On the Radar – The Wind

By Jason Sawyer – Jan. 15, 2019

The prairie pioneer is an often romanticized figure in American lore – credited with building a nation out of wilderness with little more than grit and can-do spirit. While they did indeed persevere over time, the reality is hardly the simplistic and infantilized history as taught in our public schools. Instead, apart from those who were attracted by gold rushes or were running away from their checkered pasts (or looking to expand them), many were naive youth, seeking a seemingly easy opportunity and drawn by the promise of a homestead – of 160 acres of land and bountiful freedom; just show up, and it’s yours. Generally, what awaited them was the desolate despair of the colonist – lonesome, under-experienced, and far from help in a world that wasn’t theirs and that bitterly resisted their attempts to claim it.


on the radar - the wind 1

This appears profoundly unpleasant.


It’s in that more harsh and unforgiving realm that Emma Tammi’s The Wind is set, an exercise in utter isolation of the kind that few modern Americans could even bear to imagine. The film stars Caitlin Gerard (Insidious: The Last Key) as Lizzie, a homesteader wife reeling from the grief of stillbirth and left for days on end by her oblivious husband who must regularly travel to the nearest yet very far depot for supplies. This leaves her responsible for all their farm’s many chores, and her only company are her overly needy ‘neighbors’, Emma & Gideon – a mile away yet still burdensome. It would be bad enough to be lonely, grieving, neglected, over-worked, and irritated, but then, an ill and nebulous presence blows through on the wind, the area’s reverend begins speaking of demons, and Emma’s mind begins to descend into psychosis. It wouldn’t be horror if things didn’t get worse from there.

The first feature from documentary filmmaker Emma Tammi and an expansion of screenwriter Teresa Sutherland’s short The Winter, The Wind opened to strong reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September. Produced by Soapbox Films (Southbound), Divide/Conquer (Cam), and Mind Hive Films, the movie will be coming to select theaters and major VOD outlets on April 5th from one of the leading distributors of horror content, IFC Midnight (The Babadook, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Pledge, and many more).

Here’s the trailer:



In other On The Radar news, previous feature The Laplace’s Demon will be coming to Amazon Prime Video and VOD on February 22nd.


On the Radar


lords of chaos on the radar iconsecret santa on the radar iconstarfish on the radar iconhagazussa on the radar iconbraid on the radar iconthe laplaces demon iconthe head on the radar icontumbbad on the radar iconpledge on the radar iconpossum on the radar icon


FACEBOOK ICONTWITTER ICON

Advertisements

On the Radar – Lords of Chaos

By Jason Sawyer – Jan. 8, 2019

ON THE RADAR LOGO

If a biopic of your life story is also a horror film, you may have made some questionable decisions. Such is the case of infamous Norwegian black metal band Mayhem (have you heard of the band that used a photo of their lead singer’s suicide as an album cover? That’s them). Pioneers of a homegrown music scene that loathed attention yet reveled in outrage, the members of its most notorious band lived up to their name, starting with outrageous stage shows that involved self-mutilation, moving on to a spree of church arsons, before finally culminating in murder. An internal power struggle ultimately resulted in one member killing another in a knife fight, which isn’t even the previously mentioned murder, and the band is still active today. If they didn’t want attention from normies, they had a peculiar way of showing it.


on the radar lords of chaos 1

“Just burning down another church, or as we like to call it, Saturday night.”


Lords of Chaos is the first feature from prominent music video director Jonas Åkerlund in almost a decade. He’s seemingly made something for nearly every platinum-selling musician around – from Lady Gaga and Coldplay to Rammstein and Ozzy – and assumably, this is the music story that he most wants to tell (he himself being a founding member of Swedish metal band Bathory). Rory Culkin (to help keep track of Culkin brothers, he’s the one from Scream 4 and Signs) stars as Mayhem founding guitarist Euronymous, whose penchant for both projecting image and generating controversy would lead to opening a record store, launching a record label, and growing his band’s scandalous profile. However, he finds his credibility challenged by fellow black metal musician Varg, played by Emory Cohen, leading to an escalating feud and competition of metal legitimacy that will eventually end in bloodshed. As the film admits to be based on both truth and lies, it’s likely impossible at this point to decipher where reality ends and legend begins, but Lords of Chaos is set on depicting a blood-curdling tale of a youth culture scene that descends into misanthropic destruction.

If this sounds compelling, then the good news is that the film is slated for a limited theatrical release from distributor Gunpowder & Sky a month from today on February 8th. Whether or not it will receive a same-day VOD release or if that will happen at a later time remains to be seen – it’s common for these buzzed-about indie films to get a simultaneous roll-out. In the meanwhile, here’s a brief teaser trailer for Lords of Chaos.



In other On The Radar news, Braid will be getting a limited theatrical+VOD release from Blue Fox Entertainment on Feb. 1 while IFC Midnight has Pledge coming out on Jan. 11th, this upcoming Friday.


On the Radar


secret santa on the radar iconstarfish on the radar iconhagazussa on the radar iconbraid on the radar iconthe laplaces demon iconthe head on the radar icontumbbad on the radar iconpledge on the radar iconpossum on the radar icon


FACEBOOK ICONTWITTER ICON

Horror Watch – January 2019

By Jason Sawyer – Jan. 1, 2019

January has traditionally been regarded as a dumping ground for new movie releases, but with a greater quantity of films being produced now more than ever before, distributors have scheduled quality titles throughout the entire calendar in an effort to get some distance from competition. There’s also people – like me – who have a demand for new horror content year-round. With that, here’s 11 of the most notable releases for this month.


The Demonologist – Jan. 1

Directed by J.M. Stelly
Starring Brian Krause, Jared Bankens, Lara Grice

Official Synopsis:
Detective Damien Seryph investigates a string of murders that connects to a group trying to bring forth the 4 King Demons of Hell. Damien’s past connects him to those involved and will force him to become “The Demonologist”.

Available on VOD


Lifechanger – Jan. 1

Unrated – 1hr 24min
Directed by Justin McConnell
Starring Lora Burke, Jack Foley, Elitsa Bako

Official Synopsis:
Drew has to shapeshift, or face painful death. He has to find someone and make a copy. He becomes them, and they die horribly. Enter Julia, the object of Drew’s affection. How can he make things right when he’s never the same person for very long? LIFECHANGER follows one shapeshifter’s twisted quest to repair the damage he’s caused, while leaving a trail of bodies in his wake.

Available on VOD.


Escape Room – Jan. 4

Rated PG-13
Directed by Adam Robitel
Starring Taylor Russell, Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine

Official Synopsis:
Six adventurous strangers travel to a mysterious building to experience the escape room — a game where players compete to solve a series of puzzles to win $1 million. What starts out as seemingly innocent fun soon turns into a living nightmare as the four men and two women discover each room is an elaborate trap that’s part of a sadistic game of life or death.

Coming to theaters everywhere.


Rust Creek – Jan. 4

Rated R
Directed by Jen McGowan
Starring Hermione Corfield, Denise Dal Vara, Jeremy Glazer

Official Synopsis:
An overachieving college student gets lost on her way to a job interview. A wrong turn leaves her stranded deep in the Kentucky forest. The woman must defend herself against the harsh elements and a band of ruthless outlaws. She is forced into an uneasy alliance with a strange loner who has unknown intentions.

Coming to limited theaters and VOD.


The Vanishing – Jan. 4

Rated R – 1hr 41min
Directed by Kristoffer Nyholm
Starring Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan, Ólafer Darri Ólafsson

Official Synopsis:
On an uninhabited island 20 miles from the rugged Scottish coast, three lighthouse keepers arrive for their 6 week shift. As they settle into their normal quiet routine, something unexpected, potentially life-changing occurs – they stumble upon gold. What follows is a tense battle for survival, fed by isolation, paranoia and greed, leading three honest men down a path to destruction.

Coming to limited theaters and VOD.


The 6th Friend – Jan. 11

Directed by Letia Miller
Starring Jamie Bernadette, Chantelle Albers, Dominque Swain

Official Synopsis:
Six college best friends throw their own private graduation party that goes terribly wrong when an uninvited guest arrives. Five years later, the girls gather once again and endure a night of far more horror and bloodshed.

Coming to limited theaters.


Pledge – Jan. 11

Directed by Daniel Robbins
Starring Zachery Byrd, Phillip Andre Botello, Aaron Dalla Villa

Official Synopsis:
Three friends get the chance to live the college dream when they’re invited to join an elite fraternity—but first they’ll have to survive the hazing from hell. Freshman social misfits Ethan, David, and Justin are desperate to improve their terminally uncool reputations by pledging one of their university’s prestigious Greek houses. When every frat on campus turns them down, they are unexpectedly recruited by a shadowy social club offering them access to an exclusive world of raging parties, eligible coeds, and VIP social status. The catch? A sadistic initiation ritual that goes from depraved to deadly over the course of 48 booze- and blood-soaked hours.

Featured in our On The Radar series.
Coming to limited theaters and VOD.


Dry Blood – Jan. 15

1hr 23min
Directed by Kelton Jones
Starring Clint Carney, Jaymie Valentine, Kelton Jones

Official Synopsis:
In a rural mountain town, an unstable drug addict must unravel a surreal murder mystery as he’s terrorized by malevolent ghosts, a deranged sheriff, and the frightening hallucinations from his withdrawl.

Coming to VOD & Blu-ray/DVD.


Glass – Jan. 18

Rated PG-13 – 2hr 9min
Directed by M. Night Shymalan
Starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy

Official Synopsis:
Sequel to Unbreakable & Split – David Dunn pursues the superhuman figure of The Beast, while the shadowy Elijah Price – Mr. Glass – holds secrets critical to both men.

Coming to theaters everywhere.


The Final Wish – Jan. 24

1hr 35min
Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr.
Starring Lin Shaye, Michael Welch, Melissa Bolona

Official Synopsis:
From the creator of Final Destination – After the death of his father, Aaron returns home to help his grief-stricken mother and to confront his past. Going through his dad’s belongings, he comes across a mysterious item that is more than it seems.

Coming to limited theaters.


Animas – Jan. 25

1hr 23min
Language: Spanish
Directed by Laura Alvea & Jose F. Ortuño
Starring Ángela Molina, Luis Bermejo, Iván Pellicer

Official Synopsis:
Alex is a girl with a strong personality. She’s very close to her best friend Abraham, a shy, insecure boy as a consequence of his complex relationship with his parents. Everything changes when Abraham’s father dies in a bizarre accident. From this moment on, Alex will be thrust into a mind-bending trip where the line between reality and nightmares will start to start to blur.

A Netflix exclusive release.


Don’t Leave Home – Jan. 31

1hr 26min
Directed by Michael Tully
Starring Anna Margaret Hollyman, Lalor Roddy, Helena Bereen

Official Synopsis:
An American artist’s obsession with a disturbing urban legend leads her to an investigation of the story’s origins at the crumbling estate of a reclusive painter in Ireland.

A Shudder exclusive release.


FACEBOOK ICONTWITTER ICON

On the Radar – Secret Santa

By Jason Sawyer – Dec. 18, 2018

ON THE RADAR LOGO XMAS

Part of the magic of the holidays is coming together, spending time, and sharing food & presents with those we love. That’s a thing we like to think, right? In an effort to idealize a season that we’ve laden heavily with expectations and romanticized notions, many actually experience a sharp spike in anxiety when confronted with the prospect of buying the right gifts, preparing the perfect meal, arranging the most elaborate decorations, or enduring awkward and cringe-inducing gatherings with barely tolerated relatives. What if all that self-inflicted stress, those delusional ambitions, and repressed passive-aggressive loathing boiled over into an unrestrained orgy of blood-letting and brutality? Secret Santa would be the result.


ON THE RADAR SECRET SANTA INNER 1

When it’s three hours into Christmas dinner and your relatives are giving you that ‘drop the weapon’ look, it’s time to lay off the eggnog.


The Pope family, well-monied from their involvement in the pharmaceutical industry, have assembled for their annual Christmas party, and for the most part, dislike each other rather thoroughly. The over-bearing matriarch, her acid-spitting first husband, the offensive uncle, the horndog half-brother, his stripper girlfriend, the secretly cruel and conniving sister, the depressed one – they’re an upper-class white American potpourri basket. While they’re generally able to trudge their ways through the yearly ritual, not so much this time, as someone has spiked the punch bowl with a little something from the family business – an experimental military-grade truth serum that will have everyone speaking their unfiltered minds. However, this descends into chaotic savagery, as the waspish clan is no longer able to resist their darkest impulses either.


ON THE RADAR SECRET SANTA INNER 2

“I told you a juicer was a terrible gift idea, Susan. Now look what happened…”


Director Adam Marcus and co-star Debra Sullivan have received praise for penning a script that doesn’t hold back, full of razor-sharp wit, outrageous offensiveness, and loads of vicious violence. The plentiful gore is offered up by legendary SFX artist and co-producer Robert Kurtzman, whose work includes From Dusk Till Dawn, Scream, It Follows, and numerous entries in the Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw, Halloween, and Evil Dead franchises. This also marks the first horror film by Adam Marcus since his debut 25 years ago – the absolutely bonkers and super-divisive Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.

I’ve personally always liked that much-reviled movie for all its irreverent, splattery, and batshit crazy charm, so I’m extremely curious to see what a quarter century of experience has brought to the guy who delivered the fever dream entry of the Friday the 13th series. Secret Santa has already been released in the UK by the Frightfest Presents label, and there, it has so far proven to be a love-or-hate experience too, but I suppose that’s always better than audiences responding with a collective shoulder shrug. Word on an American release has proven to be confusing, at best. While there’s no announcements from any official outlets, IMDb states its US date as today, and have seen that reflected elsewhere, but without any solid confirmations. Considering that, sometimes, films are dropped on VOD or streaming with less fanfare than a trip to the grocery store, it’s not impossible, but probably unlikely. Either way, as I’m eager to watch this, that would be preferable to having to wait another year to see it, which is also possible.


In other On the Radar news, the red-band trailer for previous feature Braid was released several days ago. Here it is:



On the Radar



FACEBOOK ICONTWITTER ICON

On the Radar – Starfish

ON THE RADAR LOGO
The grief experienced when losing a loved one can often feel like the end of the world, but upcoming release Starfish takes that to the furthest most extreme. Aubrey (Virginia Gardner, who played one of the unfortunate folks to find themselves in the path of Michael Myers in the most recent Halloween film) loses her best friend Grace, and after the funeral, breaks into her apartment and stays there as an immersive act of mourning. The next day, she wakes to find that a monstrous apocalypse has begun, and with the help of a cryptic mixtape left by her late friend, sets out in an attempt to save the world.

STARFISH 1

There would appear to be at least one monster on the larger side of things on the loose.

With comparisons being made to It Follows and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it would seem that indie rock musician A.T. White has set the bar high with his directorial and screenwriting debut. According to outlet SyFy Wire, during a Fantastic Fest Q&A, White cited both real-life loss and the first two Silent Hill games as big influences on his creation of the Lovecraftian doomscape in Starfish. His unique use of music and its juxtaposition to the dire circumstances has also been noted in providing the film with a distinctly unique atmosphere. As per his IMDb profile, he intends on donating all his proceeds from the film to cancer research.

STARFISH 2

Here’s some pretty solid evidence that Starfish is more than just feelings and snow.

While Starfish has received some criticism for being overly dreamy, contemplative, and experimental in its presentation, many festival screening reviews have praised the movie glowingly. Words like ‘beautiful’, ‘ethereal’, and ‘terrifying’ have been used to describe the unorthodox creature feature and leading actress Gardner’s film-carrying performance has been given much acclaim. As a big fan of psychedelic horror and monster movies, this is among my more anticipated releases of 2019, and the wait won’t be long either, as distributors Yellow Veil Pictures and The Orchard have acquired the film for a Spring release in limited theaters and digital VOD.


A bit of ON THE RADAR news – previous feature movie Pledge has been slated for a January 11th release date by IFC Midnight.


On the Radar



FACEBOOK ICONTWITTER ICON

2019: Horror on the Big Screen

2018 has been a fantastic year for horror – so much so, that a list is needed to count the ways:

– Michael Myers returned to classical form in a literal blockbuster revival of the 40-year-old Halloween franchise

– John Krasinski – Jim from The Office – surprised everyone as a truly legit genre writer/director with his nerve-rattling debut (and year’s highest grossing horror film) A Quiet Place

– we were introduced to an extremely promising new auteur, Ari Aster, with his terrifying debut Hereditary and got an unforgettable performance from Toni Collette as well

– fans were properly introduced to another auteur, Panos Cosmatos, with blood-soaked metal-infused acid trip Mandy which also had an unforgettable performance from Nicolas Cage

– a rip-roaring big budget Nazi monster war/action/horror hybrid in Overlord (which unfortunately flopped financially)

– we got new entries in fan favorite franchises – The First Purge, Insidious: The Last Key, The Nun and a long-awaited sequel to The Strangers

– more high-quality independent releases through VOD and streaming outlets than can reasonably be named in their entirety, such as the aforementioned Mandy, Summer of 84, Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil, Marrowbone, Pyewacket, Terrified, Terrifier, The Endless, The Ritual, Revenge, Veronica, Cam, Apostle, Incident in a Ghostland, The Witch in the Window, and so on.

All that – a horror fan bonanza – was a follow-up to what was already a banner year in 2017. We’re truly being spoiled right now and it’s great. Well, it gets even better, because 2019 is positioning itself to try and out-do these last two years. The amount of horror currently scheduled on the calendar is bewildering, and that’s not counting all the independent and unannounced films that will doubtlessly sneak up on us throughout.

So here’s 2019 at a glance (trailers and/or promo art included where possible):

Escape Room – Jan. 4

This promising early offering looks to bring Saw, Cube, and House on Haunted Hill together in a clever concept that might be quite the fun ride. Shame about that PG-13 though. Directed by Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan, Insidious: The Last Key).


Eli – Jan. 4
Official Synopsis: A boy receiving treatment for his auto-immune disorder discovers that the house he’s living isn’t as safe as he thought. Directed by Ciarán Foy (Sinister 2, Citadel). [No trailer, no poster, already booked with competition – expect this date to change.]

[EDIT: On Dec. 12, it was announced that Eli has been sold to Netflix as a future exclusive and will not be receiving a theatrical release.]


Jacob’s Ladder – Feb. 1
Remake of the 1990 film starring Tim Robbins. Official Synopsis: After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Singer rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images. [Another one with no promos yet. A possible re-schedule.]


The Prodigy – Feb. 8

A sharp-looking spooky kid thriller from director Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact, At the Devil’s Door) and starring Taylor Schilling (Orange is the New Black) and Colm Feore (one of those guys you’ve seen in a ton of things). [Why are trailers now begun with teaser trailers of the trailer? What sort of Russian nesting doll bullshit is this?]


Happy Death Day 2U – Feb. 14

Sequel to the bafflingly good PG-13 timeloop slasher from 2017. Jessica Rothe returns as Tree, who finds herself trapped in another murder loop, but this time, she’s responsible for more lives than her own. Writer/director Christopher Landon also returns, which is generally good news for a second outing.


The Turning – Feb. 22
An adaptation of classic Gothic horror novella The Turn of the Screw, starring Mackenzie Davis (Halt and Catch Fire, Tully) and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, It).


Us – Mar. 15

US JORDAN PEELE POSTERJordan Peele’s follow-up to Oscar-nominated blockbuster Get Out. Very few details yet on this one, but expect a high-profile trailer release once there is. Starring Golden Globe winner Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale), Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave, Black Panther), and Anna Diop (24: Legacy).

[EDIT: A basic plot synopsis for Us has been released and goes as follows: “A mother (Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o from ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ and ’12 Years a Slave’) and a father (Winston Duke from ‘Black Panther’) take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends (including Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss from TV series ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’). But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.” Considering Get Out, I would not expect this to be a simple cut-and-dry home invasion thriller.]


Pet Sematary – Apr. 5

A new adaptation of the 1983 Stephen King novel – the Creed family move into a new home near a creepy patch of land that local kids have turned into a pet ‘sematary’. After their cat meets an untimely end, they bury him there despite warnings from the neighbor that the ground is ‘bad’. Things get worse. From the directors of Starry Eyes, Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer and starring Jason Clarke (First Man, Terminator Genisys), Amy Seimetz (Alien: Covenant, You’re Next) and John Lithgow (you know, John Lithgow).


The Curse of La Llorona – Apr. 19

Produced by James Wan and speculated as perhaps a Conjuring-verse addition. Official Synopsis: Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.


Brightburn – May 24

This high-concept superhero horror film – a subversive riff on the Superman mythos – looks great judging by its trailer that just dropped on Dec. 8th. Starring Elizabeth Banks, it’s produced by now-divisive former Marvel director James Gunn, so close to release, we’ll be certain to hear all about this again. [Who’d have thought that someone who used to work for Troma would have such a filthy sense of humor? It’s a shock – I’m truly shocked.]


Child’s Play – June 21

CHILDS PLAY 2019 POSTERAny time horror is a hot box office commodity, you can now count on the reboots that nobody asked for, and here’s our first. Obviously, it’s a remake of the 1988 film that made a famous killer doll of Chucky, but he’s conspicuously missing from the promo material so far. Instead, we get ‘Buddi’ and the rumors, for whatever they’re worth, claim that this will be a rogue AI story – way more Black Mirror than black magic. Slammed by series creator Don Mancini, the film has an unknown director of shorts behind the camera, a video game writer penning the script, a cinematographer plucked from some Netflix original shows, and the SFX coordinator from the CBS series Zoo, all suggesting there may not be a ton of faith in this re-imagining.


Grudge – June 21

Here, we have the second reboot nobody asked for, and slated for the same release date, no less. Compared to the Child’s Play effort though, the talent lined up behind this new venture of Kayako and son is a whole different story. Directed by Nicolas Pesce (Eyes of My Mother and the upcoming buzz-heavy Piercing), written by Jeff Buhler (the Nightflyers show runner who also wrote or co-wrote previously mentioned Pet Sematary, The Prodigy, and Jacob’s Ladder), and starring Andrea Riseborough (Mandy, Birdman), John Cho (Star Trek, Harold & Kumar, Searching), William Sadler (The Mist, The Shawshank Redemption, Die Hard 2), and Emmy nominee Betty Gilpin (GLOW). It’s also co-produced by Sam Raimi, if it needed any more pedigree. With the two reboots sharing the same day, expect one to move, and don’t anticipate Grudge to budge.


Annabelle 3 – Jul. 3

The title will likely change to Annabelle: Something as we get an official poster and trailer closer to release. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are slated to return as the Warrens in Annabelle 3, marking the first time they have appeared in a Conjuring spin-off entry, yet the story is to center on their daughter Judy, so the lines between the various series are getting all blurry. This third chapter of the evil doll’s saga will mark the directorial debut of frequent Conjuring-verse scribe and screenwriter of both chapters of It Gary Dauberman.


Untitled Ari Aster project – Aug. 9

Tentatively titled Midsommar, writer/director Ari Aster’s follow-up to Hereditary, the synopsis is as follows: A couple travels to Sweden to visit their friend’s rural hometown for its fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult. Considering that Hereditary was initially about a family mourning the loss of Grandma, expect a lot of horrific twists and turns to occur throughout a film that emphasizes an atmosphere of growing dread.


It: Chapter Two – Sep. 6

IT CHAPTER 2 TEASER POSTERLikely the consensus choice for most anticipated horror film of ’19, just like in Stephen King’s novel, the now grown-up child protagonists of the first chapter will return to their cursed hometown of Derry for another and presumably climactic confrontation with otherworldly demonic manifestation Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The first film pulled down a worldwide box office tally of $700M, out-earning movies like Justice League, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the most recent Transformers release. With top-tier blockbuster numbers, It: Chapter Two should be the kind of costly spectacle virtually unprecedented for the horror genre. Andy Muschietti returns to direct, Bill Skarsgård reprises as Pennywise, and it stars Hollywood A-listers Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy.


Are You Afraid of the Dark? – Oct. 11
This adaptation of the ’90s Nickelodeon youth horror anthology series has been in development hell for nearly 20 years. With previously mentioned Conjuring-verse writer/director Gary Dauberman in the production seat here, as well as providing the screenplay, there’s no word of a director, a cast, a filming date – nothing. With ten months to go before the optimistically announced release date, the odds of this flick coming out at this time are dwindling.


Zombieland 2 – Oct. 11

Pennywise doesn’t have the only highly anticipated second chapter coming out this year, as we’re all set to catch back up with the wild zompocalypse exploits of Tallahasse, Wichita, Columbus, and Little Rock – ten years after the release of the much-loved original. With the original cast, director, and screenwriters all returning, it seems virtually impossible that this reprise will disappoint.


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – 2019

Another youth horror anthology here, based off the popular series of books by Alvin Schwartz with its infamous illustrations by artist Stephen Gammell, but this one has already been filmed and just waiting for an official release date. We also have a lot of horror talent lined up behind this title – co-produced and co-written by Guillermo del Toro, also co-written by frequent Tim Burton collaborator John August and creative duo Marcus Dunston & Patrick Melton (Saw IV-VII, The Collector, The Collection), and directed by André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe, Trollhunter).


That’s a big year lined up, and it doesn’t count the 3 dates that Blumhouse already has picked out for untitled & unspecified releases (May 31, Oct. 18, Dec. 13) or the date of Oct. 25 picked out by fledgling distributor Aviron Pictures (The Strangers: Prey at Night). There’s also a whole other set of horror-adjacent movies to get excited about like M. Night Shymalan’s Unbreakable/Split hybrid sequel Glass (Jan. 18), visually ambitious sci-fi invasion thriller Captive State (Mar. 29), Neil Marshall’s R-rated reboot of Hellboy (Apr. 12), Michael Dougherty’s kaiju sequel Godzilla: King of the Monsters (May 31), dark X-Men related origin story New Mutants (Aug. 2), and an animated adaptation of fan-favorite The Addams Family (Oct. 11). And again, there are likely dozens more potential fan favorites and best-of-year contenders released by independent distributors – some of which you can read about in our weekly feature On the Radar, which highlights upcoming indie releases. All told, 2019 promises an exciting abundance of quality offerings for us horror fans – only time will tell if this is an indication of an emerging horror-centric culture or just another moment of market saturation before a decline. Either way, let’s enjoy while the getting is good.

Continue reading “2019: Horror on the Big Screen”

On the Radar – Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse

ON THE RADAR LOGO
The mass hysteria of the European witch hunts and the atrocities that accompanied them resulted in the brutal deaths of an estimated 200,000 people, the vast majority being women, during an age ruled by superstition and moral panic. It is at the onset of this phenomenon that Hagazussa takes place. In mid-1400’s Austria, a woman named Albrun (played by Aleksandra Cwen), orphaned at a young age and now with a baby of her own to care for, is the object of scorn and ostracization of the nearby villagers. As their imaginations start to run wild with fears of black magic and sorcery, they will set out to make her pay for the discomfort caused by her inconvenient existence.

ON THE RADAR - HAGAZUSSA INNER PIC

While thematically compared to the highly regarded 2016 release The Witch, the style of Hagazussa is being described as far more abstract, psychedelic, and disturbing in its presentation. In an attempt to replicate the frenzied and noxious blend of primal fear mixed with profound ignorance, first-time director and noted photographer Lukas Feigelfeld has bathed his debut feature in a hallucinatory delirium that favors spell-binding cinematography and visually striking imagery over traditional narrative. Reviews from festival screenings suggest that it still very much succeeds in telling an intensely unsettling story all the same.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 85

Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse charts high on our most anticipated horror releases of 2019. At 2017’s Fantastic Fest, one of the world’s leading genre film festivals, it took home the Best Next Wave Picture, an honor shared by films such as It Follows and We Are What We Are. Having wrapped up a lengthy tour on the festival circuit, it is expected in the first quarter of next year, distributed by Bloody Disgusting Films (the V/H/S series, Southbound) and Doppelgänger Releasing (Heavy Trip, Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal).



On the Radar


FACEBOOK ICONTWITTER ICON

Horror Watch – December 2018

December is generally not a busy time for theatrical horror, and that remains the case this year. There’s only one limited release this month, although zombie horror/comedy musical Anna and the Apocalypse, which opened in a very limited 7 cities on Nov. 30, could see an expansion in upcoming weekends. With that, here’s a list of notable releases for December – no surprise, there’s a few Christmas-related flicks in there.


All the Creatures Were Stirring – Dec. 4

Unrated – 1hr 20min
Directed by David Ian McKendry & Rebekah McKendry
Starring Constance Wu, Jonathan Kite, Jocelin Donahue, Ashley Clements

Official Synopsis
When an awkward date on Christmas Eve leads a couple into a strange theater, they’re treated to a bizarre and frightening collection of Christmas stories, featuring a wide ensemble of characters doing their best to avoid the horrors of the holidays. From boring office parties and last-minute shopping, to vengeful stalkers and immortal demons, there’s plenty out there to fear this holiday season.

Coming to VOD and disc.
Premiering on Shudder Dec. 13



The Cabin – Dec. 4

Unrated – 1hr 26min
Directed by Johan Bodell
Starring Christopher Lee Page, Caitlin Crommett, Erik Kammerland

Official Synopsis
Young American couple, Rose and Harry are on their way to visit Harrys family cabin. Both as a nostalgic vacation and as a way to rekindle their relationship. But they’re not the only one that decided to visit the cabin this weekend… The vacation is quickly turned into a living nightmare for Rose and Harry as they meet a vicious sociopath, who invites them into a involuntary cat and mouse game.

Coming to VOD.



Christmas Blood (Juleblod) – Dec. 4

Unrated – 1hr 44min
Language: Norwegian
Directed by Reinert Kiil
Starring Thomas Felberg, Sølje Bergman, Helene Eidsvåg

Official Synopsis
Christmas is a time of peace, love and family. But not for Norway as a psychopath dressed in a Santa Claus suit has been terrorizing them for the past 13 years. For as soon as the caroling starts, this demented Kris Kringle dispenses bloody ax blows regardless of whether you’ve been bad or good. As the holiday approaches on one snow-covered town filled with revelers, a pair of detectives work against time to find and arrest this bearded serial killer.

Coming to disc and then to VOD on Dec. 11.



You Might Be the Killer – Dec. 6

Directed by Brett Simmons
Starring Fran Kranz, Alyson Hannigan, Brittany S. Hall

Official Synopsis
A camp counselor suffering from blackouts finds himself surrounded by murder victims. He turns to his horror movie enthusiast friend for advice, and to contend with the idea he may be the killer.

Coming exclusively to Shudder.



Leprechaun Returns – Dec. 11

Rated R – 1hr 26min
Directed by Steven Kostanski
Starring Taylor Spreitler, Pepi Sonuga, Sai Bennett, Linden Porco

Official Synopsis
The Leprechaun returns once again, when a group of girls unwillingly awaken him, when they tear down a cabin so that they can build a new sorority house. A direct sequel to the 1993 original.

Coming to VOD



Christmas Presence – Dec. 13

Alternate title: Why Hide?
Unrated – 1hr 25min
Directed by James Edward Cook
Starring Charlotte Atkinson, Lorna Brown, Danny Webb

Official Synopsis
A diverse group of friends gather for the festive season in a remote lodge but soon plans go awry. One of the friends goes missing and the truth behind why the lodge was booked for the holiday is disclosed. Christmas quickly turns to chaos and a bloody nightmare ensues.

Coming exclusively to Shudder.



The House That Jack Built – Dec. 14

*Pick of the Month*
Rated R – 2hr 32min
Directed by Lars van Trier
Starring Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Riley Keough

Official Synopsis
USA in the 1970s. We follow the highly intelligent Jack over a span of 12 years and are introduced to the murders that define Jack’s development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack’s point of view, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork.

Coming to select theaters and VOD.



Bird Box – Dec. 21

Unrated – 1hr 57min
Directed by Susanne Bier
Starring Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Trevante Rhodes

Official Synopsis
In the wake of an unknown global terror, a mother must find the strength to flee with her children down a treacherous river in search of safety. Due to unseen deadly forces, the perilous journey must be made blindly.

Coming exclusively to Netflix.



FACEBOOK ICONTWITTER ICON


On the Radar – Braid

ON THE RADAR LOGO

Braid weaves the tale of two ne’er-do-well young women who decide upon a wealthy childhood friend to target for a big heist. However, their plan will prove to be no simple feat of confidence trickery, as the old acquaintance has descended into a delusional world of childhood make-believe. In order to get close enough to make off with a big ill-gained payday, they will need to indulge her untethered and fantastical imagination, which may be much more dangerous than they had considered.

ON THE RADAR - BRAID INNER PIC

Premiering back in April at the Tribeca Film Festival, Braid has received much acclaim throughout its festival run for its gorgeous cinematography, hallucinatory visuals, inventive camerawork, and mind-bending story. The debut feature from writer-director Mitzi Peirone, she has been heralded for bringing an uncompromising vision to the screen, made possible by a history-making endeavor that resulted in Braid becoming the first film ever fully financed by crowd-funded cryptocurrency. The film stars Madeline Brewer, of whom the movie Cam made me an instant fan, as Daphne, the deranged hostess to her criminal friends. After seeing her as tormented protagonist, I’m very interested in her take of a tormenting antagonist (or given the nature of the plot, an antihero).

I find that psychedelic horror, with its often nightmarish imagery and logic coupled with a deep subversion of reality and normal expectations, is a baffingly neglected corner of the genre. As evidenced by Panos Cosmatos’ recent acid-trip tour de force Mandy, there is indeed a strong appetite for grueling psychotropic fare, and Braid promises to fit that bill. Acquired for distribution by Blue Fox Entertainment, the film is slated for release to select theaters and VOD likely in the first half of 2019.


On the Radar


FACEBOOK ICONTWITTER ICON

Streaming Top 50 – 11/24/18

Our third edition of our list designed to bring you the 50 most trending movies on the 5 streaming services we most often cover – Netflix, Shudder, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, & Hoopla. This week, we have 14 additions, including new Netflix exclusives Cam and May the Devil Take You & new Hoopla exclusive Look Away. We featured Cam yesterday and expect to cover the other two films later on next week.

Rank Last Wk Title Year Service
1 1 Apostle 2018 NETFLIX
2 New Cam 2018 NETFLIX
3 2 Gerald’s Game 2017 NETFLIX
4 24 Ghost Stories 2018 HULU
5 48 The Snowman 2017 HULU
6 7 Malevolent 2018 NETFLIX
7 8 Jigsaw 2017 Amazon-Instant-VideoHULU
8 21 Cold Skin 2018 HOOPLA
9 54 The Cloverfield Paradox 2018 NETFLIX
10 36 Paranormal Activity 2009 Amazon-Instant-VideoHULU
11 6 The Sixth Sense 1999 NETFLIX
12 28 Summer of 84 2018 SHUDDER
13 3 Halloween 1978 SHUDDER
14 27 Revenge 2018 SHUDDER
15 12 It Follows 2015 NETFLIX
16 4 Psycho 1960 SHUDDER
17 14 Cargo 2018 NETFLIX
18 New Look Away 2018 HOOPLA
19 47 The Strangers: Prey at Night 2018 Amazon-Instant-Video
20 New Cube 1997 NETFLIXHOOPLA
21 5 The Shining 1980 NETFLIX
22 18 The Ritual 2018 NETFLIX
23 33 Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil 2018 NETFLIX
24 39 Blade 1998 NETFLIX
25 New Constantine 2005 NETFLIX
26 New Hostel 2006 Amazon-Instant-VideoHULU
27 32 The Endless 2018 NETFLIXHOOPLA
28 New Rings 2016 Amazon-Instant-Video
29 New The Ninth Gate 1999 HOOPLA
30 16 mother! 2017 Amazon-Instant-VideoHULU
31 New I Know What You Did Last Summer 1997 SHUDDER
32 9 The Conjuring 2013 NETFLIX
33 26 Scream 1996 HOOPLA
34 New The Boy 2016 NETFLIX
35 New The Fly 1986 HULU
36 57 Bram Stoker’s Dracula 1992 NETFLIX
37 23 Unsane 2018 Amazon-Instant-Video
38 50 Blood Fest 2018 HOOPLA
39 11 Train to Busan 2016 NETFLIXHOOPLA
40 22 The Witch 2016 NETFLIXAmazon-Instant-Video
41 New May the Devil Take You 2018 NETFLIX
42 New Devil’s Gate 2018 HULU
43 44 The Babysitter 2017 NETFLIX
44 New Cult of Chucky 2017 NETFLIX
45 37 Downrange 2018 SHUDDER
46 53 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 SHUDDER
47 13 28 Days Later 2002 HULU
48 43 Scream 4 2011 NETFLIX
49 New I Spit on Your Grave 2 2013 HOOPLA
50 45 Stonehearst Asylum 2014 NETFLIX