HND votes for the Cyber Horror Awards.


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As mentioned once before, B-Sol of the The Vault of Horror is orchestrating the first ever “Cyber Horror Awards”.  I went over his selected list of nominees earlier and now I’m posting my actual ballot.  On the day it’s due, mind you.  I think the official CHA nominees lacked in a few categories, so some of my selections include the encouraged write-ins.

And no, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN did not sweep.  Anyone who reads this site regularly should be able to guess what I threw the majority of my love at.  In fact, I’m going to go pop in the Blu-ray disc for my personal favorite ’08 horror flick right after I hit publish.

Enjoy:

Review: EDEN LAKE


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Written and Directed by James Watkins, 2008

More and more I find myself musing, “Now normally I don’t like movies about a couple being tortured in the woods, but…” It has gotten to the point where I wonder if I do harbor some undeclared love for pieces of garbage.  Then along comes a film like EDEN LAKE to remind me why I fall back on that qualifier.  Most films can be simmered with ease to a few ingredients, ingredients that we the familiar can extrapolate a larger agenda from.  From time to time, a film takes those ingredients and gives rise to a comfortable, but unexpected recipe.

Not that James Watkins’ film is difficult to explain.  It boils down readily to a couple in the wrong isolated place at the wrong time.  Watkins’ is not an inventor of new premises, new characters, new villains or new ultra-violence.  He is, however, a cultivator of proper timing and magnitude.  Thus EDEN LAKE may remain a wrong place, wrong time flick, but a damn good one nonetheless.  No reliance on hill people, torture porn or quick-cut jolts as a crutch.  Nope, Watkins’ offers up a solid return to a bygone land of terror where the emphasis is on empathy with the damsel in distress, with her awful luck and her unerring drive to survive at all costs.

I like EDEN LAKE not because it beats the brutal hell out of its heroine, but because the heroine is capable of absorbing such a brutal beating.  A subtle distinction, but a fundamental one.  The HOSTELs and CAPTIVITYs of the world are bullfighting.  The EDEN LAKEs of the world are boxing matches.  The ugly beauty of it lays not in seeing one person pulverize another, rather in the gathering of storms, the steeling of spirits. 

January 2009 Horror DVD Guide.


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January 6th

The first week of January boasts the best title of the month, EDEN LAKE.  Finally had a chance to see it thanks to this DVD and I loved it.  Expect a review in a bit.  Not for the faint of heart.

Don’t know much about the other three, except that Eliza Dushku drops her top in THE ALPHABET KILLER for WRONG TURN director Rob Schmidt.


January 13th

The Man Eater series breaks into 2009 with YETI.  I’ve seen almost all of this series and none are good, but a few watchable in the best drunken way.  Cough, CROC, cough.  I love me some cryptozoology, though, so I’m bound to be an eventual victim of YETI.

In anticipation of the remake, which I think looks like a blast and I’m bummed I’ll likely miss in theaters, the original MY BLOODY VALENTINE gets a special edition DVD that seems not to skimp on the materials.  Haven’t heard of HIT AND RUN.

MIRRORS (review) may prove to be the make or break point of Alexandre Aja’s career.  I’m a fan of HIGH TENSION and in love with THE HILLS HAVE EYES, but his remake of INTO THE MIRRORS is as much a mess as the Korean original.  Not worth picking up.


January 20th

No one asked for BOOGEYMAN 2, so the Universe delivers a BOOGEYMAN 3SAW V (review) is the new low-point for the once pioneering franchise.  I haven’t seen REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA, Darren Lynn Bousman’s ‘rock opera’ musical, nor have I heard too high praise for it, but I will eventually get to it.  I’m a big fan of Anthony Stewart Head, so I’ll stomach Bousman’s grungy style to see Giles once again.

Perhaps, though likely not, better known by its native Norwegian title FRITT VILT, COLD PREY is a slasher title I’ve heard good things about for a while now.

I liked the first VACANCY.  Don’t think its great by any account, but I like it just fine.  VACANCY 2, of course, was not necessary, but I’ll give it a shot because I have a crush on THE WOODS’ Agnes Bruckner.


January 27th

If I recall correctly, reader Sean almost a year ago mentioned how awful GUTTERBALLS was and I’ve yet to see or hear anything that contradicts his assessment.

SHARKS IN VENICE (review) is one of the most disappointing, misleading Sci-Fi channel movies ever made.

Die hards can grab their collector’s edition of REDNECK ZOMBIES.

Closing out the month is the oh-so-cleverly titled SINGLE BLACK FEMALE.


Netflix’ing the Month:

  1. EDEN LAKE
  2. COLD PREY
  3. MY BLOODY VALENTINE
  4. REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA
  5. VACANCY 2
  6. THE ALPHABET KILLER

Horror 2008, a Retrospective: Part 4, October to December


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Not much to say other than enjoy Part Four of Horror’s Not Dead’s 2008 Retrospective.  Wasn’t a bad year, but now that all the major titles are in it, it wasn’t, as I like to say, good sex.

Part 1: January to March.
Part 2: April to June.
Part 3: July to September.
Part 4: October to December.
Part 5: Events.
Part 6: Awards. (coming)




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