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Film Review: ‘The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence)’

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

It would be stretching things to the breaking point to suggest “Final Sequence” actually has something to say about the U.S. prison industry. The concept alone suggests as much, yet only near the end does the script transcend a simpleminded need to offend long enough to make even a crudely satirical statement about profit-driven institutional policies or inmate abuse. The ad line brags “100% Politically Incorrect,” but the writer-helmer’s achievement on that level is perhaps most comparable to junior high bathroom-wall graffiti: Six just wants to shock, though his imagination is so primitive that the effort is strained and a bit pathetic. Initially abrasive, the whole enterprise grows simply tedious well before the now-epically-scaled titular phenom is unveiled in the prison yard.

-From the Variety Review by Dennis Harvey

OK, so Variety.com does not have good things to say about the third Human Centipede movie. This is not exactly a huge surprise. Are you going to watch it out of morbid curiosity?

Originally posted on Variety:

Rarely has the word “final” been so welcome in a title as it is in “The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence).” [pmc_film_review_snippet]Tom Six’s latest, largest-scaled and most lamentable entry yet in the gross-out horror series manages to be completely obnoxious even before the gross stuff kicks in.[/pmc_film_review_snippet] Of course, that will only heighten its curiosity value among the usual seekers of lowest-level genre excess. Pic opens May 22 in New York and Los Angeles, though as with its predecessors, primary fan access will be through simultaneous release to VOD.

The prior chapters’ leads return in new roles here as warden and accountant of the George H.W. Bush State Prison, a (presumably Texan) hellhole experiencing constant staff turnover and inmate violence. Only exacerbating those woes is cartoonishly maniacal Bill Boss (the original “Centipede’s” mad doctor, Dieter Laser), a chrome-domed German of a type that would seem over-the-top even in 1970s Italian Nazisploitation…

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TV Review: ‘Penny Dreadful,’ Season 2

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

“Sumptuously shot in Ireland, the series thus represents a fine and frankly shrewdly calculated addition to Showtime’s roster, in the same way any savvy manager wants to assemble a diversified portfolio. If that sounds somewhat dismissive, remember that producing a credible gothic drama isn’t as easy as it sounds (just ask Netflix’s “Hemlock Grove”). Besides, given the appetite for the genre, a program that’s simply unapologetic fun, as this is, can be plenty good, “Penny”-wise.”
We agree… and we practically levitate whenever the Grand Guignol theater shows up (and it looks like it will be seeing plenty of action this season)!  If you haven’t seen it yet, may we suggest bingeing on Season One, then catching up? This show just keeps getting better and better… and more fun. Also, Eva Green continues to kill it with her fearless performance.

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Originally posted on Variety:

Awash in gothic atmosphere and tasty performances, “Penny Dreadful” puts a face on evil in its second season, and feels considerably richer for it. That countenance would belong to Helen McCrory, who plays the head of a Lucifer-worshipping coven, eager to hand over the psychic Vanessa (Eva Green) to the Prince of Darkness. John Logan’s creation still feels haphazard at times in the way it throws together macabre figures — a bit like the Universal monster mashes of the ’40s — but viewers who spend less time dwelling on details and go with “Penny’s” crimson-streaked flow will more than get their money’s worth.

Just to recap season one, Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton) assembled a team to help him attempt to recover his demon-stolen daughter, including the aforementioned Vanessa, gunslinging American cowboy Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) and a very young Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), whose chickens — OK, in this case…

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YES! Angela Bassett Joins ‘American Horror Story: Hotel’

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

Great news! Oh, and if you missed it, Evan Peters, Wes Bentley, and Chloë Sevigny will also return. For those who were not thrilled by the announcement about Lady Gaga appearing in American Horror Story Season 5, AKA American Horror Story Hotel, don’t panic. This is an ensemble cast, and she will not be replacing Jessica Lange as the lead. I doubt they’d give her a meatier role than, say, Kathy Bates. We’re not huge fans, but we’re also willing to give Gaga a fair chance. Meanwhile, keep on hoping that Lily Rabe, who we really missed last season (though getting to see her play Sister Mary Eunice again in the episode “Orphans” was almost worth her only being in one episode) will sign on to return! Also, we kind of miss Zach Quinto…

Originally posted on Variety:

Another “American Horror Story” alum has checked into the hotel: Angela Bassett.

Bassett, who starred as Desiree Dupree in “Freak Show” and Marie Laveau in “Coven,” the fourth and third installments, respectively, has joined the fifth round of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series.

Other previously announced “AHS” veterans in the “Hotel” cast are Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, Wes Bentley, Chloë Sevigny and Matt Bomer. Cheyenne Jackson and superstar Lady Gaga will also co-star.

Bassett was nominated for an Emmy for her work in “Coven.”

Production on “Hotel” begins in L.A. late this summer. The 13-episode season, produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television, premieres on FX this October.

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘Maggie’

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

Despite the casting of the male lead, this actually sounds like one to put on the Watch List. Read on!

Originally posted on Variety:

They may be dead-eyed, gray-skinned and determinedly brain-hungry, but zombies have feelings too in “Maggie,” an improbably bred but surprisingly humane hybrid of flesh-eater horror and young-adult weepie. [pmc_film_review_snippet]Though Henry Hobson’s hugely promising debut feature is generating buzz from the casting of a fine, low-key Arnold Schwarzenegger as the anguished father of a semi-zombified teen[/pmc_film_review_snippet], it’s Abigail Breslin’s gutsy, nuanced turn as the reluctantly undead title character — at once a heroine to be protected and a mutant threat to be destroyed — that makes the film unique within its grisly canon, lending this Roadside Attractions release potential crossover appeal beyond the genre crowd. “Let’s enjoy the time we have with her” is perhaps the most ironic line in a nervy, relentlessly solemn exercise; formula-resistant auds, however, should gladly spend 90-odd minutes in “Maggie’s” company.

Having been amply covered by A-list studio productions and bargain-basement exploitation fare alike, there may…

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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.