Variety.com Wasn’t Thrilled By ‘The Possession of Michael King’ – Read Their Review (Along With Some Better Ones)

I’d like to say that Justin Chang just hates found-footage horror (though this has a tiny bit of “mockumentary” style added) but he knew enough to name Afflicted as an example of a “far more effective” found-footage thriller. Unfortunately, he also points out that the special-effects work (which I’ve heard is mostly practical) is ‘impressively nauseating’ and earlier in the review mentions ‘grisly supernatural shocks’. Goddamnit, now we’re going to have to see it eventually. It doesn’t hurt that Dread Central (among others) had good things to say about it, either.

Check out the trailer below, and read the rest of Mr. Chang’s review on Variety.com by clicking “View original” in the lower left.


Oh, and a note on the premise of the movie (we’ve only seen the trailer, but read quite a few reviews, enough to state the following): the lead character starts to mess with the supernatural due to the death of his wife, which has destroyed him. He wants badly to find any evidence that the supernatural exists, because if he can, that means there is an afterlife and he’ll get to see his wife again eventually, which obviously will help soften the blow of her death. If you know the motivation of Sigourney Weaver’s character in Red Lights, it’s similar; in that movie she plays an agnostic who has spent a good part of her life and career debunking anything remotely supernatural, especially scams …because deep down, she finally admits, if she can find even a grain of proof that there’s an afterlife, she can take her son off life-support. I highly doubt this movie is anywhere near as intellectual, but there it is. Also, Michael King doesn’t immediately start trying to actively invoke demons to possess him minutes after she dies; from what we have read in reviews, he works up to it. Not the entire movie, since this IS an 80-minute long found-footage flick, but still. If it turns out I totally misread the reviews and he just goes batshit the minute she dies and starts carving pentagrams into his chest immediately, we’ll amend this post.

If you’re interested in reading Dread Central’s more positive review of The Possession of Michael King (that title really doesn’t do the movie any favors), just click here to check it out; plus they have other coverage, including an interview with director David Jung. Also, Icons of Fright loved it, here’s a link to their review by Natty.

Photo coutest of Dread Central. Horror Boom does not own this image.

Photo courtesy of Dread Central. Horror Boom does not own this image.

“The Possession of Michael King” opens in selected theaters today, and will be available on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD on Tuesday, August 26th

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Two Creepy New Clips From “As Above, So Below” Now Live – Along With Some B-Roll Footage!

Yeah, this movie has the potential to be very creepy. Maybe even scary as hell. Now if we can just stop thinking of the male lead as “Ginsberg from Mad Men, Who Recently Had a Psychotic Break”, that’d be less distracting.

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In the first clip, the characters, who are beginning to freak out, look for a way out after hitting a dead end. Notice that this clip has the title of the movie in it!

In the second clip, the characters find an old piano in the catacombs (because that’s a totally normal thing to find in an underground mass burial site), but Ginsberg the male lead, notices something a little too familiar about it–just watch his face change…

Now, about the B-roll footage: there’s only one up (for now) and it isn’t what you’d call action-packed, but if you’ve been jones-ing for months to see the movie like we have, you might find it interesting.

and finally, if you want to watch the trailer again (which promises more than the usual found-footage shenanigans… we hope), check it out.

Here’s the plot description from Universal Pictures. Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.

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A journey into madness and terror, As Above, So Below reaches deep into the human psyche to reveal the personal demons that come back to haunt us all. Written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil) and directed by John Erick Dowdle, the psychological thriller is produced by Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Drew Dowdle and Patrick Aiello. Alex Hedlund serves as the executive producer. It is scheduled for release on August 29, 2014.

Check the footer section for an actual countdown till the movie is released in theaters!

 

 

 

See (And Hear) Found-Footage Terror “The Hunt” (2010) – Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week!

We were actually searching for something else when we stumbled upon this little gem from AGoodSizeProductions. When we tell you it’s a must-see and must-hear, it’s because a few minutes in, an unseen monster makes one of the scariest goddamned sounds I’ve ever heard. Just wait till it shows up…

We’ve been combing the web for good shorts to put up for you guys. To be honest, there’s a lot of found-footage ones that, quality-wise, run from the borderline-unwatchable to the mediocre. “The Hunt”, about a group of men* who round up to hunt and kill, well, something big and hungry in the woods of Kentucky that has eaten and/or eviscerated several people (including at least one kid), is one of the good ones. Hint: they find what they were hunting for. So turn that volume up and experience it below!

Those good ole boys should have brought more bullets… maybe some hand grenades. Maybe a bomb, now that we think of it. Well, they did manage to track it down, we’ll give them that.  If I was in the hunting party (or the ‘camera crew’)? After I heard that sound I’d say, “Okay, I’m out! I changed my mind! That’s enough for me, I’m done,  just bring in someone else!” and get the fuck away from there pretty goddamned fast. If I didn’t have a ride, I’d just sprint until I was miles away.

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Yeah, that’s not gonna protect your ass.

 

*and of course, they get someone with a video camera (who starts out all excited but deeply regrets this choice by the ending) to go with them. Hey, we’ve seen more contrived set-ups for found-footage.

 

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“The Bell Witch Haunting” (2013) Is The Worst Found-Footage Horror Film We’ve Ever Seen (Review)

…and trust us, that’s saying something. We try to keep things positive on Horror Boom, and only have, say, 1 in 100 posts that tell you how crappy a movie was. There’s enough negativity on the internet already, why add to it? In this case, however, there is nothing positive to say about The Bell Witch Haunting (2013) and we also wanted to warn any horror fans away… FAR away!

This movie was so shitty, sloppy, and mind-numbingly bad that I’m having trouble writing a traditionally-structured review for it, but I’ll do my best (I’m the only one on our tiny staff that will see found-footage movies, after an unfortunate misunderstanding that involved us accidentally seeing Apollo …whatever number it was, not worth looking up) in the theater. Fortunately, we see this for free on Amazon Prime, but we have now learned our lesson with the free Prime horror movies: 9 out of 10 are terrible and free for a reason. Also, if the movie gets less than a 2 1/2 star out of 5 average rating on Amazon, don’t decide, “well what the hell, The Bay didn’t get good reviews either, I’ll give it a chance.” Listen to the (intelligent) reviews. The same goes for movies that baaaarely get an average of 3/10 stars on IMDB.

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Here is what I wrote immediately after the movie on the IMDB as a review to warn people away. I haven’t written one specifically for IMDB in a while, either, but I felt it was my duty to my fellow horror fans so they didn’t waste their time.

I don’t know why I started watching this; I know if I’d seen the 3/10 rating here, I wouldn’t have bothered. The fact that EVERY cast member except one was “uncredited” would have tipped me off too, but nooooo, I had to blow off the usual IMDb check. It’s my fault because it come up on Netflix streaming as “recommended” (thanks for assuming I have sh*i taste, Netflix) and even though I vaguely recalled the title as one I was warned against by several reviewers whose opinions I trust, but I had a little time to kill and figured what the hell.

The opening minutes featured some gore (more than usual in a found footage movie with a “haunted house” theme) so maybe that got my attention. A big red flag came up with the voice-over acting by the cop who was supposed to have discovered the bodies was TERRIBLE.

Less than five minutes after that scene, the only thing keeping me watching it was my deep hatred for a certain character, (who naturally, survived the movie as a last “f-you” from the movie to me). I wanted to see her get kicked down a flight of stairs or pushed off a cliff or die brutally. This is not a good sign when it’s the only thing keeping you from turning off the movie. The character was (I think, because I swear they were barely trying) supposed to be likable, too.

Every found-footage horror cliché in the book is used. Transcription of 911 calls (even when someone on-screen is clearly seen making them and you can hear everything fine, in a couple of cases)? Check. Shaky-cam over-use? Check. There are what seemed like several 10-minute segments of someone holding the camera while they run around freaking out and all you can make out is occasionally the ground or trees. Mysterious forces throwing someone across the room? Check. Night-vision footage of people sleeping while some object moves around by itself? Check. Stupid fake jump-scares where one character sneaks up on another and makes a “scary” noise as a prank? Check.

People keep filming after any sane person would have stopped, under the circumstances; in fact, I wasn’t even sure who was filming what, supposedly, by the end. Yes, the movie actually gets worse as it goes along. It includes some of the worst make-up “effects” for a possessed character I have ever seen. Some acting so atrocious that it is (mildly) funny instead of scary… but do NOT see this movie because you think it might be entertaining on that basis. The Bell Witch Haunting is not, I repeat NOT one of those MST-3000 movies that is fun because it is so bad, and I don’t think any amount of alcohol or chemical would keep you from saying, God what a piece of shit this is! Turn it off now and let’s watch some dumb Syfy Original movie with terrible CGI monsters instead.

There is no shred of entertainment anywhere in the movie. At no point did I feel remotely scared or even mildly creeped out, nor did I care what happened to the characters (other than hoping they died horribly for being such idiots). There was no point where I was in any kind of suspense.I could see every jump scare (or what they thought passed as jump scares), or pretty much any action whatsoever coming a mile away.

“Bell Witch” (I don’t respect anyone involved in the making of the movie enough to give the complete title) is the reason people hate found-footage horror movies. It has every aspect that people who don’t like found-footage horror give when you ask them why they hate them so much: it’s such a lazy way to make a film. It’s obviously slapped together by someone who was barely trying and ad-libbed from a 5-page outline; the ‘actors’ are not good at ad-libbing (or acting). Overuse of shaky-cam. Even without shaky-cam, you can’t tell what the fuck is going on because it’s too dark or badly shot. You can defend, say, Cloverfield,  or a really outstanding V/H/S franchise segment such as “Safe Haven” or “A Ride in the Park” when faced with these issues in a discussion you’re having, but TBWH is indefensible. It gives all supernatural themed found-footage horror movies a bad name. It gives all found-footage horror movies a bad name.It gives all horror movies a bad name.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME! Even if you watch this just to see how bad it is, you will hate yourself when it ends. I hated myself before the first hour of the movie was over. If you want to see a good paranormal found-footage movie, see “Grave Encounters”. Hell, even if you’ve seen it already, just watch it again, you’ll have a much more enjoyable time.

That was the IMDB review ole Mrs. Horror Boom here wrote. If you have any temptation to watch it because of the plot, please allow me to spoil it for you (though the movie is already spoiled and rotting). This is how much I hated it: I went back and watched it a second time (while I was not entirely sober) so I could take notes this time to try to list all the things wrong with it.  Consider the following a combination of the latter and a detailed plot spoiler.

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Loose plot outline: A family of four (Mom and Dad are Janette (possibly Lynn, let’s stick with Janette) and Michael, kids are Dana and Brandon) buys a house on land once owned by whoever that guy was that reported the Bell Witch Haunting. Strange things start happening and surprise surprise, Brandon and his friend Colby decide to document it.

Now for the long version. We open with footage (no opening credits except a test pattern –ooooh, maybe this is an actual documentary, truly actual found footage! That totally sold it there!– shot by “Officer Bungalon”, (through his chest-cam, labelled January 16th 2011 along with DAY ONE) who is apparently the only policeman in the country. He finds a married couple dead by the side of the road, and starts acting like he is a very delicate 16-year old who won his job in a raffle. The bodies aren’t in that bad of shape and he still retches and practically pisses himself in panic (oh: and he’s the worst actor in the movie). Even though this happens after they leave a housewarming party, no-one seems remotely upset or ever brings it up again.

Dana (the one I wanted dead) does a segment of her “fashion” webcast she calls  ‘Dressing with Dana!” I’ll take this chance to point out that the parents do not look old enough to have teenage kids, and the teenage kids (especially Dana) look maybe ten years younger than the parents. We get a fake jump. Later Dana has such a severe nightmare that it probably qualifies as a night terror, what with her screaming and all, but no-one seems to give a shit.

Oh, and as a desperate attempt to at least keep horny guys watching, Dana sleeps in her bra and panties, along with her friends that come over. One of the main problems with the “plot” is that though increasingly disturbing and unexplainable things happen and are documented, it is never mentioned again (or explained). These incidents include:

During a teenage girl’s slumber party, a strange girl walks into the room from out of the closet and into camera range. One girl notices, but it’s never mentioned again.

Later at what I think is the same slumber party, the girls are listening to a CD or some dogshit music while Dana, holding the camera, lingers on a shot of her friend’s tits (“Oooh, those ruffles on your tiny top are cute, I can post this on my fashion blog”) which is kind o creepy since none of them are 18 yet, but anyway. The music stops and we/they hear a loud stage-whisper telling them, “Get oooouuuut!” This does not faze them at all, except for one smart girl who gets creeped out and decides that’s it for her, time to go home. She leaves (barely noticed by the other girls). Shortly after that, Officer Bungalon is shining a flashlight around and sees her purse. Then he sees her corpse hanging from a tree (yep, he loses his shit again).

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Brandon and Colby are filming in the woods when they find a rabbit with its face ripped off and very unusually mutilated. Their reaction? “Get my picture with it!”

Brandon notices footsteps in the basement that are still wet and go right into the wall where they vanish impossibly. No cause for alarm here.

DAY SEVEN:  We get a scene of a Skype call between Dana and her friend who is upset about their friend’s death (which I think everyone decides was suicide). Dana has only known the chick a week, so all she can come up with to try to comfort her grieving friend is, “Yeah, well, obviously… I don’t know what’s going on.” (Actual line). Brandon sticks his head in the background and makes “Oh, boo-hoo” sarcastic crying gestures, erasing any likeability he had. This is maybe the one death that is acknowledged.

Another night terror. Dana is soaking wet with sweat (more for the guys, there! Convenient for them to sleep in bra and panties when it’s January in Knoxville) and weeping hysterically, repeating “there’s so much blood!” never mentioned again.

Mom Janette is in the basement when she hears scratching on the basement wall and screams at the top of her lungs (same wall the invisible footprints lead to). Also worth noting at this point that at least a good 2/3 of this movie is shot on “shaky-cam” mode.

While unpacking, Janette sees that Dana’s face is scratched out of the photos (this happened while they were still in the frame) and appears distorted in another photo. This is laughed off.

Hey, all teenage girls sleep in their bra and panties in the winter!

Hey, all teenage girls sleep in their bra and panties in the winter!

Dad Michael is washing dishes when a significant amount of blood suddenly flies out of the drain and splashes over the majority of his shirt. He says it smells like “a dead animal”. His reaction? “I think we might need to call a plumber or somethin.”

I’d like to interject here that maybe if only one, maybe two, of the above events occurred, and if the family were all very easy-going (or on a large dose of Xanax around the clock), it might be feasible that they just blow the incident off and go back to whatever they were doing. However, so far we have a dozen–taking place in a fucking WEEK– and the movie’s maybe half in. Nope, no red flags here.

Brandon and his friend Cody, who want to get into movies or sort of have a vague idea they could make some money (Cody seems like he’s just bored and this is something to break up the monotony of living in the middle of nowhere), finally look up “Bell Witch” online. “My sister’s freaking out and been a megabitch, man,” Brandon compassionately points out. Body lights up. “This could be our movie, man! Let’s set up some camera, like, all over the house!” They do so, and no-one else in the family seems to notice or care.

One of the cameras in the living room shows a light on the lamp dimming all by itself!

While Dana and her friend are sleeping, the flat sheet is slowly lifted off the bed (not a smoothly executed effect). Dana and her girlfriend in you got it, bra and panties) then get trapped under it after it sinks back down and both start screaming and flipping out. Next day, nothing mentioned.

“Danny the Electrician” comes to check out the fuse-box outside, because clearly at this point, their biggest problem was the lamp dimming quietly. He gets electrocuted off camera when he touches it and shrieks comically. After a minute, Michael comes wandering out and tells Brandon to call 911. We never find out if he died, because the incident is NEVER BROUGHT UP AGAIN.

DAY 12!  Brandon and Cody review the camera footage from inside the home and see “Something passing through the house”. Their reaction: “Let’s go get some footage in the woods again, man.” “Yeah, let’s do the viral movie!” (actual dialogue) Brandon stays home because his mom wants him to help unpack, Cody tells him, “I’m gonna get some stuff Let’s rendezvous back here tonight.” They also decide the title of their film should be “Forest Man Prophecy’!” Cody ventures out and says, “I heard a noise”. Then there’s a blur as he drops his camera; out of frame we hear snarling and ripping sounds–but no screaming.

Later, at night, the dad and Brandon go looking for him (goddamned night-vision shaky-cam). The dad and Brandon find Cody, Colby, whatever, with large loops of his guts hanging out, dead.

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Cut to a guy we’ve never seen before doing a ‘video tribute’ during the day on the spot he was killed (Colby’s best friend). He’s getting all tearful when something zips by and sweeps him off camera, then we see him fall down dead. This is never mentioned again*.

DAY OH FUCK IT WHO CARES:

The dad wanders around, seemingly sleepwalking. The camera captures him having a weird seizure by the outdoor pool. In a rare, unintentionally funny moment, the family dog moseys into frame and then out, looking totally bored and never even glancing at the guy. Mom can’t find him and when she looks in the bathroom, there’s blood on the mirror and in the sink. Finally, she is the first character to freak out when something upsetting and hard to explain happens. She makes the first of many, many 911 calls (even though she hasn’t searched a few areas of the house yet, or the patio). The 911 call is transcribed with FUCKING SPELLING AND GRAMMAR ERRORS. Hey you hacks, if you need to hire a professional copy editor, I’ve got over 20 years of experience over here!  The cop, our good pal Officer Bungalon, is the one who finds him wandering around with some blood on his shirt. The cop re-acts to this as he would if the dad was carrying a severed head and a bloody machete–Michael (the dad) just squints at him, still acting like he’s in a trance. After the officer takes him home,  Michael just sits there still spaced out. Then some sludge (which more than one person on the IMDB board for this movie was convinced was feces) starts sliding out of his mouth. The mom comes in, freaks out and makes another 911 call.

Then we get ANOTHER 911 call and transcript; it’s Jenette calling to report her daughter missing. Officer, you guessed it, Bungalon goes looking around in the woods, etc. for her. Date on his “Chest Cam” is 1-29-11 (important later in this piece, certainly wasn’t important to the director, writer (if there was one) DP, or anyone else) He is competent enough to find Dana in a drain pipe, eating a dead raccoon, blood smeared on her face, etc. Officer Bungalow is upset to see this but just takes her home. I’m surprised he bothered to take the dead raccoon away and even if she walked back in the house still eating the animal, no-one (except possible Jenette, the only character showing anything close to common sense) really re-acts.

Notice that the fact that The Bell Witch and the alleged haunting is never brought up again. When Colby and Brandon Google it half an hour into the movie, they do actually have a few facts right; I Googled it too and came up with a couple of the same things the characters did. To praise the fact that the writers looked at the Wikipedia entry is a pretty big stretch, though.

Here is where Jenette has a reaction that is realistic, yelling at hubby Michael, “We need to get the fuck out of here!” The dad calmly tells her they can’t move because he “sunk all [their]  money into this house”. The mom shouts at him that it’s been 90 days! Oh really? No, it fucking hasn’t! When it’s still January and the last title card says “Day 15?” Maybe someone misread or miswrote it as 90 days when it should have been 9, since the opening scene of the house-warming party or whatever the hell it was specifically dated January 16th and the date is on 1-29… no, that still doesn’t add up. I turned on the closed-captioning, sure I missed something (such as ten weeks having gone by) but nope! 90 days. Anyway, Michael has a sudden mood swing and shouts, “WE ARE NOT! LEAVING! THIS HOUSE!” more than once. He practically chases the rest of the family around, yelling this at them.

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DAY 14!  Mom is quietly freaking out. Honestly, I didn’t take any notes for this section and whatever did happen was clearly not important enough to remember, or my brain tried to protect me (from losing my mind with boredom) and blacked the memory of the scene out.

DAY 15!!!  Out of the blue, Janette finds the phone number of an exorcist that she was referred to. He believes her and immediately heads out to the house.

NIGHT 15!!!! The priest/exorcist/guy she called shows up fairly fast to talk to the family about whether Dana may be possessed. When he decides she is (doesn’t take long) he performs a ritual, first telling the family “At all times, keep your faith!” Addressing Dana, he starts in with, “I cast you out, unclean spirit!” Dana pukes all over the table. A strong wind starts to blow inside the house, even some leaves get blown around! Dana’s acting is terrible and so is her ‘possession make-up’. Dana rises into the air and starts roaring (of course, Brandon decides to capture all this on his camera). MORE leaves swirl and blow everywhere). She starts growling and breaks the priest’s neck. But… Dana is now missing! Guess what we get: another 911 call! This is where the movie goes downhill, even if you thought it was already atrocious.

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They go into the woods to find Dana, and they find someone they refer to as “Chris” with his guts outside of his body, dead (obviously). They take this fairly calmly for some reason.

Then we get what seems like three weeks of them running around with a flashlight, accompanied with shaky footage that looks like whoever was holding the camera was having a seizure at the time. Dana shows up and beats Brandon to death with his own camera, cracking the lens, but down worry, the crack is all gone in the next scene. Dad accidentally shoots his wife Janette and weeps. At this point, you’ll start to wonder who is holding the camera documenting this (and why they’d want to film it, I don’t have a clue). Oh, and whoever IS holding the camera isn’t saying anything or cursing under their breath, their breathing doesn’t even change.

Dad tries to shoot Dana, but whatever bullshit powers the writers decided to give her at this point enable Dana to make Dad put his gun in his mouth and blow his brains out.

Here is what is supposed to be the climax of the film, which is when the movie get even worse (even though you’d think it was impossible to dig any deeper).  Dana climbs into a cave with lots of flies. She flashes the light and camera around the same parts of the cave over and over for what seems like another two weeks. Eventually she sees a woman, and the lighting and make-up and just everything happening is so bad I couldn’t identify if this is supposed to be Dana or maybe a witch. Dana (or whoever it is) lunges at the camera snarling.

We get a card informing us that Dana is in an asylum now, they never did find her mom’s body, and she still has night terrors! The end. There. Now you have no reason to sit through this crap… trust me.

No end credits (you’re not fooling anyone, guys). To be fair, it’s possible everyone involved in this POS wanted to disassociate themselves from this horrible crap: Don’t blame me, I had nothing to do with this! In fact, if you check out the cast on IMDB, everyone but one character (not a major one) is uncredited. Again, could have been the cast distancing themselves, could have been the IDIOTIC decision of the film-makers to really attempt to make it look like, I don’t know, a documentary. Now, I don’t dig it when, as in The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity (at least the first one) they had the actors use their real names (again: you guys aren’t fooling anyone… or, much more disturbing, is the thought that some kids that saw those movies actually thought they were real. I’ve seen a few ‘mockumentaries’ (The Poughskeepie Tapes, The Gerber Syndrome, Megan is Missing) that were so carefully made,  I could maybe see a kid watching who thinks what they are watching actually happened… if they were really drunk or high and/or mentally impaired or naïve. I made one tweener’s day when I could tell her definitively that Megan is Missing wasn’t a documentary and in fact, fiction. However, “Movies That Should Come With Warning Labels” is another project for another day.

Oh, at some point in the last half of the movie, the family dog may or may not have been found slaughtered. Like I said, my brain decided to power down out of self-defense by watching this. I’d go back and check, but I’ve seen it twice and that’s two times too many.

Here’s the trailer for this ungodly mess of a movie. Notice the ultra-high production values and the painstakingly-crafted quality of the writing. You’d think the trailer would be enough to warn people far, far away:

Oh, and I’m aware that, in this piece, some of the names of the characters are spelled differently. I normally take more pride in my work and polish it up, but I guess the “oh, who gives a fuck” attitude of the entire movie and everyone involved in it rubbed off on me.

 

*I also recall at this point that though the movie is only 91 minutes long and half done, it seemed like the length of watching Casino twice in a row (to be fair, Casino goes by pretty fast for both of us, since we love it, sorry for involving the name of such a good movie in a piece about TBWH).

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Yo! It’s the Horror Boom Found-Footage Drinking Game V.2 : Now With Aliens (Plus Movie Suggestions)!

Okay, so! We almost added “Alien-themed found footage” as a category last time, but didn’t think there were enough of them out there. Well, guess what… there are more than we figured. Bigfoot-themed movies were going to be on there, but honestly, there’s only two that we know of.

Oh, and Mrs. Horror Boom here watched the worst, shittiest found-footage movie I’ve ever seen (which is REALLY saying something): The Bell Witch Haunting. It was so sloppy, lazy, and boring (toss in some terrible, terrible acting) I ended up writing a short review on IMDB just to warn people away, in case anyone thought it might be a “so bad it’s good” or “guilty pleasure” type of bad. Nope, it was just wretched. TBWH gives all supernatural found-footage horror movies a bad name. It gives all found-footage horror movies a bad name. It gives all horror movies a bad name. It gives all movies a bad name. We’ll post a review soon, we can guarantee you will be more entertained reading what we thought of it than watching the actual movie (watching your lawn grow for the running time would also be more entertaining than watching TBWH).

Here we go!

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 altogether (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 four 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. Some examples to get you started: The Devil Inside, The Devil’s Due, The Last Exorcism.**

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. Take an extra drink if the movie ends this way (you earned it)
  • 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)
  • Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 6.22.33 AM

 

 

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. Examples: Grave Encounters (and Grave Encounters 2,  which is a good companion piece and while not quite as good as the original, works well for the game), Paranormal Entity, Apartment 143 (not recommended).

Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.25.43 AM

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.Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.54.06 AM

3. General Plot:  Aliens show up, frequently they will intrude on a family vacation (as in Alien Abduction) or get-together.  Sometimes, documentary film crews will go to some location to film the activity (such as in Skinwalker Ranch). Advance Warning: if you use the segment “Alien Abduction Slumber Party” from V/H/S 2 for this, we strongly suggest you drink nothing stronger than wine (in a plastic cup, as once things go wrong all hell breaks loose and it can be pretty intense) unless you want the evening to end with you passed out drunk.  It’s only around 20 minutes or so long, thus you won’t really be able to pace your drinking out like you would over a feature-length movie. Examples: Alien Abduction, Skinwalker Ranch, and Alien Abduction Slumber Party from V/H/S 2.

  • Aliens look like a version the typical “Grays”
  • Aliens have an original creature design that clearly took a lot of work and craftsmanship was put into: drink twice (especially if they used practical effects)
  • When an alien suddenly crashes the party out of nowhere, everyone wisely sprints off in all directions
  • An unnatural-looking light beams down to focus on one person, they rise into the sky/are sucked up and out of camera range.
  • Unexplained set of lights in the distance being filmed are suspiciously flying saucer-shaped
  • Entrance of alien/s accompanied by an ear-splitting blast of sound
  • Extra-terrestrial lights flood the screen along with the ear-splitting blare or blast of sound
  • The entire fucking movie passes without you seeing one fucking shot of a fucking  alien, or all you see in a blurry limb yanking someone out of camera frame: go ahead and have a shot, you deserve it!
  • Someone with the camera strapped to them (or somehow held onto by them) is yanked up and abducted, then very shortly after is dropped back to the ground (things usually are rushing back up or zip by as they drop). The camera falls with them and cracks as the unlucky character dies on impact. (Yes, this actually happens in at least two alien-themed found-footage movies)*** For this one, take two sips and toast if it looked moderately realistic.
  • Screen shot 2014-07-04 at 6.23.00 AM

    Man, the poor, fairly small family dog doesn’t deserve to have a Go Pro strapped to his head, let alone have a pack of roaring, highly dangerous aliens chasing him around, for Chrissake!

 

4. 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 trekking off to, followed by the word “Project” or “Diaries”. Here’s some examples to start you off: The Blair Witch Project, Devil’s Pass, Atrocious, The Frankenstein Syndrome. Banshee Chapter might also work, although that one is actually better than average and has some genuine scares.

Screen shot 2014-05-24 at 8.03.16 AM

 

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
  • Someone says something to the character holding the camera along the lines of, “Dude, what the fuck is wrong with you still filming this! Put down the fucking camera, this is not cool to be recording!”
  • 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 uncooperative and hostile, or clearly insane. None of this registers with any of the enthusiastic, genius 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… all that remains… is this footage.
  • blurryshotjustsobbinggraveencounters.jpg

 

General: These should work for any basic found-footage movie. Some examples to get you started: any of the Paranormal Activity series, Quarantine, Delivery: The Evil Within, V/H/S and V/H/S 2 (careful on those last two! You may want to skip the game for the entire movie and just do it every other segment), Cloverfield, Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes (that last one is not recommended unless you don’t care how stupid what you’re watching while you drink is)

Drink/sip when any of the following happen:

  • Cover art/poster for the movie is a shot of someone (usually young and female) being dragged away from the viewer and into the dark by something we can’t see as they try to dig their fingers into  the ground or floor for purchase.
  • 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
  • Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.11.07 AM
  • 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])

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 (REC).

*actually, one of the two writers/staff that Horror Boom is composed 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.

***There’s actually a pretty decent one out there–better than the last three combined, at least it takes a different approach, gets a lot done for such a low-budget, and features a ton more gore (bonus points for nearly all of it being practical) than most found-footage movies–called Chasing the Devil. You can rent it on Amazon for a couple bucks and who knows, may even be on You Tube.

Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 7.51.40 AM

 

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).

Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 5.55.27 AM

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.

Screen shot 2014-05-25 at 5.57.47 AM

*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.

Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.12.56 AM

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.

Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 6.23.47 AM

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)
  • Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 6.22.33 AM

 

 

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.

Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.25.43 AM

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.

    Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.54.06 AM

    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”.

Screen shot 2014-05-24 at 8.03.16 AM

 

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.
  • blurryshotjustsobbinggraveencounters.jpg

 

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
  • Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.11.07 AM
  • 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 Teaser Trailer For V/H/S Viral, AKA V/H/S 3, Has Arrived – Check It Out Here (With Story Details)!

Along with a couple of screen grabs …not all of them crystal clear, but the good ones flash by really fast and are hard to catch (we’ll see what we can do about getting more)!   It doesn’t have a ton of footage, but what it does have it enough the whet the appetite, though we could do without the torture porn-y looking shot or two. Also, don’t let the freeze frame for the trailer fool you; Tank, the poor, poor dog from “Alien Abduction Slumber Party” in the final segment from V/H/S 2 isn’t in this installment, they’re just showing a flurry of memorable moments from the first two flicks before they get into the new movie.  Check it out below!

Pretty sure after “Safe Haven” (and “A Ride In the Park” wasn’t too shabby, either) from V/H/S 2, we’re prepared for anything, but unless it gets 100% shitty reviews, we’re watching it one minute after midnight on the release date for VOD. Here’s the official, (and slightly different from the past two) plot description for trusty ole Magnet Releasing:

V/H/S: Viral features segments from directors Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial), Marcel Sarmiento (ABCs of Death segment “D is for Dogfight”), Gregg Bishop (The Birds of Anger), Justin Benson (Wrecked) and Todd Lincoln (The Apparition).

V/H/S/: Viral’s segments include the story of a deranged illusionist who obtains a magical object of great power, a homemade machine that opens a door to a parallel world, teenage skaters that unwillingly become targets of a Mexican death cult ritual, and a sinister, shadowy organization that is tracking a serial killer. The segments are tied together by the story of a group of fame-obsessed teens following a violent car chase in LA that unwittingly become stars of the next internet sensation.

 

Seriously, virtually ANYTHING could be happening here. It looked interestingly gory, so we grabbed it. Any guesses?

Seriously, virtually ANYTHING could be happening here. It looked interestingly gory, so we grabbed it. Any guesses?

 

We’re sorry to say that we are not exactly blown away by the list of directors (though that was one of the better ABCs of Death segments Marcel Sarmiento was responsible for), but Radio SIlence’s final segment in the first V/H/S movie was the one that was a total fucking blast, so who knows? Also, they talk in the press release about “the evolution of the series,” which also makes us nervous. Think you got a pretty good, solid formula here guys, don’t ‘evolve’ it so much the wheels start to come off.

 

Screen shot 2014-05-14 at 5.40.34 AM

From the ‘Mexican death cult ritual’ segment, maybe?

 

Hopefully with four segments, they’ll keep things tight. We don’t have an exact release date yet, but we should pretty soon!

 

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Film Review: ‘Alien Abduction’

Watched the movie on VOD tonight, and I don’t think the reviewer has seen as many shitty, sloppy, half-hearted found-footage movies as we have. I’d say the movie is above average, especially for this genre. I’ve never found aliens particularly scary, though if our house was suddenly bathed in blinding white light accompanied by a roaring sounds and some weird, clearly non-human thing approached me, I think I’d be pretty goddamned scared. “The Fourth Kind” had exactly one scary moment, and while it was pretty frightening while it lasted, that was about it for me, and I’d probably recommend this over that–depending on your tolerance for ‘found footage’ horror movies, though I only watched this in SD rather than HD and 90% of the movie wasn’t a series of blurs. You also won’t be distracted by the weird meta-style of TFK where Milla Johovich plays herself (going as far as to tell you, the viewer, she’s Milla Johovich at the start of the movie– way to destroy the fourth wall, there) portraying the main character, but the actual main character is also shown as portrayed by an actress who tells the event–oh, screw it. You only see glimpses of they aliens, but they don’t look like the typical “grays” you’ve seen in movies like 2013’s “Dark Skies” and the “Alien Abduction Slumber Party” (the final section/story of “V/H/S 2”). If you pause the frame, you can see them (barely, and you’ll have to spend a while timing it right) and you mainly see browns and reds, one with a lobster-like ‘face’. They aren’t cute in any way.

 

Also, “Alien Abduction” doesn’t follow as close to the typical generic found-footage formula as the reviewer states; the shit hits the fan about 20 minutes into the movie, and keeps a pretty fast and scary pace up until the ending. Characters do take time for a breather when they can, but even then, things stay intense, as the movie ratchets up the tension effectively enough so that you know they can be attacked with no warning or provocation. Oh, and when the character mentioned in the review says that ‘some they keep, some they toss back’? They REALLY toss them back. You’ll know it when you see it.

The Editing Room Takes On “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” (The Abridged Script)

ANDREW JACOBS

Hey, I found a box of tapes from “Paranormal Activity 3”. Maybe we could get some answers to one of the franchise’s many unsolved questions.

BEAT.

Both BOYS collapse into PEALS OF LAUGHTER.

JORGE DIAZ

(wiping tears from eyes)

Ha ha ha. Oh Andrew, that was a good one. Andrew? Andrew where did you go? Andrew? Andrew? I ask because no teenager calling out for their friend in a dark and abandoned area ever gets ambushed in a horror movie.

(thinks)

Maybe if I put the camera right up to this bead curtain. I’m sure nothing will jump out at-

JUMP SCARE

Boo!

NOBODY WHO’S EVER SEEN A HORROR MOVIE

AAAAAAAHHHH!

-Excerpt from The Abridged Script of PA:TMO , written by Lachlan R.

We haven’t seen the movie yet (but will shuffle out feet while looking down at the floor and admit we’ll rent the DVD when it’s out… which probably won’t be a gigantic wait), however, we can assure you this is one of the funnier scripts for a horror movie from The Editing Room that we’ve read in several months.  Oh, I doubt this will be a big issue for most people, but if you haven’t seen the movie yet, plan to, and don’t want the entire movie spoiled for you (I kept hearing that the ‘twist’ ending was the best part…meh), don’t read the script till you see it.

Otherwise? Click on the big ole’ link below to read the abridged script, and have a good laugh:

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones: The Abridged Script  – The Editing Room.

 

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