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Tag: Celluloid screams

Editorials

Share the Love in Lockdown

April 11, 2020
Watching Online with Friends during lockdown [Source: The Daily Dot]

Since the COVID-19 lockdown began, many film fans have been missing the communal experience of going to the cinema. There’s just something about watching a story unfold with other people that enhances the experience. Well, many have decided to find other ways of connecting with the outside world in order to enjoy watching the latest digital releases and old favourites. So today we’re going to look at the various ways you can beat the lockdown blues and enjoy the cinema experience while in self-isolation.

Interacting on Social Media and YouTube

Sometimes the best motivation to give something a watch is knowing that others will be watching the same thing. Well over the past few weeks various social media sites and platforms like YouTube have presented opportunities for you to give a film a watch and interact with the wider community.

Several big names have encouraged the world to check out certain titles on Twitter. Jared Leto started his own tweet along cinema club with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. And director James Gunn recently joined in with a #QuarantineWatchParty of Guardians of the Galaxy. Meanwhile, on Facebook, groups like Celluloid Screams have used the Watch Party function to host their own movie marathons. Here the festival programmers provided intros for several horror films encouraging people to binge-watch all of them in a single day.

Also, platforms like YouTube have proven a great place for watch parties to be hosted. Actor Riz Ahmed recently hosted a live stream on the platform where he provided commentary on the film Four Lions along with the films other actors Kayvan Novak & Nigel Lindsay.

The appeal of these online events comes from knowing that you are watching these titles along with others. And that you are able to engage and interact with them. So keep an eye open for similar events coming up on these platforms. Or why not host your own?

Watching movies on the laptop
There are plenty of interaction opportunities just waiting for you online [Source Liveabout.com]

3rd Party Applications and Add Ons

There are also several applications and add ons you can use to interact with others while watching films. Video and voice chat applications like Skype, Messenger Video Call and Discord allow you to connect with friends and chat along together while watching something.

But there are also apps that allow simultaneous viewing of films with your friends. For example the Netflix Party application for Google Chrome. This app allows you and several friends to watch and text chat over the same show/movie on Netflix at the same time. However, it’s currently only available on Chrome. Other resources like Metastream also offer similar services. Finally, there are services like Kast. This application works on Windows and Mac; it allows you to connect with several other people and stream your computer screen to them. Allowing you all to sit back and watch a movie on your platform of choice.

These apps and add ons provide a great way to Netflix and chill with your friends while in lockdown.

Watch Netflix with friends by using some of the apps mentioned above [Source: Tech Viral]

Festivals

Finally, because many film festivals have had to cancel physical screenings, several festivals including the upcoming SXSW festival in America and Visions du Réel 2020 in Switzerland have opted to showcase their films and other content on the internet. Releasing films through subscription services or websites, hosting interviews and performing masterclasses online. Which when coupled with the social media and connective opportunities mentioned above will allow the public to remain in touch with film culture. So be sure to keep an eye out for more opportunities like this in the future.

Conclusion

With all these options provided by 3rd party companies and online platforms, we have ample opportunity to connect together and still enjoy a social media experience during the lockdown.

With many filmmakers and stars providing opportunities for socialization the community has a great opportunity to interact with each other as well as creatives in the industry. Allowing us to gain extra insight into films and perhaps giving us some inspiration to make something for ourselves. And while it may not be the same as the cinematic experience, these apps and events will help us stay in touch. As well as allowing us to continue experiencing great movie moments with others.

Also Read: The Most Important Cinema In The World (To Me)

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Editorials

Return of the Screams: Celluloid Screams 2019

October 30, 2019
Celluloid Screams 2019 Poster

This past weekend to celebrate Halloween I decided to return to the Celluloid Screams horror festival for the second time. And, I wanted to take the opportunity to let you guys know what I thought of the festival this year.

As ever Celluloid Screams was a fantastic experience for genre fans. The staff, organizers and fellow festival-goers were all incredibly friendly and helped contribute to the best festival atmosphere I have been to yet. Everyone was willing to engage in conversation about films, help out with any problems and were incredibly well behaved when it came to watching the films, as well as enforcing good cinema-going etiquette. Something that is always appreciated by me.

Though we didn’t have any director Q&A’s like last year it was more than made up for by the extras we got. Firstly, we had stalls from the likes of Fab Press and Arrow Video. As well as exclusive previews for the second season of Wellington Paranormal and a local production called Seepers: A Love Story coming next year from Gory Hole Films. Both bode well for the upcoming projects. And the festival also did their bit to contribute to a good cause by encouraging people to sign up and give blood with the NHS.

An introduction to the Seepers trailer at Celluloid Screams [Source: Joshua Greally]

Lastly, of course, I got to see loads of films. Unlike last year, I saw all 17 feature films shown at this years festival. But like last year I thought I would give you guys my short takes on the movies I saw. All kept under 50 words, ranked from worst to best:

Corporate Animals: A movie that thinks merely referencing popular culture in a snippy, self-aware fashion (including the Weinstein case) is the same thing as humor. None of the jokes have any sense of timing or build-up. They’re just thrown out by a cast clearly killing time until their paycheques clear. 0.5 out of 5 stars (0.5 / 5)

Outback: Some beautiful cinematography and decently tense moments in the third act don’t make up for the unbearably whiny characters, cringy dialogue and one of the most obnoxious soundtracks I’ve heard all year. 1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5)

Outback at Celluloid Screams
An intro to Outback [Source: Joshua Greally]

Tone-deaf: Despite a standout performance from the ever-great Robert Patrick and a good round of ironic laughs to be had, the films unsubtle nature in regards to delivering jokes, postmodern sub-Scream dialogue and thin characterization make the movie hard to really engage with as anything aside from a funny diversion. 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Making Monsters: Using a YouTube prank show as the story basis is quite cringe-inducing. And for the first half only serves as an elaborate crutch to hold up the story. However, once the reasoning behind its use is revealed Making Monsters becomes very entertaining. Even if certain things still don’t make sense. 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

After Midnight: A movie that suffers from an identity issue. Part formulaic romance part unengaging monster movie, After Midnight’s first 2 thirds will leave many viewers cold. The finale however, while not entirely justifying the first portion, will leave viewers satisfied. In addition, it features the best jump scare of the festival. 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Colour Out Of Space: Nic Cage does cosmic horror. The second Nicolas Cage neon-soaked horror film in as many years (the first being Mandy), does have a lot of dodgy CGI, very wonky performances and an uneven tone. But it more than makes up for it with its sheer entertainment value. 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Girl On The Third Floor: While the film would’ve benefited from a different lead actor than CM Punk and it does feel like a first feature, if you want an enjoyable horror movie that focuses on tension over jump scares and thoughtfully addresses issues of sexism present throughout many genre movies then check this out. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Bliss: A mixture of Climax and The Addiction, Bliss is a visually stunning foray into psychedelic horror with a glorious 70s grindhouse aesthetic, some great performances and an infectious soundtrack. Hampered by a severely unlikeable main character, obnoxious dialogue and a very repetitive structure. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Bliss at Celluloid Screams
The last film on the 3rd day, the absolutely bonkers Bliss [Source: Joshua Greally]

Daniel Isn’t Real: Adam Egypt Mortimer’s second feature is a powerful watch. With a strong dower tone, visuals and mostly great performances from its cast. However, it crumbles under its own weight in the third act. Trading in subtlety in favour of overexaggerating everything to the point of unintentional parody. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

The Golden Glove: Chillingly straightforward in its execution of an incredibly bleak story. Featuring an incredibly slimy turn from Jonas Dassler and haunting use of licensed music. The Golden Glove is not a movie you watch to enjoy. But as a well-made true-crime horror movie, you definitely won’t forget it. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Little Monsters: A charming cute zombie romp, that is formulaic, often cheesy and relies a little too much on man-child angst in the beginning. But through Lupita Nyong’o’s heartfelt central performance the film soon finds its footing as a funny love letter to teachers and childhood optimism. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Come to daddy: This black horror-comedy starring Elijah Wood about family reconnection isn’t for everyone. It’s slow, deliberately uncomfortable pace means you never know whether you’re supposed to be laughing or not. Though not all the jokes land and some threads feel like padding, it’s worth seeing purely for its odd presentation. 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Why Don’t You Just Die!: No country does social metaphor pictures like Russia. Set mostly in an apartment and taking aim at many aspects of Russian society the film goes in so many different directions and juggles so many different tones so well that you won’t want it to end. 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Synchronic: My introduction to Benson and Moorhead (The Endless) couldn’t have made a better first impression. With an incredible premise, fantastic acting (I’d love to see Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan together in another movie), beautiful visuals and a lean pace, this is something any cosmic horror fan needs to see. 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Antrum: If you get the chance to see this movie in the cinema, do it. Because so much of this movie’s effectiveness comes from seeing it with a crowd. A brilliant example of transmedia storytelling, thick with atmosphere and imagination. A must watch for fans of 70’s euro cult horror. 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Antrum at Celluloid Screams
A legal notice put outside the screening of Antrum [Source: Joshua Greally]

Extra Ordinary: The film that won the hearts of everyone at the festival, winning first place in the audience vote. A charming homegrown comedy filled with personality, pitch-perfect timing, quirky and engaging characters and the best editing gag I’ve seen this year. All horror-comedy lovers need to see this. 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

The Nightingale: My favourite film of the festival. Jennifer Kent’s sophomore feature focuses on the horrors of colonialism and oppression with awe-inspiring results. The pacing is a little slow, but everything really comes together to create one of the most hauntingly beautiful, brutal and nuanced films to discuss oppression in years. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

An introduction to my favourite film of the festival [Source: Joshua Greally]

So ends my second experience at Celluloid Screams 2019. It was yet again a fantastic experience that makes me proud to be a horror fan. I hope you all found this little retrospective informative and that I’ve encouraged you to check out some of these movies or perhaps even attend the festival in the future. I know I will definitely be trying to return next year. Either way, happy viewing and Happy Halloween.

Also Read: 5 Classic British Horror Films

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Editorials

A Halloween Buyer’s Guide for Film Lovers

October 5, 2019
key image for Halloween article

Halloween, the spookiest time of the year. When everyone likes to put on costumes, the cinema is jam-packed with new horror releases and everyone is stocking up on sweets for the trick or treaters. But if you’re a film lover why not treat yourself this year?

There’s plenty of things out there to satisfy the film lover this Halloween, so today we’re going to recommend five gift ideas to put a smile on your face.

Horror Festival Passes & Themed Screenings

What better way is there to celebrate this scary of year, than by watching as many horror movies as you can with a dedicated community of fans?

October and early November is a big time for horror festivals as well as themed film screenings. There are of course big names like Frightfest that have their own Halloween events but there are also smaller festivals like Celluloid Screams among many others that offer fantastic lineups and experiences for their audiences.

And you may also be able to find special themed events near you that allow you to experience a horror film in a genuinely spooky atmosphere. Such as in Churches, adding an extra layer to the horror experience.

These experiences drastically vary in price depending on how long you want your experience to be. But you’ll doubtlessly have a good time immersing yourself in the best of horror film culture.

Horror Movie Collectors Editions

As I have said before, every film fan loves collectors’ editions. And when it comes to horror films there’s no end of companies that pride themselves on releasing fantastic deluxe editions of great horror films.

You can choose from the likes of Arrow Video, 88 Films, Second Sight Films, Powerhouse Films, Studiocanal, Blue Underground, Eureka Entertainment and many more.

All of these companies pack their releases with special features, fantastic transfers and loving attention to detail that will give fans a great amount of insight and appreciation for their favourite films. And for the quality of these releases, they are well worth their asking price.

Horror Movie Costumes

Everyone likes to dress up for Halloween. So, it stands to reason that any film fan needs a great costume. Just find out what costume you want and then its time to get creative.

Remember the devil is in the details so be sure to think about the costume, the trimmings, the character props and any makeup that may be needed.

Costuming will, of course, vary in price depending on the quality you want and the level of detail you want to put into your outfit. But whether you’re buying from a costume store or buying induvial parts from the high street, you’re sure to bring out a lot of smiles on the big day.

Jason Voorhees fancy dress (Source: Montreal Comicon)

Horror Decorations

Another fun idea for movie lovers on All Hallows Eve is to decorate your house and get into the spirit of the season. And there are many creative ways to do this.

You can buy standees of famous horror movie characters to scare your guests. You can litter the place with props, replicas and fan-made decorations to give a spooky atmosphere. Or if you want to save some money you can make your own decorations?.

Why not make wanted posters to go in the window? Or carve a pumpkin in the likeness of a horror icon like Freddy, Jason or Pinhead?  The possibilities are endless.

Whatever you choose it will definitely help to bring your house to life this season.

Getting creative by carving horror icon Freddy Krueger in a pumpkin (Credit: VW Campin)

Horror Merchandise

And of course, every true film buff loves their movie memorabilia. And horror films have a number of great types of merchandise, in any price range, to gift to yourself, family and friends.

Whether it’s a replica of your favourite fictional killer’s weapon. A poster of your favourite spook film. Or something as simple as a themed mug.

Every film fan appreciates having something eye-catching to furnish their home and remind them of their favourite films.

Funko Pops are great gifts for every horror fan (credit: Josh Greally)

Conclusion

So there are a few ideas for how you can help add a little spice to a film lover’s Halloween. If you have any suggestions for cool things for film lovers to do this Halloween then tell us in the comments.

Also Read: A Christmas Buyer’s Guide for Film Lovers

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Editorials

A Screaming Good Time at Celluloid Screams

October 26, 2018

The Celluloid Screams horror festival has just wrapped for another year and it was a privilege to be at this year’s show. Ever since I first became aware of the festival back in 2014 I have wanted to go. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments, I have always been unable to attend. But this year I finally got to see what Sheffield’s answer to FrightFest had to offer.

Whilst there I was enthralled by the friendly atmosphere and pervasive sense of fun. Horror fans are always a delight to be around. Every screening was packed, almost every audience member was well behaved and the ability of horror audiences to jump, laugh and squirm at the right time makes experiencing each film a true communal bonding experience. Supported by friendly organizers who were always happy to engage with the audience and a myriad of extras. Including a DVD, Blu-ray, book and merchandise stalls, Q&A’s with film directors and stars, novelty drinks and karaoke at the bar. With the heart-warming cherry on the cake being how everyone came together and donated money to help the wife of a friend of the festival after her tragic loss. It was a remarkable display of solidarity. And everyone should be proud.

But the atmosphere of a film festival is only half the experience. Films are of course also needed. So here are my thoughts on all the feature films I managed to see. All kept at 50 words or less and ranked from worst to best. This is by no means a comprehensive overview of the festival as I was unable to see everything. But I hope this gives you an idea of some films to check out in the run-up to Halloween.

You Might Be The Killer premieres at Celluloid Screams

You might be the killer– A cinematic eye-roll, that thinks it’s too cool for its genre. Content to point out slasher clichés and nothing more. It’s nice seeing Alyson Hannigan again and Scream fans may enjoy it. But this makes me miss the days when slashers were fun and funny without being glib and self-effacing. Verdict: 1.5 out of 5 stars (1.5 / 5)

What Keeps You Alive– A movie that substitutes unrelenting building tension for lesbian exploitation and torture yarn, because it does not know the power of subtlety. The first half is a tense build but once the twist happens it swiftly falls as a steady pace gives way to cartoonish over the top villainy. Verdict: 2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)

Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through the Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh– Making shouting funny, is hard. The thick of it can do it. It’s always sunny in Philadelphia can do it. This movie cannot do it. Despite Taika Waititi’s presence and the cult plot providing great opportunities for dark comedy, the film is too light and undisciplined to fulfil its potential. Verdict: 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Nightmare Cinema– Subpar slasher satire, plastic surgery horror and catholic demon slaying, a terrifyingly surreal odyssey through depression and a survivor’s guilt ghost story make up this uneven anthology film. The final two films, however, elevate it into the realms of watchable. Verdict: 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich directors Q&A

Puppet Master: The littlest Reich– Welcome to your new guilty pleasure. The Puppet Master reboot features a silly plot, subpar CGI and very politically incorrect jokes. But has charming lead characters, impressive practical effects and if like me, you have a twisted sense of humour, Puppet Master will have you laughing till the end. Verdict: 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Assassination Nation– A gonzo, violent and righteously angry middle finger to Trumps America, that at times is very annoying and is nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is. But never the less it is worth the price of admission for sheer entertainment value. Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Mandy– The artiest excuse to make a Nicolas Cage movie ever. The first half is a visually beautiful but narratively boring excuse for when Cage goes full blood-drenched psycho. If you want Nic Cage insanity this delivers. And the visual inventiveness may make up for the lack of dramatic engagement. Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Introducing Halloween (2018)

Halloween (2018)– Everything a Halloween sequel should and shouldn’t be. The Laurie Strode/Michael Myers story gives you everything you’ve wanted since the original. But the time in between that is padded with high school dope comedy that becomes obnoxiously overbearing. Tension and character work make it a must-see despite its flaws. Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Summer of ’84– A great example of a fantastic ending saving an otherwise by the numbers nostalgia trip. This fun mixture of Stranger Things and The ‘Burbs starts as a fun distraction but at the end reveals itself to be a lot more thought-provoking and unnerving than expected. Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Cam– This film began by giving me unfortunate flashbacks to Unfriended, but soon turned into an intriguing look into the world of online cam girls that deals with themes of identity, female empowerment and sexuality in the digital age in a mature, non-judgemental, and intensely gripping way. A welcome surprise. Verdict: 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

A friendly Q&A with the producer and director of Wolfman’s Got Nards

Wolfman’s got nards– This documentary about the sub-cultural impact of The Monster Squad is an affectionate analysis of fans, cult movies and their effect on the creative forces behind them. Although occasionally self-aggrandizing and waffly, its subjects’ humanity always shines through and will even have Monster Squad newcomers and haters shedding tears. Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Knife + Heart– A psycho-sexual, magical realist, giallo seed-fest, with no shame and the power to enrage “moral” and storytelling puritanical’s but to those who can get past that, they will find a beautiful, frightening and often darkly hilarious mood piece which although it explains a bit too much, feels like pure cinema. Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Tigers are not afraid– An unrelentingly grim coming of age story that pulls no punches regarding the impact of the Mexican drug war on children. A magical realist edge, reminiscent of Devil’s Backbone helps to underline the tragedy of a tale that was undoubtedly the best film of the festival. Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

So ends my personal retrospective of Celluloid Screams 2018. It was truly wonderful to share a cinema screen with so many likeminded people for four days. Even when the films let me down, a smile was never far from my face. I definitely hope to return next year. Until then I hope I have given you guys an idea about some upcoming releases that you can check out and hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Happy viewing.