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Andrew's horror novella, 'The Bathtub', is now available.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Review of ‘The Descent’ 1 and 2

I’ll start of by admitting a bias – I think ‘The Descent’ might be the best horror film I’ve ever seen.

The premise isn’t different from a lot of horror flicks – get a group of people together, and have them picked off one by one.  Where ‘The Descent’ differs, though, is in that the tension is maintained throughout, and the claustrophobia of a previously undiscovered cave system comes over brilliantly. 

The six characters are out of their depth as they have to battle their unfamiliar, tight environment as well as the monsters.  It’s this extra dimension as well as the skilled pacing that place this film among the best.

I give ‘The Descent’ 10/10.  It’s that good.

Like a lot of sequels, ‘The Descent Part 2’ suffers from being a sequel.  There’s nothing much wrong with it as a film, but the premise is the same – explorers underground in an uncharted cave system.  The monsters are familiar by now, so lose a little of their scariness.  This left little scope for anything new, so the gore and general ‘yuk’ factor has been upped at the expense of original plot.

If the first film hadn’t been made I reckon we’d all be drooling over the sequel (does that make sense?).  Anyone seeing ‘The Descent Part 2’ first is likely to be impressed, and because of that I’ll give it 8/10.

Roll on ‘The Descent Part 3’!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Review of ‘The Ruins’

Static Multimedia’s review of ‘The Wood’ likened it in some aspects to Scott Smith’s ‘The Ruins’.  It wasn’t a story I’m familiar with and I still haven’t read the print version, but I have managed to get my hands on the DVD.  From reading both synopses on Wikepedia the two seem to be slightly different so this review will concentrate on the film version.

(Static Multimedia’s review of ‘The Wood’ isn’t live any more, but I have a Word copy which I’ll post at some stage.)

Anyway, I can see why Static Multimedia would think ‘The Wood’ similar to ‘The Ruins’.  Both feature a group of people thrown together, whose numbers are reduced as the horror picks them off one by one and both are, as the review says, tales of ‘…unbeatable odds.’

‘The Ruins’ is as much psychological as bloody, with most of the gore being less explicit than I’d expect of an 18 certificate film.  That, of course, is an observation rather than a criticism, and the film has enough tension and a good enough ending to be a worthy, if somewhat routine, watch.

On the downside, the deaths are nearly all the same, with little variety.  The plot has several unplugged holes and as an (ex)archaeologist I was disappointed that the Mayan setting provided nothing more than the film’s location.

Overall, this is one where the tension just about overcomes the flaws and I’d give it six out of ten.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Doe-Dragon Print Release

Rogue Phoenix Press have confirmed to me that the print version of ‘The Doe and the Dragon’ will be available around a month after release, although this is flexible. 

This might put the print release at some time in early June.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Release Day!

So, I woke up this morning to find myself a published novelist for the fourth time (okay, ‘The Shoot’ was a novelette…).

The Doe and the Dragon’ is released today, from Rogue Phoenix Press.

As with any book it’s my name on the cover, but there are a number of other people without whose help it wouldn’t have happened.  So, thank you to, in no particular order:

* Rogue Phoenix Press for accepting the work and all the editing;

* Genene Valleau for a great cover;

* Philip McCormac for, as usual, ploughing through the very first draft and helping me get the outline plot in shape;

* Carole Ann Moleti and Cathy Chance who read the novel, and in particular for their help refining the characters, their relationships, and the romance (which I found the most difficult elements);

* The numerous Critters and others who provided suggestions and advice along the way;

* Finally, but by no means least, to Emma and Peter for their support and their willingness to walk across stunning Welsh scenery (often weighed down by ice creams) to help me check out various locations in the novel.