I love scary movies and I love blood and guts and severed heads and tangled up intestines everywhere. I guess tangled-up intestines are kind of the same thing as guts, but, wow, do I love grisly gore. It seems like older horror movies often focused more on the psychology of how horrifying a situation or act was and newer horror movies put more attention into convincingly showing every stab and every spurting artery on camera. For example, especially when you factor in what audiences of the time were used to, Last House on the Left was really shocking in 1972. It’s slogan was “To avoid fainting, keep repeating it’s only a movie, only a movie, only a movie.” Most of the most horrible events in the movie, you hear the suffering, but you can’t really see what is going on. By contrast, the 2009 version seems to be shot somehow higher quality, partly just due to the technology of modern cinematography. To my modern eyes, the color palette is more pleasing in the 2009 Last House on the Left. More of the gruesome parts are visible, although they could still go more extreme with that, for my taste. But the new one somehow loses some of the aura of menace, while at the same time vastly improving special effects and general overall look. Partly I suppose Aaron Paul just didn’t seem very scary to begin with and he already seemed like a tragic hero to anyone who had seen him play Jesse in Breaking Bad. You can research more about both the 1972 film version and the more recent 2009 remake at Wikipedia and you can read a bit about Last House on the Left distribution channels for horror at Blue Blood.
Horror special effects definitely have come a long way since the seventies. Now though, the special effects are, not to sound ironic, to die for. Trust me, if the quality of movies were still the same as they were a few decades ago, you can bet that I wouldn’t drop what I was doing over at http://www.partybingo.com just to watch some crappy special effects, and acting that we will just label as sub-par. Thank god though, that isn’t the case! To prove my point, just go watch one of the many (I think there are eight) movies in the Saw series, or if you are really up for some cringing, then watch Hostel.
So, in conclusion, I’ll watch the seventies movies for the acting and the newer ones for the special effects, but the special effects really have to be pretty impressive. I’m thinking about going to see Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. I figure, even if the acting is all Disney Channel, the special effects on that have to be worth a theater ticket.
Social Bookmarking: Scream as loud as you can! Maybe someone will hear.
We missed "Grimm" last night, but as the series ramps up for its final four episodes of the season, an early sneak peek has arrived of next Friday's Episode 3.19, "Nobody Knows the Trubel I've Seen," in which Nick brings home an unexpected guest.
"Grimm" Episode 3.19 - "Nobody Knows the Trubel I've Seen" (airs 4/25/14; 9-10PM) A LETHAL NEW PRESENCE COMES TO PORTLAND – Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) investigate a dangerous female suspect (guest star Jacqueline Toboni) leaving a trail of Wesen in her wake.
Elsewhere, Adalind (Claire Coffee) takes measures into her own hands, even if that means forging a dangerous alliance.
Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Sasha Roiz, Reggie Lee, and Bree Turner co-star. C. Thomas Howell, Alexis Denisof, and Philip Anthony-Rodriguez also guest star.
ABC Family isn't a network we mention very often around these parts, but news that they've given a pilot order to a "paranormal crime procedural drama" called "Stitchers" caught our attention so we're bringing it to yours!
Per Deadline, "Stitchers," written by Jeffrey A. Schechter ("Overruled!"), follows a young woman recruited into a covert government agency to be “stitched” into the minds of the recently deceased, using their memories to investigate murders and decipher mysteries that otherwise would have gone to the grave.
Schechter executive produces alongside Jonathan Baruch and Rob Wolken. Production is slated to begin in June.
Sound intriguing? We'll keep our eyes open for casting updates and more details to see if it warrants further coverage.
We got a look at the premiere of WGN America's "Salem" a little early and are here to give you an idea of the seductive sorcery the series is offering plus provide a peek behind the scenes at the "Secrets of Salem."
Witches are hot properties on TV right now, and yes, they are the focus of the show with the horrific Salem, Massachusetts, witch trials ramping up and full-blown mass hysteria just around the corner. But these aren't your garden variety witches, and the storyline encompasses a much darker world than we're used to seeing on network TV.
In "Salem" there are also demons and wheeling & dealing with the devil, some very strange goings-on with a toad, a seemingly possessed woman being led around town like a rabid dog on a leash - and that's just in the first episode!
Plus there's nudity and blatant sexuality veering very close to HBO and Showtime standards. Actually, it's classic "almost" nudity, and if you thought Alexandra Daddario's shirt was tenacious in Texas Chainsaw 3D covering up her private parts, wait until you see the tricks they pull in "Salem"!
It's not just the women who are showing their skin either. The men are just as carnal and apt to be a witch. And corruption runs deep. Fortunately, "Salem" isn't pulling any punches when it comes to portraying the hypocrisy of the church and the townsfolk who were accusing others of witchcraft.
It may not be completely historically accurate, but just about everyone is a real historical figure like John Alden (Shane West) and Cotton Mather (Seth Gabel), with the recently announced Increase Mather (Stephen Lang) soon joining the fray, and so far it doesn't feel too contemporized. Obvious parallels are made to today's issues, but it doesn't beat you over the head with them. Nor does it take itself too seriously. (But again… that's only "so far" after watching just the pilot so don't blame us if it takes a downward turn like so many promising shows sadly do.)
The acting is decent overall. He may be a little vanilla, but I've been a fan of West since "Once and Again," and the standout newcomer for me is Ashley Madekwe as Tituba. Plus, it's always great to see Xander Berkeley, who looks fabulous with period-appropriate long hair, by the way (as does West). The costumes, sets, and atmosphere are all quite impressive - and oppressive, just like those Puritanical times.
So our verdict is yes, you should tune in for the premiere of "Salem"... unless you're only looking for something geared toward the younger crowd. In that case, you probably shouldn't as there isn't a single emo teen or high school dance in sight!
“Salem,” premiering on Sunday, April 20th, enters the world of the most notorious witch trials in history, a period steeped in fear, suspicion, and hysteria. “Salem” explores what really fueled the town's infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth behind them.
Note that the pilot episode runs a bit over an hour so if you're DVRing it, be sure to add on an extra 10-15 minutes so you don't miss the ending.
"Salem" Episode 1.01 - "The Vow" (airs 4/20/14) John Alden returns from war to discover that the woman he left behind is now married to another man and that his hometown of Salem, Mass., is in the midst of a witch panic in the premiere of this supernatural drama.
Created, executive produced, and written by award-winning writer/producer Brannon Braga and Adam Simon, “Salem” stars Janet Montgomery as the ruthless but vulnerable Mary Sibley, Salem’s most powerful enchantress; Shane West as handsome, hardened war veteran John Alden – and Mary’s onetime love interest; Seth Gabel as local aristocrat Cotton Mather, who fans the flames of Salem’s witch hunt; Ashley Madekwe as Mary’s mysterious, carnal accomplice, Tituba; Xander Berkeley as chief politician Magistrate Hale; Tamzin Merchant as the forthright Anne Hale, an artist with a perilous attraction to Alden; Elise Eberle as the mysteriously afflicted Mercy Lewis; and Iddo Goldberg as outcast Isaac Walton.
We don't quite know what to think about this news. Back in May of last year, word was that Cabin Fever: Patient Zero would be rebooting the franchise and kicking off a new trilogy. Now things seem to have changed...
Bloody Disgusting is reporting that sources at Cannes have told them that Indomina will instead put a remake of Eli Roth’s 2002 love-it-or-hate-it original Cabin Fever into production now that Patient Zero is arriving on VOD June 26th and in theatres on August 1st via RLJ/Image Entertainment.
Evolution Entertainment, which produced the first three Saw films as well as Dead Silence and Death Sentence, will be producing the remake with Cassian Elwes and Evan Astrowsky. It's doubtful Roth will lend much more than his name to this one.
The original, Roth's directorial debut, is an offbeat horror tale about a group of five college friends on vacation at a remote mountain cabin. After one of the friends contracts a flesh-eating virus, it quickly spreads among them, and their true feelings and personalities emerge as they struggle to survive the virus... and each other.
Although we're not sure "Hannibal" will ever be able to top tonight's #TURDUCKEN insanity, we can't wait to see the powers-that-be try in next week's Episode 2.09, "Shiizakana." Here's a preview of what's ahead.
"Hannibal" Episode 2.09 - "Shiizakana" (airs 4/25/14; 10-11PM) The FBI is called in to investigate the grisly discovery of a truck driver’s body, seemingly torn apart by two separate species of animal working in tandem, neither of which consumed their kill.
After one of his therapy sessions, Will (Hugh Dancy) meets Hannibal’s (Mads Mikkelsen) strange new patient, Margot Verger (Katharine Isabelle). Will and Margot compare notes on Hannibal and his unconventional advice. Continually encouraging his patients to revel in what they are, Hannibal aims to determine Will’s true self by sending him a test, the results of which surprise even Hannibal.
Also starring Aaron Abrams and Scott Thompson; guest starring Jeremy Davies.
On the prowl for a new horror poster to gander at while you're waiting for the weekend to kick off? Then check out the first one-sheet for the next Chiller TV original horror flick, Animal, from Drew Barrymore's production company, Flower Films.
Animal, which airs later this year on NBCUniversal-owned Chiller after a limited theatrical and VOD run, follows a group of close-knit friends who find themselves stranded in unfamiliar territory, pursued by a bloodthirsty predator.
Holed up in isolated cabin, tensions mount as secrets are revealed. As the body count rises, the group members put their differences aside and fight for survival.
Keke Palmer, Amaury Nolasco, Parker Young, Joey Lauren Adams, Elizabeth Gillies, Paul Iacono, Thorsten Kaye, and Jeremy Sumpter star.
Barrymore is an executive producer alongside Flower Films’ Nancy Juvonen and producers Chris Miller, Ember Truesdell, Kelly Smith, and Thommy Hutson. Hutson and Catherine Trillo penned the script, which is directed by Brett Simmons. Gary J. Tunnicliffe created the creature effects.
Brandon Ford is a horror author whose works we've covered and reviewed fairly extensively here at Dread Central so when he dropped us a line with word on his latest project along with the cover art, of course we had to share!
A twisted and often unsettling glimpse into the mind of an unwitting victim, Open Wounds tells the story of a young girl’s battle to maintain her safety and sanity after she is preyed upon by a savage predator.
Synopsis: The first cut brings a wave of calm that immediately washes over her. The second, an incomparable bliss. The third, euphoria in its purest, most absolute form.
She finds only the slightest comfort in scrawling the details of her horrific tale onto the pages of a leatherbound diary. But when her living nightmare becomes more than she can bear, the only comfort she finds is beneath the blade of a paring knife. Night after night, she slices into her own tender flesh while praying for some escape from a world filled with anguish and torment.
Before long those leatherbound pages are dripping with crimson, and soon open wounds become ripples of scar tissue.
The Scream Factory has been releasing the very best of our genre's stranger side with Criterion-like editions that we'd never have thought some of these movies would get. Every once in a while though... they dig up something we've never even heard of!
From the Press Release There’s a new address in sheer terror. On May 27, 2014, SCREAM FACTORY™ invites loyal fans and horror enthusiasts to experience terror more profoundly with supernatural shocker HOUSE IN THE ALLEY on DVD.
Boasting a large cult following overseas and a film festivals favorite, HOUSE IN THE ALLEY is a gripping haunted house thriller that exposes the weaknesses of the human psyche and deftly combines suspense, horror, and emotional dramas. Written and directed by Le-Van Kiet, the film is about a couple who slowly lose their sanity, haunted by the traumatic death of their son and the paranormal disturbances in their house from an unspeakable past. A must-have for horror movie collectors and loyal fans, the HOUSE IN THE ALLEY DVD is priced to own with a suggested retail price of $14.93.
Synopsis A young couple, settling into their new life in their spacious home, lose their newborn to a miscarriage. After the tragedy, Thao is inconsolable and won’t let her baby’s body leave the house. She soon begins suffering from terrifying visions and slowly loses her sanity. Her husband, Thanh, also begins experiencing strange things around their home, and when his wife turns on him, he must race to uncover the secrets of the house in the alley before they both lose their minds... and their lives.
Christopher Denham's Preservation had its world premiere last night during the Tribeca Film Festival, screening as part of the Midnight section of films, and on tap right now is the first clip to go along with the movie's remaining TFF schedule. Dig it!
Written and directed by Denham, Preservation stars Wrenn Schmidt, Aaron Stanton, and Pablo Schreiber.
Synopsis Actor Christopher Denham takes his second turn in the director’s chair with this finely crafted horror-thriller starring Pablo Schreiber ("The Wire," "Orange is the New Black"), Aaron Staton ("Mad Men"), and Wrenn Schmidt ("Boardwalk Empire"). Brothers Sean and Mike Neary, along with Mike’s wife Wit, head out on a hunting trip that doubles as a distraction from their troubles at home. But ignoring the “closed” sign and heading deep into an overgrown nature preserve, they soon find their troubles are only beginning. When all of their gear is stolen, they immediately turn on each other. But the hunted can only survive so long standing alone. Just when you think you have heard the story before, Preservation twists into a sharp and startling take on why we fight and, in our tech-obsessed age, what we have been missing out on in the great outdoors.
Friday, April 18th at 9:00 pm – AMC Loews Village 7 - 1 (66 Third Ave. at 11th St.)
Friday, April 25th at 10:00 pm - Bow Tie Cinemas 5 (260 W. 23rd St., btwn 7th and 8th)
As a special Easter treat we're happy to present to you, our fellow loonies, the opening six minutes of the new slasher flick Easter Sunday! So get ready to color your eggs blood red (which incidentally is the title of our favorite rejected Herschell Gordon Lewis script).
A gory love letter to the golden era of slasher movies, the indie film Easter Sunday is written and directed by Jeremy Todd Morehead and stars horror legends Robert Z’Dar and Ari Lehman.
Easter Sunday's dynamic cast boasts Robert Z’Dar, the iconic actor best known as Maniac Cop; Ari Lehman; the first actor to portray Jason Voorhees in the original Friday the 13th; and indie veterans Edward X. Young (Mr. Hush) and Shawn C. Phillips (Ghost Shark). They join a number of promising up-and-comers including Paige Taylor, Christine Galbraith, William Bozarth, Jon McKoy, and Travis Marion.
Northgate Pictures has released N4red The Boogeyman's music video for Easter Sunday's theme song, "Eggsecuted." Done in the spirit of such classic film theme songs as "Are You Ready for Freddy?," "Maniac Cop Rap," and "The Monster Squad," N4red's hip-hop track captures the film's tongue-in-cheek tone. The "Eggsecuted" video also features exclusive footage from the movie.
Synopsis: Easter Sunday follows a group of teens who accidentally conjure the spirit of Douglas Fisher, a deranged, bunny mask-clad serial killer. Fisher is portrayed by Jason Delgado, who also serves as the film's producer.
Delgado explains the film as follow: "We are trying to bring forth a vision of '80s gore and real brutality on our limited budget. We want to bring people a film that will be fun, fast-paced, and filled with edge-of-your-seat tension. I'm humbled to be working with so many talented individuals."