Saturday 27 October 2012

Film: Baghead

Four struggling actors decide to take a trip to an isolated cabin in an attempt to get their creative juices flowing.

Eventually they come up with the idea to make a movie about a killer roaming the woods with, you guessed it, a bag over his head but the fictional character soon appears leaving the group terrified and fighting for their lives.

This low budget effort from 2008 does manage to crank up the tension but it takes too long to get there and ultimately delivers an ending that was easy to figure out.

Undemanding fun that will appeal to fans of The Blair Witch Project.

Ric’s Rating: Dodgy

Saturday 20 October 2012

Film: Lovely Molly

Molly (Gretchen Lodge) and Tim (Johnny Lewis) decide to move into the long-time vacant house where Molly grew up, unaware that this would bring back forgotten memories of traumatic events.

Former drug user Molly begins to experience some strange feelings in the house and she is particularly vulnerable while Tim is away working. As her behaviour becomes more and more erratic she finds herself in trouble at work and begins to seek solace in the drugs she battled to quit.

Gretchen Lodge delivers a fantastic performance as the woman attempting to forget past demons but struggling to stay on an even keel. If only they hadn’t bothered with the “spooky” element this would have been so much better.

Lovely Molly is available on DVD in the UK from 22nd October 2012.

Ric’s Rating: Good.

Sunday 14 October 2012

Film: Sinister

A struggling true crime writer moves his family into the house that previously belonged to the family that he is writing about. They were found hanged in the back garden...and their young daughter is missing.

Billed as a “terrifying horror” this actually begins an interesting murder investigation story. Ethan Hawke (Training Day) is fine as the desperate author striving for success and much of the film relies heavily on his portrayal of a man absorbed into something darker than he imagined.

Unfortunately what could have been a fantastic serial-killer movie becomes a silly story of Ghouls and the occult which goes on to present the most hackneyed character in horror films of recent years, the scary kid.

Ric’s Rating: Dodgy   

Wednesday 3 October 2012

Book: Origin by J.T. Brannan

A scientific research team finds a body buried deep in the Antarctic ice and it dates back an incredible 40,000 years.

When Dr Lynn Edwards reports the find to the authorities she is stunned by the rapid reaction and then narrowly escapes death as secretive figures attempt to silence her. In her hour of need she turns to her ex-husband Matt “Free Bear” Adams, himself a former soldier, and soon the duo are off on an adventure that spans the globe and leads to an amazing discovery.

Dispatched by the power-hungry Stephen Jacobs, the feared Alpha Brigade soon pursue Edwards and Adams through fascinating locations such as Area 51 and the Nazca lines leading to the final confrontation at CERN in Geneva.

As a straight forward tale of pursuit this works very well and the information and theories regarding the Nazca lines and Area 51 seem entirely plausible. The main characters are likeable and you almost want to boo and hiss when the villains appear.

Unfortunately the theories regarding Atlantis are a stretch of the imagination too far and the whole thing begins to feel like a game of “spot the legend” as we move towards a groan inducing ending.

Origin is JT Brannan’s debut and although it has faults it remains a fast-paced fun read that will appeal to fans of Dan Brown, Matthew Reilly and Andy McDermott.

Origin is published by Headline and will be available in the UK from 25th October 2012.

Ric’s Rating: Good.