Recent paranormal investigation films with potential
My attention to current horror films tends to wax and wane depending on my attention to other ongoing projects at any given time. As a result, I sometimes miss potentially decent supernatural horror films in my preferred horror genres/sub-genres. Here are a couple of paranormal investigation movies — supernatural horror films based on successful found-footage paranormal investigation films like Grave Encounters.
The School in the Woods (2010)
The School in the Woods (2010), Official trailer on YouTube
Country: U.K. Director:David M. Reynolds Horror themes: Post-apocalpse, zombies, undead, gore, firearms, war, first-person cam Tagline: THEY ARE FAST NOW Verdict: 7/10… Great zombie horror short film; it’s actually hard to believe it’s low-budget, visually speaking — kudos to Dave Reynolds and the rest of Realm, as well as the entire crew and the 200+ volunteers that made this short film happen. Zomblies is a must-see for all fans of zombie horror; it is free to watch anytime online (see the streaming video below; just press PLAY)!
Official trailer, Zomblies, 2010 U.K. zombie horror short (watch entire film below)
This killer short horror film has been made available to the masses via YouTube, as I discovered during the writeup process a couple of days after watching the film. There’s no need to feel guilty downloading and/or watching this flick online, free of charge!
Zomblies plot synopsis
In a post-apocalyptic version of the present or the near-future, the zombie hunting unit of a private militia runs into major trouble and sends a distress call to headquarters – located on the safe side of “The Wall” which protects what’s left of humanity on the island nation. It’s up to the Rangers – a heavily armed unit containing both vets and rookies – to make it back to the Wall, cross back over The Wall into relative safety, as well as uncover the truth about a terrifying virus which – after killing the infected – also reanimates the dead, creating a quick, dangerous, carnivorous zombie.
Watch Zomblies online free here
Be sure to use the full-screen option to maximize your experience
This short film is apparently the first from writer/ director/ actor/ visual effects specialist David M. Reynolds, who has successfully created this exciting, edge-of-seat zombie horror. Kudos, man. This is low-budget successfully masquerading as Hollywood. The visual effects are outstanding.
The zombie-hunting unit includes:
Jack, The Chief
Bear, The Tracker
Nickel, The Marksman
Walker, The Big Guns
Drew, The Science
Bull, The Comms
Although the official budget was around five thousand pounds U.K., this is rather misleading as Zomblies was clearly a 200-member-strong team effort from which no one will profit financially, directly, per an interview with Dave Reynolds at Zombie Command.
Thanks to Realm, the actors, the crew, and all the volunteers who made this possible – and thanks for giving us this video at no cost, online, and allowing others to embed it.
Resources: Zomblies, 2010 U.K. zombie horror short
Zomblies, 2010 horror short – IMDb (Rating: 60), Wikipedia (no entry yet)
Country: U.K. Also known as: The Possession of David O’Reilly Directed by:Andrew Cull (writer), Steve Isles Horror themes: Paranoia, nightmares, hallucination, murder, intruders, supernatural creatures, possession
Based on "actual events," The Possession of David O-Reilly is a terrifying supernatural shockumentary about a demonic presence in a young couple’s London home.
Movie trailer: The Possession of David O’Reilly – YouTube
More info coming soon…
Resources: The Torment, a.k.a. The Possession of David O’Reilly
The Possession of David O’Reilly, a.k.a. The Torment (2010) – IMDb (Rating: 46)
What if there existed a virtually unknown wilderness trail that caused hikers to gradually become more and more insane as greater distances were traversed, and the madness wasn’t noticeable to those affected? What if weird music started coming from the trees, from the grass, the ground – or are those surreal melodies coming from the sky? What if hikers in your group started behaving more and more violently, the maps stopped making sense, and compasses, watches, phones, iPods, and other devices all ceased to function properly? What if ingesting strong hallucinogenic substances found growing in the woods along the way started to sound like a responsible move, a wise idea under the circumstances? That’s a taste of what a weekend of hiking and camping might be like along the YellowBrickRoad. Maybe the trailhead sign and visitor register were taken down for good reasons…
Horror themes: Evil wilderness, local legend, missing people, hallucination, hallucinogenic drugs, human scarecrow, murder, lost, remoteness, self-injury, madness/insanity…
Verdict: 52/100… From an overall quality perspective, YellowBrickRoad is about average; it gets 52 points on the Supernatural Horror index. Although I felt the overall quality was average, the events and plot of the film itself were anything but average; as others have mentioned, there is a strong WTF aspect to YellowBrickRoad.
Although the movie contained some decidedly disturbing visuals, I did not experience a genuine case of the creeps afterward (probably because there was no identifiable antagonist, apart from the wilderness itself), as has happened in the past with the horror movies that succeeded in scaring me the most. (I can still remember feeling uncomfortable and being jittery as I walked my dog late at night after seeing The Ring for the first time.) Unfortunately, the ending of YellowBrickRoad simply failed to deliver the goods – at least in the eyes of this nature-loving but jaded supernatural horror fan. It was a bit of a let-down.
On a more positive note, I would say that supernatural horror fans who are looking for something different, unique, and disturbing (in parts, anyway) should consider checking this movie out: It’s not bad for a low-budget indie horror flick. YellowBrickRoad scores points because of the way it lets its hair down, what with its atypical plot and some interesting horror themes I was not expecting. (Although I described it as low-budget, it did not have the feel of a B-movie or underfunded project; it seemed professionally done.)
One morning in New England, 1940, the entire population of Friar, New Hampshire – 572 people – walked together up a winding mountain trail and into the wilderness. They left behind their clothes, their money, and everything else; even their dogs were tied to posts and left to starve. No one knows what caused the villagers to vacate. Much later, a search party dispatched by the U.S. Army finally discovered the remains of nearly 300 of Friar’s evacuees, many having frozen to death. Other townsfolk were cruelly and mysteriously slaughtered. The bodies of dozens and dozens or remaining citizens are still unaccounted for. Over the years, a quiet cover-up operation managed to weave the story of Friar into the stuff of legends and backwoods fairy tales. The town has slowly repopulated, but the vast wilderness remains largely unexplored; its northernmost stretches were declared off limits to hunters, loggers, and hikers. In 2008, the coordinates for the “YELLOWBRICKROAD” trailhead were declassified. The first official expedition into the very same mysterious wilderness will attempt to reach the end of the trail and solve the mystery of the lost citizens of Friar. The husband-wife pair of investigator/ researchers Teddy and Melissa Barnes (Michael Laurino and Anessa Ramsey) coordinates a team effort which includes Forestry Service representative Cy (Sam Elmore), intern Jill (Tara Giordano), behavioral psych professor Walter (Alex Draper) and brother-sister map/ topo experts Daryl (Clark Freeman) and Erin (Cassidy Freeman) to investigate the legendary Friar, New Hampshire occurrences.
Original trailer: YELLOWBRICKROAD 2010 supernatural horror movie (YouTube video)
YellowBrickRoad The Movie Promo (YouTube video)
Resources: YellowBrickRoad supernatural horror movie
Photo gallery: More images from YellowBrickRoad, 2010 horror movie
NOTE: As usual, these images are randomly pulled from themed image folders each time this web page is loaded. If you click your browser’s refresh button, you are likely to see different images from the movie than the movie stills currently shown below. Give it a try. (The image folders for this movie currently contain between two and twelve images each.)
Around the campfire, before things get too bad
Camping, hiking fun – before terrible things start to happen
Fantastic but mysterious wilderness
Cutting his hand for fun
Horrific discovery: from hiker to scarecrow in minutes
Teddy, the group leader
The only vehicle available, but not for long
The nice views and beautiful scenery is largely unappreciated by this group, perhaps due to frequent, terrifying experiences
Towards the end of YellowBrickRoad movie
Removed or unfinished content
Yeah, sometimes I trail off, even when I’m writing. YellowBrickRoad would have been rated higher if the film had not gotten off to such a slow start… not that every horror occurrence needs to be described – it’s often more appealing if no attempt is made to explain the event(s); however, this time I wanted more background information than viewers were given. I really enjoyed the natural scenery – the vistas, the skyward shots, the trees, and the fields in YellowBrickRoad. The hallucination segment was entertaining.
Horror movies tend to rank lower.
The IMDb rating of 44 is pretty average for a horror movie, as are the relatively low scores on Rotten Tomatoes. IMHO, a rating of 44 might indicate a sub-par or poor comedy or drama, but for a title in the horror genre, a 44 might indicate a movie quality closer to average.