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Exclusive: Full Details and Teaser Trailer – New Horror Anthology – Habeus Corpus

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Get ready, anthology fans! The time has come for all the details you need regarding Paul Davis’ (Beware the Moon) upcoming collection of terror tales, Habeus Corpus, including the teaser trailer!

Habeus Corpus is an upcoming portmanteau horror feature bringing together some new and exciting names in the genre. Directors Paul Davis (Beware The Moon) and Simon Aitken (Blood + Roses) are collaborating with award-winning short film writers/directors Clive Ashenden and Rob Wickings (Code Grey, Snatching Time), writer Ben Woodiwiss (Blood + Roses), and effects artist Brendan Lonergan (John Carter of Mars, Clash of the Titans, Gladiator, Alien 3) on the film: an anthology themed around the exploitation of the dead.

Exclusive: Full Details and Teaser Trailer -  New Horror Anthology  - Habeus Corpus

  • THE CARETAKER & THE CORPSE directed by Clive Ashenden

    Synopsis
    A graveyard caretaker makes a deal with a flesh-eating zombie. While the log-fire in his cottage burns, he will have an attentive audience for his macabre stories. But when the fire dies… so will he.

    Director Quote:

    What first attracted me to “The Caretaker and The Corpse”, was the Caretaker himself. Even in writer Ben Woodiwiss’ first draft, here was a character with a sly sense of humour, coupled with a compelling mystery: Who was this storyteller regaling us with his tales of the dead? He seemed to be a kindly old gentleman, but who was he really?

    Once I had the answer to that question, an entirely new (and much darker and more ironic) ending presented itself. Happily, when I pitched my new take on the script to Ben, he embraced it immediately and we were able to work together on the subsequent drafts of the script.

    I also loved the idea of working on the story that linked all the others together. All my favourite portmanteau horror movies, from “Dead of Night” onwards, had a strong spine; a story which not only bookended the movie, but provided its connective tissue and had a real sting in the tail.

    Perhaps because ‘The Caretaker’ feels like a Peter Cushing type of role to me, the look and feel I’m going for is Hammer Horror meets Amicus. I want that sickly Eastman colour look you get in Terence Fisher movies like “Dracula” (aka. “The Horror of Dracula”) and “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. To modern audiences some of the British horror movies from that time can seem almost quaint in comparison to the likes of “Saw”, “Hostel” and “Martyrs”. But I think this will work in favour of our story. Like a real wolf hidden inside a fairy tale wolf’s costume, when it finally turns nasty and tears its way out of that cosy shell, it’s even more shocking than if we just started straight in with the mutilation and killing.

    Ultimately, if people want to get an idea of how the balance of humour and horror will work in “The Caretaker and the Corpse”, they can look at the teaser trailer I wrote and directed. This will be a horror laced with comedy, not a comedy laced with horror.”

  • LIVEDEADGIRLS directed by Rob Wickings

    Synopsis

    Trevor is a recovering alcoholic, who has filled the aching gap that booze used to fill by visiting prostitutes. He hears about an exclusive place where the girls touch you so sweetly that it’s barely like being touched at all. It’s called The Veil. The host of the place, an androgynous creature called Shrike, soon hooks Trevor in, and demands a price that will destroy both the addict and his wife.
    Shrike has a secret, and the girls of The Veil are older than they look…

    Director Quote:

    Livedeadgirls takes a lot of the themes and imagery that have popped up in my writing over the years and gives them a more overtly horror-heavy kick. I’ve always been interested in self-destructive behaviour, and the justifications that people give when they embark something that’s obviously a bad idea. I tend to write about powerful women. Women who have abilities beyond the mundane. Most obviously, I write about magic and mystery leaking into the world, and how it affects those that it touches. The trigger for the piece was seeing a sign for a strip bar in Walker’s Court, Soho, that said simply “Live Girls.” The simple question that popped into my mind at that moment “Well, what ELSE would they be?” sparked off the first draft of the film.

    I’ve got clear ideas for the look and feel of Livedeadgirls. I’m a film geek. My day job is at one of the few surviving motion picture film labs in the UK as a film archivist, and I shoot Super 8 as a hobby. I’ve had my head turned by the bleak yet rich feel of TV dramas of the 70’s, and want to get some of the atmosphere of ITC’s output into my film. It suits the material, and can be successfully updated without doing the obvious shorthand tricks. I’m not interested in destauration, colour washes or fake film splices and dirt. Livedeadgirls will look contemporary, but feel timeless.

  • THE TOURIST directed Simon Aitken

    Synopsis

    The Tourist is about a young man, Stuart O’Brien, who discovers he has the ability to absorb energy from a person when they die. The rush he gets from it is like a drug. He volunteers at a local hospice, where he feeds off the dying. Alas he is not the only one with this gift. He finds someone more experienced and more dangerous than he could imagine.

    Director Quote:

    The Tourist was the last story written for Habeas Corpus. We had come up with the concept that the film is about of the exploitation of the dead. I was struggling to find my story. I didn’t want to copy the other guys. I hit upon the idea when I was talking to a friend about the death of an actor I had worked with. His name was Matt Stokes. I had directed him in a TV pilot, called ‘Moving Forward”. He died in hospital from a brain tumour. I hadn’t gone to visit him and my friend wondered why I hadn’t gone? I told him I didn’t want to be a tourist. That’s when the lightbulb went off. Where I got the idea of a person who actively seeks out the dying.

    The hospice, that is going to be in the film, is based on research I did. But I also took inspiration from the hospital in The Exorcist 3. I want the place to be creepy, but to function as a real hospice. The look I am going for is a realistic look, though the camerawork is going to be very stylistic.”

  • THE GHOULS directed by Brendan Lonergan

    Synopsis

    Edward J Goldsmith, lonely, middle aged bachelor, is the unwitting victim of a confused, undead works unit by the name of Charlie, who thoroughly believes that Goldsmiths house once belonged to him. While on an assignment, it/he has escaped from an underground facility run by government men, plotting to do away with troublesome workforces, Trade unions, armies etc and ultimately create a cost effective undead workforce which doesn’t ask questions, answer back or take days off. After being kidnapped by the loathsome creature Charlie, Mr Goldsmith is embroiled deep into a world of utilitarian walking corpses, and evil little men in Bowler hats plotting to change the face of 1950’s Britain … possibly the world.

  • S.C.U.M. directed by Paul Davis

    Synopsis

    A female art student is in danger of failing a critical school project, not only resulting in her dropping out of school, but being deported from Britain back to the United States. While struggling to find inspiration for her project on S.C.U.M. (the Society for Cutting Up Men), she stumbles upon a method of expressing her art in a way that embodies the very core of the subject matter. Art isn’t dead. Dead is art.

    Director Quote:

    My involvement in S.C.U.M. has actually come about very late in the project. As far as a I know this movie as a collective has been silently in the works for about two-years and I came on board in May. I really liked the script (written by Ben Woodiwiss) when it was sent to me. As I was reading it I was getting a million flashes through my head regarding the style and tone. There was a sense of humour already there but I felt it could be exploited further, because the very idea of mass murder being turned into art is just ridiculous, so I wanted to really magnify the absurdity of it, while at the same time have it play out deadly straight. That said, I knocked out a 4th draft of the script, which has worked out as the shooting script, and changed a few things around. Now the central character is very much just in it for the art or for the grade, with those around her really advocating the lengths in which she goes to to get results.

    As for how I’m approaching it, I can only really describe it in the form of a joke… What would you get if Andy Warhol raped Brian De Palma? S.C.U.M. I’ve been watching a lot of De Palma and giallo to really nail an over the top pop-arty look, mainly for all the gore scenes. For the rest of the movie, I’ve been watching some John Hughes stuff, Clueless, Mean Girls… really bright, hip, rock n roll teen movies. I want it to be a juxtaposition of ‘OMG and Oh My God!’ Two worlds colliding, both super exaggerated. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’ve already nailed a couple of cameos such as Emily Booth (Doghouse, Evil Aliens) and Jake West (director of Evil Aliens and Doghouse). It’s going to be a lot of fun to shoot and I can assure that the big payoff – my ‘prom scene’ if you will – will definitely be something special.


    Habeas Corpus – Teaser Trailer
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    The Open House Review – Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

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    Starring Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton, Patricia Bethune, Sharif Atkins

    Written by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote

    Directed by Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote


    Mere weeks, even days, after effusively beating Netflix’s original horror content drum (The Babysitter, Before I Wake, Creep 2), I’m here to confirm that The Open House is emptier than an vacant bomb shelter. Cold, unappealing and thoughtlessly plotted to the point where “generic” would have been an improvement. From the moment we’re welcomed into Matt Angel and Suzanne Coote’s scripted imprisonment, it’s nothing but loose floorboards and busted plumbing. The home invasion genre has rarely been navigated with such little attention to detail, asking for our suspension of coherent storytelling early, often, and without earning the right to be deemed mindless genre fun. Not even Ty Pennington could save this extreme renovation disaster.

    Dylan Minnette plays Logan Wallace, a track star and student who must find closure after watching his father fall victim to a fatal car accident. It is his mother Naomi’s (Piercey Dalton) idea to spend a little time away from their suburban home – escape those painful memories – so they retreat to her sister’s luxurious mountain getaway. The catch? It’s in the process of being sold and open houses are on the regular, so Naomi and Logan must vacate their temporary premises on certain days. It’s after one of these very showings that Logan begins to notice slight changes around the house, and he fears that an unwanted visitor may be in their midst. Guess what? He’s right.

    To understand how little The Open House cares about conscious blueprinting, just read the poster’s tagline. “You can’t lock out what’s already inside” – right, but you could have prevented them from coming in, or checked the house to make sure they weren’t squatting, or explored numerous other possibilities to avoid this scenario. The mansion’s realtor allows prospective buyers to come and go but it’s not her job to make sure no one’s hiding in the basement? Naomi can’t even keep track of the *single* visitor she lets look around the house? It’s infuriating to see so many people neglect safety out of forced coincidence because the script couldn’t rationalize the killer’s entry any other way – a confounding strike one.

    This is also a film that admits no reasoning for why its own murderer has targeted the Wallaces, or why he stokes a violent fetish when it comes to open houses. We never actually see his face, just his imposing handyman-looking attire, nor do we savor any kind of tangible backstory (his family died during their own open house and he suffered a psychotic breakdown – just give me *something*). His undefined form never demands curiosity like John Carpenter’s “The Shape” once did, because scripting is nothing more than bullet notes for basic horror movie necessities. Here he is, your bad guy – too bad he’s introduced without fear, handled without originality and unable to characterize beyond torturous kidnapper dotted lines. He’s just, you know, a guy who sneaks into open houses and kills – COMPLETE WITH A FINAL PAN-IN ON AN OPEN HOUSE SIGN WHEN HE MOVES TO HIS NEXT TARGET [eye roll into infinity].

    Every scene in The Open House feels like an afterthought. “Ah, we need a way to build tension – how about a senile local woman who lives down the street and wanders aimlessly into frame?” Overplayed and in no way suitable to most her inclusions, but sure. “Oh, and we need inner conflict – what about if the breaker-iner steals Logan’s phone and frames him for later acts?” I mean, didn’t Logan canonically lose his phone even before Naomi’s mid-shower water heater issues – but sure, instant fake tension. “How are people going to believe the killer is always around and never blows his cover – think they’ll just buy it?” No, we don’t. Worse off, his cat-and-mouse game is dully repetitive until a finale that skyrockets intensity with jarring tonal imbalance. This closing, dreadful end without any sort of redemptive quality. More abusive than it is fulfilling.

    If there’s anything positive worth conveying, it’s that Minnette does a fine job shuffling around as a character with severe sight impairment. The killer makes a point to remove his contacts as a final “FUCK YOU,” just to toy around a bit more, and Minnette frantically slips or stumbles with nothing more than foggy vision. Otherwise, dialogue finds itself ripped form a billion other straight-to-TV Logo dramas about broken families, no moment ever utilizing horror past a few shadowy forms standing in doorways after oblivious characters turn away. You can’t just take an overused subgenre and sleepwalk through homogenized beats…case and god-forsaken point.

    Even as a streamable Netflix watch, The Open House is irredeemable beyond fault. The walls are caving in on this dilapidated excuse for home invasion horror, benefiting not from the star power of a temperamental Dylan Minnette. I have seen most involved players here in far better projects (Minnette’s stock has rightfully been skyrocketing, Matt Angel in The Funhouse Massacre, etc), but this is bargain bin theatrics without a fully formed idea. A nameless villain, doomed nice guy (Sharif Atkins), woefully unaware plot advancement – all the worst cliches found in one rage-quit worthy effort. Anyone who makes it through deserves an award…or a dunce cap.

    • The Open House
    1.0

    Summary

    Unless you’re irrationally afraid of cold showers, The Open House fails to deliver on a premise that can be summed up by no more than two lines of text.

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    Michael C. Hall Buried in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

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    Now here’s an audio book we can REALLY get behind! Entertainment Weekly is reporting that former “Dexter” star Michael C. Hall will be narrating the first ever unabridged recording of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Sometime’s audio is better!

    Readers have been asking for this audiobook for a very long time,” Stephen King said in a statement. “I know the listening experience will be worth the wait with Michael as narrator.

    We’re thrilled to finally bring Pet Sematary to King’s audiobook fans,” Simon & Schuster Audio president and publisher Chris Lynch added. “Michael C. Hall is a perfect match for this timeless story, which has long deserved an unabridged production.

    The unabridged audiobook of Pet Sematary will be released by Simon & Schuster Audio on March 27. Speaking of Hall… you know he would make a pretty friggin’ good casting choice to play Victor Pascow in the upcoming Pet Sematary remake. Just sayin’.

    BUY IT NOW!

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    Saw-inspired Game Play With Me Sets a Trap on Steam

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    Saw fans have a lot to be happy about right now. In addition to Jigsaw being teased for Dead by Daylight, a new Saw-themed game called Play With Me has launched on Steam, and although it’s not officially connected with the franchise in any way, developer Airem promised that they created a videogame which looks and plays as though it were made by Jigsaw himself. As you can tell from the trailer and screenshots, the production values and overall quality of Play With Me appear to be considerably higher than most other indie horror games released on Steam, and you’ll probably be very happy to see that Airem took the time and effort to create stylized hand drawn environments rather than using purchased assets from the Unity Store.

    The killer behind the sinister traps in Play With Me is known as the Illusion, with the player taking control of investigative journalist Robert Hawk as he tries to fight his way through a series of sick and twisted obstacles created by the lunatic. The voice acting in the trailer was a little cheesy, although we see at 1:09 that the player will be tasked with using a kitchen knife to cut open a dead body (presumably to retrieve an item hidden in the cadaver’s stomach), which is not an image you’ll be forgetting anytime soon.

    IQ Publishing are offering a 15% discount off Play With Me for those who purchase the game before January 24, so Saw fans might want to mark that deadline in their calendars and purchase it from Steam before the time is up. After all, it can’t be worse than Konami’s awful official Saw videogames.

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