LA Horror Review: “Pernicious”

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While James Cullen Bressack continues filming his latest project, “Bethany,” LAHorror.com had the pleasure of viewing “Pernicious,” Bressack’s ultra violent ghost film that’s making the rounds now in the horror circuit. Fans of Bressack’s films will no doubt be in for a shocking surprise, as this is not only one of his most brutal and violent films (though probably not as rough as “Hate Crime,” which has been banned in the UK), but also his biggest film in terms of scope. “Pernicious” is a horror genre blending blood bath that will keep you guessing until the very end…

It was supposed to be an adventure of a lifetime as three young girls spend the summer in Thailand. But their adventure quickly becomes a nightmare when the trio unleashes the spirit of a murdered child with only one thing on her mind – revenge.

“Pernicious” works on a variety of levels and manages to differentiate itself from other films with similar set ups. We’ve seen young American’s overseas get brutalized before, but torture is far from the only thing “Pernicious” has to offer. Instead we get a rather clever ghost story, with elements of the torture porn nasties of the early 2000s, as well as something completely new and freaky…the gold little girl statue. All of this is cast over the beautiful landscape of Thailand, which adds to the mystery and isolation that this film offers. It’s hard to pinpoint the scariest aspect of “Pernicious,” but let me just say that the golden statue is freaky as hell. You’ll understand when you watch it. I love when horror films master several subgenres in one picture, and “Pernicious” does just that.

eyeballAnother thing that “Pernicious” masters is the gore. Can we talk about the gore? Toenails, eyeballs, throat slashes and oh so much more. “Pernicious” brings it. In fact, it’s a golden blood bath. If you’re a gore hound that likes it to look legit, then look no further. Watch “Pernicious.”

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But what’s good gore without good victims (and killers)? Our trio of leads, Alex (Ciara Hanna), Julie (Emily O’Brien) and Rachel (Jackie Moore) all do a great job keeping this film engaging and entertaining. Humor when humors needed, creepy when things get creepy. There are times when their Americanisms play a bit hard, but in all honesty it’s believable. We’ve all got friends like these girls. O’Brien in particular steals the show in a couple of scenes, one of them involving a very large knife and another involving a creepy witch doctor.

Bressack no doubt has hit a new high in his filmmaking career with “Pernicious,” and if this is any indication as to what’s to come then horror filmmakers should start to get really excited. Bressack directs “Pernicious” extremely effectively, his real talent shines when things get rough for these characters.  The sequences involving the golden statue were especially effective. Bressack also litters clues to the films final secrets throughout, which makes a repeat viewing especially enjoyable. If Bressack isn’t on your radar already, get with the program and catch up on his work. Starting with “Pernicious” isn’t a bad idea at all.

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I really enjoyed this film, and if you’re a sicko like me then chances are you will too. So keep your eyes peeled for this one…you don’t want to miss this golden opportunity for terror!

Read our pre “Pernicious” interview with James Cullen Bressack here. You can also read the LAHorror.com reviews of his films “Hate Crime” & “To Jennifer” here. Follow Bressack on Twitter for all the latest on his work.

Emily Eden Films & LAHorror.com Present: “The Chronicles of Ruth”

Horror lovers!  I couldn’t be more excited to announce that LAHorror.com is teaming up with Emily Eden Films & visionary Writer/Director Brialynn Massie to Co-Produce / Co-Star in an amazing new Web Series called “The Chronicles of Ruth” (#TCOR)!  This is a project that I’m extremely excited about, and if you’re into HORROR, POSSESSION, HELLFIRE & more, then you should be pretty damn excited too!

“How do you save someone from Hell when you can’t even save yourself?”

#TCOR follows “Ruth,” a young teen who struggles with depression, leading her astray into hell, and her journey to escape this darkness to warn her family of the impending apocalypse.  It’s one of the most ORIGINAL and EPIC horror scripts I have read in quite some time, Bria Lynn Massie has really created a really special story and assembled a cast that is incredibly talented and diverse, including Chris Kato, Jocelyn Watts, Bobbie Lee, Chris Pardal, and Daniele De Leggia, to name just a few.  We need your help getting #TCOR produced!

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This is a story that’s extremely accessible to horror fans of all types.  What initially attracted me to this project was not only the scope and depth of the characters, but the real nasty horror elements that prevail throughout.  Whenever I read a horror script, there’s nothing that I love more than the moments that can make even me cringe, and #TCOR is full of them!  This is a seriously ambitious project but I have no doubt that with this cast & creative team the product will be incredible!  Here’s a small glimpse into the madness that we’re going to create…

There are a lot of fundraising campaigns out there, and this is one that you should strongly consider backing.  We’re a young, hungry and enthusiastic team set out to create an epic horror drama, filled with SCARES and CARNAGE, but also filled with inspiration and heart.  We are offering some awesome perks for backers and we’re planning several charitable events to help pay it forward (we’ll keep you posted on the details and how you can help as well)!  We cannot do it without you.

Please, help us make “The Chronicles of Ruth” a reality by donating, sharing our campaign or simply “liking” #TCOR on Facebook and following #TCOR on Twitter!  This is a project you’ll definitely want to keep up with, so keep checking back for more info!  Thanks for the support, Horror Lovers!

LA Horror Review: “Lesser Miracles”

Horror comes in all sorts of varieties.  There’s monsters, aliens, slashers, zombies and more – each thing uniquely terrifying in its own way.  However, in Rory Walsh’s film “Lesser Miracles,” horror hits home in a very real way as we slowly see the family structure fall apart with shocking and violent results.

Riley Carpenter (Kathryn Lyn) loves her family.  She has a beautiful baby daughter, a caring husband and frequently visits her mother.  However, after a freak car accident, everything begins to change.  With the presence of an internal demon awakened inside of Riley, she suddenly has a broader view of the world around her and finds out that things may not be as good as they seem.

It’s the descent into madness, the destruction of the family structure that fuels the horror in “Lesser Miracles,” and it’s one of those films where you can’t help but feel bad for every single character at one point or another.  There are no villains in this film; it is more of a series of tragic mistakes that ultimately build up into a terrifying conclusion, and everybody pays the price.

Writer/director/editor Rory Walsh certainly assembled a stellar team to pull this off.  The talent both on screen and off is abundant with unbelievable performances all around.  In particular, the trio of leads are dynamic.  Kathryn Lyn plays the disturbed Riley with a subtle edge that gets sharper as the film goes on.   She is a terrific leading lady, and with a performance like this we certainly hope to see more insanity from her in the horror world. Opposite her, Cameron Bender plays husband Morgan with genuine heart and sincerity.   The chemistry of these two is wonderful.  The wild card is Haley Mancini who plays the other woman, Denise Baker.  Mancini is brilliant as the seductive yet insecure Denise and really steals the show.  There are several moments in her performance where I really felt a sinking in my heart.

On the other side of the camera, Walsh gives us a simple yet excellent story that is masterfully crafted.  Along with beautiful cinematography from Terrance Stewart, an absolutely haunting soundtrack and some pretty impressive use of scenery, this film sets the bar for indie filmmakers pretty high.

“Lesser Miracles” is one of those films that is disturbing and heavy, a powerful piece of work that sticks with you long after you’re done watching.  This film is more moving than it is scary and the ending packs a certain punch that most films wouldn’t dare swing.  It’s unique in the sense that while it does have some brutality, the real horror is in the downfall of these poor souls.  You can’t help but watch and pray that everyone will be all right, that everything will work out in the end and that these people can continue with their lives in peace.  But sadly, that simply isn’t the case.  This is horror, and if there’s any lesson that “Lesser Miracles” can teach us about horror, it’s that nobody is safe and that not all miracles are the good ones.

For more information on “Lesser Miracles,” please visit Rory Walsh’s official website.  Also, check out the film on Facebook.  “Lesser Miracles” is currently playing at film festivals.