Reviewed by Jay Hawkinson
Throw a pre-teen scout troop in the woods and tell them of a werewolf legend. What’s the worst that could happen? That’s the premise in Cub (Welp), the latest feature film by Belgian director Jonas Govaerts that filled the first midnight slot at Fantastic Fest. Don’t want to set inflated expectations, but this movie is an optimal midnighter; fast paced and entertaining, with enough scares to stay awake. Yeah, Cub is a bloody good time.
The werewolf is merely a ruse perpetuated by the older scout masters to scare the boys before their trip begins, which sets up an amusing callback after they reach their campsite. One of the scouts, Sam (Maurice Luijten), never buys the story. Sam knows the truth behind the myth is really the masked wild child called “Kai” living in the forest (as introduced in the prologue). Parentless, Sam is the outcast of the bunch; his obsession with Kai makes him an easy target to be bullied and teased by the other scouts. Sam is both voyeur and explorer, confused and conflicted over his place in the world. He views the camping excursion as a way to escape. Escape and find Kai.
Kai remains the true mystery of the movie. Living in a giant tree nest he’s more thief than beast but his constant growls, crippled gait and wooden mask make him menacing. Yet Kai is only the signpost to the evils lurking within the woods. The forest is laden with elaborate and deadly traps, a huge mousetrap, constructed in “Collector”-like fashion (one of these traps is revealed in the opening chase sequence). Who or what is creating these Rube Goldberg-like devices is the next question. Cub doesn’t waste any time by placing this group of 12 year-old boys and their three scoutmasters into this scenario before killing begins.
The film never shies away from what it is… a summer camp slasher. Cub borrows and repurposes several horror tropes when the bodies start piling up including picking up a token female character in an otherwise all male cast. However, it’s what the movie does with them that makes it exciting. Also, the pounding synth score gives additional juice to the terror. A little surprising the Cub scout pack hasn’t been used more often since it is so ideal for the easy setup. Greydon Clark’s 1980 sci-fi horror flick Without Warning only teases the idea but none have crafted an entire film around it until now. Cub delivers on that.
Following the slasher template, Cub is deliberately slow through the first half hour only providing the occasional hint of what’s to come. It’s when Sam and Kai finally meet that movie really turns up the intensity and the blood starts flowing. Shades of Lord of the Flies are cast over the characters as the film builds momentum. Worth noting there is a sequence of animal violence that may be tough to endure. Shows how far Govaerts is willing to take his characters as they transform. Familiar ground for sure but enough spice sprinkled in to keep it fresh.
Cub does not reinvent the subgenre but definitely punctuates it quite nicely, shining a light on what makes slasher flicks enjoyable. Kinetic and brutal, gory and graphic with comedic beats in-between. While not totally perfect, Cub gets a lot of things right having plenty fun along the way. Definitely recommended.
Some movies are meant to be seen once and then never seen again. They’re either so bad that you avoid them like the plague or they’re the type of film that never leaves you and yet you never want to revisit (I’m looking at you, A Serbian Film).
But then there are movies that are just insane amounts of fun, the ones that you can’t wait to own so you can watch it over and over again. These are the movies that I like to stock up my collection with, the films that I can put on and not get sick and tired of, ever.
I’ve got a very small selection of films that I simply adore watching time and time again that I wanted to share with you. After you’ve checked out my choices, do me a favor and let me know the films that you can watch endlessly!
Chicago pop rock band Common Shiner have released perhaps the most horror icon-filled music video I’ve ever seen AND made it actually super entertaining at the same time! In their slasher romance video for “Social Mediasochist”, which was directed by Zoran Gvojic of LowCarbComedy, a teenage Jason Voorhees and his pal Freddy Krueger, who attend Wes Craven’s Slasher High School, try to get Jason hooked up with the school beauty, who is seemingly the only “normal” person in the whole video.
It’s just one horror reference after another, with “cameos” from Jigsaw, Candyman, Leatherface, Pinhead, Leprechaun, and a whole slew of other familiar faces! There are also several scenes that are direct references to the scenes from the original films as well, such as Leatherface slamming the door shut after Jason gets pulled into a room.
“Social Mediasochist” comes from the band’s album Before They Sold Out Pt. 2, which you can snag on Bandcamp.
Invada Records and Milan Records have teamed up to bring the soundtrack to 2003′s incredible revenge thriller Oldboy, which was composed by Cho Young-Wuk, to limited vinyl. The album will come out November 18th with Invada releasing an orange edition in Europe and Milan releasing a red edition for North America. Both come with a download card.
The album artwork was done by Laurent Durieux, while Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn served as executive producer on the project, overseeing the packaging.
Invada Records’ Redg Weeks told FACT:
…it’s not everyday you get invited to release a soundtrack to one of the most important films of the past 15 years. I had actually gone to ridiculous lengths to buy the CD of this a few years ago. I had to pay over the odds as it was extremely hard to get on UK soil.
To be invited by Milan Records to co-release an LP of one of the greatest and hard hitting scores I’ve ever heard is a massive privilege and a huge honour.
Below is the full artwork as well as a stream of three tracks from the album.
The last handful of years haven’t treated some of gaming’s greatest horror franchises very well. Resident Evil lost its way a few times, Left 4 Dead 3 has been MIA, Dead Space and Alan Wake were put on hiatus — soon to be joined by F.E.A.R. — and until recently, Silent Hill was largely assumed dead. Looking at all that, you would think horror was fading into obscurity again.
Thankfully, that’s not the case.
Indie horror is healthier than ever, bolstered by several high profile releases like The Forest, Slender: The Arrival and Outlast as well as a number of upcoming games that are all worth getting excited about. We’ve begin to see this renewed interest affect AAA horror, starting with the imminent arrivals of Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within next month. That’s just the beginning. We have a veritable horde coming next year.
If my guide to the remaining horror games of 2014 left you wanting, this (working) list of releases the genre has in store for us in 2015 should remedy that.
If you don’t mind being broken down over and over again by a game with a thoroughly unforgiving nature that goes a long way in making the occasional victory all the sweeter. Bloodborne promises to be as challenging as the Dark Souls series that inspired it, only now that winning formula has been injected with a dose of horror.
Release Date: February 6, 2015
This past January, Magrunner: Dark Pulse developer Frogwares revealed their plan to make a new Call of Cthulhu. Since then, the game has kept unusually quiet. After the cancellation of the two sequels that were planned to follow Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and the state of limbo that Guillermo Del Toro’s InSane has found itself in, I’m wondering if there isn’t some sort of curse that’s been put on any developer that tries to create a game based on or inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Release Date: TBA 2015
PC gamers have been able to experience the wonders of getting robbed by strangers at gunpoint over cans of beans for what feels like ages. Soon, PS4 owners will have the opportunity to experience that same joy.
Release Date: TBA 2015
With Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager taking the reigns, I have faith they’ll be able to elevate this troubled series. Between its renewed focus on humor, over-the-top action and vibrant environments, Dead Island 2 is already doing a lot right.
Release Date: Spring 2015
After several delays, Doom is coming. We might not have seen it yet, but there’s plenty of folks who have. If id Software’s refusal to place it under the scrutinizing eye of the Internet is any indication of its quality, this may end up being a 2016 release.
Release Date: TBA 2015
The day before Halloween, indie developer Red Thread Games decided to give us something scary to look forward to with Draugen, a survival horror game that feels like Gone Home meets Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It’s set on the Norwegian west coast, so you can be sure it’s going to look ridiculously good.
Release Date: TBA 2015
With Dead Island 2 in the hands of a new developer, Techland was left with some free time and a love for the undead. Rather than try something entirely new, the team is working on improving the foundation they created with the first Dead Island. The result is an incredibly ambitious game with a multiplayer that’s been seamlessly woven into the experience.
And parkour. Lots of parkour.
Release Date: January 27, 2015
This game bums me out. Part of me takes solace in knowing this beloved survival horror franchise isn’t being entirely neglected, but most of me is too busy being frustrated to notice. If ever there was a time to release a quality horror game like this to the world — not just Japan — it’s now. The only reason this game is here is because I hope Nintendo just hasn’t gotten around to mentioning an international release yet.
Release Date: September 27, 2014 (Japan) / Possible 2015 release elsewhere
Originally announced as a last-gen console release, Techland gave us a substantial reason to be pumped for Hellraid when they confirmed it had been delayed to give them time to rebuild the game in a new engine for current-gen consoles. The new-and-improved Hellraid brings together the combat of Skyrim with the brutality of Dead Island, complete with a dark fantasy setting and tons of hellish monsters to battle.
Release Date: TBA 2015
Tripwire Interactive hasn’t mentioned an ETA for the sequel to their hit cooperative horror game Killing Floor. When I saw it in action last month, it looked like the game was pretty far along. The mechanics are in and the gore is top notch, but multiplayer games require a lot of tweaking to get the balance right, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Killing Floor 2 arrives early next year.
Release Date: TBA 2015
Kodoku looks like a series of nightmares that were induced by a particularly bad acid trip. I have no idea what’s going on, but I like it.
Release Date: TBA 2015
Despite being a fan of Suda 51′s wacky work and the worlds he’s created, I haven’t seen enough to get me enthusiastic about Let it Die. It could be a twisted ride that showers us with the blood spilled from our mostly naked enemies, or it could be shallow and use its copious amount of violence as a gimmick. We’ll have to wait and see!
Release Date: TBA 2015
I have two theories to explain why Capcom is re-releasing the Resident Evil remake. I’ve already gone into great detail on the first theory, but I haven’t even mentioned the other. My second theory revolves around the idea that Capcom is fully aware of our desire for a Resident Evil 2 remake, which they’ll get around to doing, but not before they every other Resident Evil first.
Release Date: Early 2015
Not long after Capcom announced they’d be remastering the GameCube remake, they also revealed a sequel to Revelations. Their decision to build on a spin-off that’s widely considered to be one of the best Resident Evil games of the last decade. We know it will be delivered episodically, feature offline co-op, is set on a prison island and stars Claire Redfield and Moira Burton — Barry Burton’s daughter.
Release Date: Early 2015
Last October, Amnesia developer Frictional Games started teasing their next project, the freaky looking horror game SOMA. Here we are a year later and the game is significantly less mysterious than it was back then. Even still, I can’t help but wonder if we’ve only scratched the surface. SOMA looks like a mystery wrapped in an enigma that’s been slathered in gore, modified corpses and face-eating robots.
Release Date: Early 2015
State of Decay is one of the better zombie-themed video games we’ve been gifted with lately, and it’s undead hordes are slated to shamble onto the Xbox One in the near future. Other than the still glaring lack of co-op, what’s not to love about that?
Release Date: Early 2015
The Order: 1886 is set in Victorian era London and follows an ancient order of soldiers with steampunk weapons and gadgets, and their ongoing war with human “half-breeds”, or werewolves. If that doesn’t have you sufficiently excited, I don’t know what will.
Release Date: February 20, 2015
After going silent for a while, Sony re-revealed developer Supermassive Games’ teen slasher Until Dawn. It’s been improved in every way possible, including a complete reworking of the original script to make it exponentially more terrifying. This game has a lot of promise, and if it’s successful, it could pave the way for more games like it.
Release Date: TBA 2015
Remember, this is a working list. 2015 is still a ways off and the unpredictable and always-changing nature of video games means a lot of the above will change, probably more than once, in the coming months. If I missed something, feel free to let me know in the comments.
Directed by Marcel Sarmiento, Gregg Bishop, Nacho Vigalondo, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead
The V/H/S franchise started off not with a bang, but a whimper, the four shorts and wraparound segment that binds them all together failing to form a cohesive vision. The sequel proved to be a far more successful outing, thus suggesting for the optimists that the series will only get better with future installments. And in a way it does, but not without some caveats.
The worst thing about V/H/S Viral, the third and likely final installment in the found footage horror anthology series, is the conceit that binds the short films together. While the first two films’ wraparounds segments, however boring or pointless they may have been, managed to actually utilize VHS tapes to introduce the segments, the third abandons it entirely.
Directed by Marcel Sarmiento, the wraparound, known as Vicious Circles, opts for a more modern approach, utilizing cell phones that seemingly transmit a virus to groups of onlookers seeking to film a police chase involving a stolen ice cream van. It is, to be blunt, a nonsensical jumble of static and noise that barely makes a lick of sense until the final moments, and even then it’s hardly satisfying. Save for a cringe-worthy moment involving a pair of feet, asphalt, and a high speed chase, it’s just a chore to sit through.
Thankfully, if viewed as a simple anthology of fun horror tales, the trio of directors and teams – Dance of the Dead’s Gregg Bishop, Timecrimes’ Nacho Vigalondo, and Resolution’s Justin Benson and Aaron Moorehead – have managed to succeed admirably.
Dante the Great: Written and directed by Gregg Bishop, this short is less found footage than a mock doc that follows the rise and fall of Dante the Great, a magician whose act revolves a mysterious cloak that grants him “magical” – and violent – powers. Despite mostly abandoning the genuine found footage conceit and, at times, appearing to take a straightforward narrative approach, Bishop’s short manages to be a fun little start to the anthology, showcasing some impressive special effects and reveling in gleeful violence perpetrated by the titular character (played wonderfully by The Signal actor Justin Welborn). It’s the “scariest” segment of the three, if only for its final jump-worthy moment.
Parallel Monsters: Nacho Vigalondo once again returns to his sci-fi roots, substituting time travel in favor of parallel dimensions with his witty, shocking, and fiercely intelligent middle segment. In the short, a man secretly creates a machine that leads to a world identical to his, only reversed, as if looking in a mirror. On the other side he meets his parallel self, and the two decide to switch places and explore for fifteen minutes. A genius in his own right, Vigalondo keeps you on your toes the whole way through, constantly guessing at the end game before taking things in an utterly absurd direction. It may not be the most exciting segment, but it certainly is the smartest.
Bonestorm: Directed by indie darlings Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, whose debut feature Resolution capped many Best Of lists upon its release, Bonestorm is a frenetic ride clearly influenced by Gareth Evans and Timo Tjahjanto’s Safe Haven segment from V/H/S 2. It follows a trio of skater kids and a slightly weird cameraman as they travel to Tijuana to finish shooting a skateboarding video in an old reservoir. Naturally, things don’t go as planned when they come face to face with a Mexican death cult, forcing them to defend themselves and fight them off through any means necessary. It’s fun, it’s funny, and seeing a bunch of kids beat the crap out of skeletons in long robes with skateboards and machetes is just a recipe for a damned good time.
Apparently a fourth segment, written and directed by The Apparition director Todd Lincoln, was dropped from the final product, making the film a bit shorter and thus slightly easier to digest, given the slog that is Sarmiento’s tale. Three is enough.
The shorts that comprise V/H/S Viral are inventive enough to make up for the blunder that is Sarmiento’s wraparound, even if each one breaks the found footage “rules” in egregious ways. But at this juncture, screw the rules. Found footage has become a shadow of what it once was and has becomes nothing more than a catch-all term to designate a hand-held or first-person perspective. The directors this time around got that, and while V/H/S Viral didn’t necessarily finally “get it right,” it certainly realized that it’s okay to simply have fun with the conceit.
Scarecrows. There’s just something about them that is inherently spooky to me. Screen Gems is hoping you agree because they’re gearing up to spring one on you that’s bound to send some shivers.
Variety is reporting that Sony has bought Mike Scannell’s horror-thriller Scarecrow with horror specialist Unbroken Pictures producing.
Scannell’s spec script, set at a remote lake house, revolves around a mother and her two young daughters who must fight for survival after falling into a terrifying and bizarre nightmare conceived by a psychopath.
Bryan Bertino, who directed 2008’s The Strangers, and Adrienne Biddle are producing through their Unbroken Pictures banner. Screen Gems President Clint Culpepper and Scott Strauss will oversee Scarecrow for the company.
Bertino wrote and directed Mockingbird, which he also produced with Biddle. That title will be released October 6th through Blumhouse’s newly launched BH Tilt label.
Unbroken is currently in pre-production on There Are Monsters with Atlas and Bertino directing from his own script. It’s also developing supernatural horror movie February with Kiernan Shipka and Emma Roberts attached and supernatural thriller Stephanie with Blumhouse and The Gotham Group with Akiva Goldsman directing.
More on all of these as we get it!
“[Interwebz TROLL Simulator] is more of an art piece than a game, and I know most people won’t play it more than 2-3 times after playing it once.”
Michael Patrick Rogers is one hell of an intense guy, and his newest game — or ‘game’? — is directed at what most people consider to be the bottom-feeders of the online community: internet trolls. “I decided to make the game a troll itself,” he said, “but about important issues and more of a political satire, like the political cartoons that they used to have in the newspaper when I was growing up.”
The maker of last year’s infinitely weird experiment, The Lady, is back with a different sort of project. Interwebz TROLL Simulator has players interact on a message board, of sorts. There is no goal, no winning, no achievement that is readily noticeable.
To be honest, it’s kind of strange that an article about this game is even ending up on a horror site. Other than some pentagrams and a soundtrack straight out of Liquid Television, there isn’t anything overtly horrific about Interwebz TROLL Simulator. It is a representation of the darkness of the internet, but it isn’t actually the darkness itself.
For that reason, the game is underwhelming. It is not the mixture of 8mm and S&man I expected, and the content isn’t varied enough to bring players back. Rogers said, “I think there are over 100 comments and 50 something user names, with about 10 Twitter links,” adding, “the game was made on a $0 budget with someone I made another free game with, and it was basically made in one weekend.”
Still, there is something oddly declarative and clear-eyed about this game’s purpose. Players log in as User and choose one of four troll ‘classes’ before being taken to message board of sorts in order to unleash his or her inner troll. They will be privy to a variety of ignorant and politically-charged invective. It’s almost like a second-tier NES game you might have picked out at the video store if Tiger Heli and Monster Party had been rented.
It doesn’t draft information from what users type, though that was my initial impression, and it doesn’t actually contain the most offensive content I’ve seen, something I halfway expected. It seemed like Interwebz TROLL Simulator should be the end-all, be-all of user-created trolling content. But the content in no way makes it onto the internet, nor is it saved internally for use on later users who log in and play. It is the antithesis of trolling, which is to unsettle as many or as few people as possible from behind a gilded curtain of anonymity.
The game sort of trolls the user. It isn’t what players would expect, so it is kind of trolling the player’s expectations. And it matters not which class the player chooses; the content is fairly similar, in terms of hatred and ignorance. It’s a really weird experience.
I’m not saying play Interwebz TROLL Simulator. I’m also not saying don’t play it for a little while, either. It didn’t change the way I think about gaming the way that more pointed deconstructions of gaming have, but I do think it’s cool that we’ve reached a point that really personal things can exist and be seen, even to undercut the industry to which they belong.
The game is available exclusively at Indie Game Stand, and players can pick it up for the price of $1.00, currently at a 99% discount.
To help prepare us for the imminent release of Alien: Isolation in a few short weeks, Sega has been releasing a stream of vignettes so we know what we’re in for. The message each of these videos aims to convey is one of hopelessness. You can’t escape what’s hunting you, guns won’t be much help, and it’s in your best interest not to anger that lone xeno.
We already knew that vents can serve as a hiding spot for Amanda Ripley, but as this video proves, they also serve as a means for that nasty alien to ambush you.
Alien: Isolation is slated to arrive on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 7.
Bethesda has released a fresh batch of screenshots from Shinji Mikami’s The Evil Within, and this time they’re all about the game’s variety of unnerving environments — a room filled with animal carcasses on hooks is never a good thing — rather than its impressive cast of monsters.
I don’t know about you, but I am so looking forward to painting every one of them red with the blood of every monster that’s dumb enough to get in my way.
The Evil Within hits PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 14.
Will Fatal Frame V release outside of Japan? It’s a possibility, but it’s also not looking good. I feel like they would have mentioned it by now, if that was something they were planning on doing. So for the time being, all we can do is hope Nintendo will realize the market is as hungry as it will ever be for the unique flavor of horror that is Fatal Frame and give it an international release.
It’s been at least five years since I last played a Fatal Frame game. Long enough that I’d consider buying a Wii U. It doesn’t help that this game looks fantastic.
After we’re done giggling at that awkward codename — Project Scissors? Really? — let’s talk about the fact that the survival horror classic Clock Tower is getting a spiritual successor. Now, before you get too excited, I will have to let the air out of your sails, because this game is only coming to mobile devices (specifically iOS, Android and Vita). If you’re still with me, the team behind it should be reason enough to get you adequately excited for this surprise reveal.
For starters, it’s a collaborative project between Hifumi Kono (director of the first two Clock Tower games), Masahiro Ito (formerly of Team Silent, where he came up with the design for Pyramid Head while working on the first three Silent Hill games), and renowned Japanese director Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On, The Grudge). That’s some top-tier talent right there.
Here’s what it’ll be about:
“The game’s setting is aboard a luxurious cruise liner in the middle of the ocean. As the ship sails across the deep blue ocean, a series of gruesome and mysterious murders begins to take place, including those of the ship’s crew. Soon the ocean liner is crippled and adrift at sea, and has become an inescapable trap for the passengers. As a passenger of the ship, the player will be tasked with solving the murder mystery to ensure their own survival as well as the rest of the ‘innocent’ passengers.”
If this doesn’t excite you, there’s always that fan-made Clock Tower remake to look forward to.
If you haven’t played any of the Dementium games, the series is basically a love letter to 90s era survival horror. Previously a Nintendo DS exclusive, Dementium II was “remastered” for PC last year. If you’ve been left wondering where the series is headed next, I have a feeling we’ll be hearing from it soon. I say this because it was recently confirmed, via a tweet from Renegade Kid studio director Jools Watsham, that the rights to the series have returned to the developer. It sounds like we may have another sequel on the way.
“I am ecstatic to announce that Renegade Kid now has the rights to create Dementium sequels!” Watsham said on Twitter.
It’s my belief that we can never have too many horror games, and that goes doubly so for the Nintendo DS. I hope Renegade Kid will give that platform some much-needed love.
How about you — what would you like to see from this old school survival horror franchise?
Forgive the video quality, this is an older video.
Cullen Bunn has been the go to man for comic book horror for the last year, and he shows now signs of letting up. Luckily we’re in touch with the people who represent him here at Bloody-Disgusting. A few weeks ago we announced the debut of his new Vertigo Series WOLF MOON, and today we’ve got the exclusive preview of “The Empty Man” #4 from BOOM! Studios. A series that we called “exactly the kind of mind-fuck horror I’m interested in reading and its being done perfectly. “
THE EMPTY MAN #4
Author: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Vanesa R. Del Rey
Cover Artist: Vanesa R. Del Rey
Synopsis: After circling around the truth, Langford and Jensen have finally discovered Markoff’s trail. The bad news? It leads right into the horrific nightmare world of Patient Zero’s psyche.
In the latest trailer for Alien: Isolation we’re introduced to its Survivor Mode. This mode is their way of extending the life of the game, as it drops Ripley into an environment from the campaign, gives her a few things to do (find X items, etc.), a time limit, and motivation to do well via a score that’s posted on the leaderboard following a successful run.
Alien: Isolation will ship with only one Survivor Mode map. If you want the rest, you’ll have to pay for them. Sega will be adding to it through five DLC packs they hope to have out by March.
The first pack comes with three Survivor maps, a new playable character and what sounds like multiple new enemy types. It arrives on Oct 28.
Alien: Isolation is scheduled to release on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 7.
The wait is over. The latest chapter in the episodic indie horror game Doorways is out, and if it’s anything like the first two chapters then it’ll be as strange as it is scary. Doorways: The Underworld follows special agent Thomas Foster, who’s been tasked with hunting down a runaway psychopath. I think this is another case of the hunter becoming the hunted.
Doorways: The Underworld can be found on Steam for $8.99 (10% off). On Sept 24 it’s price will return to normal ($9.99).
Waxwork Records has announced that they will be releasing the soundtrack to 2007′s fantastic anthology horror film Trick ‘R Treat, which was composed by Douglas Pipes, on vinyl. No details have been released aside from the album cover art, which was done by Francesco Francavilla. You can see the artwork below.
— Waxwork Records (@waxworkrecords) September 20, 2014
Reviewed by Jay Hawkinson
If you’ve seen the first ABCs of Death (2012) then you know what to expect from ABCs of Death 2 (2014), which had its world premiere at the ongoing Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. Applying the same format, a horror-tinged short film for each letter of the alphabet done by a different director, ABCs of Death 2 is a tighter, more consistent follow-up that is less the mixed bag of the first film and a hell of a lot more fun. Sick, twisted fun.
Kicking off with “A for Amateur,” directed by E.L. Katz (Cheap Thrills), the dark humorous tone is established. His short was also an audience favorite, which is saying a lot with the level of quality on display; pulsating music over the glossy, gross underbelly of Los Angeles, Katz maneuvers an assassin in for the kill. However, things don’t go as planned leading to a rather unexpected and hilarious outcome.
The bar is set high from the beginning. Framed within a grim children’s book (the opening credits sequence is a delight, watching animated teachers slice off body parts of their pupils), this loose anthology of sorts follows that lead, in which nearly all the directing teams step up to the task. From killer animals to beheadings gone wrong and home invasion, ABCs of Death 2 covers a lot of ground without ever reducing to the toilet humor found in the first installment (which apparently was one of the ‘new’ mandates thrown down by producer Ant Timpson, “No more fart jokes”).
Clearly, these directors accepted that challenge and rose above it. The contest winner, “M is for Masticate,” directed by Robert Boocheck, was viewable online and yet works even better on the big screen. The letter Y, by VFX artist and first time director Soichi Umezawa, was a late entry after another director dropped out. Older by a few years, this creative short still fit in perfectly with the rest and is another standout.
Other highlights include the segment by Bruno Samper and Kristina Buozyte, the writing and directing team behind Vanishing Waves (2012), a previous festival darling, and Jerome Sable (Stage Fright) turns in a wicked “get what you deserve, Brodude” short for the letter V. The man behind Astron 6, Steven Kostanski, doesn’t disappoint with another audience favorite that’s basically a toy commercial that becomes reality. Directors Jim Hosking and Chris Nash each file comical, yet grotesque segments about becoming someone you’re not. They couldn’t be more different in approach but both are unforgettable.
Like the initial ABCs of Death movie, plenty of festival favorite directors are included, but give a hat tip to producer Tim League & Co. for the international flavor. From Canada to Israel, Lithuania to Spain and more, distinct voices and countries are represented. Not every segment is a knockout but there are easily more hits here than misses. Whether you saw the first movie or not, ABCs of Death 2 brings something new to the table that makes it worth seeing.
Surprising no one, a third film is teased at in the end credits…
Sergey Kuzentsov’s debut novel from Titan Publishing Butterfly Skin, hits on September 23rd, and to celebrate the release of this chilling serial killer story, we have the author himself here to give us a list of his top 13 serial killer films. In Butterfly Skin, Moscow is plagued with a series of gruesome murders. Ksenia, an ambitious young editor in the news department of a small but influential online journal decides to track down the serial killer, devising an elaborate website to entrap him and thereby boost her company’s profile. She soon realises, however, that her obsession with the psychopath reflects something more deeply disturbing: her own unconscious mixture of horror and fascination with the sexual savagery of the murders.
Through his riveting plot and singular characters, Sergey Kuznetsov explores the sometimes pathological fallout resulting from our instant connectivity in the emerging world of emails, facebook, twitter, and other forms of electronic “intimacy.” The novel has enjoyed a cult following in Russia.
I couldn’t be more overjoyed to share this with you, so without further adieu, here it is:
Many years ago I used to be a movie critic, so when I wrote my novel Butterfly Skin, a story about violence, love and mass-media, by force of habit I referred to many movies. The most important for me were Aliens and Last Tango in Paris, however my characters mostly spoke about serial killers movies — because of the issues and the plot of the novel. While there were Hollywood movies such as Natural Born Killers and Silence of the Lambs, I later realized that my favorite serial killer films were from areas outside the English-language. So, I’m glad to introduce the readers of Bloody Disgusting my personal list of the top 13 serial killers films which need subtitles for the US audience.
Sony’s Screen Gems has bought Mike Scannell’s horror-thriller Scarecrow with horror specialist Unbroken Pictures producing, Variety reports.
“Scannell’s spec script, set at a remote lake house, revolves around a mother and her two young daughters who must fight for survival after falling into a terrifying and bizarre nightmare conceived by a psychopath.”
Bryan Bertino, who directed 2008’s The Strangers, and Adrienne Biddle are producing through their Unbroken Pictures banner.
Unbroken is currently in pre-production on There Are Monsters with Atlas and Bertino directing from his own script.
It’s also developing supernatural horror movie February with Kiernan Shipka and Emma Roberts attached and supernatural thriller Stephanie with Blumhouse and The Gotham Group with Akiva Goldsman directing.