Penny Dread­ful

Good zom­bies, bad kids, aw­ful pol­i­tics and a greasy treat

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Opinion -

The joys of sum­mer

What a won­der­ful time to be a hor­ror fan. Not only is it the sea­son of Fright­Fest but this month I’ve seen a hand­ful of bril­liant chillers head­ing your way in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber which prove how gor­geously di­verse my favourite genre is. De­tails be­low, but also in Septem­ber look out for Mor­gan , Blair Witch and Un­der

The Shadow – more from me on these next month, and also what I caught at Fright­Fest.

Silent Night

An ab­so­lute work of ge­nius (one small and un­nec­es­sary beat aside), Don’t Breathe comes from Fede Al­varez, the direc­tor of the Evil Dead re­make, and is the first film from Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pic­tures that’s gen­uinely great. Jane Levy stars as one of a group of scuzzy kids who break into the house of a blind vet­eran in or­der to steal his money, but find him more for­mi­da­ble and strange than they ex­pected. It looks gor­geous, it’s packed with very smart set­pieces, and it begins with this in­cred­i­ble sweep­ing shot of the house, tour­ing all the po­ten­tial weapons that might come into play – it’s the best bit of “Chekov’s gun” (whereby if you see a gun in the first act, it must be fired by the end of the third) ten­sion-building I’ve seen in ages. Bet­ter than Hush, slightly rem­i­nis­cent of the best of the Fi­nal Des­ti­na­tion movies, it’s ace, except for one mis­judged plot twist that changes things. No spoil­ers, but Sam, Fede, if you want to drop me a line be­fore the next one I’ll be happy to have a read of the script.

greased fright­en­ing

How do you feel about wang gags? If it’s an es­pe­cially funny wang? The grind­house hor­ror event of the year will al­most cer­tainly be The

Greasy Stran­gler , and your feel­ings about farts, wangs and, um, grease, will strongly af­fect your en­joy­ment of the film. It’s about a fa­ther, Big Ron­nie, and his son Big Bray­den, who run a crap disco walk­ing tour. Bray­den falls in love, Ron­nie gets jeal­ous, and tries to pinch his lady with his bizarrely re­veal­ing crotch­less disco suit and amus­ing/dis­qui­et­ing afore­men­tioned wang. Also, he greases him­self up of an evening and goes on mur­der­ous ram­pages. The Greasy Stran­gler chan­nels early John Wa­ters, is highly rep­e­ti­tious, de­lib­er­ately an­noy­ing and wil­fully dis­gust­ing but very funny. Eye­balls pop, grease is slathered, farts abound, and there’s a hi­lar­i­ous bit around the mis­pro­nun­ci­a­tion of the word “potato”. See it.

carey movie

A zom­bie movie about a beau­ti­ful lit­tle girl is the wist­ful and grown-up hor­ror of the month.

The Girl With All The Gifts , adapted from Mike Carey’s novel by Carey him­self, is an at­mo­spheric, moving and rel­e­vant chiller in which a teacher in a mil­i­tary en­camp­ment (Gemma Arter­ton) forms a bond with one of her charges, a bright, fas­ci­nat­ing child called Me­lanie who loves myths and leg­ends, is kind and gen­er­ous, good at maths and ge­og­ra­phy and has a crav­ing for hu­man flesh. A fresh take on an age-old genre, with a killer end­ing.

crime of The year

Okay, so it’s not all zom­bies and wang gags in the world of hor­ror. Out now, The Purge:

Election Year was a huge dis­ap­point­ment. I liked the first one – clever, new, self-con­tained and one of the first gen­uinely orig­i­nal hor­ror fran­chise ideas in years (if we ac­cept that

Para­nor­mal Ac­tiv­ity is just Blair Witch in a house). I liked the sec­ond one, too, tak­ing us into the wider world and in­tro­duc­ing Frank Grillo’s sym­pa­thetic Leo Barnes. Election

Year, on the other hand, is rub­bish. The pol­i­tics are facile, the char­ac­ters oned­i­men­sional and the di­a­logue is aw­ful. This month, it’s Ghost House: 1 Blum­house: 0.

A spot of house­break­ing does not go to plan in Don’t Breathe. Slather up with The Greasy Stran­gler. Anya Tay­lor-Joy is Mor­gan.

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