In my review of Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett’s Blair Witch, I explained that I thought the movie was incredibly tense but ultimately left me wanting, the story and execution all to familiar.
However, Barrett dropped a bombshell last week that has gone largely unnoticed, one that completely changes how many might view the film as well as adding a new layer of depth and intrigue to the story.
Beware reading ahead if you haven’t seen the film as there are spoilers being discussed!
In my review, I made note that the third act was, “…magnificent in so many ways, [but] it’s also where it reveals a bit too much,” explaining that I felt them showing the Witch as a gaunt, spindly-limbed entity was a visual we’ve seen a few too many times. Barrett’s big reveal, however, is that we never actually saw the witch in the movie! The strange humanoid creature towards the end of the film isn’t the Blair Witch, meaning we have yet to get any idea of what she looks like!
Here’s where things get rather interesting: in the film, Lane and Talia talk about Elly Kedward, an Irish woman who lived in Blair in the 1700’s and was accused of witchcraft. She was tortured and left in the woods, supposedly hung from a tree with rocks tied to her limbs, stretching them out from her joints and sockets. Throughout the films, we’ve been led to believe that she was the Blair Witch.
But if who we’re seeing in the film isn’t the Witch, does that mean Elly isn’t the Blair Witch? There are theories on old message boards from The Blair Witch Project days that suggest she was actually innocent and only when she was enduring her horrible fate did she swear allegiance to the power residing deep within the woods.
If you want to have your mind REALLY blown, here’s another potential theory: Remember at the end when James and Lisa are standing in the corner and James thinks he hears the voice of his sister, Heather? What if the creature we’re seeing at the end of the movie actually IS Heather, now fully converted into a servant of the Blair Witch? After 20 odd years of being in the woods, who knows what Heather went through, what kinds of horrible things she was a part of and witness to?
No matter what, Barrett says that his and Wingard’s, “…DVD commentary will explain a lot, but hopefully without ruining anything…”
@idiot_teen don't want to get too spoilery but it's just the root moving deeper, and you don't see the witch onscreen, that's someone else!
— Simon Barrett (@Simon_Barrett) September 20, 2016
@vinsclortho our DVD commentary will explain a lot, but hopefully without ruining anything, as do we want to leave some elements mysterious
— Simon Barrett (@Simon_Barrett) September 20, 2016
[Interview] Nicolas Winding Refn Talks ‘Maniac Cop’, Dark Rituals and the Plus Side of Polarizing Your Audience
“Polarizing is the greatest achievement in any art form, even in cinema” exclaims Nicolas Winding Refn, the always controversial Danish filmmaker who brought us such niche gems as Drive and Only God Forgives. His latest foray into the cinematic world is a film called The Neon Demon, a highly divisive project about a girl named Jesse who comes to Los Angeles in search of a modeling career, only to be devoured by her jealous peers as she struggles to claw her way to the top. Some call it brilliant, some call it hollow, but one thing’s for sure – everyone who has seen this visually stunning little movie has felt some sort of strong reaction, whether it be love or hate.
“Artistically you can’t ask for anything higher in a way because it’s very difficult to polarize, you know?” Some directors may be offended by the backlash of one of their features, but Refn doesn’t shy away from the fans and critics who have so harshly judged his journey into the mindset of a narcissistic sixteen-year-old girl. He believes it only proves that he’s doing what he set out to do as a filmmaker – touch people. “You have to penetrate a lot of brains to either be excited or hateful, so of course, I always believe that creativity is about a reaction” Refn says happily. “You know, it’s the reactionary medium”.
Speaking of eliciting a reaction, Refn’s next film seems like it’s going to cause just as much outrage as his highly stylized model movie. The only difference is; this time he’ll be offending viewers from the producers’ position as opposed to the director’s chair.
It’s been fairly well known for some time now that Refn will be producing the upcoming remake of Maniac Cop, the sleazy exploitative thriller originally helmed by William Lustig and starring Bruce Campbell from 1988, but whereas the original sought mainly to excite and shock audiences, the remake will serve as more of a commentary on modern day society and the ever debatable actions of law enforcement in today’s corrupt world. Reimagined by director John Hyams (Universal Soldier: Regeneration and Universal Solider: Day of Reckoning), it will be fascinating to see what his politically-charged version of the cult classic will look like once it hits the big screen.
“My goodness, the election in the U.S.” sighs Refn with an air of exhausted distaste. “I think that one of the point of views that was very important to both John and I, and also Ed Brubaker who wrote the script, was to really find a zeitgeist, you know mirroring the times that we’re living in in the U.S. and what’s happening all around us in the world in a way. So I think that my Maniac Cop should be much more reflective of what’s around us. Again, you know, it’s John Hyams movie, he’s the one who’s directing it, but I also know that he’s very much involved in politics, and so to incorporate that into an action film, or a horror film, thriller, whatever, the mix of that genre is just going to make it more exciting, I feel. You know it’s what’s happening in law enforcement, you know, it’s very terrifying for both sides, and I think there’s a great movie in that”.
Maniac Cop may have gained a reputation as Refn’s most notorious upcoming producing project, but it’s not the only title on his already overworked slate. He’s also producing the remake of the beloved Witchfinder General, also known as The Conqueror Worm, a 1968 splatterfest originally starring Vincent Price and directed by Michael Reeves. Much in the same way that Maniac Cop will be updated with the same sense of shock but a wholly new modern day twist, Witchfinder General will seek to capitalize on the already present paranoia embedded within the original film.
“Well I think with the three films that I own, I kind of, they came to me in strange ways, I never seek them out but they kind of came to me as opportunities” explains Refn carefully. “I felt that each film had a very interesting premises that could be reinterpreted, like Maniac Cop. You know Witchfinder General, which is a very in a way, what we’re experiencing today in our society, the paranoia just to have a conversation, and I think that was the original movie that I think Massimo was very good at catching, the counter culture vehicle, so it’s finding that new version of that, and a gory horror film about religion, and it’s certainly a good time to do that (laughs) with the way the power plays in the United States, it seemed like something very important to touch upon”.
It seems only right that Refn would be behind the scenes on an upcoming film about witches when his most recent endeavor, The Neon Demon, focuses on the dark arts as well – at least according to him. In the film, both the moon and the eye act as recurring motifs throughout the feature. When asked about the symbolism behind their linked presence, Refn explained how his rutilant spectres are derived from Pagan roots.
“The moon is a very important symbol when it comes to anything ritualistic, whether it’s the blood or the cycle or menstrual blood, the moon is very much defined by that, that deity, there is an alien force around us, and kind of supernatural ability. And of course, the eye is also round, and when Jesse tells her boyfriend about how she would always talk to the moon, asking if it saw her, of course the eye is round and it sees, and it’s very much embedded in witchcraft, so the whole film in many ways can be seen as a ritual”.
It’s a fascinating way of looking at things, this unholy perception of the cutthroat world of modeling in Los Angeles. Refn then goes even further to connect the dots of his analysis.
“For example, in the coven there are three women, which makes up the triangle in each corner. Also, the one that sees [Jesse] first is the Ruby character, Jena Malone, and her first words in the film are ‘Am I staring?’ And you see that they see her as something that is an ingredient to their witchcraft, and that the two other models are kind of the lower rank of witches, where you know, Jena Malone is the queen witch, and they all have to go through a process of devouring Jesse, and each one has a different reaction to it”.
From there, considering the notion that the three main girls, Ruby, Gigi, and Sarah, make up the three members of the coven, who then is Jesse in this scenario? According to Refn, she is actually the ‘Neon Demon’, in all her gold-coated glory.
“Jesse is in a way both the innocence and the beauty and the purity that they so desire but at the same time she’s also the force that they need to complete the ritual, so it’s almost like parallel worlds that collide. Because you see, Jesse is herself an entity that has through her own evolution of a ritual of beauty, becomes the ultimate narcissist claiming that she’s dangerous and that her mother always said that she was dangerous. She’s virginity, she’s youth, she’s beauty, she’s all the things that slowly or rapidly disappear as we grow older, and at the same time, she’s also very manipulative, almost like she’s playing everyone against each other. She insults Gigi by asking if she had plastic but when Gigi reveals it, she asks if that’s a good thing. She denounces Jena Malone’s love, she pushes it away even though in a way she’s also very flirtatious with her, so there’s a part of Jesse that’s a deer in headlights, and there’s a part of her that is a demon”.
The Neon Demon hits Blu-ray and DVD everywhere on September 27th, 2016.
AMC shared with Bloody the first official image gallery and synopsis for the highly anticipated “The Walking Dead” Season 7.
The first half of Season 7 sees the group fractured, broken, bereaved, and picking up the pieces while living under the thumb of oppression. Negan will have successfully brought the survivors under his will, brutally convincing them to live under his rules with a deadly and horrific example of what happens if they don’t.
Here’s the lengthy plot just released:
Up until this point, our characters have lived through conflicts… Disease, hunger, scores of the undead, tragedy, betrayal, and unthinkable loss. Through this, they’ve become formidable. Powerful. Unstoppable.
To start Season Seven, that power is taken away. They had found safety and stability. They had created a home. They thought the world was theirs. They thought they knew the world. They were wrong.
The first half of Season Seven sees our group fractured, broken, bereaved, and picking up the pieces while living under the thumb of oppression. Negan will have successfully brought the survivors under his control, brutally convincing them to live under his rules with a deadly and horrific example of what happens if they don’t.
Other characters are unaware of what’s happened, but have become separated from the group either by incident or choice — they will learn that they can’t escape this new turn of their world, either. This half season is about these characters starting over.
The overall theme of the season is beginning again. The world isn’t what they thought it was. It’s bigger and it’s even more dangerous.
“The Walking Dead” is executive produced by Robert Kirkman, Showrunner Scott M. Gimple, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Tom Luse.
Don’t miss the Season 7 premiere of “The Walking Dead” on Sunday, October 23 at 9/8c on AMC.
BloodList, the popular screenwriter-discovery platform, is now open to submissions from emerging horror and dark-genre writers.
Writers are encouraged to submit a screenplay, pilot, book or short film to BloodList.com for consideration in this year’s Fresh Blood section. Content must be uploaded by Oct. 7. Subissions to BloodList.com are free. The list will be announced on Halloween, Oct. 26, 2016.
“Our business isn’t physically accessible to everyone, and there are plenty of talented writers and creators looking for new ways to get discovered in the horror, thriller and sci fi space. I want BloodList to be their platform,” says Kailey Marsh, founder of BloodList.com and Kailey Marsh Media.
The annual BloodList was founded in 2009 and has become the industry standard in recognizing “dark” voices in the screenwriting world. Working Hollywood executives vote on the list, with an eye toward finding their next project. Produced scripts featured on BloodList include the absolutely phenomenal The Blackcoat’s Daughter, the raved about Arrival, as well as Stoker, The Boy Next Door, Patient Zero, The Voices, Warm Bodies and even Maggie!
“BloodList shines a light on exemplary genre writing, which is where some of the most innovative and challenging work is being done. But like comedy, horror and science fiction are often overlooked as categories for sublime writing. Without this curated list, buyers would miss on writers who’ve built the rare breed of a well-crafted story wrapped in a commercial package. Each year’s top entries are like a masterclass in storytelling” – Eric Heisserer, writer and Executive producer of ‘Arrival’ (FKA ‘Story of Your Life’ from BloodList 2014) and writer/producer of ‘Lights Out’.
Here’s last year’s hype trailer.
Horror icons Kane Hodder (Jason Goes to Hell) and R.A Mihailoff (Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) join Michael McCarthy and Jordan Elizabeth in “the wickedest and bloodiest revenge thriller since The Crow,” Bloody Disgusting learned.
On digital October 4 and DVD on November 8, “Crazed is a pulsating tale of justice from the dark alleys of Harbor City, with crazed vigilante cop Ronan Pierce(McCarthy) out to avenge the loss of his family to the evil Luna Cartel. Responsible for both his daughter’s death and his wife’s abduction, the Cartel enslaves thousands of young women from around the world and harvests organs from its other victims. Pierce delivers horrific punishment to an assortment of psychotic criminals on his way to bloody justice.”
Scripted by Kevin A. McCarthy and Michael McCarthy and directed by Kevin McCarthy (with guest director Edward Payson), Crazed pierces this October from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Here’s the trailer and some stills.
Thommy Hutson‘s The Id is arriving on home video October 25, Bloody Disgusting learned.
Produced by Thommy Hutson and Amityville: The Awakening‘s Daniel Farrands, the pic stars Amanda Wyss of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Better Off Dead and even Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
“Meridith Lane is truly her father’s daughter. Doting, attentive, obedient. But after years spent confined together in a claustrophobic house, middle-aged Meridith’s relationship to her increasingly cruel and sadistic elderly father is veering toward disaster. When a figure from her past suddenly re-enters her life, Meridith is confronted with the harsh reality of her father’s monstrous nature. Deciding she must set herself free from his dominion, Meridith descends into a terrifying world of horrific visions, after one impulsive and irreversible act plunges her into a waking nightmare of her own making. And she is about to find out that, no matter what, the most important man in a girl’s life… is her father.“
Special Features Include:
- Needs, Wants & Desires: Behind the Scenes of The Id – Featurette
- Audio Commentary with Director/Producer Thommy Hutson and Actress Amanda Wyss
- Deleted & Alternate Scenes
- Behind-the-Scenes Footage
- Audition Clips
- Photo gallery
Each week here at Bloody Disgusting we like to highlight some of the new Blu-ray releases hitting shelves across the world. Please note that this isn’t every release for the week, just a few of the ones that jumped out at us.
Finally week of September is here and it’s a good one for the home video crowd. Lots and lots of good stuff hitting shelves this week. Some exclusive stuff coming from both Vinegar Syndrome and Shout Factory that you’ll want to get quick because they’re limited. The Vestron Video Collector’s Series debuts with Blood Diner and Chopping Mall, both wonderful releases. Over in the UK 88 Films kicks off their 88 Asia collection with Hex. And that’s just scratching the surface! All the heavy hitters have new releases this week, so get to shopping!
An American Werewolf in London – 35th Anniversary Edition (Universal, Region A)
The tale of a tourist from the U.S. whose stay in London is disrupted when, after being bitten by a wolf, he turns into a werewolf.
Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection (Shout Select, Region A)
Bill & Ted’s Excellect Adventure
Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) and Alex Winter (The Lost Boys) deliver “spirited performances” (The Hollywood Reporter) in the original righteous comedy about the two ditzy dudes from San Dimas, California. Also starring George Carlin, this hysterically funny historical comedy is a “snappily directed” (Time), “bouncy good time” (The Boston Globe) and a party that goes on and on! Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) have spent so much time forming their rock band, The Wyld Stallyns, that they’re flunking history. Whoa, duuuude! And when Ted’s dad threatens to send him away to military school, Bill and Ted realize it could mean the most heinous end of The Stallyns! Luckily, a guardian angel from the future, Rufus (Carlin), has come to them with a most bodacious solution: a time-traversing phone booth to take them into the past to learn about the world from some of history’s most influential personalities.
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey
A tyrant from the future creates evil android doubles of Bill and Ted and sends them back to eliminate the originals.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign – Complete Series (FUNinmation, Region A)
In 2012, the world allegedly comes to an end at the hands of a human-made virus, ravaging the global populace and leaving only children untouched. It is at this time that vampires emerge from the recesses of the earth, likely followed by age-old horrors of the dark thought only to be myth. The vampires sweep the earth and claim it in a single violent stroke, subjugating the remnants of humanity and leading them beneath the surface to safety. This “protection” comes at the price of donating blood to their captors. At the age of twelve, Yūichirō and his friend and fellow orphan Mikaela plotted to escape along with the children in Hyakuya Orphanage. However, this resulted in their deaths and Mikaela sacrifices himself in order for Yūichirō to escape and be saved by members of the Moon Demon Company, an extermination unit of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army. Four years later, Yūichirō dedicates his life to destroy vampires and seek revenge against them for murdering his “family”.
Patterns (The Film Detective, Region A)
Fred Staples, the newest executive in a large firm, strikes up a friendship with the vice president to whom he reports and who has devoted his entire life to the company at the expense of his family. Staples is good at his job and the company’s hard-nosed president is pleased with his choice. But Staples finds his ethics and ambition at odds, when the president tells him he’s been recruited to replace the VP.
Kamikaze 1989 (Film Movement, Region A)
In a totalitarian society of the future, in which the government controls all facets of the media, a homicide detective investigates a string of bombings, and finds out more than he bargained for.
Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom (Shout Factory, Region A)
After visiting his father in Arkham Sanitarium, young Howard Lovecraft ignores his father’s ominous warning and uses the legendary Necronomicon to open a portal to a strange, frozen world filled with horrifying creatures and grave danger. Alone and scared, Howard befriends a hideous creature he names Spot who becomes his companion throughout their treacherous journey across the Frozen Kingdom.
Francesca (Unearthed Films, Region A)
Two detectives must catch a serial killer, but their only chance to find him, is to solve the case of missing girl who disappeared 15 years ago.
Corpse Party (Switchblade Pictures, Region A)
Facing goodbyes and graduation, Naomi Nakashima, her childhood friend Satoshi Mochida, and their classmates, are clearing up after their last ever cultural festival, when horror buff class representative Ayumi Shinozaki decides to perform Sachiko Ever After so they will stay friends forever. Instead, they were whisked away to a haunted graduation ceremony for Heavenly Host Elementary School, forced to close after a series of gruesome murders. What fate awaits Naomi and her friends at the cursed school…?
Cabo Blanco (Kino Lorber, Region A)
Offshore near Caboblanco, Peru, an explorer of sea wrecks is murdered. However, local authorities decide that the official cause of death is “accidental drowning.” Among the skeptical is Giff Hoyt, an expatriate American, longtime Caboblanco resident and popular innkeeper. Giff’s interest is further piqued when Marie arrives in town. Her passport is confiscated by the corrupt authority, and Giff protests. Furthermore, a Nazi named Beckdorff lives in a well-fortified compound near town, and he might be responsible for the explorer’s death. Beckdorff himself seeks sunken treasure in the area, as well as protection from local interference. Can Giff Hoyt stifle the evil Beckdorff, save the lovely Marie, and possibly even locate sunken treasure?
Valley of the Dolls (Criterion, Region A)
Straight from the best-selling pages of Jacqueline Susann’s audacious novel comes the unforgettable tale of three glamorous women who will stop at nothing to get to the top. Oscar winners Patty Duke, Lee Grant and Susan Hayward team with Sharon Tate and Barbara Parkins for this spectacular, satisfying and well-before-its-time tale of hedonism and one-upmanship on the road to fame! When a small-town beauty arrives in New York, she becomes instant friends with a struggling singer, Neely, and an actress, Jennifer. Together these headstrong, career-driven gals embark on a roller coaster ride of fast-talking men, endless nights of partying, booze…and pills that they call “dolls.” But as they careen down the path to superstardom, one of them may face more self-destructive behavior than she can handle in this riveting and acclaimed hit film!
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (Criterion, Region A)
Fun-loving bombshells Kelly, Casey and Pet have a rock band, and they’re headed to Hollywood to make it big. Thanks to Kelly’s well-connected aunt, they soon find themselves at a hedonistic love-in thrown by eccentric music promoter Ronnie “Z-Man” Barzell. He takes them under his wing, and a new world of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll unfolds. Superstardom is within reach, if only their newfound distractions don’t get in the way!
Slugs (Arrow, Region A)
People are dying mysteriously and gruesomely, and nobody has a clue what the cause is. Only health worker Mike Brady has a possible solution, but his theory of killer slugs is laughed at by the authorities. Only when the body count begins to rise and a slug expert from England begins snooping around does it begin to look like Mike had the right idea after all.
Warcraft (Universal, Region A)
An epic fantasy/adventure based on the popular video game series.
Lady in White (Scream Factory, Region A)
Locked in a school closet during Halloween 1962, young Frank witnesses the ghost of a young girl and the man who murdered her years ago. Shortly afterward he finds himself stalked by the killer and is soon drawn to an old house where a mysterious Lady In White lives. As he discovers the secret of the woman he soon finds that the killer may be someone close to him.
Blood Diner (Lionsgate, Region A)
Two cannibalistic brothers kill various young women to make their flesh part of their new special dish at their rundown restaurant while seeking blood sacrifices to awaken a dormant Egyptian goddess.
The Neon Demon (Broad Green Pictures, Region A)
When aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles, her youth and vitality are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will take any means necessary to get what she has.
Chopping Mall (Lionsgate, Region A)
Eight teenagers are trapped after hours in a high tech shopping mall and pursued by three murderous security robots out of control.
Highlander: 30th Anniversary Edition (Lionsgate, Region A)
During a fierce sword battle in the 1500s, Connor MacLeod, a simple Scotsman known as a poor fighter, is mortally wounded — but he does not die. MacLeod learns from the mysterious Ramírez that he is of a race of immortals. These rare knights never age and never reproduce, they can only meet death by the blade of another of their kind. Leaping back and forth through the centuries, MacLeod once again meets the evil Kurgan who nearly killed him 500 years ago. There can be only one.
The Shallows (Sony, Region A)
When Nancy is attacked by a great white shark while surfing alone, she is stranded just a short distance from shore. Though she is only 200 yards from her survival, getting there proves the ultimate contest of wills.
Count Dracula’s Great Love (Vinegar Syndrome, Region A)
Paul Naschy as the Amorous Dracula sets out to seduce his one great love with the help of his trio of sexy Vampiric Mistresses. In this tale, four young women, who seek refuge in a castle on a rainy night, only to find themselves in the lair of the vampire king. The great beauty of one of the women leads him to take her as his mate, using the other three as servants to acquire blood for them…
The Shape of Things to Come (Blue Underground, Region A)
Planet Earth is a devastated wasteland, and what’s left of humanity has colonized the Moon in domed cities. Humanity’s continued survival depends on an anti-radiation drug only available on planet Delta Three, which has been taken over by Omus, a brilliant but mad mechanic who places no value on human life. Omus wants to come to the Moon to rule and intends to attack it by ramming robot-controlled spaceships into the domes. Dr. John Caball, his son Jason, Jason’s friend, Kim, and a robot named Sparks embark on Caball’s space battlecruiser on an unauthorized mission to Delta Three to stop Omus.
Grimm: Season Five (Universal, Region A)
In modern day Portland, Oregon, a police detective inherits the ability to see supernatural creatures.
Message From Space (Shout Factory Exclusive, Region A)
In this Star Wars take-off, the peaceful planet of Jillucia has been nearly wiped out by the Gavanas, whose leader takes orders from his mother (played a comic actor in drag) rather than the Emperor. King Kaiba sends out eight Liabe holy seeds, each to be received by a chosen one to defend the Gavanas. Each recipient, ranging from hardened General Garuda to Gavana Prince Hans to young Terrans Meia, Kido, and Aaron all have different reactions to being chosen.
Cell (Lionsgate, Region A)
When a mysterious cell phone signal causes apocalyptic chaos, an artist is determined to reunite with his young son in New England.
Up from the Depths (Shout Factory Exclusive, Region A)
A series of mysterious aquatic attacks indicate the presence of some huge, previously unknown giant species of shark that has risen to the surface and is preying on tourists, fishermen, researchers, etc. A local beachcomber and scam artist, Sullivan, will have to put out to sea to defeat it.
Horror House on Highway 5 (Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive, Region A)
A van full of college students traveling down a highway is terrorized by a psycho killer in a Richard Nixon mask.
Hellbent (Vinegar Syndrome Exclusive, Region A)
An evil black-clad manager claims the soul of a would-be rock star whose life spins out of control, heading toward heavy-metal doom and folk-rock purgatory
The Velvet Vampire (Shout Factory Exclusive, Region A)
A couple accepts an invitation from the mysterious Diane LeFanu to visit her in her secluded desert estate. Unaware that Diane is actually a centuries-old vampire, the couple soon realize that they are both the objects of her seduction and cravings…
Time Walker (Shout Factory Exclusive, Region A)
An alien, buried in King Tut’s tomb, terrorizes a college campus.
Hex (88 Films, Region B)
A woman, who believes she has murdered her abusive husband, then sees him return as a vengeful ghost.
Slugs (Arrow, Region B)
People are dying mysteriously and gruesomely, and nobody has a clue what the cause is. Only health worker Mike Brady has a possible solution, but his theory of killer slugs is laughed at by the authorities. Only when the body count begins to rise and a slug expert from England begins snooping around does it begin to look like Mike had the right idea after all.
Hannibal (Zoom Steelbook, Region B)
Years after escaping custody, the brilliant but psychotic Dr. Hannibal Lecter settles in Italy and becomes the curator of an art museum in Florence, even learning to curb his appetite for human flesh. Back in the States, FBI agent Clarice Starling has been discredited by the bureau and her nights have been haunted by dreams of her past conversations with Lecter. Mason Verger, a twisted pedophile whose encounter with Lecter left him disfigured and paralyzed, places a bounty on Lecter’s head. When Clarice gets word, she goes in search of Lecter to warn him and unwittingly becomes a pawn in Verger’s plans for revenge.
Death Note: Complete Series and OVA Collection (Manga Home Entertainment, Region B)
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal…or his life?
River of Death (88 Films, Region B)
In 1945, with the Allies approaching, two German officers ransack a monastery in Greece and make plans to escape with the loot. However, one of the Germans is left behind by his partner, while the other escapes by submarine from Wilhelmshaven. Forty years elapse, a wealthy millionaire, Smith, hires Hamilton, allegedly an expert on the jungle, to lead him to the ruins of a lost Indian civilization recently discovered in the wilderness of the Amazon jungle in Brazil. The entourage faces giant anacondas, giant spiders, cannibalistic natives, and so on, discovering a settlement of Nazi war criminals and their descendants, living as if the Third Reich had never ended. It is soon clear that Smith’s real purpose has little to do with archaeology, and more to do with revenge.
Back in August Mondo Macabro announced a few new Blu-ray releases one of which was Suddenly in the Dark. No official release dates were given then but the titles were expected to come out in late 2016 or early 2017. We can now happily announce that Mondo Macabro will be releasing a special limited edition release of Suddenly in the Dark on October 31st! This will be the world exclusive Blu-ray debut of the 80’s Korean horror classic and will be limited to 500 copies. The release will include a numbered red case and an exclusive booklet.*
Fans of Mondo Macabro will no doubt be familiar with these limited edition releases. This is something the company does quite often and to much success. The red cases are always very sleek and the booklet is a nice touch. If you’re a collector this is something you’ll want. The release will be available directly from Mondo Macabro.
Full release details below!
A woman’s idyllic middle-class life is disrupted when her husband brings home a beautiful young orphan to be their maid. At first she welcomes the pretty girl, in fact seems oddly fixated on her, but soon comes to suspect the girl of having an affair with her husband. At the same time odd, unexplained incidents – most involving the maid’s mysterious wooden doll – began to make her question her own sanity. Soon it all spirals out of control as the film climaxes in a fever pitch of sexual jealousy, murder, and supernatural vengeance, all set to a pounding synth score.
Almost completely unknown outside of its home country, SUDDENLY IN THE DARK is one of the best examples of pre-millennial K-horror. It was made at a time when censorship law were being liberalized, igniting a boom in both horror and erotic films. Elements of both are present here, directed with bizarre flair by Go Yeong-nam in a style often compared to the wilder Italian films of the 70s and 80s.
Mondo Macabro is proud to present this classic of Korean horror on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world. Our presentation has been restored from the best available elements from the Korean Film Archive, and features brand new extras produced exclusively for this release.
-Interview with producer Suh Byung-gi
-Interview with critic Kim Bong-seok on the history of Korean horror films
-Classic K-Horror VHS Cover Art Gallery
-Mondo Macabro Promo Reel
-Limited edition booklet with brand new essays on the film by Grady Hendrix and Christopher Koenig
-New Cover Illustration by artist Naomi Butterfield
*A retail release in a standard case without the booklet will be available sometime Spring 2017. If the LE sells out quickly it’s possible that we will do another limited red case run, but no more another 500, and probably un-numbered.
Wayne Berwick’s Microwave Massacre isn’t a good movie. It’s just not. There’s just not a lot that it does well. The script is pretty thin, the acting is so-so at best and the jokes often miss the mark. With that all being said, there is something charming to it and there is some fun to be had as long as you know what to expect.
Comedian Jackie Vernon stars as Donald, a construction worker with a wife who is desperately trying to force him to have more refined taste buds. May (Claire Ginsberg), his wife, wants the two of them to eat what she considers to be healthier and fancier dishes. This dishes are cooked in a comically large microwave that May recently purchased.
I have to talk about this microwave for a moment. It’s massive, basically the size of a small oven. It’s so large that the appliance store has to deliver it. Not only is it comically large, but once May has it all installed and ready to go she uses it to cook all her meals. In and of itself, this isn’t too weird. There’s plenty of people that cook all their meals via microwave – they’re called college students. What makes May’s use bizarre is that she’s apparently cooking healthy, fancy foods and she considers what she’s doing to be slaving away. Say what now?
Donald wants no part of this. He’s a man after all and he wants to eat man food! He comes home drunk one evening and he cares not to eat what May has cooked up. The two getting into a huge argument that ends with Donald bashing her over the head with a pepper grinder until she’s dead. Donald then passes out and when he awakes the next morning he has no idea what happened the night before. He finds May’s dead body in the microwave and this only slightly freaks him out. The moment quickly passes and he goes to work, happily telling his co-workers that he and May split up and now he’s a free man to do as he pleases.
When Donald gets home from work that night he chops May’s body up, cover the pieces in tin foil and places them in the freezer. Later that night he heads to the freezer for a late night snack and ends up eating May’s hand. Much like when he found her dead body this only briefly shocks Donald. He quickly realizes this is the best thing he’s ever had. He soon becomes addicted going on a murderous spree in search of fresh meat.
Microwave Massacre is so slapstick and silly. It aims to grab a lot of the low-hanging fruit. Right from the opening credits (which you can watch here) the film goes for the sleaze factor as the camera is focused dead-center on a girl’s chest as she walks down the street. When it’s not on her chest it switches things up by moving to her butt. She then sticks her chest through a whole in a fence at a construction site to flash some construction workers. Welcome to the 80’s, folks!
If gore is what you’re looking for Microwave Massacre does offer up some but it is of a very low quality. There’s a number of dismembered limbs, but they’re kind of like what you would find at a Spirit Halloween store rather than in a special effects warehouse. So don’t expect to be blown away, but if you are looking for a version of gore it does exist within in this film.
There’s nothing wrong with a film like Microwave Massacre of course. These films serve a purpose and have their place, but they’re just not very good. You could pair this up with something like The Refrigerator and that would be a very enjoyable double feature of bad movies that are fun.
As recently as five years ago I would have said a film like Microwave Massacre would never makes it’s way to Blu-ray, well Arrow Video sees things differently than I. They’ve given this film a gorgeous Blu-ray release. This is an extremely low budget movie and it shouldn’t look this good, and yet it does. The film is a 2K transfer using the original 35mm negative and it looks really great, particularly in scenes that are well lit. I’m guessing the darker scenes didn’t have the best on-set lighting and thus don’t look as good on Blu-ray.
The special features are actually on the low end with regards of what we’ve come to expect from Arrow. Still this is a pretty obscure 80’s movie so the fact that there are any special features is a plus. There’s an audio commentary with Craig Muckler, the man who conceived of the story for Microwave Massacre, and it’s hosted by Mike Tristano. In addition there is a short documentary entitled “My Microwave Massacre Memoirs,” that features interviews Berwick, Muckler and actor Loren Schein. This is a cool little feature that offers some good insight to this low-budget oddity.
Like I stated up top, Microwave Massacre is not a good movie, but it is fun. You’ll know if this movie is for you and if it is you’ll want this Blu-ray.
Microwave Massacre is available now on Blu-ray from Arrow Video.
They’re everywhere! On every street corner, in every store, all over your house, even in your pocket! Video cameras have become a part of our every day life, capturing some of mankind’s best and worst moments to be immortalized digitally. Filmmaking duo Shelly and Michael Doss take a stab at the medium with their short film “Ca$hed”, showcasing an unfortunate individual who chooses the wrong time to make a withdrawal from the local ATM.
Our second tale is one of vengeance, served piping hot! A young couple looking to spend a nice night out on the town is accosted by a disgruntled mariachi who has a guitar and a bone to pick in Oliver Izquierdo’s “El Mariachi Loco”.
World of Death is the web series that fans of independent horror have been waiting for. Featuring short horror films from all over the globe created by the largest variety of talent that a collection has ever been able to boast, WOD provides plenty of blood, guts, screams and laughs for all fans of the macabre. And with episodes averaging around eight minutes in length, WOD is the perfect entertainment for a fan base constantly on the go. Watch it anywhere, at any time, for FREE! New episodes premiere every Monday and Thursday at 7pm CST.
Shelly and Michael Doss from Denver, Colorado started making films in 2012. They’ll be working on some new shorts soon before they tackle their first feature length project. Keep up with Shelly and Michael at www.facebook.com/bloodyhandstudios & www.bloodyhandstudios.com
Oliver Izquierdo of México, México City started working in film in 2003 after graduating college with a major in film directing. Oliver is currently writing the script for his second feature “Axolotl” and is just about to start shooting a new short film titled “The pleasure of the flesh”, written by Manuel Ortega. See more of Oliver’s work at https://vimeo.com/oliverizquierdo
Adria Arjona, the star of the upcoming NBC series “Emerald City”, has officially joined the war against the Kaiju in Legendary’s Pacific Rim 2. She joins the confirmed cast of John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Jing Tian and Cailee Spaeny, according to Deadline.
Boyega is confirmed to be playing the son of Marshal Stacker Pentecost, who was played by Idris Elba. Charlie Hunnam, who played Raleigh Beckett in the first film, dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
In the 2013 film that was directed by Guillermo del Toro (read our review), as a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
The film is written by Derek Connolly and will be directed by Steven S. DeKnight. It is set to come out February 23rd, 2018.
A new poster for HBO’s upcoming sci-fi/thriller series “Westworld” has been released and it takes you right into the eye of the show. Get it? Because it looks like an eye? …I’ll leave now.
The drama, arriving Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m., is billed as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.
Ed Harris stars as ‘The Man in Black’ – described as the distillation of pure villainy into one man – who stars alongside Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Kyle Bornheimer and more. The Box‘s James Marsden plays Teddy Flood, a mysterious new arrival to a small frontier town. Teddy quickly proves both his charm — and his talent with a revolver — while his pursuit of a local beauty launches him on a dark odyssey (source: EW).
It hails from The Dark Knight and Interstellar co-writer Jonathan Nolan.
“People who come into this place are looking for—and this is the irony of it—the authentic experience,” Nolan explained to EW last year, before the delayed production. “They’re looking for not the virtual version, but the real version, the tactile version. Interestingly we’ve arrived at what [the original film] created—fully immersible virtual worlds. Look at Grand Theft Auto or any of these wholly imagined open-world video games. They are beautiful. They’re perfectly immersive and brilliant and filled with narrative turns … “What happens in Westworld stays in Westworld.” It’s a place where you can be whoever the f–k you want to be and there are no consequences. No rules, no limitations.”
A new promo for STARZ’ second season of “Ash vs Evil Dead” has been released via Funny or Die and it’s all about Ash dealing with the frustrations of having a chainsaw for a right hand. However, as he faces his difficulties, he begins to realize that maybe his HANDicap (HA!) might not be so bad after all! In fact, maybe it’s worth embracing head on! …or head off, which will be FAR funnier when you watch the clip below.
Also starring in the promo is Barbara Crampton, who stars in Jackson Stewart’s Beyond the Gates, which is making its way through festival circuits right now. It should be noted that Crampton is NOT in the TV series, although how cool would that be?
The second season roars back into action with an extended episode where Ash is forced to leave his cushy retirement in Jacksonville, return to his hometown of Elk Grove, Michigan, and mount up once again to face The Evil Dead. This time, he’ll have to form an uneasy alliance with his former enemy Ruby as Elk Grove becomes the nucleus to the most dangerous horror Ash has faced to date.
The upcoming season of “Ash vs Evil Dead” will include ten half-hour episodes.
“Ash vs Evil Dead” returns to STARZ on October 2nd.
I’m going to make something very clear right away: I am NOT using this post to argue the current Presidential nominees or any related politics. Who you vote for is entirely your choice, just as it is your choice to NOT vote if you’re not feeling it this time around. You do you and let me do me.
That being said, it seems that more and more people are rather disillusioned with the choices we have for the US Presidency and this frustration is reaching fictional characters. Hell, even Ash Williams is running for President! But if he’s putting his name in the hat, don’t you think we should hear from other characters who want a shot at the Oval Office?
It looks like both Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark, and Resident Evil‘s Alice are interested in the most powerful seat on the planet. Elvira went the extra mile and made a video but Alice certainly has the more patriotic image to back her up.
Personally, I say Elvira wins my vote between the two. Alice is a bit too war-weary, a bit too pissed off, and definitely a bit too infected.
The road for NECA’s NES-styled Contra figures of Bill and Lance was a long and aggravating one. First announced in December of last year, the figures were scheduled for release the following Spring. That didn’t happen. The figures were delayed for unknown reasons by Konami, but were shown again at the New York Toy Fair in February. This time, a similarly-styled Simon Belmont prototype figure based on his appearance in the original NES Castlevania was also shown. More delays followed. Fast-forward to August. Konami unfortunately nixed the Castlevania figure, but the Contra figures survived. Now after almost a year, the figures have finally shipped. Was it worth the wait? Let’s attack aggressively.
Now before anything, as a videogame fan, and fan of Konami’s properties, I have to say this: Konami’s burning of bridges with fans over the past year and a half has been really unfortunate. It’s a sad state of affairs to see once-great franchises like Silent Hill, Contra, Castlevania and Metal Gear heading to Pachinko machines in Japan. It’s especially frustrating since this month is the 30th anniversary of the Castlevania franchise, which Konami is doing nothing to recognize. However, rather than be negative, it’s important to recognize fans’ efforts like Randy Falk and the rest of the NECA crew. The fans were the reason why we’ve been able to get these Contra figures at all. It’s a small consolation that we need to enjoy. Of course, it’d have been nice if Castlevania had gotten some love, but there’s always those previous figures that NECA released (if you can find them).
Like the other figures in the line, the windowbox packaging recreates the original NES package for the game, with the obvious changes to reflect the figures/NECA. The back of the packaging features shots of the figures in place of screenshots of the game. Unlike the other figures in this line, the package doesn’t have the faux worn look to it. Inside the package, the figures are squeezed in there against the backdrop of the Level 3 boss that in no way rips off Alien. The flap that opens the front of the package features the main title screen, and is secured with a round velcro piece.
Essentially a repaint of the 7-inch Rambo figures with new heads, these are still great-looking figures. Being that this is based off of the NES version of Contra, the figures share the same bodies (save for the different colours and hands). All of the details like the wrinkles, pockets and stitching in the pants from the original Rambo figures are here, including the laces and treads for the boots. Both figures are equipped with ammo belts, holsters and knife sheaths. True, the game never used handguns or knives, but it’s a great little added detail. As for the heads, Bill and Lance are recreated here in amazing detail. Their look is based off of the famous artwork for the game (which is based off of an amalgamation of Commando, Rambo and Alien), and while there’s a bit of artistic license taken, it’s all done with the best of care.
As for the paint, the figures look as close as they do to their in-game counterparts as they can. The paint for the skin recreates the shading used for Bill and Lance on the title screen (which is about the only real detailed look for the characters in the game), while the pants do a great job of recreating their appearance according to the in-game sprite. Now I know that some people will point out that Bill and Lance have had their colours switched (Player 1 was Bill in blue, while Player 2 was Lance in red), but according to NECA, Konami asked them to do it this way. If you’re really set on their colours being accurate, you can always swap the heads. There have been some cases where Bill’s eyes tend to be a bit cross-eyed. If your figure has this issue, you can always give NECA’s QA department a shout for help.
Both figures sport over 25 points of articulation and have a great range of motion. The heads are on balljoints, and move freely without any hindrance. The arms can move outward almost to 90°, as well as move forward and back. The arms bend at the elbow to 45° and rotate, and the hands are on balljoints that move easily. There’s an ab crunch, as well as balljoint at the waist. I know that some people might not like the look of the ab crunch breaking up the sculpt, but it’s not that noticeable once you get these guys posed. The hips are on pin-and-socket joints, and can move outward, forwards and back and rotate. The legs bend at the knees to 45° and can rotate. Finally, the ankles are on balljoints, allowing you to pivot the foot. It can appear a little awkward, as there’s no boot cut and the pivot can break up the sculpt, but the range of motion more than makes up for it.
This is what makes the set. For starters, both figures come with a handgun and knife. Both figures’ right hand is sculpted to hold the handgun (with trigger finger) with no issues. The knife, unfortunately, is another story. It’s more just for show, as neither of the hands can get a proper grip on the knife. Again, it’s a cool little addition. The rifles are the big draw. Fantastically sculpted with hinged guards, both feature unique designs and paint. The ends of the gun can be modified with the included barrel extensions, which can plug into either gun. One extension is for the single rapidfire shots, the other is for the Spreader shot. Also included is an extendible buttstock that again can be plugged onto either gun. There are a series of three blast shots that can be plugged into one another for a rapidfire effect for one extension, and a three-way spread shot that can be plugged into the other. Do note that you can also plug the three separate shots into the Spreader shot to give it a fuller effect. For the ultimate effect, there’s a five-spread shot that can be set up and plugged into the included stand. The stand can also be used for the power-up capsule that’s also included, although it can stand on it’s own if need be. Really, the possibilities of customizing the way you set up these guys is awesome. Sure, we could’ve used another stand, but it’s a minor nitpick.
If you’re a fan of Contra and videogames, this is an absolute must-buy. The sculpts and paintjobs are great, and the articulation and included accessories allow for a lot of custom setups. This was definitely worth the long wait. Given that Konami probably won’t be revisiting the franchise for a good long while over here, this set is a nifty little tribute that really deserves a spot on your shelf.
Big thanks once again to Northmen Collectibles for making this figure available.
ITN Distribution wants you to enter Clowntown (read our review) in theaters on September 30 and on VOD and DVD October 4.
Bloody Disgusting has an exclusive clip from the film that follows a group of friends who get stranded in a seemingly abandoned town and find themselves stalked by a gang of violent psychopaths dressed as clowns, all which look like something out of a Rob Zombie movie.
It is loosely inspired by the clowns who terrorized Bakersfield, CA in 2014.
Directed by Tom Nagel and written by Jeff Miller (Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan), the film stars Brian Nagel, Lauren Elise (Help), Andrew Staton (Relentless), Katie Keene (Union Furnace), Jeff Denton (The Beast of Bray Road) and Greg Violand (Batman v. Superman).
Currently trending on Twitter is the hashtag #3AlbumsThatChangedMyLife. Designed to have people tweet the covers of three albums that changed their lives in some way, it’s not meant to seek their favorites, which I love. It’s much easier to think of landmark events than favorite moments as those can shift on a minute-by-minute basis. But something that left an indelible effect on one’s life? Those are far easier to pinpoint.
That hashtag got me thinking of three albums that shaped my musical life. To be 100% honest, I only needed about 10 seconds before three immediately came to mind. Therefore, I figured I’d share my own and hope that you would all let me know yours!Tangerine Dream – Legend OST
This was one of my favorite films as a child and Tangerine Dream‘s score was a big part of my love for this movie. It was also the soundtrack that got me hooked into film scores, the one that made me pay attention to the music of a movie as much as I paid attention to the visuals and story. I remember laying on my bedroom floor with a cheap keyboard in front of me, plunking away and trying to figure out to play the main theme. This soundtrack is what inspired my love of music and will forever be the most important album of my life.Metallica – The Black Album
My sister had a party once and several of her friends brought CDs over so they could have music in the background whilst doing whatever it was that they did (I wasn’t invited). One of her friends left a copy of Metallica‘s The Black Album but no one laid claim to it. It’s as though someone left it deliberately, never wanting to have it in their possession again. So, I did what any rebellious young teenager would do: I took it and played it, wanting to see if I was going to be interested in “metal”. At this point, the only real albums I owned were Green Day’s Dookie, No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom, and, shame upon shame, ICP’s The Great Milenko.
The Black Album completely changed me. Suddenly, it felt like I found a genre that was meant for me, that spoke to who I was as a person. Prior to having this album, I never really took to metal, even though I liked the occasional “harder” song. But now it all made sense and I went down that path and have never looked back.Porcupine Tree – In Absentia
In the summer of 2002, I was hanging out with a core group of friends and our big thing was going to concerts and blasting music at earth-shattering volumes, all while hooking up our computers and playing Diablo II via LAN. One of those guys was a huge prog rock fan and kept talking about a band by the name of Porcupine Tree. One day I was at a music store and I saw In Absentia for $9.99. That was back when CDs were anywhere from $13.99 to $17.99, so I saw it as a great deal and said to myself, “Fuck it. If I don’t like it, it was a cheap test.”
I got into my car and popped the album into my Discman, which was connected to the stereo system via a cassette adapter. I dug the first track, “Blackest Eyes”, but it was “Trains”, the second track on the album, that hooked me. The vocal harmonies in the bridge starting at 2:55 in the below video absolutely blew my mind. I rewound and replayed that section over and over and over. Then I replayed that song over and over and over. I think I listened to it maybe 20 times before I allowed the album to progress to the third track. What followed is an album that I still return to with enormous fondness and joy, now mixed with wisps of nostalgia because it’s been a part of my life for so long.
While The Black Album introduced me to my love of metal, In Absentia allowed me to stray into new and exciting territories. It was because of this album that I felt comfortable testing the waters of anything that came across my path. After all, if I took a risk on this album and it ended up changing my life, who knew when that might happen again?
Adam Brody (Jennifer’s Body) and Amanda Crew (pictured below left in Final Destination 3; “Silicon Valley”) have been set to topline psychological thriller The Wanting from Filipino director Yam Laranas (The Echo, The Road), Deadline reports.
Said to be in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, and based on a short story by Gin de Mesa and Yam Laranas, “The Wanting is about an all-American couple whose dream of starting a family is shattered after they move into the perfect New England neighborhood. Once settled, they soon after descend into the depths of terror as they struggle to survive a genuine threat from a dark presence that appears to want to end their very lives.”
Rob Heydon is producing the adapted screenplay from Donald Martin (Milton’s Secret). Sid Ganis and Joni Sighvatsson are the Executive Producers.
Shooting for the film began today in Toronto.
What will happen when aliens land on Earth? That is just one of the many questions posed in Denis Villeneuve’s (Prisoners, Sicario, Enemy) latest film Arrival, a science fiction drama that will no doubt be a big contender during awards season. With the film, Villeneuve has delivered his most affecting film to date that left this critic in a puddle of tears by the time the credits rolled.
After a prologue that rivals Pixar’s Up in terms of its ability to have you reaching for tissues, 12 alien ships arrive in various locations on Earth, hovering about 1,000 feet above the ground. Linguistics professor Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is brought in by a Colonel for the U.S. military (Forest Whitaker) to try to decipher the aliens’s language. Working with mathematician Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), Louise attempts to find out why the aliens (nicknamed “heptapods” due to their seven long tentacles) have arrived on our planet.
Viewers walking into Arrival expecting an alien invasion film will no doubt leave disappointed. The film has more in common with Close Encounters of the Third Kind than it does with Independence Day. It has bigger ideas in mind than either of those two films though. The aliens are there, and Villeneuve is not shy about showing them early on, but Arrival isn’t about them. Arrival is about the humans, and how the aliens’ arrival effects one particular character. Tackling the arrival on a smaller scale and limiting it to one side’s perspective (that of the Americans) adds to the tension that pervades the film.
A large theme in the film is trust and how fear plays a part in it. The U.S. military is working closely with the 11 other countries where the ships have arrived and tensions gradually rise as the film progresses. China wants to attack it. Australia sides with the U.S. Other countries have their own opinions on the matter. Many fear that one of the other countries learned something that they have not and will use that knowledge against them. It is a simple way to create suspense but it pays off in spades. Arrival is a slow burn but it is never boring.
Performances are strong across the board, but Adams is the star here. She is in nearly every scene and delivers an emotionally resonant performance that will stick with you long after you have walked out of the theater. Whitaker is serviceable in his supporting role, but Renner is still stuck playing the same type of character he always plays: an everyman. Again though, this is Adams’s film and she delivers a rich performance.
Credit must be given to screenwriter Eric Heisserer, whose script is an adaptation of Ted Chiang’s short story “Story of Your Life”. Heisserer’s skills as a writer improve with each subsequent script he turns out. It’s hard to believe that just six years ago he earned his first screenwriting credit for the underwhelming remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. After that he wrote 2011’s Final Destination 5 and The Thing to mixed reception, followed by the Paul Walker-starrer Hours. His screenplay for this year’s Lights Out (review) was a mostly successful study of depression and grief, but he knocks it out of the park with Arrival. It is his most mature work to date and where Lights Out may have not fully succeeded in its study of mental illness, Arrival most definitely succeeds in what it sets out to accomplish.
To top things off, Arrival looks spectacular. Every shot impresses and while this is not an effects-driven movie, what little effects there are simply stun. The heptapods are CGI creations, but they look quite convincing. Bradford Young’s cinematography is gorgeous and Joe Walker edits the film with a controlled hand, supporting the film’s deliberate pace.
Arrival is a truly affecting piece of filmmaking. It deals with global themes that are more relevant today than ever before and is bookended by some tear-jerking emotional wallops. The fact of the matter is that no review can explain just how this film will affect you. This is more than a film. It is an experience. So go experience it.Arrival will be released in theaters nationwide on November 11, 2016.
Wild Eye Releasing has acquired worldwide distribution rights for Brett DeJager’s Bonejangles. “We signed with Wild Eye because we wanted to work with a distributor that understands what good horror movies are all about and had the capacity to get Bonejangles in the hands of as many horror fans as possible. You can tell they love a good horror flick just as much as the rest of us, and that is exactly why we trusted them to deliver Bonejangles to the world,” DeJager said after the deal was inked.
Over the past year, Bonejangles has made audiences and critics scream, screening at the Fright Night Theatre Film Festival, Scare-A-Con Film Festival and The Indie Horror Drive-In Film Festival.
“While transporting the unstoppable killer Bonejangles to an asylum, a group of police officers encounter a hellish pit stop: a cursed town where the dead rise from their graves. Now the only way to save their lives and the town is to release Bonejangles and fight the curse…with something much worse.”