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Anton van Beek  |  Feb 25, 2010  |  0 comments

After numerous years in development, Quantic Dream founder and CEO David Cage's long-gestating and much-touted vision of the future of 'interactive drama' is finally here. The question now then is whether or not the finished game can possibly live up to our own expectations and the creative team's numerous claims. And while the answer - unsurprisingly - is no, Heavy Rain still delivers a unique gaming experience that comes close to living up to the hype.

Ed Selley  |  Jan 15, 2010  |  0 comments
WD drives towards domination Chris Jenkins checks out a media player with big storage attached

WD’s digital media players include the cut-down WDTV Mini and advanced WDTV and networkable WD TV Live. So this version, with its built-in 1Tb storage drive, can be regarded as a logical development.

Anton van Beek  |  Nov 08, 2009  |  0 comments

Optimum Home Entertainment has had something of a spotty history with the quality of its Blu-ray releases. That said, the company definitely appears to have found its footing with its recent Studio Canal Collection of classic films, and nowhere is that more evident that with this lavish high-definition treatment of Alain Resnais' mind-bending 1961 French New Wave outing Last Year at Marienbad (L'Annee derniere a Marienbad).

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 31, 2009  |  0 comments

Thanks to the likes of Haute Tension (aka Switchblade Romance), Frontiere(s) and Martyrs, the past few years have seen a major resurgence in French horror cinema. Proving particularly adept at pushing the boundaries of taste, this new wave of French horror eschews the safe scares of its Americanised brethren in favour of more challenging fodder. And the latest of these films to make it to UK shores is the writer-director Alexandre Bustillo and co-director Julien Maury's visceral 2007 shocker A l'interieur (Inside).

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 23, 2009  |  0 comments

Trick 'r Treat is a film that's been talked about (at least amongst online horror communities) for the best part of two years now. Originally slated for a Stateside cinema release back in October 2007, Warner Bros. withdrew the film from its schedules and left it languishing in the vaults with no explanation. Numerous theories started circulating, not least one rather ludicrous suggestion that the film was being buried as some sort of punishment to writer-director Michael Dougherty for the relatively poor box office performance of Superman Returns, which Dougherty has co-written.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 21, 2009  |  0 comments

Quite simply, Raimi's return to the genre that spawned his career is a much needed breath-of-fresh-air for the increasingly self-referential, po-faced and torture-obsessed American horror genre. It's not the most original film - the story about a young woman with only days to live after being cursed treads much of the same ground as MR James' Casting the Runes (and the excellent 1957 adaptation Night of the Demon) - but that really doesn't matter a jot, as writer-director Sam Raimi delivers a fast-paced and playful chiller that's entirely focused on making its audience jump. In other words; exactly the kind of silly ghoulish treat Hollywood seemed to have given up on.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

Before Jason Voorhees donned a hockey mask (or even the burlap sack he wore for one film) and started his epic killing spree there was another murderer killing promiscuous teens at Camp Crystal Lake. While the villain is different, the modus operandi is exactly the same - watch horny teenagers get it on with each other and then butcher them with an inventive array of weapons. As you can probably guess, it's not the most elaborate plot ever devised, but director Sean S. Cunningham's 1980 classic is still a tremendous model of economy, ditching anything like characterisation in favour of cutting straight to the good stuff (Tom Savini's wonderful makeup effects and the odd bit of partial nudity).

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

Having started out with hit-and-miss remakes of William Castle flicks like House on Haunted Hill and Thir13en Ghosts, genre specialists Dark Castle Entertainment finally ventured into the uncharted world of original horror stories with this tale of a spooky ship haunting the Bering Sea. I say original, but while it's not actually a remake, this tepid scare film blows all of the good will it's bravura opening sequence generates by then proceeding to run a gauntlet of second-hand plot points and gore gags that any true genre fan will have tired of decades ago.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

Even if he'd never made another good film (don't worry, he made plenty) I'd always have time for director Joe Dante thanks to this classic 1984 horror-comedy.

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 04, 2009  |  0 comments

I’ve always had a lot of time for slasher films. I know they aren’t particularly big or clever, but when they’re done right you end up with something truly magical like John Carpenter’s Halloween. And even when they aren’t done that well, you can still end up with something entertaining like the Friday the 13th series (there’s just something about the Voorhees clan that tickles my fancy) or even a My Bloody Valentine (either the original or the goofy 3D remake). So my interest was quickly piqued by the press release for Dark Castle Entertainment’s The Hills Run Red, a brand new slasher with a script by ‘splatter-punk’ author David J. Schow that was being touted as ‘a smart twist on extreme horror, with more blood, torture and suspense than ever before’.

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