The Hole In The Ground (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Hole In The Ground (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Hole In The Ground is pretty damn creepy.  To be fair though I have a thing about creepy kids so this pretty much hit all those buttons and more.  But actually, my personal phobias aside, this film has a lot to like.  Strong performances, a great central premise and some atmospheric photography makes for a film that will last a long white after the film ends.  Not perfect (pacing is a bit off and the story a bit too simple) but well worth your time.

Best Bit: In the hole

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: It Comes At Night, Orphan, Poltergeist

 


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Blog: 17 Unexpected Things you didn’t know about your Favourite Horror Films

Blog: 17 Unexpected Things you didn’t know about your Favourite Horror Films

Other Cr*p

Did you know that the radiologist’s assistant in The Exorcist was a convicted murderer who dismembered and killed gay men in the late ’70s?  or that the Babadook became a a gay icon and was even the symbol for Gay Pride month in parts of America?  Here’s a list of our Our 17 unexpected horror facts…

 

  1. The Exorcist (1973)

Paul Bateson played a radiologist’s assistant in The Exorcist. He was a convicted murderer who dismembered and killed gay men in the late ’70

 

  1. Alien (1979)

The actors were not informed that the xenomorph was going to explode from Kane’s chest. This enabled genuine reactions from the cast. Veronica Cartwright even passed out

 

  1. Psycho(1960)

It was the first movie to ever show a toilet being flushed

 

 

4.     Poltergeist (1982)

Four of the cast in the original film died within six years of the film’s release data. One of those was Heather O’Rourke (the girl in the gif) and because of this, the belief that the film was cursed arose.

5.     Night of the living dead (1968)

The Night of the Living Dead was shot in black and white. This means that they didn’t have modern film challenges to make the fake blood look realistic. When Karen Cooper (Kyra Schon) takes a bite of her dad’s flesh, she’s actually biting into some leftover lunch.

6.     The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Anthony Hopkins was only on camera for just under 25 minutes. He was barely in the movie but he still took home the Oscar for Best Actor that year.

7.     The Shining (1980)

The carpet is the same design in The Shining and the second floor landing of Sid’s house in Toy Story.

 

8.     The Amityville Horror (2005)

The cast and crew of The Amityville Horror kept waking up at 3 am while filming. That’s the same time the original murders took place.

 

9.     Split (2016)

James McAvoy broke his hand while filming Split in 2016. The incident occurred after he hit a door that he thought was fake. It was actually solid metal.

 

10.  The Conjuring (2013)

During filming, Vera Farmiga experienced several instances of paranormal activity, including finding claw marks on her thighs.

 

11.  Get Out (2017)

It’s no secret that Get Out has many references about American slavery. The teacup is symbolic to slave masters that summon house slaves using teacups.The use of a silver spoon can be seen as meaningful because of the term “born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth”.

 

12.  The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Jules kisses the wolf head on the wall. The wolf’s tongue was covered in powdered sugar to make it look dusty but also to make the scene more tolerable for Anna.

13.  Saw (2004)

Saw was actually inspired by a news story. The idea came about when James Wan saw a news report that described a man who would break into people homes and tickle the feet of sleeping children.  Once the man in question was caught, he revealed that he was forced to do it by someone else & was sent a jigsaw piece. This is where the idea of the jigsaw killer forcing characters to do unthinkable things flourished.

 

14.  Halloween (1978)

Due to its limited budget, the prop department used the cheapest $2 mask they could find in the costume store.  That mask happened to be of the Star Trek actor William Shatner. They spray-painted the face white, teased the hair out and reshaped the eye socket.

 

15.  The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick created all 500 pages with the words “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Kubrick didn’t go to the prop department with the task and instead he used his own typewriter to make the pages.

 

 

16. Candyman (1992)

Real bees were actually put into lead actor Tony Todd’s mouth while shooting the finale.

 

 

17. The Babadook

The Babadook is a gay icon. It started at the end of 2016, when a Tumblr user started a thread about how he thought the Babadook was gay. The joke lead to the Babadook becoming a symbol for Gay Pride month in parts of America.

 

 

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Phil’s Top 5… Summer Movie Seasons

Phil’s Top 5… Summer Movie Seasons

Other Cr*p

In a new semi-regular feature each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: the best summer movie seasons (Post 1975).

Close but no cigar: 1981 (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stripes, Escape from New York), 1991 (Terminator 2, Boyz n the Hood), 1989 (Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lethal Weapon 2, License to Kill), 1987 ( Predator, Robocop, Dirty Dancing, The Living Daylights, Full Metal Jacket)

5 – 1984
Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Once Upon a Time in America, Purple Rain, The Last Starfighter, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Top Secret!, Conan the Destroyer

4 – 1999
The Sixth Sense, Run Lola Run, The Blair Witch Project, The Iron Giant, South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, Dick, American Pie, Bowfinger , The Thomas Crown Affair, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

3 – 1985
Back to the Future, The Goonies, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Cocoon, Fletch, Explorers, Fright Night, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Pale Rider, Prizzi’s Honor, Silverado, Weird Science, Brewster’s Millions 

2 – 1982
E.T., Poltergeist, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Thing, TRON, The Road Warrior, Conan the Barbarian, Rocky III

1- 1986
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Aliens, Top Gun, Stand by Me, The Fly, Big Trouble in Little China, Back to School, Cobra, Labyrinth, Short Circuit, Transformers: The Movie, SpaceCamp, Flight of the Navigator

 

Blog: Poltergeist (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Poltergeist (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup here we go again… another day, another utterly pointless remake.  The new version of Poltergeist does nothing new, better or interesting than the original film that also bears the same name.  So fancy shrugging you shoulders for 100 minutes?  This film is for you then.  Everyone else… go rematch the original.

Best Bit: It’s short.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Poltergeist, Paranormal Activity, Insidious

IMDB Rating: 

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Poltergeist & San Andreas Quick Reviews

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Poltergeist & San Andreas Quick Reviews

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Grosse Point geek takes a loot at two recent release – the remake of the classic horror Poltergeist and the latest from The Rock in San Andreas.

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Poltergeist

Director: Gil Kenan
Actors: Sam Rockwell, Jared Harris, Rosemarie DeWitt

After Eric Bowen (Rockwell) loses his job, he and his family are forced to move into a cheaper house.  Everything seems normal until the lights unexpectedly start turning on and off and  strange noises are heard in the dead of night.

Things go from bad to worse when their son almost gets eaten by a tree and the youngest daughter disappears into thin air. Suspecting that they are the victims of a haunting (you think??), the family turn to a team of paranormal investigators led by Harris’s ghost expert, who mount a desperate attempt to get the little girl back from the clutches of the poltergeist.

Uninspiring remake of the 1982 Spielberg/Tobe Hooper classic, that pretty much fails on every level to be even close to imitating that films excitement and sheer nerve shredding suspense. The normally reliable Sam Rockwell is woefully miscast and gives an almost phoned in performance, Harris fares no better and DeWitt  cant hold a candle to the original film’s  JoBeth Williams as the family matriarch. Coupled with this Kenan’s direction is formulaic, and  totally lacking in flair and originality.  On the positive side it definitely isn’t the most terrible thing I’ve ever seen and the SFX  are pretty good, but i have to say that when Hollywood decides to produce remakes as flat as this, one wonders why they even bothered in the first place.

At Cinemas now

Geek Rating:

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San Andreas

Director: Brad Peyton
Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Ioan Gruffudd, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti

When a massive earthquake threatens to wipe out the US Eastern Seaboard, crack Fire and Rescue pilot Dwayne Johnson and his soon to be ex wife (Gugino) brave the wrath of mother nature and mount a daring search for their daughter (Daddario) who has become stranded in the rapidly crumbling city of San Francisco.  I have to be honest i wasn’t expecting much from this one, the reviews were average, and the trailer made it look like nothing more than a retread of just about every other disaster movie ever made – plus added cheese.

However i am pleased to report that, despite the fact that its pretty much all of the above, it was mercifully saved by some really impressive visual effects, a fantastic series of set pieces and another great turn from the always good value Johnson.  It certainly wont ever win any Oscars but you could do a lot worse if you’re stuck for something to watch at the cinema this weekend

Recommended

At Cinemas now.

Geek Rating:

 

Author: Will Strong 

Blog: Grosse Point Geek’s Top Ten(ish) Favorite Horror Films  – A Halloween Special

Blog: Grosse Point Geek’s Top Ten(ish) Favorite Horror Films – A Halloween Special

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Halloween, that yearly celebration of devil worship, blood drenched supernatural death and goat sacrifice ,where children up and down the land merrily dress up as various incarnations of the undead, get their parents consent to bang on people’s doors begging for sweets and then wantonly vandalize their property if the poor sods don’t cough up the goods.  Indeed my own fiendish plan to scare off the little bastards this year was completely thwarted the other day by a rather nervous looking shop assistant at my local joke shop, who claimed never to have heard of the Evil Dead and therefore could sadly not supply me with a life size demon doll that would scream “dead by dawn!” at any bunch of trick or treaters foolish enough to disturb my evening.

Anyway, I’m getting off the point. As a lifelong film geek its fair to say that of the many thousands that I have watched, a good proportion have been firmly rooted in the department marked ‘Horror’. Now admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of this genre -I didn’t enjoy the Nightmare On Elm Street series (how a child killer could become a cult icon is beyond me), have never been able to fathom the popularity of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and have absolutely no desire to watch the likes on I Spit On Your Grave, Driller Killer or Last House on The Left.

However, there are in fact some rather good ones out there that I have thoroughly enjoyed and even have in my rather huge dvd collection – and as Halloween is soon to be upon us, i thought id share with you all my top 10 favourite horror films all time- read on if you dare!

 


 

1. The Descent (2005)

 

Director: Neil Marshall

Actors: Shauna McDonald, Natalie Mendoza

A definite contender for one of the scariest films ever made. Neil Marshall’s magnum opus centres on a group of female thrill seekers who get trapped underground in the Appalachian mountains and then one by one fall foul to a bloodthirsty pack of cave dwelling cannibals. I must have seen this ten times over and it still scares the crap out of me, superbly written, hideously claustrophobic, well acted by the no name cast, directed with panache, skill and verve by Marshall and certainly not one to watch alone.

Best Bit: When the creatures finally reveal themselves – don’t look down that camera lens!

 

 

2. Alien (1979)

Director: Ridley Scott

Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, Yaphett Kotto, Veronica Cartwright.

A deep space mining vessel responds to an apparent distress signal from a nearby planetoid and goes to investigate. All is going well until one of the crew (John Hurt) gets a sort of parasite attached his face and is taken on board the ship for medical assistance – big mistake. A near perfect film that combines scares, body horror and classic sci fi plus HR Giger’s astoundingly horrible alien monster that would give even Freddy Krueger the willies.

Best Bit: The Chestburster scene – (“the food aint that bad baby!”)

 

 

3. The Omen (1976)

 

Director: Richard Donner

Actors: Gregory Peck, Patrick Troughton, Lee Remick, David Warner.

When the American Ambassador to Britain (Peck) discovers that his infant son is none other than the Antichrist, he teams up with a freelance photographer (Warner) to discover the awful truth and thwart Satan’s evil plans for mankind.

This one always manages to put the frighteners on me – mainly due to Jerry Goldsmiths nerve jangling score and Richard Donner’s suspenseful direction that very intelligently chooses to be less concerned about daft monsters and OTT effects and more to do with the nature of fear and lurking danger hiding in the shadows, which cleverly manages to keep the viewer guessing as to whether or not the story is all real or just a series of supposed coincidences.

Best bit: That final shot – Young Damien, standing at his parents funeral (whilst holding the US Presidents hand no less) – turns to the camera…………..and just smiles.

 

4. The Exorcist (1973)
Director: William Friedkin

Actors: Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller.

Celebrated critic Mark Kermode cites this as his favourite film ever – and its not hard to see why. Cherubic looking Regan (Blair) becomes possessed by the demon Pazuzu, then proceeds to speak in tongues, levitate off the bed, vomit pea soup, make unseemly suggestions about exactly what Priest Jason Miller’s dead mother is up to in hell – and don’t even get me started on what she does with that crucifix!

To say the least the Exorcist is one of those films that gets better with every viewing, Friedkin’s direction doesn’t put a foot wrong, the make up and sound effects are still astounding, and the use of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells is a work of sheer genius.

Best bit: The climactic Exorcism sequence, where the two Jesuit priests do epic battle with the demon- very uncomfortable to watch – but brilliant nonetheless.

 

5.The Thing (1982)

Director: John Carpenter

Actors: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David.

A critical and commercial disappointment on its release, this has since become a deserved cult classic. For those not in the know – a shape shifting alien life form gradually infects the men of an Antarctic research station, who then not only have to attempt to destroy said beastie but also avoid killing each other in the process.

Best bit: That ending  – too exhausted to carry on, Kurt Russell and Keith David sit outside in the freezing Arctic cold and watch the station burn to the ground  – both still unsure if they too have been infected by the alien (“lets just wait…..and see what happens”)

 

6.Poltergeist (1982)

Director: Tobe Hooper

Actors: Jo-beth Williams, Craig T Nelson, Heather O’Rourke

Awesome film  – written and produced by Steven Spielberg, Poltergeist tells the story of how an ordinary apple pie American family are haunted by a terrible supernatural force that turns their lives upside down when it abducts their youngest daughter (O’Rourke). Now some may argue that this is more of a ghost story than a straight up horror  – but with shocks aplenty, rotting corpses rising from the grave, killer trees and huge monsters appearing out of the ether – it’d be hard to call it anything else. Basically if you haven’t seen this yet then shame on you!

Best bit: Williams, Nelson and the ghost hunting team’s final nail biting attempt to rescue O’Rourke from the clutches of the poltergeist(“don’t let go!”)

 

7 .An American Werewolf In London (1981)

Director: John Landis

Actors: David Naughton, Griffin Dunne, Jenny Agutter

Naughton and Dunne are two American students on a back packing trip to England who proceed to get lost on the Yorkshire moors and are attacked by a werewolf. Rick Baker’s make up effects deservedly won a bunch of awards and are still impressive even by today’s standards. Its also seriously funny, and damned scary in parts too- most notably the scene at the beginning where the boys are attacked on the moors, and THAT sequence in the deserted London tube station (“i shall report this”!).

Best Bit: The Slaughtered Lamb – Naughton and Dunne walk into East Proctor’s local boozer looking for something to eat, only to be met with stony silence and icy stares by a very unwelcoming bunch of locals. The tension doesn’t last long though as the great Brian Glover proceeds to loudly tell a hilarious joke about 3 blokes in a crashing plane (“he chucks out the Mexican!”) which results in the entire pub collapsing in fits of laughter (just dont ask what that star on the wall is).

 

8.Horror Of Dracula (1958)

Director: Terrence Fisher

Actors: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough.

Hammer’s extremely loose take on the Bram Stoker classic features Peter Cushing as Van Helsing (endless supply of crucifixes) Christopher Lee as Dracula (iffy fangs, silly run) a mad music score by James Bernard, clunky sets, and daft dialogue (“but its HORRIBLE!”). However none of this matters as its enormous fun, chugs along at a rare old pace and never fails to bring a big smile to my face every time ive watched it.

Best Bit: The seriously exciting climactic showdown between Van Helsing and Dracula, involving a table, some curtains, a handy set of candlesticks and alot of sunlight- classic stuff.

 

9.The Fog (1980)

Director: John Carpenter

Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins.

On the eve of its centenary celebrations – a small Californian fishing community is plagued by a mysterious fog that kills all in its wake. Another Carpenter classic, well made and very creepy  – a must for all horror fans.

Best bit: The Sea Grass boat scene (“hey, there’s a fog bank out there”).

 

 

10. Dawn of The Dead (2004)

Director: Zach Snyder

Actors: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber.

Remake of the 1978 Romero classic – which is a very good film, however (and yes Hobden i know this is sacrilege!) i much prefer Snyder’s more polished version that ups the scares and gore quota, throws in bags of action, is better acted and features some really awesome zombies who, rather than mindlessly shuffle about, are depicted as vicious screaming death machines who charge full pelt to get at their victims.

Best bit: Just after Sarah Polley’s nurse escapes from her neighbourhood which has been overrun, the camera pulls back and shows us a birds eye view of her car heading towards a city in utter chaos.

 

 

11.Halloween 3: The Season Of The Witch (1982)

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace

Actors: Dan O’Herlihy, Tom Atkins.

I thought i close this feature with one of my all time favourites  – i mean what’s a film list without at least one guilty pleasure???

Bearing no relation to the series featuring the Michael Myers character  – this was supposed to kick off a new ‘Halloween’ franchise that would tell a different story with each film. Unfortunately poor box office sales put the kibosh on that, so what we have instead is a very weird (and utterly mental) standalone story featuring O’Herlihy’s unhinged Irish toy maker, who plans to murder all the children in America using booby trapped Halloween masks. Now in my humble opinion this is an unappreciated gem of a film, that is actually extremely well made, with an interesting witchcraft subplot and a doozy of an ending that has to be seen to be believed……………………………..All together now – “one more day to Halloween!…..Halloween! Halloween! one more day to Halloween -silveeeeershamrock!

Best Bit: O’Herlihy’s chilling confession to a somewhat shocked Atkins, about who he really is and exactly what he plans to do on his favourite night of the year (“….the hills ran red with the blood of children and animals!”)

 


 

There you go – my top ten horror films – certainly all worth a watch if you fancy a good scare this Halloween – just wish i had one of the zombies from Dawn of the Dead to see off those bleedin’ trick or treaters – oh bugger there goes the door again………………now where did i put that bucket of fresh pigs blood???????????????

Author: Will Strong