My Husband, the non-horror movie fan, is on another trip out of town, so you know what that means!!!
HORROR MOVIE BINGE FESTIVAL
Unlike last time, where my binge festival was cut short because I could not, would not stop watching Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, this time I'm serious about my horror movies, and well, I finished Kitchen Nightmares.
Like last time, I've started my festival with another random selection of movies from the local library. This place never stops surprising me.
It's hard to describe how I felt when I came across Roar. At first I thought it was misfiled and should have been in the Documentary section. No, no. It's a movie - and the tagline on the cover: "No animals were harmed in the making of this film. 70 cast and crew members were."
I'd never heard of this movie before, so I took a quick look through IMDB and the words that kept jumping out as I scanned the Trivia: "mauled", "madhouse", "hospitalized". "Gangrene" showed up at least once... Several reviews also included: "Have to See It To Believe It"
I whole-hardheartedly agree. My review won't do this film justice. You just have to see it to believe it.
Some would argue this is more of an action/adventure film (and it is) but it's also a bizarre horror show. Horror in ways I still can't quite put a finger on... Could be: The mauling is real.
This is a difficult film to watch. Difficult to see the lions attack themselves and others. It's also incredibly claustrophobic. The man living with these lions is crazy. Crazy in love with these big cats, but still crazy. Also, after what I've seen, I went ahead and nominated him for You're The Reason Your Friends and Family Have Ulcers award.
I live with just three cats and it's hard enough trying to keep them off me (and the counter) when I come home and it's dinner time. Now, imagine that with what appears to be 50+ lions, cougars, tigers, and panthers just wandering around in your home.
This film, in a word, is: insane. I watched most of it with my jaw dropped. Not because it's particularly good but because it's just that insane. I can honestly say that I've never seen anything like it.
Combine a healthy heaping of The Birds and Grizzly Man with innumerable cat videos on YouTube and scenes from Dog Soldiers (where they're running through rooms in the house) - boil it all down to a thick paste and then slather it on a large slice of the most bizarre yet heartwarming documentary you've ever seen. Serve your friends and family with a piping hot - sometime bloody - dish of: Roar.
Through all the film's madness, I have to give it's ending a lot of credit. It absolutely surprised me. I maybe even teared up a bit.
Although there won't be a Roar 2, Tippi Hedren, along with husband and co-star Noel Marshall, started the Roar Foundation so these big kitties and others are taken care of and protected.
This film is an *experience*.
Watch with gutsy family members - human and four legged ones. My cats were fascinated with this film. FASCINATED. Pairs with anything cats won't eat.
I rented this film from my library. Use the Find It. Watch It. links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this very, very unusual film.
Chosen at random (couldn't decide!) the first film I watched was the absolutely stunning Japanese film, Onibaba.
This is a mesmerizing and emotionally haunting film where a mother and her daughter-in-law try to survive (physically, mentally, and emotional) during a civil war-torn Japan. Living in crippling poverty and starving, they take to some desperate measures to survive.
And then there's this mask....
I saw one reviewer on IMDB call this film 'poetry', and I agree. It takes a very talented hand to turn the reeds and grass surrounding the womens' hut into such a unique realm for horror. A knot in your throat kind of horror.
It's also takes talent to relay, despite the story's full embrace of *desperation*, how lusty this film is. Vigorous, sensual, vivid - wild.
This is a beautiful film, poetic, jarring, and chilling.
Although it moves quickly, this film requires your full attention and patience. Watch in a dark, silent place with no interruptions and preferably alone. Pairs with water.
On a closing note, I can't help but feel there is social commentary tucked away here, buried deep beneath the dirt floor these women sleep on. I honestly can't put my finger on it but my bones tell me it's on age and aging women in particular. Seeing as the literal translation of the title is Demon Hag (according to IMDB) - and I didn't know that before I saw the film - I was surprised by how much I ended up thinking about the mother, and the real life horrors she would face if she didn't have her daughter-in-law there...
I rented this movie from my local library. Use the Find It. Watch It. links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can see this bone-chilling moral horror tale.
I've been on an '80s movie kick lately. I could blame my recent, first time introduction to Die Heard last month but that wouldn't be entirely true.
Now, although I've just seen Die Hard and Lethal Weapon (with RoboCopcoming up on the viewing schedule), I've considered myself pretty familiar with 1980's horror films at least...
So you can imagine I looked like I had just seen a ghost (aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, so BAD) when I stumbled across the *unknown* classic: 1986's The Wraith.
Soak this bad ass poster image in for a minute. Slather your eyes with it. And now, gather around fans of the High Plains Drifterbecause do I have a story for you! Tell me if you've heard this one before:
A stranger drifts into a small town and challenges the local bullies - To The Death!
Keep your High Plains Drifter wild west stories at home for The Wraith, however (although it does take place in the rural, dusty west). Never mind that pack of bad boys in Drifter who steal and torment the locals (okay, well, that's exactly what happens here too...). Leave the ghost stories to the campfire - wait, forget it. This story IS the High Plains Drifter but now in the 1980's instead of the 1880's and super decked out cars are involved.
In all, this is a fun, fun film. Fun in the only way 1980's action/adventure/horror can be: with crazy explosions, car chases, absurd realities, quirky character's, and gut-chuckling groan-worthy dialog. This little interaction being one of my favorites:
Gutterboy: Who is that guy?
Skank: I don't know, but whoever he was, he's weird and pissed off!
And oh yes, who can forget:
Murphy: [Looking down at an intensely flaming car wreck] You think he made it?
Stokes: You gotta be kiddin' me. Local kid?
Murphy: Used to be.
Staring Charlie Sheen, Sherilyn Fenn, Randy Quaid, and Nick Cassavetes, this is movie night gold. Get that popcorn ready (piping hot and covered in butter), greasy burgers will do too. Grab a six pack, some friends (or watch alone - it's fun ride alone too), and prepare for a film to satisfy that question: "I'm in the mood for an '80s horror film but I don't know what...".
I watched this one on Shudder, but if you don't have a subscription, it looks like it's currently available on Tubi TV for free. Or, use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side back to locate where else you can find this pre-tiger blood gem.
This film came highly recommended from multiple friends, and that's rather rare for me - to have the same praised independent film come up in conversation from my different social avenues. The only other film that comes to mind in a similar scenario is The Audition, to give you an idea of how cool my friends are.
THANK YOU FRIENDS I HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS
The Autopsy of Jane Doe wastes no time with tossing you into a bloody cringe binge festival. Chances are pretty good that things are going to get pretty bad when the film opens with a slow pan through a murder house...
It should come as no surprise that a majority of the film takes place in a morgue, and it also shouldn't come as a great surprise that the autopsy is done late at night during a storm.
What may initially come off as a typical spooky story (dark, stormy night, dead bodies, etc.) - a nice tactic to get into the classic spooky mood - quickly spins you on your heels as the autopsy progresses and you learn about this woman.
We know the dead physically speak, but this film takes it to a whole new level and I, for one, was completely blown away by the final reveal. Incredibly gross, jarring, uncomfortable on so many levels, and surprisingly original in its sinister twists, this is a great film for a dark, stormy night.
In fact, check out the trailer. It will provide you with a good idea about the film's atmosphere and a tip of the gigantic creeptastic iceberg that is just lying in wait for you.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe - Official Trailer I HD I IFC Midnight - YouTube
A great film that although appears currently underrated, I suspect will build momentum and appreciation in the coming years.
Pairs with a cold brew (or honey mead....), sad looking snacks that somehow still bring comfort or possibly just a cold bologna sandwich. Watch alone or with one other person, again, on a dark stormy night.
I rented this film from my local library, or use the Find It. Watch It. links on Horror Habit's sidebar to see where else you can find this stone cold and unappologetic horror thriller.
PS: I'd like to add that the director of this film, André Øvredal, also directed Trollhunter. I like this film even more than Trollhunter.
Saw this film for the first time a week ago, alone, late at night, on a Sunday.
I need to talk to people about this film. This isn't so much of a review as it is a desperate cry for conversation.
Out of all the Darren Aronofsky films I've seen, I've never had a need to converse afterwards. They all made sense to me. They all scared the crap out of me. I felt I understood them fully. In fact, I didn't even want to talk after seeing these films, I just wanted to sit still and absorb the horror by myself.
I was expecting the same with mother! but to my utter astonishment, I grappled for other people to be near and to hear.
What in the holy hell did I just see!?!
First, I would like to point out that one of the first things I noticed in this film is that it's obvious there is no stairwell, sidewalk, or path, leading up to this home's front door. Folks, I can not describe the absolute terror this struck in me.
And this is why I need to talk about this film. I was terrified by a lack of a sidewalk. A Sidewalk!
As someone who relies getting around town almost entirely by walking, this really disturbed me. So here is where I'd like to start the conversation. What did this film mean to you and why did you find it frightening?
This film is beautiful, *poetic* (using that word on purpose...), haunting, and jarring. With distinct visuals meant to stick with you for life. But what did they mean to you and why?
Alternatively, as I'm aware this film has a love/hate relationship with audiences, what about this film angered or frustrated you. I'm not looking for generic answers on either side. I'm looking for specific scenes or parts of the plot that resonated.
So please, world, share your thoughts with me and others. A week later I'm still finding myself staring into the distance, remembering certain scenes and wondering (while shivering) what they really meant.
I watched this film on Amazon Prime. Use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can see this jaw-dropping film.
If you're like me and love binge watching paranormal TV shows and documentaries (and by love I mean I might have a problem), then I highly recommend spending the new year chilling on the couch with these beauties:
Happy November 1st! It was a pretty exciting October challenge, this year. With record breaking views on both the blog and the Roku channel, I'd like to think that everyone enjoyed the entertainment this month :)
It was a little strange simply streaming all the movie picks this year instead of popping into my local video store, I have to admit. RIP Rain City Video. But overall, it was a fun experience, as always.
Thanks again to those who reached out to Horror Habit for the Celebrating Independent Artists day. Until next year, if you would like me to help spread the word on your work, simply send me a message through the contact tool on the website and I'll share it on my Shout-Outs and Film Press Releases page.
To my utmost surprise, my Husband joined me in watching several of the films this year. I might be turning him into a horror movie fan after all...
I started October attending a memorial service for a good friend of mine who passed suddenly. It was heartbreaking. And yet, I had a little experience right before Halloween that might just suggest he's sticking around to keep an eye on all of us from time time time. Mad love, man. [mad crossed out and written backwards in crayon]. Peace.
Overall, it was a very good October challenge. I love them, and I am officially looking forward to not watching a horror movie everyday for a while. On to Documentary November! (coined by my Husband), where we'll just watch real life horror stories.
Thanks again for joining me on my adventure, everyone! As per usual, I'm going to take a little break from posting for a while and will see you in December! Love love.
But Wait!!! There's more! Be sure to check out the short horror films available on this year's Celebrate Independent Horror Films post: http://horrorhabit.blogspot.com/2017/10/celebrating-independent-horror-movies.html
It's another year and another October Challenge festival in the Horror Habit world. Although 99% of the film is dedicated to watching films, one day of the month is dedicated to independent artists and film makers who are putting the latest and greatest out there!
Some producers and directors have contacted Horror Habit recently, and I would like to give their work a proper plug as best as I can! I'm going to list these in the order that I've received them. Where possible check these films out, support your local artists, support independent horror films, and be on the lookout for the reviews!
Title: Let her Out
Directed by: Cody Calahan
Here's a super creepy story about a woman and her evil twin... or is it?! Released in theaters and VOD as of 10/20th, so be on the lookout for Let Her Out! “...an emotional, engaging horror thriller that centers on the mental and psychological state of Helen, a young Toronto bike courier who has recently awoke in the hospital after a traumatic incident."
From the Press Release:
TriCoast Entertainment’s horror division, DarkCoast presents the USA release of Cody Calahan’s Canadian-horror, female psychological thriller, “LET HER OUT”, in collaboration with Black Fawn Films and Breakthrough Entertainment.
“LET HER OUT"” is a high-concept horror film, which captures film in a psychological; terrifying way by showing that true fear is innate and inescapable. When Helen's "vanishing twin" (or one that is absorbed in utero) takes over, turning her life into a living nightmare, it is guaranteed to leave viewers with their hearts racing and chills running down their spines.
“LET HER OUT” stars fabulous stars, with Alanna LaVierge as the lead of Helen, stealing the show with her emotional, terrifying role. The film also stars Nina Kiri (“The Haunted House of Kirby Road” (2016), “Geek Charming” (2011)) and Adam Christie (“Antisocial” (2013)).
Here's a dreamy and atmospheric spine-chiller! Empty office spaces are creepy enough, but when there's someone else in there with you, that's creepy on a whole new level!
Adam is a filmmaker from Wales and recently created this 7 minute short horror film with Eddie Adamson - the same Adamson who helped create the fabulous short slenderman film, "Victim".
Check out this short film here!
DON'T MOVE - A Short Horror Film (2017) - YouTube
Title: Aliens: Zone of Silence
Directed by: Andy Fowler
A found footage film about aliens! I honestly don't think there are many of these out there. Having just been released on October 24th and with already an IMDB rating of 7.1, I think this is one horror fans should certainly check out.
From the producer:
The film follows a young woman who goes on a daring search for answers after her brother vanishes from the Mexican desert. But when she discovers an extraterrestrial presence, she must risk her life to expose the desert’s otherworldly secret.
Distributor Gravitas Ventures is releasing Aliens: Zone of Silence on over 100 cable and digital platforms, including Comcast, Cox, Dish Network, and Verizon Fios, in addition to Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Vimeo on Demand, and Vudu. The film will also be available on DVD and Blu-ray at Amazon and Family Video.
Check out the trailer and learn a little bit more about the film here: www.alienszoneofsilence.com
Title: Knock Knock (Short Horror Film)
Created by: L.A. based creative collective - Live From Mars
Here's a marvelous and politically powerful short horror film, Knock Knock. A story about a housekeeper just trying to do her job. "Live From Mars combines horror tropes (off-kilt angles, shadowy rooms, disembodied knocking and a monster in the closet) with a strong social metaphor..."
From the Press Release:
Brief Synopsis/Logline: When an enterprising, young, Latin American housekeeper cleans up the remains of a 4th of July celebration, something in the closet quickly turns her American dream into an AMERICAN NIGHTMARE.
About the Filmakers:
Alex Gabrielli- Director/Producer- Alex is an award winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. His fascination with movement combined with his passion for storytelling lends to a distinct creative style. He is also a technically gifted visual effects artist often employing his skills to create surreal imagery. MFA USC Film.
Collin Leydon- Writer/Co-Director/Producer- Collin is an actor and content creator based out of Los Angeles, CA. Past producing projects have appeared in festivals as well as on network television. A firm believer in horror's ability to open up dialogue about pertinent issues, Collin seeks to create content that taps into the terror of events shaping our world today. NYU Tisch.
Evelyn Lorena- Actress- Evelyn has appeared on the Lifetime Network, a variety of commercials (Participant Media, mun2/Telemundo, IHOP) and in films at HBO Outfest Los Angeles and the Cleveland International Film Festival, among others. Recent Theater Credits include IRINA in THE THREE SISTERS and playing both THE WIFE (at Sacred Fools) & THE BRIDE (at The LATC) in Oliver Mayer's BLOODMATCH. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
About Live From Mars:
Live From Mars (a creative collective) was founded in 2015 by a group of entertainment industry professionals from NY and LA seeking to promote and support each other artistically, while exploring aesthetically challenging projects across genres.
Check out the short film here, now!
Knock Knock (Horror Short) - YouTube
Title: “Goosebumps Theme”: A Modern Electro Reimagining (Music)
Created By: DreamReaper (Troy Dierke)
Just in time for Halloween and to tap into your nostalgia feels, Troy has recently created a remix of the Goosebumps TV show theme song!
After placing second in a remix competition for Powercyan’s “Disciples of the Night,” synthwave artist DreamReaper decided the best use of the prize money was not new equipment or software, but rather to purchase an enormous collection of original 1996 Goosebumps trading cards....In addition to hoarding the cards, the Phoenix, AZ based musician has begun to include them in merchandise orders and gives them away to fans at shows. Locally, he has become known as “that fucking Goosebumps guy,” a badge he wears proudly.
Available as a free download, “Goosebumps Theme” is a modern electro reimagining of the original that reinvigorates the soundtrack for today’s dance floor. The artist utilizes his signature retro-influenced synthwave sound to flip this ’90s TV favorite into a club-ready electro banger.
Featuring huge distorted French electro bass, creepy piano arpeggios, gritty slap bass, and enough sound effects to open your own haunted house, fans of Justice, The Glitch Mob, and all things spooky are sure to enjoy DreamReaper’s fresh take on this classic throwback.
Speaking of music - here's a music video from James Drake! She's a .... Monster:
Monster by James Drake ft. Jordan Coleman (Official Music Video) - YouTube
Title: Machine Baby
Directed by: Sean Richards Buddle
This is a short horror film "...about a struggling paparazzo who gets pulled into a mad pageant manager's plot to win Miss America while trying to break the story." Also according to IMDB it won the Best WTF Short Film award at the GenreBlast Film Festival. I never knew this award existed and I'm so glad it does!
From the press release:
Machine Baby most recently screened at Nightmares Film Festival in Columbus, OH, as well as GenreBlast Film Festival in Winchester, VA. The film is now publicly available for viewing on Bloody Disgusting's World of Death series.
Note: the first minute and a half of the film (and about 15 seconds towards the end) has a lot of flashing lights. Careful, those of you with photosensitive epilepsy.
To learn more and see the film, check out the links below:
Title: Sounds to Play in the Dark Artists: Radium Audio
This is a collection of horror sounds to welcome in your Halloween evening! Andrew, a part of the team, brought this collection to my attention, and I'll share with you what he shared with me: "....hope it darkly resonates with you."
From the site:
This horror themed sound collection is a continuation of our “Shadow Oscillations” explorations. Originated in our studios by our inhouse team who work tirelessly to research, imagine and develop some of the most arresting timbres and hands on creative approaches in our discipline of sound and music for media. The ancient art of dark storytelling is how humans explore their shadow selves, hidden desires, and greatest fears. We hope you will use SOUNDS TO PLAY IN THE DARK to twist, turn, and sculpt up your own diabolic narratives. Bind, bound, mould into chilling music scores, haunted adverts, dark films, horros tropes, whatever shadowy nebulous stories you happen to be weaving.
TONES TIMBRES FLAVOURS : Alarming, eerie, disturbing, scary, whispering, creeping, demonic, incantations, Babylonian, ancient, jump scare, distortion, spooky, supernatural, wicked, creepy and unnerving, vocally demonic, head slices, soul hits, ghost rasps, paranoid scrapes, twists and knife turns. Play these sounds in the dark, and peel back the fabric of our day to day world for a spinetingling glimpse into the eternal night …
This music is available to download for free. Learn more here!: http://radium-audio.com/horror-sounds-1/
Title: The Babyface Killer From: Forte Films Entertainment
I've been following the Forte brother's projects for quite a while now, starting with their short film, Anna. They produce some pretty disturbing stuff, folks! Gruesome, in blood and guts, but also in the concepts and the messages relayed in their stories.
From their site:
"Forte Films Entertainment has began making horror short films since 2007. Kevin and Matthew Forte are brothers from New York that wanna bring their vision to the film industry. Especially in the horror genre. Kevin first started with "The Appointment." Then went on to make "Orlock" and "Last Laugh." Matthew started with "Anna" and then went on doing "Wednesday's Children." The brothers are working together getting a horror web series going called "The Sin Reapers." The Forte Brothers wanna bring in new fear into the world of horror that you will never forget! Welcome to the world of Forte Films Entertainment."
Check out their Horror Web Series: The Sin Reapers - and pair it with a short film spin-off of the show in the video below:
THE BABYFACE KILLER (From The Sin Reapers Saga) - Horror Short Film - Mature Audiences - YouTube
To learn more about Forte Films Entertainment: http://www.fortefilmsentertainment.com/ And follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ForteFilmsEntertainment
A huge thank you to everyone who has reached out to Horror Habit and I hope all of your projects will be a wonderful success!
This is a very special post because I watched this film with our friend who worked on the film! Even more special - he had not see the full thing until he watched it at our place!
This is a downright fun movie. Cheesy goodness fun. Scientific experiments - what could possibly go wrong in a remote and classified facility...The effects are incredibly entertaining, effective, and original, and it's sure to entertain a group gathering movie night. Pairs with pizza, beer, and strap in for a fun time.
Horror Habit: Hello, David! Thanks for joining us! I hope you like the tacos we just whipped up for this special event (hard shells were on sale). What is the first memory that pops into mind when you think back on your work with this movie?
David: It was the first time I got to mix up buckets of blood, gore, and slime. Then clean it up and do it all over again! We're in a warehouse - and I'm thinking to myself that we're throwing all this syrup around - we're going to be dealing with RATS. Those things never happened, thank goodness. It was also the first SciFi lab I ever got to build. With a background in theater and growing up with horror movies, it was a very fun progression for me. I started making movies in the 5th grade - and to work on this film was an incredibly satisfying feeling. I was certainly enjoying myself. What I loved most was the total collaboration with everyone. Making movies is fun, making horror movies is more fun.
Horror Habit: So you you were the Lead Carpenter on this film - correct? Is there a funny story you can legally share with us?
David: Well, we came in one day (winter?) and a pipe had broken and the whole set was flooded. So here we had this really great "lab" floor that now turned into waves. Our shooting schedule was coming to an end so we had to cut slits into the floor and make it as smooth as possible again. Now that I think about it, I wouldn't say that was funny, but there were disasters on the set that you can laugh about now - they weren't funny at the time.
In the art department we had so many people creative people - they were so fun to work with. Working here was usually a cheerful endeavor and so there were jokes all the time. Even with the disasters we had a fun, joking time all the time. On top of it all, we got paid to make a horror flick - whats not fun about that?
Horror Habit: By the way, thanks again for participating in Horror Habit's very first interview. Is there anything special we should expect or be prepared for with this movie?
David: The monster here - it was scandalized in a very weird way. There are things that shoot out of the monster that look like Man Eating Vaginas.
Horror Habit: Finally, do you have any thoughts on what type of audience this movie is geared towards?
David: Well, anyone who loves 80's horror. We had people who worked on The Stuff previously, so we were working on that ascetic at the time. We had no illusions that it wouldn't be anything more than B movie fun.
Thanks, David!! Thanks for coming on over to our crazy little hobbit hole of an apartment and I look forward to watching more horror films with you!
Now, check out this fantastic trailer and use the Find It! Watch It! links on Horror Habit's side bar to locate where else you can find this outrageously fun feature.