Scariest Short Horror Film of The Month – We Dare You To Watch “Lights Out” (2013) In The Dark!

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Just squeaking by to make Scariest Horror Short for the month of May 2014, “Lights Out” is short, but not too sweet.  (Thanks to Halloween Girl’s kick-ass blog post that listed five scariest horror shorts and caused us to discover it–she pretty much nailed it!) The short is less than three minutes and has no gore… then again, neither does the Mama short film, which still packs a wallop every time I re-watch.

OK, so yeah, we dare you to wait until after sunset, turn off all the lights in the house  crank up the volume and/or wear headphones, and watch this terrifying short   (I needed a good scare –the controlled kind from horror movies, not from real life– scary enough week around here already*, and did all but watch it full screen). Guess what? I sure as hell got THAT scare. Halloween Girl said she watched it on an iPhone and held it as far away from her face as she could, and still thought it was scary as hell.

Now that you’ve seen it, we DOUBLE-dare you to sleep with the lights off! This gem won a contest:

Winner of ‘Best Short’ at FANT Bilbao 2014: http://fantbilbao.net/Fant2014/
Winner of ‘Best Director’ in the ‘Who’s There Film Challenge’ http://www.bchorrorchallenge.com

We watched quite a few from the challenge that are posted on YouTube, and they had some heavy competition. Both the wins are well-deserved.

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*One of several scary things this week we did NOT ask for: having one of the guys who are putting a new roof on our house accidentally put his foot through right outside your front door. One of us had to stay home in case the power went out or went wrong, and it sounded like every MUTO in Godzilla was jumping up and down on the roof trying to destroy it. ALL DAY. Pictures fell off the walls, things rolled off the kitchen counter, we knew it’d be loud but didn’t sign up for a goddamned earthquake.

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Read The First 6 Pages Of New ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ Comic Book On EW.com – Free!

DEFINITELY worth your time! Click “View original” in the lower left and there you have it, the first six KICK-ASS pages from the new comic! (Good luck trying to read it on your phone, though; we needed to wear our reading glasses   enlarge the screen on the laptop browser to make the text out. Whatever you need to do, it’s worth it for the fun!

See Blood-Curdling New HD Trailer For Asmodexia (2014)- Horrifying Spanish Exorcism Film

We ran across this recent trailer today, only seeing the YouTube freeze-frame and the word ASMODEXIA. There’s something kind of magical about having just that extremely limited amount of information about a horror trailer (especially for a foreign film) while experiencing it for the first time. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look here first (it’s well worth your time):

OK! Want to know more about the movie? We sure did. We didn’t even have a clue what  the title Asmodexia meant. Some kind of medical condition? Disease? What?

They were locked up for days. They ended up eating rats.

 

Well, the movie is the feature-length début of director Marc Carreté.  The word “asmodexia” was made up by the director, who says in an interview with Fangoria that he “likes mixing up words to get diseases,*  and other than that was mysterious about the specific meaning. You can read the in-depth interview with Mr. Carrete here, conducted during a set visit by writer on Fangoria.com, and it’s got plenty of information (plus some creepy and grisly stills).

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Here is the basic plot info, which makes us want to see it even more…

Synopsis:
Eloy de Palma is an exorcist pastor roaming the darkest corners of the country with his granddaughter, Alba. Their mission is to help those possessed by The Evil One, an infection of the soul that is spreading fast, especially among the most vulnerable members of society: children, mental patients, and drug addicts. There is also a mysterious cult following them, making it more difficult to help those in need. Each exorcism is tougher than the one before, and every battle with Evil reveals a piece of young Alba’s forgotten past – an enigma that if unconcealed could change the world as we know it.

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We wish we had more to tell you about a release date, but the latest news is that in early May of this year, it was acquired by Raven Banner for international sale. We have yet to read a negative review. Now, let’s hope they sell Asmodexia very fucking fast, because we want to see this very fucking badly! We’ll keep you posted. We’re also going to be optimistic and put it on our list of ten most anticipated horror films for the second half of 2014, because waiting till 2015 to experience the movie seems impossible.

 

Calm down, Susana. There’s nobody else here…

 

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*Well, not to actually GET or acquire the diseases himself, he means ‘come up with’.  It sounds weird out of context; read the interview, it’ll make more sense.

Horror Boom’s Ten Most Anticipated Fright Flicks For Summer/Fall of 2014! (Part One of Two)

Note: Mrs. Horror Boom apologizes for the delay in this article to post.  For the explanation, which I’m pretty confident be more interesting than you’d think (otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered to explain and just given you a boilerplate apology) scroll down to see the footer at the end of this piece. Now, let’s do this!

 

So! Memorial Day is over and June is just around the corner. I guess technically I shouldn’t call our list for ‘the second half of 2014’, since that’s not till the end of June. Not all of our picks are for Summer/Fall 2014, there’s a couple in the winter, but I could probably stretch “Fall” until Thanksgiving. These ten should all be released by then.

Therefore, here are our ten most anticipated horror movies for the rest of 2014 (more or less), which we present in two parts (we did not list them in order of importance or top most anticipated, just made a list, mixed it up, and let it go). Here’s Part One: (#1-5) of our list of horror’s most anticipated, the ones most people cannot WAIT to open in the theater.  #6-10 should follow shortly, and we’ll probably make a list of runners-up, too. Ready?

1.  Deliver Us From Evil

First, may we present you with the recently-released Trailer 2 for Deliver Us From Evil? Oh, and it’s perfectly peaceful, so put on those headphones and crank the volume!

That wasn’t so scary, was it? That’s OK, I hadn’t planned on sleeping tonight either! We’re guessing that this one is going to creepy– and probably terrifying– as hell.  It’s the follow-up from director/co-writer Scott Derrickson, whose previous movie was the very effective Sinister. Sounds like the soundtrack is similar to that of Sinister, no surging violins (which I don’t have a problem with personally; many critics really dislike them) but sounds that create an ambient sense of dread.

Official plot description from Sony:

In DELIVER US FROM EVIL, New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city. Based upon the book, which details Sarchie’s bone-chilling real-life cases.

Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

We keep hearing rumors that DUFE is rated PG-13, but so far, cannot locate a definitive answer to this. Well, the trailer doesn’t seem to be for a PG-13 horror movie …but that’s not always the kiss of death. There’s PLENTY of great PG-13 horror flicks out there. The Woman in Black, The Ring (remake), Drag Me to Hell, and I lost track of how many times I screamed during Mama and Insidious. I distinctly recall my throat feeling a little scratchy (and my voice wasn’t on its A-game either) driving home after seeing Mama, into the next morning. Not to mention ,director James Wan planned for The Conjuring to be PG-13. When he went for his meeting after it was screened by the uptight shitbirds MPAA, he was prepared to take notes; they told him that there was no one thing or moment that could be edited and trimmed down, it was the intensity and terrifying tone of the entire movie. Still a PG-13 hater?

Deliver Us From Evil opens on July 2, 2014, not soon enough! Did you see that awesome creep and possibly haunted zoo in the trailer? How cool is that? We’re looking into picking that book up, too.

No official site as of yet, but the official Facebook page can be found here, with lots of media (and buzz building up in the horror community). This will definitely be a movie we’ll be writing about more before it opens!

See, there's nothing hiding under your bed, so --AAAAH!

See, there’s nothing hiding under your bed, so –AAAAH!

 

#2- Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno

Sorry, we can’t help ourselves on this one. Over the last several years I’ve come to be more impressed with Eli Roth. I really used to think he was some poser kid who hadn’t paid his dues, but he knows his stuff and he’s a horror fan. Some of the best genre flicks are made for horror fans, by horror fans. Plus, he writes great pay-offs… and loves gore.

Looks like he knows and is true to his source material on this one (Cannibal Holocaust, Make Them Die Slowly). Also, we don’t have to worry about a live animal being suddenly butchered; sometimes even tortured or abused before the kill onscreen. (don’t get me started on that subject). This time, it’s just buckets of human gore… provided by Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger!

Official plot description:

A group of college activists travel deep into the Peruvian jungle to try and save a lost tribe’s habitat. When their plane crashes, the students find themselves at the mercy of the tribe, who- unbeknownst to them- are a pack of murderous cannibals.

Boy, Roth sure knows how to kill people. I mean, we knew that but it’s been four movies now and he’s coming up with innovative ways. Of course, he has a few new toys compared to the Hostel movies and Cabin Fever. I don’t want to spoil any of the good stuff but there are many new implements of death specific to the jungle. I wonder if I’ve seen a pre-MPAA version at the Toronto International Film Festival because there are a few kills that may not pass the American ratings board, even for an R.

-From the Crave Online review by Read the entire review here (he quite enjoyed the film).

Release Date: September 5th, 2014 and we can’t wait!

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#3: Dead Snow 2 – Red VS. Dead

Come on, we don’t need to sell you on this one! Here’s the Red Band trailer…

No firm release date yet (making the film festival circuit now) but we have been promised by the end of 2014.

#4 As Above, So Below

Here’s a found-footage horror movie that shows promise and could be genuinely frightening. We first got interested when we saw the below trailer:

Like the Paris Catacombs aren’t goddamned creepy enough! Here’s the plot description:

Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, France, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of American and British explorers venture into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead. All members experience seeing past memories in these terrifying catacombs as their past comes back to haunt them as paranormal vision. With the terrors grasping their reality they journey through their acceptance of their past to overcome the fears of the catacombs.

Let’s just hope all the cool stuff isn’t in the trailer (and yes, fellow Mad Men fans, that’s the actor who plays Michael Ginsberg). Directed by John Erick Dowdle and co-written by Drew Dowdle (AKA The Dowdle Brothers).

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Release Date: August 15, 2014

#5 The ABCs of Death 2

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Fuck yeah!

Last year, the “26th Director Contest” (sponsored again by the Alamo Drafthouse) was brought back for the sequel, this time for the letter M (“M is for Masticate” won; more on that later). Release date-wise, all we can dig up is that the sequel will be released by the end of 2014, a promise I hope they intend to keep. [August 2014 UPDATE: Click here for release dates and more-good news] !Here’s another one that I highly doubt we need to sell you on. Alas, we have no trailer yet (we’re watching for it on a near-daily basis), but we do have some recently released stills to get you interested. Thought you were hyped-up for the movie before? We don’t know the stories (or the letters) behind them, though somehow that makes them more fascinating.

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Source: Dread Central. We do not own the rights to this (awesome) image.

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The next piece on this seriously anticipated anthology sequel will include the names of the directors… and more goodies.

Stay tuned for Part Two of Horror Boom’s Ten Most Anticipated Fright Flicks For Summer/Fall of 2014!

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Here’s that footer about why this article was delayed longer than originally intended. More on at least two of the films will be mentioned in pieces to come.

So, Monday night I start in on this piece. I decide to chop in into two parts because I realize that while I’ve been writing away and piecing media together, the sun is out. Oops! I figure I’ll finish my write-up on As Above, So Below after I roll out of bed Tuesday afternoon (some people need 8 hours of sleep to be fully functional, I need ten.  You think I’m lazy, wait’ll you hit your late 30s, then imagine that, like me, you don’t drink coffee).  After dinner, I set back and start in again. As I begin to write about As Above, So Below I decide to see if this is the director’s first feature, look into some background, etc.  What’s he done before? IMDB it… OK, Quarantine (the lame Hollywood remake of [REC], though to their credit, they stayed true to most of the film and could have fucked it up much worse). Oh hey, he directed Devil! I actually loved that one. Saw it for free on premium cable and was surprisingly enthralled, even ended up buying a used copy and re-watching. Oh hey, what’s this, The Poughkeepsie Tapes? I’d heard about that one for years, recall reading some reviews and the trailer- it sort of falls into found-footage, but is closer to “mockumentary” style. I poke around the usual haunts to see it, Netflix, Amazon, etc., then read IMDB trivia that says, quote:

As of 2014, despite the film having been completed and its theatrical trailer attached to several widely released horror films in 2007, the film has never received an official theatrical, DVD or Blu-Ray release.
Wait, what? I figure the above information can’t be due to how shitty the film is; the grade is too high and I’ve seen movies way, way worse on VOD (many with 1-2 star averages, but there they are, shameless). I also know about the production delay nightmares a finished project can run into*. Why not find out for myself?  I found the movie pretty fast on You Tube, and decided to watch it since “mockumentary” found-footage features seem to have less clichés. Another good sign was that there were dozens of cast members/characters listed (see our recent “Found-Footage Horror Movie Drinking Game” here), plus it might end up influencing our decision to watch or even recommend As Above, So Below… and it was free. I’d read some good and bad reviews; almost all of the good ones were warnings that this movie will stay in your head after viewing whether you wanted it to or not.
Well, guess what.
Hours after viewing, it is still stuck in my head. I read more about it online, noticing this time that while many intelligent reviewers were impressed by the effectiveness of the film, they honestly could not think of anyone to recommend it to, including friends of theirs who had voluntarily watched Martyrs.  It took me another couple of hours to calm down enough to finish this piece. I regret the decision to watch it alone in the dark, even on my laptop (though I get the feeling it would have also turned my nervous system into a shitstorm during daylight). The last movie that caused my appetite to screech to a halt for at least twelve hours was Megan is Missing, (another ‘mockumentary’ which was also much too realistic and that I was caught completely emotionally unprepared for) which I saw in 2012.
Aaaand that’s why this piece is posted over a day later than I wanted it to be.  Let me know if you want to hear more about The Poughkeepsie Tapes (even if it’s so you don’t have to watch it to find out why it’s so disturbing). There’s plenty more to come on the ABCs of Death 2! I couldn’t have fit it all in here even I wasn’t short on time.

Read EW.com’s ‘Hannibal’ Finale Recap – Plus Our Banquet of Hannibal Links For You To Savor!

“The next moment is Mads Mikkelsen being flawless. Without a word and barely a change of expression, we see Hannibal’s sadness as he realizes that Will is not what he thought, and that now he has to die.

Bryan Fuller succeeds in making you feel bad for Hannibal Lecter for deciding someone has to die. That’s talent.”

-From the spot-on review/recap for Hannibal’s season two finale, “Mizumono”  by @geekgirldiva

What she said.

I would seriously have trouble recapping this episode, mainly because of getting so worked up and emotional over the events unfolding – this show gets more jaw-dropping with every episode (and I had barely picked my jaw up off the floor after the Mason Verger self-mutilation and auto-cannibalism scene from the penultimate episode). They’ve now ended two seasons in a row with a complete game-changer, something most successful shows usually don’t try until the end of season three or four. Read on, unless you haven’t seen the Hannibal S2 finale, because MAJOR SPOILERS.

 

“I let you know me. See me. I gave you a rare gift. But you didn’t want it.”
Read more at http://www.tvovermind.com/hannibal/hannibal-2-13-review-mizumono-234445#Tzwuh59cgizi1i0O.99

I let you know me. See me. I gave you a rare gift. But you didn’t want it…



I was describing the series to a friend Sunday evening. She was upset because there were no good shows on network television anymore, so I was trying to be helpful by giving her suggestions and get her interested. She was, until I made the mistake of describing a couple of scenes that I could not BELIEVE got through NBC Standards & Practices (there’s a great interview about that here on the Onion’s A.V. Club, and pretty informative), at which point she was horrified and… yeah, she’s not going to be watching the show.

one of the LESS gory shots from Hannibal's "Tome Wan" episode.

one of the LESS gory shots from Hannibal’s “Tome Wan” episode.

Here’s another great A.V. Club piece by the nearly always-amazing Todd VanDerWerff, this time a post-mortem  (that terms has never seemed more appropriate, suddenly) interview about the finale with Bryan Fuller. Turns out Fuller had written it knowing there was a tiny chance it could be the SERIES finale, in which case Jesus H. Christ, that would have been one of the bleakest series finales ever (along with the Buffy S5 finale if UPN hadn’t picked things up for two more seasons, among others).*

Enjoy the recap, and here’s one last Hannibal finale link (yet again, the A.V. Club): an excellent review written by By Molly Eichel. Should you have the time, there are a shitload of comments (1600+ as of this writing) by impressed die-hard Hannibal fans that are almost as well-written and as entertaining to read; do yourself a favor and sort the comment forum by “Best First”. The reviewer also included her usual “Recipe of the Week”, which in this case was Julia Child’s rack of lamb.

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* Such as Sleeper Cell (2005-2006). They were evidently pretty sure at the time the S2 finale was conceived that the show would be renewed. It wasn’t.  I was pissed off for days when I listened to the commentary, where the show-runner had a very whimsical, happy go-lucky attitude about just about the bleakest ending possible for the series and said something along the lines of ‘and what the heck, who knows, if this is the end, well, it’s a good bummer to go out on’. A bummer AND a cliffhanger- Grrrrr. If you saw the show, you know what I mean.

New Trailer For [REC]4 APOCALYPSE Finally Has Actual Footage From The Movie!

Bad news or good news first? How about getting that bad news out of the way…

So far, I can find no evidence of the equally amazing and nightmarish actor Javier Botet (as the Medieros Girl, AKA Nina Medieros, AKA the “Attic Monster”.  Yes,  we know that the monster was, um, how should I put this to avoid spoilers, sort of “written out” at the end of [REC]2. Interesting trivia: Botet originally (and reluctantly) told the film-makers he would have to take a pass and not participate in [REC] 2 due to health issues in connection with the location of the shoot, but the film-makers basically worked around that, and even moved the shooting location to one more comfortable for him …because let’s face it, no-one can replace Javier Botet in this role.  Anyway, though, he had a cameo in [REC]3, where it was revealed that anyone who is possessed by the virus appears as the Medieros girl in any reflective surface. This was with the lights on and it still made my hair stand on end.  I’d even settle for a cameo like that. However, this final installment in the series is still in production, so it still could happen (or they could be saving it for a reveal).

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Ya THINK?

Good news: it looks like R4A will be released before the end of the year!  Also, it will consist of a standard filming style rather than “found footage”. Not that [REC] doesn’t do found footage perfectly*, but it was interesting to see an ordinary narrative used it most of [REC]3 (and it worked, though it was hard to get used to initially). Here’s the trailer, and from what you’ll see, this film has very little danger of being boring… or bloodless.

Description:

The young reporter Ángela is rescued from the building and taken to an oil tanker to be examined. However, it is unbeknown to the soldiers that she carries the seed of the mysterious demonic virus.

Release Date: 2014
Director: Jaume Balagueró
Cast: Manuela Velasco, Héctor Colomé, María Alfonsa Rosso
Genre: Horror, Drama
Country: Spain

Oh, and if you’re a fan of the series, or see found-footage horror on a regular basis, don’t miss Horror Boom’s new Found-Footage Drinking Game right here! {REC} gets brought up quite a few times as found-footage done right.

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*to this day {REC} remains on our Top Ten Scariest Movies of All Time list, and that ain’t no easy task.

Horror Boom Presents The Found-Footage Horror Movie Drinking Game!

Or, list of clichés – take your pick!

 

In fact, depending on what movie you watch, you might want to forgo the alcohol (unless it’s something under 10 proof) and just make out some bingo cards. Now that I think of it, we’d do it if I had the energy technology* to construct an actual PDF of, say, 4 different bingo boards that had some of the clichés on them scrambled up, so all you would have to do is print it out and use easily obtained household items to assemble the game of “Found-Footage Bingo”.  I suggest if the movie in question has a 2-star or less Netflix or Amazon review average, or less than a 5 out of 10 star rating on the IMDB, don’t use hard liquor, and really pace yourself.

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Pick a category below; we’ve included three very common set-ups for found-footage horror movies, a “General” category that should work for just about any found footage movie, and a fifth group of things that have happened in good and bad found-footage horror.   Remember to drink responsibly,  and if you’re a minor, don’t drink anything with alcohol in it! I’m pretty sure that disclaimer is required! How’s milk sound? Try a glass of milk, we shouldn’t condone underage drinking.

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1. General Plot: Involves some type of demonic possession that was intentionally or unintentionally documented (and seems to have been pieced together). Look for the word “Devil” or “Possession” in the title. Many found-footage horror movies involving possession are notorious for vague, inconclusive endings that actively piss the majority of the viewers off.

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Interview with priest or other theological expert (or more than one) shown
  • If a married couple are the main characters shown in the footage, and the possessed one ends up killing their spouse
  • If a child is possessed, and they kill one or both of their parents/caretakers
  • Grainy footage of a documented possession and/or exorcism that was filmed by the Catholic church or other organized religion is shown
  • Someone films the possessed character defying gravity by climbing up a wall, scuttering across the ceiling, or crouched in the upper corner of the room like a damn spider
  • Possessed character bends over backwards waaaay farther that is normal and/or “spider-walks”. Take an extra drink if you know that the actress or stunt person is double-jointed or a contortionist and actually did this, rather than employ a CGI effect (IMDB trivia or a detailed Wikipedia entry will usually include this information).
  • Possessed character snarls/shrieks, and leaps across the room right at the camera while being filmed
  • Camera-person stupidly approaches a previously possessed character who has their back to the camera and isn’t answering them; character turns around to the camera and their eyes are completely white (or completely black)
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2. General Plot: Some type of paranormal investigators visit a certain location where they’ve heard strange events are happening. If the title is “The [fill in the blank] Experiment”, there’s a good chance the plot will be similar.

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Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • A door opens or closes by itself
  • Inanimate object moves or levitates by unseen supernatural force
  • Inanimate object suddenly tossed/flies at a character or smashes against a wall by something we can’t see
  • A character wants to bail out of the project because they have a feeling staying and filming could get them hurt or killed
  • Someone else yells at a character who wants to bail out, because “We signed on to document this, man!”, or “Nothing like this has ever been documented before!”
  • Character lifted off their feet by some unseen supernatural force (usually by their neck), then dropped to the floor, unconscious
  • Character suddenly flies across the room, away from the camera, tossed by some unseen supernatural force
  • Character is dragged along the floor out of camera range (trying to grab things to keep from being pulled, while yelling/screaming for help) by some unseen force
  • Dead or unconscious character is dragged across the floor and out of camera range (this will usually happen when the camera has been knocked to the floor but keeps running, or captured by automatic surveillance camera) by some unseen force
  • Treat yourself to an extra drink if the previous rule is the last shot of the movie. You didn’t deserve that. No-one does.

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    Bitch, PLEASE.

 

3. General Plot:  Students collecting footage to document some project get more than they bargained for (they’ve usually travelled to do this). Potential titles that follow this plot will commonly either be the name of the place they are travelling to, or the name of the place they are travelling to, followed by the word “Project” or “Diaries”.

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Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • A character that was key to the safety of the cast gets killed or injured, and they’re on their own
  • Person in charge of the project turns out to be a selfish asshole who doesn’t care if someone gets mangled or killed because “the project is more important”
  • Character snaps and starts screaming at the character in charge of the project for putting them in the situation
  • During interviews shown as part of the ‘found footage’ during the start of the movie –usually the characters/camera crew ‘talk to some of the locals’– said locals warn them away, tell them a creepy anecdote, are un-cooperative and hostile, or clearly insane. None of this registers with any of the enthusiastic main characters on the project as serious red flags.
  • A card at the end of the movie tells us viewers that to this day, whereabouts of the film crew are unknown… the found footage is all that remains.
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General: These should work for any basic found-footage movie.

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Someone continues to film even though any sane person with working legs would say, “fuck this,” and drop the camera to run to safety/call 911
  • Person filming freaks out and runs while still holding the camera, treating us to an exciting montage of blurry, jerky movements where we can’t see shit (treat yourself to an extra drink if this continues for over a minute)
  • A soundtrack –or music stinger during “jump scene”– is added, even though this is supposed to be raw, unedited footage (at which point you are completely justified in turning off the movie and watching something else)
  • Such a cheap, shitty, obvious, lazy CGI effect is used that the entire movie screeches to a halt (you are also completely justified in watching something else in this case, especially if the effect was supposed to be the movie’s best part or “money shot”**).
  • Camera’s “night vision” is used during climactic scene (not necessarily a bad thing, it sure as hell worked in [REC] and Grave Encounters, for example)
  • Picture conveniently gets very bad or turns to static when we are about to see something that would have been expensive or required some creativity on the part of the film-makers to include
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  • Camera used as a weapon while filming
  • 911 call transcript
  • Cheap “false alarm” jump scare
  • Something so genuinely frightening and/or awesome happens that you’re pretty sure you’re going to have trouble sleeping: toast and take a celebratory drink (if you didn’t spill it, and after you calm down)
  • You literally cannot tell, or see, what the fuck is going on (other than hearing the characters freaking out) Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 6.40.52 AM

 

5.  General Things That Can Actually Work In A Found-Footage Movie

Why end this on a negative note?   I think I’ve seen more found footage movies in the last two years than I have all put together since both of us went to a midnight showing of the Blair Witch Project. Interesting trivia: while we walked to our car in the parking lot, Mr. Horror Boom actually said, “That was scary,” and meant it. If this has happened more than twice during our marriage–hell, entire relationship–I don’t remember it. Now, I’m not saying the ones I watched were all good. I’d say only about 25% of them kept my interest from straying to my iPad, most were mediocre, and I’ve seen some pretty terrible ones (not on purpose, though).
But ... over the years, I’ve discovered that one out of ten found footage movies turns out to be memorable enough for me to watch more than once and give a pretty high IMDB rating. And out of that 10%, one or two will be fucking gold, special enough to make wading through all the lazy ones– the ones that gave me approximately two minutes total (or less) of adequate entertainment– completely worth it. When found footage horror works–off the top of my head, Grave Encounters, [REC],  [REC2], and several of the short from both V/H/S movies–it works. It scares the shit out of the watcher, sometimes enough to forget it’s being presented as found footage, only knowing we are watching a rare horror movie gem. So here’s that last list. These are tropes that I’ve seen in some of the best out there… though they’ve popped up in the shitty movies too, they can actually work effectively.

OK, what is the absolute LAST thing you want to see when you switch on your night-vision setting? (from [REC])

OK, what is the absolute LAST thing you want to see when you switch on your night-vision setting? (from [REC])

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Whoever is filming uses something other than a camera( to lug around) or cell phone to record, such as glasses with a recording device, one of those button-cams, or a Go Pro strapped to a bike helmet
  • A character is alone with the camera and films themself to make a ‘confessional’ because there’s a good chance they won’t get out of this alive. They usually fall into two categories: A. the person barely keeping it together (sometimes weeping openly) and asking whoever finds this to tell their family they love them very much, oh God, they are so sorry and don’t want to die, etc. and B. the character saying, “I’m recording right now because I might not make it out of this. Whoever finds it, do everything you can to make sure this footage gets out… because the world needs to know.”
  • The camera operator starts swearing under their breath, “Holy fuck, you see that shit?” or panicking and yelling variations of “fuck” when all hell breaks loose, usually during the climax. Fairly believable reaction, as the below image from Grave Encounters is an example of:ohfucktonguegraveencounters.jpg
  • A character off-camera can be heard crying and heading towards a meltdown
  • Someone asks, “What… the fuck.. .just happened?”
  • We can see something horrible creeping into the background that the person facing the camera can’t see
  • Someone loses their shit and angrily curses at the camera, or person filming:
  • graveencountersfuckallyall1.jpg
  • Blood or gore splatters onto the camera lens
  • Someone turns to the camera and tells them to “record everything”, no matter what
  • Effective seat-jumping scare that you in no way saw coming (clean up your spilled drink first, then have two sips)

 

...and this is how it's done. (from [REC])

…and this is how it’s done. (from [REC])

*actually, one of the two writers/staff that Horror Boom is comprised of has the skills and even access to technology needed to do that, but not the time. Last year, a total genius out there (I can find the link if you ask me) made a carefully and cleverly-crafted version of Monopoly called Breaking Bad-opoly (or maybe it was Heisenberg-opoly) that was composed of a detailed board, “Chance” cards, everything, all for free, though you needed access to a large-format printer and some decent backing-board to complete it. We really, really want to construct this and the other half of Horror Boom has the skills and tools, but we haven’t had time and that’s on the list first.

**No, this term is not confined to use within the porn industry.

Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 7.51.40 AM

Fun Fact: During the filming of [REC] (2007), the director didn’t tell the actors in many cases where a jump scare or something unexpected was going to happen. In one scene (a firefighter is approaching a stairwell and BAM! a woman crashes out a door, comes rushing around the corner towards him at top speed, face all fucked up and screaming/roaring at the top of her lungs) the poor actor fractured his ankle sprinting down three flights of stairs… no acting needed! We really feel for actors (already underpaid due to a low budget) that directors of found-footage movies spring this on …though it is really entertaining to watch.

‘The Walking Dead’: Norman Reedus says season 5 will be ‘completely insane’

Well, nice to know that Robert Kirkman is almost as irritatingly vague to the cast members about upcoming plot developments as he is to the press! Click here to read what Kirkman has told EW.com about S5 most recently.

‘The Walking Dead’: Robert Kirkman says season 5 will ‘hit the ground running’

We’re going to assume he means magical as in awesome, and not magical as in Doug Henning returning as a rainbow jumpsuit wearing zombie…although that would be pretty awesome in its own right. Kirkman also talked about how this season has already been a bit different by the fact that the show will be picking up again after its first ever season finale cliffhanger. “There’s been a lot more secrecy on set,” says Kirkman. “Just because any images that get out of any kind of things that are seen do in a sense spoil that cliffhanger, so we’re trying to keep things a little more tight this time around. There’s always people crowding around where we’re filming and trying to get spy spots of what we’re doing and stuff, but for the most part we’ve been able to avoid that. This is the first time we’ve really finished a season and gone back to the same place for the next season, so that’s kind of cool.”

-From the EW.com interview by Dalton Ross

Hey, I’d watch a Doug Henning as a zombie episode. We get a liiiiitle more information than usual from the notoriously vague Kirkman, which isn’t saying much. However, it’s nice to know that the episode will start right where it left off. Hopefully by the end of the S5 premiere of TWD, those cannibals WILL feel pretty stupid when they find out who they’re fucking with!

In other (EW.com) Walking Dead S5 news, Norman Reedus says S5 will be “completely insane”. Read more on that by clicking here.

Review: Godzilla restores balance

Ryan over at Rhino’s Horror has a great review of Godzilla – highly recommended reading!

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The King of Monsters makes his long awaited return under the direction of Gareth Edwards, who breathes epic new life into a roaring Godzilla like we’ve never seen before. It raised a few eyebrows when Edwards took the helm behind one of cinema’s most iconic monsters because quite frankly, no one had ever heard of him. With just one film under his belt, Edwards had a lot to prove when his vision of Godzilla came stomping into our lives once again.

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