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Enjoy Some Paranormal Activity in Telluride

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Paranormal Activity (click for larger image)Speculation about the official release date for Oren Peli’s debut feature Paranormal Activity is still swirling around the film, but those of you who are attending the Telluride Film Festival have an earlier chance than most to see it as it will be screened on Saturday night, September 5th, as part of the fest’s “Sneak Preview” series.

From the TFF website:

  • Sneak Preview – Paranormal Activity – O/Sat 10:30p

    Things do go bump in the night … and do much more. Oren Pell and his team shot this spooky tale for just $11,000 on home video cameras, which become a central part of the film’s conceit. The story follows a young couple’s attempts to capture the source of the strange sounds that fill their house at night. Do not plan to walk home alone after this film. (U.S., 2008, 80m)

    Telluride, typically held over Labor Day weekend (this year it runs September 4-7), is unique in that what’s playing is not revealed until attendees reach the mountains. As the Washington Post’s Kenneth Turan describes it, TFF is a first-rate proving ground for new pictures and a chance to discover lost genius…

    For more dates and details of when you, too, might be able to see Paranormal Activity, keep it here.

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    DVD and Blu-ray Releases: January 16, 2018

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    Welcome back, friends.  One would imagine that a release list containing only five entries wouldn’t contain any discrepancies, right? Nope. The Amicus Collection may have come out on December 5th, but it popped up again this week, so if you missed it then, go get yours now.

    The big hit of this week, and of 2017, Happy Death Day gets it release this week on both Blu-ray and DVD.  This was a great movie and recently surpassed $100 million dollars worldwide. I highly recommend it.

    Up next is The Snowman.  You can check out the Dread Central review of this winter time serial killer thriller here.

    If you’re feeling more of a science fiction kind of vibe, check out Beyond Skyline.  Basically there’s a little something for everyone this week.  What are you going to watch?

    Pleasant viewing, friends.



    MOVIES

    Beyond Skyline (2017)

    Starring:

    Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Iko Uwais, Jonny Weston

    Synopsis:

    When the population of Los Angeles is vacuumed off the face of the Earth, Detective Mark Corley storms his way onto an alien ship to rescue his estranged son. But after crashing the ship in Southeast Asia, he must forge an alliance with a band of survivors to discover the key to saving his son and taking back the planet once and for all.

    BUY IT NOW!


    Eye Of The Cat (1969)

    Starring:

    Michael Sarrazin, Eleanor Parker

    Synopsis:

    A man and his girlfriend plan to rob the mansion of the man’s eccentric but wealthy aunt. However, the aunt keeps dozens of cats in her home, and the man is deathly afraid of cats.

    BUY IT NOW!


    Happy Death Day (2017)

    Starring:

    Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, Charles Aitken

    Synopsis:

    Blumhouse (Split, Get Out, The Purge) produces an original and inventive rewinding thriller in Happy Death Day, in which a college student relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity. The thrills continue with an Alternate Ending never-before-seen in theaters.

    BUY IT NOW!


    Snowman, The (2017)

    Starring:

    Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Chloe Sevigny

    Synopsis:

    From executive producer Martin Scorsese, The Snowman is based on Jo Nesbø’s New York Times bestselling thriller series. When an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Michael Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

    BUY IT NOW!



    COLLECTIONS

    The Amicus Collection

    Starring:

    Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham

    Synopsis:

    Known as The Studio That Dripped Blood , the British film company Amicus Productions founded by American writer/producers Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky built a legacy of horror anthologies and twisted thrillers that remains among the very best genre movies of the 70s. In this trio of Amicus classics featuring stars that include Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Britt Ekland, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham, Calvin Lockhart, Michael Gambon and Charlotte Rampling you ll discover the studio s legendary portmanteau Asylum, their insane gothic shocker And Now The Screaming Starts, and exclusive to this set the infamous werewolf whodunit The Beast Must Die, as well as a Bonus Disc of Amicus trailers, TV commercials, rare interviews and more all in this 4 disc box set.

    BUY IT NOW!

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    Pride and Prometheus Fuses the Horror of Mary Shelley with the Romance of Jane Austen

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    This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein so you can expect to see several articles tied in with that momentous occasion over the next several months. Today we have your first word on Pride and Prometheus from John Kessel, which fuses Shelley’s Gothic horror with the Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.

    Born in Buffalo, New York, Kessel holds a B.A. in Physics and English and a Ph.D. in American Literature. He helped found and served as the first director of the MFA program in creative writing at North Carolina State University, where he has taught since 1982. He is the author of the novels Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and, in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. His short story collections are Meeting in Infinity (a New York Times Notable Book), The Pure Product, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence. Also with Jim Kelly, he has edited five anthologies of stories re-visioning contemporary short sci-fi, most recently Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology.

    Pride and Prometheus arrives February 13th from Sega Press. Look for a guest blog from John Kessel in the coming weeks!

    Synopsis:
    Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion of two popular classics.

    Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature, Victor Frankenstein travels to England, where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet, the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice. As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find a female body from which to create the monster’s mate?

    Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is keeping from her.

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    Editorials

    Why Brad Anderson’s Session 9 Scared the Hell Out of Me

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    “Hello, Gordon.”

    Invariably working for sites such as Dread Central I am always asked the question, “What is the scariest movie you have ever seen?” And, well, truth be told movies don’t tend to scare me that often. Sure there are my go-to flicks time and time again, such as The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and Lake Mungo. But sure enough everytime I spout out that list to a fellow horror fan they always follow up with, “Well, what is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen that ISN’T found footage?” Fair enough question.

    Now while I’m not going to go into what I consider to be the scariest non-found footage horror movies (we’ll get into all of that at some later date) I do want to point out a movie in particular here today. The way it goes is that when I tell people my list of scariest non-found footage films, they always nod in agreement. Until that is, I get to a film called Session 9. It is at that point that whomever I am talking to cocks their head to the side and says, “I’ve never heard of that one.” Which is a shame and it happens far too often. So today I want to, yet again, give any and everyone who’s willing to listen the recommend.

    Let’s begin with a quick rundown of the film. Session 9 was written and directed by Brad Anderson, who is a name you might recognize as the creative force behind such films as The Vanishing on 7th Street, Transsiberian, and the “Christian Bale is as skinny as a skeleton” mindfuck The Machinist.

    But as good as those film may (or may not) be, without a doubt Anderson’s masterpiece is Session 9. Written specifically to be filmed inside the Danvers State Mental Hospital, the film stars David Caruso (don’t let that stop you), Peter Mullan, Josh Lucas and a few other gents as a group of asbestos removal guys who are possibly haunted within the walls of the institute while on a job.

    If that rundown isn’t the best, here is the film’s official synopsis: “A tale of terror when a group of asbestos removal workers starts work in an abandoned insane asylum. The complex of buildings looms up out of the woods like a dormant beast. Grand, imposing…abandoned, deteriorating. The residents of Danvers, Massachusetts steer well clear of the place. But Danvers State Mental Hospital closed down for 15 years is about to receive five new visitors…”

    Brrr… freaky enough, right? Well, trust me, the actual film is leaps and bounds better than even that creeper synopsis lets on. And best of all, with all horror and terror aside, the film is a tight flick about a group of men and how they interact as a team. While that may not sound too appealing, the actors, yes, even David Caruso, make for a lovable group of grumps that I enjoyed spending 90 minutes with.

    Let’s talk about the horror for a second. You have to wait until the end, but once it hits (full-force) it is well worth the wait. The first 2/3 of the film are creepy but are mostly about the men and the job. Horror looms in the background at all times, sure, but it isn’t until the final act that the shit really hits the fan. And boy, does it. The final act is as bloody as any slasher you could ever hope for and even features a fun, very cool cameo by Mr. Larry Fessenden himself. But it is the final, give or take, 30 seconds of the film that still haunts me to this day.

    You see the film is constantly playing a game of “Is it ghosts? Is it all in your head? Or is there a human element to the horror?” And that game comes to nightmarish reality in the film’s final moments. I specifically remember having fun with the film until its last frames. That was when I needed to turn the lights on. But that still didn’t help. The horror that Session 9 presents in its final moments are horrors where there is nowhere to run, no way to prevent it from finding you in the darkness, and no way to save yourself, or your loved ones, if it finds you.

    “I live in the weak and the wounded.”

    Being that I am prone to being one of those dudes that let’s shit bottle up inside until I explode (sad but true), this film is fu*king terrifying to me. I get it. I fear it. And I hope you will too. As kids, we need cautionary tales, and let’s not forget that we as adults do too sometimes. Session 9 is a warning for grown-ups. You almost deserve it to yourself and your loved ones to see this film and allow it sink in. Just don’t expect to sleep for a few nights…

    In the end, why did Session 9 scare the hell out me so bad? Was it that voice that haunts my dreams to this day, or was it what the voice says? I’m still not sure. But trust me when I say that Brad Anderson’s Session 9 is one of the absolute scariest films I have ever seen. If you haven’t given the film its day in court yet, remedy that ASAP and thank me (or hate me) later.

    You can buy Session 9 on Blu-ray HERE. And while you’re at it make sure to check out Villmark Asylum now on VOD.

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