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…

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Watch the First 5 Minutes of American Horror Story: Asylum – RIGHT NOW!

Having sex in all twelve of them? Where 46,000 people died in this last stop alone? Purposely in the most evil, ghastly spots, does anyone really think that’s a good idea (especially on American Horror Story)?  Are they TRYING to rack up the worst karma possible? 

First things first! Watch the first sick five minutes of American Horror Story: Asylum below – including the disturbing new opening credits! Same soundtrack, new hideous images. If you weren’t quite sold before, if you’re a horror fan, these sick (in the best way) five minutes will sell you.  They actually make the first five minutes of Season One look tame (and the first five minutes of American Horror Story Season One weren’t too shabby. But this, THIS stuff,  is terrifying and twisted and dirty and disturbing and extremely NSFW, and I love every freaky minute of it. There, I said it. Somebody had to say it! So, check THIS  crazy, scary, and fun footage out — what are you waiting for? We’ve been waiting all year!

Last stop on the “haunted honeymoon tour”.  46,000 people died there?  Her ideal honeymoon is having sex with her new husband in the twelve most haunted places in the world? I wouldn’t even want to go NEAR them, except maybe during a guided tour in the daytime. The closest we got on our honeymoon was The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.*

Having sex in all twelve of them? Purposely in the most evil, ghastly spots, does anyone really think that’s a good idea (especially on American Horror Story)?  Are they TRYING to rack up the worst karma possible (and that’s at best, assuming none of these places are really haunted, and there’s no squatters or any kind of cult living there). Yes, having sex on an old electroshock therapy table and laughing about it, then sticking your hand into a slot in the cell wall where the most ‘famous inmate’, a notorious serial killer who liked to skin his victim’s faces (yes, I know what his bride’s little reward for that was), even though it’s pitch black. How could THIS go wrong? Enjoy that kinky sex while you can, happy young couple, because something tells me it’s going to be the last time you ever have fun again…

HOAH! They’re not screwing around in the title credits this season.

I’m working on a gallery from the opening credits. But I know one thing. If I could pick one word to describe what this season is going to be like for horror fans and fans of the show, that word would be:

Fun FUN! Oh, baby…

*Uh, I should clarify …NO, we did not have sex in, on, or around The Haunted Mansion. Not only would we probably get arrested and never get to go on the ride again, but it would have been hard to look around and see all the awesome Haunted Mansion sights. Also, it’d be hard enough to manage sex in a “Doom Buggy”, but with the Haunted Hitchhikers in there, it’d definitely be too crowded!

Stitches is One Bad Clown & He’s Got the Quad One-Sheet to Prove it!

Personally, I’m not big on evil clowns. They don’t scare me the way they do some people; perhaps because I never had a bad experience at a circus where one suddenly ran out of the darkness at me, or got up in my face. I also haven’t ever been to Cirque De Soliel on ‘shrooms, (or been anywhere near CDeS at all, or ever tried ‘shrooms for that matter). I’ve noticed that Tim Curry‘s portrayal of Pennywise the Clown from the TV miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s novel It  makes a lot of “Top Ten Scariest”-type lists on You Tube.

Stitches  is one movie with an evil clown that sounds like a fun, fresh premise …made by horror fans for horror fans.

Doesn’t scare me anywhere near as much as, say, almost any Asian ghost-woman with long black hair her in her face creeping towards me with weird crab-like movement that violate the laws of physics, or discovering a substantial spider (or even a medium-sized) one in any part of our house. I wouldn’t want to find a clown (evil or otherwise) hiding in the back seat of my car, or standing across the street glaring at me in the same spot every morning when I go out to get the paper or anything, but they’re just not that creepy to me like they are to Kramer from Seinfeld,  Jesse Eisenberg’s character in Zombieland,  or any of those afflicted with …what’s the actual psychiatric condition for a phobia of clowns?

Who’s THIS fucking clown?

Coulrophobia is an actual documented psychological condition, it’s even got a diagnosis code to prove it: DSM-IV Code 300.29).[3] . I’m not going to make fun of anyone’s phobias, I’ve got my own fears that probably sound stupid to most people. The worst thing a spider can do is bite you (which can be potentially dangerous depending on the style of spider) but there’s a local bar we like that has a stuffed, mounted bird-eating tropical spider the size of a fucking dinner place, mounted in a glass display case, clearly not only deceased but placed so high on the wall a grown man would need to get out a ladder to move it. I still can barely look at it and basically pretend it’s not there, no matter how many drinks I have.

Stitches  is one movie with an evil clown that sounds like a fun premise, made by horror fans for horror fans. Oh, and it’s supposed to be plenty gory. I love the back-story (you can read more in the actual re-press link below) and hear it’s supposed to be gruesome and fun …plus even scary for people like me who have clowns downgraded towards the bottom of their list of intrinsically scary things.

One more thing—I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my pick for the most nightmarish scene involving a clown.  When we saw Romero’s Diary of the Dead  in the theater, almost everyone in the audience, including me, exclaimed “HOAH!”  in various volumes. This was just part of the genius of George Romero, who almost seemed as though he tried to come up with a scene that would scare even those of us non-‪Coulrophobia‬cs. Check it out below, now THAT poor kid–even if she escapes– is never going to be okay with anything remotely clown-like the rest of her life.

Now check out the below link for an awesome story from anythinghorror.com to find out much more on the UK horror flick  Stitches!

Stitches is One Bad Clown & He’s Got the Quad One-Sheet to Prove it!

Grave Encounters 2 is Available On Demand 10/2/12 – New ‘Leaked Clip’ and More!

Well, a clip has been released leaked from Grave Encounters 2;   our friends at Dread Central have the article and the clip that arrived mysteriously in their email inbox from someone with the username DeathAwaits.  Hmmm, that sounds familiar, the kind of username that would be in a press kit… let’s see here.

Click here for the full story (and the same clip) on DreadCentral.Com!

That’s strange. He looks as though he may have a bloodshot eye… or is that actual blood in the inner corner?

I wish I had some reviews to link to, but none of the IMDB links work at the time of this writing; they all take me to an error page of some kind. I hope that’s some kind of creative marketing gimmick and not because they ordered all the less-than-positive advance reviews pulled. I think they’ll be positive, though (I trust Uncle Creepy here). Actually, I don’t even know if they could do that (have reviews pulled, that is), so I guess I might actually have to go into a movie clean for once! I don’t have the kind of willpower to avoid reviews of a movie I’ve been excited about for months, even if it’s going to be available to watch in 48 hours.

However, Back To The Movies has posted an exclusive interview (audio) with the director of Grave Encounters 2,  John Poloquin:

Oooo, prosthetics! I’m sure certain shots couldn’t be done without CGI, but I’m really happy they are using practical effects whenever possible. That’s all the new info I’ve got for you for Grave Encounters 2  as of this writing.  However, in anticipation of the On Demand premiere being around the corner, I do have a little ‘photo gallery’ from the original  Grave Encounters  (2011)!  I snapped them the last time I rented it and watched on our flat screen*, and turned the closed captions on (otherwise they wouldn’t be very interesting). I do NOT own the copyrights to any of these images,  I’m posting them here for entertainment purposes only (I’ve got a full disclaimer about copyright issues on this page to cover my ass). If you haven’t seen Grave Encounters  yet, and plan to, you might want to skip the gallery, because several are spoilers as to the fate of certain characters …and BIG jump moments …especially towards the end.

You’d be surprised how many of the shots I took have this exact closed caption. I love how there’s about eight exclamation points, in case the viewer might not get the idea…

I seemed to get a lot of those. I could put up ten photos from different scenes in the movie, and the captions would all be:  [screams] Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!   We see plenty of scream-worthy things in Grave Encounters,  but I ended up capturing an equal number of verbal reactions, some of which didn’t have any distinct image to go with them like the shot above. Example:

And here’s about as minimalist as those shots get for you:

Well,  the below “Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!”  is  in color. Shout out to the top commenter on my Grave Encounters -themed pieces,”Lobotomy Jack” — I bet you can tell which scene this is from!  (10/1 update: he could)

Well, at least that one’s in color. I seriously could put up a dozen of them (plus, the CCs use the caption “Raaaaaar!” for several scary creatures shrieking/roaring).  There’s also a bunch that are captioned with very realistic reactions (I know I’d be yelling the same things at the top of my lungs in their situation at some points):

And I’d be saying/yelling THIS more or less non-stop if I was trapped in that fucking hell-hole:

OK, I’ll get to the gallery/slideshow (however you want to view it) now. I basically picked the shots that were most memorable, as well as lines that strongly evoke the spirit (so to speak) of the movie– the reason why it haunts many of us devoted Grave Encounters  fans. Here we go…

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Is it Tuesday yet?

*As I often do with really cool horror movies, especially if I’m going to write about them. If I’m too tired, taking notes isn’t always fast enough for my horrible short-term memory and ADD, so I get out the camera. The bonus is, though, cool pics for postings and galleries!

Scariest Horror Short of The Week – “Cleansed” (2008).

OK, honestly, I was going to mix it up a little this week and post a pretty goddamned scary ‘found footage’ short film, that amped up the scares by mixing in an urban legend. So if I find it before it’s time for the NEXT scary horror short of the week, then screw it, there will be TWO Scariest Horror Shorts of the Week.

I am aware that the “Actual 911 Call Recording/Transcript” cold-open is in danger of becoming cliche. That’s not the case here, though…

Yeah, so this one is longer than the last one,  and last week’s was pretty simple.  On this one, there’s actually some room for interpretation, but it took me a minute or two to figure out and confirm what I thought happened …had happened.   It’s a simple concept. A woman works for a crime clean-up service (shit, what a grim way to make a living, even if you can totally keep your emotions out of it and are completely level-headed). There was actually an indie film that came out in the mid-late 90s; same concept, but different genre. I also read a novella by Graham Masterton (I want to say titled Butterfly, but I know it was published with two titles) that was definitely horror. It got to me; I don’t know if I read it more than once (twice tops) but even back in the Clinton administration when it was published and I read it, the novella was so vivid, engrossing, and disturbing I remember some vignettes to this day. I’ll get back to you on the title of the film, with a link, and do the same for the book. In the book, the woman (who was already going through a rough patch) started out hearing details about the various crime scenes. They started out ghastly but got more and more blood-curdling and brutal with each cleanup. She starts having nightmares, then she just plain can’t sleep. Then she starts to doubt her sanity just a little bit. Then it gets really  brutal…

  It’s a simple concept. A woman works for a crime clean-up service (shit, what a grim way to make a living, even if you can totally keep your emotions out of it and are completely level-headed)…

This film is a different scenario (apart from the business she’s in). If you’re feeling really brave, turn out all the lights and watch it full-screen. I was NOT feeling brave at the time; in fact I had the sound turned down as low as I could and kept the viewing window tiny. It still frightened me so badly it was hard to shake. Since I am posting this after dark, until it’s light out, I don’t need to watch it a second time just yet. I found it last month and can still remember it a little  better than I’d like…

I read so much horror that, as a fiction writer, when I start to tell people (who know me enough to know my genre faves )about my novels, they’ll often ask, “so, it’s horror, right?” and when I say no, more mainstream, they ask, “so when ARE you going to write a horror novel?” Good question –I don’t know!  I have zero ideas right now! I can write a few graceful short horror stories, I have a few to my name that don’t embarrass me, but a horror novel? No ideas. Zip. I used to think (for a week or so) I might have a horror screenplay in me. Then I admitted to myself no, not really. Finally I clutched at the idea that maybe I could write a segment for a horror anthology film. Or even a short film. Well, if so (and I’m starting to think NOT so), I don’t know if I could come up with anything half as great–and terrifying–as this.

Directed by Drew Daywalt and David Schneider.  It’s well worth your ten minutes.

Red Band Trailer of the Week – The Revenant (2009)

It’s actually embarrassing that this breakout horror-comedy somehow slipped under my horror geek radar till now. Well, I saw on my IMDB account that I added it to my watch list at some point in the last year, so I must have been really tired or inebriated (or both) when I added it. Hell, it probably was in Fangoria last year or the year before, and I read about it then filed it away, or it was one of the rare issues I didn’t read from cover-to-cover after it showed in the mail. Check out this very entertaining brand-new Red Band trailer!

C’mon, now how fucking cool is that? Too bad that can’t be used as a tagline, because it’d sure fit and definitely put asses in seats. The Revenant: How Fucking Cool Is That?

I’m guessing somewhere along the line, something did not go as planned here…

The Revenant roared through the Festival circuit in 2009, winning a ton of audience awards. The official website is right here, and is packed with information and fun stuff. I do recommend skipping the Comments section if you haven’t seen The Revenant and are planning to, because the section is teeming with spoilers from people who have seen it, most wanting to discuss the ending.

Here’s the official plot description from the “Press” section of the official website…

A horror comedy in the vein of SHAUN OF THE DEAD and ZOMBIELAND, the film tells the story of a soldier (David Anders, from TV’s 24 and Vampire Diaries) who is killed in Iraq and then finds himself resurrected as a “revenant,” or one who has returned from the dead. He turns to his slacker best friend (Chris Wylde, of Descent and The Ten) to help him manage his newfound thirst for blood, and the duo quickly realize that this zombie-fied state is a perfect opportunity to become vigilante crime fighters. However, their adventure quickly becomes more complicated and bloody than they expected as the movie escalates into a series of unexpected and horrifying twists.

Here’s an extended (4+ minute) clip. A little more conversation and a little less action than the above trailer, but it’s pretty cool. Check it out below:

I’m going to have to get way more proactive about local film festivals. Oh, and yes, 2009 is right; it took THIS GODDAMNED LONG for the flick to get a distribution deal. Well, as fucking frustrating as it is, the movie is in good company; The Cabin in the Woods, Trick R’ Treat, and Army of Darkness had to go through the same bullshit (and I don’t think they even got the chance to go through the festival circuit). I doubt I have to convince anyone reading this, though, that when they finally do get a chance, the wait is worth it for us.  But man, time slows to a crawl when you’re trying to be patient!

Heh!

Heh!

 

 

Happy Birthday to Anthony Anderson

Being a huge fan of The Shield, when someone brings up Anthony Anderson, I usually think of Antwon Mitchell. Then I remember all the scenes with him and Kevin Hart from Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4.  Someone on You Tube was cool enough to compile the ones from Scary Movie 3 here…

 

 

Wait, man. you can’t go to bed dead, man, that shit would be redundant!

Happy Birthday Mr. Anderson …I hope you show up in Scary Movie 5!

The ABCs of Death – Horror Boom’s Top 20 Picks From the “T” Contest (2/5)

Hey there! Now you don’t have to wait another week for another list of four of the best of the T entries for The ABCs of Death “26th Director” competition (plus one runner-up per list).  Also, I have to blurt out that I confirmed the word/way to die for the final letter of the alphabet : Z is for Zymosis.  I hope everyone will be done with their popcorn by the time that one rolls around!

Oh, and more good news confirmed about the rating! Here’s how and why : Rated NC-17: For Graphic Horror Violence, Strong Vulgar Language, strong sexual content including graphic nudity, and some drug use. DONE and DONE!

T is for Tiles, written and directed by Vincent Gárcia.

OK, here’s that disturbing content warning I promised in my introduction earlier!  If I tell you how long the gory part is, or when it appears in the entry, you won’t ‘go in clean’.  You know what, though? If you’ve been following Horror Boom for a while and the content (not to mention my habit to like a swear like a regular on The Sopranos) hasn’t driven you away, then you’ll wince (maybe not, though I sure did) but not have your day ruined.  This one’s clever;  a slow-burn with a great pay-off. I also discovered the director is a seasoned professional with several feature-length films under his belt so far, IMDB him and check out his résumé —not too shabby.

Next up, there’s the one other UK claymation entry called T is for Top Hat.  I find it festive in a weird way, and there’s certainly some showmanship. This little gem (also quite possibly the shortest entry) was directed by Sarah Davison and Sarah Duffield-Harding.

Then there’s this stellar entry, T is for Tantrum (a T-word chosen to create entries that was used more than once, as were Tomato, Trash, Time, Tranny, Toy, and Teratophobia*, among others). This is one of the two entries to use a “name” actor, probably easily recognizable by their fans. The first time I saw it, I was distracted trying to decide if that was Paul F. Tompkins playing The Dad, or just strongly resembled the stand-up/actor (he doesn’t have a bad resume either).

Turned out it was indeed him, and without the distraction, a re-watch of Tantrum proved that this entry packs a wallop, and I couldn’t second-guess any of it. Check it out… but not if you’re having trouble sleeping right now.

The final pick of the best of the contest entries for tonight, T is for Trick (written and directed by Travis Betz), happens to be the other featuring a familiar face: Amber Benson, who (me being the Buffy TVS super-geek that I am) I recognized less than a minute in. I can see why she’d be happy to appear in this entry, because it’s by far one of the best and the director knows how to create the perfect blend of dark humor, surprises, and  briskly paced story. I hope it gets seen as much as it deserves to be, since it’s a real treat for the viewer and any horror fan with a sense of humor. Hope I don’t jinx anything, but when I was arranging the lists to make sure there was a good mix of styles and scares, Trick was categorized by me under “Sure Things.”** This one is especially fun to watch.

Another runner-up:  T is for Toy, Directed by Eli Dorsey, which I mostly included due to the intended Creepshow vibe, right down to the score. Drew Pierce & Eli Dorsey also deserve a mention for the fun props and art design.

Awesome additional poster art for the film.

By the way, the world première of the film itself (you know, the one with every letter of the alphabet in it) was recently announced!  It’ll show at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival’s MIDNIGHT MADNESS. You can read more here, and in the “Related Articles” listed below. Man, am I sorry I’m missing this (not that I’ve ever been to TIFF before, or even been anywhere near Toronto itself in my entire life) because there’s a TON of additional Midnight Madness world premieres– I think 2012 sets a new record.

Oh, and more good news confirmed about the rating! Here’s how and why : Rated NC-17: For Graphic Horror Violence, Strong Vulgar Language, strong sexual content including graphic nudity, and some drug use. DONE and DONE!

* I am not making this up. There were two. It refers to the fear of giving birth to a deformed child, which you’d think could create some pretty impressive material, but I guess I had my expectations too high, because the finished entries all disappointed me.

** since I’m already flirting with a jinx here, the other four “sure things” I wrote down on my list were:, T is for Time,  T is for Table,  T is for Temptation, and T is for Top Hat.

The ABCs of Death-Horror Boom’s Top Twenty Picks from the T Competition (1/5)

 

 

Let me preface this with a pro-active apology. The temperature is at least in the high 90s here, and I’ve discovered over the years that for each degree over 80, I lose at least ten IQ points. I’ll be polishing it up later, but if you’re reading this before it cooled down here and I had a chance, that’s my excuse for this piece sounding slow-witted and clunky!

Anyway, if you’ve read my blog in the last 30 days or so, you know I’ve been geeking out about this contest since I discovered it. Unfortunately, I missed the voting deadline for the 26th director in The ABCs of Death competition by oh… almost ten months.  Shit.  So instead, I decided to get in a little over my head by choosing and compiling a list of what I thought were the best twenty, plus five runners-up.  The first I heard about the contest, I dove in fast and watched a few of the top entries; the ones I saw first blew me away, and I loved them so much I needed to do a piece on them and get them up for other horror fans to enjoy that night. I already devoted an entire post on the contest winner, Lee Hardcastle’s T is for Toilet, and Michael Foulke’s flawless, fun entry T is for Temptation.

That was when I decided to watch all of them, without counting the entries first, guessing there were approximately 50, 75 TOPS. I had no goddamned idea what I was getting myself into time-wise, but it ended up being worth it. The plan was to select and post/share the best ones, with five runners-up that I thought were very close but still a hair or two away from making the top twenty, yet good enough to deserve a watch and a recommendation. Turned out we’re talking twenty out of over 170, all short films I watched. I only skipped ones that were marked private, locked, or taken down. I think it roughly evened out to one in ten singled out for recognition.

Some really kick-ass ones didn’t even get what I felt was a fair number of views, let alone votes. I did some formatting and pasting and printed out a list of every single entry, got out a pen and paper, and set in. I figured I’d be able to post my picks in a couple of days, but I REALLY misjudged the amount of time to just watch. I did the math after I watched them all, (rather than, say, before I decided whether this would be a good idea and started, because hey, why plan THAT out in advance)? 170 shorts times four minutes is , rounded DOWN, ten hour’s time just to see them all, let alone the time for note-taking, organization, plus re-watching if they lost me halfway in.

Anyway,  seems fair to give you an explanation of how I picked what I thought were the best of the best (if you want to just skip to today’s five entries, you can hit “more”). Continue reading

Chills to Beat Summer Heat, Part Two – Ju-on: White Ghost (Shiroi Rôjo)

Happy August! Need some cooling down?

Ju-on: White Ghost / Black Ghost (Ju-on: Shiroi Rôjo / Ju-on: Kuroi Shôjo)are actually two movies that were made/released together in 2009 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the first Ju-On release, Since the first full-length, DTV Ju-On feature was released in Japan in 2000, I assume Takashi Shimizu started counting when his first Ju-On-themed shorts, Katasumi and 4444444444 (shown during a TV movie and containing the first-ever appearance of Kayako and Toshio) aired.

For Ju-On fans, it’s a must. Kayako doesn’t show up, but the movie still offers plenty of chills,  several memorable jolts, and images that could likely pop up in your nightmares long after the viewing.

This creepy entry contains plenty of familiar Ju-On themes: a non-linear storyline that doesn’t really form a complete picture in your mind until near the ending, a male family member who loses his shit pretty suddenly (fast enough that his family don’t have time to realize he’s going to hurt or kill them, and get the fuck out of the house and/or call the police), creeping black hair that grows… and grows… and grows, blurry figures that aren’t supposed to be there appearing or passing by in the background, unseen by characters, a minimal score (it’s no easy task for a film-maker to create an ominous, increasing sense of dread with total silence), and of course …the Ju-On Death Rattle.®

As soon as the delivery kid walks in, we know something’s off (he doesn’t look too confidant, either). His discoveries are at first only confusing,  but quickly become unsettling. The sense of wrong-ness is so pervasive I (and most horror/Ju-on fans, probably) would have left the cake and gotten out within two minutes tops, and if the bakery had to take the cost of the cake out of my pay, then fuck it, fine with me. But of course, he’s concerned, and has to explore…

So here’s the first ten minutes of Ju-On: White Ghost.

If you like the style, I definitely recommend seeing the whole movie. For Ju-On fans, it’s a must. Kayako doesn’t show up, but the movie still offers plenty of chills, several memorable jolts, and images that could likely pop up in your nightmares long after the viewing. One ghost was so frightening looking I screamed (surprising the hell out of myself) when the camera first revealed her, and usually it takes a blast of music or a noise along with a scary image to make me scream, and that’s in the theater. This was at home. The second movie, Black Ghost, isn’t bad either, but I found White Ghost to have more of a Takashi Shimizu vibe and closest to the Ju-on spirit (har).  If you have Netflix streaming, it’s there for you to watch in HD  (better quality, and subtitles than this clip). You might want to get your chills in before it’s dark out, though…

Here’s the longest trailer I could find for Ju-on: White Ghost / Black Ghost (Ju-on: Shiroi Rôjo / Ju-on: Kuroi Shôjo).