haunting

The Haunting of Helena (REVIEW)

The Haunting of Helena

Christian Bisceglia and Ascanio Malgarini, the directors of “The Haunting of Helena,” definitely graduated from the Guillermo Del Toro school of horror. All of Del Toro’s filmmaking elements are here – a European setting and images that bring up a fascist past, a ghostly child lurking, tons of ominous music and shots of old statues in the rain. Unfortunately, "The Haunting of Helena” never seems to put it all together into one cohesive movie. There are some cool scenes and a few very effective images here, but in the end you don’t feel like you’ve seen a complete film.

The Awakening (REVIEW)

“The Awakening” is a fairly standard, yet enjoyable, ghost movie that stars some pretty familiar faces, including Rebecca Hall (“The Town,” “Frost/Nixon,” and “The Prestige”), Imelda Staunton ( The “Harry Potter” series) and Dominic West (“300,” “The Wire”). Rebecca Hall plays “Florence” an author and skeptic who debunks ghost sightings and exposes charlatans who claim to be able to contact the dead. She is invited to a boys school to investigate a ghost haunting that has left one boy dead and the rest of the children terrified.

Laddaland (REVIEW)

Laddaland

The cover of “Laddaland” has the cliched picture of a long dark-haired ghost-girl, and even though this is a trope that has worn pretty thin for most people, I’ll admit it’s something I still really enjoy. For instance, last year saw the release of the umpteenth sequel to the Japanese version of the Grudge, “Juon White Ghost/ Black Ghost” and as many of those films as I’ve seen, the movie was still creepy, and I still really enjoyed it.

Mama (REVIEW)

Mama marks the feature film debut of director Andrés Muschietti. Inspired by his short film of the same title , Mama revels in archaic horror tropes; favoring the terrors of primordial nature, feral humanity, madness, ghosts moaning in the night, and the return of the repressed. The film is drenched in fiercely aggressive shadows, tightly framed locations, and more than a handful of scenes involving scuttling figures climbing across floors and walls.

La Casa Muda (The Silent House) (REVIEW)

I can’t really talk about this movie without spoiling it, so if you have any interest in watching "La Casa Muda", or the 2012 remake "Silent House", which I am guessing are fairly similar, I’d suggest not reading this review before you watch the film.

The Frighteners (REVIEW)

(The following review is based on the “Director’s Cut” version of “The Frighteners” included on the film’s recent Blu-Ray release.)

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