Monday, July 18, 2016

OMG! Oh My Guts (Short Horror Film, 2016)

You guys, this year has been crazy for me. And I mean CRAZY. I mean downright unbelievably insane, heartbreaking, stressful, and jaw-dropping. Just when I have a moment to breathe, more inconceivable news comes slamming down the door with a battling ram that looks like it was forged by the Boltons.

There's good news though. This too shall pass. The crazy will stop and things will resume back to normal. In the mean time though I ask for no pity, only a lot of ice cold IPA beers, a healthy portion of everyone's lottery winnings, and a future that will make me laugh and laugh and laugh.

Which brings me to a devilishly hilarious little short horror film that Dima Levanchuk brought to my attention recently: OMG! (Oh My Guts).

Unbeknownst to Dima and crew, I watched this little film a day before I was scheduled for a fairly serious surgery. So imagine my much needed laughter bubbling up as this short opened in what appears to be an operating room. (My desire to laugh and laugh and laugh already well on it's way. Excellent).

Also unbeknownst to Dima and crew, this short was filmed across the street from my work place, and stars fellow Seattle residents! You guys, when it feels like your world is falling apart a little bit, coincidences like these just makes my heart happy. 

More things that make my heart happy: this short film was inspired in part by the meat section in a grocery store. 

You're my kind of people Dima Levanchuk and Hilary Gray. 

So, without further ado, please take 3 minutes out of your day to enjoy this gruesome sidesplitter. You'll thank me for it. I know I thank Dima and Hilary for it! Also, please take some time to read this write-up about the story, production, and crew:

See, your day is better already, isn't :)

Take care everyone! Thanks Dima and crew! And thanks for your patience while I machete my way through this mess that is 2016. Please have beers and winning lottery tickets ready when I come out the other side!

***Note - as of a couple hours ago, after I typed this up, I just received coloring books in the mail. Coloring books for adults. Coloring books with swear words. AND a coloring book dedicated to Game of Thrones!!! If winning lottery tickets are not immediately available I will happy accept swearing or GOT coloring books.***

Friday, July 1, 2016

Moth (2016)

I had the privilege of being contacted by writer, director, and actor József Gallai recently, and he asked if I could take a look at his upcoming feature film, Moth, a (sometimes) found footage film about a search for the Mothman.

He had me at 'Mothman'. 

I am a fan of Mothman mythology, and by that I mean when I hear this creature's name I am mentally transported to another place and time where I Must Learn More About This Thing Right Now. Well, that and I think it makes great horror story fodder. We simply don't see enough Mothman in horror movies. For me, the Mothman is right up there with the Wendigo. Super scary creatures, super nightmarish folklore, super not enough presence in horror films.

In any case, when he asked if I could review his film I was more than happy to do so. I was not disappointed.

First and foremost - and to my great pleasure - this is a Heady Hungarian Horror film. 
  • Heady: in that this movie will require the same patience and abstract thought usually reserved for blood draining dramas and thrillers. 
  • Hungarian: Moth is also filmed predominantly in Hungary. In remote Hungarian woods. Let me stress this: remote Hungarian woods. I'm already frightened. If you haven't yet read Algernon Blackwood's short story The Willows then you're not frightened of remote Hungarian woods enough.
  • Horror: There is horror in the classic running-from-monsters sense, and then there is yet more horror here that I can assure you will not see coming but you'll likely need some hugs after experiencing. I use the word 'experiencing' on purpose.

Although filmed in Hungary, written, directed, and staring Hungarians, this film is entirely in English. I'm still not sure how to process this. Being so used to watching foreign films with subtitles (or overdubbed. Overdubbing makes me very sad, so very sad.) I was a taken back a bit by this choice. But I liked it. As a native English speaker I found this to be a striking and vibrant choice. I think the slight accents actually drew me into the characters more. I dare say they  made me unsure of where I was in relation to comfortable settings. Pitch perfect for a horror movie. I'm not sure if this makes me embarrassingly American but I really have no choice but to roll with how much I was impressed by this choice.

Simply put, Moth is a complicated movie, coincidentally (or not) not unlike the Mothman mythology. This is also a movie that will require you to pay attention Every Second of the way. I found myself having to backup a few times because I looked away for Just For A Moment! This movie will require your full attention at all times. You'll be punished by depriving yourself of the full movie experience if you do not listen to this public service announcement. 

The two main characters (you'll only see three others, for moments) made me very very very very very uncomfortable. I loved it. There is a dynamic here that I don't recall seeing in any other horror film. Their connection is uncomfortably uncomfortable - and then they went and threw some remote Hungarian woods into the Mothman mix. Horror story is at full boil. 

In all, the setting, the characters, and the story line are blood-chillingly unique. In totality there is such an abundance of strange, surreal, and unsettling that it's difficult to categorize this type of horror story. Be satisfied that it's something you've never quite seen before. 

And now I would like to take a brief moment (because that's all my heart can take) to talk about a major element in this film that sent me crawling up the walls in terror: the sound effects. Holy. Hell. I was actually recoiling at these sounds. Recoiling AND climbing the walls. 

The sound effects in Moth are Awesome. 

I doubt if anyone has done proper research into what a Mothman would actually sound like but my bet is on the sound effects in this movie. Wow. 

I guess I would like to conclude this review of a movie that is likely going to create a new horror niche with this: I'm pretty sure you've never seen anything like it. Also, it's very terrifying but not always in the way you think. You get the Mothman, you get naturally scary settings (i.e., remote Hungarian woods, strange people), but you also get something far more sinister - and that's probably the scariest part. That scariest part will take time to digest, however, and that's why I'm thinking this movie will be a front running for a new horror niche.

Moth will be released around the end of 2016 via DVD and VOD. It had it's U.S. premier on June 12, 2016 at the Horror Hotel International Film Festival in Cleveland, OH.  You can learn more about Moth here:, and please take a moment to watch the trailer here!

Pairs with tattered blankets, a half bottle full of water, and a dark lonely night when the lights are flickering.

Thank you so much József Gallai and team for giving me this opportunity! You have something really original here, best of luck to you and the success of Moth.