Horror Boom Wants To Know : What’s The Scariest Short Horror Film You’ve Ever Seen? (Poll)

OK, so it’s Monday and we’re feeling a little low on energy here, but hey, you don’t have to be at the top of your game either before you take our newest poll! We inserted a few of our favorites here in this piece in case you hadn’t seen them yet, or wanted to confirm they still scared the living shit out of you before you voted (and yep, you can pick two runners-up for a total of three picks). Scroll down if you want to skip the preamble and go directly to vote.

See, we post a lot of scary short movies online. Sometimes–like this past weekend– we sit through literally dozens of ’em on the laptop looking for a gem worth posting. We do have a few sure things we’re still saving for a rainy day,  but these days, we’ve already posted most of the scariest made (so far). It seems like whenever we’re combing the net and watching ten or more at a time, it’s always after midnight, which may be why we stopped having “Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week” be a regular feature for a while back there, but that’s beside the point.

What do we look for before deciding to post? A good jump scare–or two–is usually a sure thing, as long as it’s earned and not a cheap, lazy one. “Lights Out” sure has that:

A fridge scare (AKA a chilling and/or horrifying reveal), done well is also a sure bet. Here’s an example of the latter, in the very short, simple, but hair-raisingly effective “Mockingbird” (from Drew Daywalt):

A spooky, especially creepy atmosphere is a big plus, as in Bloody Cut’s “Who’s There?” Film Contest Grand Prize Winner “Play Time” (which isn’t exactly a slow-burn, but you’ll get the idea):

Of course, some really disturbing make-up effects and gore aren’t required (none of the films listed so far really have much blood), and gore for the sake of gore isn’t scary, but here’s an example of it working well in the exorcism shocker “Deus Irae”.

Then you get a film that has all of the above (except the gore) but you don’t really break down intellectually what aspects scare you until after you’ve calmed down from watching it (whenever the hell THAT is), because you’re too busy for anything besides being fucking terrified. If we had to pick just one “Scariest Short Film We’ve Ever Seen,” it’d be the absolute nightmare that is Mama, below.

We know you’ve seen others, so we listed the ones here that got the most positive feedback and left a space for a write-in. Tell us, we’re seriously curious! Here we go.

If you feel like watching a bunch more, go to the “category cloud” on the sidebar and pick “Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week”. “Horror Short Films” will work too.  Here’s a few links to ones we highly recommend if you missed them the first time around: Bloody Cut’s gothic folktale of the “Suckablood,” and their gory masterpiece “Don’t Move” that gives you another reason who you should never even be in the same house as a Ouija Board, let alone play with one. There’s also two other Drew Daywalt films that we watched in the middle of the night and instantly regretted our decision; “Spoon”, starring Christa Campbell showing some acting chops, and “Cleansed,” which we regretted watching after dark less than a minute in. Actually, anything we’ve posted associated with Bloody Cuts UK or The Daywalt Fear Factory could give you nightmares…

fffffffffuuuuuuccck...

fffffffffuuuuuuccck…

 

 

 

Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week: Don’t Forget “The Promise” (Ghost Stories From Japan Series)

“When your name is called, you answer without fail. Just make sure you don’t forget this.”

 

This one is a slow-burn (if you’re a fan of J-horror, you’re probably already familiar with the slow, creepy pace), but it pays off. Big time. Check it out below… after dark.

When you’re in a supernatural-themed Asian horror film, if someone gives you instructions to follow while you’re staying somewhere alone, pay attention and do not fuck them up! 

Screen shot 2014-07-19 at 5.20.01 AM

 

Do Clowns Scare You? Then You Might Want to Skip “Stitches,” Our Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week

Well surprise surprise, it’s another heart-pounder of a short horror film by Bloody Cuts UK!  We posted another short horror film a couple of years ago with the same basic plot, but this one was different–and frightening enough–that we didn’t let that stop us from picking this creeper for scariest of the week.

Check out “Stitches,” the second (out of thirteen) short Bloody Cuts released, right here… and don’t forget to stick around until after the credits have finished rolling. Oh, unless clowns creep you the hell out, in which case consider yourself warned:

In case you’re interested in being terrified some more, here’s a link to the similar film I was talking about. It’s longer and does a different take, but is still “12 Minutes of Must-See Terror!” as we titled the post when we first published it a little over two years ago. We’re leaving out the title so as not to spoil you, just in case you haven’t watched the above short yet. Again, be warned: you WILL jump!

OK, what is the LAST kind of "urgent newsbreak" you want to see while you're babysitting?

OK, what is the LAST kind of “urgent newsbreak” you want to see while you’re babysitting?

Also, as usual, Bloody Cuts put up a “Making-Of” video for the short.  I don’t know about you, but usually I watch these to remind me the short that just actively frightened me was only make-believe. Though they are also very informative, and it’s so cool to see what a team of creative, talented people can create with a low-budget when they really throw their hearts into making the best short they can. Interested (or need to be reminded what you just saw was fiction)? Watch the behind-the-scenes featurette below.

Pleasant dreams!

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The Conjuring spin-off, Annabelle, will haunt theaters in October

This has potential to be really frightening. Wonder if they’ll use “Miss me?” as a tagline…

The Conjuring Annabelle doll on rocking chair

Anyone who has seen James Wan’s The Conjuring will no doubt remember the few scenes in which the terrifying Annabelle doll graced the screen. And although she played a very small part in the film, that didn’t stop Warner Bros. and New Line from creating a spinoff that would take the creepy doll and make her the centerpiece of her very own horror feature. Annabelle, from director John R. Leonett—who was The Conjuring‘s director of photography—has been slated with an October 3rd, 2014 release date, reports Deadline. That’s pretty damn soon.

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Scariest Short Horror Film Of The Week: “Dare” (2013, HD) Bloody Cuts Final Short: 96, 97, 98, 99…

Hope y’all had a safe and sane Independence Day, and are planning on seeing some insane, unsafe movies over the holiday weekend! We just want the goddamned illegal fireworks to STOP ALREADY. They started two days early on July 2nd, and we’ll probably be hearing them tonight as well. Our two cat’s nerves are all shot to hell.

So, anyway, this last film from Bloody Cuts, “Dare,” wasn’t a huge production.The reason it was made? To give an example (and illustrate the guidelines) of the “Who’s There?” short film contest. You know, the one that gave us the Grand Prize Winner “Play Time,” and awarded “Lights Out” with Best Director.*  So even though this film was just made as an example of what can be done in around three minutes, it really shines. If they didn’t put their usual amount of care and concern and craftsmanship into it –all hallmarks of any Bloody Cuts short– we’d be pretty surprised. Sometimes they shoot them fast, but there’s a ton of prep time. This one has a pretty simple concept… but that doesn’t mean it won’t creep you the hell out!

Screen shot 2014-07-05 at 8.26.06 AM

There’s a really impressive, creative back-story on the official Bloody Cuts page for “Dare,” and this time, you’ll get just as enjoyable–and maybe scarier–experience if you read it first. Here’s that back-story, straight from the Bloody Cuts site:

On the outskirts of Lynnsmouth, three teenage girls break into the grounds of an old crumbling property overlooking Dodman’s lake** and dare each other to enter the rotten house, it’s rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Lord Tarquin Wyrmwood IV and his mistress whom hung themselves together in the attic a hundred years past.
The two older girls bully Amy into going first… she must climb to the attic and count to a hundred, a second for each year that’s passed since the deaths of the owners, the legend promises that if you make it to a hundred you’ll see a ghost.
Screen shot 2014-07-05 at 8.25.08 AM
Amy enters the house, she didn’t believe in ghosts…
96… 97… 98… 99…

Here’s what they have to say about the making of “Dare” (do NOT read until you’ve seen the film-SPOILER ALERT otherwise):

‘Dare’ was created specifically for the first ever “Who’s There” Bloody Cuts Film Challenge. This was served up as an example of a sub three-minute short, created to the theme of “Who’s There?” and made for under a $1000 budget. A benchmark, a jumping-off point, a bar set for other filmmakers to jump over.
Which they did. Spectacularly.

Filmed over two days in a dilapidated, terrifying old farmhouse, some of the building was sealed off because the ceiling had fallen down. Nature had reclaimed half of it, and the other half was a bird graveyard. It was the least glamorous shoot Bloody Cuts ever had to endure…

Nope, not looking too glam.

Nope, not looking too glam.

Thankfully Bloody Cuts have a lot of skilled friends and family members willing to spend their weekend in a broken-down, soot-filled ruin for free. Featuring some of the more complicated practical effects Bloody Cuts have ever had to deal with, ‘Dare’ required the use of floor-drilling, wire-work, rota-spinning and hiding in cupboards! We even used one of the many bird-skeletons for set decoration.

Due to the isolated location and lack of anywhere remotely clean, Millennium FX’s make-up work had to be applied on the side of a dirt-road, which certainly surprised the locals! Thankfully it didn’t rain, otherwise this would’ve been a very different story. ‘Dare’ delivers a tight, fast, furious and horrifying twist on the haunted house genre. Not bad considering it was created as an ‘example’ of what could be achieved with a limited budget and specific theme.

Trivia: the painting which changes from being ‘normal’ into a twisted nightmare is not actually Lord Tarquin Wyrmwood IV, but Bloody Cuts writer Joel Morgan. And yes, that is his hat. And no, you can’t have it.

Screen shot 2014-07-05 at 8.24.02 AM

Going back for a repeat viewing? We sure did, and noticed a few creepy details we missed the first time. If you’d like to see the “Making Of” video (sometimes that helps us with our nightmares, for one thing), check it out!

‘Dare’ was created specifically for the first ever “Who’s There” Bloody Cuts Film Challenge. This was served up as an example of a sub three minute short, created to the theme of “Who’s There?” and made for under a $1000 budget. A benchmark, a jumping-off point, a bar set for other filmmakers to jump over. Which they did. Spectacularly.

Filmed over two days in a dilapidated, terrifying old farmhouse, some of the building was sealed off because the ceiling had fallen down. Nature had reclaimed half of it, and the other half was a bird graveyard. It was the least glamorous shoot Bloody Cuts ever had to endure…

Thankfully Bloody Cuts have a lot of skilled friends and family members willing to spend their weekend in a broken-down, soot-filled ruin for free. Featuring some of the more complicated practical effects Bloody Cuts have ever had to deal with, ‘Dare’ required the use of floor-drilling, wire-work, rota-spinning and hiding in cupboards! We even used one of the many bird-skeletons for set decoration.

Due to the isolated location and lack of anywhere remotely clean, Millennium FX’s make-up work had to be applied on the side of a dirt-road, which certainly surprised the locals! Thankfully it didn’t rain, otherwise this would’ve been a very different story. ‘Dare’ delivers a tight, fast, furious and horrifying twist on the haunted house genre. Not bad considering it was created as an ‘example’ of what could be achieved with a limited budget and specific theme.

Trivia: the painting which changes from being ‘normal’ into a twisted nightmare is not actually Lord Tarquin Wyrmwood IV, but Bloody Cuts writer Joel Morgan. And yes, that is his hat. And no, you can’t have it.

– See more at: http://www.bloodycuts.co.uk/films/dare-bc-horror-challenge/#sthash.wAUpRf6P.dpuf

We honestly don’t think Bloody Cuts UK could have ever made a boring short horror film–even if they tried.

Screen shot 2014-07-05 at 8.44.02 AM

*Speaking of dares, we dare you to watch either of the above contest-winning short films (note that we included helpful links) in the dark, alone, with headphones on. That is, if you weren’t planning on getting much sleep anyway…

**Sound familiar? It’s the lake from “Dead Man’s Lake,” possibly our personal favorite BC film. Or one of our favorites, it’s hard to pick… top three? Maybe.

Dare – is a 3 minute short film created as a benchmark film for the Bloody Cuts Horror Challenge of 2013.

“On the outskirts of Lynnsmouth three teenage girls break into the grounds of an old crumbling property overlooking Dodman’s lake and dare each other to enter the rotten house, it’s rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Lord Tarquin Wyrmwood IV and his mistress whom hung themselves together in the attic a hundred years past.

The two older girls bully Amy into going first… she must climb to the attic and count to a hundred, a second for each year that’s passed since the deaths of the owners, the legend promises that if you make it to a hundred you’ll see a ghost.

Amy enters the house, she didn’t believe in ghosts…

96…97…98…99…”

‘Dare’ was created specifically for the first ever “Who’s There” Bloody Cuts Film Challenge. This was served up as an example of a sub three minute short, created to the theme of “Who’s There?” and made for under a $1000 budget. A benchmark, a jumping-off point, a bar set for other filmmakers to jump over. Which they did. Spectacularly.

Filmed over two days in a dilapidated, terrifying old farmhouse, some of the building was sealed off because the ceiling had fallen down. Nature had reclaimed half of it, and the other half was a bird graveyard. It was the least glamorous shoot Bloody Cuts ever had to endure…

Thankfully Bloody Cuts have a lot of skilled friends and family members willing to spend their weekend in a broken-down, soot-filled ruin for free. Featuring some of the more complicated practical effects Bloody Cuts have ever had to deal with, ‘Dare’ required the use of floor-drilling, wire-work, rota-spinning and hiding in cupboards! We even used one of the many bird-skeletons for set decoration.

Due to the isolated location and lack of anywhere remotely clean, Millennium FX’s make-up work had to be applied on the side of a dirt-road, which certainly surprised the locals! Thankfully it didn’t rain, otherwise this would’ve been a very different story. ‘Dare’ delivers a tight, fast, furious and horrifying twist on the haunted house genre. Not bad considering it was created as an ‘example’ of what could be achieved with a limited budget and specific theme.

Trivia: the painting which changes from being ‘normal’ into a twisted nightmare is not actually Lord Tarquin Wyrmwood IV, but Bloody Cuts writer Joel Morgan. And yes, that is his hat. And no, you can’t have it.

– See more at: http://www.bloodycuts.co.uk/films/dare-bc-horror-challenge/#sthash.wAUpRf6P.dpuf

Dare – is a 3 minute short film created as a benchmark film for the Bloody Cuts Horror Challenge of 2013.

“On the outskirts of Lynnsmouth three teenage girls break into the grounds of an old crumbling property overlooking Dodman’s lake and dare each other to enter the rotten house, it’s rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Lord Tarquin Wyrmwood IV and his mistress whom hung themselves together in the attic a hundred years past.

The two older girls bully Amy into going first… she must climb to the attic and count to a hundred, a second for each year that’s passed since the deaths of the owners, the legend promises that if you make it to a hundred you’ll see a ghost.

Amy enters the house, she didn’t believe in ghosts…

96…97…98…99…”

‘Dare’ was created specifically for the first ever “Who’s There” Bloody Cuts Film Challenge. This was served up as an example of a sub three minute short, created to the theme of “Who’s There?” and made for under a $1000 budget. A benchmark, a jumping-off point, a bar set for other filmmakers to jump over. Which they did. Spectacularly.

Filmed over two days in a dilapidated, terrifying old farmhouse, some of the building was sealed off because the ceiling had fallen down. Nature had reclaimed half of it, and the other half was a bird graveyard. It was the least glamorous shoot Bloody Cuts ever had to endure…

Thankfully Bloody Cuts have a lot of skilled friends and family members willing to spend their weekend in a broken-down, soot-filled ruin for free. Featuring some of the more complicated practical effects Bloody Cuts have ever had to deal with, ‘Dare’ required the use of floor-drilling, wire-work, rota-spinning and hiding in cupboards! We even used one of the many bird-skeletons for set decoration.

Due to the isolated location and lack of anywhere remotely clean, Millennium FX’s make-up work had to be applied on the side of a dirt-road, which certainly surprised the locals! Thankfully it didn’t rain, otherwise this would’ve been a very different story. ‘Dare’ delivers a tight, fast, furious and horrifying twist on the haunted house genre. Not bad considering it was created as an ‘example’ of what could be achieved with a limited budget and specific theme.

Trivia: the painting which changes from being ‘normal’ into a twisted nightmare is not actually Lord Tarquin Wyrmwood IV, but Bloody Cuts writer Joel Morgan. And yes, that is his hat. And no, you can’t have it.

– See more at: http://www.bloodycuts.co.uk/films/dare-bc-horror-challenge/#sthash.wAUpRf6P.dpuf

Dare – is a 3 minute short film created as a benchmark film for the Bloody Cuts Horror Challenge of 2013.

“On the outskirts of Lynnsmouth three teenage girls break into the grounds of an old crumbling property overlooking Dodman’s lake and dare each other to enter the rotten house, it’s rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Lord Tarquin Wyrmwood IV and his mistress whom hung themselves together in the attic a hundred years past.

The two older girls bully Amy into going first… she must climb to the attic and count to a hundred, a second for each year that’s passed since the deaths of the owners, the legend promises that if you make it to a hundred you’ll see a ghost.

Amy enters the house, she didn’t believe in ghosts…

96…97…98…99…”

‘Dare’ was created specifically for the first ever “Who’s There” Bloody Cuts Film Challenge. This was served up as an example of a sub three minute short, created to the theme of “Who’s There?” and made for under a $1000 budget. A benchmark, a jumping-off point, a bar set for other filmmakers to jump over. Which they did. Spectacularly.

Filmed over two days in a dilapidated, terrifying old farmhouse, some of the building was sealed off because the ceiling had fallen down. Nature had reclaimed half of it, and the other half was a bird graveyard. It was the least glamorous shoot Bloody Cuts ever had to endure…

Thankfully Bloody Cuts have a lot of skilled friends and family members willing to spend their weekend in a broken-down, soot-filled ruin for free. Featuring some of the more complicated practical effects Bloody Cuts have ever had to deal with, ‘Dare’ required the use of floor-drilling, wire-work, rota-spinning and hiding in cupboards! We even used one of the many bird-skeletons for set decoration.

Due to the isolated location and lack of anywhere remotely clean, Millennium FX’s make-up work had to be applied on the side of a dirt-road, which certainly surprised the locals! Thankfully it didn’t rain, otherwise this would’ve been a very different story. ‘Dare’ delivers a tight, fast, furious and horrifying twist on the haunted house genre. Not bad considering it was created as an ‘example’ of what could be achieved with a limited budget and specific theme.

Trivia: the painting which changes from being ‘normal’ into a twisted nightmare is not actually Lord Tarquin Wyrmwood IV, but Bloody Cuts writer Joel Morgan. And yes, that is his hat. And no, you can’t have it.

– See more at: http://www.bloodycuts.co.uk/films/dare-bc-horror-challenge/#sthash.wAUpRf6P.dpuf

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.

Screen shot 2014-05-23 at 8.12.56 AM

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.

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. 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.

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Spooky-Ass Imaginary Friends: When You Were A Kid, Did YOU Know Any This Damn Scary?

 

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Dread Central ran a great piece back in January 2014.  KW Low (DC Staff Contributor) found a collection of very creepy anecdotes on Reddit. We personally don’t spend that much time on Reddit, but we’re thinking on the basis of this Dread Central piece that maybe we should look into that, because there’s some great material to mine and pass on to readers (giving credit where credit is due, of course).

Screen shot 2014-06-30 at 4.43.19 AM

So apparently, someone–a new parent– posted a question or topic on Reddit asking if other parents had ever had any experiences with their children having creepy imaginary friends. Whenever we hear this brought up, our mind goes straight back to the time we saw the scene from the original Amityville Horror on TV when we were way too young. You know, the one with …JODY?  Jody was supposed to be a pig of some sort (we think), but all we can recall–quite vividly, even decades later–is the scene where the mother (played by Margot Kidder) looks out the window after the kid mentions something about “Jody” being outside the window and there’s a HUGE music sting as you see a red, glowing pair of eyes before they dart away. In case you don’t recall…

Anyway, there were a ton of answers that varied from “a little spooky” to “pretty creepy” to “a nightmare that sound like something out of a fucking James Wan haunted house/demonic entity movie”. As you can see, we’ve included examples…

Screen shot 2014-06-30 at 4.47.53 AM

 

Some are from readers who remembered things as kids,  in their own experience. This one was even written by a teacher as told from a parent:

Screen shot 2014-06-30 at 3.52.02 AM Screen shot 2014-06-30 at 4.43.13 AM

Some are childhood memories from the actual kids, grown up now (but still freaked out… understandably) :

Fuck!  I might end up in therapy if I experienced something like this as an ADULT.

Fuck! I might end up in therapy if I experienced something like this as an ADULT.

We didn’t have imaginary friends as kids (that we know of, and now both of us are scared to ask our parents because we don’t want to hear anything remotely like this that’ll no doubt keep us awake). Just reading some of these in the middle of the night will probably get your imagination going a little…

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Here’s the one (below) that James Wan might want to think about adapting…

Screen shot 2014-06-30 at 3.59.05 AM

 

Do you want to read them all? The link to the original piece on Dread Central is below:

21 Creepy Things Kids Say About Their Imaginary Friends – Dread Central.

 

Christ!

Christ!

Have you had enough chills or do you want some more? If you do, you’re in luck! They ran a follow-up a few weeks later with even more creepy stories, and here’s the link to that one. Some of the latter ones are actually kind of touching, such as visits (nice ones) with dead relatives who loved them.

Screen shot 2014-06-30 at 5.06.31 AM

If this particular “imaginary friend” shows up outside your kid’s window, pack some suitcases and head to a motel, then call a realtor in the morning about selling the place you just bought in Amityville.

 

Sources: DreadCentral.com, Reddit

Find Out If “There Are Monsters” (2008), In Horror Boom’s Scariest Short Horror Film Of The Week

“Honey… it’s happening.”
“What’s happening?”

We may say this quite a bit lately, but here’s another creepy-ass horror short that we found both scary and impressive enough to be a pick of the week in which the less you know going in, the better. This one, written and directed by Jay Dahl, will raise the hairs on the back of your neck even in daylight… in fact, some disturbing shit that goes down in the movie itself happens during daylight. Take a look and find out for yourself…

So, as to the question we posed in the subject line? Yeah, we’re pretty sure that…

Screen shot 2014-06-28 at 4.18.37 AM

 

 

HEY! Ten American Horror Story Freak Show Plot/Character Details That Have Recently Hit The News!

OK, we’re going to go with bullet points.  If last season’s “Coven” wasn’t exactly your favorite season (ahem), things may be looking up.

Screen shot 2014-06-26 at 9.17.52 AM

Ryan Murphy has said that he wanted a “comedic tone” similar to Coven, but that this season is just getting darker, and it’s going to not be so much in the tone of Coven, but closer to the tone of Asylum! Hey, nightmare time from AHS again!

  • Let’s get the bad news out of the way now: There is a 99% chance that Lilly Rabe will not be able to join the cast, as she has a scheduling conflict. Let’s cross our fingers she can at least show up for a cameo.
  • Vic Mackey Michael Chiklis will be playing the circus/freak show strongman (that’s pretty much how they looked back in the day, built like bulldogs rather than beefcake).
  • His character will be married to Angela Bassett’s character. Ryan Murphy described the character as the strong but sensitive type, who “is written to be quite vulnerable”.
  • Kathy Bates will play his ex-wife, and they’ll all have plenty of scenes together… which is great, since Bassett VS. Bates = pure gold. Chiklis will just be the icing on the cake!
  • Sarah Paulson will not be playing a character with two heads, but one with a conjoined twin. If you’ve seen photos of people born with a live, conjoined twin, this has the high possibility to become really, really disturbing.*
  • Screen shot 2014-06-26 at 9.16.34 AM

    American Horror Story Freakshow Horror poster design by Mental Shed Studios. Horror Boom does not own the copyright.

  • The production will start shooting S4 in the middle of July. Kathy Bates says she’s starting to have costume fittings, and her character will appear in the portions of the show that take place in the late 1950s.
  • In a recent E! Online Spoiler chat, we found out about three new characters currently being cast: “that of the comedic ‘Larry’, ‘Bobby’, an extremely, extremely tall man described as a gentle giant,  and ‘Sammy’, a role which will require prosthetics.” Yikes…
  • Evan Peters will be playing an as-yet unspecified ‘freak’, whom Jessica Lange’s character has ‘rescued’. Oh, and her character refers to them as “unusuals”,  since let’s face it, no-one likes to be called a freak (even if they are employed in a Freak Show).
  • Denis O’Hare will return as “a collector of freaks,” according to Vulture. Of his relationship with Lange’s character, he hinted, “We’ll have lots of scenes with each other, but we’ll be battling.” We’re really glad he’s going to play a live character with a tongue this time around.
  • Actors that are definitely “in”, but don’t have specified roles as of yet: Frances Conroy (yes!), Emma Roberts, Jamie Brewer, and Gabourey Sidibe.
  • Screen shot 2014-06-26 at 8.51.59 AM

    It’s “unusual” that Angela Bassett appears to be aging in reverse!

We have been told that the “big bad”- -glad they have one this season– will be someone (or something) called “The Clown Killer”. What we don’t know yet is if he is a clown that kills people, a killer who targets clowns, or possible a clown who only kills other clowns.

Screen shot 2014-06-26 at 9.20.21 AM

From the Paleyfeat 2014 panel.

*When I was young, I want to say…pffft…maybe 5th grade, my parents let me check out a book from the library titled “Freaks” that was in fact very sympathetic and compassionate. A little too informative for me at that particular age, though. I read about a man (who did work in a freak show) with a conjoined twin that had a head and an arm that hung there limply. The head would sometimes go to sleep and wake up, and it snored. The final sentence has been seared into my brain for decades: “When the head began talking, however, he committed suicide with a shotgun.”  I assumed back then (and still have the strong feeling) that it wasn’t the fact that the head was talking that drove him to kill himself but what the head was saying.

Theatrical Trailer for “Ju-on: The Beginning of the End (Ju-on: Owari No Hajimari)” Is Creepy As Hell

So, we STILL cannot find one with English subtitles for the dialogue. If you’re a Ju-on/Grudge fan, though, you don’t really need to know the translation; it’s still scary as hell:

Sadly, we can also find no evidence that Takako Fuji is in the movie (as Kayako). We’re keeping our fingers crossed that she at least shows up in a flashback. She pops up in this quick teaser, though, which also sends chills down our spines…

What is this Ju-On “reboot”, you ask? Well, it has to be better than the Grudge 3. Anyway….  take it away, general press release:

The film was first announced at a press conference held at Akagi Shrine in Tokyo on February 26, 2014, following a spirit cleansing ceremony at the shrine. Filming began soon thereafter on March 4, 2014. Beginning of the End is set to premiere on June 28, 2014 in Japan.

Unlike the previous two installments, White Ghost and Black Ghost, this film focuses on the deceased Saeki family and its curse. An elementary school teacher named Yui (Nozomi Sasaki) visits the home of a boy named Toshio Saeki (Kai Kobayashi) who’s been absent from school for a long period of time. When she arrives, she re-lives the horrifying events that occurred in the Saeki household 10 years earlier.

Screen shot 2014-06-19 at 5.18.49 AM

Again, no evidence of Fuji-san, and they even replaced the long-time veteran actor Takashi Matsuyama, who played shitty, homicidal jealous husband, Takeo. They even used him in Grudge 3 (insert my own croaking noise here), while they re-cast Kayako for that one. OK, I can see not using the same Toshio, for the obvious reasons that the actor is human and therefore doesn’t look like a little boy anymore. But Kayako and Takeo?

Tayako Fuji as Kayako Saeki

The One and Only Takako Fuji as Kayako Saeki

OK, don’t get me started. We’re still going to see it… but if they do a stair-crawl, they better use footage of Takako Fuji from… well, there’s at least 3 to choose from.

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