Archive for October, 2011

Wednesday nights (BBC3 9pm) have seen a new horror series quietly sneak onto our screens.  It’s not been widely advertised and so you may have missed it.  But in case you have seen it here is my review. Please don’t read if you have seen the episodes yet, spoiler alert…

The series centers around a school aged teenager named Paul (who has apocalyptic dreams and starts to experience strange powers), his best friend Mac and twin sister Anna (who hates Paul and Mac). In the first episode Paul is inadvertently drawn into a fight between some people (called Angelics) who are hunting/are hunted by a zombie like creature (called a fade).  The Fades are people who have died who have managed to find a way into the real world as they have been unable to ascend into….. well heaven/hell we presume.  The Ascension mechanism somehow got broken, we are not told how.

And that’s it, a simple story of the battle against the undead (who are trapped in the real world).

The story for the most part centres round three parts.  One which follows Paul’s realization that he isn’t crazy and how he discovers his powers, discovering love (with the arrival of Jay his girlfriend) and sex.  We see relationship between Paul and Mac and how they have been friends for a long time.  Mac is centre point to the series as he narrates (It really helps that he explains what the hell is going at the beginning of each episode) and helps the highly reluctant Paul try to decide how he is going to deal with having powers and what it will mean with his life.

Secondly there are the angelics, led by the fanatical Neil, who have been battling against the fades a long time.

Then there is a third thread, featuring the head fade called John, who has been dead 70 yrs and become a fade by eating blood.  John’s rebirth was almost entirely accidental.  But once he does he then tracks down other fades to join him and helps them become reborn by eating blood.

In between there is Mark the teacher who finds out his ex wife was an angelic but has turn in to a fade, Mac’s Father who is in charge of the investigation into disappearances (caused by the fades) and there is also the love hate relationship between Mac and Anna.  At the start Anna was a right mega bitch but by the end of the series she had mellowed slightly and was almost likeable.

The series had plenty of horror, twists and turns. The body count is pretty high. The finale episode was predictable but still held plenty of surprises and shocks, including the execution of Paul’s girlfriend.  But it’s not the fact that she died that shocked us but the manner in which she was summarily executed by Neil the fanatic Angelic. Neil’s cold-blooded actions proved just how far into cuckoo land he has gone, placing him on a par with the Fades themselves  But why oh why didn’t Paul dispense with that irritating Neil then?

Then there is the predictable confrontation between John and Paul.

And we are left with a good ending to ensure there is an option for a return of the series. As expected Paul succeeds in opening ascension and so the fades can move on. But at what cost? What has Paul unleashed by opening ascension and dabbling with fate.  And there is the fanatical, unfeeling, irritating Neil, who somehow, hasn’t died. He is left in a bloody awful mess groaning “I warned him you shouldnt mess with ascension”.

With only 6 episodes this has been a brilliant fast paced series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was dark, gory, funny and no punches were held back.  In fact its pretty grim at times and it’s refreshing to have characters who behave how real people do in such circumstances. Paul’s journey from bed-wetting nerd to winged saviour has been a great story from start to finish. And with his friend/sidekick Mac helping keeping us informed with his witty narrative and constant references to “Mork & Mindy” was particularly pleasing. Does anybody else there remember that classic series?  The script has been well written, and the performances have been excellent and believable, particularly from Paul (Iain De Caestecker), John (Joe Dempsie), Neil ( Johnny Harris) and Mac (Daniel Kaluuya). In my opinion, BBC3 have again come up with a quality series, please let us have more of Paul and Mac next year.

And also I have to say that it was a lot better than the dreadful Torchwood which was on BBC1 earlier this year. Torchwood writers (STARZ and Russel T Davies) please take note, there is no need to drag a series out into 13 painfully slow episodes when 6 episodes will suffice.

What do you think?

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Please don’t read if you have not seen Thor yet….Spoiler alert.

The other evening I finally got around to watching Thor. I missed it when it was on at the cinema and so have patiently waiting for it come out on DVD.

At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. As a result, Thor is banished to Earth where he is forced to live among humans. When the most dangerous villain of his world sends its darkest forces to invade Earth, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero…..

At the beginning of the tale we are introduced to Thor (Chris Hemsworth), his dark-haired brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) who are gods of the norse world who have been at war with a race of Frost Giants.  Loki manipulates Thor into defying his father’s orders, who attacks the frost Giants and risks the peace. Odin is non to pleased and banishes Thor from Asgard to earth, without his enchanted hammer, Mjolnir, and powers.

On earth Thor, who is powerless, meets up with Jane (Natalie Portman), a young scientist who is investigating atmospheric disturbance with her team.  We have a lot of amusing moments between the two including when Thor announces  “This is great stuff!” and hurls a mug of coffee to the floor. “No more smashing!” scolds Jane.

Back in Asgard Odin is on his sick-bed and Loki has betrayed him by forging an alliance with the frost giants.  To stop Thor from returning he sends a giant monster robot to earth to eliminate him.  Clobbered, believed dead, Thor suddenly rears up on Main Street after his hammer returns to him.  Thor, none to pleased, returns to Asgard, just in time, to do with battle with Loki and save the day.

In between we are introduced to SHIELD again who will feature heavily in next years avengers film.

I was really looking forward to watching this movie but I was left a little bit disappointed.  Dont get me wrong I thought it was good, but not great. The effects are good and there’s plenty of action and explosions. But it felt (for me) like they just were just making a movie just to introduce character’s for next years Avengers movie. And as a result they tried to cram too much information in and in my opinion it was too long.  Another negative is that the film is very dark in some places and it was difficult to tell what was going on.

But apart from that it was a good watch and a good interpretation of Thor. What did you think?

I am really looking forward to the Avengers next year.  Click here  for a sneak peek at the trailer.

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Hi all,

I have been waiting for this for a while, the official trailer for the Avengers movie out next year…… Enjoy 🙂

I can’t wait….

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Hi Horror fans,

With Halloween just around the corner it got to me to thinking, what is my favourite horror movie?

I love horror movies, I love to be scared and to be terrified. In my opinion scary movies are never going to grow old, because people, like me, are always wanting to be scared. I think we need that rush of fear. And the scarier the movies is , the more we love it.

I have been a fan of horror movies since I was young boy. I remember watching horror films when I was about 10 or so with my dad.  There use to be a horror night on BBC2 I think, every friday or saturday night (can’t remember which now). And I watched all the hammer movies and classic old horror movies, Dracula, Frankenstein, ect in black and white.. And that’s what got me hooked.

But I think the 1st real scary movie that scared the living daylights out of me was probably Alien or poltergeist. I remember watching these on VHS video, back when video recorders were the size of the living rooms and before the invention of DVD’s and the interweb :).

Nowadays you might not think it was that scary but back then, for a child of my age, it was very scary.

In alien the scene I most remember (that made me jump out of my skin) was the alien coming out of the stomach scene….. Here it is below if you havent seen it…But be warned it is bloody so don’t click on it if you are scared easily.

Around the same time I also watched another scary film and that was poltergeist.  I thought both of these were extremely scary.

There have been many many horror films so it really hard to list my top ones but here goes, here is my personal top 15 scariest films….

15. The Quartermass experiment (1955, Directed by Val Guest)

14. Dawn of the Dead (1978, Written and Directed by George A. Romero)

13 Silence of the lambs

12 The Omen (1976, Directed by Richard Donner

11. The Exorcist (1973, Directed by William Friedkin

10. Friday the 13th (1980, Directed by Sean S. Cunningham)

9. Final Destination (2000, Directed by James Wong)

8. Psycho (1960, Directed by Alfred Hitchcock)

7. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, Directed by Wes Craven)

6. Jaws (1975, Directed by Steven Spielberg)

5. SAW (2004, Written and Directed by James Wan)

4. Halloween (1978, Directed by John Carpenter)

3.Poltergeist  (1982, Directed by Tobe Hooper)

2.The Thing (1982, Directed by John Carpenter)

And…my favourite horror Movie of All Time (in my opinion):

1 Alien (1979, Directed by Ridley Scott)

You may/may not agree with me and I’m sure I have missed many others. I have picked Alien as Number 1 as it, I mentioned before, it was the one of the 1st horror films I watched which scared the hell out of me at the time.

What do you think? What are your favourite/scariest horror movies?

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Please don’t read if you have not seen final episode of Doctor who series 6 (2011)  yet….Spoiler alert.

The episode starts with time all mixed up. Time is stuck, it’s been 5:02 on 22 April for a long time. We see dinosaurs, Cars suspended from hot air balloons. Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill as the leader of the Roman empire riding back into London on his mammoth all in the same time line.  Winston Churchill starts to notice that the time is always the same and fetches the Soothsayer (the doctor) who has been held in the tower.  The doctor tells the story of how he endeavoured to find out who “The Silence” were and why they wanted him to die and then how time got all mixed up.

It is revealed that River figures out how to not kill the Doctor at the fixed point in time (Yes it was River in the spacesuit, who did kill the Doctor after her brainwashing at the hands of Madame Kovarian) which causes all of time to happen at once, as you are not allowed to change a fixed point in time (apparently).

The doctor and Winston Churchill then fight the silence and Amy blasts onto the scene with some army types.  They know about the problem with time and want to fix it. They have The silence imprisoned in water tanks. And we see Madam Kovarian tied to a chair and the return of River. And the eyepatches are revealed as “eye-drives” that enable the wearer to remember the Silence.  However the silence escape and all hell breaks loose. And to sort time out it is only the bringing of River and the Doctor together, ultimately in marriage, that can repair things. Which they do, of course, and all is well again. Time is repaired and the doctor is killed, or is he?

No of course the doctor doesn’t die, but how did he cheat death? Well he miniaturised himself and hid inside the Tessalator robot from Let’s Kill Hitler. And its the Tessalator robot that is shot. Wonderful stuff.

In between we are given a nice touching tribute to Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (played by Nicholas Courtney who died this year) from UNIT who was with the doctor in the early “doctor who” days.  News of his death makes the Doctor realise that all things must pass.

So what did I think of this episode? Well, WOW I thought this episode was brilliant. Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill, Karen Gillan and Alex Kingston were all excellent in this episode.  I particularly liked the part when River drops in on Amy and Rory at the end and River quips  “Father dear, I think mummy might need another drink”  brilliant :). It was a great finale to what has been a really good series of doctor who.  It was witty, scary, emotional, crazy, surprising and action packed.  And not only does “The Wedding Of River Song”  pretty much aswered all the questions and tie almost everything up, but it also sort of reboots the show as now everybody thinks the doctor is dead.  I think things will be a bit different in the next series as the doctor tries to keep to the shadows.

However at the end of episode we are left with a new/old question…..

“The oldest question in the universe, hidden in plain sight.”

Doctor Who????

What did you think?

Doctor Who returns for the christmas special.  As soon as I have a trailer I will post it on my blog.

If you want to purchase second hand Comics and books please look at the science fiction and horror online shop. And for news and reviews of upcoming science fiction and horror films please  look at the SFHDominion monthly Newsletter.