Alex Kahuam’s Feature Film ‘Forgiveness’ Has A Chilling Trailer


By: Amanda Guarragi

After Alex Kahuam’s success at Horror Fest International last year, he is releasing his first horror feature Forgiveness. His film¬†Red Light¬†won for Best Midnight Movie at the festival. Similar to the tone of his short film, Forgiveness captures the human condition and how everyone fears something different. Just after watching the trailer, you will understand Kahuam’s style of filmmaking and it’s really unique to the horror genre.

The trailer definitely makes an impact and leaves you wanting more. Just within minutes, Kahuam isolates the viewer into the thing they fear most. The score that accompanies those eerie scenes locks the viewer in this trance, almost like it is locking you into this nightmare. The visuals are very obscure and the editing in the trailer works extremely well to create an eerie atmosphere. These people are trapped inside an isolated room with their most important senses stripped from them.

Imagine not being able to hear…

Imagine not being able to speak..

Imagine not being able to see…

Now imagine being trapped without any of those abilities.

Kahuam is extremely talented because he understands the human condition and brings out the fear in simple situations. It is always exciting when a filmmaker approaches a genre in a different way and brings something interesting to the table. Forgiveness is definitely one to look forward to, so keep it in mind, the next time you need a nice little horror movie. The film will be out soon enough but this trailer is enough to hold you over!

HorrorFest International Winner ‘Red Light’: An Interview with Filmmakers Ted Raimi and Alex Kahuam


By: Amanda Guarragi

Since 2001 HorrorFest International has brought the Horror community together to celebrate the genre and emerging filmmakers. The festival showcases features, short films and scripts, to live in-person audiences. This year, the film Red Light won for Best Midnight Movie at the festival. Director Alex Kahuam is absolutely delighted that his film got the midnight spot during the festival and was overwhelmed by the reception. The film stars the legendary Ted Raimi, as Ian, a man who teaches millennials a thing or two about karma.

The film begins with this quote,

“As a child I never imagined that all of the real monsters in the world would be human”

-Mobeen Hakeem

It sets the tone for the rest of the film because everyone has their own perception of monsters. It is a reflection on humanity and the treatment of others. It also highlights the persona of social media influencers, on and off their screen. Kahuam wrote a great screenplay exploring these ideas and he definitely presents them in a unique way,

“It reflects all people. It’s just a reflection on humanity and how we are monsters in a way and that’s what I wanted. So the audience would get a taste of what the whole picture was going to be. Everyone’s a monster in their own way. 

– Director Alex Kahuam, Red Light
Courtesy of Veva Entertainment
(left) Chloe Ortega, Jade Janet, Esteban de la Isla, Alex Sands and Layne Herrin

Red Light captures the human condition and how everyone fears something different. The most unique aspect about this film is the long takes that Kahuam decided to do. Everything was perfectly orchestrated and the tension was really prominent throughout. These long takes also brought out great performances from his actors, allowing their fear to feel real. Kahuam also used lighting and shadowing to enhance the atmosphere,

“The colour is super loud, violent and visceral and I wanted the audience to feel that at the beginning and at the end.”

– Director Alex Kahuam, Red Light
Courtesy of Veva Entertainment

The placement for these colours for the opening and closing shots, definitely packed a punch and made it memorable.

Not only was this film visually pleasing and so incredibly fun to watch, Ian (Ted Raimi) as a character was intriguing and he left you wanting to know more. The writing for the character was really strong and watching his story unfold was great. Raimi spoke about his character and praised Kahuam for writing him so well. Raimi said that his character and the story reflected something that everyone is currently dealing with,

“We happen to be in the middle of a generational crisis right now, it usually takes place every 50 years. I think Alex has tapped into that quite well and so it was easy to step into.”

– Ted Raimi, Red Light
Courtesy of Veva Entertainment
(Ted Raimi as Ian)

This is what is interesting about Ian’s character, he genuinely believes that he is paying it forward and restoring order in the universe. Ian kidnaps these teenagers and ties them up in his basement to set them straight, all while answering to a higher power, his own parents. We see three generations in a very different light and how they respond to each other.

The last act in this film has stayed with me because of how powerful the visuals were. The Horror elements were perfect and it is a short film that would work even better as a feature because of how strong the writing is. From the lighting, to the song choices, to the sound design, the film is beautifully crafted and I am looking forward to seeing more from Alex Kahuam.

Sweet Taste of Souls Review


By: Amanda Guarragi

Sweet Taste of Souls has a really unique concept that flips the moving picture frame trope on its head. When four struggling band members stop at a small roadside cafe for a slice of cherry pie, they find themselves imprisoned in the owner’s framed art collection. The film was intriguing from the very beginning and had refreshing moments for the supernatural subgenre in Horror.

Ms. Ellinore (Honey Loren) was heartbroken and defeated when her husband left her. She harnessed these supernatural powers to create a picture perfect life within her art collection, a life that she could never have. The film dives into the psychology of trauma and abuse, while adding a supernatural element to it. It is one of the most refreshing concepts because of how this complex, emotional story ties in with a trope we’ve never fully explored on screen.

Courtesy of Dark Coast Entertainment

The most impressive aspect of the film was the special effects and how they were used in certain scenes. There was a whole process in taking the souls of the characters and transferring into the frame, which was really interesting. It also felt really claustrophobic at times (which was a horrible feeling for me) which worked extremely well for the suspense of being locked inside of a frame.

Sweet Taste of Souls had great special effects, a really complex psychological story and sound design that elevated the story. It had great use of colour, especially the colour red, to pop against a faded background and make you remember that Ms. Ellinore was around the corner. It’s a very fun, original horror film, with a deep psychological exploration of trauma.

Camp Twilight Review


By: Amanda Guarragi

Camp Twilight is a fun mixture of classic slasher films that had its very own twist ending. It’s definitely campy, over-exaggerated, borderline cringey but it works. After realizing their about to fail senior year, 6 high school students agree to a weekend camping trip for extra credit. Lead by Ms. Bloom (Felissa Rose) and Mr. Warner (Barry Jay Minoff), they quickly find out the horrid past of the campsite.

The film felt like a cross between Scream and Friday the 13th, it even had character names like Sidney and the last name of a character named Loomis. It felt like a nice homage to slasher films, especially these classics. It’s filled with similar tropes and a ton of overacting at times, but for some reason it worked. A slasher film that has you yelling at the screen over the stupid decisions campers make, is definitely fun to sit through.

Courtesy of DarkCoast Entertainment

Its writers Brandon Amolette and Felissa Rose really went back to the roots of slasher films. It had a very simple structure with generic characters, that we really wouldn’t mind losing, once the killer went on the murder spree. They also incorporated cops, who don’t really know what they’re doing, which made for really funny moments. Like every slasher film, the kills have to be great and there were plenty of suspenseful moments.

Camp Twilight is as campy as it gets. It is a lot of fun, definitely surprising at times and it has a wicked ending. The score that accompanies the campers, on their disturbing weekend, really tied everything together. It is a lot to take in because there is so much happening but it’s such a fun ride for the genre. As long as you’re yelling at these campers, telling them not to do the inevitable, it is definitely entertaining.

The Haunting of Bly Manor Review


By: Amanda Guarragi

Here we are, in the month of October, or Spooky Season, as we have named it. Mike Flanagan takes his rightful place as King of the entire season. The Haunting of Bly Manor is beautifully adapted, from the stories of Henry James and it takes us, into the hearts of the characters, at Bly Manor.

Similar to The Haunting of Hill House, the writing is the strongest aspect of the series. Each episode is perfectly written, to allow the viewer, to connect the dots themselves, all while delivering a heartfelt story. You do not realize that you are registering the tiny hints, they have set in each episode, until it flourishes. This series will captivate you, from the moment it begins and you will get lost in Bly Manor until the end.

The series is deeply rooted in the idea of love and what it truly means to love someone. The extent you would go to for the one you love, how to properly love them and how valuable time with the one you love can be. This gothic romance shows the immense loss one can feel and how everyone grieves differently. It explains the many versions of love and the perception a person can project, for what they truly want.

The beauty of the series lies in the small details in each episode, everything is perfectly placed and the series is structured incredibly well. Both The Haunting series’ are brilliant pieces for Netflix, especially with Flanagan at the helm. He is incredibly gifted in telling these stories and showing audiences, what he wants them to see, through the lens. The framing composition, cinematography, lighting and camera movements, all come together to create, a perfectly splendid atmosphere for the characters.

Courtesy of Netflix
(center) Victoria Pedretti as Danielle Clayton

This was the first time, in a very long time, probably since The Haunting of Hill House, that I have been fully immersed in a series. The Haunting of Bly Manor has fantastic performances, from its cast, but Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson – Cohen, continue to blow me away, with how talented they are. The entire cast is perfectly splendid and had wonderful chemistry together. You will remember their names and fall in love with their stories.

The Haunting of Bly Manor is beautifully haunting and rich in gothic romance conventions. The impending doom, that rests upon the roof of Bly Manor, is felt through every nook and cranny. Everything is perfectly crafted and it is one of the best series to come out this year. So settle in and listen closely, to a love story, that has many surprises and an ending so beautiful, that it will stay with you, long after you’ve finished.