Without getting too bogged down in the machinations of the plot of It Stains The Sands Red, the film’s idea for a fresh take on the zombie subgenre is to localise the epidemic to just one of the undead, and his one victim.
With the best will in the world, there’s not too much to get excited about in The Evil In Us, a heartfelt, lovingly-sculpted “cabin in the woods” infection/zombie yarn that, while unshakeable in its commitment, doesn’t really engage in any significant way until its final twist.
Just when you thought Mike Flanagan’s Hush was going to provide 2016 with its freshest take on the home invasion subgenre, Adam Mason’s Hangman offers a bolder reinvention still. Ratcheting up the tension with real ingenuity, this is bold, accomplished stuff that feels disquietingly voyeuristic and genuinely terrifying.
After the denser and more abstract Lords of Salem divided opinion in 2013, Rob Zombie is back on riotously gory form with 31, the tale of five friends who are kidnapped on Halloween in 1976 to take part in a brutal twelve hour fight for survival.
While couples or groups of friends taking seemingly innocent trips into the woods, only to be terrorised at night by unseen entities – be they human or inhuman – is a pretty well-worn trope in the horror genre at this point, the last few years have not been without evidence that there’s still life in this particular old dog.
Director Cat Davies follows up FrightFest Glasgow hit KEEN-wah with Connie, an entertainingly original spin on “possessed puppet” mythology.
Chris Scheuerman’s Lost Solace begins like a romance: two lovers, peaceful in a large, opulent living room, admire their surroundings and discuss moving in together. Everything appears idyllic until the woman wakes up the next day to find her partner gone, and her prized possessions gone with him.
Saw franchise alum Darren Lynn Bousman returns with Abattoir, in which two newspaper reporters investigate a man who appears to be constructing a house made from rooms physically pulled from historical murder scenes.
Kate Shenton follows up body modification documentary On Tender Hooks with second feature Egomaniac, and in doing so turns her sharply observant eye a little closer to home.
So it’s all over for another year.