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By midlandsmovies, Aug 12 2018 07:00AM



A Quiet Place (2018) Dir. John Krasinski


Set in the year 2020 where the population has been decimated by an unknown but deadly foe, a family attempts to stay alive in A Quiet Place – the directorial debut of The Office’s John Krasinski.


The film introduces us to the Abbott family which comprises of Lee (Krasinki), his pregnant wife Evelyn (Krasinki’s real-life partner Emily Blunt) and their deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and son Marcus (Noah Jupe). We are shown how youngest son Beau is killed by creatures which hunt by sound after he plays with a noisy toy given to him by his sister and, as we jump forward many years, the guilt still plays on her mind.


Very quickly establishing the rules of the world, the creatures are hyper-sensitive to noise yet the family are safe if a louder sounds masks their clamouring. All the while Lee attempts to contact potential survivors by radio but even the smallest clatter sends the family into a panic as they survive as pilgrims using what they can scavenge from abandoned shops and the surrounding forest.


Given sound plays such a prominent part in the film – or a lack of – the film is almost entirely without spoken dialogue and uses subtitles and a mix of sign-language to convey the expressive communication between the family members. Krasinski therefore demonstrates fantastic cinematic flair to create images, sequences and development all without verbal cues.


Action scenes are built to a crescendo of tension as the absence of sound focuses the audience on the tiniest of details. And in one particular scene, just an upturned nail on a stair. When a foot inevitably comes to stand on said rusty protrusion the slow accumulation of dread is what makes A Quiet Place so engaging. But the film doesn’t let up with all this pressure. The arrival of a nearby creature sees Blunt’s wife suddenly go into labour and we’re thrown into another life or death sequence.


Millicent Simmonds, who is deaf in real life, is excellent as the troubled but resourceful youngster and is involved in another nerve-wracking scene atop a grain silo where noise, suffocation and nail-biting terror continue the remarkable twitchy sequences. Her scenes also have their sound removed which puts a greater focus on the visual elements whilst the alien creatures’ clicking mixes a bat’s echolocation with insectoid creepy crawly effectiveness.


With echoes of 2016’s horror-stalker film HUSH, A Quiet Place also uses sound brilliantly as we are sometimes thrust into the situation alongside our characters – whilst also being aware of sounds they are not. Krasinski brings his strong everyman persona to a father who risks everything to protect his children yet his technical expertise in managing diegetic sound with a cinematic score is masterfully balanced as to keep viewers right on the edge of their seat.


The unique creature design uses hard plates with muscular appendages and (mostly) avoids the bland Cloverfield-style computer game horde style of a Chitauri warrior. Which give them real menace even when finally revealed up close. But it’s the tremendous performances from the entire clan who give believability and emotion to what could be standard b-movie scares than really engages.


People have compared this to previous annual horror highlights The Witch and The Babadook but A Quiet Place’s style is far more accessible than those. It harks back to the visual language of early cinema so well it has an almost universal appeal.


Mostly avoiding jump scares, the real silent success is Krasinski himself who has taken an original idea and created a script and debut film with hugely entertaining results. Throwing in scenes of real anxiety, unease and boldness, Krasinski’s virtuoso film uses each of these elements to create a satisfying blend that delights but has more than its share of frights.


9/10


Midlands Movies Mike


By midlandsmovies, Jul 11 2018 02:00AM

Quite simply, here is our ongoing and updated list of Film Festivals in the Midlands (2018 edition):


• THE SHORT CINEMA http://www.theshortcinema.co.uk info@theshortcinema.co.uk Phoenix, Leicester - August 20 – 25, 2018


• NOTTINGHAM MICRO FILM FESTIVAL Twitter @FilmNottingham http://www.nimfestival.com/ 8-10 March 2018


• INDIE-LINCS - March 15-18 2018 Based at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, and run in partnership with The School of Film and Media at the University of Lincoln http://www.indie-lincs.com


• BRINDLEY PLACE OUTDOOR FEST - http://www.brindleyplace.com/event/brindleyplace-film-festival-2018/ July 16 -22 2018


• LEICESTER DOCFILM FEST https://twitter.com/docfilmfestival Contact John Coster November 2018


• BORDERLINES FEST http://www.borderlinesfilmfestival.co.uk UK's largest rural film festival. Herefordshire/Shropshire - 23rd February - 11th March 2018


• BIRMINGHAM FILM FEST - November 22 – 25 2018 https://filmfreeway.com/festival/Birminghamfilmfestival


• BIFF FEST (Black International Film Fest) https://www.biffestival.co.uk 2018 dates TBC


• SHOCK AND GORE FESTIVAL http://www.shockandgore.co.uk The Electric Cinema in Birmingham, July. Contact david@theelectric.co.uk or https://twitter.com/shockgore July 27 to Aug 5 2018


• DEAFFEST http://www.deaffest.co.uk The UK's International Deaf Film & Arts Festival Wolverhampton. Contact info@light-house.co.uk Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May 2019


• THE UK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL LEICESTER - http://tonguesonfire.com/ 15 March - 31 March 2018


• SHOUT FESTIVAL http://shoutfestival.co.uk Birmingham Dates TBC for 2018


• DERBY FILM FESTIVAL http://www.derbyfilmfestival.co.uk 4th - 13th MAY 2018


• FANTASTIQ FEST http://fantastiq.co.uk Fantasy/Horror Fest at Quad in Derby (part of Derby Film Fest)


• MAYHEM HORROR Film Fest - Halloween. Contact Broadway cinema in Nottingham http://www.broadway.org.uk/mayhem 11 October - 14 October 2018


• FLATPACK FEST - Birmingham, UK. http://www.flatpackfestival.org.uk 13 - 22 April 2018


• EAST ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL http://www.eastwindsfilmfest.com May 2018


• BEESTON FILM FESTIVAL - https://twitter.com/BeestonFilm 8th - 11th March 2018


• SHROPSHIRE RAINBOW FILM FESTIVAL http://www.rainbowfilmfestival.org.uk/midlands-zone 5th - 7th October 2018


• GRINDHOUSE PLANET - www.grindhouseplanet.com November 2018 TBC


* BOTTLESMOKE FILM FESTIVAL - https://www.facebook.com/BottleSmokeStoke Stoke on Trent, 8th - 9th September 2018


* POCKET FILM FESTIVAL (Unseen cinema) http://www.unseencinema.co.uk/pocket-film-festival-2018/ Stafford 12-17 March 2018


* BIRMINGHAM HORROR GROUP - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/birmingham-horror-group-mini-movie-marathon-25-march-2018-tickets-41683231668 Mini-Movie Marathon Mini-Movie 25 March 2018


* SHROPSHIRE'S FIRST WORLD WAR FILM FESTIVAL https://twitter.com/wilfredowen100 Oct/Nov TBC 2018


* THE BRAVE BLACK BIRD FILM FEST Wolverhampton https://ajayhackett2113.wixsite.com/bbff Wolverhampton 25th Feb 2019 (submissions until July 2018)


* HIGH PEAK INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL Derbyshire https://www.highpeakindie.com 12th to 16th June 2019. #HPIFF18


* NOTTINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL Hothouse Theatre Nottingham https://twitter.com/NottmFilmFest 8th July 2018


* THE VENUE LINCOLN FILM FESTIVAL Lincolnshire https://www.thevenuelincoln.co.uk 6th - 8th July 2018


* THE SHORT STACK FILM FESTIVAL Nottingham Bi-monthly screening night at Broadway Cinema https://www.facebook.com/groups/841340665914084 (Various dates)


Other useful Film Festival information can be find at these links:

http://www.festivalfocus.org/festival

http://film.britishcouncil.org/festivals-directory/festivals-map

http://www.thefilmfestivaldoctor.co.uk

By midlandsmovies, Jul 7 2018 08:16AM



New West Midlands horror short Monsters gets underway


Hot on the heels of their short giallo thriller 'All Bad Things...', which had its premiere at the 2018 Grindhouse Planet Film Festival, Midlands-based Vamporama Films is in pre-production on a new project, 'Monsters'.


This dark tale stars William Hayes and will be directed by Chrissie Harper, whose screenplay was based on a storyline by producer Steve Green.


With pre-production beginning in November 2017 the story is set in the “shadows of a ruined world, where a lone individual addresses an unknown audience”.


Are they his accusers? His judges? His acolytes? Well, Vampora Films hopes to draw the viewer into their dark universe asking whether he might be a madman or a messiah.


With All Bad Things (see Midlands Movies coverage here) complete, and the new production now well underway, the extraordinarily talented William Hayes is attached to what they describe as “a one-man tour de force”.


Previously William has appeared at the company’s regular film nights and in October 2017 he mesmerised an appreciative audience with a gripping rendition of Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’.


With location scouting complete, Chrissie Harper is currently storyboarding the film’s key elements (see her promo piece above). Chrissie herself is a Solihull based filmmaker from the West Midlands who is influenced by Orson Welles and has previous experience in editing, design, film-making & video editing.


Having additional experience in illustration this has become crucial in the development of each of her projects including this latest one, Monsters.


Producer Steve Green is known throughout the Midlands with his film work for Made in Birmingham as well as the very successful Birmingham Horror Group nights in the region.


To follow the progress of the film please check out their official sites below:


http://chezchrissie.co.uk/

http://www.ghostwords.co.uk

Twitter: @SteveGhostwords & @VamporamaFilms




By midlandsmovies, Jun 24 2018 03:51PM

Movie Catch Up Blog 2018 - Part 1


As with every year, we're playing a bit of a game with the amount of films on release in the UK. Below is some of the films that came out over 2018 that we've now caught after passing us by on their main release:




The Titan (2018) Dir. Lennart Ruff


Released via Netflix in the UK, Sam Worthington (Avatar) becomes another human-alien hybrid as he plays Rick Janssen – a pilot who joins an experimental programme to settle the human race on Saturn’s moon Titan. As he is pushed past extreme conditions he’s soon swimming underwater for 40 minutes but there are evil plans afoot as some of the volunteers begin to exhibit strange behaviour and body convulsing horrors.


His wife Abigail (Taylor Schilling) starts to fear for her husband’s increasing strange development as he loses his hair and skin as his body evolves. Part Frankenstein, part Splice and a whole dose of The Island of Dr. Moreau quality (i.e. none) the film’s slow pace leads it down to the inevitable test results – it’s simply deathly boring. And Tom Wilkinson as a shady government professor brings little to this film experiment. With a slow build up, the admittedly interesting concept is neither explored fully as a scientific drama nor silly enough for its probably more suitable b-movie thrills. An unsatisfying ordeal of titanic proportions. 4/10




Verónica (2018) Dir. Paco Plaza


Based on the “true” 1991 story where Estefanía Gutiérrez Lázaro died mysteriously after using a Ouija board, Verónica is a new film from REC 1 and 2 writer/director Paco Plaza. A side-comment on REC is that it is one of my favourite horror films of all time. I know hand-held horror is not to everyone’s taste but what it does is fantastically creepy and the sequel is one of the best horror follow-ups of all time in my book. So, with some lofty expectations it was disappointing to see Verónica being far too tame across the board.


15 year-old Verónica looks after her younger siblings Lucia, Irene and Antoñito but during a solar eclipse at their school, she sneaks away from the playground to a basement to try out a Ouija board. In one of the best scenes of the movie the director elicits a genuine foreboding atmosphere out of a scene we’ve seen hundreds of time before in cinema. As expected, supernatural occurrences happen around Verónica including ghostly apparitions and poltergeists as well as strange noises, bite marks and so on. And it’s these expected sequences that really harm Verónica as it fails to build upon its early good work.


A blind nun from the school called “Sister Death” is a tremendous character however. Her chain-smoking appearance is creepy and if this was a Blumhouse production, she’d get her own spin off. Alas, aside from the nun and although Sandra Escacena as Verónica is fantastic, the film heads towards inevitable conclusions and although it’s better than most Hollywood horrors, it fails to bring anything truly exciting or new to the genre. 6.5/10



Cargo (2018) Dir. Ben Howling and Yoland Ramke

This Australian post-apocalyptic thriller film is based on an original short from the directors and stars The Office’s Martin Freeman as a father trying to protect his child in a world overtaken by a zombie-like virus.


Andy (Freeman) lives with his wife (Susie Porter as Kay) and his one-year-old daughter Rosie on a houseboat in rural Australia. But as food rations run out, they visit an abandoned boat and something deadly bites Kay. They continue forward despite knowing that in just 48 hours Kay will inevitably fall victim to her infected wound. After a road accident knocks out Andy he awakes to find Kay transformed. Despite his anguish, Kay is put out of her misery by a forlorn Freeman – but not before he too is bitten and realises he needs to get his baby to a safe-haven.


With glorious vistas and aerial footage of the desolated Australian outback, the real locations are thoroughly well filmed and although the movie tackles dark themes it avoids the blood and guts of most zombie flicks. Replacing them is a more subtle and nuanced look at family, sacrifice and survival in a world filled with little compassion.


Andy’s inevitable, and time-limited, decline gives Cargo a sense of impending purpose and he crosses paths with Thoomi (Simone Landers), an adolescent girl who keeps her infected father as a sad contaminated pet. Their interactions provide the audience with thoughtful issues whilst highlighting the harsh realities facing those of different ages, backgrounds and cultures and how each adapts to the same threat. Not wanting to lose loved ones and Andy’s certain outcome plays on their minds and Cargo delves into these issues as they journey on.


The introspective dialogue is delivered well by Freeman and the support cast, whilst Anthony Hayes as Vic Carter shows an opposing view where selfishness reigns as Vic uses humans, specifically the indigenous Aborigines, imprisoned in cages as bait to attract and kill zombies.


A satisfying ending and hugely empathetic performance from Martin Freeman means Cargo is a great addition to the sometimes overstuffed (and of sometimes questionable quality) zombie genre which is hugely to its credit. Looking at issues of race and colonialism, Cargo will probably not deliver the requisite horrors for a jump-scare zombie film fan. But for those who tend to avoid this sort of film like the plague, at 105 minutes Cargo doesn’t overstay its welcome as a satisfying domestic drama rather than a fright flick. 7.5/10


Midlands Movies Mike



By midlandsmovies, Jun 14 2018 11:05AM



"They sometimes say real life is scarier than horror movies. Those people just aren't watching the right movies!"


So say the organisers of Shock & Gore, a local festival that launched in July 2011 and looks to bring together audiences and film-makers who have a love of horror, science fiction and fantastic films at the oldest working cinema in the UK.


Returning this summer to The Electric Cinema in Birmingham from Friday 27th July to Sunday 5th August, a host of genre screenings make up the brunt of the festival but they also programme stand-up comedy, Q&As, live choirs and all-night events.


Classics like The Old Dark House and the original Cape Fear are accompanied by new films such as Under The Tree and A Prayer Before Dawn. Cult favourites like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Prisoner will also be shown, plus their annual party night marks 20 years of Blade and 50 years of Night Of The Living Dead.


Shock & Gore are also hosting a special screening of Ben Wheatley's anarchic High-Rise at the top of Birmingham's iconic Rotunda building and the popular Trash Film Night will be taking to the seas (or, more accurately, Birmingham's canals) for a floating screening of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.


And on Thursday 2nd August, Conjurer's Kitchen will be presenting the classic movie The Silence Of The Lambs. Master food artist Annabel de Vetten will be cooking up some devilishly sweet treats to accompany a screening of one of the greatest thrillers of the last thirty years.


With a commitment to celebrating not only the work of established genre filmmakers, but also those looking to get their first break and national exposure, the focal point of the festival is always the official Shock & Gore competition. This is where entries from across the globe will be viewed and awards will be given for Best Feature Film and Best Short Film.


The Shock & Gore 2018 short film showcase takes place on Sunday 29th July at 2pm and offers opportunities for snappy jump scares, extreme set pieces and brief snippets of terror. Previous years have featured films from Japan, Dubai, Canada, the US, France and Italy, as well as a number of home-grown shorts.


And you still have time to enter via FilmFreeway at this link: https://filmfreeway.com/ShockGore


Full listings and the special events programme is online at www.shockandgore.co.uk


Plus you can find the festival on Twitter @ShockGore



By midlandsmovies, Jun 10 2018 08:51AM

12 Underrated films that may have passed you by since 2010


Despite your huge collection of DVDs, BluRays, boxsets, collector’s editions and streaming services, have you ever found yourself staring into space struggling to find a film to watch? With so many options available at just a touch of a button, the choice can be overwhelming. However, we’re going to provide a friendly list for your viewing pleasure as we showcase a dozen great films from the last few years that may have slipped under your radar.


Whether it be quirky documentaries, underground sci-fi or a splash of comedy, we have something for you. Take a read of the list below of our highly recommended, but often little-seen, movies – especially if you’re in the mood for something different to the usual multiplex blockbusters or critics’ darlings. And hit us up on Twitter @midlandsmovies with some of your own suggestions!




Coherence (2014) Dir. James Ward Byrkit

Written and directed by James Ward Byrkit this is an 89 minute thrilling sci-fi mystery set at a suburban USA dinner party that pulls at the audience’s emotions and brainstems equally. The film sets up a dinner meal and after discussion of a passing comet, the electricity goes off and the group explore their neighbourhood which leads to a mysterious occurance.. To say too much would be to spoil the surprise but with a similar tone to the low budget film Primer (2004) as well as the confusing and twisting narrative of Triangle (2009) the handheld realism leads to a brilliantly constructed film that demands a second viewing in order to fully appreciate the looping plot.



Stoker (2013) Dir. Park Chan-wook

A tense psychological thriller from the director who gave us OldBoy, Stoker again covers dark family secrets and was written surprisingly by Wentworth Miller of Prison Break. Avoiding any happy ever after clichés, the film has sinister fairy tale imagery from wooded copses, creepy spiders and phallic rocks to heighten the Hitchcockian themes of betrayal, deception and revenge. A trio of Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman, bring strangely winning performances in a social drama with a mythic quality. A far-fetched but fascinating fable.




Tim’s Vermeer (2014) Dir. Teller

Directed by stage magician Teller, this documentary gives us a portrait of Tim Jenison, a man who spends 5 years testing his theory which proposes how Renaissance Dutchman Johannes Vermeer possibly used optical instruments to help create such realistic paintings. A friend of Teller’s magician partner Penn Jillette, Tim comes across as a barmy garage-style bonkers scientist who has worked with computer graphics but has no formal artistic training. In his quest to be authentic, Tim also learns to use traditional methods to render not just the painting he admires but the entire room. The doc constructs a brilliant study of one man’s drive and his crazy courage to complete his personal canvas.




Frank (2014) Dir. Lenny Abrahamson

Based on the idiosyncratic UK comedic stylings of Frank Sidebottom, this movie is a fictionalised account of an eccentric musician trying to find his calling in life. The musical journey is seen through the eyes of Jon (a brilliantly naive Domhnall Gleeson) who leaves his humdrum life to work on an album of bizarre instrumentations and unusual compositions. The lead singer Frank (Michael Fassbender) persistently wears an over-sized homemade head and the film follows the erratic interactions and odd relationships between band members. Fassbender delivers a virtuoso performance as the comical yet infectious front man trying to connect with world he’s closed himself off to in a screwball study of creativity and mental hindrances.




White Bird in a Blizzard (2015) Dir. Gregg Araki

Set in a well-designed 80s of big hair, big phones and bigger boom boxes, the film follows the disappearance of unhappy mother Eve Connor (Eva Green) with flashbacks punctuating the modern day narrative strands to show her daughter Kat (Shailene Woodley) as she explains her drunken mother’s loveless marriage. The film may seem like Gone Girl-lite but its mysterious take on small-town life has echoes of American Beauty with its voiceovers, repressed fathers and dinner table silences. The comparisons continue with a sexless marriage and blossoming sexualised teenagers. The movie bounces easily between cold relationships to seduction secrets to create a winning formula of nosey next-door neighbours and night time naughtiness.




Snowpiercer (2014) Dir. Bong Joon-ho

All aboard for this South Korean/USA action film which tells the story of Curtis, a rebel on a fascist train that encircles the globe now that mankind has caused an accidental ice age. The snow train is a prison with the poor and destitute forced to live in squalor at the tail end whilst the rich live like royalty near the locomotive’s front. Curtis (a bearded Chris Evans) teams up with Edgar (Jamie Bell) and Tanya (Octavia Spencer) to overthrow the guards and with Tilda Swinton as a norther- accented minister with a nasty sadistic side, the movie is an original take on a tested formula. Joon-ho delivers the appropriate amount of fist fights and combines this with his artistic Eastern outlook with some inventive Hollywood-style smack downs. Although the premise is absurd, the audience will be pulled along for the wintery ride enjoying the emotional tracks the director lays out for us.




Joe (2014) Dir. David Gordon Green

After a glut of awful b-movie films, Nic Cage gets to tackle headier material by playing a violent loner in the Deep South where he stars as father figure to Tye Sheridan. We get a sizzling slice of Southern life played out amongst rural blue collar workers who turn to violence whilst trying to maintain their dysfunctional family dynamics. Alongside Cage’s muted dramatic chops and the rusty trucks, the two play out a tragic and cruel drama. The director elicits a cornucopia of emotions as we witness passionate kindred bonding and drunken falling. Cage is perfectly suited to the grizzled everyman and shows why he is still a watchable performer given the right material.




Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014) Dir. Mark Hartley

Following Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus who in the 1980s bought low-budget scripts to make even lower budget films, this documentary explores the ups and downs of the schlock movie business. Remembered for low budget action “classics” such as the Death Wish franchise as well as Delta Force, the film actually exposes some of the creative risks (but with little money) the cousins took as they tried to reflect, and sometimes create, the trends and fashions of the day. They made entertaining, amusing yet ultimately quite dreadful films but despite the low-low budgets, their productions focus on a sense of fun and the film provides a comedic look on how not to run a studio.




Love & Mercy (2015) Dir. Bill Pohlad

This biographical drama follows the life of Brian Wilson during the height of the Beach Boys’ fame in the 60s and his turbulent later years in the 80s where a confused Wilson deals with controlling advisors. The swinging section has a brilliant Paul Dano focusing on his song-writing whilst in the 80s, Cusack plays a more vulnerable Wilson who gets around with his new wife Melinda (Elizabeth Banks) and Paul Giamatti’s creepy psychotherapist. The Beach Boys’ music punctuates the film as Dano discovers his genius pop-hits and Cusack’s understatement is the flipside of Wilson’s fractured subconscious. Experimental in narrative, the film focuses on the brilliant brain of Brian through 2 different actors in a perfect portrayal of the mastermind musician.




Grand Piano (2014) Dir. Eugenio Mira

In the vein of Buried and Phone Booth Grand Piano is a taught ‘one-location’ thriller where a returning pianist protégé Tom Selznick (Elijah Wood) is threatened with murder during his comeback concert. An assassin promises to shoot him if he gets just one note wrong in his performance and the tension rises as a sniper’s laser sight passes over his sheet music. The pianist comes to terms that both he and his wife in the audience are at the hands of this man as he desperately tries to figure a way out using coded messages to escape with his life. A fast rhythm ratchets up the stakes using creative editing, along with a fantastic score coming from Frodo’s fingers himself. Any low-budget limitations are set aside as Grand Piano plays to its strengths like a fine composer.




As Above So Below (2014) Dir. John Erick Dowdle

Academic Scarlett Marlowe (Perdita Weeks) delves into the catacombs under Paris in a found footage horror as she and her cohorts look for the philosopher’s stone, a powerful but possibly cursed historical relic. The jumps, scares and the Descent-style claustrophobia come across in every frame with the cast filming in the real caves and stone corridors under the City of Light. With a shadowy sense of foreboding around every corridor twist and turn, the concept is as old as the hills but the ancient caves contain enough no-frills shocks for a Saturday night scare-fest.




Life Itself (2014) Dir. Steve James

From the director of the Oscar nominated documentary Hoop Dreams comes this film based upon legendary film critic Roger Ebert's 2011 memoir of the same name. From his humble beginnings as a film critic through to the co-writing of the cult film Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, the film covers the major points of his life using interviews and archive footage as well as excerpts from his infamous show with Gene Siskel. A powerful but humorous writer, Ebert not only scored a Pulitzer for his work, he also helped elevate film criticism and established himself as the foremost authority on the subject. The doc later moves to Ebert’s hard fought struggle with illness but show how great his outlook was, not just through his career around the movies, but as a mantra for life itself.


Midlands Movies Mike


By midlandsmovies, Jun 8 2018 01:02PM




‘BEWARE THE MOON’ RETURNS TO DUDLEY CASTLE THIS AUGUST


Dudley Zoological Gardens are again teaming up with Flatpack Projects and Film Hub Midlands to present the cinema spectacular BEWARE THE MOON.


Dudley Castle will be transformed into a vast open-air cinema for two special events over consecutive nights – George A. Romero’s zombie horror NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD will screen on Friday 3rd August, followed by the vampire cult classic THE LOST BOYS on Saturday 4th August.


Previous events have included spectacular screenings of James Whale’s THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and John Landis’ AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON in the stunning castle courtyard.


Guests at BEWARE THE MOON can enjoy hot food, a licensed bar and spine-chilling special effects projected onto the historic castle ramparts – with organisers promising even more spooky surprises this year!


BEWARE THE MOON: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (15)

Friday 3rd August 2018, 9pm

Castle Hill, Dudley, West Midlands,

DY1 4QF


Tickets: £10 (concs £8)

Double Bill Ticket: £18 (concs £14)

Book via https://www.dudleyzoo.org.uk/night-of-the-living-dead/


BEWARE THE MOON: THE LOST BOYS (15)

Saturday 4th August 2018, 9pm

Castle Hill, Dudley, West Midlands,

DY1 4QF


Tickets: £10 (concs £8)

Double Bill Ticket: £18 (concs £14)

Book via https://www.dudleyzoo.org.uk/the-lost-boys/



By midlandsmovies, May 27 2018 07:23AM



Winchester (2018) Dir. Michael and Peter Spierig


Oh Spierig brothers, what happened, guys? 2009 saw their breakthrough hit Daybreakers take an interesting angle on the vampire genre where humans are farmed for their blood whilst Willem Defoe and Ethan Hawke discover a possible cure.


After that came the phenomenal sci-fi short-story adaptation Predestination; a film which presented a twisting time-travel narrative with Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook and whose clever premise made it our 4th best film of 2015.


Snook is back in their latest movie along with Helen Mirren as heiress Sarah Winchester. The lady of the house is haunted by spirits in her turn of the century mansion. Also along for the (dull) ride is Jason Clarke as Eric Price, a doctor who is sent to diagnose her mental state of mind by the gun company she lends her name to.


Based on the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, a real location claimed by many to be haunted by the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles to this day, the scares, if you can call them that, begin early. But don’t expect the slow build up needed for these kind of films. Atmosphere? Absolutely nowhere to be seen. Tension? You wish!


Quiet, quiet, quiet then BOOM, a pale looking ghost appears. If that's your thing then fill your boots but for the rest of us that technique is lifeless and predictable.


The endless jump scares and pre-emptive musical stings remove any mood the film was attempting to create and despite some good costume and set design cannot overcome its complete lack of horror in a supposedly horror film.


Unengaging and unsatisfying, the brilliant Helen Mirren sadly fails to bring her gravitas and talent to the one-dimensional character and hackneyed haunted house plot. Lazy, seen-it-all-before jump sequences (oh look, a ghost appears in a moving mirror) and boring corridor explorations make Winchester’s narrative as meandering as the layout of the mansion itself.


Hugely disappointing, the Speirigs previously delivered two exciting genre hits focusing on character, story and interesting themes but with Winchester (and their franchise failure Jigsaw) their career is heading downward in the wrong direction. A lack of true shocks, a boring narrative and scene after scene of dull exposition, not even the talented actors can raise this flop from the dead.


4/10


Midlands Movies Mike



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