October has made its way back to us, just as it always has around this time of year. You can tell it’s arrived when the local Dollar Stores you barely noticed before look as if they’ve been possessed by the spirit of Halloween itself — or whatever the commercial equivalent of that might be.
Enduring the hilariously bad music that fills every goddamn one of these stores despite having absolutely nothing to do with the holiday that summoned them is as much of a tradition as groaning at the cheesy posters that plaster their windows. You know, the ones that show goofy-looking people who are clearly only half-committed to pretending to be okay with the fact that they’re a full-grown adult dressed like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
We live in a world where the frightening majority of haunted attractions will suck for everyone over the age of six and that’s why finding a great one feels like you’ve just been given a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in a neighborhood where everyone exclusively hands out Necco wafers.
Anyone can take a stranger’s money before dragging them into a dark room to make them scream. It takes more than a superficial understanding of what’s scary to make something special, and that’s exactly what the folks behind Hysteria at Connor’s Farm have achieved with their sprawling rural tribute to the best of the major holidays — that qualifier is there now that I’ve discovered Bolas de Fuego, in which the citizens of El Salvador celebrate volcanoes by hurling balls of fire into the sky.
Located just north of Danvers, Massachusetts, Connor’s Farm is another of those increasingly common “scream parks” where multiple Halloween-themed attractions accumulate in one place in order to reap maximum monetary gain from our shattered psyches.
Unlike the vast majority of the scream parks I’ve visited, Connor’s Farm offers more variety in their attractions. I got there at 9pm, leaving just enough time to conquer the flashlight maze and haunted farm. Skipping the zombie paintball was a tough decision, but it’s a sacrifice I had to make so that I could become who I was always meant to be.
For thirty glorious minutes, I was the indigenous man-fiend of the Connor’s corn maze.
The maze is meant to be more of a family affair, but I was far too busy hunting innocent maze-dwellers like a famished Velociraptor to care. It’s not lit so as to encourage you to navigate its strategically paved paths with the flashlight you’re given at its entrance. I shed those societal guidelines the moment I became the new me, eschewing lighted paths for darkness and a predator’s instinct.
Sure, I took a few cobs of corn to the face. Am I okay with that? Fuck yeah I am. Next question?
Also, the maze itself is themed, apparently, though I didn’t learn that until after the fact.
Now about that haunted farm. For starters, as haunt aficionados may already be aware, the average haunt tends to house roughly 15 minutes of scares. Connor’s Farm doubles that.
The last thing I’d want to do is go into specifics, as that would ruin the surprise. However, I will say that this haunt may have a set or two that will look familiar if you’ve seen any of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre flicks or that one good Silent Hill movie.
That’s not to say Connor’s Farm rips its sets right out of the movies, it’s more subtle than that.
Continuing that comparison to movies is the general quality of the sets, several of which I could easily picture recreated on a Hollywood sound stage. They’re aided by the genuine 17th century cemetery and swamp that border the farm, as well as the general feeling of unease that settles in if you’ve spent far too much of your life in loud, busy cities. There’s something sinister about corn stalks, like every one of them is hiding a secret. Corn secrets.
Growing up in Kansas City, MO, I was always a short drive from some of the best haunts in the country. I spent a not-insignificant portion of my childhood inside The Beast’s disorienting rooms and roaming the five-stories that make up the now 40 year-old behemoth that is The Edge of Hell.
I didn’t know it at the time, but these dazzling haunts were ruining me. The bar had been raised high enough that could only be reached by a dozen or so haunts scattered all across the country. So when I say I found a stellar haunted house in a sea of pumpkins and corn bathed in spooky lighting and Rob Zombie tunes, you know I’m saying that with a very serious look on my face.
Seriously, if you live anywhere near Danvers, Massachusetts, make the trip. It’ll be worth it.
You can learn more about Hysteria at Connor’s Farm by visiting its website.
“She won’t use lotion! She wants us to suffer!”
Holy. Fucking. Shit. This faux trailer for the supernatural horror film Handjob Cabin is goddamn hilarious! Obviously, it has to be stated from the beginning that this isn’t a real movie nor is it going to be. But that doesn’t stop it from being amazing.
The crew over at Nice Piece have whipped up this trailer about a ghost whose method of attack is, well…a rough handjob. No, I’m not kidding. Written, edited, and directed by Bennet Silverman, the trailer stars Owen Benjamin, Jenna Willis, and Nicole Shipley.
I have to say, keeping it as a trailer is a brilliant move. If this were to become a real movie, the gag would get old before the movie was even halfway finished. Rather, by making it a 3 minute trailer, you can put one joke after another and keep the humor fresh.
Watch it below and comment your favorite quote from the trailer!
The upcoming limited series event that is the 10th season of “The X-Files” has received an official poster that appeared at MIPCOM and its tagline is a riff on the familiar slogan we’ve heard since the beginning of the show back in 1993, stating “The Truth is Still Out There“. The rest of the poster shows an “X” created by the light of the moon and some kind of UFO. The light hovers above David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. A lo-res image of the poster can be seen below, courtesy of Twitter.
The return of “The X-Files” comes thirteen years after the original series run and brings us six brand new episodes from creator/executive producer Chris Carter, mixing stand-alone episodes and those that further the original show’s mythology. Stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are re-inhabiting their roles as FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Mitch Pileggi also returns as FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner.
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.
In the opening episode, Mulder and Scully take on a case of a possible alien abductee. 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.”
“The X-Files” returns on Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at 10pm EST and once again the following night at 8pm EST.
Alamo Drafthouse has teamed up with Firestone Walker to create the “Crimson Peak Ale“, which is named after the upcoming Guillermo del Toro gothic horror romance film. The limited-batch brew is available in stores and on taps this month, including all Alamo Drafthouse locations.
Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse founder, explains, “Guillermo del Toro is one of the most imaginative filmmakers working today, and the release of the gothic romance Crimson Peak is definitely cause for celebration.” He excitedly continues, “Firestone Walker is one of the best breweries in the nation. So we jumped at the chance to collaborate on a beer to mark this occasion with something special.”
Direct from the official press release:
Perfect for the early fall season, “Crimson Peak” is a light-bodied ale that derives its refreshingly tart taste and striking red color from an unusual ingredient: hibiscus flowers. In fact, the ale incorporates massive amounts of them-more than 200 pounds.
In addition to the brew, Alamo collaborated with Mondo to create a beautiful pint glass that features original artwork by Guy Davis. Below is a photo of the glass and ale from our own Trace Thurman, who caught a screening of the film at Fantastic Fest (review coming soon).
A trailer for the upcoming Showtime documentary Why Horror? has been released and shows small interview segments with John Carpenter, Eli Roth, and George A. Romero. The documentary follows Tal Zimerman as he tries to understand the rise of horror, why people enjoy it, and what it has to offer to society.
The synopsis of Why Horror? reads:
Documentary following horror fan Tal Zimerman as he travels around the world to understand why people thrive on blood and gore, and meets with the genre’s leading filmmakers, writers, actors and psychologists to discover how horror is portrayed in different cultures.
Why Horror? premieres Friday, October 30th on Showtime.
People are still wondering why Konami cancelled the insanely hyped survival horror game Silent Hills, which would have been worked on by Hideo Kojima, Junji Ito, Guillermo del Toro, and Norman Reedus. It seemed like the ultimate team that would’ve resulted in the ultimate game, one that would set a precedent for all other survival horror games to come.
Alas, as we know, it wasn’t meant to be. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want some answers. And that’s why our own Thomas Alexander asked del Toro about what the experience of working on Silent Hills was like, to which he was explained:
It was curious.
We had a great experience and had great story sessions with hundreds upon hundreds of designs. Some of the stuff that we were designing for Silent Hills I’ve seen in games that came after, like ‘The Last of Us’, which makes me think we were not wrong, we were going in the right direction.
The thing with Kojima and ‘Silent Hills’ is that I thought we would do a really remarkable game and really go for the jugular.
We were hoping to actually create some sort of panic with some of the devices we were talking about and it is really a shame that it’s not happening. When you ask about how things operate, that makes no fucking sense at all that that game is not happening.
Makes no fucking sense at all. That’s the randomness that I was talking about.
I’m not sure if they mean “devices” as in actual physical objects that would interact with the player or specific game mechanics that haven’t been done before. Either way, it sounds fascinating and I would’ve loved to have seen what it would’ve been like.
Alexander’s full interview with del Toro will be going up on our site tomorrow afternoon.