Happy New Year 2017!

Dread Central - Sat, 12/31/2016 - 14:30

As always, it’s with great pleasure that we give this year the proverbial finger and officially look forward to 2017! Please join us in stabbing at 2016 with an erect middle digit. Seriously, year, take yourself and your onslaught of death, misery, and general shittiness; and be gone with you!

Because of the foulness of these past 12 months, at this point we don’t even know if we’ll be here for 2017, and that’s not even remotely hyperbolic in any way. Our survival is very much in your hands. You can make a difference and be a part of history. Lord knows we hope to be around for a long, long time. If you’ll have us, we’ll be here working harder than ever. We have so much more to give.

Here’s hoping, but either way… Goodbye, 2016! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out! Be safe tonight, everyone, and have a happy and healthy 2017! Here’s to ya!

The post Happy New Year 2017! appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

‘Witchboard’ Turns 30 Today and It’s Still a Campy, Creepy Classic!

bloody disgusting - Sat, 12/31/2016 - 12:47

On the 30th anniversary of Kevin Tenney’s ‘Witchboard,’ we take a look at all of the films in the series and how they hold up now

When it comes to the realm of horror, the various sub-genres that populate the dark corners of the topic are given the ability to refine themselves over the years. We might be able to get complex zombie narratives or vampire stories that can bring us to tears over their nuance, but it took years of delivering rote, archetypal monster movies before reaching this point. One of horror’s sub-groups that has never really been allowed the sort of leeway or seen the popularity of ghosts or werewolves is that of the Ouija board. Through the years there have been sporadic (and usually direct-to-video) attempts at Ouija tales and the last few years have seen the success of the maybe-franchise Ouija, but beyond that (and give or take an episode of Scream Queens) the area has largely gone untouched. While Mike Flanagan’s Ouija: The Origin of Evil managed to revitalize the topic and open it up in exciting ways, before that the sort of leading horror text on this supernatural topic was Kevin Tenney’s Witchboard trilogy. Now, on the 30th anniversary of Tenney’s original film, we look back at why Witchboard and its sequels are such a delightful part of horror canon.

Admittedly, the Witchboard series might not be the most frightening endeavor that horror has to offer, but the films operate with the sort of brazen, outlandish universes that you’d hope to encounter from some lurid VHS that you stumble upon in the horror aisle. The prime reason that the Witchboard films stand the test of time—not only in spite of, but because of their campy flaws—is because of writer/director Kevin Tenney’s clear passion for the area of Ouija. He digs into and pulls off all sorts of Ouija lore and presents it proudly through awkward exposition. He’s such a stickler for all of this too. The mere fact that he enforces that the characters all pronounce it “We-Jah” rather than “We-Gee” through the three pictures means that you have to admire the guy. It’s not hard to imagine cast or crew members mocking Tenney’s insistence to stick to the antiquated—albeit accurate—pronunciation, even though nobody goes with the “We-Jah” version anymore. Anyways, get ready for it here because you’ll never be able to un-hear the alternative once you’re done with this film.

Tenney’s original Witchboard operates routinely enough. It has a fairly simplistic plot wherein basically some people get fascinated with a Ouija board, but more specifically the spirit that they’re communicating with, a boy named David. As they continue to poke this ghost-bear, sinister consequences appropriately follow and it’s a classic situation of, “Boy, you shouldn’t have mucked around with that Ouija board.” In spite of Witchboard’s story hardly breaking the planchette (that’s a Ouija board joke—an excellent Ouija board joke), it makes up for it in its endless charm. To begin with, this truly might be the ’80s-iest movie out there. The wardrobe, dialogue, and hairdos are ridiculous and you’ll love every second of it. The medium that’s consulted in the film, Zarabeth, is such a cliché (dyed hair, tinted glasses, bedazzled denim, popping bubble gum…) that it’s hard to believe that this is actually how the ‘80s viewed mysticism by and large. There’s also an ‘80s Ouijia board research power montage that is just too sublime for words to describe. Not to mention, I respect the hell out of the idea of filling a Ouija board film with a bunch of forty-somethings who are completely un-invested in the experience.

Something else that I adore about this film and its sequels is how they’re simultaneously super meticulous about historical accuracy and the “rules” of Ouija but also flagrantly being romantic with the past. At one point Zarabeth enlightens the audience by sharing, “For your information, dude, the information has been around since the dawn of time. It’s been in use all the way since 540 BC.” This is radical misinformation, but the film has such conviction behind it all that you can’t help but be charmed from the experience.

Before long it’s figured out that this friendly boy spirit, David, is actually an evil entity by the name of Malfador (yes, Malfador, as if this were a villain from out of Harry Potter). The film then spends a solid amount of time on a whole primer for the different stages of Ouija possession that basically become the blueprint for the rest of the film. One of the stages, “Progressive Entrapment” is said so much in this movie that I’m truly surprised that one of the sequels wasn’t titled Witchboard: Progressive Entrapment. And it’s just fucking nonsense! It doesn’t mean a thing. So much of this movie is just babbling, but in the most fun, addictive sort of way. Witchboard also introduces the idea—which I love—of the Ouija demon having bad spelling/dyslexia and passing out incorrect info accordingly, which is not only pretty creative but also makes sense when you think about it.

The mischief that Malfador causes is all pretty laughable in the best possible sense. One particular scene sees his spirit knocking a knife into the ground and then spilling ketchup onto it so it’ll resemble a bloodied murder weapon and drive Linda into a fit. This Ouija demon also simply makes the water get too hot in the shower as well as other low stakes acts of could-be-plumbing. Furthermore, Linda’s solution to escape this scalding water is to smash the shower door to broken bits rather than just slide it open. It’s crazy. Curiously, once Malfador’s possession of Linda slowly begins to take place she begins to swear a ton. This is a huge red flag for James and a huge hint in alerting him that something is wrong here. “Has she been swearing?” “Like a truck driver.” “My God…” What’s crazy though is that this whole swearing angle becomes a throughline across the other Witchboard films, too. These are all chaste, virginly individuals who have apparently never said anything worse than “darn” before. At the end of the film, Malfador’s complete possession of Linda is conveyed by her just wearing the same suit and hat that he did, and yet, it’s somehow really creepy and unsettling all the same.

When dealing with some sort of otherworldy threat like a Ouija board, it’s always fascinating to see how this danger is overcome in the end. In the case of Witchboard, is it some more powerful psychic force that keeps the spirit at bay? Perhaps resolving the spirits unfinished business so they can find some peace and move on? Nope. Here they solve the problem by brashly shooting the Ouija board repeatedly. A decision that is both the stupidest and greatest thing that I’ve ever seen. This is something that they could have done from frame one of the film!

Underneath all of the Ouija mumbo jumbo this is a film that kind of boils down to a story about two old friends—practically brothers—who have lost sight of who they are and are both in love with the same woman. It’s a weird angle to juxtapose with all the Ouija material but it makes for a film that feels well rounded. Witchboard manages to accomplish what it sets out to do, even if it does so in an incredibly campy manner, but there’s still something to be said for that. The fact that the film performed quite well in theaters, turned a profit, and actually built a demand for a sequel is a testament to the unusual world that Tenney built 30 years ago that still holds resonance today.

In spite of the success that Witchboard saw, its sequel Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorway, came out a staggering seven years later. This delay was the result of financing issues where the studio didn’t have the necessary funds to move forward on a sequel until years later, rather than the delay having anything to do with waning studio or audience interest. It might have taken seven years, but Kevin Tenney, back in the writer/director’s chair, doesn’t squander this opportunity to return to his world. Witchboard 2 has such a sequel-y tone, but in a comforting, nostalgic sort of way if that makes any sense. It ups the stakes in all of the ways that a second go-around at this topic should, while also making the clumsy sort of sequel mistakes that are just a delight in ‘90s B-horror of this nature.

Witchboard 2’s premise sees Paige talking to the deceased “Susan” via a Ouija board (again, everyone knows to pronounce it “We-Jah,” with zero prompting), trying to help solve her murder and give her spirit justice. However it’s eventually revealed that this spirit is playing games with Paige and that it’s not actually Susan after all…or is it? The film keeps playing with this as Paige gets more deeply involved. Like in the previous Witchboard film, Paige slowly begins to “change” due to the spirit that she’s communicating with. She begins dressing differently and yes, even swearing. This is  all culminating in the evil spirit from the other side trying to trade places with her and get into our world.

One of the most pleasant things that Witchboard 2 has going for it is its decidedly weird sense of humor. The film operates with a sort of swagger where it thinks it’s being really funny—like in the case of the dog’s name and Elaine’s misunderstanding around the song lyrics she’s named him after. Or exchanges like, “He’s the handyman, isn’t he?” “More like unhandyman.” Brilliant, right? A lot of this stems from Laraine Newman’s portrayal of Elaine, the quirky psychic du jour. She floats through ultra-hippie mode here, talking in that relaxed drawl while tending to her dog Dew and spitting out phrases like “far out.”

While on the topic of characters, let’s explore the rest of this film’s eclectic supporting cast because man oh manatee. Elaine’s handyman husband, Jonas, is literally sexually harassing and ogling Paige within three seconds of meeting her. Not long after he’s greedily drinking from a flask while sizing her up. Later on, Jonas is hitting on Paige right in front of Elaine and it’s just awful. It’s an absurd sort of character that only exists in this era of films. Furthermore, how is Paige affording this ridiculous, insane apartment, especially while working as an artist?

Cut from a similar cloth as Jonas is Paige’s ex-boyfriend, Mitch. He’s just the worst and is immediately enraged simply over the idea of her being an artist. He’s constantly berating her, insulting her abilities, and wants her to be an accountant instead of following her dreams. It’s such a weird angle for the abusive, stock boyfriend to have that’s given no real context. He’s just enraged right out of the gate, and on top of all of that, he’s also a crooked cop. Of course, just as Paige is having too much of Mitch’s abuse, a cute, nice art lover, Russell, enters the scene and is the perfect replacement. It’s still such bizarre characterization for Mitch though. The film even gives us the incredibly stereotypical Gary Burns-esque mystical character, Morris, who imparts all of the Ouija board rules (“I know what you’re thinking. You’ve never seen a Jewish occultist before.”). Morris also introduces the premise that all spirits are liars and that you naturally can’t trust the message you’re getting (“Are you kidding? Spirits are terrible spellers!”). Furthermore, it brings up the interesting idea that maybe the message you’re getting from the Ouija board is misspelled. This eventually comes into play with the whole “riflecape” mystery in terms of what the spirit is communicating to Paige and its message actually being “fireplace.” It’s a spin on the formula that works.

Witchboard 2 continues to rejuvenate the Ouija idea in creative ways, like by introducing the concept of a planchette that you can put a pencil in so the spirit will carry out their message in the deceased’s actual handwriting. I sort of love this extension of the Ouija board, and I’ve never seen it come up anywhere else. It’s a great way of helping determine who you’re actually dealing with in these movies. That being said, a lot of this film is just characters spelling out the messages that they’re getting from the Ouija board. It’s crazy how much is just lengthy scenes of people spelling. It’s nuts.

With these sorts of films the murders are always a super important discussion point and while the original Witchboard sets the standard for WTF deaths, its sequel truly goes above and beyond with just how laughable it makes the act of murder. For one, when Jonas’ handyman gear (which mainly includes rotating blades) starts flinging itself at him there’s no real reason for him to be picked as a victim other than we as an audience knowing that he’s an asshole and “okay” for murdering. The ghost itself has no reason to target him though. Regardless, the “blade POV” work here is actually pretty well done and it destroying a path of light bulbs as it recklessly careens towards Jonas looks pretty damn cool. As is the way that the spirit finally manages to dispose of Jonas in the end. There’s also a notable car crash sequence that is such a ridiculous set piece. Here the Ouija board somehow cuts the brakes to Mitch’s truck without any explanation behind it. The car then proceeds to smash through a boat before being totaled. At another moment the power of the Ouija causes a giant wrecking ball to smash into Laraine Newman’s Elaine and her Mystery Machine copyright infringement of a vehicle. These are far from your run-of-the-mill knife slashings and as surreal as all of these death scenes are, there’s something to be said for their unpredictable, original nature.

Rounding the film out, there are some otherwise appreciated touches, like the film’s quasi Carpenter-esque Halloween aping score, which actually works well and suits the picture. On the topic of the film’s sound design, whenever the Ouija board flings itself at Paige it makes a jaguar or some sort of jungle cat sound when it does so, for whatever reason. Tenney also employs unique, roving camera angles at choice opportunities that manage to evoke an early Sam Raimi feel, too. All of this adds to the strong foundation that the first Witchboard film introduced while then going in a bonkers direction on top of it. The third and final film in the Witchboard series pushes this mentality its furthest and ends up becoming a rather controversial film in the process.

In the same way that the original Witchboard is deliciously ‘80s, Witchboard 3: The Possession is drowning in huge cell phones and endless stockbrokers who are doing “insider trading” in a way that’s almost patronizing to what the ‘90s were. The perspective becomes all the more humorous when you see how Brian, the film’s protagonist, has absolutely no business being a stockbroker. What truly kills me here though is that this is a film where a Ouija board is being used for hot stock tips and a way to get rich quick. If that isn’t a ‘90s take on Ouija and the supernatural I don’t know what is. It’s like your basic monkey’s paw parable where naturally all the Ouija’s big stock choices are ironically cursed. Just take that in: The Ouija board’s stock tips are haunted. This is a film where people are asking the board questions like, “Do you feel like talking about commodities?” rather than inquiring how this spirit died.

Witchboard 3 also kicks off with a monologue that is so obtuse and self-important that I just had to capture the whole thing. The film begins:

“When I first discovered the Ouija—known in ancient days as the Witchboard—I thought it was just a toy. A party game that pretended to summon the spirits of the dead. I was dead wrong. The Witchboard is a portal to the other world, that summons evil fortunes as well as good. It was my misfortune to call up the Spirit of Nargor, and his cult of fertility. My name is Francis Redmond, and now I’m dead.”

That’s your gripping intro! Also, this Francis Redmond character is a no one! It’s not like it’s the main character telling you this or anyone of importance. But in terms of starting your film off with clunky exposition? 10/10, no question. The film is also eager to make wild claims like, “The Ouija has been around since the times of Pythrageous—540 BC,” which is just sophisticated sounding lies. There are some claims of the Chinese experimenting with rudimentary Ouija boards in 1100 AD, but the modern version is widely thought to have originated in 1890. Witchboard 3 certainly gets points for trying to romanticize the origin some.

It’s interesting to note here that Kevin Tenney is not back on board to direct this film (although he does still co-write it), with instead the unknown, Peter Svetek stepping in. The story goes that Tenney wasn’t allowed to direct Wtichboard 3 because he refused to coerce Ami Dolenz to get naked in Witchboard 2. Dolenz had a no nudity clause in her contract and Republic Pictures tried to get Tenney to get her to waive this. Tenney didn’t play ball and as a result this, allegedly, was his punishment. It’s all just so insane and sure enough, the first scene of this film is Brian and Julie having sex, with Julie’s breasts pretty glaringly on display. She’s not very chaste for a cultural anthropologist, evidently.

These Witchboard films are all an awful delight, but it’s kind of absurd how Francis Redmond’s suicide at the beginning of Witchboard 3 is such bonkers out-of-the-blue madness. Francis just randomly goes and jumps out the window of an apartment building (right after he’s given all the necessary Ouija exposition—his only purpose). If that’s not enough, he has to also land on a weird set of antenna and scaffolding so he ends up getting impaled in the process, too. The film likes to pile on its gore in this respect where there’s some sort of second element of brutality involved with each death.

In another perplexing scene that might end up being my favorite in the entire film, at Francis’ funeral his grieving wife jams her thumb into her corpse husband’s head in order to check if he’s actually dead. He is. Embalming fluid spews out accordingly. I really can’t get over this scene. Like, this isn’t her discovering Francis’ body after he’s recently died and she’s in disbelief. This is all the way post-embalming and after a funeral service has been planned. And then she goes for the forehead for this sort of test? I don’t even care though because the moment is so gross and glorious.

Fortunately, the film continues to ride this wave of insanity through everything. There’s some stuff here that you truly need to see in order to understand what you’re dealing with. Not too far into the film Brian gets electrocuted by a light bulb, dies from it, and we get to see his spirit campily leaving his body, flying through a Ouija planchette, and then getting trapped in a mirror dimension. Like does any of that make sense? The rest of the film has Brian appearing in the reflections of household items, making them shake, as he tries to get Julie’s attention. And then there are also just moments like where a bunch of dead, pinned up butterflies end up slicing a guy to death. That’s what you’re dealing with here.

All of the deaths in Witchboard 3 are thoroughly entertaining but there is also plenty of delightful dialogue that highlights the level of sophistication that’s in play here. One exchange has a man saying, “Please give the man $50,000 in currency.” Currency, he says! He’s already said dollars. What else is it going to be $50,000 in? Drugs aren’t even broached in this film. Then later on the possessed version of Brian says to his wife, “I’m not going to kill you. I’m going to fuck you,” before then proceeding to make her spin around in the air repeatedly courtesy of some crazy effects.

These curious special effects hit their heights at the end of the film where Brian’s body is getting all melt-y and the spirit is attempting to leave him. It’s such a weird looking depiction of what’s happening. Furthermore, once the demon is finally out, it’s a crazy horned beast with a tail sort of deal. It’s just such a generic monster rather than anything that’s actually been established in this world. Also, the destruction of the demon seriously looks like something from out of a video game. This film gave me serious Phantasmagoria vibes (not necessarily a good thing), with these video game effects only inviting the comparison more. PS: A single arrow from a crossbow is totally not destroying an interdimensional demon…Not even one from Green Arrow’s quiver.

With the questionable level of quality that Witchboard 3 goes out on, getting three films in this series is probably all that we need. While the fact that each film goes about the Ouija concept in wildly different ways while still paying respect to the lore of the Witchboard, the current films we’ve been seeing on the topic have been more than suitable substitutes. If anything, a much more aggressive reboot of the film would be the right approach to move forward. Take the fundamentals of the film, but cut out the camp and humor and really try to turn up the scarier, more ridiculous moments from the series. Thirty years later the franchise is definitely worth revisiting, whether by a film a studio or just by you. If nothing else, we need more people in the word pronouncing it “We-Jah board.”

Categories: Horror News

It’s Time, My Dear Readers, For Me to Say Goodbye

bloody disgusting - Sat, 12/31/2016 - 10:10

Hey everyone. I hate having to write this but I would hate it even more if I left without saying goodbye to all of you. So yes, this is me saying that I am no longer writing for Bloody-Disgusting or Cinema Runner. This is me saying farewell to all of you and wanting to take this last opportunity to say a few words about my experience with this site and all that it has offered me.

I started writing for Bloody-Disgusting back in October of 2009. I came aboard because I pestered Brad (Mr. Disgusting) and Tom (you may remember his Infected name KillRobot), the owners of BD, relentlessly until they allowed me to write for the music section. The deal was that I was supposed to submit two album reviews per month. That’s it. So what did I do? I contacted every record label I could think of to let them know that I was writing for Bloody-Disgusting, the internet’s largest and most recognized horror website as an album reviewer. On top of getting promo copies for review purposes, I was suddenly talking with the labels’ PR and marketing departments who wanted to see about getting more done with the site.

Hey Jonathan! On top of doing a review, would you want to do an in-person interview for the site?” Ummm, yes?

Hey dude! Love your site! Can we also do a contest to give away 10 copies of the album?” Uhhh, I think we can arrange that? (I did)

Your site is awesome! Let’s get our bands talking about their favorite horror movies! What do you say?” I say fuck yeah!

I took the initiative to go above and beyond what I was asked not because I wanted to appear like someone they needed to hire full-time but because I got swept up in the fever of what I could bring to the site. I did all of this because I wanted to support the bands and artists I loved while also giving the BD readers new content and, hopefully, new music to listen to. I mean, if I loved them, maybe you would too?

I continued as the music editor for several years, interviewing huge names such as Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, David Ellefson of Megadeth, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Slash of Guns N’ Roses, Rob Zombie, and more. I was able to premiere controversial videos like Cattle Decapitation’s “Forced Gender Reassignment” and Cephalic Carnage’s “Ohrwurm”. I gave away probably a dozen guitars over the years to people who I hope are getting endless amounts of joy from them.

For the site, I visited the sets of Don’t Breathe, Underworld: Blood Wars, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, and I got to party it up in Pittsburgh’s ScareHouse when it was reskinned for Krampus. I got to represent BD at the 2016 Telluride Horror Show, a festival that introduced me to new friends and was one of the best experiences I’ve had. I went to Montreal in 2013 for the Fantasia Film Festival.

None of this is meant to sound like me bragging. Rather, it’s me reflecting on all that I’ve done, all the amazing opportunities I’ve had by being a part of this incredible website. I’ve made friends that I never would’ve known otherwise by being here. I’ve put smiles on the faces of countless people over the years, as well as a hefty dose of angry scowls. I’m not perfect and I fully admit that. What I’m getting at is that this site has been an absolutely amazing experience for me and I can’t imagine what my life would be like had I not sent the message that said, “I want to write for you.” Not only can I not imagine it, I don’t want to.

I think back on the years of me interacting with all of you and I can’t help but tear up. Yeah, I dealt with a fair amount of trolls but I also got to speak with an audience that is passionate, devoted, and deeply cares about the horror genre. I got to bare myself entire for you all not once, but twice, which you all embraced openly, making me feel loved, appreciated, and welcomed.

As I leave, I want to say a few things. First, take it easy on Brad. I know that many of you hate him. But very, very few of you know him like I do. Yes, he’s not an easy person but he is so devoted to what he does that it boggles the mind. He cares about this site more than anyone I know, aside from Tom, of course, and he genuinely loves horror. Admittedly, he sometimes doesn’t present it in a way that is easily accessible or even tolerable, but he never fails to mean well. Trust me on this as he and I have butted heads more times than I care to admit. He’s a good guy, readers. I promise you that.

Two, keep supporting the site. It’d be incredibly pretentious of me to imagine any of you not coming back to the site because I’m no longer here, but that’s not what I mean. What I’m saying is that sites like Bloody-Disgusting are always facing tough times because of how the internet works. I know many of you use ad block but I’m begging you to whitelist BD and then complain via Twitter, email, or even in the comments if the ads are obtrusive or impeding your ability to read articles. Every ad view helps ensure that the site can keep running. After all, you want to make sure John Squires can afford his yearly Fall spending spree on pumpkin-flavored beers, right?

Third, keep loving and supporting horror, in all its forms. I know that we’ve butted heads on whether some films I consider horror are or aren’t. But remember that horror is a feeling and those are unique to each and every one of us. We’re all individual people with our own tastes and reactions who just so happen to share in our love of this wonderful genre. Just because we may not agree on some things doesn’t mean that we should argue or vilify each other. Instead, embrace those differences between us. Cherish them and each other. Thank filmmakers for trying to make something that speaks to us, even if we don’t like it. We’re a genre that isn’t respected by the mainstream population, so we have to have each other’s backs.

Lastly, stay as passionate as you all are now. Your comments reflect your love of the genre and, hopefully, what this site does and has done for over 15 years. Your comments supporting the BD authors are what drive them to keep doing what they do each and every day. Tell us what you love. Tell us what you hate! But never stop talking to us.

To the BD authors I’ve worked with over the years, I can’t tell you how much I loved reading your work and how much I admired your passion and wit. To Tom and Brad, you will always have my boundless thanks for the opportunities that I was given by being a part of BD. To all the readers, you have my deepest and most heartfelt thanks for all the encouragement, love, support, and passion you’ve shown me all these years.

I don’t know what the next step in my journey will be but I know that I am stronger and better because of all of you.

Thank you for the most incredible seven years of my life.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Barkan

Categories: Horror News

Dread Central’s Best and Worst Horror Films of 2016

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 21:48

It’s that time of year again, kids!  Time for Dread Central’s Best and Worst Horror Films of 2016 lists.  We have a whopping 12 people weighing in (including one done comics style), and we’ve also compiled everyone’s picks to come up with the year’s overall winners and losers.

Anthony kicks things off for us. The other contributors’ picks can be found by scrolling through the pages or clicking the links below.

We averaged out the top and bottom vote-getters on our collective lists, and here are the results:

BEST: THE WITCH
Runners-up: Train to Busan, The Monster, The Conjuring 2, Don’t Breathe (tied for 2nd); Green Room, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Lights Out (tied for 3rd)

WORST: 31
Runners-up: The Forest (2nd), The Disappointments Room (3rd)

The post Dread Central’s Best and Worst Horror Films of 2016 appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Elm Street Veterans Keep an Eye on The Watcher of Park Avenue

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 20:50

Elm Street stars Amanda Wyss and Lisa Wilcox take center stage in Ryan Burton’s upcoming short film The Watcher of Park Avenue.

Chengusoyane Kargbo, Ryan Burton, and Christopher Robert Thompson also star. The film is anticipated to be released in December of 2017.

Check out your first look at Wilcox as Gwen Hedren, “a feisty and eccentric woman who is attending a New Year’s Eve party in Manhattan,” courtesy of Wilcox herself on Facebook below. Wyss will play Lt. Samantha Warren.

Synopsis:
Blanche Montgomery finds herself in a dangerous mix of paranoia and frustration as stories emerge of a serial killer who has been terrorizing the neighborhood she is currently living in.

The post Elm Street Veterans Keep an Eye on The Watcher of Park Avenue appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

A Look at Shin Godzilla’s Nightmarish Humanoid Army

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 20:37

You want nightmares? You’re about to have them. If you haven’t seen Shin Godzilla, you may want to avoid this story because it’s impossible to write without giving away some key plot moments.

SPOILERS INCOMING!

As you know if you’ve seen the movie, there are several variations of Godzilla throughout. Seeing Godzilla evolve before our eyes was neat, to say the least. Seen briefly at the very end of Shin Godzilla was what appeared to be some form of humanoid creatures spawning from Big G’s tail.

Now, thanks to Gormaru Island, we can get a really good look at the hideous creatures courtesy of some scans they did from The Art of Shin Godzilla art book.

Check them out below. These bad boys could give the Xenomorph a run for its money!

The post A Look at Shin Godzilla’s Nightmarish Humanoid Army appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Evil Descends from The Covenant

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 17:28

Looking to experience supernatural phenomena of a violent and hostile nature? Then look no further than The Covenant.

From the Press Release:
Uncork’d Entertainment has a soul to take this February with The Covenant, available On Demand from February 7.

After the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter, Sarah Doyle moves back to her childhood home with her estranged brother, Richard. It’s not long before Sarah begins to experience supernatural phenomena of a violent and hostile nature. Bewildered and desperate, Richard enlists the aid of a paranormal investigator who confirms that Sarah has become possessed by a powerful demon. Together, the three men will go to battle to save Sarah’s soul.

Directed by Robert Conway (Krampus Unleashed), and starring Monica Engesser (Krampus the Reckoning), Clint James (The Encounter), Owen Conway (Exit to Hell), Sanford Gibbons (Tombstone), and Maria Olson (I Spit On Your Grave : Deja-Vu), The Covenant hits February 7 from Uncork’d Entertainment.

The post Evil Descends from The Covenant appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

The Bates Motel and House Get Immortalized in Gingerbread Form

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 17:16

Fifty-six years ago, Alfred Hitchcock terrified audiences all around the world with his genre defying masterpiece, Psycho. To this day, it continues to shock and awe moviegoers, some of which decided to take to Imgur to display a replica of the iconic Bates Motel and House out of gingerbread.

And while I’ll admit that there is a certain degree of futility in taking the time to build something that’s eventually gonna rot, you still gotta admit the lengths they must have gone to to painstakingly create every exact detail from the film, with even the positioning of the characters being as accurate as possible.

I don’t even want to think about how hard it’s gonna be for them to throw this out when it starts smelling bad and showing signs of decay.

The post The Bates Motel and House Get Immortalized in Gingerbread Form appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Update on the Castlevania Animated Series

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 17:14

It looks like there’s gonna be a Castlevania TV series coming out way soon, and seeing as Konami seem to want to discontinue to game series, we couldn’t be happier that the franchise is gonna live on in some capacity.

Last year, we reported that the awesome Adi Shankar was working on what he referred to as a “super violent Castlevania mini-series” alongside “Adventure Time” producer Fred Seibert. There were no updates since, until Seibert mentioned the following on a Nickelodeon podcast (thanks to Indiewire for pointing it out):

We have a project now that we’re doing that needs to go unnamed based on one of the most world-famous video games of the last 30 years, that we’ve had in our shop for 12 years without being able to get it started. But there were great characters and a great story, and eventually we got it going.

Now, although he didn’t specifically mention Castlevania, it logically seems to be the franchise that he’s referring to, given what we know so far. Shankar then pretty much confirmed that the speculation was correct in the following Facebook post:

I asked in the comments if he was referring to the Castlevania series, and Mr Shankar very kindly gave my comment a like. So yeah, it’s happening.

The Castlevania franchise follows the Belmont family of vampire hunters as they do battle with Dracula and his minions. To date, over 20 million games in the series have been sold.

The post Update on the Castlevania Animated Series appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Bill Oberst, Jr., Takes Us to the Hunting Grounds in February

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 17:11

Formerly known as Valley of the Sasquatch, the newest sliver of Sasquatchploitation to come our way is Hunting Grounds, and we’ve got new stills, artwork, and more!

From the Press Release:
Uncork’d Entertainment has set award-winning creature feature HUNTING GROUNDS for a February 7, 2017, release.

Winner Best Sci-Fi Horror Film at the Toronto Independent Film Festival 2015, writer-director John Portanova’s acclaimed film sees a fractured family forced to go up against an angry clan of Bigfoot.

Festival audiences and horror critics have gone crazy for the story of a father and son, forced to move to an old cabin in the woods after a devastating tragedy, who unearth a tribe of Sasquatch.

Written and directed by John Portanova and produced by horror label The October People, Hunting Grounds stars Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, Jason Vail, David Saucedo, D’Angelo Midili, and Emmy winner Bill Oberst, Jr..

HUNTING GROUNDS will be available On Demand beginning February 7th.

Synopsis:
After losing their home following a devastating tragedy, a father and son are forced to move to an old family cabin. When two old friends arrive for a weekend of hunting, what begins as a bonding trip becomes an unimaginable nightmare. This trip deep into the forest will not find wild game but does unearth a tribe of Sasquatch that are determined to protect their land.

The post Bill Oberst, Jr., Takes Us to the Hunting Grounds in February appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Say Hello to More The Bye Bye Man TV Spots

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 16:59

A fresh crop of TV spots are here for The Bye Bye Man, and we have each of them ready and waiting for you. Dig in!

Michael Trucco stars with Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas, Lucien Laviscount, Doug Jones, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Faye Dunaway.

Stacy Title directed from Jonathan Penner’s script, based on Robert Damon Schneck’s short story “The Bridge to Body Island.” Trevor Macy produced for Intrepid, and Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman produced for Los Angeles Media Fund.

Synopsis:
When three college friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, they discover that there is only one way to avoid his curse: don’t think it, don’t say it. But once the Bye Bye Man gets inside your head, he takes control. Is there a way to survive his possession?

The post Say Hello to More The Bye Bye Man TV Spots appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Get Revenge Next Halloween with an Incredible Pumpkinhead Mask

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 16:52

Yeah, I know it’s still many moons away, but that doesn’t mean we cannot revel in the goodness of the Halloween season until it arrives! We know you’re as sweaty with anticipation as we are so here’s something more to look forward to…

Justin Mabry of Trick or Treat Studios took to his Mabry Masks Instagram account to unveil its new Pumpkinhead mask, and as you’ll see for yourself, it’s fucking STELLAR.

Artist Bruce Spaulding Fuller worked on this gorgeous piece of artwork that would have Ed Harley spinning in his grave.

The post Get Revenge Next Halloween with an Incredible Pumpkinhead Mask appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Abandoned Homes Made Out of LEGOs is Depressing and Scary

bloody disgusting - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 16:19

Artist Mike Doyle uses LEGO pieces to create stunning sculptures, but the ones that blow my mind are the abandoned houses that are both frightening and depressing.

From putting a tree into the side of a house to a refrigerator busting through the top floor, Doyle shares brick-by-brick details on how he creates these monochrome black, white, and grey palette masterpieces on his official blog (look to the left navigation bar).

For now, here’s a taste of the magic he’s created in 2016.

Categories: Horror News

The “Unsolved Mysteries”/”The X-Files” Crossover Episode That Almost Was

bloody disgusting - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 16:08

Well now this would’ve been something special.

As we recently told you, the creepy TV series “Unsolved Mysteries” is now available to watch through Amazon’s streaming service (at the time of writing this post, only the Dennis Farina episodes are available, but the Robert Stack-hosted originals are coming soon), which has made us feel that 2016 wasn’t all bad. In fact, the news may have single-handedly saved the year.

You may love “Unsolved Mysteries” and all its nightmare-inducing delights, but did you know that it almost crossed over with “The X-Files” at one nearly-magical point in time?!

By the late ’90s, “Unsolved Mysteries” was airing on CBS (NBC cancelled the show in ’97), and Robert Stack still had a few more years left in his run as host. The ratings were lagging and the series wasn’t exactly as popular as it had once been, but “The X-Files” writer Vince Gilligan was clearly still a fan. And in ’97, during the show’s fifth season, he devised the fun crossover idea.

As Gilligan relayed in the book Resist or Serve: The Official Guide to “The X-Files” Volume 4, he was under the gun to write the fifth season’s twelfth episode, which was going to be filmed right after Christmas break. His initial plan for the episode was to merge “The X-Files” and “Unsolved Mysteries,” but the plan fell apart when he just wasn’t able to make it work.

The book’s writer, Andy Meisler, explains:

As Gilligan not so fondly remembers it, this aborted comedy would have consisted of a typical X-Files adventure presented as a typical episode of the series Unsolved Mysteries. Robert Stack would have hosted, of course, and for his real-life true-crime simulation, Mulder and Scully would have been played by a couple of other actors – when Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny got wind of this, reports Gilligan, “they definitely liked the sound of a week off.”

“But I just couldn’t figure out how to do it,” admits the writer. “And now it was a week before Christmas and I said, ‘Oh man, I’m screwed.'”

Oddly enough, it was an episode of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” that broke Gilligan out of his Christmas break funk. When co-executive producer Frank Spotnitz brought up the episode during a brainstorming session, Gilligan came up with a whole different idea for Season 5, Episode 12, which ended up becoming the vampire-centric episode we now know as “Bad Blood.”

“Bad Blood” ended up being a fan-favorite episode of the show, but it’s hard not to imagine what could’ve been had Gilligan stuck with his original idea. I suppose it just wasn’t meant to be.

*cue “Unsolved Mysteries” theme song*

Categories: Horror News

Let’s Play Pretend and Give Academy Awards to 2016’s Best Horror Movies

bloody disgusting - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 16:01

Mr. Disgusting’s Top 10 Horror Films | Several More Must-See Horror Films | Kalyn’s Top 10 | Trace’s Top 10 | Trace’s Worst 510 Best Posters | Worst Posters | Best Trailers | Luiz Picks the Best Horror Shows | Chris’ Best Blu-rays 2016: The Year Netflix Embraced Horror | 10 Sci-fi Movies You May Have Missed | 13 Most Disturbing Horror Movie Moments |
5 Pretty Good Horror Movies You Might’ve Missed in 2016
[Poll Results] The Bloody Disgusting Readers Chose the 10 Best Horror Movies of 2016
10 Biggest Horror Stories of 2016
Let’s Play Pretend and Give Academy Awards to 2016’s Best Horror Movies

The Academy may not recognize horror, but at least we can.

Ahead of the February ceremony, the nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will soon be announced, and we certainly don’t expect to see any horror films popping up on there. Of course, it would be quite untrue to say that horror is NEVER honored at the Oscars, but it’s so rare that most of us have just accepted that a horror presence at the event is something of an anomaly.

The bummer of the Academy largely ignoring horror is that the genre is often home to exceptional filmmaking and acting, and this past year has been no exception. In lieu of a traditional year-end ‘best of’ list, I’ve decided to instead honor my favorite horror movies of 2016 by bestowing upon them the Academy Awards that they’re sure to not actually receive. Because nobody is stopping us from playing pretend, and I feel that each of these films deserve recognition and accolades.

So if I ran the show, here are the 2016 horror movies I’d give Academy Awards to.

BEST FILM – THE CONJURING 2

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all become a little worn down by studio horror in recent years. It’s become commonly accepted that indie horror almost always puts Hollywood horror to shame, but the same can’t really be said about studio-made horror in 2016. And if you asked me today to name the very best horror movie of the year, I’d give you the same answer I would’ve given you back in June: The Conjuring 2. James Wan’s hit sequel was somehow an even better film than its predecessor, and from where I stand, it’s so much more than a superior sequel: it’s one of the best American horror movies ever made. Truly scary as well as emotionally powerful, The Conjuring 2 is not just James Wan’s masterpiece but a high-water mark for the genre at large.

Speaking of which…

BEST DIRECTOR – JAMES WAN, THE CONJURING 2

No filmmaker alive today embodies the term “master of horror” more than James Wan, and with The Conjuring 2, he proved that his handle on the genre is only getting stronger with each passing film. Watching it, I mostly found myself in awe of the whole thing. In awe of how good Wan is at executing a scare. In awe of how much he makes you care about his characters and about every single little moment. I was also struck with the realization that I’m lucky enough to be alive at a time when one of the all-time great horror filmmakers is at the top of his game. With The Conjuring 2, we officially hit peak James Wan, and as it turns out, peak James Wan is every bit as impressive and masterful as peak Wes Craven, peak George Romero, and peak John Carpenter.

We’re all so lucky that Wan loves horror so much.

BEST ACTOR – RALPH INESON, THE WITCH

Released early in the year, Robert Eggers’ The Witch has undoubtedly been one of the most talked-about horror films of 2016; for whatever reason, some fans are still refusing to even accept that it’s a horror movie, while others feel it’s the most overrated movie of the year. However you feel about The Witch, one thing you cannot deny is that the performances are incredible across the board. English actor Ralph Ineson physically transformed himself to play family patriarch William, a man desperately trying to keep his family together against impossible/supernatural odds in 17th century England. Adopting a period-authentic dialect, Ineson embodied the character to a tee, turning in a powerhouse performance that is unquestionably worthy of Oscar consideration.

BEST ACTRESS – VERA FARMIGA, THE CONJURING 2

As scary as The Conjuring 2 is, what really makes the whole thing work so well is the same thing that made the first film such an incredible piece of horror cinema: the performances of Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as real-life couple Lorraine and Ed Warren. Though they’re primarily there to help another family in peril, it’s the relationship between Lorraine and Ed that is the highlight of the film; and thanks again to exceptional performances from both actors, the emotional connection to the characters couldn’t possibly be stronger. You can feel Lorraine’s love for Ed and vice versa, and as Lorraine Warren, Farmiga brings so much warmth and heart to the table. It’s rare that an actor makes you care so much about a character in a horror movie.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – JOHN GOODMAN, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

John Goodman has been such a great actor for so many years, but can you believe that he’s never been nominated for an Academy Award? That could very well change in 2017, as his performance in 10 Cloverfield Lane has generated a whole lot of Oscar buzz… and for damn good reason. In the film, Goodman plays Howard, a man living in an underground bunker who swears to a young woman that he’s saved her life by bringing her down into his hideout. Howard is the sort of guy who’s either the sanest person in the room or the craziest, and Goodman’s commanding performance ensures that you never quite know what to think of the character. One minute you feel for him and the next you’re terrified of him, and Goodman nails the nuance like few actors would be able to. Here’s hoping this is the year he finally gets Oscar recognition.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – IMOGEN POOTS, GREEN ROOM

I suppose it’s up for debate whether or not Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room is a horror movie, but if you’re asking me, it damn sure is. Furthermore, it’s the most horrifying, disturbing, and upsetting movie of the whole year. Centered on a group of young musicians who run afoul of sadistic neo-Nazis, the film is as intense and unforgettable as 2016 horror gets, and it’s highlighted by an outstanding supporting performance from Imogen Poots as a punk girl named Amber. The innocence she and co-star Anton Yelchin exude makes the horrific situation they’re in all the more devastating to watch, and the dry humor Poots brings to the role really makes you fall in love with the character. Poots is also a total badass when the role requires her to become one.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – TRAIN TO BUSAN

You may be over zombie films by this point, hell we may all be, but sometimes a movie comes along that’s so damn good that it makes you completely forget about how tired a particular sub-genre has become. Written and directed by Sang-ho Yeon, South Korean zombie flick Train to Busan is one of those movies, and it’s so exceptional that it restored my faith in zombie cinema at large. A lean, mean zombie film with zero wasted energy, Train to Busan is terrifying and intense while also being packed with so much depth and a surprising level of emotion. It’s one of 2016’s best horror films, foreign or otherwise, and it just might make you scared of zombies again.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – THE WITCH, ROBERT EGGERS

One of the most impressive things about The Witch is how true it is to the period in which the story takes place. First time director Robert Eggers also wrote the script, which was so well researched and thought out that Eggers plucked much of the character dialogue out of actual diaries from 17th century England. By pouring through real accounts of witchcraft for several years to craft his own script, Eggers was able to capture and convey the Puritan lifestyle in great detail. The Witch is largely a dialogue-driven film, so it’s impossible to heap praise on what he accomplished without calling to attention the great care, time, and research that went into writing the script.

BEST MAKEUP EFFECTS – GREEN ROOM, MIKE MARINO (PROSTHETIC RENAISSANCE)

The Academy’s makeup category is actually “Best Makeup & Hairstyling,” but if we’re talking specifically about makeup effects in the horror movies released in 2016, there’s one film that comes to mind over all the others. Yes, I’m once again talking about Green Room, which is home to the most unsettling moments of brutality that I have honestly ever seen. As horror fans, we of course love on-screen violence, but the violence in Green Room is a whole different beast entirely. It’s so shockingly sudden, so unexciting, and so deeply repellent that it honestly made me queasy. Furthermore, it made me question why I even love violent entertainment in the first place. From a sliced up arm to a slit open belly, the movie’s makeup effects are almost TOO real.

Special shout-out also to Imogen Poots’ hairstyle in Green Room.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – THE SHALLOWS, IMPORTANT LOOKING PIRATES

I already heaped a good deal of praise on the visual effects in The Shallows recently here on BD (check out an effects breakdown video we came across), so I’ll keep this one short and to the point: the computer-generated shark in Jaume Collet-Serra’s supremely entertaining sharksploitation flick is so good that I honestly didn’t even realize it wasn’t a practical creation until I did some research after coming home from the theater. The shark in The Shallows is the best we’ve seen since Jaws, which has given me a whole lot of hope for the future of CG monsters.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – THE INVITATION, THEODORE SHAPIRO

I’d be remiss to talk about 2016 horror and not mention The Invitation, one of the most unsettling and captivating movies released all year. There’s not a single weak aspect of Karyn Kusama’s exceptional thriller, and honestly, it’s deserving of being on this list in way more than just one category. But one of my personal favorite aspects of the film is Theodore Shapiro’s score, which is pitch-perfectly haunting. As Shapiro himself explained, “Most of the score is performed by one solo violin, overdubbing layer upon layer. The bareness of the solo string suggests the desert terrain of LA and the emotional barrenness of the main character Will.” A horror movie is nothing without a great score, and Shapiro helped solidify The Invitation as one of 2016’s best.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – THE EYES OF MY MOTHER, ZACH KUPERSTEIN

One horror film popping up on many lists this year is Nicolas Pesce’s The Eyes of My Mother, which you would not find on my own list had I written a traditional Top 10. Why not? Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of the film. I felt it was all style and no substance, and my 2-star rating on Letterboxd is one I stick by. But one thing I would like to mention about Pesce’s debut film is the cinematography, which came courtesy of Zach Kuperstein. The Eyes of My Mother is beautifully shot in black and white, and thanks to some unconventional techniques, Kuperstein makes nearly every shot into a work of art. Again, I found it to be an empty film, but damn is it pretty.

Which 2016 horror films would YOU give awards to? Let us know!

Categories: Horror News

The Ultimate ‘Pumpkinhead’ Mask is Coming Halloween 2017

bloody disgusting - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 14:33

Keep away from Pumpkinhead. Unless you’re tired of living.

Back in 2012, the legendary Don Post Studios was set to release a Pumpkinhead mask (with creature gloves!) that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on, but sadly, the company’s collapse led to that year’s Halloween offerings being left on the cutting room floor. To date, an officially licensed mask of one of my personal favorite movie monsters has never been released, but I’m incredibly happy to report that the wait is almost over. Because for Halloween 2017, Trick or Treat Studios summons the vengeance demon, and we’ve got your first look at the awesome upcoming mask.

Sculpted by Bruce Fuller and shown off on Instagram this week by company co-founder Justin Mabry, the Trick or Treat Studios Pumpkinhead mask is movie-accurate and insanely detailed, looking like someone walked onto the set of the film, cut off the big guy’s head, and turned it into a display piece. The paint job is as impressive as the sculpt, capturing every little detail right down to the blue veins on Pumpkinhead’s massive forehead. Simply put, this is the Pumpkinhead Halloween mask that myself and many others have loooong been waiting for.

The company’s Halloween 2017 product line will also include a ginormous Texas Chainsaw Massacre collection to die for and several Creepshow masks.

Check out your first look at the Pumpkinhead mask below!

Pumpkinhead for 2017 by @groovybruce01 for @trick_or_treat_studios

A photo posted by Justin Mabry (@mabry_monsters) on Dec 30, 2016 at 2:05am PST

Pumpkinhead for 2017 by @groovybruce01 for @trick_or_treat_studios

A photo posted by Justin Mabry (@mabry_monsters) on Dec 30, 2016 at 2:05am PST

Pumpkinhead for 2017 by @groovybruce01 for @trick_or_treat_studios

A photo posted by Justin Mabry (@mabry_monsters) on Dec 30, 2016 at 2:04am PST

Categories: Horror News

Cool Movies to Look Forward to in 2017

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 14:30

With a brand new year approaching, we edge even closer to the inevitable end of our own mortality.  I mean… 2017 is just around the corner, which means we have 12 whole months worth of new releases to look forward to.  From  blockbuster monster movies, to reboots of beloved franchises, independent gems and everything in between, I’m sure you’ll find there’s something for all genre aficionados taste buds on this list.  Of course, this doesn’t feature every single movie we’ll see this year – and no doubt some of the best ones will be the gems which appear seemingly out of nowhere, terrify our souls and capture our hearts – but I do hope it you find something new which sparks your interest amidst the obvious ones I have to mention because they’re unmissable.

 

Underworld: Blood Wars (Release Date: January 7th)

The year gets underway with some mindless popcorn action-horror, as Selene (Kate Beckinsale) goes to war with some werewolves and vampires.  It is what it is, and at this stage (it is the fifth instalment after all) you’ve probably made up your mind about the Underworld franchise.  If you’re a fan, you can see it in theatres this January.

The Bye Bye Man (Release Date: January 13th)

The Bye Bye Man is a bad dude.  He likes to make people commit unspeakable acts of evil, but if you say his name or even think it then he’ll come for you.  He has no problem taking over your free will, but God forbid you invade his privacy.  Part Candyman, part A Nightmare On Elm Street, part It Follows, it looks like some generic, but serviceable fun.  Then again, given that it’s being released in January, chances are it won’t be very good at all.  But all movies should be approached with an open mind, and The Bye Bye Man might surpass Candyman, Freddy and The Entity.  You never know…

Detour (Release Date: January 20th)

Christopher Smith makes his long-awaited return to genre cinema with Detour, a twisted neo-noir starring Tye Sheridan as a mourning son whose attempts to get revenge on his stepfather don’t go as planned.  So far what we know is that this is a film that keeps the audience on its toes until the very end, and if you’ve seen Smith’s overlooked masterpiece Triangle, then you’ll know he’s more than capable of doing just that.

Split (Release Date: January 20th)

I’ve never been a fan of M. Night Shyamalan, but every time he has a new movie coming out I’m somewhat intrigued to see it.  For me personally, I’m hoping Split is the movie that converts me to his cause, as the concept of James McAvoy playing a character with multiple personalities is a concept I can get behind. But despite being a hit-or-miss director, he does have a multitude of fans, and with the positive reception following its festival run – with some critics even comparing it to Hitchcock – it’s definitely worth checking out.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (January 27th)

Well, it’s been an adventure.  But all adventures have to come an end – a bloody, gruesome one hopefully.  Milo Jovovich returns as our kickass, zombie bothering heroine Alice, the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead hordes. But the battle isn’t over yet, and she must return to where the nightmare began – Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

Rings (Release Date: February 2nd)

Set 13 years after the last instalment, Samara returns to exact terror in seven days for those who watch the cursed video tape. However, there is more to the tape than meets the eye in this case, with a plot involving a movie within the movie. What secrets does it behold?

Patient Zero (Release Date: February 17th)

Starring Natalie Dormer, Patient Zero is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has become “Infected” killers. Only a band of heroes can set out into the ravaged remnants of society to find the cure.  Starring alongside Dormer is former Doctor Who actor, Matt Smith.

XX (February 17th)

XX is a horror anthology with a gender twist – each segment is helmed by a female directors and will star female leads. The directors Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), St. Vincent, and others.  It also features a segment based on Jack Ketchum’s “The Box.”

Get Out (February 24th)

The trailer for Get Out became a viral sensation when it was released earlier this year, for both its oddness and social commentary pertaining to racial tensions.  Written and directed by Jordan Peele, it follows an African American man who visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, where he isn’t made to feel very welcome.

Kong: Skull Island (Release Date: March 10th)

Following the success of 2014’s kaijutastic Godzilla reboot, Legendary Pictures continue their quest to bring our favorite giant monsters back to the big screen, this time with the King himself.  This film promises to provide a bold new take on the mythos of another iconic beast, and if the trailers are anything to go by it looks like a crossover between Apocalypse Now and Jurassic Park. What’s not to look forward to with Kong: Skull Island?  We’re living in an age of monster mayhem and with a collision with G set for 2020, it’s a good time to be alive if you like seeing gargantuan beasts tear it up.

Raw (Release Date: March 10th)

Ooh baby I like it raw, yeah baby I like it raw…  Yep, I’m talking about consuming human flesh here, folks.  Julia Ducournau’s cannibal shocker garnered some notoriety at the Toronto International Film Festival when members of the audience were reported to have been physically sick, along with paramedics having to be brought in because audience members passed out. I can’t think of the last time a movie came with this much gruesome buzz.

The Belko Experiment (Release Date: March 17th)

Wolf Creek director Greg McClean directs a James Gunn script in a movie which looks like a mix between Battle Royale and Office Space.  The plot follows a group of American office lackeys working in Brazil who are forced to kill each other, or else they’ll be killed themselves. It has all the ingredients to be an unhinged, violent good time and with the talent involved it’s bound to go down a treat with bloodthirsty genre fans.

Ghost in the Shell (Release Date: March 29th)

Based on the wildly popular anime, Ghost in the Shell‘s inevitable Hollywood live action live adaptation was met with initial scepticism, but the trailer turned out to be pretty damn awesome and now most people are really looking forward to it.  It stars Scarlett Johansson as The Major, a half-cyborg enforcer tasked with bringing down a dangerous hacker in a future that looks all Blade Runner-esque and stunning.

The Devil’s Candy (Release Date: March TBA)

I had the pleasure of seeing this movie at FrightFest in the UK and it’s incredible.  Following his savagely funny debut The Loved Ones, Sean Byrne’s sophomore effort is going to solidify his place as a rising genre stalwart once this hits VOD.  It’s a haunted house tale, but it’s not your conventional haunted house tale either; Byrne reminds us that there is life left in houses occupied by the spirits of the dead after all.

Blade of the Immortal (Release Date: April 29th)

Based on the manga of the same name, Blade of the Immortal follows an immortality cursed warrior who must kill 1000 evil men in order to break the curse.  Directed by prolific Japanese maestro Takashi Miike, this should be the violent, action-packed opus we know he’s more than capable of.

 

Alien: Covenant (Release Date: May 19th)

Ridley Scott returns to the Alien universe with the second chapter of the prequel quadruple that began with 2012’s Prometheus.  It also promises to be a return to the franchises’ roots in unbridled terror and if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks awesome.  The story follows a crew bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, who, mistaking it for an uncharted paradise, find themselves entering a nightmare.  Scott has promised two more sequels after this before the storyline links up with the original Alien.  Maybe after those we’ll finally get that Neil Blomkamp movie we’ve all been waiting for as well, which is a sequel to Alien 3 that isn’t Alien Resurrection.  Got it? Good.

The Mummy (Release Date: June 9th)

Universal are bringing back their iconic monsters to share a brand new cinematic universe, a “Brand New World of Gods and Monsters.” Up first is their reboot of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise as hero Nick Morton who must go up an apocalyptic threat when an ancient princess is awakened all pissed off at humanity.  It couldn’t be any different to the Boris Karloff original, but it looks like fun blockbuster action at least.  Some people think it’s a reboot of the Brendan Fraser movie, so if one positive comes from it then it might remind people that movies existed before 1999.

World War Z 2 (Release Date: June 9th)

The first World War Z film was beleaguered with production problems so the fact it turned out to be semi-entertaining was a miracle.  It also made a big pile of money, so a sequel was always going to happen.  The comics are fantastic and the series has a lot of potential to translate well on the screen.  David Fincher is helming this one, so it might kick start the momentum the franchise needs.  In Fincher we trust… even if this does feel kind of beneath him.

The Dark Tower (Release Date: July 28th)

Stephen King’s fantasy western adventure finally gets its long-awaited cinematic adaptation after years of people trying to figure out how the hell they were going to adapt it.  Inspired by everything from Lord of the Rings to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, this has the potential to be the best the next great grand scale adventure for the ages.

Annabelle 2 (Release Date: August 11th)

I know, I know… who cares about a sequel to a movie that didn’t exactly set the world on fire?  Well, if Ouija: Origin of Evil is anything to go by, it showed that sequels to bland supernatural movies can be pretty entertaining and reignite their respective franchises.  Much like Mike Flanagan when he took the reigns for Origin of Evil, David F. Sandberg enters Annabelle 2 on a wave of momentum following the success and acclaim of his debut full-length feature Lights Out.   This could be the surprise mainstream release of the year.

Sky Sharks (Release Date: September 1st)

Deep in the ice of the antarctic, a team of geologists uncover an old Nazi laboratory where twisted experiments were carried out in the past. In their bid for world domination, they created flying sharks who were flown by the undead. Basically, it’s a movie about Nazi zombies and flying sharks and it’s going to be bonkers.

IT (Release Date: September 8th)

Like the antagonist clown Pennywise, the IT reboot was devised with the sole purpose of killing childhoods.  Those of us who grew up with the dated mini-series are going to feel our nostalgic memories sucked into the eternal, black nothingness of death just because this movie exists.  Or, it might turn out to be a welcome adaptation of one of the best horror stories ever written, and we’ll all enjoy it and realize that reboots of the movies we grew up with can be good after all and our childhood’s will remain firmly intact, even though remakes don’t really affect their original counterparts in the slightest.

Flatliners (Release Date: September 29th)

A remake of the underrated 1990 movie, which tells the story of students who experiment with “near death” experiences, is perhaps unnecessary and a prime example of how every property is being milked.  That said, it has a fairly original premise that’s open to new nightmarish interpretation and the results could be interesting.

Friday the 13th (Release Date: October 13th)

Jason is back and he’s going to kill people.

Insidious: Chapter 4 (Release Date: October 20th)

Plot details are still fairly unknown about the latest instalment in the uber popular franchise, but what we do know is that the story takes place closer to the timeline of the first film and it’ll probably have lots of spooky shenanigans happening.  Adam Robitel, who directed the fantastic The Taking of Deborah Logan, will be helming the project, which sees Lin Shaye return to star and Leigh Whannell supplying the script.

Saw: Legacy (Release Date: October 27th)

Since the Saw series has been on hiatus, I’ve actually missed it.  I think the influx of supernatural horror in recent years has made me appreciate it more because it’s a guaranteed gory good time at the movies.  I’m happy to see Jigsaw return to our screens, and even though it’ll be business as usual, at least blood and guts will grace our multiplexes this Halloween.

God Particle (Release Date: October 27th)

Set in the Cloverfield-verse, God Particle follows a team of astronauts aboard a space station who must fight for survival while their reality has been altered after making a shocking discovery.  How it connects to Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield is a mystery at this time, but we can’t wait to find out.

Leatherface (Release Date: TBA)

A prequel which follows a teenage Leatherface who, after escaping from a mental institution with three other inmates, kidnaps a young woman and takes her on a road trip she doesn’t ask to be a part of. Along the way they are pursued by an deranged lawman out for revenge.  This premise sounds absolutely incredible, and the fact it’s being helmed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury gives me hope.

Death Note (Release Date: TBA)

Adam Wingard’s American remake of the Japanese manga, anime series and live action movie tells the story of a student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone he writes down.  This leads to a a deadly game of cat and mouse when a detective begins to track down the young man, attempting to end his reign of terror once and for all.

Death Wish (Release Date: TBA)

Eli Roth and Bruce Willis team up to unleash vigilante justice in this remake of Michael Winner’s 1979 classic, which starred Charles Bronson as a NYC businessman who cleans up the streets of its criminal filth following the death of his family at the hand’s of ruthless gangland thugs.

The Void (Release Date: TBA)

The genius’ behind the Astron-6 collective make their first full-length foray into straight horror fare with The Void, which takes place in a hospital where the inmates are transforming into inhuman creatures.  However, judging by the trailer, there’s a deep-rooted mythology here that hearkens back to the glory days of 80s, nightmare-inducing gateway horror like Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 and The Beyond.  The creators have described it as an homage to movies of that nature, and that sounds just perfect.

Hellraiser: Judgement (Release Date: TBA)

Pinhead told us our suffering would be legendary, and those of us who watched Hellraiser: Revelations knew exactly what he meant.  Hopefully Judgement will be a return to form for a franchise that deserves to be treated better; the potential for stories within this universe is too great not to explore, but with each passing entry it’s continued to move away from what made it special in the first place.  But this is a Hellraiser movie, therefore it’s somewhat intriguing.

Mayhem

Joe Lynch is one of the most underrated and exciting directors working in genre cinema at the moment.  His movies are genre-bending treats, which give us the violent, action-packed, intense thrills we need in our lives.  Mayhem tells the story of a virus which causes its infected act out their wildest and most deranged fantasies.  Sounds insane.  Count us in.

Mohawk (Release Date: TBA)

Ted Geoghegan’s follow-up to the excellent We Are Still Here follows a young Mohawk woman who finds herself pursued by a battalion of military renegades hell-bent on revenge after one of her tribe sets their camp ablaze. Fleeing deep into the woods, a twisted tale of survival ensues.  Much like We Are Still Here was in 2014, this could be the coolest movie to hit our screens in 2017.

Patchwork (Release Date: TBA)

Patchwork is an outrageous throwback horror-comedy that follows three young women who go out partying one night and find themselves Frankensteined together in one body. Now they must put aside their differences so they can find who committed this atrocity and exact their revenge.  This movie is a blast, and if you like the classic schlock of auteurs like Frank Hennenlotter you’ll love Patchwork.

 

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (Release Date: TBA)

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich tells the story of a divorced young man who gets entangled in a nightmare at an auction he’s attending in a bid to sell an antique doll.  But when the various puppets come to life and go on a bloody killing spree, things don’t exactly go according to plan.  What makes this instalment so exciting is that it’s penned by Bone Tomahawk writer/director and acclaimed author S. Craig Zahler, whose sophomore outing Brawl In Cell Block 99 – a brutal prison drama – is also expected to arrive in 2017.

Re-Animator: Evolution (Release Date: TBA)

We’ve covered Serge Levin’s upcoming Re-Animator remake extensively here at Dread Central, but we haven’t heard any information in quite some time.  That said, what we do know is that it stars Lin Shaye, it’s a more faithful adaptation to Lovecraft’s original short story and we’ll get to see it at some point next year.

Neon Doom/Benny and Steve Almost Die/Her Name Was Torment II: Agony (Release Dates: TBA)

Dustin Mills is one of the hardest working directors on the planet and a filmmaker who epitomizes the creativity and originality bursting out of the underground horror scene.  In 2017, he’ll be releasing an unholy trifecta of movies which couldn’t be more different.  The first, Neon Doom, is a video game-inspired post-apocalyptic tale of futuristic bounty hunters.  Her Name Was Torment II: Agony on the other hand is the sequel to the 2014 film which saw Mills unleashing his darkest work to date.  Little is know about the plot for Benny and Steve Almost Die, but it’s a horror comedy – and that’s the genre where Mills is at his most outlandish, weird and and wonderful.

 

 

 

 

The post Cool Movies to Look Forward to in 2017 appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

The Biggest Horror Stories of 2016

bloody disgusting - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 14:01

There’s no debating that 2016 was a GREAT year to be a horror fan. Our beloved genre is everywhere and if 2017 is any indication, it’s just going to keep getting better.  I took a look back over the past 12 months and picked out the biggest stories of the year (based on how many times they were viewed) and wow, there were some amazing horror stories this year.

10. After getting possibly the greatest Christmas present ever in the form of an Alien: Covenant trailer, it looks like most of our wishlist is going to come true.

5 Things We Want to See in ‘Alien: Covenant’

9. The King of the Monsters is always a popular topic on BD, and when these spoilers were released you all just couldn’t resist.

‘Godzilla: Resurgence’ Plot Details Unveil Major Spoilers!

8. Love it or hate it, when Lionsgate revealed that The Woods was actually Blair Witch, the internet went crazy and readers flooded in to view the trailer.

Breaking: ‘The Woods’ is Actually ‘BLAIR WITCH’! (Trailer)

7. We all got excited when there was finally some real Zombieland 2 news, and while there haven’t been many updates since then it’s still in development and hopefully we’ll hear something sooner than later.

‘Zombieland 2’ to Begin Filming This Summer?!

6. Remember when 10 Cloverfield Lane was a mystery? Everybody was trying to figure out how this film was going to fit into the Cloverfield universe, and now we can’t wait for the third film.

The Real ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ Mystery

5.  There aren’t many shoes harder to fill than Pinhead’s, and when we revealed who was going to take on the role in Hellraiser: Judgement it was a big deal. We later got our first look at Pinhead in this teaser image.

Here’s the New Pinhead In ‘Hellraiser: Judgment’!

4. Rob Zombie is always a controversial topic, and when ’31’ finally got an R rating after receiving the dreaded NC-17 from the MPAA not once but twice it was pretty big news. Now if we only knew where that unrated cut was…

Rob Zombie’s ’31’ Receives an R-Rating

3. Here’s a perfect case of something being too good to be true. The most recent update from Michael Keaton makes it seem like a Beetlejuice 2 might be a lost cause.

Tim Burton Confirms ‘Beetlejuice 2’ is a Go!

2. Stephen King’s IT is definitely the story of the year, and that’s proven by how many people clicked to get a first glimpse of Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise.

‘It’: Here’s Your First Look at Pennywise!!!

1. After all the teasers and speculation, when the American Horror Story season 6 theme was finally revealed it was the biggest single piece of news by a longshot.

“American Horror Story: Season 6” Theme Revealed

Categories: Horror News

Christians Talk Horror with The Fear of God

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 14:00

We’ve always said that Dread Central is a site for everyone who loves horror no matter their race, gender, color, creed, sexual preference, etc. However, if you don’t like ice cream or other frosty treats, this is NOT the site for you as you obviously have rocks in your head.

For those faith-based readers of the site, we want to make you aware of the podcast titled The Fear of God. The show is hosted by screenwriter and critic Reed Lackey and approaches horror films from a Christian perspective.

Hey, there’s always room for the holy ghost, right? If this is your bag, dig it!

The post Christians Talk Horror with The Fear of God appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Mom’s Voice (La voz de Mama) (Short, 2016)

Dread Central - Fri, 12/30/2016 - 13:30

Starring Fiorela Duranda, Cecelia Heroiina, Adrian Garavano

Directed by Mariano Cattaneo

The bond between a mother and daughter is one that can span miles, regardless of whether or not there is a separation by death, and after watching Mariano Cattaneo’s short film, Mom’s Voice, the only separation that is needed right now is between me and my skivvies…cause I’ve just soiled this pair.

The 5-minute short focuses on a young girl (Duranda), who misses her departed mother (Heroiina) something awful, and it seems like Daddy (Garavano) is only too quick to dismiss Mom’s passing as something she’s got to deal with. With sounds of her mother’s voice in the wind, and visions of her at night, the young girl hopes to be reunited with her parent someday soon. Now we all know she isn’t planning a return anytime soon, or is she? Is the little girl simply suffering visions of grandeur, or is there something much bigger going on here? Regardless of how this is interpreted, Cattaneo’s short-film is downright chilling to take in – simple, to the point, and pretty damned entertaining to boot. I’ll absolutely sign off on this one to check out if you have the time – give it a peek and see if it doesn’t make those little hairs on your neck stand at attention.

The post Mom’s Voice (La voz de Mama) (Short, 2016) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News