Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Freaky Friday the 13th is such an obviously good idea that the only remotely surprising thing is that it took until 2020 for somebody to make it. And while the film in question has been released under the truncated title of Freaky – as I understand it, Paramount’s lawyers raised a bigger stink about Friday […]

There have been horror movie icons since the 1920s, and naturally enough, every one of them has to have their Very Last Horror Movie. But not a one of them had a grand finale to their time as a star of horror movies like Vincent Price, who was shipped out of the genre in grand […]

Breathing Down Your Neck As you may know if you followed along with Tim’s Australian Winter of Blood, horror from Down Under is something to be reckoned with. When you’re making a film with the intent to scare people who live every minute of their daily lives at risk of being horribly maimed or poisoned, […]

Categories: horror, oz/kiwi cinema

Truth in advertising: The Dark and the Wicked is basically nothing else beyond the two adjectives promised by its title. The fourth film directed by Bryan Bertino (whose failure to generate a high-profile career after his 2008 debut The Strangers remains a bizarre mystery to me) is the latest entry in the blossoming genre of […]

“This movie had really great jump scares” isn’t much of a compliment: jump scares are, are they not, the resource of a filmmaker who cannot make something properly scary, the kind of scary that soaks into your bones like a tenacious autumnal dampness, cold and dead. They’re a fast and easy way to get the […]

Categories: domestic dramas, horror

1974 is awfully damn late to be indulging in William Castle-style carnival barker tactics to sell a movie – that belongs to an age of cheesy B-movies, not an age of grim, violent grind house fodder. But that is, nonetheless, exactly what The Beast Must Die gets up to, over the vehement objections of its […]

It is with a distinct tinge of melancholy that I welcome From Beyond the Grave to the pages of Alternate Ending. For with this 1974 release, we arrive at the seventh and final “portmanteau” film released by Amicus Productions, the little British horror studio that was, in ’74, just about to abandon the genre (the […]

By 1973, the British horror film industry was collapsing. The smallest of the three main studios focusing genre films, Tigon, released its final film in that year; the largest, Hammer Films, very famously spent the first five years of the decade desperately trying every new idea they could scrounge up, which in 1973 meant a […]

That the new film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1983 book The Witches would be worse than its source, and worse as well than the 1990 version of the story directed by Nicolas Roeg, is hardly any surprise at all, and really not even worth commenting on. What shocked me is just how bad it is, […]

Lord knows if “sequel” is right word to describe The Vault of Horror, a 1973 anthology film based on horror stories published in the first half of the 1950s by EC Comics. Not, as it happens, stories published in the pages of The Vault of Horror, one of the company’s three dedicated horror titles. Of […]

Asylum might have the single best hook of any anthology film I have seen. The story opens with Dr. Martin (Robert Powell), a young psychiatrist, arriving at a remote insane asylum for a job interview. The man who runs the place, Dr. Rutherford (Parick McGee), seems like a bit of an asshole, the kind of […]

1968’s Hour of the Wolf has perhaps the single least-enviable position of any title in Ingmar Bergman’s filmography: it’s the feature film he made next after Persona. Anything would seem like a step down in ambition and visionary madness compared to that movie, though Hour of the Wolf makes a good-faith effort to stand out […]