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The Sick Short Film That The VERY Sick Feature Film Excision (2012) Is Based On Is Off Vimeo

September 2013 Update!
Goddamnit! Yep, thanks to those who alerted me, I checked with Vimeo and it’s not so much that my link doesn’t work (it doesn’t) but that someone, I assume Richard Bates Jr., took down the 2008 short film from Vimeo. I scoured Vimeo for about 20 minutes and it ain’t there.  I could describe it, but I’d just be parroting the Wikipedia description of the plot (which you can read if you want to).  This sucks and I’m sorry I took so long to look into it. I’m not taking this piece down, though, because other than not having a link to the film, it’s relevant. Only thing that’s changed is that I’ve seen the movie (and heard the feature-length commentary) Excision.  The short film has the same plot, just with added scenes (some of them really, really nasty), and a slightly different reaction by the mother at the ending. When I watched the 2012 film, I realized the ending and several other points had been totally spoiled for me, and wished I’d seen the movie first, then the short (though they were really, REALLY hard to wait for). I’m picking up the Blu-ray if it goes down in price.  I will keeping poking around online to try to find the short film, and also see if it’s on the Blu-ray (which, in a rare occurrence, Netflix actually got in on the official release date, not months later). By the way, the feature film-length Excision is also much dirtier and gorier, to the point where I had to look away a couple of times.
If I find a legal link to watch either film (short or feature-length) online I’ll put it up.  Until then, I highly recommend the Blu-ray, which is jammed with bonus features.  Also, I’ll try to keep you updated on my search online.
-Mrs. Horror Boom

 

…from the trailers, press material, and the clips, I’m pretty sure it’s going to stick fairly close to the plot of the gruesome short film. Both the (multiple) award-winning 2008 short and the feature film were written and directed by Richard Bates, Jr.

However, let me back up a little first.  You may have seen my piece on the upcoming extreme—and extremely sick, to the best of my knowledge –horror movie Excision  that I posted on September 18th.  You can find out more details about the movie if you’d like by clicking here to read my long-ass original post, which also contains the twisted, twisted Red Band trailer for the upcoming movie (with some links to clips, and some screen caps).


I could only feel growing dread as and horror as I watched Pauline’s already slippery grasp of reality dissolve. By the last scene, exactly what I was afraid was going to happen …happened.

I was happily surprised to be able to locate the 18-minute film of the same title available to watch.  Right now it can only be found on Vimeo—or at least that’s the only place I could find it. I watched it, and I recommend it …if you have a strong stomach. If the short movie were rated, it might be able to get an “R”, depending on what kind of mood the MPAA was in the day they watched it.  I’d better not get started on the shitty way the MPAA treats indie films VS. mainstream films or this piece will transform into one long rant.  Anyway, I’d definitely feel uncomfortable (at best) watching it with anyone besides my husband (and a few close friends who also love the genre and whom it takes a lot to offend —they know who they are). It’s not just the copious amounts of blood that make Excision  twisted and sick;  for instance, calling Pauline’s sexual fantasies and dreams ‘kinky’ is a laughable understatement. We’re also not quite sure if she can draw a distinction between reality and fantasy …though I’d definitely decided the answer to that by the time the credits for the short rolled.

The short film is just as sick and twisted as I’d hoped, but also had a strong emotional core. High school student  Pauline definitely is, as John Waters says in the trailer, a VERY troubled little girl.  Delusional, yes. Disturbed, most definitely. A budding psychopath?  Probably.

Still, Pauline has feelings, and we discover she wants her mother Phyllis’ love and even some understanding. Her passive father knows she exists, but makes no attempt to bond with her and talks at her, not to her.  Phyllis lavishes all of her maternal love and attention to Pauline’s little sister Grace,  whose health is frail due to her cystic fibrosis.  There was one scene, during which Pauline happens to overhear her mother’s casually heartless comments to her husband about her older daughter (though she says some cold-hearted things to her face at the dinner table, too) where she reacts with such utter devastation that I almost felt like giving Pauline a hug, or letting her cry on my shoulder. She’s definitely hurting. The actress playing Pauline in the short film, Tessa Farmer, is fearless and utterly convincing.  AnnaLynne McCord had her work cut out for her, but from even the small amount I’ve seen of her performance, she rises –or descends, depending on your POV,  I guess– to the occasion surprisingly well. Apparently (according to the director in this SFF 2013 interview) she also shaved her head for the role. That takes serious  balls for any actress to do, let alone one who usually is cast as a sex-kitten. (Update: I have since discovered, by listening to the commentary, that McCord did not, in fact, shave her head but wore a bald cap. She’s still great in the film, though.)

However, I could only feel growing dread as and horror as I watched Pauline’s already slippery grasp of reality dissolve. By the last scene, what I was afraid was going to happen, happened. This might be a good time to point out that the feature film’s plot will probably be close to the plot in the short film. The ending to the feature film is hinted at with some of the moments in the trailer—hell, even some of the art and stills released give you a hint.  I think a key character is going to have a very different reaction to a horrible  fucking turn of events in the feature film.  There’s plenty of bits and dialogue from the red band trailer in the original short. If you want to go into the full-length movie absolutely, totally 100% squeaky-clean when you watch it, you may want to reconsider watching the short film version of Excision.  Though again, if you’ve been following the movie closely in anticipation of the release date, there probably won’t be any huge shocks in the first place.

I’m looking forward to seeing the full movie flesh out (so to speak) the short film, adding new characters (I’d personally see it just for John Waters), more dark humor, and more of Pauline’s …um, vivid fantasy life. Yes, the above image was from one of her happy daydreams in the 18-minute short. In fact, if the short is any indication, the movie is going to be even more disturbing, intense, and horrifying.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the short film is included in the DVD extras, but if you can’t wait (I couldn’t), or want to get a stronger feel before you decide whether or not to see the feature film, now you know where to find it…

Also, they released a second clip from the film, and I found it on Dread Central. This is a short clip, but it features John Waters, PLAYING A CHURCH MINISTER,  doing his best to ‘counsel’ Pauline. Check it out here!

 

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Grave Encounters 2 is Available On Demand 10/2/12 – New ‘Leaked Clip’ and More!

Well, a clip has been released leaked from Grave Encounters 2;   our friends at Dread Central have the article and the clip that arrived mysteriously in their email inbox from someone with the username DeathAwaits.  Hmmm, that sounds familiar, the kind of username that would be in a press kit… let’s see here.

Click here for the full story (and the same clip) on DreadCentral.Com!

That’s strange. He looks as though he may have a bloodshot eye… or is that actual blood in the inner corner?

I wish I had some reviews to link to, but none of the IMDB links work at the time of this writing; they all take me to an error page of some kind. I hope that’s some kind of creative marketing gimmick and not because they ordered all the less-than-positive advance reviews pulled. I think they’ll be positive, though (I trust Uncle Creepy here). Actually, I don’t even know if they could do that (have reviews pulled, that is), so I guess I might actually have to go into a movie clean for once! I don’t have the kind of willpower to avoid reviews of a movie I’ve been excited about for months, even if it’s going to be available to watch in 48 hours.

However, Back To The Movies has posted an exclusive interview (audio) with the director of Grave Encounters 2,  John Poloquin:

Oooo, prosthetics! I’m sure certain shots couldn’t be done without CGI, but I’m really happy they are using practical effects whenever possible. That’s all the new info I’ve got for you for Grave Encounters 2  as of this writing.  However, in anticipation of the On Demand premiere being around the corner, I do have a little ‘photo gallery’ from the original  Grave Encounters  (2011)!  I snapped them the last time I rented it and watched on our flat screen*, and turned the closed captions on (otherwise they wouldn’t be very interesting). I do NOT own the copyrights to any of these images,  I’m posting them here for entertainment purposes only (I’ve got a full disclaimer about copyright issues on this page to cover my ass). If you haven’t seen Grave Encounters  yet, and plan to, you might want to skip the gallery, because several are spoilers as to the fate of certain characters …and BIG jump moments …especially towards the end.

You’d be surprised how many of the shots I took have this exact closed caption. I love how there’s about eight exclamation points, in case the viewer might not get the idea…

I seemed to get a lot of those. I could put up ten photos from different scenes in the movie, and the captions would all be:  [screams] Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!   We see plenty of scream-worthy things in Grave Encounters,  but I ended up capturing an equal number of verbal reactions, some of which didn’t have any distinct image to go with them like the shot above. Example:

And here’s about as minimalist as those shots get for you:

Well,  the below “Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!”  is  in color. Shout out to the top commenter on my Grave Encounters -themed pieces,”Lobotomy Jack” — I bet you can tell which scene this is from!  (10/1 update: he could)

Well, at least that one’s in color. I seriously could put up a dozen of them (plus, the CCs use the caption “Raaaaaar!” for several scary creatures shrieking/roaring).  There’s also a bunch that are captioned with very realistic reactions (I know I’d be yelling the same things at the top of my lungs in their situation at some points):

And I’d be saying/yelling THIS more or less non-stop if I was trapped in that fucking hell-hole:

OK, I’ll get to the gallery/slideshow (however you want to view it) now. I basically picked the shots that were most memorable, as well as lines that strongly evoke the spirit (so to speak) of the movie– the reason why it haunts many of us devoted Grave Encounters  fans. Here we go…

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Is it Tuesday yet?

*As I often do with really cool horror movies, especially if I’m going to write about them. If I’m too tired, taking notes isn’t always fast enough for my horrible short-term memory and ADD, so I get out the camera. The bonus is, though, cool pics for postings and galleries!

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Scary Short Film of the Week – Real Urban Legends, AKA Corin Hardy’s “In the Back” (2010)

Real Urban Legends — AKA Corin Hardy —brings us this from the UK. Of course, I went ragging on found-footage this week,  then a bunch of cool shit worth passing on to you pops up. Urban Legends always get to me …and this is a nice, tight, scary re-telling.

OK, normally I would probably assume this was a ‘jump on the found footage bandwagon’ type of short.  Instead, I admire him for setting the account up on You Tube and remaining anonymous in case of the possibility some people might think it was real. So there’s that …added to the fact this five-minute short freaked me the hell out! Enjoy…

On Corin Hardy’s Blog (definitely worth checking out here) — he’s got an interesting, well-put together gallery including a showcase of some amazing artwork on there– has this filed under  2010, though it was uploaded to You Tube in 2012, so I honestly don’t know what year to credit it with as of this writing. Let’s say 2010 until I hear differently.

I’m guessing horror fans didn’t need this to remind them to check the back, but just in case it slips your mind every once in a while, this should keep you at a 100% back-checking rate!

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Name That (Horror) Frame – Week of 9/23/12 – Masters of Horror Edition!

The  Masters of Horror series doesn’t get near the amount of recognition it deserves. And yes, the best episodes truly are the stuff of nightmares.

Now would be an appropriate time for me to repeat I do NOT own the copyrights for any of the images here, nor own them in any way–I put them here for entertainment purposes only!

Well, if you’re anywhere near as big a fan of the Mick Garris-produced Showtime series Masters of Horror,  you’ll be in luck this week.  Those shows (OK, most of them, they got pretty hit-or-miss in the final season) were very, very memorable.  Just the opening credits (the frames above, and directly below) were a disturbing work of art. Actually, I’m not sure why I’m using the past tense …they still creep me out.

Yep, that’s someone burying an axe is someone else’s head.

So, if you can name these episodes, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll win a DVD. I’m working on a list of the top ten episodes of Masters of Horror, but I’m having serious trouble narrowing it down. Hell, I own more than ten of them. I might just have to spotlight the best ones and forget lists. By the way, I definitely count the unaired Takashi Miike-directed “Imprint” as an official episode. So much sick shit went down on the series that I still wonder if it was a publicity stunt Showtime pulled, or something.. I’ll have to look into that. There’s a torture scene in that episode that makes the notorious one towards the end of Miike’s Audition look tame.  I still have to cover my eyes with my fingers for most of the “Imprint” scene, it’s that hard to watch.

But I digress. The photos below are all from different episodes… feel free to comment if you just want to know which episodes they are! The Masters of Horror  series doesn’t get near the amount of recognition it deserves. And yes, the best episodes truly are the stuff of nightmares.

I believe the above frame took place during the opening credits of the episode…

And below, what the last thing you’d want to see written on a wall when you woke up at the bottom of a pit?

and finally, thanks to the genius of Greg Nicotero’s make-up and FX work… what a shot.

That’s it (for this game) until next week. Don’t forget, American Horror Story Season One comes out on DVD and Blu- ray Tuesday. Expect at least one piece on it this week!

Imprint (Masters of Horror)

Imprint (Masters of Horror) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Scariest Japanese Urban Legend of the Month – Teke Teke (AKA Tek-Tek) テケテケ

A lone boy was walking home from school later than usual; dusk had just begin to hit. The streets were nearly deserted, so he was surprised to hear a sound behind him. He looked around for the source of the sound, and soon saw a lighted window. A pretty young girl his age was sitting at the window, hugging her elbows, which were propped on the open window sill…

Creepy-ass poster art from the J-Horror adaptation of the Teke Teke legend (2009)

I honestly don’t know which creeps me out more– Teke Teke or the Slit-Mouthed Woman. They both frightened the bejeezus out of me when I first discovered them… on You Tube. A few years ago. When the only internet connection in the house was also in the most dimly lit, coldest room in the house. The desk in the room can only be placed one way,  so my back was always to the door. I may have also mentioned that about this time, the two kittens we’d adopted (who I swear could violate the laws of physics) weren’t allowed in that room because there were too many irreplaceable possessions in there for them to destroy, (no matter where in the room we hid the breakable stuff), so we kept the door closed at all times. This room ALSO had the one door in the house with some kind of frame dysfunction, whereas the kittens discovered if they both hurled themselves against it enthusiastically enough*, the door would crash open so they could enter (more like ‘explode into’) the office!  You can read about my first experience with that here (funny now, NOT funny then).  My point is, imagine watching one of the scariest videos  on You Tube for the first time, sound up, after dark, then adding the door to the room crashing open so hard it bounces off the wall (with no warning whatsoever). Someone might as well have snuck in the room behind me and tossed a lit firecracker under my chair.

Which brings me to Teke Teke (テケテケ). I hadn’t heard of either of the blood-curdling, horrifying Japanese urban legends at the time, and I discovered Slit-Mouth Woman and Teke Teke within the same half hour!** Oh, what a nice ninety minutes or so of sleep in had that night …when I wasn’t having nightmares about being chased around by Slit-Mouth woman or Teke Teke.

If you think the name of the legend, ‘Teke Teke’ sounds too goofy or even too cute to be scary,  join the club …though the club membership only lasts until you get the equivalent of Teke Teke 101 by watching this:

Aaaand I stopped seeing the humor in the name too!

Here’s a retelling –this one’s actually written by yours truly– of what I thought was one of the most frightening variations of Teke Teke…

A lone boy was walking home from school later than usual; dusk had just begin to hit. The streets were nearly deserted, so he was surprised to hear a sound behind him. He looked around for the source of the sound, and soon saw a lighted window. A young girl was sitting at the window, hugging her elbows, which were propped on the open window sill.
It was unusual place for a girl his age to show up, as it was an industrial section of town. Still, he couldn’t take his eyes away from her slender silhouette, her long hair blowing in the wind as she rocked gently on her elbows. Nervous but also curious, he slowly walked closer to the window and the girl so he see her face, ask her name.
As he got closer, he thought he saw her give him a slow, inviting smile as she rocked.  It was then that she suddenly leapt out of the window and onto the ground, landing on her hands. He froze as he realized with horror that the lower half of her body, below her ribcage, was missing. The girl’s head lolled on her neck and grinned at him as she balanced on her palms.  She lowered herself down further, onto her elbows. Then she began to rapidly drag herself towards him on her hands.  Since the flesh on her elbows was partially worn away, the bones made a distinct sound on the pavement as she skittered towards him: tek tek… tek tek… tek tek…
Horrified, he moved to run but stumbled backwards and fell; the impact when he hit the ground hard temporarily knocked the wind out of him.  He tried to shuffle back on his hands and push his legs back and away, opened his mouth and inhaled a huge gulp of air. The half-girl paused for a moment.
Before he could scream, however, she sprang onto him and tore him in half at the waist.
After the police arrived at the scene the next morning, they found the boy’s remains, but no trace of the girl. And though they searched for weeks, they never did find the lower half of his body…

something tells me I’m in for some real bad dreams tonight…

There’s a third re-telling that was made into a J-horror movie (Teke Teke, then the sequel, Teke Teke 2 Electric Bugaloo). Here’s the official plot synopsis:

Yuko Oshima stars as Kana, a schoolgirl whose normal life is turned upside-down when her best friend is found brutally murdered, having been cut completely in half at the waist. Soon, Kana hears about the urban legend of “Teke Teke,” the ghost of a legless woman who was found dismembered years ago and now haunts the railway station. If you see her, in three days you will be killed. In a race against time, Kana must search for the truth in order to escape the horrific fate that awaits her.

I’ve looked all over the goddamned internet to try to obtain or watch either movie in the series, but so far, no go. I did find a creepy trailer, though…

Plus a trailer for the sequel, which seems to be bloodier. Like, a lot.

If I do track these down, trust me, you’ll be the first to know. If you find the first one, every single review sternly advises that you stay after the end credits, which tie the two movies together.  I’ll also report back if I can locate the manga Hanako and the Terror of Allegory, which apparently cuts to the chase and features victims just being pushed in front of the tracks right off the bat.  The other version I found of the legend takes place in a bathroom stall (if you know much about Asian urban legends, you’ll know bathroom stalls–especially in any kind of school– are not the safest place to be when you’re alone.

In that version, Teke Teke (who again, lost her legs on the train tracks) haunts bathroom stalls and will ask the occupant where her legs are. Answering incorrectly will result in having your legs promptly ripped off. To save yourself you must answer and tell her that her legs are at the Meishin Railway. I don’t know what happens after that, but now you know what to do in the situation.***

*and LOUDLY enough, of course…

**I also discovered “Red Cloak”, and “No Face,” among other horrifying Asian Urban Legends , but let’s spread the sleep-with-the-lights-on posts out a little, huh? Good, I’d rather dial down the nightmares a little bit too.

***Also, if you run into the slit-mouthed woman, I’ve heard you should toss something shiny on the ground–or some candy– and run. Riiiight. Yeah, you know what, I’m not going to Japan any time soon.

If you see this, well, bad news …you’re fucked.

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Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week, “Mama” is Same Short That Inspired the Scary-Ass Upcoming Movie…

…That I posted the scary-ass theatrical trailer for last week.  After I watched the Mama short below (in the middle of the night, only one awake in the house, you know, the stupid viewing method I keep swearing I’m going to stop doing) I had a nightmare.  A very specific nightmare; the kind you know  a certain something horror-related that you watched before bed-time inspired.

So what WAS I thinking when I watched it after dark, alone in the house?  It was probably related to the fact that I’d just spent a boring half an hour searching for scary-ass shorts to share it with you fellow horror fans, watching a few horror shorts claiming to be SUPER!! SCARY!!!  that weren’t too scary, original, or even that gracefully put-together.  As I discovered with the Scariest Short of the Week (Bedfellows) that I posted two weeks ago, just because a short is less than four minutes long doesn’t mean it can’t be well-made, tightly edited, and scare the living shit out of you.  Longer ones (in the eight-to-ten-minute range) could also be sleep-with-the-lights on scary (or TRY to sleep with the lights on scary, yet you still end up wide-awake) as well;  intense, perfectly paced, and a little  too memorable than you’d like to experience right before bedtime – see my post on Cleansed, the scariest short of LAST week.

yes, go Go GO GO!

Well, not the case last night. So anyway, I was just about to say the hell with it and watch the end of 2007′s The Orphanage* (review coming – it was even more haunting than I expected, ALSO a Del Toro-presented production by the way, and I can’t recommend it enough) when I remembered something. Hey, wasn’t that upcoming, ultra-creepy Mama movie that I posted the ‘Spooky-ass Trailer’ for recently actually based on a short film by the same director? Well, might as well see if… oh, hey, here it was! Popped up right away in the search! I’d just watched several horror shorts claiming to be SUPER!SCARY!  that just ended up being, well …stupid. How could this  be too freaky to watch before bedtime?

Watch it below to judge for yourself. If you’re feeling brave, turn all the lights off and the sound up like I did! Hey, it’s less than four minutes long, right?

Fuck! (I think that was also my one-word You Tube comment I posted after I caught my breath). Yes, indeed, definitely the inspiration for the upcoming movie presented by Guillermo Del Toro, and directed and written by…

Just in case you missed the blood-curdling Mama trailer when I did the post on it last week, I re-posted it below.

Sleep tight, now…

*It’s possible the first half of The Orphanage also contributed to my nightmare, and it was the combination of the two, but I hadn’t even got to the really wrenching moments and reveals by time I turned off the TV and conked out last night. Pretty sure it was the short.

Don’t look, just run…

 

This still is from the Mama Trailer, not the short below-but I thought it was worth including...

Guillermo del Toro Presents Spooky-Ass First Trailer for “Mama” (2013)

A ghost is an emotion, bent out of shape. Condemned to repeat itself time and time again…

Does that sound familiar? A little J-Horror, a little Gothic, and just a little unsettling. Well, this isn’t a red band trailer, it’s not even close to being offensive (for a horror trailer, anyway) and Mama i s rated PG-13. That being said, this is a very creepy, spooky-ass trailer (and the first full-length one). If at least one of the images in the trailer doesn’t creep you the hell out, even a little, then check your pulse to make sure you still have one!

I’d seen the poster for Mama, which didn’t look that scary; looked kind of generic. Yeah yeah, creepy little girl peering out from behind a drape or something, whatever. Then, after I watched the trailer (because even the trailer was blowing people away) l I looked a little closer…

I then realized uh… I don’t think those are drapes. Look again (if you haven’t noticed it yet) and you’ll see what appears to be cloth is actually a long, scrawny, creepy non-human arm dangling. You can see the lanky, bony hand. Not sure about you, but to me, you know what a look, creepy, dangling arms reminds ME of?  A familiar face from my nightmares (and perhaps some of yours, too):

Yes, it’s the Medieros Girl as played by Javier Botet (in all three movies, by the way) AKA the pee-your-pants frightening Attic Monster from [REC].

So after I watched the trailer (while I was musing over how often I watch creepy horror movie trailers after dark when you think I’d have learned my lesson by now after what seems like 500 times and going on ten years of You Tube clips, trailers, etc.), I looked up the cast.

Guess who’s in the credits? Javier Botet! I am pretty sure I got a glimpse of him towards the end of the trailer in a quick flash (and in the thumbnail still they picked for the trailer above).  This time, crawling with terrifying and unnatural speed rather than standing upright and swinging a hammer blindly around one of the darkest, scariest attics in all horror film history. Looks like I’m in for this one.  Imagery this creepy (below) in the very first trailer?

If you look closely (I know it’s dark) you can see this is in fact TWO creepy little girls, not one. Freaked me the hell out first time I saw the trailer.

Here’s some info on the actual movie, which has a release date of January 18th, 2013. It’s a “Guillermo  del Toro  Presents” title; meanwhile while the actual director is  Andres Muschietti. The movie stars an almost-supernaturally beautiful Jessica Chastain, along with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaimie Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones, also easy on the eyes) and Megan Charpentier. Here’s the official plot description:

Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years…. but how alone were they?   Guillermo del Toro presents Mama, a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their parents were killed. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night.

It’s those last dozen words that give me the chills. Especially if Javier Botet is involved. Would YOU want his version of a monster to come tuck you in at night? Jesus H. Christ!  That’d be the last time  in my life I got any goddamned sleep. On the IMDB cast listing, there’s no character name after his credit, so I have a hunch he’ll be playing a monster. Quite possibly THE monster. As I mentioned above, there’s something very skinny moving rapidly towards the camera for a brief moment in the trailer, and I’m 99% sure that’s where Botet (and maybe “Mama”) come in…

More details about Mama as I get them. Since it’s not the little girls, but their “Mama” that’s dangerous, I think there’s a good chance of seeing a fresh, spooky flick!

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New Theatrical Trailer for Grave Encounters 2 (Electric Boogaloo)

 

OK, so that’s not the actual end of the title. Sorry, for some reason if the syllables are right, I can’t stop myself from typing that after the name of a sequel ending in “two”.  Actually, there’s a point in the trailer where some poor guy appears to be doing some kind of sick electric boogaloo (it looks like ECT gone horribly wrong—you’ll know it when you see it). Anyway, I’ve been psyched about Grave Encounters 2  since I discovered it was in production!

Damn! What the fuck  was  that thing climbing out into the hallway from, well, whatever hole in the wall it came out of? I couldn’t even tell it’s gender (not that I am complaining,  that creature is grotesque enough without having to see its junk)

I raved previously about Grave Encounters when I put it on the list of Ten Trailers to Keep You Awake.  I think it might be one of, if not THE, scariest found-footage movies to come out of the US and Canada.  I’m probably in the minority here, but it scared me a hell of a lot more than Blair Witch. Spain’s [REC] is probably the most terrifying found-footage movie I’ve ever seen, and might even make my list of the top ten scariest horror movies, period- -if not the top ten, then it would definitely earn a place in the top twenty. But I digress. In the interest of full disclosure,  The Vicious Brothers wrote and directed the first film; this time they wrote the script, but handed the directing reigns to John Pollquin, making this his full-length directing début. I still have plenty of faith in The Vicious Brothers to deliver the goods. The one thing I would have liked to see, though, is a ‘viral site’ marketing the movie campaign. Especially since the movie is so ‘meta’, and involves ‘a mysterious blogger,’ (see the official plot description after the jump) they could have come up with a GREAT marketing campaign and had some fun with it. I LOVE  IT when genre films go the extra mile when it comes to promotion …and it’s clear they’re having as much fun playing with it as the fans were. Links to great, entertaining, and just plain fun promo sites will be coming soon in a feature piece, by the way, and there’s some serious must-sees in there.

Here’s the official plot description for Grave Encounters 2…

In 2011, GRAVE ENCOUNTERS was a found-footage horror phenomenon from the Vicious Brothers, with a trailer garnering over 20 million views on YouTube. Many people believed it was just a movie. They were wrong, and film student Alex Wright is out to prove it in GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2.

While researching the events depicted in the original film and the subsequent disappearance of its lead ”actor” Sean Rogerson, Alex Wright received a bizarre video from a mysterious blogger named “DeathAwaits666.” Appearing to show Rogerson still alive but trapped inside the Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital from GRAVE ENCOUNTERS, Alex and his friends agree to meet the blogger at the infamous hospital in hopes of learning what really happened.*  To their horror, they quickly find themselves face-to-face with unspeakable evil. Realizing that they must be smarter and faster than Rogerson and his crew to avoid suffering the same fate, they use their knowledge of the original film to do whatever it takes to survive the sequel.

Yeah… I don’t think that last part’s gonna happen. Take a look at the first theatrical trailer for Grave Encounters 2 below!

Damn! What the fuck was  that thing climbing out into the hallway from, well, whatever hole in the wall it came out of? I couldn’t even tell its gender (not that I am complaining,  that creature is grotesque enough without having to see its junk). Bringing back the main character (and possible sole survivor) from the first movie has potential.  Thinking back, I can’t even say for sure who got the worst death in the first movie. Many times after whatever monster/demon/ghost combo got ahold of someone (causing the other characters present to scream “WHAT THE FUCK?” “SHIT!” “FUCKING RUN!”  at the top of their lungs while the footage got blurry or digitized as they either dropped the camera to come back for later or blunder quickly away from the scene) the poor bastard just …vanished.  I don’t think vanishing after being suddenly yanked into a bathtub filled to the brim with blood means they got an easy death. So, that leads me to think…

(SPOILER ALERT FOR THE ORIGINAL GRAVE ENCOUNTERS – highlight the text below to reveal and read). Who knows if they’re in some kind of hell-dimension, or just dead? I think the guy who fell down the elevator shaft and died when he hit the ground probably had it the easiest. OK, now I’m getting too spoiler-y as far as the original. Anyway, we never saw him die… his character was the biggest douchebag in the movie, but he ended up having to catch and eat live rats, then got a lobotomy. The horrible old-school ice pick kind. OK, now I’m getting too spoiler-y as far as the original and wanting to veer off topic.

Check out the first teaser poster below—the tagline struck me as kind of lackluster, but the image sure as hell got my attention!

YEEEEK

Some people are worried the movie is going to get too “meta”, which was a concern to me for the first 20 seconds or so of the trailer, when fans are recommending Grave Encounters as a great, scary movie to pick up a copy of and see, bla de-blah. After that, though, it starts to get interesting. Even though this trailer swears Grave Encounters 2 contains 2 X THE FEAR, 2 X THE INTENSITY, and  2 X THE ENCOUNTERS, I’ll just be happy if it’s up to par with the original. Also, I have a suspicion that I don’t really WANT to see a sequel twice as frightening as the original,  since the first one already was scary enough to shoot my nerves to shit!

Fuck Everything And RUN!

Most people (including me) seem to agree that if the sequel is as good as the first movie–or even a notch down– they’ll be in for a great, scary ride. Lucky Uncle Creepy, from my favorite horror news site Dread Central, has seen it and said it “could very well be the perfect sequel”.  I pretty much trust him 100% – besides being just as passionate a horror fan as I am (probably more, since he devotes so much of his time to Dread Central he seems to be on it 24/7, unlike me)  has yet to steer me wrong with a review of, well, anything as of this writing.  Oh, and they also gave us a look at a second poster that’s hard not to get a big grin looking at:

This Ain't Mark Zuckerberg

Looks like we’ll get to find out for ourselves when Grave Encounters 2 is available On Demand on October 2nd (with a theatrical release and midnight screenings beginning on October 12 … right, like I have the willpower to wait for that**). Only weeks away; time for a new “Milestone” countdown widget!  Now that I think of it, the release date is great timing for those of us who have been jonses-ing for American Horror Story: Asylum to start already, goddamnit! on October 17th. So, we’ll have GE2 to look forward to two weeks before the premiere, which should hold us over a bit longer.

Also, that buys me a little extra time on my article featuring a trilogy of my current favorite–and most terrifying– insane asylum-set horror movies (Session Nine, Asylum Blackout (nothing supernatural in that one, but JESUS it was terrifying) and of course, the original Grave Encounters). I’m also writing a piece that is in danger of growing to a novella-length essay on the history of the Danvers Asylum, which I’m fairly convinced was haunted, and I sure as hell want nothing to do with the Luxury Apartments built on the property after the Asylum was torn down. Fuck that!  Would YOU want to live there?

Oh, and the “Collinswood Hospital/Sanitorium”  (the setting for both Grave Encounters movies) is —unlike the aforementioned Danvers in Session Nine– is, thank God, completely fictional. But looking at this (fictional) atmospheric image of the exterior, you could have fooled me. Feast your eyes on the below…

Well lissen, I gotta go.

It’s not often you see an image so spooky, yet almost breathtakingly beautiful. Now THAT takes some finesse from the production design team.

*visiting the ‘real psychiatric hospital from the original’ film: Bad Fucking Idea, or Big Fucking Mistake?

**I’ll end up being just about as patient as I was with REC 3: Genesis, Asylum Blackout, Piranha 3DD  (and boy, was seeing THAT one in 2-D for less than ten bucks at home one of the best judgement calls I’ve made in the last couple of years) and V/H/S when they popped up in the “Just In” section On Demand before the official VOD date.  Let’s see, here. So I can watch it starting in less than two minutes at home for $9.99 (sometimes less than that)  instead of waiting several more weeks to see it in the theater for $12.50? Especially Though there’s nothing, and I mean nothing  like the high of seeing a Midnight Preview or an opening night showing in a packed theater full of fans just as excited to see the movie as you are …DEAL! When I have a choice between INSTANT gratification or waiting (unless I know for sure it’s going to be showing here in the Emerald City –not in a theater that’s an area code or two away– and guaranteed a lively crowd, with the date less than two, three weeks tops from now) all my willpower instantly goes down the drain when it comes to a horror movie I’ve been all hopped up to see for months.

 

cleansed_youknowwhatIquitthisjob.jpg

Scariest Horror Short of The Week – “Cleansed” (2008).

OK, honestly, I was going to mix it up a little this week and post a pretty goddamned scary ‘found footage’ short film, that amped up the scares by mixing in an urban legend. So if I find it before it’s time for the NEXT scary horror short of the week, then screw it, there will be TWO Scariest Horror Shorts of the Week.

I am aware that the “Actual 911 Call Recording/Transcript” cold-open is in danger of becoming cliche. That’s not the case here, though…

Yeah, so this one is longer than the last one,  and last week’s was pretty simple.  On this one, there’s actually some room for interpretation, but it took me a minute or two to figure out and confirm what I thought happened …had happened.   It’s a simple concept. A woman works for a crime clean-up service (shit, what a grim way to make a living, even if you can totally keep your emotions out of it and are completely level-headed). There was actually an indie film that came out in the mid-late 90s; same concept, but different genre. I also read a novella by Graham Masterton (I want to say titled Butterfly, but I know it was published with two titles) that was definitely horror. It got to me; I don’t know if I read it more than once (twice tops) but even back in the Clinton administration when it was published and I read it, the novella was so vivid, engrossing, and disturbing I remember some vignettes to this day. I’ll get back to you on the title of the film, with a link, and do the same for the book. In the book, the woman (who was already going through a rough patch) started out hearing details about the various crime scenes. They started out ghastly but got more and more blood-curdling and brutal with each cleanup. She starts having nightmares, then she just plain can’t sleep. Then she starts to doubt her sanity just a little bit. Then it gets really  brutal…

  It’s a simple concept. A woman works for a crime clean-up service (shit, what a grim way to make a living, even if you can totally keep your emotions out of it and are completely level-headed)…

This film is a different scenario (apart from the business she’s in). If you’re feeling really brave, turn out all the lights and watch it full-screen. I was NOT feeling brave at the time; in fact I had the sound turned down as low as I could and kept the viewing window tiny. It still frightened me so badly it was hard to shake. Since I am posting this after dark, until it’s light out, I don’t need to watch it a second time just yet. I found it last month and can still remember it a little  better than I’d like…

I read so much horror that, as a fiction writer, when I start to tell people (who know me enough to know my genre faves )about my novels, they’ll often ask, “so, it’s horror, right?” and when I say no, more mainstream, they ask, “so when ARE you going to write a horror novel?” Good question –I don’t know!  I have zero ideas right now! I can write a few graceful short horror stories, I have a few to my name that don’t embarrass me, but a horror novel? No ideas. Zip. I used to think (for a week or so) I might have a horror screenplay in me. Then I admitted to myself no, not really. Finally I clutched at the idea that maybe I could write a segment for a horror anthology film. Or even a short film. Well, if so (and I’m starting to think NOT so), I don’t know if I could come up with anything half as great–and terrifying–as this.

Directed by Drew Daywalt and David Schneider.  It’s well worth your ten minutes.

Screen shot 2012-09-10 at 8.41.01 PM

Chills to Beat Summer Heat, Part 5 – Ok-su Station Ghost (Bong-Cheon-Dong Ghost Prequel)

So, this is the last “Chills to Beat the Summer Heat” installment of the year. Though I have a ton of other scary shit to show and tell you about, Fall  is coming in less than two weeks –SIGH. For everyone out there who wondered if there was another Korean web comic by Studio Horang, the creator of the notoriously frightening Bong-Cheon-Dong Ghost web comic that scares the living shit bejeezus out of everyone, wonder no more!

OK, if there’s anything to be learned from Studio Horang’s horror web comics, it’s that if you see a strangely-moving, out-of-place female figure anywhere near you, SPRINT the fuck away in the opposite direction and don’t stop till you’re home.

If  you were too scared to read the Bong-Cheon-Dong Ghost web comic I posted earlier this summer, maybe you could check this one out. Oh, it’s scary, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just a notch less hit-the-ceiling scary than the Bong-Cheon-Dong Ghost. Of course, for full effect, make sure the volume is on and watch in a dark room …alone.

…things in common with the other comic?. Strangely-moving figures that aren’t supposed to be somewhere… a sense of wrongness that becomes more and more pervasive… and a back-story revealed as an epilogue that will make the comic seem twice as chilling in perspective (do read those epilogues, by that point nothing else is going to swoop out at you, promise).

To the best of my understanding, this (as the site puts it) “special horror episode for the summer season” actually came before the BCD ghost story. That one was a sequel, which makes sense as it’s a complete show-stopper. You create something that scary (at some point I’ll put up one of the many, many “reaction videos” on You Tube, almost all of them documenting grown men screaming like schoolgirls when the big seat-jumper comes) then unless you can top it –doubtful– you just take a bow and step back gracefully.  This one is a different story, but since Studio Horang only created two of these, I think this one qualifies as a prequel. It’s got things in common with the other comic. Strangely-moving figures that aren’t supposed to be somewhere… a sense of wrongness that becomes more and more pervasive… and a back-story revealed as an epilogue that will make the comic seem twice as chilling in perspective (do read those epilogues, by that point nothing else is going to swoop out at you, promise). So…

Click here to read the Ok-Su Station Ghost Korean Web comic (English translation)
Try clicking here to read if you have trouble with the above URL; this link will take you to a deviantART ‘exit page’, then there’ll be a warning you are leaving deviantART (“Out There Be Monsters”-so of course you gotta click THAT option) with an outgoing link to click for the comic.**

While I haven’t been able to find anything else by the artist, and believe me, I’ve been looking, you can check out Studio Horang’s Facebook page here. Unfortunately, it’s in Korean, but if I find an English translation or any other official documentation, I promise to come back and post an update! Also, click here for an article on how South Koreans also beat summer heat with scares.

Until then …don’t talk to strangers, especially in Seoul.

**Note: if you STILL aren’t getting any links to the Ok-su Station Ghost story, drop me a comment below and I’ll try to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. You can also find my email address at the bottom of the “About” page on Horror Boom.

HEY!
09/12/12: ooooooOOOOOO! Red Alert! BREAKING NEWS, updated 09/12/12! I’m 90% sure I discovered (OK, “stumbled blindly into” would be more accurate) a recent, ALL-NEW horror web comic by, you guessed it, Studio Horang! I’m looking thoroughly into it to find an English version, but if I can’t find one in the next week, I’ll post the Korean version, with links to help you translate. If it’s anything like the others, you’ll be too busy trying not to soil yourself to go to look up the text on a Korean–> English dictionary site. So check back! Ole Mrs. Horror Boom here will keep you covered on this development. Promise!
Keep your fingers crossed…