Sunday, 13 September 2020

Review: The Colour/Color Out of Space (2020)

Stars: Nic Cage, Joely RichardsonColor Out of Space (2019) poster.jpg
Budget: $6-12 Million

Directed By: Richard Stanley

If ever a film was a Nic Cage vehicle it was this one, if you want some manic guy to play a role which needs disbelief then total belief in the same film this is you man. Type cast?
Maybe, but the guy is a powerhouse of his role, of which, no one else compares, even closely.
Based on a short story from non other than H.P. Lovecraft that tells the tale of a vicious sentient color/colour from space. It has the ability to transmogrify anything it come into contact with, with it's strange radioactivity.

The story has been adapted many times but non so close to the original work (except the date/location) as this one. Other adaptions are Die, Monster, Die! in 1965, The Curse! in 1987, The Colour in the Dark in 2008 and a few more up until this version. I can't seem to find out any information why there's such a large discrepancy between the budget amounts. The other supporting cast play a massive role too, Tommy Chong though a small part is effectively used too as is Joely Richardson.

When a man suffering a mid life crisis just after his wife has had a mastectomy he decides to up sticks and move to an old house. It was once owned by Nathans (Nic) father is in a little disrepair but he intends to fix'er up and grow their own produce too.
He strangely takes to alpaca farming too, of course the kids are a little adverse to this change as they always are. Then one night a meteor drops right in their front yard, is struck by many bolts of lightening then it kind of disappears into the ground.
Where unknown for a while if infects the water supplies nearby. Anyone drinking the water begins to mutate, from the pants, the alpacas and even Nathans family.

Ward a hydrologist and the Sheriff come to see the meteor, Ward notices the water seems strange he tests the water which is found out to be possibly infected by the meteor. Weird things start to happen such as time fluctuations, mutated vile tasting plants and the alpacas mutating into some weird wiggly mess.
One by one the family succumb to this strange mutation too, though Vivian the daughter, a practicing Wicca does try to help with her spells. Unfortunately to no avail. 
Ward tries to warn them a little later but is it to little to late?

A good adaptation of the book and some great performances by the cast and crew, well worth a watch if you like the surreal and the macabre. 
THN awards The Colour/clolor Out of Space 4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Review: Candyman 3: Day of the Dead (1999)

Candyman 3 Poster.jpgStars: Tony Todd, Donna D'Errico

Budget: unknown

Directed By: Turi Meyer

Weirdly this sequel is based in our year of 2020 (if only they knew!) a full 25 years after the last film. Though only made in 1999.
I've not been able to find much on the budget or how much this sequel made. It did only have limited cinema release in the US, can't find info if it was released anywhere else.

No actors of any consequence starred in this either except of course Tony Todd as the titular Candyman again. We do get Donna D'Errico of Baywatch fame who for me was about the only recognizable face.

So far this movie hasn't been regarded as good, so I thought it'll be a good reason to give it a watch again and to be totally honest I couldn't remember if i'd actually even seen it all those years back.

This time it revolves around Caroline McKeever who is Annie's daughter from the last movie. She owns a gallery in Los Angles somehow the Candyman returns to claim he soul to stay with him as she's a full reincarnation of his own daughter.
He starts doing his usual schtick of killing people involved with her just like he does in part 1 and 2, except this time some people actually cotton on to whats going on. Midway they capture Caroline then call on the Candyman to take her so that the murders stop.

The Candyman kills everyone but her then reveals to her how he came back, that Annie summoned him back from the dead then he killed her making it look like suicide. He then tells her all the other people he killed, including members of her family, Caroline screams that she'll kill him. He vanishes leaving Caroline escape.

Now that is pretty much the whole movie right there in a nutshell so we won't spoil it any further. If you like the first and/or second of these movies it's a good stopping point of the series, though it's by far the worst of the bunch. He now resides in the pictures of the gallery, foreshadowing for the new film? 
THN wards Candyman 3 a mediocre 2 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

THN's Top 5 Haunted Places: North Wales

Welcome To the Nation of Horror, horror is not only in films. Films have been inspired by real life places throughout most of time, not only that folklore, myths and legends too.

Last time I did my neck of the woods south wales, today we are travelling up country to the north, a slightly more welsh place than the south. Also a lot more mountains and even older building exist up in that area.
Today we'll explore 5 of these places, we will start of with:

1. Pool Parc Asylum

An abandoned asylum found in Ruthin is supposedly haunted by a woman in white (usual type of ghost seen in many places) seen in many of the asylums doorways. Here we have a picture of the asylum when it was open:
Many other sightings and sounds have been heard coming from the spooky halls when doing investigations in the site. Many people claiming the screams are like sounds of anguish and regret. Here's what you can expect today:
Visit Pool Park Asylum
It's a very popular Urbex place these days, I'm sure there's a few videos on here on some UK YouTube Channels.

2. Pen-Y-Lan House

A large manor house located in Wrexham, it's a very Gothic looking country house. It's also still lived in by residents. Strangely as you can go there on ghost hunting evenings, here's an outside look:
Pen-y-Lan Hall exterior
Nights offer group vigils where you can attend table tipping sessions and tours of rooms. For braver folks there's Ouija board usage and single room vigils for lone people too.
Many things involving these activities has said to have produced supernatural occurrences, EVP and ghostly noises have also been recorded in this scary location!

3. Nantclwyd-Y-Dre Town House

One of the oldest still standing buildings in wales built in 1435, making it the oldest wooden framed house too. Here's what it looks like outside:
Nantclwyd y Dre | Art UK
The place has had special renovated parts to tour around, all furnished with genuine furniture from the era too is really set to immerse you in the time period. Ghost hunting in the building has specific places set up for glass divination, table tipping and some kind of human pendulum thing?
Again for less fearful people there's Ouija boards, these experiments have all had varied joy, such as spirits of the past contacting via the board.
Here's an inside view:
Nantclwyd House - History & Photos | Historic Wales Guide
The main thing I've divined about this place is the staggering £25 an hour they ask for entry fees, which is to me a horror unto itself!

4. Ruthin Gaol

An old welsh jail (yes Gaol is welsh for jail) or prison used to house some of the worst people in the area in it's heyday. It was built in 1654 with additional wings built over time.
Here's an outside view:
Ruthin Gaol

It was particularly famous for it's dark room punishment, used on people who did both small and big crimes. sometimes for even just owing a debt. Walk through the ancient halls and jail rooms experience haunting noises or a glimpse of some spectre as you do.
Lone vigils in cells are on offer as well as lesser or greater ways to communicate with the dead, such as spirit glass or Ouija boards. Only one person was ever hanged here for the murder of his wife one William Hughs. Many have been said to be contacted by his spirit who seems to hate women.
Inside appearance:

This is one place i'd love to do a vigil in and hopefully break me in on seeing something with my own eyes, who knows one day!

5. Beaumaris Gaol

Yes another jail/prison in the Beaumaris area of Wales built in only 1829 it also housed many debt owners as well as harder criminals in it's time. It was expanded a number of years later but then closed, it was then a police station until 1950.
Spookily still it was then turned into a children's clinic until 1974 when it was finally made into the museum it is until modern day.
Here it is outside today:

Two executions were carried out one in 1830 for the attempted murder of his wife by William Griffith, then in 1962 for killing his father in law Richard Rowlands was hung too.
Many ghostly sightings and happenings have been recorded here, from children laughing to the hung men contacting people through various ways. Such as EVP, Ouija board, thrown items etc.
View from inside:
Beaumaris Gaol - Haunted Houses

There you go five more spooky places to explore in North Wales this time, we'll be looking at West wales next time, though we might leave east wales out due to there not really being many places there, plus it's not a large part of wales due to the overall shape of the country.
Till next time stay spooky and farewell from THN

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Review: Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)

Candyman farewell to the flesh poster.jpgStars: Tony Todd, Kelly Rowan

Budget: $6m

Directed By: Bill Condon

With a new one of the psuedo, reboot/sequels coming out i'm taking a look back at the previous entries in the series. Here is the second in the series Candyman 2 or Farewell to the Flesh.

With the success of the original it was inevitable to see a sequel of some kind. The films have now become a 'franchise' garnering respect of the likes of Ft13th and NoES. Some don't see them as scary or as strong as those series, though a lot find Tony Todds Candyman a very strong enough character.

This one takes place not long after the last, about 3 years, though has little to do with the characters from the original film. It is again based on having the belief in the Candyman but with a bit of an extra twist thrown in to extend the mythos. As with the first movie though it's still all about the belief/fear in the man himself, to keep that fear in people so he can always exist perpetually.

Teacher Annie Tarrant from new Orleans is troubled, Her dad went missing investigating some murders linked to Candyman. Also her brother has been falsely accused of murdering a book writer (the long haired teacher guy from part 1). It doesn't help that he was seen harassing the man a number of times over the book about Candyman he wrote.
Annie stupidly summons Candyman when one her students says about him, also Mardi Gras is about to start New Orleans too. Doesn't take long before people start being killed, one Annie's husband.

We get a lot more backstory on the Candyman in this one too, like his real name of Daniel Robitaille, who was the son of a plantation worker. We find out Daniel is an amazing painter, this takes him into the world of the white slavers when he is commissioned to paint a picture for a rich landowner. The picture is of his daughter Caroline, the two fall in love and Caroline falls pregnant.
Her father orders a mob to catch and lynch Daniel, except as you know he was treated a lot worse than just hung.
This is expanded on a little more in here with a small child tasting the honey proclaiming Daniel as the 'Candyman'. Caroline's father then uses Caroline's mirror to show Daniel what he looks like, then starts taunting him too. It then believed that Daniels spirit entered the mirror, which Caroline hides in Daniels birthplace. She later gives birth to a daughter, Isabel. It is thought that the mirror is the reason why Candyman can travel to where he is summoned.

In Candyman fashion he starts to kill people involved with him/Annie/investigation. Including the detective interrogating her brother Ethan, Ethan is then shot dead trying to escape the police. He kills Annie's mother who knew their connection to Caroline but disbelieves in the myth.
Annie goes to look for the original mirror in an attempt to stop the Candyman. I'll leave it there as we don't spoil ending here unless the film is abysmal.

THN awards Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh, 3 out of 5 stars where as it only made back just over twice it's budget it is a semi decent sequel that expands on the lore.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Review: Candyman (1992)

Image result for candymanStars: Tony Todd, Virginia Madsen

Budget: $8-9 million

Directed By: Bernard Rose

With the release of the new film coming soon, also despite me getting some leaks from a source that, to me at least don't sound to great, i'll be reviewing all the movies now.

Weird how I haven't done these before as I am as you know an addict of franchise movies. This movie stars the totally awesome Tony Todd who knocks the ball out of the park in his role as the Candyman.
One thing I am not totally in love with in this movie is the way it goes about things. Candyman is a wronged man for sure, but he also exists because people fear and believe in him.
He has to basically kill anyone who doesn't believe in him by calling through the mirror and name 5 times thing. This perpetuates his legend, except with Virginia's character he actually falls in love with her.

Lets get on with the actual film and if it's any good, we join Helen (Madsen) who with her friend Bernadette are writing a thesis on urban legends, if they are real or just perpetuated by people for the use of fear mechanics.
Hearing of Candyman when some girl is murdered in a project high rise tower, Helen and Bernadette go investigate talking to two cleaners who tell her about the myth.
Helen isn't a real believer of the myth of Candyman when she hears about it, even after linking a further 25 kills to his name. The Candyman himself was a black man killed because he fell in love with some rich persons daughter. He had his hand cut off then replaced with a rusty hook, his body smeared in honey then killed by thousands of bee stings.
Bernadette believes the story a bit more than Helen, who happens to go the whole hog and say his name five times in a mirror to her fear, but then is relieved when nothing happens.

She also meets Anne-Marie McCoy a woman with a young baby who explains more to her about the the lore as well. She then decides to write the paper explaining that people use the name as a scapegoat to escape the hardships of the living conditions of their situation.
She goes back for more research finding a young boy who tells her about the Candyman castrating a kid in the nearby restrooms. Helen goes to investigate the area and is besset upon by some youths one with a hook calling himself 'The Candyman'
With a black eye and busted lip Helen goes to the police then identifies the person in a line up, they arrest him in conjunction with the killings too. Leaving for home, in the underground parking lot Helen is confronted by the real Candyman. He's not happy that she's been making people not believe in him, now he'll have to spill innocent blood to make people believe again.

After blacking out Helen awakes covered in blood in Anne's apartment, Anne comes back almost immediately to find her dog beheaded and son missing. Seeing Helen there she freaks out on her attacking her. The police come taking Helen away who is arrested.
She is bailed out by her husband who doesn't know what to believe especially with all the evidence pointing to her and the media black naming her too. Later while alone in the bathroom the Candyman visits Helen again, causing her to blackout once more.
She comes around when Bernadette calling out for her in an adjacent room, the Candyman kills her making it look like Helen did it. This time they lock Helen in a psychiatric hospital.

A month later in an interview with her doctor, who doesn't believe that Helen is haunted by the Candyman, she says she can prove it and calls his name five times in a mirror. Nothing seemingly happens for a few seconds then he comes and brutally eviscerates the doctor. Freeing Helen from her restraints she escapes to flee home.
When she gets back she finds her husband living with one of his students, upset she flees to Cabrini green (the high rise) The Candyman comes to her saying if she surrenders herself to him he'll make her immortal too, this will also save the life of the baby. She does and he kisses her with the bees and the horribly eaten exposed insides all on show. We then find out from a mural that Helen looks almost exactly like the girl that he fell in love with all those years ago.

I'll leave it here as there's not a lot left but theres a few more twists and turns that at THN we don't like to spoil unless the movie is not worth watching at all. Now Candyman is an enjoyable psychological supernatural horror film. BUT I just can't get over the fact that the way it's executed is quite nasty to Helen, she is all fairness totally innocent of everything throughout this film.
Candyman is even supposedly in love with her yet frames her murder, twice! The irony is he's been wronged too so perpetuating a vengeful spirit (especially Vs other people of colour) seems wrong to me, I just end up feeling really bad for Helen every time i watch this.
Now does that make me hate the film?
No, I do love the film for a whole host of other reasons which is, the acting, tense situations and overall great story telling. Candyman receives a strong 4 out of 5 stars from THN.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

THN's Top 5 Haunted Places: South Wales

New section I'm thinking of doing let me know if you like it, starting in my own neck of the woods of south wales, i'm even thinking of visiting some of these places. So here we go:

Wales is old, it's got rich history and we still have a lot of old places scattered around, especially in Newport we even have a crumbling old castle here in this very city. Not only that we even have ancient roman ruins in an old part of the city too.
Today though we are looking at 5 of the most 'supposedly' haunted places in the southern part of the country. I am super skeptical, I DO NOT BELIEVE 99% of what I see from videos to photographs I just believe it's far to easy to scam. I have had experiences myself that I can't explain but I still remain skeptical but I would LOVE to see something myself.
These places aren't in specific order of how haunted they are this is just 5 of the possibly most creepy places in this area.

1. Newport Castle
Strangely a lot of the most haunted in south wales are in little old Newport, also here is something i mentioned too. The Newport Castle is a centuries old castle located on the River Usk right by a bring that goes over the river that many use to enter 'the city centre'.
The city centre is the main shopping area for Newport, back to the castle. This place has changed SO much in my 38 years of life, living in this city. From being open to walk through to being limited areas, to now it's totally fenced off. Back in the late 1800's it was partly converted into a factory and/or work place.
Not 100% sure but this is around 1950's I think:
NOW AND THEN: Newport Castle | South Wales Argus
That's not long after the factory/workhouse bits were ripped from the castle, it was fenced off here because at this time there was no roundabout as you come off the bridge. Crossing was done on the main road not below on walkways.
Now this is how I remember it for most of my life:
Newport Castle - Picture of Newport Castle - Tripadvisor
Here you could inside and walk through the bottom to get to the other side of the railway bridge, Here is where a lot of haunting and sightings of things were mostly seen. From the main room up the stairs to wailing's and moaning from the lower parts.
Here's how it looks these days:
Newport Castle

Now onto one of the most commonly seen ghosts of the castle. One Norman Fitzhamon who was apparently a large stature man seen in the furthest towers windows. Chilling huh?

2. Castell Coch

Castell Coch is a smallish castle in the hills near Cardiff, it is 19th century and has fallen into disrepair a few times in that time but has been renovated. It is a place you can go and visit which now looks like this:
Castell Coch | South Wales | Castles, Forts and Battles

If your driving past on the road into the Cardiff you may see this scene up in the hills to the right:
Photographs and Article about Castell Coch | We show you some of ...
I've never been there myself but i'd like to go one day and take a look around, now for the scary bits.
Many servants who have worked here under residents of the estate have claimed to see a ghostly cavalier at the end of their bed just watching them in the night.
Another spirit seen is one Ifor Bach who owned the original castle in the spot, one spooky story associated with him too is that he used witchcraft. In specifics he used said witchery to use two bewitched stone eagles to catch two thieves!
No one has ever seen or found Ifor's treasure, some people believe it's still hidden on site somewhere.

3. Llancaiach Fawr

A small town house from 1645, supposedly one of the most haunted places in wales, it is on the cusp of south wales, almost west to mid. here it is from outside:
Absolutely brilliant' Llancaiach Fawr awarded TripAdvisor ...

It doesn't look much but many paranormal investigators have recorded many, many EVP (Electric Voice Phenomena) and even smelled lavender when no ones been around. One of the most scary and frequently recorded spooks are one nineteenth century housekeeper Mattie.
She died in the bed chamber, people claim to hear the rustle of her petticoats as she rushes around. Another is the ghost of a young boy whom fell to his death from an upper window.
One thing you can do here also is have actors show you how people lived here in an 'living history' type of tour.
Like this:
Why not book Sunday lunch at Llancaiach Fawr? | South Wales Argus

4. The Skirrid Mountain Inn

This Inn is again one of the most haunted places in ALL of the UK coming in at 8th place!
The Skirrid Mountain Inn - Wikipedia
Near Abergavenny it is a very old Inn/pub coach stop of old, 900+ years of history in fact. So has numerous stories of people being murdered or dying in or around the old house. The inside is still very old in it's decor too, does this mean the spirits are echoes or recordings embedded in the old wood etc?
Especially the infamous 'hanging beam' where people were hung ending their lives.
The Hanging Beam, The Skirrid Inn. - Picture of Skirrid Mountain ...
There are four very prominent spirits that a lot of people have said to encountered while staying or working in this place. Glasses flaying across the room, dark shadows in the bedrooms and ghostly noises all over the place. Your able to stay on certain nights in ghost hunting parties, whether this has changed in the current situation who knows.

5. The Miskin Manor Hotel

This is another giant house near Cardiff turned into something, a hotel this time. Originally built in 1857 here it is now:
Miskin Manor - Wikipedia

In it's time it has survived TWO, count them TWO fires that have seriously damaged the place. 1922 and 1952, destroyed a LOT of the insides of the house, apparently leaving only the exterior walls. rebuilt as said hotel in 1985 it's still open these days, Room view:
Hotel Miskin Manor Health Club, Hensol, UK -
It's very expensive and fancy, this doesn't however stop it from being haunted or spooked by things in the night. Some of these haunting's are the ghost of a lady who appears often in the bar area of the hotel. She is supposedly appears on cue in between 12am and 1am but is a peaceable spirit who causes no other trouble. She is believed to be a resident who follows a path she used in life as the layout was different then.

So that's 5 haunted places from around my area, did you like learning about them?
Like I said let me know and i'll do one of these like once a month or something, probably do North Wales next time, thanks!