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HORROR

REVIEW: DEADLY FAMOUS

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We all know the world of Hollywood can be cut throat, but that is literally the case in ERIC TROOP and JIM LANE’s new horror film Deadly Famous.

Daniel O’Meara (John Carter) plays Alan Miller, a struggling actor who is slowing losing his grip on sanity after constantly getting rejected throughout his acting career. Things take a sinister turn when amateur actress Pamela (Jackie Moore) moves in as his roommate.

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You get a sense of what you are getting into right from the outset of this film, we are instantly introduced to Alan’s unhinged world and the violence that accompanies it. I was initially worried when I saw that a lot of the scenes were filmed using handheld cameras in the style of found footage but was quickly put at ease by the reason for this. The character Alan is so absorbed by the film/acting world he insists on filming absolutely everything, the filming slowly becomes increasingly erratic as he becomes more and more disturbed. This acted as a frightening trigger and gave a viewer a slight warning when things were about to get crazy.

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Another surprise was that this film was presented in a mockumentary type style with various people who had come into contact with Alan narrating and giving statements as the film progressed. This was a great decision because some of the Hollywood casting characters were hilarious and very believable.

I had a few issues along the way with some of the sound levels on the lesser characters or when characters were further away in shot,  however this could have been a microphone issue or just my version of the film. The pacing of Deadly Famous was pressure cooker-like, you could really feel  it was all building up to a big finale. This worked well for the most part but I felt there were sometimes one too many filler scenes of Alan spewing rhetoric and other ramblings to the camera, these were effective at first but only stood in the way of the bloody finale as the run time mounted up.

The effects were cleverly and sparingly used in death scenes, blood wasn’t thrown about for the sake of it so when you saw a flash of scarlet the impact was immediately doubled. the film made use of several ‘off camera’ moments which due to just out shot motions and grisly sound effects made for some toe curling moments. Towards to end of the film we are briefly taken down the ‘snuff’ route as the killer holds the camera and abuses his victims POV style, this felt slightly out of sync with the rest of the film but did provide some darker sequences.

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Overall Deadly Famous was a very solid indie horror flick that utilised a number of styles and effects to its benefit. certain aspects of the middle section may feel slightly bogged down but once the final blood soaked 10 minutes are over you realise it was worth the wait proving the world of Hollywood can indeed be murder!

Watch the trailer below:

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HORROR

Prey | 20th Century Studios | Hulu

The origin story of the Predator in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. Naru, a skilled female warrior, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.

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Genre:

Action, Drama, Horror

Release Date:

20222 (Hulu)

Director:

Dan Trachtenberg

Cast:

Amber Midthunder, Dane DiLiegro, Stefany Mathias

Plot Summary:

The origin story of the Predator in the world of the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. Naru, a skilled female warrior, fights to protect her tribe against one of the first highly-evolved Predators to land on Earth.

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HORROR

Choose or Die – A Miss For Netflix

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Netflix’s home page suggestions can always be hit or miss, and unfortunately its latest release ‘Choose or Die’ falls into the category of the latter. Captivated by Asa Butterfield on the poster, I was curious to see what this film had to offer and begrudgingly it didn’t have a lot.

We follow Kayla, a broke student who has a lot to deal with in terms of her family situation and being the sole provider for herself and her mum. She then stumbles upon a retro video game from the 80s which forces her to choose and ultimately leads to various chain reactions of horrific events involving people close to her.

Lola Evans as Kayla and Asa Butterfield as Isaac

The premise of the film sounds interesting, however, I think it swings and misses quite early into the film’s first act. Eddie Marsan sets the tone and trail of interest for Choose or Die as we are introduced to this sadistic game and the chain of events it will inevitably pursue. 

Choose or Die doesn’t make it easy to empathise with its characters, finding any connection to Kayla or Isaac was difficult. This ‘are they aren’t they’ subplot lingers throughout the film’s narrative but adds nothing to the overarching story. The supporting characters, such as Thea and Laura, are much more interesting and genuinely have you intrigued as to what decisions they will make.

What stood out to me was the violent and gore-like scenes of 80s horrors, with some pretty good stomach churning special effects make-up. Those intense scenes, one involving a rat, had me genuinely glued to the screen, anticipating what may happen next. Choose or Die’s strongest component are the early moral decisions Kayla has to make and ultimately demonstrate Meakin’s passion for the horror genre.

Ioanna Kimbook as Grace in Choose or Die, seen here in the diner in one of the more grotesque decisive moments for Kayla

The way in which this film is shot, felt very “student-esque” with its lackluster camera movements and setting. The set design lacked little depth, except for Isaac’s room which is full of detail, therefore making the world feel small and less three dimensional. An element which pulled me out of this cinematic experience, was the fact that this was evidently filmed in the United Kingdom, and the cast contained predominantly a lot of British actors doing an American accent so I wasn’t fully immersed into this world. 

Meakins clearly uses his passion for the horror genre to influence this film’s dark tone, from it’s leading characters’ moral compass as well as the gorey visuals that inevitably come with those decisions. The whole world feels cold and derelict, be it the place in which Kayla cleans or the housing estate of which she lives in, this is an unwelcoming world that no-one wants to comfort you in. 

Choose or Die isn’t a film that will stick out as one that defined 2022, however I’m sure someone will take something away from this film, be it’s reference to 80s gaming or the violent and graphic elements that the director is clearly passionate about. 

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HORROR

Off Season – To Premiere Exclusively on Shudder

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Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thriller and the supernatural, announced that OFFSEASON will be available exclusively to stream on the platform starting on Friday, June 10, 2022. As a Shudder exclusive, the platform will be the only subscription service that will carry the film in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Upon receiving a mysterious letter that her mother’s gravesite has been vandalized, in OFFSEASON, Marie (Donahue) quickly returns to the isolated offshore island where her late mother is buried. When she arrives, she discovers that the island is closing for the offseason with the bridges raised until Spring, leaving her stranded. One strange interaction with the local townspeople after another, Marie soon realizes that something is not quite right in this small town. She must unveil the mystery behind her mother’s troubled past in order to make it out alive.

Check out the film’s trailer below and read our review HERE as it debuted during SXSW 2021

Written and directed by Mickey Keating (Psychopaths), OFFSEASON stars Jocelin Donahue (Doctor Sleep), Joe Swanberg (The Rental, “Easy”), Richard Brake (3 From HellMandy), Melora Walters (The Pale Door, “Pen15”) and Jeremy Gardner (After MidnightThe Mind’s Eye).

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