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LAST SHIFT, WE ARE STILL HERE, TALES OF HALLOWEEN, THE GREEN INFERNO… Horror reviews for Halloween!

Posted on October 23rd, 2015
Posted on October 23rd, 2015

by Coop Cooper

LAST SHIFT

A rookie cop (Juliana Harkavy) begins her first night on the job alone at an abandoned precinct which is scheduled to be decommissioned in the morning. Over the course of the night, she witnesses disturbing apparitions and learns that a Manson Family-like cult committed suicide in the holding cells. As the aggressive ghosts terrorize her, she struggles to hold onto her grip on reality and a story unfolds that connects her father, a deceased veteran cop, to her current predicament.

This film holds some extremely effective and unexpected moments of fright. When the ghosts begin their campaign of terror, they don’t let up often and even when they do, they catch you off guard as they bend reality to play cruel tricks with the protagonist and the audience. One of the most chilling moments happens when a friendly new character is introduced who breaks the onslaught of tension for a few minutes, only to cause the tension to return tenfold when he turns to walk away.

Think of “Last Shift” as “The Haunting of Hell House” in an “Assault on Precinct 13” setting. The pacing is surprisingly quick for a one-location film and the scares are top-notch, even if it does lead to a predicable ending. “Last Shift” is now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and iTunes.

3 and ½ out of 5

WE ARE STILL HERE

A couple (Barbara Crampton and Andrew Sensenig) grieving the loss of their adult son buys a country home in an isolated town in New England. Unfortunately the house is cursed and they are beset upon by vengeful ghosts who require a sacrifice or else they will unleash a plague of death upon the town. When the sacrifice doesn’t happen fast enough for the frightened locals, they lay siege to the house, trapping the couple inside with the ghosts whose motives aren’t as simple as everyone thinks.

The charred, white-eyed ghosts in this film are terrifying, but the veteran TV actor Monte Markham steals the movie as the affable town patriarch who will do horrible things to keep the ghosts from destroying his hamlet. The tone of the film benefits from the retro-styled visuals which harken back to moody horror pieces from the 70’s and 80’s.

Once again, a familiar concept is made fresh by above-average filmmaking, acting, special effects and a few creepy twists. 80’s ‘scream queen’ Crampton proves her best days of acting are ahead of her and writer/director Ted Geoghegan emerges as a talent to watch. “We Are Still Here” is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray and available to rent digitally on Amazon.

3 and ½ out of 5

TALES OF HALLOWEEN

Wow, what a disappointment. Eleven up-and-coming horror directors present this shoddy Halloween anthology film that looks like it was put together at the last minute and shot on cell phone cameras. I love anthology horror films, but they have long gone out of style and even recent, near-perfect ones like “Trick r’ Treat” (2007) prove that a great film doesn’t always equal a successful one in the eyes of Hollywood.

This particular one is a cut below and doesn’t deserve the time of true horror fans anymore than it does casual viewers, no matter how many familiar faces it throws into the cast. It’s disappointing when promising new horror directors like Neil Marshall (“The Descent”), Lucky McKee (“The Woods”) and Paul Solet (“Grace”) get roped into lending their talents to such mediocre efforts.

I should have known better when I saw the very overrated Darren Lynn Bousman (“Repo! The Genetic Opera”) and the abysmal Adam Gierasch (“Night of the Demons” remake) on the list of directors. Avoid this at all costs, but if you must, it is available on Vimeo On Demand.

1 out of 5

THE GREEN INFERNO

Vaunted horror director, Eli Roth, presents his version of the 1980 exploitation classic “Cannibal Holocaust” which doesn’t live up to the original and leaves me scratching my head as to why this film even received a theatrical release.

A bunch of insufferable activist college students go to Peru to harass loggers cutting down the rainforest and when their plane crashes, they run afoul of a lost tribe of cannibals who wrongly assume the students are their logger nemeses. The cannibals proceed to torture and eat them one by one in the most disgusting ways possible.

It’s a sloppy, poorly plotted, insulting film that relies solely on gore and audacity to catch the attention of the audience… and the gore effects are the film’s only saving grace. None of the characters are likable and worst of all, the film cheats you out of seeing the death of the story’s worst villain. I also find it interesting that nobody’s accusing Eli Roth of racism by making the Peruvian natives stereotypical, ghoulish, bones-through-the nose, savages who eat raw human meat. Not sure why he gets a free pass and other filmmakers don’t but this film has confirmed in my eyes that Roth is not the apex horror filmmaker he presents himself to be. “The Green Inferno” is in limited theatrical release.

2 out of 5

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Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival
SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

Trailer for the lost short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

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