Here’s a shocking tweet that went out late last night, one that comes from the director of the scariest movie ever made.
William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist, was quoted as saying, “I’ve never seen a more terrifying film than THE BABADOOK.
“It will scare the hell out of you as it did me.”
We’re huge fans of Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook, but this is overkill. Still, who are we to judge the man who directed the most terrifying movie ever made?
Now that you’ve been overhyped for what truly is a chilling haunter, go check it out for yourself as it’s now on VOD platforms everywhere. Then, come back here and tell us what you thought!
I've never seen a more terrifying film than THE BABADOOK. It will scare the hell out of you as it did me.
— William Friedkin (@WilliamFriedkin) December 1, 2014
The Slamdance Film Festival, launched as an alternative to Sundance, has unveiled its narrative and documentary competition lineups for the 2015 fest on Jan. 23-29.
The fest will celebrate its 21st anniversary. The fest, which takes place at the Treasure Mountain Inn in Park City, will include 13 world premieres, two North American premieres and three U.S. premieres.
Here are the two genre films playing in Park City, Utah this January.
Director: Michael Steves; Screenwriters: Michael Steves, Gabi Chennisi Duncombe, Bubba Fish
Cast: Vincent Martella, Jennifer Laporte, Julia Aks, Lisa Wilcox, Debbie Rochon
“When her possessive high school boyfriend dies in a gruesome accident, Fern Petersen’s life is thrown into turmoil. Things go from bad to worse when he returns as a love-sick ghost to kill her so they can be together for eternity.”
Directors & Screenwriters: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Cast: Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen, Lauren Molina, Larry Fessenden
“After three twenty-something girls break into a mansion and inadvertently murder the groundskeeper, they slowly self-destruct as they decide what to do with the dead body in the living room.”
While some amazing horror films have come from the grand ole United States Of America, us horror fans know the treasures that lie outside of the red, white, and blue borders. From the insanity of Asian cinema to the visceral gruesomeness of France, the world has some truly amazing offers if you’re willing to seek them out.
That’s why I’m excited to have Dutch alt-rock band De Staat, with whom we’ve covered before, share their Top 10 European Horror/Thrillers!
Now, it should be noted that not all of these are horror but those that don’t definitely fall under thrillers. Also, serious props for including one of my favorite films, In The Name Of The Rose, which is also a fantastic book for those of you looking for a good read.
Make sure to pre-order the band’s upcoming EP Vinticious Versions right here
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is heading into hibernation and taking a holiday break.
Last night was the midseason finale and set the stage for a return in February. Below you’ll find the first look at the second half of season 5.
What did you think of last night’s Episode 508, ‘Coda’? You can read our review here and chat about it below.
Tonight brings the half-season boiling point of The Walking Dead and to the storytelling bottleneck we’re all too accustomed to at this point. The show has reduced itself to these bookends in order to garner buzz and it’s hard not to succumb to it. But, if you think about “Coda” for a moment, it’s comprised of the absolute best of the show and saddled with the absolute worst.
I’m somewhat of a casual The Walking Dead fan at this point. I don’t love the show, but I do love zombies. A lot of the show has fallen flat because far too often the scripts struggle with what to do with the characters. The middle episodes of a season feel meandering and devoid of a point, and to the story’s credit, there doesn’t need to be a point other than survival.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be compelling. Take for example the opening moments of tonight’s episode. It’s beautifully shot. Anonymous footsteps pound down an alley. Rick is in pursuit. He smashes Bob 2.0 with the cop car and executes him on the spot. It’s powerful stuff assisted by Bear McCreary’s awesome score. (It almost seems as if new showrunner Scott Gimple just realized that they had a composer for five years, as the show’s score is really coming into its own.)
This is the type of directed violence and retribution that makes sense in the context of the show. Now, take for example Beth’s death. The whole thing is orchestrated to make you care deeply about what’s happening. But, it all feels contrived. She’s far and away with her own group. She’s free, and she feels the need to march back and stab an armed woman with a pair of puny scissors. A woman who showed her compassion and oddly protected her, yet, Beth sought retribution. The shots of everyone’s face as Beth takes a bullet to the head show you that you should care.
But it’s really just orchestrated to keep people talking. It wasn’t the type of death that came from poor planning or was even motivated by character, or really even the story at all. It was senseless and random. All things that we’ve been shown in this world time and time again, but to make the point here in the finale shows a hand of deliberate manipulation and I for one am sick of it. It doesn’t feel compelling, or even upsetting, it just feels forced.
Now the middle of the episode did a lot of backtracking. Father Gabriel got his ass back to the church after being spooked by Bob’s maggoty leg. Maggie found out her sister was still alive through reuniting with Michonne. Tyreese and Sasha shared a moment of forced connection, since Tyreese kept something to himself for no reason at all. I couldn’t help but groan at the whole exchange on the rooftop, it felt inauthentic and not at all like siblings. But, I digress.
It was nice to see Maggie finally react to having a missing sister. A fact I never found too upsetting in the context of the show. Usually gone is gone in this world, better not to think of where people are and Maggie seems strong enough to know that. I would have perhaps enjoyed Tyreese’s confession a little more had it been about how he seemed to have gained 50 pounds since season four, but he wasn’t quite ready to bare his soul about that just yet.
Instead of a rollicking story that built to a natural conclusion, or a thematic conclusion for that matter, The Walking Dead sacrificed it’s momentum in the final moment for plain old shock value.
I’ll still keep watching in the New Year, but I can’t seem to find a compelling reason to continue.
Well… actually. Let’s talk about that scene with Morgan. It just so happened to be my favorite in the entire episode. I love what kind of man he’s become. He seems jovial, and a little more put together than we last saw him. Although contrary to that I couldn’t help but think he was about to kill himself in the church. The reveal of Abraham’s map was a nice little touch to end things on. Looking forward to when these old friends meet again.
What did you guys think of “Coda”? What do you look forward to in the second half of Season Five? Did you find Beth’s death shocking?
Horror films are all about creating terror and tension, building an atmosphere that is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Part of that is ensuring that the location itself is believable or, if that fails, scary as hell. Many times these locations are as exciting to watch as the events that are unfolding on the screen.
Admittedly, there are times when locations are underutilized or they actually work against the horror. But let’s avoid those ones for now, shall we?
Venture on into several locations that I love and then let me know where you get the shivers!
Now that the Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens official teaser trailer is available, fans spent their holiday weekend creating a barrage of memes that had my laughing so much the gravy was coming out of my nose.
The latest is the best, as it imagines if George Lucas had directed the sequel. In it, the effects work is turned up to 12 with layers and layers of ridiculous CGI.
The film will be released in December 2015 and is actually directed by J.J. Abrams.
From the Sumo Lounge test chambers, which I can only imagine resembles some sort of underground hive facility where scientists, technicians and engineers work tirelessly to come up with cozy places for us to rest our bums while we watch movies, read, or play video games, comes the Omni Reloaded. Unlike their other products, some of which I’ve reviewed here over the years, this chair actually is a chair.
I’ve spent a substantial portion of my life engulfed in the foamy goodness that is Sumo’s line of products. I still have my Sumo Titan, which currently resides in my living room, and my love for it hasn’t diminished. It’s still ridiculously comfortable and it’s managed the incredible feat of retaining its original shape. It’s had some butts on it over the last year that would’ve ruined most beanbag chairs, but the Titan always manages to bounce back.
The Omni Reloaded is nothing like the Titan or Emperor. Like the Omni beanbag, which this product seems to have been inspired by, it’s meant for one person. It’s also portable, though I’d use that term loosely.
Even though it’s significantly smaller than their beanbags, this chair isn’t as easy to move around as I would’ve thought it would be. If you’re looking for something you can bring to the beach or to a friend’s place for a movie night, that’s when you’ll use this. It folds up, somewhat awkwardly, so it can fit inside the bag it comes bundled with. Unfolding it is easy, and sitting on it is even easier.
While the Omni Reloaded is way more comfortable than any other fold-up chair I’ve ever used — and I’ve lived on the coast most of my life, so bringing chairs to the beach is something I did often growing up — its debut is in need of some fine-tuning before I’d say it’s definitely worthy of a purchase. For a chair with a $199 price tag, I expect a little more than its current iteration offers.
Even still, it’s a good product and one I plan on using every time I need additional seating. Because it’s a Sumo chair, it’s high quality stuff, so it should last awhile. It also comes in a variety of colors, from a subtle tan color to neon orange, if you’re feeling brave.
I think the issue that’s keeping me from being as excited about this product as I’ve been with the rest is, while I enjoyed the Omni Reloaded and the impressive level of comfort it offers for what’s essentially an evolution of the fold-up chair, I came into this with high expectations. It isn’t easy following up the Gigantor, Titan or Emperor with something so different.
Even still, there’s serious potential here that could eventually turn it into a real hit. But for now, it’s not a must-buy, at least not yet.
As soon as Sumo Lounge shaves a little off that price tag and makes some tweaks to its portability, I’ll be the first to give it two massive thumbs up. Until then, I’d only recommend it if you often find yourself in situations extra seating is important. It’s also worth considering for those of you who make lots of trips to the beach or pool. Otherwise, wait for the sequel.
If you’d like to check it out, you can find the Sumo Omni Reloaded on the Sumo Lounge website.
For more of Sumo Lounge’s products, check out their website.
Disclaimer: Sumo Lounge sent me an Omni Reloaded for this review.
What Visceral Games accomplished with the Dead Space franchise is nothing short of spectacular. This series has left an indelible mark on the horror genre as well as gaming as a whole. The first introduced us to its sci-fi world, setting the foundation for a sequel that would go on to refine that winning formula to a near-perfect balance of action and horror. The third wasn’t as refreshing as its predecessors, but its optional co-op and weapon crafting were welcome additions to the series.
Horror games have a tendency to shy away from combat in favor of giving the player an empathetic, under-equipped, and sometimes even entirely helpless character, because popular games like Clock Tower, Fatal Frame and Silent Hill found success with that approach.
Dead Space didn’t shy away from combat. Instead, it gave it a name — strategic dismemberment — and built a satisfying horror game around it. The combat made sense. Isaac Clarke wasn’t a badass, at least not initially, but he was an engineer aboard a ship that was brimming with tools that were begging to be weaponized.
Similarly to Silent Hill, which has historically relied on a minimal approach to its UI so it never breaks the immersion, Dead Space introduced a fully diegetic interface that removed the clutter by moving all of the “gamey” aspects like Isaac’s health and inventory into the game world. It wasn’t the first game to do that, but I’d argue it was the first to do it well.
I’m touching on these things because this series’ has accomplished a lot, and its willingness to innovate is something that’s worth celebrating. Whether or not Alien: Isolation goes on to become the first in a new franchise of Alien games remains to be seen. It wasn’t perfect, but developer Creative Assembly showed that same willingness to push the envelope that Visceral did with Dead Space.
They’re similar games. Both follow a member of a rescue team that’s on a mission to find a missing loved one. When they arrive, things go wrong, stranding them in a place where something has gone horribly wrong. They’re separated from their team and forced to use their unique skillsets to scavenge resources from the surrounding area to build what they need to survive.
That’s just the first 20 minutes of each game, but you get the point.
One of the major differences between Alien: Isolation and Dead Space as it is today is while most of us have had years — or in the case of the former, decades — to get familiar with their monsters, every antagonist in Isolation is introduced to us in a way that makes them terrifying.
Necromorphs aren’t any less gross or unsettling to look at as they were in 2008, but they are substantially less intimidating. You can throw as many variations of the same monsters at us as you like, but we’re familiar with their bag of tricks. A fear of the unknown is what scares us, and there’s little we don’t know about Necromorphs at this point.
Unless EA’s been working on some sort of mass memory wiping device — and after disastrous launches of Sim City, Battlefield 4 and Dungeon Keeper, they may very well might — this familiarity cannot be erased.
For Necromorphs to be as intimidating as they were in the first Dead Space, they’ll need to be made new again. This means they’ll need to be presented differently, with new abilities. In past Alien games, the aliens were little more than cannon fodder. They were insects to be squashed, rather than intelligent killing machines.
Alien: Isolation remedied this by focusing on a single, exceptionally cunning xenomorph that was nothing like the things we killed by the hundreds in games like Alien: Colonial Marines and Alien vs. Predator.
Much like Necromorphs, the alien’s movements are unpredictable thanks to an impressive AI that made clever use of the Sevastopol’s liberal smattering of vents, which it could use to sneak up on an unsuspecting Ripley. Necromorphs are former humans who have been twisted into living weapons and controlled by an ancient hive mind, but there’s little to differentiate them from your average zombie in terms of behavior.
Solutions can be found outside the horror genre, too. After Halo 3, the Covenant were familiar and predictable. They spoke English and had funny voices. Then Halo: Reach came along and they looked differently and spoke in alien languages. Even the way they moved and reacted to the player were less predictable.
There comes a point in the timeline of many video game franchises when the story goes somewhere we’d rather not follow. We’ve seen it a handful of times with games like Condemned II: Bloodshot, Resident Evil 5 and Dino Crisis 3, and while there might not be a good example of a series that’s come back from this, I have a feeling Dead Space can.
The problem lies with the final act of Dead Space 3, which is, in a word, completely f**king bonkers.
I spent some time at Visceral working on the game every day for six months, and I still couldn’t explain what happened there. Something about Necro-Moons, a Unitologist prophecy and Convergence, an alien apocalypse, because video games.
Dead Space went full-on Resident Evil Its narrative scope got too big, and what we got an incoherent mess that didn’t fit with this series’ greatest strengths. It wasn’t a story about survival against a horrific alien menace; it was a tale of survival against multiple alien threats told on a galactic scale.
As a franchise, Aliens has an impressive fiction and scope that could be used for the foundation of hundreds of films and video games. Alien: Isolation could’ve been more narratively ambitious, but that would’ve made it less personal. When the player loses that personal connection to the character they control, they care less, making it less effective as a horror game.
Before it can scare us again, Dead Space will need to scale back. The countless hours I spent aboard the Sprawl and the USG Ishimura will stick with me considerably longer than Tau Volantis, despite my appreciation for the homage Dead Space 3 gave to The Thing.
For now, Dead Space is on hiatus. It hasn’t been canned, and EA has gone to great lengths to confirm that fact three separate times now. Isaac and Friends are taking a much-needed break, and the more time they spend finding themselves before making a triumphant return, the better.
It’s been over two years since Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th director Marcus Nispel’s Backmask spun behind cameras. You have to think there’s something wrong at this point… maybe there’s some answers hiding within the film if they play if backwards?
While we wait for ay sort of news regarding the release, the opening title sequence was posted online (caught by Bloody reader Fabien M.) by Baird Design. There’s some nudity, so it’s NSFW.
The slasher stars Gage Golightly, Michael Ormsby, Stephen Lang, Kelly Blatz, Brett Dier, Nick Nicotera, Nick Nordella and Brittany Curran.
“During a sex, drugs, and rock-fueled party, six small-town teenagers find an old vintage record and decide to play it backwards in order to listen for any subliminal/satanic messages. Lo and behold, a seemingly malevolent spirit quickly infiltrates the group, wreaking havoc as it moves from one body to another. Eventually, however, it’s revealed that the spirit in question is actually trying to convey a message….and that the real source of horror isn’t particularly paranormal, but rather something (or someone) much closer to home.“
Here’s some new images from Image Entertainment’s Digging Up the Marrow, starring, written and directed by Adam Green (Froze, Hatchet, Hatchet II), and inspired by the artwork of artist Alex Pardee.
The film stars Ray Wise (Twin Peaks, X-Men First Class), Will Barratt (Frozen), and a roster full of horror genre favorites and iconic artists all appearing as themselves.
“When filmmaker Adam Green receives a package from a strange man (Ray Wise) claiming he can prove that monsters exist, he and his crew are taken on a mysterious, fantastical, and terrifying journey into the shadows deep down under the ground below our feet. Digging Up the Marrow is a documentary-style film that blends reality with fantasy in a way that will leave even the most hardcore skeptics believing in the existence of monsters.”
Thanks to Fabien M. for the tip.
Even though The Collection has been on home video since 2013, these never-before-seen images from behind-the-scenes are definitely worth a look.
The Collection follows a twisted madman who “collects” humans in a booby-trapped house of horrors. You’ll see some of his “assets” in the below imagery.
Starring Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises), the film also stars Emma Fitzpatrick (The Social Network), Lee Tergesen (Texas Chainsaw: The Beginning) and Christopher McDonald (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”), and is written by established horror writing team Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (Feast series, Saw IV – Saw 3D: The Final Chapter). Directed by Dunstan, it is the second time he has directed a film the pair has written.
“When Elena (Fitzpatrick) is talked into attending an underground warehouse party with her friends, she finds herself caught in a nightmarish trap where the revelers are mowed, sliced and crushed to death by a macabre series of contraptions operated by a masked psychopath. When the grisly massacre is over, Elena is the only survivor. But before she can escape, she is locked in a trunk and transported to an unknown location.
Fortunately for Elena, one man-Arkin (Stewart) -knows exactly where she’s headed, having just escaped from there with his life and sanity barely intact. Elena’s wealthy father hires a crack team of mercenaries to force Arkin to lead them to the killer’s lair. But even these hardened warriors are not prepared for what they encounter.“
It hasn’t even been 24 hours and someone has already re-created the Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens teaser trailer with LEGOs! Talk about a quick turnaround.
He even created the new lightsaber people seem to be dogging on (even though it’s cool as fuck.)
this took forever…. hence the upload at 4:00 AM im excited for the movie ha ha
I had nothing to do yesterday so I started once the trailer came out so i built the Falcon, The X-Wing, The speeder bike thingy, a mini tie fighter, tried to build all the sets, and get all my minifigures put together… then just filming took forever especially the the special effects… i tried stop motion in front of the green screen and that was hard and by this time it was 3am so like more than 12 hours (i took a 3 hour break somewhere) and then finally gave up and used sewing string for the X-Wing and just kind of moved my camera around the falcon, i wasn’t as happy with the falcon shot but i cant work on it at all today so i had to finish it like 4 hours ago, but i just woke up to go to my grandparents house, and now you know everything about how it was made!!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015.
On the one hand “Rage Of Caliban” is exactly the kind of Constantine episode I want, and on the other, it’s hollow and not very scary. It’s another step in the right direction that allows the world to be a little more fleshed out, and showcases our titular hero on a solo quest.
This week was pretty much a solo-John adventure. Chas may have tagged along but he offered so little in the way of story development that I hardly considered him at any point throughout the episode. With that being said, I think Constantine would benefit from more episodes like this. Having Zed take a week off let us get to know the rough and tumble Constantine I love.
From the first scene of John in bed with a mysterious women, to the final scene of him lighting up, everything here was pitch perfect in terms of character. Which is admittedly Constantine’s strong suit so far. Matt Ryan has been nailing his portrayal of John to the point of near legend. I honestly can’t think of a performance as nuanced as this likable asshole in the whole of DC’s live action appearances.
There is something about this down and out mage that really charms. Be it his haphazard problem solving, or his self loathing Matt Ryan’s John Constantine is the one we’ve craved for a very long time. So why did an episode featuring only him, still feel like it wasn’t as good as it could be?
Well the answer is rather simple. The horror here, and the basic premise isn’t far outside anything we’ve seen before. It may be new to the world of the show, but for the most part the possessed child has worn thin as of late. There are some fun additions here, however. I mean, it was cool to see John reflecting the kid’s magic back at him with the mirror.
And the finale in the horror fun house was a really good time. I enjoyed seeing John in a room filled with flayed flesh even though I knew it was fake in the context of the show it still felt like a step in the right direction. See, even though this week had some gore, I just don’t feel like it goes far enough for the grit of this universe.
Consequently the loss that John is recovering from still doesn’t feel all that dire. We know he has a certain sensitivity towards cases involving children, but this week nothing felt particularly out of the ordinary. He still felt as if he had a pretty good handle on everything.
The writers seem to forget that Constantine doesn’t really have a good handle on anything other than people. His magical knowledge while robust is haphazard at best. He makes most of his solutions by flying on the seat of his pants, and right now he feels almost too good at his job. I know I just spoke about his past failures but I don’t feel any vulnerability from that.
I want to see John making solutions up out of his ass. I want to see him in over his head, and while I think the show is building there, I’d like to get there sooner. The rising darkness needs to bring a monumental failure back to John to really sober him up, or drive him to drink further.
Plus I didn’t see him really con anyone this week. That is far and away the most fundamental aspect of his character we’re currently missing. I often have to remind myself that my John Constantine is a wheeler dealer bastard on the verge of hell. He never quite knows what he’s doing but has enough confidence for ten people. He’s also not afraid to be a little selfish.
So far Matt Ryan’s a bastard, and he’s got a flimsy moral compass, but I don’t see the pain in his performance and I have yet to see the vulnerability. Which I think would add to the horror. Since each week has been a by the numbers genre convention horror show, I’d love to see something that scares John. I need something unpredictable, and something that takes some chances with the storyline.
Let’s move past the possessed children and get to the heart of what scares our favorite bastard, other than his perverse fear of smoking on camera. Although he almost got over that this week, so all things considered I’m pretty happy. More episodes like this with a little more unpredictable plotlines and I’ll be the happiest I could be.
What did you think of “Rage of the Caliban”?
Did you miss Zed this week?
Do you agree John needs a little more vulnerability?
Fans of Rammstein, take heed!
This week’s Twisted Music Video Of The Week is “Eat You Alive” and comes from hard rock/metal band Emigrate, which is led by Rammstein lead guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe. The track comes from the band’s sophomore album Silent So Long, which comes out on December 9th in the US and features guest appearances from Marilyn Manson, Peaches, Korn‘s Jonathan Davis, and more.
The video, which was directed by Zoran Bihac, shows several people sitting by a black pool. As they wade into the water, they get pulled under and emerge as the members of the band. The video also features reggae musician Frank Dellé dancing wildly and singing on the edge of the pool.
Make sure to pre-order Silent So Long via iTunes.
Silent So Long track list:
1. “Eat You Alive” (featuring Frank Dellé)
2. “Get Down” (featuring Peaches)
3. “Rock City” (featuring Lemmy Kilmister)
4. “Hypothetical” (featuring Marilyn Manson)
6. “Born On My Own”
7. “Giving Up”
8. “My Pleasure”
9. “Happy Times” (featuring Margaux Bossieux)
11. “Silent So Long” (featuring Jonathan Davis)
The first trailer for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, perhaps one of the most anticipated sci-fi films of this decade, has been released and can be seen below!
The trailer shows nothing in terms of story but gives glimpses into the tech and visual eye candy, including X-Wings, the Millennium Falcon, and a badass new lightsaber.
The film will be released in December 2015 and is directed by J.J. Abrams.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, and features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker. The film is being produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk, and John Williams returns as the composer.
Video game adaptations. You either love them, or you hate them. I’ve found myself on both sides, though I usually find myself siding with the latter. The reason for this is while there have been a few that have genuinely tried to be faithful to their source material, they’re lost in a sea of lazily crafted cash-grabs from people who aren’t willing to invest more than a modicum of effort into them.
These half-assed movies ignore the fact that gamers are an incredibly passionate bunch. Like some sort of geeky hive mind, we’ve spent years amassing our knowledge, holding week-long celebrations, and building insanely detailed wikis that serve as virtual shrines to the things we love. We could use this hive mind mentality for evil, but we don’t.
Because there’s a good chance we know considerably more about these worlds than the folks adapting them, we can tell when the filmmakers haven’t even played the game they’re trying to turn into a movie. We can also tell when they have played them.
It’s alarming how rare that is. Turning a game into a movie without playing the game is like deciding to adapt The Lord of the Rings when your knowledge is limited to the six minutes you spent watching the 1978 animated flick. Don’t do that. Seriously, don’t. As fervent as gamers can sometimes get, the communities that surround Tolkien’s works are exponentially more intense.
They won’t hesitate to cut you, and they’ll do it with a genuine replica of a Greenleaf knife, probably while yelling in Elvish.
There’s really only a handful of video game franchises that have communities like that, and one of them is Silent Hill. This series has had 15 years to make us love it. For people like me, who have been playing these games since the first released in 1999, that love is unconditional. The first three games guaranteed its status as one of gaming’s greats early on.
Christophe Gans is a fan of Silent Hill, and it shows. Before he was able to direct the adaptation, Gans hounded Konami for five years before he was given the film rights, even going so far as to send them an audition tape to explain his love for the series.
There’s a number of reasons why I consider this film to be the most successful of Hollywood’s many attempts at bringing a video game to the silver screen, but among them, keeping Konami Japan and Team Silent — the team behind the first four games — involved with its production the whole way through is what kept it from becoming just another video game movie.
With a fan in the director’s chair and consistent input from the developer, Silent Hill was able to retain much of what made the games so memorable. Akira Yamaoka’s work on the games’ soundtracks is iconic, so pulling a selection of tracks from the early games was smart. That move went a long way in making the film feel like it was an extension of the games.
You don’t need to spend any significant amount of time with the games to be familiar with their very distinct atmosphere. Silent Hill has a very unique aesthetic. The world is opaque and dreamlike, it feels like a living thing. It shifts and changes based on your darkest fears, secrets and sins. It’s a very personal nightmare.
It’s not surprising that some of this was lost in translation. It makes sense that Gans and Co. would want to use familiar creatures from the series, like Pyramid Head and the Nurses — originally manifestations of James Sunderland’s psyche — rather than try and come up with something new. Revelations would later take a stab at being original, and we all saw how that turned out.
Clive Barker called. He wanted me to tell you you’re bad at this.
The film’s cast of monsters serve as a sort of highlight reel. Fan favorites like the Grey Children, Bobble Head Nurses, Lying Figure and Pyramid Head make their necessary appearances, and while I would’ve liked to see them tied to Rose, seeing them realized outside of the games with such an impressive attention to detail made up for that unrealized narrative potential.
That’s not to say the movie didn’t try anything new. That old-timey flashback bit near the end was beautiful and did a fantastic job of cleaning up the near-incoherent mess that was the film’s story.
We may have reached a point where there’s a dozen awful video game movies for every successful — relatively speaking — attempt, but it’s films like Silent Hill that keep me from developing an entirely pessimistic view of the popular trend. It’s far from perfect, but I believe Gans and Friends have come the closest to bringing us a decent adaptation.
How about you? Feel free to share your thoughts on this movie, or even video game adaptations in general, in the comments!
Black Friday is a sickness, and you should be all ashamed to be taking a part in it, or for knowing someone who is. Now with that said, let’s see how much extra debt this year has in store for us. If you don’t max out two of your credit cards, you aren’t trying hard enough. I really hope Best Buy is selling an HDTV that’s big and cheap enough for me to worthy of blindly trampling an elderly couple so I can be the first to get one.
First up are some video game deals you should really considering checking out.
Looking for a cheap co-op game you can play over the holidays? Assuming you own a PlayStation, I recommend stopping by the PlayStation Store by Dec 1 to take advantage of their epic co-op themed sale. The discounts are solid, but they’re even solid-er (deal with it) if you’re a PS Plus subscriber. Drop $100 and you’ll get $15 back.
The PlayStation Store’s Flash Sales are also in full effect, you can follow those right here.
Sony fans aren’t the only ones who are getting some love. Microsoft is holding their own sale on the Xbox Live store, also from now until Dec 1. We have The Evil Within and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor for $29.99, Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Game Season One and Two bundle for $24.99, or you can grab each season individually for $14.99.
From now until Dec 2, Steam’s Exploration Sale currently has Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor for $34.99, The Evil Within for $20.39, Left 4 Dead 2 for $9.99, DayZ for $29.74, The Forest for $12.74, Alien: Isolation for $37.49, Five Nights at Freddy’s for $2.49, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 for $6.39, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter for $15.99, Dead Island for $9.99, Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Game Season Two for $16.74, along with a couple thousand more.
It’s also worth mentioning that Amazon is offering sales on two of the year’s biggest horror releases, The Evil Within (PS4, Xbox One) for $29.99 and Alien: Isolation (PS4, Xbox One) for $29.99 (PS4)/$24.99 (Xbox One), and while Walmart’s offering isn’t quite as enticing, we still have The Evil Within and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition, among others, for $35 each.
Retailer juggernaut GameStop has a selection of titles to choose from with discounts reaching up to 50%.Console Deals
If you’re looking for a console to play all these new games on, here are a few good deals to consider.
500 GB PS4 w/GTA V and The Last of Us: Remastered or Lego Batman 3 and LittleBigPlanet 3 for $399.99 — Toys ‘r’ Us
Buy a 500 GB Xbox One through the Microsoft Store by Nov 29 and you’ll save $70, plus you can take home either Forza Motorsport 5, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare or or Titanfall for free.
Timothy Schultz is tired. It’s the second day of the Mile High Horror Film Festival and a couple weeks before, his wife gave birth to their first child. So essentially he’s juggling two babies at once. He hasn’t slept much these days, but he’s still on hand to soldier through the fifth incarnation of the horror film festival he founded.
He established the Mile High Horror Film Festival with the mission of bringing the very best genre films from around the globe to the city of Denver. A filmmaker and genre enthusiast, Tim had attended festivals around the nation before deciding to spread the love to Colorado, specifically for the state’s horror fans.
I sat down with Tim in the Alamo Drafthouse Denver’s bar to talk about this mighty festival that keeps getting bigger and better every year.
Could you tell us about the origins of the festival?
Sure, we started it in 2010. I’m a filmmaker myself and also a fan of independent film, so every year I’d go to Sundance, SXSW, and some of these larger festivals in North America. And I’m a big genre fan. But there was no big genre or horror festival at the time in Colorado. That’s why I decided to start it. I wanted to created something that I myself would want to go to and I knew there would be a big audience for it here.
How has the festival evolved since the first one back in 2010?
It’s grown substantially every year. Word of mouth was a big help and the fan base has just really blown up. Basically it’s doubled in size each year, which is super exciting.
Where was it held originally?
This is our second year here at the Drafthouse and we’ll be with them next year as well. We were previously in Denver, at the Denver Film Society’s different facilities. An Alamo is actually opening in Denver proper soon so we’ll be back there someday. But we love the Alamo, it’s pretty much the perfect theater for festivals. They really cater to events.
Like last year we did this thing, and sorry if you’re a vegetarian, but Doug Bradley (Pinhead) was here and we had a pig suspended on chains. We had Doug slice it up and we served pork sandwiches off the pig. So that’s the type of thing the Drafthouse really caters to.
We’re doing something with a pig again this year, with Gunnar Hansen. Anyway, the Alamo is really fun to work with.
Over the years what has been some of the challenges of putting on Mile High?
Well it takes an immense amount of coordination and organization. It involves a lot of people. Like I said every year we get bigger. This year I think we’re playing a little over 80 films from 17 different countries. Logistically it’s a challenge to program those films but not only that, we watch hundreds of films and the ones we show are only the best of the best.
So there’s that but then there’s also the exhibitors, the sideshows, and lots of others things happening in addition to the films. You know, our goal is that even if you’re not watching a movie, we still want you to be having a good time. I think we do that more than some genre festivals anyway, which kinda makes us stick out.
There’s a lot of challenges but as it goes on we’re getting better at it.
As a filmmaker yourself and as a festival director, how have you seen independent film, and I guess specifically independent genre film evolving over the years?
We definitely see new trends every year with independent horror, as far as what’s submitted to us. We do a combination of taking submissions and looking at what’s playing at other festivals. Because really our mission is to play the best of the best. Uhhmmm…sorry I lost my train of thought. Sorry about that. The question was…
It’s cool. You must be beat from the baby. I had asked about trends you’ve seen over the years.
Right, so when we started this a trend was definitely vampires, you know because of Twilight and all of that stuff. We’ve also seen in the last couple of years, especially this year, as the Walking Dead gained in popularity, tons of zombie films from all over the place. It seems like that trend is starting to peter out. And for years now, it seems always present, are these cinema vérité movies where it’s first person camera. There’s been some excellent ones but it really takes some skill to do those. So I think some people believe they can just pick up a camera and make a movie without really knowing what they’re doing. The camera’s always shaking so much…
Yeah I have to watch a lot of those movies for the site.
I can imagine. There’s a lot of those out there! They’re everywhere! So that’s definitely a trend. I think one of the main reasons is that its cheap to produce.
That’s why I’m excited to talk to the Blair Witch directors while I’m here, get there take on the trend.
Yeah that’s a film that, no matter if you like it or not, it’s very historically important for genre films. That really sparked this whole crazy thing. That’s why we’ve been so lucky that Dan (Myrick) has been with us for years as one of our judges for the festival. He’s such a great guy.
Right on. Could you talk a bit about the film scene in Denver.
It’s definitely picked up recently. It used to be really big in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Then financing was cut and there were a lot of restrictions. Now lately, there are more tax exemptions and they’re making it more friendly for filmmakers. It’s really picking up and we as a festival are always excited to inspire local filmmakers. We’ve had people who have never made a film before come to our festival, see the short films, and find it really inspiring and they wind up making something brilliant. That’s definitely one of the best things about it.
Thanks a million to Tim for taking the time to talk with us! See you next year!
It’s that time of year when people line up outside of department stores to maul each other while the poor bastards working in retail wish they were home with their families. Tis the season for Black motherfucking Friday.
My biggest conundrum is that while I loathe the barrage of sales-happy lunatics this time of year, I also love spending dough. Especially on myself (c’mon, we’re all friends here, let’s be honest). Luckily there’s plenty of sweet online deals this Black Friday weekend to satisfy the most rabid horror fans. So if you’ve been holding out on that pricey Blu-ray box set, action figure, or shirt, bust out the plastic and tear it up. Then when you click that “Place Order” button, sit back and relax while all those suckers inside Best Buy trample one another.
Black Friday happens to coincide this year with a Barnes & Noble 50% Criterion Collection sale. While this earth-shattering event happens like three times a year, it’s still cool to be reminded of all the wicked horror flicks Criterion has put out that can be picked up for 50% off (so it’s like the normal price of Blu-ray). If you haven’t yet, pick up their pristine releases of The Uninvited, The Innocents, House, Eyes Without a Face, and slew of other great horror movies.
For Black Friday, Amazon’s dropped the price on a boat load of horror box sets, including The Twilight Zone complete series (over 70% off!), the Universal Monsters set (half off!), the highly underrated Thriller: The Series, the 40th anniversary Blu of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection (over half off!).
Check out all of Amazon’s horror deals here! There’s a lot of season Blu-rays on sale for shows like True Blood, Hannibal, American Horror Story, and more.
Entertainment Earth has been holding daily deals leading up to Black Friday, with a “doorbuster deal” promised the day of. As I’m writing this a few days early, I have no clue what door this deal will be busting, but sniff around their website Friday to find out. They are gonna be throwing down sales ALL weekend, through the first week of December, so keep watch! They sell a lot of silly shit on that site, but hopefully they’ll have deals on the painfully awesome Reaction figures line.
For our high net worth readers, Gentle Giant is holding a 30% off sale through Sunday, Nov. 30th. If you’ve been waiting for a sweet deal on a Daryl Dixon mini-bust, this is your moment!
A bunch of Walking Dead and other McFarlane toys are on sale for Black Friday over at Amazon (yes, I’m an Amazon whore).
Fright Rags is throwing down a Black Friday sale, though at the time of writing this their site is down while they update their inventory. I always kick myself for missing out on their stuff, maybe Friday night I should get my shit together.
For the season, they’re releasing some AMAZING Christmas shirts like “Clark’s Revenge” (a Christmas Vacation x Friday the 13th mash-up, “A Christmas Gory” (Ralphie from A Christmas Story on the hunt), and “Abominable Snow Massacre” (takedown of the classic Rankin/Bass stop-motion classics). Fright Rags’ gear is wicked limited so ACT FAST!