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See the Spooky-Ass Short Film That Inspired Jennifer Kent’s Upcoming “The Babadook” – “Monster” (2005)

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

Yep, we already ran this in July, but since the movie will be opening in selected theaters and on VOD Friday (that’s according to the website; it better not get bumped again), and now is a great time to watch, or re-watch, the frightening short and trailer. Click “View original” in the lower left to see the complete piece. Trust us, it’s worth the extra little click. We also put a ‘Countdown Calender’ in the footers at the bottom of the page, scroll down and you’ll see it in the second column. It cannot open soon enough for us!

Originally posted on HORROR BOOM:

So,  as you may know, The Babadook, the debut feature from talented Aussie film-maker Jennifer Kent, is one of the most highly anticipated upcoming horror releases of the year. When it was screened at Sundance, audiences and critics alike knew they’d just seen something unique, special …and pretty goddamned frightening.

Monster, the short film that was basically the seed of The Babadook, won several awards –the full list is here– at short film festivals. We’ve heard that the tone and theme of Monster are very similar to the upcoming feature-length film, and though we haven’t seen Babadook, we have seen enough clips and trailers to be able to confirm that. It has a very spooky, gothic, fairy-tale tone (kind of in the same way the deeply frightening 2013 film Mama did, though we’re pretty sure–no offense, Mr. Babadook– Mama is the one that will forever haunt our…

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‘The Walking Dead’ Star Seth Gilliam Reveals Where Father Gabriel Is Going (EW.com)

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

“It’s a show about people in extreme circumstances after a zombie apocalypse — I don’t think anybody’s got a real long shelf life, you know? So I am prepared every script that I get to see “…and then Gabriel gets his throat ripped out.” And I’d be fine with that, and if and when that happens will make it the most compelling or grisly or shocking or sad or joyful — if people hate the character — moment that it could possibly be. So I can’t really feel that chest of hope that “Hey, he’s alive in the thing so I’m going to be here until they close this show down for good.” It just doesn’t work that way.”

-Seth Gilliam (Father Gabriel) , in the EW.com interview with Dalton Ross

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Check out this entertaining interview with Seth Gilliam (who you might remember from HBO’s “The Wire” and “Oz”, among many other TV gigs). We’re not sure what’s next on the agenda for Father Gabriel, but there’s no way it can be any good…

Click on “View original” to read the entire piece on EW.com, by Dalton Ross.

Originally posted on Inside TV:

[ew_image url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2014/08/26/Father-Gabriel-Stokes_612x380.jpg” credit=”Gene Page/AMC” align=”left”]
[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only after watching Sunday’s “Crossed” episode of the The Walking Dead.]

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Film Review: Variety Says ‘Extraterrestrial’ Is Entertaining, If Not Memorable

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

“Until the 80-minute mark, “Extraterrestrial” is a slick, pacey but not particularly scary or surprising not-quite-slasher movie, the only real difference being that instead of getting bloodily offed, the characters mostly get snatched by their abductors (depicted as the standard humanoid “gray aliens” of UFO lore) to a fate unknown. Unknown until that mark, that is: The pic then makes a welcome leap, allowing for some nicely designed and executed larger-scale f/x work. Unfortunately, this too-brief, visually impressive (if not all that inventive, narrative-wise) interlude is followed by a coda that’s strenuously sentimental in ways the script hasn’t remotely earned the right to exploit. That attempt at depth is further undercut by a gimmicky final shot scored to a jokey retro song choice.”

-From the Variety Review by Dennis Harvey.

Sounds like we’ll wait on it to see on streaming, even though it’s from The Vicious Brothers (Grave Encounters and Grave Encounters 2). Click “View original” in the lower left to read the entire review on Variety.com.

Originally posted on Variety:

The inevitable nubile teens at the inevitable cabin in the woods fall prey to a different kind of horror in “Extraterrestrial,” though [pmc_film_review_snippet]most of the Vicious Brothers’ feature plays like pretty standard slasher fare[/pmc_film_review_snippet]. It’s in the final act that the pic becomes more ambitious and interesting, though not quite enough to lift the whole from decent-time-filler status to something more inspired. Like the duo’s prior “Grave Encounters” movies, this is a well-crafted, watchable genre effort short on novel ideas and distinctive dialogue/character writing. Already out on VOD, it’s opening in 10 U.S. markets this Friday, and should do moderately well in various formats.

After the usual prologue providing a first, never-seen-again victim, this one a panicked young woman (Emily Perkins) fleeing an unseen force outside a rural gas station, we’re introduced to protags that never develop much beyond their stereotype-fulfilling first impressions. There’s the designated lead/Final Girl, April (Brittany Allen)…

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INSIDIOUS CHAPTER 3 -The First Trailer and Equally Creepy Poster Is Here!

All right, let’s start off with the trailer, which calls this entry “the darkest yet”. Hey, maybe we’ll get an “R” rating! That way we won’t have to put up with loud tweeners talking as if they were in their own living room (with fireworks or something going on outside so they have to raise their voices to hear each other) like we did with, say, “Mama” and “Insidious Chapter Two”.

Great news- Lin Shaye is in the film as Elise Ranier, alive;  this one takes place before the events in Insidious (2010). I read someone calling this a “period piece” due to the fact that the cell phones used for texting in the commercial are “old”. Hey, guess what? There’s no way this movie took place over ten years ago, we already aren’t thrilled when someone calls something taking place in the 80s a period piece. “Mad Men” is a period piece. Merchant/Ivory specialized in period pieces. Something that happened after 2001 is not a period piece. OK, enough of that. Check out the poster (which actually makes sense as long as you don’t try to figure it out immediately) below.

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It might as well end AND HE IS RIGHT BEHIND YOU. Here’s the plot details that have been release so far:

 A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

Leigh Whannell will be helming this one, writing and directing, Fangoria reported exclusively yesterday that Whannell reached out to William Friedkin for advice, and he ended up sort of mentoring him for the film. Read the Fango article, which includes an interview with Whannell here!

Here is one very scary screencap we grabbed from the trailer… if we saw that thing, we’d be out of their so fast we wouldn’t bother saying, “Yeah, I’m outta here.”

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Insidious Chapter 3 will be here next summer. More as it comes in!

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Scariest Short (VERY Short) Horror Film of The Week- “One Last Dive,” From Jason Eisener

This may be the shortest Horror Short of the Week ever at a little over one minute. But boy, does it pack a wallop.

When The Conjuring was released in the summer of 2013, three indie film-makers were asked to do short horror films that would just have one common theme: They all needed to take place at 3:07. If you saw The Conjuring, you know why 3:07 is a very creepy time of the night. I even dared people to come home after seeing Conjuring and watch these three short shorts either at 3:07, or to time it so the last one ended right before 3:07. Not too surprisingly, there were no takers (possibly because I made the stipulation that all the lights had to be off in the house at the time).

They were all partially presented by VICE. The first short was an incoherent jumble–all I could tell was that a séance was involved (I think) and then the people recording it freaked out at 3:07– the second (by Ti West) was creepy and had a great filming style, but had no narrative. So I recall by about that point I was pretty sure they were all going to be pretty mediocre. I was very wrong about that. Watch Jason Eisener’s (Hobo With a Shotgun, V/H/S 2) “One Last Dive” below. Crank up the volume!

I almost hit the goddamned ceiling! And I didn’t even watch it on a large window OR have the music at a high volume. While we’re on the subject, I should mention that I am aware you don’t get a ‘Scariest Short Horror Film of The Week’, once a week anymore. The truth is, I have a few tucked up my sleeve but am also running out of good ones that are scary as hell. Thanks for being patient, and if you have any suggestions, please post them in the comments section! We already put up the one with the creepy Smiling Man when it was suggested to us in a poll. To find new ones, I usually have to sit through nine crummy ones to get to the 10% that are actively frightening.

“One Last Dive” still scares me after ten or so viewings.

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‘Sons of Anarchy': Inside Those Emotional Jax, Juice, Nero Scenes

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

We’ve covered this show before, mostly the pieces in our “Ten F*cked-Up Things That Happen On…” recurring feature. If you want to read them, check out the first one here from 2012. Then Season Five got so horrifying and shocking we made another list just for that season, which you can find here. Both cover a lot of ground, and we try to avoid spoilers in them, but if you plan to watch the show and haven’t yet, just read the original one in which we try not to name names… if you read any. There are others, mostly post-show interviews after really heavy episodes like this one–you can just type in Sons of Anarchy in the SEARCH box at the top of the page–but they are all spoiler-ridden, so proceed with caution. There are some very shocking reveals, and you don’t really want to spoil them for yourself, do you?

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Now, if you DID watch “Suits of Woe,” we think you’ll agree with us: best Sons of Anarchy episode in a long, long time. Jax finally manned up and said every mistake he’d made was on him, Nero got a phone call with possibly the worst news he’s ever received, and two very macho, bad-ass career criminals who have murdered men in cold blood in the course of business (Jax must have a kill-count in the low three figures by this point in the series, and some of those people trusted him) broke down and wept, sobbing openly and loudly while hugging.  Remember again, DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED YET! Click “View Original” in the lower left to read the entire piece on EW.com.

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Originally posted on Inside TV:

[ew_image url=”http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2014/11/18/sons-of-anarchy-suits-of-woe-03.jpg” credit=”FX” align=”left”]

Spoiler alert: All was revealed in the Nov. 18 episode of Sons of Anarchy, “Suits of Woe,” which included three of the series’ finest scenes: Juice (Theo Rossi) told Jax (Charlie Hunnam) the truth about Tara’s death; Jax broke the news to Nero (Jimmy Smits) over the phone as Gemma (Katey Sagal) stood by; and Jax later leaned on Nero as he struggled to understand both how his mother could kill Tara and how he could still love her. Peter Weller, who directed the episode—and whose character, Barosky, was also revealed as the rat—spoke to EW about shooting those crucial scenes and learning Barosky made SAMCRO’s hit list.

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31 Horror Movies in 31 Days – Part Two of Three (Worst Horror On The List)

First, if you missed Part One, containing the entire list, please check it out here.

I had originally intended to list the ten worst, but we try to keep positivity going on this site (unless a movie is so terrible we feel it is our duty to warn fellow horror fans not to waste their time/money). So, I carved it down to the worst five. Not to mention, the bad ones were so bad that just revisiting the memories of watching them (so I can give you reasons they were shitty) made my head feel like someone was squeezing it. You’ll notice there’s a high number of found-footage horror on the list, but surprisingly, only two of them made it to “worst” (though if I had done ten instead of five, more might show up).

1. Carver, 2008 (NR)

Oh man, this was terrible. Here’s my full disclosure: I wouldn’t have watched it if it wasn’t supposed to be chock-full of gory practical effects. Having it be an low-budget indie also factored in there. I also wouldn’t have watched it if it wasn’t free. Man oh man, am I glad I did not pay money to see this crap. Uh, the plot, and it just may sound the tiniest bit familiar: Three young men and two women decide to go on a road/camping trip way out in the middle of nowhere. They end up in a tiny town full of redneck white trash, all of whom would be unfuckable  pretty hard to look at even if they did have proper hygiene (they do not). Guess what? There’s a brutal killer laying in wait! Yep, he’s big and fat and wears a weird mask.

"You will scream your head off." Or until your testicles rupture.

“You will scream your head off.” Or until your testicles rupture.

 

No matter how tempting it is to see just for the gore, DO NOT DO THIS. You know what you can do instead, that’ll only take up a few minutes of your time? One of our favorite sites ever, Movie Censorship.com (we’ve raved about it before) documents differences between R and Unrated/Uncut/”Director’s Cut” versions of movies, though they will also sometimes compare versions from other countries (those are usually heavily censored). This site is useful for so many things, and has saved me from wasted time and money*. For instance, before I discovered the site, I would see an R-Rated version of a mediocre horror movie, then usually give in to temptation and later rent the Unrated/Director’s Cut version to see the stuff too gory (sometimes also advertised as “the version too frightening for theaters”) that had to be cut. If it’s a movie I already loved released unrated, say the remake of Dawn of the Dead or The Grudge (2004 US version), I just buy it. Most of the time I will end up feeling vaguely ashamed of myself. At least 75% of the time the stuff probably could have been in the R-version, and it turns out to be maybe 10 seconds tops that was cut. But, with this awesome site, they put up screencaps of the gore. Very thorough, high-quality ones. The only way the site could be improved on is if they showed the actual cut footage as comparison, and I’d even pay some modest membership fee if they did it. However, everything is documented and described. So I am going to do something you will thank me for later: here is the link that compares the cut and uncut versions of Carver. Sample screen shots of what you cannot see unless you were to watch the Unrated version (not that either version is worth wasting time on), which I made as small as possible in case you prefer not to suddenly see a screen shot of something disgusting, or you are eating while you browse Horror Boom (click to enlarge-do NOT click if you don’t want to see something horrible happening).

 

There’s plenty more where that came from on the link I gave you. There, now you have no reason to watch this movie. I sat through the unrated version, for the excuses I gave above. What’s wrong with it? It’s torture porn. Here’s a tip on how you know if a movie is truly torture porn (which I define as a very flimsy narrative, characters, and acting built around scenes of torture just to prop the sick scenes up): if someone tells you not to bother with anything but the unrated version, because otherwise it will be boring without all the sadistic scenes. The Neighbor and Human Centipede 2 are good examples of this. Everything in Carver is just put there to as a flimsy frame to surround the torture porn. This movie is not scary in any way. At no point did I even feel the slightest hint of tension or suspense. The first half-hour is just filler to push it to a feature-length film. The characters are one-dimensional idiots. The entire movie just slogs clumsily forward, the characters (at least the men–they women are mainly there to run around in their underwear, look hot, and be subjected to horrible bloody ordeals, like involuntarily starring in a snuff movie) do such stupid things you feel no sympathy for them. Yeah, I know this is a staple of slasher/torture porn movies; at least one person, usually more, makes such a cretinous decision that you can’t wait for them to get decapitated. SOMEONE should not act like a total idiot, however, and you should care a tiny bit about at least one character, so that you are on the side of the victims and have at least a sliver of investment in whether they will manage to live through the movie.

Is it possible for a viewer to really enjoy a movie (especially a scary one) when you can predict… oh… EVERYTHING that is going to happen? I’m not even going to bother with a spoiler alert here, because none of these things are a shock and trust me, the movie is already spoiled rotten. My inner monologue while watching went like this: Oh, I bet that guy is in on the whole thing. (guy turns out to be in on the whole thing). I bet these old movie reels contain snuff movies (movie reels contain snuff movies). That guy’s genitals are going to be disgustingly mutilated (guy’s genitals get mutilated). Even with an ice pick buried in his eye socket, the killer is going to act like it’s just a flea bite or something and not be slowed down at all (killer is not slowed down at all). You idiot, the guy who has to be in on it is in the other room, and he’s going to come up behind you and cut your throat while you sit there like a dumbass. (guy gets throat cut). She’s going to think the guy suddenly running out in front of her wearing the mask is the killer, but it will turn out he’s one of her friends in the group that was tortured but not killed, so she kills the wrong guy (Guess what happens).

Oh, and there’s a claim that the movie was based on actual events, which is a pack of lies. How would anyone know the true event occurred when every person who could tell someone their true story is dead, and the killers are never caught? Horror movies say this a lot now, but this time it’s just insulting our intelligence. Avoid this movie; it gives low-budget horror, practical effects, and the old fiddle-tune “Turkey in the Straw” a bad name.

2.  Dark Mountain (2014).

The reason I picked this to watch and sit through this (other than being able to watch it on Netflix for free) is that I could have sworn Dread Central gave it a good review and said it had some really good, intense moments and well-written characters. We went back to DC and could find  no such review, other than one honest one telling us we’d already seen the same found-footage movie ten times already, and done better than this one (still thought they went too easy on it ) What is weird is I even remember the DVD cover and making a mental note to look for it later. That review must have been on another site, or possibly someone inserted the wrong title and cover art (we recall, the review described the plot being driven by a horrible disease of some kind that the characters are trying to fight in an isolated space, which doesn’t resemble anything in Dark Mountain’s narrative) because boy did we get it wrong.

Never a dull moment on Dark Mountain (2014)!

Never a dull moment on Dark Mountain (2014)!

They don’t just rip off Blair Witch, they also rip off Atrocious and Yellow Brick Road, among others. I wasn’t especially impressed with those latter two, but I’d sure as hell gladly watch them again if I could have skipped Dark Mountain. Everything that makes people strongly dislike found-footage is there: people running around for what seems like half the running time with a flashlight and the camera’s night vision on so that all we can see is a blur, tearful confessions/good-byes to loved ones given by the one female character to the camera, characters making such idiotic, unrealistic decisions that you want to see them die a violent death rather than root for them, and one of the things that will make a terrible found footage movie even worse: adding a soundtrack. Inserting a ‘stinger’ for what is supposed to be a jump scare, serving only to remind you of better found-footage flicks that didn’t need any damned stingers to make you hit the ceiling. Also, if we see one more fucking found-footage movie (other than [REC]) that ends with the last surviving character terrified and crawl-dragging themselves slowly towards the dropped camera, then being yanked out of frame suddenly just as they are inches away from it…

3. Bad Kids Go To Hell (2012).

Oh yeah, let's spend 90 minutes getting to know THESE characters.

Oh yeah, let’s spend 90 minutes getting to know THESE characters.

Seriously, we tried to like this movie. We really did. Hey, it had a fun title. We even read the graphic novel over a year before we saw the movie, and that didn’t really live up to the hype, not to mention the movie got a below-average rating on Netflix AND IMDB. Strangely, Variety loved it and said it was made for midnight screenings; I no longer trust the reviewer. BKGTH was another one that was free, plus we were between new releases at the time (if you have seen any of the films listed, you’ll understand why I start all these reviews more or less apologetically justifying why I sat through it).  You know they used some tag close to “It’s Breakfast Club meets Scream!” in the pitch. “We even got Judd Nelson in the cast, how meta is that?” They are actually making a sequel titled Bad Kids Go 2 Hell. See what they did there? Poor Gina Gershon, who deserves better, is in it. Anyway, it’s not that I’m mad at BKGTH, I’m disappointed in it. During the final act, they lay on twist after twist, after twist, but none of them are fun and instead they just seem forced. Really, don’t bother unless it is your favorite horror comic in the world (though you could do much, much better). It should have been fun, but it just didn’t work.

4. Evil Things  (2009)

Oh, did I say Dark Mountain was bad? Well, next to Evil Things it looks like Grave Encounters. For one thing,  the acting in Dark Mountain could have been worse. I cannot think of any way to justify my reason for watching this movie, other than starting to run low on fresh ones. I did read some reviews, but if I’d really done my homework I would never have touched this boring thing. This whole movie was stupid from start to finish. The audience will figure out what is really going on much faster than the characters pick up on it. Some kids, none of whom are likeable, go to drive out into the middle of the woods to have a  21st birthday party for one of them up at a rich relative’s cabin. Actually money did not look like an issue for any of them, but it is a problem when you already don’t like the characters, then find out they never have to worry about money. The running time is clearly padded. It was one of those found-footage movies with a short running time, which can work well (especially if there’s a limited narrative and a low budget). For what seems like the first half-hour, the kids drive up there in what I think was bad weather (I am NOT watching this one again to get a couple little details right). A van ominously follows them most of the way. Rather than, I don’t know, pull over and let it pass, pull into a roadside diner or gas station and get the license plate or do anything you would if it was really concerning you, they just keep going, with someone occasionally remarking on the van, but no big deal to them. They get to the luxurious cabin and PAR-TAY! Of course this includes the need to DOCU-MENT! EVERYTHING! Whoooo! About 50 minutes into the running time, they start getting nervous. Part of this is caused by the (landline) telephone ringing; when one of them answers it, whoever is on the other end terrorizes them with complete silence. I know I almost have a heart attack from sheer fright every time this happens –no wait, I don’t stay on the line for more than two seconds at the most if I say hello more than once and get dead air.

Wow, I sure hope nothing bad happens to these characters.

Wow, I sure hope nothing bad happens to these characters.

Much, much later, they get creeped out when they pick up their camera or iPhone or whatever they were recording on, and see that someone filmed them on their own camera. By now, I think we’ve all seen the “creepy person purposely leaves footage on camera that belongs to the person documenting it in night vision while they sleep, then leaves it where they can see it to freak them out” gag. It is not scary anymore. In another of the movies on the “31 movies in 31 days” list, The Houses That October Built, it almost brings the movie to a halt– we’re that sick of it by now.  Just in case anyone had any investment whatsoever in the plotline during the last half-hour, they insert a soundtrack, which is when the movie went from bad to terrible. The filmmakers could probably sense there was no tension or scares whatsoever, got desperate, and broke one of the rules of a found-footage movie (this is also a big part of why I didn’t enjoy The Last Exorcism). So the kids freak out, some start to panic, none of them can get a cell phone signal (surprise surprise), and they get killed. The final scene- which is where, in a found footage movie things should go completely crazy, you get the feeling anything could happen, and scare the hell out of you–emphasis on should–  shows the actress who passes for the ‘final girl’ nervously groping around in a pitch-black room while the killer films her on night-vision. She eventually screams after the camera has slowly panned in on her for a while, end of movie… seen below on all the poster art.

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Check out the brilliant tagline, sure to put asses in seats pronto.

 

 

Just kidding!  After some abbreviated credits, we then get to what pissed me off enough to bump this garbage from “mediocre” to ” ‘Worst Of’ List”. For literally ten minutes, possibly more, we get to watch exciting footage from the van’s dash-cam. Nothing happens, other than seeing he was following the kids earlier and taping them, which we already knew, so it adds nothing except tedium. It’s not even remotely spooky. He just tools around, following cars at a safe distance, sometimes watching people get out of the car and go into a building of some sort, then driving around again. Can the team responsible for making this crap have any pride in their finished product AT ALL? If so, how? These are questions that will never be answered (along with any motive the killer had, or explanations for his actions, other than being bored or stalking and killing random kids is just kind of his thing, or any sort of clue who, he might be). I don’t care how big of a found-footage horror fan you are, avoid this one like the plague.

5. And speaking of plague, in fifth place, we have…

Antisocial (2013).

Most of the reviews I scanned were “mixed” rather than negative; I should have looked into it more. This one was also free and I was running out of movies, so  there’s my excuse for sitting through it.  I had the (mistaken)  impression it was mediocre with maybe one or two good moments, rather than just plain shitty. The plot: a group of unlikable millennials (are you seeing a pattern here?) with names like “Chad” and “Kaitlin”** plan to have a New Year’s Eve bash at one of the character’s places, because their parents are out of town! I’m not sure if they’re high and drunk or just drunk (it wasn’t worth going back and re-watching the first 15 minutes of so over). The “party” consists of, I think, five idiots dancing around to techno/dance music (that is, by the way, some of the worst dogshit I’ve ever heard) while one, maybe two of their friends is on their way.; then they break out the brewski!  At least one of them dances around like an idiot, waving two sparklers, and they speed the film up the cliché way that films do sometimes to indicate someone is on X (either that, or they were just being merciful to us by not showing it at normal, slower speed maybe). Anyway, via their iPhones or laptops, one of them discovers that a virus has very suddenly busted out, and is spreading more quickly than any virus in history. Worldwide. They’re not zombies, though. This virus causes you to bleed from your ears and nose, then hallucinate, then start getting hysterical and enraged enough to try to murder everyone around you. Oh, and if there’s no people handy for whatever reason, you’ll just pick some house to break into and attack whoever is inside. Black guy (the only one of the characters that seemed to have some common sense) gets infected/killed first, by the way. Thanks, movie, needed that cliché again. I should point out that the script is bad enough that we are given no reason to care about any of the characters, he was just NOT one of the ones that I actively hoped would meet a violent death due to being a selfish idiot.

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Not only is the movie boring and has terrible acting (and a terrible script), but there is a reason it made this list rather that the “meh” list. The film-makers and very adamant that social media is evil and turns people into monsters. They act like their film is the first piece of fiction in history to use this metaphor, but it’s 2014, so they’re a little late to the party. We are slammed over the head with this message repeatedly.  At one point, a laptop is even used to beat someone to death. Full disclosure: I am not thrilled with social media (especially when it actually cuts down on the amount of real, in-person social interaction that could be taking place instead; man, I’m glad I grew up in the 80s), but I also have a Facebook profile and I check my ‘feed’ once a day, so I can’t get all self-righteous. (Shameless self-promotion: if you haven’t “liked” Horror Boom on FB yet, we have a link to our page for you here!) But boy, do the writers of this movie! SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE FOLLOW: during the last half hour of the movie, we find out that the virus was caused by something on a social media site that really doesn’t resemble, but is more or less supposed to be, FB.  But this is no ordinary computer virus (see:tagline of the film)!  The name of the site is The Social Redroom. The virus is called the RED ROOM virus. Get it? Kind of like that urban legend which is actually Japanese in origin,  and is also mentioned frequently on creepypasta.com?*** I was just going to link to their page, but here is the You Tube video that explains it; the one I picked is twelve minutes long, but also the most thorough. I am inserting it because it will entertain you more in the short running time than all five of the movies we talk about in this piece put together. It’s also a little bit creepy, especially if you watch it after dark. If you only have a minute or two, or a very short attention span, you can get the gist by just watching the first few minutes (the long running time is due to what is supposed to be the actual footage/flash animation contained in the curse).

There are many, many problems with this movie, to the point where it would be faster to list the things they did right, but the only positive I can think of is some practical effects.  OK, I have now run out of good points, so let’s move on to the elements that helped ruin the movie. At least pick a social network site name that is original (though I think they thought they were being clever linking it with that urban legend) and sounds like one that could be a household name and one of the most popular in the entire world. Yeah, especially in 2014, all social networking sites put “Social” in the NAME OF THEIR SITE. What’s worse is that the filmmakers thought we might be too stupid to make the connection that “Redroom” was a social media site, because having the title of the movie be ANTI-SOCIAL wasn’t a big enough hint for our stupid asses.

(EVEN MORE SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE ANTISOCIAL, WHICH YOU SHOULDN’T REALLY BOTHER WITH IN THE FIRST PLACE, BEGINNING NOW).

Speaking of stupid, here is the explanation for the virus by someone who worked at “Social Redroom”: the people who owner the site decided to insert subliminal messages on it that would make users “check in” more frequently for status updates, etc. and give the site more hits, so they could make more money from advertisers. Only something went horribly wrong with the latest update, causing an actual worm-like tumor to very quickly form in the heads of those who looked at the site. Never mind the fact that this is physically impossible, by this time your head will be hurting too, just for different reasons. The tumor grows in the frontal lobe, ridiculously quickly, causing the hallucinations, bleeding from the ears, and homicidal behavior. Even if you manage to survive this, your head (partially) explodes, killing you. If this sounds interesting, I have explained it better than the actual script does.  Another video goes up later (good thing both of these clips go viral!) explaining a possible cure, one that is pretty crude. Since the virus is an actual organism at least the size of a very large earthworm, someone can drill a hole in your skull and then grab it with tweezers (or a small box cutter, as one very desperate character does), then pull it out.   Any intrigue this could generate for the viewer is dampened by the fact that no-one even thinks about disinfecting the drill or any of the tools that are going to touch their brains before jumping in and using them. OK, if they don’t have anything handy containing alcohol (which they do), they could at least wipe it off with a relatively clean piece of cloth first, but no.

One of the few two positive things the movie had going for it was that the infected people did not actually turn into zombies when infected with the virus. They don’t bite and spread the infection that way, then the people don’t get up and trying to eat the living. It would have been the lazier way to go. However, a “twist” in the final minutes of the film shows news outlets reporting that those whose heads have exploded are now getting up and walking around again, rising from the dead. So, one of the two things the movie contained that would go on the “pro” list instead of the length “con” column is dispatched swiftly by the fact that in the end, it is turned into a zombie apocalypse after all. Please skip this one. They only want to express their hatred of social media–which could even have been interesting and worked with the right script– but just end up insulting the viewer’s intelligence.

Okay, now that the negative stuff is out of the way, you can look forward to the final part, where we name the ten best movies in the list of 31 horror movies in 30 days. We can even recommend some of the movies to you, which will be a nice switch after strongly warning you off five of them.

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*It’s not just horror, either. If you want to see what you missed in the unrated version of, say, Get Him to the Greek, or what is in an “Extended Director’s Cut” of anything, even if it wasn’t cut for rating reasons but for time, it can help you our with that, too. Many foreign movies make it almost impossible for you to locate and see the extended version if you’re in the US, so it can save you money. They’ll even tell you lines that are missing. I cannot recommend Movie-Censorship.com enough… though I should warn you they do advertise some pretty sleazy exploitation movies that you can buy in Amazon, including some disturbing stuff from Japan. Fine with me, they have to make money somehow, but if you are offended by that kind of box art, just don’t look too carefully at the ads on the sidebars, etc. They’re never in-your-face, but I thought I would bring it up just in case. The site is frequently NSFW.

**I know some people who are named Kaitlin that are fine people, so nothing personal.

***”Red Room” is also the name of a boring, nasty Japanese straight-to-video torture porn flick with really, really terrible production values (don’t even think about renting it–or the sequel– trust me).

 

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Meet Ben Woolf, the Actor Who Plays “Meep” On American Horror Story Freak Show

Or is that “played”? Probably the latter. Check out this great interview from FX Networks, who also have several other featurettes on the ‘Extra-Ordinary Actors’ from this season.

We thought his name looked familiar, went looking, and yes, he played the heart-stoppingly frightening “Infantata” on American Horror Story Murder House (Season One). Maybe this will jog your memory:

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He was pretty harmless (except to the chicken population) on Freak Show, and in fact, a sympathetic character. Not so much in Season One, where his character would turn you hair white with fear and traumatize you for life… but don’t worry, he/she/it would very likely just rip out your throat and kill you, so no worries about post-traumatic stress! Just try to make it out the door first… because when you die in the Murder House, you don’t get to leave.

 

 

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Ten Disturbing Things We Learned From American Horror Story Freak Show Episode Five, “Pink Cupcakes” (Spoilers)

For some reason, we found “Pink Cupcakes” (which have never before sounded so unappetizing) to be the first real episode this season that really ...bothered us. Not that we found vicious killer clowns (who friends of ours understandably referred to as “Stabby the Clown”) with no lower jaw (due to a tragic backstory) cheerful or anything, and Twisty’s whole storyline had a perfect payoff. We don’t have a pathological fear of clowns, but he was pretty threatening.  So I could have started writing these “Ten Things” pieces as usual,  right after the premiere, but there weren’t any big plot or character reveals (okay, Elsa’s legs were a surprise) that Ryan Murphy hadn’t already either hinted at or flat-out told us about in the media, or that we hadn’t more or less figured out.  We hated Dandy by the time the second episode he appeared in ended, and it was kind of obvious he wasn’t going to be a benevolent character.  Last Wednesday, though, we got some good reveals, and for the first time, we exclaimed out loud in surprise, and really, really were disturbed by a murder enough to also curse loudly. So let’s get on with the show. One, two …three.

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1.  Del is a closeted gay. Well, of course he would have to be closeted even if he wasn’t a manly circus strongman for a living; as a gay man outed in a small town in 1952 you would almost certainly end up on the receiving end of a vicious blanket party, set on fire, or be the victim of another hate crime (or have your life ruined in some other way) if you were not closeted. That’s why we were genuinely surprised to see him at a gay bar, and more than that, desperately, hopelessly infatuated (and even professing his love) with guest star Matt Bomer, playing a smoking hot young man named Andy who turns tricks and hustles for a living. He basically referred to the bar as his office. It was hinted at before that Del was not 100% heterosexual, though you had to pay attention to pick up on it. Well, being married to a woman with a male member next to the female one was kind of a red flag, but it could be argued that if a man had an opportunity to be with a hot, gorgeous woman with three perfect breasts, he might be willing to overlook the male member.

2. …or what appears to be a male member. Turns out Désirée is all woman. Well, maybe even more than all woman, since she has three breasts and a clitoris large enough to be mistaken for a penis. When she’s hammered and lonely and turns to Jimmy to “make her feel something”, they both panic when his hand comes away from between her legs covered in blood and Ethel takes her to see the kindly, compassionate Dr. Bonham from “Edward Mordrake Part One”.  He’s got some news for her: what she (and a doctor in her past) thought was a penis turned out to be a (very) oversized clitoris. It’s (figuratively) connected to her extra breast. He gives some medical explanation about her body producing a really, really high amount of estrogen because it was trying to compensate–it didn’t sound completely medically legit to us, but we will suspend our disbelief.  He tells her surgery can give her normal-sized lady parts (we liked how removing the “accessory” breast wasn’t even alluded to as an option when doing surgery–hey, let’s not get crazy here!).

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3. Désirée was also pregnant, and was bleeding so badly because she was having a miscarriage. The doctor tells her that she can even try again and having a child is a distinct possibility for her (though she should probably hurry because her biological clock is ticking). We see surprise, then wonder, then hope in her eyes as this sinks in. “I can have a baby with Del,” she murmurs. But, she damn sure has a change of heart before long, because…

 

 Why are you still moving? You’re supposed to be dead!

 

 

4.  By the time Del finds her, she’s packed a suitcase to movie into Ethel’s trailer.  Del is desperate to get her to stay, and we half expected him to hit her or shake her or some other form of domestic abuse, but guess he knew better.  She tells him she was pregnant, he says, “A baby… great!” half-heartedly, and then it escalates very quickly.  Turns out she knows Jimmy is his son.  She keeps telling him that he is the one with freak blood in him, not her, but all their years together he made her feel like she was such a freak of nature that she didn’t deserve anyone better than him …or a better life.  She wants to have a kid, but not his. To add to Del’s despair, remember that this is taking place after Andy pretty much broke his heart, telling him Del he was delusional if he thought they would ever have any kind of relationship, or even contact, without having to pay like ever other trick. After telling him she was leaving him for a real man who deserved to be with her (and she tells Del what he calls her “big dick” is going to be surgically corrected by Dr. Bonham), Désirée leaves him standing there,  with Del clearly about to have some kind of meltdown. Towards the end of the episode, Del pays a personal visit to Dr. Bonham and breaks his fingers, possibly his hands too. Then, just in case the doctor didn’t get the message, Del threatens to snap his grandchildren’s fingers “like twigs.”  Soooooo, that surgery won’t be happening.

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5.  Stanley has an extremely creepy fantasy life. All of his lovely daydreams we saw underscored how vile a man he really is. His grandiose dream of Paul’s body floating in a tank before an awed crowd of horrible rich people was unsettling. The horrifying shot of the Tatler Twins torso floating in the glass display tank–and especially the fact that Bette’s head was dead and rotting probably days before he finally smothered Dot, who was begging him for help (and begging Bette to wake up) –was disturbing as hell. So was Stanley’s casual explanation to the museum owner he sold the body to when she asked how they “expired”: “The droopy one caught a cold and died first.”

Please …kill me. Please, kill me?

 

6.  Elsa is getting desperate. She practically spits on the floor when Stanley tries to entice her with the idea of her own television show, but then when the entire crowd (not into anachronistic performances of songs, no matter how good they are) turns on her, we see her hopes burning to the ground. When Stanley comes by after the disastrous show, and she says to him wearily, “Tell me about zis… television,” we can see her fighting back tears. Once again, Jessica Lange’s performance on AHS breaks our hearts. She doesn’t get really scary until she sees Stanley driving away without her, Bette and Dot in the back seat. Her next move is to talk to the twins and tell them she wants to help their and look after them since they’re new to the business and Elsa is not. We didn’t expect, though, that she would drive them straight to the Mott residence in the guise of taking them in for a wardrobe fitting. “I have brought you something I believe you want,” she starts out to Gloria right before the episode ends. To be fair, I don’t think she would have taken them there if Elsa knew Gloria’s son was a blood-thirsty, homicidal sociopath. She probably just wanted them out of the way, maybe even only temporarily. How could THAT go wrong?

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7. Maggie is having second thoughts. First she tells Stanley she did not agree to be involved with murder. Later, when she surprises Jimmy rehearsing, she pretends to read his palm and gives him a not-too-subtle fortune: something bad is coming for him, and he needs to get the hell out of there fast. She seems to be attracted to him, but still won’t let him kiss her. Hopefully she will end up ratting Stanley out more directly, and the freaks will end up cutting his throat and stabbing him (all together) about 70 times and then burning the body, the way they did with the police detective.

 

Jack the Ripper was a Windsor, for God’s sake.

 

8. Dandy’s mother Gloria is more batshit crazy–and darker–than we thought. At the very least, a sociopath. She’s mad at Dandy for killing Dora (“She was a mother!” is her first horrified reaction),but is pretty casual (and clever) about the way they dispose of the body. “These are special bulbs from Holland. Please do not question me!” she shrills at the men hired to dig a twelve-foot hole ( actually for Dora’s body). Oh, and we find out that Dandy’s father also had homicidal “urges”,  due to inbreeding (according to Gloria). One day he ended up “swinging lifeless from a Japanese Maple” because he couldn’t stand struggling with his urges any more and “suppressed them the only way he could” (also according to Gloria).  She tells Dandy he has to be careful who he kills, since it’s 1952 and they might have relatives who come looking for their missing family member; instead it needs to be people no-one will miss. The scene of them finishing up the bulbs planted over Dora’s corpse ends with on a disturbing note, with Gloria quietly telling her son, “we’ll figure something out.”

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9.  Jimmy is a local hero, though when Maggie points this out to him, he says, “Right now, I want to throw up.” Turns out Jimmy still feels terrible about poor Meep (though I bet the local chicken population is feeling better) being beaten to death in prison and then dumped in a sack on their doorstep.  In the scene where Jimmy and Désirée are drowning their sorrows in her trailer, he loses it and weeps, “it shoulda been me.” Interesting trivia: Ben Woolf, the actor who played Meep, also portrayed the Infantata, arguably the most frightening character from AHS Season One, AKA Murder House.

There’s nothing worse than the hurt of loving someone you can’t have.

 

10.  Dandy, unsurprisingly the new big bad (well, next to Stanley, who is also deadly but mainly just a greedy, scheming piece of shit looking for a big payday) is clearly just getting started. Either he or his mother decided a gay bar would be a good place to find a victim (we also loved the very serious MAN WANTED poster with an ‘artist’s sketch’ of a clown mask that Dandy passes). When Del leaves, crushed, Dandy zeroes in on Andy, and pays him a hundred dollars to come back to the Abandoned School Bus of Murder with him, and of course, things get really disturbing.  The fact that Andy turned out not to be dead even after Dandy stabbed him brutally over a dozen times in the torso AND sawed one of his arms off was the first thing this season that really caused us to feel deep horror.

 

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Stray Thoughts:

 

  • Gabourey Sidibe will be back as Regina Ross, Dora’s daughter in New York.  We loved the “Mrs. Mott, I’m feeling really uncomfortable, so I’m going to go now” line of hers when she was on the phone with Gloria, who was starting to ramble about raising Dandy. We doubt she’s going to stick around more than a couple of episodes, though it would be nice if she ended up beating Dandy to death. That was also a great reveal when Gloria hung up the phone and the split-screen disappeared to show Dandy, standing in his underwear, covered with Andy’s blood.
Motion pictures are the expression of our souls, our inner dreams, our fantasies.

 

  • We knew the Bette and Dot torso in the giant fish tank was a fantasy, but did anyone else worry at first that poor Paul the Illustrated Seal was really floating in the formaldehyde and that the rest of the episode might be the flashbacks to how he ended up in there? We were unsure, but did let out a big sigh of relief when we realized what the writers had done. Everyone should probably worry about his place in the new knife throwing act, though…
  • I had a good laugh at the way Dandy at first tried to act innocent when his mother screamed because she found Dora dead with her throat cut. “Somebody’s broke into our home and murdered Dora!”  he proclaims unconvincingly. Meanwhile, his mother, who immediately figured out that he did it , starts yelling at him about having to clean up his messes almost the second he rushes into the room. That smirk he got after he turned his back and walked away from Gloria to go to his room was chilling, as was his practicing ‘acting faces’ in the mirror.
  • That was an amazing monologue written for Del talking about the pain he goes through and how he is only strong on the outside, and Michael Chiklis knocked it out of the fucking park. It was obvious Del knew how desperate he sounded, begging Andy to let him get him a nice apartment with a record player and good light so he could sketch, to only be with him because he loves him so much, but the words kept flooding out as if he was trying to purge himself of something he’d wanted to tell another human being all his life. Give him a couple more scenes like that and Chiklis might just earn himself an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor. For the record, a month has passed since Del and Désirée arrived in Jupiter.
  • Look around that ‘Morbid Museum’ in the scenes where Stanley is talking to the owner about the twins. There is some seriously disturbing stuff in there (and once again, we are 99.9% sure it was inspired by the real-life Mutter museum*). There are at least two Elephant Man-like skulls, and some really horrible things in jars.
  • I got a huge grin on my face when Jimmy referred to the pinhead duo as Salty and Pepper to the crowd after their act, which seemed to include a drum kit, a large mallet, and slapstick humor. “Salty and Pepper, Ladies and Gents!” We love it.
  • Boy, that crowd REALLY turned on Elsa fast. Guess they are not Bowie fans. Speaking of Bowie– great song choice to use of “Fame” in the montage of her getting ready to go have “publicity photos” taken (that ends with her hope being crushed).  The self-satisfied smirk on Stanley’s face when he saw Elsa unravelling onstage made me want to break his neck …and I’m a huge fan of Denis O’Hare, so I have always taken his side before no matter how much of a rotten prick his character is –until that moment. Hopefully Stanley and Dandy will both get an even more horrible variation of the notorious Todd Browning “chicken lady”  treatment.

Next episode, “Bullseye,” the freaks–including Ethel– seem to be turning on Elsa too. Check out the preview (again) below!

 

*Which I hope to visit some day, then sometimes during dark, sleepless nights question the decision of putting a visit to that house of horrors on my bucket list.

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Possibly the most breathtaking still of the set yet.

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Starz Orders ‘Evil Dead’ Sequel Series for 2015

Mrs. Horror Boom (HorrorBoom.com):

Here’s even more details on the good ‘Evil Dead’ news, including a title for the pilot! Click “View Original” in the lower left to read all the news. Yes, Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, and of course Bruce Campbell are all involved.

Originally posted on Variety:

Ready for some groovy news? Starz has ordered a follow-up series to the cult “Evil Dead” film franchise, titled “Ash vs. Evil Dead.” The new show will reteam director Sam Raimi with longtime producing partner Rob Tapert and star Bruce Campbell, who will reprise his iconic role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead.

When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons — personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip. The series is slated for 10 half-hour episodes set to debut in 2015.

“Starz first worked with Sam and Rob on ‘Spartacus,’ and we are thrilled to be back in business with them,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing…

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