Sunday, 4 October 2015

Soma (2015) - Sci-fi Horror Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

Soma is the new survival horror game from Frictional Games whose previous work includes Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Much like that game this features virtually no combat at all, most of the game is exploration with some stealth sections occasionally. I knew the location of the game world but I had no idea it would be so sci-fi focused. The plot is by far the best part of this and so I will really try and avoid any spoilers as this is really something that should be experienced first hand.

You play as Canadian Simon Jarrett who in 2015 goes in for some experimental treatment as he has terminal brain damage which has left him with only weeks left to live. During getting his brain scanned Simon passes out, when he awakens he is shocked to find he is no longer in Toronto, instead he discovers he is in a research complex deep at the bottom of the ocean. As if things were not confusing enough he learns that it is nearly a hundred years in the future and that the vast majority of humanity has been destroyed due to a cataclysmic meteorite impact, the complex saved due to its location deep in the sea. Over radio he befriends a woman named Catherine who has a mission for him to do that just might save what is left of mankind, however the ruined base he is at is full of horrors...

Saturday, 3 October 2015

The People Under the Stairs (1991) - Horror Film Review

This is another film I have being meaning to watch for review, alas again due to another iconic person sadly passing earlier this year. The People Under the Stairs is written and directed by horror legend Wes Craven and is quite the under rated classic. The general message of the rich taking advantage of the poor coincidently has a bit in common with my first Halloween film They Live.

Learning on his 13th birthday that he and his poor family are going to be evicted by their cruel landlords unless they can pay rent by the morning Fool (Brandon Adams) reluctantly teams up with family friend Leroy (Ving Rhames) and his partner in order to rob the landlords house as it is known that they have an expensive coin collection there. However once in the giant house Fool soon ends up all alone as it turns out the landlord couple are psychotic and don't take kindly to intruders. Not only are they and their vicious dog out for his blood but the house is full of deadly booby traps and all the exits all locked up. In Fool's search for an escape he comes across the couples terrified daughter Alice who decides to help him out, and also discovers...the people under the stairs.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Turned (2015) - Zombie App (iOS)

There are lots and lots of apps on smart phones that let you alter your appearance, and probably a tonne of them let you become a zombie. Modern technology always astounds me and while this app is not perfect by any means I had a lot of fun pulling faces on it.

Turned is actually the first face altering app I have ever used, I don't usually bother with things like this but the people behind it sent me an email and so I thought I would check it out. The press release proclaims it to be the first mobile app that 'harnesses augmented reality and facial tracking to give users the powers to create and send zombie videos with photo-real special effects in real time'. It goes on to say the technology has been used for Hollywood special effects in films such as Godzilla.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

They Live (1988) - Horror Film Review

As mentioned in one of my rare general blog posts I am going to be reviewing a horror film every two days for the month of Shocktober and I'm kicking things off with John Carpenter's They Live as a tribute to wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper who of course sadly passed away earlier this year.

Piper stars as Nada; a homeless drifter who arrives in town looking for work. He befriends builder Frank (Keith David) who finds him a place to stay in the homeless community. While watching TV one night a strange broadcast takes over the airwaves, in it a man proclaims that society is being brain washed, this gets Nada interested and he soon discovers a strange group operating nearby that are related to this strange signal. He gets his hands on a bizarre pair of sunglasses and discovers to his horror when he puts them on that all is not as it seems. Where before billboards and advertisements were full of images and colour now they just have stark words such as 'Obey', 'Consume' and 'Marry and Reproduce', even worse it seems about one tenth of the population are actually hideous alien creatures living silently among humanity...

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Destiny: The Taken King (2015) - Video Game Expansion Review (Playstation 4)

Destiny: The Taken King is the first major expansion for the much divided game, The Dark Below and House of Wolves add ons were minor updates but this new one brought in a whole host of improvements to the core Destiny experience. As always the price is a sore point for many, people see the asking price of £40 as extortionate for what is not an entirely new game. As it is I am kinda hooked on Destiny, it is my drug of choice and so I had to check it out.

Following on from The Dark Below and this expansions story again concerns itself with The Hive who are the demonic style alien race. In that first DLC Crota; a kind of God like being was prevented from being summoned to Earth, now his father Oryx has brought his almighty Dreadnought to our solar system seeking revenge on the guardian who killed his son. Oryx has a special skill in that he is able to control the Taken army. These soldiers are made up of possessed soldiers from every race of aliens. Your mission is to find a way to breach the Dreadnoughts defences and then hunt down Oryx and stop his threat.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Until Dawn (2015) - Horror Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

I was waiting for reviews to come out before deciding on whether Until Dawn was a game for me, yet it was actually word of mouth that ended up with me paying full price for this PS4 exclusive horror game. The whole game has been created as if it is a playable teen slasher film and has a far bigger focus on story and decision making than actual gameplay.

Eight teenage friends head to a remote ski lodge in the Canadian mountains to commemorate the passing of two of their friends; twins Hannah and Beth who went missing out in a blizzard after a prank gone bad exactly one year previous. It is not long however before strange events start to happen, it seems there is a psycho on the loose who has it in for the group. From this initial set up a night of terror occurs, all the teens have to do is to survive...until dawn.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

P.O.V (2014) - Horror Film Review

P.O.V (written and directed by Richard Anthony Dunford) is an indie horror film with a difference in that the entire film is seen through the eyes of just one character, as well as this it also plays out in real time. Indie films can be hit and miss and with a budget of just £9,000 I did not know which side this would fall onto. However a film shot entirely from a single characters perspective is something that would never be attempted in a big budget movie and so is quite unique, plus I though the trailer looked pretty decent.

Zack (Tom Clear) has recently split up with his long term girlfriend and so in a bid to cheer him up his brother Sam, and two best friends Mackenzie (Lewis Saunderson) and Vickers take him to a party at a disused retirement home that is under going renovation. Initially things are going great but not long into the evening Zack friends start turning into demonic creatures who then begin to hunt him down. Is this the result of a curse put on the property by disgruntled immigrant workers, or is the mystery drug he took causing horrific hallucinations?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Halloween 2015 - General News

The scariest month of the year is coming up and as always I want to do something to celebrate this spooky month. Last year I did a blog post for all 31 days, this year I wanted to do something different and films was the idea.

At first I wanted to watch a film for every day of the month but that isn't practical as I don't have the time, I have instead decided to watch one every other day of October, starting on the first and ending on the thirty first, sixteen in total. I have a rough list drawn up but that will change depending on what films come out at the cinema and what films I get asked to review.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Forbidden Zone (1980) - Fantasy Film Review

What a weird film Richard Elfman's Forbidden Zone is, I have just finished watching it and am kind of at a loss how to explain it other than it has cult written all over it. Originally it was released in black and white, I believe it was only 2008 that a coloured version was created, and later this month a special edition is due to be released but I will mention more about that at the end of my review.

The Hercules family move into a house that just so happens to have a doorway in the basement that leads to the sixth dimension. In this realm lives King Fausto (Herve Villeechaize) and his sadistic wife Queen Doris who enslave or kill anyone who enters the zone. Susan B. 'Frenchy' Hercules (Marie-Pascale Elfman) who has recently returned from studying in France learns of this place from her family and ignoring their warnings decides to check it out. Upon arriving she is promptly captured and so it falls to the rest of the Hercules family to attempt a rescue.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Dead Island: Ryder White's Campaign (2011) - Video Game DLC Review(Playstation 3)

Having finished Dying Light recently I revisited Dead Island to do the story DLC. Dead Island is an open world survival game in which you play one of four survivors of a zombie outbreak. In Ryder White's campaign you play as a soldier who is not immune to the undead virus. There will be spoilers for anyone who has not done the main game.

Soldier Ryder White is put in charge of blowing up the bridges out of Banoi after a zombie outbreak occurs. Despite some difficulties he does this and gets air lifted to safety, however upon learning that his wife Emma is now infected he makes a detour to the prison where she is situated to try and cure her.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Dying Light (2015) - Zombie Horror Video Game Review (Playstation 4)

When Dying Light was released back in February I foolishly managed to leave the money I had planned to buy this with at a cash machine, I have finally picked it up a few weeks back, Dying Light is an open world zombie survival horror video game and shares a hell of a lot in common with the flawed Dead Island.

The city of Harran has become quarantined from the outside world due to zombie apocalypse sweeping it. The Global Relief Effort (GRE) send in soldier Kyle Crane with a mission to locate a terrorist named Kadir Suleiman located there who has gotten his hands on some sensitive documents that he is threatening to release to the outside world should anything happen to him. Crane's mission starts off badly as not long after he parachutes in he is ambushed by a bunch of thugs and when trying to defend himself he accidentally alerts a group of nearby zombies. A woman rescues him and takes him to her base but not before he is bitten and infected by one of the ghouls.  Now Crane must not only locate the files but also look for a way to cure the disease he has found himself with.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Visit (2015) - Horror Film Review

The Visit is the new film from M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village) who is obviously well known for his twists he includes in most his films. The trailer for this was slightly creepy and so I was almost looking forward to this,

Becca (Olivia DeJonge) and her younger brother Tyler (Ed Oxenbould) are off to spend a week with their grandparents who they have never met before due to their mother and them not being on speaking terms for fifteen years. Becca decides to chronicle their visit so that she can make a documentary for her mum to watch when they return. Their grandparents both exhibit strange behaviour which they put down to them being old, yet as the week progresses more and more unsettling events happen that lead the two siblings to start to believe they might be in real danger.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Destiny: The Dark Below (2014) and House of Wolves (2015) - Video Game DLC Review (Playstation 4)

This is going to be a bit of a strange review, I am going to combine the reviews for both of the first DLC packs for sci-fi shooter Destiny as I brought them both at the same time and am a bit lost as to what you actually got in each of the two. Destiny is constantly evolving, I had hoped to get this review out once I had experienced everything they had to offer, but with the next add on coming out next Tuesday (15th September) and with sweeping changes already made this is pretty much the very last opportunity I will get before my reviews are totally obsolete.

So starting off with The Dark Below that was released in 2014. Story has inexplicably always been Destiny's worst aspect, it baffles me how this came to be. From the bare bones of what you get it seems that Crota; a being the Hive worship is on its way to Earth, and so the Guardians have to try and stop his arrival. Your missions are provided by Eris Morn whose squad was obliterated when she tried to stop Crota's followers from summoning him. Eris Morn adds a further reputation tree making the total number of different ones around 45,000 (at a modest estimate). I do not know why there are so many, they confuse me so.