Scariest Short Horror Film Of The Week – Check Out The Disturbing Japanese Found-Footage Short: “Haunted Hospital”

Four of us from work got together and went inside the hospital to test our courage. I got separated from the rest of them…
…I think I saw something red…   –Anonymous source

I swear, I’ve been sitting through WAY too many J-horror shorts lately to make sure I have enough ‘scariest short horror film of the week’ entries for the next couple of months. At this point, I’ve got almost a dozen stand-out scary ones. Now would be a smart time for me to stop watching the creepiest ones I can find, and quit while I’m ahead!

Right off the bat, this one begins with more of a statement than a warning: The images that follow have reportedly driven many viewers to insanity or suicide.  Since it’s a very cleverly put-together found footage ‘mockumentary’, we don’t have to worry about that*, but when you’re watching dozens of these after dark, in a fairly jittery mood (presidential elections do that to me, though this isn’t as bad as 2004) it slows you down just a tad. I wasn’t scared, but it sure as hell got my attention fast. At the very least, they’ve got balls to start with it right out of the gate. BAM!

Spirit photographs are creepy enough (especially if you’ve seen the original Shutter ).  When you’re watching “Haunted Hospital” and you get to a card that says THIS:

…and even the tiniest part of your brain speaks up in a polite, cautious voice, asking  uh, do you really want to watch this?   Unless there’s a warning about animal violence, if I’m watching horror deliberately (which is 99.9% of the time, I don’t watch horror accidentally) this usually never slows me down for a second.  Now that’s what makes an impression on us horror fans. Not too shabby!

Haunted Hospital

*though many comments on You Tube from younger (well, I hope  they’re younger) viewers of this piece swear it’s real – from reading the comments, they’re not trying to start anything troll-ish , they really seem convinced. Though I suppose if you watch past the part warning that people who have seen these images have gone insane and/or blind,  some doubt exists (that or they’re really, really bored and decide to take their chances). If I thought it was real (on really scary short movies, the majority of people on You Tube, including me, scan the comments to make sure we’re not wasting our valuable minutes) from reading comments that repeatedly said so, seeing a message that The images that follow have reportedly driven many viewers to insanity or suicide  would make my brain call  Whup! Time out. How about you sleep on that and maybe check back in the daytime?   Actually, Brain, that’s a good idea. Thanks.

 

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Name That (Horror) Frame – Week of 8/28/12 – Halloween Edition

So, probably not a big shocker what “Halloween Edition” means… these are all from horror movies that take place on Halloween, or in the days leading up to it, with at least the last act taking place on Halloween. You won’t see Michael Myers, but John Carpenter is in the mix here. Actually, once I started in with the screen caps I was having so much fun I had trouble stopping… Anyway, check this out. Look familiar?

Hey! No white shoes after Labor Day! BITE

I only own one of these movies, and I’m re-considering that right now.  Second, I own the special edition of this flick and boy is it worth it:

Ginger is looking good …for now!

and finally… I think anyone who saw the movie will pick up on this one…

Hint: we’re in flashback/back-story mode.

OK, that’s it! Now I have to force myself to toss the rest of the grabs on my desktop. More Halloween goodness coming soon, so I better get to writing it. Plus, you guys remember there’s a prize for this, right? 

No need to guess this, I just really liked it and wanted to put it in here!

 

Red Band Trailer of the Week – “Maniac” Remake (2012) Doesn’t Screw Around

I still remember watching William Lustig‘s original Maniac  (1980) …on a VHS tape rental in my bedroom in high school; I had lugged the TV set and VCR in there because I was stuck in bed nursing a flu at the time.

I’m pretty sure Maniac  (along with a few other serial-killer horror movies; I saw Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer  at SIFF in 1990 and purchased my first purse-sized canister of pepper spray shortly after) was a big part of the reason I took the first “Self-Defense for Women” class I could find (and the second, and the third, and the…) and developed habits that I keep to this day, like always having my car keys in my hand by the time I left a building to walk through the parking lot to my car, even if it’s only ten yards away. Also probably among the reasons why, after dark, I keep them in my hand, with the self-defense trick of holding them in your fist with the pointy end of the keys jammed between my fingers and pointing out, so you have a better chance of breaking your attacker’s skin, or putting out an eye, if you need to strike out to defend yourself.

Frank Zito’s victims get themselves some payback in the fucking blood-curdling, nightmarish finale of the original Maniac (1980).

Here’s the HD red band trailer for the Maniac (2012)  remake – there’s a separate piece coming on why I’m actually optimistic about the chances of it being successful. Don’t expect to see the titular character Frank Zito even remotely resembling Joe Spinell, though!

*I didn’t actually SEE it in 1980 (that’d be a great movie for a girl still  in elementary school to watch, scarred for life? Check!), I think it was 1984.  My mom would buy me a Fangoria–and even Famous Monsters Magazine– in 1981, though.  Towards the end of the run of Famous Monsters of Filmland, I had a subscription. I wish I’d held onto it!

 

Name That (Horror) Frame – Week of 10/21/12 – Special J-Horror Edition!

Ten more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween (Silver Shamrock)!  I actually saw Halloween 3 – Season of the Witch  in the theater with my mom. I was young enough that my memory is kind of fuzzy, but I remember the evil mask scene and the ending pretty well. That jingle got stuck in my head for life! Anyway…

Okay, first of all, none of these are from Ju-On/The Grudge   (I’ll have a new gallery for Ju-on   coming up soon, though – check out my last one if you’re in a Kayako-kinda mood). These are all J-Horror, but they’re not all from the same horror movie – just the same franchise. There’s three installments. All three of them have pretty goddamned scary scenes, but the first is still my favorite. Anyway, if you’re a fan of any of the installments, I think you’ll be able to figure it out –comment away! Those DVDs (all in great condition) are still waiting on a winner…

First up, here’s a scary-ass thing to see talking on the phone… especially if the other person blows you off!

Oh, stop kidding around! There’s nothing behind me…

You’ll REALLY recognize the franchise fast if you recognize this one. Also, if you saw it and don’t remember it …you must have missed this scene!

and finally…

You know, the picture quality is not one is kind of rinky-dink, so here’s a bonus photo (same franchise):

So! Put your guesses in the comments section – and by the way, a shitty US remake was made of the first installment of the series. They managed to somehow take a great set-up and just destroy it. Oh well, if they can fuck up a remake of Shutter,  I guess it’s no big shocker.

Happy Monday!

Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week – “Mockingbird” (2010)

Is it possible to scare the living shit out of a viewer when the short is less than two minutes long, and the setting is bathed in warm, cheerful sunlight (accompanied by a sweet lullaby, no less)?  Yes, it is. However, I’m trying to think of another horror short that accomplishes this and coming up empty. For that alone, this terrifying, rare gem deserves some sort of award.

This one was directed by Marichelle Daywalt. Short …but far from sweet.  Listen to the lullaby lyrics right before it cuts out (someone had to point it out to me, I was too busy taking deep breaths to avoid a panic attack)!

Why I’ll Be Waiting Until Daylight Before “Scariest Japanese Urban Legend of The Month” Goes Up Here

This was actually going to be a post for “Scariest Japanese Urban Legend of the Month”, but I scared the shit out of myself just researching it at 3AM. I figured oh, it’s not going to be that scary, because I bet I’ve already heard of it. Whoop-de-doo.  Twenty minutes into researching the legend of “Hikiko” I heard something heavy and loud fall on the (hardwood) floor in the kitchen and almost had a goddamned heart attack. Figured one of the cats wanted attention, because it turned out to be a giant plastic binder clip that one of them pushed off when I went out to look.  I calmed down and then researched more–bad idea when there’s a windy rainstorm outside. All I needed was thunder and lightning.

I was already realizing 1. I should probably stop and write something else for tonight, as the research just kept getting creepier and 2. I was going to have to write about it when it was light out if I wanted to fall asleep while it was still dark, when I heard something else fall off the kitchen counter (not as loudly). I went out hesitantly and saw an empty Dansani water bottle had fallen and was rolling slowly on the floor. Then I realized both cats were asleep in the other room.

At this point, I would just like to thank whoever is in charge up there for the gift of a very patient husband, who woke up when I asked him to and demonstrated how it was a draft, not something freaky and supernatural that blew it off the counter. Thank you.

Laugh all you want! Just imagine watching THIS (below) with the sound on, after dark, and hearing sudden strange noises down the dark hall from your room:

Plus, this is just a snippet of a longer video about the legend I’m going to post, too, and I had to turn the sound down ten minutes in. After that I decided to bookmark it and try to pretend I hadn’t seen it until the sun came out. The first bookmark tag I used was “scary as fuck.”

OK, back to what I was doing…

Name that (Horror) Frame – Week of 10/14/12 – Special Creepy Insane Asylum Edition!

Well, American Horror Story: Asylum is coming along in a couple days, so I picked frames from horror movies taking place in haunted –or at least creepy– insane asylums.

First up… it won’t take long to recognize this, but the trick is picking the RIGHT movie, as there’s lobotomy scenes in quite a few horror movies set in or around asylums.

Second up… sorry for the less-than-stellar photo quality, but if you’ve seen the movie, it won’t take long to recognize:

and finally… oh hell, it’s going to be hard enough to identify these as it is, so I’ll flat-out tell you that the third and final frame below is from the same movie as the first image. A little more, what’s the word, memorable,  though…

This isn’t even the most horrifying image from the scene, either. GAH!

OK, so who’s ready for the American Horror Story: Asylum season premiere Wednesday at 10:00PM on FX?  I just wish it was two hours, or even ninety minutes. Watch for plenty of pieces focused on the show all week!

Matteawan Asylum for the Criminally Insane (NY)

Matteawan Asylum for the Criminally Insane (NY) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scariest Short Horror Film of the Week – “Spoon” Starring Christa Campbell

…like a gift from the past… it was a sign from God, I thought… a sign that there is comfort, there is joy, and all I have to do is take it…

Spoon,  subtitled  A Monologue of Terror,  is another quality, very scary short written and directed by Drew Daywalt. It’s a little more subtle and more of a slow burn than the other shorts from him I’ve posted –but don’t let that fool you. It’s scary as hell. By the way, be sure to watch from start to finish.

Really  great writing from start to finish, and Christa Campbell sells it, proving she’s more than just a beautiful Scream Queen face.  And just when I thought there wasn’t going to be a jump…

Spoon

“…A sign that there is joy, and all I have to do is take it…”

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.

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!