Door in the Woods – USA, 2017

‘Don’t go in there’

Door in the Woods is a 2017 American paranormal horror feature film written and directed by Billy Chase Goforth (Mayfly). The Rockhill Studios-Picture Movers-Anonymous production stars David Rees Snell, Jennifer Pierce Mathus,  John-Michael Fisher and  CJ Jones.

Plot:

A young family is tormented by paranormal events when they find a vintage door in the woods and install it in their house. Is this just an abandoned door, or a gateway to something so dark no one sees coming?

Cast and characters:

  • David Rees Snell … Redd
  • Jennifer Pierce Mathus … Evelyn
  • John-Michael Fisher … Kane
  • CJ Jones … Uriah
  • Lauren Harper … Empusa (voice)
  • Cassie Self … Librarian
  • Mark Landon Smith … Old Man Ghost
  • Levi Hudson … Bully
  • Nikki Monney … The Bad Thing (voice)
  • Katherine Forbes … Farmer Bradford
  • Carter Moore … Young Boy / Ghost Child

Release:

Door in the Woods was shown at the Fayetteville Film Festival in 2017. The movie is currently being distributed by Summer Hill Entertainment.

Related:

Don’t Read This!!! Movies that use ‘Don’t’ in their title or tagline – article

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Bloody Nun – USA, 2018

‘Confess your sins’

Bloody Nun is a 2018 American comedy horror feature film written, photographed, edited and directed by Will Collazo Jr. (Theater of Horror; short: DeadYard). The David Sterling production stars Mark C. Fullhardt, Jen Elyse Feldy and Angie Hansen. Shawn C. Phillips has a cameo role in a prologue.

Six paranormal ghost hunters are competing to stay in the most haunted house in New York , with the winner hoping to get one million dollars from the mysterious Mr. Shiva. Using a Ouija Board they conduct a seance. Little do they know they are being set up to be tortured and killed by a ghoulish soul – a bloody nun.

Review:

“Once I realized this was a comedy and not spectacularly bad I grinned quite a bit. Humor is a very subjective thing and this is a bit sillier than I like. However if films like House Shark or Camp Death III in 2D are your thing you should be happy with Bloody Nun.” Jim Morazzini, Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

  • Mark C. Fullhardt … Mr. Shiva – The New York Butcher
  • Jen Elyse Feldy … Jenna G
  • Angie Hansen … Becky E
  • Matt Bruzzio … Logan
  • Jessica Collazo-Thomson … The Nun
  • Cayrem Landt … Rico Vega
  • Carl J Grasso … Hunk
  • Joe Schonbrun … Toby
  • Tim Thomson … Paranormal Tim
  • Shawn C. Phillips … Coolduder

Trivia:

The original title was The Occultist 2: Demons so this was intended as a sequel to The Occultist (2009).

For more violent images from Bloody Nun click here

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Inner Ghosts – Portugal/Brazil, 2018

‘The key to Hell lies deep within your heart’

Inner Ghosts is a 2018 Portuguese-Brazilian paranormal horror feature film written and directed by Paulo Leite. The movie stars Celia Williams, Elizabeth Bochmann and Iris Cayatte.

Plot:

If ghosts can think and remember who they are, then the physical brain is not the only place where we store our inner selves. Helen is asked to train two young women into the art of communicating with the dead. However, Helen’s days as a medium are long gone. In fact, she gave up that life fifteen years ago when she lost her daughter.

Today, Helen is a different woman dedicated to her career in brain research. Things start to change when a visit from the other side offers her the design of a device that can do amazing things. But with everything there is a risk…

Cast and characters:

  • Celia Williams … Helen
  • Elizabeth Bochmann … Elsa
  • Iris Cayatte … Rachel
  • Norman MacCallum … Steinman
  • Amanda Booth … Moira
  • Patricia Godinho … Lilly
  • João Blümel … Albert
  • Inês Sá Frias … Maria

Released:

Inner Ghosts was released in Portugal on 7 September 2018.

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Astral – UK, 2018

‘Evil never dies’

Astral is a 2018 British paranormal horror feature film produced and directed by Chris Mul (shorts: Two Line Terrors) from a screenplay co-written with Michael Mul. The movie stars Vanessa Grasse, Frank Dillane, Catherine Steadman and Trevor White.

Plot:

Coming to terms with the explanation of his mother’s untimely death, Alex (Frank Dillane) turns to spiritual contact after the relationship with his father breaks down. As a student of metaphysics, Alex learns of the “scientific” premise of astral projection – the ability to project your spirit into an unseen spatial dimension.

While attempting to astral project, Alex becomes plagued by shadow spirits – malevolent entities vying to enter his body to access our world. Alex soon learns that he is not the only member of his family to have been besieged by such beings, as his mother’s dark past is brought to his attention…

Vertical Entertainment is releasing Astral theatrically and on VOD on November 23, 2018.

Cast and characters:

  • Vanessa Grasse … Alyssa Hodge – Leatherface
  • Frank Dillane … Alex Harmann – Fear the Walking Dead
  • Catherine Steadman … Claire Harmann – Outpost: Black Sun
  • Trevor White … Gareth Powell
  • Damson Idris … Jordan Knight
  • Darwin Shaw … Joel Harmann
  • Ned Porteous … Ben Lawrence
  • Mark Aiken … Dr. James Lefler
  • Juliet Howland … Michelle Collins
  • Jennifer Brooke … Karina Richardson

Filming locations:

Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, England
Wimbledon, London, England

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Scanners II: The New Order – Canada, 1991

Scanners II: The New Order is a 1991 Canadian science fiction horror feature film directed by Christian Duguay (Screamers; Scanners III: The Takeover) from a screenplay by B.J. Nelson, based on David Cronenberg’s Scanners characters. The Malofilm production stars David Hewlett, Deborah Raffin, Raoul Trujillo, and Yvan Ponton.

Plot:

David Kellum (David Hewlett), a young veterinarian intern, discovers that he has mental abilities to read and control minds of others. When he moves to the city to continue his studies, he finds difficulty in controlling himself: the congestion of many minds and the ability to hear voices overwhelm him.

During an armed robbery of a store David kills the gunman with his mind. Police Commander John Forrester watches the store’s security tape. He tells David that he knows what he is: a Scanner. And, there are others like him around the world. He enlists David’s help in tracking down elusive criminals…

Review:

Scanners II presents a neat twist on the original format, having the dysfunctional scanners being exploited by a right-wing police chief, who uses them to dish out vigilante justice. There are some nice touches dealing with the addictive nature of the drugs used to control the telepaths too, and some good gore set-pieces. The lead performances are passable – certainly no worse than Stephen Lack’s in the first film – and it’s likely that if you hadn’t seen David Cronenberg’s movie, you might well find this an impressively original movie.

As well as obviously aping the first film’s broad story, Scanners II also throws in another exploding head, taking a dramatic images from the original film and turning it into a thematic point – the implication being that you can’t have a Scanners film without an exploding head.

Obviously made with one eye on the prospect of further sequels, French director Christian Duguay – making his feature film debut -handles the material well, and although critics were generally dismissive, the target audience were generally happy with it in its video heyday, making a third instalment inevitable.

David Flint, HORRORPEDIA

Other reviews:

“Some surprising familial links are made to the first film, but Scanners II plays things too safe. David has a girlfriend and loving parents. Raoul Trujillo plays Drak as more goofy than menacing. The plot flirts far too lightly with the alarming ethical issues of the Morse Neurological Research Institute deploying the EPH-2 drug to revert Scanners to a near comatose state.” Mat Bradley-Tschirgi, Battleship Pretension

“Hewlett is an affable enough type, he makes a good hero. His teaming up with Raffin as Vale works and ties into the original continuity of the first film in an appropriate enough manner. Ponton is fun as Forrester, watching him attempt to basically climb to power is enjoyable while Butler makes for a fine scientist. The movie is well shot, making good use of its Montreal locations…” Ian Jane, DVD Talk

“All the ideas of the original are translated into absurdly physical terms. The original’s head exploding trick was a show-capping novelty but here the effect is overused to the point of tedium – now heads explode every time scanners battle. The sequel is a film devoid of any intellectual content…” Richard Scheib, Moria

“Director Christian Duguay isn’t Cronenberg and in all fairness he doesn’t try to be either. He’s more of an action director and Scanners II moves at a pace more suited to something like The Hidden. The political machinations of Forrester are interesting to watch but the real fun is in the sequences like the opening in the video arcade.” Horace Cordier, Rock! Shock! Pop!

“The plot suggests a computer game called ‘RoboCop meets the Scanners’, while Duguay’s visual style consists entirely of pop promo clichés […] The cast is anonymous, the plot confused and sluggish; only Michael Smithson’s cheap, inventive special effects warrant attention.” Nigel Floyd, Time Out

” …there’s just no drive or urgency to the proceedings. There’s no fire in the flick’s belly. On top of that, it bogs way the f*ck down once Hewlett touches base with his sister. Oh, and if you take a shot of your favorite alcohol every time a character says “The New Order”, your head might explode.” Mitch Lovell, The Video Vacuum

Cast and characters:

  • David Hewlett … David Kellum
  • Deborah Raffin … Julie Vale
  • Yvan Ponton … Commander John Forrester
  • Isabelle Meijias … Alice Leonardo
  • Raoul Trujillo … Peter Drak
  • Tom Butler … Doctor Morse
  • Vlasta Vrána … Lt. Guy Gelson
  • Dorothée Berryman … Mayor Lanzoni
  • Murray Westgate … George Keullum
  • Doris Petrie … Susan Kellum
  • Emily Eby … Reporter
  • Jason Cavalier … Convenience Store Thug

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Jaga Pocong – Indonesia, 2018

Jaga Pocong is a 2018 Indonesian supernatural horror feature film directed by Hadrah Daeng Ratu from a screenplay by Aviv Elham. The Spectrum Film production stars Acha Septriasa, Zack Lee and Aqilla Herby.

Plot:

Mila is a dedicated nurse so does not refuse when she is assigned to take care of Sulastri at her remote rural house. However, when Mila arrives it turns out that Sulastri is already dead. She prepares the body for burial and is left alone…

Cast and characters:

  • Acha Septriasa … Mila – Midnight Show
  • Zack Lee … Radit
  • Aqilla Herby … Novi
  • Jajang C. Noer … Sulastri

Release:

Jaga Pocong was released in Indonesia on 25 October 2018.

Related:

More Indonesian horror

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Grudge – USA, 2019

Grudge is a 2019 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother) from a screenplay by Jeff Buhler (Pet Sematary; The ProdigyThe Midnight Meat Train).

The movie stars Andrea Riseborough (Mandy), Lin Shaye (Insidious franchise), Demian Bichir (The Nun), John Cho (The Exorcist TV series), Betty Gilpin, William Sadler (The Mist), Jacki Weaver and Frankie Faison.

The new Ghost House Pictures-Good Universe production is a reboot of the 2004 US pic (itself based on the 2002 Japanese original Ju-on). There has already been a dozen Ju-On/The Grudge feature films, two short films, a video game and a number of graphic novels.

Plot details have yet to divulged but Andrea Riseborough plays “a single mother who’s also a police detective.” and “a house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death.’

Grudge is in post-production and is due to be released on June 21, 2019.

Lin Shaye plugged the film at ComicCon, saying: “Wait until you see this. It’s the scariest movie I’ve ever been a part of, not even maybe. Not even maybe. And it’s the scariest part I’ve ever had, bar none. I think it comes out next August, I’m very excited about it. The horror fans are going to go insane, that I can promise.” Shaye continued, “What will make it really different is Nicolas Pesce, who is the writer/director, who is extraordinary. I mean he’s a real visionary.”

Producer Sam Raimi has said: “We are so excited about this new adaptation. We went back to the original source material to deliver a relentless supernatural thrill ride that explores the horrors of American suburbia.”

Filming locations:

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Image credits: UHM

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The Nursery Man – UK, 2019

He’s watching. He’s waiting.’

The Nursery Man is a 2019 British supernatural horror feature film written and directed by Nottingham-based Anthony M. Winson (The Baylock Residence; Cry of the Magpie; Unholy; House of Afflictions). The Mr Stitch Films production stars Sarah Ellis (also a co-producer), Ben Clatworthy, Sarah Wynne Kordas and Stella Lock.

Cast and characters:

  • Sarah Ellis … Marion Kelly
  • Ben Clatworthy … Richard Kelly
  • Sarah Wynne Kordas … Florence Taylor
  • Stella Lock … Charlotte Turner
  • June Tracy … Emma McDonald

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Haunting on Fraternity Row – USA, 2018

‘Party until you’re dead’

Haunting on Fraternity Row is a 2018 American paranormal horror feature film directed by Brant Sersen (Sanatorium) from a screenplay co-written with Jeff Cahn. Robert Shaye (A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise) was an executive producer. The Benaroya Pictures movie stars Jacob Artist, Jayson Blair and Molly Tarlov.

A fraternity house throws their big “Winter Luau” party but when fraternity brothers and coeds begin dying horrible deaths they discover an evil entity has taken over the house…

The movie is released on VOD on November 2, 2018.

Cast and characters:

  • Jacob Artist … Jason
  • Jayson Blair … Tanner
  • Molly Tarlov … Maggie
  • Shanley Caswell … Claire
  • Claudia Lee … Liza
  • Ashton Moio … Dougie
  • Cameron Moulène … Grant
  • Chester Rushing … Drew
  • Breon Pugh … Wiggles
  • Ashton Leigh … Sadie
  • Eduardo Losan … Lube
  • Stephanie Honoré … Daphne
  • Melissa Saint-Amand … Kate
  • Abbie Gayle … KLP girl
  • Mary Alice Risener … Ali

Trivia:

Previously known as The Party Crasher

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Soul Contract – China, 2018

Soul Contract – original title: 灵魂契约 – is a 2019 Chinese supernatural horror feature film directed by Wang Chenliu.

A pair of twin sisters live together. One sister runs a bar for a living and supports her sister’s literary ambitions. Unfortunately, the latter has writer’s block.

On a trip to an island, she inadvertently knocked over a body that was intended for burial in the sea. This caused evil spirits to rise up from the sea in anger to terrorise the sisters…

The movie was released in China on October 26, 2018.

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