[Sundance Review] ‘The Eyes of My Mother’ Is Disturbing and Twisted!

bloody disgusting - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 10:16

The Eyes of My Mother was getting a lot of buzz at Sundance and folks saying it was disturbing and scary. So I checked it out and it really lives up to the buzz. Writer/director Nicolas Pesce has crafted one hell of a debut film.

As a child, Francisca (Olivia Bond) watches a stranger named Charlie (Will Brill) murder her mother (Diana Agostini). Francisca’s father (Paul Nazak) walks in on it, too late to save his wife but just in time to beat Charlie and lock him up in their barn. The lonely Francisca befriends Charlie and becomes obsessed with feeling the thrill he describes from killing as an adult (Kika Magalhaes).

It is disturbing to watch grown-up Francisca prey on vulnerable women, and especially disturbing when there is a baby involved. Equally disturbing is seeing young Francisca relate to the instrument of her trauma. Perhaps her father was too traumatized himself to stop her from doing that, but I suppose he knew what he was doing keeping Charlie alive in his barn.

Charlie is a disturbing character. You can tell from his introduction that he’s bad news and you wish they hadn’t let him in the house, but he probably would have found a way in anyway. When he is reduced to a prisoner, he’s disgusting, with Pesce amping up the eating noises so he sounds like a suckling animal. Charlie is not Francisca’s only prisoner, and she plays on body parts we are all sensitive to: fingernails, eyes, mouths.

The performances are breakthrough. I really hope Bond is well-adjusted after performing the detached morbid interest she achieved. I’m more confident that Magalhaes can leave the work on the set, but she’s pretty convincing disarming her victims. Brill nails that sense that you know something’s wrong but makes you doubt yourself out of guilt. The actresses playing victims (Flora Diaz and Clara Wong) are able to achieve sympathy with little screen time, something that films with even larger ensembles often fail to do.

The Eyes of My Mother maintains a mood and atmosphere of dread. Shot in black and white, the shadows hang over the remote farm house. There are a few time jumps that also contribute to a jarring sense of displacement. The film runs a lean 77 minutes but there is enough material for months of nightmares.

Categories: Horror News

Silent Hills Inspired Game Visage Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Dread Central - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 10:00

A little while ago we bought you news of Visage, an intriguing upcoming horror game that was partially inspired by the cancelled Silent Hills. Now we’re happy to announce that it’s launched a Kickstarter campaign for $35,000, along with some creepy as hell gameplay footage, which you can watch below. So if you’re in the mood for some good old fashioned survival horror, then head over to Kickstarter now.

Synopsis:
Are you a horror game fan who’s grown tired of the over-reliance on jump scares in some horror games, being startled instead of being truly, inescapably scared? You loved games like Silent Hill and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and you wonder where the other horror games are that can manage to scare you like that. Do you find yourself wandering the endless virtual hallways of Steam, helplessly searching for P.T. and Amnesia levels of absolute, raw, mind-breaking terror?

Horror and indie game fans can take this quest to Kickstarter, where Canadian indie game developer SadSquare Studio has just launched the campaign for its much-anticipated, P.T.-inspired horror game, Visage.

Visage is a first-person survival/psychological horror game, spurred to development, in part, as a reaction to the evaporation of Silent Hills. Though noticeably inspired by P.T., Visage also draws upon influences from classic psychological horror games like Phantasmagoria and more recent entries into the genre, like Penumbra and Amnesia. At the same time, Visage adds randomized gameplay elements and a visually arresting blend of photorealistic environments with lurking pockets of surreal and nightmarish images, to create an overarching vision all its own.

SadSquare released a five-minute alpha gameplay trailer of Visage in October that was pronounced “gloriously creepy” by Power Up Gaming, with “an interesting premise” behind it. “A hit horror game in the works,” declared OnlySP, calling Visage a “gorgeous-looking game” that “looks like a mash-up of The Grudge, Allison Road, and Slender Man.”

The main character in Visage finds he’s trapped in a house, and you, the player, will need to find a way out. Of course, this house is no ordinary one. It carries a history, a past filled with families that were murdered in horrific ways — deaths that have left behind traces of themselves, presences that now follow your every move. As you try to find your way out, exploring every room, walking the never-ending corridors, you’ll find you’re being affected by the things that are stalking you: You’ll slowly start to lose your mind.

In Visage, you have no weapons, no defenses, no sanity tutorials. You’ll be hunted. You’ll be attacked. You’ll probably die. All you can do is search everything, interact with your environment, and try to find clues and items that might help you escape — all while trying to maintain as much of your sanity as possible, because if the house doesn’t claim you, the madness will.

Most notably, Visage will feature randomized events throughout its gameplay. Though the core story will be the same for all players, each playthrough will be unique, with certain events triggering at different times or potentially not at all. This mechanic adds to the game’s replayability and amps up the “what’s coming next?” tension factor, mitigating the scare-killing effect of Let’s Play previews and your spoilerific friends who might get through the game before you do.

Already a success on Steam Greenlight, where it was greenlit in just eight days, Visage comes to Kickstarter with a modest funding goal of $35,000 for a release on PC. Depending on the success of the Kickstarter campaign, Visage will also be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and include V.R. support for a truly immersive experience.

While Visage will feature a full, original score by Peter Wicher and some of the surreal paintings of award-winning graphic artist Jarek Kubicki, its Kickstarter campaign also offers backers an exclusive opportunity to contribute their own original music or images to be used in the game. At certain funding levels, backers could even have themselves or their family members featured in the game, either in portraits or as the main antagonists that stalk the player.

To see the full list of available Kickstarter rewards and help contribute to the making of Visage, players can visit the Visage Kickstarter project page.

To learn more about the game, or to check out the alpha gameplay trailer, listen to soundtrack samples, and more, go to SadSquare’s Visage spotlight page or visit the SadSquare website at www.sadsquarestudio.com.

The post Silent Hills Inspired Game Visage Launches Kickstarter Campaign appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Icy Cold Chills Abound in this Sneak Peek of The House on Pine Street

Dread Central - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 07:00

Twin brothers Aaron and Austin Keeling have always shared an appreciation for things that go bump in the night. After dealing with phantom housemates in their childhood home, it wasn’t long before the pair developed a keen fascination with the paranormal. So it makes perfect sense that they would bring those fears to life in their feature debut, The House on Pine Street.

The House on Pine Street finds a seven months pregnant Jennifer (Emily Goss) returning to Kansas with her husband, Luke (Taylor Bottles), after a particularly rough patch in their lives. Still struggling to get her life back on track, odd things begin happening; and Jennifer begins to question her sanity as she attempts to find out what is plaguing their new home.

Combining homegrown resourcefulness and a reasonable budget, the directing duo have delivered a simple but nerve-shattering shocker that’s guaranteed to cause a restless night’s sleep. The film hits DVD and VOD in the UK through Raven Banner and Second Sight on Monday, February 1st, whilst Raven Banner has also struck up a deal with Terror Films for U.S. distribution.

Stay tuned for further details; in the meantime enjoy an exclusive clip from The House on Pine Street, and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.


The post Icy Cold Chills Abound in this Sneak Peek of The House on Pine Street appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

UK Readers: Win Tickets to Goosebumps Alive in London!

Dread Central - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 06:00

The only way out… is through, when Goosebumps Alive comes to The Vaults, Waterloo, England, from 6 April, 2016. In anticipation, we’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away to a couple of lucky Goosebumps fans looking for a frightful day out!

Goosebumps is here to haunt you again… The gruesome imagination of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps is yours to explore, adventurer. But be warned. This immersive theatre experience, in the abandoned underground world of Waterloo, might bring back nightmarish childhood memories you wish you had forgotten…

With the acclaimed designer of Alice’s Adventures Underground and a haunting score from The Tiger Lillies, R.L Stine’s creations will seem almost… alive. Though, surely they can’t be, can they?

To win a pair of tickets to take on the adventure of the summer, answer this question correctly:

What year was the first book in the Goosebumps series published?

A) 1992
B) 1991
C) 1995

Email your answer to contests@dreadcentral.com along with your full name, contact email address, and telephone number. We’ll take care of the rest!  Travel to and from the show is NOT included.

Terms and Conditions:
Winners will be selected at random from all correct entries. Winner receives a pair of tickets to see Goosebumps Alive from 6 April 2016. Winners can redeem their tickets any time from 6 April until 29 May. For a full list of performance dates and times, visit goosebumpsalive.com.

Tickets are to be collected at the box office with no cash alternative. Tickets are subject to availability and are non-transferrable and exchangeable. Competition is run by BoomEnts.com.

Catch up with Goosebumps Alice on:
Facebook: facebook.com/GoosebumpsAlive
Twitter: @GoosebumpsAlive
Instagram: @Goosebumps_Alive

The post UK Readers: Win Tickets to Goosebumps Alive in London! appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

‘Mama’ Sequel to Be Directed By ‘Starry Eyes’ Duo

bloody disgusting - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 00:25

Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, the duo behind 2014 cult horror Starry Eyes, are in final negotiations to rewrite and direct the sequel to Mama, Universal’s surprise 2013 horror hit, reports Heat Vision.

The original movie, directed by Andres Muschetti and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro, “told a tale of two kids, orphaned and left in the woods for five years, who are taken in by their uncle and aunt. They unwittingly also bring with them an evil force.

Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau starred in the movie that grossed $71 million domestically and $75 million internationally on a budget of $15 million.

[Related Post] Guillermo del Toro’s Mama Originally Had Practical Effects!

Scott Bernstein and Russell Ackerman are producing the new pic. Lava Bear also is producing. There’s no mention of Guillermo del Toro, who executive produced the initial haunter.

Widmyer and Kolsch are also attached to direct Exorcism Diaries for Lionsgate label Summit Entertainment. The duo most recently directed a segment for XYZ Films’ horror anthology Holidays.

Categories: Horror News

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

Dread Central - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 23:14

Starring Lily James, Sam Riley, Douglas Booth

Directed by Burr Steers

In the wake of the zombie craze that descended upon popular culture in the late aughts, Seth Grahame-Smith’s parodical novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies saw Jane Austen’s classic tale of love and marriage in Regency era England infused with zombies, ninjas, and apocalypse-themed passages. While some Austen purists were not too keen on the gimmick, the novel soon became a widespread sensation, praised for its comedic spirit and absurdly creative interpretation of the source material. Needless to say, a film adaptation was almost immediately announced after the book’s release, though it would be plagued with production woes for almost five years following the announcement.

After being passed through the hands of multiple directors and screenwriters, and even at one point seeing Natalie Portman accept the lead role (she remained on board as a producer after her departure), Igby Goes Down director Burr Steers ultimately took hold of the writing and directorial reins, vowing to retain many of the original beloved turns in Austen’s classic. While behind-the-scenes conflicts and multiple belly-up deals rarely bode well for a big studio project like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, fans who have been following the tumultuous saga will be pleased to find that Steers ultimately manages to deliver a riot of a cross-genre ride that, though flawed, wholly owns its ludicrous premise — and has a great time in the process.

Expanding significantly upon Grahame-Smith’s method of simply inserting original zombie-laden material amidst Austen’s prose, Steers’ film presents a surprisingly genuine and fully realized alternate reality. In this world, Elizabeth Bennet (James, “Downton Abbey”) and her sisters attempt to traverse the rigid societal expectations placed upon them as women, while also keeping up on their martial arts and weapons training as warriors amidst a country overrun with the undead. As the well-being of the land begins to come into question after a string of increasingly intensified attacks, Elizabeth realizes that she must ultimately set aside her pride and join forces with famed, but egotistical monster-hunter Mr. Darcy (Riley, Maleficent) — with whom she often clashes — in order to save the people she loves from a brain-hungry zombie army.

The best thing about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is that, despite the trappings of its inherent Regency era refinement, it knows exactly when to lighten up. The screenplay and performances exude just enough stone-faced earnestness to give weight to the looming threats and romantic entanglements in the story, but ultimately, everyone on board here knows that this is a movie about strong women kicking zombie ass. Austen’s built-in quips about gender roles and social commentary uphold this sentiment and translate well to this latest adaptation, but the additional energy brought in with Steers’ own overarching themes of very modern female empowerment really gives an extra jolt to his film. While some of these thematic elements are not always the most subtle, they are certainly no less effective.

Even despite years of developmental shakeups, it feels like the studio still managed to get it right with its cast, particularly in regard to the film’s leads. Lily James is magnetic, imbuing the timeless heroine of Elizabeth with a commanding grace, while Riley quite succeeds in conveying Mr. Darcy’s conflicted pomposity and reluctant longing. Elsewhere in the cast, Booth, Bella Heathcote, and Charles Dance turn in solid supporting performances as the familiar roles of Mr. Bingley, Jane, and Mr. Bennet, respectively. The film’s breakout performance, however, belongs to Matt Smith (Dr. Who), who charismatically bumbles his way into the lives of the Bennet sisters as the socially inept Mr. Collins — a cousin and potential suitor (!) of Elizabeth’s. Smith is a true delight here, anchoring the film with non-stop hilarity in just about every scene he graces, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is exponentially better for it.

On the technical side, the action and visual effects in the film are handled with more care than would often be expected in a February genre release. The zombies are comedically gross at some points and outright creepy at others, with the usage of CGI remaining much less distracting than I was personally anticipating. However, if there is any source of complaint for genre fans, it will likely be in the film’s lack of outright carnage. The opening scene establishes the type of PG-13 action that can be expected from the remainder of the film, most notably when it showcases an almost bloodless decapitation from the perspective of a zombie. I was not particularly bothered by this approach, as I felt that the overall style of the film’s action sequences didn’t necessarily merit a gore-fest, but there will undoubtedly be an outcry from horror fans who require a healthy helping of viscera with their zombie flicks.

Though Steers primarily succeeds as he adds his own flare to even Grahame-Smith’s narrative direction, the film stumbles somewhat in its final act — what is admittedly the least Pride and Prejudice-y section of the movie. There is one particular twist involving the antagonist that failed to pack the intended punch, muddling up the finale’s momentum more than I liked. I was also left wanting to see more action out of Lena Headey’s Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who most certainly could have been granted a greater role in the finale since Steers veered into his own direction at this point.

These gripes certainly do not detract too much from the film though; the action is consistently engaging, and the humor sticks, making Pride and Prejudice and Zombies quite an unrelenting blast. It offers an unseasonably exciting movie-going experience for genre fans in a February, boasting non-stop thrills, laughs, and likable heroines that are gracefully badass. In a nutshell, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is arguably the best kind of popcorn flick, delivering substantial entertainment with a more than generous helping of well-placed wit.

Have you had a chance to catch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? Sound off in the comments below, or tweet me (@TheAriDrew) and share your thoughts!

The post Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (Video Game)

Dread Central - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 21:56

Developed by Capcom

Available on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC (Reviewed)

Rated M for Mature

You know, I don’t feel particularly bad for being a bit late on this one. I like to play games through before I pass judgement, but I cut that short when one of these 100+ hour super RPGs demands my attention. I get through enough to get a good sense of the game’s style and scope, and generally around the 20 hour mark I have a reasonable grasp on what to expect. Fallout 4 only took up about 30 hours before I gave it my seal of approval. As it stands, I am sitting now at 77 hours played of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen. Every time I boot it up to get a few screenshots, I spend another half a work day pissing away my time eviscerating ogres and dismantling dragons. This game has sucked me in like a toxic high school ex over Christmas break. I love, hate, and just cannot stop coming back to this game.

Granted, the game really played its hand just a few hours in. Assemble a balanced party, fight off smaller monsters to get to bigger monsters, climb said bigger monsters to hit them in their weak spot, do this for about 10 minutes, move on to the next objective. Each monster has its own weak points, elemental resistances, and behaviors, so there’s a good deal to be experienced with just trial and error. It reminds me of what drew me to Pokémon as a child, with each new zone and gym presenting a new and unexpected set of challenges for me to wrap my little brain around.

There’s something uniquely awesome about hanging on to a griffon for dear life as it flies around, desperately trying to thwack its wings with the right element to bring it down before your stamina drains and you fall to the earth like a defeated sack of potatoes. Dragon’s Dogma is at its best in these moments. There’s nothing like the tension of climbing on an ogre’s ass and slapping it as hard as you can to try and get it to stumble before it can eat your healer.

Or the look of “oh fuck” on a cyclops’ face after you crippled it, cut off its tusks, lit it on fire, and stabbed it repeatedly in the eye.

The amount of innovative ways to deliver death to monsters in this game is staggering. Tired of hacking and slashing your way through goblins? Grapple them, then kick them off cliffs. Lizard men giving you trouble? Cut off their tails, make them lose balance, then sit on them while your teammates laugh and unleash holy hell. There’s a stats consideration for almost anything, with certain enemies targeting women over men and certain passageways requiring a shorter hero to enter. This unique attention to detail can be often frustrating, but always respected. Making my character, I didn’t realize that being a big burly dude would actually prevent me from fitting in small spaces, but I also didn’t realize it would make it easier for me to make monsters fall down. This is a game where the weight of your inventory doesn’t just affect stamina consumption, but how quickly you can wear down a monster by grabbing onto its arm. It often doesn’t explain its mechanics in full, but I can see the appeal in taking the time to learn them.

Unfortunately, this is also the game’s greatest downfall. While this level of detail can make combat fun in a clunky, experimental way, it makes interacting with the world a fucking nightmare. This whole “just see how it works” mentality it applied across the board, without any consideration of playability, fun, or my sanity. Quests are easier to fail than North Korean loyalty screening, and with similarly unforgiving results. I actually had to restart the game 5 hours in because I had the audacity to go to the major city before exploring the forest, thus blocking off a questline and an entire zone for the rest of the game. About 60 hours in, I made the foolish mistake of talking to a random soldier with a quest marker over his head before the nobleman in the castle behind him, thereby irrevocably ruining my chances of getting the best reward. When I decided to talk to a boy about his adventures before delivering flowers to a church, I was rightfully punished with a cutscene that changed the day, withered the flowers, and led to another quest failure. Justice is swift in Dragon’s Dogma, and punishment is severe for not reading the game’s fucking mind.

This is the dungeon. I literally got thrown in here for trying to turn in a quest at night. Sorry your majesty for trying to save the kingdom outside of office hours.

Keep in mind, there are no explanations for why this would happen in the quest description. Quests generally have a brief description and mark a location on your map, with no hint as to what random other quest will instantly invalidate it. I can intuit that taking the male bandit lord’s quest will cancel out my ability to make nice with the female bandit lord, but why the fuck does killing a griffon suddenly make it impossible to discover the roots of a conspiracy? It is an unforgivably punishing style of gameplay that is indicative of a Japanese design mentality. I love the goofy freedom provided, but it makes it almost impossible to play the game without a wiki open.

Oh, and whoever decided that there needs to be one time only escort quests that require you to take a helpless NPC directly through the path of a dragon, go fuck yourself.

And good luck trying to see anything if your lantern runs out of oil at night.

So, those are the basics. Monster fighting is unique and fun, but quests are a load of boiled ass. In between all of that, there is a lot to see and a ton to do. Crafting is a big part of the game, with tons of recipes and upgrades to delight that little item hoarder in your heart. Perishable items such as fish and meat go sour, but even then can be mixed with things to create useful items. Armor and weapons can be upgraded with materials, and beyond that can be empowered by literally bathing yourself in dragon fire. It’s a surprisingly simple and intuitive system given the rest of the game’s obtuse complexity.

Ore deposits all look the same, but different zones have different loot tables. Get ready to spend a lot of time watching this animation.

As for the combat, you don’t just pick a class and play it through the whole game. There are 9 “vocations” (read character classes) for you to level up, each filling a different role and requiring a different playstyle to master. Leveling up a vocation unlocks “augments”, permanent buffs that can be equipped by any of the vocations. There are certain vocations that only you as the player character can assume, but this is fine since you usually want your sidekicks to be on support roles anyhow.

This leads me to the game’s most curious feature, the Pawns. I wasn’t sure if I should discuss them in the gameplay or plot section, since they are kind of impossible to discuss without knowing both. I’ll take this opportunity to briefly introduce the plot, which is really the best I can do anyways without giving massive 100+ hour gameplay spoilers. You play as the Arisen, a normal everyday person living in the quiet fishing village of Cassardis. One day, the skies open, and a meteor descends that turns out to also be a dragon. As the fiend lays waste to your friends and family, you gallantly pick up a sword and try to stab it. After planting your sword firmly in its claw, the dragon smacks you, claws out your heart, and eats it. Surprisingly, this doesn’t prove as fatal as you might assume, and you awaken as a newly empowered Arisen.

Yesterday, I may have been a simple fisherman, but today I am reforged as “Teddy Three Hammers”. Note triplicate hammers, and consider your argument invalid.

Aside from being able to walk around without a heart, the Arisen’s main power is the ability to command Pawns. Pawns are a race of humanlike entities with no will of their own who require an Arisen to give them purpose. You create your own personal Pawn that levels up with you and remains your companion for the rest of the game, and recruit two additional Pawns from the “Rift”. Essentially, this is Dragon’s Dogma’s take on multiplayer. The Pawns that inhabit the Rift are actually other player’s personal Pawns, who will gain insight into quests and monsters while in your world. It kind of feels like a message board with fireballs. Pawns more experienced in fighting Ogres will let you know they are weak to fire, and that wolves hunt in packs.

It is, in theory, a good idea. Different players will play the game in different ways, so it makes sense that they would have different experiences to share. In practice, it only made me wish the game was actually multiplayer. The information, “chimeras can be silenced” is only useful once before I grasp the concept that chimeras are in fact able to be silenced. Pawns also seemingly don’t possess short-term memory, so expect to be told several times a minute that “goblins hate both ice and fire!” The game is played through with a party of 4 in mind the entire time, so why they didn’t just make the whole thing multiplayer is puzzling.

And while they can be silenced, I prefer beating them in the goat until they just shut the fuck up.

Almost as puzzling as the fact that I’ve heard this often described as being like Dark Souls. This game is absolutely nothing like Dark Souls. Other than it being kind of hard at times and you can cut off tails, it is absolutely nothing like Dark Souls. The comparison is baffling, as none of the mechanics, gameplay, or even style resemble anything even remotely Dark Souls. I think that Dark Souls has just become the go-to name drop when a game was hard enough you had to actually turn on your brain, which granted Dragon’s Dogma did make me do. If you want to compare it to anything, compare it to Monster Hunter mixed with Dragon Age.

There are three more things I have to talk about before I can really call the review comprehensive, and the first is the jumping. I haven’t had this much fun just jumping around in a game since Guild Wars 2. Almost the entire game is designed to have interesting little areas that can only be reached by well timed jumps and extensive exploration. Different classes have different styles of jumping, and there are entire areas, loot crates, and quests that can only be accessed by having the right jump in the right area. It’s phenomenally well done, adding a whole new dimension to the already robust world

Sure did pick a bad day to change classes into melee warrior…

The second, less enthusiastic topic is the menu. The purpose of this review is for the PC port of the title, which was previously only available on Xbox 360 and PS3. As much as I dislike re-releases, PC ports don’t rub me the wrong way. I think the PC offers a unilaterally superior experience, with the extensive modding community part and parcel to my ability to get lasting enjoyment out of a game. That being said, there is a darker side to ports, that certainly did arise in Dark Arisen. First off, any game that doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut to a map needs to check itself, because it certainly wrecked itself. You can assign hotkeys to certain items, but not integral functions like the quest log, map, and equipment. This is totally unacceptable, and just plain lazy.

Furthermore, certain aspects of the gameplay just didn’t feel as smooth on a mouse and keyboard. Climbing monsters felt off, with directions sometimes failing to register. When using abilities, players either hold Ctrl or Alt to bring up their primary or secondary skills, which I’m assuming is reflective of holding a trigger on a controller. You then push one of three buttons to activate a skill, and release the button to cast the spell. Since spells have different charge levels, releasing at specific times is important. On a controller, I see how this works, but it just feels awkward on a mouse and keyboard. It didn’t break the game for me, but it also never got to the point where it felt natural.

Although, on second thought, not exactly sure how climbing up an angry whipping spitting snake head/tail is supposed to feel.

The final bit is the reason I’m reviewing this game in the first place, the Dark Arisen DLC content. This is actually the third release of Dragon’s Dogma. The game first came out as just Dragon’s Dogma, sans the Dark Arisen suffix. This first release of the game was riddled with flaws, many of which were addressed in Dark Arisen. Previously, the game was an absolute monster to get around, as your only means of fast traveling was to teleport to set “portcrystals”, of which there used to be only two. The DLC adds four more, as well as an “eternal ferrystone” that allows you to warp to them infinitely. It also balanced much of the game and fixed some bugs, altogether providing a significant quality of life improvement for players.

It also added a new endgame zone, the Bitterblack Isles. For a game involving ripping out cyclops eyes and cutting off hydra heads, this zone is distinctly more horror. The cramped, musty halls are dark and heavy with dread. Hideous monsters and reaper-like wraiths patrol the corridors, presenting a daunting challenge to even the most experienced players. There’s even a mechanic where enemy corpses rot, and the stench attracts bigger, more gruesome foes. It’s rife with fear, and hones the game’s sense of overwhelming monstrosity to a fine point. After grinding for a week to be worthy of entering the decrepit isle, I can easily say it was well worth the effort.

This is a Goreclops. They are what replace the cyclops on the Bitterblack Isles. They have nine healthbars. Might wana leave this guy chained up.

Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is a deeply flawed experience that will frustrate and infuriate you. There are several times I put it down and refused to come back. Yet still, even while writing this, here I am again, back into the game. It’s utterly unique and deeply engrossing. The game took risks, and for all its failings there are equal triumphs. This is the kind of game that couldn’t get made in America. A Western design studio would look at it, point to all the flaws, and opt for another polished if not short and safe clone. This kind of adventure into the unknown is what gaming is about. From deep within my cold, jaded heart, that spark of what makes me love RPGs is once again Arisen.

Tee hee. He’s gonna be soooooo crippled for life after this.

The post Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (Video Game) appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

‘Cabin Fever’ Image Gives Nod to Eli Roth’s Original

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 21:48

We broke the news a few weeks ago that Travis Z’s Cabin Fever remake will be releasing in limited theaters and on Digital HD February 12th, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

We also shared the below image from the redo of Eli Roth’s 2002 film of the same name, this time starring Gage Golightly, Matthew Daddario, Samuel Davis, Nadine Crocker, and Dustin Ingram.

The latest shot, above, gives a wink and a nod to Roth’s original, which Producer Evan Astrowsky teased when he spoke to Bloody Disgusting last.

“This film is actually a proper remake, we re-shot the same script Eli Roth and Randy Pealstein wrote,” Astrowsky told us. “We had long talks about changing this and changing that, then the other producers and I read the original and realized, ’this script is still f’in amazing…’

“But, what we did do was create a few great bread crumbs and easter eggs through out the film for the true fans to spot and enjoy.”

Easter eggs? Pun intended…

In Roth’s 2002 film, Paul (Rider Strong) hallucinates an operating rabbit that’s a duel homage to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Executive producer Eli Roth presents this reboot of his instant classic gorefest, which features all new characters and all new kills. This story is familiar: fresh out of college, a group of five friends retreat to a remote cabin in the woods for one last week of partying- only to become snacks for a gruesome, flesh-eating virus. What’s surprising are the ingenious new deaths, which offer a fresh spin on a horror-comedy milestone.

IFC Midnight is behind the new Cabin Fever, which is a near word-for-word remake; Travis Z’s take is from a screenplay by Eli Roth & Randy Pearlstein (based on a story by Roth).

Back in March Roth said he was “blown away” by the remake.

The film was produced by Evan Astrowsky, Christopher Lemole and Tim Zajaros, and was executive produced by Roth, Cassian Elwes, Jerry Fruchtman, Peter Fruchtman and Ike and Jaclyn Suri.

Categories: Horror News

New Image from Cabin Fever Redux!

Dread Central - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 21:25

Travis Zariwny’s reboot of Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever is on its way via IFC Midnight, and you can check out the flick in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on February 12th! In the meantime, here’s a new still.

Gage Golightly (“Teen Wolf”), Dustin Ingram (Paranormal Activity 3), Nadine Crocker, Matthew Daddario, and Samuel Davis star.

Synopsis:
Executive producer Eli Roth presents this reboot of his instant classic gorefest, which features all new characters and all new kills. This story is familiar: Fresh out of college, a group of five friends retreat to a remote cabin in the woods for one last week of partying – only to become snacks for a gruesome, flesh-eating virus. What’s surprising are the ingenious new deaths, which offer a fresh spin on a horror-comedy milestone. 

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Categories: Horror News

Psychosexual Slasher Mystery Dummies Launches Indiegogo Campaign

Dread Central - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 21:17

It doesn’t take much to catch my attention these days, and this is something I’ll readily admit to just about anyone. So when a group of filmmakers tosses a phrase like “Psychosexual Slasher Mystery” in my general direction, I’m going to check things out. That’s pretty much a given.

Writer/director Joe Magna uses that exact phrase to describe his upcoming feature-length horror outing Dummies on Indiegogo, which is reason enough for everyone to stop cramming processed food into their gaping maws and take a look. You can finish your snack after you’re done. You have my word.

If Magna’s name sounds familiar, you may remember his work as a Scare Consultant on Blumhouse’s Hellevator. He also directed a segment for Horror Month Massive Blood Drive PSA, which was spearheaded by the Soska Twins. In other words, Magna has some serious horror credentials, which means Dummies has the potential to be something special.

Dummies is designed to be a no holds barred thrill ride. Scratch the surface of this nightmare, and you will find a story that is rich in character and depth, providing twists and turns that will keep the audience both mentally and physically on the edge of your seat, right up until the terrifying conclusion,” Magna explains on the film’s Indiegogo page.

The filmmaker and his crew are hoping to raise at least $15,000 to bring Dummies to life, so feel free to pull as much money as you can afford out of your mattress (or bank account, if you’re so inclined) and hand it over. The Indiegogo campaign makes this process incredibly simple. If you need a little more information before you hand over some cash, check out the pitch video below.

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Categories: Horror News

Exclusive: The Museum Project Debuts Its First Spooky Trailer

Dread Central - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 20:28

Writing, directing, producing, and editing team Dion Cavallaro and Paul E. Thomas are hard at work putting the finishing touches on their upcoming found footage horror flick The Museum Project. To help spread the good word about Freeze Frame Films’ promising endeavor, Cavallaro and Thomas have given Dread Central a first look at the film’s trailer.

The team also delivered a pretty snazzy poster to promote the movie, which you can find nestled below.

However, if you’re expecting the same old found footage flick, think again. Freeze Frame has taken a different approach with The Museum Project:

We as filmmakers realize that the found footage style has been used quite a number of times; however, we wanted to offer our take on the genre and deliver a fun, creepy, atmospheric ride for the audience. Our film runs at 45 minutes, which is definitely a short feature length, but we feel that we’ve cut the fat that a lot of other found footage films falter with. We really believe this film holds true to the found footage genre without all the incessant fill that can plague these types of films. We’ve really tried to create an efficient, concise, and gripping film that we hope horror fans will enjoy.

Synopsis:
A group of students decide to base their media assignment on a local railway museum myth. However, when they trespass the premises after hours, they soon learn that some myths are more than stories.

Dion Cavallaro, Paul E. Thomas, and Freeze Frame Films are currently aiming for a March release. In the meantime, feel free to stare at the following trailer for as long as you like. Also, check out Freeze Frame’s official Facebook and YouTube pages for lots of helpful info.

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Categories: Horror News

New Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Poster Makes a Cameo

Dread Central - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 19:37

The upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a winner, and even better… it’s almost here! Look for a review soon, but in the interim dig on this new one-sheet.  The apocalypse begins on February 5th!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies stars Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Matt Smith, Douglas Booth, Charles Dance, Lena Heady, Ellie Bamber, Millie Brady, Bella Heathcote, and Suki Waterhouse. Burr Steers wrote the screenplay and directs.

Be sure to join the Squad on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Synopsis:
A zombie outbreak has fallen upon the land in this reimagining of Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England. Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet (James) is a master of martial arts and weaponry, and the handsome Mr. Darcy (Riley) is a fierce zombie killer, yet the epitome of upper class prejudice. As the zombie outbreak intensifies, they must swallow their pride and join forces on the blood-soaked battlefield in order to conquer the undead once and for all.

The post New Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Poster Makes a Cameo appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

The Midnight Man Comes Knocking in March

Dread Central - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 19:21

A new thriller is on its way featuring Dread Central favorite Doug Jones, and while we’re not sure just how Dread-worthy this one is at the moment, we’d be remiss not to mention it!

From the Press Release:
Starring a powerful ensemble cast of Hollywood’s leading action film stars, including Will Kemp (Van Helsing, TV’s “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”), Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), William Forsythe (Raising Arizona, The Rock), Brent Spiner (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), and Vinnie Jones (Snatch; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels), the hair-raising thriller THE MIDNIGHT MAN arrives on DVD and Digital HD March 1 from Cinedigm.

Making his feature directorial debut, D.C. Hamilton’s THE MIDNIGHT MAN follows a gifted hitman on a grave mission, derailed by losing his greatest physical quality, the inability to feel pain. Co-written and co-produced with cast member Brinna Kelly (The Midnight Monster), the mind-numbing tale pushes audiences to the edge of their seats, feeling fear in a way it has never been felt before.

When Grady (Kemp), an assassin with a genetic disorder that renders him unable to feel pain, is sent on a high-stakes assignment, his world is turned upside-down after an attack when he awakens to discover that he can feel pain for the first time in his life. With the clock ticking and his greatest asset gone, Grady will go head-to-head with his worst fears and unspeakable enemies, while experiencing a tactile world he never could have imagined.


The post The Midnight Man Comes Knocking in March appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

‘Outlaws and Angels’ Hostage Situation In This Sundance Clip

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 16:49

After premiering at the ongoing Sundance Film Festival, Momentum Pictures gets gritty with the a clip from JT Mollner’s Outlaws and Angels with Chad Michael Murray (“One Tree Hill,” “Agent Carter”), Francesca Eastwood (Final Girl), Madisen Beaty (Other People, “The Fosters”), Ben Browder (Bad Kids Go To Hell, “Stargate SG-1″), Keith Loneker (Bad Ass 3: Bad Asses on the Bayou), and Frances Fisher (“Resurrection,” The Lincoln Lawyer).

When Outlaws on the lam invade the home of an unsuspecting, seemingly innocent, frontier family to hide out for the night, an unexpected game of cat and mouse ensues, leading to seduction, role reversal, and ultimately, bloody revenge.

Fred Topel, who is at Sundance on behalf of Bloody, was not a fan, calling it “a bloody awful Western” in his review.

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Categories: Horror News

Someone’s Gonna Have a Bad Day in This ‘High-Rise’ Poster

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 16:46

A new poster for the upcoming thriller High-Rise shows the front and hood of a rather nice looking vehicle that has been waxed to utter perfection! You can see clouds, the sky, a skyscraper and even a person fallin…oh. Well, that’s going to leave a mark. I’m sure whomever is tasked with cleaning up THAT mess is not going to be thrilled.

High-Rise is an adaptation of the 1975 J.G. Ballard novel of the same name. It stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, Crimson Peak), Jeremy Irons (Batman v Superman), Sienna Miller (American Sniper), Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) and Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”) and is directed by Ben Wheatley.

Our own Kalyn Corrigan found some flaws in the film. You can read her review to understand where she’s coming from.

From the director of Kill List, Sightseers and A Field in England, “1975. Two miles west of London, Dr. Laing moves into his new apartment seeking soulless anonymity, only to find that the building’s residents have no intention of leaving him alone. Resigned to the complex social dynamics unfolding around him, Laing bites the bullet and becomes neighbourly. As he struggles to establish his position, Laing’s good manners and sanity disintegrate along with the building. The lights go out and the elevators fail but the party goes on. People are the problem. Booze is the currency. Sex is the panacea.

While we wait for a U.S. date, it opens in the UK on March 16th.

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Categories: Horror News

More Undead ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ Action

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 16:10

Sony Screen Gems released a cool new art poster and action-packed television spot for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which focuses on the Bennett sisters – Elizabeth (Lily James), Lydia (Ellie Bamber), Mary (Millie Brady), Jane (Bella Heathcote), and Kitty (Suki Waterhouse) – several badass women who have been trained to brutally slay the undead.

[Related Post] We Visit the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Sets in England!

Set for release February 5th, the events in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies begin with the tangled relationship between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England, and is complicated by a full on outbreak of zombies.

The film stars Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, Charles Dance, and Lena Headey.

Categories: Horror News

Takashi Shimizu’s Long Delayed ‘Flight 7500’ Takes Off!

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 16:03

After five years of anticipation, Takashi Shimizu’s J-horror on a plane, Flight 7500, is finally set to take off!

Bloody Disgusting has learned that Lionsgate Home Entertainment will release on DVD (plus Digital) and Digital HD on April 12th!

On a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo, a plane is shaken by severe weather. When the turbulence subsides, a passenger suddenly dies – and a supernatural force is unleashed, overtaking the passengers as they desperately fight to figure out what it is and how to stop it.

From the director of The Grudge and the producer of The Ring, Flight 7500 stars Leslie Bibb, Jamie Chung, Jerry Ferrara, Ryan Kwanten, Johnathon Schaech, Amy Smart and Scout Taylor-Compton.

Extras include a look behind the scenes at the making of the film (the “Inside Flight 7500” featurette).

Categories: Horror News

This ‘Dying Light’ Trailer Has Such Sights to Show You

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 14:40

When Dying Light: The Following arrives on February 9, it’s going to double the size of the Techland’s already massive open-world horror game. A trailer released earlier today offering an in-depth look at several of the environments that I absolutely cannot wait to turn into my own urban playgrounds, including a racetrack, ghost town, granary, lighthouse and a hermit’s cabin.

I recommend checking out the series of videos that breaks down the new Nightmare Mode, meta-levels, and bounties that will come next month with the free enhancement update, but first, here’s some motion capture footage of the game’s opening cinematic.

Categories: Horror News

‘Alien: Covenant’: Ridley Scott Casting “Very Tall” Actors to Play…

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 13:51

It looks like Ridley Scott is casting up potential Engineers and Xenomorphs for Alien: Covenant, his upcoming Alien prequel/Prometheus sequel shooting this coming April in Australia.

Management Group MCTV shares a casting breakdown asking for actors aged 8-40 that are “skinny and very tall or skinny and very short but strong and very physically agile.”

Other skills requested: “Fast in Movement. Acrobats, Dancers, Gymnasts, Contortionists, Cirque du Soleil type performers.”

This sounds exactly like the Xenomorphs that first appeared in Alien (Bolaji Badejo) before becoming a full next in James Cameron’s Aliens.

Prometheus featured the mammoth Engineers, who are gigantic compared to humans.

Scott already promises the return of the “big bad,” the only question is, how many?

Late last year Scott also excited us all when he said, “We’ll have them all: egg, face-hugger, chest-burster, then the big boy.” He also explained that the film will reveal a destroyed Engineer planet, and also shared plans for an expanded universe that will eventually bridge directly into his 1979 Alien.

Katherine Waterston recently landed the lead role. She will reunite with her Jobs co-star Michael Fassbender, while Scott has previously confirmed that Noomi Rapace will also return.

FOX recently set Alien: Covenant for release on October 6, 2017.

[H/T] AVP Galaxy

Categories: Horror News

[Sundance Review] Kevin Smith’s ‘Yoga Hosers’ Is Amblin Good Fun!

bloody disgusting - Thu, 01/28/2016 - 12:01

Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Depp ARE Yoga Hosers. It would be criminal if that’s not the poster and trailer. The Canadian convenience store clerks from Tusk are back in their own adventure, a lovely ode to female friendship as an Amblin creature movie.

High school sophomores Colleen Colette (Depp) and Colleen McKenzie (Smith) just want to go to a senior party, but they are forced to work that night. While on duty, the army of little creatures that’s been creeping around town, attacks them.

I guess Smith already revealed the creatures are Bratzis. I would’ve tried to write around it but this saves me. The little Nazi bratwursts are so weird that the obvious CGI works. When their creator explains their mythology it is also a bizarre take on a mad scientist. I wonder if Nazis are a theme in Kevin Smith’s True North trilogy, since the podcast in Tusk was The Not See Party. We’ll find out if there are any Nazis in Moose Jaws.

The main attractions in Yoga Hosers are the girls though. They are adorable, and Smith’s take on social media addiction is perceptive. It’s more universal than the podcasting in Tusk, as everyone uses cell phones and only 50% of people have a podcast. The Colleens are actually singers in a band so they don’t have to sing into hairbrushes. They have real microphones and catchy tunes I want to download. I suppose Smith can sell them on SModCo Internet Radio rather than iTunes.

The Colleens are Yoga Hosers because they practice yoga with an eccentric yogi (Justin Long). His completely fake poses are legit funny. As a practicer of actual yoga, those tickled me, and they give the Colleens their superpowers too. This adventure is somewhat contained, but works as a siege movie. Perhaps they have more epic adventures ahead. There’s something profound about hearing Harley Quinn Smith deliver a famous line from her father’s signature movie. They also talk about girl stuff as openly as Smith’s male characters discuss sex.

Here’s the elephant in the room, and I have good news. Johnny Depp is fairly restrained in this. The fact that he’s credited suggests he’s no longer going method on Guy Lapointe. Here he serves the plot, investigating the Bratzis and delivering just enough self-referential commentary on Tusk and moves on before its self-indulgent.

See Smith find new inspirations speaks to the organic artistic world as a whole. He’d expressed all his personal feelings and I was there when he “retired” from filmmaking, but his other business gave him a new idea. Then minor characters he invented for Tusk inspired him to tell more stories. That’s how art works. Your voice evolves but you never run out of things to say. I really like the Colleens so I’m happy to see more adventures with them, and Franchise Fred approves!

Categories: Horror News