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Scary vs. Gorey

Posted by Horror Grinder on January 8, 2013

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.

Cub (2014)

Posted by Serena Whitney on September 19, 2014

CubStarring Stef Aerts, Evelien Bosmans, Titus De Voogdt, Jan Hammenecker, Maurice Luijten

Directed by Jonas Govaerts


Many still believe that the French horror phenomenon is responsible for the most twisted and vicious genre films in the past decade, although Belgium is surely giving France a run for its money with the advent of a new wave of depraved horror films.

First-time director Jonas Govaerts only supports this fact as his first feature, Cub, puts a brutal new spin on standard camp horror fare.

After the film’s creepy and at first misleading prologue, viewers are introduced to Sam (Luijten), an introverted twelve-year-old on the way to a camping trip with his fellow cub scouts and three teenage camp counselors. When a mishap with two bullies reroutes the group further into the woods, the counselors try scaring the boy scouts with a campfire tale about Kai, a werewolf rumoured to be stalking its prey in those very woods.

When the impressionable Sam runs into a savage young boy wearing a mask, he is convinced he has found the real Kai and is promptly ridiculed for his theory. Although the boy is not a mythical beast, the threat of something sinister brewing in the air is very much real as the group is being stalked by a flesh and blood skilled and patient killer, and Sam quickly realizes that the legend of Kai is the least of his worries.

One of the things that makes Cub stand out from the archetypal “slasher in the woods” movie is its usage of its supporting characters. Like a majority of slashers, the supporting characters exist simply to pad the numbers. However, what makes them unique from regular slashers is that besides one villainous character, none of them are particularly unlikable. For instance, in Cub, not all of the camp counselors are horny wing bats, and the one female counselor who is, is actually the film’s most empathetic character. By making the minor characters less detestable, it makes the nihilistic events to follow that much more shocking to watch, and be warned: This is not a film for the easily offended.

Govaerts also succeeds in displaying the most inventive set-pieces in a camp horror film since Severance. The fatal booby traps that the members of the group fall victim to one-by-one are particularly well thought-out and will invoke cheers from the audience.

On the downside, Cub loses its momentum and falls apart in its final act, when it inexplicably turns into a generic and over-the-top slasher and ends with mediocre results. This wouldn’t be such a disappointment if the acts that preceded the finale weren’t full of enjoyable, yet sadistic moments.

Cub may end on a weak note; however, director Jonas Govaerts still manages to take a generic plot and deliver a solid horror experience by taking his viewers on a dark and unexpected ride through the woods.

The post Cub (2014) appeared first on Dread Central.

An Itsy Bitsy Tusk Clip Climbs Up the Water Spout

Posted by Steve Barton on September 19, 2014

In a year filled with one mediocre flick after the other, Kevin Smith’s Tusk is a breath of maniacally fresh air and will stand proudly on my top 5 of the year list. If it’s playing near you, SEE IT! If not… dig this clip!

Tusk (review), written and directed by Kevin Smith, stars Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, and Michael Parks. Long plays a journalist who finds the story of a lifetime in Mr. Howe (Parks), a worldwide adventurer with amazing tales and a curious penchant for walruses.

Producers are Sam Englebardt, William D. Johnson, and David Greathouse for Demarest and Shannon McIntosh for Smith’s SModcast Pictures banner. Jennifer Schwalbach and XYZ’s Nate Bolotin are executive producers.

Look for the flick in theatres NOW.

For more info visit the official Tusk website, “like” Tusk on Facebook, check out Tusk on Instagram, and follow @Tusk_TheMovie on Twitter using the hashtag #WalrusYes.

Tusk

Kevin Smith's Tusk

The post An Itsy Bitsy Tusk Clip Climbs Up the Water Spout appeared first on Dread Central.

Exclusive: Camille Keaton BACK for Third I Spit On Your Grave

Posted by Steve Barton on September 19, 2014

Following up on this morning’s I Spit on Your Grave 3 news, Dread Central, has learned exclusively that Camille Keaton, who played Jennifer in Meir Zarchi’s 1978 cult classic I Spit on Your Grave (Day of the Woman), will be starring in the third film.

The project is is now titled I Spit on Your Grave – Deja-vu and as it turns out… is an actual sequel written by Meir Zarchi that shares characters as well as continuity with his original 1978 cult classic Day of the Woman aka Spit On Your Grave. Chad Ferrin and Terry Zarchi are producing with Meir once again directing.

The project has nothing to do with CineTel Films or Anchor Bay.

Stay tuned for more as it comes.

Synopsis
Following her rape, Jennifer Hills wrote a best-selling account of her ordeal and of the controversial trial in which she was accused of taking the law into her own hands and brutally killing her assailants. In the small town where the rape and revenge took place, the relatives of the four rapists she killed are furious that the court declared her not guilty and resolve to take justice into their own hands.

Camille Keaton

I Spit On Your Grave

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Amityville: The Awakening and James Wan’s Demonic Fall Victim to Indefinite Delays

Posted by John Squires on September 19, 2014

Amityville2Well then. We can’t say we saw this one coming.

Respectively scheduled for release in late 2014 and early 2015, both the James Wan-produced Demonic and franchise reboot Amityville: The Awakening have unexpectedly been pulled from release by TWC-Dimension, and at the moment it doesn’t look like there are any set future plans for either film.

December 12th of this year was the planned date for Demonic, starring Maria Bello and Frank Grillo. The film centers on the aftermath of a horrific massacre where five college students were brutally murdered inside an abandoned home. Detective Mark Lewis and psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Klein question one of the few survivors, who explains they were amateur ghost-hunters, seeking out paranormal phenomenon at the abandoned house, which was believed to be haunted. But what started out as a harmless activity turned into something truly terrifying.

As for Amityville: The Awakening, that one was slated for release on January 2, 2015. In the Frank Khalfoun-directed film, Belle, her little sister, and her comatose twin brother move into a new house with their single mother, Joan (Jennifer Jason Leigh), in order to save money to help pay for her brother’s expensive healthcare. But when strange phenomena begin to occur in the house, including the miraculous recovery of her brother, Belle begins to suspect her mother isn’t telling her everything and soon realizes they just moved into the infamous Amityville house.

While we wait for news about new dates, you can check out the trailer for Amityville: The Awakening below.
 

The post Amityville: The Awakening and James Wan’s Demonic Fall Victim to Indefinite Delays appeared first on Dread Central.

See a Trio of Clip from the Under the Dome Season Finale Episode 2.13 – Go Now

Posted by Debi Moore on September 19, 2014

Under the Dome Season 2 Finale Episode 2.13 - Go NowThis coming Monday night is home to the Season 2 finale of “Under the Dome,” and if you’ve been sticking with it like we have (lord only knows why!), here are three sneak peeks of the upcoming Episode 2.13, “Go Now,”

“Under the Dome” stars Mike Vogel (Barbie), Colin Ford (Joe), Alexander Koch (Junior), Rachelle Lefevre (Julia), Dean Norris (Big Jim), and Mackenzie Lintz (Norrie). Season 2 guest stars include Brett Cullen, Sherry Stringfield, Eddie Cahill, Grace Victoria Cox, Dwight Yoakam, Karla Crome, and Max Ehrich.

Related Story:  “Go Now” to See Some Stills and a Preview of the “Under the Dome” Season 2 Finale

“Under the Dome” Episode 2.13 – “Go Now” (airs 9/22/14; 10-11 PM)
A potential exit from the Dome is revealed just as the walls begin closing in on those trapped in Chester’s Mill.

For more info visit “Under the Dome” on CBS.com, “like” “Under the Dome” on Facebook, and follow “Under the Dome” on Twitter (@UnderTheDomeCBS).

Under the Dome Season 2

The post See a Trio of Clip from the Under the Dome Season Finale Episode 2.13 – Go Now appeared first on Dread Central.

ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

Posted by Brad McHargue on September 19, 2014

ABC's of Death 2 ReviewStarring A Lot of People

Directed by A Lot of People


The first ABCs of Death received the sort of reaction you’d expect from an anthology film comprised of 26 shorts from 26 different filmmakers: “meh.” Some were good (Marcel Sarmiento’s “D is for Dogfight”), and some were bad (Ti West’s lazy “M is for Miscarriage”) so to walk away with anything more than a tepid reaction would be asking for a lot.

In the case of the sequel, however, the credo “learn by doing” was taken to heart with the majority of the shorts proving to be a wicked good time and far surpassing their predecessors.

Above all else, the film as a whole stands out for its wickedly funny, yet haunting intro credits scene: The sounds of a child’s lullaby permeate as a children’s book’s pages turn, revealing the credits as animated children succumb to death in darkly humorous ways. If anything, it helps to tame the preconceived notions one might have about the anthology, suggesting that a bit more thought and care went into making the experience unique, rather than a carbon copy of the first.

It would be a fool’s errand to discuss each and every film, especially in light of the fact that half the fun is discovering that gem in the rough. As such, if half your fun with the first film was derived from guessing the names of the shorts, then beware as spoilers abound in the following paragraphs.

The good far outweighs the bad in ABCs of Death 2. Right off the bat expectation are sent to insane levels with the humorous “A is for Amateur,” directed by Cheap Thrills helmer E. L. Katz and featuring an assassin doing what he does worst. Letter placement aside, it served as a good intro, if only for its clever naming convention. The best shorts typically use an idea or theme as a means of death, rather than an explicit item (either as a tool or as a factor). For example, Alejandro Brugues’ hilarious “E is for Equilibrium” follows a duo of marooned men on an island whose, well, equilibrium is interrupted by the arrival a young woman. They keep you guessing, adding another level of enjoyment to the anthology as a whole.

Conversely, others, such as Julian Barratt’s “B is for Badgers,” which aims for a send-up of David Attenborough’s nature shows, and Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s “X is for Xylophone,” which features Inside‘s Beatrice Dalle, are pretty obvious in their naming convention. From moment one you know exactly what the title is going to be, even if you hope for a bit of cleverness. Thankfully, more often than not the finished product is good enough to allow for this dismissal of naming creativity.

Other standouts among the pack include Larry Fessenden’s “N is for Nexus,” which finds a calamity befall a group of people at an intersection; Robert Morgan’s twisted claymation “D is for Deloused,” which is just… just gross and weird and filled with all sorts of nightmare-inducing madness; and Rodney Ascher’s deviously clever and funny “Q is for Questionnaire.”

The whole shebang is rounded out with Chris Nash’s twisted “Z is for Zygote,” which is sure to give future mothers horrible, horrible nightmares for years to come.

Conversely, there were plenty that elicited little more than a tired shrug, while one, Jen and Sylvia Soska’s “T is for Torture Porn,” just felt lazy and horribly pandering. Others, such as George Plympton’s “H is for Head Games” and Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s “L is for Legacy,” simply didn’t live up to the standard set by their superior brethren.

But such is the beauty of this anthology. While each short has its merits, they will invariably elicit a wide range of responses, and unlike the first film, the good far outweighs the bad. If you can’t catch it in the theater, watch it with a six-pack and a handful of good friends who relish in the absurd.

The post ABCs of Death 2 (2014) appeared first on Dread Central.

ABCs of Death 2 (2014)

Posted by Brad McHargue on September 19, 2014

ABC's of Death 2 ReviewStarring A Lot of People

Directed by A Lot of People


The first ABCs of Death received the sort of reaction you’d expect from an anthology film comprised of 26 shorts from 26 different filmmakers: “meh.” Some were good (Marcel Sarmiento’s “D is for Dogfight”), and some were bad (Ti West’s lazy “M is for Miscarriage”) so to walk away with anything more than a tepid reaction would be asking for a lot.

In the case of the sequel, however, the credo “learn by doing” was taken to heart with the majority of the shorts proving to be a wicked good time and far surpassing their predecessors.

Above all else, the film as a whole stands out for its wickedly funny, yet haunting intro credits scene: The sounds of a child’s lullaby permeate as a children’s book’s pages turn, revealing the credits as animated children succumb to death in darkly humorous ways. If anything, it helps to tame the preconceived notions one might have about the anthology, suggesting that a bit more thought and care went into making the experience unique, rather than a carbon copy of the first.

It would be a fool’s errand to discuss each and every film, especially in light of the fact that half the fun is discovering that gem in the rough. As such, if half your fun with the first film was derived from guessing the names of the shorts, then beware as spoilers abound in the following paragraphs.

The good far outweighs the bad in ABCs of Death 2. Right off the bat expectation are sent to insane levels with the humorous “A is for Amateur,” directed by Cheap Thrills helmer E. L. Katz and featuring an assassin doing what he does worst. Letter placement aside, it served as a good intro, if only for its clever naming convention. The best shorts typically use an idea or theme as a means of death, rather than an explicit item (either as a tool or as a factor). For example, Alejandro Brugues’ hilarious “E is for Equilibrium” follows a duo of marooned men on an island whose, well, equilibrium is interrupted by the arrival a young woman. They keep you guessing, adding another level of enjoyment to the anthology as a whole.

Conversely, others, such as Julian Barratt’s “B is for Badgers,” which aims for a send-up of David Attenborough’s nature shows, and Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s “X is for Xylophone,” which features Inside‘s Beatrice Dalle, are pretty obvious in their naming convention. From moment one you know exactly what the title is going to be, even if you hope for a bit of cleverness. Thankfully, more often than not the finished product is good enough to allow for this dismissal of naming creativity.

Other standouts among the pack include Larry Fessenden’s “N is for Nexus,” which finds a calamity befall a group of people at an intersection; Robert Morgan’s twisted claymation “D is for Deloused,” which is just… just gross and weird and filled with all sorts of nightmare-inducing madness; and Rodney Ascher’s deviously clever and funny “Q is for Questionnaire.”

The whole shebang is rounded out with Chris Nash’s twisted “Z is for Zygote,” which is sure to give future mothers horrible, horrible nightmares for years to come.

Conversely, there were plenty that elicited little more than a tired shrug, while one, Jen and Sylvia Soska’s “T is for Torture Porn,” just felt lazy and horribly pandering. Others, such as George Plympton’s “H is for Head Games” and Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s “L is for Legacy,” simply didn’t live up to the standard set by their superior brethren.

But such is the beauty of this anthology. While each short has its merits, they will invariably elicit a wide range of responses, and unlike the first film, the good far outweighs the bad. If you can’t catch it in the theater, watch it with a six-pack and a handful of good friends who relish in the absurd.

The post ABCs of Death 2 (2014) appeared first on Dread Central.

Closer to God (2014)

Posted by Brad McHargue on September 19, 2014

Closer to GodStarring Jeremy Childs, Shannon Hoppe, David Alford, Shelean Newman

Directed by Billy Senese


Human cloning is a divisive subject, and while many films tend to err on the side of science fiction or an already established world where cloning is an accepted reality, it’s rare to come across a film that deals with the ramifications of such groundbreaking science in as real and terrifying a way as Billy Senese’s debut feature, Closer to God.

The film’s protagonist is Victor Reed (Childs), a genetic scientist who holds the distinction of being the first doctor to successfully clone a human being. Using his DNA mixed with another’s, the baby is named Elizabeth and, save for a transponder seemingly inserted directly into her brain, appears to be the picture of health. Almost immediately the ramifications of such a scientific breakthrough begin to weigh heavy on Victor, but the real trouble lies in a dark secret he keeps from his wife, Claire (Hoppe), known only to him and a pair of caretakers named Richard (Alford) and Mary (Newman) living in a guest home on his property.

The problems associated with cloning a human being come to light almost immediately. Obsessed with his groundbreaking work, Reed’s home life begins to suffer as it becomes apparent that he is neglecting not only his wife and two daughters in favor of baby Elizabeth, but also his “son,” Ethan (Isaac Disney), a heretofore unseen child that is the source of major consternation for Richard and Mary. Furthermore, a crowd of protesters begin to gather around his house, shouting religious mantras that decry Reed’s work and make the claim that Elizabeth doesn’t have a soul.

While the stress of keeping Elizabeth out of the public eye begins to build, his secret past is slowly revealed through a series of flashbacks, allowing him to subtly build up the more horrific and Frankensteinian elements without overpowering the film’s strongest points in any significant manner. This “B” story is inextricably linked to the tension that pervades the “A” story, and while sporadic moments toward the end find the film devolving into cliched monster territory, Senese never strays from the real life implications of cloning. He manages to blend the two seemingly conflicting tones in a way that suggests an incredibly assured man behind the camera.

Thus is the beauty of Closer to God. Even when taking detours to focus on the more horror elements, Victor Reed’s reality remains front and center, with Senese placing the focus entirely on his struggle to maintain order amidst the chaos he unwittingly caused. Supported by a stellar performance from Jeremy Childs, his stoic personality and gaunt appearance supports the image of a man whose goal in being at the forefront of one of the most life-changing discoveries in human history has become more important than considering the consequences of it.

There is this beautiful sense of objectivity in Closer to God that makes it stand out as something special.

Dealing with the moral, ethical, legal, and, most importantly, religious ramifications of human cloning, this stellar low-budget thriller doesn’t seek to pick a side but rather explores both as playing an almost equal part in the aftermath of a lone doctor putting ambition before everything else. The consequences of successful human cloning are unknown, but Senese has crafted a unique and fascinating twist on the Frankenstein tale that brings them to light in an incredibly real and poignant way.

The post Closer to God (2014) appeared first on Dread Central.

Closer to God (2014)

Posted by Brad McHargue on September 19, 2014

Closer to GodStarring Jeremy Childs, Shannon Hoppe, David Alford, Shelean Newman

Directed by Billy Senese


Human cloning is a divisive subject, and while many films tend to err on the side of science fiction or an already established world where cloning is an accepted reality, it’s rare to come across a film that deals with the ramifications of such groundbreaking science in as real and terrifying a way as Billy Senese’s debut feature, Closer to God.

The film’s protagonist is Victor Reed (Childs), a genetic scientist who holds the distinction of being the first doctor to successfully clone a human being. Using his DNA mixed with another’s, the baby is named Elizabeth and, save for a transponder seemingly inserted directly into her brain, appears to be the picture of health. Almost immediately the ramifications of such a scientific breakthrough begin to weigh heavy on Victor, but the real trouble lies in a dark secret he keeps from his wife, Claire (Hoppe), known only to him and a pair of caretakers named Richard (Alford) and Mary (Newman) living in a guest home on his property.

The problems associated with cloning a human being come to light almost immediately. Obsessed with his groundbreaking work, Reed’s home life begins to suffer as it becomes apparent that he is neglecting not only his wife and two daughters in favor of baby Elizabeth, but also his “son,” Ethan (Isaac Disney), a heretofore unseen child that is the source of major consternation for Richard and Mary. Furthermore, a crowd of protesters begin to gather around his house, shouting religious mantras that decry Reed’s work and make the claim that Elizabeth doesn’t have a soul.

While the stress of keeping Elizabeth out of the public eye begins to build, his secret past is slowly revealed through a series of flashbacks, allowing him to subtly build up the more horrific and Frankensteinian elements without overpowering the film’s strongest points in any significant manner. This “B” story is inextricably linked to the tension that pervades the “A” story, and while sporadic moments toward the end find the film devolving into cliched monster territory, Senese never strays from the real life implications of cloning. He manages to blend the two seemingly conflicting tones in a way that suggests an incredibly assured man behind the camera.

Thus is the beauty of Closer to God. Even when taking detours to focus on the more horror elements, Victor Reed’s reality remains front and center, with Senese placing the focus entirely on his struggle to maintain order amidst the chaos he unwittingly caused. Supported by a stellar performance from Jeremy Childs, his stoic personality and gaunt appearance supports the image of a man whose goal in being at the forefront of one of the most life-changing discoveries in human history has become more important than considering the consequences of it.

There is this beautiful sense of objectivity in Closer to God that makes it stand out as something special.

Dealing with the moral, ethical, legal, and, most importantly, religious ramifications of human cloning, this stellar low-budget thriller doesn’t seek to pick a side but rather explores both as playing an almost equal part in the aftermath of a lone doctor putting ambition before everything else. The consequences of successful human cloning are unknown, but Senese has crafted a unique and fascinating twist on the Frankenstein tale that brings them to light in an incredibly real and poignant way.

The post Closer to God (2014) appeared first on Dread Central.

Step Right Up for Another American Horror Story: Freak Show Teaser and UK Promo

Posted by Debi Moore on September 19, 2014

American Horror Story: Freak ShowYep, another day, another “American Horror Story: Freak Show” teaser… but this time it has some company in the form of a promo that’s airing on Fox UK and combines a little bit of each of the videos we’ve seen so far.

“American Horror Story: Freak Show” debuts 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.

Related Story: Enter the “American Horror Story: Freak Show” Costume Contest

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.

For more info visit the “AHS: Freak Show” Facebook page, check out “AHS: Freak Show” on Tumblr, and follow @AHSFreakShow_ on Twitter along with “American Horror Story” on FX.

American Horror Story: Freak Show

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