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Today on VOD: David Keating’s Cherry Tree

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 13:40

David Keating made one hell of an impressive debut on the horror scene with Hammer’s 2010 film Wake Wood, and the Irish filmmaker returns to the genre this year with Cherry Tree (review). Courtesy of Dark Sky Films, the new movie is now available for VOD rental.

Read on for everything you need to know about this one!

Directed by Keating, the film was written by Brendan McCarthy and stars Naomi Battrick, Patrick Gibson, Sam Hazeldine, and Leah McNamara.

Synopsis:
Faith’s world is turned upside down after she finds out that her beloved father is dying.  When the mysteriously alluring Sissy Young becomes her field hockey coach, Faith finds a compassionate spirit and much-needed mother figure.  Little does she know that Sissy is the head of a centuries-old witches’ coven that uses the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a secret ritual that restores life to the dead and dying. 

Offering to cure her father in exchange for a child, Sissy strikes a bargain with Faith, who suddenly finds herself pregnant with a baby that’s growing at an alarming rate. But with the clock to the child’s birth ticking down and the true intention of Sissy’s plans for humanity becoming more apparent, Faith and her father must stand together in order to save both their lives.

The post Today on VOD: David Keating’s Cherry Tree appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Win a Copy of Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension on Blu-ray

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 13:30

With Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension getting set to hit Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, and DVD, we figured that now was as good a time as any to give you guys a chance to score a copy on us. If only to complete your collection.

To enter for your chance to win, just send an email to contests@dreadcentral.com including your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS with “PATGD” in your subject line. We’ll take care of the rest.

This contest will end at 12:01 AM PT on January 11, 2016.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension Release Info:
“Packed with jump scares” (Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly) and “mile-a-minute frights and chills” (Steve Barton, Dread Central), the latest installment of the groundbreaking horror sensation, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION (review), is now available in the original theatrical version or an even more terrifying unrated version on Digital HD and On Demand from Paramount Home Media Distribution. The film arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, and DVD January 12, 2016.

When a new family moves into Katie and Kristi’s former house, they discover a mysterious video camera that reveals the presence of an ancient evil that begins to terrorize their lives. Now, with their young daughter’s soul in danger, they must fight back against this demonic threat before becoming its next victims.

The PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D Combo Packs include three versions of the film: the original theatrical release, the unrated cut, plus an unrated cut with an alternate ending not seen in theaters. The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack also includes the original theatrical release and a deleted scene in 3D.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION Blu-ray Combo Pack
The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The DVD in the Combo Pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The Combo Pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film, as well as the following:

Blu-ray Special Features:

  • Unrated version of feature film in high definition
  • Unrated version of feature film with alternate ending in high definition
  • Theatrical version of feature film in high definition
  • Lost Footage

DVD Special Features:

  • Theatrical version of feature film in standard definition

The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes all of the above, as well as a Blu-ray 3D disc with the theatrical version of the film and a deleted scene in 3D and high definition.

For more info “like” Paranormal Activity on Facebook, follow @TweetYourScream on Twitter, subscribe to Paranormal Activity on YouTube, and check out Paranormal Activity on Instagram.



The post Win a Copy of Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension on Blu-ray appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Serial Kaller Dials Up Terror with New Stills

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 13:00

A new slasher flick starring Debbie Rochon is on its way in just a couple of short weeks entitled Serial Kaller, and we have your first look stills right here! Check ’em out!

Wild Eye Releasing’s latest slasher flick, Serial Kaller, cuts to the bone of modern technology, where everyone broadcasts themselves through hashtags and filters. The lovely ladies of Babealicious TV flaunt what they have for all the world to see, but one deranged fan wants more than pixels. When he calls, the game changes forever.

Serial Kaller comes to DVD and VOD January 26th, featuring legendary Scream Queen Debbie Rochon (Return to Nuke ‘Em High, Phobia, The Theater Bizarre) and horror favorite Suzi Lorraine (Wrath of the Crows, Won Ton Baby).

A group of beautiful Internet models are trapped inside their recording studio and hunted down by a mentally unstable fan they insulted live on the air. Now the girls must join together to escape and face their murderous stalker or be picked off one by one. Beauty may only be skin deep, but revenge cuts to the bone.


The post Serial Kaller Dials Up Terror with New Stills appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Win a Copy of The Last Weekend: A Novel of Zombies, Booze, and Power Tools

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 12:30

Night Shade Books released Nick Mamatas’ The Last Weekend: A Novel of Zombies, Booze, and Power Tools earlier this week, and to celebrate, we have ten copies of the San Francisco-based book to give away.  Its dark humor and tongue-in-cheek self-awareness breathe new life into the end of the world.

Mamatas takes a high-powered drill to the lurching, groaning conventions of zombie dystopias and conspiracy thrillers, sparing no cliché about tortured artists, alcoholic “genius,” noir action heroes, survivalist dogma, or starry-eyed California dreaming. Starting in booze-soaked but clear-eyed cynicism and ending in gloriously uncozy catastrophe, The Last Weekend: A Novel of Zombies, Booze, and Power Tools is merciless, uncomfortably perceptive, and bleakly hilarious. It is a darkly satirical stand-alone zombie novel, which distinguishes itself from traditional zombie book heroes (soldiers, born leaders) with an apocalyptic San Francisco left to the bohemians, drunks, and loners. Fans of horror and dystopian fiction will relish this humorous, daring drama that deals with the complexity of human nature amidst chaos. Sometimes the best coping mechanism in an apocalypse is a stiff drink and a good book.

To enter for your chance to win, just send an email to contests@dreadcentral.com including your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS with “The Last Weekend” in your subject line. We’ll take care of the rest.

This contest will end at 12:01 AM PT on January 13, 2016.

Synopsis:
Vasilis “Billy” Kostopolos is a Bay Area Rust Belt refugee, failed sci-fi writer, successful barfly, and, since the exceptionally American zombie apocalypse, an accomplished “driller” of reanimated corpses. There aren’t many sane, well-adjusted human beings left in San Francisco, but facing the end of the world, Billy’s found his vocation trepanning the undead, peddling his one and only published short story, and drinking himself to death.

Things don’t stay static for long. Billy discovers that both his girlfriends turn out to be homicidal revolutionaries. He collides with a gang of Berkeley scientists gone berserk. Finally, the long awaited “Big One” shakes the foundation of San Francisco to its core, and the crumbled remains of City Hall can no longer hide the awful secret lurking deep in the basement. Can Billy unearth the truth behind America’s demise and San Francisco’s survival—and will he destroy what little’s left of it in the process? Is he legend, the last man, or just another sucker on the vine?


The post Win a Copy of The Last Weekend: A Novel of Zombies, Booze, and Power Tools appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Hilarious New Trailer for Gay-Themed Horror Film You’re Killing Me

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 12:00

Unless you’re Kim Davis, I guarantee that you’ll watch the trailer for the gay-themed horror You’re Killing Me with a big smile on your face. We reported last month that it had been picked up by distributor Wolfe after a successful run at LGBT film festivals, and now its release on a currently unspecified date later this year cannot come soon enough.

If your partner joked that they were a serial killer, you might find it funny for a while, right? But it won’t be so funny anymore when your friends start to disappear. So it will be interesting to see how our hero, George, plucks up the courage to approach his boyfriend, Joe, who may just not have been joking after all…

With an all-star cast including Shaughn Buchholz, Matthew McKelligon, Mindy Cohn, Drew Droege, Carolyn Hennesy, Edi Patterson, and Sam Pancake, You’re Killing Me will be released later this year. If the trailer isn’t enough, then follow it on Facebook and take a gander at the brilliant posters below.

Synopsis:
Directed by Jim Hansen (The Chloe Videos), this gay mixture of “Dexter” and “Gilmore Girls” blends witty banter, pop culture references, and good old-fashioned murder! George, a narcissistic wannabe internet star, starts dating Joe, a monotone serial killer. While all of George’s friends agree that Joe seems a bit strange, George claims his new beau “isn’t scary; he’s gorgeous.” But as George’s friends start to disappear, the remaining group decides to take matters into their own hands.

The post Hilarious New Trailer for Gay-Themed Horror Film You’re Killing Me appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Dungeonmaster, The / Eliminators (Blu-ray)

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 11:30

Starring Jeffrey Byron, Richard Moll, Andrew Prine, Denise Crosby

Directed by Peter Manoogian (segments of The Dungeonmaster also directed by David Allen, Charles Band, Ted Nicolau, John Carl Buechler, Steven Ford, and Rosemarie Turko)

Distributed by Scream Factory

In regard to sheer ridiculousness, no decade can top the ‘80s. Filmmakers seemed to be able to get away with producing pictures that stretched the limits of absurdity, filling video store shelves with one horribly entertaining gem after the other. Leading the pack (arguably) was Empire Pictures, the independent genre house responsible for cult classics like Re-Animator (1985), Troll (1986), and From Beyond (1986). There were plenty of companies pumping out lo-fi horror & sci-fi pictures on the cheap at this time, but one thing Empire can’t be faulted for is employing wild imagination and talented artists to bring these films – which could have been absolutely unwatchable in the wrong hands – to life. Charles Band’s production studio only operated for a decade, but in that time he and a cadre of winning directors, actors and FX artists delivered a few dozen memorable B-movies… many of which Scream Factory has seen fit to give some love on home video.

The company set a tone right out of the gate with their first released picture, The Dungeonmaster (1984, aka Ragewar). An amalgamation of the popular Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game and Disney’s TRON (1982), the film was ambitious in that it was loosely done as an anthology, with a different director helming each of the “stories”. Our unlikely leading man, computer geek Paul (Jeffrey Byron), is a programming whiz who lives with his girlfriend, Gwen (Leslie Wing). In their home is X-CaliBR8, a computer Paul has programmed to be nearly sentient with which he is able to communicate. One night, unexpectedly, Paul and Gwen are both transported to a realm within the computer, lorded over by the nefarious Mestema (Richard Moll). It seems that in all his time Mestema has yet to come across a worthy opponent, but in Paul he sees potential. First, however, his appointed adversary must defeat a series of challenges armed only with a wrist-sized version of X-CaliBR8. With Gwen held captive and at Mestema’s mercy, Paul has no choice but to forge ahead and vanquish his digital enemies before facing down Mestema in the ultimate battle.

If you can’t love watching a thirty-something man wearing a puffy track suit and shooting lasers from a cheap-looking computer “weapon” on his wrist at enemies such as a massive stone god or Blackie Lawless from W.A.S.P. (!), then you have no soul. I reveled in the sheer insanity unfolding on screen. Each of the scenarios in which Paul is inserted feels like it comes from a completely unique film. All of the directors deserve credit for making their segments stand out while also being sure they gelled with the overall story. Paul’s gauntlet includes a fight against frozen villains, a massive stone idol, the band W.A.S.P., a city slasher, and a final post-apocalyptic battle that was clearly influenced by The Road Warrior (1981). Paul, of course, breezes through all of them with relative ease. It isn’t his peril that drives interest in the film; it’s watching him jump from one unexpected challenge to the next.

Richard Moll is clearly having fun hamming it up as Mestema, who comes across as less a savage foe and more like more old, lonely longhaired Goth who is desperate to be intimidating. Maybe Mestema was bullied as a teen? He sure has a lot of fun with his new digital powers of villainy. Mestema pops up between each segment to deliver monologues intended to crush Paul’s spirit, and none of them are better than his childhood cat story. Let’s just say it didn’t end well for the cat. Gwen gets in on the action, too, popping up in Paul’s slasher segment as an actress auditioning for a big role and delivering one of the film’s most hilarious lines – “I got the part!” – after almost getting mutilated by a murderer. The Dungeonmaster is a wonderfully inventive flashback to a time when films didn’t need to be “grounded” or “gritty” and instead just took a crazy concept and ran wild. Each of the stories here is directed with style and a real sense of fun. I had such a blast watching this movie, and I suspect anyone who grew up in the ‘80s will feel the same.

Note: this is the unrated version of the film, which contains additional (and quite welcomed) nudity. Enjoy.

That sense of elation isn’t likely to pass after moving on to Eliminators (1986). How could anyone not be sold on this premise? A mandroid (exactly what you think it is), betrayed and attacked by his villainous creator, teams up with a female scientist, a mercenary, and a ninja to get revenge on his evil old master before he can travel back in time to become to ruler of ancient Rome. This is one of those outrageously ridiculous plots that teenagers come up with after a night of getting stoned and thinking up crazy/awesome film ideas. And, yet, despite being so ludicrous it (mostly) works.

Aging scientist Dr. Reeves (Roy Dotrice) has created the perfect weapon with Mandroid (Patrick Reynolds), a half man/half robot that can change out his legs for set of tank tracks. Reeves orders his creation killed after a mission, but Mandroid breaks free and escapes thanks to the help of Dr. Takada (Tad Horino), who is killed during the breakout. Before he dies, Takada tells Mandroid to find Col. Nora Hunter (Denise Crosby), a scientist who may be able to help him stop Reeves. Mandroid and Hunter meet up and hatch a plan to storm Reeves’ hideout, which involves a deadly boat ride up river that only Harry Fontana (Andrew Prine, totally killing it) agrees to captain. On their lengthy journey (seriously, the boat trip takes up the entire second act) they also hook up with Kuji (Conan Lee), the ninja son of Dr. Takada. Together, the four of them take it to Reeves and harness all of their abilities to prevent him from becoming a time-travel overlord.

Other than the overly long boat ride, which isn’t terrible thanks to an abundance of action (the group clearly chose the world’s most treacherous river), this is a whiz-bang movie that breezes by and (coincidentally) will cause some viewers to feel as though they’ve traveled back to a time when a movie’s only requirement was that it made you and your friends marvel at one absurd scene after the next. I pity the viewer who can’t be positively giddy watching a damaged Mandroid fighting his elderly, breastplate-wearing equal in an attempt to stop him from conquering ancient Rome. If that isn’t enough, the film also has Andrew Prine’s scheming, sly merc, Denise Crosby’s gorgeous looks and a friggin’ ninja. Eliminators knows exactly what kind of film it is and fully embraces its weirdness.

And the final scream from Reeves is one for the ages.

I hope Scream Factory has plans to release every single Empire Pictures film. So far they’ve made a sizeable dent in the catalog; here’s to hoping they finish off the job. This is yet another totally killer double feature of two films that are so emblematic of what the ‘80s had to offer that they belong on the shelf of anyone who appreciates that era of filmmaking.

The visual similarities between both films are so close that these comments can apply to either one. The Dungeonmaster is framed at 1.85:1, while Eliminators is slightly more open at 1.78:1 (and featuring a new HD transfer), with both featuring 1080p pictures. Despite the low-budget nature of these productions, each looks quite good in high definition. Colors are nicely saturated. Daylight scenes offer up the best look at fine details, and the prints used for these transfers appear to have been kept in great shape. There are only minor instances of dirt & debris on screen. This may not be a massive improvement over what DVD can offer, but there are definitely moments where it’s clear the films have benefitted from HD.

Both films feature an English DTS-HD MA 2.0 track – mono for The Dungeonmaster, stereo for Eliminators – and both get the job done without issues. The patently ‘80s electro score for Dungeonmaster rules, and the greatest strength of Eliminators is the frequent action (even if it isn’t exactly weighty). Dialogue is clear and well-balanced on both films. Subtitles are available in English.

“Interview with Director Peter Manoogian” – Typical of Scream Factory interviews, this covers not only the two films in question but also Manoogian’s career beginnings, collaborators, aspirations and so forth.

A theatrical trailer for The Dungeonmaster is also included.

Special Features:

  • NEW Interview with director Peter Manoogian
  • NEW High Definition Transfer (Eliminators)
  • Theatrical Trailer (The Dungeonmaster)


The post Dungeonmaster, The / Eliminators (Blu-ray) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Win a Copy of Howl on Blu-ray

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 11:00

Don’t let the pretty awful artwork for Peter Hyett’s new werewolf flick Howl fool you… the flick is a winner. Look for it online and in stores on January 12th, and read on for your chance to score a copy on Blu-ray on us!

To enter for your chance to win, just send an email to contests@dreadcentral.com including your FULL NAME AND MAILING ADDRESS with “Howl” in your subject line. We’ll take care of the rest.

This contest will end at 12:01 AM PT on January 12, 2016.

Ed Speelers, Sean Pertwee, and Holly Weston star.

Synopsis:
On a stormy night, passengers on the last train out of London begin to panic after coming to a sudden halt. They soon realize there’s something dangerous lurking in the forest, and it’s stalking the besieged train, picking them off one-by-one.



The post Win a Copy of Howl on Blu-ray appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Rotten Link, The (2015)

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 10:30

Starring Paula Brasca, Luis Ziembrowski, Marilu Marini

Directed by Valentín Javier Diment

Whilst last year’s It Follows served up some chillingly potent propaganda advocating sexual sobriety, Argentina’s latest genre offering, The Rotten Link, divulges in all manner of sexual debaucheries to further reinforce the notion that it’s probably wise to keep one’s pecker in one’s pants.

Writer/director Valentín Javier Diment goes brashly against the grain, tapping into the pneuma of an isolated township to take his audience on an unflinching journey into the abyss of cultural taboos. And what better place to portray this than in the seemingly peaceful backdrop of El Escondido – a disturbingly dysfunctional community, bereft of legal constraints?

Despite a lewd sounding premise, Diment never falls back on smutty schemings. That’s clearly not his modus operandi: He’s much more interested in setting a controlled pace to give his characters all the room in the world to breathe and flourish. This deliberate pacing might find some less patient viewers feeling fidgety, but it’s the unhealthy relationships and erotically-charged emotions Diment toys with that maketh this movie. Having said that, even if slow-burners don’t tend to light your cinematic candle, you should still give this a try, safe in the knowledge that, despite the sardonically bleak portrait it paints, The Rotten Link packs in a torrent of inspired pitch-black comedy moments that really pep things up. Likewise, a folksy guitar score performed by actual characters featuring in the film is an inspired touch, adding some welcome mirth and vitality to the proceedings.

The film’s biggest redeeming quality is by far its stainless cast, particularly the central, idiosyncratic family: the waning tyrannical mother, Ercilia (Marini), stricken with memory lapses, who watches over her two children, Roberta (Brasca), the prostitute everyone lusts for, and her brother, the mentally impaired woodcutter Raulo (Ziembrowski). The siblings are such a convincing pairing that a certain incestuous moment borders on the unbearable once we get there.

In terms of the narrative, it’s hard not to trespass in spoiler territory, but in short, Ercilia gets a gut feeling she won’t be around to fend for her kids much longer and warns Roberta not to sleep with every last male in the community so as not to lose her “purity.” It won’t take a genius to imagine what that leads up to, particularly when one certain pushy customer, Sicilio, refuses to take no for an answer, but by far does it end there, and as mentioned, the film tackles the taboo to outstrip all taboos: incest. The audience endures this particularly uncomfortable moment of intimacy before things take yet another unexpected turn and the brother’s bottled-up torment is uncorked as Diment ditches his calmer cadence in favor of a frantically-paced kamikaze killing spree.

Exactly what dark place Diment and his co-writers were coming from when they wrote this script still silently flummoxes me, but The Rotten Link does a superb job of emphasizing how life’s turmoil, not mental disabilities or madness, can lead even the most decent of people far astray from the moral path when pushed a bridge too far.

It’s disturbing, it’s lewd, it’s even absurdly funny, and it depicts society at its most toxic; and for most of those reasons it likely won’t resonate with many. That would be a real shame, though, as Diment’s respectful approach to such dark and deplorable subject matter, coupled with the fact the film revels in its own rashness and absolute unconventionality, is what makes it all the more appealing. For all its bleakness and malevolence, The Rotten Link is anything but rotten. It is, in fact, an absolute treat.

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Categories: Horror News

Forest, The (2016)

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 10:00

Starring Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Eoin Macken, Yukiyoshi Ozawa

Directed by Jason Zada

There’s a famous forest in Japan called the Aokigahara, or “sea of trees,” and it’s the (final) destination hotspot for suicides in Japan (and second-most popular place to pop off in the entire world; San Fran’s Golden Gate Bridge is numero uno). After the novel Kuroi Jukai was published in 1960, in which suicide in the forest is romanticized, glum guys and gals started taking their own lives there at a rate of 50 to 100 annually. Authorities sweep for bodies only on an annual basis, as the forest sits at the base of Mt. Fuji and is too dense to patrol very frequently. Ghosts known as ubasute are said to haunt the terrifying timberland. Bodies are stored in a makeshift morgue in the basement of a ranger station until they are claimed.

It’s at one of these stations that an American woman, Sara (Natalie Dormer), goes in search of her missing identical twin sister, Jess (also Dormer), and encounters a sinister spirit that pursues her throughout her journey. First Sara goes to the school where Jess taught and learns of the legend from some spooked students (a nice nod to J-horror here, with the look and feel of a Whispering Corridors movie).

Once the forest is fixed as the last known place Jess visited, Sara decides to investigate. She is convinced Jess is not dead. “I’d just know it,” she says. Not only are they twins, but in their youth they shared the tragedy of the brutal death of their parents. Somehow, she believes, all this bad luck is interconnected.

While drowning her sorrows in sake at a local bar, Sara meets a handsome and charming expat columnist named Aiden (Taylor Kinney). Aiden wants to not only help Sara, but to share the story of her search for her sister in his travelogue. She agrees, though reluctantly. The next morning the pair go into the deep, dark, dense forest where dozens of old, gray, cane-assisted boo-scares await.

It’s always a slippery slope for filmmakers to compare their movies to suspense and horror classics like Rosemary’s Baby or The Shining, but they do it all the time, and all the time they come up short. The producers of The Forest said they were going for an old-fashioned look and feel, which makes the movie seem even more lightweight than it already is. The premise is creepy, but the execution is marred by fake-out frights and cheesy CGI ghosts. Not to mention the fact it’s PG-13 and is clearly going for the teen box office buck – not because of its rating (The Others was PG-13 also, and it’s one of my fave ghost movies) but because there’s a slick veneer to it that’s nothing like the Polanskis and Kubricks the filmmakers claim to be paying homage to.

Luckily, The Forest has some saving graces in its cast and authentic Japanese location. Dormer is watchable as ever, but I was especially impressed by Kinney. He’s like a cross between Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio, and one can see that with meatier material he could be a superstar. While the movie crew was not allowed to shoot in the actual Aokigahara forest, they found something close. Regardless, the flora and fauna of the Orient is so much different than North America that a cheat would have been obvious. Also, the sets built really have a feel of authenticity (I have been to Japan several times myself, so I know how things should look). What’s more, the score and sound design are crisp and chilling.

The Forest is a well-made movie with a few things going for it. But not quite enough going for me to suggest you check it out in theaters. Unless you’re a huge fan of Dormer or Kinney and need to see their every pore on the big screen, it’s best to wait for home viewing on this one.

The post Forest, The (2016) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Nina Forever (UK Blu-ray/DVD)

Fri, 01/08/2016 - 06:00

Starring Fiona O’Shaughnessy, Abigail Hardingham, Cian Barry

Directed by Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine

If you were to read a brief synopsis of Nina Forever before fully experiencing Chris and Ben Blaine’s macabre, witty debut, you’d be forgiven for confusing it with one or two other films that have broached the “awkward undead” sub-genre recently. Whilst Joe Dante’s Burying the Ex and Jeff Baena’s Life After Beth took a slightly different approach to the setup – gunning for wholesome comedy rather than deep, evocative drama – one particular horror trope is consistent throughout all three projects: In the wonderful world of horror, loved ones returning from beyond the grave very rarely means jolly times are a-comin’.

If I was going to be haunted by somebody at the most inopportune moments, I’d probably choose my best mate to do it, but even that scenario hasn’t worked out too well if you look back at historical horror characters. I mean, as cool as Griffin Dunne’s decomposing Jack was in An American Werewolf in London, it proved a bit of a downer for poor ol’ David Naughton, having him pop up to deliver his dire predictions of doom – it’s enough to annihilate any lycanthrope’s libido. So, if your bosom buddy can’t make such a paranormal experience less uncomfortable, what chance your mangled ex-missus?!

Nineteen-year-old Holly (Hardingham) works in a supermarket while studying to be a paramedic and falls for shelf-stacker Rob (Barry), survivor of a failed suicide attempt following the death of his girlfriend. After a few successful dates, their first go in the sack is cut short when Rob’s dead ex, Nina (O’Shaughnessy), emerges from the bedsheets – limbs gnarled and broken, tongue razor-sharp – leaving physical and mental stains on everything and everyone she touches. In time Nina becomes a greater presence in Holly’s psyche than in Rob’s, obsessing over how she falls short of the phantom (desperate to leave “vanilla” behind) rather than concentrating on what she has to offer.

As Rob and Holly attempt to struggle on and accommodate the most fucked up of love triangles, Nina Forever excels by reveling in its own ludicrousness and provides some blacker-than-black amusing moments without ever becoming silly – a pitfall that’s tough to avoid when you consider its premise. Instead, we’re presented with a beautiful, bleeding tale of grief, love, infatuation and the inability to let go of the past. Metaphors of tentative feet traversing manic motorways and shattered glass will live long in the memory.

Nina Forever is made all the more impressive by our three main leads: O’Shaughnessy as the hilariously disturbing titular character, her bloody mattress birth like something from a Clive Barker novel, Cian Barry tragic as pain-stricken Rob, and showstopper Hardingham – whose innocence will drag you in, only for her sex appeal to blow you away. That being said, the scenes involving Nina’s parents (David Troughton and Elizabeth Elvin) remain my personal high points; having remained friends with Rob, the pair spend their time dishing out Sunday roasts and writing jarring erotic fiction to fill a loveless, aching void. Troughton’s emotional collapse in a restaurant is on par with any of the best scenes I’ve witnessed in years.

The Blu-ray/DVD special features are listed below; however, they were unavailable for review.

Startlingly distinctive despite the obvious comparisons, perfectly ambiguous, unsettling, funny, poignant and downright sexy, Nina Forever is brilliant; and The Blaine brothers deserve all the praise aimed their way for making such a ridiculous concept so profound and effective.

Special Features

  • A Look Behind Nina Forever
  • Things That Are Not There
  • Things That Were Not There


The post Nina Forever (UK Blu-ray/DVD) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Mondo Yakuza Delivers a Stylish Black-and-White Trailer

Wed, 12/30/2015 - 00:06

As someone who shamelessly devours Japanese cinema on a fairly regular basis, I’ll pretty much watch anything with the word “yakuza” in the title. Big budget, low budget, micro-budget — doesn’t matter. As long as I get to see a Japanese gangster and a few guns, I’m a happy camper. Which may explain why Mondo Yakuza has ensnared my attention. Although the cast and crew are operating on a tiny budget, that isn’t stopping them from delivering something potentially cool.

This handy synopsis explains what the story’s all about:

Ichiro Kataki, a violent Yakuza gang member travels to Melbourne, Australia after his beloved sister Yuko is brutally murdered by a group of criminals. Hell bent on vengeance he teams up with Cassidy Arizona, a lady of the night with a vendetta of her own.

Written and directed by Addison Heath and produced by Black Forest Films and Team littleBIG, Monda Yakuza is aiming for a 2016 release. While we’re waiting, this stylish black-and-white trailer should keep us busy. Swing by the official Facebook page for more info.

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Categories: Horror News

The Walking Dead Devours TV Competition

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 21:44

It’s still kind of stunning to us how popular “The Walking Dead” is but the Neilsen ratings are in and they’re nothing short of monstrous.

Per Variety, according to the Nielsen “live plus-7” estimates through mid-November, “The Walking Dead” was the No. 1 entertainment series of the year in adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 and trailed only NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS” in total viewers. It averaged 19.7 million viewers per episode to hold off the year’s hottest newcomer, Fox’s “Empire” (17.8 million).

Head on over to the above link for the complete breakdown.

“The Walking Dead” stars Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Sonequa-Martin Green, Michael Cudlitz, Ethan Embry, Merritt Wever, Xander Berkeley, and Tom Payne.

“The Walking Dead” will resume on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2016.

To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit “The Walking Dead” on Facebook. For more info be sure to hit up the official “The Walking Dead” page on AMC.com.

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Categories: Horror News

Ghostbusters to the Rescue in New Still; Villain Details

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 21:23

Entertainment Weekly scored some new details and a new image from Paul Feig’s upcoming reboot of Ghostbusters, and we have the latest for you right here.

Prior to today we didn’t know what the gals in the new flick will be up against other than the obvious; however, now have some idea. The new Busters will be fighting everything from “pilgrims, old-­timey sailors, Revolutionary War spirits, [to] even a couple of zoot­-suited gangsters.

Dig on the new image below.

In Ghostbusters, Melissa McCarthy is Abby Yates, Kristen Wiig is Erin Gilbert, Leslie Jones is Patty Tolan, and Kate McKinnon is Jillian Holtzmann. Chris Hemsworth co-stars, and also making appearances will be Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts.

Wiig and McCarthy play a pair of unheralded authors who write a book positing that ghosts are real. Flash-forward a few years and Wiig lands a prestigious teaching position at Columbia U. Which is pretty sweet, until her book resurfaces and she is laughed out of academia. Wiig reunites with McCarthy and the other two proton pack-packing phantom wranglers, and she gets some sweet revenge when ghosts invade Manhattan and she and her team have to save the world.

The Ghostbusters reboot will haunt the big screen on July 15, 2016.

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Categories: Horror News

DVD and Blu-ray Releases: December 29, 2015

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 20:55

As this year draws to a close, I’m sorry to report another slow week, folks. While we’ve only got three releases total to speak of this week, the next few months look surprisingly good. January has more than 40 releases dropping throughout the month while February has close to 50.

It’s still too early to be completely sure, but March isn’t looking too shabby either. Keep checking back each week to get the complete rundown.

For anyone who was waiting to pick up the Some Kind of Hate Blu-ray after the DVD came out in November, this is your week.

Bava’s Blood and Black Lace Blu-ray/DVD Combo will be coming to us from Arrow on the 31st (instead of the 29th). There appears to be a discrepancy regarding the Steelbook release of this movie, particularly on Amazon. Originally it was listed to be coming out on the 31st as well but now shows up as unavailable with a release date of December 31st of next year. Other sites are reporting that both releases have been out for months. In any case, some version of the movie should be purchasable somewhere, sometime during this week. In any case I’ve included links to both versions here.

Lastly is Kurt Russell in Bone Tomahawk, which I have heard good things about but have yet to see. I like the idea of western/horror movies so I’ll probably be picking up a copy of this at some point this week.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year. May your 2016 be filled with all the dreams 2015 didn’t deliver on. Pleasant viewing, fiends.

MOVIES

Blood and Black Lace (1964) (December 31st)

Starring:

Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner

Synopsis:

A masked man with a metal-claw glove stalks models at a couple’s fashion salon in Rome.

Purchase:



Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Starring:

Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Lili Simmons, Richard Jenkins

Synopsis:

When a group of cannibal savages kidnaps settlers from the small town of Bright Hope, an unlikely team of gunslingers, led by Sheriff Franklin Hunt (Kurt Russell), sets out to bring them home. But their enemy is more ruthless than anyone could have imagined, putting their mission – and survival itself – in serious jeopardy. Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight, Tombstone) leads an all-star cast, including Patrick Wilson (Insidious), Matthew Fox (“Lost”) and Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) in this gritty, action-packed thriller chronicling a terrifying rescue mission in the Old West.

Purchase:



Some Kind of Hate (2015)

Starring:

Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Sierra McCormick, Spencer Breslin, Michael Polish

Synopsis:

Relentless bullying has turned Lincoln’s life into a nightmare. But he soon learns the true meaning of terror when he is sent to a remote school for troubled teens and the harassment starts all over again. Only this time, someone is watching – a teenage girl named Moira who was driven to suicide by vicious bullying years ago. When Lincoln accidentally summons Moira from the grave, he unleashes a vengeful and unstoppable force on a mission of blood-soaked revenge. Hell on earth has a new meaning in this gruesome shocker “guaranteed to please any and every type of horror fan” (Fangoria).

Purchase:


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Categories: Horror News

Spend 20 Minutes Re-Opening The X-Files; Spooky New Image Gallery

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 20:51

“The X-Files” returns early next year, but if you’re in need of a lengthy fix ahead of time, here’s an over 20-minute long featurette regarding the show’s highly anticipated return.

“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.

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.

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Categories: Horror News

Dread Central Site Update – Update

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 20:37

It turns out things are taking longer than we’d like so while the back end stuff continues to be fine-tuned (we are moving 9-1/2 years of content after all), we’re gonna continue to update like usual.

But what about the redesign, you ask? Good question! It should be ready to go within a couple of weeks. We’re on it and are sorry about the delay and any inconvenience it may have caused. In any event… back to business we go.

Look for the new stuff ASAP!

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Categories: Horror News

Future of the Halloween Franchise in Question; Dimension Loses Rights

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 20:28

Dimension Films has been behind the Halloween franchise for the past twenty years, ever since producing The Curse of Michael Myers. Needless to say, the company has become synonymous with Michael Myers, and today brings the big news that studio and slasher icon have parted ways.

As originally reported by Bloody Disgusting, Dimension Films has lost the rights to the Halloween franchise, and former parent company Miramax Films is currently shopping the series around Hollywood. Malek Akkad will stay on board as producer, regardless of where those rights end up.

To provide a bit of context, brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein own Dimension Films, which has since 2005 been the genre division of The Weinstein Company. Dimension was originally a label owned by Miramax Films, though the Weinsteins took it with them when they left the company.

In summation, the Weinsteins no longer have any say in the Halloween franchise.

What does this mean for the future of the franchise? For now, all we really know for sure is that sequel Halloween Returns, which was being developed by Dimension Films, is now completely off the table. Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan wrote the script, and Dunstan was set to direct.

More on this developing story as we learn it.

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Categories: Horror News

Dread Central Is Updating; Please Stand By!

Mon, 12/28/2015 - 17:05

Hey, kids! You may be surfing over here today and thinking to yourself, “Self, where’s the news? How come DC isn’t updated?” Well, we’re using this, the slowest week of the year, to update ourselves from top to bottom.

What does this mean for you? Just that once we’re back, we’ll be sexier than ever. Sit tight as this is gonna take a day or so. In the interim go read any other one of the 100k articles available here.

We’ll be back ASAP!

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Categories: Horror News

Teaser for Open World Ghost Hunting Game Sylvio 2 Will Give You Nightmares

Sat, 12/26/2015 - 11:00

This year’s indie horror game Sylvio may not have gotten a whole lot of attention in the media, but don’t fret if you’re a fan and were worried that it would fade into obscurity, as it may be getting a sequel.

For those unfamiliar with the first game, it has you playing as paranormal investigator Juliette Waters, as she examines strange goings-on in an abandoned theme park. It mostly did well critically and was even hailed by some as one of the best horror games of the year, despite not being a major release, so you can check it out on Steam if you’re interested.

The sequel, which is currently on Kickstarter, will see Juliette return, this time with a large open world. Oddly enough, it will also be set primarily in broad daylight, but if this turns you off, rest assured that director Niklas Swanberg is still striving to create as pure a horror experience as possible: “Sylvio 2 is built for the horror game enthusiast and tries to push the boundaries of what has been done in horror games up till this date.”

And with all the action-oriented horror games on the market at the moment, the opening of the video below reminds that horror games can also be slow and downright terrifying when they want to be.

Synopsis:
Sylvio 2 is a single-player first-person, open world horror game, set in full daylight, where you get your missions from the dead as well as the living.

Juliette Waters, ghost recorder and EVP specialist, is back again to face the darkness that resides in Saginaw Family Park. The story takes off where the original Sylvio ended; the park has been ravished by a forest fire and heavy rainstorms, resulting in extensive flooding. Juliette travels the vast park by foot and with the help of a dinghy, solving environment puzzles, searching for spirit activity, and exploring the lands.

The game consists of five distinct parts:

  • Main Story – Juliette once again faces the darkness of Saginaw through environment puzzles and challenging objectives.
  • Record Ghosts in vision and audio – analyze recordings to find hidden messages and objectives.
  • Explore a vast flooded, burnt, foggy world by foot or by dinghy.
  • Combat – Black Orbs and Human Forms might hurt you if they get too close. Keep your distance or force them to disappear.
  • Lucid Dreaming – Find places to sleep and explore Juliette’s dreams and nightmares.

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Categories: Horror News

Dark (2015)

Fri, 12/25/2015 - 14:00

Starring Whitney Able, Alexandra Breckenridge, Michael Eklund, Redman

Directed by Nick Basille

Disturbed Kate (Whitney Able) is forced to confront her worst fears and phobias when she finds herself trapped alone in her New York loft during a blackout of the whole city.

We see the beautiful blonde is a bit coo-coo in the very beginning, during a full-on make-out session with her live-in lesbian lover, Leah (Alexandra Breckenridge). Kate tries to get Leah to choke her, but her gal pal is having none of it. The mood is broken.

But the affair is not. Leah professes her love and her jealousy over Kate’s many admirers, but still – Leah has to leave town for a little while. Kate seems relieved to have some alone time, but when the power goes out, things start to get very, very… dark.

Dark has got some heavy hitters behind the scenes. For one thing, it’s executive produced by Joe Dante. The writer is Elias, who enjoyed underground success with his body-horror low-budgeter Gut in 2012. Director Nick Basille hasn’t done much of note before, but I’m impressed by his sense of style and would like to see more.

The true stars of the show are DP Trent Ermes, the editing department, and especially lead actress Able. She’s compelling and mesmerizing, even when doing the most mundane things – which, I’ll tell you… if you’re looking for a scare-a-second, Dark will leave you cold. Able, especially when she starts to seriously unravel, brings to mind a young Jennifer Jason Leigh, not only in looks but in mannerisms and acting style. She’s excellent.

The movie is pretty near excellent too, but only for certain types of fandom. If you enjoy slow-burn, suspenseful, single-character thrillers – think: Repulsion, The Tenant, House of the Devil – then Dark will be right up your alley. I love this kind of stuff, but I will say even for me the flick dragged from time to time, and a few things were unclear even though I was paying attention.

It’s not perfect, but Dark is one of the better arty indies I’ve seen in some time.

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Categories: Horror News