Amazon Prime Short Horror film of the Day : Ray Sullivan’s THE THING AT 2:37 and Deal of the Day!

Amazon Prime Short Horror film of the Day : Ray Sullivan’s THE THING AT 2:37

 

 

Do not read reviews, just go into this blind. If you have Amazon Prime you can view it right now.

I went into this movie not knowing anything beyond the vaguest description, and was rewarded by 8 minutes of imaginative eeriness.

The ending is very Ligottian, in that the film lets you (if you have imagination), ruminate on that ending. I thought it was a very effective little short. Did more in 8 minutes than a lot of films do with 80 minutes.

Now don’t get me wrong, it is no LIGHTS OUT or DON’T MOVE, but it is a very good short film, and I look forward to more from this filmmaker.

Rating: B+ Strongly Recommended!

 

If you liked this review, subscribe and give a like to this post, and support this blog by clicking on the link below and getting today’s item of the day!

 

ITEM OF THE DAY!

 

 

“This marvelously macabre film is based on a classic short story by Alexander Pushkin which is the same one used by Tchaikovsky for his opera of the same name. It stars Anton Walbrook (fresh from THE RED SHOES), Ronald Howard (son of Leslie and looking just like his father) and Dame Edith Evans in what marked her screen debut at the age of 61.

Set during the time of Napoleon, QUEEN is the story of a young man who is obsessed with the secret of winning at cards and the old woman who possesses that secret. It is turned into a tour de force by Thorold Dickinson who had earlier directed the original version of GASLIGHT (which also featured Walbrook) back in 1940. The movie is full of baroque chiaroscuro lighting and bizarre camera angles and looks like a cross between the films of Val Lewton and Orson Welles with a little F. W. Murnau thrown in for good measure.”

—Amazon Prime

Purchase it here!

11 of the best Cosmic Horror or Hodgsonian or Wellsian Horrors Films! And why it is a misnomer to call them Lovecraftian.

Cosmic Horror is a favorite of mine, and in this post we dive into my favorite Cosmic Horror films.

Now, first there are a lot of misinformed people who will term cosmic horror, as Lovecraftian horror. That is incorrect.

I know why people do it, because they are ignorant of the facts, and they are regurgitating a myth that other misinformed or downright mendacious people have propagated.

So this post I hope to clear it up.

Cosmic Horror, is not Lovecraftian Horror.

The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson, Vol. 1

 

The Collected Fiction of William Hope Hodgson, Vol. 2

 

 

House On The Borderland HC by Corben and Revelstroke

While it is a field HP Lovecraft flourished in, he was not the creator of the genre, he was just one of a pretty impressive field. Arguably if you want to lay the mantle of father of Cosmic Horror at any writer’s doorstep, William Hope Hodgson, 1908 Author of THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND, would be way before Lovecraft, and even before him would be the great HG Wells who in many ways created the concepts of not just science fiction and the hopefulness of space with THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON (1901), but also the concept of the horrors of space and man’s smallness in the face of it, with THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1898).

H.G. WELLS SEVEN NOVELS

 

We forget exactly how prolific and staggering and broad a writer HG Wells was. He created whole genres and fields of thought and whole colonies of lesser writers formed around a single one of his ideas. Such is the case with Cosmic Horror, arguably every writer you can name doing ‘cosmic horror’, including Lovecraft, is simply playing in the shadow of a single HG Wells story.

A single HG Wells’ paragraph.

“No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”
― H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds

That is the heart of every short story Lovecraft would do, the dread from beyond, distilled into a single concise paragraph.

Lovecraft and others spent entire careers mining just that one idea of Wells, nothing wrong with it, but let us not get things crooked.

Father of cosmic horror, Lovecraft is not.

The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft (Chartwell Classics)

The Complete Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft (Chartwell Classics)

 

And while I appreciate Lovecraft’s writing, the truth is, he is an author who was never in his life… anything more than a niche little known writer, for niche little known magazines. He is more popular in death, than he ever was in life.

Again the same can be said of many very good writers.

However, unknown in his lifetime, that can not be said of HG Wells.

HG Welles was, without argument, one of THE greatest writers of his time, and arguably remains today, over a hundred years later, still the single most influential writer in the English language, since so many writers from both science fiction and horror and fantasy , can trace their lineage to him, and continue to build on his concepts.

So rather than people slapping Lovecraftian on anything remotely resembling cosmic horror, it would be more aptly called Wellsian horror, if you want to go to the source.

Plus HP Lovecraft, being the poster child for racists, makes him a writer I can do without over glorifying. From all documentation he was a pedantic, overblown writer and person, assuming airs beyond him, the racism and class-ism all were affectations of his aspiring to a nobility, when he was not a noble man.

He is a bit like Poe, a writer I adore, but who was also a vicious, insufferable human being (per his writings, correspondences, reviews), who railed against the world for its idiocy in not recognizing his nobility, and talent as a writer, during his life. 

A modicum of humility and honest perspective in either man, would have made them far better human beings, but perhaps their writing would have suffered.  Who knows.

That said Lovecraft (like Poe) is a very good short story writer (he is not as good as Poe, but he is a very good writer), and I think several of his short stories deserve their acclaim. But guys and gals, there have been great Cosmic Horror writers before Lovecraft, and a hell of a lot since.

 

So let us stop slapping Lovecraft’s name, which I will admit is a bloody cool name, on anything remotely resembling cosmic horror.

Now, there can be films that are specifically Lovecraftian, they deal with specific Lovecraft creations, but these Lovecraftian films are just a subset, or a sub-folder, of the larger main folder… that is Cosmic horror. So a Lovecraftian film by definition is a cosmic horror film, however a cosmic horror film, is not necessarily a Lovecraftian film. It can be a Chambersian film, or a Hodgsonian film, or Biersian film, particular subsets of Cosmic Films. Kinda like how every Raven is a Crow, but not every Crow is a Raven.

So now that that is cleared up, please feel free to educate anyone you see using the term Lovecraftian Horror, on all cosmic horror (even creators oft just lazily grab a catchphrase that people know). Tell them call it just Cosmic Horror, or call it Wellsian Horror.

Okay , onto the films:

COSMIC HORROR FILMS:

  • THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOONDark Side Of The Moon, The [Blu-ray]
  • THE THING (1982)
  • III : THE RITUAL (2015)
  • THE VOID (2016) – the filmmakers even have characters named after Lovecraft characters, however it largely feels more like an ode to John Carpenter, rather than the writings of Lovecraft.
  • EUROPA REPORT
  • THE ENDLESS (2017)
  • LIFEFORCE
  • Lifeforce [Blu-ray]
  • 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
  • IT (1990)
  • IT LIVES
  • POSSESSION (1981)

 

Now here are actual Lovecraftian Films:

  • IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (1994)
  • DAGON
  • THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012)
  • THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE (Upcoming Richard Stanley film) (2019)
  • FROM BEYOND (1986)
  • RE-ANIMATOR (1985)

Best Short Horror Films of 2019 Week 8!

Best Short Horror Films of 2019 Week 8!

 

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/mPtCeemqdE0/hqdefault.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEjCPYBEIoBSFryq4qpAxUIARUAAAAAGAElAADIQj0AgKJDeAE=&rs=AOn4CLDh_UfxcZNe5u6425f8IB_xRSS0rgCLAP, CLAP– A 2017 short film according to youtube, I just became aware of this one tonight. Directed by Brandon Piskorik and starring Aaron Burt it is everything you want from a 5 minute horror film. A setting, a narrative, a looming dread, and a payoff. It is a fantastic short film, so I was a bit surprised to see even IMDB has no entry for it. And there is seemingly no webpage or online poster image promoting the short. To go to the effort to make a quality film, then to spend no effort to publicize it seems to me a missed opportunity.

Horror while a popular genre, is a hard genre to get right. Get the editing wrong, the timing wrong, the pacing wrong, and it becomes dreary rather than dreadful (in the horrific, hoped for tone, you want your horror film to hit). Piskorik gets it right here. A solid B+. Worth a look.

 

Another worth a look short is DOOR TO PURGATORY, also from 2017 this one is written and directed by Alexandra Balda. There are no surprises here, from frame one this is a pretty straight forward horror tale, but it is told and photographed well, with a protagonist you find likable and want to keep following.

At 13 minutes it is longer than most shorts but is 13 minutes well spent. There are minor things that distract, showing too clearly and too long the horror element, and too much of the mustache twirling villain at the end. But beyond that it is a solid first short film. A solid C+.

And the things the film CLAP, CLAP failed to do to publicize that movie, is not repeated here. As this movie is on IMDB, is a festival circuit participant (and winner) and has a poster. Alexandra Balda is a filmmaker I look forward to seeing more from.

 

Now films that did not make the cut and why:

STICKS- while arguably more professionally assembled than others on this list, what hurts this is what hurts most horror films, whether short or long. People reacting without any commonsense. Seemingly the protagonist is a caretaker. Why she is cleaning the house at night, well people get busy no biggie. So i’ll ignore that. However, why on earth would any sane person go up those stairs given the circumstances of the short? Why would any sane person open a door given those circumstances? they wouldn’t. It is bad, lazy writing, and a waste of everyone’s time. And the movie is an insult to the viewer’s intelligence.

TOOTH MAN- Not as slickly made suffers from the same issue. Characters acting completely braindead. With reason and commonsense seemingly a foreign language. You are babysitting and discover a bag of bloody teeth after a noise, and the possibility of an intruder, any sane person gets the kid and you get out of the house, and call the police/parents from a neighbors house. But no, not in this movie. I understand you need to create a situation of isolation for protagonist and threat, but you do that through smart writing, not lazy writing. On top of that I hate movies where adults lie to kids. Or husbands patronize wives about the obvious crazy stuff that happens in these movies. When those scenes happen they take me completely out of the movie.

 

 

Three must watch Short Werewolf Horror Films! On VOD Now!

 

Delightful. Suitable for all ages.

Definitely not suitable for all ages, Pretty disturbing actually. But incredibly well done.

End of the Road (2015)

All three of these movies are great for different reasons. END OF THE ROAD skews closest to the traditional WEREWOLF film,and it pays off in a GREAT creature design, and just a pretty memorable and fantastic sequence. A must watch.

 

Check Vimeo, or Amazon Prime, or Youtube to view the above titles. Would love to hear your comments once you do.

Podcast of the Day : LEVAR BURTON READS

How you begin a work week I’ve found is important.

I began this day and this week with a new pocast LEVAR BURTON READS. and what a wonderful way to begin, especially the episode I chose, the lyric and insightful Levar Burton reading a short story from one of my favorite writers, cherished satirist, frontiersman, and Americanist (in the charming Mark Twain definition of such a word) Percival Everett.

Levar Burton reads ‘Graham Greene’ by Percival Everett.

http://www.levarburtonpodcast.com

https://art19.com/shows/b8dbdce1-2c32-42d2-ad58-6956a0c6b31c/embed?playlist_type=playlist#

A great podcast and a great read!

The masterful short films of Neill Blomkamp and Oats Studios!

Okay so it is Sunday 30 July 2017, and it has been a minute since I posted.

One of the things that has been occupying me (besides today’s POWER and ELEMENTARY marathons):

OATS STUDIOS

I do not like You Tube if I have to go to its web page, for the simple fact I hate its un-moderated comments and ignored idiocy and stupidity. But the YouTube channel on Amazon Fire or Roku is something else. I find it actually useful, and nice to view on my big screen TV. And no un-moderated comments to deal with.

The main thing I go to YouTube for is short films, followed closely by movie trailers.

But for short films YouTube’s Roku or Fire Channel, is a great boon. Giving a stage and platform for filmmakers who would otherwise go undiscovered to develop an audience and a name, through short films that wow you and stay with you far more viscerally than most feature length films can.

That brings us to OATS STUDIOS, a production company created by Neill Blomkamp of DISTRICT 9 and ELYSIUM fame.

I am not a fan of the feature films of Neill Blomkamp, they have wonderful core ideas, but tend to get lost under poor Hollywood casting or unnecessary backstory. However in the short film is where Blomkamp’s OATS STUDIOS shine.

Sporting cutting edge world class visual effects, great actors and performances, and big screen direction the films of OATS STUDIOS are, 30 minute or less, masterpieces of creativity and speculative fiction, of science fiction mixed with war, mixed with horror, mixed with a cautionary mirror tainted with pressing concerns, both moral and material.

 

FIREBASE

RAKKA

ZYGOTE

Those Oat Studio short films form a loose trilogy, united by a common theme of mankind pushed to the brink by powers unearthly. And the films are also united by being superlative and imaginative, and gems of 21st century short films.

FIREBASE (which I have also titled DREAMS OF THE RIVER GOD), the 2nd film released, is a little over 26 minutes, and set in Vietnam War era Vietnam… combines so many mind-blowing concepts, and creates one of the screens memorable creations, in the character of… The River God. I can see this spawning a lot of spin-off short films, set in this universe.

RAKKA, the first film released, moves several decades ahead to a world on the brink of extermination by a threat otherworldly.

and ZYGOTE, the last film released as of this writing, further still in the future, sports one of the most imaginative and horrific monsters since Carpenter’s THING. I like RAKKA but I love FIREBASE and ZYGOTE.

All this to say if you are looking for something to watch, then make it to the Oats Studios site and find the aforementioned films by Neill Blomkamp.

As of this writing they do not yet have a BLURAY up for these films, but I urge them to release one. Quality productions such as this deserve a quality Blu-Ray production with special features and director’s commentary, and not simply the ephemeral availability of websites and streaming.

Today’s Recommended short films!

 

Short Films of the Day : Jean-Yan Babois’ BEHIND and CHERI

BEHIND- This short does everything right initially but falls apart at the climax with a mediocre ending. Would anyone actually do what the protagonist did in that situation, and the reveal was just sub-par.

CHERI- Much better is this slow-burn 2016 short with an ending that nails the landing.

You can view both the shorts via the YOU TUBE streaming channel on either Roku or Amazon Fire. I prefer the streaming options to the YouTube website as this way you can avoid the idiotic comments that Youtube fails to moderate/cleanup. I would never recommend sending someone direct to the Youtube website.

Still don’t have a Roku or an Amazon Fire? Here are my links to the ones to get:

 

Roku Premiere+ Streaming Media Player

Amazon Fire TV | Streaming Media Player