All in Film

Beyond the Gates Review (Film, 2016) #31DaysofHorror

This will shock any long time reader of this site. I once had an obsession over a board game. Yes, shocking news from your friendly OCD critic here. It was called The Harbingers and was part of a VHS board game series called Atmosfear. I was obsessed with this game. My parents knew that I would just focus in on every detail of the story and character design to the point of losing sleep, so they held off on getting it for me until a year after its release. It became a Christmas gift that gave me many sleepless nights of crafting backstory and essentially fan fiction before even pressing play on the tape once.

A Dark Song Review (Film, 2017) #31DaysofHorror

Content warning: A Dark Song features scenes of violence against women and sexual assault.

A Dark Song is a film about truth and perception. A woman, grieving the loss of her son, is willing to do anything to feel a sense of relief from the pain of her loss. She hires an occultist to take her through a dangerous ritual that will allow whoever participates to be granted one wish from their guardian angel. You just need to survive the ritual and not quit. Quitting is bad. Very bad.

American Poltergeist Review (Film, 2015) #31DaysofHorror

American Poltergeist is a horror film inspired by the Lizzie Borden story. A group of five college students move into a too good to be true mansion so they can live off campus while attending Brown University. They are renting rooms from a woman who does not tell them anything about the history of the house. This palatial mansion is apparently the former home of Lizzie Borden, the alleged ax murderer who killed her parents and got away with it in the 1800s. In this story, the house and the family have been cursed ever since.

Errementari Review (Film, 2018) #31DaysofHorror

Errementari is a retelling of one of the oldest folk tales in the world. “The Smith and the Devil” is the tale of a blacksmith who makes a deal with the devil. Whatever the deal is, the blacksmith uses his new power to trap the devil and torment him until the deal is broken and the smith regains control of his own life. It could be any number of wishes and even a genie or Death itself, but the arc of the story remains the same.

Stephanie Review (Film, 2018) #31DaysofHorror

Stephanie is a horror film about isolation and fear from the perspective of a young child. Stephanie is living on her own. We see her try to do the best she can to survive. She cooks with the few ingredients left in her house—some frozen and canned fruits and vegetables—that aren’t rotting. Aside from isolation, there are signs that something is wrong. The occasional news report talks about containment procedures and an outbreak. The girl hears strange noises at all hours of the night. Objects move on their own, the doors and windows open even if they’re locked, and any light source is likely to go out with no explanation. Oh, and there’s the fact that her brother is dead in the bedroom next to her and she’s convinced he can move.