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Updated: 13 hours 53 min ago

‘Ejecta’ Is the Beginning of the End (Trailer)

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:25
We now have the first trailer and art for Anchor Bay Canada’s Ejecta a sci-fi thriller starring Julian Richings, Lisa Houle (PontyPool), Adam Seybold (Exit Humanity) and a small cameo by Dee Wallace (E.T.).

The film tells the terrifying story of two men whose lives cross paths on a fateful night during a once in a lifetime solar storm. An unknown presence besieges the men on a remote farm triggering an intense struggle to survive not only the night, but also the horrific interrogations and tortures of an anonymous organization who will stop at nothing to learn the truth about what the two men witnessed.

The film is Co-Directed by Chad Archibald (NeverLost) and Foresight producer, Matt Wiele.

Categories: Horror News

Awesome ‘You Are Not Alone’ Trailer Footage Found

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:20
Impressive trailer for new found-footage indie.

Below we’ve added the trailer for Derek Mungor’s POV slasher You Are Not Alone, which is incredible well assembled. While the footage itself isn’t all that exciting, the trailer itself is shockingly effective.

In it, “As seen from the first-person POV, Natalie, a recent college graduate, reconnects with friends and family as she visits her hometown over the Fourth of July. The town is inundated with news of a dangerous sociopath who is in the midst of a spree killing and reportedly within the area. Experience what happens when Natalie crosses paths with said killer.

Krista Dzialoszynski, David O’Brien, Keenan Camp, and Nikki Pierce star. DC Medias is repping the film at Cannes.

Below is the international trailer, as well as first piece of sales art.

Categories: Horror News

[Crowd Source This!] ‘Autumn Moon’ the Most Violent Werewolf Movie Ever?!

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:02
Is this the year of the wolf?

With MPI/Dark Sky Film’s practical-heavy Late Phases making festival rounds, it appears the werewolf sub-genre has returned!

For those of you who want more, there’s a Kickstarter campaign to help Randy R. Fabert’s Autumn Moon, which promises to be “the most violent werewolf film ever made,” become a reality.

Here’s what the film will be about: “Pulp writer Michael Renee Allen thought the house on the edge of the woods would be the perfect place to write his next novel. He soon finds that the forest has more to offer than just fresh air and a nice view. Something unspeakable is stalking the forest, a cunning force of pure evil that hunts by night, painting the forest with blood.

The cast includes: Bill Oberst Jr.(Children of Sorrow, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies), Lynn Lowry (Shivers, Cat People), Camden Toy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2), Timothy Waldrip (Kiss of the Vampire, 21 Jump Street), Joe Kidd (That’s What She Said), Michael Peake (Only Human), Nathaniel Grauwelman (Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies), Iabou Windimere (Psycho Killer, Sidney), Jocelyn Tanis (The Medal), Larry Combs, Gerri Sutyak (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Sonny Burnette (Zombies R Friends), Richard Aughpin (Dragoon, Sidney), and Randy Fabert (Psycho Killer).

Fabert has already filmed the opening werewolf attack scene… an old school blood-fest with practical effects. Want proof? Check out a bunch of insane images below and prepare for goosebumps.

Categories: Horror News

To Dance Or Headbang? The Algorithm Releases “Synthesiz3r” Audio Stream

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:00

Metal-electronica wizard Remi Gallego (aka The Algorithm) has released “synthesiz3r”, a brand new track from his upcoming album Octopus4, which comes out June 2nd via Basick Records. Pre-orders are available now and come with an immediate download of this new track.

Head on down to hear the track, which is pretty insane and a ton of fun.

Categories: Horror News

‘Breakaway’ Trailer Gets Kidnapped and Locked In

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:20
An indie version of Oldboy?

Another Cannes feature premiering at the market/festival is Bryan Binder’s directorial debut Breakaway, featuring Erika Hoveland, Tiren Jhames, Daniel Usaj and Marisa Ruby.

In the Oldboy-esque indie thriller, “Emily Burns is being held captive in a room with no idea as to why or how she got there. Determined to escape and return to her daughter and husband, Emily discovers clues within the room that help explain what she’s doing there. They even provide clues about who she is…but will they help her escape?

Check out the Cannes sales art and trailer below!

Categories: Horror News

[TV] Next On “Bates Motel”: Episode 2.09, “The Box” Promo

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:12

Man, can Norman catch a break?

The writers of A&E’s “Bates Motel” continue to make Norman Bates’ life miserable, this time having him kidnapped from mother.

There are only two episodes left in season 2, with next Monday’s episode 2.09, “The Box”, beginning when “Norma (Vera Farmiga) tries to connect with Norman (Freddie Highmore). Dylan (Max Thieriot) must decide if he should risk his life to save a loved one.

Meanwhile, Romero (Nestor Carbonell) turns to a former colleague for help.

Categories: Horror News

Perturbator Releases 2nd ‘Dangerous Days’ Teaser

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 09:30

French horror synth artist Perturbator has released a second teaser for his upcoming album Dangerous Days, which comes out June 17th. The music used in the teaser is the song “She Is Young, She Is Beautiful, She Is Next”, which we premiered last week. We also featured Perturbator on our 10 Horror Influenced Groups You Should Be Listening To list.

Pre-orders for Dangerous Days will begin tomorrow via Blood Music.

Head on below to check it out.

Categories: Horror News

[Blu-ray Review] Arrow Gives ‘Hell Comes To Frogtown’ A Fine LE Release!

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 09:27
The Film: I’ve always been a huge fan of John Carpenter’s brilliant sci-fi actioner They Live starring one of my favorite WWE superstars from my youth, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. It’s one of my personal standouts from Carpenter’s rich filmography. They Live’s provocative social commentary, Piper’s surprisingly authentic everyman performance and the infamous alleyway brawl between our hero and the always good Keith David are just a few of the elements that make this cult classic every bit as enjoyable and vital today. In the same year of its release but with much smaller fanfare came another Piper-starring sci-fier, Hell Comes to Frogtown. For some reason, I’ve never sat through the movie in its entirety until now; Arrow Video’s recently released Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD combo. The film is pretty much what you’d expect from a low budget post-apocalyptic film with a former wrestling legend, scantily clad women and a bunch of mutant frogs. Much to my surprise, Hell Comes to Frogtown packs a little something extra along with its B entertainment value.In a post-nuclear war landscape where the human race is bordering on extinction, ex-con Sam Hell (Piper) happens to be one of the last few fertile men on the planet. He is captured by a group of women who happen to be the closest thing resembling a government and is sent on a mission to rescue a group of fertile ladies from a gang of mutant frogs. If this all sounds rather silly, it’s because it is. Somehow though, Hell Comes to Frogtown manages to works due to the filmmakers striking the right tone; mixing a bit of social commentary, along with not taking its B-movie roots too seriously. Clocking less than 90 minutes, Hell Comes to Frogtown never overstays its welcome. It’s breezy, quick-footed fun throughout.

The casting of Piper is easily the film’s best attribute. He brings an oddly affecting and easy-going charm to Sam Hell, much in the same way he brought to They Live’s Nada. There is a grounded honesty to Piper that none of his wrestling counterparts have managed to inject into their film roles to date. It adds a share of heart to all the silliness which I’m not sure Hell Comes to Frogtown would have worked as successfully without. On a technical level, the film is competent enough. The standout being the mutant frogs by effects whiz Steve Wang (Director of The Guyver flicks and the criminally underseen 1997 action/comedy Drive) which still looks shockingly good after all these years. Hell Comes to Frogtown is far more enjoyable than it probably deserves to be. After finally getting the opportunity to view it, I now realize how the movie has earned its loyal following 26 years since its release. 3/5 Skulls

The A/V: I’m pleased to announce that the dark, murky appearance that’s plagued Hell Comes to Frogtown in previous home video incarnations is now a thing of the past. This HD video is brighter, revealing details previously unseen. Colors look far more natural to the eye. The image is soft but that has to do with how the film was shot than the transfer itself. The print is also in far better shape than I was expecting. The original 2.0 stereo PCM mix is as good as this film will ever sound. This is one major upgrade. 4/5 Skulls

The Supplements: The commentary by Director Donald G. Jackson and Writer Randall Frakes from the Anchor Bay DVD is unfortunately not here. However Arrow Video gives us 51 minutes worth of fine, new featurettes for our enjoyment. “Grappling with Green Gargantuans” (22 mins) is an entertaining interview with Rowdy Roddy Piper. As per usual, he’s honest, humble and engaging as he reminisces on his experiences during the production. “Amphibian Armageddon” (14 mins) is a chat with Commander Toty himself Brian Frank and “Creature Feature Creator” deals with Wang’s still impressive contributions. An extended scene and original trailer is included, as wells as a reversible sleeve featuring original and a newly commissioned artwork by Jeff Zornow (which is very cool), a booklet featuring new piece by author and critic Calum Waddell. 3.5/5 Skulls

Overall: Hell Comes to Frogtown is goofy fun yet with just enough smarts with its satirical underbelly to make it a cut above most B pictures. Arrow Video gives it more love than a title of this kind is generally accustomed to. The special features, not to mention the far superior A/V makes this purchase a no-brainer for fans. Hell Comes to Frogtown is limited to a run of just a 1000 copies so act today if this sort of thing strikes your fancy. It’s well worth a spot in your collection.

Categories: Horror News

The ‘Terminator’ Is Back!

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 22:35
Is Arnold good or bad this time around?

It’s always such a great feeling hearing that a film is officially behind cameras. At that point there’s no going back, and fans can rejoice in knowing that the film they’ve been hoping would come into fruition is locked and loaded.

Such the case with Terminator: Genesis, the fifth film in franchise, which has begun principal photograph today in New Orleans.

Below are some images from set, including the slate and Arnold Schwarzenegger rocking his 90′s leather pants (clearly a scene that takes place during T2).

Schwarzenegger is back in various forms of the Terminator cyborg (also known as the T-800, T-850 or Model 101). Dayo Okeniyi is playing the son of Miles Dyson, the Cyberdyne exec played by Joe Morton in Terminator: Judgement Day. Emilia Clarke takes on the major role of Sarah Connor, with Jai Courtney playing Kyle Reese, Jason Clarke as John Connor, as well as Byung-hun.

The Terminator is back July 1, 2015.

Official Production slate for T5! "VISTA" (as in Hasta la vista) is the code name for Terminator Genesis!

— The Arnold Fans (@TheArnoldFans) April 21, 2014

Let's Party! A NEW Terminator film is starting TODAY! @Schwarzenegger @ParamountPics @Skydance @Emilia_Clarke

— The Arnold Fans (@TheArnoldFans) April 21, 2014

The Terminator is Camera Ready! #TerminatorGenesis #T5

— The Arnold Fans (@TheArnoldFans) April 21, 2014

Categories: Horror News

[TV] Showtime Previews “Penny Dreadful” Imagery

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 18:45
Gearing up for the May 11 premiere, Showtime released a bunch of promotional imagery from “Penny Dreadful”.

The show is said to feature some of literature’s most frightening and iconic figures as they grapple with alienation in Victorian London.

Timothy Dalton, Reeve Carney, Josh Hartnett, Harry Treadaway, Rory Kinnear, Billie Piper, and Eva Green star. Dalton will be playing African explorer “Sir Malcolm,” while Carney has snapped up Dorian Gray. Hartnett will play the role of “Ethan Chandler,” a charming American who finds himself trapped in the darkest corners of Victorian London. Green will play “Vanessa Ives,” a seductive and formidable beauty full of secrets and danger. Treadaway will be assembled as “Victor Frankenstein.”

Oscar-nominee Logan created and wrote the series with the first two episodes to be helmed by The Orphanage and The Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona.

Categories: Horror News

‘Zombieworld’ Anthology Needs Your Short Films

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 18:34

Ruthless Pictures, best known for Day of the Mummy, The Black Water Vampire, Frankenstein vs. The Mummy and Mischief Night, are teaming with Dread Central for Zombieworld, an undead-themed horror anthology.

In the film, survivors across the world struggle to overcome horrifying circumstances when a pandemic brings about a zombie apocalypse.

The site is asking for filmmakers to submit their zombie shorts to be included in the film. Winners get $100. The best short will score $500.

Click the above link for full details.

Categories: Horror News

[TV] Syfy’s Generic “Dominion” Trailer

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 18:20
No, that’s not Wonder Woman.

Syfy released the first images and trailer for “Dominion” (via TVLine, which premieres Thursday, June 19 at 9/8c. It looks like a cheesy cross between that defunct “Wonder Woman” series and some lame superhero movie.

It’s based on characters from the 2010 feature Legion, taking to the year 25 A.E. (After the War of Extinction) when an army assembled by the archangel Gabriel (played by Carl Beukes) wages a war of possession against mankind’s survivors. In that fight, the archangel Michael (300‘s Tom Wisdom) sides with humanity, against Gabriel.

It also stars Christopher Egan (Kings), Roxanne McKee (Game of Thrones), Alan Dale (Lost), Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Langley Kirkwood (Generation Kill), Shivani Ghai (EastEnders) and Luke Allen-Gale (The Borgias).

Categories: Horror News

“Dark Ages” Is ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ meets ‘Starship Troopers’

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:50

Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard, the team that brought you “The New Deadwardians”, has a new book on the horizon from Dark Horse Comics that is being described as, “Kingdom of Heaven meets Starship Troopers“. The sci-fi fantasy tale takes place in a medieval world when a troop of mercenaries encounter an ungodly creature from another realm. It sounds like it has some cosmic horror influence, and given Culbard’s adaptations of Lovecraft’s work, I’d bet my gold coins on it.

From the press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ANAHEIM, CA—Dark Horse Comics is pleased to debut Dark Ages, another cosmic thrill ride from Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dan Abnett!

The creators of Vertigo’s The New Deadwardians, Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard, deliver medieval sci-fi action in Dark Ages! The medieval world is locked in war. As a godless mercenary company slogs across Europe in search of sustenance and coin, they encounter a demonic force born not of hell, but of somewhere else entirely!

Categories: Horror News

Review: “Translucid” #1

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:28

Well, shit. This comic is bananas. “Translucid” #1 is the coolest take on villainy that I’ve seen in years. A true psychological look at good and evil. Writers Sanchez and Echert present us with an almost Dom/Sub-type love between superhero and villain, causing all kinds of chaos in its wake. Leading us to wonder, who’s the real villain here?

WRITTEN BY: Claudio Sanchez & Chondra Echert
ART BY: Daniel Bayliss
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: April 16, 2014

Starting off rather innocuously, we are introduced to our villain: The Horse. He’s a Carmine Falcone-like criminal mastermind (with a Knight chess piece style headdress) fresh out of prison with a renewed sense of psychopathy and an odd determination to prove the dependency of his superhero counterpart, The Navigator. He orchestrates his own abduction in order to show that The Navigator would sooner blow up the Empire State Building than see him perish in its place.

When The Navigator plays directly into the trick, instead of being pleased, The Horse is angered at the dependency The Navigator shows, and punishes him by forcing him to watch his failure play out in a grand explosive gesture.

Since the beginning of the comic book hero/villain relationship, it’s always been clear that the two feed off of each other. This comes as no surprise. They never truly want to end each other’s lives, because without one, the other ceases to exist. Good is only relative to the evil it counteracts. “Translucid” definitely explores that notion but smacks it around a bit first. In a standard hero/villain relationship, we find the villain on the sad end of the dependency continuum, whereas “Translucid” turns our hero into a sad, pathetic, almost treacherous, fool-in-love for the villain. To the point where The Navigator’s dependency on The Horse causes more damage than The Horse could possibly do on his own. It’s fascinating. It’s daring. I love it.

I didn’t think I was going to enjoy this comic book as much as I did. I had the impression that it was going to be the hero/villain equivalency of a bromance film. And for a second during the comic when a reporter refers to The Navigator and The Horse as a “dynamic duo” I thought my initial feelings would be validated. But Sanchez and Echert swing wildly off course as The Horse dominates in emotional stability, completely putting The Navigator (along with his creepy amount of respect for his “nemesis”) in his place. I’m crazy excited to see where the next five issues of this strikingly original comic book will take us.

Review by – Bree Ogden

Categories: Horror News

Exorcists Fight Satan’s Army In “The Devilers”

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:15

Dynamite has a brand new line of creator owned books on the way, one of which is Joshua Hale Fialkov’s “The Devilers”. Fialkov has a great track record in the world of horror comics with “I, Vampire”, “Echoes”, and more recently, “The Bunker”. He teams up with artist Matt Triano for “The Devilers”, which sees the pits of hell unleashed into our world. Dynamite describes the book as the Magnificent Seven of religious horror stories. From the art below, the team is not pulling their punches. Any series that kicks off with a priest in flames is worth a read in my books.

See more details below along with a list of other upcoming creator owned books on the way from Dynamite.

From the press release:

April 18th, 2014, Mt. Laurel, NJ: Dynamite is proud to present the first book in a series of creator driven comics, featuring all new characters from the industry’s best and brightest! The Devilers is written by the acclaimed author Joshua Hale Fialkov, working with us for the first time, and accompanied by the incredible art of Matt Triano! Single issues in this line will be priced at $2.99, allowing fans the opportunity to affordably try all of the new series! And to help retailers stock up with confidence, each launch issue will be completely returnable! To sweeten the deal for fans and retailers alike, The Devilers #1 will feature covers by Eisner Award Nominee Jock and a beautiful retailer incentive by the masterful Marc Silvestri! Be sure to look for The Devilers, coming this July to retailers and digital platforms!

The following creator driven books are a small sampling of titles that will come after The Devilers, beginning August 2014 through 2015, to keep the momentum going, from the best comics has to offer!

Peter Milligan – Terminal Hero
Duane Swierczynski – Ex-Con
Andy Diggle, Angela Cruickshank, and Ben Oliver – Control
James Robinson – Grand Passion

More creators and titles to be announced!

When the world is under siege from the pits of hell, it’s up to The Devilers to set things right. The world’s greatest exorcists pit themselves against Satan’s army, while all of creation hangs in the balance. From the writer of The Bunker, The Ultimates, and I, VAMPIRE comes a horror-fueled adventure through hell itself.

“Fans of the work I did on I, VAMPIRE will find a continuation of a lot of the themes and ideas I started over there, but in a completely new package,” says best-selling comic book writer Joshua Hale Fialkov, “It’s been a blast to tell a big ol’ supernatural horror adventure story again.”

“There’s a great tradition of team books in comics and we’ve worked hard to continue that tradition here.” – Joseph Rybandt, Dynamite Senior Editor

“This series is the ‘Magnificent Seven’ of different religious figures banding together to fight off an evil that will take all of their powers. Joshua is an incredibly gifted writer who has proven that he can tackle any genre. He has an impressive track record from Elk’s Run and Tumor to his I, Vampire, Ultimates, Bunker comic series and more, and I will be biased in stating that The Devilers is his best work to date. His writing is crisp and smart. Add to that the incredible artwork that Matt Triano is delivering, and the unbelievably captivating covers by Jock, and you have an incredible series. This is the first in an incredible line of creator driven books and we’re launching off our creator-driven the line up with an incredible group of creators bring incredible passion for the launch series to help celebrate and usher in for the next chapter at Dynamite.”

Joshua Hale Fialkov is the Eisner, Harvey, and Emmy award nominated creator of The Bunker, Tumor, Punks, and Echoes. He was the writer of the critically acclaimed I, VAMPIRE for DC’s New 52, and is an architect of the ULTIMATE UNIVERSE at Marvel Comics. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, daughter, two dogs, and a disgruntled cat.

The Devilers #1 will be solicited in Diamond Comic Distributors’ May Previews catalog, the premiere source of merchandise for the comic book specialty market, and slated for release on July 16, 2014. Comic book fans are encouraged to reserve copies of The Devilers #1 with their local comic book retailers. The Devilers #1 will also be available for individual customer purchase through digital platforms courtesy of Comixology, iVerse, and Dark Horse Digital.

Categories: Horror News

Telltale’s ‘The Walking Dead’ Season One is Available Now on Google Play

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 17:11

The first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Game has finally made its way to Google Play. The full first season is available now, including the bonus episode 400 Days. If you haven’t spent some time with this fantastic episodic series yet, you now have one less reason to have missed it. Just make sure you bring a box of Kleenexes. You’ll need them.

In related news, the first two episodes of the second season will hit the Vita tomorrow (April 22). They can be purchased together, along with the impending three episodes, with the $19.99 season pass, or individually for $4.99 each.

Telltale and Sony have announced the upcoming Vita release of The Walking Dead Season 2. On April 22, the first two episodes will be available on that platform.

This will catch up those who have been waiting for the handheld version of the title. Each episode will cost $4.99, with a season pass available for $19.99.

Categories: Horror News

Ben Templesmith Sends The Tentacles In “The Squidder”

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 16:45

This Saturday at Anaheim for WonderCon IDW announced details about Ben Templesmith’s latest Lovecraft-inspired project, “The Squidder”. The miniseries tells the story of a forgotten soldier in a post-apocalyptic world overruled by “tentacled alien overlords”.

If you’ve been following Templesmith’s career, you know he loves to draw tentacles in all shapes and sizes. This book is the one where he goes all out for some Cthulhu style horror and everything we’ve seen thus far looks stellar. Check out the two covers for “The Squidder” #1 below.

WRITTEN BY: Ben Templesmith
ART BY: Ben Templesmith
PRICE: $3.99

This all-new four-issue series finds an old soldier from a forgotten war in a post-apocalyptic world that has left him behind. He was one of the last of the legendary Squidder Legions. Can a discarded relic with a death wish and a rebellious Squid priestess overthrow humanity’s tentacled alien overlords? Ben Templesmith returns to his roots to finally do the tentacle/Cthulhu-orientated book he’s always promised! The Squidder mixes action, horror, science fiction, and fantasy elements with a touch of Squidly destruction.

Categories: Horror News

Spanish ‘Darker Than the Night’ Goes 3-D

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 16:40
There’s nothing scarier than an old woman and her cat.

The Spanish horror Darker Than the Night (Mas negro que la noche) is showing off some 3-D footage at the upcoming Cannes.

Bloody Disgusting has the official sales art for the Henry Bedwell-directed pic in which “Greta inherits a huge mansion after her Aunt Ofelia’s death with the only condition of taking good care of her life companion, Becker, a cat. Greta moves in with three girl friends. One of the nights Becker suddenly dies. In consequence, their carelessness will unleash unexplainable events that will make them feel horror in their own skin.

Zuria Vega, Adriana Louvier, Eréndira Ibarra, Ona Casamiquela, and Margarita Saenz all star.

Categories: Horror News

Report: ‘Resident Evil 7′ to be Revealed at E3 2014

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:55

Now this is interesting. According to a report by the Sankei Shimbun, a newspaper in Japan, Capcom will be revealing a “major PlayStation 4 title” at this year’s E3. There’s a very good chance this is another Resident Evil sequel. We know Resident Evil 7 is in development and that Capcom plans to try and reinvigorate the series with another reboot.

It may seem odd that only Sony’s platform was mentioned, but I’m sure the reasoning behind the newspaper’s not mentioning the Xbox has less to do with potential PS4 exclusivity — Resident Evil has long been a multiplatform series — and more to do with the Xbox’s insignificant foothold in Japan.

Lending a bit of credibility to this being a new Resident Evil game is the fact that Capcom recently held a contest on their Facebook page where they asked fans to share their favorite Resident Evil memories for a chance to be featured in a future Capcom title, likely Resident Evil 7.

I have some hope left for the series, though its inconsistent quality has diminished much of it. I’ve even ranted about it a few times. I hope Capcom is able to breathe new life into the series, because it’s still one of my favorites.

Either way, we’ll find out what this is sometime during E3 (June 10-12).

Sankei Shimbun via Siliconera

Categories: Horror News

[Tribeca '14 Review] Glossy ‘Extraterrestrial’ Is Frightless

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 15:16
Can we officially close the door on alien-themed horror movies?

After collaborating on a pair of found-footage films (Grave Encounters and its sequel), filmmakers “The Vicious Brothers” are out to prove they’re more than just a one trick pony. With Extraterrestrial, the duo turn in the pixelated supernatural fare for a glossy alien horror film that’s shot like it wishes it were Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The Vicious Brothers’ hearts are in the right place with Extraterrestrial, but they end up focusing too much on emulating classics – such as Close Encounters, Fire In the Sky, Alien and Aliens – rather than doing something new and original. The result is a trite piece of sci-fi cinema that succeeds only in showcasing the duo’s actually quite impressive technical chops.

The story follows a group of annoying teens (of course) gearing up to party at a cabin in the woods. A UFO crashes nearby (this is a really cool looking sequence), causing the group to investigate. After finding the crashed craft, they return to the cabin only to discover they’re being watched by one of the alien survivors. The teens decide to murder it, which motivates the beings’ to get revenge. Even though the drive is insanely clear, The Vicious Brothers feel the need to introduce obnoxious character after obnoxious character in order to overexplain the aliens’ motives to those who might not understand. There’s nothing that takes me out of a movie more than when the filmmakers “dumb it down” for the audience.

Thankfully, Extraterrestrial carries a serious tone and is finally a shift from found-footage. Unfortunately, its attempt to be scary fails because it never plays with the psyches of its characters. Nobody in the movie’s world believes these kids, yet the viewer knows immediately that the aliens are real, which kills… no… destroys any suspense. Instead, we’re forced to endure a plethora of fake jump scares.

This begs the question, once again, why aren’t alien horror films scary? Is it because we don’t believe it, or maybe because mass media has over saturated us with what they believe an alien “looks” like? What I’m saying is that, because we’re so familiar with the media’s visualization of aliens, they just aren’t scary anymore. (A perfect example is Freddy’s Dead, a film that literally and figuratively kills the fear of Freddy Krueger.) So, with Extraterrestrial, The Vicious Brothers chose to use “tall grey” aliens, you know, the ones with big, black eyes. They are crazy cool looking (some of the effects work is astounding), but it’s such a familiar look that it’s just not scary. At all.

(Spoilers follow.) Once the filmmakers enter the UFO, that’s when the homage train starts rolling. The ending is heavily inspired by Aliens and Fire in the Sky but, as stated before, doesn’t do anything new. There’s creepy imagery ranging from black slime to hybrid alien-humans, but none of it has any impact, especially since the footage gets all blurry for artistic effect. This is when I started it get angry.

And then IT happened. For whatever reason, the filmmakers thought it made sense to have highly intelligent beings give a character an anal probe, with a drill, that kills him. It infuriated me because it destroyed as sense of believability they had built around the aliens, and turned them into cartoonish “South Park” aliens (end spoilers).

And then, this. Extraterrestrial carries one of the most self-indulgent, trite and awful epilogues I’ve seen in years. Keeping it spoiler free, it refuses to end until everything is packaged up perfectly with a pretty bow on top.

Even though the movie left me in a bad terrible mood, it’s impossible to ignore the insanely impressive scope, and the fact that The Vicious Brothers have serious talent lurking within their horror-fueled minds. If they could find stronger writers to work with, and stop trying to copy classic films of the past, I think these two could eventually surprise us with something remarkable. As for Extraterrestrial, the only thing alien about it was its ability to further the alien sub-genre, which as far as I’m concerned, is dead.

Categories: Horror News