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Bates Motel – See What Norman Has Been Up To!

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We learned a few days ago that “Bates Motel” will be returning to the airwaves of A&E a bit sooner than usual with Season 5 set to premiere on February 20th.  Now we have a few more details courtesy of the network plus a video that shows us what Norman has been up to since we last saw him.

From the Press Release:
The haunting fifth and final season of the critically acclaimed drama “Bates Motel,” from writers and executive producers Kerry Ehrin (“Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood”) and Carlton Cuse (“Lost, “The Strain”), will premiere on Monday, February 20, at 10PM ET/PT on A&E. Fan favorite and Emmy-nominated actress Vera Farmiga returns for double duty as executive producer while also reprising her role as “Mother,” who is very much alive and well, but only in the twisted, complicated mind of “Norman Bates,” played by Freddie Highmore. In addition, eight-time Grammy Award winner and series super fan Rihanna checks in to play the role of “Marion Crane,” putting a newly reimagined and contemporary spin on the iconic character.

This contemporary prequel to the genre-defining film Psycho has provided fans with an intimate look into the unraveling of Norman Bates’ psyche throughout his teenage years. Fans watched as Norman’s dangerous transformation came full circle when he methodically murdered his beloved mother, Norma, in the final gut-wrenching episodes of Season Four.

Season Five of “Bates Motel” picks up almost two years later and finds Norman (Freddie Highmore), a grown man now, living a double life. Publicly he’s a happy and well-adjusted member of the White Pine Bay community, but at home Norman struggles; his violent blackouts continue to increase as Mother (Vera Farmiga) threatens to take over his mind completely. Meanwhile, Dylan Massett (Max Thierot) and Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke), since leaving White Pine Bay, have been living their lives blissfully unaware of Norma’s death and Norman’s full on descent into psychosis. Unfortunately for them, they will soon find themselves drawn back into Norman’s insanity, while a vengeful Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell), who is currently incarcerated for a perjury, hungers for a chance to destroy his stepson and avenge the murder of his one true love, Norma Bates.

New faces find their way to the Bates Motel this season to further complicate Norman’s life and threaten to unearth his dark secrets. Viewers will finally meet the iconic Marion Crane played by Rihanna. In addition, a new couple in town, Madeleine Loomis, played by Isabelle McNally (“House of Cards”) and her husband, Sam Loomis, played by Austin Nichols (“The Walking Dead,” “Ray Donovan”), as well as Sheriff Dana Greene, played by Brooke Smith (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ray Donovan”), become entangled in Norman’s life, causing a chain of events that could blow the lid off Norman’s secret life. Lastly, fans will be greeted by familiar faces when Caleb Calhoun (Kenny Johnson) and Chick Hogan (Ryan Hurst) return with agendas of their own.

“Bates Motel” is produced by Universal Television for A&E Network. Kerry Ehrin and Carlton Cuse serve as executive producers for Cuse Productions and Kerry Ehrin Productions. Tucker Gates, Vera Farmiga, and Tom Szentgyorgyi also serve as executive producers on the series.

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Video: The Shape of Water Q&A with Guillermo del Toro and Doug Jones at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre

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This past weekend at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA betwixt a double screening of The Shape of Water and the classic The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the former’s director Guillermo del Toro (and star Doug Jones) sat down to discuss the latter’s influence on the film, Gill-man sex, “one sock movies,” his career in the genre, and more with moderator Jonah Ray, and we were there to film a portion of it.

Our sincere thanks to American Cinematheque general manager Dennis Bartok for extending the invitation.

For more Cinematheque screenings, visit the official website here.

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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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