Evil Eye Horror Film Reviews: Kronos: Vampire Hunter, The Power, The Wicker Man, The McPherson Tape and The Banishing

Simon Alderwick watches and shares his thoughts on the gruesome pick and mix of horror movies available on Shudder and beyond. This week he looks at Kronos: Vampire Hunter, The Power, The Wicker Man, The McPherson Tape and The Banishing

Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974) is a swashbuckling vampire hunting tale set in 16th century England. I was drawn to this Hammer Horror production after enjoying The Mummy a few weeks ago. I dug the old time vibes and the sense of fun and adventure. I wish there were more films like this – mixing adventure and horror but keeping things fun. Apparently this film was meant to be the first in a string of such films from Hammer, but unfortunately the studio ran into financial troubles. It’s a shame as more of today’s horror movies should allow themselves to have this much fun. It’s entertainment, after all.

The Power (2021) is set in London in 1974 and sees a trainee nurse working a night shift in a creepy AF hospital ward.

Atmospheric from the get go, oozing 70s horror auras and East London edginess, I loved how I was drawn in like an old friend. It’s a very British film, very real, and director Corinna Faith does a brilliant job of mixing the familiar and the sinister, creating a world that feels both real and unnerving. I felt I was in safe hands and in for something special, so just sat back and watched the horror unfold. I urge you to do the same.

After obsessing over Midsommar last week, I thought I would check out The Wicker Man (1973). I’d heard some Midsommar detractors say the film had taken a lot of cues from this cult classic, but I couldn’t see so many similarities. Almost 50 years separate the two movies and they tell completely different stories.  Both are centred around mayfair rituals but The Wicker Man is more of a crime thriller that turns into horror, playing on the prudish detective’s own christian faith and virtue, whereas Midsommar is a fairytale inspired sensual overload that’s ambivalent about what’s right and wrong. But anyway, I really enjoyed The Wicker Man – it’s of its time but stands up well at almost 50 years old and is definitely a must see.

The McPherson Tape (1989) is a quirky lo-fi found footage alien movie. A film from simpler times, when making movies was a DIY affair and when the truth was most definitely out there. Not in any way remotely scary but still a fun if goofy waste of an hour.

After a gruesome introduction, The Banishing (2021) starts out as a seemingly typical haunted house flick, but has more twists and turns than you can shake a crucifix at. This is an engrossing supernatural thriller that keeps the audience as well as the characters second guessing every word, thought and creaking floorboard.

Simon Alderwick is a poet and songwriter from the UK. His work is featured or forthcoming in Whatever Keeps The Light On, Re-side and the Squiffy Gnu anthology, among others. Follow him on Twitter @SimonAlderwick.

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