Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cult Comic Hack/Slash Heads For The Small Screen

Super cult comic Hack/Slash was slated for film adaptation so many moons ago but that fantasy never made it to the big screen-yet. However the dream of seeing the comic come to life in living gory glory is still very much alive. It is being reported now that the series is heading to the small screen thanks to Relativity Television, which has been spun off from Relativity Media. 'Hack/Slash' will be built as a dark and gritty series similar to 'The Walking Dead'.

Skip Wood of "Good Day To Die Hard" and "Swordfish" has been tagged to write the script. Created by Tim Seeley and Stefano CaselliHack/Slash centers on Cassie Hack, a woman who symbolizes the cliche of the lone girl who survives at the end of every horror movie. However, the emotionally damaged girl not only survived but has become a killer of killers. Along with a burly protector named Vlad, Hack travels across the country hunting slashers in the vein of Halloween's Michael Myers, Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees and A Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Krueger.

Poster And Red Band Trailer For "Freaks Of Nature"

Press Release:
On Friday, October 30, moviegoers across the country will have to take on zombies, vampires, aliens, and more as they get their first chance to see Sony Pictures Entertainment’s hilarious horror/comedy "Freaks of Nature" in a special engagement.
In "Freaks of Nature", we welcome you to Dillford, where three days ago, everything was peaceful and business as usual: the vampires were at the top of the social order, the zombies were at the bottom, and the humans were getting along in the middle. But this delicate balance was ripped apart when the alien apocalypse arrived in Dillford and put an end to all the harmony. Now it’s humans vs. vampires vs. zombies in all-out, blood-sucking, brain-eating, vamp-staking mortal combat – and all of them are on the run from the aliens. It is up to three teenagers – one human, one vampire, and one zombie – to team up, figure out how to get rid of the interplanetary visitors, and try to restore order to this “normal” little town.
Commenting on the announcement, Matt Tolmach, the film’s producer, said, “I’m so excited for audiences to experience "Freaks of Nature". We’re so proud of this amazing cast — Nic, Mackenzie, and Josh, along with Denis Leary, Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Key, Ed Westwick, Vanessa Hudgens, Patton Oswalt, and Ian Roberts. It’s hilarious and terrifying — a perfect Halloween movie.”
"Freaks of Nature" is directed by Robbie Pickering, written by Oren Uziel, and produced by Matt Tolmach, and stars Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis (who can be seen on screen in the hit film The Martian), and Josh Fadem.

Trailer No. 2 Released For "Night Fare"

Check out trailer no. 2 for French psycho killer flick "Night Fare". The film has a cab driver turned maniac in this horror film directed by Julien Seri. "Night Fare" stars Jonathan Howard and Jonathan Demurger. It will have its French premiere on November 4th.

Luc and his English friend Chris take a taxi to go home after partying hard all evening in Paris. At their destination, they run away without paying the fare. They got the wrong driver for this… The taxi goes immediately into hunting mode, chasing them all night, wherever they go. But does he only want his money back?

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Review Of "Out Of The Dark"

"Out Of The Dark" is a supernatural thriller with a strong 'global responsibility' message with the subtext. The film is directed by Lluiz Quilez and stars  Frank CuervoPixie DaviesAlejandro Furth, Stephen Rea, Scott Speedman and Julia Stiles. The story takes on themes of corporate exploitation over ingenious cultures for profit hidden in a very dark, emotional paranormal thriller.

Synopsis: A young family moves to South America as the wife takes over her father's manufacturing plant in the area. They soon find themselves haunted by the ghosts of young children, leading them to a dark history and sinister behavior on the part of an American company. 

The story is one that has been seen before in similar films to "Out Of The Dark" with a family moving to a new place but unfortunately pick one cursed by a tragic past, and lingering paranormal influence. Quilez's story is a good one though, framing this construct in a beautiful, subtropical location, disturbing historical area steeped in superstition and legend. Plus he gives us a clear message of cruelties brought about by foreign companies exploitation of almost "third world"  regions for profit, all wrapped nicely in a chilling supernatural thriller with some vengeful spirits. 

"Out Of The Dark" does have some pretty cool make-up artistry and special effects. It is a mix of semi-gory practical design and expected CGI ghost-y stuff. Although instead of feeling redundant, the CGI in "Out Of The Dark" is creative and at times beautiful in its cinematography. The atmosphere is a blend of warming with the family taking in the beauty of their new home, and the darker, chilling aspects of past tragedy, a cursed people, and a family hunted by angry spirits. The soundtrack is equally intense and eerie. Plus there are moments when the quick shock gimmicks actually scared me a bit. 

Overall "Out Of The Dark" is a nicely produced, creative thriller with a lot of suspense and drama. The cast give acceptable performances and the characters are developed nicely, the native Colombians more so than the family. The ghost children are haunting and creepy. On the down side though it becomes too clear too early in the story as to the true nature of "Out Of The Dark" so some of the thrill and suspense does get lost during the final 3rd of the film. The ending feels a bit drawn out and unnecessary at the very end, not in the actually story aspects but more the visual-conceptual stuff used at the end. It could have used less theatrics and been more effective. Anyway "Out Of The Dark" is a cool, entertaining story with a more mature narrative that shows some real heart. 

My Review Of "It Follows"

The dark and heavily stylized horror "It Follows" brings back the creativity and originality of the classic horror story. The film is directed by David Robert Mitchell and stars Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe, Bailey Spry, Jake Weary, Daniel Zovatto, and Olivia Luccardi. The story blends strong sexual subtext with tones of dark, chilling, twisted fear.

Synopsis: For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors, that seem to be only a few steps behind.

Honestly I wasn't sure what to expect when I sat down to watch "It Follows". I was pleasantly surprised by the originality, not only in story concept, but visual style and the deeper social messages hidden within this very traditional, and freshly enthralling nightmare. There is almost a sub-tone that is instantly depressing lingering over the film's more macabre atmosphere.  The characters are far from the typical, over-played stereotypes found in horror. There is a subtle not to them, but these characters have more in common with films like "The Chumscrubber" and "Kids" than "Nightmare On Elm Street" or "Slumber Party Massacre". And yet the energy and entertainment was a total celebration of the early modern horror classics found in 80's slasher films. 

The cast give great performances bringing these "half-dead, unmotivated, wasted young" formations of teenage 'angsters' to life. The cinematography is more indie than the usual MTV produced films that have come out before "It Follows", and the total lack of product placement that screams 21st century cinema is refreshing. The story is very dark, with some real emotion that seeps in just enough for fans to connect with the horror that is teen logic and lack of parental supervision. Then add the actual nightmare of consequence in the form of a demon, (which is obviously a show of blatant disregard for sexual responsibility, and the spread of STD's), is really entertaining and thrilling to watch play out. 

The special effects hang on a mix of chilling suspense as we see the characters reaction to some f'ed up personas that the demon uses while stalking the victims, strong bass driven sound effects that instantly put you on guard anticipating the approaching horror. The special effects stay mixed between really cool practical effects and the necessary CGI stuff. The soundtrack is as off beat, and indie as the filming style choice, and the set designs. Honestly it is all just really impressive, and even though it is Hollywood level production, everything looks and feels so indie. 

Overall "It Follows" is a great return to classic horror film movie making, and filled with plenty of terrifying moments to delight most horror fans. The gore is limited, and the kills are on the mild side, but most of the film is just so intense, dark, and filled with chilling atmosphere that the build up to the actual kill/death scene gives good scare. My only disappointment was the f'ed up ending. If you can call it that. Yeah I know it is a creative way to say that the story is not over, because sex and youth making bad choices is eternal, much like the evil and darkness that accompanies all our choices in this complicated life. Still it ticked me off a bit, they could have took a few steps more with that final scene instead of the one they went with, maybe a small reactionary moment with the characters. Anyway "It Follows" is a great modern horror film that deserves props for originality and a definitive return to classic nightmare story telling.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

NSFW: BTS Stills And Distribution Details For "Laundry Man"

Johan Vandewoestijne's indie horror "Laundry Man" has finished filming and has released the details on upcoming distribution deal with SGL Entertainment. The info came out with some cool and gruesome BTS stills. Read the deets below and check out the stills, some are NSFW. 

Press Release:
Laundry Man is the story about a rather clumsy serial killer. It is partly based on the crimes committed by American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and those committed by the Belgian-Hungarian pastor Andras Pandy.
In 1986, Johan Vandewoestijne, aka James Desert, produced and directed the cult film “Lucker”. This highly criticized film faced a boycott from many video distributors. Now 30 years later, high amounts of money are paid by collectors for original VHS tapes of the film, since it has become a cult hit. Also 30 years later, Vandewoestijne/Desert are once again producing and directing a slasher film based on their own script entitled “Laundry Man”.
For this film Johan signed a five picture distribution deal with SGL Entertainment headed up by Jeffrey A. Swanson, Damien Dante, Massimiliano Cerchi and Todd Rodgers. This way Vandewoestijne/Desert are guaranteed that their film will be available in the US and Canada. Look for the film to be Released on DVD, Blu Ray, and Video On Demand in the Fall of 2016 via SGL Entertainment.

Release Details For Gorefest "Condemned"

The VOD release date has been announced for gorefest horror "Condemned". The film is directed by Eli Morgan Gesner and stars Dylan Penn, Ronen Rubinstein, Lydia Hearst, Jon Abrahams, Honor Titus, and Genevieve Hudson-Price. "Condemned" is slated for a November 13th release on iTunes and VOD. 

Fed up with her parents’ bickering, poor-little-rich-girl Maya (Dylan Penn) moves in with her boyfriend who is squatting in an old, condemned building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. With neighbors that are meth heads, junkies and degenerates, this depraved hell hole is even more toxic than it appears: After a virus born from their combined noxious waste and garbage infects the building’s residents, one by one, they succumb to a terrifying pathogen that turns them into bloodthirsty, rampaging killers and transforms their building into a savage slaughterhouse.

Trailer Released For Creepy Doll Horror "The Boy"

A trailer has been released for creepy as hell doll horror "The Boy". The film was originally titled "The Inhabitant" and is directed by William Brent Bell. "The Boy" stars Lauren Cohen, Rupert Evans, Ben Robson, Jim Norton, Diana Hardcastle, and James Russell. It is due out in January 2016.

Greta is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family's 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that the parents care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their actual son 20 years prior. After violating a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring Greta's worst nightmare to life, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive.

My Review Of "A Haunting At Preston Castle"

Martin Rosenberg's "A Haunting At Preston Castle" is a classic ghost haunting/vengeful spirit horror film inspired by a real event which has morphed into an urban legend. This particular event involves death in one of California's notorious criminal facilities-Preston Castle, a reform school for boys that is considered haunted. "A Haunting At Preston Castle" stars Mackenzie Firgens, Heather Tocquigny, and Jake White. 

Synopsis: When LIZ (Mackenzie Firgens) returns home on a college break with a broken heart, all she wants to do is hibernate and heal. But her best friend ASHLEY (Heather Tocquigny) coaxes her out of the house for an innocent, diverting rendezvous with high school ex-boyfriend DANNY (Jake White.) What they don't know is that truly terrifying things are about to happen. What begins with three kids seeking excitement within the notorious walls of Preston Castle turns into a grisly nightmare, as Liz, Danny, and Ashley are forced to sort out their past and escape an out of control presence. Trapped inside Preston Castle, they're caught in a horrifying life and death struggle with unstoppable evil spirits.

Martin Rosenberg and co-writer Peter Bailey give a great ghost story using a very creepy, and spooky urban legend, and real life scene of tragedy as the location for "A Haunting At Preston Castle". The story arc, back story, and characters are well developed, even though they are your standard tropes. This is an indie horror so the film quality, although above most low budget horror, is stripped down. It is also a well produced horror with most of the scenes playing out in convincing manner, with creepy, shadowy backgrounds, typical spooky sounds and expected cheap, shock-thrill effects for sudden scares. The cast give authentic, fully committed performances of the three teens fated to fall victim to one evil, vengeful spirit. Of course the real star of "A Haunting At Preston Castle" is the real life tragedy of this haunted location-Preston Castle. 

The effects are standard, low-key visual effects and spook gimmicks like falling objects, creepy sounds and characters that seem to freak out uncontrollably over everything! The CGI ghost effects are disappointing, and the entity doesn't spend nearly enough time on screen. The death scenes are pretty much off camera and only revealed during, high emotion, theatrical moments that give the last character standing some real horror to freak out over. Most things are cookie cutter moments that only give small amounts of chills and thrills. The film does have a nice pace that builds some suspense but the pay off isn't quite intense enough to give any real fright-filled moments.

Overall "A Haunting At Preston Castle" only offers a slightly above par horror movie experience. Everything is all been seen and done many-many times before, and we don't get the pleasure of seeing the kills take place. Bummer! Still it is a cool story, on level with past paranormal horrors such as "Boo" and "Death Tunnel". Plus the whole story around Preston Castle and the urban legends that formed after the tragic events is a great vehicle for this traditional 'ghost adventure gone wrong' tale. Even though the ghost is a weak and under-used part of this ghost story and you can guess just how the film will end long before the last act, "A Haunting At Preston Castle" is a nice spooky time killer. 

My Review Of "The Atticus Institute"

"The Atticus Institute" is a stereotypical documentary styled, possession film that explores the scientific studies around telekinesis experiments in relation to demonic possession that took place in the late 70's. Well the telekinesis studies were explored back then, not sure if the dogmatic spiritual concept of demonic influence was ever entertained in these studies. The film is directed by Chris Sparling and stars  Rya KihlstedtWilliam MapotherSharon Maughan, John Rubinstein, Harry Groener, and Anne Betancourt.

Synopsis: In the fall of 1976, a small psychology lab in Pennsylvania became the unwitting home to the only government-confirmed case of possession. The U.S. military assumed control of the lab under orders of national security and, soon after, implemented measures aimed at weaponizing the entity. The details of the inexplicable events that occurred are being made public after remaining classified for nearly forty years.

The story is one that plays on the conspiracy lore revolving around the scientific experiments done for the military in the late 70's. "The Atticus Institute" is framed in a documentary style with faux footage from the actual case involving the study of telekinesis and especially the study of one extraordinary subject- Judy Winstead. The film does pull in the whole concept that these abilities are "gifts" from entities that possess the person with supernatural abilities. Something I was also told growing up, by the people in my Baptist Church and the Christian people in my family. It is a pretty cool concept to explore in a horror film. This time around though-the subject is sort of a missed opportunity.

"The Atticus Institute" stays pretty sterile, and devoid of emotion as it plays out all too familiar themes and heavy stylized formats which permeate the possession subgenre, and the "mockumentary/found footage" subgenre as well. Sparling doesn't actually fail at presenting the story, it is a fascinating tale and Judy Winstead offers a truly creepy character, but sadly everything is cookie cutter, done-to-death gimmicks, and ideas. There isn't really a lot of creativity in "The Atticus Institute" beyond the initial concept of the military trying to control a demonically possessed person for some twisted warmongering ideology. 

The special effects are expected displays of visual parlor tricks mixed with played-out demonic possession material seen time and time again in these films. There are some moments that get creepy, and gory. Some of the early test scenes with Judy jumping through the scientific hoops are nicely done. Unfortunately all the aspects of this are so obvious and expected that there is no real suspense or thrill. It all really has the same quality of effect on the movie goer as those television paranormal documentary series were you know exactly what is about to happen in the recreation because they all but told you so just moments before. "The Atticus Institute" doesn't really give itself space to build up for some much needed scary moments-and there was plenty of opportunity for some real thrills.

Overall "The Atticus Institute" is one of those mediocre horror films that you can coast your way through if you are just determined to watch it. There isn't any real connection given between the character development and the audience. The horror and chilling elements aren't really scary or affective unless you are 12 and really creeped out by demons and paranormal stuff. The one real show of awesomeness is Judy Wintead, and the way the actress-Rya Kilhstedt portrays her. Unfortunately the framing device and story arc is so done to death, that it becomes a bit boring and you find yourself asking "why am I watching this?".

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

DVD/Blu-ray Details For "Knock Knock"

Psychological Horror "Knock Knock" has been given a December 8th DVD/Blu-ray release date. The film is directed by Eli Roth and stars Keanu Reeves, Ana de Armas, and Lorenza Izzo. "Knock Knock" home video release will feature audio commentary from Eli Roth, Lorenza Izo, Nicolás López and Colleen Camp. It will also feature deleted scenes, and the "making of" featurette.

Evan Webber (Reeves) is living the dream. Just look at his beautiful, successful wife; his two wonderful kids; and his truly stunning house—which he designed himself. Of course he did. Things are going so well, Evan doesn’t even mind spending Father’s Day alone while the rest of his family heads out for a beach weekend. And then there’s a knock on the door.
The two young women (Izzo, de Armas) standing on Evan’s doorstep are where Evan’s dream takes a nightmarish turn. Given co-writer/director Eli Roth’s well-deserved reputation for creating cinematic discomfort, it should come as no surprise what happens next: Things get weird and then dark and then much, much, much darker. But this is no splatter film so Roth keeps the horror nice and psychological as Evan’s life—and house—get ripped apart, piece by beautiful piece.

Trailer And Poster For "#Horror"

A promo poster and the first trailer has been released for upcoming social media nightmare "#Horror". The film is directed by Tara Subkoff and stars Timothy Hutton, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, Stella Schnabel, Balthazar Getty, Sadie Seelert, Haley Murphy, Bridget McGarry, Blue Lindeberg, Mina Sudwall, Emma Adler, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, and Lydia Hearst. "#Horror" is set to release on November 20th, 2015 courtesy of IFC Midnight. Also check out the movie stills after the trailer.

Inspired by actual events, “#HORROR” centers on a group of 12-year-old girls who face a night of terror when the compulsive addiction of an online social media game turns a moment of a cyber bullying to a night of insanity. “#HORROR” examines a world of escalating cruelty and alienation through an online game where scoring likes comes at the cost of human lives.

International Trailer Released For "Summer Camp"

Check out the international trailer released for Alberto Marini’s directorial debut "Summer Camp". The film stars Jocelin Donahue, Maiara Walsh, Diego Boneta, Andres Velencoso, and Xavier Capdet. "Summer Camp" also released a couple of stills but no official release date yet. I do have to mention that the cover art is insanely close to another indie horror coming out in time for the Holidays, Slasher Studios' "Dismembering Christmas". Not sure if that is because the same artist did the poster art, or sheer coincidence. 

When Darren, Michelle, Will and Christy signed up to work as camp counselors, they had visions of a fun-filled summer in an exciting foreign country. During their last hours of “freedom” before the camp opens its doors, the young counselors are determined to have a night they’ll never forget –and they won’t be disappointed…
Before the party’s even gotten underway, things get ugly, very ugly… A silent infection spreads, a friend snaps without prior notice. A savage game of cat and mouse ensues, it’s unclear who is afflicted and who is not, and the pursuer can become the pursued in the blink of an eye.
Welcome to Summer Camp.

Chance To Become Jason In Friday The 13th Official Game?

A chance to become Jason in your very own Camp Crystal Lake nightmare in official Friday The 13th video game? Hell yeah! Well almost, actually the crowd funding is underway to see that this bit of awesome becomes a reality! Read the full press release and check out some promotional concept material below!

Press Release:
For the first time in more than twenty-five years, Friday the 13th is returning to the video game world. Gun Media and IllFonic, in partnership with Crystal Lake Entertainment, are proud to announce that Friday the 13th: The Game is set to launch next fall, 2016.
Friday the 13th: The Game is an online, asymmetric multiplayer experience where one player will assume the role of Jason Voorhees against seven other players assuming the roles of camp counselors trying to survive the night.
Developed by Gun Media and IllFonic, Friday the 13th: The Game will deliver a terrifying combination of features designed to satisfy gamers and fans of the Friday the 13th franchise alike. In addition to bringing the tension and horror of the movies to life, the game will also let players don the mask of Jason Voorhees for the first time and control all new levels of brutal action! The development team had earlier collaborated on the unreleased survival horror-themed game Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp and plans to integrate much of that design into the new Friday the 13th game.

“As you can imagine, the conversion from Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp to Friday the 13th: The Game was a dream come true for our entire team,” explained Ronnie Hobbs, of Gun Media. “1v7 asymmetrical multiplayer is a perfect fit for this franchise, and we can’t wait to share our creation with fans across the world.”
“It’s been nearly 30 years since fans have had the opportunity to experience a Friday the 13th video game.” explained Sean S. Cunningham, creator of the Friday the 13th franchise. “Technology has finally reached a level that allows us to produce an experience fans of the franchise deserve. It’s always been a dream of mine to let players fully BECOME Jason and stalk camp counselors across a virtual Crystal Lake. I’m delighted we’re able to bring this fantasy to life!”

The development team is also excited to announce a Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming game, designed to expand its scope and give backers the ability to be a part of the franchise forever – by claiming special rewards ranging from early access to the game and unlocking various Jasons from the films to once-in-a-lifetime access to horror legends and even claiming a role within the game as one of the counselors! For more information on how you can be a part of the Friday the 13th legacy, head over to the Kickstarter page.
Friday the 13th: The Game is being developed for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, for release in the fall of 2016.

My Review Of "The Possession Of Michael King"

"The Possession Of Michael King" is a terrifying supernatural horror directed by David Jung. The film stars Shane Johnson as a professed atheist who decides to temp fate and disprove the supernatural by engaging in ritual acts of the occult. "The Possession Of Michael King" co-stars Ella Anderson, Cara Pifko, Tomas Arana, Luke Baines, and Dale Dickey. The story is dark, intense, emotional and frightening, for me personally it is one of the best demonic possession/occult horrors, and found footage horror films in the past several years.

Synopsis: Michael King (Shane Johnson), who doesn't believe in God or the Devil. Following the sudden death of his wife, Michael decides to make his next film about the search for the existence of the supernatural, making himself the center of the experiment - allowing demonologists, necromancers, and various practitioners of the occult to try the deepest and darkest spells and rituals they can find on him - in the hopes that when they fail, he'll once and for all have proof that religion, spiritualism, and the paranormal are nothing more than myth. But something does happen. An evil and horrifying force has taken over Michael King. And it will not let him go.

David Jung shows true methodical expertise in bringing this bit of demonic mayhem to the screen. I wasn't sure if I was going to like the movie, found footage is usually a question mark for me, but "The Possession Of Michael King" focuses on keeping plausible scenarios for making the use of video footage authentic to the situations. There is one moment when Michael King goes out into the streets at the command of the demonic entity that through a flag, but considering the depth of this horror story, and Jung's ability to keep focus on the main character at all times, that moment is fleeting. The cast give great performances, Michael King is the most visible and developed character and feels real, not contrived. Plus it is a bonus that he is hot and shirtless through most of his scenes.

The special effects are the expected, well explored concepts and tricks of the possession flick genre. The thing that makes it work in "The Possession Of Michael King" is Jung's choices in exploring the demonic subject matter through the various occult practices. The story doesn't just focus on someone possessed. We get to watch a skeptic, non-believer tease the supernatural realm through some very dark, and evil magics. We also get to see the guy become a scared believer steadily spiral into chaos and madness at the delight of the evil he conjures so all the shock gimmicks, paranormal camera tricks, and the gory-bloody effects are icing! The soundtrack, musical score is dark, chilling, and only adds to just how sinister and cruel this nightmare tale truly is. 

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed "The Possession Of Michael King". I thought that it stayed anchored in the evil of the subject matter and the horrors that the demon demanded that the film gets really scary and intense. Shane Johnson is likable, believable and entertaining on screen. The occult aspects of the story are so well developed and explored that it just amp's the horror aspects of the film. The found footage uses typical, redundant styles we have come to tolerate in horror films today, but they are so well crafted and executed that you really get pulled into the scenes. I don't often get really excited about found footage, and very few possession films seem to impress these days, (although I enjoy all-even the bad demonic possession/exorcism movies), but I can say that at the end of "The Possession Of Michael King" I felt revitalized, excited and kind of creeped out-which is awesome! 

Crowd Funding Underway For Monster Movie Revival "Thing On The Beach"

A crowd funding campaign has been underway for monster movie revival "The Thing On The Beach". The film plays on classic b-movie, creature feature themes that we just can't get enough of. The campaign is taking place over on Indiegogo so go check it out. "The Thing On The Beach" is directed by Dominic Martin.

THING on the Beach is a short monster movie shot from the point of view of The Monster, an other-worldly deep sea creature beached after a storm. 

My Review Of "The Exorcism Of Molly Hartley"

Steven R. Monroe picks up the story of Molly Hartley for this demonic possession nightmare. "The Exorcism Of Molly Hartley" takes place after from Molly's 21st birthday right up until her personal prophecy becomes fulfilled. The film stars Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa, Gina Holden, Peter MacNeill, Daina Leitold, and Tom McLaren. "The Exorcism Of Molly Hartley offers a nice sequel to the haunting and chilling story started with "The Haunting Of Molly Hartley", a film that has received mixed reviews-but I personally enjoyed.

Synopsis: Molly Hartley is all grown up, but the unholy demon inside her lives on. Six years after graduating high school - and discovering that a secret pact assigned her soul to the devil - Molly is suspected of murder and confined to a mental hospital, where she wreaks supernatural havoc on the staff and patients. Her only hope is an exorcism by a defrocked priest looking to redeem himself and save Molly's life before her hideous "transformation" is complete...but Satan has other plans!

Matt Venne is the writer behind "The Exorcism Of Molly Hartley" and he does a nice job respecting the first film's story line. He picks up on the established mythos surrounding Molly's fated pack with Satan. Where the first film was good at masking the true story behind a playful haunting of a emotionally troubled high school girl, Venne exploits the demonic aspect to create a familiar, and obvious story line that pulls from all the possession lore available. It does, at times seem too cookie-cutter and expected, but "The Exorcism Of Molly Hartley" maintains the initial "truth" of Molly's situation established in the first film so I actually enjoyed watching this all play out. 

The cast and directing are stellar, both Lind and Sawa give great performances, Lind as Hartley-a victim of circumstance, and Sawa as her savior-who is also soiled by his dealings with the devil as a "failed" exorcist searching for redemption. It all could have been too hokey, redundant, or too contrived, but with Venne's script and Monroe's steady direction, "The Exorcism Of Molly Hartley" manages an enjoyable, creepy possession flick. Of course I love pretty much any film or story that revolves around exorcisms and demonic possession-next to Satanic cult horror-it is one of the few Christian themes I do enjoy in pop-lore.

The special effects stay a steady blend of CGI and practical effects magic. The CGI is done with consideration to how "real" it will look on film so I didn't mind it. It actually works well here, plus there is enough practical, visceral stuff in "The Exorcism Of Molly Hartley" that I have to give props to the FX department. And I always enjoy seeing the creature make-up effects when creating the demon face of the possessed. Even if it all just looks so "Reagan-esque". The soundtrack and musical score are the expected creepy tones, and even though it isn't original, it isn't disposable

Overall "The Exorcism Of Molly Hartley" gives a nice demonic possession story with a solid story arc, it does seem a bit familiar-there are moments when it falls into the overplayed themes scene in these types of horror films. But-that being said-the movie has a nice devil cult aspect added to it when gives the ending a nice dark ending filled with both the spectacle and the flare of evil agenda that I enjoyed. There is one moment that is more laughable that thrilling-you will see it and know it-but most of the film stays serious, dark, and focused on the demonic fate of Molly Hartley in a more thrilling way than the first film.

Monday, October 12, 2015

DVD Release Details For "Charlie's Farm"

DVD release details along with cover art has been released for Australian horror "Charlie's Farm". The film is directed by directed by Chris Sun (Daddy’s Little GirlCome and Get Me) and  stars Nathan Jones (Mad Max: Fury RoadThe ProtectorTroy), Tara Reid (The Big LebowskiAmerican Pie, ABC’s “Scrubs”) and Kane Hodder (Se7enMonsterThe Afflicted).  "Charlie's Farm" will hit shelves on November 3rd, 2015 courtesy of Alchemy. 

In an effort to do something different, four friends head into Australia’s outback to explore CHARLIE’S FARM, the site where a violent family met their end at the hands of an angry mob. Despite all warnings, they persist in their horror-seeking adventure. Once there, the four friends are unaware that they are being watched. While exploring the property to prove the myth, they encounter Charlie, who shows them that some legends never die."

Official Trailer For Cinemax's Possession Thriller 'Outcast'

Check out the official trailer for Cinemax's upcoming series about demonic possession-'Outcast'. The series comes from the creators of 'The Walking Dead', Robert Kirkman. 'Outcast' stars Patrick Fugit, Philip Glenister, David Denman, Wrenn Schmidt, and Scott Christopher Kelly. Cinemax has slated 'Outcast' for 2016.

OUTCAST, based on the Skybound/Image comic title by Robert Kirkman, creator of “The Walking Dead,” and artist Paul Azaceta, follows Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), a young man who has been plagued by demonic possession all his life. Now, with the help of the Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), a preacher with demons of his own, Kyle embarks on a journey to find answers and regain the normal life he lost. But what Kyle discovers could change his fate — and the fate of the world — forever. 

My Review Of "The Final Girls"

Todd Strauss-Schulson's horror comedy "The Final Girls" is a tribute to both the horror genre and the comedy spoofs that have accompanied horror throughout the decades. The film stars Taissa Farmiga, Nina Dobrev, Adam DeVine, Alexander Ludwig, Angela Trimbur, Alia Shawkat, Tory N. Thompson, and Thomas Middleditc. "The Final Girls" offers entertainment value that both horror fans and comedy fans alike will enjoy in a fantastical and very creative experience.

Synopsis: When Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends reluctantly attend a tribute screening of an infamous '80s slasher film that starred Max's late mother (Malin Akerman), they are accidentally sucked into the silver screen. They soon realize they are trapped inside the cult classic movie and must team up with the fictional and ill-fated "Camp Bloodbath" counselors, including Max's mom as the shy scream queen, to battle the film's machete-wielding, masked killer. With the body count rising in scene after iconic scene, who will be THE FINAL GIRLS left standing and live to escape this film?

To be honest I tried so hard not to like this film. Well not at first, at first I thought "cool another HORROR COMEDY", but then when it started and I glimpsed the set-up I really felt that I was not gonna like this film. At first I thought the introduction to the protagonists was hokey, then when we see how the story comes about with the cast entering the fictional film playing at the theatre I thought-"WTF? Am I suppose to buy this?". It was a bit of an issue with me, eating at me through pretty much the whole film-I really wanted to know the "HOW". Oh well, that being said, Schulson's creativity, and fresh spin on the horror spoof is so well executed that I couldn't help but enjoy the ride.

The character contrast between our "real cast" and the "fictional cast" is so entertaining, especially with the comedy side of "The Final Girls". The cliche horror stereotypes meeting the somewhat "real world" cliche characters captured my attention. The seasoned acting between the up-and-coming Hollywood stars and the star-wattage of seasoned stars like Malin Akerman and Nina Dobrev is pure candy. The real star in this film is the script! The writing is just so good that even the things that irritated me, held my attention. The scenes are so emotional, dark, humorous, and visual - just perfectly done. Kudos to the crew and cast of "The Final Girls" on all that!

The special effects were "Hollywood". What can you say, the practical effects, make-up skill, and CGI are so well produced that you get both a indie slasher homage, and total 80's popcorn effect. The CGI is done in a way that makes it as enjoyable as the splatter gore practical effects-that is a big "yay" for me because CGI tends to be a bummer personally when watching horror films. This time it all just worked perfectly. The soundtrack is methodical and precise. It plays on 80 slasher nostalgia and really connects you to the atmosphere of the scenes-both the campy "characters in a fictional horror film and knowing it" aspect, and the actual intimate, emotional relationship scenes that really develop the characters. 

Overall "The Final Girls" really comes close to hitting on all cylinders as the perfect slasher spoof. There is still that annoying "HOW" that lingers through the film, the almost too obvious and expected "Hallmarky" moments, and the fact that you pretty much know exactly how the scenes are gonna play out, and the general reaction from the characters, because it has to play out that way because it was set up to play out that way. Still the masterful way that Todd Strauss-Schulson pulls all the sweet and savory horror, and comedy stuff together in a visually delightful film- and don't forget the writing and cast- all just make "The Final Girls" a really fun and awesome viewing experience that fans should really enjoy! 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Review Of "Honeyspider"

Josh Hasty directed "Honeyspider" is a throwback to cult classic horror. The film stars Mariah Brown, Frank Aard, Joan Schuermeyer, Rachel Jeffreys, Samantha Mills, Katie Bearden, David Hensley and Ethan Dunn. "Honeyspider" is quality indie horror that plays on themes of the occult, Halloween, and slasher subgenres. The story, style and characters celebrate the classic late 70/80's generation of splatter/slasher films that have us still screaming in delight today. Oh and "Honeyspider" does it almost perfectly!

Synopsis: It’s Halloween day in 1989 and college student Jackie Blue wants to enjoy a quiet birthday in the midst of a chaotic semester at school. Her friend Amber has other ideas and persuades Jackie to come to the annual Monster Mash party on campus after her shift at the local movie theater. As murder plays out on the silver screen during the theater's Halloween night Horrorthon, Jackie falls under a strange spell, all while a mysterious stranger watches over her every move. As the night unfolds, Jackie slowly unravels and everyone around her is turning up dead. Jackie finds herself helplessly trapped like prey in a spider’s web, and all she can do is try to survive the night!

Kenny Caperton is the writer of this occult Halloween horror tale, and it is in the same vein as Zombie's "The Lords Of Salem". The story blends aspects of chilling atmosphere, macabre theatrics and almost hypnotic surrealism- the dream sequence that seems to tap into some metaphysical state is some of my favorite moments in the film. True arthouse horror moments. But there is so much about "Honeyspider" that is so cool, retro and  fresh that I just really enjoyed being pulled into the main character's story. And the occult stuff always gets me giddy in horror, especially films that build it around Halloween/Samhain. 

The special effects and makeup are complimentary to this dark, mystical nightmare. The atmosphere builds on some nice sounds that instantly throw you back into classic 80's horror. The cool addition of adding a film within a film gives some extra and much needed blood and gore. All of which is practical effects done masterfully. I personally loved the soundtrack from the first notes of the synth just after the intro right up until the very last moments of the film. The mix of songs from various indie genre artists and the instrumental stuff really put you in the attitude and emotion of the film. Nothing about the effects or the 80's setting felt fabricated or cheap. I guess you could argue that some of the props were more retro inspired than actual 80's, but it all looked and felt 80's to me.

Overall "Honeyspider" is a well crafted horror tale with some truly instant classic moments. This is indie/ low-budget film making awesomeness! The cast give stellar performances and the dialog is short but effective. The film does take a slow and steady build up with occult, and suspense thriller mixing together in a methodical pace in away that pulls you into the story, and you just set and watch as it all unfolds. "Honeyspider" takes the best of the horror genre-from it's "new"beginnings in the Corman era, through the occult days, right into the totally awesome slasher/splatter days of the 80's. Definitely check "Honeyspider" out. I do think the ending may bother some horror fans but only if the ending to "The Lords Of Salem" bothered you! I love it and feel it begs a second installment.

My Review Of "Backwater"

Christopher Schrack's "Backwater" is survival, vacation horror with a twist. The film stars Thomas Daniel, Andrew Roth, Justin Tully, Liana Werner-Gray in a road trip styled thriller that turns urban legend into a motive for retribution. The story starts with a simplistic story arc that soon develops a complexity and depth that I wasn't expecting, and was glad to see.

Synopsis: Cass and Mark are a couple on a camping trip to the distant countryside. When their seemingly secluded getaway is interrupted by an ominous scream, they start to think someone might be stalking them, and encounter two strangers who are also in the woods near them. Despite everything appearing to be harmless, they can't shake the feeling that something is wrong. The truth, however, is far more disturbing than meets the eye.

"Backwater" begins a tradition 'vacationers in the wrong part of the wilderness' concept that creates a comfortable familiarity. Schrack starts out with two people just enjoying some time alone in the woods, camping and sexing. At first this feels somewhat redundant and the story moves a bit slow. However this is all calculated because by 35 minutes into "Backwater" it becomes clear that the story is far more than it appears. Which is good because the pace picks up, the characters become interesting, and the horror really kicks in. Acting, directing, cinematography and story is all well comprised of eerie, chilling, and tense aspects that create a nice story arc, and vision.

"Backwater" does give some classic grindhouse, indie style gore and horror which is all done mostly with practical effects. It never gets really into the visceral shock realm of the horrors, staying on the milder, but bloody side of the thriller genre. Still there is some good, and gory moments that hit hard, and entertain. The soundtrack, music is traditional 'backwater' horror sounds that work nice in this film, but don't really offer anything that hasn't been heard before. Still it is all packaged within "Backwater" nicely so no real complaints here. The twist and the darker antagonists as a sort 'implement of retribution' creates the real nightmare of this fusion of campfire horror and urban legend.

Overall "Backwater" is a nice, middle of the road horror that is worth watching. The start is slow but it quickly picks up and turns the story in on itself a bit. It is clever, and once the true nightmare kicks in the pace quickens, and the adrenaline increases. And Christopher Schack keeps this story more horror than psychological thriller similar to films like the cult classic "Long Weekend". I enjoyed "Backwater" because I didn't expect that twist that came about in the story, and it never really loses energy. I did hate that the violence and horror elements weren't more graphic and visceral but the film is still a pretty tight thriller.  

Official Red Band And Green Band Trailer For "México Bárbaro"

Check out both the red band and green band trailer for upcoming horror anthology "México Bárbaro". The film incorporates the talents of 8 Mexican directors to create tales of the most brutally terrifying Mexican traditions and legends to vividly shocking life. Jorge Michel Grau (We Are What We Are, ABCs of Death), Isaac Ezban (The Incident), Laurette Flores, Ulises Guzmán, Edgar Nito, sound designer Lex Ortega (Here Comes the Devil, Frankenstein’s Army), Gigi Saul Guerrero (El Gigante, Choose Your Victim), and Rue Morgue Mexico coordinator Aaron Soto present some horrific scenarios with Spanish flare. 

"México Bárbaro" presents haunting stories that have been woven into the fabric of a nation’s culture, some passed down through the centuries and some new, but all equally frightening. Stories of boogeymen, trolls, ghosts, monsters, Aztec sacrifices, and of course the Day of the Dead all come together in urban and rural settings to create an anthology that is as original as it is familiar and as important as it is horrifying.


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