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Old 30-09-2017, 12:35   #1
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Halloween Month V: Is Anyone Still Out There?

I'm still alive, relatively speaking, so I'll be once again partaking in the usual run up to Halloween based thinly veiled excuse to overindulge in some utter celluloid trash....

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So comment here on what you will be watching/have just watched this October and/or what you think I should be watching instead of the crap I inevitably will be watching.
No real plan on what I'll be viewing other than aiming for at least one horror flick a day for 31 days, starting midnight tonight.
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Old 30-09-2017, 13:31   #2
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I'm probably going to do a partial halloween horror month, although not necessarily just bad films

I've built up a backlog of horror related stuff over the last few months, and have the Universal Classic Monsters set due to arrive (thanks to the bargain forum and zoom) this week.
So I'm probably going to do the Nightmare On Elm Street series (only ever seen bits of them), the Classic Monsters and then a variety of other films.
I don't know exactly what I'll watch, but a quick look at my DVDprofiler collection lists a lot that I've bought and either not watched, or not watched for a long time and want to watch again.

I'll also probably be watching Penny Dreadful as I ordered that from Zoom as well.
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Old 30-09-2017, 16:37   #3
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I'll give it ago, missed out on loads of new horror films due to having limited time.
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Old 01-10-2017, 14:50   #4
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Randomly scanning my pile of blurays this one caught my eye as fitting to be viewed first...

#1 - The Last Horror Film (1982) (aka Fanatic)
Nutbar taxi driver and frustrated filmmaker Vinny (Joe Spinell) is obsessed with scream queen Jana Bates (Caroline Munro) so he takes a vacation to the Cannes Film Festival and sets about stalking the actress and dispatching her friends while filming the results for his masterpiece. Nobody does killer sweaty pervert quite like Spinell and he's on top form here single-handedly elevating this low budget wannabe Maniac sequel slasher into a memorably fun darkly comic ****-take of Taxi Driver crossed with the early 80's cult horror scene. Great fun, can't believe I hadn't caught this one before.

And in memory of Tobe Hooper....

#2 - Invaders From Mars (1986)
Little kid fights bodysnatcher style alien invasion with his school teacher and eventually the army. This one scared the crap out of me as a kid, or at least I though it did, looks like I was getting it slightly mixed up with another flick (more on that later if/when I can hunt down the other one) but I do vividly remember people being sucked down into the sand and Nurse Ratched as the frog munching evil school teacher. And of course the big rubber aliens laughing heartily as they eat a woman whole. Unfortunately in the full glare of the present it features some terrible acting (mainly the kid) and a bizarre plotline that makes little to no sense (the ending is awful). But hey it still looks great; all surreal technicolor uneasiness as "safe" adults behave in an offbeat freaky manner, downing cups of scalding coffee and eating raw mince covered in salt. Recommended but maybe not so much if you saw it as a kid.
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Old 02-10-2017, 02:58   #5
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Well I've made a start, starting with some 80's stuff that I don't think can be classed as trash.
#1 - Poltergeist (1982)
Little girl makes some new friends in the TV and goes to visit them, whilst the family panic looking for her it turns out property developers will cut any corner they can, even if it means upsetting the existing residents.

#2 - Poltergeist 2 (1986)
The little girl meets a kindly looking member of the clergy who has his own plans related to her old home, then a native American turns up to help the family and get a new car, whilst dad learns that you really don't want to drink the worm in the tequila.

I don't think I'd ever watched those two films in full before, the effects are a little dated looking but hold up pretty well and it still had me jump a few times.

Tonight I'm either going for Poltergeist 3, or Gyo Tokyo Fish Attack (an anime film I picked up from poundland - it looks stupid but fun).

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Old 02-10-2017, 07:03   #6
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I really enjoy reading this annual thread...so delighted to see it back.
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:13   #7
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Quote:
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#2 - Invaders From Mars (1986)
Little kid fights bodysnatcher style alien invasion with his school teacher and eventually the army. This one scared the crap out of me as a kid, or at least I though it did, looks like I was getting it slightly mixed up with another flick (more on that later if/when I can hunt down the other one) but I do vividly remember people being sucked down into the sand and Nurse Ratched as the frog munching evil school teacher. And of course the big rubber aliens laughing heartily as they eat a woman whole. Unfortunately in the full glare of the present it features some terrible acting (mainly the kid) and a bizarre plotline that makes little to no sense (the ending is awful). But hey it still looks great; all surreal technicolor uneasiness as "safe" adults behave in an offbeat freaky manner, downing cups of scalding coffee and eating raw mince covered in salt. Recommended but maybe not so much if you saw it as a kid.
is it better than the original?
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:57   #8
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Got a few suitable entries from the recent HMV Arrow Film sale, so I'll be trying to get through a fair few.

Love this thread every year.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:27   #9
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Re: Invaders 50's vs Invaders 80's. Depends on your preferences. Carpenter's The Thing for example is a great remake but does it better the original? Arguable. Same goes for Kaufman's Body Snatchers vs the 50's original. Personally I've got a bit of an 80's fetish so I know where I stand.

Last night I got thru 3 because they all turned out to be less than 80 mins a pop.

#3 - Blood Beach (1980)
Something is sucking people down under the sand and devouring them on an L.A. beach but just WTF is it? THIS is the flick I had tangled up in my brain with Invaders From Mars, and this is probably the one that inspired the most nightmares. It's an odd little Jaws cash-in that's blessed with some truly great dialogue mumbled with Shakespearean grace by the great Burt Young (Rocky's brother in law Paulie) as a gives no **** permanently bedraggled looking Chicago detective that's inexplicably ended up working near a beach in California. Plus you've got John Saxon as his boss, the police chief delivering lines like "Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water you can't get to it!" with straight man precision. Unfortunately neither of those fine actors are the protagonist here and that means we have to spend a lot of time with Harbor Patrol cop David Huffman who appears to have no personality (just read the actor was murdered by a thief 5 years after making this flick at the age of 39, damn!). It's short, a little overly melodramatic and feels very 70's but it's worth it for every damn scene with Saxon and Young and the finale where Paulie decides how to deal with the creature.

Just look at that VHS cover, how could anyone resist: https://mattmulcahey.files.wordpress...g?w=1024&h=801

#4 - 47 Meters Down (2017)
Mandy Moore gets in Capt. Matthew Modine's rusty-ass shark cage that looks ready to fall apart and goes for a dip with her bff, guess what happens next? Yup. I actually enjoyed this more than last year's Shallows as it's not as ridiculous (CGI shark out for revenge on Blake Lively, lol). This is predictable sure but still tense and quite scary despite being exactly what you expect which is a nice trick if you can pull it off. Recommended, especially for galeophobes.

#5 - No One Lives (2012)
Gang of robbers/killers kidnap a wealthy couple but Things Aren't What They Seem™. So I can't say much about the plot without spoiling it. Suffice to say this was actually good fun in an "I don't care about any of these characters so let's enjoy watching them all die" kinda way. There were a couple of surprisingly ridiculous gore and LOL moments like the one gang member that keeps trying to finish off his buddies instead of taking them to the hospital and of course the tauntaun sleeping bag homage (that's for all you Star Wars gorehounds) plus an extended shower scene with America Olivo which is always welcome. Again, very short, like 70 odd mins so it hurtles along at a nice pace and doesn't let you get bored. Recommended.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:41   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPR79 View Post
Re: Invaders 50's vs Invaders 80's. Depends on your preferences. Carpenter's The Thing for example is a great remake but does it better the original? Arguable. Same goes for Kaufman's Body Snatchers vs the 50's original. Personally I've got a bit of an 80's fetish so I know where I stand.
I know what you mean, but The Thing is superior to The Thing from Another World, but the two Body Snatchers films are much, much closer.

............
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#3 - Blood Beach (1980)
Something is sucking people down under the sand and devouring them on an L.A. beach but just WTF is it? THIS is the flick I had tangled up in my brain with Invaders From Mars, and this is probably the one that inspired the most nightmares. It's an odd little Jaws cash-in that's blessed with some truly great dialogue mumbled with Shakespearean grace by the great Burt Young (Rocky's brother in law Paulie) as a gives no **** permanently bedraggled looking Chicago detective that's inexplicably ended up working near a beach in California. Plus you've got John Saxon as his boss, the police chief delivering lines like "Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water you can't get to it!" with straight man precision. Unfortunately neither of those fine actors are the protagonist here and that means we have to spend a lot of time with Harbor Patrol cop David Huffman who appears to have no personality (just read the actor was murdered by a thief 5 years after making this flick at the age of 39, damn!). It's short, a little overly melodramatic and feels very 70's but it's worth it for every damn scene with Saxon and Young and the finale where Paulie decides how to deal with the creature.
This seemed to be on loads during the late 80s / early 90s, along with The Dark and Hell Night
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Old 02-10-2017, 13:12   #11
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#3 - Blood Beach (1980)
Glad you returned for the Halloween season, G!

Also remember Blood Beach as a regular TV offering during my teens and it left an impression. Saw it again a few years back and it really didn't live up to the memory. Can't disagree about Burt though.

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This seemed to be on loads during the late 80s / early 90s, along with The Dark and Hell Night
Hell Night is getting a nice Blu Ray release from those guys and gals at Shout Factory end of this year.
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Old 03-10-2017, 11:44   #12
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#6 - Route 666 (2001)
Lou Diamond Phillips and Lori Petty are a couple of federal marshals transporting a witness cross country but when they take a shortcut they stumble onto Route 666; a haunted stretch of asphalt featuring the zombie like ghosts of the chain gang that worked on it. I remember renting this back when it came out and thinking it was pretty damn good for a straight to video action horror flick but it hasn't aged well. The wisecrackin dialogue is supposed to be snappy but it's just kinda lame and the action scenes are dragged down by shaky-cam and dodgy 90's frame-drop fx. Still well shot tho and the premise is fairly original. Plus LQ Jones and Dick Miller got a paycheck so that's nice. Don't bother seeking it out.

#7 - It Comes At Night (2017)
After an unexplained viral apocalypse Joel Edgerton and his family hide out in his (nice big) house in the woods, taking every precaution to avoid infection. Then another family shows up. More a character study than a horror flick. Deals with suspicion, paranoia, human nature, etc. So no scares really but a tense grim claustrophobic atmosphere. Don't get me wrong, I actually really enjoyed this but I can understand the reviewers on IMDB; "Nothing Comes At Night", "6 Morons In A Barn Vs A Virus", etc lol. Recommended.
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Old 03-10-2017, 17:28   #13
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Blair Witch (2016) - Heather's brother and mates are led into the woods by a dodgy local who found a video tape believed to be footage of the missing girl. With everybody kitted out with cameras up the ying-yang they all trek off into the witchy woods. Somewhere along the way strange things start to happen and loud scary noises emanate from the darkness. Well, they might have been scary but, given the 'sudden-loud-noise' trope starts right at the beginning with almost every shot transition, it's well past worn thin and simply tedious by that point. A really disappointing turnout by Barrett and Wingard that misfires on almost every level. There's finally some interesting stuff in the last 10 minutes but the lack of any investment in story or characters by this point rendered it moot.
Quote:
Den: How long's this journey gonna take, I wanna go to the toilet.
Spider: Well, it'll be a lot shorter if we didn't have to stop at every bridge to let the cameraman out to film us going by.
The Sect (1991) - Kelly Curtis runs afoul of a band of killer Satanists after nearly running over Herbert Lom. Refusing medical treatment, she brings Lom back home with her for a cuppa where he returns the favour by impregnating her with a Satanic insect, opening up a manhole cover to Hell in the basement and promptly dropping dead on her floor. Curtis is rather fun as the already somewhat flaky school teacher whose life rapidly descends into some pretty freaky ****. Michele Soavi delivers a mix of beautiful, surreal and downright uncomfortable imagery with his customary flair. Also, there's a rabbit.
Quote:
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Miriam: So what?
Frank : I hate rabbits.
Miriam: Nobody hates rabbits.
Dead & Buried (1981) - Sheriff Dan's (James Farentino) quiet life in run down fishing town Potter's Bluff takes a turn when visitors start getting brutally murdered on his watch. It also doesn't help that he suspects his wife of witchcraft, Dobbs (the local coroner/mortician) is taking an inordinate amount of pleasure in his work and the self-same murder victims he's been burying start turning up again as townies. Gary Sherman crafts a terrific horror gem that just exudes atmosphere. The grungy, mist filled town evokes a constant unease and the murders and gleeful murderers are sinister and brutal.
Quote:
Dobbs: I was more than mildly insulted. Just because I'm a mortician she had the audacity to insinuate that I might have knowledge of the black arts!
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Old 03-10-2017, 18:10   #14
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#3 - Poltergeist 3 (1988)
The little girl is back, this time her parents have got sick of her friends turning up unexpectedly and sent her to live with her aunt and uncle, they live in a new skyscraper that has some issues with the lifts, and a real problem with the air conditioning controls.


Given I couldn't remember watching any of these films in full before, the number of scenes that I could remember surprised me (although I suspect in part that's due to youtube/references in other films and TV).
3 is by far the worst of the films and I was struggling to pay attention to it much of the time as it didn't have the same feel as the first two.

If I can find the disc I'm going to watch Gyo Tokyo fish attack next (it's in one of the boxes of cheap discs to watch).
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Old 04-10-2017, 01:10   #15
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#4 - Gyo: Tokyo fish attack (2012)
3 young ladies on holiday discover that thanks to dumping into the ocean even on land you're not safe from sharks, and that it does indeed pay to know the rules of horror movies.

An odd anime film with the only threesome I've ever seen in one (yet not graphic - it got a 15 after all), with a strange mix of 3d/computer animation that varies from meh to pretty good, and 2d/classic animation that feels much more dated than something from 2012 for some reason (it looks worse at times than than Ghost in the Shell Standalone Complex, which came out about 8 years earlier).
The story reminds me of some of the old 80's and 90's horror stuff that used to be on Sci-Fi and C4 back in the 90's.
I was surprised to see the studio behind it have done some top notch stuff in the past, as this feels very much like one of the "super shark" or "sharknado" type films Syfi churn out.
Anime News Network have a review here.

I'm quite proud of the fact I've restrained myself from making fishy jokes in this post, the temptation was rather high.


Next up will probably be Dracula (1931), starting my universal monsters set, then after them most likely "A nightmare on elm street" and "hellraiser".
I was a little worried about finding enough films to do one a day that interested me (not normally a big horror fan), it looks like I could probably do two or three a day with relative ease if I had the time,

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Old 04-10-2017, 12:32   #16
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Tokyo Fish Attack sounds like it might be right up my alley, I may just give that a try, cheers

In the meantime I watched some Korean anime:

#8 - Seoul Station (2016)
Prequel anime to the live action Train To Busan (2016) [Korean zombies on a train flick that I was introduced to last year thanks to this thread]. The events in this flick happen one day before that one. We follow the plight of a runaway girl that's become a prostitute and the father that's searching for her as a zombie outbreak..er..breaks out I guess, on the streets of Seoul. I wasn't expecting much from this so I was blown away by how emotionally involving it turned out to be. The tone of this is far more serious and dark than the high energy, melodramatic and sometimes comedic live action flick and it's all the better for it. Great but grim twist ending. Nihilistically, apocalyptically delicious. Highly recommended.

#9 - Rupture (2016)
Noomi Rapace (who seems to be in every other film I watch these days) is a single mother that gets kidnapped by a mysterious organization that sets about strapping her to a hospital bed and doing some crazy **** to her. But why are they experimenting on her? And what do they hope to achieve? The first couple acts of this one are pretty good but you can tell a mile off that when they explain what's actually going on it's never gonna live up to expectations and that's pretty much how it goes. Rapace is always watchable in extreme situations and the supporting cast of Vic Mackey from The Shield, Peter Stormare and Lesley Manville (really?) all give this a nice bump as the creepy captors with wtf mannerisms. It also features a somewhat unsatisfying ending if that's a deal breaker for you. Not bad, not great, distinctly average, probably avoid if you're an arachnophobe.

#10 - Wishmaster (1997)
Demonic Djinn Andrew Divoff is released from his centuries long imprisonment into 90's L.A. and proceeds to wreak gloriously gory havoc on everyone he encounters. Great fun right from the start; hell it begins with a dude's skeleton ripping it's way out of his body and going on a killing spree. Features lots of genre cameos; Tony Todd, Ted Raimi, Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, etc - all of whom are granted grin inducing death scenes. Best of all, despite a couple dodgy cgi moments, the practical effects still look pretty great thanks to director Robert Kurtzman. I remember watching this back in the day and thinking that the rules of the djinn's power were badly defined, even arguing with friends about it lol, but now I really love that ambiguity, it makes the djinn's interpretations of the wishes all the more gratifyingly nasty. My only gripe is that the lead actress is still unknown to me 20 years later and she's a bit crap. Highly recommended. Roll on part 2......
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Old 04-10-2017, 18:04   #17
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Got hit with the norovirus over the week end so only just recovering. Managed to watch a quick one yesterday though....

Belko Experiment (2016)


Fun little movie with Micheal rooker(sadly in an all too short role) Switch your brain off as you all know how these movies are but it was fun seeing how long people would last. Interesting ending that leaves it open to multi sequels (ending reminds me of cabin in the woods ending).
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Old 04-10-2017, 19:55   #18
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If you have a Poundland near you Gyo was in the DVD's last year, and I saw it in a couple of local ones recently

I'm going to add Train to Busan and Seoul Station to my list as Busan has been on my "want to watch list" for about a year, and they're both up on amazon prime.

[edit]
#5 - Dracula (1931)
It's hard to believe this is 86 years old. it's a little dated but the story still works well and you can see where a lot of the standard ways the characters are played in later films came into being.
The sets look great (especially for the time I think), and although I don't think it's the best version of the story I've seen it's still worth watching today.

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Old 05-10-2017, 13:34   #19
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The little kid in Hooper's Invaders From Mars was watching this on TV at one point in the film so.....

#11 - Lifeforce (1985)
Space Vampires! Halley's Comet! Lifeforce sucking zombies! Man I love this flick and I'm happy to report it's only gotten better with age. Now we can fully appreciate Harry from Spooks as a badass SAS dude running thru the chaotic zombie infested streets of London with a medieval weapon as the world burns around him. Patrick Stewart's very first on screen kiss, with Steve Railsback. Mathilda May's...er superior acting skills. So many great moments in this; Frank Finlay's insane grin during his final moments "Here I go!", the kinky possessed nurse, the prime minister snacking on his secretary and of course Railsback's face throughout. What do you mean you haven't seen this, get on it. Great SE bluray from Arrow as well.

#12 - Bluebeard (2016)
A beleaguered doctor fresh from divorce moves into a tiny apartment above a family run butcher shop in a crappy neighborhood in South Korea. Overworked, depressed and low on sleep he begins to believe that the butchers below may be serial killers. This is an excellent Hitchcockian Korean psychological horror/thriller. Full of surprises, a few dark laughs and some great acting. It's about 2 hours long tho and it's a slow burner so don't expect action and big scares. Ain't got a clue why it's called Bluebeard tho. Highly recommended!

The director of the above; Soo-youn Lee, has only made one other flick back in 2003 (Uninvited, also a horror/thriller) - I'll be seeking it out sharpish.

#13 - Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999)
The Djinn heads to jail in this disappointing but entertainingly trashy sequel. Seriously, Divoff spends most of the flick in prison, trying to grant wishes to the other inmates while grinning inanely and ******* off prison guard Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, not sure who thought that was a good idea. The fx are nowhere near as good as the first flick and some of the "wish deaths" are groan inducingly stupid like the lawyer who screws himself. The tenuous wish logic of the 1st flick is also entirely chucked out in favour of just letting the Djinn do whatever the hell he wants no matter how you phrase your wish. For the final act Divoff heads to Vegas and causes chaos at a casino, on a budget tho, so it doesn't look that great. Also we have to witness the truly LOL moment of Paul Johansson (the 90's Diet Coke ad guy) in a nappy on a cross doing his best Jesus. He's a priest in this and love interest to the (once again totally unknown to me even 20 years later) main actress. I was expecting more from genre stalwart director Jack Sholder to be honest. On to Part 3...gawd help me.
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Old 05-10-2017, 17:44   #20
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The Devils Candy 2015 - seems it got released in 2017

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Low budget and a tad slow but still not bad at all. Nice brooding atmosphere that that slowly builds the tension. Good acting from Ethan Embry and Kiara Glasco who make a believeable dad and daughter. Music was good, nice selection of metal. Love the painting that was made for the film.
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