One of my favorite actors is Ron Perlman. My mom loved watching SciFi’s “Beauty and the Beast” while I was won over by his performance as One in The City of Lost Children. Something about him seems like he’d the cool uncle that would slip you a beer but would have absolutely no problem pulling you aside and ripping you a new asshole if you made some kind of big mistake. If a movie has Ron in it, you better believe it jumps up tremendously in my “I’ll watch it” list.
His performance as the titular character of the Hellboy films is proof of his charisma, his physical presence, and his wonderful blend of intensity and comedic timing. I’ve always enjoyed the films and would happily show up on opening night if a third were to be made.
While it appears that Hollywood isn’t interested in returning to that series, Perlman has always made it very clear that he loves the character and would be thrilled to don that big red right hand once again. Once again, when pressed on Twitter, Perlman made it clear that he isn’t giving up on the possibility of one more film, which director Guillermo del Toro explained would need a budget of about $120 million to work.
Personally, I say give it to them. Even though it’d be a sequel, the Hellboy films are visually exciting, feature unique characters, and are something delightfully different. These are the kinds of movie that fill me with child-like wonder, hearkening back to a time when fairy tales had consequences…and lots of sharp teeth!
I'm working on another Hellboy movie. Nobody else is. But I sure am! https://t.co/bRoZ9ySaXl
— Ron Perlman (@perlmutations) September 20, 2016
Uncork’d Entertainment has gotten the worldwide rights to writer/director Justin Price’s supernatural horror film The 13th Friday, which they plan on releasing in early 2017.
Price says, “Uncork’d Entertainment has revolutionized independent cinema and there is no other outfit more fitting for ‘The 13th Friday’ than in their hands. We were very excited they decided to handle the worldwide rights to the film.”
When a female refugee discovers an ancient demonic device that opens the gateway to another realm, she unleashes a dark entity that poses as her daughter. After many failed attempts to have the church explain the creation of her worst nightmares, she learns that the house is cursed by an enraged spirit that died on Friday the 13th. And now a group of thrill seeking friends unknowingly unleash its wrath and damn their souls.
Uncork’d Entertainment and Price have worked together several times in the past with films such as The Cloth, Dark Moon Rising, and Forsaken.
Personal thought: How does the title reference the spirit that died on Friday the 13th? After all, the thirteenth Friday in 2016 was March 25th. Seems like a strange way to try to get a title that sounded familiar but was just different enough to not have a connection.
One thing is certain when it comes to horror titan John Carpenter, he is hardly affable. In fact, he’s the worst interview I’ve ever conducted here in Bloody Disgusting, although I adore his ability to be both honest and candid. The point is, Carpenter hates Hollywood, all of the bullshit, and would rather be playing video games and watching basketball (we could be best friends). He could give a fuck who he offends and won’t hold back if he feels something needs to be said. A great example is when I was on the set of The Fog remake, he was asked, “Why are you doing this?” His answer, “They’re paying me, a lot.” The follow up was something along the lines of, “What are you doing on this production?” His blunt response: “Nothing.” That was the end of the interview.
So, when Carpenter speaks on something, it’s the gospel (at least to this writer), which is why his comments on Rob Zombie are absolutely shocking. To recap, Dimension Films tapped Zombie to direct a remake of Carpenter’s Halloween back in 2006 (released in 2007). The backstory has never been talked about publicly, at least until this past April when Carpenter spoke to students at the New York Film Academy (full video below), calling Zombie a lying “piece of shit.” No, really…
“He lied about me,” explained Carpenter, alluding to an interview Zombie had given about the production of his Halloween adaptation. “He said I was very cold to him when he told me he was going to make it. Nothing could be further from the truth. I said, ‘Make it your own movie, man. This is yours now. Don’t worry about me.’ I was incredibly supportive. Why that piece of shit lied, I don’t know.”
Carpenter also didn’t hold back when asked for his thoughts on Zombie’s Halloween remake: “I thought he took away the mystique of the story by explaining too much about [Michael Myers]. I don’t care about that. He’s supposed to be a force of nature, he’s supposed to be almost supernatural, and he was too big.”
To be fair, Carpenter can come off extremely cold. He may think he’s being polite, but he really, truly, whole-heartedly can come off like a jerk. I can see Zombie feeling rejected by one of his idols, as has happened to so many of us at conventions or wherever. And, in regards to Zombie making his own movie, he definitely did that with Halloween 2, which is one of my favorites in the entire franchise (I’m definitely in the minority here).
The fun begins in the video at the 17:00 mark. What do you take away from the remarks? Share your thoughts on the verbal sparring below, as well as on the Halloween remake.
Fifteen years ago today, Konami released Silent Hill 2 in the United States. Hailed as one of the greatest sequels AND as having one of the greatest stories in video game history, Silent Hill 2 is one of those rare games that transcends simple entertainment and instead becomes an experience, one that stays with us for years.
I remember buying the game the day it came out. I had it pre-ordered months in advance because my excitement was nigh well unbearable, so picking it up on opening day was not an option, it was a necessity. I rushed home and, after doing my homework (I was still in high school at the time), I dove into the game, eager to once again enter the town that gave me so many nightmares just a few years prior.
To celebrate its anniversary, I wanted to revisit the game, which still has enormous meaning for me. It’s a way to pay homage and respect to a title that has influenced countless titles since its release. Join me as we venture back into Silent Hill.Entering Silent Hill
What set apart Silent Hill 2 for me was the length of the introduction. Most games throw you into the mix nearly straight away. Within moments of the train stopping in Final Fantasy VII, you’re in a battle. Leaving to the left or the right of the town of Jova in Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest also puts you right into the fray. But not Silent Hill 2.
Instead, the game begins with an almost picturesque view of Toluca Lake and the woods that surround it. A thin fog hovers over the air, but there isn’t enough to obscure your view. It’s ghostlike, wispy tendrils blurring the air ever so slightly.
James Sunderland, after facing his reflection in the mirror of a roadside bathroom, stands at the railing of the rest stop, looking out over the lake and coming to terms with his mission. He has received a letter from Mary, his wife who died three years prior, and he needs to know how…and why. Steeling himself, he descends the stairs and follows the path from the rest stop that leads into Silent Hill.
Now, normally a game would put in a cutscene that would show him walking a bit and then ending up in the town. But that didn’t happen here as the player has to go with James along this path, which takes several real time minutes, hearing the strange noises that are coming from the woods around him. And as we journey further, the fog gets thicker and more impenetrable, as though James is entering a different world, one that seeks both to dissuade him from taking another step forward as well as welcome him, wrapping him in a gray blanket of fog.
James’ story forward is one of struggle, pain, loss, grief, and facing wounds that had seemingly healed but reopen all too easily. We share in his emotions because not only do we control him, we are ever aware of the pains and struggles he is going through, as evidenced by the letter he constantly carries with him, which can never be dropped and is, in fact, integral for some of the various endings the game offers.
As the revelations arrive towards the end of the game, we, the player, find ourselves in a tough position with James. Can we empathize with this character, especially after what he’s done?The Town
Entering Silent Hill, we are not given direction or guidance. It is up to us, the players, the figure out our path to continue the journey of finding Mary. This freedom is both liberating and daunting. After all, how does one find what they need when they have to look across an entire town?
This encouragement of exploration continued the tradition of the first game and made the player feel like they were much like James, lost in the story and, just as James expressed in the beginning of the game, uncertain of where in the town to go.
The town felt fully realized and fleshed out. From the bowling alley to the gas station to the historical society to the hospital, Silent Hill was a real town that would’ve held real people. The sense of familiarity that I mentioned previously was aided by this attention to detail. These are places we would go to in our own real life, so seeing them here jogs memories of our own experiences, subtly connecting us.The Atmosphere
When I heard of the first Silent Hill, it was described as “‘Resident Evil’ but with less bullets.” It’s not wrong but it certainly doesn’t capture the nuance of what the game offers. The way I’ve always described it is, “If ‘Resident Evil’ were to ‘Aliens’ then ‘Silent Hill’ would be to ‘The Shining’.”
One of the biggest draws of the Silent Hill games is their ability to create an atmosphere that is palpable. It feels different from all other games before and after it. The reason is because, for as terrifying and uncertain as the game is, there is a beauty, an aching yearning that rests at the foundation. The town is a source of temptation and part of its seduction technique is to use nostalgia, familiarity, and beauty amidst its gritty filth.
Much of this can be ascribed to the music of composer Akira Yamaoka, whose notes hover and tremble, much like the fog that has blanketed this town.The Music
Whereas the music for Silent Hill focused far more on industrial noises and sounds that make your teeth itch, Silent Hill 2 ventured into a different yet equally appropriate direction. Embracing ambience and beauty, Yamaoka wrote a spellbinding series of tracks that never strayed from his first OST yet evolved it, much the same as how the game evolved from Playstation 1 capabilities into the far more powerful Playstation 2. Tracks like “White Noiz” and “Noone Love You” are prime examples of pieces that are heart-achingly beautiful yet also harbor something sinister.
“Fermata in Mistic Air” is another piece that almost hurts to listen to. You can hear the desperation and pain, the horror of everything that Silent Hill embodies expressed in this one piece. There might not be another track that so wonderfully represents what the series has to offer.
I’ve made it clear over the years just how much I love the music of the Silent Hill games and this soundtrack, depending on the day, ranks as my favorite.The Enemies
When one thinks about it, the Silent Hill games may have more enemies than Resident Evil. After all, when you clear an area in any of the RE games, the zombies usually don’t return. Not so in the Silent Hill series, at least in the town itself. The amount of enemies never seems to drop, the body count rising with each enemy fallen. This alone is horrifying in that we can never feel safe, we can never feel some sense of security. Yes, we can clear a building of every enemy within but that doesn’t change the fact that the outside harbors an endless amount of terrifying denizens.
While in Silent Hill 1 the enemies were reflections of Alessa and her fears, Silent Hill 2‘s enemies are reflections of James and his guilt, with the exception of the “Abstract Daddy”, which is a manifestation of Angela’s nightmares of the rapes she endured at the hands of her father and brother. The nurses and mannequins are strangely erotic, their bodies a representation of James’ repressed sexual frustrations and fantasies.
One of the most iconic characters not just in the game but now in the series, Pyramid Head’s first appearance in the apartment building is masterfully crafted. He just stands there, seemingly bathed in a red light, unmoving yet imposing, his body covered in blood stains. Seeing him for the first time, I felt genuine fear. I knew that this entity was something different from all the other enemies, those who pursued and attacked with seemingly mindless abandon. This was a calculating vision, one that would pursue me relentlessly yet intelligently, determined to strike James right where it hurt the most. There’s a reason Pyramid Head has gone on to become a video game icon and it’s not just his design.
When I bought Silent Hill 2, I expected to be scared, to see some incredible, macabre visuals, to hear some wonderful music, and to have a damn good time. What I didn’t expect was to experience a story that was so nuanced, so brilliantly thought out, that it would forever change my view of how games were approached.
Silent Hill 2 proved that games could transcend the misconception of being a “simple form of entertainment”. It elevated the medium to a level that demanded respect and appreciation. There’s a reason it’s one of my favorite games of all time and will forever be so. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to hook up my PS2 and give it a playthrough.
How do things end up becoming *things* on the internet? Oftentimes, one person posts something and inspires a friend to do the same, and sometimes, those things explode and take on a big beautiful life of their own. Such is the case with the recent “Describe yourself in three fictional characters” social media game, which has likely clogged up your Facebook and Twitter feeds with images of movie and TV characters that your friends consider their fictional spirit animals.
Of course, it’s not exclusively a horror game, but we’ve decided to make it one. We want YOU to comment below and describe yourself in three horror characters, and you’re encouraged to explain why each of them made the list. We want to know which horror characters you share a powerful bond with, and we hope that with that knowledge, we’ll learn a little something about you.
As for me, well, allow me to kick off the fun!
If I had to pick just one horror character to describe myself, it’d be Secret Window‘s Mort Rainey. Played by Johnny Depp in the 2004 adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, Rainey is a work-from-home writer who divides his time between napping, playing with his dog, and of course, writing, and though I related to the character even before becoming a writer myself, it’s almost frightening how much I relate to him now. Mind you, I’m not a delusional killer or anything, but anyone who knows me knows that I’m a secluded cabin in the woods away from being Mort Rainey. The primary difference between he and I, it must be pointed out, is that I’m more of a cat guy.
Another character I deeply relate to is the title character in Lucky McKee’s 2002 film May, pitch-perfectly played by Angela “best Carrie ever” Bettis. May Dove Canady (pictured at the tippy top of this post) is a shy and highly awkward girl who desperately wants a friend but can’t quite seem to find the perfect one, and though she may be as batshit crazy as she is absolutely adorable, I can’t help but feel that there’s a little bit of May in me. And really, I feel like everyone reading this probably has a little bit of May in them too. She’s an extreme weirdo and a total outcast, and to some extent, aren’t we all? If you take away all the killing, she’s one of the most downright relatable and lovable characters in horror history.
Okay, this last one may seem a little strange at first, but hear me out.
Introduced in Michael Dougherty’s Halloween anthology Trick ‘r Treat, Sam is a pumpkin-headed monster child who rocks the coolest pair of footy pajamas on the planet, and though Sam and I may not visually have much in common with one another, what we do share is a love of Halloween – and a hatred for anyone who disrespects our favorite holiday. Sam is essentially the protector of Halloween, dispatching anyone who doesn’t follow the rules of the holiday, and in many ways he is the very embodiment of the Halloween spirit. Sam is the little kid we all become around this time of the year, and though some may call him a nasty little villain, I prefer to think of him as a Halloween hero. Because he is, is he not?
All of my spirit animals are killers. Go figure.
The floor is now yours!
Today marks the end of an era. After 250+ editions of Twisted Music Video of the Week, I’m bringing the series to an end. If you think about it, I’ve been running this series for about five years, bringing all of you music videos that are gruesome, violent, harrowing, and connected to horror in some way, shape, or form. It was my mission to connect music and horror using the medium of music videos and I hope I succeeded. However, all good things must come to an end and I feel like this series has run its natural course.
So, rather than end the series with one music video, I thought I’d share some of my absolute favorite twisted videos, ones that have stuck with me over the years.
Thank you all for being part of this experiment and I hope you enjoyed watching these as much as I enjoyed bringing them to you.
I remember the first time I watched Jeff Ray’s video for Sigur Rós’ “Varúð”, which was created as part of their Valtari Mystery Film Experiment. I remember immediately being taken in by the beauty of the visuals and how wonderfully the story was being constructed. Then the climax came and I remember sitting on my couch, holding back tears. Never have I been so moved by a music video, which is probably all the more surprising considering the horror foundation upon which it was built.
If you haven’t seen this video, I recommend grabbing a box of tissues, just in case.
After that last video, I figured we’d need something a bit more lighthearted. That’s just what Big Data’s “Dangerous” offers as it’s a catchy tune with a toe-tapping beat and an exploding head. Yeah, I’m not joking. That’s not even bringing up the amputated leg that was severed using only the power of a couple of foreheads. Honestly, if this isn’t making sense to you, it might be worth watching the video.
Man, I can’t tell you how much I love this video. It’s got great visuals, a wonderful atmosphere, and the music is just badass! I was never a car person but this video makes me want to get in something fast and just floor it, pulling some GTA evasions and launching myself into the air only to land perfectly and hightail it away.
Sure, I’d probably be dead within two minutes but don’t ruin this dream for me, okay?!
I saw this video several times when I was young and every time it scared me to the point that I thought I was going to have nightmares. The texture and design of this video is magnificent, every frame oozing a surreal nightmare that feels dirty and impure. If ever there was a video that embodied “Twisted Music Video of the Week”, this is probably it.
I love Behemoth, so it’s probably not a surprise that one of their videos showed up on this list. The thing about this video is the beauty in its terror. Some of these images are pure blasphemy, almost a direct insult levied against God. No matter your beliefs, I think we can all agree that this video pushes boundaries that make some people feel distinctly uncomfortable.
This one might seem like it came out of nowhere and that’s kinda because it did. I’d never heard of Asian She before seeing this clip but it blew me away. I even wrote in my piece, “…the video is a throwback mixture of giallo and 70’s horror but with a slasher character that is as terrifying and as vicious as any we’ve seen up to this point.” I’m still waiting on a feature-length movie with this villain as I’d be 100% into that!
Want to piss off people? Show a bunch of kids “killing” each other while acting out their imaginative playdate of being drug dealers. No, I’m not joking. This video is a pure rollercoaster of exciting visuals, animated deaths, and outrageous elements that will make your parents’ eyes bulge. Personally, I say death to more kids.
I’m a big fan of stop-motion videos, mainly because I recognize the sheer amount of work that goes into creating something so intensive and detailed. “I Am Colossus” uses this technique to craft a terrifying story of nuns summoning a gigantic beast that is bent on destroying the world. The video is the build up and the arrival of the monstrosity, leaving our imagination to determine what path it will take next. Just think The Cabin in the Woods and you’re golden.
I have literally no shame in admitting that I absolutely love this song and this video. The first time I saw it, I was simply blown away. It’s not too often that we get videos that push boundaries like this. After all, many of the themes in this video are rather taboo (prostitution, deformities), so I guess it makes sense that Limp Bizkit are the ones to tackle them. Visually, I’m telling you that it’s worth the watch. And when it comes to the music? Fuck the haters, I say bring it on.
Mastodon are known for their wild and inventive videos, most of which have a rather comical twist to them. Drummer Brann Dailor told me in the past that the reason they do this is because the music is very serious but the videos are their way of having fun. No matter what the reasoning is, “Curl of the Burl” is a wild, psychedelic trip into the woods, one that ends in a rather heated fashion…
Once again, thank you all for supporting 250+ editions of Twisted Music Video of the Week. You can see all of them right here and I hope enjoyed these weekly videos over the past five years!
Swedish metal band Opeth certainly have changed over the past several albums. Originally starting as a progressive death metal group, they’ve since dropped the death metal aspect and have since turned into a more prog rock/heavy metal group, trading distortion for fuzz and adding a lot more keys. Perhaps the last time we really got a full taste of their roots was the 2008 album Watershed, an album that was met with critical acclaim and has since become a fan favorite. Since then, we’ve gotten Heritage and Pale Communion, both albums that embrace the more 70’s styled prog rock of bands such as Camel, Brand X, King Crimson, and the like.
Next week brings Sorceress, their 12th studio album. Featuring 11 tracks with titles such as “Will O the Wisp”, “Strange Brew”, and “A Fleeting Glance”, the question that many have is does this album challenge listeners the way pretty much all of their previous albums have or has Opeth reached a dead end?
Opeth have always been unpredictable. Damnation was a risk that they themselves admit to being apprehensive about releasing. After all, a death metal band releasing an almost entirely acoustic album with no growls or distortion? Yeah, that’s a risk no matter how you look at it. However, the fanbase recognized that this was something the band had already incorporated into the earlier material and it was just being given its own platform to shine. They recognized the strength of this kind of Opeth.
I bring this up because while Sorceress takes elements of their earlier works, and is essentially a continuation of the past two albums, it doesn’t feel like the band had their hearts fully placed here. Yes, they play exceptionally well and each stands out but I’m not talking about their performances. I’m talking about the music itself. Too many times does it feel like the band doesn’t know how to progress in the song, so the transitions they fell upon can be sudden or jarring. “Strange Brew” makes this apparent when a beautiful but sudden guitar solo comes in around the 1:30 mark, only to itself be overtaken by a frantic passage just over 30 seconds later.
Many of the riffs across the album are heavy as hell, no doubt about it. The fact that the band doesn’t have the distortion cranked doesn’t change the fact that these are some tasty licks. Heaviness doesn’t come from distortion, it comes from the heart. The band has said that this album would be “darker” and it certainly fits that bill. “Sorceress”, “The Wilde Flowers”, and “Chrysalis” are perfect examples of this.
One of my favorite tracks is “Sorceress 2”, which walks a fine line between light and dark. There are moments where the acoustic guitar plays almost heavenly passages only to suddenly twist like a serpent into something far more sinister. Meanwhile, the majority of “The Seventh Sojourn” is a Middle Eastern-influenced instrumental that isn’t all that exciting. However, it has a gorgeous ending that features distant, almost monastic vocals and a twinkling piano melody.
A big positive here is just how dynamic Sorceress is. Those who listen to this while wearing headphones should pretty much be always ready to adjust the volume because it goes from whisper quiets to roaring riffs. I love albums that do this because I choose to leave my volume at one level, forcing me to strain to hear the quiet and being blown away by the loud.
The Final Word: Sorceress isn’t a bad album by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t think Opeth even know how to put out a bad release. However, it doesn’t push the band into any new boundaries, which is what I feel every album beforehand did.
Hey, where have we seen THOSE before?!
In the first episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke, some very familiar-looking relics made a surprising appearance. I’m of course referring to The Blair Witch Project‘s creepy “stickmen,” which decorated a house in one scene that immediately had me wondering if, like The Woods, the new season of FX’s hit series was actually some kind of secret sequel. An even larger stickman made an appearance in this week’s Episode 2, so it’s likely we haven’t seen the last of them on the show.
Of course, American Horror Story is known for paying tribute to iconic horror films, so one could easily write off the stickmen as nothing more than just another homage; if you’d prefer to call it a “rip off,” that’s totally your prerogative. But timing is everything, and it’s the timing of this particular homage that left me scratching my head. The first episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke premiered literally the night before Blair Witch hit theaters, and you may have even noticed that the first appearance of the stickmen directly preceded a TV spot for, you guessed it, Blair Witch.
Now I’m not suggesting that there is any actual link between American Horror Story: Roanoke and the Blair Witch universe – it’s of course possible, but not very likely – but isn’t it just a little strange that Blair Witch imagery would be so prevalent in a season of American Horror Story that premiered the exact same time as the release of the first Blair Witch Project film in sixteen years? Is it just an oddly-timed coincidence, or something more?
Ben Rock is the production designer who created the iconic stickmen for the original Blair Witch Project, and so I reached out to him to see if he had any thoughts on this one.
“I’m sure it was tied in with the release of the new movie,” Rock speculated, noting that he too found the timing to be something more than mere coincidence. “I don’t have any actual knowledge, but why else? I think brand-wise it could help the new Blair Witch movie just as another way to put that idea in front of a different kind of horror fan – the American Horror Story audience is, I assume (with no actual knowledge) an older audience but maybe one who would remember the original Blair Witch Project.”
I mentioned to Rock that it was possible the creators of American Horror Story had no idea, at the time of filming the new season, that The Woods even was a Blair Witch sequel – after all, that secret was only revealed just a couple months ago – but he posited that non-disclosure agreements could have been signed and FX could very well have been working with Lionsgate for the tie-in marketing.
“It just seems like synergy to me. Like it was planned on some level,” he told me. “But honestly I don’t know one way or the other. I’m just speculating.”
Either way, Rock seems delighted that his creation still remains so iconic and relevant.
“My design was a work-for-hire – so it’s not like I own it or feel slighted in any way,” he noted. “Lionsgate would be the only rights holder. Obviously I’m flattered and at the same time it’s extremely weird to me that a stopgap idea I had when I was 26 still has any resonance. For me it will always be surreal.”
Be sure to check out Ben Rock’s series 20 Seconds to Live over on Ariescope!
Sometimes you can tell when a movie is made just for you. It contains everything that you like in a movie and satisfies you from beginning to end. Chris Peckover’s sophomore feature Safe Neighborhood is one of those movies for me. It certainly won’t be for everyone (black comedies rarely are), but it provides a fun twist on the home invasion sub-genre that should give horror fans a hilariously disturbing viewing experience.
17-year-old Ashley (Olivia DeJonge, The Visit) is spending a holiday evening in a quiet suburban town babysitting 12-year-old Luke (Levi Miller, Pan) while his parents (Patrick Warburton and Virginia Madsen) head to a holiday party. Luke’s friend Garrett (Ed Oxenbould, also from The Visit) crashes the babysitting session in order to help Luke woo Ashley, but it isn’t long before another unexpected visitor stops by. When the phone lines are cut Ashley, Luke and Garrett must fend for themselves against this unusual foe.
Safe Neighborhood is a pitch black horror comedy. The screenplay was written by MAD TV writer Zack Kahn, if that gives you any indication as to the tone of the film. From the get-go the film never takes itself too seriously, and practically demands to be seen with a large group of the right people (the film could prove disastrous if seen with an unresponsive audience). Kahn’s script is sharp and witty, an impressive feat for being his first feature film. This isn’t high art we’re talking about here, but it sure is a lot of fun.
The film would be nothing without its core cast of teenagers, all of whom prove up to the challenge that Safe Neighborhood gives them. It helps that the actors are close to the ages of the characters they are playing. All of them are put through the wringer and play well off of each other (it’s particularly nice to see DeJonge and Oxenbould, who had such good chemistry together in The Visit, work together again). Miller isn’t always as convincing as he needs to be though. The role requires a lot from the actor, but he does pull it off for the most part.
Sans the opening credits sequence, the entirety of Safe Neighborhood takes place in one house (which was built from scratch). Peckover lays out its geography very well, so there is never any confusion as to what is transpiring on screen. This can be a tricky thing to do for one-setting films, but Peckover makes it work. Safe Neighborhood is also a violent film but none of it is gratuitous. Peckover oddly decides to imply a lot of violence without actually showing it. This was probably a consequence of budgetary constraints and not a creative decision on Peckover’s part.
What will make or break the film for most viewers is a rather drastic plot development that takes place about halfway through the film’s brief 85-minute runtime. Again, it won’t be for everyone, but it opens up the film to a whole world of possible scenarios, many of which you will not see coming. That being said, be wary when a trailer is released. It will be tempting for a studio to want to spoil it for audiences, but hopefully that will not happen. Safe Neighborhood is best watched knowing as little about the plot as possible.
There is a period of time in the second act where Safe Neighborhood plays things a little too seriously. It gets to the point where it betrays the tone of everything that came before. Make no mistake, everything that happens in the film is disturbing and in any other film would be almost too nasty to watch. It’s just that the comedic tone helps to downplay the off-putting elements. Thankfully the film course-corrects and delves right back into the black comedy, making for a wholly satisfying experience.
Safe Neighborhood provides a bonkers twist on the home invasion sub-genre that had me squealing with glee from start to finish. It has earned its place with Gremlins, Krampus and Batman Returns as part of my annual holiday viewing tradition. Be sure to track down Safe Neighborhood when it gets released. You won’t regret it.Safe Neighborhood had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX. No official U.S. release date has been set.
I rarely eat KFC or any fast food for that matter. It just doesn’t taste all that good to me. However, I can safely say that whenever I’m presented with a plate of chicken wings, I’ll hand you back a plate with cleanly picked bones. I’m a master of eating wings (just ask Bill) and you damn well better believe I eat every piece that’s on there. However, when I’m done with my wings I simply discard the remnants, not thinking that anything could be done with them.
That’s not what Japanese artist Hone Oyaji does. Oh no, he takes those bones and decides to create something exceptional with them, something almost mind-boggling! After eating several buckets of chicken, Oyaji took the bones and then put together his own sculpture of King Ghidorah from the Godzilla films! It’s surprisingly detailed and looks fantastic! I’d absolutely put one on my shelf, although when I get a dog it would probably become too much of a temptation for that wily beast.
The creature first appeared in Toho’s 1964 film Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and is frequently the enemy of Godzilla. He is, according to director Ishiro Honda, a modern representation of “Yamata no Orochi”, the Japanese mythical 8-forked serpent, who bears eight heads and eight tails.
Cheers to Laughing Squid for the find!
— 骨オヤジ (@honeoyaji) September 8, 2016
Something that I learned while doing set visits for BD is just how much I need to recognize and honor whomever is in the Production Designer role. The amount of work they put into ensuring we, the viewer, get a hopefully wonderful and immersive experience is unreal. From location scouting to ensuring the material used in building a set works with planned FX, their role is vital, no way around it.
When it comes to horror, one of the top names in the genre is David Cronenberg, whose films Scanners, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Crash, and more have filled us with fear, revulsion, arousal, and morbid fascination. He assaults the senses with each release, his ability to mix beauty with the gruesome an absolute marvel. But it couldn’t be done without the assistance of his long-time production designer Carol Spier.
Spier has worked on some of the best horror titles in recent memory, as well some that we simply adore, such as Silent Hill, Mimic, Blade II, Carrie, Pacific Rim, and more. Her work with Cronenberg reaches as far back as 1979’s sport drama Fast Company, for which she was the art director. Her work with Cronenberg has continued for over four decades, including the above mentioned films as well as Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, and, most relevant to this piece, 1999’s eXistenZ.
I bring this movie up because a fascinating documentary is available to watch below that goes into the making of the sci-fi/horror mindtrip that also focuses on the impact of Spier. For those who love the film, it’s a magnificent look into what it took to piece everything together. For those interested in how movies are made, this delves into the specific roles and functions that various people have and how they all interact with one another. Basically, this is something any aspiring filmmaker should watch.
eXistenZ follows marketing trainee Ted Pikul (Jude Law), who becomes an unintentional bodyguard for game designer Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) after an attempted assassination. Fearing that her gamepod, which works by being plugged into a port in the user’s spine, may have been damaged, she needs Pikul to join her in playing her game to ensure everything is working fine. So begins the mind-bending journey into a film that distorts reality and never makes it clear whether the characters are in the game or in real life.
I love this movie. From Howard Shore’s grandiose score to the disgusting yet hypnotizing visuals, the story and characters are wonderfully realized and this film deserves every bit of love that comes its way. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend giving it a shot.
UK sales outfit Protagonist, riding high off the success of Toronto hit Lady Macbeth, has boarded world sales on Andrew Hulme’s recently wrapped crime-horror The Devil Outside, which ScreenDaily shares the first ever image from.
Writer-director Hulme’s BFI-backed follow up to his 2014 Cannes Official Selection debut Snow In Paradise charts the story of a young boy (Robert) brought up in a world of evangelical Christianity that has taught him to look for signs and to believe that evil is waiting just outside the front door.
Caught between his mother, who’s determined to bring Jesus’s love to a dead mining town, and his best friend who has introduced him to teenage rebellion, Robert becomes embroiled in a spiritual tug of war as he tries to escape his religious beliefs. It’s then that he discovers a dead body in the woods and realises that God has sent him a sign.
The film was shot over five weeks in rural Nottinghamshire, UK.
The role of Robert is played by 14 year old newcomer Noah Carson who was cast via Nottingham’s Television Workshop.
The film features new and unknown actors from the local area including Daniel Frogson and Lauren Stanley. Robert’s parents are played by Keeley Forsyth (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Alex Lowe (The Brothers Grimsby), and the film also features Mark Stobbart (Skins).
The Devil Outside is produced by Christine Alderson of Ipso Facto, whose recent projects include Snow In Paradise and The Banksy Job, which premiered at Tribeca 2016.
Studio 8 has picked up the rights to New York Times bestseller Richard Kadrey’s “Sandman Slim”, the eight book urban fantasy series, with a ninth on the way in 2017, Deadline reports.
Kel Symons is attached to adapt the novels, which are being eyed as a potential franchise.
The series revolves around James “Sandman Slim” Stark, a fast talking, hard-boiled, supernatural vigilante who escapes from Hell to avenge his girlfriend’s murder and hunt down the magicians responsible for getting him sent “downtown.”
Symons recently adapted Money Shot for Lost City and wrote a live action Aladdin for Disney.
Patrick Walmsley at LBI Entertainment brought the series to Studio 8. Chris Goldberg is overseeing the project for the studio, along with Rishi Rajan.
Much like its diminutive titular characters, the Ghoulies franchise is a short. Its legacy spans a single decade (1984-1994) and runs a mere four films long. That’s more than some series ever manage, but also less than the big guns of horror. A premiere horror franchise Ghoulies is not, so we should probably be happy that we received as many of them as we did.
As for the films themselves? I suspect most have a decent idea of what they might be getting themselves into when they first sit down to experience this series. It’s kind of hard not to have a certain impression in mind when the poster of the original has a little, bald, green goblin-thing sitting in a commode and a tagline stating “They’ll Get You In The End!”
Still, just because a series isn’t aiming for “high art”, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun to explore. I love my horror to come in all shapes, sizes, and tones. As a result, I rather like the Ghoulies films as a whole, so don’t expect this to be a multi-page tirade of negativity. Let’s have some fun!
We’ve covered dark alt-rockers Death Valley High several times in the past and each time I’m reconnected with them, I feel the urge to get up and break shit. There’s this infectious energy that permeates their music that I have absolutely no shame in getting hyped for. It’s brash, it’s extravagant, and it’s fucking fun!
Today, we’ve got two treats from the band: The first is a music video premiere for their track “Warm Bodies”, which appears on their upcoming album CVLT [AS FVK]. Directed by Brian Cox of Flarelight Films, the NSFW clip (nudity, violence, and gore) shows a woman running from a group of zombies only to arrive at the home of an elderly couple. It is there that things descend into chaotic yet “romantic” (?) madness.
Additionally, the band has put together a list of their top five favorite horror films and, barring The Babadook, I can kinda see influences of each of their choices in “Warm Bodies”. From the zombies of Return of the Living Dead to the constant impending danger and the chase of It Follows, Cox must’ve taken a little bit of influence from each of these films to create this clip.
Vocalist/guitarist Reyka Osburn comments:
We wanted the video for “WARM BODIES” to have some unexpected turns so that the viewer would have their expectations abruptly altered while watching. We sought to make sure some of the video was filmed in black and white so that the mind-altering state of our lead characters would translate to the viewer once it changed to color – like watching a campy old horror film that turns into an 80’s action film. We intentionally chose to not include band performance footage or images so we could really get the story concept across, although, if you keep a keen eye during the mini movie, you might catch a glimpse of our scary faces.
CVLT [AS FVK] comes out November 4th via Minus Head Records and can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.
Neon Demon (2016)
A slow grinding glittery gore. Shot by shot, this movie is a prime example of a motion *picture*. What sets this grim fable apart from any other is that it is at least twice the glamour of any other horror movie before it. Definitely twice the glitter and then some.
It Follows (2015)
An undeniably new and original addition to grim urban legends. Starts off at a pace that won’t let you blink, let alone look behind you.
The Babadook (2014)
A mother and son in monochrome. A disturbingly sinister, yet overwhelmingly innocent story with a vague nod to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. One of the creepiest cinematic offerings in recent years.
Battle Royale (2000)
A satire of violent survivalism, this initially banned J-Horror movie was a groundswell of inspiration for DVH. All of the pre-adulthood moral conflict, mixed in with stylistic but relevant gore, was on level with the DVH theme and concept.
The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Beating out Shaun of the Dead for the “Horror Comedy” spot, this film is tantamount for a DVH summation. Part party, part horror, and a whole lot of sarcasm.
This clip from Ryan Gregory Phillips’ Shortwave utilizes extreme sound design to deliver scares in the dark.
The film will be continuing its festival run this weekend with its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London, as well as the NOLA Horror Film Fest in New Orleans. It has already screened as an official selection at over a dozen festivals with more coming up, including next month where it is an official selection at the Sitges Film Festival.
Luiz reviewed the film and stated that “Shortwave shines with more emotion than horror.”
In the film, “Josh and Isabel Harris, after suffering the loss of their only child, relocate to a secluded hillside research facility with the hopes of repairing their broken family. After years of trying, Josh and his research partner, Thomas, have a breakthrough involving a cryptic shortwave radio signal and its universal origins. Something within the signal resonates with Isabel and she begins experiencing seeming hallucinations and visions of distant memories. Upon further investigation into the phenomenon, the scientists fear for Isabel’s health while Isabel fears the signal has attracted something sinister to their new home.”
Juanita Ringeling, Cristobal Tapia Montt, Kyle Davis, featuring Jay Ellis, Nina Senicar, and Sara Malakul Lane star.
Vertical Entertainment and XYZ Films have acquired David Stubbs’ documentary “Belief: The Possession Of Janet Moses”, just ahead of its premiere at the 2016 Fantastic Fest, Deadline reports.
Based on the true story of the Wainuiomata exorcism, the pic will be released in theaters early next year.
The film combines interviews and dramatic narrative to depict the reality of the last few days of Janet Moses’ life. Believing that 22-year-old Janet had fallen under the spell of a Mãkutu, or Mãori curse, her whanau (family) both surround her in a circle of love, and subject the young mother to four days and four nights of water cleansing in an effort to rid her of evil. So great was their belief in Mãkutu, that it became their truth.
Stubbs produced the doc with Thomas Robins while Paul Davis and Richard Fletcher exec produced.
It’s no secret that I don’t like the 2014 U.S. remake of Godzilla. In fact, I think it’s one of the most gorgeous heaps of trash I’ve ever seen. Because of this, it was cause for celebration when Toho announced a new Godzilla film of their own. Only, it turned out it was being co-directed by Shinji Higuchi, the man behind the incoherent, disastrous and unwatchable live-action adaptation of “Attack on Titan”. My stomach churned. While we’ve been reporting on the upcoming film, which is stomping its way into U.S. theaters for a limited engagement on October 11–18, I’ve ignored it under the assumption that I was surely going to disappointed. I was sent a screening link yesterday morning, and with expectations at the lowest point possible, I figured “what the hell?”
Having already shared one the first online reviews of Shin Godzilla, I don’t think it’s necessary to pen a proper one of my own. But, having absolutely obliterated Higuchi’s work, and his piece of shit “Attack on Titan” adaptation, I felt the need to reassure everyone that Shin Godzilla is pretty fucking good.
Co-directed by Hideaki Anno (Evangelion), Shin Godzilla is far from perfect, but it’s also a perfectly good time. Spoiler warning. I have never been a huge Godzilla fan, so I can’t speak to the dozens of films in existence, but I really like the approach to Shin Godzilla. Yes, it’s a Japanese remake, and scraps all the previous films from existence. It begins when a giant sea creature (a baby Godzilla?) surfaces and begins swimming through channels around Japan. One of the biggest issues with this film is that it isn’t told through anyone’s eyes, and the characters are all pretty forgettable, but what I did like is the “House of Cards” style politics of the event. Shin Godzilla really hones in on the political and economic ramifications of Godzilla’s presence, while also taking the time to really understand what Godzilla is and how he exists as a biological entity.
It’s interesting that the movie presents itself as a political thriller (with a plethora of scenes featuring people just talking and talking) than an actual Godzilla movie, and surely that will turn a lot of people off, but when Godzilla in on screen it’s pretty great. The puppet/CGI mixture works quite well – in fact, Shin Godzilla carries a sort of 80’s creature feature vibe. From his first form to his fourth, there’s a wonderful realism to the character that we’ve never seen before. Godzilla is also frightening, mostly because he/she doesn’t appear to be a thinking entity, but one acting out of instinct. Godzilla blasts fire out of his mouth, nuclear energy out of his body, and ejects lasers across the sky (taking out space-bound military planes).
I just loved the bold attempt at a fresh perspective, even if it’s too long and has an astoundingly flaccid finale. If anything, it’s a welcome new beginning to the franchise that sets the stage for multiple sequels and has set the stakes enormously high. I think the coolest implication is that, shit, maybe they can crossbreed a sequel with the U.S. producers?
Shin Godzilla is basically Godzilla meets “House of Cards”, and has enough action to appease those who don’t care about a story. In the first of a new series, I think the stage has been set for something enormous to happen next…
Quite a few critics have been known to use the term “exploitation film” as an insult, despite the fact that some of the greatest horror movies of all time can be considered part of this brutal yet captivating corner of filmmaking history. While I personally have a hard time enjoying rape-revenge and so-called “torture porn” movies, these films have a right to exist. This is why I approached Patricio Valladares’ thriller, Hidden in the Woods, with an open mind.
An English-language remake of Valladares’ 2012 Chilean film of the same name, Hidden in the Woods stars Jeannine Kaspar and Electra Avellan as Anna and Anny, two young sisters that have been raised in isolation by their abusive and drug-dealing father, Oscar, played by Michael Biehn. When Oscar sets out on a killing spree, the sisters manage to escape with their younger sibling/child, only to find themselves confronted with a world of sex, violence and vengeful drug cartels.
As if the plot didn’t sound cheerful enough, it’s actually based on an allegedly true story from Chile. This brings up some issues of whether or not it’s in good taste for the film to feature so many graphic depictions of sexual assault and murder, though in some ways it can be argued that the movie is promoting the positive discussion of these sensitive issues by not shying away from them. That doesn’t make it any easier to watch, however.
There may be some merit to the way that Hidden in the Woods tackles its subject matter, but it’s certainly not an enjoyable experience. The aggressive and mostly realistic nature of the film ultimately make things feel too depressing, with Anna and Anny being reduced to extremely unfortunate punching bags instead of fully fleshed-out characters. When the dust finally clears, the viewer is left only with a feeling of relief, not necessarily triumph or satisfaction.
In any case, the cast certainly does their job well (especially an unexpected William Forsyth as Uncle Costello), and even bring some much needed moments of tenderness to the table. Sadly, the script doesn’t give Kaspar or Avellan enough to work with, as they’re soon thrown back into the fray. Another strange note is that, even with all these talented actors, the movie sometimes looks cheap, especially when compared to the original. It may be because of the use of natural lighting, or the logistics behind relocating to the United States, but it’s certainly odd that an American remake feels like a downgrade.
In the end, Hidden in the Woods isn’t entirely devoid of redeeming value, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a good film, nor an entertaining one. While many similar exploitive films use exaggerated violence and characterizations to make the viewing experience feel more fun than disgusting, only the most desensitized of horror-hounds will enjoy this peculiar remake.
Hidden in the Woods will be released on VOD on December 2nd!
Cleopatra Films has released a trailer for The Black Room, the latest genre film from Rolfe Kanefsky (Dead Scared, Nightmare Man ).
In the film, “A supernatural tale where evil takes on a sexy side. A married couple moving into their new home is faced with an entity that feeds off lust and desire, corrupting and/or killing everyone in its path as it plots a horrifying plan to destroy the world.”
Natasha Henstridge (Species), Lin Shaye (Insidious), Lukas Hassel and Augie Duke star with Donnie Darko‘s James Duval, Dominique Swain and Scream Queen Tiffany Shepis.