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Variety Calls The Canal (2014) “Twisted” “Eerie”, and “Spine-Tingling” – Read Their Review Here!

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

With overt references to Jacques Tourneur’s “Cat People” and a clear appreciation for the atmospheric creepiness of other early horror classics, Kavanagh proceeds to escalate the tension, putting David’s young son Billy (Calum Heath), trusting nanny Sophie (Kelly Byrne) and over-concerned co-worker Claire (Antonia Campbell Hughes) in potential danger of whatever’s lurking around his home. Meanwhile, the hallucinations become more frequent, to the extent that we can’t always discern where reality ends and fantasy begins.

But Kavanagh hardly sees fit to rely on old-school techniques to generate suspense, amping up the tension via jump cuts, red-lit interiors and a meticulously engineered soundscape that makes sparing yet effective use of eerie tones and spine-tingling scratching noises (even to accompany the old silent footage). After shrewdly raising the possibility that something otherworldly is lurking behind the walls and beneath the manhole cover in David’s backyard, the camera finally descends into the sewer, crossing over from the old-fashioned realm of suggestion-driven horror to the far more explicit territory of directors like Takashi Miike (who surely would approve). The pic’s early coyness offers little preparation for its twisted climax, in which this subterranean tunnel of death doubles as a perverse birth canal of sorts — an image that won’t die anytime soon in the minds of any who witness it.

 

-From the accompanying Variety.com review by Peter Debruge

 

So!  We’re just about to sit down (in the dark) and watch Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal,  a move we are starting to re-think the wisdom of after reading this last review. We’ve also read quite a few others over the past few days, and all of the professional critics have admitted the movie was not just creepy, but surprisingly scary. Scary as hell, in fact! We’ll let you know… especially if we can’t sleep and have some time on our hands until the sun comes up.

Click “View original” in the lower left to read the entire review on Variety.com.

NOTE: we are aware of the annoying HTML tags that are automatically inserted every fucking time we re-blog a piece from Variety or EW.com. We have been trying to figure out how to correct this, and are getting really frustrated, but we did want to let you know we are aware that it not only looks sloppy but unprofessional as shit. We’re working on it. Thanks for your patience and for continuing to read Horror Boom!

Originally posted on Variety:

“Who wants to see ghosts?” a cinema archivist asks a theater full of restless kids in “The Canal,” making a clever pitch to convince those who’ve never watched anything before the dawn of sound or color to give silent pics a try: It’s the best way to see dead people. Little does the mild-mannered film buff realize, however, that the next reel to pass through his hands will plunge him into a ghost story of his own, [pmc_film_review_snippet]an unnerving but not terribly original nor especially commercial Irish chiller that blends Edwardian-era intrigue with more recent J-horror tricks[/pmc_film_review_snippet]. Following a busy 2014 festival run, the Orchard release opened Oct. 10 Stateside.

Injecting explicit imagery into an old-fashioned possession story, writer-director Ivan Kavanagh brandishes his unusual mix of styles right from the beginning. No sooner has David Williams (Rupert Evans, handsome but bland) introduced the aforementioned film screening than “The Canal” launches into a…

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American Horror Story Freak Show: Watch Jessica Lange’s Full Performance of Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ (EW.com Exclusive)

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

This was one of the highlights of the premiere for us, and it gave us goosebumps when she hit the “Sailors fighting in the dance-halls” chorus . Not in the way watching horror usually makes our hairs stand up (like, say, the reveal at the end of Shutter does, even after repeated viewings), but because it was so beautiful. If David Bowie has gotten around to seeing it yet, we bet he loved it.

Click here for our highlights of the postmortem interview with Ryan Murphy that EW.com ran after the premiere (and much more).

Note: Click on “View original” in the lower left to go to the EW.com piece, which has the clip embedded. It’s worth the extra click, trust us.

Originally posted on Inside TV:

[ew_image url="http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2014/10/09/Jessica-Lange-Freak-Show.jpg" credit="FX" align="left"]

There were several amazing moments from last night’s premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show, from Sarah Paulson’s amazing two-headed performance to Twisty’s horrifying grin. But the one everyone’s talking about is a Baz Luhrmann-esque cover of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars”—performed, appropriately enough, by Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange).

EW has exclusive video of the number from the premiere below. It’s worth watching over and over again, if only to see Lange pulled out on a wooden rocket.

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Ten Highlights Of American Horror Story Freak Show Post-Premiere Interview With Ryan Murphy (EW.com)

…and much, much more!

You know, normally we’d just re-blog this, but this piece was so long and packed with interesting information– and dish– that we’re going to relate ten of the most interesting points given when Ryan Murphy spilled his guts (so to speak) on EW.com right after the American Horror Story Freak Show premiere …THEN give you the link. There’s plenty about the Freak Show season to come, that’s for sure. So, according to Ryan Murphy (and EW.com’s Inside TV, the source for all this)…

  • The new, all-animated opening credits have plenty of little hints in them, goodies for the fans that, if you pay attention closely, will tell you what will be happening this season (eek).
  • The colors in the credits are deliberately dimmed to signal “the end of an era” when it comes to the old-school-style freak shows.
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  • Jessica Lange’s character Elsa was inspired by Marlene Dietrich (which fans have figured out by now), but also Bette Davis. The monkey-fur coat she wears is a real coat made of monkey’s fur, and weighs about 80 lbs, according to Murphy. The first time she wore it, the temperature was over 100 degrees. At some point, Lange got fed up and ‘made’ Ryan Murphy wear it to see how horrible it felt.
  • We will find out the back story about the big reveal at the end of the episode (Elsa’s legs). There will be lots of flashbacks.
  • Murphy knows what S5 will consist of and is interviewing actors now. He also says there are hints dropped about the theme during the first two episodes.
  • A scene usually takes 4-5 hours to shoot. If a scene has Sarah Paulson as the Twins in it, it can take 20 hours. Also, Ms. Paulson “pre-records most of her dialogue. So she’s wearing an invisible earwig when she’s doing scenes with herself,”  Murphy explains.
  • Yes, that was a deliberate Baltimore accent Ethel (Kathy Bates) has. According to Murphy, she worked very hard to perfect and sound like a character straight out an earlier John Waters movie.
  • The woman billed as “The Tallest Woman Alive,” Amazon Eve (played by Erika Ervin), was written for a man (originally called Johnny Long in the Pants).  The actress auditioned Murphy liked her so much that he re-wrote the part for her.
  • Jessica Lange never dated or had any, er,  intimate relations with David Bowie (much to Murphy’s disappointment). There will only be five musical numbers tops, one a Fiona Apple cover, and a Lana Del Rey ‘song’ (we think they should have stuck with Bowie). Kurt Cobain’s name was also brought up, so hopefully they’ll pick a great Nirvana song.
  • Dandy may become Twisty the Clown’s apprentice (and we’re guessing, eventual victim). At least two people at the premiere walked out of the theater because Twisty was too scary for them. We will see the bottom of his face in episode two, and we’ll find out about his gruesome reason for it in episode… well, you’ll have to click here read the EW.com piece to find out which episode his backstory shows up in!
freak shoe freaky heel

This… just… no.

There’s much, much more, including guest stars Matt Bomer and (hopefully) Neil Patrick Harris. The piece is a must-read if you’re already hooked on this season… which many of us are!

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Source: Tim Stack, EW.com.

 

 

 

 

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American Horror Story Freak Show Premiere: Five Ways To Kill the Hours Until Airtime!

So, we’re down to less than three hours here on the West Coast waiting for the American Horror Story Freak Show 90-minute premiere! Has time slowed to a crawl for you too? Here’s some last-minute ways to kill time that have been working for us.

1.  Watch this “Inside the Freak Show” featurette that features exclusive interviews with the cast and previously unseen footage (Sorry, we couldn’t find one to embed that didn’t have subtitles, but we doubt you’ll mind):

2.  Click here to read this MTV.com piece titled “American Horror Story Freak Show: Seven Spoiler-Free Secrets” of the premiere and next week’s episode. It has a shockingly dirty detail about Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters) and a certain sexual skill…

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3. Watch these three featurettes about these actors who were cast as performers for their actual attributes, including Matt Fraser as “The Illustrated Seal,” Jyoti Kisange Amge as “Ma Petite”, and Rose Siggins, the actress behind “Legless Suzi.”. They contain interviews with the actors and also show footage not seen before.

4. Go the official FX website for the show, weareallfreaksahs.com and see a huge gallery of publicity art (some of it very disturbing) as well as pages for each characters. For instance, this is the full version of the “featured image” used for this piece…

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5. Naomi Grossman made an appearance in character–and in full-make-up–as “Pepper” at the “Son of Monsterpalooza” convention last year. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the make-up process that transforms this pretty young women into our favorite, very convincing Pinhead:

…and you’ve killed some time leading up to tonight’s premiere while getting even more hyped up for it! Enjoy “Monsters Among Us”!

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If you would like to read something a little more spoiler-ish, click here for our article with episode descriptions for the first four shows. There are also episode titles for the first half of the season and DAMN they sound good!

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Variety Review: “Freak Show” Puts The Horror Back Into “American Horror Story”!

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

Well, this is more like it. We’re generally not fans of “anachronistic musical numbers” (though we are pretty big Ziggy Stardust* fans) but everything else sounds great. Click ‘View Original’ in the lower left to read the entire review, which reveals something about Angela Bassett’s character that we NEVER heard Ryan Murphy mention before– she doesn’t just have a little something extra ABOVE the waist!

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Watch this space for more on Freak Show soon, and don’t forget the 90-minute premiere is tonight on FX! Oh, and viewer discretion is definitely advised, surprise surprise…

*The hauntingly beautiful song Else sings, David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” contains the lyrics “It’s the freakiest show”.  Actually, all the lyrics could lend themselves well to her character. We can’t wait.

Originally posted on Variety:

The freakiest thing about “American Horror Story: Freak Show” is that it didn’t happen sooner. The FX horror anthology may have launched with the tale of a dysfunctional family moving into a haunted house, but, like so much of co-creator Ryan Murphy’s work, the franchise quickly found its true calling through the exploration and celebration of society’s outcasts. So it’s no surprise that after “Asylum” and “Coven” comes “Freak Show,” the most blatant illustration yet of that unofficial mission statement. Judging by the first two episodes made available for review, the ’50s-set “Freak Show” also signals a return to the darkly shaded period melodrama of “Asylum,” rather than the campier and largely contemporary “Coven.” While that could be seen as a risk — considering “Coven” garnered the show’s highest ratings and most Emmy wins to date — “Horror Story” has always thrived on taking chances.

Of course, it’s easier to take those…

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American Horror Story Freak Show – Plot Synopsis and Episode Titles For You Here! (SPOILERS)

So, here’s an early Halloween treat for you to whet you appetite further for the fourth season of American Horror Story. You may have heard a rumor that this season is about a Freak Show of some kind…

If you’re worried about spoilers, we’ll put the episode titles for the entire first half of the season of American Horror Story Freak Show; those don’t give much away… and they’re kinda fun. Then you can skip the second part of this piece if you don’t want episode descriptions for the first four episodes (including the notorious Halloween two-parter).

Here are those episode titles for you. Unfortunately we are getting mixed information about the writers and directors for each one, but we’ll tell you when they’ve made up their minds.

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Episode 4.1 is titled “Monsters Among Us” and airs Wed. Oct. 08, 10:00 PM on FX – and it’s 90 minutes long! Sons of Anarchy shouldn’t get to hog all the ‘super-sized’ FX episodes!

 

Episode 4.2 is titled “Massacres and Matinees” (wheee!) and airs October 15th, same Freak-Time, same Freak-Channel.
Episode 4.3 is titled “Edward Mordrake: Part 1″ and airs October 22nd. This is the first of the two Halloween episodes that have been an American Horror Story tradition since season one and are usually when the season REALLY kicks into high horror gear. Trivia: Starting with S1, Ryan Murphy wanted the two-parter to air on two consecutive nights, but FX wouldn’t let him.
Episode 4.4 is titled “Edward Mordrake: Part 2″ and airs Oct. 29th.
Episode 4.5 is titled, “Pink Cupcakes” (we highly doubt the cupcakes are as wholesome as they sound, knowing this show) and airs November 5th.
Episode 4.6 is titled “Bullseye” (also not a good sign) and airs November 12th.
Episode 4.7 is titled “Tests of Strength” and airs November 19th. Hopefully that means they won’t have killed off Michael Chiklis (or rather, his Strongman character Del) early on.
Also following tradition, and we kind of like this one because it helps our post-holiday depression, there will be a break (usually three weeks) over the Christmas season and the final three episodes will air in January of the next year. Hopefully, that will be the only time we have to wait more than a week for the next episode.

Warning:  Section CONTAINING SPOILERS For American Horror Story Freak Show begins here! DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN SPOILER-FREE!

 

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OK, now here are the episode descriptions for the first four episodes that they usually don’t like you to see early. The IMDB has them, though (they are our source for this information).

Monsters Among Us

When police make a terrifying discovery at a local farmhouse, the eccentric purveyor of the freak show sees an opportunity that will lead her troupe either to their salvation or ruin.
Our speculation: The long trailer shows Bette and Dot (Sarah Paulson and Sarah Paulson) getting slapped around by some awful bitch, we assume their mother, and a new trailer shows a milk man wandering around inside a house like he’s about to make a horrible discovery. We are guessing she snaps and kills her mother, but Else Mars somehow intervenes before the cops show up, and ‘rescues’ the twins (to whisk away to join the Freak Show).
A citywide curfew threatens to shut down the Freak Show. A strongman from Ethel’s troubled past arrives at camp. Gloria arranges a terrifying play date for Dandy. The Tattler Twins reveal a talent that could knock Elsa from the spotlight.
Speculation: our guess is the curfew being caused by the killing spree of “Twisty the Clown” scaring the shit out of everybody. Obviously, Vic Mackey  Del, played by Chiklis, is the strongman who was married to Ethel and is now married to Angela Bassett’s three-breasted character, Désirée (how do you compete with that?). We have no idea about the terrifying play date, we do know Dandy is Frances Conroy’s handsome son who is fascinated by freaks. And we think the Tattler Twins just having two heads that talk to each other is enough to trump a Bearded Lady, but maybe they sing a duet while they play the piano or something.
The Freaks refuse to perform on Halloween due to an old carny superstition. Jimmy is smitten by a woman claiming to be a fortune-teller. Ethel receives life-changing news.
Ryan Murphy has said that the “old carny superstition” is Edward Mordrake (Wes Bentley), the man with a face in the back of his head that tells him to do horrible, evil things. That takes care of the first Halloween episode, followed a week later by…
Edward Mordrake continues his search for a Freak to add to his ghostly coterie. Elsa tells the grisly story of her days in Germany. Jimmy and Maggie have a run-in with the Twisted Clown.
We had heard there would be flashbacks to Elsa being a singer in a cabaret in Germany, not sure how that gets grisly but it does (Nazis?). Maggie is played by Emma Roberts; are she and Evan Peters going to play a couple again? Your guess is as good as ours (but we think they’ll hook up).
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We’ll have more news soon; apparently they’re even airing a few featurettes before the premiere, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for those!
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Film Review: ‘Annabelle’

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

Every review we read seems like they’re trying to discourage us (in varying degrees, depending on the review) from seeing the movie, but at the same time, mention that it delivers the jump scares. Now Scott Foundas at Variety says it has a giant, winged demon created by Nicotero/Berger. How the hell are we not supposed to see it now?

Originally posted on Variety:

The scares are cheap but periodically effective in “Annabelle,” [pmc_film_review_snippet]a cut-rate spinoff from James Wan’s superlative haunted-house hit “The Conjuring” that (partly) makes up in crude shock effects what it lacks in craft, atmosphere and just about every other department[/pmc_film_review_snippet]. Designed mainly as a starring vehicle for the eponymous, creepy-as-hell doll (who easily outclasses her human co-stars), this WB/New Line quickie will slake the thirst of die-hard genre fans put out by the abysmal “Dracula Untold.” Mere casual fright fans are advised to wait for the proper sequel, “The Conjuring 2,” due in 2015.

Among the many objects from paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren’s cabinet of demonically possessed curiosities that got their closeups in “The Conjuring,” the indisputable scene-stealer was Annabelle, a pigtailed, rosy-cheeked wooden moppet who looked like Howdy Doody in drag, or Raggedy Ann after a long night in the wrong part of town. Now, in “Annabelle,” director…

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American Horror Story Freak Show Opening Credits Are Here, You Won’t BELIEVE What FX Let Them Get Away With!

Let’s just get this out of the way, and clear out the easily offended. We see conjoined skeleton twins masturbating. Not once, mind you, but TWICE. One shares a head, the other shares a body and has two heads (Sarah Paulson had an ‘insight’ on what this may be hinting at, but we’ll get to that later).

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Okay, so Ryan Murphy has said that S4 of American Horror Story will have a “very different look.” We couldn’t really see a difference in the PR photos or the long trailer that debuted Tuesday night (more on that later, we are seriously having trouble keeping up with the new promos/media) on Sons Of Anarchy.Screen shot 2014-10-02 at 7.54.02 AM

 

You can sure as hell see it here. Nothing is really hinted at as in the first three (we liked all three, and consider the Coven title credits to end up being scarier than the season itself). We have stop-motion animation (or CGI set up to look like stop-motion)!  Everything is bright and colorful and sometimes in-your-face.. So far only tiny snippets–fast ones– of the opening credits of Murder House and Asylum were in color, and it looked washed out. Coven was all black and white. OK, watch the credits to Freak Show in HD right here, and then we’ll point out a few things. If you are scared of clowns, AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE (then again, I doubt anyone with a clown phobia will have anything to do with this season).

These may be a slightly extended version of the credits, since it runs about a minute long (also unlike other seasons).

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So plenty of evil clown imagery, including Twisty the Clown making balloon animals and then stabbing them with a giant butcher’s knife. A guy with a third leg (with a SHOE on it) instead of genitalia. Stuff that looks like they borrowed it from the more horrifying sections of the Mutter Museum. Plenty of two-headed creatures (including clowns). Did you catch the conjoined twins touching themselves? In the second shot they’re doing it through their skirt, but it’s still not especially subtle.

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We’re going to pick this up later, because after watching The ABCs of Death 2 we already have a ton of nightmare material in our brains waiting to pounce on us the second we hit dreamland. Until the, let your Freak Flag fly!

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Variety Gives The Walking Dead S5 Premiere A Rave Review -“Breathtaking” And “Dazzling Adrenaline Rush”

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

Well, sounds like this is one premiere you do NOT want to miss! Check this out (click View original in the lower left for the entire review)!

Originally posted on Variety:

After the (rather too) long and winding road to Terminus, “The Walking Dead” opens its fifth season in spectacular fashion, a dazzling adrenaline rush filled with suspense, righteous violence and, before it’s all over, genuine emotion. Imbued with cinematic touches, the only downside to this breathtaking episode is pondering what the creative brain trust can do for an encore. Still, AMC’s megahit finds itself in a very good place, from the current makeup of its ever-evolving cast to the latitude it has earned to take unexpected detours. Given the hype surrounding the series, it’s still impressive to see the producers deliver such a feast.

Lest anyone has forgotten, our intrepid band of zombie apocalypse survivors found themselves scattered far and wide for much of last season, gradually following the signs, in smallish groups, to the promise of sanctuary in a place called Terminus. That hope, however, gave way to something…

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Movie Review: “Annabelle” serves up old school scares

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

“You will scream like a teenage girl.” We’re in! Check out this review from Movie Nation.

Originally posted on Movie Nation:

annabelle12stars1A child’s crayon rolls across a floor. Curtains fly back from a window you thought was closed. A TV-distracted seamstress looks at her late model sewing machine less and less as the camera zooms closer and closer to that naked needle whirring at her fingertips.
And the most alarming looking child’s doll this side of “Chucky” stares, with dead eyes, out of the corner of the frame as a puzzled, haunted young mother steps through a door in the background.
Sometimes, the best effects are the cheapest.
“Annabelle” is another tale of a doll possessed, a horror movie of such hoary conventions that we meet the “knowing priest” (Tony Amendola) in the first scene and we’re introduced to the helpful, occult-curious bookstore owner (Alfre Woodard) before the first act is through.
There’s nothing surprising about this late ’60s tale, including its connection to the modern ghost stories told in “The…

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