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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.

Rest in Peace: Dark Shadows Writer Sam Hall

Posted by Steve Barton on September 30, 2014

samhallbannerIt’s a sad day for fans of the horror soap “Dark Shadows.” Writer Sam Hall has died after a short bout with pneumonia in Rhinebeck, N.Y. The news was broken by his son, Matt, who confirmed the passing via The Hollywood Reporter. He was 93.

Sam Hall joined ABC’s Gothic soap “Dark Shadows” in 1967 and penned more than 300 episodes, often collaborating with writer Gordon Russell.

He co-wrote the screenplays for the features House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows, filmed during production of the TV show, and worked on a short-lived Dark Shadows primetime revival for NBC in 1991.

We here at Dread Central would like to offer our deepest condolences to Sam’s many friends, family members, and constituents. Thanks for the wild and wacky memories, kind sir.

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Zombieland Sequel Won’t Stay Dead

Posted by Steve Barton on September 30, 2014

What is it with Sony Pictures and its complete and total indecisiveness? Lord knows it’s had its ups and downs with the Ghostbusters franchise, but let’s not forget Zombieland has been forever getting the “Yo-Yo treatment” as well. After an abysmal attempt at a TV series on Amazon, interest in an official sequel has once again piqued.

Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures is getting more serious about mounting another installment of Zombieland. The studio just hired Dave Callaham to write the sequel under the supervision of Ruben Fleischer, who’ll return to direct.

No word yet on if the original participants will be back; the original film features Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, and Abigail Breslin.

Stay tuned.


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New American Horror Story: Freak Show Trailer Focuses on the Freaks

Posted by Debi Moore on September 30, 2014

Sarah Paulson on American Horror Story: Freak ShowAs promised this morning, a new trailer has arrived for “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” and it just ramped up our excitement tenfold!  Check it out, and join us in wondering how the heck they made Sarah Paulson’s two heads look so damn real!

The trailer, which premiered on Buzzfeed, also gives us our first good look at this season’s villainous Twisty the Clown so dive in and let us know what you think!

“AHS” Season 4 kicks off October 8th at 10:00 PM on FX. The premiere will be an expanded 90-minute episode.

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” begins its tale in the quiet, sleepy hamlet of Jupiter, Florida. The year is 1952, and a troupe of curiosities has just arrived to town. Their arrival coincides 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.

“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 @AHSFX on Twitter along with “American Horror Story” on FX.

American Horror Story: Freak Show


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See the First Clip from The Originals Episode 2.01 – Rebirth; New Artwork Unveiled

Posted by Debi Moore on September 30, 2014

The Originals Season 2The official Season 2 artwork has been revealed for The CW’s “The Originals,” and along with a peek at that we have the first clip from the show’s S2 premiere episode, which is entitled “Rebirth.” In the clip we get to see what kind of chessmaster Klaus is.

As for the artwork, per usual for the network, it debuted on THR.

“The Originals” Episode 2.01 – “Rebirth” (airs 10/6/14)
After months of being holed up inside his compound, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) enlists the help of Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Marcel (Charles Michael Davis) in plotting his revenge against the Guerrera werewolves and vows to take down anyone who poses a threat to baby Hope’s existence. Elijah watches helplessly as Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) spirals downward while mourning the loss of her daughter and struggling to adapt to her new hybrid status.

Exiled by the Guerrera werewolves, who now control the French Quarter, Marcel is still reeling over the destruction of his vampire family and attempts to rebuild his home with the help of Josh (guest star Steven Krueger). Elsewhere, Cami (Leah Pipes), who is attempting to regain some normalcy in her life, seeks comfort in a surprising place.

Lastly, Davina (Danielle Campbell) continues her plan to use Mikael (guest star Sebastian Roche) against Klaus but gets sidetracked when she meets the mysterious, yet charming Kaleb (guest star Daniel Sharman), who holds a few secrets of his own. Lance Anderson directed the episode written by Marguerite MacIntyre and Julie Plec.

For more info visit “The Originals” on CWTV.com, “like” “The Originals” on Facebook, and follow “The Originals” on Twitter.

The Originals Season 2

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Guilty Pleasures: 10 Terrible Movies That Kind of Rock

Posted by Matt Molgaard on September 30, 2014

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a miserable film. Just don’t tell your friends about it, or they’ll clown your ass until you lock yourself in your bedroom with a bottle of Jack, wiping away a fusion of sweat and tears, writing suicide notes.

Ready to be done with all the shame and your embarrassing habits once and for all? Despite the fact that you know, deep down, those buddies of yours have a handful of crap flicks that they themselves tune in to on a regular basis, they just happen to be smart enough to avoid airing that info out to their friends and associates. Clever bastards.

The truth is, sometimes we need brainless fodder. Intense films can weigh heavy on the mind, there’s no doubt about that. Ever watched Cannibal Holocaust? It’s an atrocious film that leaves the abdominal regions writhing in disgust. Ever seen Martyrs? While a genuinely ingraining piece of cinema, it’s so vivid and impacting that it summons legitimate feelings of poignancy. I love the film, but it’s an acquired piece, and it sure as shit doesn’t fiddle with the funny bone in the manner that a guilty pleasure pic does.

There’s room in the horror landscape for all assortments of films: serious, humorous, gory, desolate, and yes, the almighty guilty pleasure. It’s time to take a brief hiatus from the more penetrating offerings and focus on the movies that probably shouldn’t entertain but do so regardless. Here are 10 awesome guilty pleasure flicks perfectly suited to carry a beer-craving genre fanatic through a slow weekend.

Guilty Pleasures: 10 Terrible Movies That Kind of Rock
Van Helsing: If guilty pleasures are being discussed, Van Helsing is earning mention. Stephen Sommers’ big budget monster movie clearly intended to fuse high speed action and vintage genre appeal. And it does that, surprisingly well, to be honest. What it doesn’t do, however, is work on any other single level! The script is embarrassing, loaded with staggeringly dreadful dialogue. The special effects haven’t aged well, but they didn’t need to age well; they were laughable at birth! Terrible casting and a complete disregard for logical decision-making bury the movie on a technical front. But here’s the thing… I can’t take my eyes off the TV whenever the damn movie is on. Despite how wretched it all is, Van Helsing still feels like a good old throwback Universal monster movie. It still gives me that nostalgic punch in the face that I welcome with lowered defense. I’m a little leery to say it, but I still love Sommers’ costly disaster… and yes, I totally and completely acknowledge the fact that it’s a nauseating feature.

Season of the Witch: There’s something strange going on with Nicolas Cage, and I believe it to be Jedi Mind Tricks. Really, he has this mystifying way of capturing the attention even when the last face you hope to look at is that of Nicolas Cage. Cage is one of the hokiest guys in the business, flat out. I’m not sure if he even takes any of his own onscreen insanity seriously anymore because his performances reflect a guy who is out to have nothing but a silly, good time rather than turn in an edgy, memorable showing. And still, a couple of his features remain magnetic. Take for example Season of the Witch (Drive Angry gets a nod as well), an abomination of a feature that captivates me at every turn. It looks miserably awesome, Cage is miserably awesome, and I just feel flat out miserable having to admit that I love it. All of it. Every last second of this stinker.

Constantine: Talk about defecating on an iconic comic book character. Nothing about Warner Brothers’ Constantine felt faithful to DC’s own Constantine. It felt as though the entire character had undergone a personality transplant. John’s smoking habit is even altered as a result. Anyone who thought they’d watch this movie and see Constantine smoke less than 7,000 cigarettes is out of their mind. And yet, that’s what happened, a bad habit victim of the Hollywood makeover. The CG looks awfully damn abysmal as well. To be entirely honest, I can’t remember how I felt about the visuals the first time I checked this one out back in ’05, but it hasn’t looked good to these peepers in years. But you know what? There’s something about Keanu Reeves’ one-note delivery that gets me, the insane, almost Matrix influenced action scenes are hypnotic, and both Shia LaBeouf and Peter Stormare deliver just the right supportive flare to win me over. The real John Constantine wouldn’t be too pleased with this one, but it’s got a place on my shelf.

MORE Terrible Movies That Rock on the NEXT page!

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Help Make Carpe Noctem’s 20th Anniversary Edition a Reality

Posted by Debi Moore on September 30, 2014

Remember the days before the Internet, when finding information about “dark” music, art, and literature was next to impossible? In 1994, like a lifeline, Catia and Thom Carnell’s Carpe Noctem magazine appeared on the newsstands and brought it all into your hands.

Carpe Noctem gave readers and artists alike a break from their dreary day jobs to express their darker leanings.

Today publisher ZED Presents announces a KickStarter campaign to fund the Carpe Noctem 20th Anniversary Edition, and we have all the information you need to help this endeavor below.

When Catia and Thom Carnell originally launched their unique vision of a literate and informed “dark art” journal, Carpe Noctem magazine was unlike any other publication available at the time. With each subsequent release, people were more amazed by the beauty and unique vision held within. Nowhere in print was there a more perfect union of dark beauty and intelligent writing.

Across ages, cultures, and continents, Carpe Noctem magazine spoke to those who walked a slightly darker path. Whether featuring GWAR or Gino Vannelli, Jon J. Muth or Jhonen Vasquez, no publication could match the in-depth interviews, breathtaking artwork, or diverse coverage of music, film, and comics.

Carpe Noctem Magazine - 20th Anniversary Edition
The KickStarter campaign will fund the printing of the Carpe Noctem 20th Anniversary Edition, already in production, which will not only catch up with artists covered in the ’90s but also add entertainers who had not been featured in the pages of Carpe Noctem before. Additionally, everyone is invited to submit their own memories about that time for possible inclusion in the print issue or on the website.

Come… find what the Night brings… once more.

For additional info visit the Carpe Noctem 20 website, “like” Carpe Noctem 20 on Facebook, and if you’re so inclined, contribute to the Carpe Noctem 20 KickStarter campaign.

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Titan Comics Releasing The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie Generation on October 7th; See the New Trailer

Posted by Debi Moore on September 30, 2014

The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie GenerationTitan Comics has a “shocking and controversial” new take on the zombie genre heading our way next week, The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie Generation, and you can check out its new trailer right here!

Written by Pierre Boisserie with art by Malo Kerfriden, The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie Generation arrives on October 7th. Look for Vol. 2: Kill or Cure on January 6th of next year.

A new pandemic virus, a mutated form of rabies, spreads throughout the world. It affects only children, turning them into mindless, violent killers, hungry for blood.

Now humanity faces an impossible choice: kill every child or face extinction… The government tries to save those infected by keeping them locked away until a treatment becomes possible.

The government men find protecting the children more and more difficult, however, for large militia groups now roam the land with a single-minded purpose: to kill all the infected and cleanse the world of the virus. Meet Amina, a young mother battling to save her son. She finds not only their lives hanging in the balance, but her humanity – and that of everyone around her, too.

The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie Generation

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Production Kicks Off for A Monster Calls

Posted by Debi Moore on September 30, 2014

Felicity Jones - A Monster CallsWe’ve been talking about A Monster Calls, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible), for a while now; and since production has officially begun on the film, we have an update and lots more info.

A Monster Calls is slated for a fall 2016 release.

Participant Media and River Road Entertainment are financing the Apaches Entertainment production in association with Telecinco Cinema and La Trini Films.

The film, adapted by Patrick Ness from his award-winning children’s fantasy novel, will be released by Focus Features domestically, Universal Pictures International for its theatrical and home entertainment release in Spain, and Lionsgate International is handling foreign sales throughout the rest of the world.

A Monster Calls is a visually spectacular drama about 12-year-old Conor (newcomer Lewis MacDougall), who attempts to deal with his mother’s (Felicity Jones; pictured) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith. The cast also includes Academy Award nominees Liam Neeson, who will star in performance-capture and voiceover as the nocturnally visiting monster of the title, and Sigourney Weaver, who will portray Conor’s maternal grandmother; Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), as Conor’s father; and Geraldine Chaplin, who is making her third movie with Mr. Bayona.

The new film is being produced by Belén Atienza, who was a producer on Mr. Bayona’s The Impossible and The Orphanage and an executive producer on Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.

Mr. Ness wrote the novel based on an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd. Published in almost 30 languages, the novel has won many prestigious prizes worldwide, including the distinguished Carnegie Medal and, for illustrator Jim Kay, the Kate Greenaway Medal.

A Monster Calls is being executive produced by Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King, River Road’s Bill Pohlad and Mitch Horwits, Mr. Ness, and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairman Patrick Wachsberger. Principal photography will take place in both Spain and England.

“A Monster Calls is a beloved and iconic book, and I’m thrilled at the opportunity to create a world of monsters and fantasy that does it justice,” Mr. Bayona remarked. “I’m also delighted to rejoin much of my creative team from The Impossible, and I couldn’t ask for a more talented and prestigious cast, and a more supportive group of studio partners, to help bring this incredible project to the screen.”

The creative team on A Monster Calls also includes production designer Eugenio Caballero, an Academy Award winner for Pan’s Labyrinth who previously collaborated with the director on The Impossible; costume designer Steven Noble (The Theory of Everything); and cinematographer Óscar Faura, who shot both The Impossible and The Orphanage for Mr. Bayona.

Ms. Atienza added, “Juan Antonio’s interpretation will bring this story into his own territory. Once again, we are making a movie with both huge technical challenges and a very intimate story that requires great sensitivity.”

A Monster Calls Begins Production

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New Clips Exorcise Your Inner Demons

Posted by Steve Barton on September 30, 2014

Two new clips are here from Seth Grossman’s horror flick Inner Demons (review), and we have them for you along with a side of Eucharist wafers!

Look for the film in theatres and on VOD on October 3rd. Lara Vosburgh, Morgan McClellan, Kate Whitney, and Brian Flaherty star.

INNER DEMONS follows an ‘Intervention’-style reality show crew that films an episode about a sixteen-year old girl, a former A-student, who is fighting addiction but may in fact be suffering from something even more destructive: demonic possession. The movie is an inquiry into the truth about her – with symptoms that straddle the disturbing and scary intersection between insanity, addiction and true possession.

Inner Demons

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The Babadook Phones Home in Scary New Clip

Posted by Steve Barton on September 30, 2014

The best horror movie I’ve seen all year, The Babadook (review) delivers on all counts and serves as a breath of fresh air that is much needed right now. Check out this latest clip, and count the days until it’s finally released.

Look for the critically acclaimed spookshow on November 28th.

Written and directed by Jennifer Kent, the film stars Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, and Ben Winspear.

Six years after the violent death of her husband, Amelia (Essie Davis) is at a loss. She struggles to discipline her ‘out of control’ 6-year-old, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), a son she finds impossible to love. Samuel’s dreams are plagued by a monster he believes is coming to kill them both. When a disturbing storybook called ‘The Babadook’ turns up at their house, Samuel is convinced that the Babadook is the creature he’s been dreaming about. His hallucinations spiral out of control; he becomes more unpredictable and violent. Amelia, genuinely frightened by her son’s behavior, is forced to medicate him. But when Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence all around her, it slowly dawns on her that the thing Samuel has been warning her about may be real.

The Babadook

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