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TheatricalThe Woman in Black (2012)
10/02/2012 | Nikki Baughan

Having relaunched in 2010 with the promise of delivering solid horror films for a modern audience, the output from the rebooted Hammer Films has been something of a mixed bag. While its inaugural release, remake Let Me In, was received with great fa [ ... ]

TheatricalMan on a Ledge (2012)
03/02/2012 | Nikki Baughan

For his feature debut, Danish filmmaker Asger Leth follows his 2006 documentary Ghosts of Cite Soleil (co-directed with Milos Loncarevic) with something entirely different; a high concept action thriller that is about as Hollywood as they come. That [ ... ]

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Dead Snow (DVD)


Ein! Zwei! Die!

Surely any horror movie that employs the use of Nazi zombies, two of the most evil things imaginable, is going to be a truly terrifying viewing experience. Not when the director - in this case Norwegian Tommy Wirkola, who co-wrote the screenplay but Stig Frode Henriksen - decides to go down the black comedy route, a narrative choice that may waste some of the nightmarish potential of its premise but results in a hugely entertaining, hugely bloody romp.

When a group of hardworking Norwegian medical students decide to spend their Easter break in the mountains, they are expecting a few days of skiing, sex and serious drinking. What they get, however, is a big surprise as they encounter long-undead Nazi zombies who seem determined to uphold their reputation by hunting and offing the youngsters in a series of increasingly nasty ways.

Although fans of Sam Raimi’s early work will find much that is familiar here (an isolated cabin becoming an outpost against the malevolent hordes is just one of the themes borrowed by Wirkola and Henrikson), it’s energetic and certainly entertaining. And things definitely pick up in the horror stakes when the zombies finally make their appearance half way through, and as the pristine snowbecomes spattered with blood, guts and entrails so the film lives up to its name. As the whole thing builds to a frenzied climax – that the final bloody battle is set to the rousing tones of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy should give you an idea of the film tone – so the special effects department work their fingers to the bone to create some truly OTT, visceral effects that will delight gore-hounds.

The cast, too, work hard throughout, throwing themselves into some truly disgusting situations without hesitation. Indeed, even though the film is undeniably played for laughs, the whole cast put in straight performances remaining believable in their roles even as the entire world goes to hell in a handbasket around them.

Like most horror movies, if you expect too much you will most likely be disappointed. But if you take it at face value, Dead Snow is a high-energy splatterfest that provides laughs and shocks in equal measure. 3.5 stars

Extra Features
The substantial making of makes up the bulk of the bonus features, and there are also featurettes on the make-up and special effects. Footage of the cast and crew at the Sundance Film Festival is also included. 2.5 stars

Stars Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen
Director Tommy Wirkola
Distributor E1 Entertainment
Format DVD & Blu-ray
Released August 31

Reviews Archive

The Woman in Black (2012)
The Walking Dead (DVD)
Orphan (2009)
Night at the Museum 2 (2009)
The Shield: Season 7 (DVD)
Man on a Ledge (2012)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Star Trek (2009)
Barney's Version (DVD)
Tormented (2009)
Drag Me To Hell (2009)
Black Swan (2010)
Valkyrie (DVD)
Seven Pounds (DVD)
Che: Parts One and Two (DVD)
Coraline (2009)
Frost/Nixon (DVD)
Adam (2009)
DVD & Blu-ray Reviews: May 23, 2011
Aliens in the Attic (2009)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
DVD & Blu-ray Reviews: May 16, 2011
The Wrestler (2008)
Lesbian Vampire Killers (DVD)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Summer Scars (2007)
Rachel Getting Married (DVD)
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (DVD)
Slumdog Millionaire (DVD)
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (DVD)
Sounds Like Teen Spirit (DVD)
Hush (DVD)
GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Red Riding Hood (2011)
Surviving Summer (DVD)
Changeling (DVD)
Blind Loves (2008)
Coco Before Chanel (2009)
Moon (2009)
Angels & Demons (2009)
Cherry Blossoms (2008)
Helen (2008)
The Big I Am (DVD)
The International (DVD)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Transporter 3 (DVD)
Bride Wars (DVD)
Delta (2008)
Dorian Gray (2009)
DVD & Blu-ray Reviews: May 9, 2011
Passengers (DVD)
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
Zombie Virus on Mulberry Street (DVD)
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (DVD)
Bedtime Stories (DVD)
The Reader (DVD)
The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
Angels and Demons (DVD)
Friday the 13th (DVD)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Cadillac Records (DVD)
Anything For Her (DVD)
Linha de Passe (DVD)
Jennifer's Body (2009)
The Haunting in Connecticut (DVD)
The Spirit (DVD)
Whiteout (DVD)
Knowing (DVD)
Bottle Shock (2008)
Doubt (DVD)
The King's Speech (DVD)
Max Payne (DVD)
Brüno (2009)
He's Just Not That Into You (DVD)
Hansel & Gretel (DVD)
Paranormal Activity (DVD)
Milk (DVD)
Watchmen (2009)
The Vanishing of the Bees (DVD)
The Disappeared (2008)
The Rocker (DVD)
Hereafter (2010)
Just Another Love Story (2007)
Paranormal Activity (2009)
District 9 (2009)
Big River Man (DVD)
Stardust (Blu-ray)
Afghan Star (2008)
Fireflies in the Garden (2009)
The Children (DVD)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Away We Go (DVD)
Anything For Her (2008)
Blue Valentine (DVD)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009)
Red Mist (DVD)
The Tattooist (DVD)
17 Again (DVD)
Sex and the City 2 (2010)
Gran Torino (2008)
Let the Right One In (DVD)
Inkheart (DVD)
The Last House on the Left (2009)
Sunshine Cleaning (2009)
Night at the Museum 2 (DVD)
Heartless (2009)
New Town Killers (2008)
Frozen River (2008)
W. (DVD)
Zombieland (2009)
Eagle Eye (DVD)
Glorious 39 (DVD)
Lakeview Terrace (DVD)
Quantum of Solace (DVD)
Fireflies in the Garden (DVD)
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S Thompson (DVD)
Law Abiding Citizen (DVD)
500 Days of Summer
Frozen (2010)
Blessed (DVD)
The Good, The Bad, The Weird (DVD)
Bottle Shock (DVD)
Marley & Me (DVD)
The Expendables (2010)
Daybreakers (2009)
Predators (2010)
Year One (2009)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Sherlock Holmes (DVD)
The Scouting Book For Boys (2009)
Infestation (DVD)
Zombieland (DVD)
Knight and Day (2010)
Cherrybomb (DVD)
Dorian Gray (DVD)
Public Enemies (2009)
Starsuckers (DVD)
This Is It (2009)
Awaydays (2009)
Bright Star (DVD)
Micmacs (DVD)
Hierro (2009)
Lebanon (DVD)
All Tomorrow's Parties (DVD)
In the Loop (DVD)
Tetro (2009)
Sin Nombre (DVD)
The Wrestler (DVD)
Survival of the Dead (DVD)
The Descent: Part 2 (DVD)
The Road (2009)
The Book of Eli (2010)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009): Review & Clips
Love Happens (DVD)
The Taking of Pelham 123 (DVD)
Valhalla Rising (DVD)
The Boat That Rocked (DVD)
Harper's Island (DVD)
Delta (DVD)
Traitor (DVD)
The Scouting Book For Boys (DVD)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (DVD)
Edge of Darkness (DVD)
The Wolfman (DVD & Blu-ray)
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Source Code (2011)
Aliens in the Attic (DVD)
We Live in Public (DVD)
Dead Snow (DVD)
Robin Hood (2010)
Machete (2010)
Fuck (2005)
The Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call: New Orleans (2009)
The Unborn (2009)
Shutter Island (2010)
Repo! The Genetic Opera (DVD)
Cemetery Junction (2010)
Lebanon (2009)
The Yes Men Fix the World (2009)
2012 (2009)
Not Quite Hollywood (2008)
The Boys Are Back (DVD)
Avatar (DVD & Blu-ray)
Summer Scars (DVD)
In the Electric Mist (DVD)
Bunny and the Bull (DVD)
Easy A (DVD)
Paper Heart (DVD)
The White Ribbon (DVD)
An Education (DVD)
The Men Who Stare At Goats (DVD)
Cracks (DVD)
Adam (DVD)
Serious Moonlight (DVD)
A Serious Man (DVD)
The Road (DVD)
The Last Station (DVD)
The Merry Gentleman (DVD)
Jonah Hex (DVD)
Long Weekend (DVD)
It's A Wonderful Afterlife (DVD)
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (DVD)
It's Alive (DVD)
Just Another Love Story (DVD)
Halloween II (DVD)
Open Graves (DVD)
DVD & Blu-ray Reviews: April 4, 2011
Submarine (2011)
Somewhere (DVD)
Drive Angry 3D (2011)




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Movie Highlight

The Woman in Black

Having relaunched in 2010 with the promise of delivering solid horror films for a modern audience, the output from the rebooted Hammer Films has been something of a mixed bag. While its inaugural release, remake Let Me In, was received with great fanfare, subsequent films The Resident and Wake Wood have been less successful. So with its first big release, The Woman in Black, Hammer has much to prove – and has piled on the pressure by choosing to adapt a story that’s not only a bestselling novel but also a long running West End play.

An additional challenge is that tale is so effective because of its simplicity; there are no big set pieces for a filmmaker to hide behind. So it’s reassuring to see that, while some elements of Susan Hill’s story have been tweaked to give it more of a cinematic scope, the narrative runs fairly true. At its heart is young lawyer Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) who, still reeling from the death of his wife in childbirth four years previously, is sent to a remote village in order to organise the paperwork at the isolated Eel Marsh House. On his arrival he finds the locals most unwelcoming, believing that anyone disturbing the peace at the house brings tragedy to the village. Although initially sceptical, Kipps soon discovers that the mansion holds horrifying secrets, and that one of its former occupants is determined to exact terrifying revenge…

READ FULL REVIEW:  The Woman in Black

DVD Highlight

The Walking Dead

The living dead have been a mainstay of horror cinema for decades. Now they maraud onto the small screen in Frank Darabont’s adaptation of the graphic novel by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard.

Brit favourite Andrew Lincoln (This LifeTeachers) adopts a convincing drawl to take on the role of sheriff Rick Grimes, who wakes from a coma to find the local residents have become flesh-eating ghouls. While the initial set-up is reminiscent of 28 Days Later, these zombies are not Danny Boyle’s fast moving monsters, but the lumbering breed of tradition. That doesn’t dilute their impact; as Rick teams up with other survivors, the zombies are relentless in their pursuit and the tension builds to unbearable levels.

READ FULL REVIEW: The Walking Dead

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