Gore, guts and allegories: Horror’s love of the B-movie

Horror has a habitual allowance for exhibiting the obscure and overall freakish nature of human behaviour. The genre can exaggerate and create controversial and unusual content. Due to this it’s often the case that some films may not obtain a wide release or gain critical acclaim. This is where the B-movie comes in.

Originally the B-movie was used to define the less publicised film from a double feature during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Soon double feature promotions died off, yet the term B-movie would still be used to describe lower budget independent films. In the horror genre B-movies can be prolific and eventually gain massive success, with many of these films becoming cult classics. The horror genre is rife with B-movies, with many of the best arising from the 1960’s to the 1980s and what makes them so unique is their amusing way of illustrating odd and at times unfathomable narratives.

B-movies have been criticised as lacking emotive and philosophical reasonings, with expectations for the films to be rotten with gore and violence. However the narrative structural composition for a select few films delves deeper than what arrives on the surface. In fact the B-movies of Horror have gone on to define and influence some of the greatest films of the genre.

With this being said, here is a list of gems emerging from the dark depths of horror that quintessentially explore alluring subject matters.


Spider Baby (Jack Hill, 1967)

Spider baby

Starring Lon Chaney Jr., Spider Baby follows the Merrye family who suffer from a genetic disorder causing them to exhibit feral cannibalistic tendencies. The three Merrye children Virgina (Jill Banner), Ralph (Sid Haig) and Elizabeth (Beverly Washburn) are cared for by the families chauffeur Bruno (Chaney) since their parents passed. However their concerning equilibrium is jeopardised when their distant family pay a visit to inherit the estate.

Spider Baby is a cunning film that preys on the narrative’s intrinsic terror to conjure a creepy and dark atmosphere. Although the film is equipped with the word ‘spider’ within the title the actual focus on the film is not insects, but instead Virgina, Ralphs and Elizabeth’s menacing movements and actions; Virgina acts like a spider with delicate movements before she kills her prey, Ralph is an animalistic young man who succumbs to his carnal desires and Elizabeth lunacy seems to be the least developed, with her frequently reprimanding Virginia’s behaviour.

The true beauty within Spider Baby is the cruel catharsis that Hill treats his characters with. The eerie setting of a broken down manor laden with cobwebs and dark crooked rooms is naturally haunting, yet the horror derives from the unexpected.

Bruno is sullen and softly mannered, but technically evilly motivated. Bruno has promised the Merrye children’s father that he would keep their secret and care for them. However by doing so he harbours the knowledge that the house holds a cannibalistic tribe beneath. Bruno is aware of the distant families fate, it’s the inevitable that they would fall into the children’s trap, but he allows them to carry on furthering the disorder.

Spider Baby is an underrated film of the 1960s possibly due to it being withheld from having a UK theatrical release until 2000. But let’s not forget the notorious cast, Lon Chaney Jr. is a horror legend within his own right and then we have Sid Haig who would later feature in several Rob Zombie pictures and become a horror icon.

The Hills Have Eyes (Wes Craven, 1977)

The Hills have eyes

Wes Craven is known for both A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Scream (1996), but prior to this he focused more on exploitation horror, with both The Last House on the Left (1972) and The Hills Have Eyes becoming cult classics.

The Hills Have Eyes follows the middle class American family (the Carter’s) as they battle against an unfortunate group of cannibalistic mutants. On first look the film bleeds the traditional archetype of an innocent family being savaged by a rural mob. However beneath this is a devoted allegory for human depravity, with Craven paralleling the story between the Carter’s and the cannibals.

The cannibal group originated from Jupiter (James Whitworth) who after being supposedly left for dead by his father started a family with a crazed prostitute aptly named Mama (Corey Clark). Jupiter and his family attack to survive, their feeding of human flesh is agreeably distasteful and macabre, but so is the Carter’s family’s revenge.

Yes, the cannibals are the vicious enemy and the Carter’s are simply retaliating from the heinous crimes, but when you strip back who’s right and who’s wrong what you have left is a tale of basic humanistic tendencies- revenge and attack. Craven also seems to tackle deeper meanings regarding Americanised government influence; the Carter’s road trip shortcut has brought them to a dessert area with off-limits military signs strewn across the land, with it being heavily implied that Jupiter and his families deformities are the result of radioactive testing via the US forces.

This metaphor is washed throughout the film through imagery reflecting the damage inflicted by treacherous conflicts. In sight with this it’s possibly not a coincidence that this film was made after the end of the Vietnam War. In effect the Carter family are on Jupiter’s turf, obstructing his being. Technically they are the intruders.

Despite the philosophical analogy there is of course a glorious amount of gore and violence that pours throughout the film, with Craven providing his fair share of burnings, stabbing and disembowelments. But lurking beneath the brutality is a conscious effort to depict war torn society.

Demons (Lamberto Bava, 1985)


It’s no surprise Lamberto Bava directed a cult hit with the infamous Mario Bava as a father. In tune with being raised surrounding cinema, Lamberto directed Demons with the intentions of it being an allegory for subjective films. The age old argument involving horror being the cause of real life inflictions is heavily implied within Demons.

The film follows a random group of people invited to a mysterious movie screening at an empty theatre, however it’s not long until they find themselves becoming trapped and possessed by demons.

At first glance the film rings rather typical of an 1980s gore-fest, but Bava uses heavy gore and impressive practical effects to further the metaphorical motive. After the chaos has ensued the survivors attempt to kick down the doors to the projection room believing that the film is a curse causing demon manifestations.

In fact the line “Now the movie can’t hurt us anymore” is uttered in response to the film being destroyed. However after another demon attack they reason that “It’s not the movie, it’s the theatre”. At the time the Video Nasty scandal only occurred one year prior to Demon’s release where many horror films were deemed unsafe for consumption. Perhaps Bava was commenting upon the idea that films were believed to have caused such wreckage that people urged for them to be destroyed.

Quite ironically in Demon’s after the film is destroyed no effect is taken with the monsters still running riot, just as the videos in the scandal did not prevent or change the course of destructive behaviour.

Sleepaway Camp (Robert Hiltzik, 1983)

sleepaway camp

Sleepaway Camp is ultimately an entertaining slasher that successfully utilises a summer camp setting to its best ability. The film follows Angela (Felissa Rose) as she accompanies her cousin Ricky (Johnathan Tiersten) to Camp Arawak. Angela’s family died in a tragic accident leaving her traumatised and quiet. This is something her fellow camp mates struggle with as they deem her shy demeanour weird.

To discuss Sleepaway Camp it’s necessary to spoil the ending, as much of the connotations derive from that particular scene. For anyone who has not seen it, Angela is revealed to be the killer who has been ferociously murdering her peers. The imagery that lingers during the reveal scene has gone down in horror history as being completely unexpected and shocking as it’s revealed that Angela is in fact a boy.

Angela has been forced by her aunt (who is now her guardian after her parents passed) to be a girl as she always wanted a little girl. In present time Angela is constantly bullied for not wanting to unrobe and swim in the lake like her peers, she also doesn’t overly express either feminine or masculine attitudes as she herself is lost and confused as to what she identifies as. This pent up frustration from bullying, teasing and misinformation builds up an inner rage that unleashes Angela’s uncontrollable internal beast.

Sleepaway Camp suggests that Angela’s loss of identity and harsh treatment from others causes her to snap and harm anyone who belittles her.

Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1978)

dawn of the dead

Dawn of the Dead is the second in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead series. The film naturally takes inspiration from its predecessor through showing a group of people trapped in a location as they determine how they will survive the zombie outbreak.

Dawn of the Dead uses a shopping mall as it’s hideout, a familiar place to most people. A major theme throughout the film is consumerism, with the survivors still finding time to play dress up, donning expensive clothes and admiring priceless jewellery despite the threat of zombies looming.

“A zombie film is not fun without a bunch of stupid people running around and observing how they fail to handle the situation.”
― George A. Romero

The social commentary is explained via the human condition. The zombies are entirely devoid of emotion, they are only intrinsically wired to feast upon their prey, they lack empathy and have no regard for others. In return the living characters in the film are not necessarily too different in the sense that they are entirely out for their own well being and do not care about the survival of others. This is particularly prevalent during an end scene involving a wandering biker gang attempting to conquer the mall with zero regard to the remaining humans alive inside.

What this aims to expose is that the humanistic side of behaviour surrounding empathy and fairness ceases to exist, with the zombies acting as a representative figure illustrating humans to be walking aimlessly through life with only their own needs being lived for.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.


This week in Horror – News round up 28.08.20

Here’s our horror news round up, a few of this weeks biggest stories and happenings in the genre!

Reboot Revival: Scream and The Thing both set to return to screens

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Scream has consistently shown a critical concord of well received sequels, so why not throw a fifth one into the mix. Scream 5 has been confirmed, and what’s more important is so are directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who brought us last year’s gem Ready or Not.

Many familiar faces from Woodsboro are set to return, with the likes of Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell all reprising their roles as the renegade survivors of Ghostface. Scream 5 is sure to be a blast through the box office, with many hopeful fans anticipating the return of Craven’s subjective masterpiece.

Scream isn’t the only classic with a reboot in talks, with The Thing being brought back to life by the notorious Blumhouse Productions. John Carpenter’s 1982’s sci-fi horror has an infamous reputation, with a remake already penned in 2011 by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Although the film is still in early development Carpenter himself has confirmed his involvement. It hasn’t yet been confirmed whether the film will be a remake, re-imagining or a sequel. With Carpenter’s contribution it’s sure to be an honourable mark within The Thing’s film series.

Netflix’s surreal horror – I’m Thinking of Ending Things arrives on the 4th September

Charlie Kaufman tackles Iain Reid’s debut novel following a young woman who accompanies her boyfriend on a road trip to meet his parents. However, after a snowstorm prevents them from leaving, she soon notices her perception of reality has been wildly hindered. The film has a talented cast including Toni Collette, Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons and David Thewlis, who all seemingly tackle their roles extremely convincingly enhancing the erratic unnerving atmosphere of the film.

From the first look this film is a surreal ride into a perplexing maze of events. The uneasy trailer presents us with a false verisimilitude that presents normal situations in a sinister tone. The film’s atmosphere is structured to appear ordinary from an outside perspective but with unstable undertones lurking beneath the surface, similar to both Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017) and Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018).

It’s best to watch I’m Thinking of Ending Things with little prior knowledge to fully experience and appreciate the disturbing events that unravel.

First Look: The creators of The Haunting of Hill House return with The Haunting of Bly Manor

In 2018 Mike Flanagan brought Shirley Jackson’s novel to life with the terrifying Haunting of Hill House. Now Flanagan and the talented cast return for an adaptation of Henry James’s novella The Turn of the Screw. New pictures were released this week showing us an insight into Bly Manor’s haunting aura, including dark hallways, nightmarish dolls and a grandeur setting.

The foundation of Bly Manor seems to coincide with Hill House’s mysterious surroundings, but this time round Flanagan has hinted at an evoking relationship between haunted people and a haunted space. Bly Manor is set to return this Autumn, perfectly synchronising with Halloween.

Host director and writer team up once again for new prison-based horror flick

Host soared to success as one of the first lockdown films, however the director Rob Savage’s success doesn’t stop there as he alongside Host writer Jed Shepherd are set to create an original horror film based on a group of female prisoners discovering the prison’s dark secrets lurking around the halls.

Little has been released about Host’s follow up, the story has been likened to an allegory for the reverse effects of lockdown; once afraid to stay in for prolonged periods now transforms into a fear of venturing into the outside. Savage’s talent was exhibited largely throughout Host and if that’s anything to work from this film will be a hit.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.


Original Vs Remake – The Evil Dead

Battle of the Evil’s: Can Evil Dead live up to the originals legacy?

The Evil Dead is inarguably a definitive film of the horror genre, with a long standing reputation for popularising the cabin in the woods trope. Stephen King himself commented that Raimi’s telling of demonic possession was “ferociously original”. The term ‘original’ unfortunately is not commonly used in describing the latest that horror cinema has to offer. Retellings and re-imaginations are terms used to describe the influx of remakes stemming from the last twenty years, with an attempt to reboot a franchise and resell recycled materials.

Remakes can grow sour, not only in their reputation but in their actual quality and potency. Despite this scarceness of originality there are a select few remakes that rise out from the depths of the monotonous barrage of clutter that the remake side of the horror genre has succumbed to.

Fede Alvarez’s 2013 vision of Raimi’s classic prominently succeeds at creating its own success with or without The Evil Dead’s backing. Alvarez’s Evil Dead encapsulates the original’s dark sensibility without Raimi’s lobbying of comically grotesque demonic entities. That being said, to determine what establishes both films as horror classics in their own right we break down each film discussing the overall aesthetics, narrative development, mise-en-scene and direction.

The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981)

Bruce Campbell

The film centers around Ash (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), his sister Cheryl (Ellen And their two friends Scott (Richard DeManincor) and Shelley (Theresa Tilly) as they travel to a remote cabin in rural Tennessee. Their trip is shortly met with disaster as evil spirits lure Ash and Scott down into the basement where evil breaks loose.

The Evil Dead is one of the most celebrated horror films of the 1980s with its legacy remaining influential within modern horror. The archetype of the giggling demon toying with its prey, an ancient Book of the Dead bound with hints to not read and the woodside cabin are all common tropes by today’s standards thanks to The Evil Dead.

These horror tropes naturally conjure an appeal that naturally lures in evil, allowing for sinister occurrences to ensue. It is these universal factors that contribute to the films look. The appearance and aesthetics of a horror film can be crucial in determining its effectiveness amongst the audience. The isolated cabin is situated in an enormous spread of open wilderness yet, the confinement and incapability of the situation create a juxtaposed sense of claustrophobia in a vastly unbarred environment.

Alongside this, we have the frightening warning signs that premonate evil happenings prior to the horrific events. When the group arrive they are met with numerous bad omens forewarning danger such as a near miss car accident, a bench swinging on its own and the beginning signs of possession within the first fifteen minutes. This is one of the primary motives as to what makes the original renowned within the genre; it’s the audience participation of witnessing the negative foreshadowings and knowing you’re going to have to sit through their wicked fate. This entertainment factor of engagement with the film is only furthered by Raimi’s revolutionary use of cinematography.

The film begins with an immediate haunting atmosphere catalysed by a discerning POV shot that acts as a continuing motif throughout the remainder of the film. The camera tracks wildly throughout the forest bouncing within the trees and flying over the lakes, placing the viewer within the positioning of paranormal forces. The innovative camera placing continues throughout, with Raimi creating a DIY steadicam due to budgetary constraints. The camera would be carefully bolted down on a plank of wood for two crew members to hold onto either side and navigate under Raimi’s direction. The cheap solution created rich effects, allowing for a shaky depth of field mirroring the uneasy and rambunctious nature of the narrative.

The discerning visuals and tone are only fractious as to what makes The Evil Dead honourable, it’s the film’s fantastically grotesque innards that are iconic. The generous gore and guts is a sensory overload that indulges in the excessively freakish visuals accustomed with eighties splatter films. This is overtly noticeable within the claymation finale, where exploding organs and melting faces are at play for the horror viewers sensationalised needs.

However a scene that steers away from being comical and focuses on pure shock and horror is the infamous tree scene. In what is one of the films most gruesome scenes Cheryl is assaulted by a possessed tree. The phallic tree branches slip around her limbs and restrain her, the result of this being that she too is now possessed. From this moment on the horror that is hinted up until this scene is transformed into a full forced nightmare.

The Evil Dead’s legacy remains entirely influential to this day, with the cabin in the woods aspect now becoming its own sub genre. Alongside this we have Ash who is a horror icon, with the character even having his own spin off TV show ‘Ash vs. Evil Dead’. Ash is a simple yet complex character who possesses the typical level of naivety and charm to make audiences warm to him, but with a dexterity for killing demons. Ash’s appeal, Raimi’s inventive techniques and the overall genre establishing narrative techniques allow for The Evil Dead to cement its cult status position.

The Evil Dead is deeply loved by horror fans, but is not perfect and does delicately suffer from being dated. So does the remake over 3 decades later tackle the faulted aspects and celebrate its finest moments?

Evil Dead (Fede Alvarez, 2013)

Horror remakes can slump onto the scene with the only impact being made occurring financially. With bigger budgets, better CGI and a massive reputation to live up to, the remake can receive rather lacklustre feedback. Whereas Evil Dead is a companion piece to the original that captures the true horror without the comic relief. It’s a viscerally brutal vision that thrives on the nastiness that the original toyed with.

Unlike the eighties, modern horror is saturated with young adults holidaying at a desolate cabin, yet this doesn’t affect Evil Dead as the purpose for the rural stay is not for a nonsensical reason but for an actual source of isolation. The premise of the film is nearly the same as the original with five young adults (with two being siblings) staying at a cabin where evil entities are awakened due to the group’s own curiosity.

However the female lead Mia (Jane Levy) has a crippling heroin addiction, meaning that the secluded stay is necessary to allow for an intervention and addiction withdrawal. Immediately the sensibility of struggle is lunged onto the characters allowing for the audience to somewhat connect and understand the protagonists rather than disavowal them as dispensable characters.

Evil Dead has a reputation as being one of the better remakes due to its sense of logic that the original lacks. In The Evil Dead there is little reason as to why these demons are here or even what their motives are besides killing, there is no sourced route of chaos or evil. What Alvarez succeeds in is not creating a meaning behind the demons but to position the characters in a more realistic light in such a situation.

Despite Ash’s survival skills there is a sense of misunderstanding and damping down in how serious Cheryl’s and Shelley’s possession is. Yes, the first film has satirical undertones, but there is no sense of emergency or rapidness, ultimately decreasing tension. Alternatively Alvarez sticks to the horror route with an excess of panic and dread accentuated throughout.

evil dead demon

The grossly outrageous gore is gloriously exhibited in a grand fashion brimmed with squirish moments including amputation via carving knife, tongue splitting and scalding. The bloodshed is generous but not entirely unnecessary. The ultraviolence is a grim payoff, with the stimulating body horror encapsulating how different the original and remake are.

The final sequence of Raimi’s film is over the top gory yet humorous, instead Evil Dead offers no relief or break from pure carnage. To further the horrific imagery is the perfect pace of the film. As aforementioned within the first fifteen minutes of the original film demonic action has already presented itself. Evil Dead does not crawl along but it handles the quick pacing more effectively. E.g, within the same amount of time we are introduced to reputable characters as well as attain a creepy atmosphere, with the horrifying opening sequence establishing Alvarez’s motives as to what sort of film we are about to endure.

Another commemorable aspect within Evil Dead is its use of practical effects. CGI almost acts as its own characters in many modern films, the constant display of unrealistic gore due to heavily digitally altered scenes can lessen the affective qualities. To defy this Álvarez opted for makeup, illusions and practical effects to achieve a grueling visceral appearance for necessary scenes. The practical effects is not the only reference to the original, with slight homages being paid throughout; a broken necklace is found outside resting resembling a skull, similar to Ash finding a chain for it to only fall into the shape of a skull. Other subtle references to the Evil Dead franchise include Mia wielding a chainsaw and possessed hands capable of mutilation.

Evil Dead understands its position within the Dead series. It’s not a retelling, it’s a chapter in the Book of the Dead, it fleshes out more than the first without over shadowing its predecessor. Raimi focuses on youthful individuals tackling crazed demons whereas Alvarez eludes this same aspect but with a grungy tone harboured with a kinetic brutality that explores hellish grounds.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.


Desktop horror – Found footage meets the digital age

The found footage genre is infamous for exploding onto the market, with innovative films that use new technology to present chilling and realistic narratives. Although still effective, it is a heavily saturated sub-genre that can at times present stale ideas that have been executed multiple times before. However, something that has arisen from found footage and given it a new lease of life is desktop horror.

Desktop horror ensues entirely on a computer screen. The method seeks to emulate how society is both psychically immersed with technology, but also how our emotions and fears are charged via our online life. These films create a sense of present time and space with much of the action literally unravelling before our eyes; with desktop horror we are glued to the screen, following the cursors every move, noting every message that pops-up and observing every letter typed.

It’s a relatively unexplored topic, with few lists detailing the best picks for you to watch. With this being said here are 5 engaging films that are worth adding to your watchlist.

5. Ratter (Branden Kramer, 2015)


Ratter follows Emma (Ashley Benson), an independent grad student who recently moved to New York after a recent break up. Emma’s penchant for her laptop soon results in her own demise as it’s hacked. Now her every move is being watched by a sadistic stranger.

The film toys with societal fears of intrusion and exploiting one’s personal privacy. The hacker has access to Emma’s everyday life with her intimate moments and personal conversations being accessible for anyone to witness.

As her webcam has been permanently activated the audience takes on the perspective of the hacker. Yet we are paralysed behind the screen, unable to communicate and inept in rescuing. But the question that arises is ‘are we partnered alongside the hacker?’ acting as the voyeur.

Ratter is not necessarily the most admirable or acclaimed film, but Kramer utilises the situation to create a slow swelling build up of tension and eerie dread resulting in an engaging entry into desktop horror.

Ratter is currently available to rent on Amazon Prime

4. The Collingswood Story (Michael Costanza, 2006)

the collingwood story

The Collingswood Story details Rebecca’s (Stephanie Dee) long distance relationship with her boyfriend Johnny (Johnny Burton) over webcam after she moves to Collingswood for University. Rebecca soon learns that the town of Collingswood was once the home of a deranged satanic cult.

The premise seems tiresome and repetitive but it’s execution is flawlessly formulated. The mid 2000s webcam situation of blurry quality and MSN style aesthetics does not dampen the film’s merit; in fact it accentuates the authenticity of the scenario.

The pacing of the film equates to a sense of terror and anxiety, with the believable dialogue only enhancing the compelling emotions manifested from such qualities. The sensations of fear are strengthened due to the time and space that desktop horror conjures. With the events literally unraveling in front of the viewer there is an impression of urgency created to bring back harmony and end the frightening occurrences.

The Collingswood Story is an entirely underrated film that deserves to be commended for its take on desktop horror.

3. Unfriended (Levan Gabriadze, 2014)


Unfriended follows a group of teenagers who find that an anonymous member in their Skype call brings about haunting occurrences with deadly consequences. Unfriended is possibly the most notorious film on this list with it becoming a filmic sensation. The film presents a realistic active laptop screen with open tabs, various social media accounts and cluttered files dispersed all over.

As the film progresses so does the paranormal activity, the group harbour a dark secret involving the suicide of their friend Laura (Heather Sossaman). The audience is persuaded to believe that the strange happenings are at the hands of Laura’s ghost. As with many desktop horrors, it’s not as simple as closing your screen and abandoning technology to solve the problem, as Laura’s apparition taunts the group by continually interjecting herself into their Skype session no matter how many times they attempt to log off.

Laura’s persistence for cathartic revenge leads to her suicide video ceaselessly playing on screen, leading to the implied notion that digitalised media is cemented online forever and inescapable. Desktop horror manipulates the internet’s natural accessibility and emulated factors to create an environment of unavoidable dread.

Unfriended is currently streaming on Netflix

2. The Den (Zachary Donohue, 2013)

The Den

The Den (released as Hacked in some countries) follows Elizabeth (Melanie Papalia) who is given a grant to investigate video communication culture online. Elizabeth soon discovers the dark secrets inhibiting the web in the form of underground snuff films, little does she know her curiosity may lead to her own demise.

The Den’s exploration into dark web videos is familiar to audiences awareness of the dangerous doings below the surface of the internet. The threat of snuff films has been the talk of many horror stories both on screen and in reality. Thus when the film is said to take inspiration from ‘real life events’, we are told that these are not characters but real people faced with real consequences.

Donohue attempts to divide the borders between reality and fiction, with the self-contained barrier of fictitious circumstances flowing into real existence. E.g. part of Elizabeth’s research involves her interacting on Chatroulette-style websites communicating with random strangers and witnessing odd situations. As the parallel between screen and person is broken down, we feel as if we are just one of those strangers on Chatroulette, haplessly witnessing her doom.

1. Host (Rob Savage, 2020)


Host follows a group of young women on a Zoom meeting as they attempt to hold a seance to break their lockdown boredom. Host is the most recent film on the list and possibly the most relatable.

The film takes place during the current COVID-19 pandemic and features many familiar factors that people have contributed into their daily routine as part of surviving lockdown. Zoom sessions, group chats, drinking games, and plenty of time on your hands is something that much of society has had to endure since lockdown. Trapping us in own individual claustrophobic new worlds, where our only meaningful social interactions are through a screen.

I’m sure this will not be the only film surrounding Coronavirus but it is one of the first. What occurs during the film’s short run time of 57 minutes is a traditional creepy and ominous story of toying with spirits that should be left unknown. What should be a typical narrative is a refreshing take on a ghost story. Savage utilises the webcams capability of being all seeing and all knowing.

The Zoom meeting acts as a safety brace for these women and the paranormal events. It is implied that the screen is a means to survive, an essential guard against these events, posing the more wider reliance we as a society have on our devices.

Check out HOST exclusively at Shudder

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.


80’s horror doc – In Search of Darkness (2019) – Review

I was absolutely gutted to have missed the first limited release of In Search of Darkness – 80’s horror doc when they released it to Blu-ray last year. Long story short; the week I intended on making my purchase, I fell ill with appendicitis and ended up out of action for 4 weeks!

Thankfully when a second run was announced this year, I had another opportunity to own this 4 hour nostalgia trip and encyclopedic look into 80’s Horror.

”If one horror film hits, everyone says, ‘Let’s go make a horror film.’ It’s the genre that never dies.” George A. Romero

This comprehensive look into the golden era of Horror flicks, was made reality through a Kickstarter campaign and it really does feel like a treat for fans. David Weiner (former journalist and executive editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland from 2015 to 2016) directs an eclectic mix of interviews with filmmakers such as John Carpenter, special effects legend’s Greg Nicotero, and super fans like Slipknot’s Corey Taylor.

The doc kicks off by listing the all-star casts’ memorable flicks of the decade; The Shining, Pet Sematary, Halloween II-5, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Thing, Childs Play, Elvira, Xtro, Company of Wolves, Cujo, Jaws 3D, The Howling, The Hunger, Basket Case, Maniac, Lost Boys, Near Dark, Friday the 13th I & II, Evil Dead I & II, The return of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Poltergeist, American Werewolf in London, Monster Squad, The Fly, Hellraiser, The Changeling, Re-Animator, Sleepaway Camp, Pumkinhead – just scratching the surface of this epic decade of horror.

The doc then takes a walk chronologically from The Shining (1980) up to Friday The 13th Part VIII (1989) – It’s jammed packed full of anecdotes and amazing insights from how some of the bloodiest kills were made by the likes of Tom Savini to Joe Dante’s opinion on The Howling’s sequel.

In Search of Darkness left me yearning for those long gone video store years, every Friday night grabbing the goriest, scariest looking horror movie I could see in the bargain bin. The 4 hours 30 minutes runtime breezed by, and felt there could of easily of been hours more to dive into.

Excitingly David and the CreatorVC team clearly felt the same way as In Search of Darkness Part 2 is coming in October 2020 – Look out for an announcement next month for how we are celebrating its release at this years festival!

Our rating – 4.5/5

Written and Directed by – David A. Weiner

Produced by – Creator CV Studios

Starring – Cassandra Peterson, John Carpenter, Keith David, Heather Langenkamp, Joe Dante, Greg Nicotero and Barbara Crampton

In Search of Darkness is now avaliable to stream on Shudder

Digital copies are still available at Gumroad

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