Marcus Dunstan

Ten Festive Films to Celebrate Thanksgiving!

Today almost everyone across the U.S.A is either celebrating Thanksgiving, or merely enjoying the break from work. So to celebrate in true horror style, we here at the House of Tortured Souls have compiled a list of Ten Festive Films to Celebrate Thanksgiving!

We encourage all horror fans to enjoy all seasons with horror panache, relax and settle in with some holiday horror. Whilst some of the films listed will be actually set on thanksgiving, there are a few that are merely Turkey or Chicken themed.

Either way, each film is sure to give you joy and blood, in either a horrific or comical manor.
Currently screening on Hulu, our first three films Thankskilling, Pilgrim and Flesh & Blood are each set at Thanksgiving. Both Flesh & Blood and Pilgrim are part of the ‘Into the Dark’ film series.


Thankskilling (2008)

Directed by Jordan Downey, Thankskilling also has a sequel called Thankskilling 3 (yes they skipped 2) which was released in 2013.
This film begins at Thanksgiving many centuries ago, with a topless pilgrim and the story of a Native American Shaman who creates a being called ‘Turkie’, who is sent to slaughter caucasians every 505 years. You can imagine the depths this films will go to and the humour required to enjoy this Troma like romp.

Pilgrim (2019)

This new holiday entry from director Marcus Dunstan features actor Kerr Smith (Final Destination, My Bloody Valentine remake). This story is about a woman who invites a group of  historic re-enactors to produce an authentic first Thanksgiving for her family and friends. However, things take an unexpected turn when the actors refuse to break character.


 Flesh & Blood (2018)

This films stars Dermot Mulroney (The Purge tv series, A.H.S and Insidious Chapter 3), and Diana Silvers (Glass) as a father and daughter duo.
Kimberly is a teen suffering from agoraphobia, that has not left the house since her mother’s unsolved murder. On the eve of thanksgiving, she begins to suspect that the safe harbour of home and her doting father may be a dangerous mirage.

Netflix have our fourth festive film offering Kristy featured in its horror section.


Kristy (2014)

Director Oliver Blackburn features actresses Hayley Bennett (The Haunting of Molly Hartley) and Ashley Greene (The Apparition, Burying the Ex) in his coed thriller.
When a college girl is alone on campus over the Thanksgiving break, she becomes targeted by a group of outcasts and must conquer her deepest fear and fight back.

Also featuring holiday horror in 2006 the world received both Thanksgiving and Thanxgiving.

Thanksgiving (2006)

Thanksgiving is only a ten minute short film but it features what most seek from a simple horror film for Turkey day. Director Scott Ennis focuses on a couple and their friends. The group are preparing for thanksgiving dinner and are suddenly disturbed by the arrival, of a seemingly helpless man.

Thanxgiving (2006)

Director Bobby Ray Akers Jr creates this seasonal slice of the horror pie. He enlists veteran actor Ari Lehman, yes the original Jason Voorhees In Friday the 13th (1980), in his film about a group of film students who travel deep into the woods to make a movie. Thinking they have found the perfect location in the form of an abandoned campground.

In the eighties, horror filmmakers enjoyed celebrating the holidays with fans through such films at Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night, April Fools Day, and this continued through the nineties with films like Critters 3 (which had an Easter scenario) and Leprechaun (St Patrick’s Day) And so much more.
For Thanksgiving there are two more offerings to enjoy this year.


Blood Rage (1987)

Director John Grissmer’s story follows twin boys Todd and Jerry.
The dual roles of Todd and Jerry are played by Mark Super from Graveyard Shift 2.
As kids, Todd is institutionalised for a murder whilst his twin goes free. Ten years late, on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes and a killing spree begins in his neighbourhood.

Home Sweet Home (1981)

Also known as ‘Slasher in the House’ Director Nettie Pena’s  film is actually a former video nasty. Upon release in the UK, Home Sweet Home was seized and confiscated. This Film was also the debut role for actress Vinessa Shaw, who later starred in films such as Hocus Pocus and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes.
The plot features an escaped mental patient who steals a station wagon and makes his way to the Bradley’s thanksgiving celebration. Here he plans to make them a little less thankful.

These last two films will round out our ten, but neither are particularly thanksgiving themed. However both feature interesting takes on poultry creatures.


Blood Freak (1972) 

Director Brad.F.Ginter gives us a story about  biker who comes upon a girl with a flat tire and offers her a ride home. He winds up at a drug party with the girls sister and follows her to a turkey farm owned by their father, a mad scientist. The father turns the biker into a giant turkey monster, who then goes after drug dealers.

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006) 

From the mind of Lloyd Kaufman and Gabriel Friedman, comes this outrageously Troma offering. Jason Yachanin stars as our lead Arbie in a strange tale of zombified chickens, who attempt to kill the fast food workers that cook them in a restaurant built on an ancient burial ground.

Within these ten films you are bound to find something thrilling, disgusting or downright cheesy awesomeness. Whatever you are doing today the House of Tortured Souls wishes each of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Collected films this fall along with cast and crew announced!

The Collected films this fall along with cast and crew announced!

The Collected movie poster was released showing that this will be the third film in The Collector series. We now have official word on when it’ll start filming along with cast and crew. Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton wrote the script with Dunstan directing.

Josh Stewart and Emma Fitzpatrick will star, both reprising their roles  The filming is this Fall. Since the movies done on a Saw budget, hopefully, we get this movie out asap. The last film ended on a pretty interesting note when Our antagonist finally confronts the Collector.

Posted by Jai Alexis in CAST AND CREW NEWS, COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR HEROES, HORROR HISTORY, HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, PRESS RELEASES, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Neighbor (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Neighbor (2016)


By Dixielord

The Neighbor is the new home invasion horror movie from director Marcus Dunstan. Dunstan is best know for The Collector and its sequel The Collection. The Neighbor stars Josh Stewart (The Collector), Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes) and Bill Engvall (Blue Collar Comedy Tour). Yes that's right. Bill Engvall, Mr “Here's your sign” is starring in a horror film. Now even if you aren't particularly a fan of The Collector series, that should be enough to pique your interest in The Neighbor.

Bill Engvall is The Neighbor / Fair use doctrine.

Josh Stewart plays John who along with his girlfriend Rosie (Alex Essoe) works for his shady crime lord uncle, switching license plates on (apparently) drug running cars. It's never explained exactly what they do, but it's illegal and beyond that, unimportant to the story. Their separative neighbor Troy (Bill Engvall) also appears to have a secret he's of which he is very protective. When Rosie goes missing, John sneaks into Troy’s house and discovers what he is trying to hide.

Set in rural Mississippi, The Neighbor puts everyone under suspicion early on, showing just how sketchy and shady each is. Being born and raised in rural Mississippi, I can pretty much confirm this. No one in the film is particularly innocent, but John is probably the most sympathetic. He's a military vet come home and given a job in his uncle’s illegal enterprise. You get the feeling he isn't happy, and he and Rosie are making plans to escape to Mexico.

The first part of the film moves along a little slow, and is uneventful other than setting up the last half of the film. The last half is where The Neighbor shines. It borrows from other home invasion style horrors with hidden tunnels and cages (but without the traps that were the signature portion of the killer’s work in The Collector series). But it varies from most home invasion films, and most horror films in general, in that the protagonists and antagonists are fairly evenly matched. The conflict between Engvall and Stewart is less cat-and-mouse than two wily foxes battling.

The final fifteen minutes or so is a symphony of glorious violence. It gets brutal when it needs to get brutal. No gimmicky walking away from a fallen victim, it's combat to the death. Guns, knives, camera tripods, and even a telescope become weapons in the fight. When the final battle condenses down to villains and victims, there are no wilting flowers, just fighters. It's not as gory as The Collector, The Collection, or the Sawseries of films but it is brutal. Have I said that already? It's brutal. Watching Alex Essoe go apeshit was wonderful fun. It all ends with an ambiguous ending that a lot of viewers might not catch, but it left me with chills. Also be on the lookout for what I can only assume is a homage to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Alex Essoe spies on The Neighbor / Fair use doctrine.

All and all I really enjoyed The Neighbor. It's another solid and bloody success for director Dunstan. I enjoyed it enough to give it a 8 out of 10. Check it out on DVD now.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Collector (2009)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Collector (2009)

By John Roisland

Collector 4

In 2009, Marcus Dunstan, who brought you such titles as Saw IV and Saw V, brought you his clever game of cat and mouse, The Collector. This 90 minute sleeper, released by Vivendi and Genius Entertainment, unfortunately didn't do much at the box office, but was a bit of a hit with the rental market and with me!

Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises , The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) stars as Arkin, an ex-con turned handy man who is trying to make good in life as well as make good to the loan shark that his wife racked up some hefty bills with while trying to stay afloat while Arkin was in the joint. Arkin offers to settle up by doing a job in his wealthy client’s home since he and his family are preparing to leave for a family vacation.

Both parties agree, but unfortunately for our star, someone has laid claim to this house first. Only difference is, this guy’s not there to rob them of jewelry; he robs them of lives. The Collector, played by Juan Fernandez (A Man Apart), has already settled in and transformed the house into a giant booby-trap full of torturous devices making it nearly impossible to escape.

Arkin arrives at the house to steal his new wealth, when he comes across the homeowners who are being held captive...in a giant foot locker. They warn him of the intruder and try to sneak out only to find themselves encountering deadly trap after deadly trap. You see, our new found collector, collects bodies. Tortures, murders, keeps them for his...collection.

I will say that there is a feeling of the Saw series present in the film. Even though this may not be as over the top or action packed as Saw, and sometimes it gets kinda slow, they did a good job with it. The film and lighting captured the feel of desperate people caught in their own home transformed into traps as well as the feel of The Collector’s driving need to collect. Some of the torture scenes were pretty original and gory. I have got to give props when they are due. While having a good blood and gore level, the film still held a nice atmosphere of suspense for its audience.

The film I thought ended perfectly into the ending credits...yes, also leaving it open for a sequel, that I'd rather not even discuss!

This one is a great watch. It keeps your interest without overdoing it. The acting, while maybe not being spot on by all of the cast, most still give a worthy performance. I do certainly enjoy this film, and suggest that if you haven't checked it out, that you do so!

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments