Ice Giant has fallen asleep in his frozen throne, so this weeks selection for Creepy PastaMania will be selected by me, Lord Battle.
Now I tend to only read Creepy Pasta after it's been recommended to me but for today I actually visited the Creepy Pasta website and read the first thing that caught my eye. After accidentally reading a line from the next to last paragraph of the first story listed, and realizing that the character was talking about a YouTube video disappearing, I decided to read it. There is something about short stories that relate to modern times that I just love and when they read from 8-13 minutes I'm sold.
Synopsis: A group of friends stumble upon some disturbing YouTube videos.
(How Well Written)
Much like our film reviews I feel this area should be reserved for after consuming the pasta, as I'd like to discuss the ending and themes that only make sense after reading and would otherwise just spoil the story.
For A Better Audience is exactly what I want from a Creepy Pasta. Creepy Pasta in itself is a strange phenomena that had to be explained to me several times before I understood the concept. Then, once I actually read my first pasta, I couldn't get over how the author made the story look like a message board and how effective that little flare in presentation really was! The thing is a story like For A Better Audience starts off claiming it's true and I assume no one takes this claim seriously, yet after you finish this simple little tale with an anti-climatic ending, you may find yourself wondering...
These were some of the comments for For a Better Audience
I understand the need for a more definitive ending as the 3rd act does build to a break, then deflates rather than bursts, but I'd like to argue for the ending as it is.
The narrative for For A Better Audience is coming from a person who is retelling an incident that shook him and his friends so badly that they went to the police. This leads me to believe the actual posting of the story is somewhat therapeutic, especially when recounting a terrifying event and arriving at a conclusion that is disappointing as far as the story is concerned but lucky for our characters.
The suggestion by Valerie above allows for our characters to receive their comeuppance and walk away unharmed but undoubtedly far more shaken. I actually think a stronger traditional ending hurts the "true story posted on Creepy Pasta" feel, as after I read this short I actually did ponder the idea of this being a true story. I really hope it isn't but you never know...
I think this is the most diverse screening round up I've done yet! There is something for everyone this weekend, from cult classics to nostalgic animation. And strangely, there are a couple of horror themed documentaries as well! Dreams Rewired is probably the most out of the box, but one that I'll definitely defend being on this list, just look at the set designs and subject matter. I am also ending this list with something that technically shouldn't be on a weekend screenings list, but one that you should seriously get tickets for sooner rather than later. I'm talking, of course, about HAXAN, which will be accompanied by a live new score and also the sale of three variations of a limited Mondo poster. There will only be 75 of each! I don't know about you guys, but I think I know how my weekend is going to be spent.
"In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker (Meat Loaf) and a creepy butler (Richard O'Brien). Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named "Rocky.""
"Mrs. Brisby (Elizabeth Hartman), a widowed mouse, must move her children out of their home in a field before the local farmer starts plowing. Unable to leave because her son is ill, Mrs. Brisby seeks the help of nearby rats, who have heightened intelligence after being the subjects of scientific experiments. She receives an unexpected gift from the elder rat, Nicodemus (Derek Jacobi). Soon Mrs. Brisby is caught in a conflict among the rats, jeopardizing her mission to save her family."
"DREAMS REWIRED traces the desires and anxieties of today’s hyper-connected world back more than a hundred years, when telephone, film and television were new. As revolutionary then as contemporary social media is today, early electric media sparked a fervent utopianism in the public imagination – promising total communication, the annihilation of distance, an end to war. But then, too, there were fears over the erosion of privacy, security, morality. Using rare (and often unseen) archival material from nearly 200 films to articulate the present, DREAMS REWIRED reveals a history of hopes to share, and betrayals to avoid."
"Loner Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) works at a film studio during the day and, at night, takes racy photographs of women. Also he's making a documentary on fear, which involves recording the reactions of victims as he murders them. He befriends Helen (Anna Massey), the daughter of the family living in the apartment below his, and he tells her vaguely about the movie he is making. She sneaks into Mark's apartment to watch it and is horrified by what she sees -- especially when Mark catches her."
Blow Up (1966)
Sunday 31st @ 3:30pm & 8:45pm (111 minutes)
Drama/ Thriller (Google)
"Thomas (David Hemmings) is a London photographer who spends his time photographing fashion models. But one day he thinks he may have photographed something far more sinister: a murder. After taking pictures in the park, Thomas is horrified to find an ambiguous image lurking on the edge of the frame, which could be a shadow, but looks like a gun. The only thing clear is that the woman (Vanessa Redgrave) in the photo has appeared at his studio -- and wants the pictures he took."
"The legendary occult “expose” from 1922, HAXAN, is given a new soundtrack performed live by Chicago-based ambient/metal masters Wreckmeister Harmonies. Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s shockingly beautiful silent film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. It’s a witches’ brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous, featuring some of the most eye-poppingly Satanic imagery to ever appear on the silent screen."
The Impostor - "Well done, original and exciting, The Boy exceeded my expectations. The director William Brent Bell did a fantastic job on this film, coming off a couple not so great horror films: Wer, Stay Alive, The Devil Inside. I was very wary but once the film started and Greta entered the creepy mansion I just knew this was Brent Bell's best film to date. It starts of on the slow side but the build up is actually very entertaining. The character development kept me interested and the story of who's crazy and who's not kept me glued to the screen. Many different outcomes came to mind as I was drawn into the eerie situations and dangers the main characters were in. I'd highly recommend The Boy, you won't be let down, not even with the PG-13 rating. Hopefully the disappointment from The Forest won't sway your decision to go see it. This is my first perfect score of 2016 with hopes the rest of the year has at least a couple great horror films like this one." - 5 Stars
Book Wyrm - "I went into this movie knowing little to nothing about it except that it was another major studio horror movie about a creepy doll. With this information in mind, my expectations were set extremely low. The movie started and I was surprisingly startled, but in a good way. The setting looked great, the acting was amazing, and the story was starting off extremely well. I was intrigued and slightly wary. Then the first jump scare happened and I got so scared I dropped some of my candy. I can guarantee that if you do not look up this movie and just go see it, the twist at the end will definitely surprise you. It surprised me and was totally refreshing and new, something I had really never seen before in a paranormal doll horror movie. I came into work that night telling all of my coworkers that they had to go see it and that it was such a good movie. I am glad to say that The Boy did not disappoint." - 5 Stars
The Berkeley Blazer - "First of all, I must say it's a relief to see a film about spirits and possession that doesn't involve Catholic orthodoxy. The Boy takes place in England but it is an England that is filtered through the American imagination, coming across more like a fairytale house in the middle of an enchanted wood than a Jamesian thriller. The emotional journey of our American protagonist follows a compelling trajectory and intensified by her charge, an apparently inhabited porcelain doll. Don't doubt for a second though this movie can be incredibly funny when it doesn't intend to be, but the principal characters are likeable enough and strong enough actors to keep you invested in their fates. This was one of the most satisfying Overlook field trips to a mainstream horror movie that I have participated in." - 4 Stars
Lord Battle - "I loved Lauren Cohen in this film. She gave an incredible performance with some of the most realistic reactions I've ever seen in a horror film. A well directed, genre blending, smart film isn't something I expected from the director of Stay Alive and Wer but I'll watch his next film for sure, seeing as I saw this one in theaters twice. I can't wait to own this on BluRay." - 5 Stars
Huntress - "It's still early in the year to already be jaded by new horror coming out of big studios, but after experiencing The Forest... well, expectations for The Boy were fairly low. But this movie did something that I always hope iffy movies would do - surprised the hell out of me. It's gorgeous, dark, and far more perverse than I thought going into it. Not only did I enjoy The Boy both times I saw it in theatre, I'm still having fun talking and thinking about the details you must find between the lines. There is just so much to say about this film. Everything from the limited cast juxtaposed with the cavernous mansion, to how the story is built up is done very well. In a word, The Boy is just smart." - 4.5 Stars
Dabbles - "The Boy is a sleeper film... in a really good way. It's like that sleeper car that you thought was slow and busted, but it up and surprises you like a knee to the nuts. Lauren Cohen's acting in this movie is so well done, it made me forget all about The Walking Dead. The doll was creepy as hell, the plot was crazy in all. Pure magic in the sense of the magicians secret." - 4 Stars
The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)
It's now 2016 and it seems that the horror genre is still being dominated by the paranormal. The paranormal sub-genre has always been a favorite but with franchises like Paranormal Activity, Sinister, Insidious, and The Conjuring, it's actually stronger than ever. So it's no wonder that the first two wide released horror films of 2016 seem to fall right in line with the ones mentioned, featuring a pretty female lead, simple title, and a seemingly haunted location. The Forest started our year off with an exploitative narrative about the Aokigahara Forest, where they explain a Japanese cultural phenomenon with ghosts. The Forest is a perfect example of boring storytelling that uses the paranormal as a "scary crutch" for lack of interesting characters and atmosphere. But it's the second horror film of 2016 we are discussing here and I predict The Boy will emerge as a polarizing breath of fresh air, as it both deconstructs one sub-genre and reanimates another.
(There is a warning posted below the star rating about spoilers, this is your second)
To best describe The Boy in one word I’d have to choose manipulative. The film makes every effort to sell you on the idea that this is your run-of-the-mill Pretty Girl Ghost Mystery. If you aren't familiar with PGGMs, they are a modern adaptation of the traditional haunting picture. Hauntings are classically used as a device to test the strengths of a family; a loving family will overcome anything, like the Freelings (Poltergeist), while a family with problems tend to end up like the Torrances (The Shining). The PGGM applies the same classic ideas to an independant woman, often a single mother. One of the PGGM’s most important tropes is how males fit into the film narrative, often appearing as a new father-influence to either the leading actress or her child, they are always of questionable morals and expendable. Not only does The Boy play up all aspects of a PGGM but it does so while also staying true to its own reality, which is that Brahms is still very much alive.
The film opens with Greta reacting to her driver looking at her unbuttoned blouse. This of course is playing on two levels of narrative, one being the PGGM trope of distrusting men looking to take advantage of the unspoken-for woman and the other TRUE theme of voyeurism. We then move to the mansion which is obviously far from town and steeped in mystery even before we see its burnt balcony. Once we are inside we get another misleading clue as we see close-ups of creepy paintings and stare into the eyes of mounted animal heads. This of course adds to the mystery aspect of the film but is actually once again a part of the voyeur theme, as Brahms is just as vigilant and creepy as the mansion's decorations. The Boy continues with clues that have double meanings and backstories that are mostly red herrings, until Brahms eventually wins Greta over by making her favorite sandwich and it becomes obvious that we are dealing with something special. What follows feels like a Del Toro narrative, as the ghost suddenly becomes sympathetic, which is justified by revealed back story.
I was incredibly excited to revisit The Boy after my first screening and I must say that the film not only holds up on a second viewing but the whole tone changes. The PGGM atmosphere is completely replaced with a slasher POV vibe, which is actually much creepier. It’s also incredibly interesting how the Brahms doll becomes robbed of all power and in exchange becomes an ultimate distraction, allowing the still very alive Brahms to operate as a ghost. This tone switch during the second viewing is why I feel The Boy surpasses House Bound, although both films were incredibly manipulative towards know-it-all horror fans (this is a good thing). And I did quite enjoyed House Bound's humor, but I just prefer a serious tone.
Here's some B-roll from Behind the scenes of The Boy
Lauren Cohan appears on Ellen to promote The Boy and ends up being a part of what might be the only marketing slip-up, as far as the end is concerned.
- Lord Battle
*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.
This week I have a nice mix of books to check out. From murders and monsters to the very first (and very likely last) pick from Marvel. We’re finally at the end of the month and that means we'll wrap up Spread Volume one: No Hope. Be on the lookout as I will be giving away my copy. Does that mean it’s a collection worthy book or am I just pushing it off on one of you unlucky followers? Read on to find out!
Wolf (Image Comics)
Writer –Ales Kot
Artist – Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Colortst – Lee Loughridge
A new story arc and a new artist find their way into issue #5 of Wolf. This was a bit of a surprise book for me, issue #1 wasn’t my favorite but this book found its stride quickly thereafter. The art in issue #5 is a great start to the new arc. This is an enjoyable read so check it out!
The Drawing of the Three: The Lady of Shadows (Marvel Comics)
Writer – Robin Furth, Peter David
Artist – Jonathan Marks
Colorist – Lee Loughridge, Jonathan Marks
The next entry in the comic book translation of some of Stephen King's greatest work, TheDark Tower. Enter the third member of the ka-tet, Odetta Holmes. This book has been something great in an otherwise overflowing catalog of “tactical armor” wearing superhero books from Marvel. If you haven’t read any of the Dark Tower comics, start from the beginning. Like the novels, these comics should not be slept on.
Monster World (American Gothic Press)
Writer- Steve Niles, Philip Kim
Artist- Piotr Kowalski
Colorist – Dennis Calero
I have been trying really hard to find a good horror book that Steve Niles isn’t writing. Fortunately for horror fans, that’s not an easy thing to do. Private investigator over his head, Murder on a horror movie set, moral ambiguity and monsters. All of this in just two issues. Pick this up, it’s a fun read and I mean come on, Steve Niles.
Spread Volume one: No Hope
Writer – Justin Jordan
Artist – Kyle Strahm
Colorist – Felipe Sobreiro
So we have come to the end of the book. Though issue 6 was very light on plot, it was heavy on action and gore. While reading this book and wondering just what exactly the spread is, I couldn’t help but be drawn into the beautifully disgusting artwork that represents it. Kyle Strahm does an excellent job creating something gross enough to stick with you, which was the high point in the book for me. In my past reactions, I praised the pacing of the first 3 issues in this series, but it took a bit of a turn and started to drag a bit in the last 3. While the first half of the book is near perfect when it comes to establishing a world and developing its characters, the second half didn’t really have much of that and instead traded it in for action and gore. Awesome action and gore. The characters are intriguing and I want to see more of their story. The post apocalyptic setting is one that has been done time and time again in a way that’s hard to separate one book from the next. Spread takes that setting and does something different with it; that’s where it shines. For a book that has a protagonist who rarely speaks and does most of his talking though his actions, it’s hard to really dock this book for the amount of action scenes.
My main problem with Spread is how significantly different the first and second half are in their telling of the plot, but otherwise I really enjoyed this book. This was a pretty good setup for the rest of the series and, if nothing else, a taste of what the team is capable of in terms of storytelling and art. If you ever find yourself wandering through the comicombs you will definitely see this book on one of the shelves.
The last Bluray Tuesday of January is here. After a couple big weeks, January ends with a very light release day. The main release today is the Goosebumps movie on 3D Bluray and standard 2D. When I saw Jack Black was attached, originally I wasn't too excited for this film, but my worries were put to rest once I started watching. It's filled with so much nostalgia. I read all the books as a kid and watched the TV show, so it was cool to see some of the characters again on screen. I'd definitely recommend this even as a blind buy.This week Scream Factory / Shout Factory releases two new films for the first time on bluray, loaded with bonus features. 1988's Jacks Back and 1989's Sonny Boy. Both of these titles are new to me and I actually haven't seen either one, but Scream Factory puts out some great stuff so I'll make sure to check these both out in the near future. So what will you be buying, renting, or just skipping this week? Let us know, also check out our Instagram page Here. Say hi we love to talk about all things horror.
Upset about moving from the big city to a small town, young Zach
Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets his
beautiful neighbor Hannah (Odeya Rush). The teen is surprised to learn
that Hannah's mysterious father is R.L. Stine (Jack Black), the famous
author of the best-selling "Goosebumps" series. When
Zach accidentally unleashes the monsters from the fantastic tales, it's
up to Stine, his daughter and Cooper to return the beasts back to the
books where they belong.
In a sickening coincidence -- or a sinister homage to actual
crimes -- women are being murdered in Los Angeles 100 years after Jack
the Ripper terrorized London. Police think John Westford (James Spader),
a young doctor, is the murderer, and when he's found hanging from a
noose, authorities believe his apparent suicide is a
tacit admission of guilt. But his twin brother, Rick (also Spader),
insists John was killed, and, when it appears Rick is right, the
investigation takes a stunning turn.
A small-town crime boss accepts delivery of a stolen car, only to find
there's a baby in the back-seat. He and his transvestite "wife" cut out
the boy's tongue and raise him as a mute accomplice in their crimes.
When the grown "Sonny Boy" escapes and tries to make contact with the
outside world, the attention he draws to his warped family results in
Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) was once a top chef in Paris until
drugs and alcohol led to a meltdown that put his career on hold. After
moving from New Orleans to London, Adam gets a shot at redemption when
his former maitre d' (Daniel Brühl) reluctantly hires him as the head
chef of his fine-dining restaurant. Demanding
perfection from his newly formed staff (Sienna Miller, Omar Sy), the
acerbic and temperamental Jones gets a second chance to fulfill his
dream of earning a third Michelin star.
We're at the top of another week, and once again this is a highly anticipated week for screenings. We've had tickets to the Alamo for weeks now but there's still time to grab your own. When is the next time you'll get to see The Return of the Living Dead on 35mm, in an auditorium full of fans?
"On a train headed for England a group of travelers is delayed by an avalanche. Holed up in a hotel in a fictional European country, young Iris (Margaret Lockwood) befriends elderly Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty). When the train resumes, Iris suffers a bout of unconsciousness and wakes to find the old woman has disappeared. The other passengers ominously deny Miss Froy ever existed, so Iris begins to investigate with another traveler (Michael Redgrave) and, as the pair sleuth, romantic sparks fly."
"When foreman Frank (James Karen) shows new employee Freddy (Thom Mathews) a secret military experiment in a supply warehouse, the two klutzes accidentally release a gas that reanimates corpses into flesh-eating zombies. As the epidemic spreads throughout Louisville, Ky., and the creatures satisfy their hunger in gory and outlandish ways, Frank and Freddy fight to survive with the help of their boss (Clu Gulager) and a mysterious mortician (Don Calfa)."
Shogun Assassin (1980)
Wednesday 27th @ 10pm (85 minutes)
Action/ Adventure (IMDB)
"When foreman Frank (James Karen) shows new employee Freddy (Thom Mathews) a secret military experiment in a supply warehouse, the two klutzes accidentally release a gas that reanimates corpses into flesh-eating zombies. As the epidemic spreads throughout Louisville, Ky., and the creatures satisfy their hunger in gory and outlandish ways, Frank and Freddy fight to survive with the help of their boss (Clu Gulager) and a mysterious mortician (Don Calfa)." The Castro Theatre
Visiting the locations of some of the most iconic and loved films in horror history is the cheapest and easiest way a horror nerd can vicariously experience the magic of that film all over again. Like going to Disneyland for the first time, these places hold enough magic to keep a cheesy grin on our faces as they hold a special place in our hearts and bring out the little monster kid in all of us. With the San Francisco Alamo Drafthouse scheduling a screening of an original print of Dan O' Bannons adaptation of John A. Russo's Return of the Living Dead I thought it fitting to share my field trip to these film locations. So, "do you wanna party?!"...... "it's party time!"
We start off with the "Uneeda Medical Supply" building which still stands proud at 698 Moulton Avenue in Los Angeles. Surprisingly, the building looks relatively the same but is now a private residence in a now industrialized area . Great photos can still be taken from outside the fenced area.
Conveniently located right by the building on Moulton Ave. is the area where the "Resurrection Cemetery" gate was located. Oddly enough, an actual gate to a private storage/parking lot now resides there.
Last but not least, where a fake wall structure that the punks walked along to get to the cemetery once stood, now stands an actual wall! This wall surprisingly has no graffiti and some nice trees planted along the walk way. This wall is also in the same area as the "Uneeda" building and my Mom and Dad were cool enough to walk like punk rockers to help me live out a dream and reenact the scene (just as they were cool enough to let me see the film as a kid when it came out on VHS).
These three spots are located on a dead end street roughly 4 blocks long with plenty of parking in an okay part of town. If you are in the area and love this movie as much as I do I highly suggest paying a visit, especially if you are back from the grave and ready to party! A big thank you to 80'smovielocations for spot on addresses!
Tickets are still available for the Alamo Drafthouse screening of Return of the Living Dead! You can find them here.
This week's creepypasta is a video pasta but still very much text based and requires reading. It's not the best story ever but I thought it was a really cool idea the writers/film makers had. A lot of creepypastas have been made into short videos but this is the first time I've seen one actually start out as a short video. It has an Unfriended vibe and I would be very surprised if the film makers didn't get some inspiration from that movie.
The weekend is upon us and so are several new releases. The Boy hits theaters today, and the X-Files mini series will also be shown on one big screen. You'll have to act fast and check with the theater for the latter because it will likely sell out. This is also the first week of the Alamo's Video Vortex, which will screen Sunday nights.
The Boy (2016)
Opens today - check local listings
"A young American named Greta (Lauren Cohan) takes a job as a nanny for an 8-year-old boy in a remote English village. To her surprise, Greta learns that the child of her new employers is a life-size doll. They care for the doll as if it was human, which helps the couple to cope with the death of their own son 20 years earlier. When Greta violates a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring her worst fears to life, leading her to believe that the doll is alive."
"After Renny's brother Amos is killed in a robbery gone bad, the only thing to do is seek revenge on the vicious gang he belonged to...the RED CLAWS...except this isn't going to be an ordinary vigilante score! Renny seeks the aid of a renowned witch doctor in the West Indies to invoke terror and bloodshed through the means of voodoo. Renny must cross into a nightmare world and learn the Black Arts. But this knowledge comes at a high cost and the coin of the realm is...blood." From b-movie.com!
"A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder."
Double Feature With:
The Public Eye (1992)
Friday 22nd @ 9:30 (99 minutes)
Crime/ Drama/ Romance (IMDB)
"Tireless 1940s tabloid photographer Leon "The Great Bernzini" Bernstein (Joe Pesci) is always first to the scene of the crime, thanks to his uncanny journalistic instincts and the police scanner in his car. Known to his friends as "Bernzy," Leon is famous for capturing the gory aftermath of violent crimes that snuff the lives of New York City's famous. Bernzy gets a job offer from gorgeous nightclub owner Kay (Barbara Hershey), but finds he's way in over his head when the Mob gets involved." More Noir City screenings can be found here.