Wednesday 14 January 2015

British horror features and shorts (and Pat Higgins) at Horror-on-Sea 2015

Horror-on-Sea returns to Southend a week on Friday for not one but two weekends of top-flight scare cinema, much of it British. And, as usual, little things like a day-job and a family keep me away. One day I’ll get there…

Here is a full run-down of the UK features and shorts screening at HoS 2015, some of which I have seen and reviewed and some of which I would like to see one day.

There are also films from around the world including two terrific features which I have reviewed on my main blog: imaginative and stylish ‘creepy family’ feature Exhumed from the States, and knock-out Irish giallo The Three Sisters.

Plus, not to be missed: How Not to Make a Horror Movie, the latest presentation by the legendary Pat Higgins.

British features

Legacy of Thorn (dir.MJ Dixon)
“Four years ago, on February 29th, Jessica was a pretty, popular, high school girl with everything going for her when, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, she and her friends faced a deadly nightmare when the local urban legend known only as Thorn became a terrifying reality.” Stylish prequel to Slasher House.

Nekros (dir.Michael J Murphy)
“The end of the tourist season on the beautiful island of Nekros turns into a nightmare for tour rep Ellie after a series of gruesome murders. Realising she can't trust anyone she begins to doubt her own sanity. Is she losing her mind or is she somehow involved in the bizarre world she now finds herself in?” The latest offering from British horror legend Murphy, who has been knocking them out since the 1980s.

Opening Night of the Living Dead (dir.Joshua Dickinson)
“During an amateur dramatics production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the dead start attacking the living and causing more problems than just actors forgetting their lines. Despite the horrors backstage, with true theatrical zeal, the cast and crew decide the show must go on!” The director of this was one of the stars of The Mirror.

The Room in the Tower (dir.Jason Wilcox)
“A young couple, Roland and Mia, book a holiday in the country, which Mia hopes will break a cycle of recurring nightmarish dreams which Roland is having. However, Roland warns her that the tower they are staying in is identical to the location in his dreams, and it is not long before they begin to spill over into reality, with disastrous consequences.” The latest offering from prolific indie film-maker Wilcox, director of Return of the Ghost.

Serial Kaller (dir.Dan Brownlie)
“The girls of Babealicious TV are the girls of men's dreams but when a viewers obsession turns to anger and hate the girls might just begin to wish they were plain Janes.” Starring Suzi Lorraine, Stuart Brennan and Debbie Rochon!

The Slayers: Portrait of a Dismembered Family (dir.Alex Poray)
“The Slayer Family made scandalous national press headlines when Patrick, son of The Rt. Hon Stanley Slayer claimed his father killed a young woman during a satanic ritual and was forced to film the murder. Stanley says Patrick wanted to make a horror movie. So with help from family, friends and bucket loads of fake blood they did.”

Tales of the Supernatural (dir.Steven M Smith, Daniel Johnson)
“The Demon is a fallen angel, banished to our earth in search of 666 souls before lucifer will let him leave. He moves through us in search of keepsakes where he can extract the souls of the damned. Are you next? Six bone-chilling, blood-curdling, nightmare-inducing short films that link together to reveal a shocking truth...” Anthology from the director of Time of Her Life. Cast includes BHR regular Giles Alderson.

Torn: a SHOCK YOUmentary (dir.Justin Carter)
“Accused of a brutal murder by the people in their village, Oliver Isaacs and James Dean-Hughes set out to prove their innocence and catch the ferocious beast they claim is responsible for the death of Oliver's fiancĂ©.”

British shorts

Attack of the Mutant Radioactive Snowmen (dir.Molly Brown)
“Trailer for a (non-existent) 1950s sci-fi horror blockbuster.”

Bernard (dir.Robert Howells)
“Growing up can be tough when you've got a lazy dad and a domineering mother. When Bernard decides to roll up his sleeves and put food on the table himself, it leaves his parents disagreeing on the path their son should take in life.”

The Brethren (dir.Shane Wheeler)
“A young man awakens from a vivid dream, compelled to dig into his garden lawn. Two feet down, exactly where the dream told him it would be, he finds a small wooden box. That night he experiences horrific visions of the past, a past he may even be connected to.”

Dead Party (dir.Charlie Parsons)
“Nancy has passed out in a dying Halloween house party. In a mass of bloody, violent mayhem, Steve and his social miscreant buddy Shinbone endeavour to save Nancy from the worst of the party's occupants"

Eye See You (dir.John Foxen)
“A couple on the tube get the shock of their lives when they see who they’ve left behind on the platform.”

Eyes Wide Open (dir.Stephen Norrington)
“From an innocent begin to a gruesome end we see the demise of the victim through her own eyes.”

Flat (dir.Geoff Cockwill)
“Lisa is on her way to a night out when she is diverted down a country road and suddenly gets a flat tyre. Stuck on her own, with no one to help, she soon discovers someone or something is watching her and she has gotten a flat in the worst place possible...”

Hell is… (dir.Paul Laight)
“Holed up in a 'safe-house' a career criminal's sanity is questioned and tested by the behaviour of the couple upstairs. Unable to act he begins to unravel mentally culminating in violence.”

Infected (dir.Jason Wright)
“After the accident, Rebecca discovers herself in a very different world than she remembers. Plagued by her patchy memory and self-doubt she fends for herself. She encounters Gary who tells her a terrifying story of his escape from the local jail. Can Rebecca trust Gary? Can she cope with what she learns? Can she survive in the world of the ‘Infected’?” Half-hour short from the director of the Resident Evil 6 game.

The Journey (dir.Andy Ward)
“A post-apocalyptic thriller set in a future where humankind has either been evacuated or wiped out from a mysterious virus that has plagued the world.”

Jump (dir.John Foxen)
“An unsuspecting commuter is driven to extremes by demonic influences in the London underground.”

The Last One (dir.Richard Elson)
“The last man alive lives in fear of an unseen invader.”

The Mystery of the Missing Armadillo (dir.Molly Brown)
“1952: An armadillo goes missing on its way to London Zoo. But what REALLY happened to the missing armadillo? And is the truth far more sinister than anything you might imagine?”

Potty Mouth (dir.Darren Langlands)
“Charlie is in for a rude shock when he discovers his toilet can talk.”

Protein (dir.Tony Burke)
“A traumatised gym-obsessed ex-soldier can’t afford the protein he needs to lift the weights he wants to lift, so decides to kill and eat someone who can.”

Re: Your Brains (dir.Molly Brown)
“An animated music video for Jonathan Coulton's zombie anthem, Re: Your Brains."

Skulligan (dir.Louis Segal)
“At a Funfair, Billy ventures inside a curiosity-booth and finds a broken time-machine. The machine malfunctions and transports the boy to the 'Undead-West' where he encounters infamous outlaw Conrad Skulligan.. Suddenly, the machine takes them both back to the Funfair at night - a place where Count Dracula lives, a futuristic Frankenstein-Monster stalks and an Alligator-werewolf salivates.”

The Stomach (dir.Ben Steiner)
“Frank's had enough. A spirit medium whose unique and grotesque method of channeling the dead is putting his own life at risk, he wants out. But others, in this world and the next, have plans of their own.”

2 Careful Owners (dir.Mike Tack)
“Discover more about the death of Chris Lee's wife Barbara and the conspiracy which lands Chris at the mercy of the criminal underworld.”

Waiting (dir.Richard Elson)
“A mysterious woman spends her days waiting for a train that never comes, a couple fall out of love as they get lost in an eerie wood, and a pair of brattish sisters uncover a terrifying secret underneath a chained oak tree.”

The Widow (dir.Paul Rodriguez)
“Micky and Darrel blag their way into the house of a lonely Widow with the intention of robbing and more. Violence is a game for them and their attacks have been escalating. Will the chance arrival of policeman Jack Pearson on his rounds put an end to their campaign or will they manage to escape once again?”

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