Like clockwork every year a studio releases a Christmas themed anthology for the masses, and almost always it’s a big letdown. It’s not really enough to inject the whole Christmas aesthetic. A genuinely scary story helps, too. “Nightmare on 34th Street” is a rambling, often nonsensical, unscary Christmas anthology movie that is literally all over the place. It re-uses actors, garners a whole cast that spend their time obviously reading from cue cards off screen, and director Crow doubles down a shoddy editing job that makes his film more confusing and jarring than scary.
I think over time Demián Rugna’s horror film “When Evil Lurks” will become a monstrous classic that will be explored by a lot of the horror fandom. A lot like Lucio Fulci, and or Mario Bava, Rugna’s film is dependent a lot on striking, often disturbing imagery. Said imagery tends to compensate for a lot of the film’s incoherence and ability to leave us absolutely confused and dumbfounded. I’d be hard pressed to call “When Evil Lurks” a masterpiece, but it sure is a great horror film. Director Rugna, like the aforementioned directors, is big on mounting terror and suspense, leading us in to a pacing that is slow in the beginning but throws us head first in to explosive twists and violence.
As debt accumulates and collectors come knocking, a washed-up stuntman trains with his horse for one last hurrah.
The Home Invasion Shorts block for the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is a mixed bag this year with some gems and some missteps. In either case, there’s some genuine talent and interesting ideas on display for festival goers.
This year’s the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival kicks off at the Nitehawk theater, and they premiered one of their trio of short film blocks. “Nightmare Fuel” is one of their absolute best with eight memorable horror entries from all over the world.
It’s not often I see a horror movie with such a paper thin script that it blatantly pads the run time. And even when it pads the run time with filler, it still only amounts to a seventy two minute film. And it’s barely seventy two minutes when you don’t factor in the closing credits, and long opening credits. Filmed on a $150,000 budget, what I imagine happened was director/writer Steven M. Smith wanted to film a movie in the vein of “Saw.” He got a hold of a primo haunted house and decided to build his script around the house. That’s likely why the movie’s entire narrative begins and ends in this haunted house, and nothing ever feels organic.
Director Maria Lee Metheringham’s “Pumpkins” is a film that would have worked so much better as a short form segment in an anthology horror film. As a feature length film, it falls painfully flat. Everything that needs to be resolved about the narrative is literally resolved in the first half hour. Everything else is merely filler that transforms what could have been an interesting revenge tale in to another slasher film.
Following the loss of his family, a man devolves into guilt and grief.