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TV Review: ‘Game of Thrones,’ Season 5

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

This should be interesting! Especially since we can’t shake the sinking feeling that there won’t be any more books (we hope GRRM proves us wrong).

Originally posted on Variety:

With apologies to a sci-fi classic, the fifth season of “Game of Thrones” could easily be subtitled “When Worlds Collide.” Having spent four magnificent campaigns establishing various constituencies with claims to the Iron Throne, four previewed episodes connect several of them in fascinating ways, while continuing to add new faces to an already sprawling cast. Operating on a scale like nothing else on TV, and creatively liberated to play a long game stretching into the future, perhaps no project better distinguishes HBO’s status as the leading premium player than David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ meticulous adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy world.

Always a bit slow starting (relatively speaking, anyway), the new season of “Thrones” has a lot of cleaning up to do. After all, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) escaped a death sentence and took flight with the eunuch Varys (Conleth Hill), producing no end of wonderful exchanges between the two of…

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Thanks, Everyone – Horror Boom Hit 1,000 Posts! Plus, Other Site News.

Hey, fellow fright fiends!

We here at Horror Boom had a big milestone recently, which is …the fact that we hit one thousand posts! Also, this site is coming up on its third anniversary.  We actually hit a thousand posts earlier in the year, but were too busy to put up anything special about it (more on that later). Now we’re at 1,125 posts, so that averages out to roughly a post a day. We couldn’t have done it if no-one showed any interest in the site, but once we started getting posts up regularly, you guys kept coming back… and we really appreciate it.

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Speaking of regular posts, we are aware that we are not publishing as much as usual, especially over the past couple months. The deal is that we have a family member in a health crisis, one that escalated pretty fast, and since the staff here only includes two of us, we’ve been either too busy focusing on that, stressing out, or too worn out to write a post. Please hang in there, and we appreciate you being patient with the low output. Don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere (well, we don’t plan to, anyway) and will do our best to post as much as we can while this is going on. Anyone who has dropped us an email in hopes of us checking out their movie, short, or other horror budget, we are sorry for the delay in responding; and we are NOT blowing you off! There’s just a backlog of mail to deal with, then there will be a backlog of movies/projects to watch and check out. Don’t let these delays stop you from sending stuff to us for review! We are always happy to hear from you, we just don’t get to check the mail as much as we’d like these days.

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If you want more frequent updates, we have some cool stuff on the linked Horror Boom Facebook page. It only takes a couple of minutes to post, so if you get antsy for new stuff, check it out here! Also, if you like what you see, please do give us a like on Facebook. If yu have a horror-related site, we’ll give it a like back.

Furthermore, we have plenty of news, new trailers, and lists for you, so there’s no danger of running out of things to write about. Thanks again for being patient and sticking with us!

Stay Scared (yes, we stole that from what George Romero signs on his autograph),

Mr. and Mrs. Horror Boom

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TV Review: ‘The Lizzie Borden Chronicles’

Originally posted on Variety:

Having chopped up the ratings with a 2014 movie, Lifetime shrewdly returns to the scene of the crime with “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles,” an eight-episode limited series whose success seems virtually assured on the strength of those blood-soaked billboards alone. Christina Ricci reprises her role as the notorious parent-slayer who became the subject of a children’s rhyme, now dealing with the aftermath of having been exonerated while still finding, ahem, permanent solutions to the impediments life throws her way. Joining series like “Hannibal” and “Bates Motel,” also built around antiheroes, “Lizzie” somewhat dubiously gives female psychopaths equal time.

Like the movie, the series derives some of its kick from the period, while giving Ricci a chance to play a role uniquely suited to those great big eyes of hers, offering the audience a chance to see what Wednesday Adams would look (and probably act) like all grown up.

Picking up…

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‘It Follows’ Expanding in Theaters After Big Weekend, VOD Release Delayed

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

Good news for “It Follows”… bad news for us (even if it opens in our city, it’s going to be after March 27)! Oh well, we waited about a year to see it, we can wait a few more weeks, especially if it gets this movie more exposue.

Originally posted on Variety:

After a very promising first weekend in theaters, Radius-TWC has opted to delay the planned March 27 video-on-demand release of horror pic “It Follows” in favor of a wide theatrical expansion over the next two weekends.

“The movie is performing big, so we are going to chase it,” said David Glasser, chief operating officer of the Weinstein Co.

“It Follows” opened last weekend with a surprising $160,089 at four theaters — two in Los Angeles and two in New York. It will move into about 40 theaters on Friday and more than 1,000 theaters on the following Friday, Glasser said.

Glasser did not disclose the date of the VOD release. But the list of theaters showing “It Follows” includes a pair of AMC multiplexes, which indicates that the date won’t come within the next few weeks.

Major chains such as AMC continue to strongly oppose VOD releases while a film is playing theatrically.

“The Weinstein Company made…

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Variety Review: ‘The Invitation’ (2015) Will Freeze Your Blood

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

“Everything does go to hell in the end, of course, as it must in any genre movie worth its salt, and “The Invitation” delivers the necessary jolts in satisfyingly visceral fashion without descending into Grand Guignol excess. Still, it’s in the slow-and-steady buildup — as opposed to the attenuated action climax or the slightly eye-rolling denouement — where the film excels, as Kusama (working with editor Plummy Tucker) keeps the tension simmering away beneath the sounds of clinking silverware and polite, nervous laughter. D.p. Bobby Shore’s elegantly skulking camera familiarizes us with virtually every inch of the house to which the action is confined, bathing the interiors in a seductively moody, almost amber glow. Phillip Blackford’s sound design adds to the eerie vibe, ensuring that we register every slammed door, shattered glass and cut-off scream with perfect clarity.”

-From the Variety (at SXSW) review by Justin Chang for “The Invitation”

Originally posted on Variety:

Genre buffs have attended countless dinner parties that wind up tilting into madness, and yet the shivers arrive early and often in “The Invitation,” a teasingly effective thriller that builds a remarkable level of tension over the course of its 99-minute running time. Set during a mysterious reunion among old friends where something is quite palpably not right, [pmc_film_review_snippet]this well-acted, beautifully modulated exercise represents director Karyn Kusama’s strongest work in years[/pmc_film_review_snippet], revealing an assurance of tone, craft and purpose that haven’t been in evidence since her Sundance prize-winning debut, “Girlfight” (2000). More festivals are likely to extend invitations of their own following the pic’s SXSW premiere, while decent word of mouth should propel this likely modest theatrical performer into solid VOD rotation.

A disquieting prologue finds Will (Logan Marshall-Green, “Prometheus”) and his g.f., Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi, “Middle of Nowhere”), winding their way through the Hollywood Hills one evening, headed to a…

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“It Follows”: Ten Things We’ve Read Online That Have Us Counting The Days Till Release!

You may have seen the “Milestone” widget in the footers counting down the days until It Follows (nice creepy title) will be out on VOD and DVD/Blu-Ray. Why, you ask? Read on.

It Follows–written and directed by David Robert Mitchell–garnered up a ton of positive buzz when it made the festival circuit last summer; reviewers went out of their way to praise the film and tell readers how frightening it is.  We would include the creepy trailer here, but more than one review advised going into this movie knowing as little as possible about the details, and to avoid the trailer in particular. Some of the reviews say that the last act of the film is uneven, but none of them advise us to avoid the movie because of it.

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So we will give you the official plot given out in the PR, which lets you know just about the right amount of detail:

For nineteen-year-old Jay, Autumn should be about school, boys and week-ends out at the lake. But after a seemingly innocent sexual encounter, she finds herself plagued by strange visions and the inescapable sense that someone, something, is following her. Faced with this burden, Jay and her friends must find a way to escape the horrors that seem to be only a few steps behind.

Here are ten excerpts from top reviewers that got us to put it on our Must-See List (with links and annotations, in case you want to read the actual pieces in their entirety).

1. The first is from Variety.com. We re-posted their review last summer (yep, that’s how long this has been on our Must-See List) which you can read here. What grabbed us, you ask? Well, here is the set-up from the reviewer:

“As bogeymen go, Mitchell’s monster is both intuitive (like something out of a bad dream) and impossible to comprehend (despite much discussion, no one seems to know how to beat it). The pic’s malevolent shape-shifter can take the form of anyone, from a beloved relative to a complete stranger. Sometimes it’s subtle enough to blend in with crowds. At others, it’s frighteningly conspicuous: a naked old man staring at you from a nearby rooftop, or a cheerleader leaking urine as she lurches across the living-room floor. The only certainty seems to be that it won’t stop until you’re dead. And once you’re dead, it will go after the person who “gave” it to you.“

So, Variety already had our full attention after we read this. Then it got better.  This is from the IGN.com review:

2 .It’s a refreshing change for modern horror, which has become far too reliant on jump scares and deafening sound cues, in place of carefully mounting tension. Mitchell prefers a slow burn. The use of wide shots is particularly successful once Jay starts being pursued. It’s almost like a sick game of ‘Where’s [Waldo?]’ – find the plodding killer in the frame before it’s too late…

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3. The rules of the damned in It Follows are intriguing and frightening. The never-named apparition will follow you forever, for instance, but it has to follow on foot. You can briefly elude the monster by driving away but it always comes back, leading to one shocking moment after another in which Mitchell’s impeccable wide shots gradually reveal a single individual gradually making their way into the foreground, while the oblivious protagonists ignore the audience’s pleas to RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES! (Reviewed by William Bibbiani,* editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue MoviePodcast*).

There’s not a single character in Mitchell’s film that fails to elicit our sympathy, and so their demises always resonate like a tuning fork from Hell.

 

4. Once the scares start to come, they rarely let up. Mitchell, in only his second full-length, does an incredible job of creating horror not only in small houses in the middle of the night but in beachfronts with the sun shining down, in schoolyards on an overcast day, and in the middle of an empty street with nothing in sight… The highest compliment I can pay the movie is that its moments of horror play out like something from an old children’s ghost story. It’s not hard to imagine finding the tale within the pages of a collection of folklore akin to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (now with sex!).**

By this point we felt like grabbing all the cash we had on hand and tossing it frantically at the screen of the laptop we were reading on; sadly, we knew that wouldn’t get us the movie magically appear online to watch and we still had to wait. Here’s more of the praise heaped on It Follows by critics we trust.

5. It Follows is suspenseful, atmospheric and spine-tingling horror cinema which nods at the masters and completely astounds as it manages the tough feat of being striking, sensitive and utterly disturbing. (Film.list.co.uk, read more here)

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6. Director David Robert Mitchell gives this an almost art-house vibe, mixed with a retro-eighties look and an amazing synth-soundtrack that sounds like a cross between Vangellis and John Carpenter. Mitchell does a brilliant job ratcheting up the terror throughout the film, and by the time the end credits rolled I was almost feeling queasy from how on edge I had been during the last act of the film. …IT FOLLOWS will likely become a big-time horror sleeper once Radius (who acquired the rights out of Cannes) puts it out, and if you can see this on the big screen that would be all the better. It’s a tremendous horror flick and the scariest film I’ve seen in years. It’s deeply, deeply unsettling. (JoBlo, click here to read the full TIFF review.)

7. Chris Bumbray at Reelfilm.com gave the movie 8/10 stars, even though he had problems with the last act of the film. Though it fizzles out to a slight degree in its final stretch, It Follows nevertheless establishes itself as one of the most inventive, exciting, and truly frightening horror flicks to come around in ages.

 

“More or less a contemporary horror fan’s dream come true.”

 

 

8. The movie’s a brilliantly fresh spin on a classic model – the pass-on-the-curse conceit which horror fans will know from MR James’s shivery short story “Casting the Runes”, and its numerous cinematic offspring, from Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon (1957) to the Japanese cult hit Ringu (2000) and its American remake, The Ring (2002). It Follows – which deserves even more marks for that marvellously suggestive title – does this entire lineage proud, not just by switching tacks from runic subterfuge or videotape circulation to the rather Cronenberg-y gambit of inflicting a demon on your unfortunate sex partner. It’s altogether smart, subtextually fascinating, and more or less a contemporary horror fan’s dream come true. (Tim Robey, Telegraph UK)

 

“It’s a tremendous horror flick and the scariest film I’ve seen in years. It’s deeply, deeply unsettling”.

 

8. Fangoria LOVED this movie (8/10 skulls), and Chris Alexander (Fangoria Editor and the writer of this review) said this:. It Follows is an incredibly evolved, joyously alive piece of “dead teenager” cinema that likely requires a few viewings to properly assimilate its rhythms. And it could easily become part of any High School health class curriculum, because If I saw it as a kid, when I was at my hormonal, girl-hungry peak, I’d likely pack my bags and move to a monastery.

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9. There’s a primal fear at work here – everyone gets nervous about being followed – and even though the monster is fiction, I suspect the anxiety may pursue the viewer home. (Luke Y. Thompson, Toplessrobot.com)

Well, that won’t be a problem, since we will be watching it at home, so the anxiety won’t have to follow us anywhere! Nope, it’ll be right there with us.

10. Finally, we can’t count the number of pieces in which the writer stated that John Carpenter was clearly a huge influence. Early John Carpenter.

It Follows will be in theaters and VOD on March 13th. The tagline is, “IT DOESN’T THINK. IT DOESN’T FEEL. IT NEVER GIVES UP.”

 

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This just in: It Follows won the critic’s prize– AKA top honors– at the Glasgow International Film Festival. This isn’t a genre festival, either, which makes the win even more impressive. It even topped A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, which, as you probably are aware, is no small feat. Read about it here.

 

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*Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani

** Read the full review here at ConsequencesOfSound.net.

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Lady Gaga to Star in ‘American Horror Story’ Season 5

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

She’s going to be a lead, but there have been no announcements yet about Lady Gaga playing THE lead. Remember, it’s an ensemble show. We’re more curious about the “Hotel” theme, and how all the top hats Ryan Murphy told us were hints fit in… more to come!

Originally posted on Variety:

Fresh off her show-stealing turn at the Academy Awards, Lady Gaga has inked a deal for her next project: starring in the upcoming fifth season of “American Horror Story.”

The hit FX anthology series from executive producer Ryan Murphy marks the superstar’s first major TV gig.

No details about Gaga’s character have been disclosed, but she did reveal the title — and therefore, theme — of Season 5 in her announcement: “Hotel.”

Murphy has had a long string of successes in luring top talent to the series, including Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates and Michael Chiklis. “It always just comes down to pure fandom with me,” he has told Variety. “I just speak from the heart about why I love them.”

Murphy has revealed that clues about the fifth season’s theme have been scattered throughout the fourth season, and that the previous four seasons…

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‘American Horror Story’ Actor Ben Woolf Dies After Being Hit by Car

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

This is a real heart-breaker. He’s done such amazing work (they forgot to mention his appearance in “Insidious”– he was so young and had a great career ahead of him.
RIP, Mr. Woolf. We extend our deepest sympathies to his friends and family.

Originally posted on Variety:

Ben Woolf, who played Meep in “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” died Monday from a head injury he sustained last week, his rep has confirmed. He was 34.

The 4’4″ actor was struck in the head by the car mirror of a SUV while he was crossing a street in Hollywood last Thursday night. He was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from all over the world for our beloved Ben,” Woolf’s family said in a statement. “He touched so many hearts in his 34 years. His memory will live on within each of us and within his work.”

“Ben was one-of-a-kind, and will never be forgotten,” said a statement from Woolf’s agency, ZTPR. “The time we all shared together will be remembered forever.”

Woolf first appeared in the hit FX anthology series in its first season, playing…

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Sundance Film Review: ‘Knock Knock’

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

Welp, we’ll definitely see this– it IS an entertaining Eli Roth movie, after all– but we wish we could see Green Inferno first!

Originally posted on Variety:

Keanu Reeves’ whiny monologue comparing an act of infidelity to “free pizza” is a moment that seems destined for cult canonization in “Knock Knock,” [pmc_film_review_snippet]Eli Roth’s glossy and reasonably fun update of Peter Traynor’s 1977 exploitation movie “Death Game.”[/pmc_film_review_snippet] The original film isn’t credited as the source of the screenplay, but this is, by any reasonable definition, a remake, faithfully preserving most of the first movie’s plot beats while adding better acting, Uber and FaceTime. (One of the stars of “Death Game,” Colleen Camp, has a small role and serves as producer; her co-star Sondra Locke and Traynor get exec producer credits.) Modest commercial results seem possible; “Knock Knock” will probably go down as the better of the two home-invasion films, not least because Reeves makes a better punching bag than Seymour Cassel.

A look back to the Manson murders and a look forward to “Funny Games,” “Death Game” finds Cassel’s…

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American Horror Story Freak Show: How Would You Rate It? Take Our Poll, We Wanna Know!

Well, now that the dust has settled after the season finale of American Horror Story Freak Show, hopefully you can look back and put it into perspective with the rest of the series: Murder House, Asylum, and Coven. You can tell us how you rank it in with all the other seasons, plus we’ve put it some other possibilities (that we’ve heard more than one person say). We would ask you to mainly base your rating on pure entertainment value, but also take into account whether you’d want to re-watch, and… oh hell, just base it on whatever you want. It’s your choice.

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We have grimly resigned ourselves to the fact that nothing will ever top Asylum, but we’re still willing to watch. Also, Asylum would be really, really hard to top anyway.

 

If the many answers start to confuse you (seriously, we started to get confused writing them) just write your own answer (such as: “I liked Asylum best, then Freak Show, then Murder House, then Coven least” or “Freak Show is a tie with Murder House, which I thought was better than Coven but not as amazing as Asylum”); whatever you want.

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Before you decide that Freak Show really wasn't any improvement over Coven, watch the Coven Finale again.

Before you decide that Freak Show really wasn’t any improvement over Coven, watch the Coven Finale again.

We rank Murder House over Freak Show because Murder House, especially this episode, gave us nightmares and Freak Show did not.

We rank Murder House over Freak Show because Murder House, especially this episode, gave us nightmares and Freak Show did not.

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