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Updated: 2 days 11 hours ago

Horror Cosplayers Rock ScareLA!

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 11:00

If you missed out on last weekend’s ScareLA event, there was a whole lot of fun to be had. As a means to give you a taste of the spooky shenanigans, our buddies over at Nerd Reactor have posted the following video of some of your favorite ghouls and creatures shaking their collective asses to Galantis’ “Peanut Butter Jelly.”

Check it out!

Keep a close eye on the official ScareLA website to find out what they’ll have cooking at next year’s event! Be there!

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Categories: Horror News

Unfriended Kill of the Day Round-Up

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 10:00

For the last several days we’ve been dishing out exclusive “Kill of the Day” images from Unfriended for you guys to dig on. Now that the flick is AVAILABLE, we have ’em all in one neat little place.

See if you missed any below!

Unfriended Release Details:
For a group of teenage friends, a devastating fate lurks on the other side of a computer screen in Unfriended, the first in a new generation of found-footage thrillers coming to Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand August 11, 2015, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (it became available on Digital HD July 28th). Unfriended is a startlingly contemporary nail-biter from two modern masters of mayhem, executive producer Jason Blum (The Purge, Ouija, Sinister) and producer Timur Bekmambetov (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Wanted).

What starts as a seemingly innocent online prank produces a sequence of events that spirals out of control. During a routine group video chat, high school friends are terrorized by an unseen figure. The anonymous intruder implicates each of them in the death of an acquaintance, revealing damning secrets and transforming trusted allies into wary adversaries. Forced into a sordid “game,” the teens try to figure out who is behind the mysterious threat, but all signs point to a power from beyond the grave.

Playing out in real time almost entirely on a computer screen, Unfriended features a rising young cast that includes Shelley Hennig (Ouija, “Teen Wolf”), Moses Storm (“The 4 to 9ers: The Day Crew,” “About a Boy”), and Renee Olstead (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Still Standing”).

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Categories: Horror News

Return to Sender (2015)

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 09:30

Starring Rosamund Pike, Nick Nolte, Shiloh Fernandez

Directed by Fouad Mikati

Available on VOD, Amazon Instant, iTunes, and more August 14, 2015

I just watched a film where for the better part of the entire presentation itself, the only question that could be asked was, “What the hell is going on here?” The movie in question is Return To Sender from director Fouad Mikati, and after having this delivered to my table, I’d unequivocally like to return it to the sender, simply in hopes of a better explanation for this film’s inane thought processes.

From the film’s opening, we’re introduced to a character that’s about as likable as a case of flaming hemorrhoids: Rosamund Pike stars as Miranda, a colder than ice nurse whose general demeanor ranges from “freezer burn” to “tepid” at best. Her friends are oddly at ease with her acerbic disposition, and after a violent home invasion and rape by a man (Fernandez) whom she mistakenly allows in, thinking he’s the blind date she’s been waiting on, her attitude takes a rather bizarre turn, from straight-up icy to even-keeled, and even a little bit passive towards the situation. What happens next is truly one of the stranger game-plans I’ve witnessed in cinematic history.

Miranda begins a letter-writing deluge to her rapist, now that he’s been convicted and sits in jail, and while dozens of her letters go unanswered – returned to sender, that is – she decides to up the game and try visiting him behind bars. Now what was in those letters, we’ll never know – is it a ploy for revenge? Maybe a hope of regaining some sense of herself after such a heinous attack? While not out if the ordinary, it just didn’t seem to fit here. Added to which is the well-traveled Nick Nolte as Miranda’s father, who is still mourning the loss of his wife and now spends his days puttering around (stumbling, actually) with his dog – yet ANOTHER lost cause of a role from an actor who used to hit heavily when he tackled a character, and now it just seems as if he’s there to fill a roster spot when “miserable, grizzled old guy” becomes available. Even Fernandez looked lost as a guy who was supposed to be this detestable sexual predator, adding to the mystery that was this presentation as a whole.

A multitude of scenes looked to be chopped off before simple resolutions could be offered, and while we manage to grab some kind of a resolution towards the film’s conclusion, even after all was said and done, you’ll still be scratching your head wondering what the hell you just checked out. Mikati’s second directorial assignment was regrettably an example in futility, with one question heaping on top of the other, inevitably creating a landslide of missed opportunities, and I just couldn’t recommend this movie to anyone, not even if this was up against a Saturday Lifetime network film, where this will probably end up anyways – SKIP IT.

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Categories: Horror News

Revenge of the Devil Bat Winging its Way to Fans

Wed, 08/12/2015 - 09:00

Way back in 1940 the great Bela Lugosi starred in Jean Yarbrough’s The Devil Bat, which told the story of a mad scientist who develops an aftershave lotion that causes his gigantic bats to kill anyone who wears it. Yes. That movie happened with that plot. Now in 2016 we’re getting a sequel.

Written and directed by Ted Moehring, Revenge of the Devil Bat stars Gary Kent, John Link, Dick Dyszel, George Stover, Conrad Brooks, Shoshanna Ruth, Cedric Crouch, and Dave Ferrier.

The flick, which is being shot in black and white and is currently in production, is looking to up the ante on the blood and gore. Judging from the recently released teaser trailer, it has its heart in the right, albeit goofy, place.

The post Revenge of the Devil Bat Winging its Way to Fans appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Shriekfest Joins Forces with Crypt TV

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 21:06

If you’re a fan of both Crypt TV and the Shriekfest Horror Film Festival, prepare to have your tender minds completely blown. The aforementioned horror-friendly organizations are joining forces, with Crypt TV screening the winning short films on their platform. How cool is that?

As you may have guessed, Crypt TV CEO Jack Davis is understandably excited about the upcoming collaboration with the film festival. He expressed his undying enthusiasm in the official press release, saying, “Shriekfest is a long-time staple for the independent horror community, and we are honored to be a part of their program. We love working with the horror film community because it is one of the most supportive networks of creators and fans in filmmaking!

Shriekfest Festival Director Denise Gossett is also pumped about the Crypt TV/Shriekfest partnership, saying, “I am very excited about teaming up with Crypt TV! Shriekfest has always been huge supporters of indie filmmakers, and Crypt TV is only going to add to this philosophy!

For more information about the 15th annual Shriekfest Horror Film Festival, stop by the event’s official webpage. And if you’re unfamiliar with Crypt TV, then swing by this location.

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Categories: Horror News

Woman Attacked in Home by Ax-Wielding Clown

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 21:01

File this one under “What in the blue hell is wrong with people?Time Magazine is reporting that a North Carolina woman was attacked with an ax by someone dressed like a clown in her home.

The victim told the police in Hickory, N.C., that a person wearing a clown mask and a multicolored wig had come by her residence at 4:30 a.m. Friday morning and began to swing his ax at her.

The victim was able to take the mask off the attacker and discover that it was an acquaintance of hers, who then fled the scene. She was not injured in the incident.

Hickory Police Department spokesperson Chrystal Dieter told Time that there was an “outstanding warrant” against the suspect. “Any law enforcement officer who comes in contact with the suspect in question will have full ability to arrest him,” Dieter said.

That’s it, kids! We’ve officially reached the point in which train wrecks are pulling over to watch us.

The post Woman Attacked in Home by Ax-Wielding Clown appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Eli Roth Prepares Green Inferno Fan Appreciation Tour

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 20:43

Following the arrival of a petition to boycott the release of director Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno, the filmmaker has decided to pay tribute to the fans who have stuck by him over the years. If everything goes according to Roth’s plan, the aforementioned tribute will kick off later this month.

Eli Roth’s Green Inferno Fan Appreciation Tour will launch on August 23 at Wizard World in Chicago. If you’re unable to attention this convention, Roth plans to bring his tour to a number of cities across the county. The filmmaker also took a moment to post a video on Facebook about the event.

The press release offers plenty of details about the tour.

Aimed at acknowledging and thanking Roth’s loyal fans who have supported The Green Inferno in its journey to the big screen, the tour will include stops in San Francisco on September 14, Los Angeles on September 15, Miami on September 17, and New York on September 21, with additional cities still to be named. The tour will also feature a companion online experience, The Green Inferno Room, which brings fans around the country behind the scenes to get an insider’s look at Eli as he travels from city to city to meet his fans, including a live feed of select events.

Roth said: “I am so excited to hit the road and spend time with the fans whose undying support really helped bring The Green Inferno to theaters nationwide. We plan to pull out all the stops and give them the ultimate Green Inferno experience, with special surprises in every city.”

Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno hits theaters on September 25.

The post Eli Roth Prepares Green Inferno Fan Appreciation Tour appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Friday the 13th Series Comes to The CW

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 20:31

In news that’s gonna either make you smile or have you unjustly rolling your eyes and prejudging from the get-go (this is the Interwebs after all), word has just broken via Deadline that The CW is heading to Crystal Lake.

The network’s president Mark Pedowitz today confirmed that The CW is developing “Friday the 13th,” a drama series based on the long-running feature franchise. The series adaptation will be written by Steve Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle, creators of the 1996 NBC series “The Pretender,” through CBS TV Studios.

They are new in development,” Pedowitz said. The “Friday the 13th” series project originated last year when Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films and Crystal Lake Entertainment sealed a deal to produce a new hourlong dramatic series based upon the characters and settings of the franchise with Sean S. Cunningham, who helmed the 1980 original, executive producing along with EFO Films principals Randall Emmett and George Furla plus Mark Canton, among others.

Bill Basso (Terminator) and Jordu Schell (Avatar) were tapped at the time to script a storyline that re-imagines Jason in multiple time periods. Cunningham recently hinted at interest from The CW, which has now taken in the property. Mitchell and Van Sickle executive produce with Cunningham, Emmett, Furla, and Canton.

Details on the remake are sketchy, but the idea had been to do a contemporary series focusing on the eclectic characters of Crystal Lake who are forced to confront the return of the killer, as new secrets about his wacky family are revealed. The masked Jason is being re-imagined with a stronger feel of grounded reality. Since the franchise was launched with 1980’s Friday the 13th, there have been 13 movies, most recently the Friday the 13th remake in 2009 directed by Marcus Nispel.

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Categories: Horror News

Director Alex Kurtzman Says Mummy Reboot Is Still a Horror Movie

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 20:17

I’m probably one of the few people on the entire planet who genuinely enjoys the Mummy flicks starring Brendan Fraser. Although they’re more Indiana Jones-esque in nature, there were just enough genre elements for some to classify these flicks as horror. Feel free to disagree.

In case you haven’t heard, Universal is planning a reboot of The Mummy, which they hope to incorporate into a shared universe with other classic cinematic monsters. And if you’re worried that the new Mummy movies are just another cheesy horror/adventure hybrid, director Alex Kurtzman promises that his reboot is very much a horror flick. Fingers crossed!

During a chat with Collider at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, Kurtzman laid out what he hopes to achieve with his version of The Mummy.

Kurtzman recently explained to the website, “The monster universe is coming together very, very quickly; we’re very excited. There will be announcements soon. We have actually started doing a lot of design work, we’re getting scripts in, everything is feeling really really good, so I don’t want to curse it by saying too much to you, but it’s going well.

If you’re looking forward to Kurtzman’s Mummy reboot, you still have a while to wait. Although it was originally scheduled for June of 2016, IGN reports that the film now has a tentative release date of March 2017. Here’s hoping that extra time will result in a fantastic movie.

The post Director Alex Kurtzman Says Mummy Reboot Is Still a Horror Movie appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News

Slender Man Stabbing Perpetrators to Be Tried as Adults at 13

Tue, 08/11/2015 - 19:51

Here at Dread Central, I aim to be a bit of jester. Not a clown, but someone who in the classical playwright sense uses humor to allude to some kind of deeper truth. Making light of the darker bits of our world lends a sarcastic wit that makes it easier to process the macabre, blending horror and humor in a way that makes both seem less a stranger to the other. It is a carefully constructed tactic, both making me seem more likeable and clever than I am. Without it, I’m just left with my opinions.

Yet, there are some things that there is just no joking about. I often shy away from real news, preferring my published opinions to carry little more weight than a simple thumbs-up or down over the incredibly inconsequential quality of media. I’d prefer not to have my opinions plastered all over Tumblr or the Twitterverse, as the ever increasing political correctness of the internet has led to a divisive “camp” mentality, with factions declaring war on others and assigning qualitative titles like “racist” or “misogynist” with little recourse for the accused. Nevertheless, when times like this come, where jokes just won’t do, it is only these hard felt opinions I have left to offer.

If you read my review or the Slender Man movie Always Watching: A Marble Hornets Story, you probably noticed a little piece where I wryly commented on “what is a slenderman” and “why is he asking 12-year-olds to stab each other?”” It is in my nature to make fun of horrific acts of absurd violence: making light of it makes me feel better. I don’t pretend to understand why shit like this happens, but if I can spin it into a joke then the world just seems a little less terrible. There are some things that, but for the darkest bits in us with no faith in humanity and a fatalistic sense of the world, we just cannot comprehend.

The terrible things I can comprehend, I find no humor in. I’ve never been one to earnestly poke fun at the disabled, despite growing up on the internet. Apart from the occasional slippage of the word “fag” as reflex in a particularly heated game, I find nothing funny about needling at someone’s sexual/gender identity. I never found the comedy in “shock humor” GIFs of 9/11 or some grotesque body harm. I’m by no means a saint, and will laugh at people falling down or birds being accidentally obliterated by a baseball.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but my formal training is a dual Major in Legal Studies and English. I attended the University of California, Berkeley from 2008-2013, with the initial intention of becoming a lawyer. There is no real undergraduate Law degree, so the school concocted a Legal Studies department to serve as a makeshift Pre-Law and Legal Theory class. Two and a half years into my tenure as a student, I had all but completed the Legal Studies Major, and realized with pressing horror that the idea of a life lived pursuing a legal profession was bleak and depressing. Having an allowed two and a half more years to complete another Major, I turned to the fanciful world of English. Stories made sense to me, had a narrative I could understand, symbolism I could analyze, and most importantly some kind of moral or point.

Law, on the other hand, for all the proposed rules and regulations, felt as subject to whim and chance as the most puckish of faeries. Yesterday’s decision that Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, better known as the “Slender Man Stabbers,” would be tried as adults is the exact kind of depressing legal development that made me quit the pursuit. Now each 13, the accused were both only 12 at the time of the crime. Regardless of what side you fall on in the debate between lenient sentencing and “tough-on-crime” policy, it is shocking to see people so young being treated as adults.

Especially when at the time of the crime, it is unlikely anyone had ever treated them like adults before. The purpose of a separate juvenile justice system is to have a differentiation between those who are too young to fully comprehend the consequences of their actions and those who can. It is the same reason why mental state is considered during criminal prosecution, and why an insanity defense exists. While there is no fully excusing these horrific acts, mitigating state of mind must be taken into account for the execution of real justice.

There are two sides to the issue, but it baffles me how two youths who stabbed a friend 19 times and were walking into the woods to go “join Slender Man in his mansion” could be considered of developed enough mind to stand trial as though they were fully grown. This is excluding the potential defense of insanity, which is still on the table. Regardless of the potential mental health issues, the maturity of the girls is a factor all its own, and should be the basis of the decision between juvenile and adult courts.

As far as that decision is concerned, the reasoning stems from two arguments. The first is that the nature of the crime was vicious and premeditated. Judge Bohren’s decision is based on the reasoning that This was an effort to kill someone, not a mistake by hitting someone too hard. The heinous nature of the crime is undebatable, with months of planning. It is reasonable in certain cases to treat a minor as an adult when they are close enough to the legal age of adulthood and also reflect a developed enough mental state to understand such a crime. I would agree that at face value, the mental faculty to plan and carry out the crime in question does reflect a state of mind that would warrant some leeway in the age one would be tried as an adult.

However, we cannot look at this in a vacuum, disconnecting the nature of the crime from the intention and delusions of the individual. We must ask the question, “Did their underdeveloped decision making capabilities due to age factor into the commission of this crime?” I cannot see a world in which that is not the case. I remember what I thought when I was 12, and while not criminal, I had some serious misconceptions as to how shit worked in the world. One cannot live through adolescence, witness the rates of self harm and destructive behavior, and assume that these individuals are capable of considering the gravity of their actions.

The second argument for an adult trial is the functional care of these dangerous individuals. As juveniles, the maximum sentence would be 5 years. They would be out of the system at 18, with no guarantee of psychiatric care. As adults, they could be in the system for 45 years, and receive not only care for their sake, but for the protection of society as a whole. This is an argument that I am slightly more sympathetic to. Given the appalling treatment of our country’s mentally impaired, it is a very real possibility that at least one of these girls would end up homeless, untreated, and dangerous. A function of the legal system is retributive, but the greater protection of society and the prevention of future crime should always be the main goal.

There is something fundamentally distasteful about locking a child up for more than half of his or her life because of fear. I do believe there are certain crimes that deserve a removal of the individual from society. I won’t say if the solution is life in prison or death; this isn’t an article about that debate. When someone proves they are capable of destroying another’s life in sound mind and without just cause, that individual has in my eye lost their right to autonomy. However, I will default to my previous statement, asking if someone at the age of 12 is capable of doing anything with a sound mind. The deprivation of over half of someone’s free life when there is a reasonable alternative system specifically designed for those who, by consequence of age, cannot make rationally developed decisions is unjust.

When dealing with such a nonsensical crime, the question of insanity always comes up. It is an often misunderstood legal concept, as by common definition anyone that is capable of such horrific violence is “insane.” The legal defense is different, and requires the individual to be unaware of the wrongness or nature of their actions at the time of their commission. It is based on a concept called “mens rea,” meaning the mental state of a person during a criminal action. It is used in conjunction with “actus reus,” or the actual action of the crime. As a basic example, shooting someone is criminal, but if my mental state is such that it was unintentional or that I was defending a loved one, then the punishment is either lighter or the action deemed justified.

So, while the two are clearly delusional, did they know what they were doing was wrong? It is a difficult question. According to the court competency evaluations, Geyser believes in the real world existence of Slender Man and Harry Potter, refusing to take medication as it would make her unable to talk to her “friends. Diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia, the condition is devastating.

Experts testified that Weier had a delusional disorder, but that she was remorseful. The terrible and damning truth of the legal system is that such remorse serves more to show a knowledge of wrongdoing than gain leniency. It is sad to think that the one who shows more remorse and wants to get better would be judged more harshly than the one who does not, but keep in mind the purpose of an insanity defense. It is not to let people off, but to properly address humanely those who have no concept of why they are being punished.

I cannot say whether or not the two deserve to be treated as legally insane. I have not met them, read the reports, nor heard the testimony of experts. As outsiders, we often come to conclusions without the full facts of the case, touting opinions that we cannot reasonably backup with soundbites and half-baked assumptions. This is not me saying the two deserve institutionalization over incarceration. This is me expressing horror that a system designed to account for the mental state of an accused person would so grievously fail to do so.

Here at Dread Central, we cover horror. I will admit, if this didn’t have “Slender Man” in the title, we would pass it up like any other bombing, shooting, stabbing, or atrocity that happens every day. This is an entertainment site, and there is nothing entertaining about the harsh violence and wanton brutality of the real world. We prefer our action heroes and villains, ghosts and demons to war crimes and gang violence. I could have made this piece a little bit of fluff about how a case I referenced in a review had a shocking development and rake in all the clicks.

I didn’t because I believe we need a reminder every once in a while of what real horror is. For the victim, the horror continues in a lifetime of pain, both physical and emotional. For Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, they face the horror of losing the next 45 years of their lives. I am not saying that the punishment does not fit the crime, but that the accused do not fit the system. It is horrifying to think of a system so callous as to consider a 12-year-old entirely fit to stand as an adult. In a world where random violence is so prevalent, what truly terrifies me is that the system that I trust to protect and carry out the law would be so uncaring. That blind eye is scarier than any monster looking through my window.

The post Slender Man Stabbing Perpetrators to Be Tried as Adults at 13 appeared first on Dread Central.

Categories: Horror News