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Dead By Words

Love horror movies and TV? So do we. Walk down our track and enter our cabin of horrors…

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Cabin in the woods

Review: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010)

Tucker & Dale…is a refreshing comedy horror which reverses the ‘rednecks chase down and murder hopeless teens in the woods’ scenario. Turns out Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine) are actually quite sweet and the teens they meet end up accidentally killing themselves as the run away from them in fear, thinking our heroes are the enemy. Yep, running into wood chippers, impaling themselves on trees and accidental gunfire. These kids are stooopid.

It’s an enormous amount of fun and Labine’s Dale is especially endearing. There’s a guilty pleasure from watching the hapless teens scare themselves to death (literally) and a cute parallel love interest plot between Dale and ‘final girl’ Allison (Katrina Bowden).

With talks of a sequel in the pipeline, we’d love to see more of these two. It’s an enormous laugh and there’s plenty more escapades that Tucker and Dale could get into. And with so many grisly potential scenarios, there’s legs on this one (just like in the wood chipper – gross!)

 

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 2/5

DISTURBIA: 2/5

RATING: 8/10

Watch it for: A fresh take on the usual horror theme of ‘rednecks vs teens’

Watch out for: We told you – the wood chipper!

Review – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

It is happening again.

And it happened before – in 1992 – when David Lynch directed the feature length movie of the final days of Laura Palmer’s (Sheryl Lee’s) life. It’s as disturbing, quirky and ‘Lynch’ as they come, with central Twin Peaks characters making welcome appearances and some pretty strange cameos from Chris Isaak, Kiefer Sutherland and David Bowie to name but a few.

We find out more about Laura’s sad, troubled life and Fire Walk with Me is explicit about who ‘Bob’ is, what he does and what happens behind closed doors in seemingly perfect middle class America. Lynch puts the fear into nice houses and lawns, comfortable lounges and we’re once again looking out for Bob springing up from behind the sofa or the corner of Laura’s room. The significance of the ceiling fan also comes into play.

As described in ‘The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer’ book, we get to see exactly what Laura is into and how best friend Donna (played in the movie by Moira Kelly, not Lara Flynn Boyle – who declined to return) tries to find out and nearly gets sucked into herself. There’s a chilling moment reminding us where Agent Cooper  (Kyle MacLachlan) is, when Laura sees a bloodied Annie (Heather Graham) in bed with her and she delivers a message. *shudder*. And of course we visit the Black Lodge to meet The Man From Another Place (Michael J. Anderson).

Fire Walk with Me stands up solidly by itself in the Twin Peaks family and is a great watch. The final 20 minutes alone are horrific and deeply upsetting but leave you feeling that Laura is okay now. How and when we meet her again in May 2017 is yet to be revealed but we can’t wait.

GORE RATING: 2/5

SCARES: 4/5

DISTURBIA: 4/5

RATING: 8/10

Watch it for: Sheryl Lee gets the attention she deserves 

Watch out for: Bloody BOB – of course! 

 

 

It is happening again – Twin Peaks 2017

The Twin Peaks teaser dropped last night and WE ARE BEYOND EXCITED. Twin Peaks was seminal to us growing up, and we’re so pleased Laura Palmer kept her promise of seeing us all again 25 years on. Twin Peaks is horror – we still have a fear of ceiling fans, tops of stairs, the backs of sofas and the woods, thanks to Mr David Lynch – and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.

21 May can’t come soon enough.

And remember – the owls are NOT what they seem.

 

31 Days of Halloween – Day 28 – Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1981)

Much loved, this cult classic is a crazy ride from start to finish. Bruce Campbell is back to the cabin in the woods as our hero Ash, but unfortunately his girlfriend gets possessed pretty much straight in and he has to chop her head off with a shovel. From then on, whether it’s the iconic lines of ‘Workshed’, ‘Hello Lover’ or ‘Groovy!’, Evil Dead II is full of hilariously dark moments and just the plain hilarious – see Ash taking his own hand on when it’s possessed and tries to kill him.

From eyeballs popping out and flying into mouths through to gigantic strange tree monsters and demonic mothers locked in cellars, Evil Dead II truly delivers from the big brained vision of Sam Raimi. And no other male lead is put through it as much as Bruce.

BEST LAUGHING THING IN THE CABIN: The lamp

GORE RATING: 4/5

SCARES: 3/5

DISTURBIA: 4/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: Bruce Campbell. Nuff said

Watch out for: The constant whirrrring, haunting sounds in the woods and cabin

31 Days of Halloween – Day 21 – The Blair Witch Project (1999)

This found footage classic is still as terrifying 17 years on, even though you don’t see much happening on screen. That’s exactly the point – what’s in your mind and what you don’t see is much scarier.

Heather, Mike and Josh take a trip into the woods as they’re making a documentary on the legendary Blair Witch. After interviewing locals, things take a sinister turn as the woods seem to turn against them. They’re lost, everything looks the same, and strange symbolic sticks start appearing.

Part of the reason why The Blair Witch was so scary first time around was its marketing campaign. It was marketed primarily on the web, with whispers over whether this was real life footage. Viewing it years later, it’s still very effective and you feel the terror of the crew as tensions build and things go oh so weird. They don’t know if they’re losing it or if something is after them.

And you’ll never forget the ending. It is deeply disturbing.

BEST THING IN THE WOODS: Squirrels

GORE RATING: 1/5

SCARES: 4/5

DISTURBIA: 4/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10

Watch it for: Heather’s snivelling piece to camera

Watch out for: No-one puts Mike in a corner

31 Days of Halloween – Day 17 – Don’t Blink (2014)

Don’t Blink is a strange film – it holds your attention throughout as ten friends descend upon a remote mountain resort, but ultimately doesn’t pay off as the ‘threat’ is confusing, the plot clumsy and there’s a lot of blinking. A LOT OF BLINKING, DESPITE WHAT THEY SAY THEY SHOULDN’T DO.

Mena Suvari and Brian Austin Green head up the cast, as one by one the friends disappear in front of each other in the resort. Why this actually happens is not explored – it just happens and of course it freaks the hell out of them all.

It’s worth a watch but there’s not much going on here in terms of horror or frights.

BLINK 182?: Are not in it 

GORE RATING: 1/5

SCARES: 1/5

DISTURBIA: 1/5

TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 3/10

Watch it for: It’s an okay ‘ten friends in a cabin in the woods’ scenario

Watch out for: The final blinking (or non blinking) contest 

Review: Blood Creek (2009)

A jumbled mess, Blood Creek has potential but the over complicated plot and messy script make it fall on its bum. When you have Michael Fassbender and Henry Cavill in the mix, it’s hard to see where you could go wrong yet this is a strange little film that never gives us true scares or pay off. It’s hard to care about any of the characters or their motivations, let alone the sinister back story of Fassbender’s German professor Richard Wirth.

In 1936, Wirth visits German migrants living in West Virginia, USA; he may act all professor charming, but he’s actually after an ancient Viking runestone buried on their farm. As he is a Nazi occultist! The family, seeing his potential power, imprison him on their farm which involves human sacrifices to keep his bloodlust at bay. Still with us? We don’t blame you if you’re not…

Step forward to the MODERN DAYS, and Henry Cavill’s brother has gone missing in the woods after a camping trip. He suddenly appears three years later, long-haired and covered in scars, having been a chewy, blood-letting toy for Wirth. He encourages Evan (Cavill) to go back to the farm with some big ol’ guns to finish the family and Wirth; the family are somehow frozen in time with Fassy, so they’re not ageing either. The film then turns into a ‘cabin in the woods vs evil threat’ scenario, as the family are held captive inside whilst Wirth goes apeshit and tries to drink their blood to TAKE OVER THE WORLD outside. He kills a horse and makes it into a zombie horse, which then storms the house like an Evil Dead possessed creature. It really is trot.

The interesting bit comes at the end, when we see the potential of Evan in his future quest. And that really is about it. The rest is absurd.

It’s also kind of weird to see Fassbender playing a demonic, gross Nazi vampire thing. Creeeeeepppyyyyy.

TOTAL RATING: 2/10

GORE RATING: 3/5

SCARES: 1/5

DISTURBIA: 1/5

Watch it for: Zombie horse. Yeah! 

Watch out for: Fassbender’s ‘third eye’. No laughing please…

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