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Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 3.05 – The Deal; First Details on Episode 3.06 – Norma Louise

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 22:05

Previously, on “Bates Motel”:  Norma attempted to unlock the secrets of the thumb drive Annika passed on before, well, Annika passed on – even involving Dylan to assist; a group of shadowy thugs descended upon the Bates Motel in search of the device, going so far as to ransack the office and threaten Dylan, who eventually hid the drive at his farm; Dylan also had a heart-to-heart with Caleb about the event that tore him and his sister apart; and, in the previous episode’s final scene, Norman discovered that Caleb was hiding out at Dylan’s farm and promised to tell Norma, threatening to destroy the relationship Dylan has tried so hard to build with her.

Tonight’s Episode 3.05 (“The Deal”) begins with Dylan avoiding his inevitable confrontation with Norma, even as she’s run off the road by one of the men who’d threatened her son the previous evening. Her attacker points out that she has something that belongs to one Bob Paris, who runs the Arcanum Club – and that Norma should meet with him soon.

Dylan eventually returns home, only for Norman to tell him that he’d already spoken with Norma and had spilled the beans about Caleb. Not long after, Dylan is contacted by the hospital to inform him of Norma’s accident. Upon his arrival, he apologizes to his mother – only to realize she has no idea about Caleb.

Romero continues his investigation into the pair of recent murders that have plagued his town and eventually takes a meeting with Paris, who readily admits that he’s missing the all-important thumb drive and suggests that it would be best for Romero to retrieve it from Norma for him.

Dylan confronts Norman about the revelation (or lack thereof) concerning Caleb, pointing out that Norma has no idea about it. Norman insists he told her, but Dylan states that it doesn’t matter as he plans on telling Norma himself anyway. Norman eventually speaks with his mother, gently prodding to see if she remembers him telling her anything important earlier that morning – only to discover that he may have had another blackout and had hallucinated the entire conversation.

Dylan’s housemate and fellow grower Gunner discovers the hidden drive and, in his boredom, cracks the password and opens the files within – revealing a financial ledger that appears to detail the illegal revenue from the drug trade that could take down several of the town’s more prominent and wealthy members.  Dylan tells Norma, who races to Romero and admits that she has the device. She points out that she wants to meet with Bob Paris and attempt to trade the drive – but not without getting something in return for her trouble. There’s some great acting from Farmiga in this scene, as she breaks down while discussing all this town has done to her and why she deserves something for that.

Romero, though wary of her plan, accompanies her to the meeting with Paris, where Norma demands the man’s help in rerouting the bypass to better accommodate her business in exchange for her silence regarding the drive’s contents (also, she wants a billboard… and a pool… with a jacuzzi). Paris agrees to everything, delighting Norma even as a still-concerned Romero watches on.

All’s well for Norma by episode’s end, until her sons sit her down to reveal the truth about Caleb and his whereabouts. The revelation that Dylan had been harboring her brother (and the fact that Norman now seems to be supporting his big brother’s decision) drives Norma a bit mad, sending her into a rage that sees her packing up in a hurry and leaving her boys – and possibly her entire life – in her rearview mirror.

It’s another solid episode this week, showcasing some great acting while furthering the plot in interesting ways. At this season’s midpoint things appear to be reaching the boiling point with every character, which will surely play out in fascinating ways. It was nice to see Dylan take a bit of the spotlight this week as well, as the interesting character is occasionally underused (or used regrettably, as with last season’s drug trade subplot). Here’s looking forward to the next installment, Episode 3.06, “Norma Louise.” Check out the synopsis below.

“Bates Motel” Episode 3.06 – “Norma Louise” (airs 4/13/15)
Norma considers a life outside of White Pine Bay, leaving Norman in a vulnerable position. As Dylan and Emma bond over helping their friend through a rough night, Caleb makes a difficult decision, and Romero is confronted by a new threat.

For more info visit “Bates Motel” on AEtv.com, “like” “Bates Motel” on Facebook, and stop by “Bates Motel” on Instagram.

The post Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 3.05 – The Deal; First Details on Episode 3.06 – Norma Louise appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

The Vampire Diaries Shocker – Nina Dobrev Leaving at the End of Season 6

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 20:45

Well, the rumors of a shake-up on set have been rampant since “The Vampire Diaries” co-stars Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder stopped dating in “real life,” and now it looks like at least one of them is true.  As she told her fans just short while ago, Dobrev is indeed leaving the show to pursue other opportunities.

In her own words on Instagram:

I’ve just spent the most beautiful weekend on Lake Lanier in Georgia with my own TVD Family, the cast and crew of The Vampire Diaries. I want to be the first to tell you that it wasn’t just a holiday celebration, it was a goodbye party. I always knew I wanted Elena’s story to be a six season adventure, and within those six years I got the journey of a lifetime. I was a human, a vampire, a doppelganger, a crazy immortal, a doppelganger pretending to be human, a human pretending to be a doppelganger. I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there’s still so much more to come before the season finale in May. Elena fell in love not once, but twice, with two epic soulmates, and I myself made some of the best friends I’ll ever know and built an extended family I will love forever.

There’s more to come before we wrap this up, and I promise you’ll get to hear all about my experiences over the next month as we approach the season finale (I have given an exclusive interview for the June issue of SELF Magazine that I am excited for you to see!), but until then I invite you to hop on the roller coaster ride that is Elena Gilbert’s life and join me as I celebrate her and prepare to say goodbye to her — and to my work family — as I move on to the next chapter of my life. I want to share this goodbye with all of you (this weekend’s pictures were just the beginning). You, the wonderful fandom who gave more love, support and passion than anyone could have ever imagined seven years ago, when a young Degrassi girl from Canada showed up in LA to audition for ‘that Twilight TV show.’ I love you all. Fasten your seatbelts. If you think you know what’s coming, you don’t.

Love, Nina

Nina’s statement was followed up by exec producer Julie Plec’s, who told Deadline:

Saying goodbye to Nina is both bittersweet and beautiful. After six-plus years together, the entire cast and crew of “The Vampire Diaries” has reached a level of closeness that I don’t think any of us ever expected. Nina is excited to spread her wings, get some rest, travel the world and also take it by storm, and we support her a thousand-fold. We will miss Nina and the four hundred characters she played, but we look forward to the insane and exciting challenge of continuing to tell stories of our Salvatore Brothers and our much-loved and gifted ensemble.

She also added with regard to Michael Trevino (Tyler), who was recently cast in a pilot:

Michael has been a beloved member of the “Vampire Diaries” family since day one. Even though he’s also going to be out in the world exploring new opportunities, we look forward to finding creative ways to make sure he and his character, Tyler Lockwood, always remain a part of the show.

“The Vampire Diaries” is currently on a brief hiatus and will return on April 16th.

“The Vampire Diaries” Episode 6.18 – “I Could Never Love Like That” (4/16/15)
KILLER KARAOKE – With their humanity turned off, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline (Candice Accola) begin wreaking havoc at Whitmore, leaving Damon (Ian Somerhalder) to come up with a risky plan involving Lily (guest star Annie Wersching). After rushing to help Jo (guest star Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) treat victims of Stefan and Caroline’s latest killing spree, Elena (Nina Dobrev) discovers Jo is pregnant, prompting her to reevaluate her own life as a vampire.

Meanwhile, when Sarah (guest star Tristan Mays) boldly turns the tables on an unsuspecting Enzo (Michael Malarkey), he is forced to open up about his tragic past. Lastly, at Scull Bar, a twisted round of karaoke leaves Tyler (Michael Trevino) and Matt (Zach Roerig) in a dangerous situation. Leslie Libman directed the episode with story by Matthew D’Ambrosio and teleplay by Chad Fivash and James Stoteraux.

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

The post The Vampire Diaries Shocker – Nina Dobrev Leaving at the End of Season 6 appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night on Blu-ray and DVD

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 20:34

One of the best reviewed films of the year, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (review) is finally coming to Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Lorber, and we have a peek at the goodies right here for you. Look for it in stores and online April 21st.

Strange things are afoot in Bad City. The Iranian ghost town, home to prostitutes, junkies, pimps, and other sordid souls, is a place that reeks of death and hopelessness, where a lonely vampire is stalking the towns most unsavory inhabitants. But when boy meets girl, an unusual love story begins to blossom… blood red.

The first Iranian Vampire western, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype, and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave. Amped by a mix of Iranian rock, techno, and Morricone-inspired riffs, its airy, anamorphic, black-and-white aesthetic and artfully drawn-out scenes combine the simmering tension of Sergio Leone with the surrealism of David Lynch.

Special Features:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Collectible Graphic Novels with Essay by Eric Kohn
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Q&A Hosted by Roger Corman at the Hammer Museum, part of MoMA’s Contenders Series
  • Stills Gallery
  • Trailer
  • VICE Behind-the-Scenes Documentary
  • VICE Meets Ana Lily Amirpour and Sheila Vand



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Categories: Horror News

Kenneth Choi Meets Stephanie

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 20:25

Some quick late-day casting news has arrived for Universal’s horror-thriller Stephanie as THR is reporting that “Sons of Anarchy” star Kenneth Choi has signed up for active duty.

He will join the previously announced Frank Grillo, Shree Crooks, and Anna Torv for the latest film from director Akiva Goldsman. Universal Pictures acquired Stephanie from Jason Blum‘s Blumhouse Productions and Matt Kaplan’s Chapter One.

First announced last summer, the film was written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, whose script was voted to the 2012 Blood List.

Abandoned by her parents in their remote home, Stephanie (Crooks) survives on peanut butter and conversations with her toy turtle, while a dark supernatural force looms in the background. When her mother and father return to claim her, the malevolent power spins out of control with Stephanie at the center.

The post Kenneth Choi Meets Stephanie appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

First Clip Found in Dark Places

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 20:16

The first clip from Dark Places, the new Charlize Theron flick that’s based on another torrid tale from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn, has arrived. Check it out, and look for more on this one soon.

Chloe Grace Moretz, Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks, Tye Sheridan, Shannon Kook, and Corey Stoll also star. The film was directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner from his adaptation.

Synopsis:
Dark Places tells the story of Libby Day (Theron), a woman who, at the age of 7, survives the massacre of her family and testifies against her brother as the murderer. Twenty-five years later, a group obsessed with solving notorious crimes confronts her with questions about the horrific event. Told in a series of flashbacks from the points of view of Libby’s mother, Patty, and her brother, Ben, Libby is forced to revisit that fateful day and begins to question what exactly she saw – or didn’t see – the night of the tragedy.

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Categories: Horror News

Box of Dread April 2015 Seventh Box Features The Walking Dead Survival Kit

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 19:14

Are you excited yet about the Dynamite Comics Reanimator and Alice Cooper items in this month’s Box of Dread? Now, you can even get more excited with this survival kit from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” that is featured in the Box of Dread’s April 2015 Seventh Box!

Only ONE current Box of Dread acolyte will receive this Seventh Box. Will it be you this month? Make sure that you sign up before the April 9th deadline and that your credit card information is up-to-date.

Check out these couple of shots of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Survival Kit that will be in Box of Dread’s April 2015 Seventh Box. Feel free to drool.

Related Story: Dynamite’s Reanimator Coming to Horror Subscription Box of Dread April 2015

Because Season 5 of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” just concluded recently and the new companion series won’t premiere until this summer, this survival kit will be the perfect item to keep your memories (and you) alive until the walkers return to your TV screens.

Related Story: Exclusive Alice Cooper Item in Box of Dread April 2015

To win this Seventh Box, all you have to be is an active card-carrying Box of Dread acolyte before our deadline of April 9th evening at 11:59pm ET. Make sure your credit card is up-to-date or sign up below!

Two Membership Plans are available:

Check out the latest unboxing videos from Box of Dread acolytes. Have you made your own unboxing video? Make sure to tag “Box of Dread” so that we can feature your unboxing video!

 

Hurry, the deadline to sign up for the April 2015 Box of Dread is 4/9, 12 midnight ET / 9pm PT!

For even more pictures and videos, check out Box of Dread on Social Media!

The post Box of Dread April 2015 Seventh Box Features The Walking Dead Survival Kit appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Sarah Gadon Joins Hulu’s 11/22/63 Adaptation

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 18:56

Back in mid-February it was announced that James Franco will be both producing and starring in Hulu’s adaptation of Stephen King’s bestseller 11/22/63, and now one of his leading ladies has been revealed.  Canadian actress (and Cronenberg regular) Sarah Gadon has joined the cast as Sadie.

Hulu’s “11/22/63″ is a thriller in which high school English teacher Jake Epping (Franco) travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. But his mission is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, his falling in love, and the past itself… which doesn’t want to be changed. Per Deadline, Gadon’s Sadie is a statuesque, smart, beautiful, and outspoken librarian at the Texas school where Jake works.

Most recently Gadon appeared in three consecutive films directed by David Cronenberg: A Dangerous Method (2011), Cosmopolis (2012), and Maps to the Stars (2014). In between those she filmed Antiviral (2012), directed by his son, Brandon Cronenberg. You’ll also find her in Dracula Untold and The Moth Diaries.

The nine-hour miniseries is a collaboration among J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, author Stephen King, executive producer/writer Bridget Carpenter, and Warner Bros. Television.  Carpenter (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”) penned the script and will exec produce the drama alongside King and Bad Robot’s Bryan Burk. Bad Robot’s Kathy Lingg will co-exec produce, and Athena Wickham will produce. Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) is directing the first two hours.  The drama hails from Warner Bros. Television, and Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution will distribute the series globally.

A premiere date for “11/22/63″ has not yet been announced so stay tuned!

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Categories: Horror News

Burying the Ex Trailer Exhumed

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 17:50

An international trailer is here for Burying the Ex, the new film from master of horror Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Hole), and it looks like lots of dark fun! Look for the film on June 19, 2015, via RLJ/Image Entertainment.

Directed by Joe Dante and written by Alan Trezza (TV’s “Sanctuary”), Burying the Ex stars Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, and Alexandra Daddario. The film follows Max (Yelchin), an all-around nice guy, and his overbearing but incredibly beautiful girlfriend, Evelyn (Greene). Their relationship takes a nosedive after they decide to move in together and Evelyn turns out to be a controlling, manipulative nightmare. Max realizes it’s time to call it quits, but there’s just one problem: He’s too afraid to break up with her.

Fate steps in when Evelyn is involved in a freak accident and dies, leaving Max single and ready to mingle. Several weeks later he has a chance encounter with Olivia (Daddario), a cute and spirited girl who just might be his soulmate. But that same night Evelyn returns from the grave as a dirt-smeared zombie, and she’s determined to live happily ever after with Max…

Burying the Ex is produced by Mary Cybriwsky, Carl Effenson, David Johnson, Frankie Lindquist, Kyle Tekiela, and Alan Trezza.

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Categories: Horror News

WonderCon 2015: Blumhouse Wrap-Up – The Gallows, Unfriended, Insidious: Chapter 3, and Sinister 2

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 17:29

If there was one event horror fans were excited for at this year’s WonderCon, it was the Blumhouse panel, in which footage and information regarding The Gallows, Unfriended, Insidious: Chapter 3 and Sinister 2 were shared. Read on for all the details we collected for you!

The Gallows:

The first film to be discussed, The Gallows, was by far the least well known. Previously that weekend I had asked various other press about it, and the general sentiment was, “What the fuck is The Gallows?” After an explosive mood piece trailer, the surprised murmurs and cheers in the crowd promised a much more talked about future. Though short and unlikely to be indicative of the final product, the lighting, tone, and speed of the trailer reflected a horror making talent far beyond the typical capabilities of such an inexperienced director. Aside from a few shorts, this is the directorial debut for the duo comprised of co-directors Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing, and if all goes as expected, The Gallows could catapult them Oren Peli style into the spotlight.

On screen, a girl in a white dress lies crying in a crumpled heap. As the sounds of her sobs build, a figure carrying a noose slowly emerges from the shadows. Cut to black, and the next shot is a close-up of the girl’s neck as she slowly examines new deep and bloody rope marks. A noose tightens into the frame, and with a jolt she is dragged away. While simple and certainly done before, the execution is what really sells it. This sentiment of execution being most important is repeated throughout the panel and will be again later in the roundtable.

Similar to Paranormal Activity (another film from Blumhouse Productions), The Gallows is a found footage film from inexperienced directors. According to Cluff and Lofing, the film involves four friends who break into a school at night. We didn’t get much more out of them regarding the plot but gained significant insight into the production.

The similarities with Peli’s Paranormal Activity continue, as director/editor Lofing moved into co-director Cluff’s condo and edited the whole film in his room. Fresh out of film school, Lofing paired up with Cluff, previously a stuntman and “Wipeout” contestant, mostly out of friendship and creative admiration. Cast in Anaheim using a free service and out of a pool of 200, they found their 4 actors and set to work filming at a high school in Fresno.

It sounds like the perfect recipe for a movie that would come to me on a DVD-R with the title written in Sharpie, sitting in a paper sleeve on my floor until it grows enough mold that the ants take it. By Jason Blum’s own admission at the start of the panel, found footage is a stale format, and it takes a really great one to make any kind of waves. It is the type of movie that people make because they believe it to be easy and by the directors’ own admissions was the reason they set out to make one in the first place.

When talking about what they did to make this film unique, they couldn’t come up with much more than that they used the actors’ real names for authenticity and that they filmed using out of town talent so that the legends they told them about hauntings would scare them more. Not exactly groundbreaking, but it is always difficult to explain what part of the production made a movie really work, so not exactly strikes against it either.

So aside from an excellent mood piece trailer that I admit doesn’t have any bearing on the final product, why am I so excited about this film? Blum himself offered a well thought out explanation for my growing enthusiasm…

This is a rare instance when that a movie is made like this and a studio releases it. It almost never happens. One of the most fun parts of my job is seeing this happen; it’s why I do my job… the fact that it has come this far is very unusual and really really cool.”

When a new found footage title from the studio that brought you Paranormal Activity arrives, you take notice. Originally seeing the concept trailer on YouTube, Jason Blum contacted the directors and picked the movie up. The budget was shoestring, so at any point the cost of dropping it would have been next to nothing. Still, it made it all the way through production and is seeing release through New Line. Mike Flanagan’s Oculus was similarly a short concept piece before being picked up as a feature film, though his final product came from a more experienced director and a significantly higher budget. Blumhouse isn’t without a couple bad films under its belt but has so far proven a reliable source for quality horror. I also should admit at this point that I didn’t think Ouija was THAT fucking bad, so maybe I’m just a sucker. Look for The Gallows on July 10th.

Unfriended:

The Unfriended panel started out with this trailer:

Hey, not a bad trailer. I admit that the concept is silly and the name edging on sabotage, but “setting up a camera to watch two sleeping people while a ghost moves things” also sounds like a terrible idea, and that made almost $200 million. Still, I prefer the super silly original title, Cybernatural.

This segment of the panel was an odd one. Consisting of the writer and major cast members, they kept oscillating between telling us how great the movie was and sharing all of their doubts along the way. I shit you not; there was a moment where they were asked if they ever thought the movie would actually come out, and each of the actors one at a time said some variation of, “No, not ever.” This is strange since the express purpose of these events is to get people amped for your film. Telling everyone in the audience that you never really thought this movie would come out does not instill mountains of confidence.

Likewise, the writer, Nelson Greaves, said a few times that he doubted the film being shot through Skype was a good idea. Much of the film’s completion is credited to producer and spiritual leader of the group, Timur Bekmambetov, who is reported to have come up with the original concept. Greaves stated that at several times throughout the production he doubted such a silly gimmick could actually work, and that only through Timur insisting that he should trust him did he push through. If the quality of your movie during production does not make you think that the movie is working, telling the audience that your producer insisted you finish the film anyway does not exactly instill confidence in prospective fans.

At the same time, the number of times he told this story both in the panel and subsequent roundtable leads me to believe it was a pre-scripted talking point. If I were to guess, they know just how silly this movie sounds and are doing their best to acknowledge that and insist that it is really good despite your doubts. They are going to have to sell this movie on its quality, and in that regard they are off to a good start. Even before the trailer, Jason Blum assured us that the audience at South by Southwest had loved the film. After the trailer, he was quick to emphasize the unique strength of the film’s multiple Skype windows. He made the claim that it was, “Like you’re the director of a live TV event,” giving the film legs for repeat viewings that other films don’t have.

A few times we heard that they focused on really long takes, the longest of which being the whole movie in one shot. The anecdote goes that the lead female, Shelly Henning, was tired of trying to ramp back into dramatic scenes take after take, so suggested that they do the whole thing in one shot. According to Nelson Greaves, the final scene of this take is the one that made it into the final film, so I am interested to see how this unique shooting style plays out in the final product.

In Unfriended the actors would themselves hold the laptops with the camera on top. They are your camera operators. The folks behind the film wanted to go for an authentic vibe, so the actors would move the laptops as they walked around the rooms. Actors were directed to look around and be distracted, text friends, shop online, and do things that people actually do while on Skype. Such a focus on realism can backfire greatly with a boring and poorly shot movie, but I’d be willing to bet at least one of my nuts that there was plenty of technical camera work and direction that went into this that they just aren’t talking about.

The question “Who is Laura Barnes” was answered with “Laura Barnes is everything that is scary about the internet. She is all your secrets…” All right, color me interested, and you will definitely see me in the theater on April 17th.

Insidious: Chapter 3

Clearly the focus of the panel, the amount of time we got with the director and cast of Insidious: Chapter 3 was twice as long as either of the previous two groups. It started off with two clips, the first of which you can watch now:

The second clip, which was an exclusive for the event, shows a significantly more beat-up Quinn attempting to escape the apartment via elevator. Wheelchair-bound from a broken leg and in a neck brace, her situation seems dire as she anxiously presses the call button. In typical horror movie fashion, a cut from a forward angle to back angle shows a sickly and wheezing entity behind her, who pushes her back to the room and violently throws her on the ground. Incapacitated, a grotesque handless and footless female figure without eyes or a mouth crawls towards her. As the figure nears, the clip cuts.

The movie is directed by Leigh Whannell, who wrote the original Insidious and played the character Specs, filling the shoes of James Wan, who was busy directing Furious 7. Whannell assured fans in attendance that even without Wan at the helm, he remained absolutely true to the franchise and hopefully true to what fans want out of it. Leading man Dermot Mulroney talked about how this movie is not only terrifying, but the scariest one yet! Yes, we were being given the “Hard Sell” but that’s what events like this are typically for.

From there each actor had a few moments to talk about their respective characters, but honestly speaking, no one really said anything that we hadn’t already surmised. Until Angus Sampson spoke up, that is…

I think you were just giving the audience what they wanted. Anyone that’s watched one of the Insidious chapters with an audience — and there were lots of audiences — whenever Elise would come on screen, especially in the second chapter, there’s such a special warmth for the character that Lin and Leigh and Jason created. This is almost an origin story about how Elise comes to meet not only Specs and Tucker, but some of the other characters from the previous two chapters.

Thank you, Angus, for saying what we all secretly knew and just wished they would say. They clearly took the most popular characters from the previous film and put them even more front and center than they were in the second. It is fan service, and fan service can be good.

The last piece of insight we got before fan questions was some info about the film’s villain, the aptronym-named “Man Who Can’t Breathe.” Leigh explained his vision for the character… “[I wanted to create] the physical embodiment of cancer… if cancer were a person, what would he look like?” Whannell continued, “He symbolizes all the pain and misfortune that can visit people in their life.” It was cool to see the panel all light up and chime in about how the The Man Who Can’t Breathe was a very present and violent force in the movie.

The panel loosens up after this, and each cast member interjects with fun little anecdotes about the filming. The set was kept very cold and dark, Stephanie Scott did her own stunts, and Leigh even locked her in a closet for 6 hours blasting death metal. There were a few standard press release statements here and there, but some really wonderful genuine moments were shared and that’s always a breath of fresh air.

My personal impression of Insidious: Chapter 3 comes mostly from the trailer. It is clear that the brutality and unique physicality of the previous films are still here, but whether or not it will keep with the bizarre twists and unpredictable plot is unclear at this point. The first movie really hits a home-run with the mid-film introduction of astral projection and a spirit realm, turning a simple haunting story into something totally new and unique. The second movie sadly went for a more standard serial killer narrative but was still creative enough to stand on its own. There was no talk of twists and turns in the panel, but I managed to ask some of those questions in the roundtable, so check out that article for more intel.

Look for Insidious: Chapter 3 in theaters June 5th.

Sinister 2

Things wrapped up with a short but effective clip from Sinister 2 which you can check out below. Afterwards the audience was promised much more would be unveiled for the film at July’s Comic-Con and everyone should stay tuned. Look for Sinister 2 in theatres on August 21st.

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Categories: Horror News

Salem Casts a Spell with this Preview of Episode 2.02 – Blood Kiss

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 16:36

So, Heathens, did you all catch last night’s return of “Salem” on WGN America? If not, shame on you, but you’re in luck because the network is running an encore tonight at 10PM ET/7PM PT.

For the rest of us, here’s a look ahead to next week’s Episode 2.02, “Blood Kiss.”

The series stars Janet Montgomery, Shane West, Seth Gabel, Ashley Madekwe, Tamzin Merchant, Elise Eberle, and Iddo Goldberg.  Season 2 guest stars include Lucy Lawless, Stuart Townsend, Joe Doyle, and Oliver Bell as Mary’s long-lost son.

“Salem” Episode 2.02 – “Blood Kiss” (air date 4/12/15)
Mary (Montgomery) initiates the second act of the Grand Rite; Alden (West) returns to Salem.

For more info follow “Salem” on Twitter and YouTube (@SalemWGNA), and also be sure to “like” the series on Facebook.

The post Salem Casts a Spell with this Preview of Episode 2.02 – Blood Kiss appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Nightmare Presents: The Island by Desirina Boskovich

Wed, 04/01/2015 - 09:30

No April Fool’s Day jokes here! Nope, what we have here is some more brand new fiction from Nightmare Magazine. This month’s selection is “The Island” by Desirina Boskovich. We hope you enjoy it – please let us know what you think in the comments section below.

THE ISLAND
by
Desirina Boskovich

I was five when we moved to the island.

Mommy and Daddy knew that the end was near. There were harbingers, omens, and dire events: poisoned apples, collapsing buildings, broken sidewalks, and the ever-present idiot boxes, a parade of heathens that prayed in tongues. A riot over papayas and saddle shoes broke out in the fifth quarter, and half the city burned. In a far-off desert, our soldiers fought the sand worms; we sent them care packages, stuffed with candy and thick socks. A wicked witch built a palace made from shoes; when they dug her out with the business end of a stiletto heel, they found she’d been orchestrating the fate of the world from behind an emerald curtain. When the curtain fell, it all fell apart; there was nothing left but darkness and ennui. Then a hole tore itself in the ozone, and crazy dust fell through — whomever it touched lost the power of speech. The earth rent her garments, and a jagged satellite of land mass broke off the coast and floated away.

I was five when we moved to the island. My sister Thea was three.

We loaded our lives into a tiny ship and set sail. We sailed the seven seas; we sailed for forty days and forty nights. We were tossed by strange creatures: eight-legged squid with suction-cup fingers, and city-sized whales with flapping tails. Grinning dolphins swam in our wake, leaping to say hello. Mommy and Daddy sat on the deck and played cards, talking about the life we’d build when we reached land. Thea and I sat at their feet. They told us stories about everything we’d escaped in The Outside World, everything scary that lay far away.

Now we’d always be safe.

On the forty-first day, the island peeked its head over the calm blue line of the horizon: an uninhabited jewel no more than a couple miles across, covered with sloping hills, lush forests, sandy beaches, strange flowers. A jutting cliff led down to a bed of rocks where the sea foamed and leaped. A fresh water spring trickled from the island’s obsidian heart, turning into a creek that ran toward the sea.

We called the island Treasure. We were home.

• • • •

We dismantled the ship and built a house. We planted crops in the lush glades, and searched the island for things that were good to eat: luscious fruits, speckled mushrooms, hearty nuts, savory turtle’s meat, and smooth seagull’s eggs. Wild sheep roamed the island; we caught them, corralled them, sheared their wool, slaughtered their rams, and drank their mothers’ milk. We slept on beds made from grass. On the radio, we listened to the events of The Outside World: a spreading epidemic that turned its victims pink before they dissolved into dust and floated away. A suicide cult that tattooed its members with sinister symbols in languages we’d inherited from foreign stars.

“Turn off the radio,” Mommy said. “Turn off that silliness.” So we did, and she gave us chores.

My brother Rock was born. Rock belonged to the island; he’d never known another home. Whether under sunny blue skies or torrential summer rain, he thrived. He grew so fast it was uncanny. From the beginning, he followed Daddy everywhere. Together, they figured out how to catch the biggest fish, how to fell the widest tree, how to build the hottest fire that would keep us warm all night.

Thea and I wanted to go on forest expeditions, too. We wanted to capture the wriggling, rainbow-skinned gods that breathed their last on the beach. But Mommy needed us at home. We washed our clothes in the creek and beat them clean on the flat rocks. We sheared the sheep and spun the wool into thread and knitted it into cloth. We cooked fish and turtle legs together in stews that steamed and bubbled all day, seasoned with wild herbs.

My brother Leaf was born. He was a weird baby; the island was in his blood. He never laughed and never cried. He only surveyed his family with a placid contentment, as if to say, “I am here, you are here, everything is fine.” He would only eat fruit. As he grew, he tagged along with Rock, who was tagging along with Daddy.

My brother Bug was born. He was an angry baby; he screamed for hours on end. We did our best to entertain him, dangling charms of iridescent shells, tickling his toes with the fallen feathers of seagulls, singing him songs about the island, full of gibberish and nonsense words. He still screamed. Maybe he was just mad that his name was Bug. He grew fastest of all, and in no time at all he was tagging along with Leaf, who was tagging along with Rock, who was tagging along with Daddy.

Thea and I cooked fruit into jam, washed the clothes in the stream, sheared the sheep of their winter wool, scoured the iron cauldron with sand, and fought all the time, because she kept hanging her hammock too close to mine.

Our parents still said they loved each other, but Daddy spent all his time somewhere else, and Mommy kept waking up from nightmares to insist that it was all a dream, that we were not her children, and that she’d never lived on an island named Treasure. Daddy kissed her and brought her guava juice but she knocked it out of his hand. He shook his head, and walked away. He walked until he reached the other end of the island, where he sat at the edge of the cliff that looked down on the pointed rocks and the spraying sea. There, he thought about what would happen if he jumped.

Back at our home by the hammocks and the hearth, Mommy tore the low-hanging branches from the trees; she chased us with the branches, and she hit us as hard as she could, trying to turn us into the children she remembered.

When Daddy came back to camp, he saw our fresh bruises, our black eyes, our scratched and bleeding arms. He shook his head, and took Rock to the water’s edge to fish.

My sister Violet was born. I took her into my arms the way a younger girl would have taken a doll; I knew that in some way she would always be mine. Patiently, I turned the radio dials, looking for a song I knew, a song to sing her to sleep. Finally, out of the static and whine of the space between signals, a few strains of a familiar melody emerged: The Temptations, singing “My Girl.”

It was a sign. Thea and I hung Violet’s hammock between our own, even though she was too small to sleep in it.

“Turn that off,” Mommy said. “I hated that song.”

I turned off the radio and stroked the fine dark hairs on Violet’s sweet-smelling, satin-soft skull.

By this time, we all belonged to the island.

• • • •

But something strange happened the night that Violet was born.

It began with a storm. When you live on an island, you can see a storm coming from a long way off. All day, as Mommy writhed and cried and cursed and pushed, we’d seen the storm as it moved over the water and gathered strength. During the day it came as a dark cloud against the light-filled sky; during the night it came as flashes of lightning that cracked in jagged branches against the darkened clouds. At night, as we slept, the storm broke. It raged with such delirium, it seemed that our Treasure would break apart. Thunder louder than the Fourth of July fireworks I remembered from so long ago in The Outside World; lightning bright as a bonfire that illuminated the entire island for one razor-edged moment before the darkness returned with demonic depth. Wind screamed and howled through the trees. Rain poured down on us in buckets, thick as soup, teeming with small creatures from the shallow waters: plankton and krill.

A horned owl hooted mournfully in the distance, terror in his call. The sheep stampeded across the island and we could feel the vibrations of their pounding feet. Leaf and Bug climbed into my hammock and huddled against me. Violet cried. Thea buried her head under her pillow. Only Rock was unafraid.

Then the island shuddered and quivered and bucked. A crack rang out like cannon fire. And just like that, the winds died down, the rain faded away to a drizzle, and the storm was gone. My fitful sleep that night was filled with dark dreams.

The next day we woke to find the island changed. A lightning-struck tree at the highest point on the island had spread fire from branch to branch, burning a dark circle in the center of the forest before the heavy rains could extinguish the blaze. And a crevice had opened in the center of the island, ripping a chasm across a sunny meadow. Rock found it first, and came running back to tell us what he’d seen.

We stood on the edge, staring down. The crevice seemed to continue for miles. We could not see the bottom; it disappeared into darkness. If I squinted, I thought I could see the shadows squirm and shift.

“You should have known,” Mommy told Daddy.

“How could I?” he said. “How could I have known?” He shook his head and walked away. Rock followed him. Together they built a fire on the beach. They caught and killed a baby boar and stuck it up on a spit: a feast to celebrate the newest addition to our family.

All day we frolicked on the beach, basking in the sweet smells of fresh fruit and roasting meat. Thea collected shells. Rock poked and stirred the flames with a pointed stick. Leaf combed the tide pools for new species of crab. Bug mixed sand and dirt and water to make mud. I tried to build a palace out of sand. Together we held hands and waded out into the waves, against the incoming tide.

All day we watched a speck of darkness on the water. It grew and grew. It was coming closer.

It was another ship.

The ship made landfall as day turned to night. We sat on the beach, warmed by the rays of the setting sun, feasting on the rich meat of the roasted pig, and watched the ship as it cast anchor in our bay.

• • • •

They were travelers like ourselves, a family in search of their own small island to make a home. We informed them that our island was named Treasure, and it was ours alone, but they were welcome to stay for a night or three. They shared their story, and we shared our feast.

Their name was Robinson. They had four children; the oldest was younger than me, but older than Thea. The youngest was the same age as Bug. We’d never met children like us before. We ran wild, running in looping circles across the beach, inventing pretend games that no one else could understand, playing hide-and-seek in every nook and cranny. Thea told the newcomers a story about a pure white horse with a pink crystal horn, a beast of perfect nobility and grace. She said that if you glimpsed the white horse, you dreamed the most joyful dreams for a week. She said she’d only seen it once. The newcomers believed her; I think Leaf and Bug believed her, too, even though they knew it wasn’t true. The kids put together a hunting party to comb the island.

I felt much older than the rest. I knew that Thea’s story was fantasy, and I didn’t want to play make-believe. Instead, I sat on the beach, listening to the parents as they talked about the world beyond the seas.

A new epidemic raged; this disease turned its victims a pale yellow-green, then shriveled them like raisins until they were nothing but skin. The wars in the deserts continued, and they’d built a McDonald’s on the moon. The prophet my parents had once followed was now in prison for tax evasion and child rape. The sky was dead: aliens from Alpha Centauri had slipped through the hole in the ozone and injected a poisonous gas into the clouds.

Still, despite these setbacks, humanity survived.

“I thought by now they’d all be dead,” Daddy said, dejected.

“Any day now,” Mr. Robinson said. “Any day.”

“Maybe the quickening is farther off than we thought,” Mommy said, and went off into the darkness to let Violet nurse.

As promised, the Robinsons stayed for three days. Meanwhile, my parents whispered and hissed their way through a protracted fight. Mommy was lonely; she wanted the Robinsons to stay.

But Daddy had seen the way Mommy and Mr. Robinson looked at each other across the fire’s dying flames. He didn’t say anything, but he wouldn’t let the Robinsons remain here.

“I hate you,” Mommy said. “I hate you, and I hate this island.”

Daddy shook his head and walked away. He took Mr. Robinson on a tour of the island, showing him the structures he and Rock had built with a saw, a hammer and some nails.

Mommy and Mrs. Robinson stayed at the camp and made stew. I stayed too, while the rest of the kids played games with pebbles and sticks. With a dulled knife, I struggled to cut and peel an assortment of strange tropical fruits.

• • • •

On the third day we gathered on the beach to say goodbye. We gave them more food for their journey, and some seeds we’d saved from our island’s bounty of native fruits. In return, they gave us some things my brothers had never seen: a television and a phone. “It might get lonely on your island,” Mr. Robinson explained. “So here’s something. With this teevee, you can learn about what’s going on in The Outside World. It will tell you if everyone is dead. With this phone, you can call your friends.”

“We have no friends,” Mommy said.

“You can call your family.”

“We have no family.”

“Well, you can call us.”

“Okay.”

We played with the teevee and the phone, and we watched as the Robinsons climbed into their ship and sailed away.

• • • •

Things continued as before, but the island had changed. The crevice at the center was growing; it got wider by the day. The bottom was still too far away to see. But the dark things, wriggling in that depthless gloom — they seemed to be growing, too. If I looked closely, I could make out tails, and eyes, and wings. Other times, I couldn’t see a thing. I thought my eyes were playing tricks.

The sheep were never the same after their panicked stampede. In the spring, six lambs were stillborn; only three survived, and they were sickly and weak.

The boars that roamed the island had also been spooked. One day, beneath a clear blue sky, a hawk wheeled too close to a suckling. The mother boar screamed in warning, and her shriek set off a riot. The boars ran as if the devil were branding their backsides; they ran and ran until they reached the cliff that overlooked the pointed rocks and the spraying sea, then kept running, and plunged off the edge, one by one. They died in a screaming nightmare below, and the waters foamed red with blood until their bloated bodies washed out to sea.

The blackened circle on the island’s highest point remained dead and charred. A poisoned fungus grew in the ashes and spread outward, infecting the trees; each autumn it gained more ground until the forest was nearly decayed.

Daddy and Rock had fished too much in the streams, and now the waters ran barren and clear; the only fish to be had were the canny, cunning ones that hid carefully in the sea.

It seemed the island was turning against us. It was staging a revolt; it was going strange. We had to work much harder to survive.

Luckily, we were older now; we could work as a team.

Thea could make anything; with her nimble fingers she crafted comfortable clothes and lovely necklaces and wonderful boxes full of shells. She’d developed storytelling into an art, and when we sat around the fire cracking nuts or filleting fish, her silly anecdotes and fanciful tales kept us entertained while our hands did tedious work.

Rock was taller than me, strong as could be, and good at everything he tried. He could leap farthest, run fastest, and climb the highest trees. His quick wit and clever mind kept us laughing all the time. Even when we were sad, or hungry, or fighting, Rock could always make us laugh. He taught Leaf and Bug all the things that Daddy had taught him; he wrestled them on the beach for the entertainment of their sisters, so that they might grow as tall and strong as he.

Leaf remained as even-tempered as he’d always been; it was impossible to make him angry. We teased him mercilessly, but he just laughed. He read all the books we’d brought from The Outside World. There were only a dozen, but he read them cover to cover. Through those books, he came to understand what made other people feel as they did. He watched and listened, as he always had, and soon he understood us all. He knew why Rock still got angry, even though he was the strongest. He knew why Daddy spent so much time sitting on the cliff’s edge, staring out at the sea. He knew why I went on longer walks every night, ranging ever farther from the hammocks and the hearth.

Bug still hated his name. Bug. Like Leaf, he read all the books cover to cover. But while Leaf learned about humans, Bug learned about the world. The books were his atlas, his dictionary, his encyclopedia. When he’d finished with the books, he surveyed the island. Soon he knew the location of every rock, every stream, every tree. He knew all the edibles — what they were called, and where they lived. He knew the history of The Outside World, and whenever we spoke of the things we’d learned from our parents, he corrected us: there had never been an emerald curtain, it was always made of iron. There had never been a disease that turned people into raisins or dust. We told him he was living up to his name, and he stalked off to fume by the fire.

Violet grew from a baby into a girl, and she was the sweetest child there could ever be. She was smart, and funny, and wise. She loved everyone, and there was nothing we wouldn’t do for her. Secure in the knowledge that she was adored by all, she had endless amounts of love to give.

But once, when we were gathering gooseberries on the hillside, I caught her staring into the crevice; it was wider than ever, and darker than night. And, from a place so far down it couldn’t even rightfully exist, I could hear the buzzing and humming of locusts, the croaking of odd and twisted birds.

Violet stood on the edge. She gazed into the blackness, twisting the curling tip of one pigtail around her tiny fingertip. Her look was far, far away.

“Don’t look in there,” I scolded her. “Come on. Let’s go home.”

I thought my brothers and sisters were the five most perfect people who ever lived.

• • • •

Mommy and Daddy were fighting all the time. They fought about the storm, about the earthquake, about the teevee, about the phone, about the radio, about the Robinsons, and they fought whenever there wasn’t enough to eat. They fought about the hammocks, which were falling into disrepair, and they fought when the fire went out.

Finally they agreed to disagree. Daddy went to live on the far side of the island, where the cliff overlooked the pointed rocks and the spraying sea. Mommy went to live on the near side of the island, where tall grasses grew and vivid flowers bloomed. Daddy took the teevee. Mom took the phone.

They left us the radio, the hammocks, and the hearth.

We would have lived like wild things except for Thea, who made sure we went to bed on time and woke with the sun. Thea gave orders to Leaf and Bug, who kept the fires lit at night and kept away the beasts. I swept the hearth and made the stews. Rock brought firewood and hunted the boars, which were surlier than ever. He seemed older now; overwhelmed with responsibilities, he was no longer so quick with a joke. Violet scavenged for berries and tried to make us smile. We did, but only because she asked. We were all tired, and we felt broken inside — our island was damaged, and so were we.

And the war between our parents raged on. Each tried to lure us to their side of the island. Daddy had the teevee; he invited us to his cliff to watch the game, even though the signal took six months to reach us, so the fate of the players was already long decided in The Outside World before it reached our shores. Mommy had the phone; she never called anyone, but she kept saying she might call the Robinsons. She said we could go live on their island and start a new life — so we should stick with her.

Back at the camp, we fiddled with the radio, but nowadays nothing came through but crackles and static and whispers. If I leaned in close, I could hear the same distended whirs and shrieks that came from the crevice in the middle of the island.

Mommy and Daddy sent Violet back and forth across the island, bearing messages between them. Violet told Mommy about the games we’d watched on Daddy’s teevee; she told Daddy what Mommy had been saying about the phone. She didn’t mean to stir up trouble, but she was still quite young.

One night, when the moon was no more than a sliver, Mommy crept over to Daddy’s side of the island, where he slept on the rocks in a shack made of driftwood. She tossed the teevee over the cliff, and its broken shards floated out to sea.

When Daddy discovered what she had done, he was very angry. He marched over to her side of the island, where she slept in the grass in a hut made out of sticks and leaves, and smashed the phone against the rocks.

Furious, she stormed over to our camp and smashed the radio to pieces, too. She said she didn’t want him to take it; she was getting to it first.

It didn’t matter, anyway; it had been a long time since we’d heard anything from The Outside World.

Bug and Leaf blamed Violet for making our parents fight; in turn she became sullen and cross. She refused to do her chores or eat her stew. She told Bug he was ugly, and when Rock told her to apologize, she said she hated us all and ran away. We stayed up all night looking for her. When dawn came, we found her curled inside the mouth of the island’s one small cave. Rock picked her up and carried her home.

• • • •

Creatures kept crawling out of the crevice. Things that made horrible noises in the dark; we could hear their poisoned laughter, just outside the ring of firelight. We could hear the screams of birds and the shrieks of piglets and the warning calls of owls as the things ranged across the island, feasting at will. And sometimes, as they rustled and scratched in the dark, we could smell them: an acrid stink, like rotting, burning flesh.

“If only we had that phone,” Thea said wistfully, as we sat around the fire one night. It was our nightly ritual. We watched the glowing embers and the flickering flames, and we talked about how to save our island. Occasionally we wondered about The Outside World.

“Maybe everyone’s dead,” I said.

“If only we had that phone, maybe we could find out.”

“Maybe it doesn’t matter.”

Of all of them, I was the only one who remembered The Outside World. I didn’t think it was the answer to our problems. I wanted to save the island, whatever the cost.

• • • •

A few nights later, as we sat around the fire, Violet announced: “I want to go live with Mommy.”

“You can’t do that,” Bug said.

“Why not?”

“Because that’s not how it’s supposed to be.”

“I don’t care,” Violet said. “I like it there. There are flowers. The things aren’t there. I want to go.”

“If you’re going to live with Mommy, then Leaf and I are going to live with Daddy.”

“You can’t do that,” Thea said.

“Why not?”

“Because we won’t have anyone to stir the fire or sit watch at midnight or throw rocks at the things to make them stay away. We won’t have anyone to help cut the branches to fix the hammocks. We won’t have anyone to bring seagull’s eggs,” Thea said.

“Because we’ll be all alone,” I said. “Three isn’t enough.”

“How much is enough?” Leaf asked, as if he was talking to himself. “How many, I mean?”

“Only six is enough,” I said.

“Only six is enough,” Thea agreed.

“Enough is enough,” Rock said. “I’m sick of all of you.” He got up and stalked away from the fire.

Violet started to cry. Leaf and Bug told her it was her fault, and she cried harder. Thea told them it was their fault, and Bug got mad, and Leaf got annoyed, which was the angriest he ever got. Their argument grew louder and louder until it filled the night, drowning out even the weirdest and cruelest noises from the dark.

“Shut up, all of you,” I shouted. “I’ll go talk to Rock.”

I wandered off into the darkness to look for him. I knew that whatever he said, he would never desert us. His loyalty to us was so fierce, his care so necessary, that it made him angry sometimes. He was bound by a desperate love that could never be ignored.

I found him sitting on the beach, watching the dark waves sliding quietly in and out, lit only by the brilliance of the full moon.

I sat beside him.

“I have a plan,” I said. So I told him. He listened. We were silent for a while, then we spoke for a while, and then we were silent again.

After a long time, we returned to the campfire. Violet had fallen asleep. We told Bug and Leaf to go away; we had something to talk about with Thea. They were upset all over again. They insisted they deserved to hear as much as anyone else. They asserted that they belonged to the island, too. We told them no, and they huffed away.

I had to speak, because I was the oldest, and besides, it was my idea.

“We must kill our parents,” I said.

• • • •

We did it that night, while Leaf and Bug and Violet lay in their hammocks asleep. Mommy first. We dashed out her brains with a rock. We dragged her body to the crevice and left it lying on the edge of the abyss. Daddy second. Before the rock fell, I felt a moment of pity; I was the oldest, so I remembered. I knew he’d never really wanted to come to the island. But then I remembered all the times he’d seen our bruises, our black eyes, our scratched arms, and looked away. The curse was half his. He let out a strangled snore, and we dropped the rock onto his skull.

We dragged his body to the other edge of the crevice. Then, we said the prayer that they’d taught us long ago. We sang a song we’d written about the island, one of those songs we used to sing to make Bug stop crying for just a minute or three. Then we tipped their bodies into the deep.

The sounds were appalling. Those sounds were not sounds made by our parents, who were already dead. Those sounds were the screeches and yelps of hideous creatures that fought over our parents’ bones and brains and blood.

I hoped we could appease the island. I hoped with this sacrifice, the curse would stray, and our island could be whole, the brilliant Treasure it had been when we were young. But when I heard the satisfied braying of creatures from another place, I was afraid I’d been wrong. Maybe we’d only fed them. Maybe they’d only grown stronger.

We returned to the shore, and in the early light of dawn, we cooked breakfast on the beach. When Leaf, Bug, and Violet woke with the sun, we beckoned them down and told them what we’d done.

They cried, but they understood, as we’d known they would. We belonged to the island more than we’d belonged to our parents. And we belonged to each other most of all.

“Now we can start from scratch,” I said. “No more overfishing. No more forest fires. No more stampeding sheep. No more haunted boars.”

Thea broke in: “And hopefully, no more of those . . . things.”

• • • •

After we killed our parents, the island began to recover. The small flock of sheep multiplied in the spring; the ewes all lived through birth and the lambs thrived to the last woolly one. The wild boars birthed kinder, calmer sucklings; they were becoming tame. The poison fungus on the mountaintop crept backward in the direction it had come.

Leaf found a few freshwater fish, stranded and sleeping in a shadowy cove in a trapped inlet of the creek. He caught and released them into the wilds of the stream, and soon they were doing what fishes do; in a season or two we could begin fishing again. Bug wrote a natural history of the island, cataloguing each of its myriad species for future generations. (Not that there would be any. We loved each other, but not like that.) Thea taught Violet to sew. Rock collected all the driftwood and lumber he could find, and began building a gazebo that we called “the church.” I dug deep into the pouches of preserved seeds, and cultivated a garden that was better than any we’d grown in years.

Best of all, the crevice began to close. At first it moved so slowly it seemed impossible; I dismissed it as wishful thinking. But then the movement became unmistakable. It moved by three inches; then five. The gash was healing.

But even as it creaked closed, something was growing inside of it. When the fissure was no more than three feet wide, it emerged. We called it the tree. It did look like a tree — from some angles.

Sometimes it looked like a tower. Sometimes it looked like a mushroom. Sometimes it looked like a giant. Sometimes it looked like the beanstalk that a boy once climbed, to meet a giant on the other side. Sometimes it looked like a skyscraper. Sometimes it looked like a monster.

But mostly, it looked like a tree.

By the time two summers had passed, the crevice had closed completely, and there was nothing left but the tree. In the third summer, it reached maturity. Hanging from the tip of each of its six branches was a cotton-wrapped sack, and struggling in those sacks were six sick creatures, cocooned but growing. Occasionally we could see their mouths, opened in hopes that an insect or a baby bird would blunder in.

Then another ship arrived.

It was the first ship we’d seen since the Robinsons had lifted anchor and sailed away. We were wild to meet them, and from the moment we spotted the ship, we waited on the beach, preparing a feast that rivaled all feasts before it. We lit a huge bonfire to draw them near. We danced and sang songs, even while Rock prepared a miniature arsenal, just in case they were enemies and not friends: we knew nothing now about The Outside World.

They made landfall as night fell. Two men and a woman: travelers like my parents had once been. They were my age. They were fascinated by us, and entranced by our island. We invited them onto the beach, and informed them that this island was called Treasure and it was ours alone, but they were welcome to stay a night or three. We shared our feast with them under the brightening stars. The roast lamb and grilled fruits tasted like the food of the gods.

As the visitors ate, they told us they were looking for some long-lost cousins of theirs: a family called Robinson.

“I thought you looked familiar,” I said. I remembered the Robinsons’ wide blue eyes and white blond hair.

“Is there still The Outside World?” Bug asked.

They said that there was.

After the food was finished, the man leaned forward, ready to ask what they’d all been wondering.

“You’re all so young,” he said. “How long have you been stranded here?”

Everyone looked at me, waiting for me to answer.

I laughed.

“We have always lived on the island,” I said.

• • • •

That night, we waited until the visitors fell asleep. Then we crept, slowly and silently, to the beach where they dreamed. We dashed out their brains with rocks and fed their bodies to the tree.

[end]

Nightmare Magazine is edited by bestselling anthology editor John Joseph Adams (Wastelands, The Living Dead). This month’s issue also features original fiction by Charles Payseur (“Spring Thaw”), along with reprints by Usman Malik (“Ishq”) and Nancy Kilpatrick (“The Age of Sorrow”). We also have Seanan McGuire penning the latest installment of our column on horror, “The H Word,” plus author spotlights with our authors, a showcase on our cover artist, and a feature interview with author and founder of Cemetery Dance Publications, Richard Chizmar. You can wait for the rest of this month’s contents to be serialized online, or you can buy the whole issue right now in convenient eBook format for just $2.99. You can also subscribe and get each issue delivered to you automatically every month, for the discounted price of just $1.99 per issue. This month’s issue is a great one, so be sure to check it out. And while you’re at it, tell a friend about Nightmare!

The post Nightmare Presents: The Island by Desirina Boskovich appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Rest in Peace: Robert Z’Dar

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 22:56

There’s nothing we hate to report more than the death of a horror icon, and unfortunately tonight is one of those nights where we come to you bearing bad news. There was truly only one Robert Z’Dar on this Earth, and we’re heartbroken to let you know that he has passed away.

The sad news comes courtesy of the Pensacola News Journal, who reported tonight that the 64-year-old actor lost his life on Monday night. He was in town to appear at Pensacon when he began experiencing chest pains over the weekend, and last night he went into cardiac arrest.

Born Robert J. Zdarsky, the instantly recognizable actor was most known for his starring role in the Maniac Cop franchise, portraying undead police officer Matt Cordell. Z’Dar’s acting resume includes well over 100 other film and TV credits, including Tango & Cash, Samurai Cop, and Easter Sunday.

We talked every day,” said Jim Decker, Z’Dar’s longtime manager. “We’ve been together through thick and thin. He was the first actor I took on in my career as an agent. We spent many weekends on the road together and a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. I miss him dearly.”

Those who would like to send condolences are encouraged do so through Decker’s email, esotericking@gmail.com.

Rest easy, sir, and thank you for all the wonderful memories.

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Categories: Horror News

Producer’s Preview Goes Inside Supernatural Episode 10.17 – Inside Man

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 19:59

As longtime, diehard “Supernatural” fans, we’re really looking forward to Jim Beaver’s return tomorrow night in Episode 10.17, “Inside Man”; and if you are, too, here’s an inside look at the ep hosted by executive producer Jeremy Carver.  Heaven or Hell, the boys will always need their (and our) Bobby!

“Supernatural” Episode 10.17 – “Inside Man” (airs 4/1/15)
DEAN AND ROWENA FACE OFF AGAINST EACH OTHER — Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Castiel (Misha Collins) follow up on a lead about the Mark of Cain. Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Rowena (guest star Ruth Connell) meet. Rashaad Ernesto Green directed this episode written by Andrew Dabb.

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Categories: Horror News

New Insidious Chapter 3 One-Sheets Arrive to Watch Over You

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 19:55

Two new one-sheets are here for Insidious Chapter 3: one is pretty good and the other has been done to death. Check ‘em out here to see if you agree.

Insidious Chapter 3 will be hitting theaters on June 5, 2015. It stars Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, and writer/director Leigh Whannell.

Synopsis:
The newest chapter in the terrifying horror series is written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. This chilling prequel, set before the haunting of the Lambert family, reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

For more information visit the official Insidious website, “like” the Insidious Facebook page, and follow along on Twitter at @InsidiousMovie.

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Categories: Horror News

Godzilla – First Details and Image from the Next Japanese Film

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 19:34

Anyone who has visited this site at any time regularly can attest to one thing for sure… we are constantly on Godzilla watch. While the Gareth Edwards sequel is still far away, 2018 to be exact, right now we have the first bit of goods on Big G’s Japanese return!

We told you earlier that the King of the Monsters will be returning to his Japanese roots much sooner than anyone would have expected. Toho Company Ltd. will produce a new “domestic Godzilla” flick to be released in Japan in 2016.

Right now we can tell you that the director/screenwriter for the film is Hideaki Anno (Evangelion), and it will feature effects work by Shinji Higuchi, who worked on the Gamera trilogy of the 90s and 2001’s Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. Dig on the first concept image.

The decision to produce a new homegrown Godzilla flick was spurred on tremendously by the $500 million worldwide success of the big budget Hollywood reboot, particularly in the monster’s native stomping grounds of Japan.

Expect more details soon. Below you can find an announcement video.

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Categories: Horror News

It Follows Opens Even Wider

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:15

The indie horror juggernaut known as It Follows (review) is opening even wider this weekend as RADiUS and Dimension proudly announced today that they are further expanding their smash success into 1,655 theaters as of Friday, April 3rd.

One of the best-reviewed films of the year (95% on Rotten Tomatoes) has also been bolstered by strong word of mouth with audiences coming in droves – exemplified by its Top Five box office performance this past weekend.

It Follows was written and directed by David Robert Mitchell and features an up and coming ensemble cast that includes Maika Monroe (The Guest, The Fifth Wave) in the lead role.

Monroe plays 19-year-old Jay, who, after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, suddenly finds herself plagued by nightmarish visions. She can’t shake the sensation that someone, or something, is following her. As the threat closes in, Jay and her friends must somehow escape the horrors that are only a few steps behind.

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Categories: Horror News

New Trailer Emerges From the Dark

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:01

The latest trailer for the new director of the cult killer clown film Stitches, Conor McMahon, called From the Dark (review) has arrived online and we have it for you right here. Dig it!

The film stars Niamh Algar, Stephen Cromwell, and Gerry O’Brien (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest). From the Dark will be released April 14th, 2015

Synopsis:
Sarah (Niamh Algar) and Mark (Stephen Cromwell) are traveling through rural Ireland when car trouble strikes. The couple must head out on foot to find any sign of civilization. Eventually they come upon a lonely house – but the man inside is wounded, and when they try to help him, he attacks. Sarah and Mark manage to escape but soon they are confronted by something even worse.

A sinister being has awakened from a thousand-year sleep and it has set its sights on the stranded young couple. Deep within the dark bog, the two are faced with an unimaginable evil, but they soon realize that there may be one thing that can stop the creature: light. As the sun sets and light sources dwindle, the creature becomes more powerful, and Sarah and Mark find themselves in a fight for their lives where a gas lamp or even just the illumination of a single match may be the only thing that can save them.



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Categories: Horror News

The Strain Gets a To Die For Collector’s Edition!

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 16:44

You see, now this? This we don’t just like… We LOVE IT! Following in the footsteps of their stellar collector’s releases of Planet of the Apes and Predator 3D, 20th Century Fox has just unveiled a very special collector’s edition for their release of “The Strain” Season 1.

Look for it in stores on June 9th.

From the Press Release:
Experience the first season of TV’s hottest, most blood-curdling sci-fi series – from Executive Producers/Writers Guillermo Del Toro, Carlton Cuse and Chuck Hogan – along with behind-the-scenes special features that explore the story’s journey from bestselling novel to hit show.

When a freak virus kills most of the passengers on an airplane, Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), head of the Center for Disease Control’s “Canary Team,” is immediately called to the scene. The only way to stop the terrifying disease is to face its source – a sinister supernatural creature whose evil intent seems more powerful than any force on Earth – in this chilling series that also stars Mía Maestro, David Bradley and Sean Astin.

Special Features

  • In the Beginning
  • A Novel Approach
  • He Is Here
  • Setrakian’s Lair
  • Audio Commentary on Select Episodes
  • Deleted Scenes

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Categories: Horror News

James Gunn and Greg McLean Team for The Belco Experiment

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 16:34

Want to talk about a good reason to get really excited? This is it! James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Super, Slither, Dawn of the Dead) just announced via his Facebook page that he’s completed a script for Wolf Creek director, Greg McLean. Read on for details.

From James Gunn of Facebook:
I’m incredibly excited to announce that we’re commencing production on a new film, The Belco Experiment, from my own script. The story revolves around the American Belco company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day, and its employees are ordered to kill each other or be killed themselves. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belco employee.

The film will be directed by Greg McLean, who directed the Wolf Creek films, and it will be produced by myself, and Peter Safran, who produced Annabelle and The Conjuring. MGM will be financing. We’re in pre-production now and will be shooting in Bogota, Colombia in early June of this year.

I cannot tell you how passionate and excited I am about this project! It’s a script I wrote a few years ago, for which I have always had a deep love. Believe it or not, it’s a film that first came to me in a dream, and I woke up and wrote the first draft in a two-week fugue state binge.

One of the first people to ever read the script, Jonathan Glickman, carried it around with him for years until becoming President of MGM, when he approached Peter Safran and I about financing it. I was all for it, providing two things: 1) Although it has the heart and humor my films have all had, it is also the most intense and uncompromising script I’ve ever written. It would need to stay true to that. 2) I’d only do it if we found the right director – which, in some ways, I thought was unlikely.

Jon promised we’d make the film with full integrity – and, so far, MGM has – awesomely – been true to their word. And, after a long, concentrated search for a director we came to Greg McLean. Greg shares my philosophy about honesty in film, and his naturalistic style lends itself to Belco. The past few weeks we’ve spent working together have been a joy – I don’t know if I’ve ever related to another filmmaker’s sense of aesthetics and love of film more.

Say tuned for more as it comes!

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Categories: Horror News

What’s The Deal in These Images and Preview of Bates Motel Episode 3.05?

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 15:06

A small batch of images from and a preview of Episode 3.05 of “Bates Motel,” entitled “The Deal,” have arrived; and if you don’t want Mother mad at you, you better check ‘em all out right now!

Related Story:  Bates Motel: Recap of Episode 3.04 – Unbreakable

“Bates Motel” Episode 3.05 – “The Deal” (airs 4/6/15)
When Norma finds herself in a rare position of power, she appeals to Romero for guidance. Norman and Dylan both come undone at the fallout of a secret.  And Caleb considers an offer made to him by a surprising source.

For more info visit “Bates Motel” on AEtv.com, “like” “Bates Motel” on Facebook, and stop by “Bates Motel” on Instagram.

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Categories: Horror News