As always, it’s with great pleasure that we give this year the proverbial finger and officially look forward to 2017! Please join us in stabbing at 2016 with an erect middle digit. Seriously, year, take yourself and your onslaught of death, misery, and general shittiness; and be gone with you!
Because of the foulness of these past 12 months, at this point we don’t even know if we’ll be here for 2017, and that’s not even remotely hyperbolic in any way. Our survival is very much in your hands. You can make a difference and be a part of history. Lord knows we hope to be around for a long, long time. If you’ll have us, we’ll be here working harder than ever. We have so much more to give.
Here’s hoping, but either way… Goodbye, 2016! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out! Be safe tonight, everyone, and have a happy and healthy 2017! Here’s to ya!
It’s that time of year again, kids! Time for Dread Central’s Best and Worst Horror Films of 2016 lists. We have a whopping 12 people weighing in (including one done comics style), and we’ve also compiled everyone’s picks to come up with the year’s overall winners and losers.
Anthony kicks things off for us. The other contributors’ picks can be found by scrolling through the pages or clicking the links below.
We averaged out the top and bottom vote-getters on our collective lists, and here are the results:
BEST: THE WITCH
Runners-up: Train to Busan, The Monster, The Conjuring 2, Don’t Breathe (tied for 2nd); Green Room, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Lights Out (tied for 3rd)
Runners-up: The Forest (2nd), The Disappointments Room (3rd)
- Anthony Arrigo’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Matt Boiselle’s Best and Worst of 2016
- April Marie’s Best and Worst of 2016
- David Gelmini’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Mr. Dark’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Foywonder’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Ted Hentschke’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Matt Molgaard’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Debi Moore’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Matt Serafini’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Uncle Creepy’s Best and Worst of 2016
- Kevin D. Clark’s Best and Worst of 2016 – Comics Style
The post Dread Central’s Best and Worst Horror Films of 2016 appeared first on Dread Central.
Elm Street stars Amanda Wyss and Lisa Wilcox take center stage in Ryan Burton’s upcoming short film The Watcher of Park Avenue.
Chengusoyane Kargbo, Ryan Burton, and Christopher Robert Thompson also star. The film is anticipated to be released in December of 2017.
Check out your first look at Wilcox as Gwen Hedren, “a feisty and eccentric woman who is attending a New Year’s Eve party in Manhattan,” courtesy of Wilcox herself on Facebook below. Wyss will play Lt. Samantha Warren.
Blanche Montgomery finds herself in a dangerous mix of paranoia and frustration as stories emerge of a serial killer who has been terrorizing the neighborhood she is currently living in.
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You want nightmares? You’re about to have them. If you haven’t seen Shin Godzilla, you may want to avoid this story because it’s impossible to write without giving away some key plot moments.
As you know if you’ve seen the movie, there are several variations of Godzilla throughout. Seeing Godzilla evolve before our eyes was neat, to say the least. Seen briefly at the very end of Shin Godzilla was what appeared to be some form of humanoid creatures spawning from Big G’s tail.
Now, thanks to Gormaru Island, we can get a really good look at the hideous creatures courtesy of some scans they did from The Art of Shin Godzilla art book.
Check them out below. These bad boys could give the Xenomorph a run for its money!
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Looking to experience supernatural phenomena of a violent and hostile nature? Then look no further than The Covenant.
From the Press Release:
Uncork’d Entertainment has a soul to take this February with The Covenant, available On Demand from February 7.
After the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter, Sarah Doyle moves back to her childhood home with her estranged brother, Richard. It’s not long before Sarah begins to experience supernatural phenomena of a violent and hostile nature. Bewildered and desperate, Richard enlists the aid of a paranormal investigator who confirms that Sarah has become possessed by a powerful demon. Together, the three men will go to battle to save Sarah’s soul.
Directed by Robert Conway (Krampus Unleashed), and starring Monica Engesser (Krampus the Reckoning), Clint James (The Encounter), Owen Conway (Exit to Hell), Sanford Gibbons (Tombstone), and Maria Olson (I Spit On Your Grave : Deja-Vu), The Covenant hits February 7 from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Fifty-six years ago, Alfred Hitchcock terrified audiences all around the world with his genre defying masterpiece, Psycho. To this day, it continues to shock and awe moviegoers, some of which decided to take to Imgur to display a replica of the iconic Bates Motel and House out of gingerbread.
And while I’ll admit that there is a certain degree of futility in taking the time to build something that’s eventually gonna rot, you still gotta admit the lengths they must have gone to to painstakingly create every exact detail from the film, with even the positioning of the characters being as accurate as possible.
I don’t even want to think about how hard it’s gonna be for them to throw this out when it starts smelling bad and showing signs of decay.
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It looks like there’s gonna be a Castlevania TV series coming out way soon, and seeing as Konami seem to want to discontinue to game series, we couldn’t be happier that the franchise is gonna live on in some capacity.
Last year, we reported that the awesome Adi Shankar was working on what he referred to as a “super violent Castlevania mini-series” alongside “Adventure Time” producer Fred Seibert. There were no updates since, until Seibert mentioned the following on a Nickelodeon podcast (thanks to Indiewire for pointing it out):
We have a project now that we’re doing that needs to go unnamed based on one of the most world-famous video games of the last 30 years, that we’ve had in our shop for 12 years without being able to get it started. But there were great characters and a great story, and eventually we got it going.
Now, although he didn’t specifically mention Castlevania, it logically seems to be the franchise that he’s referring to, given what we know so far. Shankar then pretty much confirmed that the speculation was correct in the following Facebook post:
I asked in the comments if he was referring to the Castlevania series, and Mr Shankar very kindly gave my comment a like. So yeah, it’s happening.
The Castlevania franchise follows the Belmont family of vampire hunters as they do battle with Dracula and his minions. To date, over 20 million games in the series have been sold.
Formerly known as Valley of the Sasquatch, the newest sliver of Sasquatchploitation to come our way is Hunting Grounds, and we’ve got new stills, artwork, and more!
From the Press Release:
Uncork’d Entertainment has set award-winning creature feature HUNTING GROUNDS for a February 7, 2017, release.
Winner Best Sci-Fi Horror Film at the Toronto Independent Film Festival 2015, writer-director John Portanova’s acclaimed film sees a fractured family forced to go up against an angry clan of Bigfoot.
Festival audiences and horror critics have gone crazy for the story of a father and son, forced to move to an old cabin in the woods after a devastating tragedy, who unearth a tribe of Sasquatch.
Written and directed by John Portanova and produced by horror label The October People, Hunting Grounds stars Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, Jason Vail, David Saucedo, D’Angelo Midili, and Emmy winner Bill Oberst, Jr..
HUNTING GROUNDS will be available On Demand beginning February 7th.
After losing their home following a devastating tragedy, a father and son are forced to move to an old family cabin. When two old friends arrive for a weekend of hunting, what begins as a bonding trip becomes an unimaginable nightmare. This trip deep into the forest will not find wild game but does unearth a tribe of Sasquatch that are determined to protect their land.
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A fresh crop of TV spots are here for The Bye Bye Man, and we have each of them ready and waiting for you. Dig in!
Michael Trucco stars with Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas, Lucien Laviscount, Doug Jones, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Faye Dunaway.
Stacy Title directed from Jonathan Penner’s script, based on Robert Damon Schneck’s short story “The Bridge to Body Island.” Trevor Macy produced for Intrepid, and Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman produced for Los Angeles Media Fund.
When three college friends stumble upon the horrific origins of the Bye Bye Man, they discover that there is only one way to avoid his curse: don’t think it, don’t say it. But once the Bye Bye Man gets inside your head, he takes control. Is there a way to survive his possession?
Yeah, I know it’s still many moons away, but that doesn’t mean we cannot revel in the goodness of the Halloween season until it arrives! We know you’re as sweaty with anticipation as we are so here’s something more to look forward to…
Artist Bruce Spaulding Fuller worked on this gorgeous piece of artwork that would have Ed Harley spinning in his grave.
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With a brand new year approaching, we edge even closer to the inevitable end of our own mortality. I mean… 2017 is just around the corner, which means we have 12 whole months worth of new releases to look forward to. From blockbuster monster movies, to reboots of beloved franchises, independent gems and everything in between, I’m sure you’ll find there’s something for all genre aficionados taste buds on this list. Of course, this doesn’t feature every single movie we’ll see this year – and no doubt some of the best ones will be the gems which appear seemingly out of nowhere, terrify our souls and capture our hearts – but I do hope it you find something new which sparks your interest amidst the obvious ones I have to mention because they’re unmissable.
Underworld: Blood Wars (Release Date: January 7th)
The year gets underway with some mindless popcorn action-horror, as Selene (Kate Beckinsale) goes to war with some werewolves and vampires. It is what it is, and at this stage (it is the fifth instalment after all) you’ve probably made up your mind about the Underworld franchise. If you’re a fan, you can see it in theatres this January.
The Bye Bye Man (Release Date: January 13th)
The Bye Bye Man is a bad dude. He likes to make people commit unspeakable acts of evil, but if you say his name or even think it then he’ll come for you. He has no problem taking over your free will, but God forbid you invade his privacy. Part Candyman, part A Nightmare On Elm Street, part It Follows, it looks like some generic, but serviceable fun. Then again, given that it’s being released in January, chances are it won’t be very good at all. But all movies should be approached with an open mind, and The Bye Bye Man might surpass Candyman, Freddy and The Entity. You never know…
Detour (Release Date: January 20th)
Christopher Smith makes his long-awaited return to genre cinema with Detour, a twisted neo-noir starring Tye Sheridan as a mourning son whose attempts to get revenge on his stepfather don’t go as planned. So far what we know is that this is a film that keeps the audience on its toes until the very end, and if you’ve seen Smith’s overlooked masterpiece Triangle, then you’ll know he’s more than capable of doing just that.
Split (Release Date: January 20th)
I’ve never been a fan of M. Night Shyamalan, but every time he has a new movie coming out I’m somewhat intrigued to see it. For me personally, I’m hoping Split is the movie that converts me to his cause, as the concept of James McAvoy playing a character with multiple personalities is a concept I can get behind. But despite being a hit-or-miss director, he does have a multitude of fans, and with the positive reception following its festival run – with some critics even comparing it to Hitchcock – it’s definitely worth checking out.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (January 27th)
Well, it’s been an adventure. But all adventures have to come an end – a bloody, gruesome one hopefully. Milo Jovovich returns as our kickass, zombie bothering heroine Alice, the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead hordes. But the battle isn’t over yet, and she must return to where the nightmare began – Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.
Rings (Release Date: February 2nd)
Set 13 years after the last instalment, Samara returns to exact terror in seven days for those who watch the cursed video tape. However, there is more to the tape than meets the eye in this case, with a plot involving a movie within the movie. What secrets does it behold?
Patient Zero (Release Date: February 17th)
Starring Natalie Dormer, Patient Zero is set in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has become “Infected” killers. Only a band of heroes can set out into the ravaged remnants of society to find the cure. Starring alongside Dormer is former Doctor Who actor, Matt Smith.
XX (February 17th)
XX is a horror anthology with a gender twist – each segment is helmed by a female directors and will star female leads. The directors Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body), St. Vincent, and others. It also features a segment based on Jack Ketchum’s “The Box.”
Get Out (February 24th)
The trailer for Get Out became a viral sensation when it was released earlier this year, for both its oddness and social commentary pertaining to racial tensions. Written and directed by Jordan Peele, it follows an African American man who visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, where he isn’t made to feel very welcome.
Kong: Skull Island (Release Date: March 10th)
Following the success of 2014’s kaijutastic Godzilla reboot, Legendary Pictures continue their quest to bring our favorite giant monsters back to the big screen, this time with the King himself. This film promises to provide a bold new take on the mythos of another iconic beast, and if the trailers are anything to go by it looks like a crossover between Apocalypse Now and Jurassic Park. What’s not to look forward to with Kong: Skull Island? We’re living in an age of monster mayhem and with a collision with G set for 2020, it’s a good time to be alive if you like seeing gargantuan beasts tear it up.
Raw (Release Date: March 10th)
Ooh baby I like it raw, yeah baby I like it raw… Yep, I’m talking about consuming human flesh here, folks. Julia Ducournau’s cannibal shocker garnered some notoriety at the Toronto International Film Festival when members of the audience were reported to have been physically sick, along with paramedics having to be brought in because audience members passed out. I can’t think of the last time a movie came with this much gruesome buzz.
The Belko Experiment (Release Date: March 17th)
Wolf Creek director Greg McClean directs a James Gunn script in a movie which looks like a mix between Battle Royale and Office Space. The plot follows a group of American office lackeys working in Brazil who are forced to kill each other, or else they’ll be killed themselves. It has all the ingredients to be an unhinged, violent good time and with the talent involved it’s bound to go down a treat with bloodthirsty genre fans.
Ghost in the Shell (Release Date: March 29th)
Based on the wildly popular anime, Ghost in the Shell‘s inevitable Hollywood live action live adaptation was met with initial scepticism, but the trailer turned out to be pretty damn awesome and now most people are really looking forward to it. It stars Scarlett Johansson as The Major, a half-cyborg enforcer tasked with bringing down a dangerous hacker in a future that looks all Blade Runner-esque and stunning.
The Devil’s Candy (Release Date: March TBA)
I had the pleasure of seeing this movie at FrightFest in the UK and it’s incredible. Following his savagely funny debut The Loved Ones, Sean Byrne’s sophomore effort is going to solidify his place as a rising genre stalwart once this hits VOD. It’s a haunted house tale, but it’s not your conventional haunted house tale either; Byrne reminds us that there is life left in houses occupied by the spirits of the dead after all.
Blade of the Immortal (Release Date: April 29th)
Based on the manga of the same name, Blade of the Immortal follows an immortality cursed warrior who must kill 1000 evil men in order to break the curse. Directed by prolific Japanese maestro Takashi Miike, this should be the violent, action-packed opus we know he’s more than capable of.
Alien: Covenant (Release Date: May 19th)
Ridley Scott returns to the Alien universe with the second chapter of the prequel quadruple that began with 2012’s Prometheus. It also promises to be a return to the franchises’ roots in unbridled terror and if the trailer is anything to go by, it looks awesome. The story follows a crew bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, who, mistaking it for an uncharted paradise, find themselves entering a nightmare. Scott has promised two more sequels after this before the storyline links up with the original Alien. Maybe after those we’ll finally get that Neil Blomkamp movie we’ve all been waiting for as well, which is a sequel to Alien 3 that isn’t Alien Resurrection. Got it? Good.
The Mummy (Release Date: June 9th)
Universal are bringing back their iconic monsters to share a brand new cinematic universe, a “Brand New World of Gods and Monsters.” Up first is their reboot of The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise as hero Nick Morton who must go up an apocalyptic threat when an ancient princess is awakened all pissed off at humanity. It couldn’t be any different to the Boris Karloff original, but it looks like fun blockbuster action at least. Some people think it’s a reboot of the Brendan Fraser movie, so if one positive comes from it then it might remind people that movies existed before 1999.
World War Z 2 (Release Date: June 9th)
The first World War Z film was beleaguered with production problems so the fact it turned out to be semi-entertaining was a miracle. It also made a big pile of money, so a sequel was always going to happen. The comics are fantastic and the series has a lot of potential to translate well on the screen. David Fincher is helming this one, so it might kick start the momentum the franchise needs. In Fincher we trust… even if this does feel kind of beneath him.
The Dark Tower (Release Date: July 28th)
Stephen King’s fantasy western adventure finally gets its long-awaited cinematic adaptation after years of people trying to figure out how the hell they were going to adapt it. Inspired by everything from Lord of the Rings to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, this has the potential to be the best the next great grand scale adventure for the ages.
Annabelle 2 (Release Date: August 11th)
I know, I know… who cares about a sequel to a movie that didn’t exactly set the world on fire? Well, if Ouija: Origin of Evil is anything to go by, it showed that sequels to bland supernatural movies can be pretty entertaining and reignite their respective franchises. Much like Mike Flanagan when he took the reigns for Origin of Evil, David F. Sandberg enters Annabelle 2 on a wave of momentum following the success and acclaim of his debut full-length feature Lights Out. This could be the surprise mainstream release of the year.
Sky Sharks (Release Date: September 1st)
Deep in the ice of the antarctic, a team of geologists uncover an old Nazi laboratory where twisted experiments were carried out in the past. In their bid for world domination, they created flying sharks who were flown by the undead. Basically, it’s a movie about Nazi zombies and flying sharks and it’s going to be bonkers.
IT (Release Date: September 8th)
Like the antagonist clown Pennywise, the IT reboot was devised with the sole purpose of killing childhoods. Those of us who grew up with the dated mini-series are going to feel our nostalgic memories sucked into the eternal, black nothingness of death just because this movie exists. Or, it might turn out to be a welcome adaptation of one of the best horror stories ever written, and we’ll all enjoy it and realize that reboots of the movies we grew up with can be good after all and our childhood’s will remain firmly intact, even though remakes don’t really affect their original counterparts in the slightest.
Flatliners (Release Date: September 29th)
A remake of the underrated 1990 movie, which tells the story of students who experiment with “near death” experiences, is perhaps unnecessary and a prime example of how every property is being milked. That said, it has a fairly original premise that’s open to new nightmarish interpretation and the results could be interesting.
Friday the 13th (Release Date: October 13th)
Jason is back and he’s going to kill people.
Insidious: Chapter 4 (Release Date: October 20th)
Plot details are still fairly unknown about the latest instalment in the uber popular franchise, but what we do know is that the story takes place closer to the timeline of the first film and it’ll probably have lots of spooky shenanigans happening. Adam Robitel, who directed the fantastic The Taking of Deborah Logan, will be helming the project, which sees Lin Shaye return to star and Leigh Whannell supplying the script.
Saw: Legacy (Release Date: October 27th)
Since the Saw series has been on hiatus, I’ve actually missed it. I think the influx of supernatural horror in recent years has made me appreciate it more because it’s a guaranteed gory good time at the movies. I’m happy to see Jigsaw return to our screens, and even though it’ll be business as usual, at least blood and guts will grace our multiplexes this Halloween.
God Particle (Release Date: October 27th)
Set in the Cloverfield-verse, God Particle follows a team of astronauts aboard a space station who must fight for survival while their reality has been altered after making a shocking discovery. How it connects to Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield is a mystery at this time, but we can’t wait to find out.
Leatherface (Release Date: TBA)
A prequel which follows a teenage Leatherface who, after escaping from a mental institution with three other inmates, kidnaps a young woman and takes her on a road trip she doesn’t ask to be a part of. Along the way they are pursued by an deranged lawman out for revenge. This premise sounds absolutely incredible, and the fact it’s being helmed by Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury gives me hope.
Death Note (Release Date: TBA)
Adam Wingard’s American remake of the Japanese manga, anime series and live action movie tells the story of a student who discovers a supernatural notebook that allows him to kill anyone he writes down. This leads to a a deadly game of cat and mouse when a detective begins to track down the young man, attempting to end his reign of terror once and for all.
Death Wish (Release Date: TBA)
Eli Roth and Bruce Willis team up to unleash vigilante justice in this remake of Michael Winner’s 1979 classic, which starred Charles Bronson as a NYC businessman who cleans up the streets of its criminal filth following the death of his family at the hand’s of ruthless gangland thugs.
The Void (Release Date: TBA)
The genius’ behind the Astron-6 collective make their first full-length foray into straight horror fare with The Void, which takes place in a hospital where the inmates are transforming into inhuman creatures. However, judging by the trailer, there’s a deep-rooted mythology here that hearkens back to the glory days of 80s, nightmare-inducing gateway horror like Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 and The Beyond. The creators have described it as an homage to movies of that nature, and that sounds just perfect.
Hellraiser: Judgement (Release Date: TBA)
Pinhead told us our suffering would be legendary, and those of us who watched Hellraiser: Revelations knew exactly what he meant. Hopefully Judgement will be a return to form for a franchise that deserves to be treated better; the potential for stories within this universe is too great not to explore, but with each passing entry it’s continued to move away from what made it special in the first place. But this is a Hellraiser movie, therefore it’s somewhat intriguing.
Joe Lynch is one of the most underrated and exciting directors working in genre cinema at the moment. His movies are genre-bending treats, which give us the violent, action-packed, intense thrills we need in our lives. Mayhem tells the story of a virus which causes its infected act out their wildest and most deranged fantasies. Sounds insane. Count us in.
Mohawk (Release Date: TBA)
Ted Geoghegan’s follow-up to the excellent We Are Still Here follows a young Mohawk woman who finds herself pursued by a battalion of military renegades hell-bent on revenge after one of her tribe sets their camp ablaze. Fleeing deep into the woods, a twisted tale of survival ensues. Much like We Are Still Here was in 2014, this could be the coolest movie to hit our screens in 2017.
Patchwork (Release Date: TBA)
Patchwork is an outrageous throwback horror-comedy that follows three young women who go out partying one night and find themselves Frankensteined together in one body. Now they must put aside their differences so they can find who committed this atrocity and exact their revenge. This movie is a blast, and if you like the classic schlock of auteurs like Frank Hennenlotter you’ll love Patchwork.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (Release Date: TBA)
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich tells the story of a divorced young man who gets entangled in a nightmare at an auction he’s attending in a bid to sell an antique doll. But when the various puppets come to life and go on a bloody killing spree, things don’t exactly go according to plan. What makes this instalment so exciting is that it’s penned by Bone Tomahawk writer/director and acclaimed author S. Craig Zahler, whose sophomore outing Brawl In Cell Block 99 – a brutal prison drama – is also expected to arrive in 2017.
Re-Animator: Evolution (Release Date: TBA)
We’ve covered Serge Levin’s upcoming Re-Animator remake extensively here at Dread Central, but we haven’t heard any information in quite some time. That said, what we do know is that it stars Lin Shaye, it’s a more faithful adaptation to Lovecraft’s original short story and we’ll get to see it at some point next year.
Neon Doom/Benny and Steve Almost Die/Her Name Was Torment II: Agony (Release Dates: TBA)
Dustin Mills is one of the hardest working directors on the planet and a filmmaker who epitomizes the creativity and originality bursting out of the underground horror scene. In 2017, he’ll be releasing an unholy trifecta of movies which couldn’t be more different. The first, Neon Doom, is a video game-inspired post-apocalyptic tale of futuristic bounty hunters. Her Name Was Torment II: Agony on the other hand is the sequel to the 2014 film which saw Mills unleashing his darkest work to date. Little is know about the plot for Benny and Steve Almost Die, but it’s a horror comedy – and that’s the genre where Mills is at his most outlandish, weird and and wonderful.
We’ve always said that Dread Central is a site for everyone who loves horror no matter their race, gender, color, creed, sexual preference, etc. However, if you don’t like ice cream or other frosty treats, this is NOT the site for you as you obviously have rocks in your head.
For those faith-based readers of the site, we want to make you aware of the podcast titled The Fear of God. The show is hosted by screenwriter and critic Reed Lackey and approaches horror films from a Christian perspective.
Hey, there’s always room for the holy ghost, right? If this is your bag, dig it!
Starring Fiorela Duranda, Cecelia Heroiina, Adrian Garavano
Directed by Mariano Cattaneo
The bond between a mother and daughter is one that can span miles, regardless of whether or not there is a separation by death, and after watching Mariano Cattaneo’s short film, Mom’s Voice, the only separation that is needed right now is between me and my skivvies…cause I’ve just soiled this pair.
The 5-minute short focuses on a young girl (Duranda), who misses her departed mother (Heroiina) something awful, and it seems like Daddy (Garavano) is only too quick to dismiss Mom’s passing as something she’s got to deal with. With sounds of her mother’s voice in the wind, and visions of her at night, the young girl hopes to be reunited with her parent someday soon. Now we all know she isn’t planning a return anytime soon, or is she? Is the little girl simply suffering visions of grandeur, or is there something much bigger going on here? Regardless of how this is interpreted, Cattaneo’s short-film is downright chilling to take in – simple, to the point, and pretty damned entertaining to boot. I’ll absolutely sign off on this one to check out if you have the time – give it a peek and see if it doesn’t make those little hairs on your neck stand at attention.
A bunch of teens on a weekend getaway at a secluded cabin in the woods soon find themselves fighting off hungry cannibals in Dead Shack, which is about to go into production.
The film’s already funded, but they need a little extra to go towards compositing and visual effects. There’s still about a week left in the campaign, and they’re already at more than half of their CA$12,000 goal, so drop them a line on Kickstarter and help make some horror cinematic history.
After the phenomenal commercial success of 1980’s Friday the 13th, itself an opportunistic cash-in on the success of the 1978 template slasher innovator, Halloween, along came a sharpish Cannon Films, wanting a slice of the slasher pie.
The founders of Cannon, the Israeli cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, were infamous for finding niches in the market for their low-to-mid-budget productions. They were the kings of 1980’s exploitation, and the slashers of the era were a prime example of exploiting a sellable product. It was a blatant milking of a hugely profitable business module, with countless entries in this horror sub-genre, falling off the cookie cutter year in year out in the early ‘80s, exploiting the monster successes of Halloween and Friday the 13th. The graphic depictions of attractive young people gruesomely dispatched, bountiful amounts of female nudity, were the main selling points aimed towards the ravenous teenaged crowds who were yearning for such geekshow entertainment on the weekends, and they lapped it all up with much glee.
However, Cannon release, New Year’s Evil, is an incompetent mess, failing to capitalize on what can make slashers such fun. It has an absurdly farfetched premise, executed in the dullest and most inept way possible on every conceivable level. It has a distinct lack of atmosphere, is devoid of mystery and suspense, it does not deliver on the creative kills, there is no bloodletting in sight in these set-pieces either, there is only one pair of boobs to be seen, and it features an immensely unlikable protagonist. While being the most uncreative horror sub-genre due to the simplicity of its structure, slashers can be made on a shoestring budget, and due to their exploitative nature, they can easily satisfy the simple tastes of its audience, making for an easily entertaining 90-minutes. This film completely misses the mark though.
It is the night of New Year’s Eve, 1980. Being held is a live televised new wave music countdown event in celebration, hosted by one of the musical movement’s iconic ladies, Blaze (real name, Diane Sullivan), and played by Roz Kelly, who is best known for guest starring as Fonzie’s short-lived girlfriend, Pinky Tuscadero, in three episodes of “Happy Days”. At this time, the post-punk movement of new wave was coming into its own as a genre of alternative music. Cannon were trying to cash-in on two major trends of the era, making for a disastrous hybrid of exploitative opportunism here. Diane is a self-obsessed and unlikable character, who shows little interest in her actor son, Derek, played by Grant Cramer. Fans of 1988’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space, will recognize Cramer as that film’s lead character, Mike Tobacco.
While on air taking calls from viewers, Diane receives a threatening phone call from a stranger (Kip Niven) disguising his voice with a voice processor. Sounding utterly ridiculous, he says his name is “Evil.” He tells her each time the clock strikes midnight in each of North America’s time zones, he will “punish” a “naughty girl” in those locations, and she will be the last “naughty girl” he will “punish”, and that he will kill somebody close to her as well. Each time he kills, he records the sounds of his victims dying, and then calls back the TV station, playing back the tapes down the phone to prove he is for real.
Although he dons a mask in the film’s climax, the killer’s face is revealed to us from the outset. While this it is a departure in the slasher sub-genre, from usually having the antagonist wearing a mask, or their face is off camera concealing their identity until they are revealed in the finale, there are no red herrings sprinkled throughout to add to a bigger picture in this psycho’s murderous quest that will eventually lead to Diane. It is made clear whom he is from references made to his character by Diane and Derek, as he is not present in their company for the whole of the first two acts. There is no mention of unseen characters they do not interact with either, other than just talking about the possibility that it could be a crazed fan, etc. Due to this incompetent writing, we can see the killer’s real identity coming a mile off.
He also goes though different disguises, as he searches for his prey before midnight in each American time zone. Being faster than a speeding bullet, the killer manages to make it through each time zone in time without the aid of a private jet, instead driving a car, in what would also be very busy New Year’s Eve traffic.
The killer’s motive is tied to Diane’s mistreatment of her family due to her celebrity lifestyle taking priority. This means nothing when I could not have cared less about the events unfolding leading up to this reveal. Diane is an immensely unlikable protagonist, due to the neglect of her family duties, so how are we supposed to care when we take the journey with her through her terrifying ordeal. Her plight seems justified because of her selfish ways, and we feel nothing for her except feeling that she brought all this upon herself, and to an extent, deserves what is happening to her.
To make the proceedings even more uninvolving are the set-pieces. These are lifeless, with little or no build up in tension to the payoff. It is all just uninspired, lacking any creativity whatsoever, and there is hardly any blood to be seen either. The latter there would not be so much of a problem, as of course some of the greatest slasher forerunners contain little of the red stuff – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Black Christmas (1974), and Halloween (1978). The sequences in these though were expertly crafted, excelling in suspense and tension, and as well atmosphere, something that is not found here in this flat TV film-esque style.
New Year’s Evil is one of the very worst early 80’s slashers. It is a bland affair with no redeeming qualities to make it even a fun time waster. There is nothing memorable here, except for the out of place scenes of new wave punks, laughably dancing like zombies to terrible bands that adds nothing to the plot whatsoever, and is simply there to empty the pockets of the teen crowds of the time. Boring crap.
Lionsgate’s Blair Witch will be hitting Blu-ray and DVD soon, and right now we have an exclusive clip from the supplemental material which examines the casting process! Dig it!
Blair Witch Release Details:
Nearly two decades after documentary filmmakers vanished in the groundbreaking film The Blair Witch Project, an investigative team searches for them and the truth behind their disappearance in Blair Witch, arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD, Digital HD, and On Demand January 3, 2017, from Lionsgate.
From acclaimed filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett (You’re Next), Blair Witch stars James Allen McCune (TV’s “The Walking Dead”), Callie Hernandez (La La Land), Brandon Scott (TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”), Valorie Curry (American Pastoral), Corbin Reid (Words with Girls), and Wes Robinson (The Genius Code). An official selection of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, this much-buzzed-about film will haunt viewers far beyond the closing credits.
A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of their friend’s sister, who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch. At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods; but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.
Get over 3 hours of bonus features on the Blair Witch Blu-ray and Digital HD, including an audio commentary with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, the “House of Horrors: Exploring the Set” featurette, and a 6-part making-of documentary, “Never Ending Night: The Making of Blair Witch.” The DVD release includes the audio commentary and the “House of Horrors: Exploring the Set” featurette. The Blu-ray Disc of Blair Witch will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. Blair Witch will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.
- Audio Commentary with Director Adam Wingard and Writer Simon Barrett
- Never Ending Night: The Making of Blair Witch (6-Part Documentary Exclusive to Blu-ray)
– “Primal Fear: Story Origins”
– “Ambiguous Loss: The Cast”
– “P.O.V.: On Location”
– “Trapped in the Time Loop: Editing”
– “Distorted Reality: Music and Sound Design”
– “The Reveal”
- “House of Horrors: Exploring the Set” Featurette
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On this New Year’s Eve, would you rather stay in and watch something spooky or spend your last hours (and dollars) of 2016 holed up in a bar or club? Nice choice… me too.
Here’s a short list of horror films (in no particular order) that should pair nicely with your chill-at-home New’s Year Eve plans.
1) End of Days (1999)
Directed by: Peter Hyams; Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney
Synopsis: At the end of the century, Satan visits New York in search of a bride. It’s up to an ex-cop who now runs an elite security outfit to stop him.
2) Terror Train (1980)
Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode; Starring: Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield
Synopsis: A masked killer targets six college kids responsible for a prank gone wrong three years earlier and who are currently throwing a large New Year’s Eve costume party aboard a moving train.
3) Bloody New Year (1987)
Directed by: Norman J. Warren; Starring: Suzy Aitchison, Nikki Brooks, Daniel James
Synopsis: Five shipwrecked English teenagers take refuge in an island hotel that is decorated for New Year’s. The problem is… it’s early summer, and soon enough, even the walls themselves are striking out against them…
4) New Year’s Evil (1980)
Directed by: Emmett Alston; Starring: Roz Kelly, Kip Niven, Chris Wallace
Synopsis: During a New Year’s Eve celebration, a Los Angeles disc jockey receives a phone call saying that when New Year’s strikes in each time zone, someone will be murdered – and she will be the last one.
5) Life Blood (2009)
Directed by: Ron Carlson; Starring: Sophie Monk, Anya Lahiri, Scout Taylor-Compton
Synopsis: New Year’s Eve, 1969: While driving on the Pearblossom Highway, a lesbian couple encounter the creator of the universe. Laid to rest for 40 years, the women wake up on New Year’s Day as reborn creatures.
The post 5 Films to Satisfy Your New Year’s Eve Horror Needs appeared first on Dread Central.
Underworld: Blood Wars Set Visit Part 3: Director Anna Foerster Talks Keeping and Breaking the Rules
Though it’s her first feature film, German director Anna Foerster brings twenty years of experience in filmmaking to Underworld: Blood Wars, primarily in the realms of cinematography and visual effects, including several Roland Emmerich blockbusters (notably, Independence Day, Godzilla, and The Day After Tomorrow).
As a director she has worked mostly in television, prominently having directed four episodes of another fantasy-action series featuring a strong woman protagonist, the Starz cable channel’s “Outlander.” Foerster’s next feature-film project after Underworld: Blood Wars will be Lou, a thriller for J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot.
We’re closing out our Underworld: Blood Wars set visit report with Ms. Foerster to help you get ready for one week from today, January 6th, when the film opens in U.S. theaters.
How did Foerster come to be hired for the Underworld franchise? “I actually came into Lakeshore, that is the production company that’s doing this, for a general meeting after I did “Outlander” because the producers and his wife are big “Outlander” fans… He called up my agent and said, ‘I want to meet this person.’ We started talking and he didn’t know at the time that I have a cinematography and visual effects background and I guess they looked me up before I went into the office and we started talking and in the room it came up like, ‘So we have this project; do you think you’ll be interested?’ That was it.”
She was already familiar with the vampires vs. werewolves series when she came on board. “The first one… I saw it when it just came out. It was quite extraordinary, especially as a visual piece, and creating a world that I have not seen before at that time. I mean, later a lot of people copied it, in different ways. I think at the time this was one of the movies that kind of set a specific standard for the genre and I was a big fan of the look and the vibe and the tone of it.”
For the director, the series lost its way with its last installment, 2012’s Underworld: Awakening. “I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of [Part] Four. To me, it became more like a futuristic science-fiction piece and what missed for me is that the balance with mythology and history were too one-dimensional and clean for me. What I love about the other ones, and what I love about what we’re doing right now, is that there are really interesting characters that have layers; and even if it’s an action film, there is quite a lot of character stuff going on and I felt that it wasn’t quite as developed as it could have been. There’s a lot of interesting stuff… the mother-daughter stuff, a lot of heavy stuff, but I’m not sure if it actually worked as emotionally impactfully as it could have.”
To some directors, taking on a later installment in a long-running series might be daunting. Not for Foerster: “I think the approach is not that different for me from the television stuff. It’s funny enough the fact that this is a franchise actually has some parallels to that, because when you jump into a television series that is running already, like “Outlander” for example, you are jumping on something that has specific characters; yet. everyone is looking to you to bring something new to that specific episode – some more than others obviously. “Outlander” was a very good example for that, that they were very open and happy [for me] to bring something to it.”
“The question you have to ask yourself before you step in is this: How can I or will I be able to navigate this? Because obviously there is a very specific set of rules of what Underworld is and you have a certain obligation to the fans and the franchise and you have to stick with that. Yet, I think you have the possibility to create new rules within this universe of Underworld, and it was pretty clear for me in the beginning when I spoke with all the producers involved, kind of comparing the movies, the fourth one and the first one, and we discussed what I liked and what I didn’t like because I wasn’t so sure, it could have been Four [Awakening] is where Five [Blood Wars] should be continuing from. It became clear pretty quick that they were very open and excited about getting a relatively strong vision to kind of build on what Underworld is, and that got me really excited.”
Foerster did get to put her own personal touch on the series through some of the casting – the film’s villain, Marius, is played by her fellow “Outlander” alum Tobias Menzies – as well as through the film’s costume and production design. “When I first put my look-book together of I how I imagined it, I went pretty far in terms of the looks and the fashion and the designs of everything and I was scared that somebody says ‘Stop’ – but they didn’t, and that was really good… I mean, again within the Underworld rules.”
The Underworld series has a very particular visual style that Foerster took pains to work within, while also searching for opportunities for contrast and variation. “There’s a certain look to it that you can veer from, but you have sort of established something that is monochrome, a blue cyan look, the blackness that’s in the costumes and stuff, which I think is something that’s established, and the tone of the environment… but how do you expand that? How do you go further? That was the interesting part – We created a completely monochrome palette in the costumes and the set of the eastern cabin, for example, so in a way this almost looks like a black and white [movie]; it’s only textures and different leathers and sheen. The only real color is blood so instead of filming everything and making it more blue, we went further and were like, ‘Let’s make this work almost monochrome.’ We were laughing because it’s Fifty Shades of Black [laughing]. When we would go into the North, you would have Fifty Shades of White, Silver, whatever kind of light.”
Rather than feel restricted within the established universe of Underworld, Foerster found new cinematic opportunities. “For example, the rules [about] the werewolves, how they turn — that’s a given. The fact that when they die, they turn back to humans and are naked is a rule and I think it’s a great rule and you should stick to it and suddenly you have a bunch of lycans that turn back or get killed, then suddenly you have a bunch of naked bloody corpses on the ground. I think that’s the Underworld rule that was dictated, I think you could take that rule and apply it in a bigger scope or in a visually more interesting sense.”
Blood Wars also expands on the world-building of the Underworld mythos in a number of ways: “For the lycans, to me, what was really exciting was to say, ‘Okay, so the lycans have been organized before but what can make them more dangerous?’ In a way – and to me what was fascinating – was the idea, ‘What if they actually get control over their transformation?’ Because every time the transform, they become those animals in a way and they don’t think clearly, they can’t hold weapons, they are becoming instinctive killing machines. So what if the mantra of the new leader is: ‘Don’t change, stay as clever as long as possible if, and only change if you have to,’ and that’s creating an interesting thing, instead of people just turning all over the place into lycans, you have the people, the lycans, that are having their own strict set of rules now, which to me all those things were exciting – and everyone was open to that.”
Blood Wars introduces a new faction of vampires, a Nordic strain, with powers and a culture all their own: “We are exploring new environments by them going to the North and developing a completely new set of rules for those people that live in the North and why they live [there]. This is a different kind of vampire… The superpowers… they have the possibility to appear and disappear but in a different way than Selene for example, she has this speed move – she can be very quick. These people — specifically Lena, who is the person we will follow — has the possibility… It’s not just a speed move; she can almost be in two places at the same time.”
While their powers may be super, their arsenal is much humbler: “These people are… in a weird way, they are almost monks. They have said ‘no’ to fighting; that’s why they went up North. They are all very skilled warriors — but their armory is basically rusted old arms from hundreds of years ago. When they are forced to engage in battle, they are forced to fight with the weapons they’ve laid down hundreds of years ago.” Blood Wars therefore becomes in part a battle of swords and shields up against 21st century automatic weaponry.
Speaking of weapons, Kate Beckinsale returns to the role of Selene, the gun-slinging vampire bad-ass, and worked with the director to bring new dimensions to the iconic character. “She’s an extremely, extremely intelligent woman to talk to generally, and she obviously has a clear idea about Selene. We had some really deep and good conversations once she came on the movie and fortunately were pretty much on the same page with that, and it was a very good collaboration.”
Selene’s motivations through Blood Wars are stark: “Everything that’s dictating her actions is based on being a mother – and how she potentially failed as a mother – and how she can make up for that. That is actually in a weird way almost her through-line for the whole movie.”
Underworld: Blood Wars doesn’t just mark Foerster’s feature debut as a director, it also marks the first film in the series to be directed by a woman, with big-budget action movies still being only rarely helmed by women. “I do actually feel that progress is happening. Looking back at my cinematography days,” she muses, “you see so many more women taking those roles in bigger movies – and the same thing for directing. I think — and maybe I’m too optimistic here– but I feel this is all going in the right way lately – and I’m super excited that Selene is an ‘alpha woman’ in a way, so it’s great.”
Alongside series star Beckinsale, Theo James (the Divergent series) returns as Selene’s ally David, reprising the role he played in Underworld: Awakening. British actors Tobias Menzies (“Outlander,” “Rome”) and Lara Pulver (“Sherlock”) take on the respective roles of a formidable new Lycan leader and a fiercely ambitious Vampire, and Charles Dance (“Game of Thrones”) again plays Vampire elder Thomas.
Rounding out the film’s cast are James Faulkner (“Game of Thrones”), Peter Andersson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), newcomer Clementine Nicholson, Bradley James (A&E’s “Damien”), and Daisy Head (Fallen).
Anna Foerster directs. The screenplay for Underworld: Blood Wars was penned by Cory Goodman (The Last Witch Hunter, Priest) and based on characters originally created by Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, and Danny McBride.
Vampire death dealer Selene (Beckinsale) fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (James) and his father, Thomas (Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
The post Underworld: Blood Wars Set Visit Part 3: Director Anna Foerster Talks Keeping and Breaking the Rules appeared first on Dread Central.
If this year’s Doom reboot was a little too, eh, modern for you liking, then Strafe may be more up your alley. After all, it’s heavily inspired by the original Doom and Quake games, right down to its retro graphics and gameplay.
And as blood and gore were a huge part of both those series, Strafe certainly doesn’t shy away from either. We’ve seen blood splatters across the shiny white spaceship corridors in previous footage and screenshots, but the latest trailer just takes the biscuit. It’s called the ‘Uber Gore trailer’, and with good reason: it’s got so much of the red stuff that it puts many other recent horror games to shame.
Throughout the trailer, we also see text informing us of what kind of gore effects will be included in the game, including blood streaks, blood drips, sticky meat bits, stompable gibs, and even corpse flies which make a meal of freshly killed enemies.
Get ready to blast aliens into space bits with 5th generation graphics when Strafe arrives on PS4 and PC in early 2017.