Northmen (UK Blu-ray / DVD)

Dread Central - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 05:00

Starring Tom Hopper, Ryan Kwanten, Ed Skrein, Charlie Murphy

Directed by Claudio Fah

Distributed by Entertainment One

On their way to go a-plundering in Lindisfarne, a group of exiled Viking warriors led by would-be ruler Asbjorn (Hopper) find themselves off course and stranded on the coast of Scotland when their longboat is destroyed in a vicious storm. Trapped behind enemy lines, the group decides that their only hope is to reach the friendly settlement of Danelaw – but it isn’t very long before they’re spotted by hostile forces and a battle ensues.

In the wake of the fighting, the Vikings carry with them the princess Inghean (Murphy), daughter of the ruthless King Dunchaid. Hoping to use her as leverage for safe passage and ransom, the gang press forward on their journey. Unfortunately for them, however, King Dunchaid is a bit more of a bastard than they expected, and he unleashes the Wolf Pack – a group of highly trained Carpathian mercenaries – with orders to kill not only his Viking adversaries, but his daughter as well.

Along the way, Asbjorn and crew happen upon hermitic druid Conall (Kwanten), a Christian monk who also happens to be extremely adept when it comes to kicking the living shit out of people with athletic style. Following an encounter with the ruthless Wolf Pack, Conall agrees to aid the Vikings and princess in their quest to reach Danelaw – and so begins the chase across picturesque landscapes and rocky mountains as swords clash, arrows fly and numbers dwindle.

Claudio Fah’s Northmen is a film that, on the surface, offers little new to the ‘chase movie’ game beyond its Viking theme (it feels very similar to Roar Uthuag’s 2012 film Escape), but that’s actually rarely an issue given the swift pacing, enjoyable characters and engaging aesthetic of the flick. Shooting locations in South Africa actually stand in very well for the Scottish coast, and some breathtaking vistas, crisp woodland and impressive settings for the action (for example a rope bridge over a massive gorge) create a sense of scale that the humble sensibilities of the core story lack. It’s a great-looking flick, feeling just a few steps away from a grandiose epic in the same manner that Michael J. Bassett’s Solomon Kane adaptation did.

The action is well choreographed and fluidly shot, and there’s enough blood spatter and sword-on-flesh action to keep those who can’t stand bloodless medieval action happy, though Northmen also has a real sense of weirdness about it. Very central elements of the story feel strangely out of place and under-explained – for example, Inghean is revealed to have soothsaying abilities, receiving visual and auditory messages from the earth itself to warn her and her new protectors of the impending arrival of a threat. This magical/supernatural element is thrown in alongside the more grounded stance that the film establishes early on with nary an eyebrow raised.

Next to that is Kwanten’s character, Conall, who shoots straight off the weirdness scale with his realisation as a Christian monk who seems entirely styled on Buddhism and trained in Eastern martial arts. On the face of it, it’s all over the place – but it’s perhaps testament to Fah’s storytelling skills that it doesn’t see Northmen come completely undone by any means.

Besides, there’s little point in complaining about any of it when the return of the Viking group’s Berzerker from a particular feat of battle fury comes as a welcome stretch of believability simply because the character is so much fun to have around.

Performances across the board are perfectly fine, even if Ed Skrein’s turn as lead villain Hjorr is more pantomime-y and less interesting on a character level than his second-in-command, Anatole Taubman as Bovarr. There’s the requisite amount of in-fighting amongst the Vikings, with the morally steadfast Asbjorn butting heads with some of the others over their more repugnant intentions for their captive lady, but things rarely push very hard in that direction – mostly ending with a short verbal burst or waving of a weapon as means of keeping in check. In short – nothing far beyond what you’d expect.

And that’s pretty much what sums up Northmen – it isn’t ground-breaking, it isn’t a highly original take on the chase film. But it’s a very entertaining one. Filled with enough testosterone-fuelled action, punchy set-pieces, humorous touches, scowling and eye candy to keep itself standing even if the more off-kilter elements threaten to drag it down.

If you’re looking for a fun popcorn flick to fill an evening with grunting, punching and bloody swordplay at an exciting pace (and Ryan Kwanten in quite possibly the strangest role you’ll ever see him take on) then you really can’t go wrong.

Entertainment One brings Northmen to UK DVD sporting a selection of behind the scenes featurettes that explore the locations, characters and action sequences and scoring of the film while offering interview snippets with various members of the cast and crew. Each segment is short and light, coming in all together at a total of around 11 minutes, but it does feel like just enough material to satisfy. Fans of legendary Viking metal band ‘Amon Amarth’ will likely feel some disappointment for lead singer Johan Hegg, who makes his film debut here and spends some time in the extras talking about his positive experiences on set and shooting his scenes, only to end up in the finished film for all of five minutes, with one line of dialogue, before meeting his end.

Special Features:

  • Behind the Scenes
  • Don’t Mess With the Northmen
  • Northmen in Action
  • Tune up the Northmen
  • Vikings vs. Wolves



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Categories: Horror News

L.A. Film Festival 2015 – First Look at Shut In

Dread Central - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 21:09

Playing as part of the upcoming Los Angeles Film Festival (June 10-18) is the new film from a member of the team that brought you the acclaimed Delivery: The Beast Within, entitled Shut In, and we have your first look!

The film stars Beth Riesgraf (“Criminal Minds”), Rory Culkin (Scream 4), Martin Starr (Dead Snow 2, HBO’s “Silicon Valley”), and Jack Kesy (FX’s “The Strain”).

Shut In is the debut feature from Adam Schindler, one half of LA-based film collective Type AB, which was behind last year’s festival favorite Delivery: The Beast Within.

More soon!

Synopsis:
Anna (Riesgraf) suffers from agoraphobia so crippling that when a trio of criminals break into her house, she cannot bring herself to flee. But what the intruders don’t realize is that agoraphobia is not her only psychosis.

The post L.A. Film Festival 2015 – First Look at Shut In appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves – New Trailer Sees Red

Dread Central - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 20:56

A red band trailer for FDR American Badass writer Ross Patterson’s new film, Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves, has arrived; and we have it for you right here. Dig in!

Jessie Wiseman stars as Keller, known for being both blind and deaf. Insidious star Lin Shaye portrays an older version of Keller, and Rocky Horror Picture Show’s Barry Bostwick stars as Jonathan.

Synopsis:
Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves tells the shocking story of how a group of nightwolves terrorized a tiny village, taking people’s hearing and eyesight… and the one woman who fought back.

The post Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves – New Trailer Sees Red appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

First Look At Marvel Comics’ “Secret Wars: Battleground” #1

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 20:52

Marvel’s Secret Wars event is shaping up to be more of a celebration of the publisher’s past continuity than a story driven event in and of itself. Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic’s main series almost seems like an undercurrent. At least when compared to all of the exciting other titles the publisher will be releasing during the showdown. Of those incredible miniseries “Secret Wars: Battleground” has continually proved one of the most interesting. Written by Ed Brisson and Joshua Williamson, the series will see wall to wall action from the heart of the event.

Take issue one for example – what happens when Dr. Strange possesses the Punisher? Meet the Sorcerer EXTREME! Only Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Hulk and Ghost Rider of this land can track this terrible two-in-one down. And things are going to get messy! Then, what happens when M.O.D.O.K. recruits every M.O.D.O.K. ever from across Battleworld for his evil scheme. We’ll give you a hint – F.I.G.H.T.!

Each issue –  cover-to-cover action, pulse-pounding battles and can’t miss creators. You want action? Look no further than SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD #1 when it explodes in to comic shops and on to digital devices this May!

SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD #1 (of 4) (MAR150638)

Written by JOSH WILLIAMSON & ED BRISSON

Art by MIKE HENDERSON & SCOTT HEPBURN

Cover by PACO MEDINA

Variant Cover by JAMES STOKOE (MAR150639)

Action Figure Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (MAR150640)

FOC – 04/27/15, On-Sale – 05/20/15

Categories: Horror News

Screamy New Suburban Gothic Poster

Dread Central - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 20:52

A new one-sheet is here Richard Bates, Jr.’s (Excision) next film, Suburban Gothic (review), and it will have you screaming. Well… at least it has one of the people on it screaming.

Suburban Gothic was written by Richard Bates, Jr., and Mark Bruner; directed by Bates; and produced by Dylan Hale Lewis. Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, Ray Wise, Sally Kirkland, Jeffrey Combs, and John Waters star

Synopsis:
Raymond has a prestigious MBA, but he can’t find work. He can channel the paranormal, but chatting with a cute girl mystifies him. Kicked out of his big city apartment, Raymond returns home to his overbearing mother, ex-jock father, and beer-bellied classmates. But when a vengeful ghost terrorizes the small town, the city-boy recruits Becca, a badass local bartender, to solve the mystery of the spirit threatening everyone’s lives.

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Categories: Horror News

Paragon Releasing a Real Clinger

Dread Central - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 20:45

Some fresh distro news has come in for the supernatural horror comedy Clinger, as The Wrap is reporting that the filck has been acquired for U.S. distribution by Paragon Releasing.

Michael Steves directs and co-wrote the screenplay with Gabi Chennisi Duncombe and Bubba Fish.

Clinger (review) tells the story of a high school senior (newcomer Jennifer Laporte) whose possessive dead boyfriend (Vincent Martella) returns as a lovesick ghost to kill her so they can be together for eternity. Julia Aks, Alica Monet Caldwell, Shonna Major, and Rebecca Gail also star alongside Debbie Rochon and Lisa Wilcox.

The post Paragon Releasing a Real Clinger appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Bebop and Rocksteady Confirmed for ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2′!

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 20:44

Comic Book writes out of Paramount’s Cinemacon presentation that both Bebop and Rocksteady, the two fan-favorite henchmen that first appeared in the 1990 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” animated series, will be appearing in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, in theaters on June 3rd, 2016.

Paramount allegedly showed renderings of the mutant villains, both created by both Krang and Shredder in the first season of the animated series. Early concept art leaked back in October that revealed the looks of both Bebop and Rocksteady, while also confirming plans to bring Krang to the big screen. Could the alien mastermind behind the Technodrome finally appear in a live-action Turtles movie, too?! We’ve been dying to see Eastman and Laird’s T.C.R.I. (the alien ooze that created the Turtles) arc from the original comics realized on the big screen. Suprisingly, Shredder died in the first issue setting up the alien invasion.

Anyways, here’s a brief recap of Bebop and Rocksteady’s history:

Bebop and Rocksteady were relatively late additions to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mythos. They did not appear in the original Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird comic book series, but were created for the uber-popular 1990s animated series so that Playmates would have more mutants to make action figures out of.

Bebop and Rocksteady were recently reintroduced in IDW Publishing’s ongoing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes comic book series, which rebooted the series to include elements of continuity from each of the Turtles’ many incarnations. They recently made headlines for killing Donatello (by cracking his shell wide open), in an effort to prove their worth to Shredder.

All I want to know is when I’ll see Krang. Gimme that and I’ll happily buy a ticket.

Categories: Horror News

The Oni Press Open Submission Guidelines Are Here

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 20:30

Just last month Oni Press made waves when they announced they were opening submissions in May of this year. Many people had questions about this process, wondering what type of content the publisher would be looking for. In anticipation of next week’s rollout the publisher documented everything they’d be looking for in one handy guide. So for those of you aspiring creators out there, Oni is looking for your complex character stories.

On May 1st, 2015, Oni Press will be opening submissions to the public. We are on the hunt for new stories from new creators, featuring characters that reflect the diversity of the world around us. Oni Press has always valued content and execution, and we are looking for creators and projects that can support our goal to publish excellent, varied and original work.

 

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

PITCHES - Cartoonists and writers, we’re looking for pitches. If you’re a cartoonist who can write and draw we’d love to see what you have. Writers, this is the day you’ve been waiting for—we are looking at story pitches without necessitating an artist attached. If you already have an artist lined up you think is up to snuff, fantastic! But if you’re a writer who needs help finding an artist, if your pitch is THAT good, we will help partner you up.

PORTFOLIOS - Illustrators and colorists! If you think your work is up to snuff and you are looking to be paired up and you think your artwork would fit in amongst some of the best storytellers in comics, now is your chance to prove it.

WHO SHOULD SUBMIT:

Anyone with a unique perspective and a firm grasp of the comics medium.

WHAT WE WANT TO SEE:

An excellent sense of storytelling and well-developed characters with a definite perspective.

 

    WHAT ASSOCIATE EDITOR ARI YARWOOD WANTS TO SEE:

I got my start in literary journals and feminist pop culture critique (shoutout to Bitch). I’m looking for complicated and nuanced characters with a developed perspective. I want to see diversity and originality, and I want stories with underrepresented characters—all I had in my formative years was Livejournal and The L Word, and no one should have to rely on The L Word to see themselves reflected in media. I’m a big fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and literary fiction fan, but most of all I want to read something I haven’t seen before. My favorite movie is Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, because life is a rich tapestry.

    WHAT EDITOR ROBIN HERRERA WANTS TO SEE:

I started off in the YA/Children’s book world and I think that world has a lot of crossover with the comics world in terms of story and execution. I want fully-realized characters (not necessarily “strong” or even “likable”) with agency and direction. I want unique perspectives and different takes. I’m into a lot of different genres: high fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, literary, romance, coming-of-age, and anything that has to do with weird food-based Battle Royales. Or Battle Royales in general. (I wrote my graduate thesis about point of view choices in Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.)

    WHAT SENIOR EDITOR CHARLIE CHU WANTS TO SEE:

The biggest thing I would like to see from incoming submissions is more diversity in not only the voices we publish, but also the kinds of stories and characters in our books. For too long a period of time, we’ve seen way too much of the same ideas from the same narrowing demographic of creator get pitched to us, and the only way to change that is to evolve the pool of creators we are talking to. If you are a female writer or artist, someone who identifies as a person of color, or LGTBQ, consider this an invitation and please come pitch us. We’re not looking for affirmative action in our books by any means, but with the readership growing larger by day, it’s important we find space for new voices who bring new ideas to the table while still maintaining the same level of pop appeal that defines the Oni Press library. As the tentpole and genre focused member of editorial, I’m hoping to find fast-paced and ambitious books that center around grounded, believable characters with the same diversity as the world we live in, and most of all, books that are fun, accessible, and original.

    WHAT EDITOR IN CHIEF JAMES LUCAS JONES WANTS TO SEE:

Oni Press has always been a place focused on publishing comics for an audience inclusive of a wide demographic. With other publishers finally catching up, it’s important for us to continue to break boundaries and continue to grow the diversity of our line. Our catalog has always been diverse, but it’s time for that variety to be reflected in the characters starring in our books and the creators making them. I’m looking for inventive stories with rich characters, a thoughtful approach to comic book storytelling, and a dedication to craft. You should be pitching us fully realized, considered pitches that continue the long Oni Press tradition of character-driven narratives that don’t fit in with other publishers’ conventions.

 

WHAT WE DON’T WANT TO SEE:

  • Superheroes! They have their place but their place is not with us.

  • Avoid pitching long-form series or stories in oversaturated genres such as supernatural noir, zombies, vampires and gritty detectives with a dark past.

  • Please also avoid delicate subjects such as rape and sexual abuse as fodder for exposition in genre stories–using rape as a plot point betrays not only a lack of sensitivity but also a lack of creativity when creating compelling female characters.

  • We are not accepting any prose or poetry — we’re a funnybooks publisher!

 

THE NITTY-GRITTY:

- The submission periods will operate on a two-months open, two-months closed schedule. Our first submission period will be open from May 1st to June 30th.

- All submissions should be submitted electronically through our Submittable site, located here:https://onipress.submittable.com/submit. Any physical submissions will be destroyed without reading. Please do not email (or tweet at) editors directly with pitches. It will just make us grumpy.

- All submissions should should have your name, email and phone number on every page. They should also begin with a cover letter telling us who you are, who your project is for and how it fits at Oni Press. Also feel free to include any previously published comics work or comic-related education.

- Expect a response to your submission within one month. Everyone will get a response but not all responses will be personalized—we simply don’t have the time to do so.

 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

Writers:

- Pitches should be:

- A logline - [what’s the idea/concept]

- A one-page synopsis / overview - A short summary that contextualizes who your project is for and how it fits into the marketplace

- A 3-5 page outline - give us the full beginning, middle and end of your story so we can see your execution.

- A sample comic script containing at least two scenes, consisting of at least eight pages and no more than twenty pages. This should be a comic book script, NOT a screenplay.

Artists:

- Submissions should be:

- A portfolio with at least eight sequential storytelling pages with FINAL LINE ART / INKS. No pencils, just final inks [or the digital equivalent] by you.

- No covers, pinups, etc. SEQUENTIALS ONLY. We only care about your ability to tell a story. Adding pin-ups of Marvel/DC superhero characters are not an opportunity to wow us, it’s mostly just wasting our time. Again, SEQUENTIALS ONLY.

- Please make sure your sequentials include characters of both genders and at least one person of color.

Cartoonists or Writers w/ Artists: Combine the two categories above!

- Pitches or submissions should be:

- A logline - [what’s the idea/concept]

- A one-page synopsis / overview - A short summary that contextualizes who your project is for and how it fits into the marketplace

- A 3-5 page outline - give us the full beginning, middle and end of your story so we can see your execution.

- A sample script containing at least two scenes, consisting of at least eight pages and no more than twenty pages.

- At least 8 sample pages of sequentials from the project being pitched.

- Note: The creative team in your pitch is the one we expect to see actually working on your book. No switcheroos!

Colorists:

- Submissions should be:

- A portfolio with at least eight pages, containing at least two different scenes, from at least two different artists.

* Sorry, we are not currently taking submissions from pencillers, inkers, or letterers.

 

Categories: Horror News

Love & Peace & a Full Trailer

Dread Central - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 20:19

The full trailer for the new film from writer/director Shion Sono, entitled Love & Peace, is here; and it’s exactly as strange as you think it would be. Check it out!

Megumi Kagurazaka, Ikue Ohtani, Kumiko Asô, Toshiyuki Nishida, Shôko Nakagawa, and Miyuki Matsuda star.

Synopsis:
It’s the summer of 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. Ryoichi dreamed of becoming a punk rocker when he was younger but became a timid salaryman at a musical instrument parts company. He has feelings for Yuko, but he can’t tell her how he feels.

One day he has a fateful meeting with a turtle on the rooftop of a department store. He names the turtle Pikadon and adores it, but his co-workers laugh at him. Ryoichi throws Pikadon into the toilet. He regrets what he did. The turtle, though, goes through the sewage and meets an old man who lives in the underground. Something then happens.

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Categories: Horror News

Netflix Orders Season Two Of “Marvel’s Daredevil”

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 20:17

Well that was fast. Netflix has just ordered a second season of “Marvel’s Daredevil” set to premiere sometime in 2016. After the critical acclaim received by season one this should come as no surprise, and given the recent boom in superhero genre TV, it’s a safe bet. The renewal notice does come with it’s own set of changes, though. The press releases sent out today confirmed a second season premiere in 2016. Doug Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Horror Story) and Marco Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy), who worked closely with Steven DeKnight and Drew Goddard, will serve as show runners for season two.

Ramirez, Petrie, Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods) and Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) are executive producers.  Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios will produce for Netflix.

For those of you out of the loop: Blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the Super Hero “Daredevil” in modern day Hell’s Kitchen, New York Cit. Marvel’s Daredevil stars Charlie Cox, Rosario Dawson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Scott Glenn, Bob Gunton, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis Hall, Ayelet Zurer.

Categories: Horror News

‘Delivery’ Duo’s ‘Shut In’ to World Premiere at the 2015 LA Film Festival!

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 19:53

Bloody Disgusting has an exclusive first ever look at Shut In, the latest horror thriller from team that brought you Delivery: The Beast Within, which will have its World Premiere at the 2015 LA Film Festival!

In even bigger news, the film has also been nominated for the fest’s Nightfall Award — honoring those films from the bizarre to the horrifying, and meant to be watched after dark!

In Shut In, “Beth Riesgraf stars as Anna, a woman who suffers from agoraphobia so crippling that when a trio of criminals breaks into her house, she cannot bring herself to flee. But what the intruders don’t realize is that agoraphobia is not her only psychosis.

The film also stars Rory Culkin (Scream 4), Martin Starr (Dead Snow 2, HBO’s “Silicon Valley”) and Jack Kesy (FX’s “The Strain”).

Shut In is the debut feature from Adam Schindler, one half of LA based film collective Type AB, which was behind last year’s festival favorite Delivery: The Beast Within. That film also World Premiered at the LA Film Festival back in 2013, where it secured US distribution through Salient Media/Tribeca. TJ Cimfel and David White penned the screenplay.

“It’s such an incredible honor to bring Shut In to this year’s LA Film Fest”, said Schindler. “This represents something of a homecoming for us, as our last film also played LAFF and everyone from the programmers to the audiences were nothing short of amazing. Shut In is not your average home invasion film… it goes to some dark and unexpected places. It was made to play in front of a genre-loving crowd, so for me, June can’t come soon enough.”

Steven Schneider (WER, Insidious, Paranormal Activity) is producing with Jeff Rice (Lone Survivor), Lati Grobman (The Iceman) and Erik Olsen (The Book of Eli, Orphan). Executive producers are Christa Campbell (Texas Chainsaw 3D, Leatherface), Matthew Lamothe, Tommy Vlahopoulos, Brian Netto and Rob Van Norden.

Categories: Horror News

Director Hank Braxtan’s Unnatural Gets a Trailer and Poster

Dread Central - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 19:52

It’s been a few months since we’ve updated you on Chemical Peel director Hank Braxtan’s “nature gone amok” flick Unnatural, but that changes as of now with a first look at the feature’s poster and European trailer!

With narrative shades reminiscent of 1979’s Prophecy, an old-school practical effects approach, a grueling location shoot in Alaskan winter climes, and a cast that includes 1990’s “Twin Peaks” bombshell Sherilyn Fenn, Unnatural is produced by Ron Carlson with cinematography by Marc Carter. In addition to actress Fenn, the cast includes James Remar (“Dexter”), Ray Wise (Jeepers Creepers 2, “Twin Peaks”), Graham Greene (The Green Mile), Q’orianka Kilcher (“Sons of Anarchy”), and Ivana Korab.

Unnatural is being represented by sales agent VMI Worldwide for domestic and foreign sales. As soon as we receive word on a release date, we’ll let you know (we here at Dread caught a screening of the film earlier this year and found it to be a rollicking coaster of a ride).

Synopsis:
With many species on the verge of extinction, a notorious environmental corporation seeks to genetically modify several animals to survive climate change. When a fashion photographer and his small crew arrive on location in Alaska, they, as well as their local guides, find themselves thrust into a nightmare when they become prey for one of the escaped creatures. Isolated in the wild, the clock is ticking as they attempt to hold out.

The post Director Hank Braxtan’s Unnatural Gets a Trailer and Poster appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Mockingbird (2014)

Dread Central - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 19:13

Starring Barak Hardley, Todd Stashwick, Alexandra Lydon, and Audrey Marie Anderson

Directed by Bryan Bernito

Horror is a saturated market, and it is very easy for a title to get lost in the miasma. This is especially true for unknown directors who lack a big name distributor. I tend to give things a fair shake; even if all of my being tells me that the movie will be trash, I will begrudgingly pop it in, start it up, and see how long I can go before I turn it off. Sometimes, I even make it all the way to the credits. Even so, there are many films that will sit on my floor, having been plopped in only to be ejected after a few minutes in a motion akin to me reflexively swatting a spider that dangles into view while you’re driving. This is where unknown horror goes to die, along with westerns and romcoms that for some reason companies still inexplicably send to me.

So if this were a standard indie found footage project from some random hopeful trying to make Paranormal Activity money, I would understand why DreadCentral missed it. This isn’t that. I came across Mockingbird while looking through a list of Blumhouse Production movies as research for their WonderCon press roundtable, and saw a name I didn’t recognize. The wikipedia page was barren, with the cast listed in an order that I can only assume was dictated by a random number generator. When the actor for “Jacob’s Friend #4” is listed before one of the three main characters, I cannot fathom any logic that led to that ordering. And no, it wasn’t order of appearance, I checked that too.

This isn’t a no name director, either. This is written and directed by by Bryan Bertino, whose previous film was The Strangers. Not exactly a robust body of work, but The Strangers was a big enough deal that his second movie six years later should have made some kind of a stir. With a major producer and a real distributor, it must be some next level bad to have been so profoundly passed over.

That’s what’s confusing to me, since this conflux of oddities had me expecting the movie would be 1 out of 5 level trash. And yet, the movie wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great, for sure, but it certainly isn’t a shameful pair of home alone sweatpants, unwashed and hidden when company comes by. It’s the baked chicken of horror, a C+ effort brought out when you have family over but it isn’t a holiday. An admirable effort, clearly falling short of the bar set by The Strangers, but not tarnishing a legacy.

Shot in an all too familiar found footage style, the film takes place from three points of view. The first is from husband and wife Tom (Todd Stashwick) and Emmy (Audrey Marie Anderson), normal parents in a seemingly average household. With two kids and a cat, all is well when a mysterious package arrives: a camera that will not stop filming. Spending a night alone while the kids are being looked after, the couple’s planned romantic evening is interrupted when it turns out that the camera wasn’t a prize for winning a contest, but instead a way for a mysterious malignant force to look into their lives.

Beth’s (Alexandra Lydon) story is similar; an isolated college girl whose roommates are away, she struggles with a recent breakup. She’s less excited about the camera than the husband and wife, providing her only a minor distraction before more dreadful events start to unfold. Soon, both Beth and the Tom/Emmy combo receive a tape of a young boy being shot, with the instructions to not stop filming. Things only get worse for there, as events orchestrate to ramp up the terror of each party as they spiral towards an intense, if a bit predictable conclusion.

The third party is a down on his luck loser named Leonard (Barak Hardley), who contrary to the other two parties is on the adventure of a lifetime. He thinks the camera is his chance to win money on a gameshow, and is provided a clown costume which he wears to complete various challenges. The worst thing he has to do is get kicked in the balls and make farting sounds in a women’s restroom, so his is a much more lighthearted romp. It fits into an overall more sinister plot, but he is unaware of it, even if the audience figures out where it is heading long before.

There’s some cool visual design and some genuinely tense moments. The film is broken up into segments, like some sick editor broke stitched it together for some black market distribution. Unfortunately, there are some pretty serious plot inconsistencies once the final twist is revealed. I’m getting into spoiler territory in the next paragraph, so if you want to watch it fresh, my spoiler free talking of the twist is that it absolutely ruined the movie for me.

SPOILER ALERT:

It turns out that a bunch of kids were behind the whole thing. The oldest one looks about 13. The climax comes when the various parties all meet up in a house filled with balloons and end up shooting each other, so it make kind of sense that they would have to use trickery to kill their targets rather than direct violence. Setting aside the obvious questions of how kids would know how to rig up a video camera to never stop filming and transmit the feed, let alone afford all this shit, or do it unnoticed, there’s still one major flaw.

At one point in the movie, Beth refuses to open a package, which prompts a dark figure to kick open her door and send her into the closet screaming. How the hell is an 8 year old supposed to kick open a door? Even the oldest looked like he was underdeveloped for 13, so it doesn’t make any reasonable sense. It all just comes together so stupidly, that I wish they would have just done like they did in The Strangers and never explain it.

SPOILERS OVER:

Despite the interesting stuff in terms of pacing and setting up the segments, the film is an illogical mess that falls far short of Bertino’s previous effort. It feels like a cheap knockoff that would have been released to ape off of the success of The Strangers, and 6 years too late. As a found footage film, it’s decent. I wouldn’t ever tell someone not to watch it, but I wouldn’t bust it out at a party as a hidden gem that everyone simply must see.

The post Mockingbird (2014) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Let Us Prey for Dark Sky

Dread Central - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 19:01

The release details are here for Brian O’Malley’s Let Us Prey via Dark Sky Films. Read on for some nifty new artwork and more! If you know what’s good for you, that is!

From the Press Release:
A new breed of screen villain takes over in LET US PREY, about a malignant loner’s chilling effect on everyone he encounters during a night in jail. The supernatural horror film will be available on VOD and Digital Download from Dark Sky Films on May 26, 2015 – it will also be available on Blu-ray/DVD day & date.

Rachel (Pollyanna McIntosh; The Woman, Filth), a rookie cop, is about to begin her first night shift in a neglected police station in a backwater town. Surrounded by both disgruntled officers and irate petty offenders, her job becomes all the more difficult and terrifying when a mysterious man (Liam Cunningham, “Game of Thrones”‘ Davos Seaworth) is brought in and strange things start happening to everyone in the station.

As it becomes clear that the enigmatic stranger, known simply as Six, has something to do with the supernatural, terrifying events, Rachel finds herself in a fight for her life against cop and criminal alike as one by one they turn on each other. Now she must survive the night and uncover the stranger’s true plans for the station’s hapless denizens before she too falls prey to the unholy power that seeks to destroy them all.

Also starring in the film are Hanna Stanbridge (Outcast) and Bryan Larkin (TV’s “Outlander”).

LET US PREY marks the auspicious directorial debut of Brian O’Malley. Sight & Sound listed the film as one of the best horror films of 2014. Sarah Boslaugh of Playback called it “an effective and surprisingly philosophical horror film.” The List’s Henry Rothmore said it is “an intriguing horror flick. … Cunningham is suitably sinister and shadowy, spouting Bible quotes as he manipulates the others.”

The film was an Official Selection and audience favorite at both the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, and Montreal’s Fantasia Fest. It won the Silver Méliès Award at the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film and the Audience Award at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival.

The post Let Us Prey for Dark Sky appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Get an Early Sneak Peek of The Originals Episode 2.20 – City Beneath the Sea

Dread Central - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 18:33

Well, that was certainly a jaw-dropping ending last night on “The Originals,” and if you can’t wait one second longer for a sneak peek of what’s ahead in next week’s Episode 2.20, “City Beneath the Sea,” you’re in luck because The CW has just released a clip!  In this sneak peek Marcel shares some sage advice with Rebekah.

“The Originals” Episode 2.20 – “City Beneath the Sea” (airs 4/27/15)
LOOMING DEADLINES AND ENTICING PROPOSITIONS — When Dahlia (guest star Claudia Black) devises a clever way to get Klaus’ (Joseph Morgan) attention, she reveals some startling details about baby Hope and leaves him with an enticing proposition to consider.

Elsewhere, while Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Freya (guest star Riley Voelkel) find themselves with opposing views on how best to handle Dahlia’s looming deadline, Rebekah (guest star Maisie Richardson-Sellers), Davina (Danielle Campbell), and Cami (Leah Pipes) work together to come up with their own strategy.

Meanwhile, following a tense stand-off between Elijah and Jackson (guest star Nathan Parsons) in the bayou, Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) is left to make a difficult decision about her and Hope’s future.

Finally, Vincent (Yusuf Gatewood), who is eager to leave his witch past behind him, approaches Davina with an offer that leaves her intrigued. Leslie Libman directed the episode written by Carina Adly MacKenzie and Charlie Charbonneau.

For more info visit “The Originals” on CWTV.com, “like” “The Originals” on Facebook, and follow “The Originals” on Twitter.

The post Get an Early Sneak Peek of The Originals Episode 2.20 – City Beneath the Sea appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

‘Bloodshot’ Being Directed By ‘John Wick’ Duo!

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 17:38

Huge news today as Valiant Entertainment announced a five-picture deal with Sony Pictures to bring two of its series, Bloodshot and Harbinger, to the big screen starting in 2017, says Heat Vision.

The bigger news is that Bloodshot, targeted for a 2017 release, will be directed by the John Wick (one of the best movies of 2014) team of David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, working from a screenplay by Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) and Eric Heisserer (The Thing, A Nightmare On Elm Street).

For Harbinger, Heisserer will provide the script solo, while potential directors are being kept under wraps for now.

It gets even more crazy as the plan is to create an Avengers-styled universe. Both Bloodshot and Harbinger will receive two features each before a fifth movie, Harbinger Wars, will bring both properties together, inspired by the Valiant comic book series crossover from 2013.

“Harbinger”, created by former Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and David Lapham, is a next-generation “X-Men”-esque storyline about a group of superpowered beings on the run from the Harbinger Foundation, an organization run by mysterious philanthropist Toyo Harada. “Bloodshot”, created by Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin and Bob Layton, is a soldier brought back from the dead by a secret government agency and turned into an unstoppable killing machine with no memory.

Both properties were among the first revived by Valiant Entertainment during the company’s relaunch in 2012, leading to 2013′s Harbinger Wars series by Joshua Dysart, Duane Swierczynski, Clayton Henry, Pere Perez and Clayton Crain.

In addition to Bloodshot and Harbinger, a number of other Valiant properties are in development, including odd-couple action comedy Archer & Armstrong and the badass supernatural thriller Shadowman!!

Categories: Horror News

‘Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves’ Gets a Red Band Trailer!

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 17:25

FDR American Badass director Ross Patterson is taking on a new historical figure in his indie Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves, which is seeking finishing funds over at Indigogo.

We now have the red band trailer for the historical retelling that stars Jessie Wiseman as Keller, known for being both blind and def. Insidious‘ Lin Shaye portrays an older version of Keller, while Rocky Horror Picture Show‘s Barry Bostwick stars as ‘Jonathan’.

Bloody Disgusting previously had the exclusive poster premiere that teases the tagline: “She’s A Natural Born Keller“.

“Helen Keller vs Nightwolves tells the shocking story of how a group Nightwolves terrorized a tiny village taking people’s hearing and eye sight… and the one woman who fought back.

Follow the film on Facebook.

Categories: Horror News

The Story Of Erma, The Daughter Of ‘The Ring’s’ Samara, Continues

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 17:21

Earlier this year, we posted Brandon Santiago’s Erma, an ongoing comic that features Erma, the daughter of Samara from The Ring. Brandon’s story follows Erma through being babysat, going to school, and other things that kids do…although not usually haunted.

That story has continued on and a massive gallery of the strips, as well as one-off drawings, has been gathered. So we figured why not share the whole thing with all of you?

It’s rather adorable and the art very innocent, which only makes the more “horrific” moments all the more squeal inducing. Also, how many of us have reacted the same way as Erma in the “Movie Night” strip? My friends may think I’m a little crazy but I’ll laugh all I want when someone gets offed!

Make sure to follow Brandon’s work on Tumblr.

Have some more Erma

Categories: Horror News

Pulp-ish ‘Suburban Gothic’ One-Sheet

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 17:17

Check out this really cool alternate poster for Richard Bates Jr.’s Suburban Gothic (read our review), his follow-up to the Sundance success, Excision.

Raymond has a prestigious MBA, but he can’t find work. He can channel the paranormal, but chatting with a cute girl mystifies him. Kicked out of his big city apartment, Raymond returns home to his overbearing mother, ex-jock father, and beer-bellied classmates. But when a vengeful ghost terrorizes the small town, the city-boy recruits Becca, a badass local bartender, to solve the mystery of the spirit threatening everyone’s lives.

Suburban Gothic is described as an eccentric comedy/horror that stars Matthew Gray Gubler, Kat Dennings, Ray Wise, Sally Kirkland, Jeffrey Combs and John Waters, and riffs on everything from classic supernatural horror and outsider teen comedies to the “Hardy Boys” and “Scooby-Doo”!

The film had its World Premiere at Fantasia last July.

Categories: Horror News

‘Let Us Prey’, Starring ‘The Woman’s’ Pollyanna McIntosh, Dated For Home Video

bloody disgusting - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 17:12

A new breed of screen villain takes over in Let Us Prey, about a malignant loner’s chilling effect on everyone he encounters during a night in jail. The supernatural horror film will be available on VOD and Digital Download from Dark Sky Films on May 26, 2015 – it will also be available on Blu-ray/DVD day & date.

Rachel (Pollyanna McIntosh, The Woman, Filth), a rookie cop, is about to begin her first night shift in a neglected police station in a backwater town. Surrounded by both disgruntled officers and irate petty offenders, her job becomes all the more difficult and terrifying when a mysterious man (Liam Cunningham, “Game of Thrones’” Davos Seaworth) is brought in and strange things start happening to everyone in the station.

As it becomes clear that the enigmatic stranger, known simply as Six, has something to do with the supernatural, terrifying events, Rachel finds herself in a fight for her life against cop and criminal alike as one by one they turn on each other. Now she must survive the night and uncover the stranger’s true plans for the station’s hapless denizens before she too falls prey to the unholy power that seeks to destroy them all.

Also starring in the film are Hanna Stanbridge (Outcast) and Bryan Larkin (TV’s “Outlander”).

Categories: Horror News