Go back-to-back with another double-vision look at “American Horror Story: Freak Show”! FX is set to debut the fourth season on October 8th at 10:00 PM on FX.
It begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952.
“A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike. This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.“
Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, and Evan Peters return from previous seasons. New cast members includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Matt Bomer, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.
Ridley Scott, the man behind Alien and Blade Runner, is out promoting his latest, Exodus: Gods and Kings, which stars Christian Bale as Moses and tells the story of the legendary Old Testament leader.
Yahoo! caught up with the director who turned his attention to two major sequels in development.
While he may be in the midst of pre-production on The Martian, starring Matt Damon, work on the second Prometheus movie is also well underway. And it won’t feature the famous H.R. Giger Xenomorph…
“Right now, as we speak, it’s being written,” he tells the site. “I’ve had 15 drafts evolving. I definitely want to do that again because I really enjoyed doing ‘Prometheus’.
“The beast is done. Cooked,” he added. “I got lucky meeting Giger all those years ago. It’s very hard to repeat that. I just happen to be the one who forced it through because they said it’s obscene. They didn’t want to do it and I said, ‘I want to do it, it’s fantastic’. But after four (he has conveniently forgotten the ‘AvP’ movies), I think it wears out a little bit. There’s only so much snarling you can do. I think you’ve got to come back with something more interesting. And I think we’ve found the next step. I thought the Engineers were quite a good start.”
In a small spoiler, he also reveals a small plot point in the sequel: ““You’ll probably have to go with [Noomi Rapace’s Elizabeth Shaw] and [Michael Fassbender’s android David] – without his head. Find out how he gets his head back on!”
In regards to a second Blade Runner, “It’s on the charts,” he reveals, “I can’t say when that would be yet, because of [Ford’s] thing with ‘Star Wars’. It’s a sequel – it’s what happens next. It’s quite surprisingly clever.”
It sounds like fans will be doing the waiting game even more than Scott as he can’t possibly direct three films at once. Which would you like to see next? Martian, Blade Runner or Prometheus?
From the producers of American Pie, Cabin Fever and The Ring comes Zombeavers; the allegedly hilarious no-holds-barred schlock horror releasing in the UK on Blu-ray and DVD October 20, 2014.
Announced earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival, it garnered over 2 million trailer views and became quite the social media and festival sensation. Zombeavers is the horror comedy with hysterical interludes, gross-out gore and old school animatronics.
Check out these pretty hilarious exclusive “Zombeavers” warning signs!
“The film follows a group of college students headed out into the wilderness for spring break, unaware of the danger that lurks beneath the lake. Unbeknownst to the vacationers a chemical spill has irreversibly altered the wildlife and Zombeavers are on the prowl. As a weekend of sex, drugs and debauchery gets underway, the beavers close in on their prey and the bloodthirsty beasts really do take the term ‘killer weekend’ to the next level.“
Producers Jon and James Kondelik have debuted the trailer for the horror feature The Divine Tragedies.
The trailer shows the brothers Charles and Thomas LoBianco on a terrible killing spree. Shot in bright colours, the trailer shows more of the film’s characters and the brothers’ terrible motivations – to get away with murder!
The Divine Tragedies is based on a brutal crime. The Leopold and Loeb murder case, of Chicago, would shock the world. Two brothers thought they could commit the perfect crime, the murder of a young boy. But, the authorities were hot on their trail. In the film’s story, actor Ken Foree plays Det. Homer Gaul. Gaul is intent on ending the brothers’ wanton killing; he just has to find them first. But, Charles and Thomas have plans of their own.
The trailer was shot by director Jose Prendes (The Haunting of Whaley House).
Directed by Robert Rodriguez, Dwight H. Little, Fede Alvarez, Nick Copus, Joe Menendez, Eduardo Sánchez
Distributed by Entertainment One
From the beginning, it seemed like a concept that could quite easily be a total disaster: taking the core story and narrative path of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s 1996 genre mash-up From Dusk Till Dawn and spreading it out across a full ten-episode television season. Thankfully, a disaster it is not – sufficiently devoted to the source material to remain closely familiar, but packed with enough new and expanded content to make it its own distinct animal.
From Dusk Till Dawn chronicles the exploits of infamous criminal duo Seth (Cotrona) and Richard (Holtz) Gecko, who are forced on the run after a botched bank heist culminates in an explosion-filled shootout with the local police force. Leaving a trail of bodies in their wake as they make their way across the Mexican Border to meet up with their shady ‘employer’, Carlos (Valderrama), the boys take Christian preacher Jacob Fuller (Patrick) and his two kids – Kate (Madison Davenport) and Scott (Brandon Soo Hoo) – hostage in an attempt to use their family-style RV as a Trojan horse through checkpoints.
With the worst seemingly behind them, the Geckos and Fullers arrive at the amusingly-titled ‘Titty Twister’ – a biker bar in the middle of the desert that remains open from dusk ’til dawn – and sit down for a few well-earned drinks while awaiting further instruction from Carlos. Unfortunately, the bulk of their troubles have only just begun as it is soon revealed that the bar is in fact just the topmost section of an ancient Aztec temple that serves as the home and feeding ground of a race of vampire-like snake people.
Yes, I said “snake people.”
While the main flow of this particular story’s first time on our screens remains solidly in place here, Rodriguez and Co. have changed a number of things while digging deeper into others – some to greatly pleasing effect and some to needlessly overwrought levels. The aforementioned change from straight-up vampires to snake people (despite Rodriguez’s hints that he originally thought of it that way, the movie’s creatures were distinctly more bat-like) is initially a bitter pill to swallow and in the early stages threatens to undermine proceedings with an overly goofy presentation – but it soon becomes more comfortable in its new skin as the series develops its deeper, fresh mythology.
The character roster is afforded the temporal luxury of the television format for deeper insights into their personalities, and just about every main player gets their time in the sun (not literally, though, depending on their origins). Rather than his tiny bit-part in the original film, the Gecko Bros’ contact, Carlos, is set front and centre as the villain here, their coming together at the ‘Titty Twister’ being just one part of his nefarious plan for domination over not just Seth and Richard, but his own ancient people. As Carlos, Wilmer Valderrama chews up the scenery in a performance that lies just on the wrong side of hammy – obviously having fun with the material, but falling victim to the sporadically wonky script at some of the least appropriate moments.
Much more time is also given to developing the character of sizzling snake-dancer Santanico Pandemonium (González), taking the perspective of her from a seemingly malignant, succubus-like influence on Richard in the early stages through to a rather more sympathetic creature. In fact, one of the largest achievements of this new presentation is the much more intimate relationship between Richard and Santanico – one that stretches back through visions and ethereal visitations to a time much, much farther back than our entry point and serves to better round out the character originally brought to screens by Quentin Tarantino. Rather than simply being a neurotic/psychotic nutcase with a penchant for wanton violence and the murder of defenceless women, Richard here is a tortured and conflicted soul, his impulses toyed with and manipulated by outside forces that regularly leave him confused, mentally drained, and no doubt covered in blood. Zane Holtz is thoroughly excellent in the role – cold as steel, calculated when in control, but regularly overcome by otherworldly influences beyond his comprehension. And yet, ultimately, he’s an individual on little more than a quest for fulfillment and love.
Opposite him, D.J. Cotrona is in full-on Clooney Mode as he does his best to emulate the mannerisms and speech patterns of his predecessor’s original barnstorming performance. Not that that’s a bad thing at all – Seth Gecko remains as badass a character on screen as he did almost 20 years ago and is in very safe hands indeed with Cotrona.
Jesse Garcia also shines as enraged Texas Ranger Gonzalez, determined to put the criminal brothers either behind bars or in the ground for the convenience store murder of his superior, Earl McGraw (Don Johnson). Drawn into Carlos’ sights due to his dogged determination to bring the Geckos down, Gonzalez winds up having to put retribution on the back burner and fight alongside his rivals for the sake of his family. Garcia brings this angel of vengeance to life with a palpable energy and sense of broiling, righteous hatred that makes him very difficult to ignore.
It isn’t all rosy when it comes to From Dusk Till Dawn‘s first season, however. It often finds itself contending with a very janky script and disappointing CGI, its own dedication to straight-faced B-grade schlock keeping it wobbling precariously on the verge of falling into too self-confident, overblown nonsense – something into which it does regularly slip, as the airy-fairy mysticism gets ever more trite. Repetition becomes a factor (yes, we get the point of the snake clan’s symbol, already), and the production constraints of the new format leave the iconic ‘Titty Twister’ massacre and ensuring battles looking far more stagey than the cinematic counterpart. The expansion of the crotch-gun wearing Sex Machine character into a lecherous college professor – played by Jake Busey – who knows nearly everything there is to know about the toothy residents of the bar is also an aggravating move that simply doesn’t pay off at all beyond adding reams of needless exposition.
When it comes to the complete package, all involved do manage to keep the goofiness of the material in check sufficiently; combined with the same kind of reckless rock ‘n’ roll attitude found in its forebear, it remains almost as endearing and full of entertainment value as it did the first time around – better in parts, infinitely dumber in others. Yes, all-told I’d rather watch the original movie again over this new interpretation, but it does bring enough of worth to the table to justify its existence – and that bodes well for continuing the adventures of the remaining bunch of characters in the second season beyond the already familiar material.
Entertainment One’s UK DVD release of From Dusk Till Dawn: Season One sports a commentary for the pilot episode that brings in cast members D.J. Cotrona, Brandon Soo Hoo, Eiza González, Jesse Garcia and Zane Holtz alongside director Robert Rodriguez and writer/showrunner Carlos Goto. Other commentaries (Episodes 2, 6, 7 and 10) draft in various other directors, writers and actors including Wilmer Valderrama and Robert Patrick – all of which are well worth a listen, especially those with Rodriguez on the panel.
Besides the commentaries, the choice of special features on the release may look impressive on paper, but it’s a very different story in practice. Of a total circa 70 minutes of extras, nearly half of the offerings are little more than various quick TV spots and promotional materials for the El Ray Network and the show’s various sponsors. Most egregiously, the “SXSW Featurette” is little more than a commercial despite the name! Besides a lengthy and fun Q&A session with Rodriguez and the cast, the extras here feel like little more than a constant sell, and a world away from the kind of open-door production extras that fans would expect to see. Quite disappointing in the grand scheme, but saved from being genuinely poor by the commentaries and Q&A.
- Audio commentary on selected episodes
- Full length trailer
- ‘Best Kills’ video
- On Set: Episode 1 Day 1
- On Set: The Making of From Dusk Till Dawn
- Behind the Scenes: “On Set: Brought to You by General Motors”
- Behind the Scenes: “On Set: Brought to You by Dos Equis”
- Character Bio featurettes
- General Motors commercial featuring Seth Gecko
- Dos Equis commercial featuring Carlos Madrigal
- Big Kahuna Burger commercial
- ‘What’s in the Briefcase?’ spot
- SXSW featurette
- Q&A from premiere at Alamo Drafthouse with Robert Rodriguez and Cast
The fifth annual Mile High Horror Film Festival kicks off in Denver on October 9th, and the weekend of events will include screenings of films both new and old. In fact, this year’s lineup is downright stacked with delicious goodies, so read on for the full announcement!
From the Press Release:
The Mile High Horror Film Festival returns to celebrate five strong years with our best film lineup yet.
This year, the festival expands to include 80 independent horror films from 18 different countries. From slasher maniacs to supernatural spirits, this year’s film lineup is sure to make your skin crawl.
We have several special events lined up that pay homage to the genre: a 60th anniversary presentation of CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON in 3D with actress Julie Adams in person, a 40th anniversary presentation of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE with the original ‘Leatherface,’ Gunnar Hansen in person, CANDYMAN with horror icon Tony Todd in person, and a 15-year anniversary reunion for THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT with directors Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez in person.
For fans of monster flicks, our films EXISTS (2014 USA), X MOOR, and LATE PHASES (2014 USA) are sure to please. Slasher fans, don’t miss PRESERVATION (2014 USA), DER SAMURAI (2014 Germany), and DEAD SNOW 2 (2014 Norway/Iceland).
If you like psychological thrillers, this lineup is sure to keep the heart pumping all weekend long: THE MAN IN THE ORANGE JACKET (2014 Latvia/Estonia), BLOOD PUNCH (2013 USA), HOOKED UP (2013 Spain), THE RECONSTRUCTION OF WILLIAM ZERO (2014 USA) STILL LIFE (2014 Argentina), and HOUSEBOUND (2014 New Zealand).
Fans of the V/H/S series, we will showcase the Colorado debut of the third installment, V/H/S: VIRAL. To top things off, we will host the 90-year anniversary of the silent classic, THE HANDS OF ORLAC (1924 Germany/Austria) with a live original score performed by Paul Buscarello.
Additional films will be announced soon.
Kick off the Halloween season with us at the Mile High Horror Film Festival. This year’s event takes place Oct. 9-12 at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, and includes feature filmmakers, artists, celebrities and of course all the gore and horror that makes our festival a must see.
For a full list of events and ticket information, visit www.mhhff.com.
The post Lineup Announced for 2014 Mile High Horror Film Festival appeared first on Dread Central.
Metal band Job For A Cowboy have announced that they will be releasing their new album Sun Eater on November 11th via Metal Blade Records. This will be the band’s fourth studio album and follows Demonocracy, which came out in April 2012.
To announce this new album, the band has released a stream of the track “Sun Of Nihility”, which you can hear below. There are some who state that the song sees the band taking on a more “tech death” approach, which many are lauding.
Guitarist Tony Sannicandro recalled:
This album came together very smoothly. We had the concept before hand and I took it upon myself to try and portray that concept through the music. I took a much more melodic approach than “Demonocracy”: focusing on the structuring and the layering that would complement the story to my ears/
Bassist Nick Schendzielos added:
[Guitarist] Al [Glassman] riffs long and hard for greater the good of everyone involved. He really used a lot of foresight in his revisions during the writing process, creating ample room for me to mood-out the tracks with bass that you can actually hear. in the end I think we really brought the character out in each and every song.
Sun Eater is available for pre-order through Metal Blade.
Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey and Charles Dance Join Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; US Distro Locked Up
Two bits of info hit the wire late today with regard to the long awaited Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adaptation, one involving a casting update and the other announcing who will be distributing the film here in the U.S.
Per Deadline, Screen Gems has closed a deal for U.S. distribution rights, and the “Game of Thrones” father/daughter duo of Charles Dance and Lena Headey (pictured) have joined the cast. No details were revealed regarding their roles.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies also stars Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, Matt Smith, Douglas Booth, and Suki Waterhouse. Burr Steers is directing from a screenplay by David O. Russell and Steers.
The film hails from Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver, Sierra/Affinity, and Lauren Selig. It is produced by Allison Shearmur, Sean McKittrick, Natalie Portman, Annette Savitch, Marc Butan, Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson. Exec producing are Lauren Selig, Aleen Keshishian, Ted Hamm, and Sue Baden Powell.
Along with the Screen Gems deal, they’ve sold Latin America, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and Iceland to Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. Sierra/Affinity is selling other international territories.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies mixes the 1817 Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice with a legion of bloodthirsty undead. Seth Grahame-Smith’s popular novel plays with the relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England who are faced with the challenge of an army of the “sorry stricken” (i.e., zombies).
Waxwork Records posted a photo of the “woodland green with blood splatter” variant of their Friday The 13th vinyl, which begins shipping next week. The photo makes it look absolutely breathtaking, with rich, vibrant colors and a wonderful center label that stands out while still being simple. I ordered a copy and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Check out the photo below.
The soundtrack, which was composed by Harry Manfredini, features package artwork by Jay Shaw.
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies has truly risen from the grave.
Deadline reports on two major developments on the Burr Steers film that mixes the mannered, brain-challenging prose of Jane Austen with brain-eating corpses from hell.
Sony Screen Gems has closed a deal for U.S. distribution rights, which means that we’ll probably be seeing the film in theaters come 2015!
Also, two of “Game Of Thrones‘” villains, both Charles Dance, below, and the wonderfully evil Lena Headey, pictured above, have joined the cast! Headey is a big genre icon having starred in the “Terminator” series, Dredd, 300 and even Laid to Rest and The Purge!
The film also stars Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcoate, Jack Huston, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith, and Suki Waterhouse.
“This mash-up that begins with the tangled relationship between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England, and is complicated by a full on outbreak of zombies.“
Latest script is by Steers, who rewrote a previous draft by David O Russell.
On the heels of a cryptic trailer released at Sony’s Tokyo Game Show press conference, Capcom has provided four minutes of gameplay footage for Resident Evil Revelations 2.
The demo follows the game’s protagonist, Claire Redfield, along with sidekick Moira Burton as they explore a beast-infested facility.
Instances of suspenseful tension are showcased along with combat sequences against sizable brutes. When the monsters attack, it is possible to shake them off with a rapid movement of the left joystick. Exploration is very linear as Claire follows a predetermined path beset by locked doors that prevent any open-ended gameplay.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 is set for a release in early 2015 on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
In case the “American Horror Story: Freak Show” promo teaser we showed you earlier today wasn’t freaky enough, the powers-that-be are back with yet another, and this one wonders: “Are you one of us?”
“American Horror Story: Freak Show” begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952. A troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town, coinciding with the strange emergence of a dark entity that savagely threatens the lives of townsfolk and freaks alike.
This is the story of the performers and their desperate journey of survival amidst the dying world of the American carny experience.
“AHS” Season 4 debuts October 8th at 10:00 PM on FX.
Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy, Sarah Paulson, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe, Denis O’Hare, Jamie Brewer, and Evan Peters return from previous seasons. New cast members includes Michael Chiklis, Wes Bentley, John Carroll Lynch, Finn Wittrock, Matt Bomer, Patti LaBelle and the world’s smallest living woman, Jyoti Amge.
“American Horror Story: Freak Show” – Episode 4.01 – “Monsters Among Us” (airs 10/8/14)
One of the only surviving sideshows in the country struggles to stay in business during the dawning era of television. When police make a terrifying discovery at a local farmhouse, the eccentric purveyor of the freak show (Lange) sees an opportunity that will lead her troupe either to their salvation or ruin. Written by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk; directed by Ryan Murphy.
The post Two Heads Are Better than One in this Latest Promo for American Horror Story: Freak Show appeared first on Dread Central.
Ready at Dawn’s PS4 debut The Order: 1886 has gradually become one of my most anticipated games. I love Victorian era London, I love ancient wars between man and monster, I love steampunk weapons and gadgets, and I especially love using those steampunk weapons and gadgets on werewolves.
The latest dev diary for the upcoming game digs into all that steampunk goodness, as well as the process that went into creating each weapon and gadget.
If you ever wondered what it would look like if the visceral melee combat of Dead Island and the badass spellcasting of Skyrim was thrown into a medieval fantasy world filled with demons and monsters that need slaying, Hellraid is basically that. Back in April, Techland revealed they had decided to eschew a release on last-gen consoles in favor of bringing their dungeon hack ‘n slash game to current-gen consoles.
The move meant the game would be rebuilt from the ground up to make full use of the new consoles. It also meant it’d look and play better, so few people complained when they announced a 2015 release, rather than its initial fall 2014 window.
As we can see in the video below, this game has benefited greatly from that decision.
Hellraid releases on Steam Early Access later this year, with the retail version hitting PC, PS4 and Xbox One in early 2015.
Bob Clark managed to direct two of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time in his career. What makes that even more amazing is that he directed them for two completely different audiences. The first being Black Christmas which came out in 1974 and starred Margot Kidder, Olivia Hussy and John Saxon. The story follows a group of girls being systematically slaughtered by a killer within their sorority house. Really gets you in the Christmas spirit, no? Well if that isn’t your thing (in which case why are you here?) then you have undoubtedly seen his other classic A Christmas Story in which the most horrific elements come from boyhood pranks and the overshadowing fear of permanent eye dislocation.
So Clark has had an eventful career to say the least and when I picked up Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things I was sure I would enjoy it. I wasn’t wrong, actually I low balled my expectations and I fucking loved it!
I’ll be the first to jump on the “zombies are old news” bandwagon but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy them from time to time.Children, though a zombie movie, strangely follows the slasher movie formula. We have a group of young actors visiting a cemetery to entertain their tyrant of a director Alan, who is quite possibly the vilest of characters in movie history. He treats his troupe like dirt, even referring to one of them as “meat”. We have other formulaic characters as well such as the love struck couple, the funny fat guy, the bitchy girl, etc. However, though these characters all fall into some sort of typecast some still manage to be legitimately likable and funny except Alan who keeps insisting these people put up with his shenanigans lest they find themselves unemployed. Why they don’t just seek employment elsewhere I will never know. I guess times were tough in Miami for actors in 1973.
Now according to IMDB this is a horror/comedy which was basically unheard of back then. Sure, we laugh at a lot of horror movies from the 70s and 80s for their camp and bad acting but most of them weren’t funny intentionally. Writer Alan Ormsby (who plays the horrid director Alan) really nails it on dark comedy here while also balancing the disturbing factor. I laughed but I never lost the creeping feeling of what was going on.
Basically, Alan has his acting troupe sail to a, unbeknownst to them, (spoiler!) faux cemetery island that he and some of his friends have built in addition to the actual cemetery already there. After trying to raise the dead, and failing, Alan gives up and leads the group to a cabin but not before he digs up a real corpse named Orville to bring along with them.
And here is where the movie really takes a hard left and descends into lunacy. Turns out the dead really are coming back to life and when they do it’s a sight to behold. I will go on record and say that these zombies are the scariest I have seen. Romero/Savini zombie are all well and good but these zombies really look dead and some have been dead for a long, long time. And these aren’t your modern “virus” zombies either these are the real deal bursting out of their graves kind (read: the best kind).
I’ll admit the first part of this flick does sort of drag. There isn’t really any clear plot going on, it’s just these people going to a cabin on an island with their terrible boss. Essentially the first half hour is the worst team building exercise I have ever seen. Once it gets going though it’s a force to be reckoned with and I’m willing to look past a few flaws.
For instance, it doesn’t seem the zombieism is contagious in any way. Many characters are scratched and bitten but none of them turn. So at the end when the zombies climb aboard Alan’s boat to go back to Miami- ala Lucio Fulci’s Zombie- there really doesn’t seem to be a threat of spreading the disease. But really, that’s less of a “flaw” and more of a breath of fresh air and in a way Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things is sort of the precursor to The Evil Dead. The zombies or more like deadites in that they are brought back by a Necronomicon-esque Grimoire. I definitely can see a lot of imagery and ideas that were spawned from this criminally underrated movie. After all both The Evil Dead and Zombie came out well after Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.
TLDR- Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things is well worth your time if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. It has the perfect feel for this time of year and really should be held among the top zombie movies of all time. It even almost makes up for Alan Ormsby’s other horror venture 1982′s Cat People…almost.
Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be in a coma, existing in some tenuous space just outside the reach of total consciousness? What if you had no agency in this world, but rather were forced to experience fragments of a previous existence without understanding the events themselves?
That’s the best nutshell explanation for Dear Esther I can muster. It is a concise, indelible experience, a playable metaphor without traditional structure or scope, but because I understand so little about it, who knows, I could be wrong about that, too.
Nevertheless, it is an experience worth having. The game is a beautifully rendered, auditorily pleasing adventure, and it only takes a single sitting to complete. Anyone who cares about video games as an art form should be interested in Dear Esther’s overall purpose, even if he – like me – does not quite understand what it might be.
It should be pretty obvious from the intro that Dear Esther is an experimental game, so placing it within the context of the horror continuum is going to be difficult. It is not obvious occultish phantasmagoria like Clive Barker’s Jericho, but neither is it a narratively rich deconstruction on par with, say, Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves.
Dear Esther has no real game mechanic save for exploration, and it is not long enough to really warrant a full-on analyzation, especially not here. It’s brief, even by indie standards, but without it, arguably, we wouldn’t have games like Gone Home, which I would consider a much more mainstream and palatable example in this… genre?
In Dear Esther an unnamed character — not necessarily the narrator — wanders various parts of a seemingly uninhabited island, stumbling upon items that trigger chunks of epistolary VO and reveal fragments of a story to the player and, thus, the audience. Without giving too much away – and I kind of think explaining anything else about the game would only confuse uninitiated readers – suffice it to say, that’s just about it.
There isn’t even a ‘use’ button to interact with items, so it is the barest of configurations, and plenty of people would argue for that reason it’s not even a video game.
Horror fans might also be puzzled to find the review on Bloody Disgusting, for God’s sake, because what about this game could be construed as horror?
Rest easy. Dear Esther exists without a staple of traditional scary, gory, or disturbing elements, yes, but it is haunting and tonally dark, which ironically will make it more memorable than many horror gaming experiences I’ve had over the last few years. Something about the way the ambient music interacts and complements the baffling, fragmented narrative sets my teeth on edge, which places Dear Esther in a category unto itself.
As the player explores the rocky cliff side of this island, random VO narrates a splintered perspective of…someone. Or someones, I suppose. The narrative bits are not revealed with any linearity, so good luck in trying to decipher the story’s actual or metaphorical meaning. One would expect that, as the game progresses, the pieces of the puzzling story would begin to align, but they don’t in an intentional way.
From what I understand, plenty of sites feature detailed explanations of the game’s plot. I haven’t searched for what the game is “about” or anything and my instinct is to resist that temptation. I’ll eschew them in favor of my specific experience. To that end, Dear Esther is a mystery box I’d rather leave closed. So much of our world is dominated by knowledge that it feels empowering for something to be vague and apocryphal. It’s oddly life-affirming.
Honestly, it’s difficult to actually review this game as a game, because the game almost manages to sidestep the need for critical judgment. I realize that’s a copout. Being a small art project does not absolve it wholly; that’s not what I’m saying. I’m going to give Dear Esther a numerical value, however weird that feels in this situation, but more than that I think it’s important to get across the idea that people should experience this game.
That said, Dear Esther is not for everyone. I cannot condescend to say that by not playing this anyone is a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal. That is not the case. Nor am I trying to say it’s too “smart” for anyone. It is weird and brief and intentionally vague, kind of like LOST before they tried to explain everything, so this game just might not be enjoyable for you on any discernible way, and I think that’s okay too.
But I still think you should play it.
The Final Word: Dear Esther is less a game than a guided narrative, but its benefit lies not necessarily in how it attempts to deconstruct gaming and narratives and how we interact with digital worlds, but rather in the world itself. The bucolic surroundings are easy to look at, and the combination of visuals with the ambient sounds and odd little narrative pieces make it something to experience, kind of like a dream you don’t quite understand but will remember forever because of the particularly unsettled way it made you feel.
We have a new clip from The Pact 2, is now on VOD through IFC Midnight, with a limited theatrical run set for October 10. The clip shows one of the sequel’s fake scares, and then drops an exposition bomb on you.
The film is, “ a truly terrifying new film set just weeks after Annie Barlow’s deadly confrontation with the Judas Killer. In this elevated sequel, we meet June, a woman whose carefully constructed life is beginning to unravel due to lucid nightmares so awful they disturb her waking life.”
Camilla Luddington (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Patrick Fischler (“Californication”) and Scott Michael Foster all star in the sequel to the Nicholas McCarthy written and directed 2012 movie. The film was directed by Dallas Hallam and Patrick Horvath.
Universal Pictures is playing with the Ouija once again, this time in the UK. Check out a new trailer that moves the needle to “yes”.
In theaters October 24, the movie looks sort of like Final Destination, only they’re being haunted by what appears to be an angry old lady flaming to be their dead “friend”.
The pic stars “Bates Motel” and The Quiet Ones‘ Olivia Cooke, with Douglas Smith and Bianca Santos.
“In Ouija, a group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.”
Stiles White directs the supernatural thriller that is produced by Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller (The Purge, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th) alongside Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Insidious series, The Purge), Bennett Schneir (Battleship) and Hasbro.
Let’s say you’re hiding under a cardboard box and there are some well-armed men who may have just made you. They’re slowly approaching. You have no time, no cover, and no way of escape without a distraction. It’s a good thing you’ve come prepared with the perfect decoy, something that will not only buy you all the time you need, but it may also result in a few goons shitting out their spines when they see a freakishly tall lady with a disfigured face waddling toward them.
That’s right, Lisa’s ghost from the Silent Hills P.T. demo is totally something you can summon as a temporary ally in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. See her in action in the video below.
And here’s that nightmarish concept video from TGS.
Things are not always what the seem to be inside the walls of Murder World.
Rob Zombie shared new art for his Halloween-themed 31, this time displaying a woman tied down and topless, looking as if she was or is about to raped *Rubbing my eyes in frustration*.
The crowd-source page has revealed that “31 has no rules. 31 has no boundaries. It is ever so simple. Do whatever you can do to kill your opponent before they kill you. Keep this up for 12 hours and freedom is yours.”
What we now know about 31 is that it takes place on Halloween night in 1975. Therefore, it’s a period piece about five random people kidnapped on the five days leading up to Halloween and held hostage in a place called Murder World. While trapped inside this man-made Hell they must fight to survive playing the most violent game known to man… a game called 31..