Andy Muschietti was a curious choice for New Line when they first announced that he would be taking over the new adaptation of IT that was once so comfortably in the hands of Cary Fukunaga. At the time the only feature film to Muschietti’s name was Mama, which was a very by-the-numbers supernatural haunter—not exactly the […]
Yep, this has been published before. Let’s face it, the election clock ticking down has pretty much everyone on edge (at best). We can tell you that, through life experience, sometimes the way to get your mind off something scary in real life is to watch something fictional, like oh, a horror movie, that at least diverts the terror into a manageable area. So, we are (re)presenting a pretty goddamned scary short horror film to distract you! Enjoy, and just hit the category tag for ‘Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week’ (or month) if you want more. Hey, things could be worse… you could be the main character in this terrifying little gem.
We were surprised to find there was a Grand Prize Winner of the Bloody Cuts “Who’s There?” short film challenge that was a different film. How could anything be scarier than Lights Out? We were scared to watch “Play Time”, honestly, but it WAS still light out. It’s light out right now, which is why we are brave enough to post it. However, nice summer evening out or not, this one is fucking scary. I personally would be screaming as loud as the actress in the movie if I saw it in a movie theater, and probably more than once. If I was the actual character, I would have soiled myself (and well before the ending).
So if you want a good old-fashioned scare, turn out the lights, turn up the volume, and switch to full-screen. Then check this out:
So… not as much of a slow burn (if you can describe any three-minute short that way) as “Lights Out”, but…yeah. Doesn’t waste much time, and we loved it.
We do recommend the below “making of” short. It’s interesting… and it might help you sleep a little better.
James Wan’s The Conjuring 2 did well in theaters and with critics, and it’s finally available for rental! There are no major spoilers here, just some fun trivia that we would be surprised if you had heard all about before now.
2/3. See that featured image up at the top of this piece? Notice the letters on the bookshelves? V-A-L-A-K. Also, check out the colorful letters on the window below…
4. Lily Taylor blew her voice out from screaming during filming of the first Conjuring. Vera Farmiga did her one better and blew out a damned lymph node from screaming (multiple takes were needed, which made it worse) filming her role as Elizabeth Warren during The Conjuring 2. Jesus! Ouch! [source: IMDB]
6. Speaking of very scary voices, the actual recording of the possessed Janet Hodgson is played over the end credits. The dialogue in the movie follows the recording closely. If you are feeling brave and the lights are on, you can listen to it below (this recording goes for a full twelve minutes, unlike the condensed version played in The Conjuring 2). Regardless of your level of skepticism, does THIS sound like an 11-year old girl to you? The working class Hodgson family did not exactly have access to sophisticated voice-altering technology. Today it could be easily be faked …but not back in 1977. Listeners beware, however; this made the hair on our bodies stand on end.
7. You probably spotted Annabelle (you don’t forget that thing’s face) in her glass cabinet, along with the music box from The Conjuring in the Warren’s museum, but did you see the black and white painting hanging in the Warren’s office?
It’s the house from The Conjuring, along with that very distinctive tree. Minus Bathsheba’s shadow hanging from the tree, it looks very close to the image on the theatrical poster.
8. Here’s an extremely creepy one. During the Amityville séance cold-open, Elizabeth Warren is terrorized by (among other things) a demonic-looking little boy whose eyes glow a white-silver. Director James Wan was inspired by the following notorious photo claiming to show the youngest victim of the DeFeo massacre (copyright: Paranormal Guide), AKA the “Amityville Ghost Boy”.
9. There is yet another image where you can pick out the demon Valak’s name. This one, you need to be looking for (thank you, IMDB trivia section, for telling us the time mark in the movie). You can see the “V” in the “love” plaque, and the rest…
Oh, GIMME A FREAKIN’ BREAK! Stupidest thing we ever heard, pffffft! We rented the movie on VOD and watched it Saturday night, and we’re fine! Calling bullshit on this one, because… because… what was that noise?
“The cast largely acquit themselves well, even when deprived of much opportunity to really develop their characters… Rockwell plays the slightly boozy, goofy father figure with great charm and likability, and Catlett makes for a believably wise, harried tyke of the Haley Joel Osment mold. DeWitt is unfortunately rather ill served by the film’s most significant divergence from the original, which robs the character of her great moment of maternal heroism. Harris, taking over for Zelda Rubinstein, has fun channeling another vintage Spielberg production, “Jaws,” as a rough, scarred, Quint-essential spook-hunter. Visually speaking, Javier Aguirresarobe’s photography is solid — and while generally unnecessary, the 3D work sometimes adds an extra layer of claustrophobia to the creeping interior shots — yet the film’s attempts to illustrate the spirit world bring to mind Nine Inch Nails videos more readily than any otherworldly chthonian purgatory. Composer Marc Streitenfeld turns in a largely effective score, though it can’t help but pale in comparison to Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar-nominated original. ..Even when one is inclined to admire the cleverness with which the remake revisits and reincorporates “Poltergeist’s” themes, it’s hard to pinpoint a single moment where it improves on them, and the aura of inessentiality hangs thick over the proceedings. Some franchises die, but they don’t know they’re gone. And then some franchises just get lost on their way to the reboot.”
-From the Variety review by Andrew Barker
This isn’t a huge shock, but we are kind of disappointed… we really needed a good scream or two in the movie theater (It Follows literally only played here in town one weekend, at a venue that is now a huge pain in the ass to get anywhere near thanks to traffic revisions), but this doesn’t look like it will fit the bill. Despite the fact this review compares the movie to a guided tour through a county-fair-style haunted house and states it has some quality jump scares, nothing in this review–and the others we’ve read–makes us feel like seeing it in the theater rather than waiting for VOD/Blu-ray. OK, if someone sent a car and driver to pick us up, and the movie was free, we’d go. However, reviews for Poltergeist 2015 tend to start waxing sentimental about the original, and saying though the movie tries to recapture the magic and mood Tobe Hooper was able to craft perfectly in 1982, the bottom line is that this reboot was unnecessary horror remake for a beloved, fan-favorite movie that did just fine (well, much better than fine) the first time around.
This is what happens when you move the headstones but you don’t move the bodies!
Oh, and from what I’ve heard, there isn’t even really a tip of the hat to the scene in the original where a member of the first group of paranormalists studying the ghostly activity hallucinated clawing his own face off (which they could never, ever get away with putting in a PG-rated movie these days; in fact, it was borderline R-rated). I am not saying they had to duplicate it, but give us something other than the clown doll, the tree, and “They’re here/This house is clean,” for Chrissake! Check out this piece we wrote when the first trailers of the movie went online for more, including the actual gory scene (we recalled adults in the audience yelling “HOAH!” in horrified surprise even louder than the kids our age).
If you’ve seen the original and the remake, and you feel like this review was too hard on the movie, please tell us about it. We would love to be proved wrong about the face-ripping scene, too!
Read on by clicking “View original” in the lower left…
We didn’t watch this trailer when it first was released several days ago– that’s how bad the backlash we read about it was. The people who saw it were angry in general, but they also agreed it was just, well, a shitty trailer that didn’t bode well for the quality of the upcoming movie. We finally broke down to see just how bad it was, and now wonder if they saw a different version of the trailer. While we’re not jumping up and down the way we were with, say, the red band trailer of the Evil Dead 2013 reboot, it could be worse. Take a look at the first full trailer below in HD.
Let’s see. On the one hand, all the cool stuff could be in the trailer, including the jump scares. We see several iconic moments and elements from the original 1982 movie from Tobe Hooper (more on that in a second), but some that we REALLY want to see are left out, such as the guy who starts seeing things and ends up having a really bad experience in the bathroom mirror (see below) . They’d better not leave this out if they know what’s good for the remake.
We also rolled our eyes at the iPhone getting static on it. One of the good things about the Evil Dead reboot was they kept the time period kind of vague; no-one fiddled with their iPhone, no-one Googled anything, and the clothes were kind of bland. We would hope they don’t try too hard to “update” the remake for “the new generation” of “millennials”, especially since they have a reputation of being lazy, self-entitled “assholes”* and we don’t care to see things dumbed down. There’s a couple of classic lines that would have been cool to hear (‘they’re here’ not being one of them) but our personal favorites are also kind of spoilers.
Another familiar moment…
Positives: The clown doll that scared the shit out of us and all the other kids (we were both maybe 11 or 12 years old when we saw it in the theater) the first time is back.** Lots of other elements from the original are tossed out for us kids of the 80s; we probably don’t have to point them out. The cast is solid. There are a couple of scares in the trailer that are new, and creeped us out (what would YOU do if you casually opened your closet door and saw about 15 pairs of ghostly, demonic eyes staring at you from the pitch dark?). They seem to be keeping the origin story–which was a pretty great one–and going with the basic plotline. The cast is solid (Sam Rockwell, Jared Harris) and the kid actors seem okay so far. The idea that you need to clear your mind because some evil entity that could easily kill you and/or a family member already knows what scares you and doesn’t need any more ammo is some serious nightmare material.
At this point we’re not getting out hopes up, but there is a possibility that this remake could be a fun ride. We know nothing they create will give us the haunted house roller coaster thrill-ride that we had seeing it in the theater for the first (and second) time as kids. However, it still could be fun, and the first movie proved a movie doesn’t need to be rated R to make you scream like a little girl, keep you firmly on the edge of your seat, and love it deep down.
Poltergeist is set for release on July 24th, 2015. Expect to read much more about it here before then!
*By the way, if you’re in that generation, we don’t hate all millennials and know some that are really cool. We just can’t stand the ones that give the entire generation a bad name.
**I doubt the ‘other half’ of Horror Boom will admit to actually being so scared that he scooted down in his seat in fear and covered his eyes in several parts (maybe he didn’t, I didn’t know him then), but I will. Knowing when several big jumps were coming–and sensing some others–seemed to actually make it more terrifying, for some reason.
Well, after we just spent over an hour combing the net, trying to find out if Javier Botet is back to appear as The Medieros Girl (AKA the ‘attic monster’) in this “final” installment, we only succeeded in scaring the shit out of ourselves, especially with some of the horrifying galleries that Tumbler has put together. So we’ll let you know when we know. By the way, if you’re wondering why the word ‘final’ is in quotes when we use it referring to [REC] 4: Apocalypse, that’s because this review from Variety.com states that the door is more or less left wide open for a sequel. That’s just fine with us!
Click “View Original” is the lower left to read the entire review.
So did you see the post here where we featured “Lights Out,” which won the prize–along with some awards– for Best Direction in the Bloody Cuts “Who’s There?” Film Challenge? No? If you haven’t, watch these two shorts first and save Lights Out, the strongest of all of the series of shorts that take place in the same apartment with the same actress.
First, though, check these out. Both have very little gore and could probably be suitable for kids (if they want a real scare). There’s also little-to-no dialogue, and only one (human) character. They also can frighten you even when watched in broad daylight.
First, there’s “Pictured”…
Then, because she didn’t have enough damn sense to move out of this apartment, “Cam Closer” below:
Finally, whether or not you’ve seen “Lights Out”, we DARE you to watch (or re-watch) with the lights off and the sound cranked.
With overt references to Jacques Tourneur’s “Cat People” and a clear appreciation for the atmospheric creepiness of other early horror classics, Kavanagh proceeds to escalate the tension, putting David’s young son Billy (Calum Heath), trusting nanny Sophie (Kelly Byrne) and over-concerned co-worker Claire (Antonia Campbell Hughes) in potential danger of whatever’s lurking around his home. Meanwhile, the hallucinations become more frequent, to the extent that we can’t always discern where reality ends and fantasy begins.
But Kavanagh hardly sees fit to rely on old-school techniques to generate suspense, amping up the tension via jump cuts, red-lit interiors and a meticulously engineered soundscape that makes sparing yet effective use of eerie tones and spine-tingling scratching noises (even to accompany the old silent footage). After shrewdly raising the possibility that something otherworldly is lurking behind the walls and beneath the manhole cover in David’s backyard, the camera finally descends into the sewer, crossing over from the old-fashioned realm of suggestion-driven horror to the far more explicit territory of directors like Takashi Miike (who surely would approve). The pic’s early coyness offers little preparation for its twisted climax, in which this subterranean tunnel of death doubles as a perverse birth canal of sorts — an image that won’t die anytime soon in the minds of any who witness it.
-From the accompanying Variety.com review by Peter Debruge
So! We’re just about to sit down (in the dark) and watch Ivan Kavanagh’s The Canal, a move we are starting to re-think the wisdom of after reading this last review. We’ve also read quite a few others over the past few days, and all of the professional critics have admitted the movie was not just creepy, but surprisingly scary. Scary as hell, in fact! We’ll let you know… especially if we can’t sleep and have some time on our hands until the sun comes up.
Click “View original” in the lower left to read the entire review on Variety.com.
NOTE: we are aware of the annoying HTML tags that are automatically inserted every fucking time we re-blog a piece from Variety or EW.com. We have been trying to figure out how to correct this, and are getting really frustrated, but we did want to let you know we are aware that it not only looks sloppy but unprofessional as shit. We’re working on it. Thanks for your patience and for continuing to read Horror Boom!
You know, normally we’d just re-blog this, but this piece was so long and packed with interesting information– and dish– that we’re going to relate ten of the most interesting points given when Ryan Murphy spilled his guts (so to speak) on EW.com right after the American Horror Story Freak Show premiere …THEN give you the link. There’s plenty about the Freak Show season to come, that’s for sure. So, according to Ryan Murphy (and EW.com’s Inside TV, the source for all this)…
The new, all-animated opening credits have plenty of little hints in them, goodies for the fans that, if you pay attention closely, will tell you what will be happening this season (eek).
The colors in the credits are deliberately dimmed to signal “the end of an era” when it comes to the old-school-style freak shows.
Jessica Lange’s character Elsa was inspired by Marlene Dietrich (which fans have figured out by now), but also Bette Davis. The monkey-fur coat she wears is a real coat made of monkey’s fur, and weighs about 80 lbs, according to Murphy. The first time she wore it, the temperature was over 100 degrees. At some point, Lange got fed up and ‘made’ Ryan Murphy wear it to see how horrible it felt.
We will find out the back story about the big reveal at the end of the episode (Elsa’s legs). There will be lots of flashbacks.
Murphy knows what S5 will consist of and is interviewing actors now. He also says there are hints dropped about the theme during the first two episodes.
A scene usually takes 4-5 hours to shoot. If a scene has Sarah Paulson as the Twins in it, it can take 20 hours. Also, Ms. Paulson “pre-records most of her dialogue. So she’s wearing an invisible earwig when she’s doing scenes with herself,” Murphy explains.
Yes, that was a deliberate Baltimore accent Ethel (Kathy Bates) has. According to Murphy, she worked very hard to perfect and sound like a character straight out an earlier John Waters movie.
The woman billed as “The Tallest Woman Alive,” Amazon Eve (played by Erika Ervin), was written for a man (originally called Johnny Long in the Pants). The actress auditioned Murphy liked her so much that he re-wrote the part for her.
Jessica Lange never dated or had any, er, intimate relations with David Bowie (much to Murphy’s disappointment). There will only be five musical numbers tops, one a Fiona Apple cover, and a Lana Del Rey ‘song’ (we think they should have stuck with Bowie). Kurt Cobain’s name was also brought up, so hopefully they’ll pick a great Nirvana song.
I started poking around the NoSleep Subreddit today, reading the archive with the contest winners for each month, and pretty much each one of them was nightmarish (and well-written). The e-Books are available in plenty of formats and since the stories are fairly short, there’s always time to catch up and get one read… right before bedtime! At the very least, check out the contest archive. SOMETHING there will scare the hell out of you…
Ring in the new year terrifyingly late with the first issue of 2014! In this edition, our authors will truly abuse your emotions. Each story evokes that nervous prickle on the back of your neck that you’ve come to expect but, in this issue, it will be compounded with visceral disgust, soul-crushing sadness, and paranoia so intense it will hurt to draw even the smallest of breaths. You may not like what you feel, but I can guarantee that you will feel. And when a man in a suit comes to your house to offer you Kool Aid, tempting though the offer may seem, leave your door bolted and turn back to the nosleep eBook.