Michelle MIDI Peifer

Hailing from Sydney Australia and injecting a dose of Aussie Flavour to her reviews, Midi began her horror love in Birmingham England at a very young age and is always trying to find the next local or indie horror talent to share with the world.
Haunted Mississippi: The Ghost Song of Singing River

Haunted Mississippi: The Ghost Song of Singing River

The second site I’m visiting in preparation for Halloween is the Singing River in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The Singing River is part of the Pascagoula River, that was the local grounds of the Pascagoula tribe ( local Native American Indians). Back in the 17th century the tribe became extinct in one moment, by all walking into the river together to die. To this day the tribe supposedly haunts the Singing River in Pascagoula, by making the River sing to the residents of  the town.

Artwork depicting the tribes demise by Lorin Thompson

Renowned  Pennsylvanian Artist Lorin Thompson was commissioned to create a mural for the Pascagoula Post Office, that would depict what exactly happened to the Singing River Tribe.

According to local legend, the tribe was part of the Choctaw Natives and were called the Singing River or Pascagoula tribe. These natives were seen as peaceful people, with no aggression towards neighbouring tribes.

In 1699 Pierre Le Moyne D’Iberville encountered the tribe, saying they were “friendly ……and had very beautiful women”.

So why did such a well liked and peace-loving tribe all decide to give their lives in one instance? Was it like some say for love? Love of a woman? Love of family? Love of togetherness?

Singing River at dusk

According to legend, the Biloxi and Pascagoula Tribes had co-existed over centuries before a split between the tribes resulted in the disappearance of both tribes from the region. Altama, Chief of the Pascagoula, fell in love with Anola, a Biloxi princess who was promised to the Chief of the Biloxi, going against traditional protocols.

Altama and Anola wanted to be together regardless of the outcome. In response, the Biloxi made war on the Pascagoula killing and taking them as slaves for the decision Altama had made. The Pascagoula were outnumbered and feared what the future held for them. Loyal to Altama, they decided as a group that it would be better to die at their own hand than become slaves. In the afterworld they would be reunited and live in a perfect world. Altama, Anola and the Pascagoula people chose to drown themselves in the river, and while singing their death song, they joined hands and walked into the waters. It’s there that the local legend states, that the disappearance of the Pascagoula people has a direct connection with the sounds which they hear coming from the water.

Singing River by day

One of the first written accounts of the “Singing River” was that of Governor Perier of French Louisiana on his visit to the Pascagoula Tribe. He says that “…while among the Pascagoulas or ‘Bread Eaters,’ he was invited to go to the mouth of the river of that name and listen to the mysterious music which floats on the waters. The water formed itself into a towering column of foaming waves, on the top stood a mermaid.  As the Indians and missionary looked on, the mermaid began to sing ‘Come to me, come to me,’ where upon they walked into the water never to be seen again.” There are similar stories in other parts of the bayou, such as the Singing River located in modern-day Muscle Shoals, Alabama, which is also links the strange sounds emanating from under the water’s surface with the disappearance of the local tribe.

Singing River, Mississippi

The myth of the Singing River continues to draw people to Pascagoula and the rivers romanticized identity creating tourism in the region. In 1985 a county resolution formally renamed a stretch of the Pascagoula River, the Singing River.

I have engaged with some locals about the legend and many claim the sound comes from underfoot on the river bank, sounding like a “swarm of bees in flight”. Others say it’s like a gentle hum that reverberates around the area of Pascagoula. All agree the ‘singing’ is more audible in late summer and autumn during the later part of the evenings and grows louder once you hear it.

So is the humming just a strange weather phenomenon? Is there creatures or wildlife making the sounds? Or are the ghosts of a whole tribe singing out to us? Maybe this Halloween someone may investigate and find out!

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, HORROR HISTORY, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, PARANORMAL, 0 comments
Haunted Mississippi: LaPointe Krebs House And Cemetery

Haunted Mississippi: LaPointe Krebs House And Cemetery

Resting snuggly in the state of Mississippi, is a historical property in Pascagoula known as LaPointe Krebs House. Built in 1757, LaPointe Krebs House is the oldest property standing in Mississippi. The land was under Indian Occupation until the mid 1700’s, when it was then turned over to the French Settlers.

LaPointe Krebs House circa 1890

The original house was built and is still standing today, but in need of repairs. In 2014 the MDAH (Mississippi Department Of Archives And History) gave the LaPointe Krebs House a Community Heritage Preservation Grant Of $200,000 to restore the structure, located at 4602 Fort St, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

There is also a museum that operates on the land, that was built in 1979. Originally the house was the museum, from 1950-1980, but since then the adjacent building was created. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for military and all over 65 yrs and $3 for children.

LaPointe Krebs House museum

What does this historic site have to do with spooky fun and Halloween you may ask? Well I’m not just giving you all a quick history lesson for fun! This year LaPointe Krebs House will hold its thirteenth (a number loved by many horror fans) annual Historic Cemetery Tour.

On Thursday October 24th, from 530pm to 730pm, all are welcome to enjoy a historical tour of the LaPointe Krebs property. They will see the house itself and the cemetery. This ghostly tour of the property is free, but all donations will be welcome.

Many of the members of the Krebs family line are buried in the small cemetery, as well as an array of locals. The “residents” of the cemetery range from the age of 1 day old to 100years old and some of the headstones have been damaged due to age, weather (including Hurricane Katrina) and vandalism. It is a fascinating site and it would be interesting to know if any of those who now inhabit the graveyard, speak to the living.

Will the children of years gone by playfully explore the grounds? Will visitors hear the cries of wounded soldiers from wars long passed? And will the Krebs family visit all who come to see their original home?

LaPointe Krebs House

If you’re curious and would like to take a look for yourself, come down to the LaPointe Krebs House (all ages welcome) On October 24th and see for yourself between 530 and 730pm.

LaPointe Krebs House – 4602 Fort St, Pascagoula, Mississippi. Museum Hours Tuesday to Friday 10am -5pm , Saturday 10am-3pm. Admission listed above (in article)

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, HALLOWEEN, HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments

Netflix Releases In The Tall Grass

Today saw the release on Netflix of the Stephen King and Joe Hill film adaptation of the novella In The Tall Grass.

This Netflix adaptation is Directed by Vincenzo Natali. Natali’s fans are familiar with his prior work on films such as Cube, and Splice. Natali also wrote the screenplay, based on the novella.

Screenplay Writer/ Director Vincenzo Natali

The story of In The Tall Grass follows a brother and sister who whilst travelling to San Diego, stop near a mysterious field of extremely tall grass. As they stop they hear a voice crying for help. As they venture into the Tall Grass, the duo realise that all is not as it seems and something lurks within the grass of a sinister nature.

I won’t reveal more, as I really enjoyed it and to aid you in enjoying it I think knowing less is best about the outcome. I will say however that Natali compiles the source material brilliantly, and though the ending differs from the Novella, it’s not disheartening that they changed it.

The film stars Laysla De Oliveira and Avery Whitted as Becky and Cal Demuth.

Laysla De Oliveira as Becky

Laysla De Oliveira is convincing as Becky. She’s expecting her first child and unsure of her future as she travels with her brother to decide the fate of her unborn child (will she keep the baby or put it up for adoption?). As our tormented and exhausted maze runner, Oliveira shows an array of emotions through the film and creates a likeable and engaging character on screen, as Becky. Known for minor television roles, Oliveira is truly coming into her element in In The Tall Grass and her role as Veronica in Guest Of Honor (released last month, and starring David Thewlis and Luke Wilson).

Avery Whitted as Cal

As Becky’s Irish Twin (in the book it’s explained their ages are so close that Becky and Cal are like twins in age), Cal is the more mindful one. Avery Whitted is fresh on the screen, his prior credit only being The Vanishing Of Sidney Hall in 2017. The dramatic mystery starred Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler, Nathan Lane, And Tim Blake Nelson. As Cal, Whitted gives a notable performance but is still finding his screen presence. We feel for Cal of course but at times I found his performance unconvincing.

Becky’s estranged love interest and baby daddy Travis McKean is played by Harrison Gilbertson. Gilbertson is an Australian actor known for extremely well known prior roles in the recent Picnic at Hanging Rock television series, Leigh Whannel’s Upgrade, Ben Young’s Hounds Of Love, aswell as in films such as Need for Speed, Beneath Hill 60, and Look Away.

Gilbertson is easy to empathise with. When he enters the film, what we are already perplexed by becomes even more elaborate. And it’s Travis who works hard to unravel the Tall grasses mysterious behaviours. Gilbertson does wonderfully to hold certain elements of the film’s encounters together.

Harrison Gilbertson, Laysla De Oliveira, and Avery Whitted

Also starring in In The Tall Grass is Patrick Wilson (who replaced James Marsden after scheduling conflicts) as Ross Humboldt and Will Buie Jr and Rachel Wilson as his son and wife, Tobin and Natalie.

Patrick Wilson as Ross

Wilson is incredibly well known for his roles throughout the last decade in the Insidious, Conjuring, Annabelle and The Nun Films – totalling 7 films (including in the role of Ed Warren, husband of Lorraine Warren the paranormal investigator). Wilson has an impressive body of work over the last two decades and doesn’t let fans down in this film. Stepping away from his usual roles, we get to see a differing side in this performance and he truly makes the film, in a very pivotal role as Ross Humboldt.

Will Buie Jr as Tobin

As Wilson’s son Tobin Humboldt is twelve year old Will Buie Jr. This sharp child actor  has only been acting in films and on television for two years, but his performance in In The Tall Grass is the second most impressive (after only Patrick Wilson’s) in this film. We feel for poor Tobin and we understand his attempts to warn others and avoid the horrors lurking in the Tall Grass. We empathise as the film churns on and we learn more and more about Tobin’s plight, because of Buie’s amazing performance.

Patrick Wilson, Harrison Gilbertson and Laysla De Oliveira

Lastly is Rachel Wilson as Natalie Humboldt. We see less of her in the film than we do of the other five principal cast members, but when she appears she always brings something more about the story with her. This proves her character to be very valuable, and her portrayal as interesting. Wilson is a well known Canadian actress having starred in films such as The Glass House, Saw: The Final Chapter And Hellions.

In the Tall Grass as a whole is a brilliant adaptation of the source material. The creepiness and disillusionment Of each character is strong.

The cinematography is beautiful. Watching each blade of grass wave in the breeze or crane as though listening, reminds one easily of the rows of corn in The Children of the Corn films. The instances of despairing isolation and dizzying bewilderment, cast us back to Kubrick’s take on the Shining in 1980. We get lost in this grassy maze and it’s wonders, both good and bad.

Natali has created an almost perfect film with In The Tall Grass, fans will be impressed by the way it evolves smoothly. As we transition through each scene into the next, until we reach the climax. As I said this differed from the source material. It’s okay. It’s not great but it fits for the film, that’s really all I can say.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in Categories, 0 comments

What’s Coming and Going on Netflix in October?

Many are already enjoying the delights of Netflix and gearing up for their horror fix through the Halloween month. I won’t be listing everything available through October, but I’m here to let you know some of the most intriguing and fun movies and shows that will be coming and going throughout October on Netflix.

Leaving Netflix in October will be Casper, Cloverfield, Deliverance, Gremlins, Obsessed and The Nightmare. So be sure to get your chance to view them one last time in the next 48hrs.

 

OCTOBER 4th

On October 4th Netflix will be adding Creeped Out season 2, a British/Canadian Horror Anthology tv series focused on creepy stories. This is a great chance to binge watch both seasons, if you haven’t acquainted yourself with it yet.

Also on October 4th comes the release of the adaptation of the Stephen King/ Joe Hill Novella In The Tall Grass. Directed by Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice) and starring Patrick Wilson, this is a dramatic mystery sure to thrill fans.

OCTOBER 11th

Japanese Director Sion Sono (Tag) newest film will debut on Netflix on October 11th. Forest of Love is a crime, thriller about a con man serial killer who meets his match.

Also on October 11th we will see the release of Fractured. An American thriller , by director Brad Anderson and starring Australian actor Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation) and Lily Rabe (American Horror Story). The film is a Hitchcockian style thriller, about a man searching for his wife and daughter.

Season two of Haunted appears on Netflix to chill you through October. Season one featured Filmmaker Jason Hawkins (The Blair Witch Legacy) in one episode. It was also the cause of much controversy over an episode of two sisters, claiming their father was a serial killer (Slaughterhouse Episode). Most of us will be curious of what stories will be told this season and will there be more controversial episodes?

OCTOBER 18th

October 18th provides us with Eli. Starring Lili Taylor (The Conjuring, The Haunting) and Directed by  Ciaran Foy (Citadel, Sinister 2) , the plot revolves around a boy who becomes trapped in a house while undergoing treatment for a rare disease.

OCTOBER 24th

Less scary, more humorous comes Daybreak on October 24th. This ten episode dramatic comedy focuses on a Mad Max style apocalyptic scenario and zombies. Starring Matthew Broderick (Ladyhawke, The Cable Guy), this series was adapted from the Brian Ralph graphic novel.

Also on the 24th comes Revenge of Pontianak. This Singaporean/ Malayan language romantic horror uses the south Asian folklore of the Pontianak (a woman who dies with child or during childbirth without a proper funeral, that returns as a vampire). In this film a woman and her village are terrorised by a Pontianaks arrival, as it seeks to take revenge on the guy she loves.

 

OCTOBER 25th

Lastly on the 25th Rattlesnake will be available on Netflix. This psychological thriller is about a woman who saves her daughter after being bitten by a rattlesnake, by taking on the “debt” of killing a total stranger. It is directed by Zac Hilditch (The Final Hours, 1922).

 

For the Younger Viewers this month:

Yes there’s a little spooky fun for the younger crowd within your homes (or even those young at heart),  including some additions to the animated Spooky Monsters with season 3 and Vida’s 1st Halloween Special, On October 4th.

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On the 5th comes the Spooky Tale Of Captain Underpants Hack-O-Ween. Many kids love the adventures of this Underpants clad animated superhero and this instalment is just in time for Halloween.

And finally October 17th introduces The Unlisted, an Australian teen series focused on twelve year old twin boys, who discover that the government is secretly tracking and manipulating the youth via electronic tracking devices.

 

Many horror films and shows already are available on Netflix, so don’t forget during the Spooky season about them too. Happy Halloween viewings. Time for some real Netflix and Chills.

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Introduction to Beyond Cinema “Where Blood Lies”

Introduction to Beyond Cinema “Where Blood Lies”

Beyond Cinema is an L.A based production company that features short films, documentaries and feature length films from budding filmmakers.

It was started by writer, director, editor, and producer Byron Q who is known for his short films and features such as Bang Bang (2011), Raskal Love (2012) and Las Vegas Story (2015).

Writer and Director Byron Q

Where Blood Lies  is a ten minute length short film, that Byron Q wrote and directed. The project was funded by a kickstarter campaign and the results are amazing.

Set in Romania in 1942, we see the Third Reich is tormenting the Romanian locals in search of a vampire believed to hide in the area.

Following  “Das Fuhrer’s” occultist orders  to capture and compile a selection of paranormal beings, in the bid to create an army of super soldiers to win the war, a Nazi Captain and his two soldiers seek the vampire out.

Ben Prendergast and David Castro as the Nazi Captain Hans and the Hunter

Our Nazi Captain Hans is portrayed by Australian actor Ben Prendergast, who’s face I was familiar with from tv show bit parts downunder. Native Melbournian Prendergast leads his soldiers wonderfully, with a uneasy tone of disgust and hatred for the villagers. He is brutal towards them and uncaring, which he conveys very well. Prendergast is known for roles in bigger films such as Predestination (2014) and tv shows such as Preacher.

His soldiers are played by Clayton Aggeles as Peter (aka Nazi Soldier 1) and David Aaron Evans as Lars (aka Nazi Soldier 2). Each perfectly balances the others performance ,of both naivety and fear.

An old man who agrees to show the trio to the vampire, if they spare the innocent villagers, is the Hunter (played by David Castro). Castro is very convincing as our Hunter. He guides them to a secluded cave in a Forrest and the truth and climax is revealed swiftly. Castro is known for roles in V/H/S Viral (2014) and Nuns With Big Guns (2010).

Emma Roth as Emelia

This is where we meet Emelia, who surprisingly in her first role Emma Roth was wonderfully cast. With an innocence like Kirsten Dunst’s Claudia in Interview With a Vampire, and yet the same level of savagery, Roth takes over the scene as the vampire child magically and horrifically.

Its clear throughout this short that the script Byron Q gave his cast and his choices in actor for each role, gave life to this film. He pans the camera perfectly through each shot, from the genocidal opening to the leafy Forrest, into the dark foreboding cave. This is flawless and it’s seamless style is even more uplifted by the score provided by Alexis Graspas.

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An Introduction to Airebedd Productions

When I was contacted by Airebedd’s co-founder D.M.Night Maire, I was eager to explore the variety of short films within their stockpile and learn more about this New York based production company.

D.M.Night Maire

D.M Night Maire himself is a creative director, writer, film director and producer for the companies content, wearing many hats for Airebedd.

I was forwarded three short films to examine, of either a horror, thriller or peculiar nature. Each offering something extremely different to the last.

The first was Maire’s own creation (as writer, director and producer) Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir, a thirteen minute long short film that has been part of the official selection at 330 film festivals and received 125 awards.

The second short was The Hobbyist, another production of Maire’s, this time an eight minute film written and directed by George Vatistas. Vatistas’ short has been officially selected for 125 film festivals and received 20 awards.

The third film was Mariposas, a short film Maire produced. It was directed by Adrian Carey and the screenplay written by Evan Springhetti. So far Mariposas has been selected to screen at 100 film festivals.

Airebedd has also produced many short films, music videos and projects for an array of creative minds, including most recently My Daughter Yoshiko.

My Daughter Yoshiko is a dramatic fifteen minute short by BAFTA nominated, renowned writer and director Brian Blum.

 

CHATEAU SAUVIGNON: TERROIR 

With lots of gruesome jars of carnage, dusty darkened sets and an air of musty macabre fun, this thirteen minute thriller was a compelling watch.

The casting of Michael Lorz, Sean Well, Eartha Pooya Mohensi, Nancy Nagrant And Anthony Del Negro impressively guides this short through D.M Night Maire’s beautifully savage narrative. Creating a story so engaging and yet horrific, that it can only be described as blissfully bloody.

Michael Lorz in Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir

In each well lit scene Maire uses his lens, to leave his viewers senses heightened. You can breathe in and smell the musty wine cellar, each squashed grape or even later on the bloody gaping wounds. The aromas are triggered in ones mind so powerfully by the amazing production, the sets and editing.

Rod Eletto provided the score that elevates each scene further, by setting the film’s pace and perfectly moving you through each thoughtful shot.

Sean Wells in Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir

It is in the two leads played by Michael Lorz and Sean Well, that one can admire the performances further. Both play off one another so naturally, they genuinely convey a strange dynamic between a father and his disobedient son. All in all Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir is a brilliant short film, that will surely impress many more than it already has at its prior screenings.

 

 

THE HOBBYIST 

The Hobbyist was impressive with its powerfully packed, hearty plot in a mere eight minute run time.

George Vatistas directs his cast incredibly through the dimly lit druggists store and back room. He sets the scene for his audience, allowing them to absorb each small detail. From the lighting to the set design, each element is appealing to the eye.

Vatistas adapted the screenplay for The Hobbyist from a  story by master short story author Fredric Brown. Brown was a prolific writer, who’s career spanned several decades.

Daniel Mitura convincingly plays Mr Sangstrom, a character you quickly come to dislike through Mitura’s flawless performance.

Robert .W.Smith portrays the Druggist as a likeable older man, appearing kindly but brilliantly revealing his fiendishly noble intentions as the story evolves.

Robert.W.Smith and Daniel Mitura in The Hobbyist

This short is accompanied by the compositions of Rod Eletto (who also worked on Chateau Sauvignon: Terroir), and again he uses each note to float us through the film’s atmosphere from scene to scene seamlessly alongside Vatista’s direction.

The hauntingly  most memorable line, towards the shorts climax, is “the life you save, may just be your own”. True food for thought.

 

 

MARIPOSAS

Mariposas is an extremely short viewing, at only three minutes duration, and yet somehow this film fills each moment fantastically.

Based on Argentinian Author Samantha Schweblin’s short story Mariposas (aka Butterflies), from her anthology of short stories Pajaros En La Boca (aka Mouthful Of Birds), Evan Springhetti adapted the screenplay wonderfully.

The beauty is in the horrific. At first we are treated to a leafy school yard, awaiting doting fathers and a bright beautiful sunny day. The story changes though, as we meet a boastful father.

As two fathers converse (this natural, seamless narrative between  actors Miguel Belmonte and Rocco Salata), one has a beautiful butterfly land on his shoulder. As he scoops it into his hand, he clumsily breaks its wing. The second father awkwardly looks at him as he proceeds to drop it and crush it under his foot. It is then that the school bell rings.

It’s at this precise moment our clumsy, braggart realises the horror that is unfolding,

As an assortment of children’s voices can be heard, we see only a fluttering swarm of gorgeously colourful butterflies exiting the school building.

We see the second father talk to one cheerfully, as our protagonist becomes aware of his actions. This emotional roller coaster becoming a freakish ride of terror, as we too realise exactly what tragedy has befallen the protagonist. And that is where the short ends.

Director Adrian Carey brings life to Evan Springhetti’s well rounded script and shocks his spectators harshly. Using the luscious, bright location and the vibrant enchantingly radiant butterflies, Carey truly contrasts the beauty with a slap in the face kind of realism and switches to a more gloomy, darker outcome.

 

 

Be be sure to check out Airebedd Productions website at http://www.airebedd.com

And D.M.Night Maire’s IMDB page, for further information.

http://www.imdb.com/nm4731396/

 

 

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Exploring Dakota Ray’s The Dark Days Of Demetrius

Dakota Ray’s The Dark Days Of Demetrius is the sixth feature film from the experimental Denver filmmaker.

Ray is known for his ultra realistic exploitation of horror and crime, through his shorts and feature films and The Dark Days Of Demetrius  is no different. This film explores the violent and gritty reality, of a narcissistic serial killer and a sleazy tabloid journalist.

Ray takes the lead as our self infatuated murderer Demetrius, popularly known as the “Live Stream Killer”. He does well to reflect the nuances of many known serial killers, by providing insight through the films steady narrative. He’s in love with himself, claims to be godlike, thrives on the presses interest in him and it’s all so beautifully reflected in Ray’s performance. From the impish grin he does when admiring himself in a mirror or taking a selfie with a corpse, to the way he boastfully discusses his crimes in the films narration. Each moment is put together perfectly to create Demetrius’ character.

Dakota Ray in The Dark Days Of Demetrius

Clive, a sleazy and despicably dishonest reporter, is portrayed by actor Fred Epstein. Epstein is best remembered as Chester in American Scumbags (Ray’s second film). He delivers a disgustingly enjoyable performance as the seedy and incorrigible gutter press, creating false news and depraved acts to keep his followers interested. He’s bold, blunt even and his depiction of Clive helps you dislike him so easily.

Fred Epstein in The Dark Days Of Demetrius

Throughout The Dark Days Of Demetrius, Dakota Ray navigates his viewers through his two primary characters in a way that creates the beautiful battle between his leads. We watch their decent into self obsession. We feel the angry hatred they have for fellow humans. It’s all truly ugly, but still magical.

The film is accented with a score provided by Emperor Ov Larvae. In Ray’s usual choice of musical styling the music is hardcore, powerful and emotive.

As I have pointed out in prior reviews, watching each new production from Dakota Ray is watching his cinematic evolution. We see where his shots are cleaner, crisper to view. His casting is pure genius, with his selection of Epstein to play his characters aggressor being something infallible.

Be sure to explore the filmography listed below of Ray’s prior feature films, examine the trailer for yourself and join the current indiegogo campaign (which has already passed $3000 of its $5000 goal). All in all I implore you to immerse yourself in Ray’s freaky but fun film world.

Feature Film Filmography 

1. My Master Satan :3 Tales Of Drug Fuelled Violence (2016)

2. American Scumbags (2016)

3. The Acid Sorcerer (2017)

4. The Rise and Fall of An American Scumbag (2017)

5. American Antichrist (2018)

6. The Dark Days Of Demetrius (2019)

Go to the link below to watch the trailer …

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CsCXmEbBUm&persist_app=1&app=m

 

 

The Dark Days Of Demetrius indiegogo campaign……

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-dark-days-of-demetrius#/

 

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RAKKHOSH- India’s First POV Thriller.

RAKKHOSH- India’s First POV Thriller.

As a fan of foreign films, I was excited recently when I was contacted by Creative Producer  Prashen Kyawal about the release of the Indian thriller Rakkhosh. Rakkhosh is the first Indian film using the first person Point of View (POV) technique and proved to be quite intriguing. Released on June 20th this year, it is currently available for viewing on Netflix. It is a foreign film, so it is presented in Hindi, but English subtitles are available.

With films like Hardcore Henry and Cloverfield putting POV films back in the forefront of movie goers minds, it’s easy to see its appeal to modern filmmakers. Directors Abhijit Kokate and Srivinay Salian work together to craft a brilliantly inspired fresh take on insanity.

Rakkhosh centres around a troubled asylum inmate named Birsa. Birsa is our lead and we see everything from his perspective. The story focuses on his own troubled past and how that helps confuse his grip on reality, as fellow hospital residents begin disappearing at the hands of an unknown entity.

Let me start off with the camera techniques. From rotating shots, as we follow Birsa through the Jantar Mantar (a building beside the asylum where Rakkhosh lures and claims his victims), to the frantic sweeps around the asylum itself we are easily drawn into this gritty, harrowing world of mental illness, mistreatment and mayhem.

Birsa himself seems pretty put together, considering where he is. Using his voice Namit Das does a great job conveying worry, fear, excitement and confusion. We can hear in the tone in his voice how Birsa feels. And through the limited vision of his movements we can see what he endures.

Birsa’s only friend is Kumar John. An older inmate portrayed by Sanjay Mishra. Mishra works tirelessly to play the lovable, cheeky self professed mystic (often its his Dashavstar Ganjifa  cards that predict each victim). Mishra moves around smoothly, making Das’ movements with him equally graceful, creating a connection between the characters that is genuine and relatable.

Also in this ensemble cast is Priyanka Bose who stars as Kumar Johns “daughter” Ridhidima (who Birsa mistrusts frequently and refers to her as “Fake Daughter”, allowing you to question her motives and actual character). Bose is a very talented actress and known previously for her role in Lion, the Oscar nominated and BAFTA winning film from 2016 starring Dev Patal. Bose plays an investigative journalist trying to cease the disappearances fantastically, but balances that role well with her other of concerned “daughter” of Kumar John.

Tannishtha Chatterjee shines beautifully as Birsa’s well meaning sister Shoma. Chatterjee does amazingly to convey that Shoma does all she can for her sick brother, and in the film’s climax we see the lengths she has gone to to help him.

Mental Nurse Kalima’s amazingly menacing and superbly evilly wide eyed portrayal from Sanomani Jayant, stands out as one you can really enjoy. Jayant is cool, calm and collected with the perfect dash of aggression as the asylums unkind nurse.

The incredibly corrupted Dr Idris Shah is brought to life by Barun Chanda. Chanda is a known seasoned actor in India and is well known for his debut starring role in the Satyajit Ray social drama  Seemabaddha (1971). Chanda works hard throughout the film, to portray the doctor as being little involved in the ill deeds  undertaken in his asylum. Chanda’s ability to demonstrate his capabilities is strong, as truths are revealed and we see more and more of his characters greedy ways.

I liken Chanda’s character and portrayal strongly to that of a combination of both Dr Berrisford (played by Harris Yulin) in the 1988 film Bad Dreams, and Dr Frederick Chilton ( played by Anthony Heald) in The Silence of the Lambs/ Red Dragon Films.

Also worthy of mentioning is Atul Mahale, who plays Swapnil. Mahale navigates his role as the easily bribed corrupt class three officer well and adds to the swirling unease of the film.

Rakkhosh is very lengthy for its style and subject matter and could easily be shaved of a few minutes here and there, but otherwise the development of the plot and direction by Abhijit Kokate and Srivinay Salian is spot on in enticing the viewers to watch on more and more as the film progresses.

Dinesh Gopal was the editor of Rakkhosh, who worked tirelessly on creating the believable aesthetic that became Birsa’s first person point of view. It was through Gopal’s editing that he used various techniques to  humanise the character of Birsa. From when Birsa would open and close his eyes by fading to black in such a way , or even blurring the images to convey when he was dizzy. These helped the narrative stay perfect in its first person POV for the viewer and steady the combination of illogical and logical  going ons throughout the film.

The film Rakkhosh was produced by Sayali And Santosh Deshpande, who helm SD Motion Pictures.

It’s also to be noted that the first person Cinematographer was Basile Pierrat, who is known for a style which elicits the same style of first person story telling. Pierrat is a well known French filmmaker, who explores music videos, commercials and short and feature films.

Srivinay Salian is also the writer of the screenplay for Rakkhosh. He adapted the story from a famous Marathi Language novel by prominent Indian horror writer Narayan Dharap. Dharap was also responsible for the novel Tumbbad, which has since also been made into a film. Dharap is often referred to the Indian equivalent of Stephen King.

As always I will not reveal any more to avoid providing spoilers, but I do encourage all fans of unique thrillers to check out  Rakkhosh on their Netflix.

 

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Australian Urban Legends

Australia’s Urban Legends will be focusing on six stories I have grown up with in my thirty years of living in Australia (my family moved her in 1988, when I was nearly eight years old from Birmingham, England), I thought it’d be fun to share the top urban legends from areas not far from where I’ve lived.

In a country where pretty much anything that breathes could possibly be deadly to humans, it’s no wonder creepy macabre campfire stories are easy to find.

Like all other countries worldwide there are tales of strange going ons from the Bunny Man of Virginia, an evil witch known as Nale Ba in India, sewer alligators in New York, and even Paris’ Vanishing Lady/Vanishing Hotel Room.

I’ll start with the most infamous and also the saddest.

The Ghost Train Fire Of Luna Park.

It happened on June 9th 1979. Unlike most this part of the story is true. It was sadly on that date six boys and a man perished in the blaze. All they had done was get on a ride at a theme park.

Luna Park was opened in Sydney in the 1930’s and, after closing for several years (until 1982), it is still open to this day. The site of the blaze is now a building called the Big Top. A location for entertainment and food since the tragedy. Some say they have heard ghostly whispers inside the big top, others believe the ghosts of the Ghost Train haunt the building. A plaque was erected on a wall, to memorialise the victims of the tragedy.

The victims were John Godson (aged 29), Damien Godson (aged 6), Craig Godson (aged 4), Richard Carroll (aged 13), Michael Johnson (aged 12), Johnathan Billings (aged 12), and Seamus Rahilly (aged 12).

No one suffered more that night than Jenny Godson, the mother of the two youngest victims (aged four and six) and wife of the only adult killed in the tragedy. She lost her whole family in one moment.

“We asked Damien and Craig what ride they’d like to go on again, they chose the Ghost Train. Little did I know… For some reason, suddenly I felt like an ice-cream. I asked the others if they wanted one, but they said no. I asked them to wait for me, but when I turned around they were gone. I don’t know why they didn’t wait for me, as we’d been on every ride together that night. It still haunts me to this day. Something spiritual took over. Divine intervention? For some reason, I was not meant to die that night.”Jenny said after the incident. Normally she had stated, she didn’t eat much ice cream, but that day she was overwhelmed. 

What makes this story part of the urban legends of Sydney is not the tragedy itself, nor the various reports that the fire was possibly deliberately lit by notorious crime figure and developer Abe Saffron (after failing to procure the sale of the park). No, it is in fact the mystery of a photograph taken with one of the Godson boys prior to entering the park that day, at a ferry wharf in Circular Quay.

The photograph is of Damien Godson with a devil horned man placing his hand on the boys shoulder, dressed in only a loin cloth, mask and a horned headdress. No one knows who the mysterious man is, or where he came from. And he was never located since the incident. Many believe he is a link to occult practices that caused the fire that night. Whether this is true may never be discovered.

Our second urban legend is of one of the most iconic sights one would see, when visiting Sydney harbour.

Tales of Death on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Every tourist travelling through Sydney will see several sights from a simple trip around the harbour. Usually the bridge itself, the Sydney Opera House House, Luna Parks big mouthed frontage and the Centrepoint Tower (though these days the increasing height of skyscrapers will surely dwarf that more and more in time).

The bridge itself isn’t exactly something one would consider scary but people did die during its construction .Officially sixteen deaths were recorded from accidents during the construction of one of the worlds most famous bridges, but unofficially Sydney siders  have rumoured three more deaths were not recorded.

Apparently locals claim that three construction contractors mysteriously vanished, due to falling in the huge pylons. Being itinerant workers, they weren’t noticed as missing for several weeks. It was deemed too difficult to retrieve their remains and they were supposedly entombed in the bridges pylon til this very day.

The Penrith Panther.

Closer to my own stomping grounds is the legend of the Penrith Panther. The local football team (National Rugby League, being on par to Australians as NFL is in the USA or the EPL is in the UK), even was named after this particular urban legend. Yes there is a team called the Penrith Panthers.

Legend has it that a large black panther strolls the luscious lands of the Penrith area from the lower Blue Mountains to Katoomba. This panther is like the locals version of Bigfoot. Constantly sighted but always poorly photographed. Some say it’s just a very big black cat, while others say it’s as big as any lion or tiger. Sightings began in the 1930’s and the government even spent time trying to locate the beast unsuccessfully. Claims are it is either a large marsupial cat or an escaped circus animal.

Personally, I have lived in the district for thirty years. I have never seen this creature, nor have I met anyone who has (and I have friends throughout the areas it has been sighted). Whether there is a giant cat playing hide and seek with the locals, will remain unsure.

The Hawkesbury River Monster.

Another beastly urban legend is that of the Hawkesbury River Monster. The descriptions on this one may remind you of something else. Snake like head, long neck, large body with two sets of flippers and an eel like tail. Sounds familiar? Well it’s visual appearance is recorded as a very similar likeness to old Nessie (The Loch Ness Monster) in Scotland.

Stories tell of how this monster leaves  unexplained sliding trails on the river bank, and crushes abandoned boats. Claims that owners of those boats vanishing by way of the beast appear highly unfounded, but this story has cultural roots. It was originally told by the Darug people (Aboriginal natives in the area) and in their art they’ve created depictions of the water monster for thousands of years.

Images of this creature and old Nessie both, to me, look somewhat like a plesiosaurus (yes a water dwelling dinosaur). Is it possible these sightings, are of a still existent dinosaur ?

Moving on from monsters to a more spiritual creepiness, the last two legends in this article involve ghosts.

The Girl on the Highway.

Again located in the  region of Narrabeen, Sydney (about an hour or two from the main part of Sydney) the girl is seen on the Wakehurst Parkway bear Middle Creek Bridge.

The tales told are of a young girl in a white dress who appears on the road expecting you to drive through her or of a nun who sits in people’s cars, just before the lights at Oxford Falls. Anyone travelling alone after midnight in the area is warned that one of these apparitions will try and take control of their car, unless they are ordered to get out.

To give some more interest for this legend, a local film crew made a documentary about this legend. They claim they became physically ill during the process. Whether this claim is true or merely to boost interest in the documentary is unknown, but locals believe in the spirits of the road.

The Woman in Black.

Again in the Blue Mountains we return for our final legend. This time of the Black Ghost Of Victoria Pass. For more than one hundred years, truckers have told tales of seeing a woman in black (no not the same woman from the 1983 Susan Hill novel and three subsequent films)walking along the road as they descend the tough roads between  Mount Victoria and Little Hartley on the Great Western Highway (one of Sydney’s  oldest and longest highways). The reports are that this Ghost is of a child bride named Caroline Collits, who was beaten to death by her ex boyfriend John Walsh in 1842.

Despite extensive road upgrades , Caroline is still seen to this day on occasion during the coldest nights, when the road is icy and drivers must be more cautious and drive slower.

With this story I had to do some extensive research but found the truth behind the legend. The truth is Caroline was NOT the child bride of John Walsh but he did murder her.

The truth is her name was Caroline James and she came from a rather unstable family. Her mother had hung herself, when Caroline was in her early teens. Caroline’s  father had been put in goal for six months on suspicion of contributing to her death. Some months later, Caroline’s younger sister was the one who married a John  Walsh . Rumours at the time were that it was known that Walsh had been seeing both Caroline and her sister before and after his marriage. Caroline had left her own husband William Collits, to live with her sister and Walsh. There was talk of a reconciliation coming between Caroline and William, but on the night of the 4th of January 1842, Caroline, William and Walsh met at Joseph Jagger’s Inn at Hartley, Mount Victoria to have a drink.

Soon after leaving the Public House Walsh knocked William Collits to the ground, without the slightest provocation. Caroline came to his assistance by grabbing Walsh’s arms and telling William to “run, run, he has got a stone and will murder you”, which allowed William to escape. These were the last words Caroline was heard to utter

Matthew Mall, a mail driver from Penrith to Hartley, was delivering mail as usual. At about 6 a.m. midway between the top of Mt. Victoria and Soldier’s Perch, about three miles from Jagger’s, he saw some clothes lying on the road. On further investigation he discovered a body nearby. It was established that this was Caroline, William’s wife. She had been assaulted and her skull crushed by a rock. John Walsh was later taken into custody.

At his trial Walsh maintained his innocence and accused young Jagger and three others of following him, hitting him with a pistol and taking Caroline away from him. A report by John Jones, Sergeant of H.M. 80th Regiment in court, stated that John Walsh had come to his hut at 11 p.m. on the night of 5th January stating he had been attacked by young Jagger and four others, but Jones didn’t believe him and sent him to get assistance elsewhere.

The Jury deliberated for half an hour, then returned to pronounce a verdict of guilty. The Judge stated at the trial that Jagger and other witnesses should have been summoned and that expense and inconvenience should have been disregarded in a case such as this.

John Walsh was hanged on Tuesday, 3rd May, 1842 at Bathurst.

Nonetheless, poor Caroline’s soul haunts the area of her tragic demise in the Blue Mountains.

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Developing news on Ridley Scott’s Alien Franchise.

Developing news on Ridley Scott’s Alien Franchise.

Yes, you read that, right! There is more developing news on Ridley Scott’s Alien Franchise!

Not so long ago we here at the House of Tortured Souls reported on the merger of Fox and Disney in Disney’s latest acquisition. We also added information on how Disney was looking to expand the existing Alien Franchise.Ridley Scott

In a recent interview between the Hollywood Reporter and Alien Director Ridley Scott, he chatted candidly about the legacy of Alien after its 40 years of popularity.

Despite all the new films made, Scott still sees the first as the epitome of the franchise.

“There is only ever the one,” he said. “It is like trying to do a sequel to 2001. Fundamentally, you cannot. Really, with the greatest respect to Star Wars, the best film by far is the one that George directed. By miles. It was unique. wonderful for me.  A fairy story of all fairy stories in space.”Xenomorph

Moreover, to follow through is a tough call, “It has been since after 2017’s disappointing reception for Alien: Covenant, that the franchise looked to be taking on hiatus. Rumor is this is not the case and Alien works are already in production”

Back in April at CinemaCon, Disney already had said that it was looking into expanding of Fox’s most popular franchises. This included Deadpool, X-Men, and of course, Alien. Scott has yet to confirm if he’ll be directly involved with any of them, though insiders are saying he will.Prometheus

Scott preferred the beasts in the franchise to remain alone, speaking of the AVP series as “a daft idea” and that to remain relevant separating the characters was a better idea. Is this his plan to bring Alien back onto the big screen himself?

Using his 2012 prequel to the original Alien film, Prometheus, as a comparison. Scott said that by not revealing the Alien until the end, Prometheus was doing something different but with a simple storyline. “The Alien is uniquely attached to Mother Nature.

It simply comes off a wood beetle that will lay eggs inside a unsuspecting insect. Moreover, in so doing, the form of the egg will become the host for this new creature. That is hideous. However, that was what it was. Also, you cannot keep repeating that because the joke gets boring,” Scott said. “A restored version of Alien is currently playing in movie theaters to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film’s release. Fans of the franchise will await further news anxiously.”

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Disney takes ownership of Alien and Predator!

Disney takes ownership of Alien and Predator!

 

Yes! You read that correctly Disney has taken ownership of Alien and Predator!

In a recent $71.3 billion deal back in December, Disney has now taken ownership of most of 21st Century Fox’s assets. Beating out Comcast in a huge bid to secure many of Fox’s biggest franchises, Disney has been scarce on information about the future of the more adult material they now own.

In all the acquisition includes 21st Century Fox’s renowned film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family and Fox Animation; Fox’s television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21; FX Networks; National Geographic Partners; Fox Networks Group International; Star India; and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.

So what does this mean for film fans? Disney now not only already owns the rights to make the future Marvel films (including the Deadpool films, pledged to remain at their current R rating), and the Star Wars franchise. This means they now own Alien and Predator!

Yes you read that right!

Alien and Predator will now be Disney films, technically.

So, what does this actually mean will happen to the films? Will they become watered down shells of their former selves? Will more films be on the horizon?

Earlier this year Disney Chairman Bob Iger did inform the press that “They (Disney) plan on keeping Deadpool an RRated brand and plan to further include RRated film brands in their future product portfolio.”

Is this R-Rated portfolio set to include these two new acquisitions?

Fox’s movie studio is expected to be significantly downsized once the deal is the future and Disney seem already set to take over Fox’s two biggest film franchises, Avatar and the XMen.

Reports say they may plan to scale back production of costly movies that “don’t fit its family-friendly, franchise-focused formula”, people close to both companies have said.

Fox is under obligation to present themselves as though they will survive this acquisition regardless, according to Fox studio sources. This means continuing to make movies and develop new ideas with no certainty as to what Disney will decide to do with them once the deal is finalised.

Will Alien and Predator have a future with Disney? Only time will tell and the House of Tortured Souls will surely, like many horror fans, be keeping a firm eye on future developments.

 

 

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An Aussie Abroad: A visitors guide to New Orleans infamous Marie Laveau’s.

An Aussie Abroad: A visitors guide to New Orleans infamous Marie Laveau’s.

As the title says “An Aussie Abroad: A visitors guide to New Orleans infamous Marie Laveau’s” but I  will be looking at the film and television history of the town itself.

During my recent month long stay in the U.S.A (I’m based in Australia but born in the U.K), I was fortunate that my fiancée and I were able to visit New Orleans, Louisiana.

I had heard of many aspects of New Orleans that were a film fan and horror hound and occult fans wet dream!

So naturally my first stop was to the incredibly popular voodoo store Marie Laveau’s House Of Voodoo, on Bourbon Street which is a popular place to drink, eat and see many musical acts.

Marie Laveau

At  Marie Laveau’s though it’s a more occult theme. The store is full on every inch of each wall, with voodoo charms and Knick knacks from Gris Gris and Mojo bags , for many desires in life, to three legged pig ornaments meant to wish the bearer luck.

Three legged pig for good luck

The House of Voodoo itself was established over 30 years ago, with the aim of “assisting in the spiritual guidance and magical needs of locals as well as visitors.” They have an array of dedicated and helpful staff who are willing to answer any and all questions you may ask and also serve as “psychic advisors”. The items they provide (for sale) are aimed at helping one through their path to find love, money, attraction, protection, and good luck.

Purchases from Marie Laveaus

It is also said that should you receive a blessing from Marie Laveau, that you must do something good for someone else. So remember to pay it forward.

New Orleans may help many find their spiritual centre, but as a town itself it is home to the production of 10 infamous, and award winning, films in cinematic history. These were A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Easy Rider (1969), Pretty Baby (1978), Steel Magnolias (1989), Sex Lies & Videotape (1989), JFK (1991), The Pelican Brief (1993), Interview With A Vampire (1994), Dead Man Walking (1995), and Ray (2004).

Outside Marie Laveau’s House Of Voodoo (one of the store, one with my partner), Canal St, and shooting a film on Bourbon St

However many wonder about New Orleans iImpact with the specific genre of Horror.

Interview With A Vampire was a huge hit when released in 1994, based of Lousiana native author Anne Rices novel. Her other book (within her Vampire Chronicles series) Queen Of the Damned was also turned into a film starring Aaliyah and Stuart Townsend. Since then news of her series being further explored through the realm of television has arisen.

The notable television series American Horror Story also has some roots within New Orleans, featuring the town heavily in series 3 “Coven” and shooting scenes from series 4 “ Freakshow” (not Florida as it represents). Alongside HBO’s True Blood, which filmed its early series in Lousiana on location In towns such as Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Mansfield, Clinton and many more.

Also currently on television are horror themed shows like the Vampire Diaries spin off The Originals.

Its easy to pick out shooting locations but the French architecture around you once there and many primary locations are just a stones throw from the main roads , like the Boarding house in A.H.S Coven.

Feature horror films that have been shot on location in New Orleans and other Locations in Louisiana include Candyman 2: Farewell To The Flesh, The Skeleton Key, Hatchet, Solstice, The Final Destination (number 4 in the series), Cirque Du Freak: The Vampires Assistant, The Reaping, The Paperboy, And Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

There are many more and I implore you to visit this wonderfully creepy lovable state and explore its history both with the voodoo/hoodoo and films and television aspects.

Just be prepared to hear the cries of “LAISSEZ LE BON TEMPS ROULER” (Let the good times roll) or “WHO DAT?” (The call of every patriotic New Orleans Saints fan) as you stroll through the streets.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in ART AND VENDORS, ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, Categories, FICTION AND POETRY, HORROR HISTORY, HORROR NEWS, PARANORMAL, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
Examining WIHM Through the Ladies Of Horror Literature

Examining WIHM Through the Ladies Of Horror Literature

For this article I’m literally examining WIHM through the Ladies Of Horror Literature.

Yes literature, you read that right!

It is so often as fans that we focus our horror love on the films that are created and those that create them. We acknowledge the actors, filmmakers and fundamental crew. However, more than many realize, some of our favorite horror films are born from the amazingly well crafted written word.

Many of these superb dark tales came from the minds of many brilliant women and I’m going to focus on just a few. This will include Mary Shelley, Anne Rice, Shirley Jackson, V.C Andrews, Susan Hill And Daphne Du Maurier.

First up I must start with the grandmother of horror literature herself, Mary Shelley. Shelley is most remembered for her movingly Gothic tale of morality known as Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. Frankenstein shocked people in its era when released back 0n New Years Day in 1818.

Mary Shelley

The story dived into the ethical dilemmas and left the reader exploring the gruesome topics of body snatching, the reanimating of a corpse created from pieces of several cadavers, and the age old debate of playing God.

It is dark, lengthy, harrowing and over the last 201 years it has inspired so many adaptations, including stage plays, since 1823. It has been both on the big screen (such as Universals 1931 Boris Karloff venture, to the Kenneth Branagh and Robert DeNiro’s 1994 memorable adaptation) and the small screen with shows such as The Frankenstein Chronicles, And Penny Dreadful (which features Victor Frankenstein as a character). It has also had loose adaptations of  memorability such as the musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Young Frankenstein (a Mel Brooks parody film),and Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie.

Frankenstein

Like Shelley, Anne Rice is known for her main film adaptation of her most famous novel. This time round the tale was Interview With A Vampire, which is one book in a long running series of the Vampire Chronicles. Based in New Orleans, Rice has become an accomplished author and uses her city as a beautiful back drop for the saga of the Vampire Lestat. The longevity of Rices career focusing on writing about vampires to witches and much more from the darkest realms, has paved the way over the last four decades for the Vampire craze of the last decade in film and television.

Anne rice

Flying across the pond, British novelist Shirley Jackson is a name many won’t know for her brilliant novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but mention her classic spooky tale The Haunting Of Hill House and many are more familiar.  The Haunting Of Hill House has been adapted in various ways and several times as a film, focusing on the creepy happenings of Hill House and a party of people there to explore it. It’s lived on with horror fans since the 1963  film ( simply titled The Haunting like its 1999 remake) and has been an inspiration for both serious adaptations , such as a recent Netflix series to even farcical moments in films like Scary Movie 2.

Shirley Jackson

Like Rices Vampire Chronicles, When one mentions V.C Andrews no one can help but recall the twisted and macabre Dollanganger  family of her novel Flowers in the Attic and it’s subsequent novels that followed. Spanning 7 years the books focused on abuse, violence, incest and death and inspired 5 film adaptations over many years. Though the original ending of the 1987 adaptation varied from the novel, no one could dispute actress Louise Fletchers portrayal of the grandmother as one of the most vile villains in horror history. Fletcher herself has spoken time and again about consulting Andrews on the role, to deliver the best performance she could to the viewers and it showed.

V.c.andrews

 

Unlike Andrews English writer Susan Hill is best remembered for her 1983 story of The Woman in Black. Adapted for British Television as a film in 1989, this hauntingly eerie story of the macabre woman in black is sure to give anyone the creeps like it did to me when I watched it at the age of 8. It has since had a remake in 2012 starring Daniel Radcliffe (yes Harry Potter) for Hammer films. That remake has since had a rather foolish sequel that just didn’t work as well following it in 2015 called The Woman in Black: Angel of Death, that was prior made into a novelization in 2013. I implore fans to seek out the book rather than the sequels film. The Woman in Black has also been a successful stage play since 1987 and continues running at theatres globally to this day.

Susan Hill

Finally to round out our literally scream queens I present Daphne Du Maurier. Du Maurier is a name very well known with most horror fans for her popular works of story story fiction have been turned into screen gold time and time again by horror alumni such as Alfred Hitchcock – who adapted her stories Rebecca, Jamaica Inn,And  The Birds. She also had a very successful adaptation of her story Don’t Look Now (AKA Not After Midnight) by Filmmaker Nicholas Roeg. Though the film differs very slightly to the book, Du Maurier was happy with this 1973  adaptation starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland And any viewer watching it would easily be as immersed as they were in the book.

Daphne Du maurier

I hope this article helps some horror fans seek out more literature from the horror realm and explore the ladies behind the words of some of your favorite films. The written word is a dying art form and many could do well to examine where our filmmakers get their inspiration.

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ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE (2016)

ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE (2016)

All Through The House is the tale of a deranged masked Santa Slayer, that comes to town for some yuletide terror. This Santa leaves behind a bloody trail of mutilated bodies, as he hunts his way to the front steps of the town’s

All Through The house

most feared and notorious home. What is his connection to Rachel? What is her connection to the old Garrett house? From writer and director Todd Nunes comes this jolly festive fueled romp of Christmas crazed murder and mayhem. This was not Nunes’ first foray into deranged Santa slayings, having created the 13 minute short Here

All Through The house

Comes Santa in 2011- which actually evolved into, the feature length version of All Through The HouseFirst off I must point that this is a homage film, with an amazing use of scenes referencing some recognizable moments in horror films such as Psycho, Alone in the Dark and even The Slumber Party MassacreFor those who need to know, the kills are a pure gore hounds wettest dream and each murderous moment provides both the thrills, as well as some of the humourous bloodiness. Yes , you did read that correctly, I said humourous! This is a film that knows just when to make you laugh and when to create a little suspense. However it is easy to forget that this is a modern take, on the 80’s style horror romp, within the horror holiday happiness. The plot revolves around the return to town of Rachel Kimmel ( played by indie film darling Ashley Mary NunesTodd’s actress sister), who stays with her wheelchair-bound grandmother Abby (played by Cathy Garrett) and wants to spend time with

Melynda Kiring in all Through The House

her friends Gia (Natalie Montera) and Sarah (Danica Riner). However Rachel’s good nature is imposed upon by Mrs Garrett (played by Melynda Kiring) and the trio end up delaying their fun to help the lonely elderly neighbour decorate her home instead. As the girls die one by one and poor Rachel is left standing as our final girl, we begin to understand what is going on. This is because Todd Nunes cleverly provides us with small snippets of information along the way, to aid our ‘awakening’ for those final moments. Ashley Mary Nunes plays

All Through The House

Rachel with the correct degree of innocence and sweetness, for us to like her throughout the film and actually feel sorry for her. Even as her friends are killed, despite them being less kind and caring – which also reflects the effectiveness of Montera and Riner’s acting skills too. Kiring provides us with a visible evolution of the character of Mrs Garrett’s deterioration, that leaves us wowed! She was made for the role (which Nunes wrote with her in mind). All in all I am glad I got to view All Through The House . It is a very good film and deserves its place among other  festively frightening fun films on DVD and Blu-ray like Jack Frost; Santa’s Slay; Silent Night Deadly Night; Black Christmas and many more.

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Seasons Greetings with STALLED (2013)

Seasons Greetings with STALLED (2013)

STALLED is a British movie that was released in 2013. It is a Christmas focused zombie comedy, exploring on a serious zombie outbreak in an office building during their annual party. The plot is easy to follow “W.C is a discontent office manager, who decides to rob his boss during the office Christmas party. Sadly for W.C he becomes trapped in the ladies room stalls as a hoard of zombies plague the building! While trapped in the stalls he befriends a female in another stall and the two attempt to escape the zombie onslaught together.”

Stalled

I’ll start by discussing the one thing I didn’t get about this film. All it was is that STALLED does start with a rather unnecessary lesbian scene between two females.  Simply it didn’t add any value to the story line, but it wasn’t offensive or anything either. I just found it rather unnecessary. W.C is played by Dan Palmer. Palmer actually wrote

Dan Palmer in Stalled

the screenplay himself. So I know that the feeling of him being able to connect with his character was evident because he portrayed W.C based on how he wrote the character himself. The concept is good! Similar to films like Phonebooth (with Colin Farrell), or even Devil (with Logan Marshall- Green), it is set ultimately in ONE location throughout. This doesn’t slow the film down, nor does it restrict the evolution of the plot. In fact it creates some unique experiences, to be seen on-screen. Our pragmatist is caught in the stalls throughout the majority of the film. As he is bumbling and fumbling his way to safety, we see him repeatedly fail and his faith diminish. It’s not for his lack of attempts of course, but the various

Stalled

obstacles he faces – primarily the zombies. W.C may be a criminal, but through the film we develop compassion for him. He often sticks his proverbial foot in his mouth and is actually very apologetic. We see a sweet side to him, as well as the misled cad he’s become. STALLED

Stalled

really does just follow a simple plot formula. There is basic makeup use, everyday costumes, one primary set. However it is still ultimately a most enjoyable film. In fact some of the make up jobs made me think of the original Night of the Living Dead, which made it somewhat nostalgic. I think it’s the simplicity that one can enjoy most. It doesn’t exceed your ideas of how it will unfold. It’s an independent films and it doesn’t maquerade as a bigger budget films. Palmers writing compliments Christian James’ smooth direction perfectly. The duo pace the action well enough to remind us of the great danger on-screen, and yet add in little emotional moments sweetly. There’s a few zesty one liners, some really good kills and a  well-rounded performance from our lead actor. So this film is easy to like, I honestly can’t hate on it.

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Merry “AXEMAS” To All

Merry “AXEMAS” To All

This feisty little 2017 short Christmas themed horror film AxeMas, packs a fair bit of fight within its mere twenty five minutes. Featuring (of course) an axe wielding psychopathic Santa Claus, and three foolish couples who decide

Axemas

to spend some time in a secured Storage facility, this film rolls nicely to fill each inch of time with more and more oomph! Featuring a cast of Ashley Campbell, John E Seymour, Dillon Weishuhn, Lindsey Cruz, Nathan Scott, Kamiko Kawada, Michael Anthony

Axemas

O’Brien, Tommy Sihavong, Miranda Dudley and John Ward (yes that is the entire cast), they all work amazingly together to create some festive horror hijinks, that will amuse any horror fan. The effects and gore produced on this tiny budget is admirable and enjoyable on screen. From impaling a happily oblivious couple, to a full on decapitation. The use of simple but effective classic special effects techniques, makes for an impressive viewing. The actors are easy to watch. John Ward wrote this

Axemas 2 poster

screenplay and he directs his actors so well, it is very fluid and natural. It is easy to convince oneself that these foolish fun seekers are no different to any you would meet on the street. Ward is known currently for AxeMas (now included in Festering Frank’s Frames of Fear 2), as well as his upcoming film production Meathook Massacre 4. Being that this is a very short film, doesn’t hinder the storyline either. In fact it aids in the plot not becoming stale or repetitive. It also enables the viewer to not lose interest. AxeMas already has a sequel called AxeMas 2: Blood Slay ( a second short set a year after the events of AxeMas, featuring the surviving cast member from the original short). I know I am keen to see where this will continue on from the original short.

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Examining Sean Donohue’s Cannibal Claus (2016)

Examining Sean Donohue’s Cannibal Claus (2016)

As part of our celebration of Christmas for the House of Tortured Souls I will be examining Cannibal Claus, a piece of seasonal fun that is everything the synopsis says and more! Basically Santa is a little bored this year and needs to get his “Jolly’s” . He’s looking for some fun , murderous escapades and a few “Ho Ho Ho’s” along the way.

Bob Glazier

Firstly I feel a desperate need to say that this Christmas film is DEFINITELY not for the kiddies (or any prudeseither). Instead it is a literal 65 minute descent into sexually fuelled homicidal madness, with that sparkle of the holiday season. It is just the perfect fit for viewing, by any horror fan with a love for pure cheesy goodness. Early on we are introduced to our perverted but insatiable Nick Cringle and his

Krystal Pixie Adams, Bob Glazier, And Stephanie Jensen

escapades. He breaks into homes ,kills people, dismembers and eats them. In one particular scene Cringle (played by Indie horror gem Bob Glazier) proclaims “I think it’s time for some head”, before he then proceeds to face fuck the dismembered head of one particular blonde bimbo! Yes as the body parts begin to fly, viewers can see the amazing prosthetics and gore on screen . And it is such a thrill to watch. Even on it’s meager $1200 budget this blending of gore ,cheesy gags and of course sex sex sex is pure genius. From a drug dealer snorting cocaine off a girls ass, to women in barely anything I honestly didn’t find it at all sexist . Please remember it’s all just in good christmassy fun . Akin to Bruce Willis uttering “Yipee ki Yay motherfucker” in Die Hard, I felt myself lighten up and have a laugh throughout Cannibal Claus. Especially when Cringle said “Ho ho ho motherfucker!” Bob Glazier is a devious delight as our Nick Cringle, and is joined by an ensemble of actors and actresses . These are indie stars who clearly enjoy the Sleaze Box filmmaking world (like the sci fi film makers Asylum casts ). Glazier himself goes all

Mady Giovannelli And Lucia Giovannelli

out (quite literally in one scene) to impress us as the homicidal, people eating, holiday favourite. Glazier has two sexy elves in tow, played saucily by Krystal Pixie Adams and Stephanie Jensen We also meet Nick’s character as a child, played by the adorable Lucio Giovannelli. And even his parents are being played by his actual real life parents Mady Giovannelli and Alberto Giovannelli. All three portray the family very genuinely through a series of shots, involving our murderous Santa’s upbringing. This makes the movie Bad Santa look tame and is definitely going to be a new addition to my beloved laughs during the silly season . This Santa surely is dreaming of a “white christmas” and with the films tagline “You’re only as good as you taste”, I doubt you cannot laugh as hard as I did watching some scenes. Florida based Writer/ Director Sean Donohue is known for his work on films like Death Scort, Death Scort 2, Die Die Delta Pi and various shorts.With Cannibal Claus he creates the perfect addition for the holiday season, to be enjoyed by fans of the independent horror world. This was my introduction to the wild world of Sleaze Box. And I found it to be a combination of repulsion and hilarity ( I kid you not I was wheezing, due to the fact I was laughing so hard!!) and now I must check out more in the future.

 

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Remebering Kristin Marie Kology At Spooky Empire

Remebering Kristin Marie Kology At Spooky Empire

    Stickers available at Spooky Empire

Kristin Marie Kology was a wonderful woman, who’s life was tragically cut short on Wednesday May 30th, 2018.  At 4:13pm that day, Kristin drew her last breath and departed this world. She knew she was loved and adored by all who knew her. She was in the presence

Kristin Marie Kology And William Forsythe

of those nearest and dearest to her.  Finally, she was at peace.  Kristin was a pillar of the horror community. Many knew her devotion to independent filmmakers. She had a passion for promoting independent filmmaking, that would be screening at festivals each year. For some time Kristin was often be seen at conventions and gigs, making new friends, and being the amazingly beautiful soul that everyone gravitated towards. Kristin was diagnosed with stage four Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma in   May,2017. Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma affects only one in a million, and is a rare and aggressive form of cancer. It has very little treatment

Kristin Marie Kology

and affects mainly people under the age of five years old, or between the ages of thirty and forty years old. The survival rate for most with Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma extremely low, with a very dismal survival rate being for approximately five years. When diagnosed Kristin had a 16cm tumor on her adrenal gland, as well as a 6cm tumor on her liver and small nodules on her lungs. Despite the gruelling treatments she faced, Kristin was always in good spirits. She was a devoted friend and always available to those who loved her Violence And even a traumatic

brain injury. None of this however dimmed her drive to always help

Kristin Marie Kology with her Mother Susan Milam and stepfather George Milam

others. Kristin even became an advocate against domestic violence, offering support to any others who survived it. This weekend Kristin’s life will be celebrated and people will be given an opportunity to help fund research for Adrenal Cancer.  At SPOOKY EMPIRE in Orlando,Florida, this weekend Susan Milam (Kristin’s mother) and others, will be there to celebrate Kristin’s life. They will have their own stall, to raise much needed funds to help research more medical solutions to help sufferers diagnosed with Adrenal Cancer.  The stall will include donated items for sale, from  Kristin’s friends and those she even herself helped. It will include movie posters and dvds provided by a film producer, artworks from a Seattle artist, and specially designed bat stickers (pictured) in memory of Kristin and her fight.  If you are there from this weekend from October 26th until 28th, please drop in and

Kristin Marie Kology And William Forsythe

support this worthy cause and an amazing woman who was such an inspiration in our horror community. If you cannot make the event you can also donate in two ways.  Either online via :For Donations. Please click here  Or by sending donations to (address them to Michigan Medicine- in memory of Kristin Marie Kology).  

Michigan Medicine Office Of Development,

1000 Oak  Suite 100,

Ann Arbor,

MICHIGAN,

48104.

 

 

 

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Exploring “The Empty House”

Exploring “The Empty House”

 

 
The Empty House is a 2018 short film, which runs for approximately 14 minutes.
Released by writer/Director/producer duo Jeremy Waltman and Adam Lucas, this short film explores a dark thriller theme within its limited duration.
 
Waltman and Lucas have produced several short films together. This includes 2015’s 71 minute Comedy film It Plays Like Love, and 2013’s 77minute Dramatic film Locomotive.
Both films are available on Amazon and through Vimeo on Demand.
 
The Empty House has officially been selected to screen its premiere, during the MORBIDO FILM FEST in Mexico City, Mexico.
The festival runs from Wednesday October 31st until Saturday November 10th.
This short film stars Joseph Culp (known for his roles in 1994’s Fantastic Four as Dr Doom, and a reoccurring role as Archie Whitman on TVs Mad Men)as Charles. Rya Kihlstedt (who has appeared on TV in Heroes Reborn  and Dexter) appears as Marie. Alison Gregory (a fresh faced actress who’s previously appeared in Two Guys) is Julie. And Tom Walker (From Netflix’s Daredevil and Henry Danger)is Alexander.
The premise is simple.
In the town of Blairsville sits the empty house. Julie has just arrived for a big money job before her baby is born. However all is not right with the couple who have called her there.
At first we see a man (Culp as Charles) sitting upright on a bed. He is seemingly anguished, as a melodic violin pierces the silence.
We see the houses simplistic facade and the film’s title. It feels foreboding and ominous.
A woman (Gregory as Julie)is being driven elsewhere, by a chauffeur, towards the house by another man (Walker as Alexander).
Julie is clearly distracted.
We see her talking to Charles and then see flashes of memories, of her taking a pregnancy test earlier on.
As the film slowly rolls we discover that Julie has been called to the empty house. Charles and his lush of a wife Marie, wish for her to redecorate their home for them.
Charles is abrupt, cold, unsympathetic and shadows Julie in their scenes.
Culp delivers a powerful performance of a sinister and darkened soul, with a motive that is unnerving.
As Julie meets Marie unexpected, we get the feeling that Marie (Kihlstedt) isn’t at all happy with what’s to come. Or even her husband himself.
Kihlstedt gives one hell of a staggeringly impressive take on the seemingly drunken and disheartened wife. We feel like she is constricted, by her own choices.
Gregory plays Julie as fragile.
She’s not weak, but in some scenes clearly rattled.
We see Julie’s confidence dwindle, as the short plays out and her demise is harrowing.
This shows Gregory’s ability to bring her natural performance to the forefront, amongst so much well placed chaos.
Walker plays the Chauffeur Alexander.
Alexander is clearly a nervous and unwilling participant in the ploy of Charles and Marie. Yet he follows through delivering Julie unsuspectingly to them and fails to aid her later on. He isn’t cold like his bosses though. At moments we see tinges of regret and disgust. This creates a more human outlook, on Alexander’s own part in the whole thing.
As the short evolves our main players are depicting a tangled and depraved story of murderous mayhem. It is very intriguing.
The narrative is well considered, and is a clear demonstration of the talent between Waltman and Lucas as a team.
It is clear to see why The Empty House has been officially selected, for the MORBIDO FILM FESTIVAL. Waltman and Lucas have created some interesting characters, who each bring a different perspective on a dark situation for the viewer to enjoy.
I am sure festival goers will enjoy this short, as much as I did.
The trailer for The Empty House
https://vimeo.com/246686353

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MIDI’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN 2018

MIDI’S COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN 2018

Each year I Countdown to Halloween and explore 31 Horror films that examine a variety of sub genres. I combine films both new and old. I explore the mainstream and indie. And I select from purely the good, bad and ugly (yes there are some truly awful films available to fans for laughs).

This year  I will be explaining each film for the House of Tortured Souls as I countdown to Halloween. Be warned that some of the small pieces on each film, are based on a sub genre and may in fact provide a spoiler or two.
OCTOBER 1
First sub genre I had set myself is to find a film with a Child Vampire. I chose  30 Days of Night  which has a scene involving a young girl vampire, in a pack that has over run the town of Barrow, Alaska.  Obvious other choices were Interview With A Vampire and Near Dark.
OCTOBER 2
On day two I was exploring films with people who could be considered Freaks so this time I selected The Abominable Dr Phibes
starring Vincent Price, as a mutant mourning his beloved.
Although Freaks by Tod Browning is my fave film in this vein, Phibes was the first horror film I saw when I was 3. It will forever be imbedded in my memory.
OCTOBER 3
Taking it to another level on day three, I wanted to find a film involving the strangest or most unique Horror Parents . This led me to select  It’s Alive (movie)for obvious reasons . Let’s face it , that kid had a face only a mother could love! A mutated baby literally is born and goes on the run leaving a wake of murderous terror. Not only is this film awesome fun, it also spawned 2 sequels and a remake!!
OCTOBER 4
I investigated the infamous adoration for films with that ultimate Twist Ending, selecting the Summer Camp Classic Sleepaway Camp
This of course was one of many options but discovering what is “wrong with Angela” is always great. Other possibilities are films like The Perfect Getaway (in which the twist is revealed midway through the film, yet doesn’t ruin the pace). Also included could be The Sixth Sense, And Switchblade Romance (aka Haute Tension).
OCTOBER 5

For my selective viewing for an impressive Indie horror film was Phil Stevens Flowers.The film is silent. It has such

Hereditary

strong visual imagery and features the demise of a group of beautiful women (the flowers themselves). Stevens is currently in production on Flowers 2.

OCTOBER 6
Was the sub genre of crime as told through the True Story narrative, I chose the film Dear Mr. Gacy. This film is inspired by the Jason Moss’ book The Last Victim. Moss discusses a relationship he created with the serial killer as he studied him in college. It is also sad to know that Moss was so affected, by the stranglehold Gacy ended up having on his life.  His psyche was fractured and in 2006 Moss committed suicide. I highly recommend the book as well as this film. It proves the power of those with such depraved impulses as Gacy.
OCTOBER 7
I was was trying to avoid the usually popular picks for the sub genre of Sea Creatures. I wanted to avoid The Deep, Jaws and Orca. Instead I landed on the highly memorable and classic Universal icon the Creature from the Black Lagoon
OCTOBER 8
A simple sub genre in which of course A LOT of possibilities popped up, to view limbs replaced with weapons. For me this is a film I enjoy, in its true GrindHouse style. It has a strong female lead, that pulled me in. With the teaming of Tarantino and Rodriguez , I had to go with the machine gun leg of Rose McGowan in Planet Terror
OCTOBER 9

The selection as a huge foreign film fan was tricky, and I had to find one Asian Horror film. In the past I have enjoyed the likes of Ringu, JuOn, Phone, The Red Shoes, One Missed Call and Shutter. However I felt a revisit to the

Train To Busan

surprise runaway Zombie hit  Train To Busan was a good idea- and having only seen it once upon release, I wanted to see if it still was as enjoyable (which it is).

OCTOBER 10
This day was Lloyd Kaufman’s empire known affectionately as Troma films, I had to try and find one that I loved to watch as my choice from their stock. This was easy as I love the campy cheesy quality of a good Troma film , from Poultrygeist to Tromeo and Juliet. I decided on One of Troma’s most lucrative franchises with the lovable film  The Toxic Avenger
OCTOBER 11
I realised some franchises have MORE than their fair share. From Nightmare on Elm St (9 films), Friday the 13th (12 films) , or even Halloween ( 11 films) many sequels were imaginable, but for me my taste was drawn to the Children of the Corn Franchise (which has 10 films with the release of Runaway in recent months). Out of those sequels (and a remake) I chose Children of the Corn 666: Issac’s Return, because it is the first film after the original to reintroduce Isaac – one of the horror film worlds most messed up child preachers in history.
OCTOBER 12
For European horror my mind raced straight to  Mörderische Ferien (aka Flashback:A Murderous Vacation), a quirky German teen horror film, that featured campy gags, a psycho on the loose, bumbling cops and some fun kills. If you haven’t seen it before, it’s a diamond in the rough and I liken it’s cheekiness to the original Scream film by Wes Craven.
OCTOBER 13
I was tasked with finding a horror movie starring Robert England, but It had to be anything but his role as Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street films. With options like 2001 Maniacs and Urban Legends available I recalled The Mangler and viewed that. A film based on a short story from Stephen Kings  collection, that has since inspired two sequels.
OCTOBER 14
Horror Creatures dominated the day, so I thought long and hard about all sorts and settled on  Zombeavers. A simple comical romp with manic beavers at a lake side cabin, and a group of foolish college kids.
OCTOBER 15

Pinnochios Revenge

I decided on a film for my ghostly theme, with a classic spooky story featuring George.C.Scott called The Changeling .

This was my favourite pick for the ghastly ghost genre and although I enjoy films like the original version of The Haunting, Rose Red an others with various paranormal entities, The Changeling is an atmospheric joy to rewatch.
OCTOBER 16
An obvious choice for day 16’s infamous horror hotel themed entry , was to go with the mother loving Norman Bates insanity of Alfred Hitchcock’s PsychoPsycho epitomizes the horror hotel themes, with the “mother” of all memorable moments, but I will give shout outs to other possibilities such as Horror Hotel, Motel Hell, And Room 1408 ( which has actually been picked for another sub genre day in this challenge).
OCTOBER 17
Re examining the Psychotic Hitchhiker sub genre for day 17, I decided against the classic Hitchhiker films or even The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and went with a modern Ozploitation thriller called Gone (aka Middle of Nowhere). The film starred Scott Mechlowicz , Amelia Warner and Shaun Evans and followed an American and two British tourists backpacking in Australia with deadly consequences.
OCTOBER 18
The 18th choice calls for me to watch  a 2017 Film and I thought this was a perfect chance for me to re explore one that had a dismal run cinematically upon its release. I found it to be an entertaining and seemingly good film, but The Dark Tower  was a far cry from the nature of the original source material developed over many books by Stephen King.
OCTOBER 19
My 19th watch is a film released in 2018, so I thought I would take this opportunity to return to Hereditary. Originally when I saw this film it was such a slow build intro I lost interest and was unable to finish it so I hope as I do so I will complete it today.
OCTOBER 20
I will turn to Horror with a number in the title. With many options open to me I looked at 2001 Maniacs, Germany’s 666: In Bed With The Devil And found Stephen Kings Room 1408. An interesting and twisted story of a hotel room from Hell, this is a great little film with a strong cast.
OCTOBER 21
I needed  a film with a strong female killer. I will be avoiding  Switchblade Romance, Mothers Day, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and Fatal Attraction. Instead I feel that Guillermo Del Toros psychotic sister in his film Crimson Peak was a great choice – and I am a huge fan of this film and it’s themes throughout.
OCTOBER 22
The 22nd for me is the most fun sub genre and one of the lesser appreciated, Disney Horror! Yes these films actually were made , exist and are awesome fun to horror fans. You can go for the slightly thrilling or the fun and goofy kids fodder. I went with the latter . My favourite Disney Horror is actually Something Wicked This Way Comes, that starred  freakishly awesome Johnathan Pryce in the role as Mr Dark. However I wanted a calmer, shorter film for my viewing and went with Richard Masur (best known as Adult Stanley Uris in the 1990 IT miniseries) in the film Mr Boogedy. It also has a sequel ,as they were hugely popular films during my childhood.
OCTOBER 23
Joyfully I found my 23rd film choice at this years Sydney Film Festival, when I attended a screening for the Supernatural New Zealand film The Changeover. With a young fresh cast and some more familiar faces (Timothy Spall and Melanie Lynskey), it is a strange and yet engaging story of a girl coming into her powers and using them to save her family from an evil force.
OCTOBER 24
I attended the premiere screening of my 24th film in Sydney at MonsterFests Travelling Sideshow. And it was such a powerfully musical film I had to use it for Best Soundtrack. The Strangers 2: Prey At Night didn’t have to try too hard to impress, with the delightful antics of our insane trio on screen being played out to 80s hits with gusto!
OCTOBER 25
On the 25th I will avoid the predictability of Dolls, Chucky, Annabelle , Puppetmaster or Demonic Toys for the Doll/toy Horror film. Instead I am returning to view an oldie that I have enjoyed before, called The Pinocchio Syndrome (aka Pinnochios Revenge). It’s about an evil Pinocchio puppet that once you cut his strings becomes a killer.
OCTOBER 26
My usual pick for the Worst Horror film for day 26 is abysmal
Dracula 3000 ,and if you have seen it you’d understand. This year I thought I would go with one, that I often refer to as the BEST film for drinking games. It is called Grim Weekend (aka S.I.C.K). Grim Weekend and follows a hopeless bunch, who venture off on a mini break and are beseeched by a psychotic clown. Sounds fun right? Sadly this film has a score that is cheesy, effects that are lame and a cast so utterly annoying it is only good for games. Have the shots ready and let’s play.
OCTOBER 27
On the 27th I will inspect the aspect of Horror Tv Episodes with We All Scream for Ice Cream (Masters of Horror episode). It is an impresssive part of a large collection done by talented directors. This anthology series has some intriguing storyline’s and very colourful characters.
OCTOBER 28
For the 28th I needed to focus on choosing a film that had Great Poster Art. I couldn’t ignore the awesome screaming, burning human on the cover of David Croenenbergs 1981 supernatural horror film Scanners. Any artistic eye can see the beauty in that image, as much as any other.
OCTOBER 29
My least enjoyed sub genre is the Found Footage one. So on the 29th having to pick one from the few I enjoy was taxing. Being able to sift through some good ones I like, such as Afflicted and Cannibal Holocaust, I remembered the immensely impressive  The Poughkeepsie Tapes.
OCTOBER 30
Being the youngest of three children obviously for horror siblings, my immediate thought was my brothers (just kidding and yes they know I love them dearly). No instead I selected the classic black and white film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? starring feuding actresses (and on screen sisters) Bette Davis And Joan Crawford.
OCTOBER 31
To round out my viewing pleasure this month, I will end on a more jovial note with a horror musical. I put aside my usual fun choices of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shock Treatment, Repo: A Genetic Opera or even Little Shop Of Horrors. Instead I opted for 2014’s Stage Fright.
I always encourage others to explore a variety of films when embarking on creating a watchlist. Watch as much of the things you don’t get to. Watch new films. Watch old films. Watch films from various parts of the world. And always include the good,the bad and the ugly.
And have a Happy Halloween!
Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in Categories, EDITORIALS, HALLOWEEN, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments