Blu-ray

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Anton van Beek  |  Jan 31, 2014  |  0 comments

Freddy Krueger. Michael Myers. Pinhead. Leatherface. Jason Voorhees. Chucky. The one thing that all of these modern horror icons have in common is that they've each managed to wrack up five (or more) sequels. But of them all, only Chucky has done so with a direct-to-video outing that not only matches the quality of the earlier films, but actually improves on many of them.

Mark Craven  |  Dec 27, 2012  |  0 comments

An original score from Danny Elfman? Check. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in the cast? Check. Kooky Gothic subject matter? Check. That sounds like another Tim Burton movie to us...

Anton van Beek  |  Aug 22, 2013  |  0 comments

An ordinary American family with money troubles. Strange noises at night. A young child talking to someone nobody else can see. Animals acting weird. Half-glimpses of shadowy figures that disappear when the lights are turned on. Alarms being tripped despite the fact that all of the doors and windows are still locked.

Anton van Beek  |  Dec 05, 2014  |  0 comments

Director Robert Wiene's 1920 silent movie recounts the tale of the titular carnival hypnotist and the somnambulist he uses to kill for him. While the plot may appear fairly simple, Wiene's film infuses each frame of the story with a nightmarish quality, running from the overtly theatrical performances to his pioneering use of an Expressionist aesthetic – the latter creating a blatantly artificial landscape, full of harsh jagged angles, that serves to exaggerate the psychological terror. Utterly captivating.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 08, 2013  |  0 comments

The surrealist movies of filmmaker David Lynch are an acquired taste, but one that I took to decades ago. As such, I was thrilled when this six-disc boxset was announced. After all, what self-respecting fan would relish the opportunity to savour almost two-thirds of Lynch’s cinematic output (Eraserhead, Dune, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Lost Highway) on Blu-ray in one fell swoop?

Anton van Beek  |  Oct 19, 2012  |  0 comments

What can be said about the second part of Romero's epic zombie saga that hasn't be written before? Not much I'd wager given the weight of critical and academic analysis it has been repeatedly subjected to since its original release back in 1978. As such I'm not going to waste much time on the movie itself, after all every self-respecting horror fan will already be familiar with the film (in all of its many incarnations - replicated here with the inclusion of three different cuts) and those who have yet to see it are in for a gore-filled treat with an underlying subtext that is every bit as relevant today as it was thirty-plus years ago. As such, I'll just skip the waffle and reiterate the oft-repeated claim that Dawn of the Dead remains one of the greatest, and most influential, horror films ever made.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 10, 2015  |  0 comments

Against all the odds, 2011's Rise of the Planet of Apes turned out to be an unexpectedly smart and assured reboot for the iconic sci-fi franchise. And as good as that film was, director Matt (Cloverfield) Reeve's sequel trumps it in every regard.

Anton van Beek  |  Jun 29, 2014  |  0 comments

These days Ealing Studios is synonymous with comedies such as Whisky Galore! and The Man in the White Suit. However, the studio also found success in the 1940s with more serious fare, including a run of war films and this influential chiller.

Anton van Beek  |  May 31, 2013  |  0 comments

This is far from director Wes Craven's finest moment, but there are still some inventive horrors (and a completely nonsensical ending) lying in wait in this largely forgotten 1981 mash-up of religious chillers and psycho slashers. Arrow's AVC 1.78:1 1080p restoration is a little uneven, but still manages to be the best-looking treatment of the film we've seen.  An LPCM 2.0 soundtrack copes admirably with the limited material, and generous extras include a commentary by Craven, interviews, a trailer and even a couple of Easter Eggs. Old school!

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 31, 2013  |  0 comments

This sequel to the prequel to Paul Anderson's 2008 remake takes the Death Race concept on the road in order to unleash the heavy metal carnage in Africa. The result is both stupid and misogynistic (as you can see, leading lady Tanit Phoenix essentially plays a pair of breasts squeezed into a tight leather costume) – and yet it still manages to entertain more than this played-out franchise has any right to. The Blu-ray itself makes quite an impression with its sun-bleached AVC 1.78:1 1080p visuals and impactful DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio (since when did DTV sequels sound this good?), not to mention a reasonable set of bonus features.

Anton van Beek  |  Apr 29, 2016  |  0 comments

Not one of the most prolific Italian filmmakers, Luciano Ercoli demonstrated a sense of cinematic flair and style that makes it hard not to wonder what he might have gone on to create had he not retired after directing just eight films. This is especially true of his two forays into the giallo genre with the actress who would become his wife, Nieves Navarro (credited in these flicks as Susan Scott).

Anton van Beek  |  Jan 03, 2012  |  0 comments

Deep Red is arguably Dario Argento’s most important and accomplished film. Having made a name for himself with his ‘animal trilogy’ of thrillers, 1975’s Deep Red saw Argento pushing the genre into new areas, stretching himself as both a storyteller and a visual stylist. What resulted is every bit as gorgeous as it is gruesome, a film of spellbinding beauty and staggering cruelty that satisfies just as much as a murder mystery as it does as an all-out horror.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 24, 2017  |  0 comments

Based on the April 20, 2010, oil rig explosion that cost the lives of 11 men and caused the biggest ecological disaster in US history, Deepwater Horizon is a bruising piece of disaster cinema that brings the incident to life in adrenaline-pumping fashion.

Anton van Beek  |  Mar 13, 2014  |  0 comments

This quick-witted and zany sequel to 2010's surprise animated smash finds former supervillain Gru having renounced a life of crime in favour of raising his three adopted daughters and using his gadgets to make jam. But when the Anti-Villain League asks for help tracking down a mystery criminal, Gru finds himself back in the game and up to his neck in something more terrifying than he ever expected: romance. Terrific cartoon fun – even if it's not quite as good as the side-splitting original.

Anton van Beek  |  Feb 21, 2012  |  0 comments

Despicable Me tells the story of Gru, the world’s greatest super villain. Or, at least that’s what he thinks. Truth is, there are worse people in the world than him and his latest plan - involving the theft of the moon and three orphaned girls – could end up changing his life in ways he never imagined.

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