Halloween Comes Early to SoCal with Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival - Dread Central
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Halloween Comes Early to SoCal with Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival




While October 1st is 102 days off (yes, we have a countdown going here at Dread Central), Southern California is set to get into a spooky state of mind early this year with the Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival, taking place July 30-31 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, CA.

Created by David Markland, the fest looks to be a “must visit” for haunt enthusiasts and Halloween aficionados alike and is set to include presentations by top Los Angeles theme parks previewing their upcoming 2016 Halloween attractions (Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm, and Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, to name a few), nine stand-alone professional haunt experiences erected on the 90,000 square-foot show floor, a performance by Oingo Boingo Dance Party, and much more.

From the Press Release:
Bringing an incredible array of haunt and horror icons to Southern California for two fear-filled days of chills and thrills, Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival is set for its terror-soaked debut July 30 and 31 at the Long Beach Convention Center. Featuring more than 100,000 square feet of artisan vendors, live entertainment, specialty workshops, makeup demonstrations, screenings, haunted attraction previews, and a darkened scare zone, Midsummer Scream is the brainchild of the minds behind CreepyLA and Theme Park Adventure.

“Halloween is no longer hostage to the fall, and a growing number of consumers are beginning their shopping prior to September 1,” said David Markland, Midsummer Scream Executive Director. “Halloween is an over $7 billion business in the United States, and nowhere is it more popular than Southern California – home of the most diverse haunts and popular events in the nation. Midsummer Scream has not only found the perfect timing but also the perfect location.”

A highlight of Midsummer Scream will be its main stage auditorium, which will accommodate more than 1,000 horror fans gathered to witness a world-class lineup of panels and presentations, including exciting reveals and announcements for the 2016 Halloween season in California.

Highly-anticipated panels and attractions include:

Henson: Creatures with Heart
Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has been creating family-friendly scares and whimsical creatures around the world for 37 years. Midsummer Scream will welcome this incredibly talented team as they discuss the history of their craft, as well as what the future has in store for their style of puppetry and design.

Reservation Confirmed… “American Horror Story: Hotel”
Some of the sinister minds behind the acclaimed anthology series “American Horror Story” check in at Midsummer Scream to discuss the gritty world of “Hotel,” which aired from October 2015 to January 2016 on FX. From makeup design and effects to stunning character development and overall look, the panel will celebrate the terrifying beauty of the Hotel Cortez and its other-worldly residents.

Winchester Mystery House
An unprecedented 60-minute presentation and panel discussion on Sunday, July 31, will feature rare photographs, never-before-seen footage, and ghost stories from the sprawling 160-room Victorian mansion in the San Francisco Bay Area. During the spirited presentation, Winchester Mystery House representatives will discuss the history of the property, an upcoming episode of “Ghost Adventures,” their recent James Van Praagh séance, brand-new Halloween Candlelight Tours, and feature film Winchester by Michael and Peter Spierig, starring Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren. The Museum of Paranormal History, a curated section of the show floor featuring all things paranormal, will also feature a Winchester Mystery House booth.

Museum of Paranormal History
The Museum of Paranormal History will be a unique collective of vendors, experts, authors, and local tour guides specializing in all things supernatural and including more than a dozen exhibitors. Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum will showcase their vintage Ouija boards, ParaXplorer Project, Dearly Departed Tours, Haunted Vegas Tours, Planet Paranormal known for their wide variety of fantastic radio talk shows, Orange County Ghosts and Legends tour and paranormal investigation group, and the Winchester Mystery House will have actual pieces from the famous Northern California mansion on display – some for sale – at their booth. To ensure nothing gets out of hand, members of the Southland Ghostbusters cosplay group will be present throughout the weekend.

Theme Park Panel Presentations
Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights will host a presentation by the guiding force behind Halloween Horror Nights in Los Angeles, John Murdy and Chris Williams. Knott’s Berry Farm will lift the veil and share some of its spine-tingling plans for Scary Farm 2016. Walt Disney Imagineering will give fans an intimate look at The Art of Illusioneering, featuring a historical retrospective of creating special effects and illusions for its classic attractions including the Haunted Mansion, as well as how that tradition has continued today, and where it’s going tomorrow. Six Flags Magic Mountain will provide fans an amazing preview of things – and screams – to come this Halloween at Fright Fest, and Queen Mary promises a major new character and maze reveal, giving Midsummer Scream fans an exclusive look at the horrors rolling in with the tide this fall at Dark Harbor.

Other Panel Presentations
Rounding-out the paranormal offerings at Midsummer Scream will be two additional panel presentations:Haunted Theme Parks on Saturday, July 30, will delve into infamous ghost stories surrounding the attractions at Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Universal Studios Hollywood. On Sunday, July 31, Spirits with Spirits: Haunted Bars of Southern California will be on tap, serving up a round of blood-chilling stories about the most “active” drinking holes in the region.

Oingo Boingo Dance Party Headlines Noche de los Muertos Celebration
Oingo Boingo Dance Party will headline the Noche de los Muertos (Night of the Dead) celebration and ‘80s costume contest on Saturday, July 30. With an underlying thematic style commonly centered around Dia de los Muertos, the band became synonymous with Halloween in Southern California in the ‘80s and ‘90s, performing shows at Irvine Meadows each October. Tickets to the 21 and over event, as well as a limited number of passes for a personal meet-and-greet opportunity with the band, are available now at the Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival website.

Hall of Shadows
Hall of Shadows will occupy more than one third of the Halloween festival’s 90,000-square-foot show floor this year, giving thousands of fans the opportunity to preview nine stand-alone home and professional haunt experiences each day. In addition to the haunted attractions, the Hall of Shadows will feature Toxicity, an immersive experience by Larry Bones (creator of makeup applications and prosthetics at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights.) Set within the walls of a genetics lab that has suffered a toxic explosion, twisted, mutated scientists will “attack” guests from all sides. Meanwhile, high-energy performances by the Decayed Brigade slider team will take place three times each day; “sliding” is a scare tactic created approximately 40 years ago at Knott’s Scary Farm where performers push their bodies and the laws of gravity to the limit to create a heart-stopping fright.

For more information regarding dates and times for panels and events and to purchase tickets, log on to the Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival website. Fans may sign up on the site for email notifications and announcements, including discounts and other special offers. Follow Midsummer Scream on social media – Twitter/Periscope, Instagram, and Facebook.

Former producers of ScareLA, Midsummer Scream creators are David Markland, Executive Director; Gary Baker, Executive Producer; Rick West, Creative Director; Johanna Atilano, Producer; and Claire Dunlap, Associate Producer.

Midsummer Scream




Dread Central Presents

2018 Saturn Awards Horror Nominees Include Get Out, The Shape of Water, IT, The Lodgers, The Walking Dead, Ash vs Evil Dead, and Lots More!



The nominees for the 2018 Saturn Awards (now in their 44th year) have been announced, and while of course Black Panther and his fellow superheroes lead the fray on both big and small screens, our beloved genre is very well represented in all its various forms…

The nominees include “pure” horror and thriller movies and TV shows, horror/sci-fi hybrids, and of course fantasies such as recent Oscar winner The Shape of Water. Our own Dread Central Presents film The Lodgers also made the cut as Best International Film!

This year’s Saturn Awards will be handed out in June in Burbank, California. It’s a tough choice in several categories; let us know your picks below! And if you want to make your votes official, visit saturnawards.org to learn more about how to join The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.


Best Comic-to-Motion Picture Release
Black Panther
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Thor: Ragnarok
Wonder Woman

Best Science Fiction Film
Alien: Covenant
Blade Runner 2049
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Fantasy Film
Beauty and the Beast
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Kong: Skull Island
Paddington 2
The Shape of Water

Best Horror Film
47 Meters Down
Annabelle: Creation
Better Watch Out
Get Out

Best Action or Adventure Film
Baby Driver
The Fate of the Furious
The Greatest Showman
Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Best Thriller Film
Brawl in Cell Block 99
Murder on the Orient Express
The Post
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Wind River

Best Director
Ryan Coogler – Black Panther
Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
Patty Jenkins – Wonder Woman
Rian Johnson – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Matt Reeves – War for the Planet of the Apes
Denis Villeneuve – Blade Runner 2049

Best Writing
Black Panther – Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole
Blade Runner 2049 – Hampton Fancher and Michael Green
Get Out – Jordan Peele
Logan – Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green
The Shape of Water – Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Rian Johnson
Wonder Woman – Allan Heinberg

Best Actor
Chadwick Boseman – Black Panther as T’Challa / Black Panther
Ryan Gosling – Blade Runner 2049 as K
Mark Hamill – Star Wars: The Last Jedi as Luke Skywalker
Hugh Jackman – Logan as James Howlett / Logan
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out as Chris Washington
Andy Serkis – War for the Planet of the Apes as Caesar
Vince Vaughn – Brawl in Cell Block 99 as Bradley Thomas

Best Actress
Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water as Elisa Esposito
Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as Mildred Hayes
Lupita Nyong’o – Black Panther as Nakia
Rosamund Pike – Hostiles as Rosalie Quaid
Daisy Ridley – Star Wars: The Last Jedi as Rey
Emma Watson – Beauty and the Beast as Belle

Best Supporting Actor
Harrison Ford – Blade Runner 2049 as Rick Deckard
Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther as N’Jadaka / Erik “Killmonger” Stevens
Michael Keaton – Spider-Man: Homecoming as Adrian Toomes / Vulture
Chris Pine – Wonder Woman as Steve Trevor
Michael Rooker – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Yondu
Bill Skarsgard – It as It / Pennywise the Dancing Clown
Patrick Stewart – Logan as Charles Xavier / Professor X

Best Supporting Actress
Ana de Armas – Blade Runner 2049 as Joi
Carrie Fisher – Star Wars: The Last Jedi as General Leia Organa
Danai Gurira – Black Panther as Okoye
Lois Smith – Marjorie Prime as Marjorie
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water as Zelda Delilah Fuller
Tessa Thompson – Thor: Ragnarok as Valkyrie
Kelly Marie Tran – Star Wars: The Last Jedi as Rose Tico

Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Tom Holland – Spider-Man: Homecoming as Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Dafne Keen – Logan as Laura Kinney / X-23
Sophia Lillis – It as Beverly Marsh
Millicent Simmonds – Wonderstruck as Rose
Jacob Tremblay – Wonder as August “Auggie” Pullman
Letitia Wright – Black Panther as Shuri
Zendaya – Spider-Man: Homecoming as Michelle “MJ” Jones

Best Production Design
Beauty and the Beast – Sarah Greenwood
Black Panther – Hannah Beachler
Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner
The Shape of Water – Paul Denham Austerberry
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Rick Heinrichs
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Hugues Tissandier

Best Editing
Black Panther – Michael P. Shawver and Claudia Castello
The Fate of the Furious – Christian Wagner and Paul Rubell
Get Out – Gregory Plotkin
Logan – Michael McCusker and Dirk Westervelt
The Shape of Water – Sidney Wolinsky
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Bob Ducsay

Best Music
Black Panther – Ludwig Göransson
Coco – Michael Giacchino
The Greatest Showman – John Debney and Joseph Trapanese
The Shape of Water – Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – John Williams
Wonderstruck – Carter Burwell

Best Costume Design
Beauty and the Beast – Jacqueline Durran
Black Panther – Ruth E. Carter
The Greatest Showman – Ellen Mirojnick
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Michael Kaplan
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Olivier Bériot
Wonder Woman – Lindy Hemming

Best Make-up
Black Panther – Joel Harlow and Ken Diaz
Blade Runner 2049 – Donald Mowat
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – John Blake and Brian Sipe
It – Alec Gillis, Sean Sansom, Tom Woodruff, Jr. and Shane Zander
The Shape of Water – Mike Hill and Shane Mahan
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Peter Swords King and Neal Scanlan
Wonder – Arjen Tuiten

Best Special Effects
Black Panther – Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, and Dan Sudick
Blade Runner 2049 – John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover and Gerd Nefzer
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick
Kong: Skull Island – Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meinardus
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould and Neal Scanlan
War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Joel Whist

Best Independent Film
I, Tonya
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
Super Dark Times

Best International Film
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion
The Lodgers
The Man Who Invented Christmas
The Square
Wolf Warrior 2

Best Animated Film
Cars 3
Despicable Me 3
The Boss Baby
Your Name


Best Superhero Adaptation Television Series
Black Lightning
The Flash
Legends of Tomorrow
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Best Science Fiction Television Series
The 100
Doctor Who
The Expanse
The Orville
The X-Files

Best Fantasy Television Series
American Gods
Game of Thrones
The Good Place
The Librarians
The Magicians

Best Horror Television Series
American Horror Story: Cult
Ash vs Evil Dead
Fear the Walking Dead
The Strain
Teen Wolf
The Walking Dead

Best Action-Thriller Television Series
The Alienist
Animal Kingdom
Better Call Saul
Into the Badlands
Mr. Mercedes

Best Television Presentation
Channel Zero
Descendants 2
Doctor Who: “Twice Upon a Time”
Mystery Science Theatre 3000: The Return
The Sinner
Twin Peaks: The Return

Best Actor on Television
Jon Bernthal – The Punisher as Frank Castle / Punisher
Bruce Campbell – Ash vs Evil Dead as Ash Williams
Sam Heughan – Outlander as Jamie Fraser
Jason Isaacs – Star Trek: Discovery as Captain Gabriel Lorca
Andrew Lincoln – The Walking Dead as Rick Grimes
Seth MacFarlane – The Orville as Ed Mercer
Kyle MacLachlan – Twin Peaks: The Return as Dale Cooper
Ricky Whittle – American Gods as Shadow Moon

Best Actress on Television
Gillian Anderson – The X-Files as FBI Special Agent Dana Scully
Caitriona Balfe – Outlander as Claire Fraser
Melissa Benoist – Supergirl as Kara Danvers / Supergirl
Lena Headey – Game of Thrones as Cersei Lannister
Sonequa Martin-Green – Star Trek: Discovery as Michael Burnham
Adrianne Palicki – The Orville as Commander Kelly Grayson
Sarah Paulson – American Horror Story: Cult as Ally Mayfair-Richards and Susan Atkins
Mary Elizabeth Winstead – Fargo as Nikki Swango

Best Supporting Actor on Television
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Game of Thrones as Jaime Lannister
Miguel Ferrer – Twin Peaks: The Return as Albert Rosenfield
Kit Harington – Game of Thrones as Jon Snow
Doug Jones – Star Trek: Discovery as Commander Saru
Christian Kane – The Librarians as Jacob Stone
Michael McKean – Better Call Saul as Chuck McGill
Khary Payton – The Walking Dead as King Ezekiel
Evan Peters – American Horror Story: Cult as Kai Anderson, Andy Warhol, Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh, Jim Jones, Jesus, Charles Manson

Best Supporting Actress on Television
Odette Annable – Supergirl as Samantha Arias / Reign
Dakota Fanning – The Alienist as Sara Howard
Danai Gurira – The Walking Dead as Michonne
Melissa McBride – The Walking Dead as Carol Peletier
Candice Patton – The Flash as Iris West
Adina Porter – American Horror Story: Cult as Beverly Hope
Krysten Ritter – The Defenders as Jessica Jones
Rhea Seehorn – Better Call Saul as Kimberly “Kim” Wexler

Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series
KJ Apa – Riverdale as Archie Andrews
Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things as Eleven
Max Charles – The Strain as Zach Goodweather
Alycia Debnam-Carey – Fear the Walking Dead as Alicia Clark
David Mazouz – Gotham as Bruce Wayne
Lili Reinhart – Riverdale as Betty Cooper
Chandler Riggs – The Walking Dead as Carl Grimes
Cole Sprouse – Riverdale as Jughead Jones

Best Guest Performance in a Television Series
Bryan Cranston – Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams as Silas Herrick
Michael Greyeyes – Fear the Walking Dead as Qaletqa Walker
David Lynch – Twin Peaks: The Return as FBI Deputy Director Gordon Cole
Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead as Negan
Rachel Nichols – The Librarians as Nicole Noone
Jesse Plemons – Black Mirror as Robert Daly
Hartley Sawyer – The Flash as Ralph Dibny / Elongated Man
Michelle Yeoh – Star Trek: Discovery as Captain Philippa Georgiou / Emperor Georgiou

Best Animated Series or Film on Television
BoJack Horseman
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Family Guy
Rick and Morty
The Simpsons
Star Wars Rebels

Best New Media Television Series
Altered Carbon
Black Mirror
The Handmaid’s Tale
Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams
Star Trek: Discovery
Stranger Things

Best New Media Superhero Series
Future Man
Marvel’s The Defenders
Marvel’s Iron Fist
Marvel’s Runaways
Marvel’s The Punisher
The Tick


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SXSW 2018: Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade Wins Audience Award



Congraulations are in order as Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious) has won the SXSW Audience Award for his sci-fi action/thriller Upgrade! For those still in Austin who want to see the movie for themselves, there will be a screening tonight at the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse at 11pm in Theater A.

In our review, we called Upgrade, “…a pure adrenaline shot of sci-fi body horror thrills.

Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

Upgrade stars Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie, and Melanie Vallejo. It will be in theaters in June 1.


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Netflix’s Lost in Space Reboot Gets Fun Behind-the-Scenes Featurette



This April we will witness the launch of Netflix’s big-budget reboot of Lost in Space starring Toby Stephens, Molly Parker, Mina Sundwall, Taylor Russell, and Max Jenkins. I’m borderline excited as I feel this series could go either way, but I have to say casting Parker Posey as Dr. Smith is a great f*cking step in the right direction.

And speaking of Netflix’s “Lost in Space” today we have a fun behind-the-scenes look at The Robinsons’ epic adventure. Give it a look and then let us know if you’re excited for the reboot below!

The Netflix original series stars Toby Stephens (“Black Sails”, Die Another Day) as John Robinson, Molly Parker (“House of Cards”, “Deadwood”) as Maureen Robinson, Taylor Russell (“Falling Skies”) as Judy, Mina Sudwall (Maggie’s Plan, Freeheld) as Penny, Dr. Smith played by Parker Posey (Café Society, Mascot, A Mighty Wind), Don West is played by Ignacio Serricchio (“Bones”, The Wedding Ringer), and Max Jenkins (“Sense8”, “Betrayal”) as Will Robinson, the youngest and most vulnerable of the clan, who forms an unlikely and inexplicable bond with a sentient robotic alien being.

The series is produced by Legendary Television and written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold, Last Witch Hunter). Zack Estrin (“Prison Break”) serves as showrunner. The three are executive producers alongside Synthesis Entertainment’s Kevin Burns and Jon Jashni with Applebox’s Neil Marshall and Marc Helwig. The original Lost in Space series was created by Irwin Allen.

“Lost in Space” launches on Netflix April 13.


Lost in Space is a Netflix Original dramatic and modern reimagining of the classic 1960’s science fiction series. Set 30 years in the future, colonization in space is now a reality, and the Robinson family is among those tested and selected to make a new life for themselves in a better world. But when the new colonists find themselves abruptly torn off course en route to their new home they must forge new alliances and work together to survive in a dangerous alien environment, lightyears from their original destination.


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