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By midlandsmovies, May 24 2019 01:11PM

10 of the Best Midlands films to look out for in 2019


We take a look at some of our hot picks of shorts, thrillers, documentaries, dramas and more from the talented folk of the Midlands region that are due to hit our screens later in 2019. Please do check out all these projects and head to their respective websites for full information on their forthcoming release dates.




Kobe directed by AR Ugas

Kobe is an upcoming short crime thriller film from West Midlands director AR Ugas about a university student who, after his childhood friend is released from prison, decides to enter into a life of crime which culminates in a robbery that goes wrong. Made in Birmingham, the film was shot, produced, directed and edited by Ugas, who had great success with his Tolkien-inspired first film 'The Return of the Ring' (our review here). With a gritty and dynamic aesthetic, the director hopes it's also a lot more personal film than he’s ever made before and working on the project are acting leads Mathias Andre and Dominic Thompson. Joining them are Tee Morris, Alexandria Carr, Bola Latunji and many more. With a plan to release the film in the next few months, you can find out more about the film and filmmaker here https://www.facebook.com/ARUGASUK or on Twitter




Red t'Blue directed by Jay Martin

This new 15-minute documentary-short from Sharp Edge Productions will focus on how, and why, the ex-mining town constituency of Mansfield swung from the Labour party, which had held it for a consecutive 94-years, to the Conservative party in the 2017 snap-election. A party which had not claimed the seat since its creation in 1885. Directed and written by Jay Martin (who made his directorial debut with Catharsis - our review), the Nottingham-based filmmaker studied at the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies in September and will interview a wide variety of local representatives including former Labour MP For Mansfield Alan Meale who served as the MP for Mansfield for a consecutive 31 years. Find out more on Facebook and Twitter




Abatement directed by Gary Rogers & Sharni Tapako Brown

Described as a thriller based around trust, lies and life changing events, this West Midlands production comes from Sharni Tapako Brown and Gary Rogers, an award winning cinematographer that has worked on a multitude of projects that include dozens of short films, TV Commercials and music videos. Since starting Country Star Productions with Sharni, one their recent short films 'The Beauty of It' received a nomination for best cinematography at the Midlands Movie Awards. This film tells the story of a group of friends who, whilst out in the woods, encounter a life changing sequence of events that brings into question their trust in each other and themselves. Co-directing and writing is the talented writer, actress and model Sharni Tapako Brown. More info at Facebook and Twitter








Apocalyptic 2077 directed by Marc Hamill

As an independent motion picture production team from Leicester, Roasted Studios specialise in original New-wave British Grindhouse cinema and if you like post-apocalyptic movies such as Mad Max, Book of Eli, Escape From New York and Turbo Kid, then you are sure to get behind Apocalyptic 2077. With heroes & villains, ice pirates, cyberpunks, marauders, skin Traders and zombie nuns(!), the filmmaking team behind The Wrong Floor have promised a mayhem filled thrill ride in the tradition of 80s action classics. Starring Rudolph Barrow and Ryan Flamson, the film already had a successful preview premiere on Sunday 28th April at the Century Cinema in Leicestershire.


More info on Facebook



Poison Ivy directed by Sophie Black

Midlands-based Triskelle Pictures was created back in 2008 as founder Sophie Black (interview here) was completing her degree at the University for the Creative Arts, but after a whole raft of award-winning shorts are about to embark on potentially their most popular and explosive one so far. With a love for the DC Batman villain Poison Ivy, the filmmaker feels as though she has long been underrepresented in film so are producing a fan film that brings the character front and centre. This film is not endorsed by DC in any way - it's simply a passion project by people who adore the subject matter and stars Aislinn De'Ath & Robert Dukes in the lead roles. With successes already gained for their drama Night Owls and fantasy short Songbird, starring The X Factor's Janet Devlin, the film comes later in summer after a passionate post-production period.


Find out more on their official website and their Facebook page





The Nursery Man directed by Anthony Michael Tracy-Winson

Mr. Stitch Films is an independent movie production company founded by Anthony M. Tracy-Winson which specialises in making horror movies and their latest undertaking is The Nursery Man. Beginning production back in February 2018, the film stars Sarah Ellis who plays Marion Kelly, a former paranormal specialist for Dartmoor University who sets out to help tormented mother, Florence Taylor, played by Sarah Wynne Kordas who children have disappeared. With the production now ongoing for many months, filming has taken place around the region by the team who made The Baylock Residence (review here). But despite the long journey, with retakes and re-shoots undertaken, the crew want to make this film the best that Mr. Stitch Films has ever produced. Find out more on Facebook and their official website






Sustain directed by Dave Hastings

Written By Brett Dewsbury and David Hastings, crime thriller/drama Sustain is the new film from Midlands Director David Hastings & Producers Troy Dennison and Keiran Bowers (see our The House of Screaming Death review). Brett Dewsbury himself plays Kieran, a mild-mannered young man whose life is shattered by the death of his close younger step-brother Toby (Joshua Sewell), the victim of a vicious race attack. Confronted with the shocking reality of recent fatal events, Kieran must come to terms with what has happened, carrying on without Toby, the gloating thugs who have walked free from his brother’s death. With the film in deep post-production, editor Sam Woodhall has been working closely with Hastings on fine-tuning the now locked visual cut of the film with the picture edging ever closer to its completion for audiences. Check the latest production updates on Facebook





Off Grid directed by Carl Timms

Off Grid is the upcoming production from Dark Matter Films and Bewdley-based Director Carl Timms who shot the short film on location in Worcestershire earlier this summer with a completion date pencilled in for early 2019. This post-apocalyptic, supernatural thriller boasts a stellar cast including James Cosmo, MBE (Game of Thrones, Braveheart, The Outlaw King) as force of nature John Tanner; Alison Steadman (Pride and Prejudice, Gavin & Stacey) as his frail wife, Grace and Marc Baylis (Coronation Street) as the enigmatic ‘Stranger’. Bewdley-based director Carl Timms says, "We are delighted with how the filming turned out. We feel honoured to have worked with such a talented cast who brought these characters to life exactly as we hoped”. Check out their new teaser for the film which will be released soon. Check out their website at www.darkmatterfilms.co.uk





MacBeth directed by Daryl Chase

The Screen Northants group have secured funding from BBC’s Children In Need to produce films working with disadvantaged young people across Northampton and their new version of classic Macbeth sees them working with professional crew to produce the film, which is being shot over 5 weeks in the school summer holidays. Becky Adams, Director of Screen Northants, says, “We are over the moon that BBC Children in Need are supporting us again. And we are looking forward to making a tangible difference to young people’s life chances”. Various sites across Northampton are being used to create the setting for this gritty, urban retelling of one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. Screen Northants are taking the story from ancient Scotland to a contemporary dystopian estate on the fringes of society, pitting estate against estate. Macbeth and the love of his life, Lady Macbeth, make moves to escape the rut they find themselves in. Find out more at www.screennorthants.co.uk






Angel City directed by Duaine Roberts

Written, directed & Produced by Duaine Carma Roberts of Carma Film, Angel City tells the story of sisters whose loyalty is tested when one is accused of attempted murder, which causes past truths to come to light. Since founding CarmaFilm Motion Pictures in 2015, Duaine Carma Roberts has had a vision to change the way film is perceived in both Birmingham and the rest of the UK. With stories focusing on every day struggles and challenges, our short and feature films have garnered attention across the country and success showing in various film festivals. The film stars Adaya Henry, Tamaira Hesson, Georgia Neath, Liam Millard, Chereis Sewell, Ackeem Gibbs and Andre Pierre and comes on the back of Robert’s previously successful shorts Dear Josephine (our review) and Graycon (our review). Find out more on Twitter and the Carma Film website





By midlandsmovies, Apr 14 2019 08:27AM



Sustain movie releases brand new trailer


Award-Winning producers Troy Dennison and Keiran Bowers have unleashed the newest trailer for the Midlands-based crime thriller/drama Sustain, directed by Dave Hastings.


With the film in deep post-production, editor Sam Woodhall has been working closely with Hastings on fine-tuning the now locked visual cut of the film. The next stage sees film grading whilst James Hall will be supervising a new sound mix. And with a composer for the film being announced in the near future, the picture is close to completion for audiences.


However, the second trailer for the film is here to whet audiences’ appetites even more. “And we’re very proud to unleash the new footage from Sustain which we all hope you will find exciting” teases producer Troy Dennison.


Featuring lots of new footage that illustrates the wide-ranging scope of exciting Midlands locations, the filmmakers had help from people Sophia French at Walsall Council and beyond. "The new trailer raises the stakes and gives you an even more thrilling look into the dangerous world that protagonist Kieran Flank (Brett Dewsbury), finds himself slipping into after the brutal murder of his step-brother Toby (Joshua Sewell)”, says director Hastings.


Dewsbury comments that “people should be excited by the film because it was produced locally, made by local talent, cast filled with raw local talent and promotes the Midlands area so very much. It is exciting because it shows what hard work, passion and creativity can achieve when you virtually have a non-existent budget. It’s a beautiful, gritty and very emotional piece that people should be happy to support because it touches on many issues we face in our day to day lives”.


The trailer also features an expanded glimpse at some of the films ensemble of other actors such as Richard Buck as the dangerous Kevin McKenzie as well as Matthew Kinson and Jay Podmore who make up the film’s chilling trio of villains who set off the dramatic chain of events the film follows.


As well as this, are the good guys like Greg Yates as DI Bridge and Laura Evenson as local news reporter Kara Marshdale, who form an uneasy allegiance in an attempt to expose the dark heart of humanity.


All of them in the trailer “shine so very much, giving audiences a new compelling glimpse into a story we’ve been incredibly excited to share with everyone”, comments Dennison.


Sustain is a joint co-production between Lightbeam Productions, 5cm/Sec Films, ICI Films, Faceless Films and Pat The Bull Films. You can follow the film on Facebook and Twitter for more exciting developments.


By midlandsmovies, Jan 27 2019 08:05AM



Midlands Spotlight - Snarl


Lightbeam Productions is reuniting with Pat The Bull Films, Brumtown Films and 5cm/Sec Films to produce SNARL, a terrifying new horror short to be directed by L.J. Stark Greenwood.


Starring Jay Podmore (Sustain), and reuniting Charlie Clarke with Jack Knight fresh from You Are My Sunshine, the film will be directed by L.J. with special FX by Gary Hunt, Steve Bosworth, Troy Dennison and Alex Bourne while Will Bradshaw is back as Director of Photography.


Kaushy Patel and Paminder Bains are on executive producer duties while Dave Hastings is in the producing chair as well as writing the script.


The film is set in England in 1934 where a young man, Elijah (Jay Podmore) has been captured and accused of being a werewolf by Clyde, a self-famed bounty hunter from a nearby village.


As Elijah is brutally tortured in a vain attempt to get him to confess to his alleged shapeshifting, he suddenly finds himself covertly released by two villagers, Faye (Charlie Clarke) and her younger brother Benjamin (Jack Knight), who believe his cries of innocence.


As they attempt to help the young man flee through the woods, all the while pursued by the maniacal Clyde, the night time forest suddenly reveals that some legends are not myth at all.


Director L.J ‘Stark’ Greenwood explains, “I’ve always wanted to try my hand at directing but so far have never had the chance to fully immerse myself into it. So I couldn’t have asked for a better cast and crew to help me bring this story to life, one that I am very excited about, because it is so scary and really plays directly into what story elements I think helped make some of the best Werewolf films we’ve already got".


"It will also allow me to indulge in visuals that are inspired by my love of Guillermo del Toro as well as my love of the 1930s carnival atmospheres".


"We’ve already been working on shot lists and ideas for how to not only present the characters but also our elusive werewolf, as well as looking at locations and filming test footage, so it’s all becoming very real and exciting! This has always been my favourite sub-genre of horror, the Werewolf film, so I hope to really do it justice with what we’ve got to show the world", he adds


Writer and producer Dave Hastings continues, "Originally starting out as a small 2-3 minute film idea, L.J. approached me a few months ago, about her dream of making the ultimate werewolf short. She had been wanting to have a good go at directing for some time now as well, and we all really wanted to help give her the platform to do this and combine a project with her love of Wolfman folklores. It was also a way to say a massive thankyou to her, especially after all the work she has done to make House of Screaming, Sustain, You Are My Sunshine and countless other movies projects we’ve all worked on".


Jay Podmore who plays Elijah describes joining back up with the established team, "I'm really looking forward to working with LJ, Dave and the team again - and the challenges that we will face together working on such exciting, graphic material. I can’t wait to play around with Elijah’s character - he has endured a great deal of physical and spiritual strain so I will be delving into a deep part of my mind to bring to him a rawness and vulnerability. I just cannot wait to get started on this! Such lovely talented people involved and looking forward to morphing into Elijah in 2019.”


And Charlie Clarke who plays as Fayeis in a similar position: "I am most looking forward to being back with such a great team for my first werewolf film and being on board for LJ’s directorial debut! I’m also looking forward to the 1930s styling and seeing the werewolf make up".


SNARL starts filming in early 2019 with a release planned for later in the year. More updates and details will be coming soon and follow the latest production news at http://www.lightbeamproductions.co.uk/


A recent behind the scenes film has been released from the crew and watch the video below:





By midlandsmovies, Aug 24 2018 06:33AM



Midlands Spotlight - LGBT film You Are My Sunshine completes first part of production


After two weeks filming around various locations within the Walsall area, the first shooting block for the new upcoming Midlands feature film You Are My Sunshine has now ended with a deeply heart-breaking scene filmed in North Wales.


Actors Steve Salt and Jack Knight played out their final scenes together as the younger versions of Tom and Joe, the film's protagonists, which chronicles the tender story of how they first fell in love and the difficulties they face against a backdrop of 1970s Britain. Set during a time when gay rights were only just asserting themselves, the film also leads into the modern day where we find how their characters are continuing in the face of prejudice.


Writer/Director Dave Hastings has praised not only their performances but also those of actors and actress Charlie Clarke, Kiah Reeves, Dale Roberts as well as Hellraiser alumni Simon Bamford, all of whom he says brought great pathos and unique energy to the sometimes challenging and dramatic scenes.


"Everyone has been remarkable", continues Dave. "When I first wrote the script for Sunshine back in 2014, I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined these performances. They are heart-breaking, funny, sincere, emotional, as well as loving. I'm such a happy and humbled director because of each and every one of them".


Producer Troy Dennison, who supervised a shoot that saw the filmmakers and actors take to such iconic Walsall locations like Barr Beacon and the Park Lime Pits has equally praised the cast. Thanking them all for bringing some extremely powerful performances to the screen Troy added, "Absolutely astounding, all of them, every single time they were all on set"


"We have been so lucky to have them wanting to work with us, and we will do our very best to honour their work in the final film. That we will always promise".



WIth a very ambitious shoot, and working closely alongside Walsall Council, the director thanked the authorities assistance and advice which eased potential filming issues on location around the borough. "The council have been absolutely incredible and so very supportive, helping us work on the streets of Darlaston which doubled for 1970s British exteriors in one instance" says Hastings.


The production even had an element of nostalgia when it returned to Manor House in West Bromwich where the company had shot The House of Screaming Death. This time, it doubled as a 1970s bedsit. The crew of the film were equally up to challenge to help present and turn locations into those with a genuine 1970s vibe. Director of Photography Will Bradshaw studied the look of former British films made within the era, while set designer L.J. ‘Stark’ Greenwood researched various colour palettes as well as vintage props.



But while this phase of the shoot is over, the crew's attention and planning is now moving towards a secondary block of filming which sees the story of Joe and Tom continue into modern day & the repercussions of the past still haunting them.


And for now, Dave reflects on that final scene just filmed in North Wales. "It was the right one to finish on. We'd been on a rollercoaster of emotions, all of us, both in front of and behind the camera over the past two weeks with the differing scenes and charged content, so this last one, set on an isolated beach, where young Tom & Joe look to the future, just allowed us all to say goodbye sadly to them collectively".


Dennison agrees, stating "It was very difficult to say goodbye because we'd become a massive family again for two weeks".


You Are My Sunshine is a co-production between Lightbeam Productions, 5cm/Sec and Pat The Bull Films and is being executively produced by Kaush Patel. It will continue to be filmed in and around both Walsall and Sandwell areas in the West Midlands.


Find out more information here:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YouAreMySunshineMovie/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MySunshineMovie




By midlandsmovies, Jun 14 2018 12:58PM



New film You Are My Sunshine, which will be filmed and produced in and around the Midlands this summer, is launching a new crowd-funding campaign for their upcoming LGBTQ drama.


Written and directed by award winning filmmaker Dave Hastings, and produced by award winners Troy Dennison and Kaush Patel, You Are My Sunshine promises to be a heartfelt look at two extraordinary lives wanting nothing more than to be together against hostility and prejudice.


Set across two decades, Sunshine tells the story of Tom and Joe, who first meet in the 1970s, a time when homosexuality is still deemed immoral and wrong. As the two youngsters try and navigate their way through an uncompromising time in history, their modern day counterparts also have to deal with the repercussions of their early lives when events take a turn and families collide once more.


Looking for help to tell their stories, their filmmakers’ campaign launches with an aim to raise funding for locations, make up effects, transport as well as other considerations such as food and insurance.


Much of the cast have already been secured including Steve Salt who will be playing the younger version of Tom, while Jack Knight will be the younger version of Joe, Martin’s son. Both are from the Midlands and studying drama in London and they are joined by Charlie Clarke, Charles O’Neill and Rosemary Manjunath.


Director Dave Hastings comments, "This is an important story to tell now more than ever. Especially when we are again seeing a rise in homophobic crimes around the world, which in itself is sickening. Sunshine shows that while in the face of tough adversity, whatever your sexual preference, there is never anything wrong with falling in love with someone of the same gender”.


Producer Troy Dennison elaborates; "while the film presents hope, it never shies away from showing the ugly side of these discussions, with the script showing how in the 1970s, even when we had the first Pride in the UK, attitudes were still very difficult, and were strong enough to rip whole families apart, an event that could take decades to heal, while in other cases, not even being repaired at all, leaving some members of the LGBTQ community vulnerable and separated by their families forever".


The filmmakers first feature collaboration was Checking In” (see MM review here) which told five stories all set over the course of a 24hr day in a hotel. The film was screened in London, was featured on BBC Midlands News, and eventually went on to WIN BEST BRITISH FILM at the 2014 London Film Awards. The film was made on a budget of £2,000.


And their Hammer horror inspired second film entitled The House of Screaming Death won Best Feature at the 2018 Midlands Movie Awards.


“We are very passionate about filmmaking and doing the absolute best we can with what limited resources we have. But we believe this just makes us more creative on set and how we develop not only ourselves but the movies we make”.


To make a pledge please check out the Indiegogo Campaign by clicking here


For more info please head over to their official website: www.lightbeamproductions.co.uk



By midlandsmovies, Nov 27 2017 09:31AM



Clone (2017)


Lightbeam Productions


Director: David Hastings

Director of Photography: Joshua LA Baggott

1st AD: Suki Sandhar

2nd Camera: Kaushy Patel


From director David Hastings (The House of Screaming Death) comes Clone; in which a Professor working alone late at night in his home is visited by a mysterious stranger who causes the Professor to doubt his lifetime's work.


It is tricky to provide a detailed review of this film without giving away at least one spoiler, albeit one that is revealed quite early however it is fair to say that writer and lead actor Charles O’Neil (The House of Screaming Death) is the focal point of this movie which prioritises discussion and philosophical ethical musing over any visual action.


Paradoxically it is this focus that is both the film's strength, at times the discussion channels the composition of some philosophical writings of antiquity, for example Dionysius, and also its weakness as O’Neil’s writing (this is his second credited piece) borders at times on the mundane and the inconsequential - which in a film where the dialogue is paramount in holding the viewers attention is crucial to how it will be received.


I have no doubt that Clone will find an audience out there but for me it appeared to be a piece still in progress.


The camerawork and shot framing need a little improving, even as a secondary aspect this was noticeable, while the main crux of the film, the discussion, was slightly vague in its concepts despite its obvious importance. And as a result it was sadly hard to believe, or necessarily care at times, in the critical implications of the decision.


Perhaps the problem I faced was that the concept was definitely strong, echoes of Logan’s Run amongst several other sci-films can be found, but the execution was not quite there on this occasion but I would still look out for the writer's next project given their emphasis on a host of interesting themes.


Marek Zacharkiw

@CosiPerversa


By midlandsmovies, May 21 2017 08:34AM



The House of Screaming Death (2017) Pat the Bull Films & Lightbeam Productions

Directed by: Troy Dennison, Rebecca Harris-Smith, David Hastings, Alex Bourne


A collaborative group of fright-filmmakers have pulled together and created a new Midlands made horror anthology – The House of Screaming Death – and, in a Midlands Movies first, we review this local horror feature with two (!) of our writers in conversation.


Taking a slightly longer format than before, Editor Mike Sales speaks to site feature writer Marek Zacharkiw about these multiple tales of terror in a collaborative format akin to the film itself.


To set the scene, The House of Screaming Death utilises the horror staple of an anthology film set around the same location, in this case it’s another recognisable feature of the genre – that of a spooky location – which is a great concept (not to mention realistic in terms of scope and budget for an indie production - Marek). Here it allows this group of filmmakers to display their individual talents while linking the tales together using themes of time, personal journeys and tackling the ‘ghosts’ of the past. Each of the 5 directors (4 tales plus the director of the wraparound sequence) brings their horror-tinged stories to screen using new occupants as well as both the familiar and the unknown.


The film opens with a suitably gothic red ghoulish font reminiscent of classic Hammer Horror and we are then introduced to Ian McNeice (Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls) as the Architect. He’s the perfect foil to deliver an eerie performance as he introduces each segment. There’s also a great score from Matthew Calvert which mixes a dash of the recent Stranger Things with urgent strings to create a pumping tension at the beginning. And with that, Marek and I got stuck into the film…


MAREK: I have to say the idea of the film really appeals to me and I think this is in part because the film makers have presented it in a way reminiscent of the older Amicus and Hammer horror anthologies which I am a fan of. The opening and casting of Ian McNiece as The Architect, also lends the film a certain air of gravitas in regards to the professionalism of the picture, by which I mean you do not often get such recognisable faces in these smaller productions. Although the actual story introductions were somewhat lacking I felt.

MIKE: Absolutely. Without putting a downer on so early in the proceedings, the first story was “The Lady in Grey” from Troy Dennison but it was hard to work out any of the story names as McNeice doesn’t give the audience the titles. There’s only a date – in this case 1943 – so I thought a name card could help.

MAREK: I fully agree here simply because it primes us as a viewer and to be honest I feel it helps audiences get into the mindset or world of the unfolding story. “The Lady in Grey” to me came across almost as an attempt to visualise an Edgar Allen Poe story but unfortunately fell short for me as the script and pacing just did not have enough to hold my attention throughout. However I did feel that the concept fit perfectly into the location and credit must be applied for how the crew brought that time period to life.

MIKE: Yeah, the tale had great costumes and the rooms of the house had great set/prop design with suitably old fashioned sets for the varying time periods.

MAREK: As we see across all genres, the choice of an interesting location, and particularly in this case its incorporation into the story, can really help the filmmaker make the most of limited production budgets but in this opening segment I feel that it was a missed opportunity. .

MIKE: Agreed. The story is straightforward and the lighting was good. I was a bit unsure of starting the film with a monologue sequence and tension was only created by the music and not particularly the pacing or editing.

MAREK: I think that explains the issues perfectly, it was difficult to get into as a starting point (for the whole anthology) due to the narrative choice which relied too much on a script that while functional was not simply not engaging enough to hold my sole attention.

MIKE: Multiple speeds of pacing keep interest up but the one-note speed in this segment didn’t reflect the drama being described.


MIKE: The second tale was Rebecca Harris-Smith’s ‘The Witch in the Mirror’ set in 1934 and then 1974. As I mentioned, it was now 18 minutes before any dialogue had been delivered which made me think the order of tales could be reversed.

MAREK: After quite an intriguing start I found this one a little confusing in terms of tone although the opening aesthetics, in particular the costumes, did grab my attention.

MIKE: I loved the steampunk-esque plague masks of the necromancers. The main couple’s real-life argument in another room heard by the guests was a great parallel twist on hearing ghostly sounds through the walls.

MAREK: Exactly and it is in this manner that I hoped the story and style would develop. Although I felt the pacing was a bit disjointed and while, again, the script was functional that every time it built up momentum it became bogged down in the minutiae of everyday conversation.

MIKE: A well-lit dinner meal used creepy candles as we see a couple spend a night in the inherited house. I enjoyed the nods to ‘typically’ horror set ups, again harking back to their retro influences.

MAREK: See for me this was one of the areas that missed where the real interest of the story lay, rather than uninteresting bickering of some confusing characters, confusing in the sense of motivation, I wanted to discover more about the supernatural.

MIKE: I found the structure a little strange as we flash-forward at the story’s start and then at the table hear a story from the past. I kept wondering, as the film switches time periods anyway, which date are we on now? But the reversal (mirrored, if you will) ending nicely linked up the two time periods which clarified the crossover.



MIKE: So we move on to the third story titled ‘The Vampyre’ from Dave Hastings set in 1888.

MAREK: For me this was the highlight of the anthology, a strong concept that was well delivered and engaging throughout.

MIKE: This segment had my favourite characters for me. The vicar delivered a good performance and enjoyed the stereotypically burly locals nonplussed by the city outsider and the central villain of the segment as well.

MAREK: I fully agree, it knew what it wanted to achieve and set the characters out to deliver that with a few nods to the past.

MIKE: A pub scene was notably quiet with no background “hum” and also no score. It was like the audio was missing rather than a stylistic choice. The silence was unnatural but not in a supernatural way.

MAREK: Sadly this appears to have been a theme that frequently reoccurred, to a greater or lesser extent, throughout and did make a difference taking you out of the created world although thankfully this segment was strong enough for me to manage to survive.

MIKE: There were a few scenes in the forest that were really dark and possibly under-lit but it certainly kept it realistic for the time period it was set in.

MAREK: Now I think that final part you mentioned is key but we also need to remember that this story utilised the outdoors a lot more as well as shadows to perhaps hold the mystery a little longer in regards to our villain and I felt this was handled very well in what must have been some difficult shooting conditions regarding lighting.


MAREK: For the final, we are whisked to 2017 (by way of 2015) for the ‘The Diabolique’ by Alex Bourne.

MIKE: Here, we have a lady investigating the disappearance of her brother which leads her to the house.

MAREK: Like the previous segment I thought this was a strong, engaging concept and serves the additional purpose to bring us back to present day.

MIKE: Again, classic horror tropes like a ‘haunted’ doll and cult like images help cement the anthology’s love of the past and this tale wears it’s influences on its sleeve which will attract the fans of the that genre to it all the more.

MAREK: Although everyone deserves credit, perhaps this segment is the best acted out of them all and it helps bring it together.

MIKE: Agreed. It had the best pacing of the sequences for me too and the set of shorts ended on a high note as the tempo had really sped up by now.


MIKE: So in conclusion, what were your favourite parts of the film and which did you think needed improving?

MAREK: I felt the final two stories were undoubtedly the strongest, with ‘The Vampyre’ being my favourite. However I have to say that I do worry that the overall story order is wrong and certain viewers will not stick with it.

MIKE: For me, and I think I’ve mentioned it in so many reviews now that both independents and mainstream blockbusters have a current trend to make everything 2 hours plus, no matter what the content.

MAREK: Exactly and while this film at around two hours might seem like it would break down into four 30 minute episodes it does not play out that way in terms of an even split, and perhaps was overly ambitious based on the resources.

MIKE: Yeah, I sadly feel it’s also magnified by a lower budget. If resources like locations, money and some technical aspects are limited then it makes sense to me that these limitations could be extended to the length. A short, punchy, tightly-edited film often has more impact. In comparison, the recent mainstream release XX had 4 stories coming in at 80 minutes.

MAREK: Sometimes less is more but perhaps with a little tighter editing and post-production many of these qualms can be answered and all of a sudden it becomes a much more enjoyable film.

MIKE: Maybe a re-ordering of the tales would have helped so as to draw the viewer into the exciting beginning of tale 2 before the more mournful reflective narration of Story 1.

MAREK: Exactly, and I think this is perhaps where I am doing a disservice to the opening story but to me it does not set the anthology off on an engaging note and its sparse, bleak tone then permeates to the viewer making for a dry and unfortunately slow start.

MIKE: There’s definitely much more to recommend it than the few areas of improvement we’ve discussed and the anthology format works well for tales of camp-fire horror.

MAREK: Certainly and I think it is just a few minor tweaks required which will perhaps even come as the experienced directors continue their edits. There are of course plenty of positives to take from this and enjoyment to be had, particularly from the last two stories.


So ultimately House of Screaming Death is a retro-infused horror collection that it is more Inside No.9 than Amicus/Hammer but there is a lot of promise and clear genre knowledge behind the camera. One area which anthology films often get wrong but was perfect in this, was the wraparound story which worked exceptionally well and deserves credit. And with 4 exciting directors honing their craft both of us are looking forward to the next terrific tell-tale terrors they have to offer.


Midlands Movies Mike & Marek


Find out more about the film and its release at the Official Website: http://onabeamoflight.wixsite.com/screamingdeath/the-stories





By midlandsmovies, Mar 30 2017 10:16AM

Post-production has completed on Kaush Patel and Dave Hastings’ horror anthology ‘The House of Screaming Death’ and Midlands Movies Mike sees what’s next for this scary chiller from the region.


Featuring a chilling quartet of tales, ‘The House of Screaming Death’ features classic British actor Ian McNeice as a mysterious character known as The Architect – a storyteller who has a few demons to share of his own.


After a viral campaign ended with the release of the film’s trailer, the team behind the film have worked on adding the final touches including the completion of editing by Sam Woodhall who also oversaw the film’s visual effects.


Reuniting with local composer Matthew Calvert from the team’s previous award winning film ‘Checking In’, the musician has added a dark and macabre score influence by the likes of James Bernard – a staple of many Hammer Horror productions – as well as Christopher Young (Hellraiser).


“We all have jobs around the project, so we didn’t want to rush this at all”, says co-producer Kaush Patel. “People have been asking us for months about when the film will be finished, and we’ve always said, when it is as perfect as it can be within our limited resources as independent filmmakers. It has taken us four years to make this film a reality, so we are very protective of it as well as proud of all the cast and crew”, continues Patel.


Producer Dave Hastings adds “(the cast and crew) are all wonderful, and spending the last year seeing all their hard work, both in front of and behind the camera in the edit suite has been an absolute pleasure. It has just been an absolutely wonderful experience seeing all these components come together like they do here. As an independent filmmaker and for a film that has cost £4,000 to make overall, the dedication, passion and the love that has gone into this project has been overwhelming”.




Costing £4,000 to make, Patel wants encourage people to see what has been achieved on a small budget, especially within the struggling confines of the UK film industry.


The film is now entering the film festival circuit around the globe and will soon be receiving its local press screening at the amazing Manor House in West Bromwich. The film was in fact filmed around the location which doubled as the fictional and sinister Bray Manor, home of The Architect.


It will also also be receiving its first ever Birmingham premiere at the upcoming Fear-fest on Sunday May 28th (more info here: www.birmingham-fearfest.co.uk) which is organised by horror writer and journalist Steve Green


Before that, a cast and crew premiere is soon to be announced where everyone involved in the film will get first chance to see the scary fruits of their labour.


Aiming for a mid-late 2017 release, it truly is a Midlands-centric production with locations used in Walsall, Sandwell and Staffordshire areas with huge support from local councils. You can keep up to date on all the latest news by following the film on Twitter @screamin_death or by visiting the official website www.screamingdeath.co.uk

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