Each year Adam Green (Hatchet, Hatchet II, Spiral, Frozen, “Holliston”) and his production company ArieScope dole out a special horror short film for fans to celebrate the season of scares and this year’s has just gone live!
Green and crew have been doing this for 16 years straight! That’s longer than some of you have been alive! In any event this year’s sliver of shivers stars Shawn Ashmore (“The Following,” X-Men, Frozen) and Brea Grant (“Heroes,” “Dexter,” Rob Zombie’s Halloween II). Check it out below and for more, including the other 15 Halloween shorts, visit the ArieScope website!
Happy Halloween, fiends!
Once again Vin Deisel has taken to his Facebook page to share with fans a couple of images from his latest film, The Last Witch Hunter. This guy is his own PR machine. Everyone should be as in touch with their fanbase. Check ‘em out.
Breck Eisner is directing the film, which sees a semi-immortal witch hunter (Diesel) wandering the streets of modern New York City who is forced to partner with his natural enemy, a female witch (Rose Leslie). The two must stop a villainous witch queen from obtaining a relic and unleashing a plague upon humanity.
Mark Canton is producing via his Mark Canton Productions banner along with Bernie Goldmann and Diesel via his One Race Entertainment banner. Erik Feig, Geoff Shaevitz, and Matthew Janzen oversee the project for the studio.
Five hundred years ago, war raged between humankind and witches, vicious supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world. Armies of witch hunters battled the unnatural enemy across the globe, including Kaulder (Vin Diesel), a valiant warrior who managed to slay an all-powerful Queen Witch, decimating her followers in the process. In the moments before her death, the Queen exacted her revenge by cursing Kaulder with immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Kaulder has spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones.
Today, he is the only one of his kind–-the last witch hunter. With the help of Father Dolan, a Catholic priest, and a mystical arsenal hidden beneath New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he continues to pursue the renegades and outlaws who endanger humanity. Chief among their adversaries is Belial, a powerful rebel witch who Kaulder believes has found a way to restore the Queen Witch to power and reignite her campaign to destroy the human world.
With the help of Chloe, a goodhearted young witch (Rose Leslie), Kaulder sets out to stop Belial before he can set his plan in motion, but allies in unexpected places keep the evil witch one step ahead in a cunning cat-and-mouse pursuit that will determine the survival of the human race.
Viral scare pranks have become the go-to way to promote horror movies in the internet age, and we simply can’t get enough of them here at the Dread Central offices. With Ouija‘s October 24th release date looming ever closer, it was inevitable that the film would be dishing out a prank of its own, and indeed it has!
A Ouija Board, a ‘demon’ hidden underneath the floorboards and a woman with the most talented eyeballs in the world are the ingredients of this particular prank, which is guaranteed to brighten up your miserable Monday. Check it out below, if you dare!
Bianco Santos (“The Fosters”), Erin Moriarty (“Red Widow”), newcomer Ana Coto, Paranormal Activity 2 actress Vivis Colombetti, Olivia Cooke (“Bates Motel”), Douglas Smith, Daren Kagasoff, and Matthew Settle star in Ouija, which is produced by Platinum Dunes, Blumhouse Productions, and Hasbro.
Stiles White is in the director’s chair, working from a script he wrote with Juliet Snowden.
A group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.
The post Ouija Viral Prank Scares Eyeballs Out of Their Sockets appeared first on Dread Central.
Excited for a more faithful representation of the Hellblazer comics than we got in that Keanu Reeves movie? Then you’ll be happy to dig on this latest promo poster which celebrates the roots of “Constantine.” Dig it along with a new video.
“Constantine” Episode 1.01 – “Non Est Asylum” (10/24/14; 10-11pm)
SERIES PREMIERE – JOHN CONSTANTINE TAKES ON A RISING DARKNESS AS HE FIGHTS TO RECLAIM HIS SOUL – JEREMY DAVIES AND LUCY GRIFFITHS GUEST STAR – Based on the wildly popular comic book series “Hellblazer” from DC Comics, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. He fights the good fight — or at least he did.
With his soul already damned to hell, he’s decided to abandon his campaign against evil until a series of events thrusts him back into the fray when an old friend’s daughter (guest star Lucy Griffiths) becomes the target of supernatural forces. Harold Perrineau and Charles Halford also star.
Having seen The Houses October Built already (review coming soon), I can tell you guys you’re in for a real treat. It’s a pretty damned spooky way to spend your Halloween season and the powers that be have unleashed a new Infographic which details some other horrific hideaways nationwide! Dig it!
The ones marked with blue skeletal masks are the haunts featured in the film while the ones marked with orange pumpkins are notable haunts to investigate.
The film is directed by Bobby Roe and stars Roe, Andrews, Brandy Schaefer, Mikey Roe, and Jeff Larson.
THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT takes you where no other Halloween film has gone before. Beneath the fake blood and cheap masks of countless haunted house attractions across the country, there are whispers of truly terrifying alternatives. Looking to find an authentic, blood-curdling good fright for Halloween, five friends set off on a road trip in an RV to track down these underground Haunts. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening, and it becomes clear that the Haunt has come to them…
The post America’s Scariest Haunts as Pointed Out by The Houses October Built appeared first on Dread Central.
“Wear something black.”
A series of Flickr users started turning Fiona Goode (played by Jessica Lange) quotes from FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven” into inspirational posters!
You can check out a handful of these hilarious pieces of art below, otherwise…
“Don’t make me drop a house on you.”
From Salem, Massachusetts to Orlando, Florida, the good folks over at the Travel Channel have just enlisted an expert panel to handpick the 10 best Halloween attractions of the year, which are all must-visits for horror fans who want to star in their own horror movies, rather than simply sit back on the couch and watch them.
The eclectic panel of advisors included “Ghost Adventures” lead investigator Zak Bagans, paranormal expert and author Jeff Belanger and America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions producer Arthur Hsu, each of whom added their “Travel’s Best” stamp of approval onto the list for Travel’s Best Halloween Attractions of the year.
Check out the complete list below and head over to Travel Channel for more spooky Halloween fun!
ScareHouse (Pittsburgh, PA)
ScareHouse is the place to be this year, especially because it has an exclusive partnership with Legendary Entertainment to help create the scariest Halloween to date. Featured attractions include The Summoning, Pittsburgh Zombies: Black Out and The Basement. This Halloween haunt offers a big-budget sensibility without losing its hometown appeal. “ScareHouse is my pick because sociologist and ‘fear expert’ Margee Kerr is always on staff to research and develop new ways to truly disturb visitors,” says geek culture and paranormal pop-culture expert Aaron Sagers.
Fright Dome (Las Vegas, NV)
Located in Circus Circus’ Adventuredome, the Fright Dome is one of Las Vegas’ largest and longest-running Halloween attractions. With 6 new haunted houses, the theme park is transformed into a pitch-black, lights-out, haunted spectacle – easily making it the scariest on the Strip. The 5-acre theme park also includes 25 rides and attractions, multiple live shows at night and 4 new scare zones, including the Clown Overload Zone. “My personal nightmare of clowns with glowing eyes surrounding me came to life,” says Zak Bagans, lead investigator of Ghost Adventures. “I had the worst panic attack. Needless to say, I’ll go back again, because it was badass!”
Netherworld (Atlanta, GA)
With more than 200 animated monsters and 100 live actors, Netherworld is one of the nation’s most famous attractions. Having been featured on TV and in movies such as Zombieland, this spooky attraction has amazingly detailed sets. “And unlike other Halloween attractions, Netherworld’s creepy characters greet patrons in the parking lot before they purchase tickets, scaring them off before they even enter,” says Larry Kirchner, owner of HauntWorld.com and Halloween Productions.
The 13th Gate (Baton Rouge, LA)
The 13th Gate is one of the most, if not the most, elaborately detailed haunted houses in America, thanks to a construction crew that includes award-winning set designers, lighting and sound technicians, and special-effects artists. Sets are over-the-top and feature live animals, including snakes and gators. In each of the 13 themed indoor and outdoor areas, more than 100 professional actors and 12 special makeup artists help bring the horror to life. “Hollywood production companies have rented the attraction multiple times to film movies such as The Reaping,” says HauntWorld Magazine owner Larry Kirchner. “The 13th Gate is, without any doubt, one of the best haunted houses in America.”
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Haunted House (Weston, WV)
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is one of the most memorable haunted locations for Ghost Adventures lead investigator Zak Bagans, who completed a live 7-hour investigation with the Ghost Adventures crew. The spirits that roam the asylum’s halls are extremely active, and tours are offered to see how the mentally insane lived and died within these walls. “It is undeniably the scariest overall haunted attraction that I’ve been to in the US,” Zak says. Additionally, visitors can participate in zombie paintball, a fall festival and the Asylum Ball, which includes a costume contest.
13th Floor Haunted House (Denver, CO)
The 13th Floor Haunted House is the largest and longest indoor haunted attraction in Colorado. It was renovated this year with 2 new attractions. “Watch evil take control of unwilling bodies in Undead: The Possession, or run for your life as terrifying ghouls and monsters come alive as you walk through Dwellings of the Dead,” says TravelChannel.com video project manager Arthur Hsu. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as Microsoft Kinect, the robotic monsters are more than capable of frightening the victims who dare to venture into the 13th Floor.
Bennett’s Curse (Jessup, MD)
This haunted spectacle outside Baltimore is one of the top Halloween attractions in the mid-Atlantic region. It features 3 terrifying haunted houses — Medieval Underworld, Inferno 3D and Sanctuary of Insanity — and the owners of this popular haunt continue to add monsters and twists to keep the attractions exciting for new and returning visitors. Arthur Hsu says, “Not only has Bennett’s Curse been featured on Travel Channel’s America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions 3, but it has consistently been ranked by several sources as one of the best Halloween attractions in the US.” This spooky spot is also among the first to frighten its victims with the latest cutting-edge technology.
Halloween Horror Nights (Orlando, FL)
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando should be at the top of anyone’s Halloween bucket list, especially fans looking for big-budget scares. Aaron Sagers says, “Movie industry experts craft haunted houses so loaded with detail that visitors walk through and feel like they’ve been dropped into an episode of The Walking Dead or the movie From Dusk Till Dawn.” Other popular attractions featured at the theme park include Bayou of Blood, Dollhouse of the Damned and Roanoke – Cannibal Colony. Those willing to face their fears can also enter, at their own risk, the Halloween house for a face-to-face meeting with Michael Myers, the iconic masked slasher from the movies.
Festival of the Dead (Salem, MA)
Salem, MA, is historically known for the 1692 Witch trials that left 20 people executed. This year’s Festival of the Dead includes 2 weeks of events and parties designed to bring out your inner Witch. Attend a séance to speak with the dead, share your stories with others at the Mourning Tea, pick up new ghost-hunting techniques or learn about death’s macabre customs and strange rituals. Finish the festival with the Official Salem Witches’ Ball on Oct. 31, and you’ll leave this town spellbound. Author, TV personality and paranormal expert Jeff Belanger says, “This town will cast a spell on you.”
Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA)
The Queen Mary was built in the early 1930s as a luxury trans-Atlantic ocean liner, but it was pressed into military service to carry troops during World War II, when hundreds died in and around the ship. This Halloween, the haunted ship is offering its Dark Harbor tours with 4 new attractions: the Soulmate maze, the B340 maze, Voodoo Village and Monster Midway, which features a freak show, a mechanical monster and a new ride, the Sinister Swings. “Keep your eyes open, because those ghostly apparitions you see may not just be another special effect,” says Jeff Belanger. And before you go, make sure you check out the Ghost Adventures’ lockdown and investigation of the Queen Mary.
The post Travel Channel Lists 10 Best Halloween Attractions of 2014 appeared first on Dread Central.
It’s been a while since last we heard anything regarding the Halloween-set horror flick Honeyspider, but today we have a brand spanking new trailer for you to go along with its kick-ass one-sheet from a while back.
Written by Kenny Caperton and directed by Josh Hasty, the film stars Mariah Brown, Frank Aard, Joan Schuermeyer, Rachel Jeffreys, Samantha Mills, Katie Bearden, David Hensley and Ethan Dunn.
It’s Halloween day in 1989, and college student Jackie Blue wants to enjoy a quiet birthday in the midst of a chaotic semester at school. Her friend Amber has other ideas and persuades Jackie to come to the annual Halloween party on campus after her shift at the local movie theater. As the night unfolds, it becomes apparent that Jackie will get more excitement than she bargained for on her birthday this year.
The murder that plays out on the silver screen becomes an ominous parallel to reality, as Jackie falls under a strange spell while everyone around her is turning up dead. All the while, a mysterious stranger watches over Jackie’s every move as she succumbs to hallucinations and slowly unravels. Jackie finds herself helplessly trapped like prey in a spider’s web, and all she can do is try to survive the night!
To learn more, “like” Honeyspider on Facebook!
1981 saw the release of Joe Dante’s The Howling, which is widely considered to be one of the best werewolf films of all time. Over 30 years later, Dante is once again getting ready to sprout fur and howl at the moon, and we’ve got all the info for ya today!
THR reports that the Gremlins director is heading to Rome for the vampire-werewolf love story Ombra Amore, which will be one of eight projects in the Rome Film Festival’s New Cinema Network co-production section dubbed ‘Great Beauties,’ focusing on films that promote Italy as an ideal production partner for global films.
Dante has chosen underground Rome as the setting for the vampire-werewolf love story that puts a classical Romeo and Juliet tale into today’s financial-crisis-ridden Italy.
Pete is a werewolf whose pack is a crew of hotheaded financial traders responsible for Italy’s current economic crisis. Maggie is a vampire whose family is a formerly wealthy aristocratic clan brought to bankruptcy by the greedy werewolves. Surrounded by other-worldly troubles, it remains to be seen whether or not their love can survive among the warring families.
Ombra Amore is budgeted at around $14.6 million. Dante promises “a compelling new take on a classic genre.”
The post Joe Dante Howls for Vampire-Werewolf Flick Ombra Amore appeared first on Dread Central.
Alexandre Aja’s Horns (review) has hit VOD outlets including iTunes so if you’re too impatient to be impaled in theatres you can now do so from the comfort of you home.
Directed by 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.
Look for Horns on October 31st in both the US and the UK.
Horns, a supernatural thriller driven by fantasy, mystery, and romance, follows Ig Perrish (Radcliffe), the number one suspect for the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend, Merrin (Temple). Hungover from a night of hard drinking, Ig awakens one morning to find horns starting to grow from his own head and soon realizes their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their most selfish and unspeakable impulses – an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend’s tragedy and for exacting revenge on her killer.
This rock and roll infused dark fantasy explores why bad things happen to good people and what the loss of true love can do to a man. The widely acclaimed book was on the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks and has become an international bestseller as well.
hatchet, Hatchet II and Frozen director Adam Green has turned in his annual Halloween short film, “Happy Halloween”, which turns a Skype call into tricks and treats.
“A quick Skype call between a husband and wife on Halloween night takes a disturbingly dark turn in Adam Green and ArieScope Pictures’ 16th annual Halloween short film.”
The short stars Shawn Ashmore (X-Men, Frozen, “The Following”) and Brea Grant (“Heroes,” “Dexter”).
This past weekend saw the release of Annabelle (review), and with more spinoffs of The Conjuring in the works, it seems that there’s a new reigning champion of creepy dolls at the box office.
Wouldn’t it be cool to see that title defended against the previous champion? Child’s Play creator Don Mancini thinks so, and he’s intent on making that fight a reality!
As reported by USA Today, Mancini is eying a collaboration between the two killer dolls, hopeful that someday the two will either join forces or come face to face.
“I am hoping that at some future point we have Annabelle and Chucky team up,” says Mancini. “I can see that (even) in 20 years from now.”
Mancini is currently penning a seventh installment in the Child’s Play franchise, and he also expressed interest in having Annabelle make a cameo in that film, though certain legal issues will likely prevent that from happening.
“We would be into it, the only problem is that we are in different studios. That would probably be years worth of red tape to work it out,” he said. “But if it all could be worked out, then yes, we’re very into it.”
So, who would win in a fight, if Annabelle and Chucky locked horns? Mancini noted that it was too early to make a prediction, but he did comment on Annabelle’s fighting prowess.
“From the trailer, Annabelle is playing her fighting cards close to her chest,” says Mancini. “From what I see, her fighting style is very subtle. I want to know if she has some secret moves.”
It’s interesting to note that Annabelle director John Leonetti was the director of photography for Child’s Play 3, so there’s more of a connection between the two franchises than both being centered on a creepy doll!
The post Don Mancini Dreaming of Fight Between Chucky and Annabelle appeared first on Dread Central.
“The Walking Dead” star Lauren Cohan steps out in style for the season premiere of AMC’s hit television show at Universal Studios Hollywood and after party at the theme park’s Halloween Horror Nights maze, “The Walking Dead: The End of the Line” where walkers awaits.
Read about our visit to Halloween Horror Nights in Hollywood.
This year’s bone-chilling mazes will place guests at the heart of a harrowing journey to seek sanctuary at Terminus, an elusive destination that promises community for all. Mirroring the terror that befell the residents of the West Georgia Correctional Facility, now overrun by savage walkers, the experience will send guests fleeing from the fallen prison into unknown territory as they once again stage a desperate battle for survival against flesh-eating walkers and ruthless humans.
“The Walking Dead” is set to return this Sunday on AMC.
Photo credit: David Sprague for Universal Studios Hollywood
Already out in the UK, Millennium has released the U.S. trailer for Before I Go to Sleep, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong.
Directed by Rowan Joffe, the thriller opens in limited theaters on October 31st.
“ taut thriller based on the worldwide best-selling novel by S.J. Watson, “Before I Go to Sleep” is the story of a woman (Nicole Kidman) who wakes up every day with no memory as the result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, terrifying new truths begin to emerge that make her question everything she thinks she knows about her life – as well as everyone in it, including her doctor (Mark Strong) and even her husband (Colin Firth).“
Here’s two new looks at Vin Diesel as 13th century Kaulder…
Diesel has shared two new looks at himself in Lionsgate/Summit’s The Last Witch Hunter, which is in production under the direction of The Crazies helmer Breck Eisner.
Diesel leads the fantasy actioner as an immortal witch hunter who teams with his natural enemy, a witch, to stop the covens of New York City from unleashing a plague on humanity. Julie Engelbrecht plays the Witch Queen.
Michael Caine, Elijah Wood, and Rose Leslie also star.
Summit will release in 2015.
“Five hundred years ago, war raged between humankind and witches, vicious supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world. Armies of witch hunters battled the unnatural enemy across the globe, including KAULDER (Vin Diesel), a valiant warrior who managed to slay an all-powerful QUEEN WITCH, decimating her followers in the process. In the moments before her death, the Queen exacted her revenge by cursing Kaulder with immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Kaulder has spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones.
Today, he is the only one of his kind–the last witch hunter. With the help of FATHER DOLAN, a Catholic priest, and a mystical arsenal hidden beneath New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he continues to pursue the renegades and outlaws who endanger humanity. Chief among their adversaries is BELIAL, a powerful rebel witch who Kaulder believes has found a way to restore the Queen Witch to power and reignite her campaign to destroy the human world.
With the help of CHLOE, a goodhearted young witch, Kaulder sets out to stop Belial before he can set his plan in motion, but allies in unexpected places keep the evil witch one step ahead in a cunning cat-and-mouse pursuit that will determine the survival of the human race.”
From Blair Witch director Eduardo Sanchez, Exists pits a group of twenty-somethings against the legendary Bigfoot.
In this exclusive new image, two friends hit the basement cellar – maybe in an homage to The Evil Dead? – for sanctuary. Check out more new images here.
In the Sasquatch’s bold return to the big screen, “For five friends, it was a chance for a summer getaway— a weekend of camping in the Texas Big Thicket. But visions of a carefree vacation are shattered with an accident on a dark and desolate country road. In the wake of the accident, a bloodcurdling force of nature is unleashed—something not exactly human, but not completely animal— an urban legend come to terrifying life…and seeking murderous revenge.“
The film stars Chris Osborn, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards, Samuel Davis, Denise Williamson and Brian Steele and is produced by Jane Fleming, Mark Ordesky, Robin Cowie and J. Andrew Jenkins.
Exists hits theaters and iTunes on October 24.
Photo Source: Lionsgate
2012’s The Pact turned out the be a pretty successful indie hit for writer-director Nicholas McCarthy. Rather than return for the sequel, he went on to make the AMAZING At The Devil’s Door. The Pact II was instead put in the hands of filmmakers Dallas Richard Hallam and Patrick Horvath, who together co-directed the fairly well-received Entrance. For the sequel, some of the first film’s actors have returned to continue the story of the Judas Killer, which is effectively expanded upon with some fresh faces. But while it has its (very) creepy moments, The Pact 2 lacks the original’s punch.
(SOME SPOILERS FOR THE ORIGINAL FILM FOLLOW)
Camilla Luddington (True Blood) stars as June Abbott, a woman who scrubs brains off the wall at her day job as a crime scene cleaner. On her off hours, she illustrates and spends nights alone while her cop boyfriend (Scott Michael Foster) works his beat. A couple weeks after the shooting of the Judas Killer (as seen in the first film), June begins having terrifyingly lucid dreams about Judas and her loved ones. Then when a copycat killer surfaces, June’s connection to the original Judas is slowly unraveled.
She eventually seeks out the aid of Annie Barlow (Caity Lotz returns!), who seeks out the aid of her psychic friend Stevie (Haley Hudson returns!). The band’s back together! Of seemingly zero help is an FBI agent played by Patrick Fischler (Mulholland Dr.). I love Fishcler, but his character here is kinda baffling. He’s supposed to be the socially awkward FBI loner, but he comes off more like a stiff dick than anything else. It’s a shame they didn’t develop him any further because Fischler’s range is stifled by the script. He’s unfortunately not given much to do here.
Just like the first film, we follow our protagonists as the try to unlock the mystery of these new murders while also delving into their families’ histories. They piece together clues (a record plays a major role) as June’s visions grow increasingly violent and a little too close to home. Some of the sequel’s most effective scenes are the creep show moments that harken back to the original. A shadow on the wall and the old bathroom mirror trick, for example, are pulled off really, really well. The original’s thick atmosphere of dread and unease is also nicely kept in tack, though a weird glaze over exterior shots gives The Pact II an almost Lifetime movie luster.
Remember in the first Pact, when Judas first crawled out from under the floor? That bit seriously gave me the willies like a real kick to the spine. A lot of moments in the first one had that effect on me. Aside from maybe a handful of scenes (including the two I mentioned), The Pact II ultimately fails to pack that same punch. It feels like Hallam and Horvath really went for it during the climactic twist, but the effect isn’t nearly as strong.
“The Master” proves to be a great summary for the many problems plaguing The Strain in its first season. While this episode certainly has highlights, it will mostly leave you feeling cold and alone. The premise put forward by the show has hardly been able to sustain, due to a lack of conviction and maintained by idiotic character decisions at every turn.
With 15 minutes to spare, our group of heroes descends on The Master’s lair in what should be an epic showdown. While the scene does have its merits, unconvincing acting and an underlying lack danger mar it. The heroes have seemingly won, and vanquish legions of vampires with relative ease.
So when it comes time for Abraham to face The Master, one would hope that this showdown would address the intense personal history of the characters and deepen the conflict, while pushing everything to a boiling point. Instead we were treated to a haphazard fight that relied heavily on Eph and Zack slowly smashing out windows to hurt the ancient vampire.
While I can only imagine this hulking creature must be a bitch to move, he should have probably posed a little more threat than was evident here. Seriously the Master just continues to recoil until Abraham smashes him through a large paned window, and stands over him like a 50’s action movie villain. He savors the moment for far too long, and guess what? The Master scurries away in a horribly realized CG scene that really shows the limitations of the budget. Seriously, anything would have been better than that horribly sluggish hulk moving into the sewer.
Elsewhere we finally have the Stonehart story going somewhere as Eldritch is healthy and spry enough to throw a woman off of a balcony with relative ease. He’s sinister and he’s now making a play for the entire city, oh wait, we already knew that and he’s doing nothing new. Everything here was relatively inconsequential other than a scene between Eldritch and Eichorst that shows Palmer as a desperate old fool who’s truly being lead by The Master.
Gus’ storyline actually proved the most interesting because it had a wealth of development. He met the ancient ones, and they were beautifully creepy and very well realized. Quinlan assures him that they are the key to defeating The Master and it certainly seems like the case.
Finally the episode ends with an awfully on the nose voiceover that encapsulates almost everything wrong with this first season of The Strain. It’s never quite assured in the intelligence of the audience, and finds itself pandering directly to the viewer instead of to the characters.
The next year must see a serious course correction for the narrative to actually have any weight. Luckily the world building is now out of the way, and with any luck the focus can be on the characters and the world of ruin that is New York City. Although I don’t remain too hopeful as this season was more uneven than any premiere season I’ve ever witnessed. There was a lot of promise in the middle, only to falter completely when it came to the landing.
Hopefully the year break will allow them to find a more convincing hair piece for Corey Stoll.
What did you think of “The Master?”
The demure, innocent Sabrina you know is gone. Make room for a much darker teenage witch and her world of terrors as imagined by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack. This new horror-focused origin story for Sabrina Spellman is more than just a fun concept, it is one executed to near-perfection. Aguirre-Sacasa’s second go at Archie Comics horror is another triumph, and perhaps more delightful than his first. From the suspense-driven story to the elegant dreary art, “Sabrina” is essential Fall reading.
WRITTEN BY: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
ART BY: Robert Hack
PUBLISHER: Archie Comics
RELEASE: October 8, 2014
REVIEWED BY: Lonnie Nadler
The creative team makes sure you know that this is a horror story from page one. It begins on Sabrina’s first birthday, October 31st, 1951, and introduces her father, Edward Spellman, as a great warlock “who has conjured his lord Satan, in the flesh, numerous times”. Sabrina has been promised to the witches, but her mother, a mere mortal, refuses to let go of her beloved blond baby. The result is a grim showdown between mother and father that establishes the witches in this world as dark, powerful beings, unafraid to perform wicked deeds.
The issue then jumps through time to highlight major events in Sabrina’s strange youth, her growing powers, and her dismay at her parents’ absence. Ultimately it settles in 1964, approaching Sabrina’s Sweet 16, on which the rest of the arc will focus. It is quick jump across those 16 years, and some story elements get a bit muddled, however, Aguirre-Sacasa packs in everything required of an origin story without getting wrapped up excessive detail. He gives only what is required to tell the story, and the result is a tight first issue that plants many mystery seeds that are bound to bloom further into the series.
Not unlike “Afterlife With Archie”, it is clear how much the writer and artist adore horror. This is a story from a team that has delved deep into the vaults of horror across all mediums. The little touches of abstract shadows, mentions of cannibalism, and a blood moon help to create consistent creepiness throughout the book. In addition, they address the metaphorical horrors of high school life that await Sabrina down the road. Threats approach Sabrina from all angles, showing that the creative team knows that the best horror is often built with empathic characters and the suspense of the unknown horrors that await them in the shadows.
Despite all the elements of horror and macabre in the script, the Aguirre-Sacasa and Hack do not forgo the essential elements of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”. You still have Salem the talking cat, Aunts Zelda and Hilda, and, of course, the dreamy Harvey Kinkle. These familiar elements ensure that this is still an Archie comic, while also adding a sense of nostalgia to the story that compliments the 1960s timeline. There are several allusions to other characters in this version of Archie universe that are bound to crop up in later issues.
Robert Hack’s stunning Gothic art is an impeccable fit for Sabrina’s reinvention. His color palette encompasses the best and spookiest parts of Halloween. His pulpy work is confident, full of gloom, and, above all, beautiful. As good as Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing is, Hack uncovers the script to bring its full potential to the surface. He nails the tone, delivers scares with potency, and helps to build the mystery Aguirre-Sacasa has laid out. The final pages are chilling, reminiscent of the best of the classic “Eerie” and “Creepy” tales.
The creators take a self-reflexive approach here in that are aware they are tainting something that has been innocent for so long, and they use it to their advantage. They constantly play against expectation, while simultaneously keeping the important elements that make it feel familiar, like an old friend. Allowing Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to build horror stories in the Archie universe is the best thing the publisher has done in years. It makes their comics important again.
As Aguirre-Sacasa states in his letter at the back of the issue, it would have been easy to spin a new Sabrina tale out of the “Afterlife with Archie” series, but in developing a completely new, dreary world, it is all the more impressive, satisfying, and devilish.
Editor’s Note: What you get here for $3.99 is more than worth it. A 28-page story, a letter from the creator, a classic “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” story reprinted, and a sketch gallery.
Another Monday, another BD Playlist! Today I’ll be taking the reins and bringing you a list of several albums/bands that I haven’t been able to put away for a little bit. Ranging from classic heavy metal to French cabaret to film soundtracks, this list represents just a scratch on the surface of my current musical tastes.
Check out my playlist and let me know yours in the comments!