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This May Be Our First Look At ‘Alien: Isolation’ On PS3

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 18:13

I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that Alien: Isolation is just over a week away. It looks terrifying, and much of that stems from the alarmingly intelligent antagonist xenomorph that hunts poor Ripley — along with a few other baddies — with the determination that only a perfectly evolved hunter could possess. Visuals also play an important role, but it’s clear Isolation is no slouch in that area — at least not on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Anyone who’s planning on grabbing the last-gen version knows the game they’ll be playing will look inferior to its current-gen siblings, but will that graphical sacrifice be substantial enough to have any real negative impact on it?

Video Gamer spotted some screenshots that had been republished from a Russian forum by the fan site AVP Galaxy. They’re supposedly from the PS3 version of the game, and while there’s certainly a noticeable difference, they’re not too bad.

Honestly, while I can appreciate a gorgeous-looking video game as much as the next guy, I’m more interested in whether or not the last-gen versions of Alien: Isolation will have any impact on the incredibly complex AI of its alien antagonist.

I’ve reached out to SEGA to see if they’d be willing to confirm or deny their legitimacy. Until I hear back, it goes without saying that because these aren’t official — though they look legit — we’ll have to wait and see.

Alien: Isolation arrives on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 7.

Categories: Horror News

‘F.E.A.R. Online’ Goes Live On Steam This October

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 17:37

I can’t say with any real certainty that we’ll ever see another F.E.A.R. sequel, but at least we’re getting something. That something is Aeria Games’ free-to-play installment in the long-running horror shooter series called F.E.A.R. Online, which they’ve just confirmed will be joining October’s already very impressive arsenal of horror releases.

They also revealed the minimum and recommended specs for the game. Between F.E.A.R. Online, Alien: Isolation, The Evil Within, Dying Light, and the inevitable release of specs for the torrent of other horror games we have on the way, I’ll eventually have to find out what all this means.

Minimum:

OS: Windows XP SP2
Processor: Pentium IV 3.2GHz
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce 6600GT 512MB
Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Sound Support

Recommended:

OS: Windows 7 (32bit/64bit)
Processor: Dual Core 2.4 GHz
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce 8600GT 1GB
Hard Drive: 10 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX Sound Support

Oh, and if you’d like to get in on the beta, you can register here.

Categories: Horror News

2D Horror ‘Noct’ Greenlit on Steam After Successful Kickstarter

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 17:03

It’s nothing but good news for the developer of the 2D indie horror game Noct. Last week, their crowdfunding campaign ended after raising $36,363 (CAD) — well over it’s modest $22,000 goal. A few days later, the game was greenlit on Steam.

As for what this unusual game is all about, a synopsis on its Kickstarter page calls it a 2D top-down multiplayer survival horror game set in a post-apocalyptic world that features arcade style combat and elements of survival RPGs.

Noct looks the way it does because the entire game is played through the camera of a thermal imaging satellite. It will also feature procedurally generated levels, so you’ll never know when that big ass spider thing will go full Kool-Aid Man and bust through a wall to impregnate you with its mutant spiderling babies. Or something like that.

I’m not sure how this uniquely stylish horror game managed to fly under my radar for so long, but now that I’m aware of it, I’ll be keeping a close eye on it from now on. It’s currently planned to release on PC and Mac, with a Linux version also in the works. No word on a console release.

Categories: Horror News

‘The Forest’ Can Be As Bizarre As it is Terrifying

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 16:05

I’d say that roughly 99% of the time, The Forest is a terrifying game. You’re alone on an unfamiliar island that’s brimming with cannibal tribes people — and assorted Silent Hill-esque creatures — leaving it up to you to survive. Creativity, strategy, and resourcefulness are all required in order to survive. But as horrific as its world is, the fact that it’s still very much a work in progress means there are all sorts of hilarious bugs you’ll likely come across.

I’ve gone through the archive of screenshots taken from the community. These aren’t official, but they’re all great in different ways. Enjoy.

And finally, a screen no one wants to see…

You can find more screens and footage captured by the community over here.

Categories: Horror News

David Arquette and Lili Simmons Join ‘Bone Tomahawk’

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:32

Lili Simmons (pictured below; “True Detective”, “Banshee”) joins as the female lead, with David Arquette (pictured above; Scream, The Tripper), Sid Haig (The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1,000 Corpses), Kathryn Morris (“Cold Case”), and Evan Jonigkeit (“Girls”) also set to star in the Caliber Media production of writer-director S. Craig Zahler’s brutally violent Western Bone Tomahawk, sources tell Bloody Disgusting.

In Bone Tomahawk, “four men attempt to rescue a group of captives from a band of cannibalistic troglodytes that live beyond the edge of civilization.

Simmons will play “Samantha O’Dwyer”, the de facto doctor of Bright Hope and the dedicated wife to Patrick Wilson’s “Arthur O’Dwyer.” Arquette and Haig play a couple of filthy brigands whose actions set off a string of violent repercussions. Morris will play the wife to Kurt Russell’s “Sheriff Hunt” and Jonigkeit will play a young deputy sheriff.

Sean Young (Blade Runner), Geno Segers (“Banshee”), Fred Melamed (A SERIOUS MAN), James Tolkan (Top Gun), Raw Leiba (The Heat), Jamie Hector (“The Wire”), Jamison Newlander (The Lost Boys), Zahn McClarnon (“Longmire”), David Midthunder, Jay Tavare, Gray Wolf Herrara, Robert Mukes, and Brandon Molale round out the cast.

These performers join the previously announced castings of Russell, Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins.

Categories: Horror News

LEGO ‘Doom’ Needs to Happen

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:30

There are a lot of video game franchises that I’d like to see adapted into LEGO sets, but after seeing this incredibly impressive creation by Iain Heath (aka Ochre Jelly), Doom has just climbed its way to the top of that list. This is just fantastic, and I don’t even mind that it’s infinitely superior to anything I made during the thousands of hours I undoubtedly spent messing around with those colorful bricks.

For more of Iain’s work, including more pictures like the ones above, check him out on Flickr.

Categories: Horror News

Make Your Choice: Will You See ‘Saw’ In Theaters? (Trailer)

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:26

If it’s Halloween it must be Saw.

We announced last month that Saw would be getting a limited theatrical re-release for this coming Halloween. Now, just hours after releasing a blood-red one-sheet to commemorate the film’s 10th anniversary, we also have the re-release trailer! Make your choice: will you be seeing Saw in theaters again?

The film will open on Friday, October 31st, with select screenings beginning Thursday night, October 30th. The seven Saw films grossed $874 million at the box office worldwide and were hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Successful Horror Franchise” of all time.

Saw was the first collaboration for co-creators James Wan, who directed the film, and Leigh Whannell, who wrote the screenplay. Together, they also created the successful Insidious franchise, and Wan has gone on to direct such high-profile films as The Conjuring.

Directed by Wan from a script penned by Whannell, Saw is a psychological thriller focusing on two men who wake up in a secure lair of a serial killer, with a dead body lying between them. The killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw,” leaves them tape recorded messages with details of how to make it out alive. The only way for one man to make it out alive is to do the unthinkable. The two men desperately try to find a way out, while also trying to figure out who’s behind their kidnapping.

The film, which was released over Halloween weekend on October 29, 2004, was produced by Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules, and Mark Burg.

Categories: Horror News

‘Annabelle’ Tries to Kill a Baby and Burn Down a House (Clips)

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:20

We just released a clip earlier this afternoon from Annabelle, New Line Cinema’s quasi-The Conjuring prequel haunting theaters October 3.

Now, we have two more, one in which the spirit of Annabelle tries to murder a baby, while the other she attempts to burn down the house. Man, she’s pissed.

John Form thinks he’s found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long.

On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now…Annabelle.

Annabelle reunites the filmmakers behind 2013’s hugely successful supernatural thriller The Conjuring. James Wan, director of the global hit, is producing Annabelle with Peter Safran. John R. Leonetti, who served as cinematographer on The Conjuring, is directing.

Annabelle Wallis (X-Men: First Class) and Ward Horton (The Wolf of Wall Street) star as the Forms. Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard (Cross Creek, Twelve Years a Slave) stars as Evelyn, a neighbor who owns a bookstore and is familiar with the occult. Rounding out the cast are Kerry O’Malley (TV’s “Those Who Kill) and Brian Howe (Devil’s Knot) as neighbors Sharon and Pete Higgins; Tony Amendola (TV’s “Once Upon A Time) as Father Perez; and Eric Ladin (TV’s “Boardwalk Empire,) as Detective Clarkin.

Categories: Horror News

BD Playlist: Zac Vol. 3

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:00

Our friendly and badass comic book editor Zac Thompson has put together another entry into the BD Playlist series, this time coming up with four bands that he’s been all about as of late. From dreamy pop to indie rock to the glory days of the 80′s, this list has a ton of interesting music to get you hyped up for this week!

Categories: Horror News

Would You Eat McDonald’s ‘Batman’ Burger?

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:59

Burger King released the demented all black burger, and now Hong Kong McDonald’s is calling on Batman for their latest promotion.

Now in McDonald’s overseas are new ‘Batman’ meals that include the pictured burger, squeeze cheese fries, and speaking green apple tea.

I think it looks mighty tasty, sans the big eggs on top. Still, there’s nothing that says ‘Batman’ like a cheeseburger, cheese fries and sparking green ties, am I wrong? If anything, this looks more like a Bane burger, a mess of food chemicals…

At least the black burger is, well, all black.

Photo: jc1593/imgur

Categories: Horror News

‘The Evil Within’ Trailer Thinks It’s a Movie

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:52

The latest trailer for The Evil Within would be right at home among the previews that play before the movie starts, with its gruff-voiced narrator guy who explains what’s going on in the freaky world Mikami and friends have created. Thankfully, the set-up is brief and we’re soon given new details regarding Sebastian’s arsenal of weapons and the myriad ways the environment can be used to escape more dangerous situations.

The Evil Within arrives on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 14.

Categories: Horror News

David Fincher’s ‘Star Wars’ Pitch and Bizarre Interpretation of the Original Trilogy!

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:49

It’s well known that David Fincher, who will see his Gone Girl in theaters this Friday, pitched Disney to get behind the camera for a new Star Wars trilogy.

In speaking with Total Film, he reveals the genesis of his pitch, which is extremely interesting.

His interpretation of the original Star Wars trilogy is that the films were told through the eyes of C-3PO and R2-D2, two robot slaves passed from master to master.

“I always thought of Star Wars as the story of two slaves [C-3PO and R2-D2] who go from owner to owner, witnessing their masters’ folly, the ultimate folly of man… I thought it was an interesting idea in the first two, but it’s kind of gone by Return Of The Jedi.”

I think this is the kind of “rethinking” Hollywood needs, and I’m not so sure JJ Abrams is able/willing to think that way anymore…

Categories: Horror News

‘Annabelle’ a Demon’s Evil Conduit (Clip)

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:40

New Line Cinema released a new clip from Annabelle, their quasi-The Conjuring prequel haunting theaters October 3.

In it we learn why the doll is seemingly possessed- because demons use objects as conduits.

John Form thinks he’s found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia—a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia’s delight with Annabelle doesn’t last long.

On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now…Annabelle.

Annabelle reunites the filmmakers behind 2013’s hugely successful supernatural thriller The Conjuring. James Wan, director of the global hit, is producing Annabelle with Peter Safran. John R. Leonetti, who served as cinematographer on The Conjuring, is directing.

Annabelle Wallis (X-Men: First Class) and Ward Horton (The Wolf of Wall Street) star as the Forms. Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard (Cross Creek, Twelve Years a Slave) stars as Evelyn, a neighbor who owns a bookstore and is familiar with the occult. Rounding out the cast are Kerry O’Malley (TV’s “Those Who Kill) and Brian Howe (Devil’s Knot) as neighbors Sharon and Pete Higgins; Tony Amendola (TV’s “Once Upon A Time) as Father Perez; and Eric Ladin (TV’s “Boardwalk Empire,) as Detective Clarkin.

Categories: Horror News

“iZOMBIE” Pilot Details How Liv Turns Undead…

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:34

“iZOMBIE” is a new one-hour drama co-created and executive produced by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright (“Veronica Mars”), along with executive producers Danielle Stokdyk and Dan Etheridge (also of “Veronica Mars”).

In it, Rose McIver (“Masters of Sex,” “Once Upon a Time”) stars as Olivia “Liv” Moore, a 25-year-old medical resident on the fast track to a perfect life … until she’s turned into a zombie.

Now stuck somewhere between half-alive and undead, Liv loses all traces of her former drive and ambition. She breaks off her engagement with charming soulmate Major, fearful of infecting him with her condition. She withdraws from her best friend and partner in overachievement, Peyton. And, perhaps most worrisome to her caring but overbearing mom, Eva, Liv transfers her medical residency to the city morgue in order to reluctantly access the only real form of sustenance left available to her — and the only thing that allows her to maintain her humanity — human brains.

But there are side effects to Liv’s new diet: With each brain Liv consumes, she experiences “visions” — flashes of the corpse’s memories — including, in some cases, clues as to how they were killed. Her boss, the brilliant but eccentric conspiracy theorist Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti, encourages her to embrace this gift and to work with an eager, unproven homicide detective, Clive Babineaux, to help solve these murders. In doing so, Liv finds a measure of peace, and a new sense of purpose in what her “life” has now become.

“iZOMBIE” is based upon characters created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, published by DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint.

Categories: Horror News

Brand New ‘Saw’ Poster Bleeds Red!

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:30

If it’s Halloween it must be Saw.

We announced last month that Saw would be getting a limited theatrical re-release for this coming Halloween. Now, a blood-red one-sheet has premiered to commemorate the film’s 10th anniversary!

The film will open on Friday, October 31st, with select screenings beginning Thursday night, October 30th. The seven Saw films grossed $874 million at the box office worldwide and were hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Most Successful Horror Franchise” of all time.

Saw was the first collaboration for co-creators James Wan, who directed the film, and Leigh Whannell, who wrote the screenplay. Together, they also created the successful Insidious franchise, and Wan has gone on to direct such high-profile films as The Conjuring.

Directed by Wan from a script penned by Whannell, Saw is a psychological thriller focusing on two men who wake up in a secure lair of a serial killer, with a dead body lying between them. The killer, nicknamed “Jigsaw,” leaves them tape recorded messages with details of how to make it out alive. The only way for one man to make it out alive is to do the unthinkable. The two men desperately try to find a way out, while also trying to figure out who’s behind their kidnapping.

The film, which was released over Halloween weekend on October 29, 2004, was produced by Gregg Hoffman, Oren Koules, and Mark Burg.

Categories: Horror News

Unboxing the ‘Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut’!

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:23

On October 28, the horror home entertainment brand Scream Factory, in collaboration with Morgan Creek Productions and Clive Barker’s Seraphim, Inc., will finally unleash the highly sought-after Director’s Cut of Clive Barker’s classic tale of terror, Nightbreed, which now has an unboxing video available. Go check out what the “Director’s Cut” looks like…

Boone (Craig Sheffer) may be a troubled young man, but his troubles are just beginning. Set up as the fall guy in a string of slasher murders, he decides he’ll hide by crossing the threshold that separates “us” from “them” and sneak into the forbidden subterranean realm of Midian. Boone will live among the monsters. Hellraiser creator Clive Barker writes (adapting his novel Cabal) and directs this vivid leap into horror that asks: in the battle of man vs. monster, who’s really the monster? The answer supplies flesh-crawling suspense, sudden fear, a colorful Danny Elfman score and a creepy array of shape-shifting beings. They are the Nightbreed, denizens of a world beyond death, beyond the imagination, perhaps beyond anything you’ve seen.

Written and directed by visionary filmmaker Clive Barker (creator of Hellraiser) and based on his popular novel “Cabal,” the cult-classic film, Nightbreed, stars Craig Sheffer (Hellraiser: Inferno), Anne Bobby (Born on the Fourth of July), David Cronenberg (Director, Eastern Promises) Charles Haid (Hill Street Blues) and features a soundtrack by award-winning composer Danny Elfman.

Final details on the two retail sets are as follows:

DVD & BLU-RAY COMBO SPECIAL EDITION SET
-New “Director’s Cut” presentation of the film which contains over 40 minutes of new and altered footage
-Introduction by writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller
-Audio Commentary by writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller
-Tribes of the Moon: The Making of Nightbreed featuring interviews with Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, Doug Bradley and more… (72 minutes)
-Making Monsters – interviews with makeup effects artists Bob Keen, Martin Mercer and Paul Jones (42 minutes)
-Fire! Fights! Stunts! 2nd Unit Shooting – an interview with Andy Armstrong (20 minutes)
-Original Theatrical Trailer

(1:78 Widescreen/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1/English Subtitles)

LIMITED EDITION 3-DISC BLU-RAY SET (10,000 Numbered Pieces)

DISC 1: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT
-New “Director’s Cut” presentation of the film which contains over 40 minutes of new and altered footage
-Introduction by writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller
-Audio Commentary by writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller
-Tribes of the Moon: The Making of Nightbreed featuring interviews with Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby, Doug Bradley and more… (72 minutes)
-Making Monsters – interviews with makeup effects artists Bob Keen, Martin Mercer and Paul Jones (42 minutes)
-Fire! Fights! Stunts! 2nd Unit Shooting – an interview with Andy Armstrong (20 minutes)
-Original Theatrical Trailer

(1:78 Widescreen/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1)

DISC 2: BONUS DISC
-Deleted and Alternate Scenes (approx. 20 minutes)
-Monster Prosthetics Master Class
-Cutting Compromise – an interview with editor Mark Goldblatt
-The Painted Landscape: The Concept Art of Ralph McQuarrie
-Matte Painting Tests
-Makeup Tests
-Stop Motion Lost Footage
-Extended Torture Scene
-Rehearsal of Boone’s dream
-Extensive Still Galleries – Early Sketches, Deleted Scene, Posters and Pre-Production art, On the Set, The Cast and Crew

DISC 3: THE THEATRICAL CUT
-New transfer from the inter-positive

(1:78 Widescreen/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/English Subtitles)

Categories: Horror News

Lionsgate Will ‘Speak No Evil’ This December

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:18

The latest possession film, Speak No Evil (read our review) arrives on DVD (plus Digital), Digital HD and On Demand December 2 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

After all of the children in a town become possessed by a demon, one woman will do whatever it takes to save her daughter.

When Anna’s daughter Joey goes missing, it’s assumed to be the result of bad parenting – but dark forces are suspected when every child in town also disappears. The children return but show signs of demonic possession, and proceed to attack the town. Forced to wage a violent campaign against the children, the townspeople go on a bloody rampage, but Anna refuses to believe her daughter is lost to the devil and will do whatever it takes to save her from the demon inside.

Categories: Horror News

“The Strain” Season Finale Looks to Drain a Lot of Blood (Trailer)

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:14

From Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, FX’s first season of “The Strain” is set to conclude next Sunday night. We have your first look at the season finale, in which Eph and Fet recon for an all-out assault that Setrakian assures them will finally kill the Master. Gus aligns himself with a strange new force, one that may swing the fight in an unforeseen direction.

I’ve enjoyed this inaugural season for the most part, although I way prefer the World War II arc as opposed to Corey Stoll running around New York with that silly wig. It’s also a bit Blade 2-sih, which I always found a bit odd. Anyways, the season finale looks to finally bring everything together, which always piques my interest in what’s to follow. Where do the writers take Season 2?

‘The Strain’ is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

“The Strain” stars Corey Stoll, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Roger Cross, Leslie Hope, Regina King, Robert Maillet, Lauren Lee Smith, Miguel Gomez, Kevin Durand, David Bradley, and Richard Sammel.

Categories: Horror News

[Exclusive Preview] “The Names” #2

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 13:59

“The Names” has been described as Kill Bill meets Wall Street and I honestly can’t think of a better way to describe it. It’s an action packed mystery that will leave you with so many questions you’ll feel compelled to press on. Peter Milligan made a staggeringly strong introduction last month with issue #1. He’s built an a scary world, where money rules everything, and Leandro Fernandez has created an imposing set of villains that are sure to get under your skin just as much as the mystery.

THE NAMES #2

Searching for the truth behind the mysterious death of her husband, Katya Walker is drawn into the dangerous, nightmarish world of the Names. Meanwhile, the psychopathic killer known as the Surgeon makes a new move, and we learn more about the bizarre creatures know as the Dark Loops.

Art by: Leandro Fernandez
Cover by: Celia Calle
Written by: Peter Milligan

 

Categories: Horror News

[Review] ‘Mockingbird’ is Incredibly Effective and Almost Unbearably Suspenseful

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 13:20

Disclosure:  I know a few people involved with this film and viewed it several months ago for reaction purposes. The review below, written at that time, remains my honest assessment of the piece. 

I recently had the opportunity to see Mockingbird, the upcoming Bryan Bertino film from Blumhouse and Universal. You’ll remember that Bertino wrote and directed The Strangers, one of the few mainstream horror successes of the past decade capable of instilling a gut-wrenching, prolonged sense of dread in its audience. Since then he’s been busy with writing and producing gigs, but I’ve been looking forward to his directorial followup for some time.

For a while I had been a little concerned that something had gone wrong. Mockingbird was shot in 2012 and I hadn’t heard much about it since then. Was it some kind of disaster? My fears were eased a little bit when I interviewed producer Jason Blum at SXSW, where he assured me that everyone was happy with the film and that it was more or less a matter of finding the right release date (Note: this date has been revealed as of publication). Still… sometimes it’s hard to stop worrying.

But now? All concern has been mitigated. Not only is Mockingbird not a disaster, it’s pretty much a f*cking knockout when it comes to suspense. While it’s most certainly a filmmaking exercise rather than a straightforward narrative, and lacks some of the studio polish of The Strangers, it actually feels bigger than that film in some regards. At times you’re aware of the experiment at hand, interweaving narrative threads à la Magnolia and Nashville within a found footage context, but it’s almost relentlessly gripping in a refreshingly cinematic manner. Despite even the found footage sub-genre.

In fact, the sub-genre is the only real stumbling block here in the sense that I feel like audiences would have been more primed for this film a year or two ago before the marketplace was glutted with inferior takes on the conceit. I know I’m generally sick of found footage features and you’re probably more than a little tired of them yourself. But my fatigue lasted all of 30 seconds into Mockingbird’s runtime, as the opening of the film more than gets your attention (and raises your blood pressure). After that there’s only a bare minimum of found footage tropes (and even those are healthily justified by the mid-90’s setting). Bertino understands that we don’t need to see every BBQ his characters ever attended to generate empathy for them. He just needs to put capable performers in unbearable situations and let us sweat things out by their side.

One of the things that makes the film work so well is the tone, and the tightrope act it pulls off in achieving it. Two of the three story threads are played out with unrelenting tension, while the third almost serves as comic relief… until you realize where things are heading. While Mockingbird doesn’t necessarily telegraph its ending, you get the feeling that things won’t be ending well and the result is like watching a car crash in slow motion. You can’t look away. So that third thread with a bit of comedy, a thread that would tonally derail most horror films, actually works as an asset towards the escalating sense of dread. And that dread is palpable. I’m mostly desensitized to the genre, but I could actually physically feel the toll of the prolonged suspense here.

Mockingbird’s ending doesn’t fully pay off that suspense. It works in a narrative sense, and it’s not bad by any means. It’s just a bit abrupt and is just “pretty good” while the rest of the film is “really great.” If the entirety of the piece is as intimate and prolonged as a stabbing, the resolution is as brisk as a gunshot. Still, there’s a nice button after you think everything’s been wrapped up that reminds you of the piece’s singularity and reclaims its bleak tone. Make some time for this film when it hits later this year and put aside your found footage fatigue for just one more night. You’ll be glad you did.

This film will be released on Digital HD on October 7th and will be available on DVD exclusively from Wal-Mart starting on October 21st. 

Categories: Horror News