Saturday, January 28, 2017

Candidate #10

(October 2016)

Right out of the gate, writer/director Bryan Bertino carved out a slot for himself on the 2008 ¡Q horror! rundown with his feature debut, The Strangers.
Though circumstances have thus far prevented me from checking out his 2014 follow-up, Mockingbird, he is back ‘round these parts with The Monster.

As with The Strangers, Bertino balances character with the tense thrills produced by a horrific set-up; in this case, it’s a mother and daughter stranded on a lonely road, at night, in the rain, with the titular (and savagely hungry) beast lurking in the woods.

There are strong performances here from Zoe Kazan and Ella Ballentine, and Chief Tyrol himself, BSG’s Aaron Douglas, also shows up for the fun.
If you’re in the mood for some suspenseful and moving horror, then hunt down The Monster.

(The Monster OS courtesy of

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Candidate #9

(October 2015)

And here's another zombie film that takes an interesting and atypical approach to its narrative.

Based on the manga by Hanazawa Kengo, Sato Shinsuke’s I Am a Hero follows struggling mangaka’s assistant Hideo (Ôizumi Yô), still waiting for his big break, much to the increasing annoyance of his girlfriend, Tekko (Katase Nana).
Will our, ahem, hero finally get his own work published and serialized, and get the girl?
Then again, it probably doesn’t matter, ‘cause, you know… zombie apocalypse.
As we well know, zombie apocalypses tend to muck up the small, trivial things the human race has usually got going on, things like plans and life…

There are dollops of thrills and black comedy and pathos here amidst the gore and the grue--and there’s a whole lotta that, so be warned--as well as a tip of the zombie hat to Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.
I Am a Hero is the perfect antidote for those all-too-relentlessly grim soap opera zombie titles out there…

(I Am a Hero OS courtesy of

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Candidate #8

(August 2016)

Now here's a zombie film that very consciously takes some relatively unfamiliar routes in its narrative, and that kind of zombie film is definitely worthy of some ¡Q horror! love.

Mike Carey--yes, that Mike Carey--adapts his own novel, The Girl with All the Gifts, and helps (heh) gift us with a title that should settle in nicely in the annals of zombie cinema.

Now, in lieu of getting all spoiler-y, let’s take a look at some of the film’s other personnel:

Director Colm McCarthy first landed in ¡Q horror! territory in the 2011 rundown, with his feature debut, Outcast. Now he’s back in the running with his sophomore feature.
(He’s apparently been keeping busy on the telly front. And speaking of, he’s set to direct the Krypton Pilot for SyFy--yes, that Krypton--so that should be something!)

Composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer, who positively killed on the score for the late and very much lamented Utopia, slays once again here.
(He also worked on the first series of Humans, though sadly, he didn’t score the second.)

And that cast!
Not only do we have Paddy Considine and Gemma Arterton, we’ve also got Glenn Close!
Glenn! Close!
And the feature debut of Sennia Nanua isn’t too shabby neither!

So, if you feel like supporting atypical zombie fare (and you really really should!), then by all means, pay The Girl with All the Gifts a visit!

Parting Shot:
While Carey is possibly better known in the comics world for his work on Lucifer or Hellblazer, as far as I’m concerned, his magnum opus in graphic literature is definitely The Unwritten.

(The Girl with All the Gifts UK quad courtesy of; novel blurb OS courtesy of