Over PAX this weekend, Atari tore the sheet off of two of their upcoming games — both reimaginings of classic video game franchises — including Alone in the Dark: Illumination. The teaser trailer (below) didn’t offer much in terms of how the game will look or play, but we do know the game will feature a cooperative multiplayer mode complete with four unique classes that players can choose from. Get familiar with each of them in the gallery below.
I haven’t decided which class interests me the most, but I’m leaning toward the Priest. There’s just something about a priest who banishes evil with dual pistols that appeals to me. Below you’ll find the debut trailer, and you can use the snazzy new concept art under that to get an idea of the bad places that need cleansing.
Alone in the Dark: Illumination arrives on PC this fall.
In 2011, fresh from helming Orphan and Unknown (and far away from the stink that was the House Of Wax remake), Jaume Collet-Serra teamed up with his friend Juan Solá to create Ombra Films, a studio dedicated to bringing Spanish talent to Hollywood. Their first catch was Anna (aka Mindscape for European audiences), the debut feature of Jorge Dorado. The film made it’s debut at the 46th Sitges Film Festival, enjoyed success in it’s native Spain and Europe, and made it’s North American debut at the Dallas International Film Festival on April 5, 2014. Now the film has finally made it’s way to DVD. So, with all that exposition out of the way, what’s up with Anna?
John Washington (Mark Strong) is a “memory detective”. Essentially, he’s been gifted with the ability to peer into people’s memories. After a recent bad trip that involved his own personal memories leaking into someone else’s recollections, Washington is back at it, albeit a little on the shaky side. He’s been assigned a simple case: Determine whether Anna Greene (Taissa Farmiga), a disturbed sixteen-year-old on a hunger strike, is suffering from some sort of past trauma, or whether she’s actually a manipulative sociopath. Unfortunately for Washington, Anna holds a lot more than what he (or anyone) suspects.
Okay, time to get the elephant out of the room: Yes, the film echoes a lot of stuff from Christopher Nolan’s Inception. But really, that’s unfair to Anna and it’s first-time director. Put that out of your head. Now, like Inception (dammit), we’ve got an interesting premise that hasn’t really been used before. Seriously, there’s a real sense of cat-and-mouse going on here with Washington and Anna, which is only helped out by their respective actors’ performances. It’s reminiscent of Lecter/Starling exchanges. I give Strong credit for breaking out of his usual bad guy role. He brings an intensity to the character, while also showcasing Washington’s vulnerabilities that he struggles to keep in check. Farmiga is also excellent, managing to handle many of Anne’s straddling between her perceived innocence and the more sinister. While both actors do have their share of suspect lines (Farmiga doesn’t do so well with exposition), there’s still a good amount of talent involved.
Visually, cinematographer Oscar Faura crafts some really nice shots. He’s helped out by the locales used, lots of playing with shadow, and some good use of post effects for the flashback sequences. The camera often focuses on close-ups of objects, particularly the metronome that Anna insists on running while John delves into her memories. I’m not entirely sure why that was, however. Nevertheless, this is still quite impressive, even if some of the symbolism beats you over the head.
This heavy-handedness with the symbolism is unfortunately only part of the bigger problem of Anna: The script. As mentioned, some of the lines Farmiga and Strong have to deal with aren’t quite believable. Also, Strong’s character has a few nagging holes (such as the underdeveloped romance plotline with Judith (Indira Varma). Making matters worse is the fact that the script is excessively talky in the ADR department, holding your hand and spewing exposition, reminding you where we are in the story. It gets old very fast. To top things off, while the film is an agreeable slow-burn, the last 15 minutes suddenly decide to crank it, squeeze in a twist and end with a lacklustre resolution (if you can call it that). While first-time director Jorge Dorado fares alright in his first picture, it isn’t complex enough to really stand out.
So despite some slick visuals and strong acting by Strong and Farmiga, the script really pulls Anne down. Had the excessive exposition been pared down and the latter half of the film been fleshed out, this would’ve made for a good thriller. It still has components that make it a casual thriller, but don’t expect it to even be close to what Christopher Nolan was able to pull off.
Presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, the film looks quite good. There’s a fine layer of film grain throughout that is unobtrusive or distracting. Flashbacks are presented with a higher colour saturation and higher film grain than the rest of the film, but it’s all consistent. Detail is quite good, with very little edge enhancement (if any). Overall, a great job by cinematographer Oscar Faura.
Sound-wise, the film sports a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track and a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track. While you’re not going to get the rumblings of Inception (sorry), what’s here is adequate for the picture. Dialogue is clear and free of distortion, and the film makes fairly good use of directional sounds.
Aside from the digital copy of the film and the film’s trailer, you get NATHING.
Simeon Halligan’s White Settlers has been dubbed the “Scottish Referendum Horror Film.” If you don’t know, Scotland is voting later in September whether they should be an independent country, separate from the United Kingdom. I have only a cursory understanding of the debate, but I do know that underlying the argument is the tension between the two countries that has existed for centuries.
It’s unclear whether Halligan (an Englishman who broke out with Splintered in 2010) intentionally made his film based around this political debate (although I think the ending makes it very clear), but regardless, White Settlers can be enjoyed strictly as a home invasion thriller with heaps of anxiety-inducing moments and a top-notch lead actress.
Couple Sarah (Pollyanna McIntosh) and Ed (Lee Williams) uproot their lives from the bustle of England to a secluded house in Scotland. The centuries old house sits on a nice plot of land, secluded from civilization. The real estate agent explains that the land was once the site of a brutal battle between the English and the Scots. When Ed asks who won, the agent replies, “It depends on who you ask.” It’s an ominous message, to say the least.
The rest of the film takes place over their first day and night in the house. The setting itself puts the audience on edge.The electric isn’t working, so they get around by daylight, then flashlight. The ancient, rustic setting and brief history of its previous owner gives the first half of White Settlers a supernatural, haunted house vibe that severely sucked me in. There’s a few red herrings, but once the invasion jumps off, Halligan delivers a relentless barrage of thrills.
Many of the set pieces are brief and predictable to a degree, but what makes them work is the performances. McIntosh, who’s probably best known as the titular lead in Lucky McKee’s The Woman, is a phenomenal, natural actress who carries White Settlers on her lithe back. Her relationship with Ed has a lot of dimensions – without actually explaining their background with drab exposition, the looks, inside jokes, and arguments they share give an effective feel of shared history.
When the attacks begin, McIntosh keeps the adrenaline pumped up with a wholly believable performance. A lot of actresses run and scream, huff and puff, sure, but a lot of times the breaks they get in between takes shines through. McIntosh’s potent performance makes you believe Sarah is truly running for her life. It’s awesome to watch.
She carries us through the twists and turns of the film’s final act, which builds up nicely to a great curveball closing. The invasion on the actual house is a really tense bit, but once they leave it for the forested surroundings, it falters a bit and loses its strong claustrophobic atmosphere. Thankfully, McIntosh is there to give us a piggyback ride straight down the line.
White Settlers couldn’t have been planned more timely. Released against the political debates of independence raging in Scotland, it’s a relevant film. But it also stands on its own as a fierce, atmospheric thriller.
No one survives in the suicide forest.
From I Spit On Your Grave director Steven R. Monroe, Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment has announced the UK release of Grave Halloween, available digitally and on DVD October 27, 2014.
“Deep in stark woodland at the base of Mount Fuji, restless whispers echo as the light fades on a mid-winter afternoon. Here, amongst a maze of roots, a lone figure takes her life, binding her body to the branches and her spirit to the undergrowth.
Years later as the crows scatter, Miko and her college friends head into Suicide Forest. Miko yearns to abide a Halloween ritual steeped in demonic tradition which will release her mother’s trapped soul. Filming their journey amongst the shadows, strange things start to happen; angry murmurs and sightings of ghosts warn there are those who do not want them there.
In the Sea of Trees an ocean of lost souls rises up, closing heavy boughs around Miko and her friends. Suddenly, the path to life is barricaded by the dead who have nothing to lose…“
NBC’s Hannibal is probably my favorite TV show since Lynch’s Twin Peaks. The focus on characters is amazing and it’s quite possibly one of the most beautiful looking shows I’ve seen on TV.
Another aspect that’s amazing is the score by composer Brian Reitzell (Watch Dogs). And coming tomorrow are two volumes that comprise the music of season two. You can head below to stream samples of the two volumes.
Nicolas Cage gave off his greatest performance ever in the 2006 The Wicker Man remake.
Relive the best scenes in Warner Bros. modern day take on a classic that spawned a new classic for the very wrong reasons.
Now, GET OFF YOUR BIKE.
About mid-way through my little four-day vacation, indie developer Endnight Games decided to go and make their open-world survival horror game The Forest even better. The latest patch is nice and meaty, too. This is despite being the fifth major update in what’s been an impressively steady trickle of new content and bug fixes since it first released on Steam Early Access at the end of May. That’s just about two patches a day. Nice work, developers.
As for what this update brings, below you can find the full list. I’d also love to know if you’re still playing this game, or if you’re waiting for them to spend a few months improving it before you decide to either return or jump in for the first time.
Version 0.06 Changelog:
A.I. – New tribe type added – starving cannibal! Will eat fallen comrades
A.I. – Different tribes will now interact with each other, hunting, stalking, killing and eating each other
Shadows Improved! Fisheye shadow distortion gives higher resolution shadow up close and now uses a single cascade (experimental, maybe cause some glitches)
2 New cave systems added near geese lake
Fixed missing light on crafted torch
Real caustics added to water
Lighting effigies uses the lighter correctly now
Fixed issue where cannibals could get stuck after being knocked down
Creepy mutants and animals no longer get stuck in noose trap spinning forever
Improved look of noose trap when sprung but empty
All traps can be reset
Player will set off traps if he touches trigger
5x new plant types added
Fixed (Unity fix) issue where grass would cause slight framerate hicks
Hint to NVIDIA driver that it should use the discrete GPU in Optimus chipsets. (Unity fix – should help laptop performance)
Added press space to skip tutorial to opening plane crash
Fixed bug where arrows could get stuck in sky above fires
Fixed rockpit floating slightly above terrain
Moving forward, crouching, jumping or pressing e will make player stand up if sitting on bench
Better bench model
Fresnel effect applied to specular and fixed specular leak around backside of objects
New props added: washed up packages and shipping containers
New prop added : Orange tent
New improved opening plane crash sound effects
Fixed marigold and dead rabbits overlapping in inventory
Improved plane interior textures and resolution
Added icon to remove ghost structures, fixed issue where add icon could sometimes stay on screen after removing ghost. Limited ghost removal to only if no resources have been added. New crunch sound effect for when removing ghost structures
Wall built can now be destroyed by hitting it with axe, giving you back resources
Musical sting added to player waking up on plane
Improved terrain spec and (finally) fixed water accumulation when raining, added new sharp rock terrain texture to under lakes
Improved pond water distance settings
Crafting: Fixed issue where you could remove feathers before crafting arrows and still craft the arrows. Fixed issue where you could sometimes not craft items depending on order of items placed. Adding an item to a craft that isn’t needed will stop you from crafting until it’s removed again. Fixed bug where you could lose medicine by crafting the same item multiple times
Lots of collision issues fixed in caves
Improved cave lighting! Better looking settings for skull lights and less light popping on/off
Sped up rabbits
Lowered brightness of click to place buttons in survival book
You can now save your game at a shelter without sleeping
Fixed bug where coins could vanish after adding them to a craftable item
Fixed bug where day counter wouldn’t increase correctly
Fixed bug where crickets would continue to play during the day
Fixed issue where cave sounds would sometimes vanish when walking between connecting caves
More combat balance and a tweak on weapon settings
Performance and memory improvements
Note: Some reported bugs may be due to old save games! To ensure your game is fully up to date start a new save game every couple versions.
The great Lars von Trier is readying an English-language TV series called “The House That Jack Built,” writes ScreenDaily.
The series will be the first to be directed by the controversial auteur behind Antichrist, pictured, and Dancer In the Dark since his acclaimed Danish TV production, “The Kingdom,” 20 years ago.
Von Trier’s regular producer Peter Aalbæk Jensen described it as “a TV series without precedent.”
He added that “The House That Jack Built” would be “a TV series as you have never seen it before and never will again. You better hold your breath.”
Von Trier will start working on the script this autumn with shooting currently set for 2016.
Twitch has landed the first trailer for Foresight Features’ (Monster Brawl, Exit Humanity) latest indie, Hellmouth, written by Pontypool‘s Tony Burgess and starring Stephen McHattie (PontyPool, The Watchmen).
Directed by John Geddes (Exit Humanity), Hellmouth is described as a 1950′s throwback. McHattie stars as a dying gravekeeper who must pass through Hell to save the soul of a beautiful woman, (Siobhan Giles Murphy).
“I wanted to create a story-driven film with fantasy and horror combined. Something that was directly inspired by the era of Hitchcock and even Ed Wood,” said Geddes last year. “Working with a writer like Tony Burgess was a pleasure as we both love the simplicity in many of the old classic films of the 50′s and 60′s, and even earlier in films like Nosferatu and Faust. We worked really hard to make Hellmouth something fresh.“
The director of Musallat (Haunted), and its 2011 sequel, is back with more scares from Turkey.
We now have the international trailer for Siccin, starring Pınar Çağlar Gençtürk, Koray Şahinbaş, Ebru Kaymakçı, Merve Ateş, Güneş Galava, Toygun Ateş, Aydan Çakır and Asuman Kostak, although there are no English subs. Without the subs, the trailer feels insanely long, although there are a ton of really cool shots (as shown above).
Here’s a bad translation of the synopsis:
Öznur a beautiful young woman, no one would approve of a love affair is exposed to. Since childhood, to his cousin, so her aunt’s son is in love with the bitter. What would make Öznur, convinces Might be together. But the state can not absorb into the bitter relations, who is married and wants to finish on top. What if you get Öznur olr Might make it grow is to connect to his wife Nisaa. Women as a result of this spell will be infested with demons. This is evil demons conquered Nisaa. Grow by 5 Isha time after Nisa and her blood from the death will face …
Jeffrey Reddick, best known as the creator of the Final Destination franchise, has teamed with JD Matthews to pen a novel based on the original R-rated script for Tamara, which Lionsgate released in 2005.
“The story is the hardcore, and chilling, tale of an unpopular young girl, named Tamara, who’s bullied and killed when a prank goes horrible awry. The kids bury Tamara and believe their secret is safe.
But some secrets can’t stay buried. And Tamara returns from the grave as a sexy seductress, who knows the secret sins of her tormentors. She uses these sins to exact revenge, while going after the one thing she has always desired – her married teacher, Mr. Natolly.
As the kids struggle to find a way to stop her reign of terror, Mr. Natolly must resist Tamara’s charms to protect his family from this sexy, and lethal, supernatural threat.”
The book is coming out in October.
“With Tamara, Jeffrey Reddick and JD Matthews have crafted a tale that is relentlessly paced, gory as hell, and packs a plot-twist so sharp, it’ll leave a scar,” said award-winning author J.C. Hutchins, author of The 33, the 7th Son Trilogy & Personal Effects: Dark Art, on the book. “This is Jeffrey Reddick at his diabolical best!”
For updates on the exact release date check out the official Facebook Page.
Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with Oklahoma City industrial metal band Beauty In The Suffering to bring you the exclusive lyric video premiere for “Juliet (You’re Mine)”, which you can see below.
The track was written, programmed, arranged, performed, and produced by DieTrich Thrall and features drums by Chris Emery (American Head Charge).
The track can be purchased at a “Name Your Own Price” model right here.
Capcom’s open-world zombie crunch/stab/beat/maim/freeze/explode/maim simulator has enjoyed a lengthy reign as really the only must-buy for zombie fans looking to get an Xbox One. There are plenty of other games out there, but if it’s the undead hordes you wish to mow down, then Dead Rising 3 has more of that than most other games. To fill this undead horde-shaped hole in its game library, developer Undead Labs has revealed the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition.
The thing I liked the most about State of Decay is it came closer than most in offering what I want from a zombie survival game. It’s like a more engaging version of the Walking Dead TV series, only you’re the group leader who’s tasked with making sure everyone’s alive and safe enough to stave off any potential mental breaks that could result in their demise or the early expiration of someone in your group. It can be daunting, but it’s also incredibly rewarding.
With the Xbox One version, State of Decay will run at full 1080p and come bundled with its Breakdown and Lifeline expansions. They also teased some “entirely new content,” but we’ll have to wait to hear more about that.
If you missed out on State of Decay when it released on Xbox 360 last June and on PC the following September, this is another chance to try out a game that I highly recommend. I even called it “a zombie fan’s dream game” in my review.
The State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition is scheduled to arrive exclusively on Xbox One in early 2015.
This week, Don and Justin discuss one of the greatest game remasters of our time, “Metro Redux,” Don’s nightmarish trip to Dragon Con, and, for a change of pace, interview very talented writer/director Jennifer Nicole Stang, not only about her hypnotic project “The Dream Series,” but also the possibility of directing something darker in the future. Already to her credit is one horror short titled “The Devil’s Snare,” which you can check out below.
Artist Blake Armstrong, who blew everyone’s collective minds with his Re-Animator print, is back with another piece of art that will have you shredding your bank account for one.
Armstrong, better known as Spaceboy Comics, revealed his latest masterpiece: cover art for a faux NES The Texas Chain Saw Massacre video game that comes straight with “high resolution graphics” and all!
The art was done for the 40th anniversary release of Tobe Hooper’s slasher that’s spawned several sequels and a soon-to-be prequel. Get more info on the piece as it becomes available by following Armstrong on Twitter.
If you’re a horror fan who’s also been tasked with the full-time job of making sure your kid(s) doesn’t become a serial killer, one of the three games I’m about to talk about should be right up your alley. But first, let’s talk about the game that isn’t aimed at kids — unless you’re like my parents, who had no problem letting me watch films like Candyman and A Nightmare On Elm St. at the age of five — but it might nudge your offspring toward a career in the barbed wire industry.
There’s a number of ways to guarantee you’ll be able to get your hands on The Evil Within this October, but just to make sure, Bethesda has gone and made pre-ordering it easy over here. PC gamers can also pre-order The Evil Within for $59.99 on Steam, along with the $19.99 season pass that you can learn more about here..
Next up, we have Alien: Isolation, a game that developer Creative Assembly is doing everything they possibly can to make look, feel and sound as legit as possible. The screenshots and gameplay footage look terrifying, and it looks like a fine way to get your fix for the kind of horror where you’re almost entirely unarmed and being hunted by something terrifying. It should also serve as a pretty decent palate cleanser for any unfortunate soul who got tricked into buying Colonial Marines.
Alien: Isolation can be pre-ordered on Steam for $49.99.
The last game that’s been made available for pre-order is Costume Quest 2, a sequel I’ve been waiting for since it released way back in 2010.
If you missed the first game, it’s still very much worth checking out. For those who missed the original game, it’s a quirky love letter to Halloween that’s elevated by an abundance of humor that have become trademarks of developer DoubleFine (Psychonauts, Brutal Legend). Many of DoubleFine’s games tend to be one-offs, so it’s nice seeing one I loved seeing more attention.
Costume Quest 2 releases on October 7, and unless it manages to be substantially less great than its predecessor, I imagine I’ll be including it in a number of future “Games You Should Play This Halloween” lists. It’s not even remotely scary scary, but it is the perfect game to get you in the mood for Halloween. You can pre-order the game on Steam for $14.99.
Also planned for October is retail versions of the first and second seasons of Telltale’s episodic series The Walking Dead: The Game and the Silent Hill inspired indie horror game Silence of the Sleep, but neither are set in stone.
Savor this, folks. Capcom has not one, but two Resident Evil games on the way, and they both aim to cater to the survival horror crowds. One of those games is a sequel to Revelations, which Capcom confirmed will arrive in “early 2015″ at a press conference in Japan earlier today. The other game is their latest attempt to remaster an older game for a new audience — or rather, a nostalgic one — with the remastered Resident Evil Remake they announced in August.
Now, I know you’re itching to see what the game actually looks like. We’ve had enough screenshots, it’s time to see what it looks like in action.
I don’t know about you, but that footage actually looks better than the screens. Oh, and speaking of which, I meant we’ve had enough screens after we take a minute to enjoy the ones below. These beautiful things were taken on current-gen consoles.
Resident Evil Remake HD is scheduled to arrive in “early 2015″, around the same time as the Revelations sequel.
When Atari announced their plans to bring back one of the grandaddies of the survival horror genre with a brand new game titled Alone in the Dark: Illumination, my reaction was a mixture of surprise and cautious optimism. The last game was admirable in its ambition, but it’s also one of my least favorite gaming experiences of the last decade. With Illumination, Atari is trying to breathe new life into a series many gamers are familiar with, whether or not they’ve actually played them.
I hope ALone in the Dark: Illumination is fantastic, but we still have too little to go on for me to be able to really form an opinion. The good news is we have our first trailer for the game, and it’s sufficiently creepy.
This Alone in the Dark will serve as a reimagining of the original game, which released in 1992. Light will play a pivotal role in the gameplay, too. The game will feature a cooperative multiplayer mode where players can choose from several different classes — Hunter, Witch, Engineer and Priest — each bringing with it a unique set of skills and equipment that will be necessary to cleansing a town of its monster infestation.
At first, the co-op bit surprised me, but it makes some sense seeing as the studio behind it, a new startup called Pure FPS, was formed from developers who worked on the Dead Island series, among other games.
In August, just a few weeks after the reveal of a remastered Resident Evil REmake, some box art and a screenshot leaked online prematurely outing a sequel to Resident Evil: Revelations. The source seemed legit enough, but Capcom didn’t offer a comment — likely because they were saving their big reveal for today.
During a Sony press conference held in Japan earlier today, Capcom producer Masachika Kawata took to the stage to confirm the game’s existence, saying Resident Evil: Revelations 2 arrive on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in “early 2015″.
I’m sure the game will be multi-platform, but the PS4 is the only one they’re announcing right now. We don’t know much about it right now, except for the fact that it feature a new period, setting, and it’s being made by the core team that brought us the original Revelations, which is considered by many to be a solid step in bringing the struggling franchise back to its roots in survival horror.
It looks as if neither Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield will be returning. I’ve had about of the latter, so I think I’m okay with his absence.
There was no gameplay footage present at the unveiling, but the tagline looks to be “Evil is watching.” Spooky.
Kawata also confirmed the game will be playable at this year’s Tokyo Game Show (9/18-21) where Capcom plans on revealing some more details on the upcoming game.
I haven’t touched a virtual hair on my Xbox Avatar’s head in years. Part of the reason for this is I keep forgetting he exists, because I so rarely see that beautiful guy unless I boot up my Xbox 360, which seems to be the only place left where Avatars still matter. I also haven’t seen anything worthy enough to improve on him. I mean, he’s pretty great, right?
With The Evil Within just around the corner, that’s about to change.
To celebrate Mikami’s return to horror, we’ll be getting a slew of Avatar goodies for Xbox 360 and Xbox One that includes a “Keeper” costume (the guy with the hammer and a safe on his head), costumes for some of the game’s cast, a creepy mask worn by some guy in one of the earlier trailers, and some miscellaneous other related stuff. No word on pricing or a release date, but with The Evil Within less than two months away, I imagine it’ll arrive soon.
Is anyone else a little bummed out there’s no four-armed blood witch pet? I’d buy that immediately.
PS3 in need of an update for the coming Halloween season? You should consider grabbing the dynamic theme inspired by The Evil Within that will be available early next week. You can see it in action here. If you like pre-ordering stuff, you can do that from virtually any games retailer of your choosing here.
The Evil Within hits PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 14.