Neverlake (2013)

Rating: 7 of 10

movie poster Neverlake (2013)Don’t be fooled by the poster art. NEVERLAKE is an atmospheric dark fantasy that feels more like a forgotten Italian fairy tale than a modern horror film.

Synopsis: “A teenager visiting her estranged father in Italy stumbles across the Neverlake, an ancient lake said to be guarded by the spirits of the dead. There she befriends a peculiar group of children who are each plagued by strange injuries. As she uncovers the horrific secrets behind the lake – and her new friends – she becomes haunted by disturbing visions that connect to her own mysterious past. However, the ghosts of the past may be more dangerous than she ever thought possible.” (source)

The poster really is misleading. While the movie is scary, it relies more on creepy atmosphere and mystery than the carnage normally associated with modern horror movies. There is a sort of medical thriller/body horror angle involved, but the overall tone of the movie ends up closer to classic horror. Seasoned viewers will likely see the twist coming after a certain point, but it’s a fun journey filled with plenty of thrills and chills.

Highly recommended if you enjoyed movies like PAN’S LABYRINTH, THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE or THE ORPHANAGE.

Check out NEVERLAKE’s official website and trailer | on IMDb

(Watched on Netflix 1/31/2015)

The Other Side (2006) – Movie Review

Poster The Other Side (2006)The Other Side (2006), written and directed by Gregg Bishop, was one of those low-budget movies with relatively unknown actors that doesn’t fit neatly into one genre slot. There were horror and action elements – mixed in with a love story – that I think fans of mild horror with supernatural thrills would enjoy. It wasn’t perfect, but it was highly entertaining.

Photo: Yellow starPhoto: Yellow starPhoto: Yellow starPhoto: Yellow star

4 stars out of 5

Whether the audience connected with this movie rested almost entirely on whether they liked Sam and cared about his relationship with Hanna. While I wasn’t given a lot of time to emotionally invest in Sam before the bad stuff happened, Bishop did an adequate job later on through hearsay and flashbacks that showed me why I should care.
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Note to Self: Stunts by Charles L. Grant

Jacket cover Stunts by Charles L. GrantStunts by Charles L. Grant was published in 1990 and the hardcover edition I was reading had 438 pages. I couldn’t finish this book but I did manage to force my way through 161 pages. Unlike Broken, I was just getting interested in the story when I had to return it to the library on March 12th. And, because my car has decided to give me attitude, I didn’t know when my next visit to the library would be, so I couldn’t check out anymore books.
…Click to keep reading

Reflections on Themes in Film: Nyctophobia

Nyctophobia: Pathological fear of the dark, an abnormal and persistent dread of the dark. Sufferers experience anxiety even though they may rationally realize that the dark does not pose a threat commensurate with their fear.

Formed from the Greek “nyx” (night) and the Greek “phobos” (fear). “Nyx” has also contributed to other medical terms such as “nyctalopia” (night blindness) and “nyctanopia” (impaired vision in dim light and in the dark). Another term for fear of the dark is scotophobia.

Last week, while my daughter and I browsed “Watch Instantly” movies on Netflix, I teased her about watching Darkness Falls (2003). …continue reading

Note to Self: Homebody by Orson Scott Card

I finished Homebody by Orson Scott Card on February 10, 2010. How I found this book at the library, I couldn’t tell you. It was possibly on a list of must-reads. Or, maybe, it found me.

Insert spooky music here.

The jacket’s summary was slightly misleading, though, as it described events out of order, which I assume was in an effort to make the story appear more suspenseful or certain events more critical. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good story. But I think the blurb could’ve been more concise and less scattered.

Don Lark was easy to empathize with, and his grief and anger were justified. …continue reading

Suicide Girl (2010) – A Horror Short Film

While many readers might find it sad that I discovered horror short films only about six months ago, I’m just grateful I found them. Short stories and short films seem to be the way horror was intended to be delivered and they almost always satisfy my cravings for the macabre.

Some of the first shorts I watched were those from Fewdio, specifically Bedfellows by Drew Daywalt.

I’ve waited patiently for Drew’s new web series, Camera Obscura, which I believe will finally be available in 2010. (Watch the trailer.) But what will I watch until Camera Obscura is released?

Well, Drew has posted little nuggets of nightmares on …continue reading

Note to Self: The Between by Tananarive Due

What do you do when your power goes out on a Friday night?

You read a book, of course.

The Between by Tananarive Due caught my eye whilst browsing the paperback section at my local library. The blurb on its back cover enticed me into taking it home:

Hilton was seven when his grandmother died, and it was a bad time. But it was worse when she died again…”

I read The Between on January 29, 2010 between the hours of 5 PM and 12 AM EST after coming to the realization that our power was going to be out the remainder of the day. It cut off at 1 PM EST. Damn underground cable vaults. At least that’s what DP&L blamed it on. But, despite nearing popsicle status by the time I turned the last page, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. …continue reading

The Echo (2008) – Horror Movie Review

Supernatural elements? Check.  An attractive, vulnerable but not totally helpless, somewhat damaged protagonist? Check.  A formidable antagonist with a penchant for violence? Check.  Spooky setting? Check. A well-written story? Check.

What more could a fan of scary movies ask for?

4 stars out of 5

I rented The Echo (2008) from Netflix on 11/28/2009 and watched it at 1 AM, which I only advise if you can handle being disturbed late at night. Personally, I wouldn’t watch it again any later than 11 PM. …continue reading