Posts Tagged ‘Horror’

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Sometimes the paranormal is in the mind and sometimes it’s real. Telling the difference isn’t always easy. It wasn’t for John Satori. After a brain scan he sees the unreal. He always thought that killing was just a job. Now he’s paying the price, when his past ghosts catch up with him.

An independent supernatural thriller mystery like no other.
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This will be my fifth novel, but first that YOU are going to make happen! This is a first for me, a paranormal paperback project that I hope you will love.

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This year is a really big year. I’ve had novels out for 10 years. So for the next few days (April 2nd-) Darkest Moons will be FREE! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darkest-Moons-M-Esmonde/dp/1508567700

If you’ve not been ‘following’ I have so many writing inspirations but I was mainly inspired to write due to legendary horror author James Herbert and his kind correspondences I had over a screenplay that languished at the time in development hell. As well meeting Mr Herbert, I was lucky enough to meet my other horror hero – filmmaker and writer, horror legend George A. Romero.

Specifically, I wanted to write horror, yes, sub-genre horror, but with a twist, my take on at the time a worn genre of classic monsters.

Fast forward 10 years, zombies went mainstream, Frankenstein, Dracula and the kitchen sink have had remakes/reboots/ reimagining and so on. Sadly, Herbert and Romero have both passed away leaving their horror legacies forever on the world.

I have many people to thank. Some of which are no longer with us.
But to the many readers who provided constructive feedback on the books to help me understand what they wanted and how I could give it to them. Thank you.

Anyhow enough waffling!
What a journey it’s been! I am grateful.

So from tomorrow to celebrate Darkest Moons (I think one of my best) will be totally free on Kindle. Not just Kindle Unlimited but to everyone.

Paratroopers with a mix of experience on a mission to destroy a communication point just before D-Day discover secret base carrying out Nazi experiments.

High concept super soldiers are nothing new, but don’t expect a low budget affair, director Julius Avery’s offering of a Billy Ray and Mark L. Smith screenplay is wonderfully delivered with high production values. From a parashoot drop that could easily belong in Saving Private Ryan to like a small French town setting echoing the likes of The Keep and The Piano, Overlords hooks the viewer in from the outset.

The B-film concept is executed by Avery with blockbuster gusto, high production values, excellent locations sets and costume. The cast is on form, the lead Jovan Adepo is excellent as thoughtful Private Ed Boyce who uncovers the Nazi experiments below the church and radio tower. Taking a leaf from 1982’s The Thing with surprise deaths and sacrifices the supporting cast is out standing notable are edgy Wyatt Russell as Ford, memorable Mathilde Ollivier as Chloe, John Magaro as sniper Frank, to be honest you could list them all.

With first class gross out special effects, as the gore amps up and mutations showing inhuman strength plays-out with an end baddy showdown granted it loses the realism of the WWII shooting and explosive action setups throughout. Nevertheless, it’s still an entertaining, tense at times, finely crafted film from Avery. Recommend.

Humankind’s only hope against mindless flesh-eaters, referred to as ‘hungries’ is a child and a group must survive to develop a vaccine.

Colm McCarthy The Girl with All the Gifts offering echoes particularly the likes of 28 Days Later and World War Z. There’s a fitting eerie vocal injected score by Cristobal Tapia de Veer. The CGI is effective and thankfully used sparingly. The make up and gore effects are solid as the group escape a base and journey through post apocalyptic London. Young Sennia Nanua as Hannibal Lector-like masked Melanie is believable as the infected girl, there’s an excellent dry wit performance from the underused Glenn Close. Gemma Arterton gives 110% and to her credit acts her chops off. Notable is reliable actor Paddy Considine as Sgt. Eddie Parks who provides much of the back bone of the bleak film.

McCarthy’s direction is on point and even though the plot and visuals are familiar there’s enough new ground and good acting on display to keep interest. That said, the deviating latter half possible sacrifices hardened zombie fans.

After a homeless person is bitten a zombie virus spreads rapidly and a woman must reunite with her boyfriend while her father also searches for her.

From director Yeon Sang-ho, packed with social realism especially around gender, this is an animated prequel to Train to Busan. Seoul Station is refreshingly different from its predecessor.

It’s avoids stereotypes, has plenty of tension, atmosphere, has all the blood, guts and violence you’d expect but also has a solid twist at the end.

Highly recommend.

Image result for halloween 2018 posterWarning Spoilers.

40 years since Laurie Strode survived an attack from killer Michael Myers, he manages to escape while being transferred. When the masked man returns to Haddonfield Laurie must protect her daughter and granddaughter and execute a plan decades in the making.

Oozing with atmosphere and suspense director David Gordon Green brings Halloween (2018) back to its roots giving us a well-deserved horror follow up to the 1978 original. There’s plenty of graphic creative kills, not limited to the multiple impalements, stabbings, neck snapping and foot stomping head breaking. While all this plays out Green even manages to tidy up the mythology. The humour (thankfully limited) is done just right, notable the scene with Julian (natural Jibrail Nantambu) being babysat by (the excellent Virginia Gardner) Vicky and stoned boyfriend Dave (memorable Miles Robbins).

If your new to Halloween and enjoy a good slasher film this will no doubt entertain. I personally enjoyed the many of sequels, especially Donald Pleasence’s performance in the 2nd, 4th, 5th. Writers Green, Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley’s Halloween largely wipes the slate clean and echoes some of the story beats and setups in previous outings, the gas station, the escape, a ghost bed sheet etc. Thankfully at face value it disregards but doesn’t totally rule out the elaborate supernatural mythology.

While the pacing and editing is a little bumpy at times it’s respectful to the original while standing on its own two feet and shot off fingers. There are jump scares in places, but it isn’t necessarily scary, it’s more frightening due to Michael’s strength, non-discriminatorily violence that he inflicts and its damaging results. It’s a R/18-rated faithful sequel with an icing on the cake score by Carpenter (almost a stamp of approval of this follow up).

Pleasence’s Loomis is sorely missed but actor Haluk Bilginer’s Dr. Sartain Loomis protege fills the gap with a twist. Will Patton as Officer Hawkins is notable and offers weight to the film in his meaty small role. Jamie Lee Curtis gives a haunted powerhouse performance. Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney, and Tony Moran as Michael Myers / The Shape make Myers terrifying. Judy Greer as Laurie’s daughter Karen Nelson is rounded. Andi Matichak’s granddaughter Allyson Nelson is solid but her character build-up slightly fades. It’s not on the nose explored, but there’s a lot simmering underneath the traumatized Laurie, troubled Karen and damaged Michael throughout.

Highly recommended.

Hands of the Ripper (1971)The daughter of Jack the Ripper who is seemingly possessed by the spirit of her late father while in a trance continues his murderous killing spree.

Director by Peter Sasdy offers a handful of taboos, an eerie atmosphere, a series of surprisingly bloody murders, touching on mental health, abuse, grooming and prostitution. Subjectively it’s knowingly or unknowingly one of Hammers most thought provoking controversial films.

Writer L. W. Davidson from a story by Edward Spencer Shew perfectly skirt around the Jack the Ripper element. Thankfully its not on the nose, alternatively focusing on the sympathetic psychiatrist Dr. John Pritchard excellently played by Eric Porter and his relationship with the tragic murderer Anna (Angharad Rees). It’s a mature piece especially notable are the graphic stabbing of Long Liz and the housemaid. The sets, costumes and effects are successful creating that desire Gothic horror atmosphere.

Overall, even though frustrating at times it’s one of classic Hammers most daring tales, worth watching for Porters performance alone.

Dead Pulse is now only 99p Worldwide (local currency) and also free on Kindle Unlimited.

This is top ranking re-imagining of the walking dead in a George A. Romero and Lucio Fulci inspired zombie horror adventure. Get yourself a bargain here.

The dead have returned to life…

The world’s focus is on the city of Ravenswood and the once idyllic town of Farmore as platoons and scattered survivors fight the hordes of the dead, unbeknownst one of them holds the key to end the undead’s reign of mayhem.

Across the city at a body disposal plant a small group take shifts on the ‘death watch’. Their hopes hinge on the soldiers of Farmore to rescue them. But with no contact for months, no food and surrounded by the dead, have they got what it takes to survive?

With death at their door, only time can tell…

Contains Spoilers

Davey Armstrong suspects his local police officer is a serial killer, along with a group of his friends they spend their summer gathering evidence but with dangerous consequences.

With the popularity of the 1980’s at an all-time high, TV series Stranger Things, the IT film remake to name a few, imagine if the Goonies and Stand by Me teens went on the hunt for a serial killer instead of looking for a dead body or treasure! Directors Anouk Whissell, François Simard and Yoann-Karl Whissell’s Summer of 84 offers a modest dark adventure which delivers just that.

The cast are impressive, the teens have family struggles which ring true. Lead Graham Verchere is impressive as conspiracy fan Davey Armstrong. Judah Lewis, reminiscent of a young Rob Lowe and Michael J. Fox is notable along with likable Tiera Skovbye as Nikki Kaszuba providing the typical yet timeless (before Xbox ans PS4) crush interest.

There’s a great score with John Carpenter vibes, contrary to what the critics say there isn’t an over reliance on nostalgia of the titular decade, the soundtrack is 1980s minimal, the pop culture dialogue references are only littered throughout, with the E.T, Poltergeist-like neighborhood location sprinkled with just enough 80s for you to buy the period setting as they spy on their neighbor Rear View Window and Burbs style. It not just in your face nostalgia but also has that teenage discovery, angst and your first love element which crosses generations.

Technically the pacing of the three directors falters in the dark themed closing as the last act, jarringly it goes off the predicable beaten track, but thankfully everything isn’t wrapped up satisfying like an episode of Scooby Doo, hats off to the writers Matt Leslie and Stephen J. Smith avoiding a paint by numbers ending we all wanted.

With a surprise death, this offering goes out of its way to avoid expectations. This goes both for and against Summer of 84. But there again as the story tells, life isn’t always roses and doesn’t go the way you’d expect.Excellent 80’s style teenage thriller which plays on expectations