The reviews below are provided by DJ Remark of Bloodscribe Creations and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of all of the Indie Horror Junkie staff. They are that of the reviewer soley and are meant for entertainment and constructive purposes only.  

Arena Wars is a technically proficient movie with good lighting, cinematography, and audio. The production values are impressive, particularly for an indie film. The violence and gore effects are well-executed, adding a visceral intensity that action and thriller enthusiasts will appreciate. Judging by the costumes, I'd swear this was a movie adaptation of a video game. Unfortunately, that's where the praise for this movie ends. Despite its polished look, Arena Wars falls flat in many crucial areas.

The story is set in a future where gladiators compete with inmates on death row, but the problem is audiences are getting bored. To reinvigorate the ratings, the CEO of the Arena Wars company decides it's time to give the audience a hero to fight for. Enter our hero,  a former marine serving time for a crime he didn't commit. He's offered as the "innocent hero" for Arena Wars. If he takes a merry band of criminals to the last level of the Arena and wins, he gets his freedom and gets to see his wife and kid. The premise is typical, and the execution leaves much to be desired.

From the outset, the script railroads audiences from the beginning to the middle and right to the end with predictable plot points, dialogue, and even action sequences. There are no real surprises or twists to keep viewers engaged. The protagonist is loaded with plot armor, the characters are one-dimensional, and their development is minimal. There's a huge melodramatic gap around the       60-minute mark that is completely skippable if you're just watching this movie for the action. This lull in pacing feels like filler and disrupts the flow of the film, making it a chore to sit through.

Overall, Arena Wars is a decent movie that you can watch for fun on an airplane or in the background while doing chores. Nothing is that impressive or award-worthy, but it's definitely better than most indie offerings of this genre. It's worth a watch if you're looking for mindless entertainment with some good action sequences. However, don't expect to be blown away by the story or characters.        And as a side note, this film isn't horror. So they slipped one by us here at Indie Horror Junkie, but we'll get 'em next time.

Author: DJ Remark - Filmmaker, Horror lover. Follow me on Instagram @bloodscribecreations and X - @DJ_Remark

Rick Danford's "The Clock" tells the story of a family who brings an old Grandfather clock into their home after scoring it at an estate sale. But as soon as they set it up, things take a weird turn. They find themselves battling demons and summoning the ghost of their Grandmother in an attempt to break the curse of The Clock. It's a quick watch, clocking in at just one hour and eight minutes, which might have affected the story's depth by rushing things and not giving the audience enough time to connect with the characters.

There are some strong points in the film, particularly in the visual and auditory departments. Saulo Zayas's cinematography, sound design, makeup, special effects, and Stefano Di Perna's score all deserve applause.

However, the plot quickly spirals into confusion after an intriguing opening scene involving a priest hurrying to get the cursed clock to "hallowed ground." The story then shifts to our main characters, Mike and Sara, played by Aimee Rolfsen and Shawn Ray, chatting at an estate sale. They stumble upon The Clock, and after some eerie chimes, they decide to bring it home. Unfortunately, the priest they interact with doesn't offer much insight, leaving us with nothing but a cryptic "Father Riddell dropped it off here."

The rest of the film unfolds with less-than-horrifying shadowy encounters, random characters getting possessed, and a climax involving a Bible-believing Medium who summons someone named Minerva as a "spirit guide." This also somehow triggers the appearance of Sara's mother's ghost, who was apparently involved in a blood ritual to summon demons from hell using The Clock as a gateway.

The big issue with this ambitious script is the lack of clear explanations or established rules about the clock. We get a hefty exposition dump through dialogue in a phone call between some mediums, but it doesn't do much to clarify what The Clock is, who Sara's mother really is, why she went off the deep end, what the clock's significance is, or why the priests didn't immediately investigate this strange object that another priest sacrificed his life to transport.

The acting leaves something to be desired, with melodramatic performances and characters reacting strangely to situations. For example, Sara freaks out when she notices a man about three yards away from her while getting the mail but merely gasps with wide eyes when she encounters her flaming, demonic mother during a séance.

Characters like Vinny and the adult film actors don't add much to the story and struggle to deliver convincing performances. They seem more like vessels for the demons, but the rules governing their actions and connections to the clock remain a mystery.

In spite of its narrative and acting hiccups, "The Clock" could be a suitable recommendation for first-time horror viewers, given its relatively mild approach to horror elements. There's minimal gore and violence, apart from a rather gnarly scene involving a stripper and a severed finger. Plus, with a concise runtime of one hour and eight minutes, it won't eat up too much of your time.

Author: DJ Remark - Filmmaker, Horror lover. Follow me on Instagram @bloodscribecreations and X - @DJ_Remark

Chuck Morrongiello’s "The American Ripper" is a cinematic endeavor that swings wildly between the heights of indie ingenuity and the depths of B-movie absurdity, much like its protagonist's descent into madness. In this self-styled horror, Morrongiello wears more hats than a milliner's mannequin – writer, director, producer, lead actor, and even the composer, ensuring his fingerprints are on every inch of the film. His wife, Karolina, not to be outdone in the multitasking department, chips in as both the co-star and editor.

The film introduces us to Bobby and Lola, a couple who, in classic horror fashion, move into a new house with a shady past. The plot quickly escalates as Bobby, played by Morrongiello himself, transitions from a loving husband to a delusional murderer with a fondness for torturing his wife and a penchant for offing anyone who crosses his path.

Morrongiello's acting is a kaleidoscope of quality – at times surprisingly effective, and at other moments, it’s like watching someone who just read "Acting for Dummies." It’s a wild ride, but given his juggling of virtually every major role in the film's creation, we can cut him some slack. Karolina, on the other hand, delivers her lines with the enthusiasm of someone reading a microwave manual. That said, her editing skills are a redeeming feature, slicing and dicing the film with far more precision than her on-screen husband does his victims.

Now, about the cinematography – it's like a scrappy underdog, doing quite well for itself despite battling against the constraints of a shoestring budget. The makeup effects deserve a shoutout too, crafting a believable gore-fest on a budget that probably wouldn’t cover your average Hollywood star’s coffee tab.

Plot-wise, "The American Ripper" tiptoes down a familiar path – a possession story with a twist. The film teases the idea that a nearby lake and the ghost of a previous owner are to blame for Bobby's transformation, a plot point as murky as the waters of the said lake. The script creatively sidesteps the legalities of real estate disclosure with the "new house, old murder" trope, a move that’s both clever and convenient.

However, the film's third act drags like a zombie with a broken leg. Watching Bobby's extended torture sessions and mutilations becomes as monotonous as watching paint dry, if the paint was blood-red and occasionally screamed. The lack of follow-up on key events, like disappearing cops and neighbors, leaves more loose ends than a badly knitted sweater.

In its climactic showdown, the film delivers a laborious five-minute struggle, culminating in a DIY dismemberment that would make MacGyver proud. Lola, after days of being tied up and force-fed a diet that would horrify even the staunchest carnivore, musters the strength to turn the tables, leading to a finale that’s both gruesome and oddly satisfying.

In summary, "The American Ripper" is a wild ride through the landscape of low-budget horror. It’s a film that bravely walks the tightrope between 'so bad it's good' and 'just plain bad', occasionally stumbling but never quite falling off. For fans of psychological horror with a forgiving palate, it's worth a watch – just don't expect a gourmet meal when you’ve ordered fast food.

Author: DJ Remark - Filmmaker, Horror lover. Follow me on Instagram @bloodscribecreations and X - @DJ_Remark

"Big Brood", written by Dylan Patrick Morley and Matthew A. Peters, and directed by Peters, is a low-budget independent horror movie that left me with more face-palms than scares. The film's premise revolves around Adam's plan to propose to his girlfriend, Allie, but their love story takes a back seat when an alien crashes down in the woods, looking for a perfect host. Unfortunately, the movie falls short in almost every aspect, making it an overall disappointing experience.

The film's script is a true gem of awkwardness, where quips and jokes fall flat enough to leave you questioning the concept of humor itself. You'll be treated to memorable moments like a girl arguing that firework explosions and explosion explosions are somehow different—what a revelation! The opening scene, a true masterclass in pointlessness and cringe, sets the tone for what's to come.

Cinematography and lighting? Well, let's just say they add a unique, avant-garde dimension to the film. Shots are often blurry, backgrounds turn into blinding white voids, and it appears that lighting was deemed entirely unnecessary for this cinematic endeavor. Color temperature? Forget about consistency; it's a rollercoaster.

One of the most glaring issues is the lack of music to enhance the mood in most scenes, which leaves the characters sitting around and talking in silence, making the weak script even more apparent. When music is finally introduced during the alien scenes, it's a welcome relief.

The directing is subpar, and it's unclear where the film's $10,000 budget was allocated, as it certainly wasn't in the acting or lighting departments. The drone camera occasionally provides better shots than the main camera, but it's not enough to salvage the film.

The film's attempts at humor with idiotic local cops are jarring, considering the overall poor quality of the movie. Jennie Russo's boobs, which arrive late in the film, do pprecious little to redeem it.

The makeup and special effects of the Alien Queen are passable at best, and the script's absurdity extends to the point where a federal agent casually dumps seemingly classified information onto the local cops, which...okay. The final showdown between the alien and the federal agent is underwhelming, making it difficult to take the film seriously.

In the end, "Big Brood" is a valuable lesson in how not to make a movie. If you're seeking a riveting horror experience with top-notch writing, directing, and cinematography, you'd be better off watching anything else. "Big Brood" should come with a warning: "Proceed at your own risk of losing faith in cinema."

Author: DJ Remark - Filmmaker, Horror lover. Follow me on Instagram @bloodscribecreations and X - @DJ_Remark

Helmed by the dynamic duo of writer James Roberts and director Daniel Turres, ambitiously tries to throw back to the glory days of 90s teen slashers like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Jeepers Creepers," with a sprinkle of cosmic dread for flavor. Unfortunately, the concoction brewed is less a delicious blend of horror-comedy and more a baffling mix of gore with the occasional, desperate grasp at humor. The plot is a straight line: Tom, a wrestler whose career is as bright as a burnt-out neon sign, moonlights as a babysitter to help his girlfriend Phoebe hit the books. What starts as a gig babysitting a ten-year-old quickly devolves into a mess of blood, guts, and uninvited guests with a penchant for masks and mayhem.

The action sequences and special effects are the film's redeeming qualities, delivering all the blood-soaked spectacle one might hope for. It's in these moments of chaos and carnage where "Here For Blood" finds its pulse—albeit a frenzied one.

On the flip side, the script feels like it was cobbled together during a writers' strike, with dialogue so wooden it could double as furniture. Characters wander through the story with the depth and appeal of cardboard cutouts, particularly Phoebe, whose intelligence seems to have been left on the cutting room floor. Tom, our supposed hero, oscillates between dim-witted cowardice and sudden bursts of bravery, a shift as convincing as a magician's illusion.

The attempt at supernatural horror introduces us to more masked villains with the collective competence of a circus troupe, presumably for comedic effect, yet it lands with the thud of a dropped pie. Dee Snider's cameo as a skull screaming "Feed me!" might just be the cherry on top of this confused sundae, leaving audiences to wonder if there's a method to the madness. The reveal that the family is complicit in the sinister goings-on shocks precisely no one, casting doubt on whether the script was aware of its own predictability.

As the movie stumbles towards its climax, the violence, which should have been cranked to dizzying heights, fizzles out, culminating in a sequel tease that inspires more groans than anticipation.

Beneath the rubble of missed comedic cues and a plot thinner than budget-brand tissue paper, there's a glimmer of a good film. Imagine a focus on Tom (or even Phoebe) as a fully fleshed-out character, channeling the indomitable spirit of 80s action heroes while navigating a maze of intrigue and deceit laid by the very family he's sworn to protect. Throw in the practical effects, buckets of gore, and perhaps, a shower scene or two? And you'd have a film worth watching. As it stands, "Here For Blood" is a testament to wasted potential, a spectacle of effects in search of a story.

Author: DJ Remark - Filmmaker, Horror lover. Follow me on Instagram @bloodscribecreations and X - @DJ_Remark