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! 

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The Grudge (2004) – VERY Scary Apartment Scene Will Make You Sleep With The Lights On! (HD)

NOTE: Yes, this is a re-print of an article originally published on November 26, 2012. Why a re-run, you ask? Due to missing over a week of postings in late May (got kicked in the ass by pneumonia and the unexpected death of a good friend) things got pretty sparse here as everything else went out the window at the time …so I’m filling them in (and back-dating them for the days we were on the disabled list) in with cool stuff and postings you may have missed the first time they were printed, because I hadn’t fully understood how to publicize properly back then.. Enjoy.

HORROR BOOM

When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage…

It’s almost impossible to pick the ten–hell, I’d have to really apply myself to get it down to twenty– scariest scenes or moments from the Ju-On (AKA The Grudge) series, let alone the scariest. OK, that’d be the stair-crawl,  but you get the idea. However, I’m pretty sure that this scene would probably make the top ten. Full of creepy moments (seeing Toshio pass by the elevator on EVERY goddamn floor, seeing your husband through the peephole and opening the door to the sight of an empty hall), Shimizu saves the best scare in the scene for last.

We doubt it’s necessary to sell you on Asian horror knowing exactly how to scare you and stand out from 90% of US horror films, but the idea of not even being safe in your own (formerly) cozy warm bed, with…

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Ten Unholy Things We Learned From The American Horror Story Asylum Christmas Episode, “Unholy Night”! (Episode 8 – Spoilers)

We told you it was going to be a kick-ass holiday episode! We’re a little surprised by the Christmas tree decorations not consisting of parts of a human body, but this was sick in its own original way. So why not kick things off with…

1. The demon in Sister Mary was pretty excited about decorating the tree. This time, she just got really mean— she yelled at all the poor patients to line up, then grabbed a festive basket, and went down the line, taking what she wanted. from the wretched-looking people in line cutting off hair (above the ribbon), taking out some poor toothless old inmate’s dentures, and using those items, saying it was a lesson in Christmas being “all about giving,” which Monsignor Timothy seemed sort of impressed by. He even noticed the IV bags and bottles (all empty), though he didn’t remark on the garlands, which were either rolls of gauze, or toilet paper (maybe both; with the medical supplies hung up, I think it was gauze, which is somehow sicker than TP). Either that, or he’s getting bad vibes from her too and thought he should probably just humor her, then regroup later to snoop into things. I have to admit, putting fingers, toes, eyes, etc.  would have been nice and sick, but probably would have drawn a teeny bit more attention.

She had this… light in her. The light’s gone out.

 

2. Speaking of attention, Sister Mary Eunice was on FIRE in this episode. Almost every time she opened her mouth I got a big grin on my face or laughed. Click here to read  “Ten Of The Best Lines in the Christmas Episode, ‘Unholy Night‘ ”  In an entertaining interview I posted few weeks back (you can find it here) Lily Rabe was right. Sister Mary does have a lot of Christmas Spirit…

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You don’t know what Christmas means to me…

3. Ian McShane’s character, Leigh Emerson, was also pretty entertaining (and frightening; I wouldn’t want him coming at me in that Santa suit with his rotten teeth, matted beard and greasy hair, even if he wasn’t carrying a sharp object). We learned his back story from Sister Mary Eunice (remember, she knows all).  As a young man,  he was thrown in jail for trying to steal a loaf of stale bread (the ultimate crime!) Unfortunately for him, it was close to Christmas, and when the guards went Christmas caroling (I actually don’t blame this guy for having… issues… with Christmas after we got his back story) five men held him down and raped him. Merry Christmas! They took his virginity (well, Sister Mary points out, the first guy took his virginity), the rest stole his dignity, self-esteem, but worst of all, his Christmas spirit …and that’s only the first part of the back-story.

“There is no God… but there is  a Santa Claus!”  – Leigh to Sister Jude

4.  THEN, we learned that Leigh Emerson escaped in 1963 (or was released from prison, either way it was a very bad idea for him to get out of there six days before Christmas).  He approached a Salvation Army Santa outside a supermarket, hit him with his  Salvation Army bell, then shot him in the face, plus four more times. THEN, he put on a blood-stained Santa suit from the guy, and killed 18 people from five different families.  In the murder we saw n the cold open, a little girl named Susie, buys him as Santa even without the beard, bloodstains, and the fact he came in through a smashed window instead of the chimney. He was nice to her (that we saw, anyway, she never seemed scared of him) tied up the husband and wife with (lit) Christmas lights, yells at them for overdoing it with the decorations, and after a really raunchy comment also in the piece with quotes, shoots them. He ends up in Briarcliff by Christmas 1963 (more on that Christmas at Briarcliff in the Stray Thoughts section)*

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5.  We learned some facts that would make anyone–well, anyone with a soul– turn down a lavish Christmas gift of real ruby earrings  (big stones, set chandelier style). We learned in the same scene that Dr. Arden is still (of course) a sadistic, evil Nazi asshole with a Madonna/Whore complex, but that he had hoped for some response from Sister Mary Eunice other than delight and preening when he told her how he got the earrings. Would YOU want to try on, let alone keep, earrings that had been swallowed and shit out every day for weeks by a woman in a Nazi concentration camp, not to mention they ended they ended up killing that someone due to internal injuries (the jewels tore up her intestines, Dr. Arden/Gruper explains) who died in the wretched camp, then  were given to you by the Nazi that “retrieved them”?  And regardless of hygiene, I’d be more than a little worried about a vengeful female spirit haunting you if kept and/or sold them. That’s an onyro’s secret back story reveal from a J-Horror, K-Horror, or Thai ghost movie right there.  Talk about bad karma. We at Horror Boom saw through the ruse with Sister Jude (360 degree turnaround all of a sudden from THAT shitty guy? Just didn’t buy it, though he sold it to Sister Jude skillfully) but we think he actually was kind of down–or feeling sorry for himself, at the very least– that there’s nothing left of the Sister Mary he, er, had a …crush on.

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6. Dr. Nazi is probably more scared of Sister Mary Eunice now; he didn’t seem to take any satisfaction in setting up Sister Jude’s (botched) murder. He didn’t want to stick around as he and Sister Mary Demon listened (below the French spiral “Staircase to Heaven”) to Jude’s terrified cries and desperate calls for help and all the crashing around. After he told Sister Mary (who practically looked like she was just about to discover her G-spot) that he hoped his loyalty was proven, he said–not entirely convincingly–he found it all rather tedious and that he had work to do.

Oh, you really don’t want me to be around the others this time of year…

 

7. Sister Mary Eunice’s telekinetic powers are improving. This episode, when Sister Jude managed to sneak in the office and hold a razor to Sister Mary’s throat and says she’s figured it all out.  Sister Mary Eunice looked amused and asks, “what are you gonna do, cane the devil out of me?” then laughs as the doors of the armoire containing all the canes are yanked wide open, followed by the various canes flying out, then the record playing a Christmas carol is shattered.. on the ceiling.  Before any more mayhem could ensue, Dr. Arden intervened and had Sister Jude ‘escorted out’.

See? We all made a little sacrifice for the greater good. That’s the spirit of Christmas!

 

8. We leaned more about Bloody Face (Old Skool Bloody Face) and the good news that Lana —and Kit— finally have the upper hand (for now). We’re a little worried about Kit, because if we were Lana, we don’t know how long we could keep ourselves from beating Thredson to death. In fact, Lana wanted to kill him right then. He  doesn’t seem as pissed about her injuring him to escape, but accuses him ‘tricking’ him into being “intimate” (which must be the word he uses for ‘rape’).  He said he was going to just kind of humor her and let her talk, because hey, who would believe her story? Then he tells her he changed his mind, he’s going to kill her. The worst news (for Lana and Kit, anyway) was said he’d gone over every square inch of the basement and his house with a toothbrush, combed it for any evidence (remember, no DNA testing back them—plus did they even have rape kits in the early 60s?) and that the furnace got a lot of use,  which he’s also really pissed about. You made me kill Bloody Face!  he nearly snarls at Lana.

 

One day,  I will bury you.
-Lana to Thredson/Bloody Face

 

9.  We learned there was no doubt that Lana is pregnant.  Many fans already suspected it (and a very recent interview confirmed it).  On a TV show (even basic and pay cable), we see a woman who is capable of getting pregnant throwing up in the morning on a TV show, and she’s not a virgin, 99% of the time, that woman has discovered her pregnancy by the end of the next episode. Not sure if Lana has figured it out yet, since that is SO the least of her fucking problems at this point.  There was some not-so-subtle foreshadowing in the dialogue from Thredson—“Bloody Face had to burn so he could be BORN AGAIN from the ashes” and “Your skin with will be the beginning of a second Bloody Face.”  Maybe it will be this season’s version of the Violet reveal that was predicted by half of the fans ahead of time – but the sight of her when the reveal came actually gave me nightmares. Let’s hope they do something just as shocking with this season.

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Heads up, asshole! CONK

10. We learned that any male staff member in Briarcliff with compassionate, human feelings  towards others—not that there were a lot of them, and few females, too— might as well have an expiration date stamped on them. As we thought, Frank was completely broken up, weeping and praying over Grace’s body.  He also saw the Rasper that ripped Sister Felicity’s throat out and tells Dr. Arden he thinks they should alert the authorities. “Our former Irish cop is feeling the need to confess.” Dr. Thredson tells Sister Mary Eunice soon after. “I’ve got it under control,” she replies. RIP, Frank.  Sister Mary slices his throat later in the episode after Leigh (Insane Homicidal Santa) gets put back in ‘the hole’ after really snapping and losing his shit in the common room, Frank locks him in and turns around to see… slash.  I assume Leigh will get blamed for cutting his throat. Oh, by the way, we have a survey. With the characters dropping like flies lately, if you want to vote on who you think will get killed off in the next episode, please do; there’s a poll here. Take a second, because we wanna know your prediction!

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12/19 Poll Update- SPOILERS if you have not seen episode Nine, The Coat Hanger, yet:  This is going up soon on the poll page, too, but it’s ironic that of the eleven responses (with a free account with Polldaddy we can only have ten) we Kit out of the running–it was him or Sister Mary Demon, and we take HIM out as an option?  Naaahhhh, no way, there’s way too much unresolved business, if they do it, they’ll wait till the last or second-to-last episode.  We didn’t consider the fact he might only be dead for a minute or two at the end of the episode, and that would be one of the mid-winter finale cliff-hangers promised by Murphy (though I doubt anyone called things going down like THAT before it aired). Either way, WRONG! He died. Episode ended. He might (probably…I hope) have Dr. Nazi make it back in time to re-start his heart in Episode Ten. But other than that, it was just the hapless therapist whose penny-saver coupon brought in the last patient she would ever have a session with – Johnny Thredson (she got the most votes, BTW-good call). Remember, the Angel of Death didn’t kiss the Monsignor yet–if you’ve read the episode description for next week, or seen the nice spoilerish preview for the January 2nd episode, “The Name Game,” we know what happens there.  I’m still pissed at him for what he knowingly did to Sister Jude. You can read the FULL weekly piece, Ten Shamelessly Twisted Things We Learned In American Horror Story Asylum Episode Nine, The Coat Hanger (Spoilers) right here.

Stray Thoughts:

  • We actually thought that when Sister Jude drove something pointy into Leigh “Psycho Santa” Emerson’s neck in self-defense, it was a candy cane. Before you laugh, have you seen how sharp and pointy the ends of those get after you’ve been sucking on one end for a while? It’s like a hard-candy ice pick, or something. We know somewhere out there that HAS happened in a holiday-themed horror movie, probably one we’ve seen and just can’t place. We actually wish it had been a candy cane, but I guess that was a little too campy even for Murphy and Falchuck. We can see where they’re coming from… but still, that would have been a great, sick touch.
  • During the cold open teaser that introduces Leigh Emerson’s holiday season mayhem, was anyone else reminded of “And All Through The House…” that awesome, AWESOME Tales From The Crypt  (an anthology movie used the story from the comic first) episode where the mother –SPOILER ALERT, THE EPISODE OR AT LEAST A CLIP IS COMING UP AS A POST FOR THE HOLIDAYS, HIGHLIGHT TO READ:  kills her husband in the middle of a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, hears that a maniac dressed as Santa escaped from the local mental asylum, and it’s a very tense game of cat and mouse up until the chilling ending as she can’t really call the cops when her husband’s body is there with an axe buried in his head, blood everywhere, and her plans to drag him outside and drop him down a well become even more screwed up when she locks herself out of the house. Here’s the kicker, though, and you’ll remember it if you saw it: her little girl (who believes in Santa Claus) is awake in her bedroom upstairs because hey, what child can calmly sleep Christmas Eve? The murderous mother finally makes it in the house throw a window on the second door –wow, what a relief! However, the little girl isn’t in bed. She walks, filled with dread and shaking, to the landing of the stairs and looks down to see her little girl, smiling. Oh, Thank God she’s OK! We’re going to look it up soon, since I wouldn’t be surprised if the little girl’s name was Suzy in the comic, then sees she’s holding hands with someone. “Look, Mommy! Santa really came! He came and I let him in!” Next to her stands a grinning, large maniac dressed in a Santa suit… happy to finally be indoors. The comic ended on that last frame –Good Lord (choke)! The HBO episode ended on the evil maniac Santa asking, “Naughty… or nice?” in a gravelly voice just as scary as Ian MacShane’s, and then faded out on the woman’s hysterical screams. Robert Zemeckis directed it, which sounds like a red flag for a Tales From The Crypt  episode, but I still was on the edge of my seat even though I knew the ending… which gave me goosebumps.
  • So, fellow E.C. Comic and Vault of Horror fans, did little Suzy not being scared of Santa (even though it was six days early, he clearly entered through a broken living room window,  and had a few little bloodstains on his Santa suit) and then going to wake her parents up to tell them ecstatically Santa was downstairs, which of course ends horribly, remind you of that story? The “Unholy Night” version was way darker, obviously, but I think the parallels were there. It was even published is roughly the same time period (mid-century).
  • Who else got a big grin on their face when poor Frank grabbed a huge ladder to put the glass (or maybe tin) tree-topper up, the elaborately red-and-silver, star-shaped ornament (only with at least 20 pointy ends), and started climbing? We didn’t want Frank to get hurt (too late, sigh), so much as we saw total chaos about to break loose and thought there’s no way that star isn’t going to end up embedded in someone’s face or neck.  Didn’t expect him to fucking RUSH the ladder, knock it and  the entire giant strangely-decorated Christmas tree over, and leap on top of Frank like a wild animal, trying to smash it into Frank’s face (and actually succeeding) as not one, but two large orderlies had to sprint over to pull Leigh, in full-on homicidal maniac frenzy-mode, off of poor Frank. We’re putting up a featurette on the stunt soon, but until then, you can get a fix watching a behind-the-scenes look from FX  at how they performed the old “face-off” bite right here.  Sister Mary Demon’s casually amused reaction to the entire tree debacle, after she calmly watches: “Two steps forward, one step back.”
  • If we had been in Sister Jude’s shoes, the second we opened the double doors to her quarters/office and saw mangy, creepy, blood-thirsty Leigh lounging in her chair behind the desk, we would have turned around then and gone right out. She tried to get out fast, but she hasn’t seen as many horror movies as we have. If she’d been as big a horror fan as us,  it would have gone like this: open door, see homicidal patient let out of ‘the hole’ sitting there in a Santa suit opposite you behind the desk, immediately swivel around and step back out into the hall and close the double doors, all in one large motion.
  • There’s too many great quotes to count, but we made a list of ten OF the best (not THE ten best) quotes from “Unholy Night”, along with screencaps, and you can check that piece out here.

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The Grudge (2004) – VERY Scary Apartment Scene Will Make You Sleep With The Lights On! (HD)

When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage…

It’s almost impossible to pick the ten–hell, I’d have to really apply myself to get it down to twenty– scariest scenes or moments from the Ju-On (AKA The Grudge) series, let alone the scariest. OK, that’d be the stair-crawl,  but you get the idea. However, I’m pretty sure that this scene would probably make the top ten. Full of creepy moments (seeing Toshio pass by the elevator on EVERY goddamn floor, seeing your husband through the peephole and opening the door to the sight of an empty hall), Shimizu saves the best scare in the scene for last.

We doubt it’s necessary to sell you on Asian horror knowing exactly how to scare you and stand out from 90% of US horror films, but the idea of not even being safe in your own (formerly) cozy warm bed, with the covers pulled up to your chin? If that isn’t the stuff of nightmares, we don’t know what is.

All-New NSFW Red Band Trailer For Upcoming “The ABCs of Death” (2012) Is Bloody, Sick Fun! (HD)

Oh, and if you have been eagerly anticipating the movie like I have, and keeping an eye out of reviews and news alerts, see if you can guess which clip is from the Xavier Gens segment “X is for XXL”, which almost every   review I’ve read pointed out as one of the most memorable and gruesome, in which a woman unhappy with her plus-size figure decides to do something about it …all at once.

 

“Warning! Contains Graphic Violence, Nudity, Graphic Content, Not Appropriate For Anyone Under”-YOU’RE ON! You had me at “26 Directors – 26 Ways To Die,”  ABCs of Death Red Band Trailer. I’ve been psyched for this since July. Finally, the trailer for the film is here (though I loved the one composed of contest entries for the letter T, and am still posting my Top 20 Picks). The gloriously gory claymation horror short “T Is For Toilet” from Lee Hardcastle (which was the winner), “T is for Temptation,” and “T is for Table” are still the ones I really wish could be included in the feature film too,  as they hold up to multiple viewing and still make me shake my head and smile. For some reason “T is for Table” actually still frightens me, even though I was also practically jumping up and down the first time I saw it, it was so perfect. The short even has a little bit of a Final Destination  vibe to it; though I can’t really articulate intelligently why with all this over-the-counter cold medicine in me, I hope to later.

Before I post the trailer, let me just point out that I wanted to also put RED BAND TRAILER OF THE MONTH! in the title, but it wouldn’t fit. FUCK YEAH, MOTHERFUCKER! would have done it too (in all caps, with multiple exclamation points) but some of my relatives are just now checking out Horror Boom for the first time, and they wouldn’t be mad, but they’d be disappointed in me (which as anyone who has ever heard this from a parent knows, is much worse). You have to admit, that’s a great tagline for something that you have to be a legal adult to go see, where you already know what you’re getting is sick. The ABCs of Death: Fuck Yeah, Motherfucker.*

Oh, and if you have been early anticipating the movie like I have, and keep an eye out of reviews and news alerts, see if you can guess which clip is from the French horror director Xavier Gens “X is for XXL”, which almost every   review I’ve read pointed out as one of the most memorable and gruesome, in which a woman unhappy with her plus-size decides to do something about it …all at once. Hint: See featured photo.

OK, I wanted to get this up ASAP. More later, including some really NSFW official promo stills Magnet (the film’s distributor) has released to the press.

Oh, I have another great tagline that’d  fit and put asses in seats. The ABCs of Death: It’s Just So Wrong.

*yeah, I’ve seen 21 Jump Street  with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, that’s where I got it. Did you know  there’s a rumor (that in probability is true, I just haven’t verified it yet, I saw it on The Hollywood Reporter in June) that Aaron Paul is going to be in the sequel? I am so there.

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.

 

Post-Halloween Depression? Oh HELL No! Site News, Updates for November 2012 (Including Ju-On/Grudge Info)

Damn, not only is my ‘hit count’ improving drastically, but as of this writing, I’m at exactly 666 hits, which is a first! That’s pretty awesome, and– wait, did you guys hear that noise? Why did it get so hot in this room all of a sudden?

Yes, sadly Halloween has come and gone, but the scary goodies will be continuing, hopefully at the same pace they have been. Right now lots of horror fans are pretty excited about American Horror Story Asylum, so I’m adding more news and spoilers as I hear them (with spoiler warnings, of course).  Hopefully I’ll get a news round-up with links to any new interviews at least once a week. I’ve noticed lately that the specific search terms that show up the most for the show* are variations on “American Horror Story who is the Pinhead.” I’m surprised a fan page for Naomi Grossman as Pepper hasn’t sprung up–wait, actually, I bet if I searched, there’d be a couple at this point.

I upgraded and added the option for adding sound and video files to my posts. I’ll keep slapping up the You Tube videos, of course, but now there’s other forms of media.  I’m trying to use the “Press This” option (AKA re-blogging), too, so that you get some variety; I’m the only one writing this site,  hearing fresh voices is probably nice. There’s room for every horror writer/blogger on here!  Everyone has been super-cool and supportive lately, and I appreciate it. It was just a few months ago when I was averaging about 30 hits on a good  day, which really was a drag.

If you want to check out Horror Boom on You Tube, I don’t have anything really spectacular right now, but I’m putting together playlists, especially of hard-to-find movies that are worth a watch.

Oh yeah- here’s a poll (below) that’s be cool if you could give your opinion on. Basically, what would you like to see more of here? If you have a favorite feature and just want it to keep going, that’s worth a vote. You can vote for up to five things you think would be groovy to see on Horror Boom, plus write in something if it’s not listed. Plus, I promise to actually pay attention and respond to what you’d be amped up to see on here. Thanks in advance for voting …and hopefully it’ll take your mind off the “Election 2012” 24/7 media jamboree that you’re really, really fucking sick of hearing about (and thinking about) by now. ENOUGH. We already sent in our ballots and are mostly watching horror DVDs when the TV is on, until Election Night. At this point I think many of us just want it to be OVER. Anyway, the feedback from y’all fellow horror fans would be great.

Image-wise, I just added ten more photos of Kayako to the recent Ju-On  Gallery. They’re all PR photos (or very close– if they weren’t ones taken in a closed session with Takako Fuji posing and making her scariest facial expressions, they used shots on set as official PR photos) and I’m pretty sure, unless you have a weird Ju-On  obsession like I do that includes buying the novel, tie-in Manga, and a copy of the Ju-On “Haunted House Simulator” game for Nintendo Wii even though I knew I’d probably be too much of a pussy to sit down and play, there’s several you haven’t seen yet. At least half of them were staged photo shoots, because if they were in a Ju-On movie scene, you would definitely remember the image/shot.  Check out the latest growing Kayako gallery here. The first series of Grudge/Ju-On images I posted, let me think, right over here, and here’s the “Chills to Beat the Summer Heat” gallery I did second.  More Ju-On goodies–OK, I don’t know if that sounds appropriate when referring to one of the Top Five most frightening females in horror history, let alone J-horror history. Uhhh, try that again. I mean more Ju-on/Grudge  (relatively) rare footage, trivia, and of course, plenty of new photos are coming soon. Also I would again to state I am well aware I do not own the copyrights to any of the images, they’re here to entertain you; if anyone who DOES own the copyright wants me to take it down, I will. Just contact me …I’m not looking for any copyright trouble!

Meanwhile, genius that I am when I’m not getting enough sleep, I go rifling through Kayako content on the night we set our clocks back, after I spent several hours (before and after sundown) watching a bunch of J-Horror shorts back-to-back Friday and Saturday to build up a decent backlog of “Scariest Short Horror Film of The Week” entries like a moron. Hell, I’m watching a featurette right now on The Grudge 2 (American sequel) boxed collector’s tin/set AFTER I sat through the last half of the movie; I think back and find no real justification whatsoever for this.  Something tells me an Onyro might be making a surprise cameo in one of my dreams soon. Ooooh goodie!

While I’m on the subject, I’m still puzzled and sort of concerned over the amount of males who make comments on You Tube, and/or have websites, where they rhapsodize about how hot and sexy Kayako is. Not Takako Fuji, the actress who plays her, mind you, or even Fuji-San as Kayako before she was murdered, but Kayako in full-out terrifying, crawling or limping un-naturally right at you, dead white, eyes wide as saucers, bloody running down her face, croaking out the classic Grudge/Ju-On Death Rattle mode. Attraction is subjective, and I know she’s a beautiful actress, but I just don’t get it. One said the “kind of lustful, hungry look” she has on her face is “soooo HOT!”  Fine, to each their own, but I do hope it’s not because the think only women who look very dead, have broken necks, with blood-smeared faces and a white dress so soaked with her own blood it actually could be mistaken for a red dress are sexually attractive.  I’m not even close to a judgemental person, yet I am not altogether comfortable with that piece of information…

Anyway, thanks for reading, and Happy November. Don’t forget to set your clocks back this weekend, and even if you hate less daylight (I do), look on the bright side– hey, that’s time for an extra episode of American Horror Story, time for watching/re-watching a Masters of Horror episode (may I recommend Dance of the DeadImprint , or The Damned Thing ?) or two back-to-back Tales From The Crypt episodes you can enjoy.

Hey, it beats more election coverage…

Stay Scared,
Mrs. Horror Boom

*after variations on “Evan Peters naked”, “Evan Peters getting spanked”, and “Evan Peters butt,” that is.

Celebrate Halloween With The Scariest J-Horror Short of the Month – “‪Rattle Rattle” AKA Katakata (カタカタ)‬

“…You’ve heard the rumors, right? It gave me such chills when I heard about it…”

When it comes to frightening Japanese horror shorts, there’ s a lot of contenders. I’ve seen a ton of J-horror short this year, several so disturbing and creepy they left me badly shaken. Then there’s Keita Amemiya‘s Rattle Rattle (2006),  which is the first segment of an arguably uneven J-horror anthology called Unholy Women  (Kowai Onna).  It’s the scariest J-Horror short I’ve seen all year (let alone all month), and that’s why I saved this for Halloween!

My advice is to watch Rattle Rattle  on You Tube streaming, if you have the technology for that, and if you’re feeling especially brave, turn off all the lights. Seriously, I dare you. The first time I discovered and watched this–it was recommended to me by a trusted source– was after dark, on my lap top. I kept turning the sound down lower and lower as I got more and more creeped out, and by the last ten minutes it was down all the way. I didn’t have the nerve to watch it again until almost six months later, and since it was a sunny, cheerful afternoon, I got the nerve to watch it via streaming on our flat screen. It was still scary as hell (and also filled in a couple blanks in the plot; the first time I was too busy being freaked the hell out before to focus on every pesky little detail).

I’ve talked to other horror fans, especially those who love Asian Horror, and they agree with me that this segment embodies everything about J-horror that scares the shit out of us. Elements like not knowing quite what you’re looking at, which makes it all the more creepy and unsettling, things that aren’t supposed to be there, or move the way they do, never being safe from whatever scary entity is after you, no matter where you go, what you do, or how long you wait, finding out a horrible truth, then finding out another horrible truth on top of it. Most of the time you don’t even have to do anything wrong, or anything stupid, all you have to do is show up, and you’re fucked . It never forgives …it never forgets,  as one of the taglines for The Grudge  correctly assures us.

At first the story in Rattle Rattle seems like the familiar–but always creepy on varying levels– theme of an innocent, frightened young woman being pursued ruthlessly and horribly by an onyro  (a vengeful female ghost such as Kayako Saeki or Sadako from Ringuhere’s a great, thorough article I highly recommend if you want to learn a little more). As I said, it’s hardly a new theme if you’ve seen a couple J-horror movies; I hear a lot of people say thery’re sick of seeing the pale, skinny ghostly girl with long black hair hanging over her face bla-bla. However,  in nine out of ten cases, I’ve noticed those same people continuing to see Asian horror and admitting they’re scary when done right.

“Someone did  jump from here recently…”

 

Anyway, that’s what I thought this short movie would completely consist of. Don’t get me wrong, I was already terrified and my heart rate was up. Then, though I didn’t think it possible and already was regretting my decision to watch the movie after dark as I knew I’d have to really apply myself to relax enough to sleep, I got even more frightened when I turned out to be wrong… and wrong a second time…


OK, I don’t want to talk this little-known gem up too much, so I’ll just tell you if you want a real scare for Halloween (or any time), invest half an hour and watch one of the most frightening J-horror shorts you’ll ever see. That’s why I saved this for Halloween. Watch this till the very end—there’s a moment when it looks like it’s over, but isn’t. You’ll know it when it’s over, trust me…  Happy Halloween!

 

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!

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…