The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Despite the promise of its name, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is an oddly subtle film. Considering the implement and the title, the violence is actually quite muted compared to gorefests today. Its violence is most shocking for how brief and sudden it is. What’s really unsettling about the film is the constant air of dread;…

The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972)

Giallo, for the uninitiated, is a type of Italian horror film that thrived in the early seventies and focused on people – most particularly women – being menaced by black gloved, masked serial killers. That description might be queried by some people, but I’ll cheerfully confess that I am no expert. Until now the only…

The Girl with all the Gifts (2016)

This cheap British zombie film (with a bizarrely starry cast) tells a gripping story with some admirably weird touches. Whereas scenes of zombies (or ‘hungries’, in the parlance of this film) congregating in shopping centres, is straight out of the big ‘Let’s turn George Romero’s work into clichés’ manual, zombie children and dangerous plants growing…

Bird Box (2018)

Everybody – and I mean EVERYBODY – has seen BIRD BOX in the last few weeks. Okay, I have heard rumours that there are horror fans in the remotest reaches of Siberia who haven’t yet got around to it, but I refuse to give these stories credence. It seems that in places where Netflix is…

Apostle (2018)

Here – appearing on Netflix in the last couple of weeks – is a bonkers brilliant piece of British horror! A film which blew me away with its energy, even though I’m not sure I followed it one hundred percent and certainly wasn’t convinced by every one of its choices. The vividness with which it…

The Love Witch (2016)

I was entranced by THE LOVE WITCH. But then I think most classic horror film fans will be entranced by THE LOVE WITCH. Yes, characters do use mobile phones and they drive modern cars, but the look, the styles, the cinematography, even the acting all seems to come straight from some early 1970s Euro-film. Seriously,…

Hands of the Ripper (1971)

Here hammer takes serial killing, psychological trauma dressed up as demonic possession, a fear of sex and a whiff of lesbianism and turns it into something that almost appears classy. Well, perhaps that might be exaggerating the effect slightly. But it’s certainly taking the salacious and tawdry and giving it that little sheen of class,…

The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964)

Something I greatly enjoy about watching these old Hammer films is discovering hidden gems. Those films which aren't well remembered today, but have something interesting and quirky about them. As well as having some damned effective scares. Hammer, in its prime – despite numerous copies elsewhere – did have a distinct and distinctly British style.…

The Plague of the Zombies (1966)

Let me put THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES into context. Today, when there’s an endless glut of zombie movies/TV shows/books/comics/computer games, it’s hard to believe that there was a time where zombies weren’t really a big thing in popular culture. Indeed, a character in THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES has to explain what zombies actually…

Crimson Peak (2015)

Making a version of Du Maurier’s REBECCA with the gothic ramped up should be the height of futility. It’s like remaking THE GODFATHER and aiming for even more mafia-y, or SPEED in a way much more fast bus-y. Surely REBECCA – both novel and Hitchcock film – are plenty gothic enough. But here we are,…