The Perished – Review round up #1

Hey guys,

We’ve been absolutely blown away by the overall reactions coming in about The Perished since it’s world premiere at FrightFest on the 26th of August. We’ve had 10+ reviews and the majority of them have been overwhelmingly positive. The best ones really and deeply understood the subject matter and message of the film. We are so grateful to all the press who attended the premiere or reached out for a screener if they were unable to attend. More reviews coming very soon, but we’re all overwhelmingly proud.

Also will be doing a separate post with all podcast interviews/mentions/appearances since the premiere very soon too!


“There is nothing easy about watching THE PERISHED, but most of the best genre films are difficult to watch. This is a small indie film that makes you feel and think, and stands tall against a lot of the mindless drivel being spat out by Hollywood today. I can’t recommend it enough.” – Connor Fitzgerald Strader


“Paddy Murphy gets behind his podium and tells his story, forcing you to be a part of the conversation. It’s piercing atmosphere will leave as much of a cold feeling in the pit of your stomach as it will leave you scared. The film is a brilliant sophomoric effort and solidifies Murphy’s spot on the “directors to watch” list.” – Andrew Brooker

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“Slowly and deliberately, once the phantom screams begin, Murphy starts to season the story with other creepy elements. These elements gradually build in frequency and intensity to an almighty crescendo that screams horror. The climactic moments are like something straight out of Clive Barker’s mind and have a distinct Hellraiser tone to them.” – Kat Hughes


“You hope that films like this serve to shine a light of culpability on the people who wear church doctrine like a shield against legislative changes and the individual misery they continue to cause by wanting to deny a woman the right to do what she wants with her body.” – Stuart Wright


“Paddy Murphy shows plenty of promise with The Perished. You can see his skill as both a writer and a director, and his premise for the film is engaging and unsettling. Add to that the current landscape in the Republic of Ireland in the context of the subject matter here, and I’d go as far as to say Murphy has been very bold. It looks like Irish genre films have got a rising star to keep an eye on and I can’t wait to see what he does for his next film.” – Pip Ellwood-Hughes

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“Everyone apart from Sarah acts as if constrained by the conventions of their roles, but that’s precisely why her situation is so agonising – there’s a quiet horror in the moments when she foresees how conversations are going to play out with her useless boyfriend or narrow-minded mother but still has to go through with the argument.” – Kim Newman


“Written and directed by Paddy Murphy (The Three Don’ts, 2017), The Perished is obviously made on a low budget, even if a similar economy does not always govern its dialogue, which is at times overlong, repetitive and a little on the banal side. Yet that mundanity offsets the bizarre nature of what is emerging in the house, and the film’s central issues – women’s bodies and choices in a country which has traditionally oppressed them – are compelling ones, here handled with welcome irrationality and irresolution.” – Anton Bitel


“A great well written 1st attempt from a very passionate director Paddy Murphy with a solid team behind him to create a thoughtful drama about the rush decisions we make in life and the consequences that becomes of it.” – Jonathan Hughes



“It’s clear that Murphy is a talented filmmaker to watch, however. The film shows his skill at navigating depth, tone, and tension. He clearly knows what’s horrifying. It may just be that he’s taken on something too terrifying, or too grand, here, but you can feel the effort behind his storytelling. And with that kind of passion driving him, I’ll be first in line to see what comes next.” – Craig Ranallo


“Murphy never forgets where the true horror lies. It’s in bowing to shame and stigma, actions which ensure a horrific cycle will remain unbroken, and cause the same tragedies to repeat ad nauseam. It’s taking away someones choice, relinquishing them of their autonomy, and forcing them to go through with something they don’t want to. It’s in these moments that the film stays with you, long after the credits have rolled.”                    – James Rodders


“This is reminiscent of early Scorsese and Stanley Kubricks sense of dread this film is not to be missed. If you’re at Fright Fest I’d highly recommend seeing this one it’s one of the best films” – A.J Friar



“Murphy wisely sidesteps the question of when life begins by having the spirits act as a stand-in for stigma. He wants rural Ireland to face up to its history, so uses the location to draw a continuity between Sarah’s experiences and women from years, decades and centuries before. In this respect, The Perished isn’t pro-life or pro-choice but pro-empathy” – David. S. Smith


“After Davet relays the unspectacular story of his coming out to his parents, he scolds Sarah for lighting a cigarette. “My parents might be okay with my sexuality,” he says, “but if they thought I was fu–ing smoking they’d crucify me!” It’s a playful line that captures the arbitrary rules by which households often operate, and suggests that, were things different, Sarah’s mother might have been merely anti-smoking rather than anti-choice.” – Sean McGeady


The Perished is fresh, interesting and often chilling with its supernatural horror. What it lacks in the occasional substandard performance, it makes up for with the story itself and the use of macabre visuals. Not the most mind blowing ghost story I’ve seen but still one I had fun with, and found a lot to like about, The Perished should appease those in need of a decent spooky tale.” – Chris Cummings

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The Perished is still a decent film that tells the story it wants to tell, but it feels a little lackluster overall. Despite my lowish rating, this is a horror with a very strong message that many people will connect with. While it didn’t fully resonate with me, Murphy has made an intriguing contribution to a genre that thrives off of the horrors of real life.”       – Toni Stanger


[Frightfest 2018 Reviews] Summer of ’84

Going into Frightfest 2018, I was beyond excited to see the new film from French Canadian director trio, RKSS – Road Kill Super Stars – Individually known as François Simard, Anouk Whissell & Yoann-Karl Whissell. The team was behind one of my favourite films of 2015, the phenomenal Turbo Kid. I won’t say that Summer of ’84, their follow up, is a bad film. For me, it just felt a little bit like they were losing their voice amid the studio system.

Summer of ’84 tells the story of four kids in your quintessential small American town, cycling around on bikes trying to solve mysteries. Think the “Hardy Boys” meets “Stranger Things” with a dolloping of “Rear Window” thrown in there for good measure. The leader of the group, Davey, is convinced that the cop that lives across the street from him is an infamous serial killer, but has absolutely no proof.

Davey enlists his friends, Curtis, Tommy and Dale to help in exposing the (suspected) child murderer, Officer Mackey – played with incredible charisma by the beyond talented Rich Sommer, who you may recognise as one of the FBI agents from the latest season of Orange is the New Black.

It works well as an examination of adults scepticism of kids, kids perception of adults and the dynamic and trust issues between the two. Where the film fell down for me was in its clumsy handling of the third act, which felt like ticking a bunch of boxes to suit the studio. I don’t want to give any spoilers away here so it’s hard to get into my reasoning, but I will say, if the film had ended in a certain scene where a ladder dropped into frame I would have been content. What came after felt shoehorned in and executed poorly – which I feel doesn’t necessarily reflect on the directors, but on the script.


The film is accomplished from a directorial standpoint. It’s as clear here as in Turbo Kid that the trio of directors have a sense of style, but my fear here is that the substance isn’t quite on par with the style here. Equally, I have some issues with the cast. Individually, they are all fantastic but together something about their chemistry feels off – particularly, the relationship between Davey and his babysitter – which just seems a little seedy.

Summer of ’84 works best as a rumination on the idea of the killer next door – the friendly guy who smiles at you in the morning but murders teens at night. This is not a particularly new conceit though and while the “Rear Window through the eyes of a child” angle feels somewhat fresh, the buildup and overall climax left me wanting less… not more. In saying all of that, Summer of ’84 is a very solid movie and worth a watch if you enjoy coming of age movies or even serial killer movies.

If anything Summer of ’84 just gets me excited to see what RKSS do next…

Rating: 3.5/5

Summer of 84, produced by Brightlight Pictures & Gunpowder and Sky, is currently available on DVD/Blu-Ray and on VOD over on ShudderAmazon.


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[Frightfest 2018 Reviews] The Ranger

Frightfest 2018 opened with a relatively divisive film by the super talented swiss-army knife of film-making that is Jenn Wexler. The Ranger is a love letter to punk culture and a coming of age story that uses the metaphor of standing up to authority in a fresh and meaningful way.

The film, which divided people in the IMAX on Leicester Square on opening night, tells the story of a young woman named Chelsea played by Chloe Levine, who struggles to find her sense of place in the world. On top of her own personal identity crisis amongst her group of punk pisshead friends, Chelsea seems to be burying some deeply repressed secret regarding a tragedy from her past. She inherits her Uncles old cabin in the woods, giving a perfect opportunity for Chelsea and her ragtag group of misfits to isolate themselves and stick one big middle finger up to nature, while on the run from the cops.

The Park Ranger doesn’t take too kindly to this. Played exceptionally well by Jeremy Holm, the Ranger is the embodiment of order. A clear antagonist to these rebellious teens and their volatile personalities. Jeremy Holm eats up the scenery and his interactions with Chelsea are full of tension and genuine chemistry. One of my only major gripes with the film is how little the supporting characters really matter. They are there for some great deaths and clever humour, but they just don’t seem to have a wide-reaching effect on the narrative.


Wexler’s style permeates the film and everything from the song choices to the aesthetic scream with a unique voice. Some of the bigger set pieces in the film are delivered with such confidence that you’d be shocked to learn that this is Jenn’s first feature film as a director! Having built her credits as a producer with Glass Pix Studios (also known as the house of Larry Fessenden), Wexler puts all her experience to use in crafting not only an extremely competent debut feature but one that is sure to be a fan favourite of those in the punk scene for years to come.

The Ranger is about youth finding out who they are amidst a sea of peer pressure pushing and pulling them in all directions. What’s interesting is that for a film so about lack of identity just how focused it really is. Though this divided fans at the fest, it was one that resonated with me (and my seat buddy, Sam), perhaps because I still feel like Chelsea. That individual not quite sure where I fit in the grand scheme of this thing called life, but unwilling to just give in to societal standards.

Rating: 4/5

The Ranger, produced by Glass Eye Pix & Hood River Entertainment and is available to watch via VOD exclusively on Shudder.


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