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Hollows Grove (2014)

2 hours 56 min ago

Starring Mykelti Williamson, Lance Henriksen, Matthew Carey

Directed by Craig Efros

I’m a skeptic to the core and a horror aficionado through and through, so when such a boastful claim as “the most frightening film you’ll see all year” is made by the creators of Hollows Grove, I’ve GOT to jump in with both feet and see if a statement is verified and substantiated. I know that every person’s fear response is different and what will make one person wet their Underoos might not even raise a hair on the back of another’s neck. All that I could hope to ask for with each and every passing film that likes to make these allegations is a nice change of scenery and not another one of those “haunted asylum/orphanage films“… oh, crap.

Looking at the movie from the outside, you’d get the inclination that this is going to be another run-of-the-mill found footage display that attempts to freak the viewer out with loud bangs, flash scares, and an annoying cast that ABSOLUTELY REFUSES to drop a camera in order to save themselves, regardless of the peril they’re facing at the time. If you think for one moment that Hollows Grove opted to go that route and follow the blueprint of so many haunted institution films set out before it, then I’m terribly sorry to say that you’ve nailed it directly on the head. Allow me to dissect this carbon copy that fails to deliver the goods on a number of tiers.

The movie, directed by first-timer (outside of one short) Craig Efros, gives us a look into the Hollows Grove orphanage, which is supposedly one of the most haunted buildings in the U.S. and will be the subject of the latest episode of the Spirit Paranormal Investigation Team (S.P.I.T.- no, I’m not kidding) and their reality TV ghost hunting show.

Harold Maxwell (Matthew Carey) tags along with his friends on the team as they ready themselves to patrol the halls of the abandoned structure to see if they can collect evidence of any residual hauntings. The footage used was supposedly from Maxwell’s camera, and at times you get the feeling that the whole ghost hunting prospect is a cash-cow for the team with no real desire to take this stuff seriously. The movie takes a bit of time to get started, and we’re treated to a massive miscast in the film’s start as movie and TV veteran Mykelti Williamson (Forrest Gump, “24”) plays FBI Agent Jones, who is in charge of the case we’re about to witness. I had no idea that the feds would jump into a case regarding a missing ghost hunting crew, considering everything else they’ve got to look after; in any event, he is only used for about two minutes of actual screen time, so if you love the former Benjamin Buford Blue (Bubba), then you’ll be sorely disappointed.

As we’re on the “why was he even in the movie?” train, another icon is led to storyline sacrifice, and that is Lance Henriksen himself, playing Bill, who works on the show as a props director. His time on camera is amusing but FAR too short.

Also, one of the more irritating performances that I’ve personally seen on film in a while belongs to Matt Doherty in his role of show star Tim. His actions are the stuff of someone you’d like to pound into the ground – take the normal performance of Paul Giamatti, give him about 12-15 cups of high-octane coffee, raise his vocal levels a few octaves, and voila! Instant vexation towards any movie-watching experience.

All right – on to the visuals! We’re used to the routine shaky-cam vista that only a found footage film can offer, and while this is no different, there are at least a few breaks with some stationary cams every now and then, giving your flip-flopped innards a chance to settle. Night-vision also has its time in the sun (or the dark) when the going gets hectic for our crew of spook-spotters, and outside of a couple of certifiable “oh shit!” moments, I honestly cannot say that there is a difference between the Grove and movies like Session 9, Grave Encounters, or the myriad of spectrally haunted establishment films that have come before it.

Was I let down regarding the final product? Yes. Was I mildly amused at the idea of how full of crap the crew knew they were about their show and its production? Yes. Could I honestly recommend this to someone and make a statement that this movie will be the scariest thing they’ve seen all year? Don’t hold your breath. When it comes to investigating these halls, leave the doors locked and move along, please – this building was condemned for a reason, and that reason is justified.

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Categories: Horror News

Australia’s Monster Fest 2014 Unveils More Juicy Details

6 hours 56 min ago

We told you last month about the opening film, Charlie’s Farm, that will be kicking off Melbourne-based horror festival Monster Fest this year. Now we have a whole plethora of new info that cements the event as something that horror fans really won’t want to miss.

Between November 20 and 30, 2014, Cinema Nova in Carlton and Yah Yah’s Bar in Collingwood will play host to this year’s selection of blood-soaked cinematic depravity and something that sounds really, really special: the first ever ‘Monster Fest Academy of Horror & Mayhem’!

This will see four full days dedicated to workshops and master-classes designed to delight and educate horror fans and budding genre filmmakers. A smorgasbord of cult genre figures will be on hand to lead activities, including Twisted Twins Jen and Sylvia Soska, The Human Centipede: First Sequence star Ashley C. Williams, Astron-6’s Conor Sweeney and Matthew Kennedy, and legendary Troma pioneer Lloyd Kaufman, who will be delivering his internationally renowned ‘Make Your Own Damn Movie’ master-class.

These are just a few names from a stunning line-up of talent for the ‘Monster Fest Academy of Horror & Mayhem’, with the full details due to be revealed on Wednesday, November 29, at the official Monster Fest media launch at Cherry Bar, Melbourne. The master-classes themselves, alongside other events and activities, will take place at the fest’s lounge and event space – dubbed ‘The Monster’s Lair’ – situated upstairs at Yah Yah’s Bar, 99 Smith Street, Collingwood. Here, the drinks will flow and food can be had amidst a magical Dario Argento-inspired internal decor peppered with luxurious bean bags.

Films screening this year that have been announced so far include the aforementioned opener Charlie’s Farm, festival closer ABCs of Death 2, Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno, modern cult favourite WolfCop, the hysterically awesome Dead Snow 2, the Rose Leslie-starring Honeymoon, the World Premiere of Addison Heath’s Under a Kaleidoscope, and The Plague – a film by Melbournian duo Nick Kozakis and Kosta Ouzas.

But hell, that’s not all: Other news revealed by the fest includes the fact that they have entered an official partnership with Howling Wolves Wines of Margaret River, Western Australia. Whilst last year saw them partner up as official alcohol sponsor, for 2014 they’ve gone the whole hog (or should that be the whole bottle?) and are now a full naming partner, seeing this year’s festival now dubbed the ‘Howling Wolves Monster Fest’. I’ll drink to that!

Of the partnership, festival director Neil Foley said, “Having Howling Wolves come on board as our naming rights partner is a incredible development; it means we can continue growing to become the biggest, boldest, and nastiest film festival in the land – The Howling Wolves are riding the Monster wave; it’s a great day for Aussie horror!”

Limited tickets for the master-classes and special events at The Monster’s Lair (Yah Yah’s Bar) can be had via the Monster Fest ticket page on Pozible, with session tickets for each of the film screenings to be available soon from the Cinema Nova box office and website.
You can also follow Monster Fest on Facebook for the latest news alongside the chance to win prizes in their online competitions.

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Categories: Horror News

Full Feature Film Lineup Unveiled for South African HorrorFest 2014

7 hours 56 min ago

Across 10 years the South African HorrorFest has expanded itself into the continent’s most all-encompassing Halloween event, incorporating an exciting range of features and short films (which you’re unlikely to see in any other local cinema), a unique live soundtrack performance to a classic silent film, literature, a night market, Halloween dress-up competition, a new kids’ screening, a free opening show, prizes, give-aways, a special free horror moviemaking master class, and more!

Below is the FULL feature film line-up for the event, which runs from 29 October to 7 November 2014. Short film selections will be announced soon.

All festival details, screening times, and updates can be found at the official South African HorrorFest website with on-line ticket links and the schedule available here from Quicket. Or call the Labia Theatre, 021 424 5927, to book (all tickets R40 each, except the live soundtrack performance, which is R55).

FEATURE FILMS

CLASSICS

  • THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE – A free opening screening of this legendary movie (celebrating its hair-raising 40th anniversary)
  • HALLOWEEN – 35th anniversary special re-mastered re-release of John Carpenter’s classic 1979 slasher
  • THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW – Audience participation screening of this musical cult classic
  • DEMENTIA 13 – One of Francis Ford Coppola’s first movies (1963 – a decade before his Oscar-winning triumph The Godfather)
  • SHE-BEAST – Classic witch possession movie (1966)

LIVE SOUNDTRACK PERFORMANCE

  • THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI - This legendary 1920 silent film will be screened with a new soundtrack performed live by THE MAKABRA ENSEMBLE on Halloween night (Fri 31 Oct), coinciding with the Halloween dress-up competition and night market; live sound by Point Blanc Event Technical Solutions

FOR THE KIDS

  • THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS – Expanding the HorrorFest to include a special kids’ chapter (Halloween dress-up not compulsory, but encouraged)

DOCUMENTARIES

  • LOST SOUL: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s The Island of Dr. Moreau – Documentary on the South African-born director’s crazy experience in the undoing of his labour of love by many factors (from a vain Val Kilmer to the studio and disastrous weather)
  • YELLOW FEVER: The Rise & Fall of the Giallo – In-depth documentary on the Italian thriller/horror genre (feat. Dario Argento, Umberto Lenzi & more)

SOUTH AFRICAN CONNECTIONS
In addition to several short films and the Richard Stanley-linked documentary above, other locally connected movies will include:

  • JULIA – South African-born director Matthew A. Brown’s stylish neo-noir revenge tale with a twist (shot in the USA); features music by acclaimed SA group LARK
  • QUEEN OF BLOOD – Vampire sequel to Fangoria editor Chris Alexander’s Blood for Irina (starring SA-born actress Shauna Henry)
  • ANOTHER WORLD – Zombie-action movie (arrive still in costume from the Zombie Walk and get a 2nd ticket free); shot in Israel, starring SA-born actor David Lavenski

WOMEN IN HORROR HIGHLIGHTS

  • SOULMATE – A moody ghost tale has a widow encountering something strange in a Welsh country house (directed by Axelle Carolyn)
  • EVANGELINE – A woman left for dead is resurrected by a demon, empowering her with a bloodlust for vengeance (directed by Karen Lam)
  • RAYNARD’S CIRCLE – A documentary crew investigation on occult Nazis (co-directed by Maria Valle)

The Sunday 2 November’s short film chapter will also feature female directors.

MORE INDIE MOVIES

  • NYMPH – An ancient bloodthirsty mermaid emerges near an idyllic Mediterranean coastal town (feat. the legendary Franco Nero aka Django)
  • CANDLESTICK – Clever UK Hitchcockian thriller
  • PERNICIOUS – A trio of cute tourists in Thailand fall under the spell of a murdered child entity bent on revenge
  • THE FORGOTTEN – A father and son squat in a London flat, but strange noises start coming from next door
  • THE PERFECT HUSBAND – An idyllic getaway turns deadly
  • WHITE SETTLERS – A couple gets everything but a friendly welcome at their new home near Scotland
  • THAT’S COOL HAIR – Bizarre, time-flipping ’70s flavoured tongue-in-cheek Spanish flick

Get more details at the official South African HorrorFest website, and also connect via Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to also head to the Bloody Parchment blog for info on what the literary chapter of the Fest has to offer.

The post Full Feature Film Lineup Unveiled for South African HorrorFest 2014 appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Warner Bros/New Line Push The Conjuring 2 to 2016; Untitled Horror Takes its Place

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:05

Put on your dancin’ shoes – it’s time for some release date shuffling! Originally slated for October 23, 2015, The Conjuring 2, which is still in very early stages, has been moved to 2016 by Warner Bros. and replaced by a so far unnamed horror film from New Line’s existing stable.

When reporting the move, Deadline speculated that the prime Halloween season time slot vacated by the still director-less sequel to James Wan’s mega hit The Conjuring could be filled by Phil Claydon’s Crawlspace, which stars “Bates Motel’s” Michael Vartan as a widower who moves into a seemingly perfect new home with his daughter and new wife, or possibly Superstition, the Blumhouse-360 Film production directed by first-time helmers Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff, which revolves around a family that moves into a house that was once the site of a witch’s execution.

Either way, they’ll have some competition from the other film already announced for that date, Jem and the Holograms, followed the next week by Paramount’s Scouts vs. Zombies, another recent shufflee.

More soon!

 

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Categories: Horror News

Frank Grillo Waits Beyond Skyline

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 20:23

We’re still not sure just who was clamoring for a sequel to Skyline, but it’s definitely heading in the right direction in terms of casting news. Latino Review is reporting that The Purge: Anarchy‘s Frank Grillo will star in the next chapter of the interstellar flick, which is known now as Beyond Skyline.

Liam O’Donnell, who worked on some effects no one could see due to the apparent lack of a lighting rig in Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem and others that people could see in Iron Man 2, is directing. He co-wrote the screenplay with Joshua Cordes. The duo wrote the first film, too.

Latino is also reporting that supposedly the sequel’s storyline takes place at the same time the first one did.

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Categories: Horror News

Ghostface Missing in MTV Series

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 20:15

Well now. This is kind of shocking. During an interview with GhostFace.co.UK, RJ Torbert, the man who owns the rights to the look of Ghostface, the titular killer from Wes Craven’s Scream franchise, dropped a pretty big bombshell on fans looking forward to the upcoming MTV series based on Craven’s flicks.

“To answer your question regarding the “Scream” TV series…

Please note that I had been in communication with TWC regarding this, and they have informed me that as of now and during the initial launch, Ghost Face is NOT involved in the new format. They also indicated that because of this direction, it does not mean that Ghost Face will not be involved at a later date. So, there is still a question, to the question.

However, as of now, there is no involvement.

Here’s some clarification by Torbert in regards to the rights of the look of the character:

“We believe ‘Scream’ is Ghost Face, and Ghost Face is Scream. However, while Ghost Face is owned by Fun World, the Scream motion picture franchise is owned by The Weinstein Company, and it is their option to film a movie or TV show without Ghost Face. Regardless, we wish them the best of luck, and I’m sure ‘Scream’ fans will check out the series. Who knows what will happen in the future regarding the series and Ghost Face? Never say never.”

The MTV series stars Willa Fitzgerald, Taylor-Klaus, Bobby Campo (The Final Destination), Connor Weil (Sharknado), and Joel Gretsch (“Witches of East End,” “V,” “The 4400″).

 

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Categories: Horror News

Jessabelle Stills Come by the 4-Pack

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 20:05

Four new stills have arrived for Jessabelle, the latest film from Saw VI and Saw 3D director Kevin Greutert, and they are ready to do that voodoo that they do. Dig ‘em!

Look for the film in both theaters and VOD outlets on November 7th! Mark your calendars!

Jessabelle stars Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, David Andrews, Joelle Carter, Ana de la Reguera, Larisa Oleynik, Chris Ellis, Fran Bennett, and Amber Stevens.

The film is being brought to us by the folks behind Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, and Dark Skies – Jason Blum, Paul Young, and Peter Principato, who are producing for Blumhouse Productions and Principato-Young Entertainment.

For more info visit Jessabelle on Facebook, and follow Jessabelle on Twitter.

Synopsis
From the mastermind producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious comes the ghostly tale of Jessabelle. Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle (Sarah Snook of Sleeping Beauty) comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return — and has no intention of letting her escape.

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Categories: Horror News

AFM 2014: The Ghost Squad Looks to Save the Day

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 19:59

The American Film Market chaos is already beginning as 13 Films has unveiled the first details and sales art for the family friendly flick Ghost Squad. Read on for the skinny, and brace yourself for lots more from AFM in the coming weeks.

Joel Souza directs the film, which stars Kevin Nealon (“Weeds,” Just Go With It, Blended), Jennifer Grant, Madison Iseman, Phillip Wampler, Preston Strother, Carly Peeters, Will Spencer, and Cade Sutton.

Synopsis
After being challenged by the town bullies, three socially inept best friends must spend an entire night in a creepy county mansion long rumored to be haunted.

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Categories: Horror News

Australian Zombie Wrestling Flick From Parts Unknown: Fight Like a Girl Finally Ready to Main Event

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 17:44

We first reported on the Australian zombie wrestling action horror flick From Parts Unknown: Fight Like a Girl way back in 2008. Lots of movies have long, arduous treks from inception to the screen, but this is ridiculous!

From Parts Unknown: Fight Like a Girl is finally, at long last, ready to make its world premiere at The Thornbury Theatre in Australia early next year. I presume the rest of us will get our chances to see this long gestating film afterwards.

The Strongman Pictures production stars UK-based singer Jenna Dwyer as Charlie along with Elke Osadnik, Emma-Louise Wilson (ABC’s “Utopia”), and champion kickboxer Sarah Howett, a.k.a. Viper from Australian TV’s “Gladiators.”

To celebrate the press release announcing the film finally coming into fruition, award-winning artist Tom Hodge was commissioned to design some new artwork for this tale of a badass female pro wrestler and her smackdown with the undead.

I’ll let the press release from director Daniel Armstrong provide the rest of the details:

From Parts Unknown: Fight Like a Girl is your quintessential Australia-zombie-wrestling-video game movie. It tells the story of Charlie. After watching her Daddy die in the ring, she sets out to become a wrestler in his memory. The only things stopping her are a disapproving boyfriend, a demanding day job, and a soul-crushing boss – whose corporate shenanigans threaten to unleash hordes of zombies upon the earth! Charlie has no choice but to open up a can of whoop-ass and take these murderous jabronis for a stroll down smackdown boulevard!

‘What can you say? From Parts Unknown has been in production for nearly a decade now. We’ve overcome investors disappearing, a crazed department head running up excessive costs, and the loss of all our sound files in addition to, of course, the grueling 42-day shoot. It’s been a long journey, and we’re very excited about the fact that not only are people finally about to see the film, but we have amazing poster art that so perfectly reflects the tone of the film.’ – Director, Daniel Armstrong

From Parts Unknown: Fight Light a Girl World Premiere details:
DATE:  Saturday, January 10, 2015
TIME:  6.00 pm – ‘till late
VENUE:  The Thornbury Theatre, 859 High Street, Thornbury, VIC 3071; (+613) 9484 9831

Tickets can ONLY be purchased from The Thornbury Theatre website.  No tickets will be sold at the event. For more info visit From Parts Unknown: Fight Light a Girl on Facebook.

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Categories: Horror News

Rob Riggle Gets Infected by Dead Rising: Watchtower

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 17:34

As we recently learned, Capcom’s hit video game series Dead Rising is being adapted into a feature film courtesy of Crackle, and another familiar face has just joined the growing cast. Read on for the latest!

Multi Channel News reports today that comic actor Rob Riggle (pictured; 22 Jump Street, Let’s Be Cops) has been brought on board the adaptation alongside fellow new recruits Harley Morenstein (“Epic Meal Time”), Keegan Connor Tracey (“Bates Motel,” “Once Upon A Time”), and Aleks Paunovic (This Means War).

The cast also includes Jesse Metcalfe (“Desperate Housewives,” “Dallas”), Meghan Ory (“Once Upon a Time”), Virginia Madsen (Candyman, Sideways), and Dennis Haysbert (Men, Women & Children).

Sony’s Crackle will give the 90-minute feature, directed by Leprechaun: Origins’ Zach Lipovsky, an exclusive digital release in the U.S. before the film receives a multi-platform release on SVOD, VOD, DVD, and TV.

The script was written by Tim Carter, who also produces alongside Tomas Harlan under their Contradiction Films banner (the same company that produced Mortal Kombat: Legacy). Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers, G.I. Joe) is the executive producer.

Synopsis
As in the video game, Dead Rising: Watchtower is set during a zombie apocalypse. When a mandatory government vaccine fails, a group of survivors must evade infection while hunting down the root of the epidemic, which leads back to a government conspiracy.

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Categories: Horror News

Cabin Fever Reboot Now in Production with Eli Roth Producing

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 14:23

Well, this is some news we weren’t expecting this fine Monday, but in any event, Armory Films, Cassian Elwes, and Contend announced today that they have joined together to kick off production of a remake of Eli Roth’s horror thriller hit Cabin Fever with Travis Zariwny (Intruder) directing and Armory and Pelican Point Media financing.

Here are the highlights from the press release:

The film, to be reshot from the original 2002 version by Eli Roth and Randy Pearlstein, stars Gage Golightly (“Teen Wolf”), Dustin Ingram (Paranormal Activity 3), Samuel Davis (“From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series:), Matthew Daddario (Delivery Man), and Nadine Crocker (Deadgirl). Cabin Fever will be produced by Contend’s Evan Astrowsky, (who also produced the original film with Roth) and Armory Films’ Chris Lemole and Tim Zajaros.

Cassian Elwes will executive produce along with Roth, Ike Suri and Jaclyn Ann Suri, and Peter Fruchtman. The film has begun principal photography this week in Portland, Oregon. Voltage Pictures is handling international sales on the film at the upcoming American Film Market. Cassian Elwes and CAA are representing the domestic rights.

Cabin Fever follows in Eli Roth’s original footsteps when a group of college students, who rent a cabin in the woods to do some partying, begin to fall victim to a flesh-eating virus and all hell breaks loose.

The original premiered at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival with Elwes involved in a massive bidding war for the film. This version will be shot from the exact same script that Roth directed 13 years ago, as opposed to going through a long, delayed studio development process.

“Travis had an amazing vision for my original script, and as a scary movie fan I really wanted to see it. I almost see this like re-staging a play, and I’m excited to see what ideas Travis and the cast bring to it. They’re all fans of the original and want to make a film that’s a new classic, and I believe they will,” said Roth.

Roth is best known for his work directing the original Cabin Fever as well as genre hits Hostel and Hostel II and his latest effort, The Green Inferno, which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Additionally, the filmmakers plan to give the recently deceased Susan Jackson, who executive produced the original, a “dedicated to” title at the end of the film.

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Categories: Horror News

Exclusive: Filmmaker Chloe Okuno Talks Screamfest Premiere of Slut; Trailers, Carpet Photos, and More!

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 14:00

Occasionally I’m privy to experiencing the first work of a filmmaker whose unique voice will more than likely go on to cinematically haunt our collective dreams and who’ll probably soon be attending those infamous Los Angeles “Masters of Horror” dinners.

Such was the case this past weekend with the October 18th Screamfest premiere of writer/director Chloe Okuno’s short film Slut.

With the 14th Annual Screamfest Horror Film Festival currently under way at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, CA, Okuno’s 21-minute student short debuted to a wildly vocal audience, and we caught up with her on the carpet following.

“It started off with ‘Little Red Riding Hood,’” Okuno told us of her inspiration for Slut, her AFI thesis project, which she wrote and directed. Produced by Lisa Gollobin, the film revolves around a naive young girl who becomes the target of a mysterious stranger passing through town. Molly McIntyre appears in the lead role; James Gallo, Kasia Pilewicz, Cody Beverstock, Alex Miller, and Sally Kirkland co-star.

“I wanted to find a way to do the classic moment of her coming home to discover the big bad wolf dressed as Grandma in a way that was realistic, or at least relatively realistic,” Okuno continued. “From that sort of conceptual beginning I thought about the character of Red Riding Hood herself, and this awkward, bespectacled 16-year-old girl began to develop pretty naturally, probably coming a bit from classic movie tropes and a bit from my own experience as an awkward teenager.”

Refreshingly shot on 35mm, Okuno said of the production, “Our team was very fortunate to receive a couple of grants, one from Fotokem and another from EFILM & Deluxe, that helped us with the cost of shooting on film; and we were very fortunate to have all our film stock donated by a very nice man named George Gush at Fujifilm. Apparently, it was essentially leftovers from American Hustle, which is pretty cool as I am more than happy to take David O. Russell’s leftovers! It was Fujifilm Eterna Vivid stock, which we shot 2-perf to give it that grainy 70s look.”

“Principal photography took place in late February 2014,” she offered. “Like all AFI thesis productions, we shot seven days and then had a day and a half of re-shoots, all in and around Los Angeles. We went out to Ventura to Skating Plus for the roller rink scenes, Piru for our farmhouse and desert exteriors, and everything else was shot on a stage in downtown L.A.”

We asked Okuno about the reasons for her choice of setting Slut in the late 70’s.

“I love that aesthetic, and I love movies from that time period,” she effused. “Whenever I envisioned the eponymous ‘slut,’ for some reason I knew she just had to have short shorts and feathered hair. Late 70’s/80’s slasher films were a big influence on the dynamic of the kids at the roller rink; that sort of small town America feeling that you see in a lot of movies from that era. Also, rightly or wrongly, I’ve always attached a certain innocence to that time period so it provided this atmosphere where we could deal with different characters’ attitudes toward female sexuality in a way that was more explicit, less coded, which was quite helpful in a short format.”

Concerning the genre films which influenced Slut, “Naturally I wanted to emulate the best so Carrie, Halloween, and Texas Chain Saw Massacre were all big influences,” Okuno stated.

“At very early days in the process, we got the team together and saw a gorgeous print of Texas Chain Saw at the Aero in Santa Monica, which hopefully permeated our collective consciousness during the many months of making Slut. Little less of a horror movie and more of a thriller, but Blood Simple was another big inspiration. We took a lot of visual cues from Badlands as well. I think I can say that Sissy Spacek directly influenced us.”

As for what’s next on the young filmmaker’s plate, “I’m writing a feature script that I’m very excited about,” she concluded. “Like Slut, it’s another coming-of-age story, but in lieu of misogynistic psycho killers, it features satanic rituals, demonic possession, a bit of animal sacrifice. Of course I’m trying to get it financed so I can unleash this twisted monstrosity upon the world.”

For tickets to the festival, which runs to the 23rd of October, visit Screamfest here. For more on Slut check out its official site here.

Darren Morze (composer), Molly McIntyre (lead actress), Chloe Okuno (writer & director), Lisa Gollobin (producer), Michael Block (editor), Yihong Ding (production designer)

Chloe Okuno (writer & director)

Synopsis
Maddy is 16 years old. She lives alone with her sick grandmother in a rundown farmhouse off a highway in Nowheresville, Texas. She does her best to take care of her mute, wheelchair-bound grandmother, but life at home is lonely and depressing. So, like everyone else within a 20-mile radius, Maddy spends her free time at the only place with half a pulse: the local roller rink.

With her shabby clothes, large glasses, and dangerous naivete, Maddy is a hopeless misfit amongst her peers. Determined to embrace her inner vixen, Maddy looks to a girl named Jolee – beautiful, blonde, and unapologetically promiscuous – as a sort of model for what attracts men. Unfortunately for Maddy, it’s just at this time that an older, charismatic Stranger enters her life, a man whose charm masks the impulses of a murderous, misogynistic psychopath.


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Categories: Horror News

Ryan Murphy Developing Horror-Comedy Series Scream Queens for Fox

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 13:56

The name Ryan Murphy has become synonymous with frights in recent years, as the creator of “American Horror Story” continues to prove that he knows what scares us. But up next he’s looking to make us laugh, and we’ve got the scoop for ya today!

THR reports that Fox has handed out a straight-to-series order for comedy-horror anthology Scream Queens, created by Murphy, Ian Brennan and Brad Falchuk.

The 15-episode hour-long comedy will premiere in the fall of 2015, with season one revolving around a college campus that’s rocked by a series of murders. New settings and storylines will be featured in subsequent seasons of the anthology series.

I knew I wanted to work with Brad and Ian again on something comedic, and we are having a blast writing Scream Queens,” Murphy said. “We hope to create a whole new genre – comedy-horror – and the idea is for every season to revolve around two female leads. We’ve already begun a nationwide search for those women, as well as 10 other supporting roles, and we’re very grateful to [Fox TV Group chairmen and CEOs] Dana [Walden] and Gary [Newman] for their enthusiastic support.

The series hails from 20th Century Fox Television, where Murphy and Falchuk are under rich overall deals. Murphy, Falchuk, Ian Brennan and Dante Di Loreto will exec produce.

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Categories: Horror News

Head Behind the Scenes of Insidious Chapter 3 with Stills Gallery

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 13:41

We’ve been told that the trailer for Insidious Chapter 3 will debut this weekend, giving us our first look at the franchise’s third chapter. In the meantime, check out a gallery of behind the scenes stills from the set, which should whet your appetite for more!

The newest chapter in the terrifying horror series is written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell.

A twisted new tale of terror begins for a teenage girl and her family, predating the haunting of the Lambert family in the earlier movies and revealing more mysteries of the otherworldly realm The Further. The chilling prequel reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help the family.

Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, and Whannell star. Look for it in theatres on May 29, 2015.

For more information visit the official Insidious website, “like” the Insidious Facebook page, and follow along on Twitter at @InsidiousMovie.

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Categories: Horror News

WolfCop Howls Stateside Next March

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 13:23

Though it’s already available on home video over in the UK, Lowell Dean’s insanely fun WolfCop (review) has still yet to make its way stateside. That all changes in the early portions of 2015, when a big ole howl will be heard in your DVD collection!

Bloody Disgusting got the exclusive on this tasty tidbit of news, as RLJ/Image Entertainment tipped them off that WolfCop is soon headed to the states in the form of a DVD, Blu-ray and VOD release.

According to the WolfCop Twitter account, March is the month you can expect it.

In the meantime, check out the new release art below!

Written and directed by Lowell Dean, the film stars Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Aidan Devine, Jesse Moss, Sarah Lind, Jonathan Cherry, and Corrine Conley.

Synopsis:

WOLFCOP follows Lou Garou (Fafard), an alcoholic cop who tends to black out and wake up in unfamiliar surroundings. However, lately things have taken a strange turn. Crime scenes seem oddly familiar; Lou’s senses are heightened; and when the full moon is out, he’s a rage-fueled werewolf. WOLFCOP is one cop’s quest to become a better man… one transformation at a time.

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Categories: Horror News

L.A. Residents: Win Tickets to See the Premiere of Exists

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 13:00

Are you in Los Angeles and looking for a little Sasquatchploitation to get dirty with? Then YOU are in luck because we’re giving away five (5) pairs of tickets to the premiere of Eduardo Sanchez’s Exists!

The screening takes place on October 23rd at an L.A. theatre at 7:00PM PT with a Q&A with Eduardo Sanchez to follow. These tickets GUARANTEE you entry so once you’ve been picked as a winner, you’re all good!

To enter for your chance to win, just send us an email at contests@dreadcentral.com, and we’ll contact you on the 22nd if you’re chosen with the exact location and more details! Be advised you must be at least 18 to win as the flick is rated R.

Exists will be arriving on various VOD platforms and in limited theaters on October 24th.

In Bigfoot’s bold return to the big screen, five friends on a camping weekend in the remote woods of East Texas struggle to survive against a legendary predator that is stronger, smarter, and more terrifying than anything they would have ever believed exists.

The film stars Chris Osborn, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards, Samuel Davis, Denise Williamson, and Brian Steele and is produced by Jane Fleming, Mark Ordesky, Robin Cowie, and J. Andrew Jenkins. Exists, written by Jamie Nash, is executive produced by George Waud, D. Todd Shepherd, Gregg Hale, and Reed Frerichs, and the Sasquatch creature was designed by Spectral Motion.

Synopsis
For five friends, it was a chance for a summer getaway— a weekend of camping in the Texas Big Thicket. But visions of a carefree vacation are shattered with an accident on a dark and desolate country road. In the wake of the accident, a bloodcurdling force of nature is unleashed—something not exactly human, but not completely animal— an urban legend come to terrifying life…and seeking murderous revenge.

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Categories: Horror News

Full 2014 Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Fest Lineup Announced

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 12:30

The Buffalo, New York, area is making quite a name for itself in the indie horror realm, and set to kick off in just a few weeks is the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, which shines a light on both notable new international films and homegrown talent involved in the genre and beyond. Here are ALL the details for 2014:

From the Press Release
Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, which runs Friday, November 7th, through Thursday, November 13th, at the Dipson Eastern Hills Cinema, has announced a diverse selection of films for its sophomore season. Eastern Hills Cinema is located in the Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Transit Road in Williamsville, New York.

The mission of Buffalo Dreams is to bring the finest independent films from around the world to Buffalo and to spotlight the most talented artists from Buffalo’s burgeoning film production community. The festival focuses on science fiction, fantasy, horror, action, thriller, and animation and this year included comedy for the local categories.

Some highlights from this year’s slate include the Buffalo Premiere of The Romans, a crime drama written and directed by Korey Green and co-written and executive produced by Larry Quinn, former owner of the Buffalo Sabers; a new spaghetti western, 6 Bullets to Hell; the Mexican metaphysical mindbender El Incidente/The Incident, which premiered at the prestigious Sitges Film Festival and sold out four screenings at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas; and the sci-fi flavored action film Channeling, which combines reality TV, car chases, and cutting edge technology. In all, the festival will screen 19 feature films, two medium length films, 39 shorts, and 12 music videos. In addition, the festival will judge 18 entries in its Original Screenplay Competition. Eighty-six works were selected from almost 300 submissions from around the world.

“This year’s roster of outstanding films proves we’re about more than horror films, ” says Dreams co-founder Gregory Lamberson. “We program all genres and feature several comedies and a local drama, and we continue to support locally produced films such as Rhonda Parker’s romantic comedy Friends Don’t Let Friends – Date Friends, Ken Consentino’s horror thriller Within, and 13-year-old Hope Muelbauer’s short film Zombie Kids.”

Many films at the festival will be followed by Q&As with the filmmakers. Green, Quinn, and several cast members from The Romans will attend their gala event, and Isaac Ezban is traveling to Buffalo from Mexico City to present El Incidente. Canadian filmmaker Brett Kelly will screen his James Bond spoof Spyfall, and Ryan Bellgardt is coming from Oklahoma to show his raucous time travel adventure Army of Frankensteins.

“The notifications from filmmakers who will be attending are already pouring in,” says Lamberson’s partner, Chris Scioli. “Last year 30 filmmakers came to screen their work. This is what makes a film festival truly special: the opportunity for festival goers to interact with filmmakers of all stripes and for the filmmakers to network with each other. A real camaraderie develops that shows the city at its best.”

A complete listing of all selected films follows. Admission is $9.00 per block, usually consisting of one micro-short or music video, one short, and one feature, with a $7.00 discount available for students, seniors, and patrons with military ID. A Day Pass for four features on Saturday, November 8th, costs $25, and Day Passes for Sunday-Thursday (three features per day) cost $20. An All Festival Pass costs $99. Advance tickets will go on sale soon from Dipson Theatres, and you can get more info on the Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival website. Submissions for 2015 will open in December.

Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival Official Selections 2014 – 19 features, 17 Original Screenplays, 2 Medium Length Films, 31 Short Films, 3 Micro Short Films, 12 Music Videos = 84 works

FEATURE FILMS
6 Bullets to Hell
Army of Frankensteins
Athena
Axe to Grind
B.O.Y.D. (WNY, Non-competition)
Call Girl of Cthulhu
Channeling
The Drownsman (Canada)
Elizabeth Bathory (WNY)
Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive (WNY, World Premiere)
El Incidente/The Incident (Mexico)
The God Question
Julia
Mostly Dead (WNY)
The Romans (WNY, Buffalo Premiere)
The Search for Simon (UK)
The Shower
Spyfall (Canada)
Within (WNY)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAYS (Feature Length)
“Belzec: The Made Undead” by Steffan Postaer
“The Crimson Confession” by Raymond Just
“The Cursed Flesh” by Anders Nelson
“The Devil Inside” by Gabriella Messina
“Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite” by Ron Brawer
“East Side Girl the Musical” by Max Segal
“Hangover Man” by Nick Roth
“Iron Dogs” by Neil Chase
“The Last Vikings” by David Throndill
“Lost Cause” by David Schroeder
“Love & Robots” by Dennis Schebetta
“Midnight Daisy” by Jesse Vigil
“The Night Witches” by Steven Prowse
“Rain of Terror” by Matthew Lorentz
“The Roman Downsizing” by John Leary
“Sardis the Merciful” by Christian Thomas
“Silverblood: Dawn of the Wolf” by Fiore Derosa and Samantha Talbot
“Steal Away” by Jon Paul Reese
“The Witch’s Hand” by Wendy Joseph

MEDIUM LENGTH FILMS
The Outlaw: Evil Women (WNY)
Scope of Practice (WNY)

SHORT FILMS
Bodies in Irreversible Detriment
By the Hair of the Head
Chomp
Dead Hearts (Canada)
Demonic Frequency
Dieu Reconnaitra les Siens/Let God Sort Them Out (France)
Gave Up the Ghost (WNY, Non-competition)
Ghost Light
Hands Like Suitcases (WNY)
Happy Birthday, Mr. Zombie (Belgium)
The Heebie-Jeebies
Hellyfish
Henry and the Midnight Dentist (UK )
In Fear Of: Glossophobia, the Fear of Speaking in Public
In Fear Of': Toxiphobia, the Fear of Being Poisoned
Job Interview (Germany)
Killer Kart
Meet Your Maker
Monstro!
One More Day
Orbit Ever After (Ireland)
Road Test (WNY)
The Routine
Ruby’s Skin (UK)
The Shepherd 9m, (Canada)
Sepulcher (WNY)
Stolen from Society (WNY)
Sunshine for Breakfast
Teasers
Territorial
Waterborne (Australia )
Watch Over Me (UK)
Zombie Kids (WNY)

MICRO-SHORT FILMS
A Fight to Propose
Sign (WNY)
Leviathan Ages (UK)

MUSIC VIDEOS
Ace in the Hole: Enthralled (WNY)
Bill Carter – “Anything Made of Paper”
Bohemian Rhapsody: Star Wars Edition
Burn Away: Shane Cole
Decapitation
Delica-m: Mean Something
Delica-m: Pretty in the Dark (Canada)
Find a Little Boogie (WNY)
Loving Myself
Mulligan’s Island
The Outlaw: Theme Song (WNY)
Stay With Me

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Categories: Horror News

Sharknado 3 Chews Up East Coast

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 12:05

At the end of April, Syfy announced a third installment in its Sharknado juggernaut will be heading our way in summer 2015, and today they dished some new details. Read on and bring an umbrella.

After the original Sharknado swept across Los Angeles and Sharknado 2: The Second One turned its deadly fury on New York City, be on the lookout for Sharknado 3 to hit the entire Eastern Seaboard. The announcement was made at the network’s Orlando-based press tour this morning and reported by IGN.

Interestingly enough, beginning with an attack on Washington, D.C., where, as Dave Howe, President of Syfy and Chiller, said they will finally be giving the nation’s capital “what it deserves,” the sharks will move along the coast, landing in none other than Orlando, FL. The airborne water beasts will wreak havoc on the “Feast Coast.”

Sharkado 2: The Second One co-stars Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Vivica A. Fox, and Mark McGrath. Among the guest stars are Kelly Osbourne, Judd Hirsch, Judah Friedlander, Andy Dick, and Perez Hilton. The movie, which was filmed in New York City, was directed by Anthony C. Ferrante from a screenplay by Thunder Levin (both of whom worked on the original Sharknado).

The upcoming Sharknado 3 will once again be produced by The Asylum. Look for more soon!

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Categories: Horror News

Vines, The (Book)

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 12:00

Written by Christopher Rice

Published by 47North

It isn’t often that I have the time to do book reviews these days, but when Christopher Rice’s The Vines showed up in my mailbox just days before I was leaving on a cross-country trip, it seemed serendipitous, and I excitedly packed the thin volume in my suitcase, planning to check it out on the return leg of my journey. I cracked it open just moments into my four-hour flight home, and now, less than three hours later, here I am writing this review, feeling happy to have spent time with such interesting characters and situations, yet slightly sad that our time together had come to such a swift conclusion.

The book’s synopsis, which mentions “dark forces” residing in the ground beneath a former Southern plantation located just outside New Orleans, didn’t quite prepare me for the wild ride I was about to take. The Vines begins the night of a birthday party for Caitlin Chaisson, wealthy owner of the aforementioned estate, known as Spring House, during which she spies her husband, Troy, cheating on her with a pretty blonde. All her life Caitlin has felt unattractive and inadequate so needless to say, this discovery leaves her in quite a state; and she retreats to the gazebo located on the grounds, where she cuts her arms and wrists, ready to end it all. But those forces – the “vines” of the title – have other plans and absorb her blood. They spring to life, consuming Troy, traumatizing his paramour, and leaving Caitlin questioning reality. They also heal her wounds and leave her feeling empowered so maybe they’re not all bad?

Meanwhile, Nova, the Spring House groundskeeper’s daughter, sees just enough of what transpired to begin her own investigation, teaming up with Caitlin’s childhood friend, Blake, to try to put the pieces together. Currently Blake and Caitlin are estranged because he tried to warn her about Troy’s two-timing ways, and she wouldn’t hear of it. When he tries to overcome their differences and learn more about the vines and their magic, she shuts him out, leaving him no alternative but to work with Nova and, later, her father, Willie Thomas, to save himself and Spring House.

A lot of bat-shit crazy stuff happens that would probably sound ridiculous if I were to attempt to summarize it so suffice to say that although The Vines is lean (just 214 pages), it’s also quite mean, and horror fans should eat it up! Oh, and did I mention that there’s also some very nasty business involving massive swarms of bugs that do the vines’ bidding? That ought to get your attention if you’re the squeamish type.

As you’d expect for a story set on and around a plantation, slavery and racism play a big part in the history and subsequent actions of the vines, and there’s also a subplot regarding a hate crime that took place several years prior involving Blake and his young gay lover during their high school years. To Rice’s credit, neither of these hot button issues feels heavy-handed or preachy in any way as things organically unfold and the vindictive vines begin wreaking havoc on those unlucky enough to find themselves in their path.

Most of the action revolves around Nova and Blake, and things move quickly with the entire tale taking place over just a few days. Rice’s style is brisk and spare with no fluff or filler; every word belongs and advances the story. The violence the vines and their insect minions leave in their path is brutal and vivid, and the characters are richly drawn, proving that just a few well chosen words can convey volumes. As for that hasty ending I mentioned above, while it does leave a few questions open for a possible sequel, it is so completely satisfying that if one never comes, I won’t be mad at anyone.

The Vines is the first of Christopher Rice’s books that I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last. He may have only just begun to dip his toes into the supernatural waters his mother, Anne Rice, has mined so richly over the years, but here’s hoping he continues on that path with his entire foot, leg, etc.

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Categories: Horror News

Halloween 3 Update; New Script in the Works

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:58

Given the time of year, it’s only fitting that we have a quick update on everyone’s favorite October franchise, Halloween.

In Orlando, producer Malek Akkad was on hand at a small Halloween screening event at the AMC located on the Universal CityWalk Orlando, and he offered the following update. Thanks to STYD who was in attendance.

It’s been a joy to work with so many creative people – ten films,” Akkad said, touching the franchise’s legacy. “We’re working on eleven as we speak. We’re working on a script right now. A new draft – perfect timing – is supposed to hit the day before Halloween. Hopefully my Halloween night reading will be a good read.

Earlier in the year, reboot and sequel director Rob Zombie confirmed to SciFi Now that he wouldn’t be returning to direct: “I’m definitely not directing it if they ever do go ahead with a third movie.” Keep in mind that at one point in his career Zombie also stated he’d never do a remake.

Stay tuned!

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Categories: Horror News