Halloween is here. The weekend that is mostly known for being a weekend of horror, for fans all across the world. It is that time of the year when you know it is ok to bring out your favourite torture tools, just in case you get to pull out some teeth, or perhaps an old classic such as opening up your stomache ? It always seems like it is never impossible to find ways to have fun on Halloween, no matter how you do it. One of the biggest traditions on Halloween, is to watch horror films in many different genres. There are so many wonderful titles we could talk about here, but i decided to pick out 2 films that are worth watching during Halloween weekend. Let us begin with the 1997 film known as Wishmaster, directed by Robert Kurtzman ( who have worked on a lot of horror film with special makeup effects, on classic films such as Tremors ). Wishmaster tells the story of a djinn, a wish-granting, evil genie who is released from a jewel and seeks to capture the woman who discovered him. Wishmaster is a fun B horror movie with some really nice practical effects. But that´s not all, the cast in this film have some really big legends in horror films, such as Robert Englund, Tony Todd and Kane Hodder among others. One of the reasons why Wishmaster is a great Halloween film, is because this is a brutal film, and there is also some funny references to genie stories. If you enjoy practical horror films, then Wishmaster is a film you should see. My next pick among horror films is John Carpenter´s film Vampires, released in 1998. This is one of those 90´s classics that has a bit of everything, that combines cool action scenes with vampires attacking, and legendary actor James Woods as the very cool character Jack Crow, who is the leader of the vampire hunters. Legendary director John Carpenter proved that you can combine action and horror with his film Vampires, and i suggest you pick up the Blu Ray release from Arrow Video. For a pretty long time i have heard about a horror film called The Barge People, especially after the trailer was released. This looked exactly like my kind of horror film, and i finally got my hands on a DVD copy. Is this one of the best horror releases of this year, or is The Barge People a really big disappointment ?
Sisters Kat ( Kate Davies-Speak ) and Sophie ( Natalie Martins ), and their polar opposite boyfriends: the outdoorsy Mark ( Mark McKirdy ) and the preppy businessman Ben ( Matt Swales ). They are travelling across the English canals on a barge, to enjoy a vacation together. But what they don´t know, is that in these canals, there is an old secret waiting for them to be revealed.
If you are a fan of Wes Craven´s classic The Hills Have Eyes, and you enjoy the first Wrong Turn film, then i have a feeling that The Barge People is exactly what you are looking for. This is a very brutal gory horror film, that does not hold back on slasher scenes or blood. In some ways you could probably say that this is one of the more brutal horror films that i have seen this year, since they don´t hold back on violence. And this is actually one of the biggest advantages with The Barge People, that they go all in to make this film really brutal. It makes this film more fun to watch, as this film feels like a throwback to old school slasher films. One detail that i was worried about, was if the masks would look silly. But i have to say that they actually do a pretty good job with the masks, and they actually fit in well with the background story of these fish creatures. The acting in this film is actually not that bad at all, at least from some of the characters. Actress Kate Davis-Speak ( who some of you will recognize from the independent horror film Escape From Cannibal Farm ) is one of those actors who do a good job with her character Kat, since she gives an impression that she has a great personality. Actress Makenna Guyler also give a solid performance as Jade. When it comes to the plot, this film does not make anything too complicated. It is a very easy told story, but that actually works for this type of film. The only thing i feel should have been told more, is more on the background on the fish people. We do find out some details, but i feel that a little bit more information would probably make these creatures even more interesting. Other than that, i have to say that The Barge People is a great slasher film, that will clearly be a great choice this Halloween weekend for horror fans out there. Director Charlie Steeds have managed to combine monsters with English canal boats in an unexpected pleasent way, and that is something i have to admire him for doing. He also proves to be good at this genre, using effective camera technique in the attack scenes. If you don´t know what to Watch this Halloween, pick up The Barge People on DVD, Blu Ray or VOD, and i guarantee you will have a good time among the pumpkins, and the decapitated heads of course.