Must See: Popcornhorror.com’s Voting Deadline For Your Favorite “Blood Games” Horror Short is April 30th!

We discovered this site today (of course, at the last minute, but it’s still not too late).

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We’ll try to (for now) give you the Cliff Notes version, with more to come. You can also just read the “About Us” section on PopcornHorror.com, but if you’re in a hurry:

Most of the staff either grew up in the 80s like us, or are younger but very well-informed and huge 80s horror fans. You just need to look at their’ favorites’ list under bios.

  • Popcornhorror.com is based out of Scotland, started in 2011, and is a website and an app (we do still recommend, when you’re watching the short films,  that you watch them on a laptop rather than a tiny screen the size of an index card, though).
  • Popcornhorror was made –does this sound familiar?– BY horror fans, FOR horror fans. And we know us horror fans always have the coolest shit, right?
  • They want to help out and encourage all short horror filmmakers, or aspiring ones, to send in their work and get it out there (but they don’t own the rights if they decide to post your submitted film). There’s more of that on the FAQ Page.
  • What’s not to love about all the above?

Anyway, since the clock is ticking, we highly encourage you to click here ASAP to check out six quality horror shorts that are the finalists for a contest they ran called “Blood Games.” The theme was basically, well, like it sounds. For the six finalists the tagline could either be It Started Off As A Game…  or  It Was Just Supposed To Be a Fun Game… or Some Games Should Never Be Played.  I believe the longest was ten minutes, another was a little over four, another two minutes.

From the nail-biting  horror short finalist "Click"

From the nail-biting horror short finalist “Click”

We didn’t feel at all like we were wasting out time after watching any of them. One of the finalists is well-made but didn’t stand out, another contender reminded me of a different, better short I saw on BloodyCuts.uk  last year that blew me out of the water,  another only has one word of dialogue yet definitely gets the message across, but all six of the finalists are better than most horror shorts you’ll watch.  One has a twist ending that I’ll bet… hell, I’ll bet our Park Chan-Wook Vengeance Trilogy Boxed Set on that you will NEVER see coming. I pride myself (and get on my own nerves) by almost never being surprised by a twist, it’s pretty rare when I see something I absolutely couldn’t even begin to second-guess. No, I’m not going to tell you which ones are which, go in clean–and not trying to figure out the twist–and find out yourself. It’s much more fun that way!

If you’re short on time and can watch only two, I’d recommend “Click” (for successfully using a simple, very chilling element to scare the hell out of you, while staying understated; I don’t think there’s one drop of blood spilled) and the recently released “Don’t Move” from our horror pals across the pond at Bloody Cuts. Now THAT one is full of gore and sleep-with-the-lights-on scary. Though the budget was very low, you would never, ever guess it from watching. Crank the sound– not so much for the jumps but the amazing stunning, crisp, and terrifying audio. You won’t see (nor have you seen) anything like it. “Don’t Move” is also currently the top vote-getter.

From the show-stopping NSFW horror short "Don't Move" (Bloodycuts.uk)

From the show-stopping NSFW horror short “Don’t Move” (Bloodycuts.uk)

Those are the two that stick in my mind–the chills and suspense in the simple (but very clever) terror of “Click” (that title is in no way internet-related), and the in-your-face horror show that is “Don’t Move,” with the kind of quality you’d expect from Bloody Cuts at the top of their game. Voting closes April 30th (I assume at midnight) so get in those votes for your favorite and most deserving of the prize package now!

Nope, I do NOT mind waiting for the fresh popcorn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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*You Tube user comment by user “SuperZombieMoon”.

Jessica Chastain Saves the Drama for “MAMA” – Check Out This Great Interview From Fangoria.com!

Even the mixed reviews for this horror film have been more or less blown away by Jessica Chastain‘s performance (second after the two little girls portraying her –or Mama’s– little girls). I love to read interviews with A-list actors who love horror movies, too.
“Yeah, I’m not really a horror fan,” doesn’t make horror fans exactly want to rush out and see something when a performer playing a significant role says it to the press. Not so the case with the talented, and beautiful, Ms. Chastain. Click the big red link and check it out on Fangoria.com below!

Jessica Chastain Saves the Drama for “MAMA”.

 

 

“Mama” Rumor Control: Is This Really The Face Of Javier Botet In Make-Up As The Ghastly “Mama”? No! Wanna See The Real Thing? Read On!

4/15/13 UPDATE!

the Cool javier botet links TEASEd LATER IN THIS ARTICLE have been (mostly) inserted in this post, now that the pieces went up; check ’em out! Also, you can type ‘Botet’ into the horror boom search box in the upper right corner of the blog. Read on!

Mrs. Horror Boom

 

Well, this is a type of piece I’ve never needed to write and publish before! Here’s the deal.

Today a vague ‘source’ sent Horror Boom an email containing a pretty frightening attachment. It was labelled as “The Face of MAMA, Javier Botet in full make-up”. This is the first email/contact we’ve gotten from this individual, and we were impressed. But we’ve seen Mama,  and Javier Botet in make-up as Mama; it’s a different look.

So we did some research, and the photo (seen below) claiming to be a close-up shot of Javier Botet as Mama IS Javier Botet, but NOT in the movie Mama. We suppose we sort of see how someone could see the image and think that. Here’s the alleged photo of Botet as Mama below, that we got at our horrorboom@gmail.com email:

This is the very talented Javier Botet in make-up, all right, but not as "Mama"

This is the very talented Javier Botet in make-up, all right, but not as “Mama”

I did a little research (even though I was 95% sure it wasn’t the Mama creature effects). The shot turned out to be from Javier Botet’s 2010 reel. Mama hadn’t officially even gone into pre-production at the time.  By the way, more Botet links are coming up –some really great stuff.

So, we’ll chalk it up as an honest mistake; I seriously doubt the sender was deliberately being a prick up to any mischief, or just wanted attention (since if that was the case, they at least would have given us a nickname/site to credit, which they didn’t). I think they just got all excited, sent first, asked questions later.  We’ve all done that. I sure as hell have. Also, I can’t blame them if they jumped the gun, as every horror fan I know (and some that aren’t even big horror fans) are really excited about Mama and have been all month. I’ve been excited since before Halloween. Hot damn!

Oh and, hey, this will dial your anticipation up a notch: the new issue of Fangoria has a cover story on Mama*, and when it came to effects, they did practical effects whenever they could. YES. There are several composite shots, but very little CGI except for two scenes/effects that were pointed out (and they mainly used composite shots – especially the unearthly, floaty hair that the FX people later said they wanted to resemble tentacles at the request of the director).  You don’t hire an actor best known for being a creature performer who is 6 foot 6 and can’t weigh more than 130 lbs, (if that), to play a creature in your horror movie and then replace the majority of him with digital effects and CGI. You hire this guy when you know what nightmares look like and you need the real thing. The effects team made up his face and body, and sometimes his face was replaced with a prosthetic mask… otherwise that is ALL HIM.

Now if you want to see what ‘Mama’ really looks like, here’s a frightening screen grab (a very quick flash from one TV spot, barely shown) that gives you a pretty good, up-close look at the horrifying title creature, after the

SPOILER!

ALERT!

DO NOT SCROLL DOWN IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE THIS FREEZE FRAME THAT GIVES YOU A GOOD LOOK AT MAMA! I’ll even toss in this:

S
P
O
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L
E
R
A
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T!

Can’t say we didn’t warn you! THIS is what Javier Botet as  Mama looks like:

thisismotherfuckingmamaEEEEK.jpg

I can’t think of ANYONE stupid or foolhardy enough to get between THIS thing and her ‘kids’.  I saw that in my house, I’d be a time zone the fuck away within seconds!

And yep…that’s Mr. Botet in the above photo. The actor really is that … slender… (though he spends a long, long time in the make-up chair to look that horrifying), and why would any  effects supervisor in their right mind want to use CGI when you can hire an actor with his skill set?

And here’s his demo reel. Prepare to be dazzled (and terrified). More of Mr. Botet to come…

*I usually will say something out loud like, “new Fango? Oh fuck,  yeah!” when it shows in the mail, even if new neighbors are within hearing range of me. This time I almost ripped the plastic wrap off with my teeth …but I have nice sharp fingernails for that (you’ve seen my “gravatar” image)!

The Only Review for “Mama” We Could Find So Far Is In German, But That’s What The “Translate” Tool Is For (Yes, Cinetastic.de Loved It)

This review actually went up a couple of months ago, and we kept checking back, thinking any time now, reviews are going to pop up. Soon they probably will be, since they’re giving away preview passes is certain cities, and they’re pre-screening for critics. We finally gave up and are posting a link to the review on Cinetastic.de, written by Ronny Dombrowski.  He gave it 7/10 popcorn boxes,  and certainly didn’t have any major complaints. Simply from reading the translation, he only mentions that the character of Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who most Game Of Thrones fans will recognize as the fine-looking actor who plays Jaime Stark) doesn’t really have much to do, or anything essential to the plot. It sounds like Jessica Chastain, however,  more than has her role and character of Annabel covered.  Basically, it’s not perfect, but it is original and scary as hell, with excellent effects that are frightening but not overdone.

Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 10.18.57 PM

We also get a little bit of back-story (no major spoilers), which if search terms in our daily stats are anything to go by,  is something fans REALLY want more of. Even with the translate tool, I had to spend a couple of hours smoothing and polishing the review, and if the review sounds clumsy and clunky, you should have seen it after it was immediately translated.

Here’s the link if you speak German, or have an app of some kind of translation software better than Google Translate

Mama › cinetastic.

If you’re short on time, here’s the “review summary”, also translated:

Andres Muschietti’s “Mama” is a successful adaptation of his own short firm. The actors are excellent throughout, the story entertaining, even more so in particular at the end of the movie, so that even a [demanding fan] of horror films will be terrified.

…and here’s the translated review from Cinetastic.de, written by Ronny Dombrowski.

In the current state of the horror genre there are few innovations, which is partly why Scott Derrickson’s recent film Sinster could stand out, with a successful atmosphere with the audience. In a quite similar breach jumps director  Muschietti with his film Mama  and  presents a collaboration with producer Guillermo del Toro with an amazingly effective end result.

Five years ago,  the father of the two sisters, Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse) killed his wife and fled in the middle of a snowstorm with his two daughters in the car, then a short time later the car slid from the road and ended up in  deep ditch. He fled into the woods with his two daughters, and finally the three found an old abandoned house to take shelter in, but the house was not as empty as it looked. Five years later her uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend Annabel (Jessica Chastain) are still searching for his nieces and finds them (as if by a wild coincidence) in said house, but both girls have changed radically since they’ve seen them. Lucas and Annabel take the two girls and try to offer  their new home, a new family, but someone completely different comes with Victoria and Lily…

Producer Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy)  has been primarily known over the last twenty years known for his numerous high-quality productions. Together with director Andres Muschietti,  (the movie came from his own short film in 2008), Mama  has not only been adapted for the big screen, but also now supplemented by a few interesting new story twists and characters. Andres wrote the script with his wife Barbara Muschietti  (Just Visiting),  and screenwriter Neil Cross (Luther),  a unique collaboration.

The focus of the story with Victoria and Lilly are two siblings would not be different, although both full five years have been raised by many someone or something they do not  talk about except for the name “Mama.” The fact that Lucas and his rocker girlfriend Annabel had been trying for children is more than communicated clearly, this would be enough without the failing pregnancy test.

Compared to many similar horror films Mama  and its message does not last long behind the scenes; The supernatural force reveals it at the beginning rather quickly, as “Mama” saves the children from their homicidal father. With a kind of maternal instinct that protects the children in the following five years, she feeds and also lives in the house where they were found, but then the children are taken from her to live with Lucas and his girlfriend. The jump-in-your-seat moments are for the most part good, if sometimes predictable, especially when signalled by the appropriate music of composer Fernando Velázquez uses (The Orphanage),   though the rest of score lends the individual scenes atmosphere.

In terms of the look of Mama herself, the special effects team, led by Warren Appleby, was successful in their effort, The effects are unique and frightening. Whether you see Mama from behind, from the corners of your eyes, blurred by Victoria’s glasses, or in the open in the end, especially in the climax of the film, the low-budget effects in ”Mama” are just as high quality and effective as any big budget movies.

Looking at the individual actors a little more closely, there are noticeable differences. Because  Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jo Nesbø‘s Headhunters ) as Lucas has little screen time and thus little opportunity to get himself in the movie, this leaves the movie all the more on the shoulders of Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life) , and her acting is marvelous as we see her character changes from one with an initial dislike of the children, into the person who wants to protect Lilly and Victoria at any price in the world. The real stars of “Mama” are Megan Charpentier (Red Riding Hood – Under the Wolf Moon) and Isabelle Nelisse (whitewash), who play the two children Victoria and Lilly. Their performance, especially their facial expressions, is so intense and convincing that both contribute significantly to the successful atmosphere of the film.

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And now that we’ve lost sleep translating that, the flood of Mama reviews should come pouring in any minute now! You’re welcome.

Update: Under “related articles”,  I found a shitty, mean-spirited review by Rex Reed (with a well-earned reputation for being a catty, bitchy hack AND for hating horror movies across the board) from The Observer. He right off the bat expresses his distaste …I’m being too nice. He says all ghost movies are the same, always stupid and never scary, and gets so unnecessarily nasty and petty in the review that I took the link down. I’m not kidding, this review puts down all horror fans, will piss you off and make you want to punch him in the teeth, plus it’s clear he didn’t watch the entire movie. I’m not one of those fans who dislikes critics in general, though I do know a couple who dislike horror movies and thus whose reviews I take with a grain of salt, but I would like to go on record: Rex Reed? Fuck that guy.  If I ever see him in person, I’m throwing a drink in his face (a situation I’m sure he is no stranger to).

Scary-Ass “Mama” Opens Friday- Check Out These FOUR, Count ‘Em, FOUR Clips at Dread Central!

OK, normally we wouldn’t just do a “Press This” for a highly anticipated (especially by us) genre movie we’ve been waiting months for; we’d write a piece and put together something polished and fancy, with the clips from You Tube, and more. Well, I got all excited and forgot it’s a really  terrible idea to go exploring footage from the upcoming sleep-with-the-lights-on scary Mama  after dark (with just the laptop on), watched the first clip, and it scared me so fucking much I’m not watching any more until it’s light out and I’m not the only one awake in the house. That should be about oh, two hours from now, since I’m not feeling too relaxed and may not relax until dawn. Even if the second clip didn’t have the ominous title, “Lilly surprises Annabel in the Kitchen*,” that’s it for me until the sun is out, suddenly I’m not feeling too brave right this minute. Though if you’ve been following coverage of the film, like, say, the theatrical trailers, or watched the blood-curdling short film the movie is based on, I doubt you can blame me too much…

Either way, look for more (and lots of it) Mama coverage this week, since the movie opens this Friday, January 18th! Though right now, a weekend matinée seems a little better for my nerves than our previous plans to see it opening night (“night” is the key word there).

So! Click the below link to get to the clips at trusty Dread Central:

Mama Loves Clips. You Will Too. Horror Movie, DVD, & Book Reviews, News, Interviews at Dread Central.

seriouslycreepywildgirlsfrommama-4hb*I can’t believe I was so gung-ho about seeing some clips from the movie that I didn’t catch on that the phrase “what’s under the bed” in the title of the first clip was a red flag. “What’s under the bed” + movie that Javier Botet plays the freaky, half-seen creature in = back off if it’s 4AM and the entire family, including the cats, are asleep, idiot!

Spooky-Ass Second Theatrical Trailer For “Mama” (2013) With Extra Creepy New Footage Is Here – Scariest Trailer of The Month!

So you thought the first spooky-ass trailer for Mama (based on the actively frightening short film that you can watch here, but that I literally cannot watch after dark unless I have alcohol in my bloodstream, and even then I hesitate) was creepy? Well, in the second theatrical trailer , we get to see a little more of the… not sure exactly what to call it yet; creature? entity? monster? of the title. Well, one thing is for sure, the mysterious “Mama” that follows the two little feral girls to their new adoptive home is the stuff nightmares of made of. Watch the new trailer below. If you’ve seen the debut trailer more than once, you’ll know that new footage when you see it…

I’m still looking for a 30-second spot that they ran in front of some clip or trailer I was watching online, because I could swear there were one or two flashes in that one (including one of the creepy feral girls lashing out when a stranger discovers them in the woods, and another brief new flash of “Mama” that also freaked me out) that aren’t in this second theatrical trailer (nor the first one I posted and wrote about).  Here’s the official site, by the way, though so far, it only has the trailer.  Once I saw Javier Botet’s name on the IMDB cast list –he played the attic monster/Medieros Girl from [REC]–I knew we’d be in more some serious scares.

Screen shot 2012-12-01 at 2.05.00 AM

Here’s that official description again: Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years…. but how alone were they?  EEK.

Something you do NOT want to find under your bed (or anywhere in the house)...

Something you do NOT want to find under your bed (or anywhere in the house)…

If you’ve seen the aforementioned short horror film (from the same director/writer), a couple images look similar – mainly the “stinger” at the end of the teaser. If you’re not brave enough to watch them both in a row right this moment, like if you’re feeling a little jumpy or were already having bad dreams, here’s the comparison (stills from the short are on the left, stills from the movie are on the right). Since it’s after dark as I compose this, I think I’ll hit the “mute” buttons to get those screen caps…

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Mama  opens on January 18, 2013!  Bring your screaming voice…

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