Directed by Lluis Quilez
Distributed by Vertical Entertainment
In most horror movies, art TRULY can imitate life (and vice versa) – some spooky sights and sounds, gloomy overtones, and infinitely moronic parents who couldn’t keep track of their children if they were rigged with LED lights while towing a 500-pound lead weight strapped to their ankles; and with director Lluis Quilez’s haunted house exertion Out of the Dark, no greater facsimile could be present than that of all of the prior characteristics that I’ve mentioned… especially the dumb parents.
Our less-than-perceptive progenitors are portrayed by Julia Stiles and Scott Speedman, who as Paul and Sarah Harriman, along with their sweeter-than-sugar daughter, little Hannah (Pixie Davies), are offered the opportunity to take over Sarah’s father’s manufacturing plant in Colombia. Dear old Dad is enacted by Stephen Rea, who offers us the doting grandpa image with a side of backhanded swindler to boot.
The happy family is provided a beautiful home in which to reside that was the scene of a horrific crime some time ago, and now that the blood has been washed away, along with all traces of any wrongdoing, our new residents are gullible and ready to move in. As a local holiday approaches that commemorates Spanish conquistadors locking scores of children in a temple and setting them ablaze (morbid, indeed), we gain a foothold of just who (or what) will be our main source of frights in the film.
Now, on to the uber-attentive skills that Paul and Sarah are blessed with, as wee little Hannah manages to wander off at multiple intervals during the movie, some with quick-locating results and others with frightening aftermaths… okay, not really overly terrifying, but I’m trying to paint the picture here of a couple of people who lose a kid at the drop of a hat, then drop the stink eye on those who opt to bring attention towards their deficient observational savvy. After little Hannah’s final disappearance, it comes to light that the souls of the deceased children are the cause of all the distress. Blindfolded, burn-scarred, and not really shiver-worthy, their appearance is lacking in the scare department.
For a feature that pushes 90-plus minutes, there are more than just a few slogging scenes, unfortunately with little or no reward at the end, and performance wise, the three-headed dragon consisting of Stiles, Speedman and Rea limps harmlessly through the film with little Pixie providing the early chops to outshine them all.
As the movie drew to a close and I stopped glaring at the clock on my wall, I was relieved to arrive at a conclusion that some could grasp as “lackluster,” and suffice to say, I’d much rather be in the dark than out of this one.
We have some very sad news to share today as beloved actor Leonard Nimoy, best known of course for playing Mr. Spock in the “Star Trek” TV series and films, has died at the age of 83.
Per The New York Times, Nimoy’s wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a condition for which was hospitalized earlier in the week.
Nimoy did dip his toes numerous times in the horror genre, appearing in “The Twilight Zone,” “Night Gallery,” and “The Outer Limits” TV shows as well as the films Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), Them! (1954), and The Brain Eaters (1958).
In addition to acting and directing, Nimoy followed other artistic pursuits like poetry, photography, and music. He was born in Boston on March 26, 1931, and, along with his wife, is survived by his children, Adam and Julie Nimoy; a stepson, Aaron Bay Schuck; six grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and an older brother, Melvin.
We here at Dread Central send our condolences to Leonard’s family and friends and say thank you to the man himself for so many years of great entertainment.
Coming this May, Titan Comics is launching “Best of British” Month, celebrating cutting edge talent and supporting bold new visions. We have preliminary information on Best of British Month below along with a trailer.
Included in Titan’s Best of British Month are Si Spurrier, PJ Holden, Rob Williams, D’Israeli, Alan Martin, Monty Nero, and many, many more! Their works will be supported with promotions, events, and press throughout the month, kicking off with Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 2nd.
The post Titan Comics Launching Best of British Month in May appeared first on Dread Central.
A&E recently set the premiere for the third season of “Bates Motel” for March 9, 2015, and now has released two more fantastic promos that may actually get me back behind the show.
While it’s already known that Norman’s descent into madness is well underway, nobody expected it to progress this quickly. The promo shows a ton of footage from Season 3 that teases just how dark it will go. Watch your skin crawl as Norman obsesses over “mother” in a series of truly disgusting shots.
“Bates Motel” is a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho, and gives viewers an intimate portrayal of how Norman Bates’ psyche unravels through his teenage years.
Series stars Vera Farmiga in her Emmy-nominated role as Norma Bates and Freddie Highmore as Norman.
After a blissful summer of closeness with his mother, living within the safe confines of home and the Bates Motel, Norman’s fears about what really happened with Blaire Watson resurface and Norma questions what really happened. Forced to look at the truths about Norman for the first time, their deeply intricate relationship continues to evolve. Norma finds herself turning to the other man in her life, Norman’s half-brother, Dylan (Max Thieriot) and begins to rely on him in ways that she never expected. This relationship inevitably triggers jealousy in Norman and a new kind of love triangle between Norma and her two sons erupts. Estranged brother and uncle, Caleb (Kenny Johnson) returns to haunt the family throughout the season challenging the family bond even further. Pressures of the outside world take a hold of the family when newcomers Kevin Rahm (“Mad Men,” “Desperate Housewives”), Tracy Spiradakos (“Revolution”) and Ryan Hurst (“Sons Of Anarchy”) arrive at White Pine Bay. After a summer of living at the Bates Motel, Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) and Norma have grown closer but there will always have that troubling question mark surrounding Norman. Something doesn’t feel right, but spite of his instincts, Romero finds himself continually drawn back to the Bates family — and to Norma. Emma (Olivia Cooke) also determined to find out what is happening to Norman becomes more emboldened, fearless, goes after the things she wants. Familiar face, Bradley (Nicola Peltz) returns to surprise the family and digs up old memories.
A pair of new “Bates Motel” Season 3 teaser trailers have arrived to help kick off your weekend, and of course we have them both right here. Check out “Changing” and “Boom Boom” for a taste of what’s ahead in just a few more days!
From executive producers Carlton Cuse (“Lost,” “The Returned”) and Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”), “Bates Motel” serves as a contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho and provides viewers with an intimate portrayal of how Norman Bates unravels through his teenage years.
“Bates Motel” returns on March 9, 2015, for a gripping third season filled with family strife, murder, and mystery lead by Vera Farmiga (Norma) and Freddie Highmore (Norman). This season focuses on the evolution of the Bates family and dives head first into Norman’s waning ability to stay in denial about what’s happening to him and the lengths he will go to gain control of his fragile psyche. The dramatic events of last season leave Norma (Vera Farmiga) reluctantly more aware of Norman’s mental fragility and fearful of what he is capable of.
After a blissful summer of closeness with his mother, living within the safe confines of home and the Bates Motel, Norman’s fears about what really happened with Blaire Watson resurface, and Norma questions what really happened. Forced to look at the truths about Norman for the first time, their deeply intricate relationship continues to evolve. Norma finds herself turning to the other man in her life, Norman’s half-brother, Dylan (Max Thieriot), and begins to rely on him in ways that she never expected. This relationship inevitably triggers jealousy in Norman, and a new kind of love triangle between Norma and her two sons erupts. Her estranged brother and the boys’ uncle, Caleb (Kenny Johnson), returns to haunt the family throughout the season, challenging their bond even further.
Pressures of the outside world take hold of the family when newcomers Kevin Rahm (“Mad Men,” “Desperate Housewives”), Tracy Spiridakos (“Revolution”), and Ryan Hurst (“Sons of Anarchy”) arrive in White Pine Bay. After a summer of living at the Bates Motel, Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonell) and Norma have grown closer, but they will always have that troubling question mark surrounding Norman. Something doesn’t feel right, but in spite of his instincts, Romero finds himself continually drawn back to the Bates family — and to Norma. Emma (Olivia Cooke), also determined to find out what is happening to Norman, becomes more emboldened, fearless, and goes after the things she wants. Familiar face Bradley (Nicola Peltz) returns to surprise the family and digs up old memories.
Playing in the upcoming South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival’s Midnighters section is Mickey Keating’s hotly anticipated Pod, which will World Premiere at the fest running from March 13 – 21, 2015 in Austin, Texas.
The addition to the first trailer being released, we now have a clip from the horror pic that features Lauren Ashley Carter, Dean Cates, Brian Morvant, Larry Fessenden, and John Weselcouch. In it, two doors are busted open, one teases something terrifying.
In Pod, a family intervention goes horrifically awry within the snowy confines of an isolated lake house.
“After receiving a troubling voicemail, estranged siblings Ed and Lyla travel to their isolated family lake house in Maine to hold an intervention on their increasingly paranoid, war veteran brother, Martin. But the situation rapidly spirals out of control when they discover the house completely ransacked and learn that Martin has constructed an elaborate and horrifying conspiracy theory surrounding a sinister entity that he believes he has trapped in the basement.”
Even as we are constantly moving forward in today’s hectic and bustling generation, it always pays to stop, take a moment, and recognize the past and where we came from so as to better understand where we are and how we got here. And that’s exactly what Covington, GA hard rockers Poynte think as well. That’s why they’re here to share their Top 5 Horror Classics!
The band comments:
Our horror fascination is really based in the classics. We’re more into the old horror/slasher flicks. Movies created before everything became CGI’d up. We like true prop gags and a crazy character villain like “Michael Myers” or “Jason”.
This new age stuff where everything is a CGI ghost that floats around just doesn’t hold the same suspense. So, we prefer the original classics. That’s what we chose to rank here. Our Top 5 Horror Classics!
One of the things that stands out after looking back at our list, is the fact that music played a huge part in all of those. Guess it all makes sense now. Ha!
Head on in to see their choices!
Not to be confused with either our or Fango’s radio drama programs of the same name, a new indie anthology flick called Dreadtime Stories is gearing up for its festival run, and we’ve gotta say it looks pretty damned good!
The flick is coming to us via STX Media, an independent film and PR company based out of Corpus Christi, TX, comprised of director Jacob Grim and executive producer Sal Hernandez. Dreadtime Stories is home to ten tales of terror that seem to run the gamut of everything we could be looking for in a horror anthology!
To keep up on screenings of the film, check out the official STX Media Facebook Page.
The post Dreadtime Stories Ready to Uncover Your Darkest Fears appeared first on Dread Central.
I’ve always been fascinated by cosplayers. The time, dedication, creativity and countless hours of works some of these folks invest into their costumes is unbelievable, and the results can be nothing short of spectacular, or, sometimes, nightmarish.
After a bit of a hiatus, I’ve decided to try and bring this series back, because even if you’re not interested in joining in on the fun yourself, it’s still incredibly cool seeing what some individuals can do with the things they’re passionate about.
If you’ve ever wondered what Samus Aran from the Metroid franchise might look like a few hours after she’s been infected with the T-Virus, cosplayer Allison Tatarniuk has figured it out for us.
These are the moment I celebrate and appreciate horror auteur Eli Roth, who has directed a slew of successful genre film including Cabin Fever, Hostel and The Green Inferno. Using his name as power, he’s helped independent filmmakers achieve their dream, no matter how whacky of a vision they may have.
Proof is in Clown, stemmed from a faux trailer by Jon Watts about a man who puts on an old clown costume, only to transform into a demon clown that eats children.
Premiering at FrightFest Glasgow 2015 and coming to DVD & Blu-ray in the UK March 2, 2015, we now have a new international trailer that boasts tons of new footage that really puts the genre on its head. Clown looks to carry heavy homage to It, American Werewolf In London and even various vampire films. It’s a goofy premise that takes itself dead serious, which makes it not only suspenseful but also fun.
While this isn’t some Hollywood wide release, I expect Clown to be even more entertaining than Stitches.
“It’s Jack’s 10th birthday, but the clown has cancelled. His dad, Kent, finds an old clown suit in the attic and saves the party. But after the party is over, Kent has a problem… the suit won’t come off. What starts as a joke quickly turns into a hellish nightmare. Kent can feel himself changing, and his desperate attempts to free himself just leave him in agonising pain.
As the suit takes hold of his body, Kent slowly endures a brutal transformation. As he changes, an uncontrollable hunger begins to consume him, an overwhelming and insatiable hunger… for children.”
Peter Stormare, Laura Allen, Christian DiStefano, Elizabeth Whitmere, Matthew Stefiuk, and Andy Powers star.
Paranormal experts Darren Evans and Rosemary Ellen Guiley have teamed up to collaborate on the first and definitive book about the most terrifying supernatural phenomenon: Zozo, a powerful demonic entity that has plagued and attacked thousands of people around the world.
Intrigued? Then read on for the full details!
The Zozo Phenomena, to be published by Visionary Living, Inc. (Guiley’s independent publishing house), will document and examine the dark history and vicious attacks of this entity and describe how victims have had their lives turned into nightmares.
Darren Evans, a paranormal researcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a first-hand experiencer who has spent years battling the attacks of Zozo on himself and his family. Evans’ own nightmare began innocently in 1984, when he and his friends found a strange home-made, Ouija-style talking board and used it for entertainment. The being who answered them was Zozo, who engaged in jolly humor and then attached itself to Evans, which enabled it to unleash ferocious attacks upon Evans’ physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Evans discovered that he was not alone. Zozo has victims spread all over the planet, operating under a host of aliases. Desperate to be free of the demon’s grasp and intrigued by its reach, Evans began collecting personal stories and documenting Zozo’s demonic trail.
Zozo favors Ouija and talking boards as an entry point to victims but is capable of lashing out in many ways. One of the entity’s most frightening tactics is its use of the internet to reach victims.
“I’m very excited to join forces with Rosemary on what is sure to be a fascinating look at a controversial phenomenon that continues to affect a lot of people worldwide,” said Evans. “I’ve had plans for about ten years to write a book about my experiences. After receiving hundreds of emails from people who have had run-ins with this Zozo entity on Ouija boards, I’m glad I waited. There is some disturbing new research I have found, and Rosemary and I plan to reveal it in this project along with some creepy stories sent in from people all over the world.”
Rosemary Ellen Guiley became acquainted with Evans while researching a book on the Ouija board, Ouija Gone Wild, co-authored with Rick Fisher. Guiley, a leading expert in the paranormal field, has authored more than 60 books, including The Encyclopedia of Demons & Demonology. She has conducted extensive research and investigation of negative hauntings and entity attachments.
“Darren Evans has an important personal story to share, and he has collected an amazing database on Zozo,” Guiley said. “Our book will educate people about some of the dangers that exist in the spirit world. We want to help others avoid and solve problems with attacks and attachments.”
The Zozo Phenomena will explore the nature of evil, the rise and spread of Zozo, how Zozo might select victims, solutions and remedies for attacks, and surprising facts and theories about Zozo’s secret tactics.
Below is the teaser artwork. No publication date has been set so stay tuned.
You’re out with your significant other looking to lay down some roots, and there it is… the perfect home at the perfect price. Here’s the thing though; perfection rarely pans out, and before you know it, things can go south in the blink of an eye. Such is the case with the upcoming short film Not Well. Read on for your first look!
Erin Cummings (Late Phases, The Last Word, “Spartacus: Blood & Sand,” “The Astronaut Wives Club”), Rob Zabrecky (“Lost River”), Dan John Miller (Walk the Line, Eloise), and newcomers Ella Maltby and Gabriela Moncivais star.
The film was directed and produced by Luke Jaden (King Ripple).
FOR SALE: A beautiful two-story starter home in a quaint little neighborhood. Spacious, well built, and a real bargain price! One little thing we should mention: All former occupants have never left alive.
It’s been a while since I’ve defended a movie I’m passionate about so I thought it was high time I did it again. This time it’s the much-maligned Jennifer’s Body, starring Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. Released in 2009, Jennifer’s Body was stripper-turned-screenwriter Diablo Cody’s much-anticipated follow-up to Juno, the movie that won her a Best Original Screenplay Oscar. On top of that, it was directed by Karyn Kusama, whose breakthrough film Girlfight won her nationwide acclaim (then Aeon Flux happened). The pedigree behind the film pretty much assured the film would be a success, both critically and commercially. Sadly, that was not the case. Jennifer’s Body was received poorly by critics (it stands at a 42% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 47 on Metacritic) and had a lukewarm domestic box office take of $31.5 million. I actually really like Jennifer’s Body. I don’t love it, but I’ve noticed myself liking it a little bit more every time I watch it. I don’t believe it deserves all of the hate it gets, and I’m here to tell you why.
I won’t go over the plot in detail since most of you reading this have probably already seen it, but in case you haven’t: the film centers around Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) and Anita “Needy” Lesnicky (Amanda Seyfried), two best friends (since their sandbox days) from completely different sides of the social spectrum. Jennifer is sacrificed by emo rock band Low Shoulder (led by Adam Brody) so that they can become famous. The catch is that they were supposed to sacrifice a virgin, which Jennifer most definitely is not (she’s not even a backdoor virgin!). Rather than killing her, she becomes possessed by a demon and must feed on young boys to stay alive. Needless to say, this tests her relationship with Needy, who is also working on her relationship with her boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons).
A major complaint with Jennifer’s Body is Diablo Cody’s script. Ultimately, I think this was because people were still experiencing Juno fatigue at the time of its release. Re-watching it this week I really didn’t find the dialogue that bothersome. For the dialogue, Cody-isms like referring to a vagina as a “front butt” or using the word “salty” to describe a hot boy aren’t particularly annoying to me, and the more I watch the film the more natural I find it. I remember seeing Jennifer’s Body for the first time in theaters and thinking that all of the dialogue felt awkward and forced (and a wannabe Heathers/Jawbreaker/Mean Girls), but I didn’t feel that way upon re-watching it. My what a difference 6 years can make! There are pop culture references aplenty in Jennifer’s Body, and most of them are completely random (Aquamarine, anyone?) so they definitely make the film feel a little dated, but overall I don’t think it hurts the film. Also, I’m completely ashamed to say that I refer to people as “lime green Jell-O” every now and then. Don’t judge.
Critics claimed that it Jennifer’s Body was neither scary, funny nor gory enough. I don’t really agree with any of those statements. It has gore, but it’s not overtly gory. I don’t think it needs to be though. It has some scary moments, with the flashback to Jennifer’s sacrifice being one of them. The humor is subjective. I think Jennifer’s Body has several laugh out loud moments. But obviously, if you don’t like Cody’s writing, you aren’t going to find it funny. To give you an idea of my sense of humor: the Boston Market reference when Jennifer is devouring the rotisserie chicken cracks me up. I think “Do you know what this is for? It’s for cutting boxes!” is an ingenious line. I don’t care what anyone says. And I can’t deny that I laugh out loud every time I hear Fox scream “I am going to eat your soul and SHIT IT OUT Lesnicky!” in the pool scene. Not to mention the bit about needing a tampon when she gets impaled on a metal pole. These are things that I didn’t find that funny when I first saw the film, but I found myself laughing uncontrollably this time around.
I need to get this out of the way before I continue: I don’t hate Megan Fox. I don’t necessarily think she’s a good actress, but I think she’s perfectly suited for this role. Essentially, she is playing a character that most people assume she is in real life (which may be the case, but I’ve never met her so I can’t comment on that). She plays a vapid bitch and it works here. I also think she handles Cody’s dialogue relatively well. It doesn’t come across any more forced than Heathers did in the 80s. She also has a really creepy grin. I think she was taking lessons from this guy:
Amanda Seyfried took me by surprise in this movie. Her first scene is a bit jarring (especially if you are only used to seeing her in Mean Girls and Mamma Mia!). Her badass-ness comes across forced in the first scene of the film, but as the movie progresses she grows on you. By the end of the film I totally bought her switch in character. This is the movie that actually sold me on Seyfried’s abilities as an actress, though I think she is great in everything she’s been in.
The rest of the cast for this movie is insane. I can’t believe they got so many cameos but they did. Chris Pratt pops up for a hot second in the beginning, JK Simmons has two funny scenes (which he steals, obviously), Amy Sedaris and Cynthia Stevenson have thankless roles as concerned mothers. Kyle Gallner has a small role as a goth kid who decides to ask Jennifer out on a date at the wrong time (and I still think it was a missed opportunity not to play Cobra Starship’s “Chew Me Up and Spit Me Out” during his death scene. It was on the soundtrack for God’s sake!).
I don’t have any problem with the plot or the direction it goes, other than the fact that the origin of Jennifer and Needy’s friendship isn’t really explained all that well. It is a very well-made film (there’s a great Carrie homage when the local bar burns down in which Needy follows a trail of fire on one of the beams on the ceiling) and doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are a few too-convenient plot developments, like how Needy can hear Chip screaming in the pool house when she is clearly too far away to hear him (and the pool house looks like a painted-on backdrop in the shot when she begins running to it), Needy finds out how to kill a demon a little too easily and for some reason she can telepathically detect when Jennifer kisses Chip.
Another thing to note that I think has been overlooked is that this is a horror film starring women that was also written and directed by women. With the exception of The Babadook, I can’t think of a recent film that can say that about itself. Jennifer’s Body has a lot to say about female relationships and friendships. The fact that Jennifer is actually the one who is jealous of Needy may be a bit on the nose, but it doesn’t stop it from being a reality of so many girls’ friendships. Of course the hot girl is actually deeply insecure and unsatisfied with her life. Of course she would want to steal (and kill) her only friend’s boyfriend just to feel better about herself. The moment at the end of the film when Jennifer actually gives up the fight once Needy rips the BFF necklace off of her neck is a really nice touch that I think gives a beautiful sentimentality to the film.
I realize my thoughts on this movie have been long-winded, so please excuse me (and my run-on sentences), but I’m very curious to know what all of you think. Have any of you found that, like me Jennifer’s Body grows on you the more you watch it? Or do you still loathe it and find it incredibly annoying? Let me know in the comments below!
Sometimes a good poster can be all you need to sell a movie, and this one? Well, this one just earned a special place in our black little hearts. Check out the first eye candy for Morbid from Wild Eye Releasing.
Look for ZombiesDontRun.net writer Chuck Conry’s debut film on July 21st!
In this low budget 80s slasher homage, a small Tennessee town becomes the playground to a sadistic, masked killer. But with the town’s sheriff and locals more worried about the big high school football game than getting to the bottom of the murders, a detective from out of town must rush to save the lives of a group of teens throwing a party in the middle of all the mayhem.
I love it when fans do stuff like this. In this video, made by YouTuber Recursive Sweatpants, we finally get to see what happens when the Pyro character from Valve’s free-to-play online shooter Team Fortress gets a job working at the infamous Freddy Fazbear Pizza joint from the Five Nights at Freddy’s games.
If I were placed in his flame retardant boots, the first thing I’d do is burn that place to the ground.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 was revealed back in January along with a deeply unnerving trailer. The game takes place three decades after the events in the second game where the infamous pizza joint has been recreated as a haunted house. It’s scheduled to hit PC later this year.
Since Dread Central’s own Zombieworld DVD hit the streets this week, we’ve been getting great support from everyone. So, to celebrate this success, we’re doubling the prizes for February’s Box of Dread “selfie” contest to four Zombieworld DVDs. Yes, 4 Box of Dread acolytes will win a Zombieworld DVD each!
The February Box of Dread “selfie” contest deadline has also been extended to Monday March 2nd, at 12 midnight PST. So, your chances to win a Zombieworld DVD have just quadrupled!
To win one of these four DVDs, Box of Dread subscribers will have to post a “selfie” on the Box of Dread Facebook page by following these instructions:
1) Take a “selfie” of yourself with any Zombieworld item from February’s box. If you’re shy, take the pic with your pet, a toy figure, a poster, or anything with a face.
2) Post the pic on our Box of Dread Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BoxOfDread). You can also post the pic on your Instagram or Twitter feed for extra entries.
3) THIS IS IMPORTANT – Tag the “selfie” with #BoxOfDread and #Zombieworld so that we can find your pictures. If you use a different name/handle on FB, message us your name on Facebook so that we can find your account.
5) The deadline is March 2nd at 12 midnight PST. We’ll announce the winners on our Box of Dread Facebook page the next day (or two).
Are you missing out on this contest because you aren’t getting a Box of Dread? Here’s your chance to subscribe so that you can get in on next month’s “selfie” contest. In addition to getting your monthly fix of horror items mailed to your doorsteps, one active Box of Dread subscriber each month will win the Seventh Box.
For even more pictures and videos, check out Box of Dread on Social Media!
The post Box of Dread February “Selfie” Contest Extended; Zombieworld DVD Prizes Increased appeared first on Dread Central.
The Mourning, a new sci-fi/horror project, is heading our way in mid-March from MTI Home Video; and on tap today we have your first look at the DVD artwork, a still featuring most of the cast members, and the film’s trailer.
Directed by Marc Clebanoff (Break, Gerald), The Mourning stars Michael Walton (The Darkness Descending), Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Dominique Swain (Lolita), Sally McDonald (Crushed), Larry Hankin (Home Alone), Peter Dobson (Frighteners), Kinga Phillips (6 Ways to Sundown), and Brooke Lewis (Starship: Rising).
The film’s release date is March 17, 2015.
20 years after going MIA in Desert Storm, Aaron (Walton) returns home under mysterious conditions, not having aged since his disappearance, and must reestablish relationships with loved ones before an imminent return to an ambiguous other-worldly existence.
The post Sci-Fi/Horror Thriller The Mourning Arrives in March appeared first on Dread Central.
Death is so final. Permanent, everlasting, unavoidable black silence is a space that everyone eventually must enter, no matter how hard we fight to hang on. But what if there were a way to prolong life, a new way for science to put off God’s plan; immortality bought and sold to the highest bidder. What if we could bring someone back from the big sleep, to the land of the living? According to the bible, Jesus resurrected Lazarus a full four days after he died. A cold, stiff body entered that tomb, but a breathing, blinking, fully functional man walked out on his own two feet. Some call it the first zombie, some call it a miracle, and some people like scientists/power couple Frank and Zoe call it a possibility. The two have been perfecting their serum, the “Lazarus 5″, which they administer, along with electrical shocks, to hopefully bring life back to the quiet corpses that fill the morgue at their hospital. Right now, they’re working with canines, but they hope that with enough research and successful experiments, they’ll be able to perform the same operation on human beings. Little do they know, they’re about to get their wish.
The moment that Zoe, Frank, Niko, and the rest of their team achieve their goal should be a happy one, but unfortunately, their celebration is short lived when their boss announces that all of their research has been confiscated, due to a lack of results and an ever-growing budget, gone to waste, in her opinion. No matter how much Frank and Zoe try to argue that they’ve finally done it; they’ve brought a dead dog back to life, she refuses to listen. Before they even return to their headquarters, all of the hard work that they’ve put in the past few years is gone. Not one to back down, Frank argues that they’ll simply have to complete the procedure again, and film it, just like they did before. He reveals a hidden batch of bags filled with the Lazarus serum, and together, he and the group gather to prove their theory, once and for all. Everything’s going according to plan, until a freak accident leaves Zoe stone cold on the ground. She’s been electrocuted. and as she lies there, lifeless, Frank makes a bold decision. To everyone’s horror, he says that he’ll simply move the dog and put his wife on the table in its place, and resurrect her just as he did the animal before her. Don’t worry that the serum that’s supposed to dissipate once it hits the dog’s brain has hung around for days, the milky white substance floating around like old dairy inside his skull. Never mind the fact that the group has yet to even try to perform this experiment on humans. He wants his wife back, and in his grief he doesn’t care that what he brings back might not be Zoe at all. In fact, what he brings back might just bring hell with it.
The premise of The Lazarus Effect is a very brave and intriguing one. The idea that a person could be brought back to life though electric shocks and serum is smart, and could actually fit into the real world. Scientists have already shown that electric shocks can jolt animation into a lifeless corpse, as proven with frogs, so adding serum to the equation could possibly bring life back to a cadaver. Not only is this experiment well thought out and logical, but the film proposes a lot of interesting questions, like what happens when we die? Where do we go when we die? Why does DMT shoot through our systems right before we die? Should we extend life or even re-animate a corpse with scientific advances if we have the opportunity? And, of course, it brings up the ancient yet ever-looming debate of religion vs. science. The only problem is, the film fails to ever really answer or even explore these questions in depth. Once Zoe is re-animated. the story switches over from a science-fiction thriller to a straight possession tale, and it’s more than a little disappointing, since the first half held so much promise.
Despite the letdown and strange shift halfway through, The Lazarus Effect manages to hold interest in the story thanks to crisp, cool shots from director David Gelb, and strong performances from cast members Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Danny Glover, and Evan Peters. Wilde pulls off a frightening persona, but I wish that if the filmmakers had decided to go in a paranormal, Carrie-like direction, they would have brought out the big guns and really let her tear the place apart. There are some undoubtedly creepy moments, like when Zoe begins reading people’s minds and reciting their dialogue right along with them, but at times it feels like they’re holding back on the violence to obtain that PG-13 rating. I would have liked to see her really play with her powers, and show just how strong her telepathy truly is, since they were already headed in in more of the direction of a bloody supernatural slasher anyway. I’m also surprised that they didn’t take the opportunity to tie in the actual scripture of Lazarus a bit more, since they went as far as to name the movie after the bible verse. For instance, the serum is referred to as “Lazarus 5″, but if they had called it “Lazarus 11″ instead, it could have provided a simple allusion to John 11, which is the text that tells the story of Lazarus. Also, since Zoe, the Catholic girl at heart, and her husband Frank, logic-based atheist, disagree on the purpose of DMT distributing though out the body immediately before death, why not have re-animated Zoe spout a few lines of scripture from the original text? It would have made her seem all the more ravenous and terrifying. Here’s just a sample: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11: 25). Of course, these are just examples, but it’s worth wondering why the writers didn’t bother to take advantage of an easy way to make the film more memorable.
The Lazarus Effect starts out logical with much depth, but ends on a much shallower note. Despite the fact that it fails to reach deeper levels, it makes for a pretty fun ride along the way. This is definitely a film that’s worth talking about, as it proposes many interesting questions and topics of debate, even if it doesn’t provide the most sound arguments for those debates. It’s unnerving, well shot, and with the dark, fantastical, Polanski-esque dream sequences, it provides some invigoratingly beautiful aesthetics. The Lazarus Effect is worth seeing, but just know that you’re in for more of a supernatural scare-fest than an analytical look at what waits for us after death.
One of my favorite indie horror games of 2014 was the indie horror game The Forest. It blends some of my favorite things — open-world horror, co-op, base-building, cannibals, assorted other monsters, all wrapped in a package that resembles both Cannibal Holocaust and The Descent — and on top of all that, developer Endnight Games has done an admirable job in constantly improving it since its release last May.
It’s because of this that I keep sharing these updates with you, because this is already a stellar horror game and it just keeps getting better. The latest update has added a bunch of new items and fixes, specifically for the multiplayer. You can also now die of thirst, hunger, cold and drowning!
Version 0.14 Changelog:
(Custom Building)Procedural foundations now auto fill with experimental floor making structures simpler to build.
(Custom Building)Added valid angle & distance gizmo to Foundations, Floors, Walls and Roofs
(Custom Building)Added option to auto fill points of walls, and roofs from in snapping range (press C)
(Custom Building)Added no wall option to experimental walls segment rotation
(Custom Building)New buildable item: Experimental Roof! Once placed aim upwards to select height. This means it is now possible to build complete structures!
Reduced log cost of foundations for all buildings
Added monitoring system to alert players if their save game has been corrupted beyond repair
Save script now uses the grabber system (adding items to item holder next to a shelter no longer saves the game unexpectedly)
Fix for vanishing items in weapon/explosive rack when picking up items while already having the max amount
Fixed white log with missing texture in world
Fixed bug where breaking apart coneflower would spawn a broken chicory plant
Cave stalagmites now have collision
Lethal starvation system ! Be aware of your food supplies as staying hungry too long will eventually cause you harm.
Lethal thirst system ! Stay hydrated and healthy by finding a clear water source every day, failing this may result in death.
Lethal frost system ! Cold will now eventually kill you. When you feel yourself shaking and the screen frosting over, build a fire!
New buildable item: Rain Water collector. Requires 4 sticks, 1 turtle shell.
New item: Carryable pot. Found at campsites around world. Can be used to boil dirty water.
Can now drink at ponds and lakes. Ponds can be polluted and thus require water to be boiled.
Blue berries now give small amount of water
Fixed bug that would block an explosive holder slot when attempting to place a small rock/tennis ball on it
Fixed bug that caused the full screen to turn frozen after having a lag spike or pressing alt-tab while being cold
(audio) Added timeout before re-triggering ‘Sighted by enemy’ sfx to avoid issue where it’s called dozens of times in a row as new enemies see you
(audio)Startle, hit and die sounds added for deer, rabbits, raccoons and squirrels
(audio)Advanced tree wind effect added! Tree leaves will rustle as you move past them.
Fov slider added to options menu!
Dead mutants will sometimes have loot (meds, chocolate bars, soda)
Fixed bug where explosives wouldn’t affect distorted enemies
Rope trap now requires rope to construct
Improved regular mutant reactions to explosions
Increased inventory bomb carry limit to 5
New buildable item: Trip wire explosive!
Survival book traps pages reorganization. New small traps section (moved rabbit trap here, and renamed to ‘animal trap’ Food section in book renamed to Food and Water and water collector moved to old position of rabbit trap.
Home & yellow hammer overlay icons now disabled while in caves
Added option to always disable home & yellow hammer overlay icons to options menu
Any object that can’t be stashed now has G to Drop hint
(multiplayer) Fixed issue where lizard armor wouldn’t show up for other players
(multiplayer) Fixed player climb rope animation not showing for other players
(multiplayer) Fixed Log sled position and contents not syncing correctly
(multiplayer) Fixed bug where after time passes player avatar moves away from actual player location, while players name stays with players true location.
(multiplayer) Fixed Issue with screen re-positioning and orientation bugs that could occur after time
(multiplayer) Fixed walls disappearing after too many placed
Enemies will now switch to a burnt material when set on fire
New item added: Rebreather! Equip to dive underwater (there are several hidden throughout world)
New recipe added: Waterskin, 2x deer skin, 1 x rope
Bombs will now also explode dead bodies
Optimized fish a.i. and fixed some instances of no fish appearing in ponds
all animals can be killed with explosives now
Player can now swim underwater for a brief period of time (look for rebreather to swim underwater longer)
New item added: Turtle shell! Can be taken from killed beach turtles. May be used in crafting structures or as a makeshift shield to block attacks! (or even as a weapon)
Turtles now provide 2 delicious pieces of generic meat
Improved various bugs with noose trap
Fixed issue that would eventually cause a massive lag after burning trees down
Optimized a bunch of physics objects over time. Should fix general performance slow down after cutting down hundreds of trees and plants.
Optimized billboard script to improve cpu usage by roughly 10%
Improved cave physics use – which was causing some major performance issues even outside caves.
Optimized work scheduler to reduce lag spikes in greeble intensive areas (areas with large concentration of ferns)
Timer on title screen switches to yellow text that reads NEW PATCH RELEASING TODAY when time runs out (just in case we miss deadline by a few hours like last patch)
The Forest is available now on Steam for $14.99.