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Updated: 21 hours 24 min ago

First Screens Emerge from the Next Episode of Telltale’s ‘The Walking Dead’

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 17:46

Telltale has released two brand zombie-spanking new screenshots from the upcoming episode of The Walking Dead: The Game season two episode four, titled Amid the Ruins. In the first screen, Clem’s surrounded by a gaggle of zombies, and it all looks awfully similar to the situation we were left with in the last episode. The second features an intense standoff between Clem and friends who look to be having a disagreement against an unknown number of other gun-toting folks.

What’s going on in the above images should be made clear when Amid the Ruins arrives later this month.

Categories: Horror News

Team Junkfish Sheds Light on the Monsters of ‘Monstrum’

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 17:11

Written by T. Blake Braddy, @blakebraddy

Team Junkfish’s Monstrum is an eerie first-person survival horror game set on a ship where very, very bad things seem to have happened. Things that, well, you as the player will discover by being subjected to them, too. With a sound design tweaked to make players ruin perfectly fine underwear, it is equal parts ship exploration and run-screaming-from-a-monster-and-hope-you-can-find-a-hiding-place. You know. That kind of game.

The overall point is to find items to repair a life raft in order to escape, but achieving the objective is way less important than avoiding the beast that roams the claustrophobic corridors, just lying in wait to strip you of your dignity (and your life). Since death is permanent, the stakes are insanely high for this satisfyingly simple gaming experience. Monstrum is guaranteed to wrench at least a single, panicked shriek out of you, and if you’re the kind of sadist who enjoys watching others suffer, you can find plenty of Let’s Plays highlighting this very same event. (In fact, our very own editor Adam put himself through Hell for your enjoyment right here.)

Grant Campbell, Gameplay Programmer and Designer on Monstrum, answered some questions about how they achieved tone in the game, where they gathered inspiration, and how they feel about boats. Also, there is talk of sausage fingers somewhere below. Monstrum is in Alpha and will be released early in 2015. It can be found on Steam.

BD: Sound design is one of the most appealing / frightening parts of Monstrum. How do you know you’ve landed upon the most terrifying sound possible? Is there a lot of discussion about how loud and unsettling to make, say, the sound of a door creaking?

Oh yeah, definitely. Sound is one of the most important parts of horror, in general. Most of the actual discussion we have on making the sounds scary is based around the ones the monsters make (e.g. roars, footsteps, general bodily functions). With environmental audio, like doors and creaking pipes, we let Jaime [Cross] (our resident soundsmith) know the kind of feeling we want to inspire, usually with some examples from other media, and get him to create a bunch of concepts based on these. Then we just pick the ones we like best and iterate until we’re satisfied with the result.

Sound design is made even more important in Monstrum because we use it as a mechanic. When the player does things that make noise, they are giving away their position and it’s important we make sure the player is aware of this. Our rule of thumb is “If the monster will notice it, so should the player,” so sounds that you might not normally be fully conscious of sometimes have to be made louder so that the player makes that connection. This goes for the player’s footsteps when running, opening and closing doors, basically anything that will attract attention.

BD: How will the “power system” you recently blogged about affect or change how players approach the game?

The power system gives the player more ways to approach the game, adding some variety to the overall experience. There are several systems on the ship that require power, such as lights, escape routes, and access to secret areas. Each of these has a corresponding fuse box that supplies power, but the number of fuses available to the player each run will be limited.

This creates a sort of resource management mechanic. Say, for instance, a player is having trouble with a particular section of the ship. It might be worth spending a fuse to power that section, turning on the lights and making it easier to navigate/notice items. However, this comes at the cost of high visibility, which is not great when you’re trying to stay unnoticed, and you have one less fuse. In addition to working lights, once powered, each section will provide a bonus of some kind. For example, powering the area containing the security room will afford a level of control over the ship’s ubiquitous security cameras.

Initially, most of the ship will be unpowered, but there will be some degree of low level lighting spread about, as running around in large sections of total darkness gets frustrating pretty quickly. There are also systems in place to make sure that, even if the player squanders all their fuses, there will always be at least one escape route always available.

BD: Where do the designs for the ship derive? Is there an inherent love for ships and the ocean on the team, or are you ever, like, “Jesus. Not another engine room?”

The decision to set the game on a ship comes from my love for – and, more importantly, intense fear of – the ocean. While I enjoy the calm and isolated nature of being on a boat, the sheer openness of the sea and the idea of being stranded terrifies me. This choice also avoids the inevitable thoughts of ‘Just smash a fucking window and run away’ that occur when playing horror games set in landlocked areas.

The choice of a cargo ship instead of something like a cruise ship is due to the desire for the environment to have a maze-like feel. While larger passenger ships are generally designed to be easy for the public to navigate, older and more industrial ships seem to have a very ‘functionality first, usability second’ logic to their layout. This fits more with the more confusing and oppressive atmosphere that we’re trying to create.

BD: Does the team have to create a whole ship build for each procedurally-generated level, or is the environment composed of interlocking, repeatable parts?

We currently only have one layout for the ship, which is broken down into several sections. These sections define what rooms can spawn there and the rules for their placement. So while the crew quarters section will always be in the same area of the ship – at the back and above the engineering section – its actual layout and the contents of its rooms will be randomised each time. The rooms for each section are selected from a large pool, each room having variant layouts and some randomised placement rules for decoration and items etc. They are then connected up using a pathfinding algorithm which places corridor pieces and junctions. By keeping the ship broken up like this, we make sure that each room spawns in an appropriate area, and that navigation becomes easier the more the game is played. While there were initially plans for some different ship layouts, those are on the backburner just now while we get the rest of the features in.

BD: How do you approach the creation of mood and tone within the game? Is there a piece of pop culture that you point to when trying to codify the experience into a single feeling?

I would say the best existing works that represent the central theme of the game are the original Alien, and the myth of the Labyrinth. You’re stuck in a claustrophobic and unfamiliar location and stalked by a monster but you are not Theseus, you are not Ripley, you are just a mere mortal in terrible danger trying to get away. This factors heavily into how we approach content creation for the game, as we try to make sure each asset and mechanic contributes to this theme as much as possible.

While on this topic, the way we were originally pitching the game was ‘Alien, on a boat’, and when we found out that Alien was pitched originally as ‘Jaws, in space’ it became ‘Jaws in space, but on a boat’. Though shortly after beginning development, a certain similar – and, more importantly, licensed – game was announced and we dialed back on that.

BD: How did the main monster’s design evolve into its current form, or was this the original vision for it? How will the other two pursuers differ from the first, or can you reveal anything about that yet?

Because there is only one enemy in the game at any one time, it’s important to make encounters with them as intense as possible, so I wanted to make the threat of the first monster immediately obvious. It had to be clear as soon as you saw it that this thing could end you in seconds, and for most players meeting it for the first time that is exactly what would happen. I admit that death is a pretty harsh introduction, but it does immediately teach the capabilities of your opponent and the importance of playing cautiously.

We refer to this monster in-house as ‘The Brute’, and the pitch I gave to the team was along the lines of ‘Big, strong and fast. Basically we should be able to replace him at any point in development with a bear and have the game feel the same.’ The original concept was a kind of a gorilla shaped and sea-themed creature, but it became quickly apparent that this thing would have serious trouble moving quickly around a cramped ship. The the new shape is more humanoid, freakishly swollen and muscular, and its fiery, scarred appearance came from a concept by one of our artists that we loved.

I can’t reveal too much about the other monsters just yet, but I can give you an idea of how they differ from the current one:

The Brute is meant to invoke a very primal ‘survival instinct’ response and so his behaviour is that of an enraged wild animal, smashing shit up and barreling after you single-mindedly upon seeing you.

The Hunter is the monster we’re currently working on, represents more of a slimy, creepy-crawly type of fear usually inspired by things like bugs and reptiles. It is the counterpoint to the Brute, choosing stealthier means of moving around the ship and hunting the player.

I can’t say much about the Fiend, as it is still in the early stages and is still subject to change but I will say that it plays on more malevolent tropes like serial killers and the supernatural, and its behaviour and personality will reflect this.

BD: Games like Monstrum feel almost like adventure games with loud noises. You yourself mention Dark Fall as inspirational. Why do you think first-person exploration (a la Myst) makes for such a great backdrop for horror games today?

I think it’s probably because exploration comes from unfamiliarity. Exploration is delving into the unknown to satisfy your curiosity, and because of the strong connection between the unknown and fear it makes a natural fit for the horror genre. From there a first-person viewpoint, is a sensible choice because it increases immersion by bringing the player closer to the environments they’re investigating.

BD: This game looks like it would be killer on Oculus. What has the response been like for VR players?

The response has been pretty positive so far! From what we’ve seen at shows people get really into it to the point of forgetting where they are, and it’s a good laugh seeing them freak out and swear in a crowded area. The Oculus adds quite a bit to the game experience. When you’ve got the headset on you really get a perspective of how small the ship’s corridors actually are and everything feels a lot more cramped and claustrophobic. There is also something quite intimidating in having to look up to make eye contact with the monster.

BD: Do you have anything else you’d like to announce?

The player’s hands are no longer made out of PlayDoh sausages. He’s even got fingernails and everything.

BD: Will all versions be ready for the game’s proposed Q3 release date?

We have recently revised our release date for Monstrum to end of January 2015. This is to give us some extra breathing room to make the game as good as we know it can be. Developing any game in a year (we began development September 9, 2013) was always going to be hard and with the response we’ve had from public we really don’t want to release as a messy early access title and ruin what goodwill we’ve achieved. This may mean staggering the release of Mac / Linux versions, as we’ve always said any release on Xbox / Playstation will be dependant on the response to Monstrum on PC.

BD: Final question: Would you rather be trapped on a ghost ship or forced to watch the movie Ghost Ship?

I’ll take the ship, because at least then I can jump into the sea if I need a way out.

Categories: Horror News

‘Horns’ Teaser Trailer Takes You Through Daniel Radcliffe’s Personal Hell…

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:52

Earlier today we shared the official teaser poster for Horns, which marks stars Daniel Radcliffe as the Devil. Now, with the teaser trailer, we watch him go through hell.

In UK cinemas and presumably here in the States on October 31, “In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to strange horns sprouting from his temples.

Directed by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, Mirrors, Piranha 3D, The Hills Have Eyes) from Keith Bunin’s script, Horns stars Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Juno Temple, Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner and James Remar.

Bloody Disgusting’s Mike Pereira was a huge fan – read his review here – calling it “an audacious, wonderfully twisted romantic horror fantasy.”

RADiUS-TWC acquired the film for release here in the States, so expect it to be released in a similar fashion to Snowpiercer.

Categories: Horror News

Uni’s Halloween Horror Nights Gets “From Dusk Till Dawn” Maze!

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:40

From cult horror film to breakthrough television series on El Rey Network, “From Dusk Till Dawn” will add terrifying maze to its credits when filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s acclaimed supernatural show debuts as a menacing new “Halloween Horror Nights” experience at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, beginning Friday, September 19.

This all-new maze, inspired by the critically acclaimed television series, will thrust guests into the deviant world of “From Dusk Till Dawn,” where they will encounter sordid mythological creatures known as “Culebras,” serpent-like vampires who have tormented the earth for centuries. Residing within the elusive and sinister nightclub, “The Twister,” located just over the Mexican border and above cursed ancient ruins, the “Culebras” prove to be a band of immoral and depraved beasts with a deadly agenda. As guests navigate the maze and venture deep within the bowels of “The Twister,” they will find themselves face to face with a cast of perverse characters, including exotic dancer, Santanico Pandemonium, a mysterious and irresistible “Culebras” femme fatale and Queen Vampire.

Based on the film of the same name, “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” is a supernatural crime saga centered around bank robber, Seth Gecko and his violent, unpredictable brother, Richard “Richie” Gecko, who are wanted by the FBI after a bank heist leaves several people dead. While on the run to Mexico, Seth and Richie encounter former pastor Jacob Fuller and his family, whom they take hostage. Using the family RV to cross the border, chaos ensues when the group detours to a club populated by vampires and are forced to fight until dawn in order to get out alive. The series deepens the tone of the film, From Dusk Till Dawn, upon which it is based, adding new characters and backstories that expand the Mesoamerican mythology behind the creatures inside the club.

Universal Studios’ ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ event is the ideal platform to take fans of ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ to literally experience the terror of stepping into the show,” said Robert Rodriguez. “It has been an incredible opportunity to work closely with the Creative teams at both Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort to bring this maze to life with such detail and authenticity. This maze will capture the visceral excitement and thrills of the series, and I can’t wait to experience it myself.

A versatile and award-winning filmmaker, Robert Rodriguez is renowned for directing a variety of successful and groundbreaking film sagas, including such cult horror classics as Planet Terror, Machete, Grindhouse and From Dusk Till Dawn, upon which El Rey Network’s hit television show, “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series” is based.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” events have a more than 20-year history of creating incredibly entertaining, horrifying Halloween experiences that are consistently rated the nation’s best. The events on each coast feature highly-themed, disturbingly real, haunted mazes based on everything from films to nightmares – and streets filled with hundreds of specially trained “scareactors.” In addition to the “From Dusk Till Dawn” maze, other announced mazes include, “The Walking Dead: The End of the Line.”

Categories: Horror News

‘Devil Inside’ Director to Helm ‘The Inhabitant’

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:35

Deadline is reporting that William Brent Bell, director of 2012′s The Devil Inside, has signed on to direct a supernatural thriller called The Inhabitant. It’s allegedly along the lines of The Conjuring and was written by Stacey Meaner, whose script Mixtape was listed on the industry’s “black list” of best unproduced scripts of the year.

The Devil Inside made a ton of money but was an awful movie with an ending so bad, it bordered on insulting. I haven’t seen Bell’s followup, Wer, but here’s hoping The Inhabitant‘s is better than his former film.

Categories: Horror News

‘Darknet’ Trailer Logs Into Murder! (Exclusive)

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 16:09

From director Joel Soisson (Pulse 2: Afterlife, Pulse 3, Children of the Corn: Genesis ) comes another horror offering, Darknet, which follows an American tourist in Bangkok whom encounters a mysterious group of web performers harboring a terrible secret.

IFC Midnight will be releasing August 22 in limited theaters day-and-date with VOD.

A young American backpacker, Allie (Tammin Sursok), falls in with a mysterious group of ex-pats living in Bangkok who perform on a provocative interactive website called “Cam2Cam.” The seductive allure of Bangkok along with the strange sexual magnetism of the group’s leader, Marit, turn Allie’s world inside out. In a city where foreigners come to re-invent themselves, Allie learns, too late, that nothing is what it seems

Ben Wiggins, Sarah Bonrepaux, and Jade Tailor star.

Categories: Horror News

‘The Hum’ Sure Has Some Scrawny Aliens

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 15:33

The first time we heard from The Hum, it was through an extraordinarily creepy bit of gameplay footage where some guy, likely the main character, was trying his best to remain undetected by an alien force that was patrolling a decimated urban landscape that looked borderline post-apocalyptic. We don’t get many survival horror games with alien abduction themes, so The Hum immediately caught my attention.

In this trailer, we’re introduced to the game’s story. It sounds like some alien dicks — not alien genitalia, but rather aliens who are dicks — have come to our fair and wonderful planet to stir things up. Maybe they’re using us as a food source. It looks like they’re starving.

Categories: Horror News

‘All Cheerleaders Die’ Clip Very ‘Craft’-esque (Exclusive)

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 14:38

Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment brand, sent us the following exclusive clip from All Cheerleaders Die (read our review), available on Blu-ray and DVD on July 22, 2014. The clip takes us early in the film, before disaster stokes, but shows how The Craft-inspired the film is.

Co-Directed and Co-Written by Lucky McKee (May, The Woman) and Chris Sivertson (Brawler, The Lost), the film stars Caitlin Stasey (CW’s “Reign”), Sianoa Smit-McPhee (Showtime’s “Hung”), Brooke Butler, Amanda Grace Cooper, Reanin Johannink and Tom Williamson.

Teenage outsider Maddy is keeping some dark secrets and holding a serious grudge against the captain of the Blackfoot High football team. When Maddy joins the school’s elite and powerful cheerleading squad, she convinces her new friends to help inflict her revenge. After a late-night party goes awry, their plans take an unexpected turn for the worst and all of the girls die. A sinister, supernatural power intervenes and the girls mysteriously appear at school the next day with a killer new look… and some unusual new appetites.

Categories: Horror News

‘Monstrum’ Has Been Delayed to January 2015

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 14:33

Indie developer Team Junkfish has announced they’re postponing the release of their horror game Monstrum to January 2015 to ensure it’s the best game it can be. “This is not something that we have taken lightly, but truth be told we do not feel that Monstrum will be at a level that we as developers, or you as players, will be happy with for our original release date.” Junkfish wrote in a statement announcing the delay.

“We have had a lot of feedback from the people who we have shown it to, and are incredibly grateful and happy for the support people have given Monstrum so far in its early stage. As such it is up to the team to make sure that the game is as good as it can be, albeit a little late.”

So we’ll have to wait a bit longer, but it sounds like the delay will only benefit the game. Until then, I might suggest you burn the time watching me play through the game’s demo. I’m no math wizard, but you could probably cram a few thousand viewings between here and January.

Categories: Horror News

BD Playlist: Mr. Disgusting Vol. 2

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 14:00

The weekend is over and it’s back to the daily grind for the vast majority of us. Something that always helps me get through the week is some new music, something to listen to that will pass the time but add something fresh, new, and exciting. With thanks to Mr. Disgusting, I now precisely that!

Below is a short playlist compiled by Mr. D, which tackles 80′s pop, modern electronica, and some industrial. Head on below to get some new tunes!

Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

Categories: Horror News

‘Inside’ Directors’ ‘Among the Living’ Poster and Images!

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:32

Moving to the next fest is Among the Living, the latest French horror entry from Inside and Livide‘s Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo.

Looking like a mix of Stand By Me, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and It, we have new images and an official French poster for the horror set to screen at this month’s Fantasia Film Festival. We’ve also re-added the film’s international trailer.

Hopefully we get to see this soon, and not have wait an eternity like we are for the underrated Livide.

World Premiering at the ongoing SXSW Film Festival, “Youngsters, Victor, Dan and Tom skip school to wander around an abandoned movie set. They stumble upon a horrific vision : a woman in chains is dragged through the field by a man wearing a clown mask. The masked man catches a glimpse of the boys, who scramble to run away. But, before they can escape, they see something which has been hidden for years, something they were not meant to see. Terrified of having been seen by the masked man, the boys try to alert the police. Unfortunately, their past record of unruly behavior discredits them and the police do not follow up on their tipoff. That night someone breaks into their homes, seeking to eliminate them…one after another… They are going to meet Klarence…

Chloe Coulloud, Lannick Gautry, Francis Renaud, and Beatrice Dalle (Inside) all star.

Categories: Horror News

Everyone Will Get a Chance to See Ellen Ripley Again in ‘Alien: Isolation’

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:14

Last week, SEGA revealed some very neat DLC for Alien: Isolation that’s very much worth getting excited over. The cast of the original Alien will be returning in two bonus missions — Crew Expendable and Last Survivor — that will take place on the Nostromo during the events in the first film. To the chagrin of many Alien fans, the DLC was originally revealed as a free upgrade to those who preordered it.

If you were planning on forcing yourself to head on over to your nearest games retailer to embark on the fruitless task of preordering a game, I’m happy to announce that you can stay indoors, where it’s safe and no one wants to take advantage of you.

As we expected, the DLC will be a timed preorder exclusive. SEGA plans on making it available to everyone sometime after the game ships this October, likely for a fee. As someone who’s wholly against preordering games, I’m okay with that.

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

Categories: Horror News

Comic Picks of the Week

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:11

Every week we cover what we hope to be the best comics of the week on Wednesday, but for a lot of you that’s far too late. You’ve hit the shop and you’ve got your stack by lunchtime. So now we’re going to hit you ahead of time and show you what we think are the best offerings of the week. This way you can leave the shop Wednesday knowing you have a real winner in your pile, or at the very least grab something before it sells out.

 

 

DARK ENGINE #1

Ryan Burton and John Bivens are not fucking around. They want a female unstoppable force like Conan, but with a hint of Lovecraft and time travel. I’ve already had the pleasure of looking at the interior pages for the issue and I can tell you that Biven’s art is the right kind of visceral to showcase this unstoppable force, and the narrative leaves lots of intrigue. This is one you’ll want to grab before selling out, these dudes may be relative unknowns, but after this week that’s all going to change.

 

 

 

 

 

BLACK MARKET #1

This should be a no brainer. Frank Barbiere has proven to be a safe bet when it comes to comics. His storytelling is captivating and expertly paced. He blends real character drama with a huge premise. While Victor Santos has is one of the best stylized cartoonists out there. I can’t think of a better team to tell the story of “Black Market” which see’s superhero blood trading in the shadiest alleys. We’ve already reviewed it and loved it. Our own Brent Hirose had this to say. “A well crafted story that finds compelling material in well traveled territory, “Black Market” is the real deal. Buy it now.”

 

 

 

 

THE SQUIDDER #1

Ben Templesmith hasn’t had a creator owned comic in quite some time, and never anything like this. “The Squidder” follows an old solider’s return from war, and is written and drawn by Templesmith himself. The project was recently kickstarted and funded within twenty four hours, now we get to see the excellent fruits of Ben’s labour, and they are absolutely haunting and delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

SPIKE–INTO THE LIGHT

This is something so rare and special. Here we have a Buffy The Vampire Slayer story written by Spike himself. It’s a tale involving the vampire with a soul that takes place during season seven of the show, and is actually WRITTEN BY JAMES MARSTERS. You can probably hear our own Shadowjayd’s squeals of excitement from here. This is an opportunity unlike any other, and for a Buffy fan this is the must own comic of the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Horror News

‘The Fall’ Review: Dystopian Horror

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:39

Written by T. Blake Braddy, @blakebraddy

The Fall is, at its core, science fiction. Combining narrative aspects of Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick, this genre-bending 2D action-platformer asks players to stalk the corridors of a rusted, broken, darkly beautiful environment to solve a variety of challenging puzzles. It is primarily a point-and-click adventure game with occasional combat to fill out this very tightly-written, well-conceived experience.

However, even though it exists largely by standing on the shoulders of various science fiction tropes – future dystopia, robot laws – it also feels distinctly horrific. The ghastly imagery is more reminiscent of, say, Dead Space or Alien than something more traditionally sci-fi. Alien creatures explode into gooey messes when shot, human corpses get ripped to pieces, and the accumulated garbage of a world long forgotten is perpetually visible.

The Fall does not condescend to the audience, nor does it pretend to be anything it is not. What it is is a beautiful, puzzle-driven sci-fi experience, using its relatively small size in order to tell a story with a surprising amount of restraint and subtlety. The puzzles can be overly tough, at times, but the reward for playing is well worth the strained brain cells you’ll have to use to get through it.

As such, players must work their way through several levels as A.R.I.D., an artificially intelligent combat suit. She must find medical attention for the injured, comatose human inside her before he perishes, which isn’t so easy, considering the only remnants of humanity appear to be dilapidated buildings, malfunctioning computers, and other robots. To exacerbate the problem, humans treated robots like slaves when they were around, so to be able to save “her human,” she must find increasingly clever ways to subvert the protocol to keep robots in line and under strict obeisance.

At the risk of spoiling puzzles, I won’t reveal anything too specific, but A.R.I.D.’s mission takes her through abandoned facilities, dank corridors, and surreal future towns. Players will explore small areas, using specific clues to solve puzzles and unlock new levels. The game’s main mechanic requires players to use a flashlight to find clues and use, combine, or change them in a variety of ways. It’s Monkey Island meets Dead Space.

And speaking of Dead Space, it must be mentioned that parts of the The Fall bear striking resemblances to other games. A.R.I.D. is a space suit with a glowing face a la Isaac Clarke’s very own suit, though comparisons to Dead Space end there. The surroundings make me recall Limbo, down to the stark dark / light contrast between foreground and background. A.R.I.D.’s voice is reminiscent of GLaDOS’s, though only in its mechanized tonality, and another distinct section gives off a very Fallout 3 kind of vibe.

And yet, The Fall never once invites the criticism of creative laziness. It is a game with an overall aesthetic its own, despite faint homages, and the story and environment reveal depth that makes the world feel thoroughly fleshed out. Similarly, the writing never telegraphs too much, allowing players to mentally fill narrative gaps through exploration.

Visually, The Fall looks fantastic. The character models are well-designed and distinct but also simple in a beneficial way. It seems as though the devs managed to find visual as well as narrative ways to keep everything lean and understated, and it works to the game’s benefit.

The control scheme takes some getting used to, but it is an interesting and different approach. Players use the right thumbstick to activate a flashlight to search for clues, which appear in the form of a magnifying glass prompt. That feels somewhat cumbersome, but eventually it becomes like second nature, not entirely unlike its more traditional point-and-click counterparts.

On the path through the game, A.R.I.D. doesn’t only have to rely on her flashlight and wits to game the system-in-shambles. At the outset, A.R.I.D.’s “Operating Parameters” (abilities) are all damaged and non-functioning, and players unlock them over the course of the journey, which adds mechanical depth to what could have become a tedious experience, if left untouched. Had the game been mere puzzle solving or item combining to unlock new areas, it would have been uninspiring, indeed.

Ninety percent of the player’s time will be spent tracking and backtracking to solve puzzles, so despite the ominous tone and bleak surroundings, The Fall is not combat-heavy. You won’t be mowing down countless scores of humans or robots, so be prepared for the quiet, contemplative satire this game puts forth. The puzzles themselves are subtle (read: difficult), and solving them will require some pretty nonlinear thinking.

It isn’t so much a flaw – the puzzles are internally consistent – as it is a sticking point. The game is best when the puzzle’s answers kind of come freely to the player, and though exploration is one of the most alluring features of The Fall, traipsing back and forth over the same few screens can get frustrating over time. If, like me, you’re not versed in how to solve these kinds of puzzles, then you’ll probably end up spending way more time trekking back and forth than is absolutely necessary.

Other than that, any real problems with the game might come from misinterpreting the sometimes confusing syntax or diction of the clues. For example, one of the actions players can choose is so underutilized that I nearly couldn’t solve a puzzle for overlooking it. I happened to misread a very specific word in one of the clues, which caused me to search for a computer terminal that didn’t exist. That sort of thing can be frustrating, but so long as you’re ready for it, I suppose it’s not really problematic.

Over the Moon Games paints a fairly bleak picture of the future, but one that shines with the confident simplicity of its execution. There is not an ounce of wasted fat in The Fall, and the story arcs tightly over the course of its 4-5 hour playtime, satisfying without being intentionally sparse. Some backstory is layered into minor journal entries, and the world itself – even though it is dark – casts a meaningful light onto the universe players enter upon booting up the game.

The Final Word: The Fall is well worth its price tag. It is well-paced, subtly written, and visually appealing, not to mention the fact that the game has two episodes left in its three act structure, so there’s more to come. It doesn’t seem to be chasing any particular trend, and it is confident in the story it is trying to tell. Even though the Steam Summer Sale has ended, players could do way worse than picking up The Fall, available for Mac, PC, and Linux.

Categories: Horror News

‘Amer’ Director’s ‘The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears’ Gets a Trailer and Release Date!

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:38

Strand Releasing announced today an August 29 release for Amer directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s giallo-inspired The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears (read our review).

Described as a Giallo-inspired sexual horror-thriller, Tears turns on Dan (Klaus Tange) who returns to his Brussels home from a business trip and finds out his wife, Edwige (Ursula Bedena), has gone missing somewhere in his Art Nouveau-styled apartment building.

Described as a “highly original erotic thriller with a bloody and taut fantasia of suspense that leaves the viewer entranced,” the official trailer – jam-packed with wondrous colors – has been added below.

Categories: Horror News

Another Fun Supercut of ‘Friday the 13th’ Kills…

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:24

YouTube user Chris Hebert sent us a link to yet another super cut inspired by Sean S. Cunningham 1980 Friday the 13th, and its iconic slasher Jason Voorhees (who first sliced and diced in the 1981 sequel).

The Vancouver BC TV & film editor shares his Friday the 13th Supercut: Jason’s Paramount Kills,” which we’ve embedded below.

Categories: Horror News

[Fantasia '14] ‘Predestination’ Gets International Poster, New Stills!

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:19

Pinnacle Films released an Australian one-sheet for Predestination, starring Ethan Hawke.

Playing the Fantasia Film Festival, the film opens overseas on August 28.

Undead and Daybreakers directors Michael and Peter Spierig direct the thriller, based on the short story “All You Zombies” by Robert Heinlein.

Starring Sinister‘s Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor, “Predestination chronicles the life of a Temporal Agent sent on an intricate series of time-travel journeys designed to ensure the continuation of his law enforcement career for all eternity. Now, on his final assignment, the Agent must recruit his younger self while pursuing the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time.

Categories: Horror News

Alex Aja’s ‘Horns’ Gets Halloween Release…In the UK

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:58

Is this the face of the Devil?

Hopefully this offers a clue to when we’ll see the film here in the States as Empire shared the first teaser poster for the October 31 UK release of Horns.

In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to strange horns sprouting from his temples.

Directed by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, Mirrors, Piranha 3D, The Hills Have Eyes) from Keith Bunin’s script, Horns stars Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Juno Temple, Joe Anderson, Kelli Garner and James Remar.

Bloody Disgusting’s Mike Pereira was a huge fan – read his review here – calling it “an audacious, wonderfully twisted romantic horror fantasy.”

RADiUS-TWC acquired the film for release here in the States, so expect it to be released in a similar fashion to Snowpierceer.

Categories: Horror News

A Deranged Killer Starts the ‘Jersey Shore Massacre’

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:46

The situation just got deadly (yeah, they went there)…

Attack Entertainment is releasing Jersey Shore Massacre in limited theaters on August 22.

Written and directed by Paul Tarnopol, below is the theatrical one-sheet and stack of images from the pic starring Danielle Dallacco, Sal Governale, Richard Christy, Bigfoot and Ron Jeremy

In the horror comedy, “A typical weekend down the shore takes a bizarre turn in the New Jersey Pine Barrens as six girls and five obnoxious fist-pumpers become the unsuspecting targets of a deranged killer.

Are there people who will actually see this in theaters? Seriously?

Categories: Horror News

Weird Al To Release A New Music Video Every Day For Next Eight Days: See “Tacky” Now

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:40

Parody music artist Weird Al has released a music video for this track “Tacky”, which is a parody of Pharrell‘s hit song “Happy”. All done in a one-shot take, the video is a comedian showcase, with appearances from Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black, all singing along and dancing in their own way. You can watch the video below.

Weird Al will be releasing eight videos total, one every day starting today. You can keep up with the video releases by following Al’s Twitter.

Categories: Horror News