TV Review: ‘The Returned’ (Les Revenants), ‘Zombie Night’ – More Dead People Walking

…Yet Camille is not alone, with other resurrected folk including a young man (Pierre Perrier) whose death left his intended bride (Clotilde Hesme) at the altar; and an eerie young boy (Swann Nambotin, simply mesmerizing) who won’t speak, though strange happenings seem to follow in his wake. Also, there’s the little matter of new attacks by a long-dormant killer, suggesting he might be among the risen… Not every beat works, but after watching an hour it was hard not to stick with “The Returned” for the full ride.

-From the Variety review by Brain Lowry

We realize we’re a little late to the party for The Returned (Les Revenants) on the Sundance channel, but just in case you haven’t heard about the series, here’s your chance to read a review. It doesn’t sound like a great choice to watch when you’re depressed or experienced the death of someone you loved (or worse yet, both), but other than that, we’ve heard nothing but great things about the show. Speaking of being late to the party, this piece in Variety by Brian Lowry also reviews the first Syfy zombie movie, the cleverly titled “Zombie Night“, which somehow made us more depressed reading about than The Returned. Syfy: Please stick to ridiculous, fictional giant creatures like “Ice Spiders” or even really stupid ones like “Ghost Shark” and the now-notorious Sharknado (tagline: ” ‘NUFF SAID!”) suddenly come crashing through a wall or leaping out of nowhere to eat a character. If you’ve seen The Returned, let us know how you liked it!

 

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YEAH! ‘The ABCs Of Death 2’ in Production Now – Check Out The Details Here (MoreHorror.com)!

Oh, it is freakin’ ON! Check out the big red link below to get all excited about The ABCs Of Death 2. Also, looks like we’ll be able to get our review up before the sequel hits theaters (we’re on the review for the original ABCs of Death, promise).

‘ABCs Of Death 2’ in Production | More Horror – Movie News, Film Reviews, Exclusive Interviews.

 

 

Here’s to hoping they will bring back Xavier Gens (X is for XXL segment), Lee Hardcastle (T is for Toilet) for another awesome, fun, jaw-dropping claymation short, Jason Eisener (‘Y is for Youngbuck’), Timo Tjahjanto (who did the standout short L is for Libido), Jake West* (‘Speed’), Adam Wingard (‘Quack’)and Marcel Sarmiento (“Dogfight”). We could, however, definitely pass on a return engagement for a few, such as Yoshihiro Nishimura and Noboru Iguchi …what a mess those were (and this coming from a Tokyo Gore Police fan.

Awesome additional poster art for the film.

Awesome additional poster art for the first film.

*and Ti West wore out his welcome completely with one of the laziest entries, “M is for Miscarraige”. In fact, anything that involved a toilet, other than Lee Hardcastle’s short, really, well… stunk. Bathroom (X is for XXL, E is for Exterminate)? Not a problem.

Very Creepy “Mama” Movie FX Test Footage – Javier Botet as Mama Not Haunting Your Dreams Anymore? Watching This Should Do The Trick!

Ooookay, yeah, this is creepy as hell. Here’s the skinny on the early test footage from Mama.   Also, since we’re still digging up searching for a more recent interview to include in postings on actor/featured creature performer Javier Botet,  here’s a little more background to hold you till we get it all organized.

Seen the 2008 short film? Then this shot/pose should look familiar...

Seen the 2008 short film? Then this shot/pose should look familiar…

According to Slashfilm.com‘s , (in this piece about an on-set visit, back in October of 2012),  Mama was being created by blending on-set practical performance by Javier Botet,  and the digital effects of two companies: DDT and Mr. X. To prove they could pull it off, the filmmakers and DDT  shot a test in June 2011 to show the executives what they had in mind.

Here’s that test, which has popped up (or lunged out) online in a couple of places. We discovered it thanks to a piece by Jessica Wakeman of BlackBookMag.com (where she also was cool enough to mention Horror Boom and point readers our way to see a photo of Mama, the finished product, in full makeup; she meant this “Rumor Control” post here). It’s just shot in black and white, with no sound, and still scares the fuck out of everybody;  on the page with the You Tube video (which eerily has no description)  the top-rated post says  ….I immediately regret this decision.*

So, how was this waking nightmare created? From the same article on the set visit, ©Slashfilm.com’s :

On set, [director] Muschietti literally operates Botet like a marionette to really get him moving in weird ways. “Javier has a bunch of cables coming out of his body, so he’s pulled into directions that are not normal and he has to counter the wire pull. Then we remove the wires and what it looks like is like literally a marionette coming to life,” [Guillermo] Del Toro said. “It looks almost digital, but it’s all caught on camera. He moves really disjointed, because they are trying to trip him essentially. It’s really, really cool.”

Probably not very comfortable for him at the time, but it sure as hell worked. We also have been sort of concerned with Mr. Botet’s health, and have wondered for years if he just has a fast metabolism and then diets down, or what’s going on with his very slender, 6 foot-7 inch frame. He gives very few interviews, and we’re trying to get up the nerve to drop him an email (also, seriously doubt he’d be able take the time for an interview with Horror Boom when it could get much more exposure elsewhere, which we totally understand), but it’s not the sort of question you can just blurt out (even if our French wasn’t terrible). Apparently, Botet has Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder which causes an elongation of the body and the fingers (personally, we were positive he wears finger extensions for his creature acting, and will have to get back to you after we re-watch the [REC]  behind-the-scenes make-up/effects DVD feature). He confirmed in an interview while doing some press for [REC 2]  that while he can get tired easily –especially if the prosthetics are heavy and he’s had to sit for a six-plus hour session in the make-up chair– he’s content, healthy, and loves his job. Plus, the actor is always a gentleman to the press and to his fans.

Screen shot 2013-02-02 at 6.20.57 AM

Image owned by/copyright Javier Botet, 2010-present.
See? Don’t be scared at night that “Mama” is hiding under your bed or in lurking in your closet! It’s all a performance by this friendly actor! Heh-heh… heh… just a movie, just a movie, just a movie…

So, if we chicken out on contacting him (like I said, we have to work up to it), we’ll give out all the links we can, and definitely “re-blog” all the interviews we can locate.

Curious about Marfan syndrome? Here’s a good link with a ton of information. It does not sound comfortable.

Meanwhile, did you scroll down here because you were a little unsure if you wanted to watch that test footage? Here’s a (small) gallery, slide-slow style, of some screen-grabs from it, if you want to dip your toe in first…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

More on Mr. Botet will show up, so watch this space! And yes, Mama  the movie was scary as hell. Uneven at times, yes. Also, there were two very memorable and distinct moments/jumps that were in nearly every trailer, that I wanted to know the story behind, totally missing from the movie which sort of personally threw me off when I realized the credits were rolling  Maybe a dangling plot thread or two, but you know what, I was way too busy screaming to notice at the time.  Also, it knocked Texas Chainsaw 3D  right out of the top box office sales, so I’m going to give any flaws a pass for now. A longer review of Mama is still to come– along with all the coverage on the Mama creature/makeup/FX we can get our claws hands on!

Screen shot 2013-02-02 at 4.19.44 AM

*You Tube user comment by user “SuperZombieMoon”.

The Top Ten Horror Movies Our Hearts Are Pounding To See In 2013, Why They’re On Horror Boom’s Most Anticipated List, Plus Extras!

First, a quick site update (more to come). So, the holidays came so fast our ‘Christmas/Holiday Countdown’ consisted of exactly two holiday-themed posts (one, if you don’t count the actual Christmas greeting that contained this commercial). We were planning a sorta “Twelve Days Of Christmas” countdown. Even had notes jotted down for this grandiose scheme. Example- On the first day of Christmas, Horror Boom gave to Me- The Collector’s Backstory! On the second day, two reasons to avoid escalators (clip from Terror Firmer, Final Destination 4 clip) etc. all the way up to “Ten Dr. West jokes” and “Twelve Romero Zombie Kills”. That turned out to be waaaaaay  too ambitious. First problem, we came up with the idea ten days before Christmas, before we even wrote anything.  OK, let’s see, we could retro-post a few of them, let’s get working on that, first we got to take care of holiday shopping, but now we can catch up and (blink) oh, hey! It’s Christmas Eve tomorrow! Shit, we gotta get started on our wrapping! (blink) Wow, we need to send thank-you notes for those cool gifts.

OK, on to that 2013 projects/movies list!

Screen shot 2012-12-31 at 5.56.22 AM

So, we were chatting with friends and started naming off our top five we were drooling to see. I went to jot them down, and realized there were ten movies we were all hopped up for.  Mrs. Horror Boom here got an actual adrenaline rush just writing the complete list down and seeing all ten at once. OK, if you want to get technical, one item on the list are the final four episodes of a certain TV show (that will air starting January second), but we doubt we’ll get  complaints on that, judging from the fact at least 50% of our traffic come from various American Horror Story Asylum-related searches (especially those tagged with “Pinhead Pepper”).

We couldn’t find a graceful way to include this in the title, but these are all coming out in the first half of 2013. Many will hit before Spring is officially here. After Memorial Day, we’ll probably do a list for the second half. Some of these all of us horror fans have been waiting for over 6 months (and almost a year on Inbred’s U.S. release). The ABCS os Death was supposed to be an early October release, for God’s sake.

There’s no way we’d get the list out in a timely manner if we attempted to rank them in order of excitement, so we decided to go with the release dates- first come, first written about.

Screen shot 2012-12-31 at 5.57.33 AM

Here’s the entire list- we’ll go back and add links to the pieces focusing on each one as they get published. Also, these are in no particular order; we’re having trouble hunting down the release dates on several. Until then, several have previously written pieces with trailers and/or other cool stuff. We’ll take those down when we put up the links to the new spotlight pieces on each one. So let’s get it on!

Screen shot 2012-12-31 at 5.54.21 AM

Most Anticipated Horror Movies of 2013
1. The ABCs of Death
2.  Maniac  re-boot
3.  Chan Wook Park’s  Stoker
4.  Mama
5. Carrie re-boot
6. American Mary
7.  Evil Dead re-boot (Raimi, Tapert, and Campbell approved)
8.  Inbred (US release)
9.  [REC] 4 – Apocalypse
10. “The Name Game”, “Spilt Milk, ” Continuum”,  and “Madness Ends”- AKA, the final four episodes (a little over roughly a mere three more hours) that will bring American Horror Story Asylum roaring through to the finish line of this American Horror Story chapter. 

If you’re looking for air dates, you can peep them here.  I highly doubt that we’re alone when we say we’re not ready to say goodbye yet to this cast of characters, and this story! 

Screen shot 2012-12-31 at 6.01.31 AM

The final four episodes of American Horror Story Asylum are a great jumping off point for our list, and the first of the final four acts (The Name Game) is a matter of days away (January 2nd). So, read on about AHSA’s “final four” coming up next…

The ABCs Of Death Release Date Bumped Back AGAIN, Goddamnit!

The release date for the sick, twisted, entertaining anthology film The ABCs of Death  has been bumped again!  AGAIN!  We’re putting together our list of Ten Most Anticipated Horror Projects in 2013, went to check WHEN in January it was set for, and found the new release date is March 8th of 2013. Well, shit.

We discovered the existence of this film in June of 2012, started writing about it, and remember thinking how the fuck are we going to wait till October to see this one?   Every once in a while, even though we knew chances were slim to none, we’d search On Demand’s “Indie” sub-section for Magnet Releasing because hey, you never know. Personally, they had me at “26 Directors – 26 Ways To Die” and everything else I heard was icing on the cake. A veritable extravaganza of icing (several flavors made by some of our favorite, trusted chefs) that had no nutritional value, would cause a crash after the 90-minute sugar rush, and could very well cause tooth decay …but fuck dental hygiene, it’s gonna be so yummy and that sugar rush is going to make us high as a kite, we want it to eat it now. GIMME!

Screen shot 2012-12-29 at 10.35.59 PM

What’s that? You’re not open for business in four months, instead you’re opening next year? Well, that’s a real bummer, nothing we can do about that. Oh, you have samples now? Hot damn, that tasted as good as we thought!  See you in January! Well, it’s gonna be January in a week, let’s go down and double-check the opening da– HEY!  What’s this “Closed Till March” bullshit? WE’VE BEEN HUNGRY SINCE LAST SUMMER! Well, this time we’re doing something about it! This time we’re just gonna …have to …uh …wait some more.*

Screen shot 2012-12-29 at 10.36.39 PM

Well, we’ve written a lot about it, and here’s the new VERY red band trailer (again, we also wrote about it here). As always, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for any new footage, promo stills, or info. Plus, we’ve still got the last five top picks from the “26th Director Contest” to post, which should help keep you going until March.

*what’s that? We’re taking the metaphor way too far? You can’t believe we kept going as long as we did? We’re sorry.

18 More Days Till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween… October Update!

Wow, I’m going to really have to step up my game. Halloween is coming up sooner than I thought!  I’m going to post every day, I know that. I’ve had lots of ideas for the month of October. Yeah, it took me a couple weeks to realize we were well into October—hey, every month is sorta Halloween when you’re a horror fan!*  Then October shows up and kicks the fucking door open.  I love all the horror releases this time of year. Plus, we’re seeing  Sinister  at some point over the weekend, which I’ve heard nothing but good things about. Trying not to get my hopes too high, I just want to see a decent horror movie in a full theater –especially one that earns a couple genuine screams.

Here’s how that came to happen.  A friend comped us tickets for a Patton Oswalt  show at a semi-local casino, which was already a great night. I played a nickel slot machine—oh yeah, I’m a REAL high roller when I’m broke. While we were waiting my for last comped drink, I told my husband (not for the first time this week, either), “GOD I want to see Sinister,  it got really, really good reviews,” not really expecting him to go for it when money is so tight.

Him: Nope, we can’t.
Me: But it’s not found footage.
Him: It got two and a half stars in the Seattle Times.
Me:  Yeah? Did  [name of reviewer who I tend to dislike for reasons I’m not going to go into here, redacted] review it?
Him:  (shakes head “no”)
Me:  Because [redacted] hates horror movies. I don’t give a fuck what [redacted] says.
Him:  Not going to happen.
Me:  I can’t see it by myself, I know I’m going to scream a couple of times and that’s, like, really embarrassing when you’re sitting alone, even if you’re a chick.
Him:  (I can’t remember, I’d had three comped lemon martinis and was feeling no pain, probably him patiently explaining to me again why we can’t).
Me:  OK, not to jinx it, if I win enough to pay for the tickets for us?  Then  we’re going.
Him:  (sighs)

Full of confidence and comped drinks, I picked a slot machine called “Haunted House”. Yep, that’s where I’m sitting till I lose my money.   Twenty minutes later, I won enough to go see Sinister Woooo!   I was waving my arms around like Kermit The Frog after he introduces a guest on The Muppet Show and hugging everyone I knew. My ecstatic reaction wasn’t due so much to the fact that it was the first time in my life I actually came out a little ahead on a slot machine (though they were probably thinking ‘that’s not a big enough win to get that excited about’) but because I wouldn’t have to wait for Sinister  to show up on DVD in six months. OK, and those fine comped lemon martinis contributed some to that reaction, too.

Back to Halloween, I was thinking of posting one scary movie review a day, then one very scary short a day, but I’ve been searching around and saving all the most frightening horror shorts over the last couple months,  and so far I’ve only got a dozen or so good enough and scary enough to post. I don’t want to use them all up in a row, then have the rest of the year be boring. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, and I’m hoping I can apply myself enough to write a recap/review of American Horror Story: Asylum every week. Oh, and Halloween weekend–or on Halloween if I can get the timing right– I’ll post the scariest J-horror short of the month, if not the year.

Heads Up!

Heads up! It’s that time of year again!

Also, I’m either going to put up a FAQ page or a Q&A page to the site. I look at the WordPress dashboard when I check my stats every day to see what Google search terms were used, and while some of them are really disturbing— “free snuff movie real blood” —is one of the ones that makes me glad I coughed up a little extra money to stay mostly anonymous on the blog— other are questions I instantly know the answers to.  Here’s an example.  Search term: who ripped off yokos jaw in grudge.  Kayako Saeki, in the attic!   Search term: what are some fuckedup scary movies from france  Answer: Frontier/s, Martyrs, and Inside to start. Don’t watch them all in a row, or even on concurrent nights, though…

Anyway, if you want to see more of something, tell me. I’ll post a poll later. Thanks to every single person who has checked out the site when I told them about it, ANYONE who has left a comment, and you know what? Thanks to every single person who has been here (especially regularly –I hate to sound sappy, but it always makes me smile, even on a shitty day).  Plus, if you have a question —pretty much ANY question— about a horror movie,** I’m your online go-to woman!

Oh yeah,  I almost forgot the point of this post— Horror Boom is now on Facebook (under “Horror Boom”, with the explode-y vector that’s the featured image of this post, plus the monster-hand-in-the-popcorn-box photo below. You’ll know it when you see it. If you’re on Facebook and want to give Horror Boom a ‘like’, it’d be really cool of you and appreciated. Right now there’s three likes, and one is my brother  (thanks bro, I know you’re not a horror fan). If you hate Facebook and don’t want anything to do with it, I totally understand and certainly would not even consider asking you to join just to like Horror Boom. Just saying, if you’re already there and have a minute, please check it out. Thanks to Andrew for the first like, by the way. All you guys rock!

Scariest Short Horror Movie of the Week will be posted soon…

*Especially these election year Halloweens!
**or horror-related book, or comic, or icon, or TV series, or …okay, you get the idea.

Sick Horror Short “T is for Talk” Packs a HELL of a Wallop (From “The ABCs of Death” Contest)!

The stand-outs so far (according to several sources) were Xavier Gens (who made the brutal Frontier/s  and The Divide;  his name always gets dropped, and rightly so, when people mention ‘New French Extremist Horror’) and his segment called “X to XXL”, where a woman, “takes the ultimate action to reduce her body size”.

“T is for Talk” (2011), directed and co-written by Peter Haynes, was a top vote-getter in the “26th Director” ABCs of Death  contest. Of course, that was back when the voting window for the contest was still open, which I managed to totally miss, thus this series to share the best other shorts with a wider audience. I’m pretty sure you’ll see why; it packs a hell of a wallop into four minutes.  This is definitely one of the most intense entries, and isn’t something you should watch if you’re NOT in the mood for something dark, nasty…and very original. Oh, and if you have a pounding headache, I recommend waiting until your head’s back to normal (you’ll see why pretty fast).  Check out the very NSFW, intense “T is for Talk”, from New Zealand, below!

Damn!   A prequel to that short could be interesting in the right hands. Anyway, that’s eighteen down, seven to go (I think. I’ll do the math later). You can go back and read the first three posts, each with five picks either embedded or linked–some were only on Vimeo or the official voting contest page via the ‘related’ links below, or you can watch the first five entries (plus the introduction) here, the second batch of entries here, and the third bunch of five entries—which has one of the sickest entries in the series– here. I also went and posted a link (I couldn’t embed it) to one that I meant to post, but missed, a couple of weeks ago back in September, which you can check out here. Enjoy, and expect the last eight entries by the time of the full-length movie’s release, which should give me plenty of time since the release date got bumped way the fuck back to January 31st for VOD, and motherfucking March for a limited theatrical run (sigh). I read three reviews from sources I trust, and they said it was kind of a mixed bag; some were more toilet humor/gross-out* than scary or gory (or worth four minutes of your time).

Anyway, now that reviews are coming in, the reviewers said there were some great segments that made The ABCs of Death  worth sitting through. The stand-outs so far (according to several sources) were Xavier Gens (who made the brutal Frontier/s  and The Divide;  his name always gets dropped, and rightly so, when people mention ‘New French Extremist Horror’) and his segment called “X to XXL”, where a woman, “takes the ultimate action to reduce her body size”. My guess it she does a little whittling down at home, taking matters into her own hands by using a sharp blade.**  Another standout is supposed to be “L is for Libido,” dealing with (I am not making this up) a psychotic masturbation contest (worse than a biscuit party, I assume) –gee, how could THAT go horribly wrong in an unrated horror movie?–that ‘ends with sick and deadly results.’  I’m not proud of admitting this, but …SOLD!

Right now, I really  want to see what Banjong Pisathanakun (half the team from Shutter  and  Alone ) does with his four minutes …and with what letter of the alphabet and title. N is for Natre? S is for Siamese Twin

Well, that’s seventeen down and eight to go! More to come, definitely before the holidays (and probably sooner).

NO REPEATING

*I wonder if any of them had to (or needed to for the purpose of rating them, no-one held a gun to my head making me watch all of them, it was just too late in my project to back-pedal by then) sit through “T is for Testosterone Replacement Therapy”, “T is for Tentacle Rape“, or “T is for Tampon”? Those weren’t anywhere near scary, they didn’t have a plot, two out of the three were so misogynistic I felt like punching whoever was responsible for them in the teeth, and they didn’t even try to be entertaining –on any level. I got the feeling they only made the films because they had some serious issues and/or really filthy sexual fetishes to work through. Through the years, I’ve picked up on the fact that self-indulgence usually doesn’t make for an end product entertaining for anyone but the artist. Consider yourself warned if you’re somehow still compelled to watch them …especially if you’re eating at the time.

**For a while now, I actually have been fleshing out (no pun intended, I should get of my tired ass and take a stab  at grabbing the thesaurus before half my comments sound like The Cryptkeeper introducing a story, boils and ghouls ) an outline for a short horror story, where a woman with some serious issues hates her body  –and doesn’t have the money to go pay for lipo or another medical procedure. At the end, she really goes over the edge and tries the do-it-yourself approach with craving knives and maybe a vacuüm cleaner or other suction device. The scariest part? I’m afraid if I Googled or otherwise researched this, there will turn out to be not one but a ton of cases of people who already tried to do it. Self-surgery, not writing a short story about it, I mean. There’s no way that’s going to end well…

(pee pants)

Ten Trailers to Keep You Awake #1- The Divide (2012)

Thia is, as you probably figured out already, number one in a series of ten very, very scary trailers. These are ones that I regretted watching when I was home alone, and I deeply  regretted watching alone (or was I?) and after dark. I have amusing stories (that were not at all goddamned funny at the time) regarding the ridiculously bad timing I had watching some of it.

Grow up in the 80s like I did? Did most of the teachers at your middle/high school basically convince you that you would die in a nuclear holocaust before you graduated? Did they make watching The Day After pretty much required watching?

This movie is supposed to be brutal as hell, and though I haven’t gotten my copy yet or seen anything but trailers and clips, I’m pretty sure no-one is exaggerating. Here’s the first trailer I saw; definitely called an official trailer by several websites, including the official site for the movie. It actually appears to be the opening of the film. I know I got chills seeing it.

Grow up in the 80s like I did? Did you go to a school where most of the teachers at your middle/high school basically convinced you that you would die in a nuclear holocaust before you graduated? Did they make watching The Day After pretty much required watching so, at the very least, you could have a student assembly the next day so you could discuss it?  If so, this might freak you out just a tiny bit…

This movie is supposed to be brutal as hell, and though I haven’t gotten my copy yet or seen anything but trailers and clips*, I’m pretty sure no-one is exaggerating.  When the movie’s tagline is:

THE LUCKY ONES DIED IN THE BLAST

well, you get that gut feeling that maybe you should just rent the movie, not buy it. Also, that it might be gee, I don’t know, kind of depressing.  A little bleak, perhaps, and maybe I should use my common sense about the timing of watching it. Nope, I still ordered it so I could get it on the day it was released (April 17, 2012). I didn’t put it together until I was listening to the commentary that it was directed by Xavier Gens. He directed a little French horror movie called Frontiere/s, which I own but cannot watch after dark. Well, I can watch it after dark, it’d just be a really bad fucking idea if I wanted to fall asleep before dawn.

The above is the first trailer I saw- definitely called an official trailer by several websites, including the official site for the movie. It actually appears to be the opening of the film. I know I got chills seeing it. Maybe it isn’t as insomnia-inducing if you didn’t grow up until after the 80s.

Maybe.

*I saw it (review to follow) and it was darker than I thought. Then again, I didn’t put it together until I was listening to the commentary that it was directed by Xavier Gens. He directed a French horror movie called Frontiere/s (2008), just, oh, a teensy bit scary and gruesome. One of the most nightmarish movies I’ve ever seen, that’s all …which I own but to this day cannot watch after dark. Well, I can watch it after dark, it’d just be a really bad fucking idea if I wanted to fall asleep before dawn.