Category Archives: Reviews

Review – American Gods (2017)

Review – American Gods (2017)

starz-american-gods-shadow-moon

Starz’ has been getting a lot right with genre fans lately. It would be easy of course to begin this review with yet another love letter to Ash vs. Evil Dead so let’s just say “yay!” and move on. Ok? Good!

To say that American Gods differs in its tone from A vs. ED is an enormous understatement. Based on the novel of the same name from literary favorite Neil Gaiman, AG centers around Shadow Moon, a soon-to-be-released prisoner of the US penal system who wants nothing more than to see his wife again and restart his life with a clean slate. As we all, the easiest way to make God laugh is to make plans and Shadow learns that he is being released early to attend the funeral of his wife, killed in a car accident, alongside his best friend.

american_gods_characterart_madsweeneyIn a bid to get home in time to attend the services, Shadow takes an earlier flight where he meets up with Wednesday, an enigmatic man who seems to not only know way too much about Shadow’s personal life but also is way to eager to employ the now ex-con. As Shadow makes his way closer to the funeral he is plagued with disturbing dreams and visions, eventually making his way to a bar that coincidentally sees Wednesday buying him a drink and offering him employment once again. Shadow accepts and almost immediately the weirdness ratchets up to 11.

I have been a fan of Gaiman’s work for a while. He has a singular way of bridging impossible scenarios with very human characters and the result is always a fantastic culmination of the prolific writer’s gift for giving us brand new landscapes that still feel hauntingly familiar. American Gods is no exception to this and although we know that these are landscapes that dot and litter the atlases and roadmaps we’ve known for years we get the distinct impression that there are nots in the margin that tell us something far more mystical, deeper, and possibly sinister.

So, how does Starz translate Gaiman? Well, they have not been the first company to come along and see the value in his work. BBC made a miniseries out of Neverwhere, Coraline is practically a modern classic, and Stardust brought a still smoking hot Michelle Pfeiffer out of near retirement. What each of these productions managed was to show Gaiman’s quirk and whimsey. Gods set is sights on something considerably darker and the tone is heavy and thick from the very start. Now, I’m not saying that it totally abandons the ethereal quality that Gaiman’s other, more friendlier properties have, it just takes it and puts it in a universe that is far more dangerous. When blood spills in AG, it spills in volumes. It spills from vivisection, from decapitation, from evisceration and it burns a bright red against the soil. If genre fans can be assured of anything , it is that Starz is not pulling any punches when it comes to the adult representation of the bizarre and the bloody.

Starz also hasn’t held back on its casting, choosing the likes of Ian McShane, Gillan Anderson and others to round out a more than capable ensemble. In fact, just about every bit of AG’s casting feels inspired. McShane is perfect as Wednesday, the enigmatic, gypsy like figure that is reshaping Shadow’s life with every half-truth that spills from his lips. Shadow, in fact, is a very VERY interesting choice in that his demeanor, his dialect, his appearance and practically everything about him defies region, ethnicity, culture and is as mysterious as his name. With Anderson presumable joining the cast with tonight’s second episode it doesn’t look like the momentum is slowing down anytime soon. The second episode premieres tonight at 9PM on Starz. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

 

 

 

Review – The Void (2016)

Review – The Void (2016)

There is a large and ever-growing trend in horror right now that involves not only paying homage to the horror movies of the 80s but trying to replicate them in almost every sense. The novelty is one that I welcomed. 80s horror is the driving force behind my obsession with and love for the genre.… Continue Reading

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Review – Don’t Kill It (2016)

Review – Don’t Kill It (2016)

Despite the novelty of Dolph Lundgren playing a demon hunter in the American south, the idea of Don’t Kill It initially wasn’t all that appealing to me. Let me then start off by saying, “don’t let the all too familiar photoshopped dvd cover art fool you, Don’t Kill It is not only a worthwhile find… Continue Reading

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Review – Don’t Knock Twice (2017)

Review – Don’t Knock Twice (2017)

A strange house on a piece of wasteland, a years old rumour of witchcraft and missing children. An ex junkie artist and her estranged daughter who’s boyfriend has disappeared in bizarre circumstances. A young mother who seems to know more than she’s letting on and a Police Detective who might not be all he appears…… Continue Reading

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5 Horror Movies Guaranteed to Fuck Up Date Night

5 Horror Movies Guaranteed to Fuck Up Date Night

So you’ve got your tub of popcorn, your Raisinets, your significant other (or prospective significant other) is laid out on the couch in those Hello Kitty pajama pants that show just a little bit of skin in just the right place and you have a feeling that if your timing isn’t off you might just get… Continue Reading

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10 Christmas Movies for Horror Fans

10 Christmas Movies for Horror Fans

10. The Corridor (2010) Is there a better time to reconnect with old friends than the holidays? Is there a better time to hole up in a cabin amidst a whole lotta the white stuff (back off junkies we aint talkin about dat sweet, sweet cola you crave) whilst figuring out that there is a band… Continue Reading

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Gothic Horror Short ‘Agatha’ is Delightfully Dreadful…

Gothic Horror Short ‘Agatha’ is Delightfully Dreadful…

As a child, sickness always scared me. Not my own sickness, or the presence of sickness, but the debilitating quality of sickness that turned loved ones into something else, something alien, something foreign. Timothy Vandenberg’s ‘Agatha’ takes that sense of childhood naivete and fear and expands upon it, allowing it to materialize and sink its… Continue Reading

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Review – Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (2016)

Review – Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (2016)

It’s always interesting to watch the evolution of a horror franchise. We get to see the growth of characters, of mythologies, and even the creators involved. The latter is of particular interest to VOB: Horror Stories because anthologies function on a much different principle than sequels that continue a single narrative. With that in mind,… Continue Reading

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Review – Rob Zombie’s ’31’ (2016)

Review – Rob Zombie’s ’31’ (2016)

A part of me, strangely,  wants to physically fight Rob Zombie. Ok, I should probably clarify this. For those of us a little longer in the tooth, we have probably all had that ONE friend. That one friend who was undoubtedly smarter, wittier, and infinitely more talented than we were. That one friend who just repeatedly… Continue Reading

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Review – Blair Witch (2016) or ‘Get your damn agism out of my horror’

Review – Blair Witch (2016) or ‘Get your damn agism out of my horror’

At the risk of sounding pompous or the very least a know-it-all, it is hard to be over 35 in the US right now and not feel like a victim of “isms”. Now, before you start nodding, I’m not actually talking about what these “isms” represent, but the very idea that we are assaulted, constantly… Continue Reading

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