This week, Don and Justin talk The Maze Runner and the Tokyo Game Show (“Resident Evil: Revelations” and REmake, in particular), how well “Destiny” holds up two weeks later, and Don’s late the the party (as usual) to “The Last of Us: Remastered.” What other surprises lie in wait? Stay tuned and find out!
Meet the freaks of FX’s upcoming “American Horror Story: Freak Show” in these character portraits!
It begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952.
“A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.“
Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, and Evan Peters return from previous seasons. New cast members includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Matt Bomer, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.
FX is set to debut the fourth season on October 8th at 10:00 PM on FX.
We now have the first teaser art for Uncaged, which has first time feature director Daniel Robbins behind the wheel. The film was shot in New York and features Gene Jones (No Country For Old Men, The Sacrament).
In the film, “After several nights of waking up in the woods, a troubled teen straps a camera to himself to document how he’s getting there, only to find some things are better left a mystery…” Similar to Sinister, the film is said to marry found-footage with a more traditional shooting style.
Producer Raphael Margules on the project, “One of the great things about Contracted’s success was it gave us the opportunity to help out talented friends we wanted to see making movies. Daniel Robbins may not be a household name in the genre right now, but we think this film should showcase a new and exciting voice to the public.”
We also learned that they have contracted Brooke & Will Blair (aka the Blair Brothers) to compose the score for Uncaged. Their previous films include Blue Ruin and Murder Party.
And you thought the Easter Bunny in Bogus Journey was freaky…
Check out this ridiculous and awesome art for the horror comedy Beaster Day: Here Comes PeterCottonHell.
From Uncork’d Entertainment, we also have the trailer for the crowd-sourced splatterfest that arrives this fall on home video.
The film is written and directed by The Snygg Brothers (Zachary & Spencer), and stars Peter Sullivan, Marisol Custodio, John Fedele, Jon Arthur, Bill Joachim, Darian Caine, AJ Khan, Kerri Taylor, Jackie Stevens, Autumn Bodell, and Violetta Storms.
Hide your eggs!! Deep in the woods, there stalks a giant killer mutant Easter Bunny. Unsatisfied with nibbling on grass, he craves, chews lives on human flesh. Rock climbers, hitchhikers, and NUDISTS alike all end up in his jaws as he devours everyone in his way. One by one the townsfolk are consumed by the evil hare, but he still remains a mystery to most of the habitants.
Knowing that a flesh eating giant rabbit might affect tourism a bit and the upcoming Easter Day corporate sponsored parade, the corrupt mayor quietly covers up the deaths hoping to rake in as much cash as he can for the Easter Day celebrations. The mayor tells the townsfolk that there is nothing to fear from the horrific decapitations and intestine removals. The deaths are all accidental demises due to hazardous farm tool equipment.
The only people left to save the town are a crazed dog catcher and a want-to-be actress who dreams of being a poet, painter or anything other than a dog catcher. Will they win? And how many more NAKED MODELS have to DYE?!?
4 Days. 10 movies. 2 alternate cuts.
The Shape consumed my life.
I just binge-viewed the complete Halloween collection, although it’s not exactly “complete”. One of the biggest detriments to the massive set, out tomorrow through Scream Factory and Anchor Bay, is that it only contains the Director’s Cut of both Rob Zombie’s Halloween (review) and his Halloween II (review). Both versions are painfully too long, especially the remake, which I couldn’t help but fast-forward through. But that’s a small complaint about an otherwise epic set.
While some people enjoy overly complex packaging, I’m all about simplicity and what it will look like on my shelf. The packaging is nice and clean, displaying all of the titles in individual cases so you can easily grab the film you want to watch. The black Blu-ray cases are a beautiful touch, and give it a unique and distinctive feel. It also comes with a full-color book with a brief history of Halloween and Michael Myers. While the Blu-ray and DVD menus are a bit clunky, the transfers look crazy good, although I hardly consider myself an expert in film and audio quality.
Speaking to the actual films, this isn’t a review of the box set, but a sort of play-by-play of my thought process while binge viewing all ten films in a row, 12 if you count the Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers and the television version of John Carpenter’s Halloween.
This was a special experience for me – being someone who rarely revisits films, and previously had a hard time deciphering the order in which I rank the ten films. There’s a lot of positive to binging, especially because the movies are all paired, except for Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the only sans Michael Myers films in the franchise (and also one of the best sequels). The first two, directed by John Carpenter and Rick Rosenthal, respectively, play back to back.
Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and The Curse of Michael Myers all connect together as a trilogy to tell the (much-hated) tale of the curse/cult of the Thorn. The seventh film, Halloween H20, was an anniversary film of sorts, that rekindled the franchise with star Jamie Lee Curtis. H20 is connected to Halloween: Resurrection, mostly because of the opening sequence where Laurie Strode finally dies (and both feel hilariously of that time period).
Lastly, you have the paired Rob Zombie re-imaginings that were to start the franchise free of the Thorn abomination. Still, after binging, I was able to conclude that the mythology behind Zombie’s Michael Myers is way worse than cult of Thorn. More on that later. In short, watching them in a row is a great way to pick up on the small things you may have otherwise missed, especially in the bloated and complex Thorn trilogy.
What I found most interesting while revisiting John Carpenter’s 1978 Halloween is recognizing the true power of the score and accompanying stinger. I often wonder how powerful the movie would have been without this simple, yet impactful touch? It’s sort of incredible how perfectly the stars aligned for this little indie; from the score to the title, the Shape mask, and cast, it’s actually the perfect horror movie, which is probably why it’s still so extraordinarily popular (not that you needed me to tell you that.)
It’s also interesting that, considering how awesome the Shape mask is, that nearly no sequel was able to duplicate its simplistic terror. My favorite thing to do when I watch a classic is put my mind in the time period that it was released. Remembering that Halloween was a true indie production, with no plans for a sequel, makes it that much better. And in regards to the backstory, the lack of motivation for Michael’s killing spree makes it all the more terrifying; Halloween is basically a movie about an unrelenting psychopath murdering babysitters for no other reason than he’s a nut job. Objectified as “the boogeyman,” it’s also frightening that Michael can’t be reasoned with. Loomis’ passionate fear of Michael elevates Michael’s true onscreen power. The more Loomis describes Michael as a “monster,” the scarier he becomes to the audience.
I also noticed for the first time that Carpenter’s blocking is out of this world. Some incredible moments of note are: The shot of Michael in the background sitting up; the various moody atmospheric crane shot of the streets of Haddonfield (actually Pasadena, CA); the shot of Michael pinning a kid to a wall with his blade, and then looking at him like an intrigued child might stare at something brand new. There is just so much ferocity and power to Halloween that, after this viewing, I may be convinced that it’s the best horror movie ever made.
The television version of the first film, which boasts another 10 minutes of footage, was shot prior to the filming of Halloween II, and contains various scenes in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium with Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) and a young Michael Myers. There’s a lot of mythology dumps in these scenes, including the tease that Michael wants his “sister”, as painted with blood on a door. In retrospect it’s fun to watch, but it’s also a bit on the nose and cheesy; thank god this wasn’t actually in the original Halloween.
With Carpenter’s 1981 Halloween II, the coolest aspect is that it begins immediately after the events of the first, while it also adds the heavy mythology of Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) actually being Michael’s sister.
With the sequel, Rick Rosenthal displays some of my favorite camerawork in the entire franchise, especially of the shot of Michael appearing out of shadows for a kill. And as much as I love the film, there’s a lot of weird stuff, such as Donald Pleasence’s extreme over-reacting, and the town’s mishandling of the whole Michael Myers situation (in one scene, a kid wearing the same mask as Michael gets hit by an incompetent police officer. The car smashes into a van, explodes, and kills the kid. They realize it isn’t him and run off to pursue Michael, leaving the kid pinned to the van and burning alive). One of my biggest issues is the finite finale that was meant to end the franchise. Even worse is the (awful) extended ending, which was smartly removed. In my mind I always loved Halloween II, but after a week of binging it has slid down my list quite a bit. For what? How about Season of the Witch…
It’s nothing short of amazing how many horror fans hate the 1982 Season of the Witch. They’re wrong. Dead wrong. It gets such a bad rap, but it’s easily one of the best in the entire franchise, if not the second behind Carpenter’s original. From the catchy Silver Shamrock theme song to the wonderfully designed sets, props and Halloween consumes/masks, Witch wonderfully captures the essence of early 80′s horror. Even without Michael Myers slicing and dicing, you can tell a lot of work went into creating an interesting story that could deliver on its Halloween premise, potentially setting up a franchise in the spirit of “The Twilight Zone”. Frankly, I think the anthology concept would have been a better direction that the upcoming Thorn arc, but clearly fans demanded the return of Michael (I can only imagine what it was like to have caught the movie in theaters and expected to see Michael back on the big screen). A return is what they would get.
I think it’s safe to say most Halloween fans hate the Cult of Thorn subplot, but I’ve now learned to love it. Maybe it’s because I already know it’s beyond stupid, or maybe it’s because I just don’t care anymore, but whatever the case may be, I sort of dig it now. I think what I really like is the filmmakers’ commitment to the over-explanation of Michael’s motive, which begins in the 1988 The Return of Michael Myers. From the Cult constellation symbol to the “Man In Black,” The Return of Michael Myers and Revenge of Michael Myers both technically know where the franchise is headed. I commend their commitment, even if it dampers and weakens the motivation behind the Myers murder spree. If you watch these three, and then go back to the first knowing he’s just a puppet, well, that sucks. As stand alone trilogy, there’s a lot to like.
Danielle Harris is really one of the main reasons Return and Revenge are good movies, and it’s really a shame she wasn’t in Curse, which Akkad admits was a mistake (in a short extra features interview). One of the biggest issues is that, if you weren’t to watch these three back-to-back-to-back, Curse is massively confusing. By the sixth film, there are so many family connections to Michael that it begins to play out like a Benny Hill act. It is fun, however, to put your mind at the time of release, and understand that fans were extraordinarily pissed off that Michael wasn’t in Season of the Witch. You get to understand why the films are taken in the direction that they are; even the trailer is fun to watch as it boasts Michael’s legendary return.
Something I really dug about the 1989 Revenge of Michael Myers was that it was surprisingly well directed (by Dominique Othenin-Girard), even if the pacing was absolute shit. The party sequence feels like an eternity and it takes forever for the finale to get going. And speaking of the finale, I absolutely love how Return, Revenge and Curse are so perfectly strung together; whether it’s true or not, it really does feel as if the filmmakers knew exactly what the end game was from the beginning of Return.
The biggest selling point of this box set, however, is the Producer’s Cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. As to really be able to pick which I prefer, I watched both Curse and its Producer’s Cut back-to-back. In the end, I choose both; I wish the Producer’s Cut had extreme gore from the theatrical version (edit*), while I prefer the conclusion of the Producer’s cut (Michael standing in a circle of rocks). The endings of both are extremely flaccid, although the Producer’s Cut is more fulfilling, even if Michael Myers just stands there in a circle of rocks like an idiot (see accompanying pic). It was also interesting to see Loomis handed the curse, which could have been the beginning of an entirely new journey had he not passed away. The biggest issue with both versions is that Michael stops becoming the central character in the franchise, which now becomes about a bunch of old people wearing stupid hoods. Accepting that these sequels exist, and having moved past my hatred for the over-elongated backstory, I sort of enjoy them now.
After staying dead for nearly a decade, Michael Myers returned in Halloween H20, along with her sister, Laurie Strode (and franchise star Jamie Lee Curtis). I still love H20, even though it takes more than an hour to get going. From the score (Bush!) to the bland, bright cinematography, it’s such a product of the 90′s. The best thing about this sequel is when Laurie finally stops fearing Michael and in turn hunts him down. Revisiting all of these years later, I now feel as if the cat and mouse game doesn’t hold up, and that it needed a stronger third act. Also, one of the more bizarre decisions made with H20 was to have the entire school on holiday, which gives the film a stage-y/empty vibe. It’s not until the ambulances and police show up that it starts to have the feel of believability, only by then it’s basically over.
Watching this I had a flashback of rage. I remember seeing H20 in a theater and getting super pissed off. When Michael gets decapitated, the audience chattered, “He’s finally dead!” It was even more infuriating when Halloween: Resurrection opened with a ridiculous explanation pandering to faux fans as to how Michael “placed” another person into his infamous jumpsuit, crushed his vocal cords, and escaped. The one saving grace is that Michael has done “clever” rouses like the aforementioned on more than one occasion in the previous sequels. I guess it’s not so far-fetched, as much as it was irritating that the audience didn’t really understand the character they had just watched – probably for the first time ever.
Halloween: Resurrection is surprisingly one of the more violent sequels (until Rob Zombie comes along), and is also extremely well shot. The opening riffs on Scream, killing off Laurie Strode once and for all, and setting the stage for a techno-slasher way ahead of its time.
Resurrection, much like H20, is grossly a product of its time. It’s also bizarrely smart, tapping into found-footage and internet tropes. I love what they do with the multiple Michael Myers’, and remote viewing of the events taking place in the house. Both are used pretty well to fool the audience, and at times create some suspense. But the problem isn’t the concept, it’s in the execution and stunt casting. The entire film falls apart on the shoulders of Tyra Banks and the insufferable Busta Rhymes (the worst character since Billy). He’s constant (“Trick or treat mother fucker“). He’s nonstop. He’s obnoxious (“Looking a little crispy over there Mikey, like some chicken fried mother fucker.“). And worst of all, he’s not funny. Busta Rhymes’ performance will go down in history as one of the worst ever in a horror film. I could feel the franchise dying with each and every line of improved dialogue spewed from his moronic breathe.
And maybe that’s what happened. Maybe the franchise was dead, at least for a while. If you can get past Busta, the saddest thing about Resurrection is that it leaves a sequel door open, one that would never be returned to. John Carpenter’s entire franchise has no real conclusion (unless of course you want to pretend his 1981 Halloween II was the true finale), and ends with a Busta Rhymes monologue that’s the equivalent to having someone pin you down and shit all over your face.
Busta Rhymes is the end of the Halloween saga. Think about that for a second…
I couldn’t stop obsessing about the Cult of Thorn arc while I watch watching Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. The biggest issue with the Thorn trilogy is that it ruins/destroys any fear the audience once had for Myers. The “blackest of eyes” – this soulless killer – is actually a dog on a leash, and that sucks. It’s essentially the same mistake Zombie makes by trying to add a deep-seeded meaning behind Michael’s madness.
Michael’s not just a psychopath – as Loomis keeps screaming through two Rob Zombie films – he’s a murderer molded by the abuse and neglect of his family. Michael was created by nurture, not nature – his dad’s a deadbeat, his mom’s too busy stripping to take him trick-or-treating, much like his older sister would rather fuck (a super ugly dude) than hang out with him. “Love Hurts” blasts across the screen because, well, Michael is a sad, sad boy. Cry me a fuckin’ river, I said in my review. Humanizing Michael is the biggest mistake ever made in the franchise. Even worse than the Cult of Thorn. What’s even more interesting is how Zombie works feverishly to give you a reason for Michael’s madness, even though the movie literally opens with him killing an animal. Him being evil – or “born bad” so to speak – is plenty (it was enough for Carpenter) reason for someone to become a mass murderer.
After seeing Rob Zombie’s reboot twice during its theatrical run, I swore I would never watch it again – but this wouldn’t be an epic binge-viewing party if I didn’t revisit this shit-fest as well. It was so tedious that I had to fast forward through some of the second act because I was losing my mind. I have reassured myself that I hate this movie as I nearly pulled the Blu-ray out of my Xbox drive just to crack it in half to avoid further temptation. The saddest thing about this muddled mess is that Michael Myers looks fuckin’ awesome, and I loved the concept of him making various masks, but ultimately it’s not fun to watch. In fact, it’s agonizing.
This is where I shake an old-man angry fist at Anchor Bay and Scream Factory, who have NOT released the complete collection. What’s missing are the theatrical cuts of both Rob Zombie’s Halloween films. These versions are shorter and way better, in my opinion. I prefer the theatrical ending of the remake to what’s on this bloated director’s cut mess. The same applied for Zombie’s Halloween II, which runs about 30 minutes too long.
Thankfully – and I know this will shock a lot of you – I love H2. I mean, I really, really, really fuckin’ love it. It’s madness caught on film. It’s pure insanity that felt like Rob Zombie’s “fuck you” to everyone who ever stood in his way. The Halloween franchise is bizarrely not as bloody as I recall – that is until Zombie gets his hands on it. H2 is an earthquake of terror and gore, and is completely unapologetic. It’s clear that Zombie, as much as he denies it, listened to critics. And while the final product is by no means a perfect movie, it’s one that (so far) stands the test of time.
The above is how I felt after watching 12 Halloween movies in 4 days, although it was nothing short of horror nirvana. With the films looking so fucking good on my TV, the experience had a rare “first time viewing” vibe. After all of these years, it was exciting to revisit some sequels I had thought I would have never watched again, and it took me back to a place in my youth where I would have waited in line for days to catch a new Halloween film – even if it were to star Busta Rhymes.
What Anchor Bay and Scream Factory have pulled off is a horror miracle, an experience that may very well be the last. Halloween 2014 should be known for the release of this epic Halloween collection, and each and every one of you should take the time to relish in its glory in any way you know how. While physical media may be dying a slow death, the power of Michael Myers is infinite, and he will return once again.
Bloody Disgusting reader ‘Cory G-M’ just tipped us over to Epoch Times who shared the following first teaser trailer for “Big Driver,” the latest Stephen King adaptation that stars the absolutely awesome Maria Bello.
“In Big Driver, Tess Thorne (Bello), a famous and revered mystery and thriller writer, faces a long drive home following a book-signing engagement. But while driving on a lonely stretch of New England road, her tire blows out, leaving her stranded. Relieved when another driver stops and offers assistance, Tess quickly discovers her savior is actually her assailant, a serial killer who repeatedly assaults her. Left for dead in a drainage pipe to rot with the bodies of his other victims, Tess escapes and makes her way safely home. With her fragile mind beginning to unravel, she is determined to find her rapist and seek revenge, as payback is the only thing holding her together.”
Olympia Dukakis, Joan Jett, Ann Dowd, and Will Harris also star.
The movie will air on October 18 at 8 p.m. EDT.
AMC shared a another TV spot and massive batch of zombie beauty shots for the fifth season of “The Walking Dead”, which premieres on Sunday, October 12 at 9:00pm ET/PT.
It stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chad Coleman, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira and Sonequa Martin-Green.
Season Four of “The Walking Dead” ended with Rick and the group outgunned, outnumbered, and trapped in a train car awaiting a grim fate. Season Five picks up shortly thereafter. What follows is a story that weaves the true motives of the people of Terminus with the hopeful prospect of a cure in Washington, D.C., the fate of the group’s lost comrades, as well as new locales, new conflicts, and new obstacles in keeping the group together and staying alive.
Stories will break apart and intersect. The characters will find love and hate. Peace and conflict. Contentment and terror. And, in the quest to find a permanent, safe place to call home, one question will haunt them… After all they’ve seen, all they’ve done, all they’ve sacrificed, lost, and held on to no matter what the cost…Who do they become?
It is based on the comic created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard.
Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
Bigfoot has leftovers in this bloody new still from Exists, the new found-footage movie from the co-director of The Blair Witch Project and V/H/S/2.
Exists will be discovered on various VOD platforms and limited theaters on October 24.
In Bigfoot’s bold return to the big screen, “five friends on a camping weekend in the remote woods of East Texas struggle to survive against a legendary predator that is stronger, smarter, and more terrifying than anything they would have ever believed exists.”
The film stars Chris Osborn, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards, Samuel Davis, Denise Williamson and Brian Steele and is produced by Jane Fleming, Mark Ordesky, Robin Cowie and J. Andrew Jenkins.
Here’s a new look at Vin Diesel as 13th century Kaulder…
Diesel has shared two new looks at himself in Lionsgate/Summit’s The Last Witch Hunter, which is in production under the direction of The Crazies helmer Breck Eisner.
Diesel leads the fantasy actioner as an immortal witch hunter who teams with his natural enemy, a witch, to stop the covens of New York City from unleashing a plague on humanity. Julie Engelbrecht plays the Witch Queen.
Michael Caine, Elijah Wood, and Rose Leslie also star.
Summit will release in 2015.
“Five hundred years ago, war raged between humankind and witches, vicious supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world. Armies of witch hunters battled the unnatural enemy across the globe, including KAULDER (Vin Diesel), a valiant warrior who managed to slay an all-powerful QUEEN WITCH, decimating her followers in the process. In the moments before her death, the Queen exacted her revenge by cursing Kaulder with immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Kaulder has spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones.
Today, he is the only one of his kind–the last witch hunter. With the help of FATHER DOLAN, a Catholic priest, and a mystical arsenal hidden beneath New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he continues to pursue the renegades and outlaws who endanger humanity. Chief among their adversaries is BELIAL, a powerful rebel witch who Kaulder believes has found a way to restore the Queen Witch to power and reignite her campaign to destroy the human world.
With the help of CHLOE, a goodhearted young witch, Kaulder sets out to stop Belial before he can set his plan in motion, but allies in unexpected places keep the evil witch one step ahead in a cunning cat-and-mouse pursuit that will determine the survival of the human race.”
We broke the news on the first sequel to the remake, and also exclusive word back in April that I Spit On Your Grave 3 was being pre-sold at the Cannes market.
While CineTel Films had yet to hire a writer or director, they had committed to a third round of rape-reveng. The third film, our sources told us, will focus on a serial killer that uses a crisis hotline to target rapists. One of the counselor’s has a dark past, which sends Detectives sniffing in her direction — but is she the killer they’re looking for?
But now Dread Central is reporting that Camille Keaton, who played Jennifer in Meir Zarchi’s 1978 cult classic I Spit on Your Grave (Day of the Woman), will be starring in the next film titled I Spit on Your Grave – Deja-vu.
In more interesting news, it is an actual sequel written by Zarchi that shares characters as well as continuity with his original 1978 cult classic. Chad Ferrin and Terry Zarchi are producing with Meir once again directing.
Here’s the official plot crunch:
Following her rape, Jennifer Hills wrote a best-selling account of her ordeal and of the controversial trial in which she was accused of taking the law into her own hands and brutally killing her assailants. In the small town where the rape and revenge took place, the relatives of the four rapists she killed are furious that the court declared her not guilty and resolve to take justice into their own hands.
The 2010 Steven R. Monroe-directed I Spit on Your Grave was a shockingly good remake of the 1978 classic. Monroe rushed out a sequel last year that was a huge disappointment.
Bennett Slater has created a stunning piece of art that is inspired by John Carpenter’s The Thing. The 20×20 oil on wood piece is titled “I Know I’m Human” and features a skull made of flesh hovering over the infamous ice crater. The flesh skull is actually bits and pieces of the various creatures that appear in the film, according to Slater.
For my piece, I tackled John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. The references in this one were a real treat to do. By the nature of the story, the creature’s form is constantly evolving and absorbing the organisms it has mimicked. I therefore tried to include as many as I could, while still maintaining the bigger picture, so to speak.
See the full piece below and if you happen to have $800 laying around, you can snag the print here.
Alt-rock outfit Puscifer have released an official music video for the track “Toma!”, which comes from 2011′s fantastic Conditions Of My Parole (review). The video, which was directed by Tim Cadiente and stars Clifton Collins Jr. (Pacific Rim, Hellbenders), dives into the world of amateur luchador wrestling, courtesy of “The Flying Caliente Brothers”. Check it out down yonder!
Reviewed by Jay Hawkinson
Throw a pre-teen scout troop in the woods and tell them of a werewolf legend. What’s the worst that could happen? That’s the premise in Cub (Welp), the latest feature film by Belgian director Jonas Govaerts that filled the first midnight slot at Fantastic Fest. Don’t want to set inflated expectations, but this movie is an optimal midnighter; fast paced and entertaining, with enough scares to stay awake. Yeah, Cub is a bloody good time.
The werewolf is merely a ruse perpetuated by the older scout masters to scare the boys before their trip begins, which sets up an amusing callback after they reach their campsite. One of the scouts, Sam (Maurice Luijten), never buys the story. Sam knows the truth behind the myth is really the masked wild child called “Kai” living in the forest (as introduced in the prologue). Parentless, Sam is the outcast of the bunch; his obsession with Kai makes him an easy target to be bullied and teased by the other scouts. Sam is both voyeur and explorer, confused and conflicted over his place in the world. He views the camping excursion as a way to escape. Escape and find Kai.
Kai remains the true mystery of the movie. Living in a giant tree nest he’s more thief than beast but his constant growls, crippled gait and wooden mask make him menacing. Yet Kai is only the signpost to the evils lurking within the woods. The forest is laden with elaborate and deadly traps, a huge mousetrap, constructed in “Collector”-like fashion (one of these traps is revealed in the opening chase sequence). Who or what is creating these Rube Goldberg-like devices is the next question. Cub doesn’t waste any time by placing this group of 12 year-old boys and their three scoutmasters into this scenario before killing begins.
The film never shies away from what it is… a summer camp slasher. Cub borrows and repurposes several horror tropes when the bodies start piling up including picking up a token female character in an otherwise all male cast. However, it’s what the movie does with them that makes it exciting. Also, the pounding synth score gives additional juice to the terror. A little surprising the Cub scout pack hasn’t been used more often since it is so ideal for the easy setup. Greydon Clark’s 1980 sci-fi horror flick Without Warning only teases the idea but none have crafted an entire film around it until now. Cub delivers on that.
Following the slasher template, Cub is deliberately slow through the first half hour only providing the occasional hint of what’s to come. It’s when Sam and Kai finally meet that movie really turns up the intensity and the blood starts flowing. Shades of Lord of the Flies are cast over the characters as the film builds momentum. Worth noting there is a sequence of animal violence that may be tough to endure. Shows how far Govaerts is willing to take his characters as they transform. Familiar ground for sure but enough spice sprinkled in to keep it fresh.
Cub does not reinvent the subgenre but definitely punctuates it quite nicely, shining a light on what makes slasher flicks enjoyable. Kinetic and brutal, gory and graphic with comedic beats in-between. While not totally perfect, Cub gets a lot of things right having plenty fun along the way. Definitely recommended.
Some movies are meant to be seen once and then never seen again. They’re either so bad that you avoid them like the plague or they’re the type of film that never leaves you and yet you never want to revisit (I’m looking at you, A Serbian Film).
But then there are movies that are just insane amounts of fun, the ones that you can’t wait to own so you can watch it over and over again. These are the movies that I like to stock up my collection with, the films that I can put on and not get sick and tired of, ever.
I’ve got a very small selection of films that I simply adore watching time and time again that I wanted to share with you. After you’ve checked out my choices, do me a favor and let me know the films that you can watch endlessly!
Chicago pop rock band Common Shiner have released perhaps the most horror icon-filled music video I’ve ever seen AND made it actually super entertaining at the same time! In their slasher romance video for “Social Mediasochist”, which was directed by Zoran Gvojic of LowCarbComedy, a teenage Jason Voorhees and his pal Freddy Krueger, who attend Wes Craven’s Slasher High School, try to get Jason hooked up with the school beauty, who is seemingly the only “normal” person in the whole video.
It’s just one horror reference after another, with “cameos” from Jigsaw, Candyman, Leatherface, Pinhead, Leprechaun, and a whole slew of other familiar faces! There are also several scenes that are direct references to the scenes from the original films as well, such as Leatherface slamming the door shut after Jason gets pulled into a room.
“Social Mediasochist” comes from the band’s album Before They Sold Out Pt. 2, which you can snag on Bandcamp.
Invada Records and Milan Records have teamed up to bring the soundtrack to 2003′s incredible revenge thriller Oldboy, which was composed by Cho Young-Wuk, to limited vinyl. The album will come out November 18th with Invada releasing an orange edition in Europe and Milan releasing a red edition for North America. Both come with a download card.
The album artwork was done by Laurent Durieux, while Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn served as executive producer on the project, overseeing the packaging.
Invada Records’ Redg Weeks told FACT:
…it’s not everyday you get invited to release a soundtrack to one of the most important films of the past 15 years. I had actually gone to ridiculous lengths to buy the CD of this a few years ago. I had to pay over the odds as it was extremely hard to get on UK soil.
To be invited by Milan Records to co-release an LP of one of the greatest and hard hitting scores I’ve ever heard is a massive privilege and a huge honour.
Below is the full artwork as well as a stream of three tracks from the album.
The last handful of years haven’t treated some of gaming’s greatest horror franchises very well. Resident Evil lost its way a few times, Left 4 Dead 3 has been MIA, Dead Space and Alan Wake were put on hiatus — soon to be joined by F.E.A.R. — and until recently, Silent Hill was largely assumed dead. Looking at all that, you would think horror was fading into obscurity again.
Thankfully, that’s not the case.
Indie horror is healthier than ever, bolstered by several high profile releases like The Forest, Slender: The Arrival and Outlast as well as a number of upcoming games that are all worth getting excited about. We’ve begin to see this renewed interest affect AAA horror, starting with the imminent arrivals of Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within next month. That’s just the beginning. We have a veritable horde coming next year.
If my guide to the remaining horror games of 2014 left you wanting, this (working) list of releases the genre has in store for us in 2015 should remedy that.
If you don’t mind being broken down over and over again by a game with a thoroughly unforgiving nature that goes a long way in making the occasional victory all the sweeter. Bloodborne promises to be as challenging as the Dark Souls series that inspired it, only now that winning formula has been injected with a dose of horror.
Release Date: February 6, 2015
This past January, Magrunner: Dark Pulse developer Frogwares revealed their plan to make a new Call of Cthulhu. Since then, the game has kept unusually quiet. After the cancellation of the two sequels that were planned to follow Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and the state of limbo that Guillermo Del Toro’s InSane has found itself in, I’m wondering if there isn’t some sort of curse that’s been put on any developer that tries to create a game based on or inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
Release Date: TBA 2015
PC gamers have been able to experience the wonders of getting robbed by strangers at gunpoint over cans of beans for what feels like ages. Soon, PS4 owners will have the opportunity to experience that same joy.
Release Date: TBA 2015
With Spec Ops: The Line developer Yager taking the reigns, I have faith they’ll be able to elevate this troubled series. Between its renewed focus on humor, over-the-top action and vibrant environments, Dead Island 2 is already doing a lot right.
Release Date: Spring 2015
After several delays, Doom is coming. We might not have seen it yet, but there’s plenty of folks who have. If id Software’s refusal to place it under the scrutinizing eye of the Internet is any indication of its quality, this may end up being a 2016 release.
Release Date: TBA 2015
The day before Halloween, indie developer Red Thread Games decided to give us something scary to look forward to with Draugen, a survival horror game that feels like Gone Home meets Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It’s set on the Norwegian west coast, so you can be sure it’s going to look ridiculously good.
Release Date: TBA 2015
With Dead Island 2 in the hands of a new developer, Techland was left with some free time and a love for the undead. Rather than try something entirely new, the team is working on improving the foundation they created with the first Dead Island. The result is an incredibly ambitious game with a multiplayer that’s been seamlessly woven into the experience.
And parkour. Lots of parkour.
Release Date: January 27, 2015
This game bums me out. Part of me takes solace in knowing this beloved survival horror franchise isn’t being entirely neglected, but most of me is too busy being frustrated to notice. If ever there was a time to release a quality horror game like this to the world — not just Japan — it’s now. The only reason this game is here is because I hope Nintendo just hasn’t gotten around to mentioning an international release yet.
Release Date: September 27, 2014 (Japan) / Possible 2015 release elsewhere
Originally announced as a last-gen console release, Techland gave us a substantial reason to be pumped for Hellraid when they confirmed it had been delayed to give them time to rebuild the game in a new engine for current-gen consoles. The new-and-improved Hellraid brings together the combat of Skyrim with the brutality of Dead Island, complete with a dark fantasy setting and tons of hellish monsters to battle.
Release Date: TBA 2015
Tripwire Interactive hasn’t mentioned an ETA for the sequel to their hit cooperative horror game Killing Floor. When I saw it in action last month, it looked like the game was pretty far along. The mechanics are in and the gore is top notch, but multiplayer games require a lot of tweaking to get the balance right, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Killing Floor 2 arrives early next year.
Release Date: TBA 2015
Kodoku looks like a series of nightmares that were induced by a particularly bad acid trip. I have no idea what’s going on, but I like it.
Release Date: TBA 2015
Despite being a fan of Suda 51′s wacky work and the worlds he’s created, I haven’t seen enough to get me enthusiastic about Let it Die. It could be a twisted ride that showers us with the blood spilled from our mostly naked enemies, or it could be shallow and use its copious amount of violence as a gimmick. We’ll have to wait and see!
Release Date: TBA 2015
I have two theories to explain why Capcom is re-releasing the Resident Evil remake. I’ve already gone into great detail on the first theory, but I haven’t even mentioned the other. My second theory revolves around the idea that Capcom is fully aware of our desire for a Resident Evil 2 remake, which they’ll get around to doing, but not before they every other Resident Evil first.
Release Date: Early 2015
Not long after Capcom announced they’d be remastering the GameCube remake, they also revealed a sequel to Revelations. Their decision to build on a spin-off that’s widely considered to be one of the best Resident Evil games of the last decade. We know it will be delivered episodically, feature offline co-op, is set on a prison island and stars Claire Redfield and Moira Burton — Barry Burton’s daughter.
Release Date: Early 2015
Last October, Amnesia developer Frictional Games started teasing their next project, the freaky looking horror game SOMA. Here we are a year later and the game is significantly less mysterious than it was back then. Even still, I can’t help but wonder if we’ve only scratched the surface. SOMA looks like a mystery wrapped in an enigma that’s been slathered in gore, modified corpses and face-eating robots.
Release Date: Early 2015
State of Decay is one of the better zombie-themed video games we’ve been gifted with lately, and it’s undead hordes are slated to shamble onto the Xbox One in the near future. Other than the still glaring lack of co-op, what’s not to love about that?
Release Date: Early 2015
The Order: 1886 is set in Victorian era London and follows an ancient order of soldiers with steampunk weapons and gadgets, and their ongoing war with human “half-breeds”, or werewolves. If that doesn’t have you sufficiently excited, I don’t know what will.
Release Date: February 20, 2015
After going silent for a while, Sony re-revealed developer Supermassive Games’ teen slasher Until Dawn. It’s been improved in every way possible, including a complete reworking of the original script to make it exponentially more terrifying. This game has a lot of promise, and if it’s successful, it could pave the way for more games like it.
Release Date: TBA 2015
Remember, this is a working list. 2015 is still a ways off and the unpredictable and always-changing nature of video games means a lot of the above will change, probably more than once, in the coming months. If I missed something, feel free to let me know in the comments.
“[Interwebz TROLL Simulator] is more of an art piece than a game, and I know most people won’t play it more than 2-3 times after playing it once.”
Michael Patrick Rogers is one hell of an intense guy, and his newest game — or ‘game’? — is directed at what most people consider to be the bottom-feeders of the online community: internet trolls. “I decided to make the game a troll itself,” he said, “but about important issues and more of a political satire, like the political cartoons that they used to have in the newspaper when I was growing up.”
The maker of last year’s infinitely weird experiment, The Lady, is back with a different sort of project. Interwebz TROLL Simulator has players interact on a message board, of sorts. There is no goal, no winning, no achievement that is readily noticeable.
To be honest, it’s kind of strange that an article about this game is even ending up on a horror site. Other than some pentagrams and a soundtrack straight out of Liquid Television, there isn’t anything overtly horrific about Interwebz TROLL Simulator. It is a representation of the darkness of the internet, but it isn’t actually the darkness itself.
For that reason, the game is underwhelming. It is not the mixture of 8mm and S&man I expected, and the content isn’t varied enough to bring players back. Rogers said, “I think there are over 100 comments and 50 something user names, with about 10 Twitter links,” adding, “the game was made on a $0 budget with someone I made another free game with, and it was basically made in one weekend.”
Still, there is something oddly declarative and clear-eyed about this game’s purpose. Players log in as User and choose one of four troll ‘classes’ before being taken to message board of sorts in order to unleash his or her inner troll. They will be privy to a variety of ignorant and politically-charged invective. It’s almost like a second-tier NES game you might have picked out at the video store if Tiger Heli and Monster Party had been rented.
It doesn’t draft information from what users type, though that was my initial impression, and it doesn’t actually contain the most offensive content I’ve seen, something I halfway expected. It seemed like Interwebz TROLL Simulator should be the end-all, be-all of user-created trolling content. But the content in no way makes it onto the internet, nor is it saved internally for use on later users who log in and play. It is the antithesis of trolling, which is to unsettle as many or as few people as possible from behind a gilded curtain of anonymity.
The game sort of trolls the user. It isn’t what players would expect, so it is kind of trolling the player’s expectations. And it matters not which class the player chooses; the content is fairly similar, in terms of hatred and ignorance. It’s a really weird experience.
I’m not saying play Interwebz TROLL Simulator. I’m also not saying don’t play it for a little while, either. It didn’t change the way I think about gaming the way that more pointed deconstructions of gaming have, but I do think it’s cool that we’ve reached a point that really personal things can exist and be seen, even to undercut the industry to which they belong.
The game is available exclusively at Indie Game Stand, and players can pick it up for the price of $1.00, currently at a 99% discount.
To help prepare us for the imminent release of Alien: Isolation in a few short weeks, Sega has been releasing a stream of vignettes so we know what we’re in for. The message each of these videos aims to convey is one of hopelessness. You can’t escape what’s hunting you, guns won’t be much help, and it’s in your best interest not to anger that lone xeno.
We already knew that vents can serve as a hiding spot for Amanda Ripley, but as this video proves, they also serve as a means for that nasty alien to ambush you.
Alien: Isolation is slated to arrive on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 7.
Bethesda has released a fresh batch of screenshots from Shinji Mikami’s The Evil Within, and this time they’re all about the game’s variety of unnerving environments — a room filled with animal carcasses on hooks is never a good thing — rather than its impressive cast of monsters.
I don’t know about you, but I am so looking forward to painting every one of them red with the blood of every monster that’s dumb enough to get in my way.
The Evil Within hits PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 14.