Liv and Major took the spotlight on iZombie this week, in an episode that felt a little bit like a filler episode, but still provided plenty of entertaining moments throughout to keep you interested.
The reunion of Liv and Major is something that iZombie has been teasing ever since the show premiered back in March, and yet it was still a surprise last week when they kissed. That being said, it was incredibly refreshing when Major finally (finally!) told Liv that he didn’t care about her zombie-ism. He just wanted to be with her because she makes him a better person.
This is the most apparent when he lies to Gilda about the humanity factor of the people on the list of potential zombies she gave him, so that will undoubtedly come back to bite him in the ass. He also flushes his remaining utopium down the toilet. While it is great that we didn’t have to sit through a whole season of Major hiding his drug addiction, it did seem a little too quick of a downward spiral for the character. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that he’s back to normal and is focused on Liv, but I didn’t completely buy the transition.
Speaking of utopium, Ravi sort of had a breakthrough with some tainted utopium that Scott Eberhard’s twin brother (whom you may remember from episode 11 of season 1) brought by. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to be making any progress with the cure, since he had to witness the rather gruesome death of drug dealer Gabriel from last week. This leads to what may have been one of the best scenes iZombie has ever done: an expertly choreographed “fight” between Ravi and Blaine as they scrambled the get the remaining amount of the tainted utopium. Of course, there is no way Ravi can realistically create another cure, otherwise Liv would be a regular ol’ human again and the show wouldn’t be called iZombie (though that would be sort of clever, wouldn’t it?).
Clive is getting brought into the fold more than ever now. iZombie has not benefited from keeping Clive in the dark about Liv’s secret, and Clive has come off as rather daft in recent episodes because he has not once questioned Liv’s constantly changing personalities. Hopefully Suzuki’s widow bringing him a tupperware of brain that she found in her late husbands freezer (and Bozzio mentioning that astronaut Alan York’s hair was found in the Meat Cute drain) will give him a little nudge to finally discover the zombie epidemic overtaking Seattle. Until then, if we can get more moments between him and Bozzio then iZombie will be all the better for it. Their chemistry is great and they are a treat to watch together.
The mystery of the week revolved around a basketball coach who moonlit as a night watchman getting shot in the heart while on duty one night. Essentially, this was just another “wrong place, wrong time” murder, with Mike (the coach) being collateral damage for a man who murdered his bookie.
These mysteries of the week have crippled iZombie since the show began. The show has a strong one every now and then, but it is at its best when the mystery plays second fiddle (or is absent altogether). Rob Thomas’ other show, Veronica Mars also worked on a semi-procedural format, but the mysteries on that show were more compelling than the ones iZombie has been dishing out. They don’t all have to be home runs, but there haven’t been any good ones this season so far.
“Love & Basketball” was an alright episode of iZombie, which by iZombie standards means that it was a better-than-average episode of television. There were plenty of fun moments peppered throughout the episode to keep you interested, but it wasn’t a particularly standout episode for the series. Now that Major and Liv are a team again, it will be fun to see where the show goes next.
- Chapter Titles of the Week: Make Out the Zombie; Hot or Not?; Smells Like Teen Spirit; Fists of Fury; Tainted Love; Rats from a Slinging Ship; He Who Dealt It, Melted.
- Brain Recipe of the Week: Brain Omelette!
- I’m not going to lie, everything about sports bores me. From the sports themselves to the “team” environment to shouts of “hustle,” I just hate it. So I’m probably not the best person to judge Liv’s personality this week.
- I just noticed that Gabriel was played by Yani Gellman, aka douchebag Paolo Valisari from The Lizzie McGuire Movie, a movie that I unabashedly love. This bit of trivia made me smile.
- “Shot through the heart…and who’s to blame?” – Ravi, on discovering Mike’s corpse.
- Liv faking trying to get a vision when Clive came in before she had eaten Mike’s brain was hilarious.
- “It’s like watching my mother trying to refold a map.” -Gilda, who is quickly becoming my favorite TV bitch.
- “We can watch Hoosiers.” -Liv, to Major. I hate Hoosiers, but my mom always wanted my sister and I to watch it, so this line made me guffaw.
- Liv let it slip to Gilda that she made out with Major. Uh oh!
- Clive beating up RJ’s dad for child abuse, while absolutely warranted, was a little out of character for Clive. Methinks this hints at something terrible that happened in his past.
- No Peyton this week? Sad face.
- iZombie brings gambling back next week. I’m not incredibly enthused, but the title of the episode is “Max Wager,” so I am a little intrigued.
Okay, this is more of an emotional rollercoaster than Ross and Rachel.
Just over a month ago, we reported that Relativity Media was filing for bankruptcy and that The Crow producer Edward J. Pressman filed an objection to allowing the film to be used as a potential asset for a studio sale. Well, it appears as if that objection has worked out as Relativity has announced that the remake of the 1994 dark action/thriller is going to be their first post-bankruptcy production, as reported by The Warp.
A big part of this announcement comes in the form of director Corin Hardy signing a holding deal. Hardy nearly left the film when it was possible that it would move to a different studio, thereby affecting the production and theatrical run. Hardy is coming off the recent success of the critically acclaimed horror film The Hallow and is regarded by Pressman as, “…a key creative element.”
Many people have been attached as the lead role of Eric Draven, such as Bradley Cooper, Luke Evans, and Jack Huston, although all have since moved on since the film has been through such a tumultuous history. The original was directed by Alex Proyas (Dark City).
“It’s Uncle Frank! Come here, damn you, I want to touch you.”
Those who listened to Joe Lynch and Adam Greens’s “The Movie Crypt” podcast entered hell with filmmaker Patrick Lussier.
Lussier discussed his plans for a Hellraiser remake that he had been working on with Todd Farmer for The Weinstein Company.
Those familiar with Clive Barker’s remarkable 1987 indie Hellraiser remember that the central antagonist wasn’t actually Pinhead and the Cenobites but “Uncle” Frank (Sean Chapman). The film open with Frank receiving Lemarchand’s box and opening it in his attic. When his brother and wife move in, a drop of blood releases him from Hell, sending the Cenobites after him.
Lussier and Farmer’s idea was to tell the story of Frank seeking out the box, which would bring some adventure to the Hellraiser franchise, and reveal the (new) origins of Pinhead.
“We wanted to make another movie with [William] Fichtner,” revealed Lussier, who directed the actor in Drive Angry.
“The idea essentially was that we never see the story of Frank getting the box. So imagine if Frank is actually the darkest version of Jack Bauer (from “24”) and Nicolas Cage from National Treasure. It would have been the evil National Treasure story.”
He continues: “In the beginning [Frank] is going to get the box, and he’s in Shanghai. He gets caught and they hold him down and they hammer these fucking nails into his head, but he gets free and kills everyone. But he does get the box which is being held by this guy who looks like he’s all bloated and has been ripped apart by the Cenobites. Frank steals the box and then… bad things happen.”
In this prequel/remake, Fichtner becomes the new Pinhead for the younger generation.
I absolutely love this idea because the Hellraiser franchise became way too much about Pinhead instead of focusing on the box and the concept of Hell, like the first four films.
Clive Barker was never involved in their take as he had been developing a remake of his own.
The Hellraiser franchise is quite literally in Hell. The Weinstein Company must continue to make films in order to retain the rights. If they can’t get a fresh and reinvigorating interpretation off the ground they will eventually half-ass a sequel, like Víctor García’s Hellraiser: Revelations, and repeat indefinitely. The irony of its tortured existence.
Clive Barker’s Hellraiser is easily one of my favorite horror films, and the first four are all filled with such sweet, sweet suffering. I’d give my flesh for Dimension to put some heart and soul into bringing my nightmares back to theaters.
Update: Peter Sarsgaard has confirmed that he will not be appearing in “Twin Peaks”.
Sad news for those who were expecting to see Showtime’s third season of “Twin Peaks” in 2016. CBS corporate chief Leslie Moonves has stated that the limited series won’t be hitting the airwaves until 2017. CBS owns Showtime, so this announcement basically comes from one of the main bosses. According to Variety, Moonves explains that the network might use it, “…as a property that will likely drive subscriptions of Showtime’s newly launched standalone broadband offering.”
The original announcement came last year and was met with an explosion of interest and excitement from fans of David Lynch, who is confirmed to be directing all episodes of the revival. The original 2016 premiere date gave Laura Palmer’s statement, “I’ll see you again in 25 years“, which is also exactly 25 years after the original series ended, a strange sense of prophetical forethought.
However, a disagreement between Lynch and Showtime surrounding the budget needed to make the new season not only a reality but something that is on the same level as the original meant that production had to be pushed back.
Filming is currently happening in Washington with Kyle MacLachlan, Balthazar Getty, Robert Knepper, Amanda Seyfried, and Jennifer Jason Leigh all confirmed to appear.
Stefan Petrucha’s best-selling novel “Dead Mann Walking” is being adapted into a CBS TV show written by “Continuum” creator Simon Barry, according to THR. Barry’s “Continuum” just finished a four season run in October, so he’s cleared to focus on this adaptation.
The synopsis for the book reads
“After Hessius Mann was convicted of his wife’s murder, suppressed evidence came to light and the verdict was overturned-too bad he was already executed. But thanks to the miracles of modern science Hessius was brought back to life. Sort of.
Now that he’s joined the ranks of Fort Hammer’s pulse-challenged population, Hessius attempts to make a “living” as a private investigator. But when a missing persons case leads to a few zombies cut to pieces, Hessius starts thinking that someone’s giving him the run-around-and it’s not like he’s in any condition to make a quick getaway…”
I gotta tell ya, I’m rather intrigued by this! I have a soft spot in my heart for film noir-esque private detective stories (I loved reading Mickey Spillane’s “Mike Hammer” stories and playing the first two Max Payne games), so this sounds like it’s right up my alley. I’ll definitely be checking this out!
There are certain game franchises that are just begging for a good film adaptation. Remember seven years ago when IGN and Rainfall Films pranked us all with a “trailer” for The Legend of Zelda? The game AND movie worlds collectively blew loads so massive, I’m surprised we didn’t impregnate the Earth. Alas, when the prank was revealed, it left a sting that has yet to heal.
Now, Rainfall is back with yet another video game adaptation, this time taking on Nintendo’s infamous sci-fi/adventure series Metroid. Starring Jessica Chobot as the popular ass kicking bounty hunter Samus Aran, Metroid: The Sky Calls is a short film that is incredibly well made, looks fantastic, and makes me wonder why producers aren’t tossing money at Rainfall to make these into feature length films.
“The classic Nintendo franchise, Metroid, envisioned through the lens of 60s-70s science fiction cinema such as ‘2001’, ‘Alien’, and ‘Solaris’: this was the concept for Rainfall’s most recent production. Instead of using a modern approach, a style was developed more in tune with the themes that inspired the first Metroid game in 1986: isolation, exploration, and the wonders of deep space.”
Seriously, if you haven’t seen this yet then you need to give 10 minutes to it and just bask in the glory of what could be if the industry would take a risk and give talented people the chance to make magic happen.
With Halloween approaching, the most common phrase we’ll all be hearing will be “Trick or Treat”. We often forget about the “trick” part of the phrase, which is a (generally idle) threat to any Halloween Grinches out there that failure to deliver a treat will result in some pranks on them.
Often coinciding with Halloween is an unofficial holiday known as “Mischief Night.” On this night, kids will play pranks all over their neighborhoods, including toilet papering yards and egging cars. There have even been a couple recent horror movies named after Mischief Night. Pranks are tied in with Halloween almost as much as candy and horror movies, and so many horror movies have involved pranks. Sounds like a great idea for a list!
Here are 10 horror movies that involved pranks gone wrong!
1) The Burning
What better location for some pranks than summer camp? With a bunch of adolescent boys running around, there’s sure to be plenty of fooling around. Of course, it’s all fun and games until some kids set the camp janitor on fire! Of course, ol’ Cropsey isn’t just going to sit back and do nothing after a prank involving a skull with candles inside it causes him to catch fire. Those kids on the raft sure learned that the hard way.
2) April Fool’s Day
This entry is a bit unfair because of the ending, but you can’t have a “pranks in horror movies” list and not include the movie that took the whole prank idea all the way to the end. Some kids head to their friend’s private island, where there are not only pranks but also kills! The ending is the ultimate prank on the audience, but also kind of a cop-out. Still one of the more entertaining 80s slashers!
3) Hell Night
A tried and true formula: You have to spend the night in the local haunted house. For the pledges of Alpha Sigma Rho, that’s their goal if they want in the fraternity! Sounds easy enough, right? Well, unfortunately for them, the frat members have rigged Garth Manor with all kinds of scares and pranks. Also, there are two deformed brothers killing everyone who goes in there. Bummer! Fun fact: This was the last movie produced by Compass International Pictures, which also produced Halloween.
4) Terror Train
If Jamie Lee Curtis circa 1980 lured me into a room and started to seduce me, I’d probably have been suckered into a prank too. That’s what happens to the nerdy Kenny in Terror Train. Of course, the whole thing is a big prank. There’s actually a corpse in the bed, and poor Kenny winds up in a mental hospital. In classic slasher fashion, Kenny comes back during a New Year’s train ride, and he’s not there to see David Copperfield’s act.
5) The House on Sorority Row
Seeing a theme here? Slashers in the 80’s were big on pranks gone wrong. In this movie, some crazy sorority girls are up to some graduation week shenanigans. What better way to celebrate their commencement than by forcing their house mother to retrieve her cane from the pool at gunpoint? Unfortunately for Mrs. Slater, the gun is loaded, and she winds up dead at the bottom of the pool. Oh well, the party must go on, even if everyone gets killed during it.
6) Urban Legend
In this cheesetastic 90’s slasher, a group of college students find themselves being terrorized by a serial killer basing his kills off of urban legends. This movie had a great cast, including Brad Dourif, Robert Englund, Jared Leto, and Joshua Jackson, who is this slasher’s resident “practical joker.” In the movie’s more memorable scene, his character fools a whole classroom into thinking his stomach exploded from eating Pop Rocks with soda. What a trickster.
7) The Toxic Avenger
Poor Melvin, the little nerd just gets picked on so badly. He even suffers what is easily the most ridiculous prank on our list, being tricked into wearing a pink tutu and kissing a sheep. Yikes. To add insult to injury, he is chased out a window and falls into a vat of toxic waste. Things work out all right for Melvin, though. The toxic waste transforms him into The Toxic Avenger, so it’s not all bad!
8) Joy Ride
Paul Walker didn’t just drive Toyota Supras and race Vin Diesel; he also drove a Chrysler Newport with Steve Zahn. The trouble starts when they put a CB radio in the car and start catfishing a truck driver, pretending to be “Candy Cane.” The trucker, known only as his handle “Rusty Nails,” gets fooled into meeting with a nonexistent woman, but he clearly can’t take a joke. In a movie reminiscent of Spielberg’s Duel, he terrorizes the two pranksters and prevented plenty of people from messing around with CB radios. Fun Fact #2: This was written by Star Wars VII‘s J.J. Abrams.
9) Slaughter High
This movie features some of the more brutal pranks on this list, and the final one is like a Rube Goldberg device. Marty is tricked into getting naked by a pretty classmate and then is exposed to a group of students who tease him, poke him with a javelin, shock him, and then dunk him in a toilet! Oh, but they’re not finished. Later, they give Marty a joint laced with poison and rig his chemistry experiment to explode when he runs away to vomit. When the group’s prank works, Marty starts a fire, then bumps a shelf, which then causes a jug of acid to fall and break, disfiguring Marty. Crazy! Once again, Marty returns to take revenge on those jerks. Fun Fact #3: Harry Manfredini, who scored many of the Friday the 13th movies, also scored this film.
We all knew that weird, quiet girl in school. Even if she was a bit odd, dousing her in pig’s blood in front of the entire school on prom night is just going way too far. You can’t blame her for losing it after that. Carrie is one of the greatest horror movies ever made, and the sequence of the pig’s blood prank, followed by her vengeful wrath, is one of the most memorable in horror history.
Every time I write about 2K’s asymmetrical multiplayer take on Monster Hunter, I get a little bit sad. I really wanted to like Evolve, but despite a concerted effort on my part, I’ve been unable to muster enough interest in its awesome concept to actually play it. I still want to want to play it, and that’s the problem. If only there was something I could focus on as a reason to stay away…
Enter the fifth monster to come to Evolve — the Gorgon.
I can sum up my feelings on this eight-legged freak with just one word: nope.
I respect the decision to use the grind house aesthetic for a trailer that’s about hunting down a two-story god-spider, but the only arachnids I’ll be seeing on my copy of Evolve will be the ones I murder with the game disc. The Gorgon DLC will be unlocked automatically on Nov 3 for season pass owners of the season pass. The rest of you can drop $9.99 for it.
Meanwhile, I’ll be sitting here dousing anything that moves with Raid while I chuck gas bombs into any and all crevices that look capable of hiding the enemy.
A new teaser for Fox’s upcoming six-episode run of “The X-Files” has been released and it really amps up the alien conspiracy angle. I don’t know if this stuff is spoiler-y or if it amps up the intensity and mystery of the show but I know that I love it! It’s a delight to see something that obviously has a lot of love put behind it.
Additionally, a very cool poster has also been released that shows an x-ray of an alien skull. Give both a view below, if you want, and let us know your thoughts!
>The presumed dead Lone Gunmen – played by Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, and Bruce Harwood – are set to return for an undisclosed arc. Robbie Amell (“The Flash”) and Lauren Ambrose (Psycho Beach Party) signed on as Agent Miller and Agent Einstein, respectively.
Mitch Pileggi returns as FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, while William B. Davis will be back as the iconic Cigarette-Smoking Man in the new short-stack order of 6-episodes. Joel McHale will play Tad O’Malley, a conservative news anchor who becomes an unlikely ally for Fox Mulder (Duchovny).
“The X-Files” will make its crash landing on FOX on January 24th, 2016.
Starring Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont, David Koechner
Directed by Christopher Landon
Don’t be fooled by the title, fiends. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is anything but a kids’ film. In fact, unless they’re cool and not whiney little scaredy-cats, we’d advise that you keep your kids far, far away from it. What we have here is a celebration of the crass that plays like one of the funniest and longest dirty jokes you’ll ever enjoy! The perfect treat for adults looking to indulge in some tricks this Halloween.
Scouts Guide is the tale of three best friends, Ben (Sheridan), Carter (Miller), and Augie (Morgan), who find themselves in the midst of a zombie outbreak in their small town and have more than just a little in common with the characters in Dan O’Bannon’s The Return of the Living Dead. Our trio, along with Denise (Dumont), the local strip-club’s cocktail waitress, are taxed with saving mankind from the undead scourge that looks to obliterate the living… one bite at a time.
Though it takes a little while to find its footing and get cooking, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is guaranteed one of the best times you’ll have this Halloween. We’re talking wall-to-wall laughs, thrills, and chills that are nothing short of being gloriously naughty and bat-shit crazy! Director Christopher Landon (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) delivers an expertly crafted horror comedy that delivers on every level and then some.
The characters are fully fleshed out and likable, the zombies are of the slow-moving and rotting variety, and some of the gore gags are surprisingly fresh and original. That’s not an easy task considering we live in a time in which AMC’s “The Walking Dead” delivers some of the best undead content ever put to the screen. For you older gamers out there, there’s even a neat little homage to the video game Zombies Ate My Neighbors that had me literally in tears and laughing out loud.
Yeah, more of this please! Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse earns a merit badge for being one hell of a bloody good time! When you’re done trick or treating, get your ass to the theater and enjoy every raunchy second of it!
Asylums have become synonymous with haunted houses at this point, and that makes it exceedingly easy to write off another game that’s set in one. The problem is we’ve been trained to see them as frightening places where unspeakable acts are committed by or on damaged people. We’re okay with this because while they might’ve been normal once, whatever humanity they once had is gone and now they’re dangerous
In other words, we’ve turned mentally ill people into zombies.
This isn’t a speech, it’s just my way of explaining why I’m so interested in The Town of Light, because while it’s setting — a real asylum that once operated in Tuscany — may be woefully familiar to us, it’s not being used in the stereotypical way.
Set in the Volterra Psychiatric Asylum, The Town of Light gives us the chance to see through the eyes of one of its patients, a 16 year-old girl named Renèe who suffers from schizophrenia.
Italian developer LKA.it is going to great lengths to give its familiar asylum setting an unfamiliar twist that’s grounded firmly in reality. That’s all it needs to do to stand out in a market that’s been saturated by games like Outlast and The Evil Within.
That’s not an attack, all I’m saying is the world is plenty scary without actual monsters.
The Town of Light arrives on February 26, 2016 exclusively for PC.
Today marks the end of our “Seasonal Treats” series, which we hope you’ve been enjoying as we gear up for Halloween. To close things out, we have the two-minute Halloween-inspired short film Death Master’s House from brothers Joe and Lloyd Stas.
Written, directed, and edited by the Stas brothers, the film stars Rowan Stas, Bob Stas, Beat Billson, Tom Stas, Simon Curd, Lloyd Stas, and Tom Crabb. Makeup is by Jade Louise.
Lloyd told us, “The film was shot in what is referred to locally as ‘The Haunted Forest.’ Most people know it as Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood. My brother Joe and I love Halloween so we decided to film a short about a kid obsessed with the holiday.”
Joe adds, “The short is based on a true story from our childhood. We did change the ending, though, as it wasn’t quite so absurd in real life. We grew up in a small place called Ramsey on the Isle of Man (between England and Ireland). We both believed that we would ‘win’ Halloween by trick or treating every house in our town; there was one house that we were always too scared to visit, however, as there was a rumor that the owner would shoot kids.”
For more info and a peek behind the scenes, visit the Holomax production blog.
Whitby dreams of becoming the Halloween King. However, in order to trick or treat his way to the crown, he needs to knock on DEATH MASTER’S HOUSE…
The post Seasonal Treats Day 5: Watch Joe and Lloyd Stas’ Death Master’s House appeared first on Dread Central.
From October 23-25, we spent three days in the comfy environs of Sheffield’s Showroom Cinema for the city’s annual fear fest, Celluloid Screams. On tap for you right now is a selection of reviews, images and videos straight from the fest – including a look at the utterly fantastic closing performance by Italian legends Goblin – for your ocular enjoyment. Get stuck in!
A number of the films screened at this year’s fest have already been covered by us throughout the year. You can find links to those reviews below. For the others, check out the capsule reviews that follow.
YAKUZA APOCALYPSE (2015)
Directed by Takashi Miike
Starring Yayan Ruhian, Rirî Furankî, Hayato Ichihara, Mio Yûki
Takashi Miike’s yakuza vampire horror/action flick is, as expected, utterly bonkers. When his boss, the good-natured head of the local yakuza gang (who also happens to be a vampire), is double-crossed and murdered, an up-and-coming enforcer is given the gift of vampirism and decides to use it to exact revenge.
Things get more complicated, however, when the stakes (no pun intended) are revealed to be much higher than expected – including the appearance of a coffin-bearing vampire hunter, a part-turtle Kappa demon and the most dangerous entity that the world has ever known… a terrorist dressed in a full-body frog costume.
Yakuza Apocalypse defies description – but it’s packed full of enough martial arts action, violence, comedy and outright bizarre behaviour to make it worth a spin despite a dragging second act. You’ve never seen anything like it.
3 out of 5
EXCESS FLESH (2015)
Directed by Patrick Kennelly
Starring Bethany Orr, Mary Loveless, Wes McGee
Frumpy, jobless Jill is a young woman with an eating problem. Between binging and purging on a regular basis, she’s also enviously obsessed with her alluring fashion hotshot roommate, Jennifer. Jill clearly has issues far beyond this dysfunctional relationship, and Jennifer soon bears the brunt of them when she’s imprisoned in the apartment and brutalised by her unhinged friend.
Whilst at the core a respectable attempt at deconstructing self-hatred (one particular scene involving swathes of macaroni cheese is a powerful highlight), Excess Flesh as a whole is unfortunately devoid of empathy, slovenly paced and far too reliant on the hope that displays of slow-mo gluttony will make you queasy. It simply doesn’t have quite as much of worth to say as it appears to think it does.
2 out of 5
THE WITCH (2015)
Directed by Robert Eggers
Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
In 1600s New England, puritanical patriarch William and his family are banished from their community due to William’s highly vocal condemnation of what he believes to be a lacklustre approach to the word of scripture amongst the townsfolk.
Building a new homestead in a clearing on the outskirts of a forest, the family raise livestock and farm their own crops. Life seems good, but when their baby son disappears – apparently abducted and murdered by a witch living in the woods – and their corn crops wither, they soon turn against each other in a superstitious frenzy.
Beautiful to look at, with a remarkable sense of place and steeped in inescapable dread, The Witch delivers hopelessness with searing authenticity. Whether through supernatural influence, willing religious sacrifice or simple personality conflict, the fates of this family are lifted completely out of their own individual hands on a trip down a path that can only end in damnation.
Central performances are excellent across the board, with an especially powerful turn by Ralph Ineson as William and Anya Taylor-Joy as daughter Thomasin, who is forced to take the lion’s share of grief-stricken backlash after an innocent joke regarding witchcraft comes back to bite her in the worst possible manner.
The supernatural and the real are juggled and blended with aplomb by director Robert Eggers throughout what is a mesmerising cinematic feast. The finale falls somewhat flat, but it’s a tiny sliver of complaint for what is sure to be regarded as one of the best true horror films of the decade. It’s a bleak, darkly magical experience that shouldn’t be missed.
4-1/2 out of 5
Directed by Mickey Keating
Starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Young, Larry Fessenden
Hired to housesit an imposing, grand property by its wealthy owner, the eponymous protagonist of Darling finds herself descending into a very personal hell following the discovery of the building’s chequered history of suicide, a locked door at the end of hall that she is forbidden to open and esoteric scrawling on her bedside table that appears to be related to demon worship.
Director Mickey Keating’s elegant black and white visuals fuel a compelling opening – graceful lighting, strong composition and measured movement working in tandem to create a promising atmosphere that grips with indisputable foreboding.
It’s all undeniably Polanski, and pleasingly so… but very quickly, Darling takes a straight dive off the balcony as its true construction comes to the fore. A mishmash of art-house experimentation by way of Polanski and Lynch – but lacking the grace of either – and any number of ill-considered film school student projects, sound and visuals soon become too shrill, overwrought and obnoxious to have any solid effect other than to annoy.
An array of sudden musical stingers attempt to jolt through an overbearing score that is doggedly determined to convince you to be afraid, but fails in much the same way that the chainsaw frenzy editing fails in obvious, cynical attempts to shock.
Much too forthright (and forced) in its attempts to conjure a chilling sensory experience, Darling is, instead, a snooze-inducing discordant mess which against all of the wishes of its over-eager score and constant smash cut visual segues makes a prime antidote for insomnia – the sole redeeming quality being a enthralling turn by lead actress Lauren Ashley Carter, whose captivating gravitas deserves a much better platform than this.
1 out of 5
THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ (2015)
Directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Starring Albert Carbó, Alba Ribas, Bernat Saumell
Following the sudden death of superstar actress Anna Fritz, her body is secreted away to a hospital morgue, hidden from the prying eyes of the public. There, the worker in charge of the corpse decides to snap a picture with his phone and send it to a couple of his friends.
Unable to resist the opportunity to take a peek in the flesh, said friends turn up for their chance to get face-to-face with an (albeit deceased) celebrity. Things quickly turn dark, however, when simply looking isn’t enough for these coked-up chaps. After all, who is it hurting when she’s dead?
With its critical observations of celebrity worship being surface level at best, The Corpse of Anna Fritz struggles to rise beyond a serviceable thriller. Featuring a perverse and topical setup and enough tense sequences to get by, it nevertheless routinely misses chances at more twisted opportunities – opting to play it safe despite an initially ballsy, promisingly unpalatable direction.
2-1/2 out of 5
Alongside the features on show, Celluloid Screams also included a hefty bunch of short films and its annual bookend shorts — this year’s theme being “60 Second Remakes.” Here’s a peek at one of the funniest bookend entries, and you can check out the rest at the Celluloid Screams YouTube channel.
Shorts to look out for include Kevin McTurk’s fabulous puppet show The Mill at Calder’s End, a chilling tale of esoteric horror rendered almost entirely in miniature; Jason Kupfer’s hilarious Invaders — in which an attempted home invasion goes incredibly wrong for two indecisive, bumbling criminals; and Nick DenBoer & Dave Foss’ utterly indescribable The Chickening, which takes footage from Stanley Kubrick’s classic The Shining and applies a level of digital manipulation that sees it transformed into a chicken-filled 5-minute slice of total insanity that has to be seen to be believed.
Winner of the Sheffield Hallam Award for Best Short Film at Celluloid Screams 2015 is director Melanie Light’s The Herd. Making an impactful point through its transplantation of dairy cows for human women, this is a grim and shocking piece of work that refuses to beat around the bush regarding its animal cruelty message.
It’s a pity, however, that the film’s determination to see itself felt results in a thoroughly shot foot when it labours the point beyond all reason throughout two separate credit reels — finally ending with an overly emotive, on-the-noise vegan diatribe splashed across the screen. Just in case you didn’t get it.
So, despite the film itself being well made and brutally uncompromising, the laboured agenda — much like rotten milk — leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Also on offer throughout the weekend were a couple of Oculus Rift-based horror experiences, a Celluloid Screams horror quiz (which, surprisingly, focused on the festival itself rather than genre trivia — something which places non-regular attendees at a disappointing disadvantage) and, of course, the amazing closing gala which saw composer Claudio Simonetti’s group Goblin take to the stage to perform a live score accompaniment to Dario Argento’s Profondo Rosso (Deep Red).
Following the screening, the band remained on stage for renditions of some of their greatest soundtracks, including Demons, Suspiria, Zombi/Dawn of the Dead and the absolutely rocking Tenebre. Catch some of the sights in our gallery below.
Goblin made for a superlative end to a strong year for Celluloid Screams. If festival organiser Robert Nevitt and co. can keep up this kind of exclusive treat for their audiences, the future of support for horror in Yorkshire looks very bright indeed. Bring on 2016.
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Just a quick reminder, kids! XLrator’s episodic web series “24 Hour Rental” has hit Hulu and can be watched right now! Go ahead and binge some!
From the Press Release:
XLrator Media has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the edgy Canadian T.V. series 24 HOUR RENTAL from Reel One Entertainment. The 13 half-hour episodes will premiere October 30, 2015 exclusively on XLrator Media’s MACABRE Collection on Hulu before going to other platforms in 2016.
“It’s The Sopranos meets Clerks in this over-the-top gangster satire that pushes the boundaries of mainstream television and is tailor-made for binge watching” said XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon. “We are making 24 HOUR RENTAL available exclusively for digital distribution starting with Hulu, and will aggressively market the series to build a national audience of discerning fans who readily seek edgy smart programming on the top digital platforms.”
24 HOUR RENTAL was created by Frank Massa, directed by George Mihalka (My Bloody Valentine), co-written by Al Kratina and Mihalka, and stars Romano Orzari (Turbo Kid), Adam Kenneth Wilson, Aaron Berg, Vlasta Vrana, Mike Smith (Trailer Park Boys) and Michael Biehn (The Terminator). It was produced by Reel One Entertainment, Kim Yu and Neil Bregman and executive produced by Tom Berry, George Mihalka and Eris Salvatori.
“Reel One Entertainment is extremely excited to partner with XLrator Media to introduce 24 HOUR RENTAL to the U.S. market. The show’s unique mix of crime story and comedy should attract two diverse but strong fan bases,” said Tom Berry, CEO of Reel One Entertainment.
24 HOUR RENTAL follows former Mafia boss Tracker (Romano Orzari), who having barely avoided early retirement in a shallow grave, now operates a seedy video store. Struggling to stay afloat in the Internet age, Tracker runs his shop as a front for a host of petty crimes, from fencing jewelry to peddling dope cut with Drano and desperation, all in hopes of returning to power.
In addition to 24 HOUR RENTAL, the XLrator Media’s MACABRE collection on Hulu will add three new genre films in October: Poker Night starring Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, Titus Welliver and Beau Mirchoff, Feed the Gods and Strange Blood.
With all the talent behind “24 Hour Rental,” it’s definitely worth a look.
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Here at Dread Central we cannot think of a better way to wish you a happy Halloween than by opening up our bag of treats and offering you something cool that you’ll see HERE first. We pretty much guarantee this will be viral by the crack of dawn.
Below you’ll find a screen test shot over the summer for Halloween Returns. It’s been floating around on people’s phones in the L.A. horror community for a bit, but now we’re pulling back the curtain for you.
Related Story: Marcus Dunstan Talks Halloween Returns
The screen test is directed by John Michael Elfers (Finale), and it stars Kristina Klebe from Rob Zombie’s Halloween and none other than Dread Central writer and screenwriter of Yummy Meat: A Halloween Carol Sean Decker as Myers.
The post Halloween Returns Screen Test – See it HERE First! appeared first on Dread Central.
Fans of a proper Xenomorph filled new Alien film will have to wait a little longer than anticipated as director Neill Blomkamp took to Twitter to tell fans to sit tight because Prometheus 2 must come first. I mean you can’t have the chicken without the egg, right? Or is it the other way around? We’ve never been good at that game.
alien is kinda holding/ pending prometheus 2. So I shall be working on other things… as much as I love the xeno- and Lt ripley
— Иeill BlomkΛmp (@NeillBlomkamp) October 30, 2015
Regarding the sequel to Prometheus, Ridley Scott stated in an earlier interview that the film’s title will be Alien: Paradise Lost. Scott is prepping a whopping three (potential) sequels to pseudo-prequel Prometheus, the last of which will tie directly into the Alien universe.
Another new promo and poster for “The X-Files,” has arrived and it will be familiar territory to those who have long wondered what happened at Area 51! Dig it!
“The X-Files” returns to Fox with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, January 24, 2016 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT), following the NFC Championship Game, and continuing with its time period premiere on Monday, January 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their iconic roles as Agent Fox Mulder and Agent Dana Scully in a mixture of stand-alone investigative episodes and those that further the original show’s seminal mythology. In the opening episode, Mulder and Scully take on a case of a possible alien abductee.
They’re coming… are you ready?
The all-new episodes will feature appearances by guest stars including Joel McHale (“Community”), Robbie Amell (“The Flash”), Lauren Ambrose (“Dig,” “Six Feet Under”), Annabeth Gish (“The Bridge”), Annet Mahendru (“The Americans”), Rhys Darby (“Flight of the Conchords”), Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”), and William B. Davis, who reprises his role as “Cigarette Smoking Man.” Three of the episodes are written and directed by Chris Carter, with the remaining new episodes written and directed by original series veterans Glen Morgan, Darin Morgan, and James Wong.
“The X-Files” originally premiered in September 1993. Over the course of its nine-season run, the influential series went from breakout sci-fi favorite to massive global hit and became one of the most successful television dramas of all time. The show, which earned sixteen Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes, and a Peabody Award, follows FBI special agents Scully (Anderson) and Mulder (Duchovny) as they investigate unexplained cases – “X-Files” – for which the only answers involve paranormal phenomena. “The X-Files” is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Ten Thirteen Productions. Carter is executive producer and creator of the series. Glen Morgan also serves as an executive producer.
The post The X-Files – New Poster and Teaser Straight From Roswell appeared first on Dread Central.
Sounding a bit like a cross between a movie and a video game, the immersive film Catatonic is now available to buy from the Vrse App Store for iPhone and iOS. It’s been available on other platforms, but now the Apple crowd can join in.
From the Press Release:
Creator Guy Shelmerdine’s virtual reality experience Catatonic is now available to download on the Vrse app for iPhone iOS. Catatonic is an immersive journey through an insane asylum in which the audience, bound to a wheelchair, undergoes a sensory-shocking horror experience. In addition to being available to download/stream on the Vrse app on Android, Samsung Gear, and 360 Desktop, Catatonic will be accessible for the first time on Vrse’s iPhone app where users can watch through the 360 Magic Window feature or full immersion through headsets like Google Cardboard. The release on iOS comes just in time for horror enthusiasts looking for a good scare on Halloween.
Catatonic was directed by Guy Shelmerdine, who for 20 years has been a force in advertising, music videos, commercials, and short films. The experience was captured on location at a derelict mental hospital in Pasadena, CA, with Vrse.works’ proprietary VR camera systems. Catatonic’s production value and cinematography bridge the stark terror of a horror film with the inescapable immersion of virtual reality. In the virtual world of Catatonic, audience members become mental patients.
“I wanted people to feel like they were climbing aboard a roller coaster headed straight into hell —a ride that they cannot escape from,” says Vrse.works creator Guy Shelmerdine. “Catatonic offers a glimpse of the overwhelming power of experiencing movies in VR. You are not a spectator. You are IN the film. I built the tension slowly, letting a deep sense of foreboding fill the viewer with dread before anything even happens. The film is a journey towards our darkest fears.”
The experience premiered at SXSW earlier this year as a full immersion sensory experience where the audience was ushered into a custom-built wheelchair by nurses in 1940s uniforms. The design of the chair resembles a padded cell: a unique blend of comfort and paralysis. In the virtual environment, the patient/audience is wheeled through a psychiatric wing, experiencing the full brunt of madness within. Along with the 360º 3D immersion of VR, the patient also experience vibrations emanating from a Buttkicker, built into the base of the wheelchair. The many moving parts of Catatonic build to a cacophony of terror and depravity one has to experience to believe.
Catatonic was written by Guy Shelmerdine and Edward Robles. It was produced by Patrick Milling Smith and Chris Milk of Vrse.works with cinematography by Sebastian Pfaffenbichler, editing by Cass Vanini of Work Editorial, and music by Drazen Bosnjak of Q Department. Stitching and post effects were achieved by MPC VR, and Animatronics were provided by Legacy FX.
For best experience, please be seated.
Catatonic is available to watch on the Vrse app (Apple iTunes, Google Play store, and Oculus Gear VR store). Catatonic can be viewed on iOS and Android Mobile Platforms with or without Google cardboard by downloading the Vrse app, or on Samsung phones with the Samsung Gear VR. It can also be viewed through the Vrse 360-degree desktop player.
You know the saying, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
While we wish we were announcing something to celebrate this holiday weekend, we have some pretty disappointing news.
Neill Blomkamp took to Twitter to announced that his untitled Alien sequel, which would follow Ridley Scott’s Alien and James Cameron’s Aliens, has been put on hold, indefinitely.
It’s not all that surprising considering Scott has been prepping to shoot his Prometheus sequel, Alien: Paradise Lost, early next year. This would mean that Blomkamp’s production would be pushed until after Scott could finish his Alien film, set for release in 2017. Furthermore, it would mean that Blomkamp wouldn’t be able to begin pre-production until mid-2017 at the earliest.
With that said, it’s sort of bizarre that Blomkamp is publicly announcing that he’s moving on to other projects.
Scott had revealed plans to do several Prometheus sequels, so why wouldn’t Blomkamp continue to develop and prepare his Alien in the meantime? This is all sort of telling and was foreshadowed a few months ago when we felt Blomkamp’s second Twitter campaign of images was a sign of desperation (he also did it again two weeks ago).
Twentieth Century Fox had announced Blomkamp’s involvement in the next Alien before Scott had decided what to do with his Prometheus sequels and before Blomkamp’s Chappie failed miserably at the box office. It could be that there’s been a lot of spinning wheels, for the fans’ sake, and that it has run its course. But this is all speculation.
We had reported back in August that Scott’s newly revived interest in the franchise had put a wrench in Blomkamp and FOX’s plans. I absolutely love Scott’s Prometheus (I know I’m in the minority) and am dying to see the full arc realized. It’s going to be such a wonderful fan moment when that franchise finally bridges with his original Alien film. It had felt as if Blomkamp was born to revive the franchise – and maybe he did, ironically, even if he’s no longer part of the plans – and it’s a bummer that he may never be able to realize his dream.
Whatever the case, we have several years of Alien sequels lined up, and now that Scott isn’t shying away from using Alien in the title, I expect more terror to ensue on the Engineers’ home planet.
alien is kinda holding/ pending prometheus 2. So I shall be working on other things… as much as I love the xeno- and Lt ripley
— Иeill BlomkΛmp (@NeillBlomkamp) October 30, 2015
Whenever someone sets out to find a huge batch of marijuana in a horror movie, you know things are going to get extremely nasty. It’s never a good time for stoners in genre movies, especially when the plant in question may have arrived on this planet from the far reaches of outer space. Intergalactic weed may sound ridiculously tempting, but you know it’s only a matter of time before several people die horrible deaths. It’s just the way the world works, I’m afraid. Welcome to reality.
Director Richard Cranor’s indie horror flick Star Leaf tackles such a heady concept. And as you can tell from the trailer embedded below, the characters in this tale are about to have a very nasty trip.
The official synopsis for the flick reads as follows:
A group of friends set off to find a secret forest of marijuana hidden deep in the Olympic Mountains. Legend has it the plants are of extra-terrestrial origin, and two ex-Marines among the group hope it will cure their PTSD born from hard combat in Afghanistan.
You can roll up a copy of Star Leaf when it sprouts on November 24. In the meantime, dive into a nifty stash of promotional material — including a pretty awesome trailer — below.
The post Richard Cranor’s Star Leaf Wants to Get You High This November appeared first on Dread Central.