Friday Night Fright – August 18th

Due to some research i carried out this week in relation to some of the scariest movies ever created (for the purpose of doing an upcoming list (stay tuned)), this weeks recommendations will all be scary in one way or another. Make sure to have a buddy for this week.

Horror Buffs: The Orphanage (2007) – This Spanish gem by the original name of El Orfanato went under the radar for majority of English speaking countries due to it’s non English audio, unfortunately this made itself a victim of it’s own beauty. Regardless of the need for subtitles if you do not speak the language, this dark and sinister horror will stick with you. It is utter terrifying and very individualistic in it’s directing. A real indie surprise for many that skipped over it.

 

Beginners: The Descent (2005) – A group of girls embark on a rock-climbing adventure through a vacant cave, and what do you know, it turns horribly wrong. Despite the premise and plot not surprising in any way shape or form, the claustrophobia and exuberant scares throughout the film will keep you gripping tight to your pillow/drink/lover/dog. This is action horror that all fans need to watch, as it has been claimed to be one of the scariest movies ever created, and one of the best horror films of the 21st century.

 

Casual Fans: Evil Dead (2013) – I know it’s game to challenge the idea that originals are always better, but Fede Alvarez did an amazing job to remake a cult classic and the original of one of the greatest horror franchises in history. With an update in effects and acting, Bruce Campbell would even be proud of how well this remake was done. Fast, some jump scares, classic horror tropes and a bunch of gore, this splatter/supernatural horror will provide some great in movie scares. This non-stop excitement machine is one of my all time favourites, and makes for great group viewing.

 

Upcoming horror remakes and their movements

Whether it is due to the fact that the lake of imagination is drying up, or some significant money is found in remakes, more and more horror greats and ageless films are being recreated within the new realm of horror. Here is a list of a few names that may catch your eye.

The Fly

J.D. Dillard, his directorial feature debut Sleight  had a fantastic reception at Sundance. He is the man looking to recreate this epic.

Escape From New York

Fox is targeting summer for the start of production yet the film has been been at the studio for over 2 years. Robert Rodriquez is supposedly going to re-write the iconic Carpenter film.

An American Werewolf In London

The film is being handed down to Landis’s son Max for a remake. recently speaking on a podcast, Max said he would update the CGI and the overall look of the wolf.

Pet Sematary

As reported last week by All Things Horror, Andres Muschietti, the new IT director is very keen on tackling another giant Stephen King adaptation.

The Orphanage

This one we have very little information, as 2014 was the last time we heard that a English language oriented remake was coming. But as we know, only time will tell when a remake of this hit film will be created.

Cujo

Lang Elliot who is the head of Sunn Classic Pictures is set to direct the remake. There is no whispers whether it is in the pre-production stage or not, yet we know the remake is titled C. U. J. O. which stands for Canine Unit Joint Operations. Huh???

Pumpkinghead

Peter Block who helped produce Saw is now searching for a director and exec producer to create a reboot of his recently obtained rights to Pumpkinhead.

The Birds

He is the master of slasher remakes and he is the genius behind the Transformers franchise. Now, Michael Bay is taking on the task of recreating one of the most original horror films ever, Alfred Hitchcock’s, The BirdsDiederik Van Rooije has been put in charge to direct the film.

Nosferatu

Much the same here, the film is untitled, but director Robert Eggers who created The Witch, has been brought on to help create a remake that pays homage to the great silent horror of 1922.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

Since New Lin are firmly locking their gaze on their flurry of Conjuring films, there has been words from the company that says they won’t quit on this franchise, it just depends who what and when another reboot is within the works.

Whats the goss with Jeepers Creepers III?

Jeepers Creepers and its sequel became a much heftier and grander horror series than many expected. It’s encapsulating fear factor, being the ancient creature, ‘Creeper’ and it’s sequential hunting pattern terrified audiences since it’s inception.

14 somewhat patient years later and after numerous scripts, re-writes, production errors, and on top of what has been a plethora of plot changes we are finally moving towards the newest addition. Victora Salva is the original director and has returned to direct the third instalment, which in actual fact will be fall after the first and before Jeepers Creepers II. Although the plot has been leaked to an extent, all we know for sure is that the extinction of the Creeper which will be run by the local sheriff.

It is currently in production and is on date for what was expected from this last attempt. and to all our delight Jonathan Breck is returning as the infamous god like beast.

Below are the brief snippets which help assure us that all is going to planJeepers-Crepers-III-movie-leeked-images-2

‘The Gracefield Incident’ review

I hate doing negative reviews, especially when someone has worked so hard to usher their baby into this world, but writer, director, producer and star of this film, Matthieu Ratthe……..your film was a viewing conundrum.

A group of friends and family are searching for a fun time away in a secluded cabin in the woods of Quebec, Canada. Of course, something goes wrong. But this is where for one time only, i will take my hat off to Ratthe for being original. A meteorite slams into the woods nearby and following this an extraterrestrial being begins to haunt their every move. To survive and create something new there has been a cool additive, incorporating the unknown from outer space being his X factor, and i say that this idea is quite diverting when adding his own flavour, so for that cudos Ratthe.

Now, why this movie is both bizarre, puzzling and laughable is based solely around it’s production, because so far, the basic plot sounds pretty sound and standard right? It’s a hand held film, which usually gives us as fans a great POV scare factor, but unfortunately the acting is a bit broken and a lax of emotion, meansthe actual prompted scares are far from confronting. What’s cool and different is the main character, played by brainchild, Ratthe. His character Matthew Donovan has a prosthetic eye with a camera inserted inside of it, which makes for a cool little difference. Yet, the found footage adage relies heavily on scares and it’s realism, but with the acting, poor dialogue and really average voice overs/acting in this film, even in the stressing scenes it just seems droll.  On top of this, which does kill majority of the point, especially due to the last 40-50 minutes relying on scaring their audiences through chase scenes and deranged behaviour.

Although the outline sounds reasonable, the films natural path takes a sharp u-turn with an odd ending where we see an alien nestling an egg, everyone escaping safely, and a similar design in a crop field, reminiscent of Signs. With the final scene being Matthe and his partner, nursing their newborn child which has to do with the sub-text that is also very apparent one second, and not the next.

The movie jumps in and out of scare tactics and humorous dialogue, moves from a sci-fi to a haunting/paranormal sort of found footage film and is all over the shop. Why this movie is so in-explainable is due to it’s theme and sub-text overload. I wish this movie was better, i really do, but it just had me shaking my head one too many times to believe it really was worth watching.

5.5/10

‘History of Horror’ TV series to be hosted by Eli Roth

AMC and Eli Roth are in the works of creating a 6-piece TV series that is going to be apart of AMC’s visionary specials that they have been running. The show will focus on the horror genre in it’s entirety. Eli had this to say about the series.

I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible series. For years, I’ve wanted to create a definitive ‘History of Horror,’ a living record of the genre with interviews from all the greats, old and new,” said Roth. “Sadly, we lose more of these masters every year and with them go their stories and experiences. This show will serve as a record for future generations — fans and filmmakers alike — to enjoy. I could not be prouder to create this with AMC.”

The show is set to debut in October 2018, so until then we will have to do our own history.

 

 

Romero Vs. Carpenter

I thought for the very beginning of these showdowns it would be most appropriate if it incorporated two heavyweights, and of course, in honour of the late George A Romero who passed  away last week.

Both legendary in there field, both pioneers of their craft, these two horror movie gods have gifted us with so much inspiration that without them we would not have a horror movie genre today. The three fields i will be pitting them against each other in are, greatest horror movie, influence and awards. It will be hard to separate these two, and everyone else will have their opinions but here is mine.

Greatest Horror Movie

For Romero, it is undoubtedly his 1978 indie zombie apocalypse masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead. Being claimed by many including Clive Barker, as his greatest film ever. Dawn of the Dead is also his highest grossing film at $55 million off of a $1.5 million dollar budget. Although his debut indie horror Night of the Living Dead was the trend setting origin for zombie horror and undoubtedly the reason for the sub genre, his follow up in Dawn of the Dead was his greatest. It is very much the reason this sub genre of horror carries so much weight still to this day, encouraging more and more remakes, sequels and TV show’s such as The Walking Dead. Within video games, movies such as 28 Days Later, and even The Walking Dead, hiding out in shopping malls, using shotguns to blow off chunks of body from flesh eating somewhat humans is a main stereotype that has been both played out both tastefully and poorly.  Without this mainstay in zombie horror we wouldn’t have the themes of the undead. It doesn’t just stop there, the themes of this film have reached TV shows of all genres, with scenes from Dawn of the Dead being replayed without notice. The film also has been recognised as one of the greatest in general, making it’s way into the top 500 films of all time by Empire magazine. This film has been as influential as any on the whole film scene and for that, George A Romero, you will always be cherished.

John Carpenter’s greatest film was much harder to pick, but the highest grossing and the film that came to my mind first was Halloween. At $70 million it is is highest grossing, and the signature Michael Myers mask is the face of Carpenter as a character. This slasher film, much like Romero’s Dawn of the Dead was a pioneer film that was as influential to the slasher scene as any. Although not the first official slasher, out of the three mega franchises, being Halloween, Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday the 13th, this was the first to hit our screens, and it could be said that it was the reason why the other two were so well received. The original babysitter stalker-invincible killer,Michael Myers, is a creation that has creeped out US teens for generations, his blank mask eerily embedding itself in the conscious of all fans. Selected to be inducted in the Library of Congress due to it’s cultural significance, this film has been award winning in almost all categories, and finding itself ranked in 2010 by Total Film, in the Top 100 films of all time.

Although both have great influence on their genres, and both are inspirations to independent film makers, with Halloween being voted in majority lists over the internet as a top 100 calibre film, Michael Myers being such a significant character, it grossing higher and the Library of Congress recognising it for it’s impact, this first round goes to Carpenter.

Carpenter > Romero

Influence

Romero created the zombie sub genre. There is no way around that and no arguments against this will hold validity. His Night of the Living Dead is the first zombie movie on record, it was genre defining, and the themes stemming from his series of ‘Dead‘ movies encompass everything Zombie/Apocalypse related to this date. Although the reboot is more well known and critically better, he also created The Crazies. From the 70’s on wards, any TV show/game/movie/reference to the dead rising from the ground or being isolated years later after an Apocalypse you can bet stems from Romero and his mind. Has there been anyone more influential in film, independent, horror or not.

Carpenter is known for being one of the main influences of the slasher genre, but next to Craven, Hitchcock and Hooper, it’s hard to name who is the mastermind behind the sub genre. Carpenter’s ability to adapt to other genre’s is evident, but within the horror industry his standout performances are just that. I am not taking anything away from his ability, as The Fog is a testament to his diversity, but his influence upon the genre is not outstanding due to the craze of serial killers being created in the 80’s from  more than one director or writer.

Although The Fog and Halloween are two of the most immensely popular and impactful horror films of their generation, Romero’s zombie idea has spawned tireless spin offs and themes that reach out to every medium of media and film creation all around the world. Without his original and without this idea of humans returning from the grave, the landscape of film and entertainment would not look the same.

Romero > Carpenter

Awards

George A Romero has won a plethora awards across the independent film scene, Fantasporto, Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & horror, USA the list goes on. Majority are for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, which is all courtesy of his own individual work. His greatest accolade is the New York City Horror Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, and that’s undoubtedly one that recognises him for his influence and for his standings amongst other horror directors, writers and filmmakers. All in all, his greatest films were all acknowledged and he has a total of 13 wins and 5 nominations.

Carpenter has his similarities, as he also has won across all similar film festivals and independent award ceremonies. Fantapsporto, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards and Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror, USA to name a few. Although there seem to be more nominations then wins, Carpenter was nominated in 1976 for the Nebula Award for Best Dramatic Writing by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He has a total of 15 wins and 18 nominations.

It seems that despite their shared awards and similarities across the independent scene, Carpenter has been nominated a staggering 6x more than Romero, and still accomplished more wins. Although some of the greats never win Oscars, never get nominated when they should, award wining is a indication of talent and is still a reputable indication of their work. Due to this, Carpenter takes this final round based on his overwhelming number of nomination’s, whilst still winning more than Romero.

Carpenter > Romero

Verdict

There is no doubt in my mind or anyone elses that both men have been as influential as any, both deserve the accolades if not more than they have been awarded with, and both’s greatest films are undoubtedly two of the greatest horror films to ever reach our screens. This being said,  Romero’s influence has donned a sub genre, and influenced a greater reach than Carpenter but, this is his downfall, being less diverse and his continual instalments left him one sided. Carpenter has created a portfolio of horror movies that has wowed us for all different reasons and from all different perspectives. This battle was close, but Carpenter with his greater holistic hold over the genre due to earnings, recognisable films and diversity, he has won this inaugural battle.

 

Carpenter > Romero.