Siccîn 5 – Turkey, 2018

Siccîn 5 is a 2018 Turkish supernatural horror feature film written and directed by Alper Mestçi (MusallatMusallat 2: Lanet). This is the fourth entry in Alper Mestçi’s Siccîn franchise which began in 2014.

The movie stars Aslin Su Divrik, Selim Aydin, Metin Yildirim, Özgür Hacier, Rüya Önal, Ece Baykal, Merve Ates, Pinar Gülkapan, Tuncay Çagil, and Ece Koroglu.

Plot:

Hale, her mentally ill mother, grieving grandmother and aunt Azrakla, live in a historical and terrifying house in Nevşehir. Hale’s father had disappeared before she was born and was never seen again.

Hale has a nightmare about the terrible night; the father he never saw invites him to an old and uncanny home. This house is the old house of his grandfather in Karain Village, where a forbidden ritual was held many years ago. After this nightmare, Hale experiences a number of incredible changes…

Release:

The Turkish release was on 17 August 2018, followed by various European countries on 12 September 2018.

Filming locations:

The film was shot in Nevşehir where 900 people lived and approximately 400 people died when cancer raged and the Karain village, which was evacuated by a parliamentary decision, was used as a natural plateau.

Related:

Siccîn (2014)

Siccîn 2 (2015)

Siccîn 3: Cürmü Aşk (2016)

Siccîn 4 (2017)

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Pooka! – USA, 2018

Pooka! is a 2018 American dark comedy horror feature film written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo (Colossal; V/H/S Viral; Open Windows; The ABCs of Death). The Hulu Original movie is the third entry in Blumhouse’s ‘Into the Dark’ series and stars Nyasha Hatendi, Latarsha Rose and Johnny Berryman.

Plot:

Struggling actor Wilson Klaus (Nyasha Hatendi) lands a job in Hollywood portraying the mascot for the hottest new Christmas toy doll in town, Pooka. There is only one problem: the costume is turning Wilson into a malevolent entity that he cannot control…

Reviews:

” …a densely packaged gift of severe psychological unrest […] smartly conceived winding wickedness that challenges your brain as much as it charges your heart. If Dickens met Donnie Darko and Dead End, the result might resemble Pooka!Arrow in the Head

Running time:

83 minutes

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Draug – Sweden, 2018

Draug is a 2018 Swedish horror feature film directed by Karin Engman and Klas Persson, based on a screenplay by the latter. The Ödmården Filmproduction stars Elna Karlsson, Thomas Hedengran, Ralf Beck, Nina Filimoshkina, Urban Bergsten, Matti Boustedt and Oscar Skagerberg.

Draug or Draugr is a Norse mythological undead creature. Draugr live in their graves, often guarding treasure buried with them in their burial mound. They are animated corpses with a corporeal body, unlike ghosts, with similar physical abilities as in life. Wikipedia

Plot:

In the 11th century a missionary goes missing somewhere in the huge forests bordering the northern parts of Sweden. Among the rescue party chosen to find him is Nanna, a young woman on her first real mission and her first return to the part of the country where she was born. But what they will find deep inside those woods is something else entirely. Something dark. Something ancient. Something evil…

Reviews:

“Accomplishing much more than most slender spook shows do, Draug blazes a memorable trail in several subgenres at once. Its patient smolder and guerrilla style may slice at its ability to be broadly appealing. Yet its rich textures of throwback tones and application of Nordic mythos over familiar themes make room for alluringly eerie moods.” Culture Crypt

“Gorgeous visuals, breathtaking landscapes and solid performances can’t overcome a slow pace and what I felt was an incomplete story and shallow characterizations. The film’s not a complete miss, but it’s got its share of problems.” Horrorfreak News

Cast and characters:

  • Elna Karlsson … Nanna
  • Thomas Hedengran … Kettil
  • Ralf Beck … Hakon
  • Nina Filimoshkina … Deja
  • Urban Bergsten … Gunder
  • Matti Boustedt … Odd
  • Oscar Skagerberg … Kol
  • Mikaela Östlin … Randi
  • Ola Ljung … Are
  • Jessica Westlin … Draug
  • Mathias Berglund … Draug
  • Astrid Persson … The Girl
  • Liv Persson … Kid
  • Daga Persson … Kid
  • Henrik Edlund … Axman

More Swedish horror

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Piercing – USA, 2018

‘Practice doesn’t always make perfect.’

Piercing is a 2018 American dark comedy horror feature film written and directed by Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother) based on the 1994 novel of the same name by Ryū Murakami (Audition). The movie stars Christopher Abbott, Mia Wasikowska and Laia Costa.

Piercing will be released by Universal Pictures in limited theaters and on Digital HD and VOD platforms on February 1, 2019.

Plot:

Reed (Christopher Abbott) is going on a business trip. He kisses his wife and infant son goodbye, but in lieu of a suitcase filled with clothes, he’s packed a toothbrush and a murder kit. Everything is meticulously planned: check into a hotel and kill an unsuspecting victim. Only then will he rid himself of his devious impulses and continue to be a good husband and father.

However, Reed gets more than he bargained for with Jackie (Mia Wasikowska), an alluring call girl who arrives at his room. First, they relax and get in the mood, but when there’s an unexpected disruption, the balance of control begins to sway back and forth between the two. Is he seeing things? Who’s playing whom? Before the night is over, a feverish nightmare will unfold, and Reed and Jackie will seal their bond in blood…

Reviews:

Piercing can’t seem to figure out how to advance or complicate its sick-joke premise […] Pesce, unfortunately, sees only a kinky power struggle: Audition as a one-note black comedy, albeit one made with the visual flair he exhibited in his truly disturbing debut…” A.V. Club

Piercing is a propulsive, intricately crafted thriller that plays like the twisted lovechild of American Psycho and Phantom Thread. Slick and sick, sometimes sexy, and surprisingly sweet, the film is carefully crafted to never let up on the tension while always pulling the viewer deeper into the intimacy unfolding between these two violently kinky loners.” Collider

“The stakes of the game are out in the open, it seems, but the question of consent lingers stickily in the air. Is someone about to get killed, and if so, is that person actually OK with it? We don’t know for sure even at the end, but that final moment before the credits offers a surprise so strange and pitch-perfect, it makes the whole affair look almost, well, sweet.” The Hollywood Reporter

Piercing plays out like a swift tribute to Takashi Miike’s Audition filtered through Quentin-Tarantinoesque exuberance: Split screens, ubiquitous pop songs, and elegant camerawork make it clear that this wacky two-hander treasures idiosyncratic flourishes over narrative sophistication; clocking in at a brisk 81 minutes, it’s at once enjoyable in the moment and utterly disposable.” IndieWire

“The film is expertly crafted with jewel-toned cinematography, terrifically sleazy saxophone music, and performances by Abbott and Wasikowska that take turns seizing command. Still, like Reed’s solo rehearsals, Piercing has the feel of a blueprint, a talented man exercising his technical skills while waiting for a whack at the real deal.” Variety

Cast and credits:

  • Christopher Abbott … Reed
  • Mia Wasikowska … Jackie
  • Laia Costa … Mona
  • Olivia Bond … Bunny Girl
  • Maria Dizzia … Reed’s mother
  • Marin Ireland … Chevonne
  • Dakota Lustick … TBC
  • Wendell Pierce … Doctor

Running time:

81 minutes

Production companies:

  • Paradise City
  • YL Pictures Co
  • Borderline Films
  • Memento Films

Release:

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2018.

Trivia:

Features music from Italian giallo thrillers The Red Queen Kills 7 Times (1972) and Tenebrae (1982).

Related:

The Eyes of My Mother

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Remote Viewing – USA, 2018

‘You never know who is watching’

Remote Viewing is a 2018 American science fiction horror feature film directed by Stuart Paul (Nun’s Deadly Confession; Heaven & Hell). The SP Releasing production stars Sarah Agor, Karoly Bieganowski, Andrea Corscadden, Tim Dax, Tony Gilbert and Paul Issac.

Plot:

A son and his friends follow his father’s vision that he saw through “remote viewing”. His father believes that people have a psychic ability to perceive objects beyond the realm of ordinary senses by tapping into the electromagnetic signals that people and objects give off.

After trying to teach a failed class in remote viewing, the gang packs up in search of a treasure they saw through a series of drawings they drew using these psychic abilities. The frightening thing is that some of the drawings suggest danger is in store for their group before they can claim the hidden money…

Cast:

  • Sarah Agor
  • Karoly Bieganowski
  • Andrea Corscadden
  • Tim Dax
  • Tony Gilbert
  • Paul Issac
  • Stuart Paul

Producers:

Niko V. Hickman … associate producer
Robert Pergament … co-producer
Sweta Rai … co-producer
Lenny Rosenberg … assistant producer

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Halloween Horror Tales – USA, 2018

‘Bloody stories of the macabre’

Halloween Horror Tales – original title: Horror Tales – is a 2018 American horror anthology feature film  produced and directed by actor and filmmaker Jeff Kirkendall (shorts: The Temptress; Night Therapy; The Green-Eyed Monster) from a screenplay co-written with Joe Bagnardi. The Very Scary Productions movie stars Mel Heflin, Bruce G. Hallenbeck, Deana Demko and Kathryn Sue Young.

Plot:

An anthology horror movie featuring four stories:

‘Die Laughing’ – A psychotic killer clown is stalking a young woman.

‘The Horror Hostess’ – A movie scream queen gets more than she bargained for when she is interviewed by a TV talk show hostess.

‘The Bad Flower’ – A nature run amok tale.

‘The Hunt’ – The story of an FBI agent investigating a series of brutal murders in a small town.

Reviews:

” …much of the action takes place during the day. This offers very little opportunity for dramatic lighting or dark shadows that help make horror suspenseful. On the other hand, it does help avoid the indie stigma of being so woefully underlit that  you can’t see the action […] Overall, I’d suggest this one to any horror or anthology fan.” Free and Indie Cinema Movie Reviews

“On its surface this film is hilariously amateurish, as if a group of friends had got together to produce a fun five-minute film and just kept going. As soon becomes apparent, though, it’s actually amateurishly hilarious, and with its zero production values, all-round oddness and, um, unsophisticated acting performances, it reminded me somewhat of a John Waters film.” Seymour SP

Cast and characters:

  • Mel Heflin … Rebecca Blaze
  • Bruce G. Hallenbeck … Clown – author of many genre-related books such as Comedy Horror Films; Monsters of New JerseyHammer Fantasy & Sci-Fi and Rock ‘n’ Roll Monsters: The American International Story
  • Deana Demko … Leanna Stark
  • Kathryn Sue Young … Jeana Dark
  • Joe Bagnardi … Guy in Office
  • Haley Beauregard … Teen Vandal
  • Jennifer Birn … Ms. Rusa / Actor on TV / Caroline / EMT #2
  • Brittany Boivin … Barbara
  • James Carolus … Shawn / Guy in Car / Cyrus Linden
  • Lucas Connor … Joe
  • Scott Danni … Jimmy Rogers
  • Marie DeLorenzo … Hostess / Elizabeth Johnson
  • Bob Donlon Bob Donlon … Photographer
  • David Lee Ford … Police Officer
  • Tim Hatch … Johnny / Creature Jeana / Guy Playing Basketball / Darren Johnson
  • Jeff Kirkendall … Bill / Masked Stalker
  • Michael Korotitsch … Victim / Actor on TV / Angry Citizen
  • Jamie Morgan … Katie
  • Amy Naple … Cindy
  • Mark Polonia … Camera Operator
  • Marilyn Semerad … Ms. Thorne
  • Florence Steinberg … Camille
  • Pat Whalen … EMT #1

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Mandao of the Dead – USA, 2018

‘This Halloween… Jay and Jackson are going astral.’

Mandao of the Dead is a 2018 American science fiction comedy horror feature film written , directed and starring Scott Dunn. The movie also stars Alexandre Chen, Sean Liang and Gina Gomez.

A sequel, Mandao of the Damned, is apparently already in development.

Plot:

Unambitious Jay Mandao (Scott Dunn) lives frugally off his late father’s cereal royalties. He wants nothing more than to live in solitude, but is duped into taking in his adult nephew-in-law, Jackson (Sean McBride).

As Halloween approaches, Jay begins having odd dreams, and comes to find that he has the ability of astral projection. Jay and Jackson are approached by a ghost who has a small window of opportunity to reverse his death at the hands of Jackson’s murderous ex-girlfriend…

Release:

Mandao of the Dead is available exclusively on Amazon Instant Video and will be released on  iTunes in February 2019.

Reviews:

“Dunn beats the odds and delivers an impressive horror comedy that hurls the classic duo dynamic into ’90s slacker culture” Film Threat

Cast and characters:

  • Scott Dunn … Jay Mandao
  • Alexandre Chen … Raymond Mandao
  • Sean Liang … Cousin Andy
  • Gina Gomez … Fer
  • Erin Leigh Neumeyer … Mrs. Mandao
  • Marisa Hood … Maeve
  • Linda Loysen … Maeve’s Mother
  • Samara Kohne … April
  • David Gallegos … Darth
  • Sean McBride … Jackson
  • Tenoch Gomez … Dj Miguel (voice)
  • Rosa Ledesma … Lucinda
  • Max Moreno … Young Jay

Technical credits:

74 minutes | 2.35: 1

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98.6% – short, USA, 2018

‘So close to perfect, it’s scary.’

98.6% is a 2018 American short horror film co-produced, directed by and co-starring Cindy Maples (Out of My Mind short, actress in Morbid Colors; 10/31; Volumes of Blood: Horror StoriesThe Creepy Doll) from a script by Randy Murray. The Carriage House Productions movie also stars Rusty James. Cinematography and editing were by Chelsea Casanova.

Plot:

Beautiful, independent, successful, Mel (Cindy Maples) has agreed to a blind date with Bradley (Rusty James), a suave suitor from an internet dating site. Will the two find love, or are things not quite what they seem? 98.6%, so close to perfect, it’s scary…

Cast and characters:

Running time:

11 minutes

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The Demonologist (2018) – Trailer – Trailer Video

xeQaZVkCKM4.jpgTrailer: The Demonologist (2018)Detective Damien Seryph investigates a string of murders that connects to a group trying to bring forth the 4 King Demons of Hell. Damien’s past connects him to those involved and will force him to become “The Demonologist”.

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Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) – Trailer – Trailer Video

y7wzBVARwaU.jpgTrailer: Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)In 1969, an aging priest suffering from early onset dementia, a struggling African American female singer, a talkative salesman on vacation and an unfriendly young woman who may or may not be a hippie, arrive by chance on the same day at Lake Tahoe’s “El Royale”, a once […]

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