Syndicate content
Your #1 Source For All Things Horror
Updated: 2 days 1 hour ago

“Criminal Macabre” Returns With “The Third Child”

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 13:12

After a brief hiatus from his most popular creator-owned work, Steve Niles is set to return to Cal McDonald and his world of horrific mysteries in “Criminal Macabre: The Third Child”.

From the press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PHOENIX, AZ —Steve Niles (Breath of Bones, 30 Days of Night) returns to his old haunt with a brand-new four-part miniseries: Criminal Macabre: The Third Child!

The Third Child, which directly follows Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein, will take readers into a dark place in a tale that only Steve Niles could tell, through Christopher Mitten’s fantastic artwork.

Cal’s changed . . . and maybe not for the better. Locked away and drowning himself with booze and aspirin, Cal feels the evil consuming him. Will he be able to withstand its pull or will he become the monster war’s greatest weapon of destruction?

Categories: Horror News

‘Blair Witch Project’ Producer To Adapt “Mandala” Comic

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 12:52

Dark Horse has a killer book called “Mandala” that has missed mass-popularity for some reason. I hadn’t heard about the book until producer Kevin Foxe (The Blair Witch Project) contacted me to reveal the news that he will be adapting it into a digital live-action series. After some investigation, “Mandala” has all the ingredients to be a hit, coming from writer Stuart Moore (former editor at Vertigo) with art from Bruce Zick (Disney and Pixar concept artist). I have no idea why word hasn’t spread about “Mandala”, but it’s definitely a book you should be reading.

Foxe tells that they are currently working on the script for the adaptation and the team is working on a second graphic novel.

Foxe says of the series, “this is not a comic as much as it is a wake up call for all of us to change the world. think matrix, but after you take the red pill (or blue pill, if you so choose) what do we do to get out of the matrix?”. “Mandala” is full of metafictional goodness and crosses genres constantly. A simple comparison to The Matrix doesn’t do it justice in my opinion. It’s entirely different beast because it manipulates the medium of comics.

They are also doing some social media scavenging to promote the book. If you sign up for their facebook app and help recruit “the 144,000″, you can actually read the entire first graphic novel for free. I’m surprised more companies aren’t doing this. It spreads the word and gets people to read the book.

Still not convinced? Check out the trailer.

Categories: Horror News

“The Twilight Zone”: Essential Episodes (55th Anniversary Collection)

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 12:42

Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment brand, announces the release of “The Twilight Zone: Essential Episodes (55th Anniversary Collection)”, the ultimate must-have collection for any “Twilight Zone” fan!

“The Twilight Zone: Essential Episodes (55th Anniversary Collection)” is available on DVD on July 1, 2014, at an SRP of $29.98.

This very special collection features some of the most memorable episodes from Rod Serling’s legendary series exploring the fantastic and the frightening. Unforgettable episodes include “Time Enough at Last,” “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” “To Serve Man,” “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and more! Prepare to travel to another dimension of sight and sound once again with these essential episodes:

• Walking Distance
• Time Enough at Last
• The Hitch-Hiker
• The Monsters are Due on Maple Street
• A Stop at Willoughby
• The After Hours
• The Howling Man
• The Eye of the Beholder
• Nick of Time
• The Invaders
• The Obsolete Man
• It’s a Good Life
• The Midnight Sun
• To Serve Man
• Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
• Living Doll
• The Masks

Categories: Horror News

‘Leprechaun: Origins’ Plays Straight and Brutal in First Trailer

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 12:16

WWE Studios and Lionsgate have given Bloody the first full trailer for Leprechaun: Origins, which stars wrestler Hornswoggle (Dylan Postl) as the title character (you can see that Lep is more of a clothes-less creature in the below screengrabs). The other news here is that it seems as though this film may not be getting a wide release since it’s scheduled to hit VOD on August 26th and DVD/Blu on September 30th.

Also starring Stephanie Bennett (Grave Encounters 2), Andrew Dunbar (Alien Trespass), Melissa Roxburgh (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days) and Brendan Fletcher (Freddy vs Jason), Leprechaun: Origins was written by Harris Wilkinson and directed by Zach Lipovsky.

My first impressions from this trailer? It’s played wayyyyyyyyy more straight than I would have thought. I mean this is a Leprechaun movie and it stars a guy named “Hornswoggle.” We’ll see when it comes out I guess!

Backpacking through the lush Irish countryside, two unsuspecting young couples discover a town’s chilling secret. Ben (Dunbar), Sophie (Bennet), David (Fletcher) and Jeni (Roxburgh) quickly discover the idyllic land is not what it appears to be when the town’s residents offer the hikers an old cabin at the edge of the woods. Soon, the friends will find that one of Ireland’s most famous legends is a terrifying reality.

Special features on the home video releases include both the “Leprechaun: An Icon Reborn” featurette and “Leprechaun: Behind the Blood” featurette.

Categories: Horror News

‘The Matrix’ Was Awesome Because of Jet Li?! Say What?!

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 12:07

A new video was brought to my attention that shows a handful of films that inspired were lifted in The Wachowski Brothers’ The Matrix.

Clearly, the concept behind the Keanu Reeves sci-fi thriller is a wonderful and fresh take on an age-old conspiracy theory, but that’s not the only thing that made it so revolutionary.

While the story arc and shocking finale (that’s on par with Planet of the Apes) created the icing on the cake, the incredible action put on display is what cemented it as an instant classic.

But, who knew that most of the action was lifted from the great Jet Li‘s catalogue? Fist of Legend is one of my all-time favorite action films, and yet I failed to notice the similarities between the fights in that and Matrix. That’s just the tip of the rip-off iceberg as Culturegraphy breaks down some of the biggest offenders – from scenes lifted from Total Recall all the way to Once Upon a Time in China!

Does this take away from The Matrix‘s legendary status in sci-fi cinema? I don’t think it’s that big of a deal; if anything, it shows that the Wachowski’s are huge fans of some of the best films ever made, and felt inspired to create the same kind of impact in their film. What do you guys think? It’s interesting food for thought, that’s for sure…

Categories: Horror News

BD Playlist: Jonny Vol. 1

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 12:00

We’re going to be kicking off a new series here on Bloody-Disgusting where we, the BD writers, will be sharing some of the bands/groups/artists that we’re currently listening to. It’s a chance for you to get to know us a bit as well as an opportunity to share some new music that you may have never heard before. These recommendations will come from a wide array of genres, essentially being as diverse as horror and its many subgenres.

So, as the music editor for Bloody-Disgusting I’m taking the reins and taking the lead on this series. Below are three groups that I’ve been blasting a lot lately along with a short explanation on what it is about them drew me in. Give ‘em a listen and let me know your thoughts on each group below!


The side project from Dir En Grey vocalist Kyo, Sukekiyo has a romantic center constantly present at the center of its dark, gothic heart. It’s a mysterious group with a hypnotic sound that drew me in right away.

Categories: Horror News

[BD Review] ‘Witching & Bitching’ is a Wicked Battle of the Sexes

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 11:50

Álex de la Iglesia’s last film, The Last Circus, blew me away with its dark and wholly unique vision (and its portly clown in a pope outfit firing giant machine guns, yeah). His latest genre fare, Witching and Bitching, also kicks much ass as it turns the battle of the sexes into a supernatural free-for-all. As the title suggests, there are witches (a whole lotta them) and there’s also a lot of bitching, mainly done by men who can’t stand the women in their lives and refuse to face their responsibilities.

During a wild heist in a bustling city square, a ragtag group of thieves hold up a pawn shop and barely get away with a giant bag full of gold rings. The leader, José, enlists the help of his 10-year-old son Sergio, since it’s his day to watch him and all. He’s not going to let something like armed robbery screw up his visitation rights. José, Sergio, and the third thief, Tony, hijack a cab and flee for France. During their drive to freedom, the men expound their frustrations about wives and girlfriends. Even the cab driver (now their forced wheelman) gets in on it and wedges himself into their gang of crooks, refusing to go back to his wife. This whole ridiculous scenario establishes de la Iglesia’s mad world and from here, it only gets more insane.

Through a series of creepy detours, the men wind up in the home of a family of witches – complete with a crone. Played by Carmen Maura, Terele Pávez, and (the stunning) Carolina Bang, the coven believes that Sergio is the “chosen one” essential to a ritual that will bring about the end of civilization. All three women are wonderfully fun in their roles, combining silliness with sinister as they entrap the gang and show them the real meaning of women troubles.

Like she was in The Last Circus, Carolina Bang is another standout here. She plays the youngest and most emotionally fragile member of the coven. I’d vote that she’s the most limber too, as she flies across rooms, climbs on walls, and performs something uncomfortably sexy with a broom greased with frog saliva (or blood, I couldn’t tell). She gets to put her crazy face on too, and trust me, you’ll know when it’s on because she looks bonkers. It’s gotta be one of the most gleefully crazy performances we’ll probably see this year.

Once all the pieces are in play, it does take a little while for the film to pick up again. Thankfully, de la Iglesia’s world is inhabited by a wide range of wacky characters to help the time go by quickly. The only two who didn’t really work for me were the other members of the gang who get caught by the police. Their scene feels like a superfluous sidetrack, but it does introduce two other great characters – so it balances out in a sense.

Much like The Last Circus, Witching and Bitching is an assault on your eyeballs. The gothic production design and small details everywhere are incredibly immersive. From the ghostly roadside bar to the witches’ old mansion, the settings are caked with atmosphere.

Providing a dose of history for the film’s tone is the stage for the film’s crazed finale: The Caves of Zugarramurdi, a place of alleged occult activity in 17th century Spain and home of the infamous Basque witch trials during the Spanish Inquisition. “Crazed” might be underselling the finale, actually. It’s beautifully insane and throws a lot of surprises in – nothing I’ll spoil though. There is, however, a bit of heavy CGI that doesn’t look so hot. Any shortcomings with the digital effects can be overlooked though if you just let the wave of insanity roll over you.

With Witching and Bitching, Alex de la Iglesia once again uses his dark eccentricities to bring his funny, frightening vision to life. His take on witchcraft is entertaining as hell from beginning to end and contains tons of genuinely gnarly and creative ideas.

Do not miss this bad bitch when it hits VOD and theaters June 13.

Categories: Horror News

Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights Announces “The Walking Dead”

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 10:26

Universal’s annual Halloween Horror Nights are more dead than ever…

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” Executive Producer Greg Nicotero announced Monday morning that “The Walking Dead” is once again crawling to Halloween Horror Nights 2014 at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort.

This year’s bone-chilling mazes will place guests at the heart of a harrowing journey to seek sanctuary at Terminus, an elusive destination that promises community for all. Mirroring the terror that befell the residents of the West Georgia Correctional Facility, now overrun by savage walkers, the experience will send guests fleeing from the fallen prison into unknown territory as they once again stage a desperate battle for survival against flesh-eating walkers and ruthless humans.

This is an extremely early announcement as the dates and ticket page have yet to be launched on the official website. One thing is for sure, this is always the best horror icon-themed Halloween event in the States. I can’t wait to see what else is announced leading up to September!

Categories: Horror News

Chiller’s ‘Animal’ Bites Into VOD and Theaters

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 10:04

Drew Barrymore and Nancy Juvonen’s Flower Films banner’s Chiller release, Animal, is set to open in limited theaters and VOD June 17.

When plans for a weekend vacation hit a dead end, a group of close-knit friends find themselves stranded in unfamiliar territory, pursued by a menacing predator. Holed up in an isolated cabin, tensions mount as long-buried secrets are revealed. As the body count rises, the group must put their differences aside and fight for survival.

Keke Palmer, Amaury Nolasco, Parker Young, Joey Lauren Adams, Elizabeth Gillies, Paul Iacono, Thorsten Kaye and Jeremy Sumpter star. Thommy Hutson and Catherine Trillo penned the script and the film was directed by directed by Brett Simmons. Gary J. Tunnicliffe created the creature effects.

Categories: Horror News

Reporting Live From ‘Willow Creek’ (Clip)

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 09:58

MPI/Dark Sky Films has shared with Bloody a new clip from Bobcat Goldthwait’s Willow Creek, now in theaters and on various on demand platforms.

In the clip we see a camera crew introduce their trip into Willow Creek…

Set in Humboldt County, California, ‘Willow Creek’ centers on Jim (Bryce Johnson, ‘Pretty Little Liars’) a Bigfoot believer whose idea of a romantic getaway is to head deep into Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California, video camera in tow, trying to shoot his own Bigfoot footage at the site of the Patterson-Gimlin film. That 1967 fragment of footage purporting to show Sasquatch striding along a dry riverbed became a key artifact in the cryptozoology community, and Jim dreams of nothing more than setting foot on the actual location where it was shot. His long-suffering girlfriend, Kelly (Alexie Gilmore, World’s Greatest Dad), agrees to tag along for the ride, despite the fact that she thinks Bigfoot has about as much chance of being real as leprechauns.

The two stop off first in Willow Creek, the Bigfoot capital of the world and home to an annual Bigfoot festival, where various locals talk to Jim’s camera, warning them to keep out of the woods, singing ballads about Bigfoot, and generally enjoying their 15 minutes in the spotlight while Jim and Kelly have a blast, cracking wise amidst all the touristy Bigfoot kitsch on display. But when they strap on packs and head into the forest via a two-hour drive down a dirt road, they start to feel like they might be in over their heads. Well, Kelly does, at least. Jim, as he approaches what he considers hallowed ground, is in heaven.

That night they’re awakened by mysterious sounds echoing through the woods, and whooping vocalizations that might be Bigfoot, but that might also be locals screwing with them. Either way, they’re not welcome here and so Jim and Kelly decide to get out come sun-up but, as they quickly discover, it might already be too late, and as the sun goes down for the second time and they find themselves retracing the steps of Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin they discover the truth behind Bigfoot and the disturbing meaning of the term “forest bride.”

Categories: Horror News

Classic Video Game Ice Level Themes Gone Black Metal

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 09:00

Guitarist Ryan Postelthwait (Last Level) has released a new solo album under the moniker Mega Beardo. Entitled Black Ice, the album takes four classic ice level video game themes and converts them to the stylings of good ole fashioned black metal. Below you can hear covers from games such as Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and The Goonies II.

Oh, and just so you know, the album is available at Bandcamp as a “Name Your Price” option, so you can technically get this for free. But you should throw the man a buck or two so he can get an ice cold beer (pun 100% intended).

Black Ice by Mega Beardo

Categories: Horror News

The 5 Best Tom Cruise Movies!!

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 08:00

I was so bummed that I missed my press screening of Edge of Tomorrow on Monday due to traffic. Not only do I really like Tom Cruise (and Emily Blunt), I’ve heard from many people I trust that this movie is f*cking fantastic (unlike Oblivion). I’ve also heard that it’s easily director Doug Liman’s best movie in almost 20 years.

So while I wait for a window to go check out Tomorrow this weekend, I figured I’d toss a list together ranking my favorite Cruise films. None of these are horror movies, but that’s what “The Further” is for.

This is the kind of thing where the rankings (and indeed the entries themselves) could change any day of the week, so I respect and welcome any disagreements. Check it out below!

5: Jack Reacher

This movie didn’t really set the world on fire (nor did I manage to see it in theaters), but I’d argue that Christopher McQuarrie’s 2012 film (along with Mission Impossible 4) set the stage for the Cruise comeback (in terms of public perception, his earning power hasn’t actually flagged that much) we’re seeing today. In many ways Jack Reacher is a perfect 90′s movie. It feels like the kind of film that would have been a massive budget buster in 1998, but it seems small by today’s standards. Which is great. It gives the film plenty of wiggle room to let Cruise’s character and his actions determine the stakes.

4: War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds is much stronger than people give it credit for. Spielberg made an excellent disaster film in 2005, only to see it overshadowed by the public’s response to Cruise’s personal life during the press tour. Not only is the film itself strong, but Cruise himself is fantastic here. Playing a loser dad who finally has to man up and make some intense (and morally divisive) choices during an apocalyptic event, he brings a real sense of urgency to one of his everyman roles.

3: Risky Business

Not Cruise’s first film, but the one that most assuredly launched him to stardom. And for good reason. His turn here as Joel, a repressed, wealthy high school senior struggling with college placement in the suburbs of Chicago is actually quite nuanced (and a lot of fun). He traces the arc from virgin to pimp (literally) deftly and thoroughly. And the movie itself is a blast.

2: Collateral

In Michael Mann’s 2004 masterpiece Collateral (on some days I like it more than Heat, it’s leaner and more propulsive), Cruise is able to parlay his trademark sense of urgency and intensity into the role of Vincent, a hitman with a tight schedule who happened to pick the wrong cabbie in Jamie Foxx. Watching Cruise and Foxx play off each other is a delight, and there’s a sense of fairness to Vincent that Cruise is able to get more mileage out of than most marquee names I can think of.

1: Magnolia

I’m a huge Paul Thomas Anderson fan, so naturally this was going to be near the top (even if it’s not my favorite PTA film). I imagine you’ve seen Magnolia, but seek it out if you haven’t. I’m not sure Tom Cruise actually gives the film’s best performance among the Altman sprawl here, but I think it’s a hugely brave one. It’s a testament to him that he was willing to take such a gamble on a choice this bold. Most movie stars would have likely found a way to imbue the odious Frank T.J. Mackey with sympathetic notes earlier on, but Cruise waits until the very end to sample his redemption.

Now you can go to the comments and yell at me for leaving Top Gun off. It’s a good movie, but I actually think it contains one of Cruise’s most conservative performances.

Categories: Horror News

Original ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ Theme Covered On Accordian

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 07:37

If you haven’t picked up a copy of Waxwork Records’ Rosemary’s Baby vinyl reissue, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s easily one of the most beautiful and magical listening experiences I’ve had in a while and it’s easily my most played record. The soundtrack, originally composed by Krzysztof Komeda, is haunting but playful, evoking an almost Parisian feel, even though the film is set in New York City.

YouTube user Adam Matlock has just posted an accordion cover of the main theme, which only reinforces my statement about the soundtrack having a Parisian air about it. It’s a truly lovely cover that Matlock fully admits may have some small influences from the Fantomas version.

Seriously though, head over to Waxwork and pick up your copy right here.

Categories: Horror News

[Review] ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Has Brains, Heart and Courage!

Fri, 06/06/2014 - 00:13

Editor’s note: spoilers follow.

The blockbuster has returned to summer. It’s only fitting that Tom Cruise helped deliver it – but not without the help of a strong performance by co-star Emily Blunt.

Edge of Tomorrow, the Doug Liman-directed adaptation of “All You Need Is Kill,” manages to be a hybrid of groundbreaking films like Groundhog Day and Matrix, utilizing a flurry of fireworks effects and strong character development to create a sci-fi masterpiece.

The story follows the weak and callow Cage (Cruise), who is the U.S. military PR specialist. He spins the war in a positive angle and gets people to join – only, he himself is a f*cking pussy. When ordered to film the war live, he refuses and is branded a traitor. He’s forced into battle – his first ever – where he and his crew are literally decimated. But before he dies he kills one of the aliens, a very special alien that has the ability to repeat time. The power is transferred into Cage’s blood, which sets him on an insane course of dying and repeating. This is where Cage meets up with Rita (Blunt), who I believe to be the Edge of Tomorrow‘s “Wizard of Oz” – she basically helps Cage get brains, a heart, find his courage and his way back home.

While I expected more fighting, Edge is more of a character piece about moral values and facing your fears, especially the fear of death. If anything, it felt like catharsis for the writers. The screenplay is really what makes Edge of Tomorrow such a cinematic gem, and writers Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Hiroshi Sakurazaka (novel) never let the rebirth “gimmick” get in the way of storytelling. In fact, the third act completely does away with regenerative powers and leaves our heroes in the moment of truth – there is no second chance. By removing said gimmick, the film is injected with an insane amount of tension and an extreme sense of urgency.

But none of that would have mattered if you didn’t care about the main characters. Cruise’s character arc was absolutely incredible; it was like watching the birth of John McClane, Ellen Ripley or Neo. And even though Cruise is the big name, Blunt ends up being the one who carries the film on her back by delivering a tremendous performance.

Edge of Tomorrow is the return of the summer blockbuster. It really does have it all. Instead of turning in an effects bonanza that’s lacking in heart and built on fear, it has the courage and brains to deliver something fresh, smart and everlasting. Edge will have you dying for repeat viewings for the rest of eternity.

Categories: Horror News

An Actual Trailer Surfaces for ‘The Vanishing of Ethan Carter’

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:48

Outside of a few teasers, The Astronauts have smartly kept from showing too much of their upcoming supernatural thriller, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. The game is being made by former People Can Fly devs (Bulletstorm, Gears of War: Judgment), and follows a detective who’s on the hunt for a missing boy. While I’m always up for a good mystery, what’s most exciting about this game is its use of photogrammetry technology.

I’m not one to ever put visuals above narrative, but the tech behind Ethan Carter will give the game a near-photorealistic look, thanks to its use of actual photos. You can enjoy the gorgeous results of this new tech in the trailer below.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is slated to release this fall on PC.

Categories: Horror News

“The Stand” Will Be R-Rated and 3-Hours Long!

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:42

The battle of good versus evil is going to be violent and lengthy.

In an interview with Vulture, The Fault in Our Stars‘ Josh Boone reveals that his adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand” will be 3-hours long and R-rated.

We’re gonna do one three-hour, R-rated version with an amazing A-list cast across the board. Every single one of those characters will be somebody you recognize and somebody you relate to. And it’s gonna be awesome. I’m really excited. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever got to do in my entire life. If 12-year-old me had ever known that one day I’d be doing this, to even just go back and look at that kid, I’d be like, Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s just crazy. I’ve met so many actors over the years, and like, when I met Stephen King, I hugged him with tears in my eyes. He meant that much to me when I was young. I still say everything I learned about writing I learned from Stephen King. I don’t read screenplays. I don’t read screenplay how-to books. It’s always just, establish the character. Establish the character.

Nat Wolff recently signed on to star in a story of good versus evil after a virus wipes out most of the American population. It features dozens of characters (including such memorable ones as the Trashcan Man and Mother Abigail) and overlapping storylines running over many years as it tells of a group of survivors fighting the Antichrist-like Randall Flagg.

Categories: Horror News

‘Altered States’ Limited Edition OST Now Available

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 17:30

La-La Land Records has just released a limited edition remastered soundtrack of the 1980 sci-fi/horror film Altered States, which was composed by John Corigliano and actually nominated for an Academy Award. The soundtrack is limited to 2,500 copies and autographed copies are already sold out, which means this is moving fast. Snag your copy right here.

Head below for the film trailer.

Categories: Horror News

‘Terminator 2′ Chase Scene Recreated in ‘Grand Theft Auto V’

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:38

With nothing but a copy of Grand Theft Auto V, a love for Terminator 2, and some mean editing skills, YouTuber John Chapman has gone and captured my heart. Using all of the above, Chapman recreated one of the greatest scenes in the history of action movies — the canal chase. I can’t tell if watching this makes me want to play GTA V or watch T2 again.

And here’s the original scene, for optional comparison.

Categories: Horror News

[BD Review] Geek & Sundry’s “Spooked” Pilot Delivers Laughs But No Scares

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 16:16

Bryan Singer’s production company, Bad Hat Harry, and Geek & Sundry premiered their new paranormal comedy series “Spooked” online yesterday. X-Men’s Bryan Singer acts as Executive Producer with Felicia Day, who also helped to pen the four-episode series with Michael Gene Conti. The first episode is packed with references to popular genre flicks like Ghostbusters and Beetlejuice. They make sure to cover all their bases, throwing in everything from self-stacking groceries to a Ouija board, but none of it adds up to anything horrific. Rather, this is a character-driven comedy infused with the lighter elements of paranormal investigation.

“Spooked” follows the “Paranormal Investigation Team” (P.I.T.), a motley crew of friends and lovers, who are kicking off their careers as investigators of the unknown. The pilot sees the team investigating a potential haunting in the house of a newly married lesbian couple. The speculation is that the ghost is one of their father’s who does not approve of their marriage, an interesting concept that demands the comedic tone they put forward. However, the press release states that the show “features the unpredictable, horrific and often comedic world of P.I.T. as they find themselves dealing with ghosts, aliens and other unexplainable happenings.” There is nothing “horrific” to be seen from the premiere.

I’ve always taken issue to the term horror-comedy. The two words are, in general, mutually exclusive terms that have been put side-by-side for years. However, more often than not the films/shows that claim such a label are all comedy, no horror. Such is the case with “Spooked”. While they have the paranormal plot and the named references to well-known horror movies, there is not one scare in the episode. This is always the struggle with horror/comedy. There are very few works that actually earn that genre split, delivering a mixture of scares and laughs. American Werewolf in London and Dellamorte Dellamore come to mind as two that actually balance the genres. “Spooked” is a comedy and nothing else. If you know this going in, you will enjoy it a lot more. Thankfully, it is a comedy with a heart. The show offers solid characters, a fun plot, and that unique brand of Geek & Sundry humor.

Director Richard Martin keeps it simple and the show is all the better for it. For a series shot on a relatively small budget, it looks great. The shots are crisp, and the lighting aptly fits the dark comedy tone. Martin focuses on the actors and their ability to deliver on the both drama and humor, and they shine through. There are a few jokes that fell flat for me, mostly the references to horror movies that felt like they were trying to hard to appeal to horror audiences. On the other hand, a few lines had me laughing out loud, a rare occurrence when I watch any sit-com.

The best humor (and drama) comes from the character interactions and their painfully awkward relationships. There is clearly a love connection between Connor, the head of the gang, and Morgan, the self-proclaimed shaman, but their obnoxious friend Elliot is clueless and continues hitting on her. The sibling relationship between Connor and his clairvoyant sister, Piper, is the most interesting, and there is plenty of potential for havoc down the line. This is precisely what I appreciate most about the show; they take a character-driven approach, and it feels more authentic for it.

I wish I could say I love the “Spooked” pilot, but I don’t. The show has potential to hit its stride, but with only four episodes that will be a difficult task. Hopefully they will focus less on referencing horror movies, and stick with what is interesting – the characters and their situations.

Watch it here:

Categories: Horror News

Survival Horror MMO ‘Nether’ Leaves Early Access

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 15:55

After several months of listening to player feedback and tweaking accordingly, Phosphor Games’ survival horror MMO Nether has left Steam Early Access in favor of a full release. I spent a couple hours with it back in February and while I wasn’t terribly impressed with what it had to offer back then, it’s seen some significant improvements and new features since then that make me want to give it a second chance.

Owners of the pre-release version will get a potion that turns the user into a Nether — one of the game’s monsters — as well as keys that can be used to gain access to the rare loot inside golden chests. If you’ve been waiting to be sold on Nether, it can be purchased on Steam for $14.99.

Categories: Horror News