katee sackhoff

Oculus – A Review


I wouldn’t say that mirrors are particularly overused in horror films, though they have certainly featured. I recall a pretty run-of-the-mill film with Kiefer Sutherland a few years back, imaginatively titled “Mirrors”. This offering does a little better, lumping for the generalist “Oculus”. It wins bonus points, though, by not going for the tired cliche of “a mirror, darkly”, or any variations thereupon.

Actually, my first thought upon seeing the trailer for Oculus was of The Quiet Ones. Which isn’t a particularly auspicious start for a film. But there is entertainment in even a bad horror film, so off we popped to the cinema.

Read on…

The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia – A Review

the hauting in connecticut 2 ghosts of georgia

I saw the original film, The Haunting in Connecticut, when it came out in the cinema. It was a punt, what looked like a run-of-the-mill, by-the-numbers horror film. And that was exactly what it was — and very entertaining too. The critics weren’t great fans, but it delivered what it promised — no frills, creepy entertainment, with enough recognisable tropes to be a solid part of the genre.

It was not a film which needed a sequel.

But that’s not a matter to bother film studios, so at sequel-land we have arrived, with The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia. Yes, I know. Believe me, will be coming to that. I don’t recall seeing Ghosts of Georgia in the cinema — though where I live, that isn’t too surprising  — so I would guess in many places it was straight-to-DVD, which is seldom an indication of quality

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Recall, for a moment, the Matrix trilogy. The Matrix: the surprise sensation, edgy, punchy and full of exciting ideas. Then, The Matrix Reloaded; weary, cumbersome, overloaded with exposition and half-explained mythology. Finally, The Matrix Revolutions; better than Reloaded, not as good as The Matrix, but by which point everybody had stopped caring.

And if that seems an odd way to start a review of Riddick, consider the path the series has taken so far. Pitch Black (subsequently retitled The Chronicles of Riddick: Pitch Black); a low-budget, character-driven bruiser of a science-fiction/horror, with a gloriously rendered antihero. The Chronicles of Riddick; a camped-up sequel, buckling under the weight of its own laboured mythology.

It’s not quite as dire as The Matrix‘s fall from grace, but still. Whilst it had its good moments (and let’s not forget, so did The Matrix Revolutions) CoR was not a good film.

Fortunately, director David Twohy seems to have realised where CoR went wrong, and has offered up Riddick (The Chronicles of Riddick: Riddick?) as a more back-to-basics move.

Read on…