Nails certainly has a grabby premise. It’s one bound to catch the eye of more than a few horror fans aimlessly scrolling through their streaming options, even those left jaded by the seemingly ceaseless onslaught of ghostly horrors. A co-production of the United Kingdom and Ireland, Nails puts a paraplegic (Shauna Macdonald), in the very early days of her recovery from a devastating accident, In this rundown treatment center she encounters a dangerous supernatural entity revealing the building's dark past.
A badly scarred madman with a foul sense of humor stalks his victims across a surreal, fantastical landscape in this Wes Craven film. If this answer came up in say, Final Jeopardy!, and your answer wasn’t accepted, you’d almost certainly have a legit gripe to lodge with the show’s judges. It’s not hard to imagine folks assuming this synopsis is in reference to Craven’s perhaps mildly overly-acclaimed but still iconic A Nightmare on Elm Street.
The Ritual gets off to as strong of a start as almost any horror flick in recent memory. Just moments after introducing us to a group of five aging college buddies planning a “lads’ trip,” the film plunges two of them into an unbearable, yet utterly plausible nightmare. As the rest of the group waits outside, Luke (Rafe Spall) and Rob (Paul Reid) head into a liquor store to pick up a bottle, only to stumble upon a robbery in progress.
Even without the benefit of a cushy, post-Super Bowl release slot, Veronica, the Spainish tale of supernatural shenanigans released stateside by Netflix, has managed to generate quite a bit of buzz on some corners of the web. Written and directed by Paco Plaza of Rec series fame, the movie takes viewers to Madrid circa 1991 where, after the death of her father, 15-year-old Veronica (Sandra Escacena) plays caretaker to her three younger siblings as her mom works to make ends meet.
Europa Report is a science fiction thriller that, for two-thirds of its runtime, derives said thrills from the process of discovery. It’s a movie that lavishes in the science of science fiction, paying loving tribute to the pioneer spirit and thirst for discovery that motivates otherwise sane people to strap themselves to a rocket and blast themselves into the great void of space.
The greatest mystery in The Vault, a flimsy bank heist meets haunted house mashup, has nothing whatsoever to do with the contents of the titular secure storage space. Instead, it has to do with just what in the heck James Franco is doing playing the gloriously mustachioed assistant manager of a haunted bank beset by a pack of robbers.
In a franchise that has thus far been content to allow each entry to do its own thing, one of the rare points of consistency among the Cloverfield films has been the gimmicky release. With a surprise, post-Super Bowl debut announced during the game itself, the third entry in the series, The Cloverfield Paradox, certainly carried on that tradition. However, unlike its predecessors, this one amounts to little else.
Stepping into Netflix's latest horror offering, an uneven thriller called The Open House, is like walking into an actual open house and discovering that it’s mostly the home of your dreams. Mostly. Maybe there’s a toilet in the middle of the kitchen or half of the rooms have their light switches installed on the ceiling. Whatever the gaffe, it leads one to wonder how could a house so otherwise competently constructed feature such blatant mistakes?
Ambition and a love for 2012’s V/H/S are two things The Dark Tapes has in spades. What the film lacks, however, is a sense of when to stop talking to its audience. A found footage anthology film, The Dark Tapes looks to have sprouted from the wraparound story in V/H/S. Filmmakers Michael McQuown (director/writer for all but one segment) and Vincent J.
There aren’t many fresh horrors lurking in the nearly empty parking garage that serves as the setting for P2, a 2007 semi-psychological thriller from the French team responsible for The Hills Have Eyes and Haute Tension. Sure, it has more exposed entrails and torn off fingernails than one might expect given that the film is ostensibly structured as a two-person cat-and-mouse game. Still, outside of that extra – and predictable given the film’s creative pedigree – viscera, P2 feels tediously familiar.
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