DEATH AND THE WINEMAKER – Animated Horror Short

In a fairy tale world, a winemaker creates the most exquisite wine in the world. When Death herself wants to taste the wine, he discovers that his bride is next on Death list.


Death and the Winemaker (Le vigneron et la mort) is very atmospheric dark/gothic fairytale with beautiful animation.

DEATH AND THE WINEMAKER - Animated Horror Short


Director: Victor Jaquier
Writer: Victor Jaquier, Damien Mazza
Country & year: Switzerland, 2021
Actors: Kacey Mottet Klein, Virginie Meisterhans, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Jacques Roman, Séverine Bujard, Stephanie Schneider, Marie-Claire Dubois








The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

The Pale Blue EyeThe year is 1830, and we’re in a cold October month. Augustus Landor, a widower who lives alone and is also a retired detective, is asked by the military to investigate the hanging of one of their cadets. After the cadet was hanged, his heart was removed from the body. Upon examining the corpse in the morgue, Landor finds clues suggesting that this is not a suicide case, but a murder case. He meets the weird Edgar Allan Poe, who is another cadet at the academy, and the two team up in order to solve the case. Ritualistic animal murders makes them think the murder could be linked to some occult black magic rituals, and when another cadet is also found hanged, with both his heart and genitals removed, Landor and Poe begin to suspect the family of Dr. Daniel Marquis whose daughter Poe has become quite enchanted by.


The Pale Blue Eye is an mystery thriller written and directed by Scott Cooper, and it’s an adaption from a 2003 novel by the same name, written by Louis Bayard. Scott Copper also directed Antlers, so it comes as no surprise that he is able to competently master stories that are dark and atmospheric. Despite the famous Poe himself being a major character here, the story itself is based entirely on fiction, although there are some small slivers of facts mixed in: Poe did indeed attend West Point Academy as a cadet from 1830-1831 (of which he later got himself purposefully kicked out from). There are also a few names and things in the movie that are references to some of Poe’s stories (Landor’s Cottage, for example). And not unexpectedly, you’ll see at least one Raven. Poe fans will probably have a fun time looking out for all the little tidbits referencing his work.


The movie plays out as a standard murder thriller where little bits and pieces are coming into place one at a time. Hidden notes, secrets revealed, red herrings, etc. The common components of a mystery thriller are all there. The pacing is a bit slow, but the focal points here are the gothic, spooky atmosphere, and the performances where both Christian Bale (as Landor) and Harry Melling (as Edgar Allan Poe) do a solid job portraying these characters and their chemistry. While Poe isn’t displayed with his identifiable mustache, you can definitely see the likeness here. And aside from the characters and performances, the murders are grotesque enough to keep you interested in knowing who could be behind such crimes (and why), and the cold wintry scenery puts an extra chill into it all. The fitting soundtrack was made by Howard Shore, who is most known for composing the soundtrack for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies, but is also behind the score of a lot of well-known (and some lesser known) movies in different genres, including horror.


Overall, The Pale Blue Eye is an entertaining whodunnit thriller with some dark twists and turns, blended with gothic atmosphere.


The Pale Blue Eye


Writer and director: Scott Cooper
Country & year: USA, 2022
Actors: Christian Bale, Harry Melling, Simon McBurney, Timothy Spall, Toby Jones, Harry Lawtey, Fred Hechinger, Joey Brooks, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lucy Boynton, Robert Duvall, Gillian Anderson



Vanja Ghoul













GHOST DOGS – Animated Horror Short

A family’s new rescue pup is terrorized by deceased pets in this mind-bending horror.


Ghost Dogs is a truly weird animated horror short where we witness a ghost story seen from an innocent puppy’s perspective. It is atmospheric and slightly surreal, with usage of liminal spaces and occult symbols. And of course, the strange feeling of watching the puppy who only seems threatened by the robot vacuum cleaner, oblivious to everything else that happens around him..

GHOST DOGS - Animated Horror Short


Director: Joe Cappa
Writer: Joe Cappa, J.W. Hallford
Country & year: USA, 2021
Cast: Joe Cappa, J.W. Hallford, Sean Dugan, Olivia Carmel








The House That Jack Built (2018)

The House That Jack BuiltJack is probably many things, but he’s first and foremost a psychopathic serial killer. And this is his story, Jack: Portrait of a Serial Killer if you will, which spawns throughout twelve years, told in a series/segments of “incidents” with the lens of our favorite Danish drunk uncle, Lars Von Trier.


The 1st incident starts almost straight to the point. We’re on some road in the woods where a lady, simply called Lady 1, (Uma Thurman) is stranded with her broken car and broken jack, and makes sure that the first driver stops to help her. And it’s her lucky day because here’s Jack himself, yes with a capital J, (Matt Dillon) with his red van which he uses to transport his fresh victims with. This lady seems to have have some kind of death wish, or Autassassinophilia (the fetish of the risk of being killed) as there’s not many other ways to rationalize her sardonic behaviour as she taunts Jack by saying he could be a serial killer as he drives her to the nearest blacksmith. We all know what the scene leads up to as she continues to push his buttons and hits the jackpot with the final straw by calling him “too much of a wimp to kill anyone.” He slams the breaks and bashes her skull in with her broken jack. How … symbolic, if not the best ironic punchline ever, where we can already see the cynical pitch-black humor that starts to reek. He hides her car and takes her body to a freezer storage that he bought from a pizza shop, a place we’ll visit frequently as the stock of bodies starts to fill the place. And why does he collect the bodies? Oh, you’ll see…


The 2nd incident shows us the more calculated and manipulative tactics of Jack by making an elderly woman, or Lady 2, to believe he’s a policeman despite he cant show her a batch. This lady seems to have the bullshit alarms somewhere, but as the sneaky manipulator he is, she finally lets him inside the house where Jack strangles her. While it seemed to go pretty smooth and easy, the lady suddenly wakes up, gasps after air and Jack has to finish her off by stabbing her. Oh shit. Oh shit, indeed, because we also learn that poor Jack has Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, the worst handicap a serial killer can possess. And now with blood stained around the floor and walls, he spends the rest of the day cleaning up, going back and forth inside the house and his van as a yo-yo, even when hearing police sirens approaching. The only thing he always seems to forget is using gloves. If this is intentionally or a slip-up in the script is not easy to tell.


The House That Jack Built


So, what about his romantic life? Any bird in his cage? We see a segment of Jack’s attempt to be in a relationship with a young girlfriend (played by Riley Keough), a scene I won’t spoil further other than it’s bizarre and as romantic as a moisty shithouse infested with flies, and just like we would imagine to be in a hollow and destructive relationship with a psychopath. Jack practices to smile in front of the mirror to do a shallow impression, like a politician preparing for a speech, but the only thing he can pull off is a smirk. Yeah, that narcissistic, arrogant smirk. Brrr, gross! We also see other sides of Jack, of course, as a struggling artist with an interest in photography. He drags his dead victims out of the freezer to take group photos of them, just some normal hobby activities for Jack. He has more plans with the corpses, by the way, just wait and see. He’s also an architect who, as the title itself says, wants to build a house which never seems to live up to his compulsive perfections.


And I haven’t even mentioned Verge yet. Who? His imaginative listener and debater which he confesses all his actions and highlights of his life as a serial killer to. Verge has the voice of a fragile old man (performed by Bruno Ganz) and further we go into the bleak, meaningless and hellish world of Jack, he seems more and more repulsed, shocked, and drained, just like the us, the audience. But if even he can sit through two and a half hour of Jack’s depraved insanity, then so can you. It does, however, reach the top in the 3rd incident which I won’t spoil, other than this is the sequence that sparked the controversy at the Cannes Film Festival where the audiences stormed out in shock, anger, disgust and all that which is always an effective selling strategy for the next film by Lars Von Trier.


And having in mind that this is a Lars Von Trier film, where his name alone is a huge trigger-point for many for whatever reason, I had no clue what to expect when preparing myself for this in the movie theater back in 2018. As a character study of the mind of a serial killer, I would almost call this a masterpiece and undoubtedly one of the very best in the sub-genre of this type. It’s a raw and unfiltered portrait of a serial killer where we see how Jack evolves in his craft of killing, his deranged view on life, art and…grapes. Yeah, there’s a fifteen-minutes or so screentime dedicated to a discussion between Jack and Verge about grapes and vine. Start to sounds a little pretentious, you say? Well, serial killers and psychopaths are pretentious. Super duper uber-pretentious they are, just look up interviews/clips of John Wayne Gacy, Dennis Rader, Ted Bundy and numerous politicial figures that’s dominated the limelight for the past two years.


Matt Dillon, who took his main inspiration from Ted Bundy is phenomenal in his role and makes Jack into his own unique beast of a character. I can’t deny that Dillon looks more like a slightly younger version of Bruce Campbell here, but that’s probably just me. However, he truly embraces it to make sure to give us a wild, entertaining ride into a crazyman’s odyssey into pure, demented darkness which you can only guess where it ever will end. And of course the film has some of the well-known trademarks of Von Trier with his artistic ways, freedom with its use of symbolism, metaphors and all that shit that pretty much makes his films so devise, polarizing and generally makes people go nuts. He puts a lot of his identity into his films, and to a certain extent it pisses people off, but that’s art, I guess. Trier himself views The House That Jack Built as an nihilistic celebrating of “the idea that life is evil and soulless“. Sure, can’t disagree on that.  But, still on the surface there’s enough of a straight-forward story to enjoy here for us serial killer-buffs, and with the right sick and dark sense of humor the lengthy runtime will fly by.


The House That Jack Built The House That Jack Built The House That Jack Built


Writer and director: Lars Von Trier
Country & year: Denmark, 2018
Actors: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Sofie Gråbøl, Riley Keough, Jeremy Davies, Jack McKenzie, Mathias Hjelm, Ed Speleers, Emil Tholstrup, Marijana Jankovic, Carina Skenhede, Rocco Day, Cohen Day


Tom Ghoul














In his last weeks of life, a man embarks into the deep forest to confront death face-to-face. What he finds in the depths of an abandoned mine shaft may be more than he was looking for.


From Where It Hides is a creepy horror short with some pretty nice scenic locations and a good load of atmosphere.



Director: Quinn Halleck
Writer: Quinn Halleck
Country & year: USA, 2022
Actors: Gildart Jackson, Geoffrey Dean Mallard, Bonnie Morgan








Psycho Goreman (2020)

Psycho GoremanIt’s the early 90’s (I assume) in a small middleclass suburbia where the siblings Mimi (Nita-Josée Hanna) and Luke (Owen Myre) are out in the backyard playing Crazy Ball. Yes, would you even imagine that there was a time when kids could have fun without a smartphone? My oh my. Luke is the the quiet and reserved one while Mimi is a fearless sociopath with some strong Tiny Tina demeanours (that crazy girl from Borderlands). She’s mean, sassy, demanding, animated and loves to pick on her brother. Later that evening they decide to dig a big hole in the yard, because that is what kids did back in the day when they couldn’t sleep. After a few feet down they find some pink/purple-glowing mystical artifact that’s clearly not from this planet. Another thing from space is an alien, played by Matthew Ninaber, covered in a full latex costume from toe to top. He’s from the planet Gigax and has telekinesis powers, the ability to throw big fireballs from his hands, and looks like a mishmash of all B-movie monsters from the 80s and maybe early 90s. For my part he reminded me more of Wishmaster.


Mimi and Luke encounter the alien in some abandoned shoe factory where they also stumble upon his first victims, a group of hobos with their bodyparts placed on the wall like a morbid David Fincher crime scene (the most graphic moments where the grittyness is concerned). They don’t seem that scared, though, but more thrilled. We get a whole flashback scene that tells us his origin story and how he came to Earth, but the most important thing to know is that he’s here to kill all mankind. Why? Because why not. The one and only thing that could hold him back is the glowing artifact (also called The Gem of Praxidike) we saw earlier, which Mimi luckily have in her pocket. When the alien gets the sight of it, he freezes. Because you see, those who holds the artifact can command the alien to do what they want, like John Connor did with Arnie in Terminator 2, so to speak. As the kids they are they see him as a big new toy and gives him the catchy name “Psycho Goreman”, PG for short just to play ironically with the title in case the film would end up with a PG-rating, which instead got unrated. Oh, well.


So, where does the plot go from here? A lot of shit happens, but not in the way you’d probably imagine it. Since Mimi outshines the entire cast with her energetic and manic presence and seems to be as psycho as Goreman himself, it would be easy to picture these two as a deadly duo going on an epic genocide crusade-mayhem while being chased by tanks, choppers and the military. Hopefully in a sequel. Mimi and Luke doesn’t know much about what to do with him other than first disguise him in some clothes, like in Frankenstein: The College years (for the few that have seen that film) and hope he gets accepted by their mum and dad. They forgot to cover his face though, but no one would notice such minor details, lol emoji. I couldn’t care much for the scenes with the parents. They’re just there with their own marriage issues to make us know that the kids aren’t orphans. Their goofy deadbeat dad (played by Adam Brooks) has some comedic nuggets here and there, and yeah, he alone got some chuckles out of me. His best scene is where he gets a mental breakdown while taking a dump. Meanwhile when Luke and Mimi gets along with PG as they start  a garage band together with PG on drums, play videogames and what kids would do with a huge toy as PG, the council from his homeplanet sends the galactic warrior Pandora, an angelic creature with small wings as eyes, to save us Earthlings from PG’s destruction.


Psycho Goreman is written and directed by Steven Kostanski, a young man from Canada who seems to dedicate his film career with his production company Astron-6, by producing a pastiche of  low-budget, 80’s-centric films with titles such as Manborg, The Void, Father’s Day, Leprechaun Returns to name some. With his latest feature he takes inspiration from the early 90s with films like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, Transformers, Star Wars, the epic intros from the Saturday-morning cartoons from the 80s, martial arts, some spices of Troma and everything from the obscure corners from the 80s, puts it all in a grinder and out comes Psycho Goreman. So, how does it taste? Hmm..


There’s not as much blood and gore as the title would make you believe, though. If there was some malfunction with the grinder, I don’t know, but the result is more sweet, more innocent and light-hearted that you’d expect. The film relies more on slapstick, goofy fight scenes, and overall a showcase of impressive, if not charming, make-up effects/costume designs and a handful of references. There’s something for everyone to like here, I personally have a weak spot for Death Trapper, a walking meatgrinder filled with body parts. And then we have a giant, wobbling brain with some terrified eyes. The miniatures seen in PG’s flashback scene were nothing but gorgeous which also gave some Mad God vibes. The musical trio Blitz/Berlin adds a fitting retro soundtrack to enhance that fuzzy feel of nostalgia. And then there’s probably a drinking game of references. The most notable are the  scenes with the council on PG’s homeplanet which clearly mocks the political nonsense we had to sit through in A Phantom Menace that still seems to haunt us. We also have a reference to Steven Kostanski’s favourite film Phantasm with an extended dream sequence. So, yeah, there’s a lot to chew on here and get inspired by, and with its colorful cartoonish and over-the-top silly, naive tone, Psycho Goreman suits perfectly for the the whole family to enjoy with pizza, coke and root beer on a Friday night.


Psycho Goreman is available on DVD/Blu-ray on Cd Universe and can be watched on various streaming sites.


Psycho Goreman Psycho Goreman Psycho Goreman


Writer and director: Steven Kostanski
Country & year: Canada, 2020
Actors: Nita-Josée Hanna, Owen Myre, Matthew Ninaber, Steven Vlahos, Adam Brooks, Alexis Kara Hancey, Kristen MacCulloch, Anna Tierney, Roxine Latoya Plummer, Alex Chung, Scout Flint


Tom Ghoul













DON’T FEED THE CAT – Horror Short

Chloe finds a cat trapped in her sick grandfather’s basement.


Don’t Feed the Cat is a simple yet effective horror short, building up tension from the get-go. And who wouldn’t feel sorry for a poor cat trapped in a basement..

DON'T FEED THE CAT - Horror Short


Director: J. Zachary Thurman
Writer: J. Zachary Thurman
Country & year: USA, 2023
Actors: Ryan Lucy, Tara Brown, Bries Vennon








Creature (1998)

Crature On a remote Caribbean island, there’s a government facility where the head scientist, Dr. Bishop, works on a project which includes a shark and human hybrid with the ability to adapt to any environment. Richland was sent to visit the facility, and is lead inside by Peniston. While Richland is being shown some of the dolphin/shark hybrids, the human shark hybrid breaks free from its tank and kills Dr. Bishop. Richland orders Peniston to kill it, but for some reason he instead traps the creature in a containment unit and dumps it in the sea.


Then we head forwards in time, to 25 years later, when a marine biologist (Dr. Chase) is working on the same island. The locals are not so fond of him, with his obvious care for sharks and his willingness to protect them, and he doesn’t exactly earn any extra stars of approval when he botches Ben Medeira’s fishing trip by cutting loose a pregnant great white shark that one of his customers had on the hook. Meanwhile, things are stirring up as another local, the cocky fisherman Puckett, retrieves a containment unit, and yep, it’s that one containment unit, which has been in the sea for 25 years. By doing so he accidentally and unwittingly releases the creature (which was alive for 25 years inside that containment unit…) and it’s hungry, of course. Medeira, while trying to lure back the pregnant white shark by throwing bloody fish pieces into the water so he can get it back on his customer’s hook, ends up as the creature’s first victim. The locals believe it’s the great white that killed him, the one that Dr. Chase set free, and despite his objections after inspecting Medeira’s body no one will listen to him. In perfectly good timing, Dr. Chase’s ex-wife, their son and the ex wife’s sea lion Robin comes to the island for a visit. While trying to solve the mystery behind Medeira’s death, which Dr. Chase is convinced could not have been done by a shark, the crazy Peniston (who is called “Werewolf” by the locals since he keeps howling at people for no apparent reason) sees the empty containment unit and realizes that the creature has been set loose.


Creature is a miniseries directed by Stuart Gillard, and it’s based on Peter Benchley’s novel White Shark. As you probably know, there’s another shark movie based on one of Peter Benchley’s novels, the famous Jaws which is a classic and probably one of the very, very few shark horror movies that can be deemed to be good. Not saying there aren’t many entertaining shark movies, there’s plenty of so-bad-it’s-good and pure comedies out there, but very few shark movies with a serious tone have been even close to successful on the same level. So, if you expect Creature to be in the same vein as Jaws, you’d be sorely disappointed. It’s slightly cheesy, typical B-class creature feature, but not without entertainment value. For example, the creature itself is pretty well made. No surprise there, seeing as Stan Winston and his studio is behind the special effects. We do not see all that much of it, though, but the few scenes where it’s properly included looks pretty neat. And I do say properly, because some scenes with the creature are filmed/edited in such an inexplicably distorted, unclear and strange way. This would have made sense if the effects were crap (considering it’s a well-known “trick” in some movies with very low-quality special effects to make those scenes as quick and confusing as possible) but here it makes no sense at all. Oh well. The acting overall is decent enough, we have Craig T. Nelson (the father in Poltergeist) as Dr. Chase, and it was fun to see Giancarlo Esposito in the role as Peniston/the crazed “werewolf”. Esposito is now mostly known for his role as Gus in the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul TV series, and even had a role as the dictator villain in the video game Far Cry 6. Here, however, he mainly plays something completely different from the stiff-faced villainous type he’s mostly known for.


The movie was filmed partly on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. (As is mostly the case when a movie or series is based on a book, there’s differences, and in this case the material from the book has apparently pretty much gone through a complete reworking. For example, in this miniseries the US Navy creates the creature during the Vietnam war, while in the book the nazi’s created it during WW2, and the story is set to happen on Long Island instead). Aside from the tropical surroundings, we do get some enjoyable sets, including an abandoned laboratory partly underwater, tunnels, and a foggy swamp. Yeah, sure, it’s not great, the book is probably better (I haven’t read it, just a hunch), and it’s sometimes unintentionally cheesy, but at least it’s entertaining. So grab the popcorn, put your brain on standby, as this B-creature feature will by no means scare you or astonish you, but with its mish-mash of a human hybrid monster, government cover-ups, family struggles, occasional nonsense spritzed with a Caribbean flavour, it’s a typical B-movie that’s entertaining on a popcorn level if you can take it for what it is.




Director: Stuart Gillard
Rockne S. O’Bannon
Country & year: USA, Canada, 1998
Actors: Craig T. Nelson, Kim Cattrall, Colm Feore, Cress Williams, Michael Reilly Burke, Michael Michele, Matthew Carey, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Blu Mankuma, John Aylward, Giancarlo Esposito



Vanja Ghoul













ANTIKK – Short Horror Film

Anjelica loves everything old-fashioned and vintage, but when she buys an antique bathtub from a dead person’s estate, she learns that some old things have more soul than others.


Antikk is a creepy and atmospheric Norwegian horror short, about a woman who finds that her newly acquired antique bathtub contains more than just the water she filled it with..

ANTIKK - Short Horror Film


Director: Morten Haslerud
Writer: Morten Haslerud
Country & year: Norway, 2020
Actors: Christiane Schaldemose, Daniel Bianchini, Sverre Horge








The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012)

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind LeighLeon is a young man who deals with antiques, and inherits his estranged mother’s house and belongings after her suicide. He arrives at the house, and takes a look at the inventory, all the while we get a narration delivered by the deceased. Rosalind Leigh, the mother, gives a monologue about her life where she describes the overwhelming loneliness she felt after her son rejected her due to their difference in faith and his negative religious experiences throughout his childhood. She describes how she, during the remainder of her life, feared he would never regain his faith or return to her, but she kept waiting. While wandering through his mother’s old house and her belongings, he discovers that it was actually she who was his anonymous benefactor who bought all the items of antiquity he sold. The more he looks through his mother’s belongings, the more he feels that he is surrounded by sinister figures and starts having hallucinations that rocks his skeptic foundation to the core.


The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh is a horror movie directed by Rodrigo Gudiño, and is one of those typical horror films that is bound to have very split opinions: you’ll either think of it as a sluggish, boring snoozefest, or you’ll be intrigued by the atmosphere, underlying messages and metaphors. And while I have to agree that the film didn’t really tap into all the potential it could have had, I still enjoyed its ominous feeling of unease which was blended so well with the main character’s surroundings. In fact, Rodrigo drove around Toronto looking at houses, until he found one that was owned by a mother and daughter who were eccentric Collectors. And it sure was a perfect fit. It’s filled with knick-knacks, huge statues, old dolls and whatnot. The imagery, cinematography and lightning are all spot-on, and the voice-over by the deceased woman is an excellent touch, with her moody and husky voice.


There are a few flashback scenes presented, where the mother starts seeing a demonic cat-like entity concurrently with her failure to deal with her loneliness. Rosalind appears to have sought some kind of comfort from joining a religious cult, some kind of “angel cult”, taking her religious beliefs and eccentricities to another level. I personally wish this could have been explored a bit further, but we never really got to know too much about this cult she was an apparent member of. We do get more than a few glimpses into Rosalind’s gradually destroyed psyche, however, which is not directly in correlation with the cult, but rather how her faith overpowers her despite being the sole reason for the destruction of the relationship with her son. Leon, on the other hand, is clearly struggling as well. While wandering the house and pretty much attacked with ptsd-triggers all around, he keeps calling his girlfriend psychologist. There’s suffering and sadness all around, coming from both perspectives.


Overall, The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh is an atmospheric, gothic ghost story and sombre tale about loneliness and the monster it can turn into, and how faith can not only bring people together, but also bring them completely apart. It’s definitely intended for a mature audience, very low-key, vague and a bit up for interpretation, and we all know that this kind of recipe doesn’t always taste well for everyone. However, it can hit the right strings if you can appreciate this sort of film, and you might find it intriguing and delightful. A pure slow burner indeed, but the atmosphere is plentiful with the creepy house and all the collectables inside.


The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh


Writer and director: Rodrigo Gudiño
Country & year: Canada, 2012
Actors: Aaron Poole, Vanessa Redgrave, Julian Richings, Stephen Eric McIntyre, Charlotte Sullivan, Mitch Markowitz, Sarah Illiatovitch-Goldman, Rodrigo Gudiño, Bob Dorsey, Rogelio Gudiño,



Vanja Ghoul