Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Snowman Film

When I first saw a movie poster for The Snowman, I thought it was a Christmas slasher movie. I've done more reading and now realize that it's a movie adaptation of Jo Nesbø's eponymous book. Nesbø is a Norwegian best-selling author known for his Harry Hole detective. The Snowman is the seventh novel in the Harry Hole series.

Unfortunately, the movie is receiving very poor reviews despite its director Tomas Alfredson (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), executive producer Martin Scorsese, and stellar cast, including Michael Fassbender as Harry Hole.

The main problem, according to the various reviews I've read, is that it does not capture the essence of the original novel and is largely incoherent in terms of its editing and screenplay. The Chicago Tribune also notes that

Among all of this [the incoherencies of the movie] is some truly gruesome imagery, and unimaginable violence, deployed cavalierly, and committed primarily against female victims. Our antihero Hole is himself a bit of a boor, roughing up his female partner to make a point, because he's got to save the day, his way. What a guy. With a perplexing tale and some very odd creative choices, it's so easy to laugh at The Snowman, but this kind of tale shouldn't inspire laughter.

If you've read the original novel, you may still be interested in seeing the movie adaptation with the caveat that it will not live up to its source, according to most of its critics.

Here's the movie trailer.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Just in Time for Halloween: The Serpent

The Serpent, which is to be released on DVD on October 31st, is described as a romantic escape into nature that turns into the ultimate moment of reckoning when a husband and wife are trapped in a tent with a deadly snake. Unable to escape and with certain death looming, the couple find themselves spiraling into a dark and dangerous space of which only one can survive as the tent becomes a heated confessional to a cataclysmic truth.

Judging from the synopsis and the trailer, The Serpent has all the earmarks of a good fright movie: isolation, betrayal, the fight for survival, and, in this case, an evil villain that is literally a snake.

Check out the trailer below to see if you might be interested:

Monday, 2 October 2017

October Horror DVD/VOD Releases

Based on the trailers I viewed and the film descriptions, these October releases look promising.

GHOST STORYIn this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife. (Available October 3rd on DVD)

THE CRUCIFIXION  - Based on a true story, when a priest is jailed for the murder of a nun on whom he was performing an exorcism, an investigative journalist strives to determine whether he, in fact, murdered a mentally ill person, or if he lost the battle with a demonic presence. (Available October 6th on VOD)

NIGHTWORLD - When Former LAPD Office, Brett Anderson takes a job as head of security at an old apartment building in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, he soon begins to experience a series of bizarre and terrifying events. Once he begins to delve deep into the building’s sinister history, and investigate its shadowy owners and past employees, Brett soon uncovers a malevolent force nestled deep in the bowels of the building in the basement that will do anything to be set free into our world. . .  (Available October 20th on VOD)

For other titles, please see

Sunday, 17 September 2017

New September Horror Film Releases

In the lead-up to Halloween, there are many new horror films being released in September. Here are two you might like to check out:


There's something truly terrifying about sinister clowns, and Stephen King's Pennywise is among the
scariest. This film has been touted as the most-awaited horror movie of 2017. It's getting excellent reviews and has an 85% rating in Rotten Tomatoes, which states that the film is "well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core. It amplifies the horror in Stephen King's classic story without losing touch with its heart."

For the trailer, please click here.


From the director of  Black Swan, this film has an all-star cast including Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle
Pfeiffer, and Kristen Wiig. A young woman renovates a Victorian mansion in the countryside where she lives with her husband. A stranger knocks at the door one night and becomes an unexpected guest, and soon his family joins him. Suddenly, her husband becomes friendly and accommodating with everyone but her.

For the trailer, please click here.

Stay tuned for more next week!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

September Horror Releases: Part 2

Here are some additional September releases to look for:

What are the Bamboo?

They are from China.

They look just like us.

They live by night.

They drink human lifeblood but otherwise keep their distance.

And every century, they grow white blooming flower.

A boy named Kyo is saved from the precipice of death by a Bamboo, a vampire born of the tall grasses. They start an enjoyable yet strange shared life together, Kyo and the gentle Bamboo. But for Bamboo, communication with human beings is the greatest sin.

The horror genre's greatest living practitioners drag our darkest fears kicking and screaming into the
light in this collection of nineteen brand-new stories. In "The Boggle Hole" by Alison Littlewood an ancient folk tale leads to irrevocable loss. In Josh Malerman's "The House of the Head" a dollhouse becomes the focus for an incident both violent and inexplicable. And in "Speaking Still" Ramsey Campbell suggests that beyond death there may be far worse things waiting than we can ever imagine... Numinous, surreal and gut wrenching, New Fears is a vibrant collection showcasing the very best fiction modern horror has to offer.

Nilhollow—six-hundred-plus acres of haunted woods in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens—is the stuff of
urban legend. Amid tales of tree spirits and all-powerful forest gods are frightening accounts of hikers who went insane right before taking their own lives. It is here that Julia Russo flees when her violent ex-boyfriend runs her off the road . . . here that she vanishes without a trace.

State Trooper Peter Grainger has witnessed unspeakable things that have broken other men. But he has to find Julia and can’t turn back now. Every step takes him closer to an ugliness that won’t be appeased—a centuries-old, devouring hatred rising up to eviscerate humankind. Waiting, feeding, surviving. It’s unstoppable. And its time has come.

NOTE:  All book descriptions are from

Sunday, 3 September 2017

September Horror Releases: Part 1

September is shaping up to be an interesting month in terms of new horror releases. Here's a few to look for:

Written by the father-son team of Stephen and Owen King, this novel provides an ironic twist to a
classic fairy tale. In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep: they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent. And while they sleep they go to another place, a better place, where harmony prevails and conflict is rare.

One woman, the mysterious “Eve Black,” is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Eve a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain? Abandoned, left to their increasingly primal urges, the men divide into warring factions, some wanting to kill Eve, some to save her. Others exploit the chaos to wreak their own vengeance on new enemies. All turn to violence in a suddenly all-male world.

A novel by Jeffrey Ford: All Maggie, Russell, and Henry wanted out of their last college vacation
was to get drunk and play archaeologist in an old house in the woods outside of town. When they excavate the mansion's outhouse they find way more than they bargained for: a sealed bottle filled with a red liquid, along with the bizarre skeleton of a horned child.

Disturbing the skeleton throws each of their lives into a living hell. They feel followed wherever they go, their homes are ransacked by unknown intruders, and people they care about are brutally, horribly dismembered. The three friends awakened something, a creature that will stop at nothing to retrieve its child.

A novel by Kay Howard: In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible
power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it. Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.

NOTE: All book descriptions are taken from

Please stay tuned next week to Part 2 of September releases.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

A Real-Life Man in Black

I discovered that Huffington Post has a weird news section which reports on such things as a calf that's a dead ringer for Gene Simmons. Recently the newspaper featured a unique listing from NASA for a planetary protection officer

. . .who would help thwart the spread of extraterrestrial life ― 'intentionally or unintentionally' ― on Earth and to outside solar systems.

'Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration,' the job listing states. That basically means preventing extraterrestrial life forces ― no matter their size ― from spreading during space travel.

There are only two positions like this in the world, the other being with the European Space Agency.
Among the job listing requirements are frequency of travel and proven diplomatic skills in negotiating win-win solutions.

For the job listing itself, see

For the full text of the article, see

(By the way, if you would like to see the calf that looks like Gene Simmons, please click here:

Reprinted from my Goodreads blog.