Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

darkest-moons-promoWell I’m ecstatic. Darkest Moons is now available on paperback and Kindle! A gothic mansion, hidden secrets, crypts, beasts and mysteries. With a never seen before creature that spawned legends. What is real and what is not in a seemingly perfect community? Present day set ‘Darkest Moons’, incorporates flashbacks throughout a Welsh village’s history packed with elusive characters.

Darkest Moons is available as an e-book, readers who want the traditional paperback will get the e-book free. Order your copy from here or any good bookstore.

From the press release.

A 1878 a mining community came to terms with the existence of a terrifying horror.

Over 130 years later a troubled London police officer, Alex Caine, is transferred to the sleepy village of Red Meadows. Her country life and the investments to rejuvenate the valley are put in jeopardy when a World War II bomb is unearthed triggering a chain of disturbing events.

A series of grisly mutilations follow but what is causing this mayhem, a wild animal or a serial killer hell-bent on destruction? With limited resource, battling local politics and with help from an unlikely ally, legends from the Garloupmira to Sasquatch are probed. Caine’s well-being, sanity and beliefs are tested as she desperately strives to solve her case.

As the moon rises the curse begins!

darkest_moons_cover_for_kindle

Watch the Darkest Moons Teaser Trailer: https://youtu.be/5qYX7Sal0k4

Split Movie Poster*** This review contains spoilers ***

Three girls are kidnapped by a man and must try and escape before a frightful personality The Beast comes to get them.

With hints Red Dragon (2002) and echoes of Sybil (1976/2007) with a touch of 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) director, writer M. Night Shyamalan offers an interesting thriller. James McAvoy delivers a performance of a life time as Kevin who has 23 distinct personalities and one additional one, that all play off against each other, even imitating each other at one point. After kidnapping three girls and keeping them locked up in a cellar, surprisingly it is the edgy visits to his therapist, Dr. Karen Fletcher, wonderfully played by Betty Buckley that provides the most tension as you never know when he is going to snap.

The slow undercurrent build up is Split’s strength as the girls attempt to escape and we get to know many of Kevin’s personas, Dennis / Patricia / Hedwig / The Beast / Kevin Wendell Crumb / Barry / Orwell / Jade. While McAvoy’s 9 year old doesn’t ring as true as the other characters he encompasses, the distinction between each is impressive. Especially the 24th personality which builds up like a High Noon (1952) showdown. Anya Taylor-Joy’s Casey Cooke has a developed character and poignant story arc but always feel second to McAvoy.

The worn on location feel works, a cellar, long corridors, city apartments and a zoo, Shyamalan’s realistic setting has become a staple of his work, which helps draw you into the story. Two of the kidnapped girls feel under developed but possibly Shyamalan purposely does this for the viewer to focus on the third and in bid for you to sympathise with her and Kevin.

With a Bruce Willis cameo, the post story twist of sorts will be lost on anyone who hasn’t seen one particular film of Shyamalan. And to be honest unless you love this particular film or have a great memory, it will probably annoy rather than entice. That said, all that comes before draws the viewer in. Right down to Dr. Fletcher assessment of what advantage split personalities can have and its application. Fletcher concludes that ‘they’ may something more.

Although a mash-up of other films, thanks to McAvoy and Buckley it stands out from most in the genre. Shyamalan’s atmosphere and attention to detail gives it some gravitas. Overall, worth watching for McAvoy’s performance(s) alone.

Bone Tomahawk Movie Poster*** This review contains spoilers ***
A posse embark on a rescue mission into the wilderness of the Wild West but bandits are the least of their problems when faced with the cannibalistic captors.
Director/Writer S. Craig Zahler crafts an enjoyable mature low key Western romp with graphics scenes (including dismemberment, disembowelment stabbings and gunfights) lettered throughout especially in the closing.
The cast on fine form as a sheriff (Kurt Russell), his deputy (Richard Jenkins), a gun slinger (Matthew Fox) go about rescuing a cowboy’s (Patrick Wilson) wife from – in a twist of sorts Neanderthal troglodytes. Russell is perfectly cast, with his look, straight talking gruff tones fitting a role he can do in his sleep, here though there’s something heroically poignant drenched in his character. Similarly, Brooder, Fox well dressed in white cowboy has a back-story which pulls no punches and is intriguing. Its character driven with some candid dialogue that cements your care for the characters, Jenkins particularly shines as the aged widowed deputy, Russell and especially Fox are memorable.
Zahler offers a novel twist on John Ford’s The Searchers. There’s a sense of scale and a lived in feel in his vision. The genuine attention to period detail reinforces the narrative. It’s dusty, picturesque (with cinematography from Benji Bakshi) but it also offers a over shadowing sense of impending doom and violence as the unlikely group of men go on a journey of survival and danger. The special effects are finely executed, wince inducing and leave an impact. Like producer/director Jack Heller 2011’s of Dark Was the Night the whole thing is low key and even with the characters having dynamite at the ready Zahler doubling duties as writer satisfyingly avoids the Hollywood explosive clichĂ©s.
Bone Tomahawk’s slow-burning story complements the gripping performances and as a smart horror Western its highly recommended.

Hello ghosts and ghouls. Finally (phew) and aptly this Halloween my new book entitled Darkest Moons is released on paperback and Kindle. If you would like a chance to win a free electronic copy share this post on Twitter or Facebook @amesmonde! Read on for more Darkest Moons’ details.

From the press release:

darkest_moons_cover_for_kindleDarkest Moons

In 1878 a mining community came to terms with the existence of a terrifying horror.

Over 130 years later a troubled London police officer, Alex Caine, is transferred to the sleepy village of Red Meadows. Her country life and the investments to rejuvenate the valley are put in jeopardy when a World War II bomb is unearthed triggering a chain of disturbing events.

A series of grisly mutilations follow but what is causing this mayhem, a wild animal or a serial killer hell-bent on destruction? With limited resource, battling local politics and with help from an unlikely ally, legends from the Garloupmira to Sasquatch are probed. Caine’s well-being, sanity and beliefs are tested as she desperately strives to solve her case.

As the moon rises the curse begins!

Darkest Moons

By A. M. Esmonde

An AM to PM Publishing Book

Publication Date October 31st 2016

Paperback ISBN 1508567700

e-book ASIN B01MDSP46K 

202 Pages

Ask in your favourite bookstore or order from Amazon

Link T.B.C

Watch the Darkest Moons Teaser Trailer: https://youtu.be/5qYX7Sal0k4

A. M. Esmonde, “A gothic mansion, hidden secrets, crypts, beasts and mysteries. With a never seen before creature that spawned legends. What is real and what is not in a seemingly perfect community? Present day set ‘Darkest Moons’, incorporates flashbacks throughout a Welsh village’s history packed with elusive characters. Darkest Moons will be available as an e-book, readers who want the traditional paperback will get the e-book free and can also enjoy the revelation connections to my all my other novels.”

As with any first edition, if there are any niggling little errors please let me know and we’ll get it correct for the second run. Thanks

Lilin's BroodReview written for www.bcrising.com @bcrising

After hitting something in the road a news team find themselves visiting a brothel which may throw some light on their investigation. The W.H.I.S.T.L.E team’s recovered footage which will reveal their encounter.

Some Sirius Ship Productions were kind enough to share a screener with us of Lilin’s Brood. Writer/directors Artii Smith and P.W. Simon (A.K.A Mansa Mojo Brothas) cleverly tap into the popular Jewish legend, a redressed favourite among modern occult followers. Lets face it the found footage genre has been done to death but it still has its place and fans. This also I ncludes interview like segments. To Smith and Simon’s credit with the investigative news angle it gives their offering a palatable excuse as to why the cameras should still be rolling. There’s sacrifice, seduction and although there’s many dim and dark scenes it’s a crisp piece of work, finely shot and staged that develops slowly with a R.V, blood trails, torchlight and female flesh on display.

The film features Martin Sensmeier, Maxine Goynes (who is quite naturalistic) and Melinda Milton. Actors Brent King, Martin Sensmeier and Arti Smith offer some comic relief and weight.

Don’t expect the recent Devil’s Pass or Exists, it’s a low budget thriller tale (and more interesting than many found footage films out there) with plenty of effort on display. The editing could arguably be tighter and some of the dialogue debatably delivered better but I’m not complaining – as without Lilin’s Brood the world wouldn’t have it’s clever movie poster (you must check it out).

Although the cinematic style is slightly worn there’s plenty of mysterious atmosphere and a few jump scares thrown in to keep you watching. Overall, for those who like occult themed and found footage flicks Lilin’s Brood is quirky enough to hold interest.

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This review may contain spoilers

A mother, after the death of her husband has to deal with her son’s fear of a monster that she finds in a mysterious pop-up book.

With a mix of modern horror effects, genuine tension writer/ director Jennifer Kent offers old school thrills and chills in Babadook. The small core cast are exceptional. Its grey palette naturalistic setting captured by Radek Ladczuk’s cinematography coupled with music by Jed Kurzel, eerie sound and special effects add to the mix of creepiness.

It’s pacing are like the classic horror films, taking a leaf from The Shining as well as Nosferatu to name a few. It’s also reminiscent of the more recent Saint Ange/House of Voices, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh, Let The Right One In, Innkeepers and Woman in Black with Mister Badadook being kept in the shadows for the first third of the film.

The closing act is not a grounded as the psychological horror that come prior, mirroring the short comings of Deliver Us from Evil with its arguably over blown closing act. That said, this modest budget Australian horror delivers chills down the spine and at times disturbing scenes of borderline physical and mental abuse.

Actress Essie Davis is exceptional as troubled Amelia and her difficult son Samuel played by Noah Wiseman is wonderfully cast. To his credit he is one of the few non annoying child actors to grace a horror drama.

It’s not just about the hidden monsters that lurk in the dark and in your mind. There’s many metaphors and symbolism lurking beneath. It’s themes are hard hitting and touching; prescription drug abuse, school intervention, grieving, the plight of single parenting, breaking children bonds and help from family and professionals.

As evil takes a foothold and the lines of reality are blurred, Kent delivers the the tension and nightmares you’d expect, its well acted, refreshingly without a clichĂ© teen in sight. Old school shocks rejuvenated, recommend.

Bob Saginowski is a bartender at his relations bar “Cousin Marv’s” which also operates as a ‘drop’ for illegal takings for Chechen mobsters. With a strain of a big ‘drop’ looming after rescuing a puppy Bob finds himself at clashing with a local hood (with a reputation of being a killer) claiming to be the dog’s owner.

A gritty production which daringly hinges on a single surprise plot point (written by Mystic River’s Dennis Lehane), and to director MichaĂ«l R. Roskam credit its successfully executed. Its dialogue driven, small in scale and refreshingly the violence is minimum, hard hitting and over quickly.

Tom Hardy simmers throughout as Bob and carries the weight of the film to it’s boiling point. His unassuming bartender is believable, emotional and susceptible. In his last role playing on a naturalistic background James Gandolfini effortlessly graces the screen in the on location shoot, amongst the naturalistic settings as Marv. There are some touching moments when Hardy and Noomi Rapace are tending to a puppy mirroring the tenderness of Rocky and Adrianne in Rocky (1976). Rapace plays the troubled Nadia best when she’s on a back foot when her ex boyfriend turns up. Notable is John Ortiz in a small part as Detective Torres.

Roskam’s vision captures the everyday environment with 1970’s grit reminiscent of The French Connection (1971) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975) to name a few. He effectively builds up tension with the characters interplay. The Drop is subtle as it can be, there’s no elaborate heists, fights and explosions, just the characterisation of the cast to keep you intrigued until the end. Marco Beltrami is on form, harmonizing the on screen drama with his score.

Granted there’s an abundance of similar themed crime dramas, but The Drop raises the bar with its smartly written script and great small cast ensemble.

In time for my favorite time of year, early I know but we’ve already put the Halloween decorations up in my home! 

The rights to both vampire thriller Blood Hunger and zombie chiller Dead Pulse have reverted back to myself. After this Halloween the novels will become unavailable.

They possibly may be resurrected in second editions depending on publishers. While the first editions satisfy, in retrospect their not as polished from an editing standpoint as I would have wished but no use crying over spilt milk. Still they’re entertaining horror travel reads. Even the industry’s big players are feeling the pinch and its difficult for the most seasoned authors to earn a crust so I’m not holding my breath for the novels to be picked up.

All is not lost in a shallow grave my sci-fi novel The Final Version is being well received. Again thank you for reading, thank you for your support and have fantastic Halloween.


A troubled antiques collector inherits a house from his estranged mother only to discover she was devoted to a mysterious cult. As they try to commune with each other a horrifying creature begins to reveal itself.

In the vein of the likes of Ti West’s Innkeepers and House of the Devil, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh is an old school chiller that works on a psychological level even more so than the aforementioned. Director Rodrigo Gudiño’s slow burner explores lose belief and faith to name a few and takes it’s time to build up the characters. Aaron Poole gives an outstanding subtle performance as Leon Leigh and Vanessa Redgrave’s voice-over throughout as Rosalind Leigh adds a poignant touch.

Gudiño’s camera work gives the impression that Leon is not alone in the house and the camera seemly acts as Rosalind’s spirit at times. The house itself with the interesting location, prop and set design are the real star of the film, this coupled with the music and sound design deliver an atmospheric and immersible eeriness experience. The brief special effects are executed fittingly and add to the creepiness of the production. Rodrigo Gudiño’s offering is wonderfully crafted and his restrained screenplay along with with Pooles’ performance help build the tension of dread nicely.

Overall it’s an original slow burning touching mystery that doesn’t rely on shock tactics to create unease and successfully puts the view in the mind of its main character. Highly recommend.

For a limited time my vampire horror thriller Blood Hunger Kindle edition is totally free! Get it quick here:http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Hunger-ebook/dp/B0041VXTMA