On tap right now we have an exclusive clip from Eli Morgan Gesner’s Condemned. Look for the film in limited theaters and on Digital HD November 13, 2015. VOD will follow on January 5, 2016.
The film stars Ronen Rubinstein, Jon Abrahams, Dylan Penn, Lydia Hearst, Honor Titus, and Genevieve Hudson-Price.
Fed up with her parents’ bickering, poor-little-rich-girl Maya (Dylan Penn) moves in with her boyfriend, who is squatting in an old, condemned building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. With neighbors that are meth heads, junkies, and degenerates, this depraved hell hole is even more toxic than it appears: After a virus born from their combined noxious waste and garbage infects the building’s residents, one by one, they succumb to a terrifying pathogen that turns them into bloodthirsty, rampaging killers and transforms their building into a savage slaughterhouse.
Can’t get enough of The Walking Dead, be it in comics, video games, or on TV? Well, Scopely has partnered with Wattpad to reveal an exclusive, original story based on the rich world of The Walking Dead: Road to Survival mobile game for more than 40 million fans worldwide — and get them involved in telling the final chapter of the saga.
The four-part story “Fork in the Road” is written by Jay Bonansinga, who co-authored The Walking Dead graphic novels alongside Robert Kirkman and penned the scripts for The Walking Dead: Road to Survival mobile game from Scopely and Kirkman’s company Skybound.
The first two chapters are available now on Wattpad, a free app that lets people discover and share stories about the things they love, including original works by well-known authors. The story is being released one chapter at a time, with the central theme surrounding life-or-death choices and paths not taken.
When the last chapter is released, members of the Wattpad community will have a chance to submit their own stories for a chance to be included in an actual in-game storyline in The Walking Dead: Road to Survival.
Jay Bonansinga states, “Expanding and adapting The Walking Dead universe with Scopely for The Walking Dead: Road to Survival has been a unique and exciting way to bring these fan-favorite characters to life beyond the page. I can’t wait for Wattpad’s readers and fans of the series to get their hands on the brand new original chapters and share their own stories.”
The Walking Dead: Road to Survival is the first free-to-play mobile game based on the wildly popular graphic novels and was released by Scopely in partnership with Robert Kirkman and his company Skybound Entertainment in September 2015. The game was downloaded more than 4 million times during its first week and marks the 6th consecutive #1 game for Scopely.
“Fork in the Road” Synopsis:
Set in the savage, primordial world of The Walking Dead, the new original short story “Fork in the Road” by Jay Bonansinga, the New York Times bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion, tells the tale of one person’s epic quest to escape their fate in Alexandria, Virginia. The only problem is that nobody leaves the ranks of the violent gang known as the Saviors and lives to tell about it. The struggle to flee the clutches of this group and find peace among the ruins of northern Maryland leads the reader directly into the heart of darkness. And like most stories set in this terrifying world, things in the end are not at all what they seem.
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We’re big fans of British horror around these parts so any time a new one comes along, we sit up and pay attention. Next up from across the pond, The House of Screaming Death.
The anthology features segments directed by Troy Dennison, Rebecca Harris-Smith, David Hastings, Alex Bourne, and Kaush Patel.
Echoing the distinctive and much celebrated great British Gothic horror films of the 1960-70s, The House of Screaming Death will uphold their successful traditions with four macabre tales of terror, all told by the mysterious Architect. Each horrific segment delves into explicit corners of the supernatural, summoning such damned creations as the ghostly Lady in Grey, stories of witchcraft most foul, vampirism, and the occult.
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Starring Laura Lewis, Brandon Battle
Directed by Michael Guerra
One can look to the future of horror and wish for the best, and with a budding crop of upcoming filmmakers at the ready, it looks as if the genre is poised to stand tall for many years to come, regardless of the industry’s sometimes denial of the overall product.
Film student Michael Guerra recently submitted his 9-minute short I (Heart) a Serial Killer to us here at Dread Central for review in the hopes that we’d give it a look and dissect it with both kindness and critique. Now, I’m no film expert by any fashion, but I’ve consumed enough horror over the course of my 42 years to at least grab a foothold on what potentially could sink or swim, and after checking out his presentation, I can surmise that he’s on the right track, but some elbow grease is needed to buff out the rough spots.
In this quickie, we’re introduced to a young girl who is spending her Halloween night in front of the TV watching some classic scare-shows, and it’s not long before she is the victim of an abduction.
From the short’s familiar opening strains of “Mr. Sandman,” we’re left to wonder exactly what we’ll be in store for, and the backstory of a bullied child who exhibits violent tendencies is a grim peek into what may be a dark future. The 9-minute film tussles with the notion that a damaged young soul could potentially turn into a distraught individual later on in life and the possibility that those maligned feelings might not only be contained to the predator, but could extend to the prey as well.
With all the looks of a film student’s presentation, it’s got its wrinkles and clunks from here to there, but it’s the implied course of action that makes this an interesting watch. Don’t read too heavily into the acting or effects, but stick to the meaning of what’s being shown to you, and this will come off as mildly entertaining. Worth a watch if you have the time.
On December 1st Tor Books and Paizo are releasing Pathfinder Tales: Bloodbound, the first novel from Pathfinder RPG co-creator and noted game designer F. Wesley Schneider. It’s a dark fantasy adventure of murder, intrigue, and secrets best left buried, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder role-playing game; and we have more details for you here.
Since its launch in 2008, Pathfinder has topped RPG sales charts for several years running and has grown to become one of the most important and best-loved tabletop RPGs in the world. In 2010 the “Pathfinder Tales” novel line was launched by the game’s publisher, Paizo, and has included more than 20 exciting fantasy novels by Tim Pratt, Michael A. Stackpole, Ed Greenwood, James L. Sutter, Howard Andrew Jones, and Liane Merciel, among others. Since then, Pathfinder has been translated into five languages, released a wildly popular card game, and inspired computer games, comic books, audio dramas, gaming figurines, and toys.
As for Schneider, he has published countless gaming products for both Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons and is a former assistant editor of Dragon magazine. Bloodbound is his first novel.
Fans of the DragonAge, Dragonlance, and Forgotten Realms series will be swept up in this brand new novel set in the highly acclaimed world of Pathfinder.
Pathfinder Tales: Bloodbound follows the story of Larsa, a dhampir—half-vampire, half-human. In the gritty streets and haunted moors of Gothic Ustalav, she’s an agent for the royal spymaster, keeping peace between the capital’s secret vampire population and its huddled human masses. Yet, when a noblewoman’s entire house is massacred by vampiric invaders, Larsa is drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that will reveal far more about her own heritage than she ever wanted to know.
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Of course the first official trailer for Peter Herro’s WTF! is of the red band variety, and you can check it out right here. Produced by Kyle Zingler and executive produced by Jody Wheeler and Steve Parker, WTF! is expected to be released in 2016.
Lensed around Los Angeles this past summer, WTF! follows a survivor of a mass killing on a trip with six close friends, when her nightmare threatens to begin again.
Herro directed from a script he co-wrote with Christopher Centanni and Adam Buchalter. Callie Ott (The Horror), Sarah Agor (Hatchet II, VH1’s “Scream Queens”), Andrea Hunt, Ben Norris, Johnny James Fiore, Nick Reilly, and Adam Foster star in the Cthulhu Crush Productions film as the unfortunate group of friends.
Three years ago, 22-year-old girl-next-door Rachel (Ott) barely survived a brutal massacre that left her friends in pieces. Time has passed, and Rachel has moved on, but unfortunately history has a way of repeating itself. Her close friends are spending Spring Break in a secluded house in the woods, and they have cordially invited her to join. Little does she realize that another bloodbath will be showing up as a plus one. Once Rachel and her friends arrive at the cabin, the partying, sex, and terror begins.
More casting news is here for for Matt Reeves’ War for the Planet of the Apes, as Deadline is reporting that “The Flash’s” Chad Rook (pictured) will be playing one of the human soldiers under the command of Woody Harrelson’s character.
Along with Harrelson, the film also stars Steve Zahn, Sara Canning, Judy Greer, Chad Rood, Terry Notary, Amiah Miller, Aleks Paunovic, and Gabriel Chavarria. Andy Serkis returns as Caesar.
Matt Reeves, who directed 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is returning to helm from a script by Mark Bomback. Chernin Entertainment, Dylan Clark, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver are producing the film, shooting in Vancouver.
War for the Planet of the Apes will be released on July 14, 2017.
The post The Flash Villain Enlists for the War for the Planet of the Apes appeared first on Dread Central.
Starring Nicholas Braun, Mackenzie Davis, Josh Fadem, Vanessa Hudgens, Denis Leary
Directed by Rob Pickering
Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (review) wasn’t the only horror comedy unceremoniously dumped into theaters this past Halloween weekend. After languishing in limbo for some time now, Sony finally decided at the last minute to roll out Freaks of Nature onto about 100 or so screens with little fanfare.
Originally titled Kitchen Sink, no doubt a reference to the “Adult Swim” anything goes nature of the premise, a better title for this unfocused genre comedy might have been Clusterfuck since that’s a more accurate description of what’s in store for viewers. Freaks of Nature hits the ground running with no setup to this world of man and monsters living side-by-side, leaving the viewer to figure out what little there is to figure out. Not that specifics matters much since the plot has that “making it up as they go along, throw something against the wall and hope it sticks” quality.
The aliens can’t see you if you’re wearing clothes. Why? Because nudity alone is supposed to be inherently funny, I suppose?
Too much of the humor consists of long-winded diatribes that confuse yelling lines with being funny and assumes just saying the most irreverent thing possible in the situation will automatically induce laughter. You can practically see the flop sweat trickling down Denis Leary’s wooly cheeks as he struggles to make his usual aggressively above-it-all attitude work with the material he’s been given.
Welcome to Dillford, Ohio. Humans, vampires, and zombies live side-by-side and attend school together as if there’s nothing really all that out of the ordinary about it. Dillford is also the home of the “riblet,” a hugely popular meat sandwich product that factors into the climax in the stupidest way possible. Stupid… and not in a good way.
Dorky baseball pitcher Dag has the hots for his sexy pothead neighbor, Lorelei, too hormonally charged to realize she only uses him as nothing more than her “weed locker” to hide her stash from her parents. Dag’s hippie parents warn him that he will soon experience a big change, a twist you will see coming from many miles away and one that takes so long to pay off, I began to wonder if they’d forgotten about it.
Dag used to be good friends with school nerd Ned until he decided he wanted to try to be cooler. Ned now finds himself a bullied loner constantly living in the shadow of his jock older brother, whose promising baseball career is all their idiot parents care about. When Ned tells his father he wants to go to college to become an engineer, Dad replies, “How many times have I told you: Nobody rides trains anymore.” That’s one of the better jokes.
Ned befriends a cute zombie girl and decides the walking dead’s perpetual numbness is what he needs to deal with his own crippling emotional pain. Even zombified, his smarts quickly make him the de facto leader of the zombies. His brainiac know-how will also be required to help save the town when aliens attack, an odd quirk of zombies in this world being that the longer they go without eating brains, the smarter they become. The rule only seems to apply to Ned, though.
Mackenzie Davis (“Halt and Catch Fire”) proves to be the movie’s standout as Petra, a Bella Swan-esque teenage girl being seduced by the hottest vampire in school. One thing Freaks of Nature gets right is the true nature of what a high school populated by vampires would really be like. They’re arrogant pricks that seduce lovelorn teenage girls and use their powers to bully mortals. Sounds about right.
Petra’s story arc can easily be construed as a metaphor for naive teenage girls falling prey to romantic advances of sexual predators that take their virtue, dump them as soon as they get what they want, and leave them with a permanent STD. Though, in this instance, the STD is vampirism. Davis is so good in her role that I kind of wish the whole movie had been a Twilight riff about her using her newfound bloodsucking powers to gain revenge against the Edward Cullen-esque vampire that preyed upon her.
When an alien mothership parks itself over the town, the humans for whatever reason instantly distrust the vampires because, I guess, they naturally assume vampires are supposed to make first contact with extraterrestrials. Beats me. Equally stupid and prejudiced, the vampires get riled up, believing the humans have somehow summoned forth the aliens to destroy their kind. The mindless zombies just want to know why their daily delivery of brain-in-a-sardine-can rations haven’t arrived. This leads to a gory three-way battle royale between the human/vampire/zombie factions that gets interrupted when the aliens decide to launch their attack.
The calamity brings together human Dag, vamp Petra, and zombie Ned, forcing them to put aside their differences and, in the case of Petra and Ned, overcome their monstrous hunger, to figure out what the aliens want and how to stop them. It’s also at this point that Freaks of Nature takes an unexpected turn into John Hughes territory and finds some actual traction. The chemistry between the three leads as they bond almost salvages what had been up until this point a messy mash-up comedy with far more misses than hits.
That goodwill gets scuttled during the simultaneously lazy and stupid climax when we learn the moronic motivations behind the alien invasion, and far too many of the jokes simply rely on someone dropping a version of the f-bomb as the punchline.
If you get Werner Herzog to provide the voice of the lead alien and random profanities are the best lines you can provide him, talk about a wasted opportunity.
Herzog isn’t alone. Bob Odenkirk and Joan Cusack are criminally wasted as Dag’s dippy parents. Patton Oswalt does another variation of the basement-dwelling, momma’s boy nerd he’s done many times before. Keegan-Michael Key plays yet another version of his high-strung schoolteacher character, except in this case he’s also a vampire and gets fewer laughs. Much of what little marketing there has been for the movie would lead you to believe Vanessa Hudgens has a larger role than she does. She’s barely in it, and when she is, all she does is look gorgeous and play stoned.
Freaks of Nature scores a few laughs here and there and occasionally threatens to turn into an actual movie, but it never lives up to the outlandishness of its own setup. If not for the strength of the three leads, I’d be able to write it off completely. Instead I can only recommend it as a mild diversion to kill some time with when it arrives on DVD/VOD, which is where it probably should have debuted to begin with.
But it’s still better than Vampires Suck. That has to count for something, right? Right?
Seriously… some things should be left alone. I mean, why rouse something that can and will lead to your imminent demise? Because we enjoy watching your stupidity, that’s why! Darwin rules!
Below you’ll find the sales trailer for the new horror flick Reclusion. Nicholas Bianchi penned the psychological horror thriller, and Norman Lesperance directs. Chelsea Gilligan, Lauren Maher, and Jason Faunt star.
Concourse Film Trade is repping the project at this year’s AFM.
Tim has lived as a shut-in for years. When a young couple attempts to help re-socialize their recluse neighbor, they unleash a sinister force that preys upon the people who get close to him.
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We may never know what really happened that 1997 evening when millions of Phoenix, Arizona, residents all reported a UFO flying over their city, but the new trailer for The Phoenix Incident makes it seem pretty damned scary!
From the Press Release:
Concourse Film Trade, a division of the newly minted entertainment group Concourse Media, has closed a multiplatform North American distribution deal with XLrator Media for the fact-based UFO conspiracy thriller THE PHOENIX INCIDENT, which will include an event-style theatrical release. Concourse Media partners Matthew Shreder and James Andrew Felts and XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon announced the deal today.
Blurring the lines of fiction and reality, THE PHOENIX INCIDENT is based on the largest UFO sighting in North American history, known as the Phoenix Lights, which occurred on March 13, 1997, in Phoenix, Arizona, where thousands of people, including then-state senator John McCain, claimed to have simultaneously witnessed unexplainable lights in the night sky. The fact-based sci-fi thriller revolves around a military conspiracy and the controversial missing persons case surrounding the infamous event.
The phenomenon hit close to home for director Keith Arem, an Arizona native, who wrote and directed the sci-fi thriller about four unsolved missing persons cases connected to the Phoenix phenomenon using whistleblower testimony, recovered military footage, and eyewitness accounts to explore the U.S. military’s alleged engagement of alien spacecrafts that night.
While THE PHOENIX INCIDENT marks his feature directorial debut, Arem has spent two decades in video games as the talent director for AAA franchise hits such as Call of Duty, Saints Row, Ghost Recon, Spider-Man, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Persona, Prince of Persia, and Rainbow Six.
“We are thrilled to partner with the dynamic team at XLrator Media,” said Shreder and Felts. “As the leading distributor for top independent genre content, XLrator is the perfect fit to launch this property.”
The cast features some of the gaming industry’s biggest stars, including Troy Baker (The Last of Us, BioShock Infinite, Batman: Arkham City)and Yuri Lowenthal (Prince of Persia, Sunset Overdrive, Dragon Age, Castlevania), as well as Jamie Tisdale (“From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series”).
Arem produced the film with Ash Sarohia and Adam Lawson for their PCB Entertainment banner. The release date has not yet been set.
The deal was negotiated by XLrator Media’s Barry Gordon with Concourse principals Matthew Shreder and Andrew Felts. Concourse is handling worldwide sales for the film.
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With Halloween approaching, the most common phrase we’ll all be hearing will be “Trick or Treat”. We often forget about the “trick” part of the phrase, which is a (generally idle) threat to any Halloween Grinches out there that failure to deliver a treat will result in some pranks on them.
Often coinciding with Halloween is an unofficial holiday known as “Mischief Night.” On this night, kids will play pranks all over their neighborhoods, including toilet papering yards and egging cars. There have even been a couple recent horror movies named after Mischief Night. Pranks are tied in with Halloween almost as much as candy and horror movies, and so many horror movies have involved pranks. Sounds like a great idea for a list!
Here are 10 horror movies that involved pranks gone wrong!
1) The Burning
What better location for some pranks than summer camp? With a bunch of adolescent boys running around, there’s sure to be plenty of fooling around. Of course, it’s all fun and games until some kids set the camp janitor on fire! Of course, ol’ Cropsey isn’t just going to sit back and do nothing after a prank involving a skull with candles inside it causes him to catch fire. Those kids on the raft sure learned that the hard way.
2) April Fool’s Day
This entry is a bit unfair because of the ending, but you can’t have a “pranks in horror movies” list and not include the movie that took the whole prank idea all the way to the end. Some kids head to their friend’s private island, where there are not only pranks but also kills! The ending is the ultimate prank on the audience, but also kind of a cop-out. Still one of the more entertaining 80s slashers!
3) Hell Night
A tried and true formula: You have to spend the night in the local haunted house. For the pledges of Alpha Sigma Rho, that’s their goal if they want in the fraternity! Sounds easy enough, right? Well, unfortunately for them, the frat members have rigged Garth Manor with all kinds of scares and pranks. Also, there are two deformed brothers killing everyone who goes in there. Bummer! Fun fact: This was the last movie produced by Compass International Pictures, which also produced Halloween.
4) Terror Train
If Jamie Lee Curtis circa 1980 lured me into a room and started to seduce me, I’d probably have been suckered into a prank too. That’s what happens to the nerdy Kenny in Terror Train. Of course, the whole thing is a big prank. There’s actually a corpse in the bed, and poor Kenny winds up in a mental hospital. In classic slasher fashion, Kenny comes back during a New Year’s train ride, and he’s not there to see David Copperfield’s act.
5) The House on Sorority Row
Seeing a theme here? Slashers in the 80’s were big on pranks gone wrong. In this movie, some crazy sorority girls are up to some graduation week shenanigans. What better way to celebrate their commencement than by forcing their house mother to retrieve her cane from the pool at gunpoint? Unfortunately for Mrs. Slater, the gun is loaded, and she winds up dead at the bottom of the pool. Oh well, the party must go on, even if everyone gets killed during it.
6) Urban Legend
In this cheesetastic 90’s slasher, a group of college students find themselves being terrorized by a serial killer basing his kills off of urban legends. This movie had a great cast, including Brad Dourif, Robert Englund, Jared Leto, and Joshua Jackson, who is this slasher’s resident “practical joker.” In the movie’s more memorable scene, his character fools a whole classroom into thinking his stomach exploded from eating Pop Rocks with soda. What a trickster.
7) The Toxic Avenger
Poor Melvin, the little nerd just gets picked on so badly. He even suffers what is easily the most ridiculous prank on our list, being tricked into wearing a pink tutu and kissing a sheep. Yikes. To add insult to injury, he is chased out a window and falls into a vat of toxic waste. Things work out all right for Melvin, though. The toxic waste transforms him into The Toxic Avenger, so it’s not all bad!
8) Joy Ride
Paul Walker didn’t just drive Toyota Supras and race Vin Diesel; he also drove a Chrysler Newport with Steve Zahn. The trouble starts when they put a CB radio in the car and start catfishing a truck driver, pretending to be “Candy Cane.” The trucker, known only as his handle “Rusty Nails,” gets fooled into meeting with a nonexistent woman, but he clearly can’t take a joke. In a movie reminiscent of Spielberg’s Duel, he terrorizes the two pranksters and prevented plenty of people from messing around with CB radios. Fun Fact #2: This was written by Star Wars VII‘s J.J. Abrams.
9) Slaughter High
This movie features some of the more brutal pranks on this list, and the final one is like a Rube Goldberg device. Marty is tricked into getting naked by a pretty classmate and then is exposed to a group of students who tease him, poke him with a javelin, shock him, and then dunk him in a toilet! Oh, but they’re not finished. Later, they give Marty a joint laced with poison and rig his chemistry experiment to explode when he runs away to vomit. When the group’s prank works, Marty starts a fire, then bumps a shelf, which then causes a jug of acid to fall and break, disfiguring Marty. Crazy! Once again, Marty returns to take revenge on those jerks. Fun Fact #3: Harry Manfredini, who scored many of the Friday the 13th movies, also scored this film.
We all knew that weird, quiet girl in school. Even if she was a bit odd, dousing her in pig’s blood in front of the entire school on prom night is just going way too far. You can’t blame her for losing it after that. Carrie is one of the greatest horror movies ever made, and the sequence of the pig’s blood prank, followed by her vengeful wrath, is one of the most memorable in horror history.
Starring Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Joey Morgan, Sarah Dumont, David Koechner
Directed by Christopher Landon
Don’t be fooled by the title, fiends. Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is anything but a kids’ film. In fact, unless they’re cool and not whiney little scaredy-cats, we’d advise that you keep your kids far, far away from it. What we have here is a celebration of the crass that plays like one of the funniest and longest dirty jokes you’ll ever enjoy! The perfect treat for adults looking to indulge in some tricks this Halloween.
Scouts Guide is the tale of three best friends, Ben (Sheridan), Carter (Miller), and Augie (Morgan), who find themselves in the midst of a zombie outbreak in their small town and have more than just a little in common with the characters in Dan O’Bannon’s The Return of the Living Dead. Our trio, along with Denise (Dumont), the local strip-club’s cocktail waitress, are taxed with saving mankind from the undead scourge that looks to obliterate the living… one bite at a time.
Though it takes a little while to find its footing and get cooking, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is guaranteed one of the best times you’ll have this Halloween. We’re talking wall-to-wall laughs, thrills, and chills that are nothing short of being gloriously naughty and bat-shit crazy! Director Christopher Landon (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) delivers an expertly crafted horror comedy that delivers on every level and then some.
The characters are fully fleshed out and likable, the zombies are of the slow-moving and rotting variety, and some of the gore gags are surprisingly fresh and original. That’s not an easy task considering we live in a time in which AMC’s “The Walking Dead” delivers some of the best undead content ever put to the screen. For you older gamers out there, there’s even a neat little homage to the video game Zombies Ate My Neighbors that had me literally in tears and laughing out loud.
Yeah, more of this please! Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse earns a merit badge for being one hell of a bloody good time! When you’re done trick or treating, get your ass to the theater and enjoy every raunchy second of it!
Today marks the end of our “Seasonal Treats” series, which we hope you’ve been enjoying as we gear up for Halloween. To close things out, we have the two-minute Halloween-inspired short film Death Master’s House from brothers Joe and Lloyd Stas.
Written, directed, and edited by the Stas brothers, the film stars Rowan Stas, Bob Stas, Beat Billson, Tom Stas, Simon Curd, Lloyd Stas, and Tom Crabb. Makeup is by Jade Louise.
Lloyd told us, “The film was shot in what is referred to locally as ‘The Haunted Forest.’ Most people know it as Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood. My brother Joe and I love Halloween so we decided to film a short about a kid obsessed with the holiday.”
Joe adds, “The short is based on a true story from our childhood. We did change the ending, though, as it wasn’t quite so absurd in real life. We grew up in a small place called Ramsey on the Isle of Man (between England and Ireland). We both believed that we would ‘win’ Halloween by trick or treating every house in our town; there was one house that we were always too scared to visit, however, as there was a rumor that the owner would shoot kids.”
For more info and a peek behind the scenes, visit the Holomax production blog.
Whitby dreams of becoming the Halloween King. However, in order to trick or treat his way to the crown, he needs to knock on DEATH MASTER’S HOUSE…
The post Seasonal Treats Day 5: Watch Joe and Lloyd Stas’ Death Master’s House appeared first on Dread Central.
From October 23-25, we spent three days in the comfy environs of Sheffield’s Showroom Cinema for the city’s annual fear fest, Celluloid Screams. On tap for you right now is a selection of reviews, images and videos straight from the fest – including a look at the utterly fantastic closing performance by Italian legends Goblin – for your ocular enjoyment. Get stuck in!
A number of the films screened at this year’s fest have already been covered by us throughout the year. You can find links to those reviews below. For the others, check out the capsule reviews that follow.
YAKUZA APOCALYPSE (2015)
Directed by Takashi Miike
Starring Yayan Ruhian, Rirî Furankî, Hayato Ichihara, Mio Yûki
Takashi Miike’s yakuza vampire horror/action flick is, as expected, utterly bonkers. When his boss, the good-natured head of the local yakuza gang (who also happens to be a vampire), is double-crossed and murdered, an up-and-coming enforcer is given the gift of vampirism and decides to use it to exact revenge.
Things get more complicated, however, when the stakes (no pun intended) are revealed to be much higher than expected – including the appearance of a coffin-bearing vampire hunter, a part-turtle Kappa demon and the most dangerous entity that the world has ever known… a terrorist dressed in a full-body frog costume.
Yakuza Apocalypse defies description – but it’s packed full of enough martial arts action, violence, comedy and outright bizarre behaviour to make it worth a spin despite a dragging second act. You’ve never seen anything like it.
3 out of 5
EXCESS FLESH (2015)
Directed by Patrick Kennelly
Starring Bethany Orr, Mary Loveless, Wes McGee
Frumpy, jobless Jill is a young woman with an eating problem. Between binging and purging on a regular basis, she’s also enviously obsessed with her alluring fashion hotshot roommate, Jennifer. Jill clearly has issues far beyond this dysfunctional relationship, and Jennifer soon bears the brunt of them when she’s imprisoned in the apartment and brutalised by her unhinged friend.
Whilst at the core a respectable attempt at deconstructing self-hatred (one particular scene involving swathes of macaroni cheese is a powerful highlight), Excess Flesh as a whole is unfortunately devoid of empathy, slovenly paced and far too reliant on the hope that displays of slow-mo gluttony will make you queasy. It simply doesn’t have quite as much of worth to say as it appears to think it does.
2 out of 5
THE WITCH (2015)
Directed by Robert Eggers
Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie
In 1600s New England, puritanical patriarch William and his family are banished from their community due to William’s highly vocal condemnation of what he believes to be a lacklustre approach to the word of scripture amongst the townsfolk.
Building a new homestead in a clearing on the outskirts of a forest, the family raise livestock and farm their own crops. Life seems good, but when their baby son disappears – apparently abducted and murdered by a witch living in the woods – and their corn crops wither, they soon turn against each other in a superstitious frenzy.
Beautiful to look at, with a remarkable sense of place and steeped in inescapable dread, The Witch delivers hopelessness with searing authenticity. Whether through supernatural influence, willing religious sacrifice or simple personality conflict, the fates of this family are lifted completely out of their own individual hands on a trip down a path that can only end in damnation.
Central performances are excellent across the board, with an especially powerful turn by Ralph Ineson as William and Anya Taylor-Joy as daughter Thomasin, who is forced to take the lion’s share of grief-stricken backlash after an innocent joke regarding witchcraft comes back to bite her in the worst possible manner.
The supernatural and the real are juggled and blended with aplomb by director Robert Eggers throughout what is a mesmerising cinematic feast. The finale falls somewhat flat, but it’s a tiny sliver of complaint for what is sure to be regarded as one of the best true horror films of the decade. It’s a bleak, darkly magical experience that shouldn’t be missed.
4-1/2 out of 5
Directed by Mickey Keating
Starring Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Young, Larry Fessenden
Hired to housesit an imposing, grand property by its wealthy owner, the eponymous protagonist of Darling finds herself descending into a very personal hell following the discovery of the building’s chequered history of suicide, a locked door at the end of hall that she is forbidden to open and esoteric scrawling on her bedside table that appears to be related to demon worship.
Director Mickey Keating’s elegant black and white visuals fuel a compelling opening – graceful lighting, strong composition and measured movement working in tandem to create a promising atmosphere that grips with indisputable foreboding.
It’s all undeniably Polanski, and pleasingly so… but very quickly, Darling takes a straight dive off the balcony as its true construction comes to the fore. A mishmash of art-house experimentation by way of Polanski and Lynch – but lacking the grace of either – and any number of ill-considered film school student projects, sound and visuals soon become too shrill, overwrought and obnoxious to have any solid effect other than to annoy.
An array of sudden musical stingers attempt to jolt through an overbearing score that is doggedly determined to convince you to be afraid, but fails in much the same way that the chainsaw frenzy editing fails in obvious, cynical attempts to shock.
Much too forthright (and forced) in its attempts to conjure a chilling sensory experience, Darling is, instead, a snooze-inducing discordant mess which against all of the wishes of its over-eager score and constant smash cut visual segues makes a prime antidote for insomnia – the sole redeeming quality being a enthralling turn by lead actress Lauren Ashley Carter, whose captivating gravitas deserves a much better platform than this.
1 out of 5
THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ (2015)
Directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Starring Albert Carbó, Alba Ribas, Bernat Saumell
Following the sudden death of superstar actress Anna Fritz, her body is secreted away to a hospital morgue, hidden from the prying eyes of the public. There, the worker in charge of the corpse decides to snap a picture with his phone and send it to a couple of his friends.
Unable to resist the opportunity to take a peek in the flesh, said friends turn up for their chance to get face-to-face with an (albeit deceased) celebrity. Things quickly turn dark, however, when simply looking isn’t enough for these coked-up chaps. After all, who is it hurting when she’s dead?
With its critical observations of celebrity worship being surface level at best, The Corpse of Anna Fritz struggles to rise beyond a serviceable thriller. Featuring a perverse and topical setup and enough tense sequences to get by, it nevertheless routinely misses chances at more twisted opportunities – opting to play it safe despite an initially ballsy, promisingly unpalatable direction.
2-1/2 out of 5
Alongside the features on show, Celluloid Screams also included a hefty bunch of short films and its annual bookend shorts — this year’s theme being “60 Second Remakes.” Here’s a peek at one of the funniest bookend entries, and you can check out the rest at the Celluloid Screams YouTube channel.
Shorts to look out for include Kevin McTurk’s fabulous puppet show The Mill at Calder’s End, a chilling tale of esoteric horror rendered almost entirely in miniature; Jason Kupfer’s hilarious Invaders — in which an attempted home invasion goes incredibly wrong for two indecisive, bumbling criminals; and Nick DenBoer & Dave Foss’ utterly indescribable The Chickening, which takes footage from Stanley Kubrick’s classic The Shining and applies a level of digital manipulation that sees it transformed into a chicken-filled 5-minute slice of total insanity that has to be seen to be believed.
Winner of the Sheffield Hallam Award for Best Short Film at Celluloid Screams 2015 is director Melanie Light’s The Herd. Making an impactful point through its transplantation of dairy cows for human women, this is a grim and shocking piece of work that refuses to beat around the bush regarding its animal cruelty message.
It’s a pity, however, that the film’s determination to see itself felt results in a thoroughly shot foot when it labours the point beyond all reason throughout two separate credit reels — finally ending with an overly emotive, on-the-noise vegan diatribe splashed across the screen. Just in case you didn’t get it.
So, despite the film itself being well made and brutally uncompromising, the laboured agenda — much like rotten milk — leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Also on offer throughout the weekend were a couple of Oculus Rift-based horror experiences, a Celluloid Screams horror quiz (which, surprisingly, focused on the festival itself rather than genre trivia — something which places non-regular attendees at a disappointing disadvantage) and, of course, the amazing closing gala which saw composer Claudio Simonetti’s group Goblin take to the stage to perform a live score accompaniment to Dario Argento’s Profondo Rosso (Deep Red).
Following the screening, the band remained on stage for renditions of some of their greatest soundtracks, including Demons, Suspiria, Zombi/Dawn of the Dead and the absolutely rocking Tenebre. Catch some of the sights in our gallery below.
Goblin made for a superlative end to a strong year for Celluloid Screams. If festival organiser Robert Nevitt and co. can keep up this kind of exclusive treat for their audiences, the future of support for horror in Yorkshire looks very bright indeed. Bring on 2016.
The post Celluloid Screams 2015 Roundup: Reviews, Pics, Videos and More! appeared first on Dread Central.
Just a quick reminder, kids! XLrator’s episodic web series “24 Hour Rental” has hit Hulu and can be watched right now! Go ahead and binge some!
From the Press Release:
XLrator Media has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the edgy Canadian T.V. series 24 HOUR RENTAL from Reel One Entertainment. The 13 half-hour episodes will premiere October 30, 2015 exclusively on XLrator Media’s MACABRE Collection on Hulu before going to other platforms in 2016.
“It’s The Sopranos meets Clerks in this over-the-top gangster satire that pushes the boundaries of mainstream television and is tailor-made for binge watching” said XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon. “We are making 24 HOUR RENTAL available exclusively for digital distribution starting with Hulu, and will aggressively market the series to build a national audience of discerning fans who readily seek edgy smart programming on the top digital platforms.”
24 HOUR RENTAL was created by Frank Massa, directed by George Mihalka (My Bloody Valentine), co-written by Al Kratina and Mihalka, and stars Romano Orzari (Turbo Kid), Adam Kenneth Wilson, Aaron Berg, Vlasta Vrana, Mike Smith (Trailer Park Boys) and Michael Biehn (The Terminator). It was produced by Reel One Entertainment, Kim Yu and Neil Bregman and executive produced by Tom Berry, George Mihalka and Eris Salvatori.
“Reel One Entertainment is extremely excited to partner with XLrator Media to introduce 24 HOUR RENTAL to the U.S. market. The show’s unique mix of crime story and comedy should attract two diverse but strong fan bases,” said Tom Berry, CEO of Reel One Entertainment.
24 HOUR RENTAL follows former Mafia boss Tracker (Romano Orzari), who having barely avoided early retirement in a shallow grave, now operates a seedy video store. Struggling to stay afloat in the Internet age, Tracker runs his shop as a front for a host of petty crimes, from fencing jewelry to peddling dope cut with Drano and desperation, all in hopes of returning to power.
In addition to 24 HOUR RENTAL, the XLrator Media’s MACABRE collection on Hulu will add three new genre films in October: Poker Night starring Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, Titus Welliver and Beau Mirchoff, Feed the Gods and Strange Blood.
With all the talent behind “24 Hour Rental,” it’s definitely worth a look.
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Here at Dread Central we cannot think of a better way to wish you a happy Halloween than by opening up our bag of treats and offering you something cool that you’ll see HERE first. We pretty much guarantee this will be viral by the crack of dawn.
Below you’ll find a screen test shot over the summer for Halloween Returns. It’s been floating around on people’s phones in the L.A. horror community for a bit, but now we’re pulling back the curtain for you.
Related Story: Marcus Dunstan Talks Halloween Returns
The screen test is directed by John Michael Elfers (Finale), and it stars Kristina Klebe from Rob Zombie’s Halloween and none other than Dread Central writer and screenwriter of Yummy Meat: A Halloween Carol Sean Decker as Myers.
The post Halloween Returns Screen Test – See it HERE First! appeared first on Dread Central.
Fans of a proper Xenomorph filled new Alien film will have to wait a little longer than anticipated as director Neill Blomkamp took to Twitter to tell fans to sit tight because Prometheus 2 must come first. I mean you can’t have the chicken without the egg, right? Or is it the other way around? We’ve never been good at that game.
alien is kinda holding/ pending prometheus 2. So I shall be working on other things… as much as I love the xeno- and Lt ripley
— Иeill BlomkΛmp (@NeillBlomkamp) October 30, 2015
Regarding the sequel to Prometheus, Ridley Scott stated in an earlier interview that the film’s title will be Alien: Paradise Lost. Scott is prepping a whopping three (potential) sequels to pseudo-prequel Prometheus, the last of which will tie directly into the Alien universe.
Another new promo and poster for “The X-Files,” has arrived and it will be familiar territory to those who have long wondered what happened at Area 51! Dig it!
“The X-Files” returns to Fox with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, January 24, 2016 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT), following the NFC Championship Game, and continuing with its time period premiere on Monday, January 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their iconic roles as Agent Fox Mulder and Agent Dana Scully in a mixture of stand-alone investigative episodes and those that further the original show’s seminal mythology. In the opening episode, Mulder and Scully take on a case of a possible alien abductee.
They’re coming… are you ready?
The all-new episodes will feature appearances by guest stars including Joel McHale (“Community”), Robbie Amell (“The Flash”), Lauren Ambrose (“Dig,” “Six Feet Under”), Annabeth Gish (“The Bridge”), Annet Mahendru (“The Americans”), Rhys Darby (“Flight of the Conchords”), Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”), and William B. Davis, who reprises his role as “Cigarette Smoking Man.” Three of the episodes are written and directed by Chris Carter, with the remaining new episodes written and directed by original series veterans Glen Morgan, Darin Morgan, and James Wong.
“The X-Files” originally premiered in September 1993. Over the course of its nine-season run, the influential series went from breakout sci-fi favorite to massive global hit and became one of the most successful television dramas of all time. The show, which earned sixteen Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes, and a Peabody Award, follows FBI special agents Scully (Anderson) and Mulder (Duchovny) as they investigate unexplained cases – “X-Files” – for which the only answers involve paranormal phenomena. “The X-Files” is a production of 20th Century Fox Television in association with Ten Thirteen Productions. Carter is executive producer and creator of the series. Glen Morgan also serves as an executive producer.
The post The X-Files – New Poster and Teaser Straight From Roswell appeared first on Dread Central.
Sounding a bit like a cross between a movie and a video game, the immersive film Catatonic is now available to buy from the Vrse App Store for iPhone and iOS. It’s been available on other platforms, but now the Apple crowd can join in.
From the Press Release:
Creator Guy Shelmerdine’s virtual reality experience Catatonic is now available to download on the Vrse app for iPhone iOS. Catatonic is an immersive journey through an insane asylum in which the audience, bound to a wheelchair, undergoes a sensory-shocking horror experience. In addition to being available to download/stream on the Vrse app on Android, Samsung Gear, and 360 Desktop, Catatonic will be accessible for the first time on Vrse’s iPhone app where users can watch through the 360 Magic Window feature or full immersion through headsets like Google Cardboard. The release on iOS comes just in time for horror enthusiasts looking for a good scare on Halloween.
Catatonic was directed by Guy Shelmerdine, who for 20 years has been a force in advertising, music videos, commercials, and short films. The experience was captured on location at a derelict mental hospital in Pasadena, CA, with Vrse.works’ proprietary VR camera systems. Catatonic’s production value and cinematography bridge the stark terror of a horror film with the inescapable immersion of virtual reality. In the virtual world of Catatonic, audience members become mental patients.
“I wanted people to feel like they were climbing aboard a roller coaster headed straight into hell —a ride that they cannot escape from,” says Vrse.works creator Guy Shelmerdine. “Catatonic offers a glimpse of the overwhelming power of experiencing movies in VR. You are not a spectator. You are IN the film. I built the tension slowly, letting a deep sense of foreboding fill the viewer with dread before anything even happens. The film is a journey towards our darkest fears.”
The experience premiered at SXSW earlier this year as a full immersion sensory experience where the audience was ushered into a custom-built wheelchair by nurses in 1940s uniforms. The design of the chair resembles a padded cell: a unique blend of comfort and paralysis. In the virtual environment, the patient/audience is wheeled through a psychiatric wing, experiencing the full brunt of madness within. Along with the 360º 3D immersion of VR, the patient also experience vibrations emanating from a Buttkicker, built into the base of the wheelchair. The many moving parts of Catatonic build to a cacophony of terror and depravity one has to experience to believe.
Catatonic was written by Guy Shelmerdine and Edward Robles. It was produced by Patrick Milling Smith and Chris Milk of Vrse.works with cinematography by Sebastian Pfaffenbichler, editing by Cass Vanini of Work Editorial, and music by Drazen Bosnjak of Q Department. Stitching and post effects were achieved by MPC VR, and Animatronics were provided by Legacy FX.
For best experience, please be seated.
Catatonic is available to watch on the Vrse app (Apple iTunes, Google Play store, and Oculus Gear VR store). Catatonic can be viewed on iOS and Android Mobile Platforms with or without Google cardboard by downloading the Vrse app, or on Samsung phones with the Samsung Gear VR. It can also be viewed through the Vrse 360-degree desktop player.
Whenever someone sets out to find a huge batch of marijuana in a horror movie, you know things are going to get extremely nasty. It’s never a good time for stoners in genre movies, especially when the plant in question may have arrived on this planet from the far reaches of outer space. Intergalactic weed may sound ridiculously tempting, but you know it’s only a matter of time before several people die horrible deaths. It’s just the way the world works, I’m afraid. Welcome to reality.
Director Richard Cranor’s indie horror flick Star Leaf tackles such a heady concept. And as you can tell from the trailer embedded below, the characters in this tale are about to have a very nasty trip.
The official synopsis for the flick reads as follows:
A group of friends set off to find a secret forest of marijuana hidden deep in the Olympic Mountains. Legend has it the plants are of extra-terrestrial origin, and two ex-Marines among the group hope it will cure their PTSD born from hard combat in Afghanistan.
You can roll up a copy of Star Leaf when it sprouts on November 24. In the meantime, dive into a nifty stash of promotional material — including a pretty awesome trailer — below.
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