Blu-Ray Review: The Purge: Election Year

★★☆☆☆ – The latest Purge offers nothing new or interesting, instead spewing out confused moralistic standpoints dressed up in a distracting aesthetic.

The latest, but certainly not greatest, installment to hit screens from director James DeMonaco came just in time for this years hot-button topic of the American election – but sadly isn’t quite as scary as Trump being in power. Regurgitating a tired and poorly explored parallel universe once more, The Purge: Election Year seems to confuse itself with the moral highground it tries to take. Pulling the problems of crime, class, and colour into one messy narrative only seems to promote stereotypical character tropes. There’s the overridingly hypocritical notion of ‘violence deters violence’ – guns and killing is bad, unless you’re wiping out some bad guys with a particularly impressive…guillotine?

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Preview: Korn and Limp Bizkit

In celebration of their twelfth studio album, ‘The Serenity of Suffering’, Korn are set to return for an arena run across six different venues in the UK this December. Gracing the likes of Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, London, Cardiff and Nottingham; the Californian nu-metal group have stated: “We’re really proud of our new album and we can’t wait to play these songs for our amazing fans in the UK, they are some of the best in the world! This tour is gonna be sick!”

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Throwback: The Walking Dead Apocalypse

On Sunday 31st July, I set off for what was only described to me as ‘a scary zombie thing with guns’ by my dad. Suitably intrigued, it turned out to be The Walking Dead Apocalypse experience – a shooter that falls somewhere between airsoft and scarefest. Described online as “a live action video-game-like zombie shooting experience,” the night I traveled out to was in Kidderminster; and the suitably terrifying Drakelow Tunnels. The tunnels are disused nuclear bunkers that are as vast as they are dark – very fitting for an apocalyptic night of zombie killing.

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Review: Blair Witch

★★★★★ – Blair Witch is a new standard for found footage horror. Successfully entwining a solid narrative, horrifying visuals, and mastering the concept of ‘less is more’ – this year’s ‘evil in the woods’ is the most frightening yet.

Wingard and Barrett come to the franchise with a host of excellent collaborations already in place. The slasher-hit You’re Next, and fan favourites A Horrible Way to Die and The Guest inspired great excitement that the duo would be taking the helm on this risky throw-back, bringing the grandmother of found footage horror to modern screens. The excitement was well judged – as the two have hurtled The Blair Witch Project into the modern dimension in a way most would have doubted possible.

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Review: A Hologram for the King

★★☆☆☆ – Tom Hanks’ latest nice-guy endeavour falls flat in Tom Tykwer’s A Hologram for the King.

Aiming for a lot and achieving little, the culture clash of America and Saudi Arabia – whilst interesting at first –  doesn’t feel like anything new. Visually stimulating but with little to back this up, it feels fair to say that whilst there are a few redeeming moments to pull the film together; the final product still feels intensely average.

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Review: Lights Out

★☆☆☆☆ – A cheap imitation of an original idea.

It feels sad to say that the same director of the short film Lights Out (2013) has put his name to this year’s feature length release. The original spark that the first boasted has well and truly being snuffed, leaving only a few saving graces in place. Trivialised by a weak back story, less-than-average acting, and a reliance on cheap jump scares – it really is a case of no like-y, no light-y.

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Review: An Entanglement

★★★★☆ – Sanford’s short thriller is a punchy exploration of life and death, taught with suspense.

Dylan Sanford’s latest short film, An Entanglement, is a tense exploration of the human psyche. Starring Shiri Appleby (of UnREAL) and Gary Wolf (The Nice Guys) as the married couple whose relationship has turned sour – Sanford has created a mysterious, stylish piece that raises as many questions as it answers. Currently running the festival circuits, the short has already won the Silver Award at the 2016 L.A. Neo Noir Novel, Film, and Script Festival and the Best Editing award from 2016 Melbourne Indie Film Festival; amongst a host of other nominations.

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