Russian website Film Pro is reporting that Marvel will unleash the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron in theaters this winter, attached to prints of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Interstellar the weekend of November 7.
The third Avengers, which battles the extinction of both man and mutant, is set for a May 1, 2015 release.
“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.”
The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige.
This week, Don and Justin return with another action-packed hour of talking. Among their subjects are the new movie The Equalizer, and the new Wii U game “Hyrule Warriors.”
Also this week, late-to-the-party discussions of: The Quiet Ones, “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow,” and Public Service Announcements about “Dark Dreams Don’t Die” (a.k.a. “D4,“from the creator of “Deadly Premonition,” and it needs your help!), and “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.”
And most importantly, get well soon Tom Chick!
Did you glance at the recommended PC specs for Alien: Isolation or The Evil Within and laugh that maniacal PC Master Race laugh, because the rig you had in 2008 had enough Ghz to power them both at the same time? If you answered yes, then here are some more recommended specs to laugh at, this time for the open-world horror game Dying Light.
As we’ve established, my mind is already so jam-packed with mostly irrelevant video game facts and recipes for late-night meals designed to achieve maximum calories with minimal time and effort, leaving me no room left for me to develop more than a child’s understanding of all this.
OS: Windows® Windows Vista® (SP2) / Windows® 7 (SP1) / Windows® 8
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Duo/AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 @3GHz, Intel Core i5 @2.4GHz
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: DirectX® 10–compliant, 512 MB VRAM
Hard Drive: 20 GB HD space
Sound: DirectX® 10–compliant
OS: Windows® 7 (SP1) 64bit / Windows® 8 64bit
Processor: quad core CPU @3GHz
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Radeon 7900 Series / GeForce GTX 670, >2GB VRAM
Hard Drive: 20 GB HD space
Sound: DirectX® 10–compliant
Dying Light hits PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on January 27, 2015.
On October 22nd, 2001, electronic artist Richard D. James released Drukqs under the Aphex Twin moniker, the fifth studio album released under this name. It was the last Aphex Twin album to be released until just under two weeks ago when he released a brand new album, Syro.
Featuring tracks from the past several years, as well as a healthy dose of new material, the release of Syro stunned and delighted fans as well as critics, gaining near universal acclaim.
Now, this isn’t a review simply because I never got 100% into Aphex Twin’s previous albums, something that I’m now sorely regretting. Rather, these are my impressions after listening to the album several times.
What struck me the most about this album was the unbelievably vast array of tones and sounds. It’s an absolutely fascinating album from an aural perspective. There are tones that hearken back to the 80′s and 90′s while several sounds are incredibly modern, creating a unique mixture of past and present.
The next thing that stuck out to me was how much of a roller coaster it was on my emotions. From moments of pure beauty to glitched out creepiness, Syro is an opportunity for introspection and possibly even meditation. It drew me in hypnotically, each song a story in and of itself yet somehow relatable and identifiable. I found myself more often than not completely lost in the music, blissfully unaware of the world around me.
But perhaps the most wonderful aspect of this album is that I have listened to it multiple times and it’s still growing on me, revealing new sounds and melodies. Each new playthrough unveils something new, something that I missed out on with each previous listen. I can’t really explain it but I’m drawn to this album time and time again. It’s almost like some strange addiction and I can’t get enough of it.
If you haven’t guessed from this article, I’m kinda in love with Syro. I 100% recommend picking it up as quickly as you possibly can. It’s the kind of album that stays with you and will end up being something you return to year after year.
Let’s take a minute and rewind to August of last year, when the post-apocalyptic shooter The Drowning released on iOS with the promise of making full use of the iPhone’s innards to deliver visuals that would be about on par with console games. It’s an intriguing concept, a mobile horror game with console quality graphics.
With the exception of a few games, like Resident Evil 4 and the fantastic Dead Space mobile game, I haven’t found many horror titles that have been able to keep me hooked for more than a few minutes. Even still, it looked impressive enough for me to give it a try.
After spending a couple hours in its monster-infested world, I decided The Drowning has a lot of style, but it lacked substance. At its core, it’s a wave survival game with free-to-play mechanics that’s light on story and heavy on mildly creepy creatures to shoot.
Apparently, that’s enough to warrant a film adaptation. As Deadline reports, the game will soon move from the small screen to one that’s substantially bigger. It’s being written by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt (Olympus Has Fallen and The Expendables 3), and produced by Ted Field, Mike Weber, and Michael Napoliello of Radar Pictures.
Tom Van Dell and Jason Moskowitz are executive producing.
The only thing that has me cautiously optimistic about this is its eco-horror plot, which follows “a deep-sea oil-drilling accident that causes ancient micro-organisms to be released into the water supply of an island town off the Seattle coast.”
“Last Rites” isn’t quite the course correction I was hoping for, but does prove to be a stronger hour, as the team recovers from last week we make some strides toward the endgame.
Of course some of the episode felt like it was stalling, but at first I was chalking it up to Abraham’s flashback scenes. I was worried they’d detract from the week, but they actually gave some incredible insight into the man’s past, and added one of the most horrific sequences the show has churned out thus far. That whole cave sequence was possibly my favorite ten minutes of the show.
I’m still not convinced Dutch adds anything to the show. I found her return with a huge win, to be nothing if not distracting. She and Fet’s budding relationship is a great diversion from the main pull of the episode but feels forced due to a lack of chemistry between the actors. Even still her idea to broadcast a message doesn’t make much sense in a world gone to shit. Especially a world where technological access has been dead for a little while now, but this is The Strain and it seems plot holes come with the territory.
Gus’ plot felt a little haphazard. We know very clearly that he’s a punk with nothing to prove to anyone, and he’s only out for himself. He’s not interested in saving people, and with the world gone to shit, he fits in now more than ever. But he’s always shown potential to be a force for good and this week we’re reminded of it with the gun toss.
Yet the main pull of this episode was making Nora into a more desicive character. She finally committed to this world and understood what needed to be done when someone is lost. It was a smart and interesting parallel to Abraham’s past, but didn’t serve up the same impact. Plus it was nice to see our Goth rocker from week’s past return from whatever hell he was in if only to off Nora’s mother.
The end of the episode did an impeccable job building excitement for next week’s finale. I’m not entirely sure of where things will go from here, but with Quinlan taking Gus, and the Stonehart story finally becoming more interesting things are at an appropriate boiling point for each story to explode it its own way next week.
I want to take a moment and talk about The Master. As a daunting creature who commands legions of vampires his appearance should define terror. He moves with speed and darts around the room like a horrible apparition. He’s depicted as fluid and moves like water, but when he get close he looks like a retarded puppet. Seriously. Not only that but he moves with a certain stiffness that comes to undermine his appearance in every other scene before it. I just can’t get over how terrible his depiction is, and how goofy the face looks.
Exciting things lie ahead in the final week of The Strain. This has been a rather problematic first season that has really shown promise in it’s stronger weeks. This wasn’t really one of them, but it wasn’t a problem week either. Hopefully next week will end things on a marvelous note before the wait for season 2. We can only hope.
- Zack was finally reduced to only a reaction shot this week, let’s all take a breath of relief.
- Eph was really undercut this week, but I didn’t really miss him.
- I need more Quinlan in the finale, let’s hope we get a dose of his squad with Gus next week.
What did you think of “Last Rites?”
It is hard to write or talk about Neverending Nightmares without elaborating on the development, including its creator’s personal history and struggles. Normally, I would eschew unfurling this kind of backstory as irrelevant to the gaming experience, but Neverending Nightmares — along with maybe Depression Quest and Actual Sunlight — have convinced me otherwise.
Neverending Nightmares is the very definition of a personal game, the product of a single man’s struggles with failure, mental illness, depression, and OCD. It is so much a result of Matt Gilgenbach’s psyche that it is nearly impossible to talk about the game without making some pretty substantial statements about its creator.
After a highly disappointing release for rhythm-shooter Retro/Grade, Gilgenbach’s obsessive-compulsive disorder — which he thought he had mostly conquered — began to reappear, prompting the sorts of invasive thoughts of self-mutilation that more-or-less ended up in the final version of the game. It is through that lens Gilgenbach’s vision for Neverending Nightmares was conceived and produced.
Anyone who has seen a screenshot or trailer can see the game’s most immediate appeal: it looks amazing. There is a hellish storybook quality to it that never quite subsides, and the fact that the black-and-white landscape is spattered with touches of color — mostly red — makes it even more starkly appealing.
It is subtle in a way many games are not with regard to color scheme, and it makes me wonder why more games have not availed themselves of something so simple and yet beautiful.
The final product turned out to be a beautiful, weird, and unsettling game, nontraditional but playable and engaging nonetheless. Like other narrative-based experiences of the last few years — think Gone Home — the point is the game itself, as metaphor, as explanation, as whatever the creator wants it to be. Or, consequently, what the player wants it to be.
In Neverending Nightmares, players snap awake in a pen-and-paper world akin to the art of Edward Gorey, taking up the role of asthmatic protagonist Thomas. Without much (read: no) exposition, players wander the halls of a house worthy of Poe and search for…something. Escape. Your lost sister. It quickly becomes clear, but that’s not the point.
The point is, Thomas is a fearful guy living in a world of nightmares he cannot escape, but that doesn’t stop him from trying.
Without a major objective-based plot to drive players forward, Neverending Nightmares comes to feel very much like an adventure game at heart. And this is how it makes manifest the personal connection to Gilgenbach’s OCD.
In each level, players are presented with a series of hallways, many of them virtually identical, with doors that lead to other, branching hallways, which also look exactly the same, which then makes fastidious gamers like me begin to tense up and wonder how to get back to that original hallway and explore the remaining rooms. The intentional sameness makes it nearly impossible to know just what areas have and have not been explored.
Perhaps you see what I’m getting at with this.
It is frustrating and tedious, but in an interesting way. It gives the players a glimpse into what it must be like to have OCD, but also from a purely horror perspective, it builds tension. Even players who systematically wander the halls will get a stomach-churning sense of deja vu when doubling back to find an item or potential exit. If being chased by a monster of some kind, it is impossible not to feel as though the number of exits have been depleted.
The overly attentive explorer will also feel the tension builds as the possibility for death becomes a reality within the confines of this bizarre other-world.
Speaking of death, it’s not quite like Super Meat Boy, but death is immediate and without many of the normal trappings of dying in-game. The player snaps awake in a bed nearby the last place he left off. However, even with that in mind, stepping out into a world of what I’ll call “identical variety” can be daunting, especially if you’re not entirely sure where you left off.
Also true is the fact that the line between death and progression is often blurred, and death is sometimes necessary to move forward. Players will spend some time problem-solving minor puzzles, but for the most part their trips are unimpeded.
The creatures that wander (and often chase you through) the hallways are extreme metaphors for what the player is experiencing, and they reinforce the tone, which never slides out from under its own dark, unrelenting shadow. There is something to be said for a work that remains intentionally bleak, and Neverending Nightmares manages to do so with only the slightest slivers of actual, outright narrative.
Most of what would be considered story has to be inferred by the player, and that is a risk that ultimately paid off. The game uses its own slight acquaintance with plot in order to augment its surrealistic nature. The music, too, should absolutely be mentioned for adding to the unnerving, bizarre quality of the game without ever attempting to take it over.
If any caveats for Neverending Nightmares exist, they have to revolve around time. Thomas, in his frightened, asthmatic state, moves slowly. Very slowly. He can sprint, but it’s a pretty slow gait, even then, and he wheezes such that it’s almost not worth using. It is an interesting gameplay mechanic, especially where it reveals the main character’s weakness, but sometimes just moving ahead is a slog.
The only other potential drawback is that the game is quite short. I clocked in at just over two hours and was just beginning to feel a groove when the credits started rolling. And though there is an option to replay scenarios, with such experiential games the need for replay is often very low. Outside of streaming it, I don’t see myself replaying Neverending Nightmares.
This is a great fixture in the wave of great new horror games of the last few years. It manages to be scary and meaningful, an interesting statement not just about the creator’s experiences but about the act of experiencing a game, period.
The Final Word: Neverending Nightmares is a game that bridges the gap between interactive story and video game, and it brings not just some provocative art but an attention to subject matter that is often marginalized in the genre.
Once inside the Freak Show, there’s no turning back.
Premiering October 8th, check out two more sweet “American Horror Story: Freak Show” teasers, both putting a new twist on the human anatomy.
The fourth season begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952.
“A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.“
Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, and Evan Peters return from previous seasons. New cast members includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Matt Bomer, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.
Unfortunately, they never did, but IBTrav once again crosses “Scooby-Doo” with a horror film – as it should – and imagines a world in which Scooby and gang come face-to-face with The Monster Squad.
The BEST episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies was with guest stars The Monster Squad!
Entitled “The Mighty Monster Mashup”, monsters from Dracula to the Wolfman tangled with Mystery Inc and their new friends The Monster Squad. Armed with Van Helsing’s Diary, the gang had to send the creeps back to Transylvania!
There’s only one way to stop a werewolf. Find out below…
This weekend, Fatal Frame V arrived on the Wii U in Japan. As the rest of the world patiently waits to hear something regarding a possible release outside of the Land of the Rising Sun, through the glory that is the Internet, we’re able to live vicariously through the lucky few who have their copies.
YouTuber ka kit has posted a video of the game’s first half hour. I haven’t watched all of it yet, but I’ve seen enough to know that I want this game badly.
If you were worried that, in their attempt to make Bloodborne a more mainstream game, developer From Software would soften the unforgiving nature and steep difficulty shared by the Dark Souls series that inspired it, you can stop that now. Earlier this month, producer Masaaki Yamagiwa and marketer Yasuhiro Kitao took to the stage to reveal some surprising statistics.
As DualShockers reports, of the nearly 5,000 people who played its demo at PAX and TGS, only 60 — about 1% — were able to successfully complete it. That’s promising.
Bloodborne releases on the PS4 on February 6.
Here we are, standing on the precipice of what may very well be the most exciting time of the year. Sept-Nov is a great time to be a gamer, but it’s also a terrible time to be broke, as I usually am. Thankfully, not every new release carries that premium, and sometimes intimidating, $60 price tag. If you’re on a budget, there’s a number of new releases that won’t take as big a toll on your wallet.
This month has seen the arrival of a bevy of indie horror games, including Doorways: The Underworld, Slender: The Arrival, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Neverending Nightmares and Kraven Manor. Every one of those games is available now, and none of them will cost you more than $20m but if premium prices don’t scare you, Dead Rising 3 also arrived on Steam.
Now that we’ve established what’s out there, I’d like to know which game(s) you’re playing.
We’re all about horror here on Bloody Disgusting, so the options I have in the below poll are all of the horror persuasion. I’m sure your tastes are more diverse than that, so if you’re playing one or more non-horror games, I’d love to hear what’s keeping you busy in the comments.
For the full schedule of the remaining horror games of 2014, check out our handy guide.
Let’s far it, sometimes we watch horror not because we want to be scared but because we really just want to see some limbs fly, some intestines drop, and unfathomable amounts of blood being sprayed everywhere, right? There’s a rather macabre joy in seeing white walls splashed with crimson streaks. Or what about the times when the innards become the…outtards? [Editor's note: I think I just invented a word]
So let’s take a moment to leave our appreciation for some of our favorite horror gorefests! As per usual, I’ve included a few of my personal favorites below. After you check them out, leave me a comment with some of your own favorites!
The found footage fear-fest Delivery: The Beast Within (review) (or Delivery, as it was known in the UK) is getting set to haunt you on home video, and we have an exclusive clip to get you ready!
Delivery: The Beast Within terrifies on DVD and digital HD September 30 from Cinedigm and The Collective.
Blending found footage and reality show genres, the nightmarish feature that is “so intense, so frightening, and so real” (Ain’t It Cool News) marks the directorial debut of Brian Netto, who also co-wrote the film with producer Adam Schindler, and is “bolstered by outstanding performances by its two leads” (IndieWire), Laurel Vail and Danny Barclay.
Delivery: The Beast Within follows Kyle (Barclay) and Rachel Massy (Vail), a young couple who agree to document their first pregnancy for a new reality show. The family begins to unravel when the cameras capture a series of unexplained events, leading Rachel to believe that a malicious spirit has possessed their unborn child. After production is abandoned, a first-hand account of the tragic, and possibly supernatural, story is told through the show’s unaired footage and testimonials from friends, family, and crew members.
Delivery: The Beast Within tells the story of Kyle and Rachel Massy, a young couple who agree to document their first pregnancy for a popular reality show. During the production, following a series of disturbing paranormal events, Rachel begins to believe that a powerful force of evil has possessed their unborn child. Set against the backdrop of never-before-seen footage deemed too shocking for air, Rachel and Kyle’s family and friends recount the terrifying ordeal that’s remained a carefully guarded secret – until now.
- “The Birth of Delivery” – Nine-minute making-of featurette
- Audio Commentary with Actors Laurel Vail and Danny Barclay, Producer Adam Schindler, and Director Brian Netto
- Audio Commentary with Composer Daniel Cossu, Supervising Sound Editor Darin Heinis, Producer Adam Schindler, and Director Brian Netto
The post Exclusive Delivery: The Beast Within Clip Delivered! appeared first on Dread Central.
Directed by Marc Carrete
Distributed by IFC Midnight
I had almost given up hope on the interminable sinking ship of “possession and exorcism” films that have surrounded the horror aficionado as of the last few years and have begun to strangle us with their less-than-frightening depictions of Satanic overtakings (yawn). In my completely dysfunctional opinion, The Exorcist is and forever will be the benchmark for possession films, no argument about it, and any other movie that attempts to piggyback its creative refinement is sorely mistaken.
With that being said, let’s move on to a film that has (slightly) restored my faith in the demonic soul-stealing category of movie-making.
Director Marc Carrete, who before had only worked on short films, now takes the full-feature jump into the deep end with Asmodexia, a film about a man (Marco) named Eloy de Palma, who back in the day used to preside over an oddball sect-like group of holy worshipers and now travels around Barcelona, Spain, with his granddaughter, Alba (Pons), attempting to rid different helpless souls of the Satanic evil that has overcome them. He believes this to be the work of the Devil himself, and the afflicted are merely those who have not given their all to the man upstairs. While many of his works are successful to some degree, he relies heavily on the aid of his granddaughter, as she seems to have a special gift for dealing with these tormented individuals.
All of the previously mentioned instances are also set against the backdrop of the predicted (however failed) Mayan apocalypse of 2012, and it looks as if the possession problem has manifested into a sort of virus, literally affecting people down the line for miles and miles. The area, which normally has cooler than cool temps at the particular time of year (December), is heating up at a record pace, seemingly frying everyone in sight, whether it be on a street corner or in the bowels of a mental institution. As the end of days draws closer, the threat of a complete uprising of infernal entities is beginning to seem like a reality, and Eloy uses tactics that he’d thought he’d never have to employ in order to cease the sinister ushering in of a new day.
The film at times gets stuck in the mud, and its plot has the tendency to stray into uncharted (and confusing) territory, but it’s not long before we are dawn to a conclusion that will shock and surprise many of its watchers. It’s not an overly scary movie – there are some decent makeup jobs that warrant a little shake – but the premise will chill you to the bone. When all is said and done and the credits have rolled, Asmodexia completes its rather short 81-minute jaunt like a professional and delivers the goods for fans of apocalyptic-themed photoplay.
Guzheng player Michelle Kwan has uploaded a video that shows her covering Metallica‘s infamous track “One”, which comes from their 1988 album …And Justice For All. The cover is pretty amazing, especially when she cranks on the distortion and rips through the guitar solo.
We featured Michelle in the past with her cover of Guns N Roses‘ “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, which you can check out here.
Looking at the video, it makes me wish that relatively unheard instruments were used more frequently in popular music. It would add such a level of depth and uniqueness. Alas, we have the same tones and sounds over and over again.
Anyways, enough of me being maudlin. Check out this great cover below!
Australian dark synth group The Night Terrors were recently commissioned to compose an album using the southern hemisphere’s largest grand pipe organ. The result is Pavor Nocturnus, an album that will be released this Halloween via Twisted Nerve Australia (pre-order here).
A composition for Grand Organ, Theremin, analogue electronics and percussion is an inferno of haunting Theremin-led post-prog and dark cosmic dance. Quiet drops of sepulchral voltage and cacophonous whirls of intricate acoustic phenomena intermingle to prise open the maddening space between sentience and expiration. The Night Terrors create a euphorically terrifying dream sequence, just perfect for Halloween. Their most frightening and beautiful recording to date.
Below is a video of their track “Megafauna”, which showcases just how massively large the pipe organ is. Seriously, it’s a monstrosity, a looming piece of pipes and machinery that evokes some truly spine-tingling sounds.
The band also conducted a short interview with Noisey.
Have you got your tickets for the Titty Twister? Whaddya mean “no”?!? Well, you just might have some soon as to celebrate the release of From Dusk Till Dawn Season One, out on DVD across the UK on 22nd September 2014, we have a copy up for grabs!
From Dusk Till Dawn Season One has more excitement and a compelling back story as the show takes us up-close and personal with the vicious vampires from the 1996 film and ramps up the gore and tension whilst keeping the darkly comical tone set by the Rodriguez/Tarantino original.
Cult-classic From Dusk Till Dawn comes to the small screen with bigger action, more gore and an expanded look at the film’s characters as they embark on a frightening journey into the depths of the Titty Twister.
To be in with a chance of winning, just send us an email at email@example.com including your FULL NAME AND POSTAL ADDRESS. We’ll take care of the rest, so you can sit back and dream of all the different kinds of… well, y’know… that the Titty Twister has to offer!
Please note that this competition is open only to UK residents and will end at 12:01 AM PT, 8 October 2014.
From Dusk Till Dawn Season One is centered around bank robber, Seth Gecko (Cotrona) and his violent, unpredictable brother, Richard “Richie” Gecko (Holtz), who are wanted by the FBI and Texas Rangers Earl McGraw (Johnson) with his deputy Freddie Gonzalez (Garcia) after a bank heist leaves several people dead.
While on the run to Mexico, Seth and Richie encounter former pastor Jacob Fuller (Patrick) and his family, whom they take hostage. Using the family RV to cross the border, chaos ensues when the group detours to a strip club that is populated by vampires. They are forced to fight until dawn in order to get out alive.
The series deepens the tone and expands the storyline of the film, adds new characters and backstories, and explores the Mesoamerican mythology behind the creatures inside the club.
The post UK Readers: Win From Dusk Till Dawn Season 1 on DVD! appeared first on Dread Central.
Directed by Greg Nicotero, Guy Ferland, Dan Sackheim, Tricia Brock and others.
Distributed by Entertainment One
As the dust settles around what was formerly Season 3’s Woodbury, our gang of prison-dwelling protagonists begin the fourth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead working hard to keep their community ticking over as efficiently as possible. While Daryl (Reedus) leads the occasional runs into nearby zombie-infested towns in search of provisions, Carol (Melissa McBride) teaches the children the finer points of literature and, when the other adults’ backs are turned, how to correctly handle blades. Meanwhile, a mentally and emotionally shattered Rick tends to the livestock and vegetable patches – forgoing his previous imposed position as leader of the group in an attempt to lighten the load and preserve the man he once was. Also reduced to a shadow of his former self is David Morrissey’s Governor, now wandering the wastelands as a solo drifter, until a chance encounter with a family and their young daughter appears to offer him a link to his pre-despot former self.
As a series, The Walking Dead has long been accused by many of being overly ponderous, slow and unfulfilling. Those lodging complaints of such a fashion are unlikely to be particularly welcoming of season four’s beginning, which certainly takes it time to establish (or re-establish) characters who are almost constantly in a state of change. It’s fully necessary, though, in order to properly consider the inevitable impact of the consistent barrage of terrible moral decisions, outward (and inward) challenges and inescapable suffering foisted unto the living in a world now ruled by the dead. These changes must be slow, calculated and well measured if they’re to appear in any way realistic – and this is just one area in which The Walking Dead‘s writing excels, especially in this season.
Yes, it does drag its heels occasionally with some episodes becoming mired in reflective dialogue – but without heading into spoiler territory for those that haven’t been keeping up on television and wish to wait for a boxed-set feat, season four packs in some of the most devastating scenarios that Rick and his group have had to face thus far. This is a series – both in comic book and live-action form – known for its uncompromising treatment of those who live within it, and the world they inhabit has rarely been more brutal than what we see here. Those initial, quieter episodes do manage to pack in enough drama to satisfy but they’re building up to something big. Something huge, vicious and downright soul-destroying that occurs halfway through and sees the final half of the season deal with the fallout: quieter moments that move from the world of extreme violent action/reaction and into the realm of deeply personal devastation for the now-fractured group. Here is a season filled with hurtful revelations, forgiveness, rage, disconnection and the kind of needless death and destruction that arises from human nature – good intentions provoking tragedy, or ill ones provoking outright chaos. Carl is still an annoying little shit, though.
In terms of the cast, Andrew Lincoln takes it all out in this particular season – Rick is put through the wringer big time and by the time he comes out, all bets are off for this man. If there’s one thing you can be certain of when the final moments come to a close, it’s that nothing for Rick is ever going to be the same. One of the most intimately effective episodes, The Grove, sees a powerhouse turn for Melissa McBride alongside Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese – though the child actors accompanying them simply can’t hold their own against such an effective force. It would be somewhat excessive to go through and pick on every single cast member for their own standout moments, but let’s just say that nearly each and every one of the major players is swinging for the fences right here, from start to finish.
The Walking Dead remains a dependably ballsy show; one that constantly takes risks – whether that be in choices of narrative direction or simply the amount of explicit gore it can display on television – and for the most part gets away with them. It’s what makes it so irresistibly compelling, unpredictable and hard-hitting. No matter how far off the track it seems to be heading, it always manages to find its way back thanks to some excellent writing, top-notch direction and a cast willing to put everything and then some into what they’re doing. Is it a model of perfection? No – but it’ll have you up, down, left, right and then spun round and knocked flat on your ass just when it feels like it. And this season is a shining example of what it can do.
In terms of special features on Entertainment One’s UK DVD release, episodes 1, 5, 8, 12 and 14 all sport full-length commentaries with various cast members, writers, producers and directors. They’re all more than worth a listen due to offering up a wide variety of perspectives and opinions. Episode 12, entitled ‘Still’, actually has two available commentaries – the standout being one including actor Norman Reedus and writer Angela Kang, who share a fantastic chemistry throughout.
On the final disc, there’s a whole mess of extras including smaller parts such ‘Herschel’, which sees cast and crew delivering their own takes on Scott Wilson’s excellent portrayal of such a pivotal character, and ‘A Journey Back to Brutality’ in which Andrew Lincoln dissects Rick’s inevitable adaptation to this brutal new world despite his own emotional protestations. ‘Society, Science & Survival’ is probably the only real piece of fluff to be found, giving a brief look at a real-life University course that uses The Walking Dead to investigate various angles of scientific and social theory.
Everything here is pretty great, including a semi-roundtable chat with various folks at effects wizards KNB; a comparison of some elements of the show with their comic book counterpart, and a discussion regarding the character of The Governor. The standout pieces are ‘Inside the Walking Dead’, an 85-minute behind-the-scenes feature jam packed with cast interviews that covers the season arc from beginning to end, episode by episode. Backing that up is a 75-minute ‘Making of’, which covers more on-set action and, pleasingly, delves more heavily into the various visual effects on display. It balances the preceding feature out perfectly, making for almost 3 hours of consistently engaging content, before you even count the rest.
Now that’s a package to be proud of. Entertainment One: take a bow.
The post Walking Dead, The: The Complete Fourth Season (UK Blu-ray / DVD) appeared first on Dread Central.
Valve recently gave Steam a snazzy new look and a number of new features, including Curators. Curators were introduced to solve a problem that always reared its big, ugly head every time you visit Steam with the intention of buying a game, but with no specific title in mind.
Sifting through its intimidating database that’s practically brimming with video games of wildly inconsistent qualities can be a daunting task for anyone.
That’s why I’m doing the grunt work for you.
In order to save you a little time, I’ve established an official Bloody Disgusting Curator page that you should most definitely follow, because doing so will get you an ever-growing list of the greatest, scariest, most creative, unique and otherwise unforgettable AAA and indie horror games on Steam.
Once you’ve followed our Curator page, I’d also like to invite your to join our brand new Steam group. I hear it’s what all the cool kids are doing.
We don’t yet offer laminated membership badges, but joining may lead to some interesting conversations with like-minded, horror-loving folks like me and the rest of the BD crowd. I’ve even started a forum so you can recommend horror games for me to play on our YouTube channel.
See you on Steam!