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Wicked Horror is the author of New on Netflix: July 20th, 2018. Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

New on Netflix is a weekly feature here at Wicked Horror where we take a look at the latest additions to everyone’s favorite streaming service. It can be tough sifting through all those horror titles, not really knowing what’s worth watching and what isn’t. Sometimes, you know exactly what you’re looking for, but when you go to watch it the title has already been taken down. Here, we do our best to let you know what’s been added and re-added from week to week.

As always, the beginning of the month hit us with a lot of strong material, with some current favorites and old classics alike. Admittedly, things have been lacking of late, but some old favorites have returned to the streaming service after a lengthy absence.

The selection is beefing back up, though, slowly but surely. Hopefully that will keep up as we move further into the year.

So kick back, relax, and make some popcorn while we bring you what’s new on Netflix for the week of Friday July 20th, 2018.

Scream 4 

The Scream franchise has had its ups and downs and even though this was technically the nail in the coffin of the series in theaters, but there’s a lot to love about this movie. It’s fun, funny and definitely updated the commentary for the times, while still keeping all of the character interplay that made the first few movies so exciting.

The post New on Netflix: July 20th, 2018 appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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Wicked Horror is the author of Comic Review: Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe #1. Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

During the total 25 issue run of Puppet Master at Action Lab Danger Zone, there were also several miniseries expanding the corners of the larger Full Moon universe, the most recent of them being Cullen Bunn’s inventive new take on Subspecies. Ultimately, in the limited time they had to work with, it was obvious that not every great idea nor every Full Moon property could be fully realized. That’s why the newly launched Full Moon Comix is such a terrific idea. From the beginning, from the introduction to the behind-the-scenes Video Zone to Puppet Master II, Charles Band has said that he has always considered his characters to be like comic book characters who go on continuing adventures and cross over with other characters from time to time.

Now Full Moon finally has its own comic book imprint, of which Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe is the first title. Judging from the structure of the first issue, it seems that each issue in this first miniseries from Full Moon Comix will contain two stories centering around Dollman Brick Bardo going up against various Full Moon icons. In this issue, we see him step in for a second round against the Demonic Toys as well as taking on the cast of Head of the Family.

Part of the excitement here is that none of the three properties presented here made it into the Action Lab comics. Two of them, however, are not without comic book precedent. When Full Moon made its deal with Eternity Comics in the early ‘90s, both Dollman and Demonic Toys received miniseries. Still, it’s great to catch up with these characters again after so long.

Head of the Family, meanwhile, has never had a comic book series of any kind, though in recent years it’s become one of the Full Moon films to gain a huge cult following thanks to how insanely bizarre it is. More than that, Full Moon has been promising a sequel for over twenty years now. This is the first story to feature these characters since the original film. But, as the title suggests, don’t get too attached.

The two stories are split into smart ways. Demonic Toys is a smart group to lead us off with, as it’s a crossover that Full Moon fans will be familiar with thanks to the Dollman vs. Demonic Toys film. This also means that they’re the only characters that won’t have an accompanying sense of crossover novelty simply because they’ve been seen before, so in that respect, it makes perfect sense to introduce them first. There are also clever twists and turns surrounding the characters in this half of the issue, as it focuses on a group of friends who want to summon the Toys’ demonic master on purpose in exchange for wealth and power.

The second half of the issue goes much more quickly. While the first segment by Shawn Gabborin essentially sees Dollman navigate his way through a short Demonic Toys story, the second half by Brockton McKinney sets up a Head of the Family sequel and then immediately squanders it. Dollman’s fight with the Toys is much more evenly matched. They’ve faced each other before and know what to expect, plus the Demonic Toys each have their own unique skills.

When it comes to Head of the Family, the fight goes much, much quicker. Part of this is because the family suffered a defeat in the film and there’s some exposition to explain what they’ve been up to since. For fans of the movie, that’s wonderful, but it doesn’t set up too much because the characters get wiped out very quickly. This is actually intriguing, though . It makes a lot of sense. The Head of the Family characters show us right in the first issue that not every fight in this miniseries is going to be evenly matched. Some Full Moon characters aren’t going to be a match for the heavily armed Dollman, especially if they’re in a weakened state.

Dollman manages to take this family out without breaking a sweat, which has to make one wonder how some of these other fights are going to go. The Toulon puppets are tactical and certainly well armed, but someone like Castle Freak? Shrieker? These are characters that could potentially barely have time to react before Bardo blasts them away. If anything, these two very different fights prove that we don’t really have any idea what to expect when it comes to where this series is going or what it means for the larger Full Moon mythology as a whole. As a fan, that’s incredibly exciting.

WICKED RATING: 8/10

The post Comic Review: Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe #1 appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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Wicked Horror is the author of Comic Review: Buffy Season 12: The Reckoning #2. Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

Unbelievably, as of this second issue, we are now halfway through the final comic book season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Luckily, though, the comic book still feels big and still delivers in an impressive way. At the end of the previous issue, the gang was transported to the future thanks to Illyria’s leftover time travel abilities. Buffy comes face to face with Whedon’s future slayer Melaka Fray once again—as the two previously met in season eight—while her vampire brother attempts to bring about the apocalypse in the present. Spoilers ahead for anyone who has yet to read the issue.

Considering that Fray has never had a direct continuation or sequel, with her only appearance outside the original book being a short story and the season eight crossover, it is amazing to be flung back into that world. Throughout this entire issue, we are reintroduced not only to Fray herself but to her entire supporting cast. It feels like catching up with old friends.

It’s complicated, possibly even convoluted, balancing a dozen different characters. In that respect it feels entirely faithful to Buffy. It’s a credit to the entire creative team behind the book that it feels so much bigger and grander in scale that it actually is.

For the entirety of this issue, the main characters are walking through the future of Fray and reacting to it. If there’s any kind of downside to the issue, it’s this, as readers have seen this future landscape and its characters twice before and are clearly familiar with it. While it makes complete sense for the characters to comment on this situation, it takes the reader out of it if they’re already so familiar.

There’s also quite a bit of exposition, but Buffy has always handled that a little bit better than most. The main element driving the plot is that one character from their present timeline is alive and active in the future. In season eight, Willow was that person and it’s clear that now someone else from their time is working in Fray’s future given that Buffy had been forced to kill the future version of Willow. While they speculate as to who it might be, there’s a great moment between Spike and Angel that sums up their respective characters quite well.

Both of them know that they’re not alive in the future, but they react to that realization in very different ways. Spike just wants to know how it happened and how he went out, while Angel doesn’t give it a thought, saying that however it happens he’s sure he deserved it.

There’s still plenty of action to be found within these pages, but it’s reactionary and all frontloaded to the opening, as Fray—who has had less-than-stellar experiences with Buffy in the past—greets the gang with a punch first attitude.

Ultimately, the major reveal of the issue is that the person who’s survived the extinction of the slayer line and the banishment of most demonic forces from the earth, in addition to simply surviving for hundreds of years in general, is none other than Harmony. By this point in the comics, this should come as no great shock, as Harmony has been given more and more to do over the past decade of comic storylines. She’s cemented herself as a somewhat accidental major player in the Buffyverse of late. Harmony is a character that can—and, it seems, will—survive pretty much everything.

While Harmony’s appearance in the issue is great and the surprise is perfect just from the reaction it gets from the other characters, her role here is mostly to pick up the ball and continue the exposition from where it was left off in the previous scene. There’s a lot of explaining going on in this second issue, but it’s still told in a mostly interesting way. And, in general, it’s necessary in order to thrust us forward into a rapidly approaching, no doubt action-packed conclusion.

WICKED RATING: 7.5/10

The post Comic Review: Buffy Season 12: The Reckoning #2 appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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Wicked Horror is the author of Graphic Novel Review: Minky Woodcock Beautifully Renders a New Theory About Houdini’s Death. Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

Harry Houdini escaped death, slipping into the collective imagination of popular culture. Like Robert Johnson, Annie Oakley and Agatha Christie (who also appears in Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Kidnapped Houdini), he keeps living new lives in different stories, sometimes as a main characters, and others as a cameo.The best escape artist in the world dying from a botched trick is an incredible story in itself. It’s the one that Cynthia Von Buhler examines in Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Kidnapped Houdini.

Von Buhler’s collected the evidence at minkywoodcock.com, and she retells the story in the graphic novel. The telling is an homage to the pulp comic and crime story boom, named for the pulpy paper on which it was printed. Like those stories, this one is full of lurid scenes—a naked seance, bondage play, and pin-up models. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, another historical figure that Von Buhler worked into the story, warns the narrator, “If you are offended by nudity, please do not enter.” It’s a good warning for any potential reader too; there’s a lot of nudity.

Unlike the pulp influences that Von Buhler’s drawing from though, she frames the women’s nudity as a way for them to exploit men rather than being exploited by them. The spiritualist who conducts her seances naked does so to distract her male patronage in a way that allows her to trick them into believing that she’s legitimately contacting the dead. Mindy takes her clothes off to manipulate men and for her own pleasure, never for the readers. Von Buhler is sex positive, treating it as a powerful move rather than a sinful one. It’s a welcome change from slasher film’s punishing logic, where female nudity was followed with swift and violent death.

The art is a strength of Minky Woodcock. Von Buhler knows her influences, and really captures their aesthetic in these pages.

The writing is less strong. There are clunky lines of dialogue, like, when someone brings up seances, another character asks, “You mean talking to dead people?” (13) The line is clearly the author explaining what a seance is to her audience, but a venn diagram of people who would be interested in reading this book and people who aren’t familiar with seances is two circles, very far apart.

Worse than that though is the inconsistencies in the characters. On one page, Bess Houdini hires Minky to investigate Harry’s infidelities. But when she’s confronted by someone Harry’s slept with she lets them off the hook, saying, “This is the Great Houdini we’re talking about. There isn’t a cell that can keep him in or a woman that can keep him out” (39). The person who takes that sex positive stance about her husband’s dalliances doesn’t hire a private investigator to suss them out. The motivations don’t line up.

And of course, there’s the question of tension. Any reader with a cursory familiar with Houdini knows that he died after being punched, yet the conflict driving the story forward is Minky’s attempted protection of Houdini. It seems like a missed opportunity to employ the confessional narrative frame, filled with regret over her failure, which would’ve eschewed making Houdini’s death (or survival) the driving force of the story, putting Minky’s knowledge on the same level as the reader.

Here’s one of the secret’s of reviewing—it’s easy to pick out these little details that aren’t working in a good story. They stick out in a mostly among all of the things that are working. It’s like spotting one or two rotten apples in a display of gleaming galas. And Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini is that good group with a few things that aren’t working. It’s a love letter to noir, a Houdini pastiche that offers a new theory about his death, and it’s worth reading.

Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini will be available from the Hard Case Crime imprint of Titan Comics on July 24, 2018.

Wicked Rating: 7/10

The post Graphic Novel Review: Minky Woodcock Beautifully Renders a New Theory About Houdini’s Death appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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Wicked Horror is the author of A Brief and Twisted History of Found Footage Films. Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

It’s July 17th, 1999 – 11:50 PM. It’s an oppressive summer night across the United States. The seasonal heat lays thick in the air, and somehow the July night has stuck to the flesh of movie-goers throughout all 50 states. Theaters across America are packed tight in irrevocable silence dangerously close to the witching hour. For how hot and humid the outside is, and how the stench of sweat raises throughout the theater, a collective shudder rolls over the crowd. The last trailer has just concluded. A chill dissipates the remnants of the outside world. The film begins with the click of a tripod camera, feeding the audience a very ‘home movie’ feel. But audiences are entrapped by the screen. The world has just been introduced to The Blair Witch Project. And the horror industry is in for a shock of innovation.

Found footage films are an interesting subgenre of horror. Not only for the genre’s innovative camerawork, storytelling, and character development, but its insane history and influence. Would you believe that this once totally indie, backhouse genre had its roots in classic literature? Akin to the writings of Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker, found-footage films emulate the epistolary novel. This form excels in the idea of showing rather than telling. There is no narrator or overarching plot in the traditional sense, but a person or group of people’s account of events once transpired. Frankenstein and Dracula, both cinematic and literary classics, catapulted this narrative style to the forefront of popularity. But what made these particular epistolary novels so popular? What was it about Dracula and Frankenstein that resonated so deeply with audiences across the world? It’s a rather short, yet highly elusive answer: Suspension of disbelief.

The twisted perspective of the most well-known found footage film, The Blair Witch Project.

The very same reasons that The Blair Witch Project entrapped audiences in horrified rapture is the very reason Frankenstein and Dracula are on summer reading lists throughout public schools. They make you believe. No matter how strange, unimaginable, or impossible the story is, a great found footage film will rearrange your sense of reality. If just writing about a reanimated, jigsaw man running through Germany gives people a fright, imagine watching it all unfold in a real-life film? This is the great premise of found footage films. Take the most terrifying thing you could possibly conceive, then deconstruct all the barriers between the audience and their sense of safety. Remove any notion of film and production from their mind. Put them in the headspace of the characters. Destroy their point of view as a viewer only to recreate their perception through the eyes of a victim. Epistolary novelists had this art form worked out into a well-crafted equation. So why did it take the horror industry so long to catch up?

Well, directors and film crews tried for quite awhile to reach mass market appeal with ‘pseudo-documentaries.’ While pseudo-documentaries are in the same vein as found footage films, they are often more polished and retain higher production values. This particular style of filming also lacks the raw, discovered quality of found footage films. Pseudo-documentaries, or mockumentaries as they’re often called, film a series of events in a documentary style while maintaining a clear point of reality. No pseudo-documentaries claim to be real, they just film in a realistic and informative style as an extension of storytelling. But found footage films are quite different in that respect. The whole idea of found footage films and the great innovation thereof resides in the name: ‘found.’ The premise and buy-in of found footage films are that they’re real. These films are marketed, screened, and viewed under the assumption of reality. Making audiences experience some kind of fear or anxiety is the greatest hurdle every horror film must jump to be successful. Found footage films soar over this hurdle with shaky camera work and some wickedly disgusting special effects.

The found footage film sub-genre officially began in 1980 with the highly controversial and infamous Cannibal Holocaust. The movie is very much a pseudo-documentary, but the introduction of the fake crews filming of the natives gives birth to our beloved sub-genre. Though the film was highly successful amongst exploitive and Italian filmmakers, its contents were far too graphic to ever garner blockbuster success. In fact, Ruggero Deodato, director of Cannibal Holocaust, was arrested on charges of murder, obscenity, and distribution of snuff. The violence and murders committed in the film were so lifelike and convincing that the actors had to appear on live television to prove the director’s innocence. But the horror industry’s entanglement with snuff precedes the cannibal boom of the 1970s. The term ‘snuff’ was coined by Ed Sanders’ book The Family: The Story of Charles Manson’s Dune Buggy Attack Battalion in 1971. The book details in shocking dedication to research every minute, seemingly obscure criminal activity related to Charles Manson. One particular detail notes allegedly hidden videotapes stashed out in Death Valley depicting murders committed by The Family. The mania around Charles Manson already swept the nation, but couple that with urban legends of snuff films hidden out in the desert and you have an utterly shaken country.

Theatrical artwork for the infamous Cannibal Holocaust, released in 1980.

The hysteria surrounding Charles Manson and his alleged tapes made found-footage films possible in American cinema. One particular and rather obscure example came in 1976 with the grindhouse film Snuff. Previously titled Slaughter when filmed back in 1972, Snuff featured a Manson-esque plotline and not much else. While the film itself was rather uninspired, the ending credit scene gained a rapid, loyal cult following. Instead of rolling the credits the film concludes with an impromptu sex scene between the camera crew and one of the actresses. However, the scene soon turns brutally violent and ends with the murder and dismemberment of the actress. This ending scene was marketed as a real snuff film spurred on by the Manson murders and left many moviegoers in a state of utter disgust. But it’s theatrical release, though small and highly protested, opened the door for much more violent and controversial films like Cannibal Holocaust in American cinema. 

For how messy, violent, and exploitative the predecessors of The Blair Witch Project were their strides in the horror genre made the mass-market appeal of the cult classic possible. Without the introduction of snuff to the masses by Ed Sanders in the 1970s, the controversy and latent success of Cannibal Holocaust might have never materialized. And without the innovative film style of Cannibal Holocaust and other Mando films, The Blair Witch Project would have never been created. Nearly every found-footage film in American cinema contributes its success to the blockbuster success that was The Blair Witch Project. Movies like Creep, Cloverfield, REC, and VHS would’ve never been remotely profitable, and the record-shattering series Paranormal Activity would’ve never come into existence. Without the insane success of The Blair Witch Project and it’s raw, realistic take on filming the entire landscape of horror films would’ve been completely different in the late 2000s.

The series Paranormal Activity was a blockbuster sensation thanks to its utilization of the found footage filming technique.

Found footage films are, in a sense, snuff films for the sensible horror fan. This idea of killing a person on camera to then sell the footage and make a profit was something horror films didn’t dabble in. But this is the very idea that found footage films capitalize on. No one is actually being killed or tortured on camera, but they’re pretty good at making you question that assumption. They bring about the purest, most terrifying sense of horror. These films make the viewer suspend all sense of disbelief to leave the audience with only the rawest, most guttural reactions. And, in the end, that’s what we all want when we watch a horror movie. We want to believe. We want to watch in utter fear and belief as the unimaginable, impossible, but ever so horrifying unfolds onscreen. 

The post A Brief and Twisted History of Found Footage Films appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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Wicked Horror is the author of Back to the ‘80s: Halloween 4 and 5. Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

Welcome to Back to the ’80s. This recurring feature aims to take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from horror’s most beloved decade. Regardless of which category a particular film falls under, this segment will spotlight films that horror fans can appreciate for one reason or another. We will look at how some of these flicks have stood the test of time and others have not aged quite so well. Regardless of what they look like today, these efforts from the 1980s laid the groundwork for the horror genre as we know it today. 

We are only a few months away from the release of a new Halloween sequel. This next installment is reportedly carving out another timeline for the franchise. As was done with Halloween H20 and Resurrection, and, obviously, with the Rob Zombie remakes, the fourth, fifth, and sixth installments in the Halloween series are being ignored. (Interestingly enough, Halloween II is additionally being disregarded because of the brother-sister relationship between Michael Myers and Laurie Strode). Arguably, this is a necessary course of action to streamline the series and achieve a new level of suspense. This move eliminates distracting plot lines created in the past. However, these changes should not discount the contributions from the 1980’s incarnation of Michael Myers or of Danielle Harris to the franchise.

Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 were released back to back. In the 1980’s, for every horror film that got it right, there was another that got it wrong. From the atmosphere to the acting, audiences never knew what was about to hit them. Halloween 4 and Halloween 5 exemplify that notion. Of course, taking into account personal preferences, I believe that there is no question that Part Four is the more successful film. Where the former succeeds in simplicity, the fifth installment contains awkward choices and unnecessary complications. Yet, when I marathon the series, I find Part Five to be one that I look most forward to watching.

Both flicks center on the vulnerable Jamie Lloyd (Harris) and her attempts to survive each encounter with Uncle Michael. After Michael’s attack on the transportation staff from Smith’s Grove (leaving one with undoubtedly a splitting headache), the audience gets a first glance at Halloween 4’s newest, and youngest, scream queen. We watch as Harris’ chocolate brown eyes stare uneasily out the window at the ominously familiar ambulance parked across the street. A moment later her foster sister, Rachel (Ellie Cornell), joins the young girl to deliver the exposition needed to catch up the audience. The two girls are adjusting in their relationship as the following scenes reveal they do have a genuine sisterly love for each other.

As Michael Myers makes his inevitable trek towards Haddonfield, pursued by the ever-vigilant Doctor Loomis (Donald Pleasence), Jamie and Rachel are faced with their own separate social obstacles. Jamie is teased (quite cruelly) by the kids at school, and Rachel fears babysitting duty will ruin her relationship with Brady (Sasha Jenson). Loomis enlists the help of Sheriff Meeker (Beau Starr) and they gather all the main players at the sheriff’s home.

Halloween 5 picks up a year after the previous film’s events left off. The survivors are picking up the pieces. Loomis is convinced Jamie is the key to terminating Michael’s rage. Two damaging mistakes occur in the front half of the film. The first is Jamie being stricken mute and leaving an important character in a frenzy to communicate. The second error is eliminating a beloved survivor in order to achieve a Hitchcockian effect. For the sake of the tone, this move does heighten the risk to the remaining characters. However, this robs the fans of the investment they have making the success of Halloween 4 feel a wasted effort.

Despite initial errors in judgment, Halloween 5 does have redeeming qualities. Once one gets past odd choices such as comical music identifying the presence of zany police officers, Dominique Othenin-Girard does create a suspenseful atmosphere. Several sequences play well to set a frightening tone. Particularly, the scene in the woods and Jamie’s unfortunate occurrence in the laundry chute. The entire laundry chute sequence barely lasts three minutes, and to this day the claustrophobic near-miss still gets to me. A favorable quality of both features is the way in which the filmmakers utilize plausible scenarios for a child. A young girl could escape these situations that are also genuinely scary.

Sprinkled liberally throughout the fifth movie are illogical moments. There is an attic containing two human bodies and a deceased dog. The excessive amount of police officers manage to overlook this attic. Either that or Michael is able to magically set everything up in minutes. Not to mention the dozens of candles he managed to light up. Halloween 4 and 5 show horror fans the best and worst of what the decade had to offer. With every thrilling surprise, there is also an element of rushing out a product too soon. There are characters such as Tina (Wendy Kaplan) that audiences either love, love to hate, or just hate. The prominent films of this time typically featured an iconic villain. From re-introducing Norman Bates to the consistently resurrected Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers certainly contributed to the surge of 1980’s horror.

Resulting from this time frame is another contribution to the horror genre, and specifically the Halloween franchise, and that is Danielle Harris. She begins the journey of Jamie Lloyd and continues all the way through as Annie in Rob Zombie’s Halloween sequel. Harris demonstrates the way a singular performance becomes detrimental to a franchise. Audiences flock to watch Michael Myers; however, a villain becomes truly iconic by facing a worthy final girl. Harris develops Jamie from a vulnerable child into one bravely willing to stand up to her uncle. Additionally, she holds her own with the great Donald Pleasence. Despite the back and forth she has endured behind-the-scenes, Harris is found in current media to still hold a torch for the series. Among the scariest moments or the silliest from the franchise, every performance from Danielle Harris is full of remarkable talent.

Pleasence shines in each Halloween film he played Sam Loomis. In both Halloween 4 and 5, Pleasence really catapults the role as Michael’s doctor to a whole new level. From the desperate obsession to his ominous warnings, Loomis becomes a formidable foe to Michael’s rampage. Pleasence played the character straightforward in the first two movies. In Halloween 6, he encapsulated a melancholy tone representative of the 1990’s. However, the fourth and fifth installments showed Pleasence elevate his character to one nearly as iconic as Michael Myers. He is outrageous and over-the-top in all the best possible ways. No matter how successful any following Halloween film, the presence of Donald Pleasence will always be missing.

During the time period of these films, fan frustration centered on how the intricate plot painted itself into a corner. This was before the now common practice of “starting fresh” within the Halloween franchise. Nowadays, beginning with the original film, the fans are able to play “choose their own adventure.” There is the Jamie Lloyd/Thorn Cult route. Or the path that leads to Laurie Strode’s faked death. A new trail is now being developed that will take audiences to the “Nope, Laurie never faked her death” choice. Only time will tell if this is the right decision. There is definite logic to arguing this line of reasoning.

So, the existence of any Halloween flick produced in the 1980s is going to be denied. However, the contributions of these incarnations of Halloween are immeasurable. This applies to many of the films from this decade. The 1980’s version of events kept the franchise alive. Love it or hate it (and I think more of you love Halloween 5 than you dare to admit), these films taught us that we can start again if events become too complicated.

Or, we can even pick up at a new timeline. Jamie Lee Cutis is the eternal (scream) queen of the franchise. Danielle Harris, though, is the princess. There is no rule stating her Jamie Lloyd is beyond a new look. Another timeline could be forged that discovers a new route out of Halloween 5. The franchise does boast of such fascinating titles as Halloween: H20. This new one could even be called Halloween 5.5: Jamie Lloyd 35 Years Later. Judge me all you want. I would watch it.

The post Back to the ‘80s: Halloween 4 and 5 appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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Wicked Horror is the author of 10 Witty Horror Movies as Funny as They Are Scary. Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

Horror comedies are extremely hard to pull off. Yet, despite that, comedy and horror are more entwined than any two other genres. Both of them completely come down to timing. Setting up a scare and setting up a joke are incredibly similar practices and both require a meticulous balancing act to pull off correctly. This is why horror comedies are so impressive when they work well. They’re also the easiest to bring new people into the genre. Don’t start someone out on I Spit on Your Grave, get them to watch a movie they can have fun with.

Most horror movies should offer some kind of levity. Too much of one thing will leave an audience disinterested. Even A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre have moments to balance out the heavy atmosphere and unexpected scares. This not only gives the audience a chance to calm down, it also allows them to be caught off guard the time the next scare rolls around. More importantly, humor is an easy way to allow us to relate to the characters.

A good horror film should be like a roller coaster, fun one moment and terrifying the next. Many of the features we’ll be looking at on this list aren’t traditional horror comedies. They’re straightforward horror films that happen to have a lot of humor to balance out the scares. That’s one of the hardest things to do correctly in this genre, and these movies make it look easy.

Motel Hell

Motel Hell was not at all the movie I expected it to be. For one thing, it has very little to do with the titular motel. It’s actually a comment on the meat industry and food processing, a Texas Chainsaw Massacre riff that also served as biting satire, but one that definitely plays it straight when it needs to. I wouldn’t describe it as a comedy. It’s just a weird, offbeat cannibal slasher with quirky characters that never takes itself too seriously. Farmer Vincent’s dying confession of “I used… preservatives” is absolutely hilarious.

Creepshow

Creepshow promises “The most fun you’ll ever have being scared!” That’s a tall order, but it’s kind of true. As dark and grim as each of the five stories get, they’re all incredibly fun. Stephen King really played for laughs with this script in an entertaining way. The film absolutely nails the tone of the EC comics it takes as its major inspiration. The effects are amazing, the score is top-notch and the cinematography and editing are way ahead of their time, but it’s also loaded with some howlingly funny scenes.

Gremlins

Gremlins is an amazing mishmash of tones that should have been impossible to pull off. There’s no way it should have worked, and that could be said of so many of the all-time greats. They took a huge chance with it and it paid off big time. It’s a Christmas movie except for when it’s an anti-Christmas movie. Optimistic except for when it’s nihilistic and comedy except for when it’s horror. Each one of these aspects is balanced so well and all of them blend together seamlessly. These are the qualities that make it a classic.

Re-Animator

Re-Animator is probably more of an outright comedy than any of the others on this list, but I think people tend to forget how much of it is actually played straight. Jeffrey Combs is over the top as West, but the humor is in how seriously he plays that character. The absurdity comes mostly through the tone but there’s an incredible, knowing wit in the dialogue and performances, both of which are a large part of the reason it has lasted so long. So much of it is played so seriously, but it’s still played for humor.

House

If you’re getting bored with haunted house flicks and don’t like the fact that they all have the same basic setups and scares, watch House. It’s the least traditional haunted house flick ever made. There’s a serious emotional center but that’s just the cherry on top when the movie is chock-full of hilarious situations and even funnier character interactions. George Wendt is a gift in this film and manages to serve as both the comic relief idiot and the guy the audience can relate to as he tries to navigate this weird and bizarre situation.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Tobe Hooper’s sequel to Texas Chain Saw Massacre couldn’t be a more different movie than the original, but at the same time, it is totally reactionary to its predecessor. It’s so much bigger, so over-the-top, it’s a Texas Chainsaw Massacre for a very different decade. Everything in the eighties was about excess, so the sequel is bigger, gorier and funnier than the first. Whenever the first one turned left, this one turns right, and that’s ultimately what makes it stand out.

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Jason Lives may be a great horror comedy and a total deconstruction of its franchise, but it also never forgets to be a horror movie. That’s the real key to its success. Jason himself is never played for laughs and is actually creepy in this one. There’s a very thick, heavy atmosphere that is refreshing and only supplemented and strengthened by the often hilarious script.

Night of the Creeps

Night of the Creeps is such an entertaining, smart, well written piece that it kind of irks me that it only ever gets seen as a cheesy B-Movie. Of course it’s a B-movie but intentionally so. It’s also so much more. There are some great characters here, some honest relationships. It would be an engaging college comedy if the brain slug zombies never even showed up, but luckily they do.

Scream

Scream is a perfect example of a witty, very funny script that only makes an outright horror movie better. Scream is by no means a horror comedy. The opening scene alone is one of the scariest, most intense scenes in any horror film. But there’s great dialogue that feels effortlessly funny and a script that is so self-referential but never talks down to the genre or its fans.

An American Werewolf in London

An American Werewolf in London is not an outright horror comedy, despite what most people claim. It’s just a horror film that happens to be very, very funny and it is the perfect example of such. This is such a great, earnest, scary werewolf feature that is also hysterical. Those two ideas mesh as perfectly here as they ever have in the history of cinema. And the humor doesn’t just come from dead friend Jack. There are unexpectedly funny bits peppered all through the movie—with the theater scene being a particular stand-out—and it’s that very unexpectedness that makes them even funnier.

The post 10 Witty Horror Movies as Funny as They Are Scary appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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Wicked Horror is the author of New on Netflix: July 13th, 2018. Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

New on Netflix is a weekly feature here at Wicked Horror where we take a look at the latest additions to everyone’s favorite streaming service. It can be tough sifting through all those horror titles, not really knowing what’s worth watching and what isn’t. Sometimes, you know exactly what you’re looking for, but when you go to watch it the title has already been taken down. Here, we do our best to let you know what’s been added and re-added from week to week.

As always, the beginning of the month hit us with a lot of strong material, with some current favorites and old classics alike. Admittedly, things have been lacking of late, but some old favorites have returned to the streaming service after a lengthy absence.

The selection is beefing back up, though, slowly but surely. Hopefully that will keep up as we move further into the year.

So kick back, relax, and make some popcorn while we bring you what’s new on Netflix for the week of Friday July 13th, 2018.

How It Ends 

Another new post-apocalypse thriller, this one is a Netflix Original about a man rushing across the wastelands of his demolished country to save his pregnant wife. The unique thing about this one is that the apocalypse is mysterious, stemming from the spread of misinformation and doubt.

The post New on Netflix: July 13th, 2018 appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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Wicked Horror is the author of “Awful” ’80s Horror Movies That Actually Aren’t. Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

For some reason, the ‘80s is more known for cheesy movies than any other decade. Every era has them, but the ‘80s always gets singled out. It’s tough to say why that is. If I had to guess, it would have something to do with the extremity of the 1980s. And I don’t mean that in the way that many ‘70s horror films were extreme in terms of violence and gore and pushing boundaries. No, I mean that in the ‘80s, everything was extreme. Colors, hair, effects, music, hair, acting, cinematography, hair, fashion, and especially hair. It was all as big and outlandish as it could possibly be.

Because there were so many horror movies being made so cheaply and so many catering to these culturally specific trends, many, if not most, of them got a reputation for being awful. There were a few standouts every year that were the big hits—either critically or with audiences—and the rest fell by the wayside. And it’s tough to actually put together a list like this because the term B-Movie is used very liberally and is sort of a catch all for ‘80s horror, now.

That is really ridiculous, when you think about it, because it discredits all the different tones and styles and even the small quirks and idiosyncrasies of all the horror from that decade. So I wanted to look at titles that definitely get lumped in as B-Movies but are still good, entertaining pieces of cinema at the same time.

Critters

Critters is good. Critters 2 might be even better, but it makes sense to focus the discussion on the first one because it was coming right on the heels of Gremlins. Hell, it was even after Ghoulies. But it’s a different movie. It’s a good, old-fashioned, alien invasion thriller but the aliens happen to be tiny space porcupines. However, they are actually pretty creepy at times—particualrly the shot where one of them is looking in at Dee Wallace through the window.

Return to Horror High

Return to Horror High shouldn’t be nearly as good as it is because it is so easy to screw up this concept, but the filmmakers had so much fun with it. You can see on the screen how much they reveled in the goofiness of bringing that story to life. By this point in the ‘80s, slashers were completely dead. They were gone. And then, along comes this film about the making of a really corny slasher that happens to be struck by an actual killer. It tends to go unnoticed but is for sure worth checking out.

Waxwork

I’ll never stop spouting the gospel of Waxwork. It’s a movie that I saw at a very young age and it always stuck with me. When I kept watching it as I got older I was very relieved to see that it was actually a film with a lot of merit. There are a lot of selling points, not least of which are the inventive effects, but also the surprisingly intelligent script. All that, and a great, winking performance from David Warner. It’s Deborah Foreman as the sheepish heroine who always stood out for me, though.

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

Yes, I think Elvira: Mistress of the Dark is actually a pretty decent flick even if it’s the embodiment of cheesy ‘80s horror comedy. When you think about it, Mistress of the Dark is pretty much Footloose, except instead of Kevin Bacon coming to a conservative town and loosening them up and showing them the magic of dancing, it’s Elvira and she’s teaching them about sex.

C.H.U.D.

C.H.U.D. is kind of shocking in how well-made, well acted, and effective it is, considering the whole thing seems designed to be a very knowing joke of a schlocky monster movie. It has all of those moments, sure. But there’s a lot of story here and a cover-up that really makes for a smart portrayal of both environmental issues and corporate greed.

House II: The Second Story

House II is great. People always seem to talk about how terrible it is, as if they’re expecting it to be something different. Of course it’s not scary. I don’t remember many scare sequences in the movie, although the opening shot of that no good Slim Razor did terrify me as a child. This is a fantasy/adventure/comedy/horror that’s a great combination of many different elements. It’s impossible not to have fun with.

The post “Awful” ’80s Horror Movies That Actually Aren’t appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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Wicked Horror is the author of The Spooky Teaser For Goosebumps 2 Drops (Minus Jack Black). Wicked Horror is the internet's only horror fan site for free original horror movies, news, review & more.

The Halloween season just started early, as the  first Goosebumps 2 teaser trailer is unleashed. Prepare yourself for a very Haunted Halloween (okay, okay, the title sucks but the trailer looks pretty good) starring, among other things, some gnarly sentient gummy bears.

A group of new kids feature in the first trailer, led by IT‘s very own Jeremy Ray Taylor. Likewise, a brand new group of horrifying monsters is unleashed from the seminal book series, led by somebody very familiar in the form of evil dummy Slappy.

Annoyingly, Jack Black’s R.L. Stine — the highlight of the first movie — is nowhere to be found, and it’s unclear whether he’s voicing Slappy either which, let’s face it, is straight up blasphemy. Goosebumps was a blast primarily because of Black’s odd portrayal of Stine, and his voice-work on Slappy, The Invisible Boy, et al. was an absolute joy.

Without Stine, is this even really Goosebumps? Isn’t it just that weird spinoff series with the cabinet of souls or whatever? Perhaps he’s going to pop up in a cameo, but IMDb seems to suggest not. Still, we remain hopeful.

Director Rob Letterman has passed the reins on to Ari Sandel, whose sequel finds a couple kids stumbling upon Stine’s old house and unlocking a book to release Slappy. The dummy then releases a bunch of monsters just in time for the holiday season, allowing for plenty of spooky Halloween fun in the midst of trick-or-treating.

Taylor, who will also appear  in IT: Chapter Two, is joined by Caleel Harris, star of Hulu’s Castle Rock, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle‘s Madison Iseman. The adult cast is just as strong this time around too, with Wendi McLendon-Covey, Chris Parnell, and Ken Jeong all set to appear.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween hits theaters October 12. Check out the teaser trailer below and stay tuned to the site for more info in the lead up to the film’s release.

GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN - Official Trailer (HD) - YouTube

The post The Spooky Teaser For Goosebumps 2 Drops (Minus Jack Black) appeared first on Wicked Horror.

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