The Sideling Hill

The Sideling Hill

Murder Made Easy

Murder Made Easy



What you sow, you shall reap...



Title: Pernicious
Director: James Cullen Bressack
Writer(s): James Cullen Bressack and Taryn Hillin
Cast: Ciara Hanna, Jackie Moore,Emily R O'Brien
Genre(s): Horror
Release Date: 06/15/15

1979176_703752042997625_670126882_oAfter a wait of almost a year the time finally arrived!

James Cullen Bressack sent me a link to view and review his latest film, Pernicious. From our correspondence I learned James was very proud of his film and considered it his best to date.

With this in mind I was even more excited to finally get this chance to experience this, his latest film.


Pernicious’ story has a basis in Thai Black Magic.

Necromancy of the cruellest kind! Sacrifice of a small child in the name of luck, for somebody else with the money! Death for greed!

Known as Hong Phai, it requires the torture, bleeding and death of two relatives and the child. Our sacrificial child is then doused in the blood, burned down to ash and encased in a statue of the child made completely of gold.

Now for the story…

image.phpMan and child are tied to chairs in a room while a woman and her assistant go about a black magic ritual. The man is being bled after he has been tortured, he then has his throat slashed open and his blood made into patterns on a banner. Then it is the little girls turn!

Three young women journey to Thailand for adventure and in turn to teach young village students English. They intern in an old home that houses a strange golden statue of a small girl. After an incident with three English expatriates they soon discover something isn’t quite right and strange happenings start to erupt into a crescendo with the finale!

Going into Pernicious the first thing you notice that there is a different dynamic to his earlier films such as My Pure Joy and 13/13/13. Another reviewer describes it as a Hollywood feel. My own thought was that just maybe James had access to things he hasn’t had a chance to apply with due to making the film in Thailand. Loved the fact it is shot on location, it was a brilliant move on a number of levels! Naturally it is based on image-1.phpThai Black Magic lore so obviously having a strong Thai cast really helps the story along, as well as locations also!

I love it when a story revolves around folklore, traditions and mythology. In this case Hong Phrai! With what is done to the child I can see how James Cullen Bressack felt it would make for a great story. Three woman who are obviously a bit arrogant in what they see as a poor backward country disturbing the spirit of a child who holds a lot of jealousy, anger and resentment. Of what happens seems quite fitting.



There is plenty here!

858074_710930145613148_8129187529139518961_oOur angry spirit possesses our three young women after they have been drugged and teach the men involved a pretty nasty and deadly lesson! One man gets his toenails torn out, his tong ripped out of his mouth and then his teeth knocked out one at a time with a knife. He then gets his throat cut just to have the killer showered in the squirting blood. Another has his eye pulled out of his skull and forced fed it while a third friend has his stomach cut open…both are stabbed in the chest! In another scene a victim’s skull is bashed in with a large rock. There are other kills as well featuring stomach and throat cuts.

All of this done by the talented hand behind Toe Tag special effects, Jerami Cruise along with Anthony Julio.

I really only have two complaints about Pernicious BUT they are not really biggies! One is there are no intestines to be seen dangling after the stomach cuts and when we find this pregnant woman hanging from the ceiling the fetus isn’t dangling underbeath her by its umbilicle tube. That’s probably just me and my sick mind, I think it would have added something extra special to the proceedings! But hey this is James’ film and all up him and his team did a great job with everything!


From my Pernicious experience I came away with the feeling that this would be the most assessable film for a large range of horror fanatics and not just those of us who love the more Underground and indie stuff. It has a great story, settings and the effects are great along with fitting into the storyline. I can see why James is proud of his film and considers it his best. Though I love his early style I really dug Pernicious and am excited to see what he brings to the table in the future!

Evil Never Dies, It Waits

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