The Call of Cthulhu (2005)

A man is organizing the affairs of his recently deceased uncle, and accidentally comes across a series of notes and paper clippings which tells about the Cthulhu Cult and an ancient horror lurking beneath the sea. Intrigued by all of this, he continues to investigate, getting more and more drawn into the mystery of this cult and the creature Cthulhu, which is a gigantic entity worshipped by the cultists: a creature in the shape of an octopus, a dragon, and a caricature of the human form. There is an occult phrase that, when translated, says “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming“, meaning that the cultists await its return. As he learns more and more about this cult and the cosmic entity they worship, he gets closer to losing his sanity completely.


H.P. Lovecraft is one of the most influential horror writers of all time, especially his Cthulhu mythos. His works have even created a sub-genre within horror that’s called “Lovecraftian horror“. While there aren’t actually that many movies that are fully based on his stories, there are a lot of them who are heavily inspired by his tales of cosmic horror.


The Call of Cthulhu is both a faithful rendition of H.P Lovecraft’s short story by the same name, as well as a homage to the black and white silent movie era. This, of course, means you get lots of gesticulation from the actors since the dialogue is shown only with intertitles, aka title cards, causing body language and facial expressions to have a much bigger significance in order to portray the character’s feelings and emotions.


The film’s highlights are, of course, the creative visuals. The soundtrack is also top-notch, fitting every scene perfectly and fulfilling the film like hand in glove. In such a nightmarish tale of cultists and ancient horrors, I think it hits the nail on the head with portraying the intended feeling of impending doom, where the protagonist’s investigations slowly reveals upon him just how insignificant humankind really is.


I dare say that you do not need to be a Lovecraft enthusiast in order to appreciate this movie. There’s a lot of mood and atmosphere to admire here, especially if you can value the 1920’s style.


The Call of Cthulhu


Director: Andrew Leman
Country & year: USA, 2005
Actors: Matt Foyer, John Bolen, Ralph Lucas, Chad Fifer, Susan Zucker, Kalafatic Poole, John Klemantaski, Jason Owens, D. Grigsby Poland, David Mersault, Barry Lynch, Dan Novy, Daryl Ball, John Joly, Jason Peterson
IMDb: //


Vanja Ghoul














SCAREDY CAT – Animated Cat Horror Short

This Halloween, the hunter will become the hunted. Prepare for a new frontier in feline fear.


Scaredy Cat is fun animated horror short, perfect for the Halloween season! If you make your cat watch this video, make sure you treat it with some Temptations snacks afterwards… 😉


SCAREDY CAT - Animated cat horror short


Director: Temptations Cat Treats
Country & year: USA, 2020
Actors: Lucky the Cat
IMDb: //







BOX FORT – Horror Short

One weekend while their parents are away, three sisters decide to build a box fort. As strange things start to happen around them, they wonder if someone or some-THING is living inside of it. Based on the Creepypasta and r/NoSleep story.


Box Fort is based on a Creepypasta by the same name. The suspense builds gradually, keeping us on the edge and wondering. The great atmosphere makes this quite a creepy horror short!


BOX FORT - Horror Short


Director: Tyler Czajkowski
Country & year: USA, 2020
Actors: Christy Czajkowski, Ally Ibach, Maggie Flynn
IMDb: //







Carny (2009)

DEATH METAL – Horror Short

A metalhead gets passed down a satanic guitar that riffs to shreds.


Death metal is a funny and gorey horror short, where a guy receives a family heirloom which happens to be a Satanic guitar. Using it requires a few rules to be followed…but of course, we know that every single one of those rules will be immediately broken, which ensues quite the blood-bath!


DEATH METAL - Horror Short


Director: Chris McInroy
Country & year: USA, 2016
Actors: Kirk Johnson, Michael Dalmon, Will Elliott
IMDb: //







Death Metal from Chris McInroy on Vimeo.

Next of Kin (1982)

Linda inherits her mother’s Victorian mansion, located in the middle of the Australian dusty farmlands. It’s been remodeled as an retirement / nursing home, run by Connie and the doctor Barton. She’s quick to settle in, but it isn’t long before nightmares begin to haunt her, while some of the old people start to die in mysterious ways. She finds her mother’s diary that reveals one dark secret after another, and opens repressed memories. She begins to see a figure in her bedroom window, the water tap turns on by itself, the house cat begins to hunt shadows in the hallways, and candles seem to light up by themselves. One of the female nude statues in the garden has had one of her tits crushed. Much of what Linda is beginning to experience is the same thing her mother noted in her diary. Linda’s underlying paranoia skyrockets to eleven as she believes someone is tapping her phone late at night while she talks to her boyfriend, Barney, the only one she can barely trust.


This obscurity from Australia is a slow-burner where the film takes its time to find out if it’s a gothic ghost story, or a psychological thriller just to make you as confused as the protagonist. The film has been compared to The Shining (1980), but I would say it’s more in the same alley as Roman Polanski’s “Apartment Trilogy” with some similarities from Dario Argento’s Suspiria, where the atmosphere is the center focus with some really disturbing moments. And if you get creeped out by old people, well, this film is clearly (not) for you.


This is also the first and last feature film of Tony Williams, which is pretty unfortunate, because with a far more ambitious script I believe he would have made some really great stuff. While the film got its cult following in USA, it flopped in Australia. And the film’s cinematographer, Gary Hansen, died in a helicopter accident shortly after its release. Life is unfair.


And here’s a warning: Don’t watch the trailer. It spoils everything. Yes, it’s one of those.


Next of Kin


Director: Tony Williams
Country & year: Australia, 1982
Actors: Jacki Kerin, John Jarratt, Alex Scott, Gerda Nicolson, Charles McCallum, Bernadette Gibson, Robert Ratti, Vince Deltito, Tommy Dysart, Debra Lawrance
IMDb: //


Tom Ghoul














The Skull (1965)

Dr. Maitland is collecting esoterica, and one day the guy who is his regular source of such items offers him a skull that is supposedly the remains of Marquis de Sade. He soon discovers that the skull is possessed by an evil spirit who turns people into crazed killers.


The Marquis de Sade was a French nobleman born in 1740, and even those who don’t know about him will most likely know the words derived from his name: sadism and sadist. He wrote several novels, plays, and short stories, and is most known for his erotic works depicting sexual fantasies with a strong focus on violence. The Marquis became infamous due to his sexual crimes and abuse against young men, women, and even children. He was arrested and imprisoned multiple times, including in the Château de Vincennes, where he successfully appealed his death sentence. There, he remained imprisoned (despite an escape attempt). During the rest of his life he resumed to his writing, and during the last four years of his life (until his death in 1814) he began a sexual relationship with 14 year old Madeleine LeClerc, daughter of an employee at Charenton. After his burial, his skull was removed from his grave for phrenological examination. No one knows what happened to the skull after that, so there’s a little bit of historical info serving as the basis of the inspiration for this film.


The movie starts off with a gravedigger opening Marquis de Sade’s grave, chops off the corpse’s head with the spade and takes it home with him. After using chemicals to remove all the flesh and skin, he soon becomes the skull’s first victim. Of course, the skull comes into the hands of Marco, who is providing Dr. Maitland (Peter Cushing) with the esoterica he’s eager to buy for this collection. Sir Matthew Phillips (Christoper Lee) tries to warn him about the skull’s evil abilities, but of course, his warnings go unheeded.


The Skull


The Skull serves as a good example of 60’s horror, and with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in the major roles it’s a little surprising that it hasn’t attracted more attention. The possessed skull and its levitation and movements with occasionally visible strings can probably be seen as a tad bit cheesy by today’s standards, but that’s just part of the old-fashioned charm of horror films like this. The effects of the Skull itself is a big part of the entertainment of this film, and during Dr. Maitland’s descent into madness due to the skull’s influence on him, there are some pretty tripping scenes.


Now, with the Marquis de Sade as the main focus of the film, you might expect more references to the erotic aspects (of which there aren’t any) but remember that this movie came out during a time where the censoring was pretty strict, so that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Overall, it’s well worth a watch, especially if you want to see the combined talents of Lee and Cushing. And, of course, if you want to watch a floating skull with visible strings attached to it!


The Skull


Director: Freddie Francis
Country & year: UK, 1965
Actors: Peter Cushing, Patrick Wymark, Jill Bennett, Nigel Green, Patrick Magee, Peter Woodthorpe, Michael Gough, George Coulouris, April Olrich, Maurice Good, Anna Palk, Frank Forsyth, Paul Stockman, Geoffrey Cheshire, George Hilsdon
IMDb: //


Vanja Ghoul














OVERTIME – Horror Short

No one likes working late on a Friday night!.. Especially if it’s a full moon and you happen to be a werewolf.


Overtime is an entertaining horror short about a guy who meets delay after delay, knowing full well that tonight there will be a full moon and he happens to be a werewolf…will he be able to get back home in time?


OVERTIME - Horror Short


Director: Craig D. Foster
Country & year: Australia, 2016
Actors: Ainslie Clouston, Arka Das, Adam Dunn, Aaron Glenane
IMDb: //







Overtime from Craig D. Foster on Vimeo.


Mystics in Bali (1981)

The author Kathy Keen is on a trip in Bali, Indonesia, to do some research on an ancient black magic called Leák. She has already been to Africa where she learned about Voodoo, but she needs more material to fill her book on the subject of black magic. She gets help from a guy called Hendra, who’s got some knowledge of the local folklore, and he also soon becomes her love interest. He takes her to the obscure corners of the jungle where they meet The Queen of Leák, a crazy old witch with a cackling, screaming and over-the-top animated laugh. And it is obvious that the person who dubbed her voice had a really fun time in the recording studio. Anyway, it’s already hard to describe what’s going on here, but it’s something like this: the witch orders Catherine to take off her skirt so that the witch can tattoo something on her leg, using what looks like a long lizard tongue. If this sounds bizarre, you haven’t seen nothing yet. The tattoo is supposed to be a sign that Kathy is now an official student of Leák, and must come to her every night to learn more about this mysterious magic. And it’s straight down the rabbit-hole from here on, where Kathy and the witch dances like drunk hippies, transform themselves into pythons, flying screaming fireballs, and … pigs. You just saw that coming, right? And we get other things that include a flying head which you just have to see for yourself to believe.


The witch uses the body of Kathy to posses her, and wrecks havoc on the locals. This becomes too much for her love interest, who asks his shaman uncle how they can stop Leák and her black magic, so he can get his beloved Kathy back before it’s too late. And after this I can easily understand why Bali is one of the most risky places to visit. Just kidding.


Trying to explain this film to someone on a tired Monday, is almost impossible. And I find it a little funny that this is the first true Indonesian horror film aimed at a western audience. So, if this should be an easy thing to digest for us simple-people in the west without raising any eyebrows, I can’t even imagine in my wildest  dreams what the regular horror movies from that country looks like. And I’m not at all familiar with Indonesian horror films, or Indonesian films at all for that matter, so I’m really eager to take a further look behind that curtain, if I’m even allowed to.


After doing some research one can learn that the film mixes several obscure myths and folklore from Indonesia and Bali, such as the flying head with its organs attached, which is called a Penanggalan. It’s their own version of the vampire myth, basically. The sight of the head floating around with strings, with its primitive effects from the stone age, is just pure cheesy gold. And it’s not easy to tell when the film is trying to be serious or intentionally funny when the completely absurd tone is all over the place. A truly unique oddball of a film, with a lot of bizarre, unpredictable crazy scenes one after another, and highly entertaining, that’s all I really can say.


Mystics in Bali


Director: H. Tjut Djalil
Original title: Leák
Country & year: Indonesia, 1981
Actors: Ilona Agathe Bastian, Yos Santo, Sofia W.D., W.D. Mochtar, Debbie Cinthya Dewi, Itje Trisnawati, Ketut Suwita,
IMDb: //


Tom Ghoul














FRANCIS – Animated Horror Short

A young boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago used to spend his vacations in Quetico Provincial Park, up on the border of Minnesota and Canada. But he won’t be going back any day soon, not after what happened to a girl called Francis…


Francis is an animated horror short from 2014, which is like a spooky and engaging campfire story where the narrator tells us the story of a girl who decided to take a rowing boat out to the middle of the lake. The visuals does a lot for the atmosphere, and it builds up the tension to a creepy reveal.


FRANCIS - Animated Horror Short


Director: Richard Hickey
Country & year: USA, 2014
Actors: Cameron Kelly (narrator)
IMDb: //