The Unfamiliar (2020, UK)

Simon's Horrible Hothouse of Horror

Stepping outside the familiar (see what I did there) of Euro/US folk horror The Unfamiliar drags us into the depths of Oceanic folk horror.

The family holiday didn’t go as planned

Izzy (Jemima West) is British Army doctor who has just returned from a traumatic tour of duty in Afghanistan. things are not right little Tommy (Harry McMillan Hunt) has built a radio that he says allows him to speak to dad in his sleep, which is seldom a good sign and teenage Emma (Rebecca Hanssen) has gone off playing the piano and that’s without all the weird shit going on like pictures being turned back to front, strange shadows moving behind you and vividly gruesome hallucinations. Is it Izzy’s PTSD kicking in or is it something much more sinister.

Car maintenence not a good idea with evil spirits about

A chance encounter with a medium in her psychologist’s waiting…

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The Ex – Director Martin Stocks gets us Ex-cited

The Horror Hothouse

One of our favourite shorts from last year was The Clown Attacks from director Martin Stocks. Martin has a new horror comedy short called The Ex which will be making its debut on the festival circuit very soon and the trailer has gone live on You Tube today (28 April 2017)

The Ex Teaser Image

More on the new film later but first we wanted to get to know a bit about Martin and what made him interested in making his own movies:

‘I’d always been really into films, but studying screenwriting at University was when I really started to develop my own creative ideas. Through years of writing and re-writing various screenplays, I gradually developed my voice as a writer – and the range of projects I was working on. After several feature scripts struggled to get off the ground, I started to realise that the quickest way to get your stuff made…

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Diabolique heads back to the Newstands

The Horror Hothouse

diabolique It’s looking good

Proving that ink is thicker than blood, top horror mag Diabolique is rising from the internet to head back to the newsstands in March with an entire issue dedicated to celebrating Japanese and Korean cult cinema at its most sublime, otherworldly, erotic and visceral. The cover story will explore the darker elements of Japanese folklore; tracking the evolution of the ghost story from genre defining classics Onibaba, Kwaidan, and Kuroneko, right through to the J-horror boom of the nineties in Ringu and Ju-On: The Grudge; before joining J-horror pioneer Hideo Nakata to discuss his career in genre film.

There are also features on the blood soaked tradition of Japanese theatre in relation to the work of Akira Kurosawa and Jacobean revenge, the shocking horrors of Korean war portrayed in genre film and a tribute to the work of the late great David Bowie…

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Hide the Monster (2016)

The Horror Hothouse

I love it when something random turns up in the Hothouse in-tray, which is exactly how we found out about Gabe Saenz’s POV shocker Hide the Monster.

hide Enter a caption

On 4 July 2016 hackers uncovered police records of unsolved cases, Hide the Monster is just one of them handily recorded by victim grad student Alex (Kyle Roark) who makes the mistake of tagging along with to film fellow student Thomas (Gabe Saenz ) as he completes his PHD  psychology project.

Thomas’s project is Isaiah (Owen Hirst) a withdrawn child who is obsessed with a set of tarot cards, wears an animal mask, has an imaginary invisible friend and likes to play a version of Hide and Seek called Find the Monster. Isaiah’s marmie, Steph (Michelle Hirst, who I suspect must be Owen’s real life mum) is a bit of a loony Christian who threw Isaiah’s dad out for practicing…

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The Eyes of My Mother (2016) Preview

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mother poster

Shot in moody monochrome Nicolas Pesce’s The Eyes of My Mother is set to be unleashed on UK and Irish cinema screens on 24 March. We like the look of the cinematography and sound design this deeply stylish chiller

The plot looks intriguing, Francisca (Kika Magalhaes in a breakout performance) has seemingly been unfazed by death from an early age having been imbued with a thorough understanding of the human anatomy by her surgeon mother back in  Portugal. When tragedy shatters her family’s idyllic country life, her deep trauma gradually awakens a desire to connect with the outside world in a distinctly dark form.


Kika Magalhaes is Francisca

Pesce’s hauntingly beautiful and shockingly original film debut stars Kika Magalhaes, Will Brill, Clara Wong, Flora Diaz and Joey Curtis-Green. The Eyes of My Motherfuses its classic horror ingredients with gothic black-and-white imagery…

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Wink (2016)

The Horror Hothouse

wink_v eek

You know I have always found those smiley faced little emoji critters just a bit creepy. Now after watching Alex J Mann’s short film WINK, I know I’m not the only person who does. Over Halloween Danielle Victoria gets a visit from a rather different kind of Trick or Treater! Oh dear I have a feeling this won’t end well.

We like this a lot, it’s original and funny too 666/666

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The Fiance (2016) – We talk Bigfootism? with Writer/Director Mark Michaels

The Horror Hothouse

fiance-poster The Fiance poster

The Fiancéis a Bigfoot movie with a difference. Dallas Valdez is dodgy businessman Michael who falls for the lovely Sara (Carrie Keagan) the daughter of a Russian Mafia Don. Michael intends to pop the question to Sara over the weekend out at his secluded woodland cabin and is just relaxing to some hot jazz (on vinyl naturally because that’s the kind of trendy guy Michael is) when a dishevelled Sara turns up at the door. She’s met a Bigfoot and not just your ordinary kind of walking carpet monster, this one has bitten her and passed on his condition. Michael’s happy weekend is about to take a whopping great nosedive.

fiance3 Michael likes listening to jazz on vinyl and drives a Lexus let’s face it he deserves what’s coming

Now there’s been a lot of Bigfoot movies over the past few years like Abominable (2006, basically Rear…

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Frankenstein Created Bikers (2016) – UK Premiere at Billy Chainsaw’s Subterranean

The Horror Hothouse

frank poster

As the first snows of winter swept though old London town, a bunch of us hardy horror fans braved the icy elements to enjoy the dark delights of the capital city’s top extreme transgressive film club Billy Chainsaw’s Subterranean at SE1’s Underdog Gallery.  And what a night it was, kicking off with Bugs, the William Burroughs inspired third part of Chainsaw and Collier’s cut up Triptych that began with Flies and Goats. A pretty intense audio-visual experience none of these Chainsaw Collier cut up shorts will ever be available to see outside of indie film screenings so watch out for on in your area.

The sensory overload continued with Jason Atomic’s Satanic Mojo Manifesto with Black Acid Introduction combining extreme occult and psychedelic visual and aural imagery with an overlaid spoken word pice from Mr Atomic, a pretty intense piece.

And so onto the main feature James Bickert’s

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Angels of Music by Kim Newman

The Horror Hothouse

From the mid 1800s Erik the Phantom sends a succession of female agents on daring missions against the cream of the Parisian and international criminal underworlds. Known as the Angels of Music these agents work in gangs of three to investigate a series of crimes from a plot to marry off the social elite to mind controlling automata to an attempt to set Europe at war.

angels-1 Cover design by Amazing15

Yes its Charlie’s Angels with Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera as Charlie and as you would expect from the magpie mind of Mr Newman our Angels are drawn from a variety of literary and cinematic sources including Conan Doyle’s the Woman, Irene Adler from A Scandal in Bohemia, George du Maurier’s Trilby and  F Marion Crawford’s  Unorna from The Witch of Prague. So too are the many and various villains and a whole host of incidental…

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