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Rise of the Beast

UK 2022
produced by
Rebecca Matthews, Scott Jeffrey for Proportion Productions
directed by Jack Ayers
starring Arthur Boan, Sarah T. Cohen, Sian Altman, George Nettleton, Peter Jeffries, Brendan Jones, Heather Jackson, Andrew Rolfe, Erina Mashate, Giedre Jackyte, Sam Sharma, James Robertson, Jack Fairbank, Sophie Storm K, Daniel Subin, Mirella Camillo
written by Fil Freitas, music by Rick Parnaby, special effects makeup by Chelsea Murphy, visual effects by Glen Campbell, Tammy Klein, Neil Sopata

review by
Mike Haberfelner

John (Arthur Boan) has just gotten a promotion at his job at the genetic research lab that (of course secretly) works on crossing human and gorilla DNA to create the ultimate soldier - but actually, John's a mole, as he only wanted to get the location of his company's secret lab for his team of eco-activists. And so, he and his team - his girlfriend Elena (Sarah T. Cohen) plus Faith (Sian Altman), Andy (George Nettleton) and Pete (Peter Jeffries) - head for that lab only a few nights before John's to start to work there. What none of them know, the lab's latest experiment, a giant gorilla, has only recently escaped, and is now hiding in the vicinity ... and on their way to the backdoor entrance to the lab, Pete's killed by the beast, not much later Andy as he goes to get help, Elena's injured by the gorilla, but she, John and Faith make it to a nearby lodge where they try to radio for help - but only get the lab's security on the line who take them captive. Once at the lab, John is questioned by Colonel Jackson (Brendan Jones), who thinks John and company have to do with the escape of the gorilla, while Elena lands on Dr. Kafka's operating table as she's been infused with gorilla DNA when the ape injured her, and the good doctor is only waiting to see her turn. But of course, the gorilla's still on the loose and makes its way back into the lab, and even if John and Elena manage to free themselves and even find and free Faith, things only go from bad to worse from there ...


Now Rise of the Beast isn't exactly the re-invention of the wheel, and I'll go so far and say there are better gorilla horrors out there, even not counting the original King Kong, but the film is very good at what it does, a very tense and exciting piece of animal horror, with all the scenes of suspense, jump scares and action in all the right places, all supporting a tightly paced story. And even if that story might be a tad predictable, it's very well-told and even shows some depth not always found in animal horror. So in all, not a cinematic milestone, but a pretty cool genre pic.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD