Shane? Maybe I could talk about the brilliant tapestry of the world of The Walking Dead that really makes you think the zombie apocalypse could happen? Or how the terror and tension of just about the entire episode never gives you a moment to breathe? I could go on and on about any one of those for quite some time, but what stood-out to me about the episode most was that you are sucked in immediately, not only because it's a great story, but because you actually find yourself caring for these characters. Just like in the comic, Rick and the others are so very human and you easily relate to them. You sympathize with their struggles both physically and emotionally, while fearing for them with the constant threat of the ravenous undead lurking behind every corner! This a great start for The Walking Dead. Although I try to avoid reading other reviews before I finish mine, the articles I have seen have been nothing but praise from critics and fans alike. This is a true testament to not only the phenomenal talent behind the show, but to the dedicated effort on AMC's part of marketing the hell out of the show before it's premiere.AMC is streaming episode one on their site now, and it is also available on Hulu, in case you missed it. But really, you should have no excuse other than being in a coma if you did miss it, so get to that streaming video now so you're ready for episode two this Sunday.To me, we're looking at a historic moment in zombie genre history! There have been plenty of movies, both good and bad over the years, but Kirkman's The Walking Dead weekly television series may be the greatest thing to happens to zombies since George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD!Well, thats it for this week's review. I'll be back next week with another for episode two!Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 (2010) Movie Review

2013-10-30T11:19:22.398-04:00

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 (2010)Review by Joe JohnsonFor me, the original PARANORMAL ACTIVITY was one of the best horror films of all time. Fright fanatics may refute this, but I’m happy stand my ground and argue that the first offering stood amongst horror greats such as THE SHINING and ALIEN. Although many likened it to THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT owing to it’s handheld camera shooting style, I found it to be an entirely more visceral involving experience, simply because the framing was not influenced by seemingly artificial human intervention, rather we were seeing the events unfold raw and unedited.When the sequel was announced I felt a mix of excitement and in trepidation, the latter because part of what made the first film such a unique experience was the method of storytelling. Having become accustomed to this style, and assuming the second offering stayed true to its roots I convinced myself that it would lack the same edge that its predecessor orchestrated so expertly.While PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 does indeed retain the format of its big brother, the content is just as, if not more, mortifying second time round. The film charts the events that lead to Katie’s demonic possession in the original, beginning two months before in her parent’s home. Rather than just two main characters, this time Katie’s whole family is subject to the supernatural goings on, the addition of a dog and baby to the fold certainly offer ample opportunities for the demon to wreck havoc.And wreck havoc it did, most notably on my constitution! As before, the film is a harrowing experience with expertly timed segments of high tension. The genuinely heart stopping moments are few and far between but when they come, they will rock you to the core, those of a nervous disposition need not apply, unless you have a sadistic tendency to test your thrill-threshold to the max, something which I’m guilty of!The few criticisms I heard of the picture were that it was slow to start. This may test the patience of those with borderline ADD, but fans of the first will know that good things come to those who wait. It’s difficult to talk about the film without giving too much away but I can say with hand on heart that this is no shoddy, badly made sequel. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 builds on the success of the first film, toying with audience’s composure until it is frayed beyond all recognition. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 is recommended to any horror fan and is a worthy successor to one of the most nail-biting, edge-of-the seat examples of the genre.Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



THE DESCENT (2005) Movie Review

2010-11-03T21:16:52.919-04:00

THE DESCENT (2005)After a tragedy one year before, six female friends gather in the Appalachian Mountains to explore a cave system together. Soon after they enter the caves, a collapse blocks the path behind them and they are forced to venture forward, hoping to find another way out. As tension and fatigue begins to put a strain on the group, they discover to their horror that they are not alone in the dark. That is all the synopsis you're going to get, and all that you need.This was bar none the best horror movie to hit the United States in 2006, even with its truncated ending (more on this later). Anyone who will try to argue this point simply hasn't seen this movie. It is that scary. So scary in fact, that your intrepid writer, who usually goes out of his way to keep the writing in third person and remain somewhat objective, is going to slip into full-on first person narrative for a moment.No movie has done to me what THE DESCENT did since I watched the Japanese film PULSE. That was in 2001. As I watched this movie, alone at night on my couch, I could not help but move from one uncomfortable position to the next as the tension ratcheted up and the carnage spilled out on the screen. When the screen went black, my heart rate was bumping, my fingers were shaking and gosh-darn-it if I didn't pause just a moment before going into a dark room to turn on the lights.This is Neil Marshall's second full-length outing as director. His first film, DOG SOLDIERS, was a unique take on werewolves and pitted them against a small band of military soldiers in the woods of Scotland. He returns again to the similar themes in his writing, only this time around six females discover what goes bump in the shadows and learn what goes bump within themselves. The film has a feminist agenda, without being preachy at all, and allows these women to let loose an inner strength that is too often in this world suppressed. Throughout the entire film there is some very active camera and sound work going into creating a very specific mood and subconscious feeling within the viewer. In the beginning of the film, great pains are taken to use as many full and wide angle shots as possible, to give an open and airy feeling. But once inside the cave systems, the camera closes in on the actors and thus closes in on the viewer which brings about an uneasy and claustrophobic sense.There are many shots where most of the screen is "dead" space, as the characters climb through the tiny tunnels, as if the blackness were swallowing them up. Speaking of blackness, lighting takes an interesting and sinister turn once they go underground. The second part of the film is lit purely from source light, i.e. torches, flares, glow sticks and a camera's infra-red lens, which washes entire scenes in strange hues of red and green, and can be quite disorienting at times.While watching this film, the average horror fan will be able to easily spot several references and nods to past horror films, which in include ALIEN, THE THING, CARRIE and even the not so horrific GOONIES. Marshall does not try to hide the fact that his film includes these references. It is almost as if to say: remember the terror you felt when watching those other movies? Well I'm going to try and give you that same visceral reaction.And now onto the "two" endings. This film was originally released in Great Britain, and the original end of the film had a much more bleak and somewhat open end. When Lion's Gate got the rights to the film, they literally stopped the movie halfway through the end. The truncated ending created a more happy ending for a movie-going American audience that would not be able to accept the true implied fate of what happened. Sadly this downbeat ending, which implied that no one made it out aliv[...]



SAW 3D (2010) Movie Review

2010-11-03T21:18:01.963-04:00

SAW 3D (2010)Halloween weekend seemed like the perfect time to wrap up the long, gruesome SAW series, but all of the loyal fans out there are asking, “Does it really have to end?” SAW 3D continues the story directly where SAW VI finished with main character Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) surviving the trap created by Jill (Betsy Russell).All the while, Bobby (Sean Patrick Flanery) has become quite well-known because he’s survived a trap set by Jigsaw, and using that fame to write a book and go on tour. This, of course, infuriates Jigsaw, meaning that Bobby will soon be walking into a new trap set by… You guessed it - Jigsaw! This leaves him in a fight for survival for his own life and the lives of those close to him.Even though many moviegoers may have been waiting in anticipation for the main character from the original movie, Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes), he is barely in SAW 3D. You see him in a few early scenes, and then he seems to disappear altogether with little input throughout the entire storyline. You may also be confused to find that the actual Jigsaw has but a few cameos in this movie. He did die in SAW III, but in most of the other movies following, he still had quite a bit of screen time through videos and flashbacks. In SAW 3D, you will find that Tobin Bell is hardly seen, although he has top billing in the movie promotion.SAW fans may be split down the middle since SAW 3D brings the series full circle, and the movie features some seriously intricate and complicated torture chambers. However, movie fans may also be bothered by how little they see Gordon or Jigsaw, which are supposed to be the most meaningful characters in the series. What you will find most in this movie is a man moving from room to room, attempting to save people as usual. Unfortunately, this same scenario is quite played out by this point, with the traps not being as thrilling or gruesome as anticipated, especially compared to SAW VI. One trap involves pulling a key from a difficult location, and in another, a floor with huge patches missing has to be crossed which adds a bit of adventure to the quest. Moviegoers also may observe that the traps worked exactly as planned, although it would have been more believable to see at least one trap fail.Although fans may have some criticism of this movie, it was the perfect way to wrap up the series and celebrate Halloween weekend. The storyline itself is well formulated with quite a bit of plot to keep you on the edge of your seat, and even with his minimal amount of screen time, Jigsaw’s appearance is horrific to say the least. Don’t miss out!Bethany Ramos is a lover of horror movies and co-owns The Coffee Bump. For a great selection of Bunn coffee filters, check out Bethany Ramos' website!Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



A Very Happy Halloween To All

2010-10-31T09:10:43.624-04:00


Have a very happy Halloween from all your undead friends at Movies at Midnight!



THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) Movie Review

2013-10-30T11:19:58.005-04:00

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972)Review by Tom ParnellMaybe it’s an indictment of the desensitizing of modern audiences, but I find that most films which were banned or heavily censored decades ago would probably attract no more than a PG-13 rating today. LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is not one of these films.Made in 1972, it was part of the BBFC's infamous Video Nasties list. It wasn't until 2002 that this film was officially allowed to be released in the UK, and then it wasn’t until 2008 that a fully uncut version was passed by the BBFC. The film is still banned in multiple countries around the world. If LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT had been about killer monsters or aliens I don’t think it would have had half the problems passing the censors, or half the impact on the viewer. However, the horror which director Wes Craven creates here is one that is so despairingly human that it becomes difficult to watch and for once I can understand why the BBFC might have wanted to protect certain people from seeing it.The film tells the story of an ‘as American as apple pie’ family who live out in the sticks, and begins with their celebration of daughter Mari’s sweet seventeen. Much to the concern of her protective parents, Mari is heading out to the big city to watch a rock band with her rebellious friend Phyllis. What’s going to happen to them?Meanwhile nearby, escaped criminals Krug Stillo and Weasel Podowski are holed up with equally disturbing partner Sadie and Krug’s junkie son Junior.On their way to the concert our young protagonists meet Junior in a shop and are lured back to the gang’s hideout on the premise of buying some drugs. So begins a horrific ordeal, both psychological and physical, which sees the girls kidnapped and driven out into the countryside, where their torment continues.LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT was horror big-hitter Wes Craven’s directorial debut, and even though it is of the same genre it is far from the cartoonish violence of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET or SCREAM. The film is also arguably more intelligent than Craven’s later work, as the viewer is faced with a series of escalating nightmarish scenarios and we get a real feeling of the girls’ powerlessness in the hands of their captors. Craven also successfully uses Junior as a vehicle for a more human, nearly sympathetic witness to the girls’ torment, building a bridge between the viewer of the film and the character and pointing out the impotence of both in their ability to change the course of events.This is not the ludicrous and tasteless realms of more recent ‘torture porn’ horror trend, as seen in films like SAW or HOSTEL. LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT’s last act causes the viewer to turn from revulsion at the acts of the psychotic criminals to practically cheering on Mari’s middle class parents as they perpetrate similar horrors, which leaves you on very thin moral ice and is a powerful statement about the fragility of society.LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is a difficult film to watch, but it is also an intelligent, thought-provoking film, which makes it a rare gem in the horror genre.Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



The Walking Dead Comic and TV Series - What You Need to Know

2010-10-31T20:47:47.581-04:00

Article by Bill BedlamHere we are, just a few days before the premiere of The Walking Dead television series on AMC, which debuts Halloween night at 10pm EST. For those of you who have lived in a cave for the past year, here's what you should, strike that, NEED know about The Walking Dead.The Walking Dead started-out as a black & white indie comic published by Image Comics and was created by series writer, Robert Kirkman (Invincible, Battle Pope, Brit, The Astounding Wolf-Man) in 2003. Originally, the art duties were handled by Tony Moore, but were taken over by current regular artist, Charlie Adlard, since issue #7.The story revolves around lead character Rick Grimes, a small town police officer, his son, Carl, and an ever changing cast of survivors dealing with the trials and tribulations of life during The Zombie Apocalypse and the threats that come with it. Kirkman has crafted one of the most compelling stories in comic history. His characterization of the human players and their relationships with each other and personal struggles are so intriguing, you almost forget that you're reading a comic about zombies. Don't be fooled though, the zombies are ever present and provide the element of danger and uncertainty that creates the uneasy and frightening backdrop to the series. The success of The Walking Dead has truly been an example of a grassroots movement. In a day where superhero comics dominate the industry, mostly by the "Big Two" publishers Marvel and DC, The Walking Dead's meteoric rise in popularity has no other examples to compare to. The series has won numerous awards and nominations and continuously sells-out every issue to this day. Kirkman was made a partner of Image Comics and launched his own imprint, Skybound.With all the success and buzz about the series it wasn't surprising that Hollywood would come a calling. Originally, Kirkman was approached by several movie studios offering deals to adapt the series into a feature length movie, but Kirkman held-out in hopes of an offer that would help ensure the integrity of the series.Eventually, a deal was reached with televison network AMC to develop an adaption into a TV series. Now having a home, AMC quickly attached critically acclaimed director Frank Darabont (THE MIST, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE) as writer/director and an executive producer along with Gale Anne Hurd (THE TERMINATOR, ALIENS, THE ABYSS) and Robert Kirkman himself. The pedigree of The Walking Dead is expanded even further with veteran special effects and make-up master Gregory Nicotero (DAY OF THE DEAD EVIL DEAD II) leading the FX team.With a powerhouse of behind-the-scenes talent secured, the on-screen talent was not far behind. The announcements came quickly with notable cast members, including Andrew Lincoln who's acting background consists of mostly European television and film roles as Rick Grimes, John Bernthal as Rick's partner, Shane, Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break) as Rick's wife, Lori, and Jeffrey DeMunn (THE MIST, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE) as Dale. Almost instantaneously after the news broke that The Walking Dead was being picked-up and developed for AMC, the buzz on the internet became more and more feverish with speculation and anticipation with every announcement.Taking a page from the word-of-mouth movement that brought The Walking Dead comic such notoriety, AMC utilized viral campaigns on social networks like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about the upcoming show, almost as quickly as a zombie outbreak!AMC increased the frenzy among the media and fans alike with production stills of zombies for the show, blog videos of zombie actors atte[...]



Win a Hardcover Copy of THE DEAD PATH Novel

2010-10-28T09:28:34.340-04:00

Movies at Midnight and Nightly Horror News are teaming up with Random House to give away one free hardcover copy of Stephen M. Irwin's debut horror novel The Dead Path, with a glow-in-the-dark jacket cover!

To enter, simply subscribe, like or follow one of the Movies at Midnight social media profiles and then comment below on which platform you've subscribed.

If you are already a subscriber, just mention in the comment that you are already a disciple of Movies at Midnight.

One random winner will be chosen and contacted to receive the free book on November 26th.

For more information on the author and to read an excerpt from the book, check out Stephen M. Irwin on Facebook.



CANNIBAL TERROR Movie and DVD Review

2010-10-27T19:15:16.986-04:00

CANNIBAL TERROR (1981)When two bumbling crooks and their prostitute friend hatch a plan to kidnap the young daughter of a car manufacturer, they think their money troubles are all over. But, these crooks can’t even get a simple kidnapping right, and when their plan falls through, the trio pull a few favors and quickly cross over into the next country to hide out, taking the little girl with them. There’s only one problem - the cottage they’re hiding out in is right on the border of cannibal territory!Though the crooks think they’re safe, tension mounts no doubt due to the fact that Mario rapes Manuela, the wife of the cottage’s owner. Manuela’s husband deals with Mario in his own special way, while the other two race into the jungle. On their trail though, are the parents of the little girl and the tribe of cannibals who have picked up their scent. As the chase turns into free-for-all battle for survival, the only question remains is who will be lucky enough to simply die and who will become the next sacrificial meal of the cannibals?For bottom-of-the-barrel EuroTrash sleaze looking to cash in on a horror fad, look no further than this Alain Deruelle (directing under the pseudonym Allan W Steeve) French/Spanish co-production from 1981, as he tries to ride the coattails of Italian directors like Ruggero Deodato and his infamous CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. However, Deruelle proves that his abilities to mimic a genre to make a few bucks are even worse than Jess Franco at his worst. Interestingly enough, Franco was thought to be the true director of this movie for years.The cannibal sub-genre is a particularly nasty offshoot in the realm of horror, and lends its perverse violence, often times demeaning stereotyping and lurid acts of sexual depravity to those with an acquired taste. And that is when the genre is done right. When done as a poorly cobbled together cash-in such as CANNIBAL TERROR, the results are a mixture of unintentional humor and boredom, interrupted ever so briefly with moments of stomach-turning disgust.Here, the laughter starts from the first scene with abysmal acting from everyone involved, magnetized by the canned and nearly-emotionless English dubbing, but really gets the guffaws rolling with the introduction of perhaps the worst depiction of cannibals the screen has ever seen. These cannibals, who for the most part are pasty white Europeans with sideburns, flowing locks of hair, and beerbellies who have painted their faces and can barely contain their giggles as they hoot and holler and dance around endlessly. Rather than try to exploit their “savage rituals” a la MONDO CANE, here it amounts to nothing more than a ridiculous updating of white guys pretending to be Indians in old Hollywood westerns.Now the highlight, if one can call it that, of any good cannibal films is of course the visceral display of flesh eating. Derulle’s version of that is to substitute a pig’s body for that of human, drape some clothes over it, and let a few extras tear it apart. We get two scenes of this grotesque barbarity, as a few fellows pull at and pretend to eat the organs of some piggy. Its a bit revolting, until you notice their smiles, as if it say, “look at us, we’re cannibals!” It is impossible to take anything even remotely serious after that.The rest of the film amounts to a few brief glimpses of nudity thanks to exploitation mainstay Pamela Stanford (BLUE RITA, GIRL SLAVES) in one of her final roles, lots and lots of walking, a few clips of jungle stock footage, and a rollicking African beat inspired soundtrack. In fact, there’s just enou[...]



GINGER SNAPS (2000) Movie Review

2010-10-25T19:08:10.633-04:00

GINGER SNAPS (2000)Sisters and best friends Brigitte and Ginger Fitzgerald are inseparable teens who share everything together, and are never far from each others side. When the two decide to kidnap a fellow student's dog for attacking Brigitte, Ginger is attacked by a snarling monster in the woods. Was it just a big dog, or was it the small town's fabled beast, who kills and eats animals? The next day, Ginger's graphic wounds from the attack begin to rapidly heal, and Ginger starts to feel a primal change within her. She also finally gets her period, three years later than she should have.When Ginger's changing attitudes begin to drive the two sisters apart, Brigitte begins to suspect that Ginger was attacked by a werewolf. Ginger's physical changes, from thick coarse hair and a small tail protruding from her back, solidify her fears. She turns to the local drug dealer and horticulturist for advise on a possible cure. Ginger's changes appear to be from a biological virus, and if it is a disease, then there must be a cure. The only question is whether an antidote can be found before Ginger completely snaps.Horror, and to a slightly lesser degree science fiction, has always had the benefit to its writers to mean something else or to be seen as an allegory to a more serious or dangerous topic to discuss. The classic monsters of early horror cinema hid frail human emotions. Communist undertones were rampant in the 1950s, under the guise of cheap B-horror schlock. The "body horror" sub-genre was perfected by David Cronenberg and Shinya Tsukamoto to talk about contagious disease and the natural breakdown of the human body. Sometimes these topics can be overlooked, or not even noticed, by those who are just looking to be entertained or get a cheap scare. Sometimes they are seen by those with a keen perception. Sometimes however, the "real" topic of the film is so obvious that it almost becomes silly to hide it within another genre. Such is the tragic story about Ginger, written by Karen Walton and directed by John Fawcett.Werewolves have always had the distinction of being a cover to talk about involuntary physical and mental changes or to serve as a juxtaposition to a spreading disease via blood. From THE WOLFMAN to AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, the main protagonists become lycanthropes against their will, and must deal with their permanent curse. Such is the case in GINGER SNAPS, were Ginger's affliction is merely a red herring for puberty and all the unbalanced hormones that come with it. For Ginger, the slowly gestating lycanthrope virus is just the same as her new found primal desires for boys and her period - she can not control her desires, and is willing to do anything to make it stop. Karen Walton's script, which is laden with the terrors of womanhood, gives a feminine injected boost to a genre that seems permanently bulls-eyed at 18-34 year old males. For the men in this film, their horror comes from their inability to dominate and control a woman either through verbal put-downs or archaic parenting, in the face of her female ferocity.This is not to say that the film skimps on the actual werewolf story. It is quite the opposite in fact. Walton's biological take on the subject is well thought out, and it takes the entire film for Ginger to finally succumb to the virus. In between, make-up and creature effects designer Paul Jones (who previously worked on NIGHT BREED and the HELLRAISER series) slowly transforms actress Katharine Isabelle into an animalistic version of herself. The changes are very subtle, and his dedication to physica[...]



Nightly Horror News Website Up and Running

2010-10-24T13:18:45.367-04:00

I'm very happy to announce the launch of Nightly Horror News, a website dedicated to horror movie news plus the occasional story on music, comic books, and television.

This will allow Movies at Midnight to return and refocus on what it has always been meant to be, a movie review website.

I hope you check it out.  I'm just getting the website up and running, but it will soon be integrated into most aspects of the Movies at Midnight social media empire, such our facebook fanpage and twitter account plus I'll be setting up independent accounts for this new venture.



BAY OF BLOOD (1971) Movie Review

2010-10-23T10:14:47.202-04:00

BAY OF BLOOD (1971)On a grand estate on the shore of a bay, an elderly woman clings desperately to the land so that it will not be bought and turned into a resort. However, her murder sets off a chain reaction that brings all of the potential heirs to the estate out of the woodwork, and more disturbing, an unknown killer who begins to systematically murder each of these heirs. The situation takes another turn for the worse when a group of teenagers decide to trespass on the estate, and are quickly targeted by a killer who knows no remorse, sympathy, or limits to their cruel imagination for slaughtering their next victim.In 1970s Italy the murder-mystery, also known as a giallo, was coming into its golden age soaking the screen in blood, filling it with red herrings and sleazy sexuality and generally confusing the hell out of the audiences with complicated plots. But when famed director and writer Mario Bava brought BAY OF BLOOD to the screen, it was like nothing anyone had seen before. Starting off from a generic storyline that could be found in any run-of-the-mill giallo, Bava quickly amps everything up from the almost insane weaving of all the characters' relationships, to the one-after-another murders that are each committed in a more horrific way, to the gratuitous and graphic sex and nudity.This film has become known as the very first official slasher film, and is (or at least should be) the water mark to compare all other films that compete for the slasher subgenre label. In America, it can be debated whether BLACK CHRISTMAS or HALLOWEEN was really the first US slasher film, though both owe all their screen credit to Bava's masterpiece. The early FRIDAY THE 13TH films in particular also borrow heavily from this film, right down to the first-person POV and some of the signature murders in the series. For better or worse (and for most fans it is probably the better), due to BAY OF BLOOD, sex and violence will always be married in the slasher genre.It is not just that the film is the very first slasher, it is a great slasher and can still to this day hold up against any would be film adversary. The groundbreaking murder sequences within the film alone make the film worth seeking out, even if you are passive fan of the genre. The make-up special effects, helmed by Carlo Rambaldi (who would later work on E.T. and ALIEN among others) can still hold up almost forty years later, which is testament to their realism. It is truly a crime that as the years passed this film has become more obscure, fallen off the "must see" lists of some horror stalwarts, and may even be unknown to younger and newer faces to the horror scene. This was one of the last films that Mario Bava would make, and it is a culmination of a lifetime of work. Even though the movie's essence can be boiled down to a horror shocker, each of the film's individual parts are given the respect and professionalism that would be seen in a high art or dramatic picture. Bava has always been known as one who uses color to manipulate and enhance his films, and it is no exception here. The music plays a critical part in setting moods and building up suspense. Bava's camerawork pulls from the well established "unknown killer" motifs and makes them his own, which set the stage for future directors and cinematographers to mutate to their own needs.Any horror fan owes it to themselves to give this film, and Mario Bava, the full credit and respect that it deserves, and that even if it doesn't become a permanent part of your[...]



SUSPIRIA (1977) Movie Review

2010-10-21T22:09:55.185-04:00

SUSPIRIA (1977)Review by Tom ParnellWhat exactly do witches do?If you think about it nobody has ever really explained this. From a very young age we are told there are witches, they have little pointy hats and broomsticks, throw frogs into cauldrons and cackle a lot. But nobody ever explains why they do all this. What is their goal? Dario Argento’s cult classic SUSPIRIA poses this question in a sort of Grimm fairytale for adults (if the brothers Grimm were sponsored by an artificial blood production company). Whether the film actually answers it is another matter.The movie begins with all-American stranger-in-a-strange-land Suzy Bannion (played by Jessica Harper) arriving in an unnamed European country where she has enrolled in a prestigious ballet school. What’s going to happen to her?We are less than five minutes in before the tension begins to build, driven in no small part by the EXORCIST-style theme performed by the aptly named Goblin. Although Argento goes to great lengths to build suspense throughout SUSPIRIA, we are left in no doubt as to the nature of what lurks in the shadows, as the phrase “Witch” is repeatedly whispered whenever the music grows to a climax. At points this can get somewhat irritating, as there are several moments when the characters are listening for specific creepy noises around them and it becomes hard to distinguish sound effects from the relentless repeating soundtrack.From the start the film’s set design and cinematography are stunning. Every building and room is bigger than life and decorated in a spectrum of coloors with wallpapers that appear to have been designed by an excitable descendent of William Morris. Argento continually finds unusual and exciting angles from which to frame shots, from distant headlights through a pitch-black woodland to the unusual spectacle of pouring a glass of wine practically straight down the viewer’s throat.Where this film falls down is in the plotline and dialogue. Suzy wonders around the mysterious dance academy doe-eyed and mouth agape, while the requisite number of friends and acquaintances are knocked off in a variety of gore-soaked ways. Then suddenly and inexplicably she starts talking about witches (I can only suspect that she somehow caught a snippet of the soundtrack) and the next thing you know she’s off consulting a ‘witch expert’ who happily knows an awful lot of plot exposition.I read afterwards that Argento had initially planned to populate the dance academy with 12-year-olds, but the studio wouldn’t let him so he kept the dialogue in protest. This would explain a lot, but if it is the case it seems a shame that he ultimately punishes the viewer for this censorship.In all SUSPIRIA is a stylish and well-paced horror, with some truly grizzly set pieces. But if you’re wondering what motivates a witch I still can’t tell whether it’s murder or whether they’ve just got to dance!Tom Parnell is a writer and former journalist who is eagerly awaiting the DVD release of Toy Story 3.Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



Rick Takes Action in Latest THE WALKING DEAD Clip

2010-10-20T18:40:03.505-04:00

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In this latest clip from the upcoming comic book adaptation of THE WALKING DEAD, Rick shows he's already learned the mantra of any zombie apocalypse survivor - aim for the brain.

The 90 minute season premiere is set to air on AMC Halloween night at 10pm EST.

The dead are coming. Are you prepared? Spread the word!



The Top 5 Horror Movies of 2010 (So Far) - 15 Days till Halloween

2013-10-30T11:20:52.853-04:00

Top Horror Films of 2010 (So Far)Article by Joe JohnsonI personally feel that 2010 has been a somewhat lean period for our beloved horror genre. Maybe I’ve had my head in the sand, but I don’t feel we’ve been treated to the steady drip feed of horrors that we’ve had in pervious years. Although horrors have been few and far between, I think we’ve had some real gems nestling in amongst those pesky Rom-Coms your girlfriend always wants to see. Here are my Top 5 Horrors of the year so far:1. PIRANHA 3DThis film was trashy, throwaway, tongue in cheek, and all the better for it! It never once took itself seriously and for this reason endeared itself to even the most staunch horror critics. Blending colorful, summery imagery and gyrating chicks in bikinis with levels of gore that truly put SAW and HOSTEL to shame, it proved a unique experience that left me mentally drained! 2. THE LAST EXORCISMAnother exorcism film? Really?! It seems every flick that deals with demonic possession is trying to out do the 37-year old daddy of horror, THE EXORCIST. THE LAST EXORCISM is a good effort but falls short of this accolade, mainly for its bizarre and anti-climactic ending that no one really understood! 3. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDEAn underground classic if ever there was one, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE charts the escapades of a deranged surgeon who captures unwitting guinea pigs for his twisted experiment which consists of sewing people together, orifice-to-orifice. This was not released in mainstream cinemas and with good reason, it was bleak and challenging. 4. DAYBREAKERSThis turns the classic vamp flick on its head. Set in 2017 it depicts a world where the majority of the population are vampires. The human population is dwindling, meaning the vamps are rapidly running out of blood and a number of scientists are battling to save the human race while pioneering an alternative food source. 5. SHUTTER ISLANDOne in a long list of silver screen horror hits with a mental-health theme, SHUTTER ISLAND sees DiCaprio visit an asylum where there are some strange goings on. DiCapro faces a struggle to deal with the voices in his own head while fending off crazy people in this thought provoking masterpiece with a killer twist. What lies in wait for the rest of 2010 that could topple one of these titles? Anything out there you'd would hav rather seen here? Let us know!Read more horror movie reviews and get the latest horror news updates on Movies at Midnight.[...]



Top Twenty Horror Films Presented to Final Girl - 18 Days till Halloween

2010-10-13T23:24:25.022-04:00

Over at Final Girl, Stacie Ponder is currently counting down a reader generated list of favorite horror films as part of her Shocktober shenanigans. That list contains 732 unique movie titles. Crazy! Fantastic! Fantazy!

Your humble blogger submitted his top twenty of course, and is anxiously awaiting to see where they line up. Thus far, I've only seen one of my twenty pop up, that being EVIL DEAD TRAP. I'm always asked to name my top films, and more specifically my top horror films. When I submitted my last a few weeks ago they happen to be (in no particular order):
  • John Carpenter's Halloween
  • John Carpenter's The Thing
  • The Haunting
  • Nosferatu
  • Nightmare on Elm Street 3
  • Ringu
  • Ju-On: The Grudge
  • Evil Dead Trap
  • Mr. Vampire
  • Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • George A. Romero's Dawn of The Dead
  • Alien
  • Evil Dead II
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • Friday The 13: The Final Chapter
  • Zombi 2
  • David Cronenberg's The Fly
  • The Descent
  • Suspiria
  • Bay of Blood

I'm a little irked that I didn't put THE EXORCIST on here, but I'll make up for that on October 17th. Be sure to come back in a few days for a special dedication to THE EXORCIST.

What are your top horror films at the moment? Don't think to much, just start typing and the goods will float to the top naturally like a body that hasn't been properly weighted with a ballast.

18 days till Halloween...