About a year ago I brought you a review of David Teixeira’s Girls Night which was a clever retelling of the horror classic Bloody Mary. I always enjoy watching filmmakers through their career as they grow and advance in their craft so I’m thrilled to say that David reached out again to share the sequel Girls Night 2. The film is on its festival run currently and will be made available to the public in the fall.
Girls Night 2 Synopsis
One year after the deadly events of last year’s Halloween, Jess (Marina de Sousa) keeps having the same nightmare over and over where she finds herself helpless in front of a masked killer. Her friend Pierre (Vincent Conty) invites her to spend some time with him at his house and decides to throw a cosy and innocent pyjama party to try to keep her mind occupied. While her nightmares seem to be getting intense by the minute, Jess can’t shake the idea that the killer may be back to pay her a visit.
Plot, Thoughts & Recomendation
We start out with a callback to the previous film. We learn rather quickly that Jess is having nightmares about the events of that film where her friends were murdered. From here we go through a series of creepy events where Jess and her boyfriend (?) stay in the for the night, watch a movie and fall asleep. The same masked intruder from Girls Night shows up and we have to ask… are these nightmares or is this reality? Just when you think you know what’s going on there’s another twist around the corner.
Just like the previous entry, Girls Night 2 is a solid little short horror film. It runs just over 13 minutes and even though it’s all subtitled I didn’t have any problem either following along with the story or getting invested in the characters. They don’t do anything stupid which I always appreciate in my horror films. I do have to say that while this was directed, filmed and acted very well it did get a bit dark toward the middle end of the film to the point where I had a hard time seeing what was going on. That small complaint aside, I was happy to get another entry into the Girls Night series and was especially grateful to see the characters carry through.
I’ll take a quote from my previous review, “The killer here has a great look reminiscent of a porcelain doll. Think The Strangers meets Scream. What gore we have here is very well done. It’s not over the top and it just out of focus enough to feel believable. Great effort from David Teixeira and crew… solid recommend.” All of that was true of the first film and continues to hold true for Girls Night 2. When you have an opportunity get yourself a double feature of Girls Night followed up with Girls Night 2. You’ll be glad you did.
Girls Night 2 | Horror Short Trailer - YouTube
You can find more about Girls Night at the following links:
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn
“In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming” – H.P. Lovecraft
Dreaming? Not anymore! According to In the Mouth of Madness, “dead Cthulhu” and his ilk have awoken and are crawling through dimensions to invade the world through that most fertile of fields: a writer’s mind!
The set up is simple: afraid that their best selling horror author has vanished off the face of the earth, a publishing company engages an insurance fraud investigator (Sam Neill) to locate him. What follows is mindf*ckery of note as the very walls of society crumble around us while the population descends into madness after reading the missing writer’s latest work: the book In the Mouth of Madness.
In the Mouth of Madness is a conundrum: It is the fear of creativity wrapped up in something that, itself, is intensely creative. One of the major questions posed by the film is where do authors and other creatives find their inspiration. As an actress, I have, at least once, opened myself up to the human hive-mind to conjure up deep emotion. In this case, the story presents us with what would happen if the energy and creativity a writer calls on comes not from within himself, not from within society, but, rather, from a malign influence lurking outside our world.
Viewing it from a certain angle, the story can be seen as a metaphor for the fear non-creatives have always had against those who bring an invading and pervasive creative influence into our society. Imagine a totalitarian government’s terror that someone, somewhere, might create an idea that sparks a total worldwide revolution! This film gives voice to that fear, and the very fact that this idea is presented to us wrapped up within a very creative package, is, in itself, a paradox.
Deceptively simple, often with only two actors sharing the screen, the story is also disturbingly complex and pushes those who view it to stretch their minds to try and encompass everything that is being relayed. The story is told in broad, bold, strokes, which are supplemented by beautiful and grotesque images, and the characters inhabit a stark, yet mesmerizingly beautiful world that is reminiscent of the Phantasm universe. This is also a very real tale of world domination by an outside force; a force not connected to the human at all…the force that has taken over the missing writer’s mind. The invaders’ nefarious agenda bleeds through the writer’s books, and infects everyone who reads them, which is, incidentally, yet another veiled implication that the appreciation of creativity is bad for the general population. It is usually understood that, through reading and education and the consequent love of creativity, you can set yourself free, yet this story turns that theory on its head as we see that, through pursuing these things, the population actually becomes enslaved.
Another question the story posed and pondered on was “what is reality?”. The nature of reality is, to some degree, different for each and everyone of us, and the story presents us with what would happen if one man’s reality took over the world. The thought that any one person’s reality would become the dominant one is scary enough, but it becomes truly terrifying when that one person is in league with interdimensional horrors whose plans involve the destruction of the human race.
The story is told in a convoluted fashion that involves a film-long flashback. Those who have a history of enjoying HP Lovecraft’s work will recognize almost immediately what’s going on. Old gods – The Great Old Ones – sleeping outside the realm of space and time coming to infiltrate and take over the world is, after all, a familiar concept to Lovecraftian fans. Those who have no knowledge of Lovecraft’s work could, no doubt, find the intricately coiled story and non-obvious plotline somewhat confusing. This is not a slasher film where nubile teenagers get mutilated while masked killers stalk the woods; this is a cerebral tale that will appeal to those who like puzzling things out and putting them together in a different order in order to see the hideous whole.
On a personal note, something that really weirded me out was the fact that the actors seemed to speak with strange, almost robotic, accents. It was almost like their words had been translated from another language, and the ghost of that language was still infecting their everyday speech. This was almost subliminally unnerving to me, and, even if it was not intended, it served to heighten the creep factor dramatically.
There were also some obvious nods to the best-selling horror writer of our world, Stephen King: Playing cards pegged to bicycle wheel spokes clattered as weird characters cycled by, the isolated New England town reigned supreme and an insidiously insane universe existed just one wrong turn away from ours. Then there was the question of what happens if what we write about takes on a physical reality of its own, which was exactly what was addressed in King’s book, The Dark Half where, to our dismay, the sparrows were flying again…
Set in the wondrous world created by one author, and paying subtle homage to another, In the Mouth of Madness is a journey through madness’s yawning mouth into the very depths of the human psyche where all of our festering fears and disturbing doubts are examined far too closely for comfort.
Written by Michael De Luca, directed by John Carpenter and starring the amazing Sam Neill (who I will love forever because of Event Horizon),In the Mouth of Madness is available wherever horror films are found. My copy came in the mail: a DVD from Netflix, but it is also available on Youtube (Youtube Movies Channel).
You can experience the trailer here:
In the Mouth of Madness - Trailer (1994) - YouTube
Bonus feature: the artist Russell Dickerson has created some STUNNING ITMOM artworks! You can view them on his Pinterest page, and here’s one of my favorites, and his other works can be found here: www.darkstormcreative.com
Zak Bagans’ film “Demon House” is a combination of intense and unnerving
This feature film by paranormal investigator and host of Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures”, Zak Bagans, proved to be a culmination of hard work, and a dose of madness. A friend and I settled in to watch this documentary of the well known house in Gary, Indiana, which is said to be a “portal to hell”, and a “house of 200 demons”. The warning at the beginning lets the viewer know that the entities in this house are said to travel and have influence on it’s viewers through electronics, and the viewer and their environment can be affected. Just at that moment, an unknown loud noise resonated in my apartment, while I was walking over to the couch. We both froze and looked at each other. We took that as a sign that we needed to continue to watch this documentary!
This documentary seemed to start out as a much more intense “Ghost Adventures” episode, with interviewing, investigating, and an overnight stay in the haunted location. But as we continued to watch, it appeared to be much more than that. With the developing stories of families becoming cursed, and transformed before our eyes, crew members changing into different people, and even Zak himself and those close to him feeling the affects of this location, I could see this was no ordinary investigation. If you keep up with the news, you may have seen the demolition of this house, but what insane events led up to that? In this documentary, you will know the madness that inspired that decision. I can only wonder if Zak himself has fully recovered from the trauma this house has seemed to inflict upon him, as well as everyone involved.
There were several moments while watching this that made me uncomfortable. I even had a difficult time falling asleep that night. I still wonder what really was in that house, and where is it now?
Zak Bagans is the host of “Ghost Adventures” on the Travel Channel. He also owns a haunted collection of items in Las Vegas called The Haunted Museum. That’s definitely on a my list of places to visit. View the trailer for “Demon House” below.
Demon House - TRAILER - YouTube
DEMON HOUSE will be released in theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on March 16, 2018.
That is the gruesome little song upon which this gruesome little film from South Africa is based! And it is gruesome indeed…
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the US premiere of the South African produced horror feature, The Lullaby, in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. This was, for me, an historic moment, as this was the first ever South African film that had a Hollywood premiere and as I am South African! I am, though, not being biased when I say that this film is a winner and shouldn’t be missed by horror fans.
The story uses a chilling fact as its jumping off point: that, during the Boer War a hundred-some years ago, children born to Afrikaans women who had been raped by British soldiers were murdered in the most horrible fashion simply because they were of mixed Afrikaner-British blood. After setting up this chilling scene, the story cuts to present day where we are introduced to young Chloe van Heerden who is having her first child, the innocent young Liam.
What follows is a nightmare journey into a world where Chloe doesn’t know fact from fiction, where she’s constantly being menaced by a Midwife dressed all in black who urges her to murder Liam and where she doesn’t know who to trust. Confined to a spooky house in a remote town by her domineering mother, Chloe sinks further and further into depression and madness, and her downward spiral culminates in her committing horrific acts.
This is a beautiful and horrific film. Chloe’s loneliness and isolation are perfectly reflected in the cinematography, which emphasis lifeless colors and remote, misty images. It doesn’t flinch from showing the most gruesome and graphic imagery – especially as far as young Liam is concerned – and it manages to strike a perfect balance between giving the viewer a supernatural and a psychological explanation for what happens to Chloe. Postpartum psychosis, where a new mother experiences paranoia, hallucinations, depression, severe mood swings and feelings of violence towards her child, is a very real disorder and is experienced by growing numbers of young mothers. Whether Chloe’s problems stem from her mind or from the murderous intent of others is something the viewer must decide for himself.
Acting kudos must go to Reine Swart who handles the complex and harrowing role of Chloe with a maturity far beyond her years. With her brilliance in bringing a character to life, she’s most definitely a talent to look out for in the future. Thandi Puren, who plays Chloe’s mother, also delivered a wonderful performance as Chloe’s harsh and critical mother, lending a depth to the character that would have been absent had it been played by a lesser actress.
Written by the immensely talented Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo, directed by the multiple-award winning Darrell Roodt and produced by father and son team Andre and Samuel Frauenstein, The Lullaby is screening in select theaters in the US and is also available on Amazon, YouTube and other VOD platforms.
You can watch the trailer here:
THE LULLABY Official Trailer (2018) Horror Movie HD - YouTube
The Garden (2018) is a short horror film written and directed by Andrew Espinoza Long starring Eileen Chase. It was inspired by by H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘The Call of Cthulhu’ and tells the story of a young artist who has a secret admirer.
Review & Recommendation
Before I get started, I’m going to give a SPOILER WARNING. If you want to watch the full film without knowing at all what’s coming you can watch it below. Just come back when you’re done!
Still with me? OK.
The Garden starts out slow but in a way that grabbed me and made me want to stick around to find out what’s going to happen. We see a girl (Eileen Chase) sitting in the park playing a ukulele. Her voice is very familiar. If you’ve got children you may know the name Laurie Berkner and she sounds just like that. In any case, she’s going about her day, practicing a song, checking Instagram, chatting with her mom, etc. She heads home and continues to check Instagram, follows a new user, etc.
Once home the story picks up speed when she disrobes and gets into the bath. What was a relatively mundane short turns horrific pretty quickly as she’s going through her Instagram DMs and realizes that the person she’s been interacting with has been stalking her as well. I won’t spoil the ending… click below to watch the film and find out. It’s worth investing seven minutes to watch.
The Garden is acted, shot and directed very well. The first time I watched it I did find myself wondering if I’d actually clicked on a horror short or not but sure enough it came home strong. In reading Twitter I see this is Andy’s first horror short and I’ve got to say he did a wonderful job that I’m happy to recommend. Check it out! Special thanks to Andy for providing us access to his film!
For more information about The Garden check out the following links:
The scariest thing about horror films has to be the nail-biting anticipation worked in to the plot, right? Well equally the most exciting time for a horror fan is that anticipatory period waiting for the release of new titles. 2018 has an absolute shed load of horror flicks in the making so let’s open that creaky door and take a peak….
OK, corny intro behind us, a very highly-anticipated movie out this month is The Strangers: Prey at Night. If you didn’t see The Strangers back in 2008 then you might want to catch up before you experience the sequel. This said, it’s not absolutely necessary as whatever happens you’ll be in for a chilling time. It might not be the most original premise (hapless family targeted by murderous wackos whilst enjoying a nice get-away somewhere rather quiet) but then that’s not always needed with the horror genre, is it? (Don’t believe us- check the trailer and tell us honestly that you’re not just a little unnerved.) Horror films are a bit like rollercoasters- it’s great if they break new ground, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t because ultimately you’re watching to be scared. If three masked figures start taunting and terrifying perfectly innocent and ordinary people when they’re in some secluded location, then it’s guaranteed to create goose bumps.
This why the Nightmare on Elm Street series works so well, another film of which is rumoured to be on its way this year. Freddy Krueger is pretty much always Freddy Krueger: iconic fedora, natty jumper and disfigured visage, but that doesn’t stop him being scary every single time. It’s that business of getting you in your dreams that’s the real hair-raising element isn’t it? The bed’s supposed to be a safe haven after all, it’s always sold by shops like Bedstar as a place to relax and rest up, somewhere to be protected from the monsters, not the place you get whacked!
Another cool title to look forward to is Slender Man. This one should be coming out around May and what makes it so intriguing is that the character comes not from a Victorian novel or a comic book or some old folk tale, not indeed from any of the usual places but rather from an internet craze. Now if it passed you by at the time then the whole thing is worth just googling quickly; but the essence is that what started out as a little fun with a creepy looking character with long arms and a blank face eventually took off before finally inspiring a real life assault by two children. Now a film has been made based on the character (not on the assault) and the father of the victim is outraged. Apart from the heavy moral debate going on though, will it even be a good movie? The trailer looks OK, but seems to consist mainly of generic horror tropes and gruesome imagery. Again, originality isn’t a must, but is this going too far…?
Either way, it’s one of just dozens of thrilling prospects for 2018, so if you haven’t done so already then we strongly advise you to start biting those nails right about… now.
The Slash Gang is thrilled to release the first teaser trailer for our upcoming horror feature Five Wild Animals.
Written and directed by Blair Hoyle (Happy Endings Are a Rarity), the film stars Briar Boggs, Lauren Hunkele, Autumn Cravens, Charlie Cannon, Ian Scott, Sara Lucas, Ashley Huber, Michael Jackson, Marthaluz Velez, Arianna Evans, and John Lineberry.
Longtime friends travel to a small mountain town in hopes of attending a mysterious Halloween party, but soon find themselves the victims of an ancient ritual instead.
Check out the trailer below and let us know what you think!
If you’re a long time reader of ScareTissue you know that I’ve been covering the Volumes of Blood franchise for some time now. I was first introduced to the VOB universe back in May of 2015 when I reviewed the original horror anthology. I’m back today with some news… the release an official card game!
Volumes of Blood: Body Count Now Available!
From Blood Moon Pictures and Mythmaker Games comes the newest in table top terror. Take on the role of a horror film Director and use killers, locations, weapons and characters from the Volumes of Blood cinematic universe as you face off against your opponents to create a scene of carnage and build the largest body count. Volumes of Blood: Body Count is fun for the whole dysfunctional family.
Artsploitation Overcomes its Gamophobia to Acquire EuroObscura’s A Taste of Phobia
PHILADELPHIA, PA, March 7, 2018 – Artsploitation has acquired the U.S. and Canadian rights to EuroObscura’s A Taste of Phobia, a harrowing horror anthology created by 14 international directors. Produced by Vestra Pictures and Enchanted Architect, in collaboration with Trash Art Pictures, the film is scheduled for DVD and VOD release in May 2018.
Of the multitude of fears, A Taste of Phobia delves into some of the weirdest and wildest, each with its own bloody twist. Presenting 14 unnerving segments, featured phobias include caetophobia (fear of hairs), henophobia (fear of young virgin girls), coprophobia (fear of feces), mysophobia (fear of contamination and germs), mazeophobia (fear of being lost), astrophobia (fear of celestial objects), mageirocophobia (fear of cooking) and oneirophobia (fear of dreams).
“As someone with a high number of phobias myself — fear of ceiling fans and hotel remotes to name just two — I was hesitant to watch A Taste of Phobia. But after 90 minutes of seeing people traumatized, institutionalized and dying from their fears, I felt much better,” said Artsploitation President, Raymond Murray. “It’s a cinematic colonic for a sick mind and a must for Artsploitation fans.”
A Taste of Phobia combines the talents of directors known for making a bloody good splash such as James Quinn (The Law of Sodom), Sam Mason Bell (The Making Of), Jason Impey (Home Made), Alessandro Redaelli (P.O.E. 3), Chris Milewski (Welcome to the World, Dear Child), Alessandro Giordani (L’insonne: Ouverture) and Domiziano Cristopharo (Virus: Extreme Contamination, Dark Waves).
“We are proud that Artsploitation will be releasing this great and scary horror movie in the U.S.,” said Marco Magni, international sales representative for EuroObscura. “I’m sure that the fans of horror movies in America will enjoy it and will also be surprised to learn about the more strange and terrifying kind of phobias that exist in the world.”
About A Taste of Phobia
Running time: 90 minutes
Audio format: 2.0 stereo
Directors: Jackson Batchelor (UK), Sam Mason Bell (England), Domiziano Cristopharo (Italy), Michael J. Epstein (USA), Dustin Ferguson (USA), Alessandro Giordani (Italy), Jason Impey (UK), Sunny King (Nigeria), Chris Milewski (USA), Davide Pesca (Italy), Alessandro Redaelli (Italy), Poison Rouge (Italy), Rob Ulitski (UK), Lorenzo Zanonin & Alessandro Sisti (Italy)
Producers: Domiziano Cristopharo, Tony Newton, Sam Mason Bell
Boston Film Family Releases Official Trailer for Parts Unknown Wrestling / Horror Movie
Boston, Massachusetts – March 1, 2018 – Boston Film Family, LLC, has released the official trailer of its upcoming feature film, Parts Unknown. The wrestling/horror movie will have its world premiere on June 9, 2018.
Written, produced and directed by Boston Film Family CEO Richard Chandler, Parts Unknown is the story about how the infamous Von Strasser family (of professional wrestling fame) seek to violently reclaim their notorious status through supernatural means despite being blackballed by forces within the industry. The movie stars retired pro-wrestler/actor William DeCoff, pro-wrestling manager/actress Lizzie Havoc, and Boston Film Family alumni Alexandra Cipolla, Alexander Hauck, and Sarah Michelle.
Former pro-wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts lends his vocal talents to the movie. Cameos are also provided by the indie tag team The Devil’s Doormen as well as YouTube and podcast personality Brian Zane (of “Wrestling with Wregret” fame).
Parts Unknown Trailer - Vimeo
“Professional wrestling has always been plagued with controversies over drug use, exploitation, and violence” explained Chandler about the deeper social issues that fuel his latest cinematic endeavor. “As over-the-top as Parts Unknown is, it still addresses the personal, political, and business pressures that lead to some of the movie’s crazier moments.”
“You get a glimpse – albeit slightly exaggerated – at what wrestling as a business has become,” continued the self-described “massive” wrestling fan. “What wrestlers put themselves through for the art of wrestling – especially in the indie scene – to please small goups of rabid fans is crazy but triumphant. Much of the movie involves undertones of sacrifice for a greater ‘cause’ and how that sense of sacrifice has affected entertainment in particular and possibly the world in general.”
“(Wrestling) is an art form,” added Chandler. “So is horror if it’s done right. Both incorporate violence, brutality, crazy characters, a little humor, and more. The slow build to intense moments is something both wrestling and horror can deliver.”
Boston Film Family, LLC, is an award-winning Massachusetts-based independent film production company that specializes in the creation of visual horror and grindhouse stories. Its previous works include the featurette Witch Hunt (2016), the feature film Gilgamesh (2014), and the webseries Boston Massacre (2012-2013).
For more information on Boston Film Family, LLC and Parts Unknown check out the following links: