Monster Movies

Monster Reviews: My Soul To Keep 2019

Monster Reviews: My Soul To Keep 2019

When you’re younger, life is full of wondrous mysteries and hidden magic. At times you feel as if you have a real connection with the universe. You believe you’re invincible, and the stories of monsters and the things lurking in the shadows are just a little less frightening.

My Soul to Keep is a 2019 horror film, written and directed by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad. It stars Parker Smerek, Remington Gielniak, Arielle Olkhovsky, Brandon Matthew Layne, Maria Wasikowski and Emmanuelle Turco. Nine-year-old Eli Braverman believes that there’s a monster living in his basement, and it’s trying to steal his soul.

This film is absolutely brilliant. A beautifully stylized throwback to the classic monster movies of the ’80s. The filmmakers manage to expertly capture the essence of what it’s like to be a child. It’s scary, imaginative, pulse-pounding fun.

MSTK is one of those films that really stick with you. It elicits a strong emotional response and really tugs at the heartstrings. You’re immediately hooked and constantly on the edge of your seat – drawn like a moth to a flame. The performances are strong, captivating and truly incredible. 

The acting in this film is excellent. Parker Smerek is fantastic as the main character Eli. You build a bond with the kid and can’t help but root for him in his quest against the so-called Burgly Monster. Remington Gielniak is also great as Eli’s best friend Sam. Gielniak is charming and hilarious and keeps the film upbeat despite its grim, threatening tone. The two actors seem to have real chemistry which translates perfectly to film.

Another great performance came from Arielle Olkhovsky as Hillary, the girl in Eli’s class who has a crush on our main protagonist. She’s mesmerizing and engaging, regardless of her limited screen time. However, the best portrayals come in the form of Brandon Matthew Layne as Eli’s dad and Emmanuelle Turco as Eli’s evil older sister.

Turco is fantastic as the mean, wicked older sister. She plays the part well and really sells the sibling rivalry. The best though comes from Brandon Matthew Layne as Eli’s dad. He’s the perfect father figure and without a doubt binds the family together. He adds a believable and genuine appeal.

The sets are gorgeous and the exceptional use of angles and shadowing helps raise the creep factor. The editing is great and the costumes and makeup are terrific. However, the thing that escalates the tension is the score. It helps build the dark and menacing mood which seems to loom throughout, like a boogeyman stalking its prey. 

My Soul to Keep is an instant classic. A terrifying monster masterpiece. It’s original, spooky, nightmarish fun. It’ll scare the crap out of you. It’s an extraordinary, brilliant tale with one seriously shocking ending that you have to see to believe.

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, Monster Reviews, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, 0 comments
Monster Villains: Splinter 2008

Monster Villains: Splinter 2008

While creatures and killers come in a variety of shapes and forms, very few can be referred to as a true “Monster”. In this profile of Monster Villains, we’ll be discussing one of the top creatures ever created in all of film. We’re talking about the genius monstrosity from the 2008 horror masterpiece, Splinter.

Evil comes in all sizes. There are serial killers, slashers, abominations, extraterrestrials, various types of evil animals and so much more. Many of the diverse types are usually categorized and lumped together under one umbrella or another. The term “Monster” is often loosely tossed around with wild abandon.

When it comes to the real monsters, there are stiflingly less in the film universe than one would hope. Of course, there are the classics such as John Carpenter’s The Thing, the Earth-based amoebic lifeform from the 1998 film, Phantoms, or more currently the organism from the 2016 film, Life, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Yet, aside from a dozen or so of the more well-known creatures, many aren’t really noteworthy or worth mentioning. However, thanks to its brilliant design, the parasitic Splinter has definitely earned its rightful spot in the monster manual.

Splinter is unlike any other monster, being it’s a parasitic organism that utilizes hosts to inflict damage. While there are a number of similar creatures within the genre, it’s exceptionally unique in its appearance and actions. The filmmakers brilliantly constructed a one of a kind nightmare. There’s absolutely nothing else like it in all of horror. 

What makes it so dangerous and scary, is that it’s ruthless and relentless in its pursuit. The Splinter can detach from the main mass and survive as separate, individual pieces. It can attack you in various ways, assuming your carcass as it searches for its next victim. The monster can possess any living creature in its pursuit of eradication. It’s fear at its finest.

The fact that the monster can kill whether it’s altogether or in individual rouge pieces, without question makes it one of the scariest creatures of all time. Add in the malevolent and malicious nature of the organism and you have one seriously sinister weapon that’s virtually unstoppable. It’s inherent evil in its purest form.

This gorgeously crafted Splinter can manipulate its physical characteristics and adapt to its surroundings with ease. It infects its enemies with just a single scrape or prick and is immune to almost everything. The monster is truly one deadly incarnation of pure evil, serving no other purpose than to annihilate everything in front of it. Splinter is quite possibly the greatest monster of all time; being the 1985 Thing was a remake of the 51’ film, which neither actually follow the monster from the 1938 book, Who Goes There, by John W. Campbell. However, the organism is definitely one of the meanest and nastiest ever brought to life. It’s brutal, scary and hell-bent on killing, yet also one of the most beautiful things to ever exist in film. 

If you haven’t seen the Splinter yet, prepare yourself for one intense, gut slicing thrill ride. The monster is absolutely brilliant and unlike any other in the genre. However, viewers beware, this film might cause you to lose your lunch if you’re not careful. It’s one sickening piece of cinema. 

Posted by Donovan Smith in Monster Villains, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, SCI-FI HORROR, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Godzilla Resurgence

COMING SOON: Godzilla Resurgence

By Kev B.

So, if you haven’t heard yet, this summer Japan is getting attacked again in what appears to be a return to true form for Godzilla in Shin-Gojira (or Godzilla Resurgence to English speakers). It seems the new Godzilla movie may serve as a reboot of the original Toho studios series. If you know anything about the franchise, you know the series has never really been an ongoing saga. The sequels are sort of non-sequitur in nature - sometimes he destroys cities and kills innocent people, and other times he defends people from other irradiated monsters of unusual size and aliens. This summer's Godzilla Resurgence looks like he is back to his old self, angry and stomping on Tokyo with no conscience!
Godzilla Resurgence - movie poster
He’s got a new look, and it's mean and nasty. The trailer has been online for a few weeks and, though the details are purposely being kept from us, there is a lot of speculation as to what’s going on… Upon initial release of the trailer, the community of Godzilla geeks have been divided on his new look. Some like it, some hate it, and some are just glad to get a new giant monster movie. Yes, he is ugly and mean looking, and he seems to be mad at mankind again… But from the few details I have been able to find, his appearance in this misleading little teaser may just be one of many new looks.
Godzilla Resurgence - GodzillaIt seems as though he is in the process of metamorphosing and may have three or more new looks as the film goes on. The trailer looks promising, yet again purposely vague. There is a strong military presence as they attempt to defend Japan against the biggest incarnation of Godzilla we have seen yet, reportedly 389 feet tall. He has what appears to be red hot lava under his skin, multiple rows of sharp teeth, his tail looks gargantuan, and his arms are short and almost T. Rex-esque, but again, that may all change as the movie and the metamorphosis progresses.

Godzilla Resurgence - Godzilla on the move

Godzilla on the move.

Godzilla Resurgence is set for release in Japan on July 29, 2016, but an American release has not yet been confirmed. So, if we all cross our fingers, we might have a Blu-ray by Christmas, but we still don't know if we will get to see it in an Imax this summer. There is a glimmer of hope in a petition at change.org that reads in part:

As a diehard Godzilla fan, I ask on behalf on god knows how many [A]merican Godzilla fans wish to see the TOHO Godzilla once again on the big screen. … I ask the [A]merican film company New World Cinemas to bring the English version of the upcoming "Godzilla: Resurgence" film (AKA Shin Gojira) to American Theaters, as they are the official distributors.
I know foreign movies aren't real popular in [A]merica, but it only fits by tradition, as the first movie in every Godzilla series has come to theaters here in the states (The 1954 Godzilla film, Godzilla 1985, and Godzilla 2000), so it's only necessary that at least the first movie in this new series should have a premiere here.

So I ask you, New World Cinemas if you are reading this, please bring TOHO's newest interpretation of the beloved character to big screens.

Bring "Godzilla: Resurgence" to United States Theaters
But on May 8, good news came from New World Cinemas' Facebook page and their official site stating: "To all GODZILLA FANS! We are working hard to bring GODZILLA to every State! Patience my Friends... she is coming soon!

GODZILLA WAS HERE

GODZILLA WAS HERE

The Toho Company and co-drectors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi have gone back to Godzilla's roots and designed him to be more menacing, destructive, and more like the old Godzilla we knew and loved. Indeed, the trailer indicates they have been paying attention, both to Godzilla's heritage and public opinion. Godzilla Resurgence stars Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Satomi Ishihara, and Jun Kunimura and opens in Japan July 29th and (we hope) will be distributed through New World Cinemas some time after that.

Check out the trailer and let House of Tortured Souls know what you think.

Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
The Haunting Sounds of CALABRESE

The Haunting Sounds of CALABRESE

By John Roisland
 

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Hailing from the hot dusty plains of Phoenix, Arizona, the three blood brothers of Bobby, Jimmy and Davey Calabrese are a hard-hitting, ghoulishly-sounding, straight from the grave, in your face rock band known as Calabrese.
 
Calabrese self-released their first EP Midnight Spookshow in 2003, which brought them higher acclaim and huge positive feedback in the underground and independent music scene, and has been on the move ever since with no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
Since their first release, Calabrese, has brought us other great albums as:
 

-13 Halloweens
-The Traveling Vampire Show
-Calabrese III: They Call Us Death
-Born with a Scorpion's Touch
-Lust for Sacrilege

 
The band has once stated having been influenced by The Dead Boys, Stooges, and even Motörhead, among many others, all of which do come out within their music along with their own style and sound.
 
Calabrese's music conjures up scenes of early monster movies - a graveyard under a full moon - the feeling of Halloween in the air. Having a love for monster movies and horror from a very young age, Calabrese holds true to this in their lyrics and image.
 

Their music is tight and comes with a great production value, which is a rare treat among this style of music. Many other bands try to deliver but fall short on the sound quality. Not these guys! Even the sound samples they often use to open some songs with is all top quality. This is grade A horror rock-n-roll!
 
That leads me to what i think is the  greatest thing about Calabrese. These guys drive a horror sound with them and are they a horror band, but they are also punk, rock, rock-a-billy and more.YES THEY ARE! The boys bring you the best of it many rock genres!  Because of this, Calabrese is actually hard to narrow down and  categorize. If you run a general search online, they're called a punk band; yet if you search the music website Pandora, they're hooked up with other artists such as the The Misfits,  Blitzkid, and other horror-based bands, including many with a rockabilly style. I really admire that Calabrese doesn't limit themselves or feel that they have to live up to certain labels.
 
Don't get me wrong, they do deliver  great sounding horror rock n roll...but they reach beyond their own tombs to bring you great music!
 
Calabrese has been holding true in my top personal favorites for some time now. My only disappointment by them, was having missed them playing in Baltimore last winter, only would have been about a 30 minute drive for me. So do your self a huge favor, find out where these guys are playing, go to their show... and get me a 3X t-shirt from them... I'M NOT KIDDING!!! And while you're at it, get yourself one. Support the band, they will love you for it and you'll love the music of Calabrese!
 
Keep It Evil.
Posted by John Roisland in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments