This is an exciting day for fans of the survival horror genre. The last few years haven’t been easy on us. It’s been tough watching one promising horror franchise after another fall, from Dead Space to Condemned. This year has gone a long way in changing that, as new installments in the Alone in the Dark, Fatal Frame and Silent Hill series, among others, have been announced.
2014 is an epoch for the genre, and games like Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within are just the beginning.
In 1996, game director Shinji Mikami brought us Resident Evil, the first in what would eventually become the most successful horror franchise ever, video games or otherwise. In 2005, he proved there’s always room for innovation, even for a series that was at the top of its game, with the hugely influential Resident Evil 4.
And we mustn’t forget about Shadows of the Damned, a hugely underrated collaboration between Mikami, Suda 51 (No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw), and Silent Hill series composer Akira Yamaoka.
With The Evil Within, Mikami is returning to his roots. This is his answer to the years of outcries from Resident Evil fans who have been upset with the more bombastic direction Capcom has taken with the series. This game is the antithesis to that. It’s terrifying, intense, and despite its flaws — more on that in a bit — this is the game that may finally breathe some life into AAA survival horror.
I won’t bury the lead. This game isn’t perfect. Its visuals are a bit dated, the story has some pacing issues, and the wonky camera has a tendency to add frustration to close encounters. If you’re able to look past those quirks, you’ll find a game that’s worth losing sleep over.
My favorite thing about The Evil Within may be the surprisingly deep level of strategy that Mikami and Co. will force out of you. Early on, even basic enemies — dubbed the Haunted — will offer a challenge, even for survival horror veterans. Before they can outstay their welcome, Mikami throws more capable baddies, like Laura, the four-armed blood witch, the chainsaw-wielding Sadist, or the Boxman at the player. No one enemy ever outstays its welcome.
When I previewed the game back in May, I was worried the arsenal of weapons detective Sebastian Castellanos has at his disposal — including a pistol, shotgun, grenades, and a devilish weapon called the Agony Crossbow — would make surviving the hordes of monsters that populate this game too easy.
Thankfully, that’s not the case.
Whether you’re combating a gaggle of Haunted villagers or one of the game’s mini-bosses, every situation requires a certain level of strategy. Ammo is often scarce, so you’ll need to scour every inch of these beautifully realized nightmare locales to find the few precious resources that have been scattered about them.
Using the environment to your advantage is also key.
The Evil Within borrows from a handful of different genres, including stealth games. Sebastian can hide in lockers and under beds when necessary, either to survive or to help him to better sneak up behind an enemy. There are all sorts of environmental hazards, too, from exploding barrels and a variety of traps that can either hurt or help you in a pinch.
The Agony Crossbow will be the weapon you’ll need to learn your way around the quickest, as it will quickly prove the most useful. Its bolts come in a variety of flavors, including tips that freeze, electrocute, burn and explode enemies. They can be fired directly onto an unsuspecting baddie, or placed in the way of an oncoming group. When fired at the ground, the bolts become proximity mines, allowing strategic types plenty of room to be creative.
This room for ingenuity extends to Sebastian himself, who can be “upgraded” by paying a visit to nurse Tatiana in the dreamlike hub world where you can invest the green goop gathered from slain enemies or in jars that you’ll find all over the place to make Sebastian more adept at whoopassery. This gel can be used to improve his abilities (health, stamina), weapons (damage, firing/reload speed) and inventory size.
This results in a satisfying sense of progression. You’ll become more capable over time, but Mikami and friends have done a fine job in limiting Sebastian’s skillset so as to keep the player from ever becoming too confident in their abilities.
Much like the Otherworld in Silent Hill, the environments are always changing. It’s almost as if we’re flipping between channels on a television that only plays horror movies. Ghost towns, cemeteries, forgotten labs, empty mansions, labyrinthine networks of underground tunnels; the environments in The Evil Within run the gamut of scary-places-I-really-don’t-want-to-die-in.
The Evil Within has a tendency to try too hard to be scary. Its liberal use of barbed wire and copious amounts of gore may turn off some folks, but it works. If you’ve ever had a particularly awful nightmare, this is sort of like that, only it’s 8-10 hours long and won’t leave you wide-eyed and sweaty in your bed late at night.
Or, maybe it will.
The graphics are somewhat disappointing, especially when it comes to Sebastian’s friends. Detectives Julie “Kid” Kidman and Joseph Oda look like they came from the last generation of consoles. The lack of detail in their faces and how they’ve been animated become especially noticeable when they’re seen in close vicinity to one of the game’s monsters.
Every monster you’ll come across will be memorable, but for a game with such a paltry supporting cast, more attention should have been spent on making them believable. Then there’s the main baddie, Ruvik.
Ah, yes. Ruvik. Garbed in a white robe, with a hood pulled menacingly over his messed up face, it’s clear Ruvik has a bone to pick with, well, pretty much everyone. This guy’s pissed, and you’ll have to stick with it to find out why. He wouldn’t rank high on my list of favorite video game antagonists, but he was interesting enough to keep me interested in figuring out just what the hell his problem is.
The Evil Within isn’t perfect, but it is great. No enemy or environment ever stays long enough to grow repetitive, because the game does a great job in introducing new elements to keep the pace going. It gives me hope that there’s still room for games like Resident Evil 4, even ten years later.If you have the stomach for it, this is a game you won’t want to miss.
The Final Word: The Evil Within is a terrifying patchwork of nightmares that could only have been stitched together by a mind as delightfully twisted as Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami.
Continuing our catch-up of “Penny Dreadful,” now that it’s recently become available for purchase, we discuss the second episode, “Séance,” and dear lord this episode is powerful. It’s a stunningly intense hour, primarily due to two of gothic literature’s greatest characters: Frankenstein’s Monster and Dorian Gray.
In “Séance,” Sir Malcolm Murray continues his search for his missing daughter Mina. This includes further research of the vampire corpse from “Night Work,” which brings Victor Frankenstein back into the company of Murray and Ives as well as gives Ferdinand Lyle (Simon Russell Beale), the flamboyantly magnificent Egyptologist, much more desired screen time. Meanwhile, Ethan Chandler generally does nothing of real importance. His moments in this episode serve the storyline only to introduce Irish prostitute Brona Croft (Billie Piper) and very subtly heighten the intrigue on his mysterious past (and present for that matter). Perhaps most importantly, “Séance” introduces the viewer to a major force and popular literary character, Dorian Gray, who completely seduces this episode. And last but not least, the story takes a considerable amount of time to delve into Frankenstein’s Monster.
One cannot describe “Séance” without discussing the titular scene: a (wait for it) séance held by Lyle. It’s a lively event that ends on an insanely demonic note. The problem occurs when the medium conducting the séance (from whom you get the impression is simply a source of entertainment and not legitimate) is overcome by a dark presence claiming that there is “another here” referring to Ives and the possible dark presence residing within her. Then, for nearly six minutes…all hell breaks loose and Eva Green gives one of the most evocative and chaotic performances for a television audience. We’re talking six minutes carried completely by Green. Too much is revealed or hinted at during this scene for me to talk about it explicitly. But I will say that it deals greatly with Mina and some serious family issues. And also, it’s super not safe for work. Unless you work in a place where it’s okay to say the word “cunt” a lot. A lot. This is the type of performance that does not leave you any time soon. It’s also the type of performance that is difficult to watch more than once, so watch close and listen well the first time.
As I mentioned in my “Night Work” review, the darkness of Ives’ soul is constantly called into question, and this episode reveals a great deal about her “darkness.” Especially in a scene where Lyle analyzes the vampire hieroglyphics. The scene is a follow up to Frankenstein’s earlier analysis that the hieroglyphics—that cover the vampire’s body from head to toe—are from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. They deal with the Egyptians’ goal of transmutation to an “afterlife of something more profound—eternal life.”
As with the Frankenstein analysis, Lyle’s look into the markings is also extremely brief yet a lot of information is revealed. Frankly, those types of scenes always annoy me. Yes, this is a paranormal/supernatural horror but there are still parts that need to remain practical and when things are “figured out” too quickly, credibility seems to blow away like a wisp of hair. Regardless, Lyle comes to some hard and fast conclusions about both the hieroglyphics and Ives. Both dangerous and both extremely important to the mythology of “Penny Dreadful.” Upon realizing the extreme threat that Murray is dealing with, Lyle delivers a swift warning to stay away from whatever it is he’s after.
This scene with Lyle might be my biggest grievance with the episode. Aside from the fact that it was a complete info dump, his parting words to Murray are very presumptuous and have little ground to stand on. It’s as if the writers gave way to practicality for the sake of moving the story along quickly. Things are muddied; the markings on the vampire corpse start to fuse with Ives and at this point we simply have no clue of knowing where that’s headed.
The time spent with Frankenstein and his monster, Proteus, is magnificent. It’s exactly the type of slow burn drama this show needs to balance out the horror and sexuality. Treadaway offers an eager, fascinated portrayal of Frankenstein. He completely nails the essence of Mary Shelley’s young doctor and the raw curiosity that got him into so much trouble. Proteus portrays The Monster in a beautifully sad performance. The necessary intimacy between him and the doctor is palpable. His emotions are exposed to the viewer and are very potent. He captures the childlike wonder of The Monster without losing the underlying fear.
Dorian Gray, both in literature and in his depiction in “Penny Dreadful” is the essence of psychosexual horror. He is first introduced to us by way of Croft as he takes nude photographs of her and later engages is some emotionally disturbing sex with her. There is no way to describe how sexually charged and horrifying this initial scene becomes. Perhaps I’ll just drop a quote to encapsulate the heavy shit we’re getting into, “I’ve never fucked a dying creature before. Do you feel pain more deeply?” For some viewers, Reeve Carney might take some getting used to as Dorian Gray, but I absolutely adored his interpretation. He’s brash and arrogant, but sexy, compassionate, empathetic, and lovely. There’s inquisitiveness in him that I find so inherently attractive. Some might find him too “deep” compared to the Gray from literature who’s definitely more selfish. But I think it played out splendidly.
Overall: fantastic episode. It’s bookended by two extremely gruesome and shocking scenes, is filled with profoundly haunting performances, lighted occasionally by the lovely Croft and Proteus’ lust for life, and sizzles with Green’s unspeakable sexual energy.
What did you think of “Séance”? Is this show faring well for you thus far? Worth the purchase?
Man, I’ve known some militant vegans in my time. Ones who are more than happy to shove their beliefs down your throat and make you feel guilty as sin for enjoying a burger. You know the type. As annoying as they can be, none of them are as passionate as the serial killer in writer-director Gabriel Grieco’s Still Life (Naturaleza Muerta), in which carnivores in a small Argentinian town are savagely butchered in a fashion reflecting the treatment of animals in a slaughterhouse. Ugly and brutal with a sharp sociopolitical edge, Still Life is an animal rights slasher-mystery that makes PETA’s approach to protest seem like an adorable pick-up game of checkers.
During the incredibly tense, well-staged prologue, the daughter of a wealthy cattle industry baron vanishes. Ambitious young journalist Jazmin (Luz Cipriot – who bears a striking resemblance to Natalie Portman in some angles) sees this story as an opportunity to advance her career, so she goes rogue with her loyal cameraman to investigate. She begins discovering links between the girl’s disappearance and a series of murders, which point to something nefarious within the local beef industry. As she digs deeper, she crosses paths with a local animal rights lecturer – a self-proclaimed one-man army educating folks on vegan lifestyle and why cow farts are depleting the ozone. A sketchy vegan farmer also turns up as a suspect and while Jazmin tries to make sense of the murders, she comes dangerously close to becoming one herself.
From the first frame she’s on screen, this is Luz Cipriot’s film, through and through. Still Life teeters on the edge of absurdity a few times, especially when the reveals start rolling out near the end, and it’s only Cipriot’s performance which helps keep it grounded. Resourceful, brave, and cunning, Jazmin is a strong female lead that’s easy to root for. She’s ambitious, but never overtly opportunistic to the point where she comes off as selfish. Most of the male characters are treated solely as suspects within the mystery, so they never really have time to be anything besides shady.
Grieco flirts with an exploration of the Argentinian cattle industry and its markets, which are deeply embedded in the country’s history and tradition. The film never becomes overtly political or preachy, however. It maintains a mystery atmosphere, with moments of pure slasher-horror mixed in throughout. It’s during these bouts of horror where Still Life loses its footing a bit – particularly during the climax, where things become a bit ridiculous and the tone spirals into near silliness. The typical horror beats are all there, but they feel forced, as if Grieco felt he needed to rush them in to hold the audience’s attention. This wasn’t the case though. His story of murder and cattle scandal was enough to engage me. These strained moments of brutality weaken the film’s overall tension and not even Cipriot’s performance can rescue it.
I mentioned the film’s prologue, which is wickedly nerve-wrenching. There’s also an epilogue, which is the polar opposite. It’s so painfully contrived and farcical that it shirks off the previous 90 minutes and dives headfirst into laughable slasher territory. There’s absolutely no reason for it to exist, unless Grieco is banking on a sequel. I sincerely hope that’s not the case because Still Life stands on its own as a unique sociopolitical slasher mystery with one helluva female lead. No need to franchise this bad boy.
* Warning: this movie does contain extremely graphic stock footage of animals being abused and butchered in slaughterhouses. If that type of thing turns your stomach, look away from the screen. Seriously, it’s gnarly.
This weekend at NYCC, the major cast of the “Powers” television series were on hand to debut the first trailer, and talk about the process of adapting a comic book into a successful TV show. Series creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming were both part of the panel, and shared a lot of information as to how this adaptation will exactly work.
And while the trailer has been criticzed for having too much talking, and not enough action. I assure you a lot of it has been filmed, it’s just the effects heavy stuff is a long way off. The cast commented on how shooting just finished on episode two, and this weekend was the first time anyone got to see footage cut together, it’s too early to write it off just yet.
Geoff Keighlay from Gametrailers moderating.Bendis arrives on stage, and talks about how this day was fourteen years coming. They showed the first trailer, the show looks gritty, in line with something like Breaking Bad. Sharlto, looks intense and keeps his wit from District Nine. We got treated to another little bit of footage, showing off some really dark comedy before Sharlto gave a quick video message.
Susan Heyward (Deena Pilgrim), Eddie Izzard (Wolfe), Noah Taylor (Johnny Royalle), Olesya Rulin (Calista) and Logan Browning (Zora) entered the room to thunderous applause. They announced David Slade is directing the pilot as they took their seats., and novelist Charlie Huston is the showrunner. He’s approaching the material like a ten chapter crime novel.
Izzard immediately took control and spoke about playing Wolf. He talked about how the show is going a slightly different direction than the books. He’s taking the character in a slightly new direction. He described it as living in the real fucked up world with powers. It’s a metaphor for being a celebrity.
The panel talked about the young character, Calista who wants power. Olesya spoke about having the creative freedom to do what she wants. She’s really excited to see what people think. Sharlto is a father figure to Callista. He’s incredibly nurturing. He’s made her safe to try new things. Casting Susan as Deena was a no brainer. Bendis spoke about Deena representing that character with her feet on the floor, and being the one voice of reason in the world filled with insanity. She’s wounded when she enters the Powers department. She’s not politically savy, and speaks her mind. She’s looking with a new home in the powers department.
Sharlto’s character used to be a power, and deciding to be a police officer is a lot more heroic than what he was as a superhero. He’ll be forced to answer to some of the powers he used to know. He’s working the case, but Deena is working him. He knows all about powers but can’t really remove himself from the situation.
Noah Taylor said his Johnny Royale is a complex and conflicted character, he’s a bad motherfucker. He’s a criminal mastermind, and he’s mysterious. He called it a dream role. He’s going to be perfect as a slimy motherfucker who resents the commercialized powers. H
The powers kid, Logan Browning, spoke. She saw the footage for the first time and it made her cry. She’s part of a really big beautiful project. She’s still discovering where her character, Zora, is going. She doesn’t want fame, she wants to be a hero. She’s very changed from the book, in the comic she’s a fully formed hero, here we’re going to see her formative years.
Eddie again spoke about Wolf, and told us that he’s an interesting character. He’s the big bad wolf. He is ancient and dark. He has charm and he is fucked up as hell. He’s done very bad things. The trajectory of his character is really dark. He’s already brought the blood and he’s only filmed two scenes.
Strength of the show is about the family of the human characters, dealing with the dynamics of a larger family unit that is still sorting itself out. The strong bond of comrades during war time. The panel closed with teasing just how heavily involved Micheal Avon Oeming’s art style influenced the show. The world of the comics will be everywhere within the show, and really create a beautiful and complementary world.
Here’s the trailer again, and later this week we’ll have one on one interviews with the cast of “Powers.” You don’t want to miss Eddie Izzard.
It was reported that there was a near 10-minute audio sync issue on the Blu-ray release of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, included in Anchor Bay and Scream Factory’s epic Halloween collection.
The aforementioned companies have looked into the issue and are issuing a replacement disc for those who forked out their hard-earned cash for the massive box set.
Below are details, via the official Facebook.
On behalf of Anchor Bay and Scream Factory, we want to thank everyone that has purchased the Halloween Complete Collection. We hope you are enjoying it and all the work that went into bringing it to you, the fans. Unfortunately there is an audio sync issue with Halloween 4 that has always existed on that film with every release. We attempted to fix one of the problems prior to this release but in doing so, it created sync issues elsewhere in the film, which has now come to light. For the past two weeks we have been working to fix the problems that have arisen and we have been able to fix the sync issues at the 46 minute mark. We will be issuing a replacement disc to anyone that has been affected.
If you were affected by a Halloween 4 sync issue and would like a replacement disc sent to you, please follow these instructions:
In order to receive a replacement with the first batch being sent, send an e-mail to ABEHalloween4@Starz.com no later than October 31, 2014 and include the following:
1) Proof of purchase (photo or scan of receipt or digital receipt from on-line retailer)
2) Your name
3) Mailing address
Your replacement disc will then be shipped to arrive no later than November 14, 2014.
Thank you again for bringing Michael home.
Just in time for Halloween, a producer of Sinister and executive producer of Insidious brings a twist to the classic horror story when Grace: The Possession debuts on DVD and Digital HD October 28 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Alexia Fast (Jack Reacher) plays the title role of Grace, an 18-year-old Catholic girl who moves away to college, never having sipped alcohol, done drugs, or had sex. But something dark comes over her, and her purity is taken as she becomes possessed by demonic forces. The film offers audiences a unique first-person perspective of the possessed like never seen before.
The cast also features Lin Shaye (Insidious), Alan Dale (“Lost”), Alexis Knapp (Pitch Perfect) and Joel David Moore (Avatar).
Check out this exclusive clip that heads deep into the woods where the cameraman/woman comes across something terrifying…
“Grace: The Possession is a story told like never before – through the eyes of the possessed. Grace (Alexia Fast) is a beautiful, naive, virginal college freshman trying to deal with campus culture and her outgoing new roommate. But when a terror takes over her body and unleashes chaos, Grace returns to the cold clutches of her severe grandmother (Lin Shaye) and the strict rules of the Church. Haunted by the horrific death of her mother and her deeply ingrained destructive urges, Grace must stop the demon inside before it’s too late.”
Tripwire has kicked off a fresh wave of dev diaries for their survival horror shooter Killing Floor 2, starting with a look at one of the three B’s that their focusing on with the upcoming sequel: the blood. The original was no slouch in this department, but from the looks of it, Killing Floor 2 is going to make its predecessor look like children’s game by comparison.
On October 14, 2014 RJ/Image Entertainment will howl at the moon with Werewolf Rising (review), written and directed by BC Furtney.
We now have an exclusive clip in which the lead falls asleep, online to have a wicked dream featuring a creepy Bill Oberst Jr.
“Desperate for a break from big city life, Emma heads to her family’s cabin deep in the Arkansas hills. As she settles in for some much-needed R&R, she learns that something unspeakable lurks in the surrounding darkness. As the full moon rises, a bloodthirsty werewolf emerges from the shadows, slaughtering everyone in its path and revealing a sinister underworld Emma never knew existed. Thrown into a fight for her life, and her very soul, Emma will need to escape these big bad woods before it’s too late.”
Bill Oberst Jr., Melissa Carnell, Danielle Lozeau, Irena Murphy and Matt Copko star.
Having such an open platform in the PC market has facilitated the arrival of an era where even a single person’s vision can come to complete and total fruition. Indie horror games like this and Neverending Nightmares are as reflective of their makers as they are explorations of the concept of mental illness and how to deal with it.
And despite the fact that psychological torment has always been a ripe topic for horror games, the approach has changed over the years. Rather than being a general catch-all for all things weird and creepy, the subject of mental health has become something more personal, more meaningful, and more altogether unsettling. It is no longer the obstacle or the mere set dressing but very often the through-line of the game itself.
Created by a 25 year old Finnish man named Jesse Makkonen, Silence of the Sleep is a perfect example of how to create an Expressionist vision of a person’s jumbled and broken mental makeup.
The game takes place in a nether realm of a nightmarish (and largely symbolic) world to solve the mystery of the main character’s struggle with himself. Despite some strange hiccups in tone, Silence of the Sleep is a worthy indie descendent of creepy psychological games like Silent Hill.
Silence of the Sleep begins with the end. Specifically, the main character’s end. Jacob Reeves stands on the edge of a cliff, obviously contemplating eternity, and then he lets go, falling into a darkness that is not quite death.
He awakens in a near-reality but can’t remember the details of his life or what might have driven him to suicide. He’s trapped in a hotel that is eerily reminiscent of The Shining — complete with an advice-giving sage bartender — and his goal is to uncover not just his identity but the circumstances surrounding his suicide.
Silence of the Sleep’s psychological adventure game setup will take players through several macabre levels, each with its own set of challenges and narrative threads. However, since it is exists in the more traditional adventure game vein, combat is completely and utterly nonexistent. The game consists of basic mechanics — a flashlight, “use” — and wandering around to solve puzzles.
Most of the puzzles themselves are quite old school in terms of function, and most involve finding some item to affect some other, usually locked portion of the game. In other words, you will be hunting for keys, number combinations, and other various hard-to-see items hiding in the environment for hours upon end.
As the game progresses, the difficulty of the puzzles varies wildly. Some of them are easy, some of them are justifiably difficult, and some are so vague that they’ll require a stroke of luck or insight in order to be solved.
As someone who suffered through this particular brand of frustration in the 90s, I found some of the more baffling puzzles amusing but still grew tired of meandering from room to room, trying to unlock the interior logic of the individual puzzle. Your enjoyment of this aspect of the game will depend largely on whether or not you manage to make the connections the developer intends.
However, the art style, though somewhat rudimentary, is something quite interesting to behold. The silhouetted character designs are a nice touch, which contrast nicely with the busily grim backgrounds. Not only that, but the game’s mechanics often affect not just how the player interacts with the world but the physical makeup of the environments themselves.
More specifically, the game uses color and darkness as means for introducing interesting gameplay elements. Players who need to avoid the shadowy monsters in the game may hide behind cardboard boxes, which produces a twofold effect: it both renders the player mostly invisible and also slows time to a crawl, changing the color and often the auditory aspects of the world. This element complements the psychological nature of the game, not to mention the fact that it’s a really neat effect.
All of it combined makes for a quite disturbing gaming experience. Sadly, the enemies are not intelligent whatsoever, but since you cannot fight back, any appearance of the shadow monsters will render you panicky. Land in the eyeline of one of the monsters, and you’re a goner. The game does a great job of using audio to warn players of an appearing monster, giving them time to scramble for a hiding place.
To go a step further regarding audio, it should be noted that the score highlights all that is great about Silence of the Sleep. The range of music provides the game with a depth that it might not have otherwise have had. It is at times melodic and entrancing and at others atonal and disconcerting, mirroring the psychologically-tilted mood within the game itself. Your pulse will definitely quicken at the sound of a monster’s sudden appearance, but you’ll also relish the acoustic music breaks during narratively focused portions of the game.
Which is why it is so unfortunate how unpredictable the game’s tone actually is. It veers from a gloomy, dark world to almost an air of comedy at certain points, and some of the puzzle minigames are completely irrelevant to the game’s progression that they dilute the power of the great ones. Not only that, but most of the time they are without instructions, so you’ll have to randomly figure out how to beat them.
To wit, there is an unlocking minigame that might just be the worst unlocking minigame in the history of unlocking minigames, and that is certainly saying something. I don’t know if the were meant to add layers to the game, but for me they were a distracting presence.
The biggest problem with Silence of the Sleep is that it can be boring if you have trouble solving the puzzles; or, in the case of the asylum, if there is just too much uneventful wandering around. You might have better luck with some of the puzzles than I did, but if you don’t, then you’ll spend a great deal of time searching every nook for something to help your journey along.
It isn’t frustrating, but it becomes monotonous, and unfortunately that ruins some of the weird, interesting vibe the game manages to build for itself.
The Final Word: Silence of the Sleep does some things with art style, story, and music that haven’t been seen all year. Despite some of its design flaws, it’s a game worth checking out, and you’ll definitely get a few scares out of playing it.
Silence of the Sleep is available on Steam for $16.99 for Windows platforms.
A Halloween Treat? Yeah, maybe for you guys. If I found this commercial in my trick or treat bag, I wouldn’t touch a single piece of candy inside.
Skittle is airing a pretty great new Halloween-themed commercial, unless of course you’re as petrified of spiders as I am. The new/longer :45-second spot just spun a web online, and the spider is way too realistic for my enjoyment. I’m going to have nightmares just from screen-grabbing an image for this article (yes, I know, I need help).
Here’s the sales pitch, not that you need one to know how badly you want some Skittles: “Think you know the whole story about the giant talking spider and his #SkittlesWeb this Halloween? Well, prepare your mind for a touching story of… friendship? Trap the Rainbow. Taste the Rainbow.“
Hey, folks! Apologies for going MIA last week, but I had to deal with a cross-country move. Now that the hard part is over, I’m able to deliver your daily dose of horror game news and stuff, starting with a new trailer for The Evil Within.
Shinji Mikami’s long-awaited return to the gory world of survival horror arrives tomorrow. To celebrate its imminent arrival, Bethesda has released another video that explores the world that Mikami and Co. have created. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with the game already — look for my review tomorrow! — and it really didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it.
The Evil Within arrives on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 14.
Shared on imgur is the coolest “Tooth Fairy” Halloween mask I personally have ever seen.
It’s unclear who made this, but what I can say is that the eye looks hyper-realistic and the concept is beyond rad. I’m pretty sure I’d gag every time I ran into this person at a party.
Get more Halloween Treat articles here.
Producer Ryan Murphy’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning anthology miniseries “American Horror Story” has paid big dividends as his newest installment, “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” has broken all ratings records for FX with its premiere episode last Wednesday night (10/8/14, 10-11:32PM).
In light of that record-setting performance, FX has rewarded “American Horror Story” with a 13-episode order for the fifth and next installment of the show, which will debut in October 2015, it was announced today by John Landgraf, CEO, FX Networks and FX Productions.
With Live+3 time-shifted viewing, the premiere telecast of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” has become the most-watched single program in FX’s 20-year history, and that includes all programs with Live+7 deliveries. “AHS: Freak Show’s” debut delivered 10 million Total Viewers, 6.54 million Adults 18-49, and 4.08 million Adults 18-34, surpassing the network’s previous record holder, the recent seventh and final season premiere telecast of the hit drama series “Sons of Anarchy” on Sept. 9th (9.25 million Total Viewers and 6.1 million Adults 18-49). “American Horror Story: Coven” held all previous records in delivery Adults 18-34.
The premiere and two encore telecasts of “American Horror Story: Freak Show” combined to deliver 13.36 million Total Viewers, 8.6 million Adults 18-49, and 5.25 million Adults 18-34.
“The ‘American Horror Story’ anthology has had the highest growth trajectory of any show in FX history, not to mention an unprecedented track record of success in awards recognition,” said Landgraf. “With Ryan Murphy and his partners, Brad Falchuk, Dante Di Loreto, and Tim Minear, at the helm, the show’s success is not surprising. ‘AHS’ continues to deliver amazing stories, a brilliant troupe of actors led by Jessica Lange, and a visual style unlike any other on TV. With ‘Nip/Tuck,’ ‘Glee,’ ‘The Normal Heart,’ and ‘American Horror Story,’ Ryan Murphy has established himself as one of the most successful and prolific producers of this generation. We expect ‘AHS: Freak Show’ and the next incarnation of ‘AHS’ to further his legacy.”
The premiere ratings for “American Horror Story: Freak Show” topped the premiere episode of last year’s third installment of the franchise, “American Horror Story: Coven,” by +38% in Total Viewers (10 million vs. 7.27 million), +29% in Adults 18-49 (6.54 million vs. 5.07 million), and +40% in Adults 18-34 (4.08 million vs. 2.92 million).
The premiere ratings for “American Horror Story: Freak Show” topped the 13-episode average of “American Horror Story: Coven” by +53% in Total Viewers (10 million vs. 6.53 million), +44% in Adults 18-49 (6.54 million vs. 4.55 million), and +61% in Adults 18-34 (4.08 million vs. 2.53 million).
Since its launch in 2011, compared with the average of its full first installment, “American Horror Story: Murder House,” the franchise has grown +148% in Total Viewers (4.03 million), +119% in Adults 18-49 (2.98 million), and +127% in Adults 18-34 (1.79 million).
“AHS: Freak Show” has 12 all-new episodes airing Wednesdays at 10 PM ET/PT through January. In Wednesday night’s episode, “Massacres and Matinees” (Oct. 15), a citywide curfew threatens to shut down the Freak Show. Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis), a strongman from Ethel’s (Kathy Bates) troubled past, arrives at camp. Gloria (Frances Conroy) arranges a terrifying play date for Dandy (Finn Wittrock). The Tattler Twins (Sarah Paulson) reveal a talent that could knock Elsa (Jessica Lange) from the spotlight (Written by Tim Minear; directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon).
“Freak Show” features an extraordinary cast including Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winners Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates, Golden Globe Award winner and Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett, Emmy Award nominee Sarah Paulson, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Michael Chiklis, Oscar and Golden Globe award nominee Gabourey Sidibe, Emmy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Frances Conroy, Emmy Award nominee Denis O’Hare, Emmy Award nominee Patti LaBelle, Evan Peters, Emma Roberts, Finn Wittrock, John Carroll Lynch, and Wes Bentley.
Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Dante Di Loreto, Tim Minear, Jennifer Salt, James Wong, and Brad Buecker are executive producers of “American Horror Story: Freak Show.” It is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television.
Last week FX announced the spin-off anthology miniseries of “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story,” beginning with the 10-episode “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson,” which starts production in 2015.
On Friday, October 13 1989, Michael Myers got his revenge when Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers hit theaters. That was already 25 years ago.
Today we celebrate the film’s iconic anniversary with 3 rare high resolution photos that are perfect to use for various backgrounds (mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc).
Directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard, and widely considered the worst in the entire franchise, Halloween 5 continued the mystery of the Thorn with Danielle Harris as Jamie Lloyd, daughter of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). She was eventually recast in Halloween 6 at the eventual regret of the producers.
These are 3 absolutely beautiful stills, with one showing a panicked Dr. Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasence), another of Harris as Jamie Lloyd, and lastly, a gorgeous shot of Michael Myers (presumably Don Shanks) with a sickle.
You guys can (and should) pick up Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory’s Halloween Complete Collection, now available in stories on Blu-ray.
We’ve featured several weeks of BD Playlists, which have the writers of sharing their current musical tastes and sharing them with all of you. But this week we’re featuring someone that lurks in the shadows of Bloody-Disgusting: Tom Owen, co-owner/co-creator of BD. He is our very own “wizard behind the curtain”, the guy responsible for making sure the site works, bringing forth all the new features, and basically dealing with us writer’s nagging him incessantly when anything breaks or goes down. Pretty much, he’s the unsung hero that deserves our love and thanks.
Below is Tom’s current playlist, which features five varied tracks. From metal to punk, electronic trip hop to DnB, the list has a little dash of everything you need to get your week started off right!
After you’re done checking out his playlist, make sure you head on over and ‘Like’ the Facebook page for SLPRS, Tom’s DnB/EDM project that he does with his friend Dan. They’ll have new music coming out very soon!
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
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 5, which premiered last night (read our review), 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.
AMC released a new video taking us behind-the-scenes of the “making of” Episode 5.01, ‘No Sanctuary.’ In it, the cast and crew describe how the numerous action scenes at Terminus were created.
The series stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Chad Coleman, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Emily Kinney, Danai Gurira and Sonequa Martin-Green.
The release of “Hannibal’s” The Complete Season 2 (on video now) got us in the mood for some gore.
We found ourselves fishing the net to find some gruesome horror clips, but what we came across was this super gory “Hannibal” tribute video created by Hannibalfan77.
Warning! Only continue if you don’t mind a lot of blood and gore.
Get more Halloween Treats by clicking here.
Given that it’s a Playstation Original, maybe the budget isn’t enough to deliver what the “Powers” comic does?
The new trailer suggests where in for an exposition heavy inaugural season of “Powers,” the new dramatic series from Sony Pictures Television and inspired by the graphic novel series of the same name.
“‘Poweres’ follows the lives of two homicide detectives, Christian Walker (Sharlto Copley) and Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward), who are assigned to investigate cases involving people with extraordinary abilities, referred to as “Powers.” Set amidst today’s paparazzi culture, Powers asks the questions, what if the world was full of superheroes who aren’t actually heroic at all? What if all that power was just one more excuse for mischief, mayhem, murder, and endorsement deals? Enter the men and women of the Powers Division, the only people brave enough to go up against the overpaid, commercialized, superhumans who glide through the sky imposing their power over the crowds below who both worship and fear them.“
The series stars Susan Heyward (Deena Pilgrim), Eddie Izzard (Wolfe), Noah Taylor (Johnny Royalle), Olesya Rulin (Calista) and Logan Browning (Zora).
Author: Amber Newberry
If you grew up in the 90’s, chances are you watched at least a few episodes of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”. Nickelodeon’s anthology-style horror show began the same way each week: the blue lighting on an empty boat, creaky swings blowing in a phantom wind, queue the ghostly child laughing. Can anyone forget that hobo clown doll sitting in the attic during a thunderstorm? Certainly the most memorable part of the opening sequence was a sudden fade to black, a hand holding a match that lights itself revealing the show’s title that begs the question, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”? Well, I sure as hell was and if you need proof of why, shut out the lights… Go ahead, do it!
Pretend you are your 10-year-old self and then watch the opening below.
I’m a little tougher these days, and can handle watching the intro on my own… With all of the lights on and another living human being within shouting distance, of course. There are a few episodes that stick out in my mind as being truly haunting and some, even disturbing. Maybe it’s partly that a wussy-pants is still deeply rooted within, but I dare you to watch a few of these alone in the middle of the night and not have your skin crawl just a little.
“Are You Afraid of the Dark?” aired on Nickelodeon, produced by Canadian children’s entertainment company, Cinar, now known as The Cookie Jar Group. A pilot episode aired on SNICK (that was Saturday Night Nick, for those of you who don’t remember) called The Tale of the Twisted Claw. While it was the fourth episode in the first season, it was chosen as the pilot because of its setting on Halloween night. The episode was televised only in Canada, in October of 1990, and was a complete success to both critic and youth viewers. The show held its own for seven seasons of freaky fun, and was even syndicated until 2008 on various channels and had a smattering of cameos and child actors who grew up to be famous. Of course, now you can watch on DVD, or via Youtube. Having been on the air for an awful lot of the 1990s and in syndication for much of the early 2000s meant that it was a part of my childhood, and nightmares, for years and years. In that time, some of the episodes had a lasting effect, and I’ve compiled these episodes below for your horror and enjoyment.
‘The Tale of the Prom Queen,’ Season 1 Episode 12
‘The Tale of the Prom Queen’ is one of my absolute favorite episodes of all time. So much of the episode takes place in a cemetery, there’s a twist at the end, and the story is reminiscent of the well-known urban legend of Resurrection Mary. Like many “AYAOTD” episodes, the acting is sometimes less than stellar, but the cheese-factor doesn’t ruin the plot and sometimes even adds to the amusement. Add a seance on a boat, a Scooby-Doo style scare, and ‘keen’ twist at the end and you have The Tale of the Prom Queen.
‘The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float,’ Season 5 Episode 1
While this also episode has its roots in a vintage setting, The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float has an entirely different level of gruesome. For any kid with even a subtle fear of water, this episode was likely to turn that fear into a full-blown phobia. With a great story-line that includes an abandoned underground pool, the premier of season five was sure to hook the audience and have kids everywhere awake all night and worrying how they’d get out of their next swimming lesson. I’d also like to add that the ghoul’s costuming is sure to give any 10-year-old night terrors for years to come.
‘The Tale of the Whispering Walls,’ Season 2 Episode 8
Another episode that begins with a costumed member of the midnight society, ‘The Tale of the Whispering Walls’ does not disappoint. What happens when a leap year lands on a full moon? Terror ensues, of course! Two kids traveling with their baby sitter have lost their way in the middle of nowhere and stop at The Whisper Inn for directions. Once inside they meet Master Raymond, a creepy fellow with a gothic taste in his clothing choices who gives them ‘directions’. After getting back on the road, the car stalls out beside… Get this… A spooky old mansion! Of course, this was before those newfangled iPhones were available, so our main characters are forced to ‘use the phone’ inside the spook-house. The babysitter leaves the kids and promises to return ‘in a flash’, but wouldn’t you know it, she never comes back, leaving the kids no choice but to go inside and look for her. This house taps into all kinds of childhood terrors with ghosts trapped in mirrors, poisoned banana splits, moving walls, and a soul-stealing caretaker.
‘The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle,’ Season 2 Episode 10
‘The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle’ stayed with me for years just for the sheer simplicity of the story. Two kids, Ricky and Mike, are out riding bikes, a bridge partially collapses, one of them dies and one of them lives. Needless-to-say, years later Mike is still dealing with some major guilt and the opening to the episode is really just a recurring nightmare of the terrible. Mike’s parents believe he just needs to stop blaming himself and he’ll get through the loss, but things start to get worse when Mike starts seeing the shiny red bicycle. When Ricky himself shows up, Mike thinks he’s cracking up. The image of a foggy Ricky, with his pale face and ghostly eyes staring expectantly at Mike is what always prompted me to change the channel when the rerun came on.
‘The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors,’ Season 1 Episode 8
I’ve often referred to this episode as the ‘Fright Night’ episode because of the ‘vampires next door’ story. After re-watching the episode for the first time in years, the similarities are definitely there, but almost in a silly and fun way. The episode really is lacking what Christopher Sarandon brought to the table and the twist is that the vampire neighbors are a family of three. The cameo by Mark Camacho (who played Mike’s father in ‘The Shiny Red Bicycle’ episode) did not make up for Sarandon’s absence.
‘The Tale of the Twisted Claw,’ Season 1 Episode 4 (Pilot Episode)
The pilot of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” begins unlike any other, with the tale-end of an unfinished story in a cliff hanger. There’s a scream, and we see the Midnight Society for the first time, sitting around their camp fire, telling their stories. What better way to kick off a spooky kids’ TV series than to begin with a tale set on Halloween! Two kids go out on ‘mischief night’, October 30th, and prank several houses including an old woman who turned out to have a trick up her own sleeve. When the kids go trick or treating the following night, the old woman treats the children with a vulture’s claw that promises the gift of three wishes. Unfortunately, we all know that wishing always comes with a price! This episode is an obvious homage to W.W. Jacobs’ The Monkey’s Paw, and was the perfect tale to kick of the series.
‘The Tale of the Crimson Clown,’ Season 3 Episode 2
Mike Carter, played by Christopher Redman (Ginger Snaps, CSI: Miami), has a little brother who gets away with absolutely everything. Seriously, his kid brother Sam (who even looks like a little twerp) is rotten to the core and the plot of this episode centers on him stealing his brother’s paper-route money that he was saving to buy their mother a birthday gift. What does little Sammy spend his brother’s hard earned money on? A video game with a clown on the cover, of course! Before heading home, Mike tells Sam about the Crimson Clown, hoping to scare him into guilt. Mike claims that when Sam is snotty, selfish, or hurts someone, the Crimson Clown is watching and that he’d better watch out or the clown would get him. Of course, we don’t see the wholesome quick turn around from Sam. Oh no, he continues being a little jerk, even after he starts catching glimpses of the clown or hears laughter when he does something rotten. When a giant clown arm starts to reach out of the television, Videodrome style, things get really disturbing, and it takes Sam calling his brother a “turd-face” to bring give you a little laugh to help shrug the creepiness off for a second.
‘The Tale of the Midnight Madness,’ Season 2 Episode 2
‘The Tale of the Midnight Madness’ is an episode that is truly meant for the classic horror movie fans out there. Pete works in an old movie theater that’s about to go completely bottom up. While Pete and a coworker prepare to open the theater, a peculiar old ‘nut-bag’ called Mr. Vink, who kind of resembles Hagrid, bursts in exclaiming how everything is ‘perfect’. It turns out that Mr. Vink made a movie about Nosferatu. many years before, that he wants to finally release to the public. He claims the twist in his horror story is that the vampire wins. The lush of a theater manager is against the idea from the beginning but when he realizes he might make a buck or two off the deal, he finally agrees. The audience loves the film but when Mr. Vink pushes for more it gets weird, and here’s where my movie-loving heart flutters, and the movie monster steps out of the movie screen and into real life! It might not be the scariest of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” episodes, but most people I’ve talked to about the show often refer to it as one of their favorites.
‘The Tale of the Super Specs,’ Season 1 Episode 6
‘The Tale of the Super Specs’ is a fun watch that is sure to remind you a little of ‘They Live’ because of the use of sunglasses that give you the ability to see hidden things. While the hidden things that Rowdy Roddy Piper saw in They Live were darn scary on a consumerist level, the hidden things in ‘Super Specs’ are frightening in an entirely different way. Once again we see why it isn’t always the best decision to pick up things from mysterious magic shops. For you TV buffs out there, Weeds is played by Eugene Byrd, known for his role as Dr. Clark Edison on the long running forensic drama, Bones. What made this episode so memorable? Let’s just say wearing special glasses that allow you to see figures dressed in all black with their faces covered is not something easily forgotten.
‘The Tale of the Frozen Ghost,’ Season 2, Episode 7
Here’s an episode that’s sure to give you a chill! ‘The Tale of the Frozen Ghost’ begins when Charles is sent to visit his weird old aunts, along with his babysitter, Daphne, played by special guest Melissa Joan Hart. Upon their arrival, Daphne sees that the aunts live in a big old house with all kinds of troubles, including a draft and a ghost. It isn’t too long before Charles hears the faint sound of a child saying, ‘I’m cold’. Of course, the aunts are very familiar with their ghost but are reluctant to discuss him because of the strange things that inevitably happen at his mention. Charles finally sees the ghost, a small boy standing beneath a tree outside in the middle of the night in the dead of winter. This scene is the one I recall making it very hard for me to sleep the following night and the line, ‘I’m cold’ is constantly quoted between my “AYAOTD”-loving friends.
‘The Tale of the Vacant Lot,’ Season 5, Episode 10
As with many episodes of “AYAOTD,” there is a lesson to be learned in ‘The Tale of the Vacant Lot.’ The episode begins with a show and tell where each member of the Midnight Society reveals their most valuable possession. Shy Catherine can’t seem to catch a break, even though her little sister, Joyce, envies everything she has and does. When Catherine stumbles upon a mysterious gypsy shop in a vacant lot, she is offered everything she could possibly want, in exchange for something she won’t miss. Of course Catherine agrees and can you believe she’s shocked when she discovers the thing she wouldn’t miss is actually something of great value. Yet another episode that teaches us to be careful what we wish for, otherwise we might end up as lepers.
‘The Tale of the Midnight Ride,’ Season 3, Episode 1
In view of the upcoming holiday of horrors, Halloween, ‘The Tale of the Midnight Ride’ seemed a perfect choice for the final episode of this list. Yet another of my favorites, the premier of season three is based on ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and takes place on Halloween, of course! Awkward new kid, Ian, has just moved to Sleepy Hollow where he’s having trouble making new friends. When he meets pretty Katie, it’s crush at first sight, regardless of the scary ex jock boyfriend, Brad always watching. Just like in the old story, Ian is sent into the woods and is chased down by what appears to be the Headless Horseman, but turns out to be Brad. While walking Katie home, they come across a well-costumed fellow who refers to himself as the new school master, Ichabod Crane. When they send him down the wrong path at the fork, the table turns and instead of the real Headless Horseman chasing down Mr. Crane, he’s after Ian and Katie in search of a replacement head. Who doesn’t love a classic spooky story for Halloween, and what is more classic than The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?
Amber is a lover of horror and all things creepy. With a taste for 80’s and 90’s pop culture and an infatuation with the macabre, Amber found a niche with the Facebook page ‘Halloween in TV Land’ which is devoted to reminding us all of the Halloween episodes from vintage television shows. Amber also writes gothic fiction and you can find her most recent novel, ‘Walls of Ash’ in print or via Kindle or Nook online.
I just moved into my new place, and with Halloween quickly approaching, I’ve been searching for a way to display our various holiday-themed posters.
The worst thing about movie poster frames is they’re both expensive and finite, meaning, you can commit to one poster and one poster only. That’s great if you want your wall to look the same for 10 years. I don’t, which I why I went on a hunt for something different – and came up empty, that is until my buddy Micah pointed me to Spotlight Displays Movie Poster Frames.
The Illinois-based custom framing company has affordable (yes, only $80!) front-loading poster frames made from the highest quality Anodized Aluminum, which means you never have to take the frame off your wall, and can quickly switch your poster from Jaws to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Halloween or Trick ‘r Treat.
Spotlight Displays has various options including border width and size, in case you have older posters you want to put on display. (I also just noticed they have custom frames for Pinball Translites!) My buddy told me that they can even custom cut any size frame. Just e-mail the company through the website.
And for those of you who want a celebrity connection, we also learned that Quentin Tarantino purchased frames from Spotlight Displays for his freshly invigorated New Beverly in Los Angeles, CA.
I’ll snap some shots when I get mine in the coming weeks and share @BDisgusting.