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Michael Biehn says Blomkamp’s ‘Alien’ is Happening, Just a Matter of When

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 12:23

July brought us the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s Aliens, often considered to be one of the greatest sequels ever released. As a result of the occasion, many of the cast and crew have been getting interviewed at various events, which allows for some stirrings of the pots, if you will.

Such is the case with Michael Biehn, who broke down the status of Neill Blomkamps on again/off again Alien film that would see Biehn and Sigourney Weaver reunite in a story arc that would effectively ignore the third and fourth films.

Biehn explained to Forbes that while Weaver was working with Blomkamp on Chappie, he pitched her, “…an idea for another movie in the Alien franchise, which I thought was dead and gone as she probably did too as well as Fox. He tweeted out some pictures of me, he said he’s going take the third and fourth film and act like they never happened and things blew up.

Biehn is talking about when Blomkamp released several photos via Twitter in early 2015 that spurred an explosion of excitement and interest over the idea of a new entry in the franchise.

However, as we all know the project came to a halt because a sequel to Prometheus was deemed the next necessary step. “It looked like it was all go and then Ridley Scott decided that he was going to do a second and third film in the Prometheus series, but Sigourney says they are still doing their project,” Biehn explains.

That being said, he believes that the possibility of the film NOT coming to fruition is simply ludicrous and unfathomable, explaining, “I think it would be very embarrassing to Fox if they don’t give Sigourney the movie that she really wants to go out on. I don’t know when it’s going to happen but I know it’s going to happen and I know I’m going to be in it and there’s going to be a new Newt, she’s going to be about 26 or 27 and looks a lot like Jennifer Lawrence to me but I don’t know. Maybe there’ll be a passing of whatever and then the franchise can move on so they can make more money because that’s what it’s all about.

All of this will simply have to wait until after Scott’s Alien: Covenant hits theaters on August 4th, 2017.

Categories: Horror News

‘Chopping Mall’ Gets Remastered Blu-ray Release (Exclusive)

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 12:01

Vestron Video has been a leader in providing the most unique and wide-ranging selection of films. Lionsgate honors the spirit of Vestron Video by presenting the Vestron Video Collector’s Series — a line of classic genre films newly remastered and with a wealth of supplementary features. Starting with Jim Wynorski’s Chopping Mall, on Blu-ray September 27, these rereleases are for the collector and horror fan alike and will be available for a limited amount of time.

Teenagers trapped in a high-tech mall overnight must find a way out before three malfunctioning security robots destroy them in Chopping Mall.

Each limited-edition feature, transferred from the original film elements to high-definition Blu-ray, is packed with special features including brand-new audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and interviews with cast & crew — including one with Chopping Mall’s robot!

• Director/Co-Writer Jim Wynorski, Actress Kelli Maroney, and Co-Writer/2nd Unit Director Steve Mitchell
• Historians/Authors Nathaniel Thompson (Mondo Video) and Ryan Turek (Shock Till You Drop)
• Director/Co-Writer Jim Wynorski and Co-Writer/2nd Unit Director Steve Mitchell
• “Back to the Mall”
• “Chopping Chopping Mall”
• “The Killbots”
• “Scoring Chopping Mall”
• “The Robot Speaks”
• “The Lost Scene”
• “Army of One”
• “Chopping Mall: Creating the Killbots”
• Isolated Score Track by Chuck Cirino
• Trailer

Categories: Horror News

AMC’s “Preacher” is a Complete Mess…and I’m Loving Every Second of it!

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:58

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have taken on a unscrupulous task of adapting Garth Ennis’ “Preacher” comic series, which has been called “unadaptable” through its decade-plus years in development. Thanks to the success of shows like “The Walking Dead”, AMC took a chance on “Preacher”, which hasn’t been gaining the traction that the cable channel had hoped. Still, they’re moving forward with a second season, which I expect will fix a lot of the issues at hand.

Season One concluded last night with what can only be described as confused. Tonally, Rogen and Goldberg are all over the place with ‘Preacher”, which wants to be a Quentin Tarantino film meets “Breaking Bad”, while also being faithful to the comics. Every step the duo have taken is course to ostracize casual viewers, which hit its peak when Jesse Custer’s “flock” are introduced to the “Alpha and the Omega” during a church proceeding. This goofy sequence was more in line with what I’d expect from Rogen and Goldberg, yet it strangely didn’t mix in with the previous nine episodes. Below you can watch a portion of the scene in which Jesse realizes that whomever is speaking is nothing more than a fraud, and uses Genesis to demand an explanation:

There are so many reasons why this episode, no, season is a head-scratcher. We’ve been playing a guessing game since Episode One, wondering how the series matches the comic series. Everything became clear in the above sequence, which finally, finally delivers an arc for Jesse, who was begging for a purpose throughout the entire season. The irony is that the debut season’s twist is just that, saving the first comic’s reveal for the Season One cliffhanger.

We’ve been eluding to it for weeks, accidentally posting spoiler after spoiler because we had no idea what the hell was in the pipeline, but the comic and series have officially crossed paths and become one with each other. The debut season acted as a prequel to the comic’s storyline, introducing Jesse’s mission: to find God and kick his ass. In the finale, we learn that the “God” who shows up in Church is an imposter, hiding the fact that the real Almighty has vanished. Heaven doesn’t even know where to find him. After this goofy charade, Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy come together to hid the road in search of God, and to make him answer for bailing on mankind. Next season will finally align with the comics and bring us all of the insanity we’ve been expecting, including the Saint of All Killers…and Herr Starr.

I can’t help but wonder if this backstory was even necessary. Or, why couldn’t Rogen and Goldberg have taken a page from “Lost” and injected backstory into the forthcoming road trip, instead of building a massive story around a town they literally decimate in the closing seconds? By doing so, the duo were forced to pigeonhole arcs into each of the character’s lives; for example, we now know that the reason Jesse had given up was that he and Tulip had lost a baby during their life of crime.

Whatever the case, Rogen and Goldberg took “Preacher” and made it their own; it’s raw, messy, and all over the fuckin’ place, but I love it. I’m struggling to find anyone who actually watched the entire season, let alone plans to – and I don’t blame them. Television is strange because an entire season is typically shot before it airs, which means that there’s no way to adjust to consumer complaints or feedback until the following season. I expect that Season Two will find its way, hone in on a tone that the filmmakers are confident with, and finally lock into the epic storyline from Ennis’ source material. My only fear is that it’s too late and that the audience is gone, leaving me and the other hardcore fanboys as the only viewers.

I wish Jesse could use Genesis to get people to watch…

Categories: Horror News

Opeth Stream Title Track From ‘Sorceress’

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:44

In mid-June, we reported that Swedish progressive rock/metal band Opeth had signed to Nuclear Blast for distribution of their 12th studio album Sorceress, the follow-up to 2014’s Pale Communion. Today, the band has released a stream of the title track, which you can hear below, courtesy of Rolling Stone.

Related: The Horror of Opeth: 10 Examples of Nightmarish Lyrics

The opening lick sounds, to me, like a slower, stripped down version of “The Devil’s Orchard”, which appeared on Heritage. Also, there’s no doubt that this album continues their trend of embracing the prog rock sounds of the 70’s. Instead of distortion, the guitars have a far more fuzzy sound and there is an overall warmth that feels very organic. Would I rather have something far more aggressive and vicious? I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. However, I’m still digging this.

If you click the above link, you can read an interesting interview with frontman Mikael Akerfeldt.

Sorceress comes out September 30th. You can pre-order it via Nuclear Blast or digitally via Amazon (digital pre-orders are available starting tomorrow).

Categories: Horror News

[Fantasia Review] ‘Fury of the Demon’: Film History Meets Occult Conspiracy Theory

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:36

At the dawn of the 20th century, film pioneer Georges Melies created a staggering body of work (over 500 films), all while pushing the limits of the infant format. He pioneered special effects trickery, including time lapse, film splicing, and superimposition and pretty much everyone, film lover or not, is familiar with the iconic image of the spaceship crashed into the literal face of the moon.

Melies may be best known for that film, but he’s also credited as the creator of the horror film. So yeah, a pretty big deal for readers of this site. With his films The House of the Devil (1896), The Cave of the Demons (1898), and The Devil in a Convent (1900), Melies ushered in a new format for delivering nightmares. The House of the Devil (also known as The Haunted Castle and The Devil’s Castle) is cited as the first horror film ever. Though hundreds of his films are now lost, Melies is truly the grandfather of the horror film. Not bad for a show salesman turned magician working in a new format that at the time was considered a passing fad.

One of Melies’ most notorious lost films is La Rage Du Demon, which only screened a handful of times – all to disastrous results. Well, that’s what Fabien Delage’s new documentary, La Rage Du Demon, will have you believe. Over the course of an hour, film scholars, critics, filmmakers (including High Tension director Alexandre Aja), and even Melies’ great-great-granddaughter Pauline talk about this infamous film and the horrific effects it had on anyone in the audience.

The film, thought lost for decades, was discovered in an archive warehouse and taken possession by reclusive print collector Edgar Allan Wallace. He screened it for a select few in France in 2012 and shortly into the film, chaos ensued. The collection of scholars, critics, and socialites present turned violent. Employees at the museum where it was screened barged into the room – only to see the nightmarish images flashing on the screen and turn rabid themselves. Eyewitnesses explain to Delage how everyone was trying to kill each other. Some barely made it out alive.

Similar documented incidents are described – one in 1939 and another in 1897, when La Rage Du Demon was first screened for an audience. Three people died in the ensuing anarchy of that initial screening.

Of course, none of this actually happened and La Rage Du Demon doesn’t actually exist. But like Melies, Delage has a few tricks up his sleeve. His documentary is part film history course, part playful mockumentary, and part love letter to the early days of innovative film experimentation done by Melies and his colleagues.

The concept of a film having violent effects on its audience will sound familiar to those who’ve seen John Carpenter’s Masters of Horror episode, Cigarette Burns. It goes back further than that though, back to the lore surrounding the first screening of The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station, the Lumiere Brothers’ infamous 1895 short film of a train plowing towards the camera. Allegedly, the audience went into a panic in fear of being run over by the train. A few years after that, the premiere of Stravinsky’s avant-garde ballet “The Rite of Spring” sent theater-goers into an uproar and near riot.

The interviewees in Delage’s film are a great mix of deadly sincere, enthusiastic, and scholarly. The information they deliver can get repetitive – never a good thing in a movie only an hour long. But things spice up when the film begins to explore the subversive side of cinema – mixing occult celluloid conspiracy theories with science and folklore. Then speculation begins that Melies didn’t make the film at all, but one of his protégés – a sinister, devil-worshipping sadist.

Clocking in at an hour, La Rage Du Demon is a breezy, entertaining watch that cinephiles and horror hounds will particularly dig. The film had its North American premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival and we’ll keep you updated on a proper release!

The film screened at the ongoing Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.

Categories: Horror News

Just How Tall IS the King of Monsters in ‘Godzilla: Resurgence’?

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 11:30

Back in September of 2015, we reported that Toho’s Shin Gojira, now known as Godzilla: Resurgence, would be bringing the largest version of the King of Monsters that the silver screen had witnessed. To really drive home that point and show just how tall our favorite lizard is, GMANonScified has created an infographic that shows each incarnation next to each other so that you can easily see the scale and magnitude. You can check it out below.

An unknown accident occurs in Tokyo Bay’s Aqua Line, which causes an emergency cabinet to assemble. All of the sudden, a giant creature immediately appears, destroying town after town with its landing reaching the capital. This mysterious giant monster is named “Godzilla”.

Godzilla: Resurgence, the 29th Toho entry in the franchise, will be hitting theaters in Japan on July 29th. It is co-directed by Hideaki Anno (Evangelion) and Shinji Higuchi (Attack on Titan). Anno has written the script.

The cast includes Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, Satomi Ishihara, Rando Yaguchi, and Ren Osugi. FUNimation secured the rights to release the film in the Americas. They are planning a late 2016 theatrical release for the United States.

Categories: Horror News

New Anthology Strikes “Minutes Past Midnight”

Mon, 08/01/2016 - 09:38

One of my favourite events while living in Toronto was the “Little Terrors” monthly short film event series playing at various rep houses in the city.  Having a chance to watch a mammoth chunk of macabre short films outside of regular festival season was a dark delight.  Now the cream from five years of programming is making the jump to home entertainment with the first wave of films landing under the banner of “Minutes Past Midnight”.  Here’s the scoop from the press release along with the trailer to get you ready for the October release.

Fresh from Fantasia Film Festival’s latest Frontieres Co-Production Market, five companies have joined forces to release a series of anthology feature films curated from the long-running Toronto-based short film festival LITTLE TERRORS. The first release, titled ‘Minutes Past Midnight’, is set for a limited theatrical release in early October, followed by North American VOD on October 18th, then DVD on February 7th, 2017. Each release will feature high-quality genre short films curated from the hundreds of selections exhibited by Little Terrors over their previous 5 years of operation, and scouted from festivals worldwide. The series is the brain-child of Little Terrors founder Justin McConnell, and Indiecan Entertainment’s Avi Federgreen. The first release ‘Minutes Past Midnight’ features 9 stories from directors Robert Boocheck, Lee Cronin, Francisco Sonic Kim, Ryan Lightbourn, Marc Martinez Jordan, Kevin McTurk, James Moran, Christian Rivers, and Sid Zanforlin. The anthologies, produced by Indiecan, Unstable Ground and Rue Morgue Magazine, will be released in the US in partnership between Uncork’d Entertainment and Indiecan Entertainment, while Indiecan and Raven Banner Releasing will cooperate in Canada. Further international sales will be represented by Raven Banner Entertainment. The deal was negotiated between Keith Leopard of Uncork’d, Rodrigo Gudino and Dave Alexander of Rue Morgue, Michael Paszt and James Fler at Raven Banner, Indiecan’s Avi Federgreen, and Unstable Ground’s Justin McConnell.

Categories: Horror News

What Horror Movie Coming Out This Year Are You Most Excited For?

Sun, 07/31/2016 - 15:12

We’re well over halfway through 2016 and we’ve seen some truly incredible horror movies get released. We were haunted by The Witch, terrified by The Conjuring 2, feared the dark in Lights Out, and faced paranoia in 10 Cloverfield Lane, on top of several other memorable films come out.

But while it’s always fun to remember the past, it’s just as important to find excitement in the future. So let’s start talking about some upcoming horror films and see which one has you most excited!

Below is a list of several movies that will be released in the coming months. I may have missed a few, so feel free to write them in the comments and then people can upvote that particular film just like they can upvote in the below gallery.

Have fun and we can’t wait to see what’s got your attention!

Categories: Horror News

Jason Eisener Adapting ‘New York City Outlaws’!

Sat, 07/30/2016 - 14:05

Canadian filmmaker Jason Eisener is a special talent.

After breaking onto the scene with his legendary holiday short, “Treevenge,” he became a horror name with his indie Hobo With a Shotgun.

While he’s not directing on the reg (he did helm the fantastic V/H/S/2 segment, “Alien Abduction Slumber Party/Abduction”), he’s all over the place in the horror genre. Not only is he one of the editors on Southbound, but he’s also executive producer on Turbo Kid and even second unit director on Netflix’s Death Note, which reteams him with director Adam Wingard.

His next directing gig, however, will be an adaptation of Robert Huszar and Ken Landgraf’s comic New York City Outlaws, EW reports.

The movie concerns a group of vigilantes who join forces to rescue NYC from total anarchy during a prolonged police strike.

New York City Outlaws is written by Bryan Connolly and Zack Carlson, host of Vice’s cult film show, Outsider. The movie is produced by Rhombus Media, whose credits include the just-released Ellen Page-starring Into the Forest and director Brandon Cronenberg’s 2012 film Antiviral. (Rhombus also announced this week that it will produce Cronenberg’s second film, Possessor, about a secretive organization that uses brain-implant technology to inhabit other people’s bodies, ultimately driving them to commit assassinations for high-paying clients.)

Categories: Horror News

HBO Sets “Westworld” For October Premiere

Sat, 07/30/2016 - 13:56

Entertainment is useless unless there’s some sort of social commentary, with the best of writers being able to look past what’s presently relevant.

Right now we’re in the beginning of the virtual realty boom, which means a lot of commentary on the excitement and danger of this “reality.” But what is beyond this new tech?

The writers behind HBO’s “Westworld” have taken Michael Crichton’s 1973 classic and upgraded it to give us a look into the future of theme parks, where you can live out a fantasy. Yes, it’s in the vein of Total Recall, among other dystopian classics, but couldn’t be more socially relevant than it is now.

And the trailer, well, it’s phenomenal.

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.”

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Categories: Horror News

A House is Just a House…Unless it’s ‘The Amityville Terror’ (Trailer & Poster Premiere)

Sat, 07/30/2016 - 12:06

Don’t you hate it when you buy a house at a seemingly alarmingly good deal only to find out that it’s haunted and you’re pretty much screwed? Such is the case with The Amityville Terror, the brand new entry in the mythology of the Amityville Horror. Below, we’ve got a first look at the film’s trailer and its poster.

When a new family moves to an old house in Amityville, they are tormented and tortured by an evil spirit living in their house, and trapped by the malicious townspeople who want to keep them there.

The film stars Nicole Tompkins, Kaiwi Lyman, Kim Nielsen, Amanda Barton, and Tonya Kay.

Directed by Michael Angelo, written by Amanda Barton, and produced by Justin Jones, Zeus Zamani and Philip Day, The Amityville Terror comes out on digital platforms August 2nd via Uncork’d Entertainment.

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Categories: Horror News

The Cast and Crew of “Stranger Things” Got Scared By a Prank

Sat, 07/30/2016 - 10:30

Okay, so we’re all kinda obsessed with Netflix’s mystery thriller series “Stranger Things“, which is why we’ve been giving it a ton of love. But if you’ve seen the show, you probably understand where we’re coming from. It’s charming, spooky, nostalgic, and simply delightful. Whether it’s the incredible fan art that the show has produced, music groups/artists that remind us of the original score, or all the easter eggs scattered throughout, the show has captured our imagination…and our love.

That’s why it’s so charming to see the cast and crew, such as the Duffer Brothers, Millie Brown, Finn Wolfhard, and more, of the show being “interviewed” only to have their heads messed with as strange and uncanny events begin happening around them. First the radio plays by itself and then the lights begin flickering, but all that is just the beginning. Probably the coolest part is when the wall actually starts bending inwards, which looks absolutely fantastic.

But if you think that these “interviews” were just for the cast and crew, you’re sorely mistaken. They also conned several people who were at the premiere of the first two episodes into partaking in the interview process only to have the pants scared off of them!

Check out the prank videos below.

Categories: Horror News

‘System Shock’ Kickstarter Ends With $1.35M

Sat, 07/30/2016 - 10:00

Night Dive Studios has wrapped up its tremendously successful crowdfunding campaign, which the developer launched on Kickstarter in order to fund a remake of the 1994 survival horror game System Shock. I’m fairly certain that SHODAN isn’t capable of experiencing or understanding the spectrum of human emotion, and that’s too bad, because this bit of news could’ve introduced her to some of the better ones. That’s alright, this is an achievement for humanity.

The $1,350,700 that was raised in the first round — there will be another, and I hope they call it the Hacker Backer campaign — was enough to unlock the campaign’s first three stretch goals, unlocking support for Mac, Linux and Razer Chroma, as well as French, Italian, German, and Spanish language support. We can also look forward to additional locations, new crew members, and an expanded narrative.

With this, Night Dive Studios has successfully reignited our interest in the decades-old System Shock series, and that’s obviously going to be hugely beneficial for the remake when it arrives in late 2017. It’s also equally fantastic for System Shock 3, which is currently being developed by OtherSide Entertainment.

And here’s a message from the digital goddess herself:

Is anyone else suddenly worried we done goof’d?

Categories: Horror News

Steam VR Weekend Sale Scares Up Some Deals

Sat, 07/30/2016 - 09:00

As far as I know, no Steam sale has ever exclusively featured virtual reality games, until now, with the new Steam VR Weekend Sale. The support is nice to see, even if I don’t have an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive to take advantage of it. If you do, then you’ll to want to have a look at these discounts, including an enormous bundle of 20 VR games — mostly for the HTC Vive — for $251.42 (reg. $368.80).

I sifted through the full list of nearly 200 deals for the spookiest ones, which you can find in the list below, separated by the VR platform they each support. The sale ends on Monday at 1PM ET.

Oculus Rift and HTC Vive:
Albino Lullaby: Episode 1 for $6.69 (reg. $9.99)
Euclidean for $3.74 (reg. $4.99)
The Visitor for $0.89 (reg. $0.99)
Insane Decay of Mind for $1.49 (reg. $2.99)
City Z for $2.99 (reg. $5.99)
Caffeinefor $9.99 (reg. $19.99)

Only Oculus Rift:
The Town of Light for $12.34 (reg. $18.99)
Monstrum for $4.49 (reg. $17.99)
Boogeyman for $3.19 (reg. $7.99)
Amidgala for $3.59 (reg. $5.99)

Only HTC Vive:
The Brookhaven Experiment for $14.99 (reg. $19.99)
A Chair in a Room: Greenwater for $19.99 (reg. $24.99)
IrreVRsible for $5.39 (reg. $5.99)
Armed Against the Undead for $14.99 (reg. $19.99)
HordeZ for $13.59 (reg. $15.99)

Head over here for the full list of deals.

Categories: Horror News

Twisted Music Video of the Week Vol. 242: Neon Trees “Everybody Talks”

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 17:30

You know what I’ve never done? I’ve never gone to see a movie at a drive-in theater. I know that might seem sacrilegious to some but there aren’t any that are too close to me, so making a trip out of it just never seemed to happen. It’s something I really want to do, that’s for sure, but with them slowly dying out, it’s becoming more and more of a pipe dream.

That’s why I really love this video from Neon Trees. Sure, the song was overplayed beyond belief upon release but the video still deserves its place on here. Why, you might ask? Because it’s a love letter not only to horror movies that play at drive-in theaters but also horror movies that take place at drive-in theaters!

Give it a view below and you’ll see what I mean!

Categories: Horror News

[Special Report] Fede Alvarez on the Terror of ‘Don’t Breathe’

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 17:00

In 2013, Fede Alvarez dared to face the horror world with Evil Dead, the reboot/continuation film that dared to tackle one of genre’s most beloved franchises. For many, the thought of someone other than Sam Raimi crafting a new entry was almost as sacrilegious as the Necronomicon itself. However, Alvarez prevailed and released a film that stunned audiences, bringing a film that not only did the original material justice but also stood proudly and strongly on its own merits.

In one month, Alvarez will return to theaters with Don’t Breathe, which by all accounts is yet another masterpiece from the Uruguayan director. Our own Trace Thurman stated that it was, “one of the most tense viewing experiences I’ve ever had.

When I was in Budapest visiting the set of the film, I got the chance to interview Alvarez about the film. Head on down to learn more about the film but be warned that there will be spoilers.

Make sure to check out yesterday’s set visit report!

Don’t Breathe opens on August 26th.

We were coming back from Comic-Con…with Rodo [Sayagues], a writer on ‘Evil Dead’ and on [‘Don’t Breathe’], and many, many things we did in the past,” he states, explaining where the idea for the movie came from. “We wanted to do something that was very, very, very, very suspenseful. That was what we really wanted to do. And we started thinking: what is one of the things that creates a lot of suspense? For me, and this is regardless of the genre or what kind of movie it is, is really when you have some character walking in someone else’s domain. We are so precious about our private space and our house, and we all have this fantasy of what if somebody walks into your house?

The story had two interesting inspirations that people might not necessarily think of. The first was when Alvarez saw The Lovely Bones and witnessed audiences jumping in their seats during a home invasion scene. At first, he didn’t understand, stating, “I’m like, “Why are people terrified? This is not a horror movie at all.” But it’s just the concept of walking into someone else’s domain, because you are under their rules.

Additionally, Alvarez’s own roots came into play. “I come from Uruguay. And in Uruguay crime has quite a problem. And I’ve always been fascinated by stories that you hear when they were breaking into someone’s house, and the things that happen, the things they do…” he disclosed.

In my set visit, I explained that I live near Detroit, so I know how diverse the city is in terms of its urban landscape. Some areas are perfectly safe to walk throughout while there are others that you couldn’t pay me to step foot in. Alvarez explains that his friendship with Sam Raimi helped form a better idea of how Don’t Breathe needed to be created to reflect the city.

Part of the reason why I knew Detroit was because I spent some time with Sam while he was shooting Oz in Detroit. So I had a chance to go there and spend some days with him. And I got to know the city a little bit. I had the chance to talk to a lot of people over there and kind of get to know the character a little bit, because the mentality of some of the guys from that generation is pretty unique and pretty particular.

In fact, that friendship is the reason why Don’t Breathe is set in the Motor City. Says Alvarez, “But it’s not a coincidence that we are doing it in Detroit. I guess the Raimi factor played that way because I was there because of Oz. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been in Detroit. I wouldn’t know Detroit. I don’t think I would write a story in a city that I’ve never been to.

Many people who saw the trailer and read the synopsis came to the conclusion that the film was inspired by the 1967 thriller Wait Until Dark, which starred Audrey Hepburn as a blind woman whose home is invaded by criminals. However, it might come as a surprise that this movie had completely passed Alvarez by until he spoke with his mother.

‘Wait Until Dark’ is a movie that I hadn’t seen. And when my mother asked me what I was doing, I told her the new story, and she was like, “Oh. It’s like Wait Until Dark in reverse.” I was like, “What?” She goes, “This Audrey Hepburn movie. She was nominated for an Oscar for it.” I was like, “Fuck? What’s that thing?” And I went and watched it. But I didn’t know about it,” he professed.

But what was interesting was that didn’t dissuade him in anyway way. In fact, it only got him more excited for the project as he felt he was bringing something new, something fresh to the table. “But when I saw that it just got me more excited, because, of course, it’s a completely different story, but the opportunities of how you tell suspense when you have a blind character is great. In that movie she happens to be the poor victim that is invaded by this villain. Here it kinda works in a different way.

Alvarez is adamant that his intentions with Don’t Breathe are pure and that he in fact had to fight passionately to get this movie made.

Believe me, what I’ve been in Hollywood so far, I’m really trying to stay away from just jumping into other people’s movies and trying to make my own. The challenge is of course you have to go and you have to convince someone to finance your movie or a studio to put it out there. You better go and tell them something that at least sounds like it hasn’t been seen before. That is a big challenge.

Don’t Breathe is the second time Alvarez and Levy have worked together, although it almost didn’t happen.

When I finished the script she was the first one to read it. …Then by the time we started casting the movie, when it was a go, she was busy with another project and she wasn’t available. So we went through the casting process and I was looking for someone. But I guess I always was looking for kind of Jane and she wasn’t available. So towards the end I remember being frustrated with the process and like, “Shit. I want to find that girl.” I think she puts a picture on her Instagram, I think. She was in San Francisco. I was like, “Aren’t you supposed to be making a movie?” And I called her and she was like, “No, that movie didn’t happen.” I was like, “Do you want to come to Budapest and make a movie?” It was like, “Fuck yeah! Let’s do it!” And she flew over like next week.

His draw to Levy is in her ability to play diverse roles, even within the same character. Speaking of her performance in Evil Dead, Avalarez states, “I love the strong female characters. I think she did a great job in Evil Dead of playing that character. At the same time, most of the movie she was a monster, right? And then eventually she became the hero in quite a strange storytelling twist.

Much as how she played almost two wildly different people in the same body in Evil Dead, so too is that present in “Rocky”, Levy’s character in Don’t Breathe“.

At first she’s not that strong in this movie either. She has an abusive mother. She lived quite a shitty life. And part of the reason why she wants to break into the house is to kind of break free from all that. I guess that’s a pretty unique characteristic that not everybody can play to be fragile in one moment, because in some points in the movie, as you see in the teaser, you really feel like she’s a fragile young girl and she can turn it on and then suddenly she’s quite badass. I just love to see that. And she’s awesome at doing that. That’s why she’s playing the role.

As for his favorite character in the film, Alvarez admits that it’s Stephen Lang’s “The Blind Man”. “When we started thinking about cast we started thinking about, “Who is the guy who can pull that off?” As soon as somebody named Stephen Lang it was like, “Oh, fuck yeah.”” Alvarez excitedly commented.

I think he was born to play this role, honestly, every day when I see him, because there’s not very much…I can’t think of a lot of actors that are in his 60’s that will be able to play frail and their age and, again, be able to play so fierce and so strong. Also, it’s a guy that played many military roles in the past, but they are always from a very strong place. So it was nice to take his eyes away and see how he was going to deal with things. So it’s just someone that knows what it is to be a military guy and suddenly been confined to this life and this house by himself alone.

The director really wants to drive home the point that there aren’t really any heroes nor are there any villains in this movie. It’s all a matter of perspective. That being said, “I think people will connect so much with him, because among all the characters, I believe he is the one that has the biggest ordeal ahead of him in the story, the biggest challenge. He’s the underdog at first in the story. Bit by bit he will show that he has…like I said, he’s pretty resourceful.

Turning away from Don’t Breathe for a moment, Alvarez opened up about the idea of working on a Marvel-esque project, something he seems to have absolutely zero interest in.

Look. A lot of those movies are cool and audiences are going and watching them. It’s just as a director it’s harder to have your vision in those. They’ve figured out the style. They’ve figured out the way they shoot them. They’ve figured out the colors, the humor. What would I do? I enjoy a lot more freedom than that. I don’t know. Eventually I might. And it depends on probably the characters in the stories. But just something about my job as a director that I really enjoy is creating my own thing. It’s trying to do my own style when I shoot it and set the tone myself, those kinds of things.

But even in the sea of seemingly mass manufactured offerings, Alvarez still finds joy and originality in recent horror films, saying that It Follows, which also stars Don’t Breathe‘s Daniel Zovatto, was a favorite of his.

But it was a lot of nostalgia for me just because of the score and the John Carpenter style of it all. And just the premise was brilliant, I think. It was just so specific and so scary as an idea and something that taps into something that we all have, that social anxiety of seeing someone that you think is looking at us. “Is that person coming at me right now?”

One of the big questions that will become a big talking point surrounding this film is whether or not it’s horror. While many can say that it directly falls under that umbrella, there are others who will claim it fit squarely into the thriller mold. Alvarez wavers between both.

I think it’s more of a thriller…It’s somewhere in between. It’s definitely somewhere in between because it has horror elements. There are aspects it’s pretty classical,” he explains, stating that he and Lang often found themselves returning to Psycho as inspiration and guidance.

‘Psycho’ is horror, right? Is it still horror today? Half of the movie is Marion Crane trying to get away with some money that she stole. It’s a plot that seems to be about that. And Norman Bates is nowhere to be seen and it has nothing to do with him. And eventually at the midpoint she stops at the wrong motel. Just the story takes a turn and everything that had to do with the money just goes to hell and it has nothing to do with that. In ‘Psycho’ it completely goes away. Here it doesn’t work that way.

Categories: Horror News

Sony’s ‘Flatliners’ Isn’t a Remake, It’s a Sequel

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 16:50

We’ve been reporting that Sony’s upcoming take on Flatliners was a remake, a brand new take on the original 1990 film. However, it turns out that this isn’t the case as word comes directly from Kiefer Sutherland, who starred in the original, that the film is, in fact, a sequel.

I play a professor at the medical university. It is never stated but it will probably be very clearly understood that I’m the same character I was in the original ‘Flatliners’ but that I have changed my name and I’ve done some things to move on from the experiments that we were doing in the original film,” Sutherland tells Metro.

Sutherland played Nelson Wright in the original film, a medical student who wanted to see what the afterlife held by allowing himself, and his partners, to be killed only to be resuscitated minutes afterwards.

I loved making the first film and when I was asked if I would be interested in taking part in this, it didn’t take more than a minute to say yes,” Sutherland excitedly tells the site.

The sequel will star James Norton, Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, Ellen Page and Kiersey Clemons and is being directed by Niels Arden Oplev.

Flatliners comes out August 18th, 2017.

Categories: Horror News

“The Exorcist” Art Has Its Head on Backwards

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 16:46

EW has the first art for FOX’s “The Exorcist” that shows a little girl with her head turned complete around. I think the tagline says it all: “There is a fate worse than death.”

Jeremy Slater, who penned the pilot, explained to the site that the series is not a remake of the famous film of the same name.

If you watch the pilot, you’ll see that we have some…homages to some of the famous moments [from the film]. You’ll see there’s a scene where they reference the original exorcisms in Georgetown.That’s our way of letting fans know that the story you love isn’t being written out of existence. [But] this is a new story with new characters that takes place in the same universe as the original film.

In an essence, “The Exorcist” is a sequel series, which is Hollywood’s new way of avoiding the “remake” moniker.

You can see tons of footage and read more about the series in our previous story out of the San Diego Comic-Con.

“The Exorcist” is set to debut on Friday, September 23rd from 9 to 10PM.

Categories: Horror News

They Sort of, Kind of Already Remade ‘Escape From New York’

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 16:37

A Paris appeals court has ruled that writer Luc Besson must pay more than $500,000 (450,000 euros) in damages to John Carpenter and rights holder StudioCanal for plagiarizing Carpenter’s 1981 classic Escape From New York when he made the 2012 film Lockout, Deadline reports. Agence France-Presse reported on the ruling today.

How long until this iMDB credit gets changed?

This comes after Besson had appealed an original ruling in the case last fall that ordered Besson, his EuropaCorp production company and Besson’s Lockout co-writers/directors Stephen St. Leger and James Mather to pay $95,000 (85,000 euros) to co-writer/director Carpenter, co-writer Nick Castle and StudioCanal.

In Lockout, Guy Pierce stars as a wrongly convicted man who is offered his freedom if he can rescue the U.S President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.

Escape From New York centers on Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), a soldier-turned-bank robber who is forced to rescue the U.S. President when his plane crash-lands in Manhattan which has become a giant maximum-security prison taken over by inmates.

Carpenter’s original lawsuit sought $2.4 million (2.2M euros), saying his movie was copied.

A Besson spokesman told AFP today they were “very surprised by the ruling, but the judges have spoken and we will accept their judgment.”

Surprised as they may be, the court has ruled it as a plagiarized story, which means Lockout is pretty much an unauthorized remake of Escape From New York.

Have any of you seen Lockout?

Categories: Horror News

[Review] Cheesy Fun is Guaranteed With ‘Big Bad’

Fri, 07/29/2016 - 15:06

There is a certain charm to independently produced low-budget monster movies, regardless of technical quality. Like the cinematic atrocities unleashed by Ed Wood in the 1950s, the conjoined efforts of a small team of filmmakers fighting against the odds to tell a story can be surprisingly endearing, no matter how bizarre the end product may seem. This, coupled with my general love for Werewolf movies made me enjoy Opie Cooper’s feature film debut, Big Bad, much more than I could possibly have anticipated.

Big Bad stars Ainsley Bailey, Cameron Deane Stewart and Madeline Thelton as Chase, Donny and Crystal, a group of unfortunate teenagers selected to spend the night in an old jailhouse for a school fundraiser. Once their chaperone, Mr. Howell, played by Daniel Dauphen, vanishes, the teens are left to fend for themselves against a vicious force of nature, possibly related to the creepy urban legends surrounding the jailhouse.

Naturally, the plot is standard enough for a full-moon B-movie romp, but the likeable characters are what really make Big Bad stand out. Despite certain high-school stereotypes, all the main characters are extremely charismatic and the viewer can’t help but root for them in their fight against the hairy beast that stalks the woods around them. This mostly makes up for small issues like the wonky pacing and tonally confusing script (it took me a while to get used to the balance of horror and comedy that Opie was going for).

Though the characters themselves were great, there were quite a few moments featuring sub-par acting and awkward line delivery. This can almost totally be excused by the film’s modest budget, but is definitely distracting at times. There was still some great chemistry between the main cast, and the film’s general feel reminded me of Robert Hall’s charming slasher, Laid to Rest, another independent horror movie that was light on budget but great on charm and character interaction, though this film is a lot less brutal.

Sadly, the movie’s titular “Big Bad” wasn’t very impressive once revealed in full costume. The monster’s design, though functional, wasn’t as memorable or terrifying as something from Dog Soldiers or Ginger Snaps. Again, this can mostly be excused by financial limitations (and also a humorous plot twist towards the end of the picture), but a new and exciting monster would have made this experience a lot more fun, not to mention scarier.

It’s quite clear that a lot of love went into making Big Bad, and that love wasn’t limited to Cooper himself. While the film undoubtedly has its fair share of flaws, be they a few cheap visuals here and there, or the peculiar script, it’s hard not to admire the sheer tenacity of the filmmakers in getting this movie out there. I can’t honestly recommend it as an amazing piece of film, but it’ll be sure to entertain anyone with even a passing interest in the cheesy monster movies of old. This is one of those films where the flaws only make it more lovable.

Big Bad will be available on VOD on August 23rd.

Categories: Horror News