Tag Archives: terror

Good Night!

Sleep tight! Don’t let Samara get you!

Samara from the Ring crawling out of the t.v. horror show

Banshee Chapter (2013) – Raw Review

Cosmic Horror Done Very Very Well


The banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.horrorpedia.com

Banshee Chapter is cosmic horror movie based on concepts of H.P. Lovecraft. Things want to wear us.
The most overly used tagline in movie marketing nowadays is “Based on true events” or “Based on a true story” or “Inspired by true events” etc. It’s overused, misleading, and just plain unnecessary most of the time. Sure, telling people up front a film is “Based on true events” will increase sales and audience anticipation but in the end it can leave a bad taste in their mouths as well.

The synopsis for this film says it’s “Inspired by true events” but all that ends up meaning is the story incorporates historical references to secret government experiments from back in the 50s/60s/70s. Perhaps the studio was concerned audiences wouldn’t be aware or believe that MK-Ultra project existed. Possible, but marketing true stories is better for a films bottom line, and the bottom line drives the machine.

Fortunately Banshee Chapter, by writer/director Blair Erickson, is a decent enough cosmic horror film it doesn’t matter how it’s marketed. The movie is tackling fairly complex ideas that typically don’t translate well onto screen, but Erickson does a very good job in setting a dark and mysterious path for the characters to travel down while keeping the story at a solid pace.

Essentially Banshee Chapter is a mystery. When a journalist goes in search of her college friend who has gone missing after taking an experimental drug she finds something much more sinister than she could ever have imagined. Sound fun? It is.

The film style is done in hand cam and semi-hand cam. What I mean is there are recordings throughout the movie that provide clues to previous events which are entirely hand cam. The rest of the film is shot in third-person real time but the camera continues to follow the main character around as if the cameraman were standing next to her in the scene. For continuity purposes it works to keep the viewer feeling as if they are right alongside the protagonist. Then again, those who dislike hand cam will probably take issue with the semi-hand cam, finding it unnecessary. There isn’t a lot of shaky cam, other than in targeted places, so that’s a bonus.

Ted Levine pours some of the magical liquid that will allow them to see us.
“A little for you, a little for me…”
The main players in the film are Katia Winter and Ted Levine. Both  put 
Katia Winter hears something outside. Something that wat's to wear her.
“It wants to wear us…it wants to wear us!”
forth excellent performances from beginning to end. As some of you may know, Winter also played Katrina Crane on the show Sleepy Hollow. I promise she is much better in this than she was on the show. Levine you’ll remember from his iconic penis-tuck performance in Silence of the Lambs.

What made this movie far better than expected is the cosmic horror theme and homage to H.P. Lovecraft. The movie’s been out long enough that multiple articles and reviews have emphasized the connection, but Erickson cleary is a fan of Lovecraft’s work and drew considerable inspiration from the Lovecraft short From Beyond

MK Ultra test subject. Patient is about to see things, terrible things.
“Am I getting paid for this?”
The incorporation of the CIA’s MK-Ultra program creates an Area 51, Roswell conspiracy story well suited to cosmic horror concepts. If taking an experimental drug could allow you see things, things that can see you back what would you do? The concept and mystery is very nicely put together in this film, and some genuinely creepy moments will have a lot of people covering their eyes or just feeling uneasy.
Lovecraftian horror at your door. It arrives to wear the young man.
“Do you hear that?” 

Good movie?


Yes, it’s a good movie. Fans of horror, mystery, conspiracy, and even science fiction should find something about the film that resonates with their interests.

What if I don’t like hand cam?


You should watch the movie anyway. There is very little shaky cam, it’s only used where narratively it makes sense. Also, letting a filming style keep you from watching a movie at least once is kind of shallow and dismissive. Don’t be that fan.

Is this a good date movie?


First date…no. It’s too dark and if your date is unaware of cosmic horror tropes/concepts you’ll spend way too much time explaining the references. If your date is keen on those concepts or at least has an understanding then absolutely, you’ll have a lot to discuss in bed afterward.

What the heck is MK-Ultra?


Here is a link. Yes it was a real thing

Banshee Chapter (2013) – Raw Review

Cosmic Horror Done Very Very Well


The banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology, usually seen as an omen of death and a messenger from the Otherworld.horrorpedia.com

Banshee Chapter is cosmic horror movie based on concepts of H.P. Lovecraft. Things want to wear us.
The most overly used tagline in movie marketing nowadays is “Based on true events” or “Based on a true story” or “Inspired by true events” etc. It’s overused, misleading, and just plain unnecessary most of the time. Sure, telling people up front a film is “Based on true events” will increase sales and audience anticipation but in the end it can leave a bad taste in their mouths as well.

The synopsis for this film says it’s “Inspired by true events” but all that ends up meaning is the story incorporates historical references to secret government experiments from back in the 50s/60s/70s. Perhaps the studio was concerned audiences wouldn’t be aware or believe that MK-Ultra project existed. Possible, but marketing true stories is better for a films bottom line, and the bottom line drives the machine.

Fortunately Banshee Chapter, by writer/director Blair Erickson, is a decent enough cosmic horror film it doesn’t matter how it’s marketed. The movie is tackling fairly complex ideas that typically don’t translate well onto screen, but Erickson does a very good job in setting a dark and mysterious path for the characters to travel down while keeping the story at a solid pace.

Essentially Banshee Chapter is a mystery. When a journalist goes in search of her college friend who has gone missing after taking an experimental drug she finds something much more sinister than she could ever have imagined. Sound fun? It is.

The film style is done in hand cam and semi-hand cam. What I mean is there are recordings throughout the movie that provide clues to previous events which are entirely hand cam. The rest of the film is shot in third-person real time but the camera continues to follow the main character around as if the cameraman were standing next to her in the scene. For continuity purposes it works to keep the viewer feeling as if they are right alongside the protagonist. Then again, those who dislike hand cam will probably take issue with the semi-hand cam, finding it unnecessary. There isn’t a lot of shaky cam, other than in targeted places, so that’s a bonus.

Ted Levine pours some of the magical liquid that will allow them to see us.
“A little for you, a little for me…”
The main players in the film are Katia Winter and Ted Levine. Both  put 
Katia Winter hears something outside. Something that wat's to wear her.
“It wants to wear us…it wants to wear us!”
forth excellent performances from beginning to end. As some of you may know, Winter also played Katrina Crane on the show Sleepy Hollow. I promise she is much better in this than she was on the show. Levine you’ll remember from his iconic penis-tuck performance in Silence of the Lambs.

What made this movie far better than expected is the cosmic horror theme and homage to H.P. Lovecraft. The movie’s been out long enough that multiple articles and reviews have emphasized the connection, but Erickson cleary is a fan of Lovecraft’s work and drew considerable inspiration from the Lovecraft short From Beyond

MK Ultra test subject. Patient is about to see things, terrible things.
“Am I getting paid for this?”
The incorporation of the CIA’s MK-Ultra program creates an Area 51, Roswell conspiracy story well suited to cosmic horror concepts. If taking an experimental drug could allow you see things, things that can see you back what would you do? The concept and mystery is very nicely put together in this film, and some genuinely creepy moments will have a lot of people covering their eyes or just feeling uneasy.
Lovecraftian horror at your door. It arrives to wear the young man.
“Do you hear that?" 

Good movie?


Yes, it’s a good movie. Fans of horror, mystery, conspiracy, and even science fiction should find something about the film that resonates with their interests.

What if I don’t like hand cam?


You should watch the movie anyway. There is very little shaky cam, it’s only used where narratively it makes sense. Also, letting a filming style keep you from watching a movie at least once is kind of shallow and dismissive. Don’t be that fan.

Is this a good date movie?


First date…no. It’s too dark and if your date is unaware of cosmic horror tropes/concepts you’ll spend way too much time explaining the references. If your date is keen on those concepts or at least has an understanding then absolutely, you’ll have a lot to discuss in bed afterward.

What the heck is MK-Ultra?


Here is a link. Yes it was a real thing

Good Night Kiddies.

Sleep tight and enjoy this little lullaby gif from Evil Dead.
Evil Dead Demon in the cellar begging to released.
Hush little baby don’t say a word…

Terror In The Aisles (1984) – Raw Review

Terror Movie Montage

The ultimate collage of popular horror films narrated by scream stars Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen. 

Terror horror documentary featuring donald pleasance, nancy allen and more. Jaws, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw massacre, the birds, movies.
Terror in the Aisles is a fun commentary on why people find scary movies so fun and fulfilling. Featuring scenes from some the most popular and infamous movies from the 60s, 70s, and early 80s the movie deftly edits them together into a thrilling tapestry of murder, mayhem, and madness. 

“Why make up horrible things when there is already so much real terror in the world? Perhaps we invent artificial horror, to help us cope with the real ones.” – Donald Pleasance 

We love this movie. It certainly has a lot of nostalgia value  but also is a fantastic repository of clips from some of the best and most misremembered horror films from the pre-VHS age. How many of these have YOU seen?


  • This Island Earth (1955)
  • To Catch a Thief (1955)
  • Tarantula (1955)
  • The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
  • The Deadly Mantis (1957)

  • Konga (1961)
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

  • Wait Until Dark (1967)
  • Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
  • Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  • Klute (1971)
  • Play Misty for Me (1971)
  • Frogs (1972)
  • Frenzy (1972)
  • The Thing with Two Heads (1972)
  • Sisters (1973)

  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
  • Alien (1979)
  • Prophecy (1979)
  • Dracula (1979)
  • Nightwing (1979)
  • When a Stranger Calls (1979)
  • Friday the 13th (1980)
  • The Fog (1980)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • Dressed to Kill (1980)
  • Alligator (1980)
  • The Howling (1981)
  • The Funhouse (1981)
  • Ms. 45 (1981)
  • Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
  • An American Werewolf in London (1981)

  • Nighthawks (1981)
  • Saturday the 14th (1981)
  • The Seduction (1982)
  • Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
  • Vice Squad (1982)
  • Cat People (1982)
  • Poltergeist (1982)
  • Alone in the Dark (1982)

Terror In The Aisles (1984) – Raw Review

Terror Movie Montage

The ultimate collage of popular horror films narrated by scream stars Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen. 

Terror horror documentary featuring donald pleasance, nancy allen and more. Jaws, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw massacre, the birds, movies.
Terror in the Aisles is a fun commentary on why people find scary movies so fun and fulfilling. Featuring scenes from some the most popular and infamous movies from the 60s, 70s, and early 80s the movie deftly edits them together into a thrilling tapestry of murder, mayhem, and madness. 

“Why make up horrible things when there is already so much real terror in the world? Perhaps we invent artificial horror, to help us cope with the real ones.” – Donald Pleasance 

We love this movie. It certainly has a lot of nostalgia value  but also is a fantastic repository of clips from some of the best and most misremembered horror films from the pre-VHS age. How many of these have YOU seen?

Remember When Compilations of 80s Horror Movies Were Movies?

In the early 80s two movies were released that attempted to showcase and sort of dissect contemporary horror movies. Today this might seem strange to you kiddies, after all horror movies have been around since your parents were small children, telephones were still bolted to the walls of houses, cars were actually made out of metal, and the early 80s equivalent to email was a thing Hunter S. Thompson called a Mojo. 

Yes the world is much different place now than it was, and movies, horror movies in-particular are no exception.  So here are two horror movies that were quite entertaining in their own way, yet did almost nothing to create original content. They simply took excerpts from all the popular, and sometimes not so popular, films from previous years, threw in a connecting arc (one a move theater, the other a video store) and off they went. 

Terror on Tape
       
Released in 1983 and classified as a documentary (that’s a stretch) the story, if memory serves, is about random people who go into a video store looking for a movie to rent and end up being exposed to various clips by the wacky and insane clerk. 

Note for those born after 1990 – at one time people actually had to go into a store and browse through the selection when renting a movie. Don’t understand? It’s like Redbox only there isn’t a box, nothing is red, and there were no such thing a touch screens. 

Anyway…check out the picture above for the list of movies included in the compilation, oh sorry I mean’t to say documentary.
  1. Suicide Cult
  2. Alien Prey
  3. Frozen Scream
  4. Nightmare
  5. Scalps
  6. The Slayer
  7. Eerie Midnight Horror Show
  8. Cathy’s Curse
  9. Return of the Aliens Deadly Spawn (Awesome film!)
  10. City of the Walking Dead
  11. Color Me Blood Read
  12. 2000 Maniacs
  13. Blood Feast
  14. Vampire Hookers
  15. Madhouse Mansion
  16. Bloodtide
  17. To the Devil, A Daughter
and many many more… 

Terror in the Aisles 

This movie was released in 1984 and it’s pretty clear the filmmakers saw Terror on Tape and realized they could make a much better film in the same style with almost no effort whatsoever. 

The first thing they did was hire some actual talent in Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen. Not sure? Try Prince of Darkness, Halloween (the one Rob Zombie’s Halloween is based on) and Robocop. Oh and if you haven’t seen the shower scene in Dressed to Kill, you haven’t seen Nancy Allen. 

The movies used to compile the clips on this one are much better films, more widely known, and the arc story actually tries to emulate a documentary style. 
Movies included are:
  1. Halloween
  2. Cat People
  3. The Fog 
  4. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  5. Night of the Living Dead
  6. Psycho
  7. Jaws 
  8. Jaws II
  9. The Brood
  10. The Fury
  11. Christine
and a whole lot more. 

It also has one of my favorite quotes of all time,
 “Don’t drop the knife…asshole.”     

Hard to find both films. VHS copies still exist in some strange out of the way corner of the world, and Terror in the Aisles is available on DVD, though out of print. So good luck, but it’s worth seeing them if you get an opportunity.