Gothic romance

NEW FEATURE! CROWDFUNDING PICK: Baphomet

NEW FEATURE! CROWDFUNDING PICK: Baphomet

By Dixielord

Crowdsourcing is becoming a more and more popular way to finance films although it was once almost exclusively the territory of low budget and Indie films. Now, however, directors from the likes of Spike Lee to Rob Zombie have used the public to fund the budgets of their films. While there has been some outcry among fans concerning established filmmakers using this avenue, it, nonetheless, remains a lucrative way of funding a film. In addition to freeing filmmakers of studio restrictions, crowdfunding enables them to connect with the fans via special offers for different levels of donations.

With crowdfunding here to stay, House of Tortured Souls has decided to do a “Best of Crowdsourcing” series. It will have an irregular schedule to start, but we hope to grow into a monthly article. HoTS writers will scour the popular sourcing sites, Kickstarter and Indiegogo (and any others that may exist or come to exist), and find horror projects that look interesting to report back on for our followers. We also welcome suggestions from our followers. Just comment on this article as well as the upcoming articles and let us know what hidden gems you’ve found.

I’m going to kickstart this (Heh, heh, heh) with a little movie I found late one recent Friday night. The name of the film is Baphomet, and it drew me in right away. The story concept kept me there. It’s still early in the crowdsourcing for Baphomet, so it’s still anybody’s guess on how it will come out. But I’m really hoping this one is successful. After all, I already put my money where my mouth is.

Baphomet the movie

Promotional poster for Baphomet
Art courtesy of Stu Schuckman

According to the Kickstarter page, Baphomet is

THE STORY OF HANNA, a beautiful and cold-blooded murderer, a born sociopath with no concern for societal expectations. While living as a drifter on the highways of the east coast, she meets a sensitive young musician and begins a relationship that will blur the line between victim and accomplice.

Director Alex Sinesi describes it as a Southern Gothic road movie, and he means Gothic in the traditional way, not the Hot Topic way.

The crucial lead role of Hanna will be played by Hannah Elizabeth Smith, an award winning film and theater actress. Apparently Hannah isn’t afraid to get bloody with roles like Carrie (Carrie the Musical), and Lady MacBeth in her past. If that ain’t enough, just check out her photo on Kickstarter.

Hannah Elizabeth Smith as Carrie White, in Carrie the Musical from the Baphomet Kickstarter page

Hannah Elizabeth Smith as Carrie White, in Carrie the Musical

Along with Smith, Baphomet will star Nicholas Reed and Christopher Marino. All three members of the cast come from East Coast theater backgrounds.

There’s a lot that drew me to Baphomet. While the idea of a female serial killer might not be new, it’s far from common, and it’s relatively fresh ground. Plus, the idea of a Gothic road movie is appealing. I grew up in the South, on Faulkner, and there was always a darkness in his stories. They always made me feel uncomfortable. I think Baphomet may strike that same chord in me, and that makes me excited.

Baphomet- Never Behave again courtesy Kickstarter

Baphomet- Never Behave Again
Courtesy Kickstarter

The director promises that it will be bloody, but it wont be cheap gore. Sinesi promises that we will see the effect the killing has, even on the killer. I’m trusting he will have the skill to follow through on those promises, and make Baphomet more than a cheap horror film. So give it a look, and if you agree that this is an interesting project consider giving them a hand. There’s more information to be found on the movie’s Facebook page or on the Kickstarter page If it looks interesting, consider chipping in and helping what could be a great Indie horror film get made. House of Tortured Souls, and I, personally, will be keeping our eye on Baphomet and updating everyone on any major happenings.

Posted by Allen Alberson in Crowd funding Pick, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Crimson Peak (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Crimson Peak (2015)

By Dixielord

Guillermo Del Toro definitely knows how to make a big beautiful film, but can he do a horror movie? His last ghost movie, Mama, just didn’t do it for me. The wispy CGI ghosts just don’t do it for me, and while it wasn’t a bad story, the ghosts bored me more than frightened me. But now he tries again with Crimson Peak.

Crimson Peaks Jessica Chastain

Crimson Peak’s Jessica Chastain

Crimson Peak is a big scale Gothic ghost story starring Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska (Stoker). And let’s get it straight if I try and type Mia’s gull name over and over I’m going to eventually fuck it up, so from now on, I’m sticking to Mia.

Mia plays Edith Cushing, the heir to her father’s fortune who is haunted by the ghost of her dead mother. She finds herself, and her father’s money courted by the titled, but broke, Baronet Thomas Sharp played by Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, Thor). This doesn’t sit well with her father played by Jim Beaver (Supernatural), or the president of the local biker club, whoops, local doctor and childhood friend Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy). After her father’s murder, she agrees to marry Hiddleston and move to his ancestral home, known by the locals as Crimson Peak. There the hauntings continue and animosity grows between Mia and her sister in law Lucille played by Jessica Chastain (Mama). Back in America the jilted Dr. McMichael (Hunnam) investigates and finds things the good Baronet is hiding things. He rushes to Crimson Peak to save Edith, but with her health mysteriously declining and winter setting in, will he be in time?

Mia Wasikowska in Crimson Peak

Mia in Crimson Peak

With Crimson Peak, Del Toro has crafted a truly beautiful film. Even his ghosts, beyond the black wispy phantoms, he has added a blood red to go with the films title and theme. The ghosts also have a bit more substance than those in Mama. As they rise out of the floor and walls of the dilapidated castle, I’ll admit they made me jump a couple of times. I’m still not a big fan of the CGI ghost, buy they looked better than in Mama. They seemed to have more substance, which made them a bit more realistic and creepy.

The scenery likewise is beautiful to behold. The manor home that is falling apart and especially the white snow, dyed red by the clay that gives Crimson Peak it’s name. Then add to that the cast of beautiful people in Hunnam, Hiddleston and Mia, and you have a film that is a visual treat.

But is it scary? Like I mentioned above, it actually gave me a few startles and I cant complain about that. Mostly however, Crimson Peak is a Gothic ghost story, more focused on romance and mystery than horror. It harkens back to when ghosts were more of a protective and warning spirit than an agent of chaos. While the ghosts do provide some scares, they necessarily where the horror lies in Crimson Peak.

The main story here is the mystery that Crimson Peaks holds. What happened to the mother of Thomas and Lucille? What is the relationship between the two siblings and what is the secret that he desperately tries to hide from Edith? And can Jax move on from his father’s death to lead the club, wait no, another project…

Charlie Hunnam in Crimson Peak

No motorcycles or giant robots for Charlie Hunnam in Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak ends up being a bit of a tragedy, and I wont give away any more than I have already. Go see it. It’s not a grand horror movie, but it is a well acted, and beautiful ghost story with a real Gothic feel. I’m giving it 7 and ¾ stars out of 10.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR SERIES, MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments