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.
Game of Thrones is a good show, there’s no questioning that. And when it’s firing on all cylinders, like this week, it’s a great show.
It’s difficult at times to discern the direction of this season of Game of Thrones. Season two was all about a war, and all the action drove toward the climactic Battle of the Blackwater. This season, that war (like so many real wars) has disintegrated into an aimless, pointless debacle. It’s hard to even remember there’s a war on, since we haven’t seen an on-screen battle in ages.
It may actually be Danaerys that points the way to the season three thematic cornerstone: slavery. Her story has become the most interesting in the show. Military strategy, political backstabbing, dragons, conquest, and general awesomeness. She’s currently roving about the Free Cities, sacking strongholds and freeing slaves. Because there’s no system of kings and their bannermen from which to draw armies, military forces in the Free Cities are almost all mercenary companies. One such company is the Second Sons, who bear a broken sword on their banner.
The Second Sons are under contract with Yunkai to protect it. Dany wants to take the city, slay the masters, and free the slaves. She meets with the captains of the Second Sons, including the coarse Mero (absent his signature red beard) and the dashing Daario Naharis (absent his tri-forked blue beard). This condenses things from the novels, as they were actually captains of several different companies, not just the Second Sons. And indeed, Mero doesn’t die until much later, under very different circumstances.
The result, though, is that Daario, who professes to fight for beauty, is so taken with Danaerys that he slays the other captains and brings the Sons over to Dany’s side. Her army grows, and now she has cavalry. I love how her personal power is depicted. She doesn’t rave and scream. She doesn’t make grandiose pronouncements. She responds to Mero’s disgusting suggestions with an even stare and threatens him softly, with an amused smile. She faces Daario naked in the bathtub, never shirking his gaze. Indeed, she manages to seem totally in control of that situation despite her vulnerable circumstances.
Now let’s see if we can drive this slavery theme into the ground. I’ll bet there are slavery metaphors all over the place if we look hard enough. Tyrion puts a fine point on it when he tells Sansa before their wedding, “You won’t be a prisoner after tonight. I guess it will be a different kind of prison, though.” Freedom has its costs, after all. Dany will probably learn that soon enough. If a good proportion of the Free Cities’ economy is based on slavery, what do you suppose will happen when Danaerys dismantles it? Which doesn’t suggest that slavery shouldn’t be ended, but you’d better have a plan in place to fill the resulting vacuum. Hopefully something better than Reconstruction.
Tyrion and Sansa’s wedding is seriously the worst wedding ever (nod/wink/giggle). The groom gets hammered, his dad gets pissed, the best man is about as charming as a walking taint, and the bride mopes. Cersei’s bitchiness has grown tiresome now that she has absolutely no power of any kind. She can raise her hackles and hiss all she wants, but she’s been declawed. Margaery completely distracted me with that wry twist of a smile that hints at thoughts best left unspoken in polite company.
Post-wedding, Tyrion plans to consummate the relationship as per Tywin’s demands, but Sansa’s young age and reluctance stops him cold. “I won’t share your bed until you want me to,” and he collapses onto a couch. In the morning, Shae acts very bitchy, then beams when she notices the lack of blood on Sansa’s sheets.
Briefly, Arya travels with the Hound. She tries to kill him while he sleeps, but he talks her out of it. He tells her he’s taking her to her mother and brother at Edmure’s wedding, and reveals to her some of his good side, though she seems doubtful. Interestingly, though Arya’s story traveled a different path than in the novel, she is reaching the same destination at just the right time.
Back at Dragonstone, Gendry gets the royal treatment. Stannis releases Davos from the dungeon so he can counsel against Melisandre killing the bastard. Melisandre’s scene with Gendry was excellent. She seemed very charming at first, talking with him about her own impoverished youth. Her sensuality rises to the surface though. Worshipping the Lord of Light seems to take many forms. For the Brotherhood, it is about death and resurrection. For Melisandre, it is definitely Sex Magick. She could obviously get blood from Gendry with leeches without getting him super turned on and going down on him first. But that’s not how she rolls. Nothing under the robes, you know.
Samwell and Gilly trudge through the woods. Near a weirdwood tree they find an abandoned shack to shelter in for the night. Crows begin to gather nearby as Sam fails to light a fire. Gilly bristles under a perceived class divide, irritated by Sam’s inability to make a fire and inability to not use big words. Their conversation about baby names is interrupted by a cacophony of crows outside. Sam investigates and see the tree covered in hundreds of crows. Through the woods a lone figure walks toward them. A White Walker.
This scene was so awesome and scary. That figure stalking purposely through the trees, Jason Vorhees style…hell yes. Then it destroyed Sam’s sword with its icy grip and tossed him aside with superhuman strength. The dragon glass in Sam’s pocket turned out to do the trick, turning the Walker into a pile of ice shards. Shame Sam didn’t think to retrieve the weapon before they fled.
In more quick news coming out of the Cannes Film Market, Phase 4 has acquired all rights in the US and Canada to John Huddles’ Philosophers, a sci-fi thriller starring James Darcy (In Their Skin).
Bankside Films handles international sales on the Croisette. Sophie Lowe, Daryl Sabara, Freddie Stroma, Rhys Wakefield, and Bonnie Wright also star.
“The Philosophers centers on a philosophy teacher at an international school in Jakarta who challenges his graduate class of 20 to elect which 10 they would send into an underground shelter in the event of a nuclear apocalypse.”
Hooked Digital Media has announced that its first horror story is now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Fans can now download the first chapter of Haunting Melissa for FREE on the App Store. Check out the second teaser trailer!
From the Press Release Hooked Digital Media, a next-generation production company, premieres Haunting Melissa, a horror story available now exclusively on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Designed specifically for a new generation of connected viewers, Haunting Melissa reinvents storytelling to engage audiences and keep them on the edge of their seats. The Haunting Melissa App takes viewers into the world of Melissa, a teenage girl who believes her recently deceased mother is haunting her.
Haunting Melissa is the first project using Hooked Digital Media’s new platform, which enables delivery of stories in varied lengths, received at unpredictable intervals. Written and produced specifically for Hooked Digital Media’s new story platform and is designed to connect with Gen C viewers to tell stories in a whole new way. The company holds multiple patents that bring mystery and intrigue to the viewing ecosystem. These technology innovations release flexible content in an unpredictable but linear progression maximizing audience anticipation. As viewers progress, the app can inject new content that reveals important storyline elements through seamless push “update” notifications.
The project was conceived, directed and produced by Neal Edelstein, producer of hits such as “The Ring,” “The Ring 2” and “Mulholland Drive.” Haunting Melissa is written by best-selling author Andrew Klavan (True Crime, Don’t Say A Word); Haunting Melissa features an up-and-coming cast of talented actors that includes Kassia Warshawski as Melissa Strogue, Travis Nelson as Brandon, Barb Mitchell as Katherine Strogue, Jasmine Berg as Holly, Greg Lawson as Jack Strogue, Larry Reese as Mike Cole, Christian Laurian Kerr as Carter, Lisa Moreau as Amanda Maynard and Lorette Clow as Dr. Carroway.
“Haunting Melissa is a ghost story created to be consumed in a dark corner with headphones on and iPhone or iPad in hand,” said Neal Edelstein, president, Hooked Digital Media. “You never know when the next piece will come or how long that piece will be…it’s a complete surprise.” The intuitive platform features an easy-to-use visual guide that includes a color-coded path to identify what has been viewed and what awaits. Haunting Melissa is also highly social -- viewers can easily sign in through Facebook and alert friends they are watching Haunting Melissa, share theories, freak out and make predictions of what comes next.
“The amazing technology contained in the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has allowed us to present stories in a dramatically different way. The technology supports story first and foremost. As viewers move further into Melissa’s world, they will understand why this new app technology will change distribution forever,” added Edelstein.
The Haunting Melissa App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The first chapter is free with additional chapters available via In-App Purchase.
Don't know how we missed this one, but better late than never, right? In any event back in April both Gemma Arterton and Anna Kendrick joined the cast of The Voices. Maybe said voices should speak up a bit next time!
Per Deadline, Arterton (pictured) and Kendrick have been set to star alongside Ryan Reynolds in The Voices, the Marjane Satrapi-directed psychological thriller that is being co-produced by 1984 Private Defense Contractors and Mandalay Vision.
Filming is about to start in Berlin from a script by Paranormal Activity 2‘s Michael R. Perry. Reynolds plays a lovable but strange bathtub factory worker who yearns for the attention of a woman in Accounting. When their relationship takes a sudden murderous turn, Jerry’s evil “talking” cat and benevolent “talking” dog lead him down a fantastical path that ultimately brings him to salvation.
With Tom Holland's adaptation of Stephen King's The Ten O'Clock People currently making the sales rounds at Cannes, word has come that Chris Evans (Captain America, Snowpiercer) is in talks to replace Justin Long, who had to drop out due to a scheduling conflict.
Per Deadline, the plan is to shoot The Ten O'Clock People, an adaptation of King's short story of the same name that was first published in Nightmares and Dreamscapes in 1993, this fall in Atlanta. Holland, the 1980s horror maven who wrote and directed Fright Night and Child's Play and previously tackled King’s Thinner and The Langoliers, will direct.
The story centers on a man who, when attempting to kick his smoking habit, has his eyes opened to a frightening reality in which many people in authority are monsters. He joins a group of others like him called "The Ten O’Clock People."
Pascal Borno and Scott Karol’s Conquistador Entertainment, Holland’s Dead Rabbit Films, and E.J. Meyers (who co-wrote the script with Holland), Robin Reitman, and Nathaniel Kramer’s Making Ten O’Clock Productions will produce the film. Previously Rachel Nichols (Raze, P2, "Continuum") was in talks for the project as well, but we haven't gotten an update on that in a while.
We'll keep our eyes and ears open for more details as they come.
Word is coming out of the 2013 Cannes Film Fest that UK-based Stealth Media Group and Cathartic Pictures have teamed up to produce a revolving slate of films, and the first two projects will be a zombie Western and a vampire flick. Read on for the first few details.
Per Deadline, Stealth and Cathartic (Iron Sky producer Cathy Overett’s new shingle ) have set up Bullets for the Dead, a $2M zombie Western, to shoot in Queensland, Australia, in July. It will be followed by Bite, a $5M vampire film slated to shoot in Oz in October. Stealth Australia is also looking to pick up two to three films a year out of Australia.
It's been exactly a year since we last had an update on Jim Mickle's (Stake Land, We Are What We Are) adaptation of the Joe R. Lansdale novel Cold in July, but with Cannes in full swing, news has come that filming is set to begin in late July with an early 2014 delivery.
Per Deadline, Paris-based Backup Media has teamed up with Memento Films International to finance Cold in July. Adapted by Nick Damici and Mickle, the film is being produced by Belladonna Productions’ Rene Bastian, Adam Folk, and Linda Moran — frequent Mickle collaborators.
Book Synopsis: When Richard Dane shoots and kills a burglar in his living room, he sets off a strange sequence of events, starting with a threat by the thief's father to kill Richard's son and leading to a dark, horrible truth.
"It was important to us to find partners on the movie who would help us create an environment for Jim where he would be protected and be able to excel as a filmmaker," Moran and Bastian jointly said. "We are very happy to have found the full support of the Backup/MFI team."
For Backup Media this marks a growing determination to put equity into English-language films; in previous investments they provided debt. "We are very proud Cold in July is the first film for which Backup has provided one-stop film financing," a Backup rep said. "We truly believe Belladonna/MFI/Mickle are the ideal team for us to extend our investment framework."
“We’re excited to continue our collaboration with Jim Mickle and Belladonna,” Memento's Emilie Georges said. “Cold in July represents a wonderful step for Jim as a filmmaker, and we are eager to introduce it to the world.”
Memento Films International will handle foreign sales and team up with WME Global on the domestic end, as they did on the eOne deal for Mickle’s last film, We Are What We Are.
Cannes isn't the only place news is happening this weekend. Big things are going on at the Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters as a massive casting update has arrived that just about doubles its total enrollment thus far! Read on for the details.
Per Deadline, Sarah Hyland ("Modern Family"), Joely Richardson (pictured; "Nip/Tuck," Event Horizon), and Gabriel Byrne ("In Treatment," Stigmata) will now also be sinking their teeth into the movie based on the books by Richelle Mead. Byrne will play Victor, one of the leaders of the Academy, while Hyland will play Natalie, Victor’s daughter and the best friend of the lead Rose and Lissa characters. Richardson will play Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi Vampires.
Dominic Sherwood has also joined the film and will be playing Christian, Lissa’s love interest. These latest cast additions come on the heels of the announcement last week that Sami Gayle ("Blue Bloods"), Cameron Monaghan ("Shameless"), Ashley Charles (White Buffalo), and Claire Foy (Season of the Witch) had been added to the ensemble cast.
Lucy Fry and Zoey Deutch were previously announced as Lissa and Rose. The film also stars Oblivion’s Olga Kurylenko and Danila Kozlovski.
Filming is scheduled to start next week so expect lots more soon.
Book Synopsis Set in the present day against a hidden universe of vampires, half-humans, alchemy, and magic. Richelle Mead shifts the focus from the brooding male vampires of Twilight, "True Blood" and "The Vampire Diaries" to that of a strong, yet flawed 17-year-old female who confronts her world with grit, determination, and lots of moxie. Rose Hathaway is a dhampir, half human/half vampire, and guardian of the Moroi, a race of peaceful and magical mortal vampires who can walk in the daylight, survive by feeding off willing blood donors, grow old and die. Hidden deep in the forests of Montana is St. Vladimir's Academy, where Moroi and dhampirs learn to take their place in Moroi society.
Rose must master her inherited abilities as a dhampir and earn the approval of the Royal Council, as guardian to Princess Lissa, her best friend and sole heir of one of the twelve Royal families of Moroi. Rose and Lissa share a mysterious psychic bond and sense of destiny, but first they must survive an intense social scene, politics, and the physical challenges of Moroi life at the Academy. Outside the sanctuary of St. Vladimir's waits their greatest threat of all, the Strigoi, a race of bloodthirsty immortal vampires and predators of the Moroi.
The advertising industry in America has become so ridiculously homogenized it almost feels as if creativity itself has died a slow and painful death. Take the remake of Evil Dead for instance. We got your standard stuff. Elsewhere had some fun!
Bloody Disgusting pointed us towards the website 9 the Creative Shop, who recently scanned and published an ad that appeared in their newspaper's obituaries section. The kicker? Since the dead were returning to life, the areas where the names of the recently deceased would appear were left blank. Pretty nifty! Take a look!
Ghost House Pictures produced the much anticipated remake of The Evil Dead, the film that effectively launched the careers of Sam Raimi (Spider-Man franchise, Darkman, Drag Me to Hell), Rob Tapert (30 Days of Night), and Bruce Campbell, who played the Ash character and was co-producer of the original. They are now back to produce an Evil Dead for today's audience that's high on the horror, gore, plot twists, and more from a screenplay written by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues with Diablo Cody. Executive producers are J.R. Young, Nathan Kahane, Joseph Drake, and Peter Schlessel.
Evil Dead has been rated R for “strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content and language. It opened in US theatres on April 5th, 2013.
A core cast of young, fresh talent includes Jane Levy ("Suburgatory") as Mia; Shiloh Fernandez (Deadgirl, Red Riding Hood) as David; Lou Taylor Pucci (Carriers) as Eric; Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield) as Olivia; and Elizabeth Blackmore (Legend of the Seeker) as Natalie.
Synopsis In the much anticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.
If you're a fan of possession flicks and/or foreign horror, read on for more details coming out of Cannes 2013 regarding Emili Pons' just launched Barcelona-based low-cost genre label Ms Entertainment, which announced its first project will be Asmodexia, the feature debut of Marc Carrete.
Per Variety, Catalan Carrete's shorts — Mal cuerpo and slasher pic Castidermia (check out its trailer below) — bowed at Catalonia’s Sitges Festival in 2011 and 2012, respectively; and this new project doesn't stray far from home. The Spanish-language horror film takes place over five days in the lives of an exorcist and his granddaughter, who work in the Barcelona area.
The screenplay is by Sitges fest deputy director Mike Hostench and Carrete from the director's original idea. Asmodexia goes into production August 26th, with Hostench taking an associate producer credit. Speaking at Cannes, Hostench described Asmodexia as a more realistic exorcism movie than most, where location is incredibly important.
Pons' background is in commercials and marketing, and he and his fellow Ms shareholders will make films outside the state subsidy system by tapping private investment. They will also target new media, including VOD and subscription VOD, and the English-speaking market.
Ms joins Barcelona’s vibrant horror scene, which includes Rodar y Rodar (The Orphanage), Nostromo Pictures (Grand Piano), Roxbury (Painless), and Filmax (REC). The Ms launch comes as young Spanish directors are increasingly turning to genre and thrillers for their feature debuts. “It always happens in economic downturns: Genre saves the day. Maybe not the whole of the day, but part of it,” Hostench said.