after two weeks of nada, we finally get some horror releases this week. and most of them look interesting (well, except maybe Ogre). timecrimes and cthulhu look particularly promising. this week also sees the release of the eight after dark horrorfest films for 2008 (aka 8films2die4). the entries in this series are always hit and miss, but i remain optimistic that at least a few will be worthwhile. you can pick up all eight of them at best buy this week only for $70, which is quite a deal. unless they all suck, in which case it’s a rip-off. i guess we’ll find out later this week.
As her family and friends inexplicably turn on each other — husbands attacking wives, friends murdering friends, and even parents slaying children — a young woman begins to fear that she will be the next victim. When some of the murderers reveal that they heard strange voices commanding them to kill, the girl realizes that no one can be trusted and no one is safe, in this South Korean horror film based on the popular comic book series.
Veerana: Vengeance of the Vampire (1988)
Eager to get revenge on the village leader (Vijayendra Ghatge) who wronged her, dead witch Nakita possesses the body of the man’s gorgeous daughter, who soon trains her seductive powers on throngs of men and then sucks their blood. But the horror may multiply if Nakita achieves her goal of using the host body to reincarnate herself in this spine-tingling film from Tulsi Ramsay and Shyam Ramsay, Bollywood’s horror masters.
After accidentally traveling to the past, Héctor (Karra Elejalde) meets himself and triggers a series of mysterious events that lead to a shocking crime. The gripping time-travel story — at once deeply intricate and easy to follow — also stars Candela Fernández. Oscar-nominated short-film director Nacho Vigalondo makes his feature debut with this finely crafted sci-fi thriller.
Purani Haveli: Mansion of Evil (1989)
In the dungeon of an old mansion, scheming Seema (Neelam Mehra) and her bumbling brother, Vikram (Tej Sapru), plot to murder Sunil (Deepak Parashar), the lowborn boyfriend of Seema’s niece, Anita (Amita Nangia). But these evildoings are nothing compared to the monstrous spirits lurking in the building. Will Anita and Sunil be reunited, or will a beast kill everyone first in this spine-tingling Bollywood horror comedy?
Cat in the Brain (1990)
Italian horror director Lucio Fulci’s mind is his own worst nightmare in this graphically gory fright fest that gained a cult following thanks to an initial ban in the United Kingdom and one of the highest body counts in European cinema. In the midst of completing his latest masterpiece, Fulci is gripped by horrifying specters from his other films. He looks to a therapist to clear his head, but the doctor turns out to be an evil incarnate.
The Raven (2007)
Roderick (Rick Armando) and his coterie of pretty young things throw a fabulous masquerade ball in an English mansion on the anniversary of a famed mass murder that took place there, but the festivities are cut short with the arrival of a raven-masked killer. As the psycho is eager to recreate the massacre from a half-century earlier, the guests must fight to stay alive in this gay-themed variation of the Edgar Allan Poe classic.
Home is where the horror is. The death of his mother prompts a gay professor’s return to his hometown, where he encounters an ancient evil in this horror film inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft. Nominated for an Independent Spirit Producer’s Award, the film follows Russ (Jason Cottle), whose homecoming brings him face to face with a sinister presence — and with his dad, whose New Age cult may hold the key to the dark events.
Experiments in Terror 3 (2008)
Avant-garde filmmakers foray into the darkest depths of the human psyche to deliver genuine chills in this uncanny collection of horror shorts, the third installment in the Experiments in Terror series. The films include Carey Burtt’s portrait of real-life serial killer Richard Chase (using a cast of dolls), a bloody psychological drama about identity, a silent short in which an aging sailor is transformed into a fiend and much more.
Time seems to stand still in a remote village where the locals haven’t aged or fallen ill since ancient times. But when a crop of teen hikers show up asking questions, they learn the truth behind the town’s remarkable secret. Trouble is, the villagers are expecting them to stay for good … just not as permanent guests. John Schneider (“The Dukes of Hazzard”) co-stars in this Sci Fi Channel original movie.
The Sinful Dwarf (1973)
Peculiarly accented dwarf Olaf (Torben Bille) lures women back to a London boarding house belonging to his washed-up singer mother (Clara Keller), where the unsuspecting lasses are drugged, bound and generally transformed into heroin-addicted prostitutes. The bizarre and deliciously sleazy grindhouse thriller also stars the voluptuous and beautiful Anne Sparrow — in her only film role — as the naïve damsel in distress Mary.
The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009)
When he discovers that he has the ability to travel through time, teenager Sam Reed (Chris Carmack) uses his newfound power to unravel the mystery surrounding his girlfriend’s (Rachel Miner) untimely death. Despite his noble intentions, Chris inadvertently disrupts the space-time continuum and unleashes the wrath of a psychopathic serial killer. Directed by Seth Grossman, this sci-fi thriller also stars Daniel Spink and Richard Wilkinson
The Broken (2008)
From the very first moment Gina (Lena Headey) spots a woman who looks exactly like her driving down a busy London street, reality ceases to exist as she knows it. Tailing her doppelganger, Gina finds herself immersed in a surreal landscape of mind-bending nightmares and inexplicable events. Written and directed by Sean Ellis, this disturbing tale also stars Richard Jenkins and Asier Newman.
Perkins’ 14 (2009)
Unbalanced by the brutal murder of his parents, Robert Perkins (Richard Brake) kidnaps 14 people from a nearby town and brainwashes them into serving as his band of psychotic bodyguards — who’ll stop at nothing to protect their master. When Perkins’s antics land him behind bars, the “Perkins 14” snap and unleash a horrifying reign of terror on the people of Stone Cove.
From Within (2008)
When a rash of mysterious suicides strikes the idyllic burg of Grovetown, it galvanizes the faith of the largely Christian community, which staunchly clings to its evangelical beliefs. Convinced that the deaths are the work of something far more sinister than sheer fate, teenagers Lindsay (Elizabeth Rice) and Aidan (Thomas Dekker) band together to unearth the real culprits … and uncover a shocking revelation.
Dying Breed (2008)
Eight years ago, Nina’s (Mirrah Foulkes) sister disappeared in the Australian backcountry while searching for the mythical Tasmanian tiger. With only one clue — a photograph of a mysterious paw print — in hand, Nina sets out to continue her sister’s work. But something else awaits Nina and her team: cannibalistic descendents of a 19th-century psycho known as “the Pieman.” Leigh Whannell (Saw) and Nathan Phillips co-star in this savage thriller.
On their way home from Mardi Gras, a group of young partygoers crashes their car in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, an ambulance mysteriously shows up to take them to Mercy Hospital — but they seem to be the only patients. What’s more, the staff — including a medic (Robert Patrick) who drinks spinal fluid fresh from the source and a delusional nurse — is giving them the creeps. Jessica Lowndes co-stars in this gory supernatural thriller.
Pick of the Week
On the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend, Faith (Amy Shiels) bonds with Lola (Lucy Holt) in a bar and agrees to take refuge in her new friend’s farmhouse. But the men Lola brings home every night just can’t seem to stick around. As Faith’s suspicions grow, she and Lola decide to leave — but Lola’s bizarre brother and father are none too happy about the plan. Craig Robert Young and David Sterne co-star in this horror flick based on actual events.