Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Top 5 Horror Games Without Traditional Combat

There’s nothing better than sitting down in front of your screen, knocking off the lights, donning a pair of headphones, and starting up a good horror game at Halloween. The fact that the life of the character on-screen is your responsibility to take them through their horrific journey against all kinds of foe as you take them down with guns and weapons. Do you know what’s scarier? Horror games where you can’t utilise weapons to fight back, just run and hide for the most part.


Outlast is a game built on its contemporaries. You are a journalist set to check out an asylum. Using your camera’s night vision, you can see what awaits you in the dark as you run, hide, and evade the “monsters” that are found within. It’s filled with suspense and tells a decent story, that is, if you can actually get through the game without become a withering heap on the ground.

Slender: The Arrival

A character that was created in online forums, Slenderman was a tall (believe it or not but some would call his build slender) being that wore a suit and had a face with no features. It would follow you and take you away. So basing a game on it wouldn’t be hard. What is surprising though is just how horrifying it is when he comes for you. You must collect eight pages and with every page you collect, he plays with you that little bit more, waiting for his moment to strike. Jumpscares galore, this is one to play with friends rather than alone. 


Okay, so this isn’t technically a game nor is it even available any more but the Playable Teaser for now cancelled is simply terrifying. Deep, mysterious, and consistently scary. The familiarity of a single hallway only made things more uneasy when something wasn’t quite right. Visually stunning, atmospheric as hell (literally), and hiding amazing secrets, P.T. was a special release that even though it was never available technically as a game, was one of the best horror games in recent years. Says it all really. 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

The horror game that made the genre popular again, Amnesia was one of the first games to make you feel helpless against the things that lurked around the corner. Your health was your sanity and you could feel your own slip away as those things came looking for you. Hiding in a wardrobe and peeking out to see it right there in front of you is what stopped hearts and soiled pants. The game lived on for many years and was one of the games that made the “Let’s Play” a viable avenue for people to make money from, Amnesia: The Dark Descent did a lot more than you may realise. 

Project Zero/ Fatal Frame

Although Amnesia may have brought back horror games, Fatal Frame has been the only game I have traded in solely because I couldn’t take it anymore. The game features a young girl that enters a haunted mansion in search for her brother. It may seem like I’m cheating here by saying that the main character has a weapon but it’s a camera. Terrifying ghosts roam the halls and come after you. It’s only by taking pictures of them can you hurt them. It’s incredibly creepy, atmospheric, and mentally breaks you down. You want to go back but you always leave feeling distraught. I had to trade it in simply because it scared the shit out of me that much and traumatised me even when the computer was no longer on. When I slept knowing it was still in the room, it actually gave me nightmares, like it was almost haunted itself.

Jason Redmond

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The Top 5 Genuinely Scary Videogames

You could (just about) fill a David Cage plot hole with all the horror games that have been made over the years. Only a tiny fraction of them, however, succeed at being scary. This isn't necessarily a list of the very best games cowering under the 'horror' umbrella, therefore, but the ones that best do the job of scaring the shinola out of you. If there was a number six, it would be occupied by a Project Zero/Fatal Frame game; although the new Wii U entry looks like it could be terrifying enough to barge its way higher. But anyway, with no further ado here we go, in ascending order:

5: Zombi U (Wii U)

Although this has been recently ported to PS4, Xbone and PC, it's the superior Wii U original which is both the most fun and the most disturbing to play. For one thing, the arrival of enemies is rarely signposted – not even a whole horde of zombies – so you can never be sure what's around the next corner. When you do come up against enemies, even one rotting miscreant on its own can kill you in a few swipes if you're not careful, sending you into a panic when you start taking damage. It's the genius of the GamePad's use that really makes the game though, forcing you to look away from the TV whenever you loot, enter a passcode, or do anything at all involving your backpack. You better be damn sure the coast is clear before looking away...

4: Shadowman (N64, Dreamcast, PSOne, PC)

Based on the relatively little-known comic of the same name, Shadowman wasn't perfect – there was a little too much wandering round in search of the next object or path – but it was a thoroughly enjoyable action platformer that creeped you out at every opportunity. The fact that I originally played it 16 years ago, yet it still sticks in my mind, should tell you something. Enemies were disfigured things, the one that I still remember being a two-headed monstrosity that dragged itself along the floor at speed while calling your name in a tortured voice. Then there was the Playrooms area, full of freaky enemies; and that soundtrack! A twisted lullaby-style tune, with the occasional cry of a distressed baby that you never found. This was years before I had kids of my own, but I was glad to finally leave that area behind.

3: Condemned: Criminal Origins (Xbox 360, PC)

Condemned is a masterfully constructed psychological horror, and you should totally buy it. It really messes with your head, but in a good way; if that's possible. It's played from a first-person perspective but, like Zombi U, guns and ammo are scarce and it isn't an FPS. You instead whack monsters and humans alike round the head with a variety of melee weapons you grab from the environment, all of which have limited lifespans. However, enemies here actually understand that running, hiding, and launching an ambush is often better than fighting toe-to-toe until one of you drops. You therefore creep along each new area with the hairs of your neck on end, and Condemned delights in leading you to believe danger is around the corner when there's actually nothing there – and vice versa. Also the longer you play, the more you question how much of what you see is real; yet you must continue to dish out the violence, or die yourself.

2: Siren: Blood Curse (PS3)

Many of you have probably never heard of this title, which is a real shame; it's one of the best horror games I've ever played in pretty much every way. Why is it scary? Well, where do I start! Enemy design is fantastically unnerving for one thing, strengthened by some very good graphics. The game is based in a village full of Shibito, creatures that started as humans. Many still look fairly human, despite the blood spatters and bleeding from the eyes (ick). Others are more monstrous, with the heads or faces replaced by grotesque, fleshy, active growths. In gameplay terms, you'll spend some of your time unarmed; one of the characters is a small girl who is never armed. Generally it's wise to avoid confrontation altogether and, even if you fight an enemy and win, it only stays down fairly briefly before getting back up again. Then there's 'sight jacking', whereby you see through the eyes of a Shibito in order to look for clues and see how close it is to finding you. This gives you a split screen with their view and normal play displayed simultaneously, resulting in some extremely tense and nerve-wracking situations.

1: P.T. (PS4)

Technically this doesn't exist any more, and is not even a full game. However, never in my life have I found any other game, film, book, TV series, audio drama, comic, or play to terrify me so effectively and thoroughly. Therefore, it has no competition at all for the number one spot. At one point I nearly put the controller down and walked away, it shattered my composure so much, and no other game has ever had that effect on me. Intended as an interactive teaser for the now infamously-cancelled Silent Hills, it essentially tasks you with walking round and round the same corridors of a house. Demonstrating the horror properly, even via video, is impossible without placing the controller in your hands. Each time you do another lap of the corridors something, somewhere, somehow, is different. It could be subtle, it could be in-your-face disturbing. I certainly don't think I'll forget a foetus talking to me about my character's wife in an extremely deep voice in a hurry. As for when the ghost of a woman ran past me, I foolishly turned back round the corner to see if she was there, and she leapt out of nowhere and killed me? I nearly bloody shat myself.

Luke Kemp

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Friday, 30 October 2015

The Top 5 Modern Horror Films

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to count down some of the best horror films. In this list, we’ll be looking at some of the best contemporary horror films of the last 20 years.


Before the tedious and repetitive sequels, there sits a decent and underrated modern horror film. Taking place almost entirely within one trap unlike the follow-ups, with a non linear narrative telling the story of two men chained in a dirty old bathroom, Saw did something different. Ordered to kill each other for the sake of their families by an unseen psychopath, the 2 men must learn to get along and work out an escape together before they descend into madness and murder. Shot on a small budget in just 18 days, Saw gained a cult following and performed very well at the box office – grossing over $100 million worldwide and becoming, at the time, one of the most profitable horror films since Scream. Naturally, 6 big-budget sequels followed along with video games, comic books and even theme park rides. But, before all of that money-grabbing, there was a unique and original little indie horror. 

Best momentit surely has to be the big reveal at the end of the film, that paved the way for many more smart twists that defined the Saw franchise more than anything else.

Fun factthe film was inspired by the closing scene of the original Mad Max, in which Max handcuffs a character’s ankle to a soon-to-explode car. Giving him a hacksaw and telling him how long he has, this sequence gave Saw the theme of time running out and, of course, sawing through one’s ankle.


A perfect example of pure tension and atmosphere, next up we have Neil Marshall’s The Descent. Telling the simple story of 6 women on a caving expedition who encounter a bunch of nocturnal monsters, the film is one of the scariest of modern horror. Long before the monsters appear, the film uses the cave setting to create an uncomfortable and foreboding feeling of isolation, claustrophobia and darkness. And then, when the monsters do appear, brace yourself for relentless carnage as the women are bumped off, one by one, climaxing in one of the most bleak and depressing endings in horror film history. So bleak and depressing in fact, that it was changed for the US release to a slightly more soft ending. Avoid this. Stick to the original cut and let it ruin your evening, in the best possible way!

Best momentthe first encounter with the terrifying ‘crawlers’ in the cave. Why? ...

Fun factthe appearance of the creatures was kept secret from the cast until this scene was filmed. The girls were genuinely terrified when they saw them, and ran off set screaming. Talk about a genuine reaction!


You’re Next was lost on a lot of people, but it truly deserves a spot on this list. Clever, subversive and darkly funny; it harked back to a bygone era of fun horror and delighted horror buffs all over the world. On the surface, it is just another home invasion film like the overrated The Strangers; we watch as a well-off family’s mansion is slowly overrun by masked maniacs and murderous carnage ensues. But it’s so much more. Almost post-modern and feeling a little like Scream for the current generation, it played with the audience’s expectations and, although blackly humorous, is certainly not a comedy as some have labelled it. Dark, twisted and bloody good, You’re Next deserved a far bigger audience. It’s never too late to give it one.

Best momentthe opening sequence in which we see the killers invade another home and kill the inhabitants, set to Dwight Twilley’s ‘Looking for the Magic’. Immediately sets the tone for this new vision of home invasion horror.

Fun fact - the home invader behind the tiger mask is Simon Barrett, the film’s writer.


Before the legendary Frank Darabont helped breathe life into TV’s The Walking Dead, he adapted Stephen King’s The Mist – following his King adaptations The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile – something he has wished to do since the 1980s. Featuring an ensemble cast including Thomas Jane, Toby Jones and Marcia Gay Harden alongside several future Walking Dead stars including Laurie Holden, Melissa McBride and Jeffrey DeMunn, The Mist has one of the finest casts in modern horror. Released in colour, Darabont’s intention was always to release the film in black & white as an homage to iconic old horror such as Night of the Living Dead and the black & white print, available on Blu-Ray, is his preferred version. Although a monster horror film, The Mist’s biggest scares come from the survivors – and the harrowing results from the extreme tension among them. 

Best moment the brave, bleak and harrowing end that truly proves not everything has to have a happy ending.
Fun factStephen King stated he was genuinely frightened by this adaptation of his work, leading to Frank Darabont calling it the happiest moment of his career.


And finally, we’ll end on Danny Boyle’s gritty 28 Days Later, a film that has featured on one of my lists before. Shot wholly on handheld digital cameras, the film’s eerie cinematography has become iconic – particularly the sequence in a completely deserted London, which is still breath-taking today. Although telling a somewhat unoriginal story – a man wakes from a coma to a post-apocalyptic world and joins a group of survivors heading for a safe zone – 28 Days Later still takes some surprising turns and holds up as a fresh and original horror. The debate still rages on whether this is a zombie film or not, but whether the villainous creatures here are zombies or ‘just infected humans’, they’re still scary buggers and make for an exciting horror film. 

Best moment it has to be the iconic deserted London scenes. It’s one thing closing a small town for filming, but closing off Piccadilly Circus and other landmarks of London is remarkably impressive to this day. Chilling.

Fun fact for these empty London scenes, police closed the roads at 4am and filming would begin immediately. But after an hour, the police would reopen the roads. The producers of the film had several ‘extremely attractive young women’ employed to ask any drivers after this to please wait a bit longer or find another route, with the drivers responding amicably. 

Sam Love

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The Top 5 Slasher Flicks

With Halloween tomorrow, it’s time to count down some of the best horror films. In this list, we’ll be looking at some of the best and most influential slashers. 


Let’s start at the beginning. Many people consider the ‘slasher film’ genre to have began with Alfred Hitchcock’s timeless Psycho, and they’d probably be right! You all know the story, you all know the twist, and you all know that shower scene. Anthony Perkins’ Norman Bates is easily one of the most iconic villains in cinema history, and with several sequels, a remake, TV spin-offs and even a dramatization of the making of the film (Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins); Psycho is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most influential films in the history of cinema, as well as one of Hitchcock’s best. It still holds up remarkably well, even 55 years on. Fun fact - it’s also the first film to show a flushing toilet! Scary...

Best momentother than the iconic shower murder, Psycho’s best sequence has to be the uncomfortably tense investigatory visit to the Bates Motel from Detective Arbogast (Martin Balsam), climaxing in a rather nasty fall.


An obvious choice perhaps, but what ‘Top Slashers’ list would be complete without John Carpenter’s iconic Halloween. Made in the Golden Age of slashers, the 1970s, Halloween ticks every box; a masked silent killer, young women screaming and, well, slashing. Produced on a budget of just $300,00 and grossing almost $50 million at the box office in the US alone, Halloween is one of the most profitable independent films in cinema history. Many people credit the film as being inspired by Hitchcock’s Psycho, with a character here sharing a name with one from Psycho and of course the casting of Janet Leigh’s daughter Jamie Lee Curtis, but the film is also the originator of many more clichés still found in horror today. Timelessly scary and always my go-to viewing on Halloween night, you can’t do any better than this. But please, and this applies to a few of the films on this list – don’t go anywhere near the remake. My fun fact for Halloween is this...Despite all the lead female characters in the film being high school students, Jamie Lee Curtis was the only teenager at the time of filming.

Best moment for me, Halloween’s best scares don’t come from the slashing and murders on Halloween night, but rather the fleeting glimpses of masked killer Michael Myers throughout the day. I get chills whenever I look into my garden and imagine him standing there, looking in. The dirty bugger.


Another low-budget slasher out of the 1970s, Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre paved the way for films like The Driller Killer by introducing power tools to the slasher genre. The relentless and exhaustingly disturbing classic was banned outright in several countries with numerous cinemas in other countries stopping the screenings due to complaints about the violence - you must remember that although the violence may seem somewhat dated now, in its day it was unprecedented – the film still on to be a huge financial success. A confident directorial debut from Hooper with a cast of largely unknown actors who add to the film’s harrowing faux realism, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is rightly considered one of the finest horror films in cinematic history. Your fun fact for this film? The opening narration was done by John Larroquette, who was paid with a marijuana joint for his work on the film. Gotta love the 1970s! 

Best momentthe harrowing dinner time sequence with the terrifying cannibalistic Sawyer clan, ending with 1 grandpa and 1 hammer. Even scarier still would be a porno with those 2 things. 


Into the 1980s we go, with Wes Craven’s nightmarish creation taking centre stage for the beginning of one of horror’s most profitable and recognisable franchises. Despite becoming more of a comedic figure in the later films, there’s no denying the power of Robert Englund’s Freddy Krueger here. In his trademark striped jumper and hat, Krueger terrified a generation in the unique and original tale of a nasty burned bastard who kills teenagers in their dreams. Sure, some of the special effects and music are a little dated now, but the A Nightmare on Elm Street is still an iconic game-changer that brought something different to the genre. Who’s ready for another fun fact? ALL OF YOU? I thought so. The first time Robert Englund tried on the iconic Freddy glove, he accidentally cut himself. Bless him.

Best momentit has to be the trick ending, in which everything seems fine until you realise it really isn’t. Very bleak, and still shocking.


And of course, the iconic slasher film of the 1990s, credited to this day as being the film that revitalised the horror genre. Wes Craven scared a whole new generation with Scream, a post-modern horror film that plays with all of the clichés of the horror genre, incorporating whodunit, slasher and even comedy. The film was completely unique at the time of its release for including characters that were aware of horror films and openly discussed the clichés within them, culminating in the iconic ‘rules to survive a horror movie’ sequence. But despite this self-aware, tongue-in-cheek satirical delivery; Scream still has some good scares in it that still hold up well for certain viewers – my dad can’t even look at the Ghostface mask without getting scared, let alone watch the film. Just ignore the increasingly disappointing sequels and shite TV series. And my final fun fact for you is this. Scream was originally titled Scary Movie. You love that, don’t you?

Best momentof course, it has to be the opening sequence in which Drew Barrymore’s character is shockingly killed off despite prominent billing and appearing on the poster. Straight away, Scream is not what you expect.

Sam Love

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Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Top 5 Horror Films of the 1980's

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to count down some of the best horror films. In this list, we’ll be looking at what the 1980s brought to the genre.


John Carpenter’s The Thing, the story of an Antartic science base being infiltrated by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims, is one of the best horror films of all time. Starring an ensemble cast including Kurt Russell, Keith David and everyone’s favourite diabetic Wilford Brimley; The Thing’s true power lies in the human cast. Like The Mist, The Thing shows us how madness and paranoia can turn humans against each other with violent results while the bigger threat takes a back seat. Iconic for it’s completely male cast – remedied in the 2011 reboot – The Thing is a testosterone fuelled bleak film of violence and horror that also inspired a pretty decent game.
Best momentthe increasingly tense blood test sequence in which the paranoid crew try and figure out who is currently hosting the creature.

Fun fact
there is no right or wrong answer as to when the creature has assumed who. John Carpenter has stated even he doesn’t know.


John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London is a damn good film. After two American men are attacked by a werewolf while backpacking in England, one is informed through disturbing apparitions that he has become a werewolf and will transform at the next full moon. Since the film’s 1981 release, An American Werewolf in London has accumulated a devout cult following and is considered one of the finest films of the 1980s. With incredible make up – the film was the first ever recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Makeup Academy Award, which was reportedly created purely for the film – the film holds up very well, and it is generally considered Michael Jackson had Landis direct his Thriller music video based on the strength of this film.

Best moment“a naked American man stole my balloons”, one of the finest lines of dialogue in cinema.

Fun fact - every song featured in the film has the word ‘moon’ in the title; Bad Moon Rising, Moondance, Blue Moon, etc.


Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining would be deserving of a place on a Top 5 Horrors list, let alone just of the 1980s. Jack Torrance (an incredible Jack Nicholson) takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel, which means he and his family must live there during the winter. Some time after settling in, the family are trapped by a snowstorm. Jack gradually becomes influenced by supernatural presence and isolation, descending into madness and attempts to murder his family. The Shining is a terrifying exercise in psychological terror and has come to be regarded as one of the finest horror films ever made. An extremely clever and mysteriously provocative film, too – check out the excellent documentary Room 237 for various interpretations of what the film truly means.

Best moment the eerily bleak and perplexing ending which still invites theories to this day.

Fun fact the iconic “Heeeeere’s Johnny!” scene reportedly took 3 whole days to film, and 60 doors were axed apart in the process.


Sam Raimi’s low-budget franchise-starter The Evil Dead tells the tale of 5 students vacationing in an isolated cabin in the woods. After they discover an audio tape that releases a legion of spirits and demons, the group fall to demonic possession and gory mayhem. The Evil Dead has developed a legendary cult status with Bruce Campbell’s protagonist Ash Williams becoming a cult icon, soon to be seen again in the highly anticipated upcoming TV series Ash vs. The Evil Dead. Despite an arguably better sequel - Evil Dead II – which was basically a comedy and a parody of this, one cannot fault the original for scares.
Best moment the evil entity locked in the basement torments Ash and tries to trick him into helping it escape...

Fun fact - the script called for all the characters to be smoking marijuana when they are first listening to the spirit-releasing tape. The cast decided to smoke real marijuana for this scene for an authentic reaction, but the scene had to be later re-shot due to their uncontrollable behavior.


Prompted by the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween, Friday the 13th features a now-familiar plot; a group of teenagers murdered one by one in the woods by a mysterious maniac. Despite being critically panned on release, the film has gone on to be considered a cult classic and has spawned 9 sequels (the first of which introduced Jason as the primary antagonist, the iconic killer who remained for the remainder of the franchise) and, like almost every horror film, a remake. Friday the 13th is unoriginal and hasn’t aged particularly well, but is included on this list purely for its influential nature on horror and the slasher subgenre – one cannot deny its power and iconic status.

Best momentour first glimpse of Jason at the end of the film, leaping from the lake in a decomposing state.

Fun factwriter Victor Miller had originally given Jason the name Josh. But after deciding that it sounded too nice, he changed it to Jason, after a school bully.

Sam Love

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The Top 5 Horror Films of the 1970's

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to count down some of the best horror films. In this list, we’ll be looking at what is arguably the best time for horror. The 1970s.


Part musical, part dark comedy, part mystery/whodunit…with a whole lot of horror thrown in. To those unfamiliar with the story, The Wicker Man is the dark tale of a staunchly religious police officer (Edward Woodward) being dispatched to the island of Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. But he’ll soon realise that there is something dark about this little island. Also starring a never-better Christopher Lee, The Wicker Man delivers chills in an unconventional way. Iconic and memorable, The Wicker Man also happens to be my favourite film of all time. Just avoid the American remake at all costs, which funnily enough is considered one of the worst films in the history of cinema. Come. It is time to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.

Best moment in a film full of fantastic moments (Britt Ekland in that scene), it would be hard to pick one. But of course, the most iconic and most frightening is the final scene from which the film gets its title.

Fun fact - prior to shooting the aforementioned climactic scene, Edward Woodward was in the Wicker Man and a goat was penned in above him. Because the goat was scared at being shut up, it urinated all over Woodward.


It would be wrong to compile a list of the greatest horror films of the 1970s and leave out The Exorcist. Adapted by William Peter Blatty from his novel of the same name and directed by the legendary William Friedkin, The Exorcist tells the tale of a 12 year old girl Regan (Linda Blair) becoming increasingly possessed by a demon and her mother’s attempts to win her daughter back through exorcism, with the help of two priests. Despite a ‘cursed’ set and a troubled production, The Exorcist became one of the highest grossing films of its time and was the first horror film to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award. Still terrifying to this day and a personal favourite of critic Mark Kermode, The Exorcist is easily one of the finest horrors in cinematic history.

Best moment as Father Merrin and Father Karras try to exorcise Regan, she laughs and spins her head all the way around like a possessed owl. Chilling stuff.

Fun fact - on the first day of filming the exorcism sequence, Linda Blair's delivery of her foul-mouthed dialogue so disturbed the gentlemanly Max von Sydow that he actually forgot his lines.


Although many wouldn’t necessarily call Jaws a horror, it bloody is one. With a tagline like ‘the most terrifying motion picture from the terrifying no.1 best seller’, it can’t really be anything else. Directed by the great Steven Spielberg, Jaws tells the tale of a giant man-eating shark attacking beach-goers on Amity Island, a coastal resort town. When three mismatched men attempt to hunt it town together, they must settle their difference if they ever wish to catch the sharp-toothed bugger. Made on a budget of under $10 million and grossing almost $500 million, Jaws was the highest film of all time when it was released. And for its time, it was horror on an unprecedented scale with tourism numbers for seaside towns dropping to an all-time low out of fear of shark attacks. If that doesn’t make it a successful horror, I don’t know what does.

Best moment the discovery of the remains of Ben Gardner, local fisherman, in the wreckage of his ship. Still terrifying to this day.

Fun fact the immortally iconic line "you're gonna need a bigger boat" was not scripted, but ad-libbed by Roy Scheider.


Ridley Scott’s science-fiction horror is next, telling the story of a highly aggressive extra-terrestrial that stalks and kills the crew of a spaceship. With an all-star cast including Sigourney Weaver, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt; Alien is a slow-burning and tense thrill-ride, originally pitched as ‘Jaws in space’. While initial critical reception was mixed – iconic critic Roger Ebert stated it was ‘basically just an intergalactic haunted house thriller set inside a space ship’ – it has since gone on to be considered a masterpiece in both the horror and sci-fi genres. With several sequels, prequels, spin-offs and video games taking the iconic Xenomorph creature to new highs and lows, there’s no denying the terrifying power of the original film that still holds up frighteningly well.

Best momentquite obviously, the best moment is also one of the most iconic; the unforgettable chestburster scene in which John Hurt suffers a new level of discomfort. Hilariously spoofed in Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs.

Fun fact - The blue laser lights that were used in the alien ship's egg chamber were borrowed from The Who. The band was testing out the lasers for their stage show in the soundstage next door.


Dawn of the Dead, from zombie movie maestro George A. Romero, is arguably the finest and most influential of the Dead films – and zombie films in general. Taking place almost entirely in a suburban shopping mall, the film tells the story of a group of survivors in the midst of an apocalypse. Considered by some as too violent in its day with Roger Ebert claiming it to be ‘gruesome, sickening, disgusting, violent, brutal and appalling’, the gore hasn’t held up too well. But you must put yourself in a 1978 cinema seat and imagine seeing this unprecedented violence for the first time. Timeless, iconic and the zombie film. Without George A. Romero, we wouldn’t have The Walking Dead. Also, one of the very few films to have a decent remake.

Best momentnot so much a moment as a theme, George A. Romero’s trademark satire and social commentary is evident throughout Dawn of the Dead. The most clear example of this is the zombies wondering aimlessly around the shopping mall – a behaviour Romero states you can see in living people.

Fun fact
- extras who appeared in this film were reportedly given $20 in cash, lunch, and a Dawn of the Dead T-shirt as payment.

Sam Love

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Sony @ Paris Games Week- 5 Must-Watch Trailers

It's hard to believe that the Playstation 4 is almost 2 years old now. Like, I still often refer to the Playstation 4 as “next-gen”, as if it's a brand new piece of hardware that's just around the corner. But no, it's been here for 2 years, I'm now 30 and I feel old. Anyway, lets move away from the ravages of age and onto the Paris Games Week, the yearly gaming event held in (you guessed it!) Paris. Sony just had their press conference and there were some pretty nifty trailers released.

So, instead of you slogging through blogs, websites and forums to hunt down exactly what you should check out, here's our rundown of the 5 must-watch trailers from Sony press conference.

Detroit: Become Human

I have a very love/hate relationship with developer Quantic Dream. Actually no I don't, I just plain hate them. I've ranted about this before (so feel free the check out the trailer here and move on), but back in 1999 I played Omikron: The Nomad Soul. It was an semi open-world adventure set in a futuristic world, that had you jumping from soul to soul of the inhabitants of its world. Mixing first-person shooting, fighting and third-person exploration, the game was a wonderful mesh of science fiction and fantasy, only perfected by its inclusion of David Bowie (yeah, seriously). But since those days Qunatic Dream have moved towards the realm of interactive movies if anything else, and I've found their recent efforts to be nothing short of boring, cheesy and mundane. I know David Cage is doing his best to try and prove games can be art, but shit, Heavy Rain played out like a direct-to-VHS drama. Little details of their latest game, Detroit: Become Human, are known, but it looks like it'll centre itself around androids, what it truly means to be human and lots and lots of cut-scenes. Cool beans.


After bring us such classics as Rayman, Peter Jackson's King Kong (no really, it's actually great) and Beyond Good & Evil, Michel Ancel, alongside his new company Wild Sheep, have re-revealed their first game. Simply titled Wild, the game is an open-world adventure and looks a little different from how it did last year. Though details are very scarce, Wild plants you directly into a gigantic world for you to freely explore. From riding giants bears around and being a badass, jumping into the bodies of animals to explore the world from a new perspective, to simply traversing the world as the main character on-foot, Wild looks like an interesting title. As soon as I saw it I got flashbacks of the cancelled Xbox title B.C, a game that would have been incredible. Though it's clearly not a rip-off at all, lets hope Wild can fill that void that B.C has left in my heart for just over a decade now.

Gran Turismo Sport

This was expected, but it was finally nice to see a Gran Turismo revealed to be making its way to the Playstation 4. Compatible with Playstation VR, the latest Gran Turismo offering looks, well, pretty much like the last one, apart from some prettier graphics, I guess. That said, kicking off with a nice rundown of the history of motorsport, the trailer did bring back a feeling of nostalgia that I have for the original game on the Playstation. All we truly know at this point is that the first PS4 Gran Turismo is coming, and it's coming sometime in 2016.

Star Wars: Battlefront

Though I did have some grievances about the open Beta of Star Wars: Battlefront, it wasn't the colossus f*ck up like I thought it was going to be. Sure, it's definitely a step down from 2005's Star Wars: Battlefront 2 in terms of gameplay features, but it's still shaping up to be a fun game. I'm not totally sold on it just yet, but this trailer did a pretty good job at getting my excited for its release. Featuring the likes of Princess Leia, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine himself, it's enough to get any Star Wars fan ready for some good hero on villain action. Time will tell if it truly lives up to the hype, but I certainly hope it at least partially captures what made Battlefront 2 so special.


This one looks special. Originally shown off at E3, Dreams is the upcoming game by Media Molecule, the literal geniuses behind LittleBigPlanet. Dreams follows the ethos that the company that stayed close to since its inception- games are all about play.. Much like LittleBigPlanet gave you the tools to play around with Sackboys world, Dreams lets you create, well, dreams. From sculpting, shaping, colouring to breathing life into beings and creatures created using your Playstation 4 controller, Dreams lets the player create stunning scenarios and locations. Often coming across like a moving painting in this video, Dreams is a game that truly looks beautiful in every way imaginable. Though I'm sure it's impossible to create anything TOO big, even if Dreams simply lets the player recreate intimate moments from our own dreams, that's enough for the price of admission to me. Bring it on.

Denis Murphy

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San Andreas

Who doesn’t love a cheesy disaster film? Deep down, we all love to see the world fall to ruins as waves of population are wiped out by some over-the-top disaster while a big name star scrambles to save the day. We don’t watch this sort of film for its artistic merits, we watch it to switch off our minds and forget about our troubles for a couple of hours. But some disaster films are just so bad that we can’t switch off and enjoy them, and thus their existence is totally unnecessary. But what’s this? A decent disaster film?! Tell me more, I hear you cry… 

Out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray 3D, and directed by Brad Peyton, San Andreas is one of the most predictable and cliché-stuffed disaster films of recent times. But it’s also one of the best. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson plays Ray, a legendary Air Rescue pilot with hundreds of rescues to his name. But despite being a hero out in the field, he still has family problems like anybody else. Awww. He is in the midst of a divorce with his partner Emma (Carla Gugino) and trying to remain close to his daughter Blake (Alexandra Daddario), as Emma’s new partner Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd) joins the family. There’s a fair amount of family drama going on while you wait for shit to hit the fan, as well as a completely bizarre appearance from Kylie Minogue. Then it all kicks off! Earthquakes and collapsing buildings and Zimmer-esque bwaaaaaaaaaam’s from Andrew Lockington’s score. Obviously, Ray has to fight through all of this to find his missing daughter and, along the way, might just relight the spark between himself and Emma. It’s all ridiculously predictable.

Thank goodness then that the special effects are among the best I’ve seen recently. After a rather rocky opening sequence in terms of somewhat weak visuals, I was worried. It looked a bit terrible. But I can only assume this sequence was an after-thought, and was made with whatever scraps of budget the filmmakers had left. Because the big earthquakey carnage in San Fransisco looks AMAZING. San Andreas is a film that truly deserves to be seen in 3D, or at the very least standard Blu-Ray. The incredible visuals and jaw-dropping sound deserve to be seen and heard in the best possible way, because if you take away these traits there’s not a huge amount to recommend in the film. I was consistently blown away by San Andreas in a way I hadn’t expected, and will certainly be using it as a demo of my 3D/surround sound set-up for anyone who wants to see it in action – along with Mad Max: Fury Road, I’ve never seen a better immersive experience. The 3D really adds to this experience too, without being gimmicky. Don’t expect many bits coming flying out of the screen at you, but the sense of depth is breathtaking.

So, is there anything else worth discussing with San Andreas? Well, the cast are trying their best. Dwayne Johnson is playing the same character he always does, and despite a rather uncomfortable emotional breakdown scene, he’s decent at what he’s doing. Carla Gugino does a pretty good job with her character and Alexandra Daddario is there for the boys – but we’ve never had a problem with that, have we fellas? But for me, there was one stand-out member of the cast who gave the film a little bit more quality. Roger Ebert once said "no movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad” and I apply that logic to a certain Paul Giamatti. We’ve been seeing a lot of him recently, particularly playing shits in music biopics (Straight Outta Compton and Love&Mercy) and I think he thinks San Andreas is a better, more high-brow film than it is. He’s clearly trying to act here, which is more than the majority of the cast. Despite an unoriginal scientist character, Giamatti is great here. I bloody love him.

Ultimately, San Andreas isn’t trying to be anything more than a popcorn flick. I’m sure when director Brad Peyton sat down to plan this, he wasn’t thinking in his head where he’d be putting his Oscars. It’s a disaster movie, which with films like this tends to describe the genre and the quality. But San Andreas is one of the stronger films the genre has to offer, boasting incredible visuals and sound, and some fantastic action sequences. The cast are all decent and make a rather poor script seem alright, and despite complete predictability I was on the edge of my seat.

San Andreas earns a down-the-middle 3/5.


Sam Love

San Andreas at CeX

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Every so often, a little British comedy comes along and takes its audiences by storm. For example, Shaun of the Dead came along in 2004 (wow, is it really that long ago?), Four Lions in 2010 and Sightseers in 2012, all of which earned rave reviews and loyal fans – one more than the others in this case, granted, but there’s something about these films that people love. If you’re one of these people who love them, you’re in luck! Say hello to another British comedy which could certainly hold its own against any of the others. Out now on DVD comes the brilliant Convenience, directed by Keri Collins. 

The plot is very simple, but in its simplicity lies genius originality. Shaan (Adeel Akhtar) finds himself owing £8,552.62 to some very bad people after spending a night in their strip club, looking for somewhere to read. With his best friend Ajay (Ray Panthaki) by his side, the bumbling pair attempt to rob an all-night petrol station to get the money. But after one thing leads to another and they discover the safe is on a time lock and won’t open til 6am, Shaan and Ajay find themselves waiting it out and posing as staff under the supervision of Levi (Vicky McClure), working the night shift until the safe can be opened. Right off the bat, Convenience stands out as being an original concept - which in today’s world of remakes, reboots and sequels sure feels refreshing. 

Convenience takes place almost entirely within the petrol station walls with Akhtar, Panthaki and McClure spending the majority of their screen time with nobody else around. Where a weak cast could cause this concept to collapse, the likable lot here rises to the challenge with great chemistry and talent between them. Akhtar brings a sweet, unassuming and gentle side to the clumsy Shaan – a similar set of traits to his character in the brilliant Four Lions, while his co-star Panthaki’s performance shines equally as Ajay’s frustration with his friend increases. Vicky McClure, of This is England fame, also delivers a brilliant performance as the wry Levi. Other characters come and go in the form of unusual customers, including Verne Troyer (Austin Powers’ Mini Me) as a slightly out-of-place Stetson-wearing and wine-drinking dwarf, and Anthony Head as a suicidal businessman. For anyone who has worked in any form of retail, you’ll be able to relate to these well-observed peculiar customers.

Another reason this film could’ve not worked would have been a bad script – luckily, that is not even close to being an issue with Convenience. Easily one of the funniest and most sharply written comedies in a long time, there is humour behind almost every line of dialogue in the film. And the pacing is fantastic; the film flies by in what feels like minutes despite being set in one shop and with so few characters. As more dramas attempt this fewer characters concept, such as one-man shows Locke and Buried, it’s always nice to see a comedy pull it off to such great effect. But it’s not all laughs. Like any good comedy, there are a couple of scenes of heart that really work – particularly where Shaan and Ajay’s friendship is concerned. We’ve all got a mate like Shaan. If you haven’t, chances are you are the Shaan of your friendship circle.

I wasn’t expecting a huge amount from Convenience. I hadn’t heard much about it and I was worried the low-budget might be reflected in the film-making. But within the first ten minutes, my worries went away. Like Set Fire To The Stars, Convenience is clearly made with love and just goes to show what you can do on a tight budget. I haven’t got a bad word to say about it. It’s hilarious, it’s very well acted, the pacing is brilliant and there’s a lot of heart in it too. It’s just a perfect little film. Director Keri Collins won the Breakthrough Award at the 2014 BAFTA Cymru Awards, and it’s easy to see why. I know we’ll be seeing a lot more of him soon, and as others have said before me – Convenience is destined for cult status. Watch it. You’ll thank me later.

Convenience puts in overtime and earns a solid 5/5.


Sam Love

Convenience at CeX

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Monday, 26 October 2015

The Flash: Season 1

We live in a time of “superhero fatigue”. We cannot turn on our televisions, go to the cinema, hell, even watch Netflix without seeing another superhero trailer or advert or series about a character we barely know, but will pretend to so we don’t seem uncool. DC, however, has got its claws deeper into cable television than Marvel has, with Arrow and The Flash raking in huge ratings consistently. And having watched The Flash, it’s understandable.

Barry Allen is The Flash, or at least he is when he gets struck by lightning caused by a malfunction in a particle accelerator. But Allen isn’t the only one to be struck by this lightning. Countless people across Central City are “infected” and have been turned into meta-humans, people with superhuman abilities. While Allen comes to grips with his newfound super-speed, he must find increasingly complex ways to take down evil meta-humans, all while focusing on solving the murder of his mother 15 years ago and releasing his wrongly accused father from prison.

Usually I’d try to segue the review into my first point, but I can’t, because there’s a huge issue I have with The Flash that I need to get off my chest. The dialogue. It is dreadful. It is absolutely abhorrent. Why on Earth am I listening to adults, no, academic, highly-regarded scientists speak like 3 year-olds is beyond me. When one of the leading scientists main function in the story is to name the evil meta-humans and yell “what the frack?” when something weird is happening, you know that the show is far too tame. And that’s a general problem The Flash has. It is way too tame. It’s all fairy-lights and chocolate milkshake, until one of the characters gets absorbed, or melted, difficult to tell, either way it’s gruesome. I think the show needs to figure out what it is – is it a gritty, real-life superhero show, or is it an over-the-top, all-in superhero show? There is no right answer. Everyone has a preference. But to stay somewhere in the middle is just confusing.

While most of the characters act like gigantic babies and spit their dummies out whenever one of them says something even remotely offensive, some of the characters shine. Jesse L. Martin as Det. Joe West is absolutely stellar. The show asks of a different kind of character from him every episode, and he embraces it and makes it his own. From fear to love to anger, he is fantastic. And Candice Patton is great as the Detective’s daughter, Iris, who gets the rawest deal throughout the show, left in limbo for the entirety, and yet somehow being the core of everything. Those two make a great on-screen duo, one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It’s so easy to get invested in them.

But the real investment comes from the story. The story sounds pretty simple, and sets it up nicely for a simple structure in which you defeat a meta-human in one episode, then defeat another in the next and so on, but there is a fantastic secondary plot that forces its way to the front, and that is what will make you want to keep watching. It is a damn-good story, even if it does only start halfway through the season, but your persistence is rewarded. It’s got twists and turns, it’s got sacrifice and heartbreak, and it’s got some pretty cool action sequences too, especially in The Flash vs Arrow – no points for guessing who fights in that one.

The Flash is a good TV show. It’s entertaining, it’s engaging, and it’s accessible to people who don’t care for superheroes, I just wish they’d sort out some of the characters because it’s almost cringe worthy enough to turn off. But stick it out, and you may just find yourself enjoying it.

The Flash speeds up eventually and doesn’t fatigue 3/5.


Jonny Naylor

The Flash: Season 1 at CeX

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Blood Bowl 2

There’s something about table-top games that try to make their way into the digital world. It can either be an unmitigated disaster or just not quite get there in comparison to the real thing. Blood Bowl 2 falls into the latter, but it still is a really enjoyable game but it actually falls short because it sticks too close to its board game roots and ultimately becomes a decent yet frustrating game. 

Developed by Cyanide Studios and out now for Xbox One and PlayStation 4,  Blood Bowl 2 has one person that gets in your way: Lady Luck. Set in the Warhammer universe,  Blood Bowl 2 features orcs, dwarves, humans, elves, trolls and more that all come together for two things: sport and blood.

The easiest way to describe  Blood Bowl 2 is that it’s a turn-based American football strategy game. Each team and players have different stats that specialise in certain tasks. There are teams with low armour but are agile like the wood elves, but there are also Dwarves that are good blockers and orcs that deal damage; Utilising teams to run your play-style will take time.

If you’ve never played Blood Bowl whatsoever, it is a complex game, and one that requires patience and a strategic mind. It's a game that can always see probabilities and possibilities in order to succeed. You can spend most of your turn not relying on the dice roll to succeed and then knowing when to take high-risk moves that matter. The campaign is probably the best place to start to understand the systems in place, and the many ways a team can win a game. The first couple of matches act as a tutorial and ease you in. Then, once that’s complete, a lengthy and rather excellent campaign is there for you to enjoy. You take control of Reikland Reavers, a team of humans that have fallen on hard times. You must build them back up to their best. A lot of effort clearly went into it and create some genuinely funny moments.

Past this, there is a great league mode that will really test your skills. I mentioned earlier that games can be won in multiple ways. One of those ways is by focusing on physically knocking out the other team and walking in a touchdown. You can also go one step further and take out a player when they’re down. This can lead to injury or even death, making every player that little bit more important to you. It’s honestly heart-breaking to build up a player, upgrade them and then be taken out in a match, and then needing to rebuild a player in that position again. These leagues can be played both online and offline, but expect to be reading into strategies and setups online of you want to win online.

The one major downside to the gameplay is that almost any action you do though requires a dice roll. Hell, even a long run to a ball requires a dice roll. On a couple of occasions, a player running to the ball resulted in him falling and knocking himself out. This is really frustrating as the random number generator can kill your turn far too soon. Any fail state ends your turn so you must be really careful to do the smaller things first. When things don’t go your way, even with careful planning, it just makes you want to walk away and never come back. Just like the monstrosities on the screen, it can get quite ugly.

But it’s still a fun game that’s been handled with care, something the players must do with the ball; I mean, it has spikes attached to it! If you like your strategy sports titles, then  Blood Bowl 2 is different enough to suck you in even if you’re not a big fantasy guy and sports guy but enjoy one or the other.

Blood Bowl 2 runs a decent play with 3/5.


Jason Redmond

Blood Bowl 2 at CeX

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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Jurassic World

It seems like everyone was jumping on the reboots and sequels train this year. Mad Max, The Terminator, Vacation, The Transporter and of course Star Wars are but a few pieces of 2015’s cinematic output that fit the description. But, until Star Wars comes out, one stands well above the others in terms of financial success. Despite being planned for a 2005 release, Jurassic World was unleashed upon the world this summer and quickly became the third highest-grossing film of all time, after a record-breaking opening weekend. But with all the hype behind it, did it live up to expectations?

Out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and Blu-Ray 3D, Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World is a mixed bag. A follow-up to the original series rather than a remake, Jurassic World takes place 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park. With the public now bored of seeing the same old dinosaurs at the successful park, new genetically modified dinosaurs are being designed at the hands of Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) – his main creation being the monstrous Indominus Rex. When this nasty dino-bastard escapes it’s cage and goes on a park-wide rampage, raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) must team up with the park’s operations manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) to bring the beast down before it eats everyone. If this alone was the narrative, mixed equally with dinosaur action, Jurassic World would be a delight.

Unfortunately, several superfluous sub-plots are thrown in and threaten to ruin the film. Firstly, there’s the matter of Claire’s nephews Zach and Gray (Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins, respectively) who are there for a ‘family trip’ and spend time with their aunt but her job gets in the way, causing unnecessary family drama. Also, Zach and Gray’s parents might be getting a divorce...Who cares? We’re here to see dinosaurs! Then there’s the criminal misuse of the legendary Vincent D’Onofrio who draws the short straw here, taking the most one-dimensional, predictable and downright ridiculous villain role in the Jurassic saga. As Vic Hoskins, the head of park security who wants to use the raptors as weapons in Afghanistan (yeah...), he tries his best with the material he’s given but ultimately just lets himself down and really shows the limitations of the film’s weak script. I expect better from you, Vincent. For that matter, none of the human roles are particularly deep and well-developed, nor do they have the best acting chops behind them. Chris Pratt plays Chris Pratt and gets dangerously close to making the film Jurassic Pratt with his camera-hogging look-how-cool-I-am antics, while Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire doesn’t do anything particularly memorable other than run in high heels. The two kids are a bit shit, and the only returning cast member from Jurassic Park – B.D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu – just looks happy to be there.

Thank goodness then for some of the best special effects in recent memory. The visuals of Jurassic World are phenomenal throughout, from the stunningly rendered dinosaurs down to the incredible aerial shots of the park itself. The 3D is used fantastically well too, choosing to focus on depth rather than gimmicky dinosaurs-comin’-at-ya shots. Whilst the first act of the film is a little tedious with it’s unnecessary sub-plots and weak attempts at character development, once Indominus Rex gets loose and starts eating people you’ll be on the edge of your seat. The action sequences are fantastic and although broken up with shit “you’re my baby brother and I’ll always love you” family drama and uncomfortably out-of-place comedy with New Girl’s Jake Johnson, you won’t mind so much. Because you know that Indominus Rex might turn up at any second and eat one of these awful characters. 

And for any of you devout Jurassic Park fans out there who haven’t gotten round to seeing this yet and, for whatever reason, need my seal of approval – rest assured, Jurassic World is extremely respectful of its original predecessor Jurassic Park. Quite understandably, it mostly ignores the rather painfully bad Lost World and Jurassic Park III - but Jurassic World is rammed with references, both visual and spoken, to the original film. It’s a shame Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum didn’t come back and left us in the hands of a rather one dimensional cast, but at the end of the day, the main characters are the dinosaurs.

So in conclusion, Jurassic World is all about the spectacle. The visuals are incredible and, if you have the technology for it, the 3D experience is one of the best out there. But in terms of narrative, character development and predictability; Jurassic World is an underwhelming romp. But hey, who’s here for that anyway? If you’re one of the very few people left in the world who hasn’t seen it yet, then all I can say is this. Two massive dinosaurs have an awesome fight, people get eaten and things blow up. Sold? I thought so.

Jurassic World is painfully lacking in any depth, but makes up for it with a fantastic action experience. 4/5.


Sam Love

Jurassic World at CeX

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Friday, 23 October 2015

Justified: The Final Season

In this so called ‘golden age of TV’ certain shows reign supreme. The most watched show ever is the brilliant The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones is watched by millions, and seems everyone has seen an episode of Sherlock or Doctor Who. Popularity doesn’t always mean a show is good, take a look at the vapid ‘comedy’ The Big Bang Theory for example, but it’s not a bad indicator of a shows quality. That’s why it always surprised me that Justified wasn’t one of the most popular shows on TV. The outstanding final season is out now on DVD and Blu Ray and it achieves what most final seasons don’t and manages to be a fitting end for the series.

The strongest point of Justified has always been the dialogue and season 6 is the show at its eloquent best. It remains witty, badass, and instantly quotable and is the best dialogue on television bar none. This is due to not only the Elmore Leonard influence (Justified is based on his story Fire in The Hole) or the terrific script writers, but also the casting of actors who can articulate it properly. Season 6 sees the introduction of some great new characters, played by some pretty big names. First and foremost is Sam Elliott as Avery Markham, a quick talking criminal with a small fortune from a legalized cannabis business. Fittingly for the western-flavoured world of Justified he brings his cowboy-esque drawl and speaks the sardonic dialogue like he was born to it. His interaction with the various characters of the show is a highlight, and he does pants-shittingly scary believably well. Another stand out performance is another new-comer to the Justified world - Garret Dillahunt as Ty Walker, a local mercenary doing the dirty jobs for Markham. Dillahunt is the perfect Justified villain; being hilarious and incredibly threatening in equal measure, sometimes in the space of a few seconds. 

These new villains are great additions to Justfied’s rogue’s gallery, but that’s not to say they overshadow the true rival to Timothy Olyphant’s gun slinging hero Raylan Givens; the silver-tongued Boyd Crowder played by Walton Goggins. As always he remains the absolute best thing about the show, stealing the lime light with the best lines whenever he’s on the screen. His relationship with Raylan throughout the show as it slowly builds to an emotional climax is outstanding. And talking of Raylan Timothy Olyphant also does a great job as the central character, US Marshall Raylan Givens. Like nearly everyone else in the show he’s hilarious and badass and he also wears the absolute best hat in the history of TV. The story arcs of the main cast are also nicely resolved, with the Raylan vs Boyd conflict being only one of many building storylines. There is a lot to juggle for the showrunners but they do an admirable job, wrapping up all the plotlines nicely and in a way usually unseen for final seasons. It doesn’t lose what made the show interesting in the first place either, a la Dexter, and there are no questions left in the air, *cough* Lost, making it one of the best final seasons of recent memory.

  People wrongly look over Justified when talking about the best TV shows of the past few years, which I personally think is wrong. No other show on TV has managed to have dialogue so fresh and quick and characters quite as fun and varied as those on Justified. The action is also still incredible, with Raylan’s frequent high noon style duels a particularly highlight. The real draw of the season though is the climax to the ongoing love/hate relationship of Raylan and Boyd. And that is handled perfectly, with an absolutely stunning ending for their storyline. This may be the end of the show but it’s never been better.

Justified: The Final Season gets 5/5.


Tom Bumby

Justified: The Final Season at CeX

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