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Sundance 2011: First Stills and Trailer from The Pact

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There will be quite a few things going bump in the night during Park City, Utah’s Sundance Film Festival, and we have a look at one of them for you. A ghostly tale known as The Pact.

From the Press Release
“In THE PACT, a young woman finds herself alone in the house of her late mother where an unsettling – and sinister – presence emerges.

Premiering as an official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the short film THE PACT, written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy, stars Jewel Staite (Firefly, Serenity) and Sam Ball (The Event). Playing with Calvin Reeder’s The Oregonian in the ʻPark City at Midnightʼ section of Sundance 2011, THE PACT is a dark ghost story told in a taut 11 minutes.

A legion of sci-fi fans know star Jewel Staite as ʻKayleeʼ on Joss Whedon’s cult series Firefly, a role she reprised in the feature film version, Serenity. Jewel’s tense performance in THE PACT as a besieged young woman is a unique compliment to her long resume in film and television.

Three-time Sundance director Nicholas McCarthy points to his love of the horror films of Dario Argento as an influence, but also to the subtler work of famed horror producer Val Lewton. “I wanted to tell a story about a woman dealing with a private, self-inflicted terror. My favorite aspects of horror films as diverse as Argento’s Suspiria or Lewton’s The Seventh Victim are their intense atmospheres. My goal was to call on those movies for reference and use them in the service of a character piece. I think the result is really different.”

THE PACT’s soundtrack, composed by Ronen Landa, features haunting solo violin performances by Anna Bulbrook of indie rock darlings The Airborne Toxic Event, and piano by world class jazz pianist Dan Tepfer. The cinematography is by award-winning DP Bridger Nielson, known for his striking spots for Sony, Adidas and many others.

THE PACT premieres Monday, January 24th at the Sundance Film Festival appropriately, at Midnight.”

Dig on some stills and the trailer below. For more visit The Pact on Facebook!


The Pact – Trailer
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Sundance 2011: First Stills and Trailer from The Pact

Sundance 2011: First Stills and Trailer from The Pact

Sundance 2011: First Stills and Trailer from The Pact

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Todd and The Book of Pure Evil: The End of The End Coming to Blu-ray

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If you were a fan of the kickass Canadian series “Todd and The Book of Pure Evil,” then you’re in for a real treat as the final chapter of the terrifyingly funny series, Todd and The Book of Pure Evil: The End of The End, is coming home.

Continuing where the critically acclaimed cult TV series left off, Todd & The Book of Pure Evil: The End of The End (review) returns to Crowley Heights to find Todd, Jenny and Curtis grieving the loss of their dear friend Hannah, whose death may or may not have been caused by Todd’s banishing of the Book. The three must reunite to fight evil when the Book of Pure Evil returns to Crowley High, bringing with it some familiar faces (Guidance Counselor Atticus Murphy Jr., Jimmy the Janitor, and The Metal Dudes) as well as some new foes, such as the Sweater Vest Beast and an Acidic Acne-Faced Teen. But these enemies are merely warm-ups to the final battle with their greatest nemesis yet: The New Pure Evil One, whose intimate knowledge of our heroes may ultimately lead to their destruction! Todd & The Book of Pure Evil: The End of The End is loaded with the same juvenile jokes, gore gags, and satanic sing-alongs that made the original TV series a world-wide hit.

Featuring the original award-winning cast providing their voices – Alex House, Maggie Castle, Bill Turnbull, Melanie Leishman, Chris Leavins and Jason Mewes, among others. The animated flick is directed by Craig David Wallace (co-creator and showrunner of the live action series) and Richard Duhaney, with a script by Wallace and co-creator Charles Picco, and original music by Shawn Pierce.

Raven Banner’s limited edition includes a 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD/CD combo of the feature film (all region), a “Mini Book of Pure Evil” 20-page colour limited edition “making of” booklet, English commentary, never-before-seen artwork, exclusive special features, bonus CD soundtrack, and more!

Order your copy here!

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Metro Exodus Gets a Haunting New Cinematic Trailer

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One of the biggest horror games of 2018 is Metro Exodus, the third installment in the critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic first-person franchise based on the novel by Dmitry Glukhovsky. We haven’t heard much about the game since it was announced at E3, although a brand new cinematic trailer debuted at the Game Awards ceremony. And while it didn’t show any actual gameplay footage, it did give us a look at some of the hideous monsters we can expect to encounter in the Russian wasteland when Metro Exodus launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC late next year.

Like the previous entries in the franchise, Metro Exodus will be developed by Maltese developer 4A Games and published by Deep Silver.

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Children of the Fall Review – This Israeli Slasher Gets Political

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Starring Noa Maiman, Aki Avni, Yafit Shalev, Iftach Ophir, Michael Ironside

Directed by Eitan Gafny

Reviewed out of Utopia 2017


Slashers are a subgenre of horror that are often looked down upon. After all, what can a movie about a killer slaughtering multiple people have to say about, well…anything. Those of us in the community know full well that this is nonsense and that any kind of horror movie can be a jabbing (no pun intended) commentary on society, culture, politics, art, etc… And that’s precisely what Eitan Gafny aims to do with Children of the Fall, one of the few Israeli slashers ever created.

Set on the eve of the Yom Kippur war, the film follows Rachel (Maiman), a young American woman who comes to Israel to join a kibbutz after suffering some serious personal tragedies. Her goal to make aliyah (the return of Jews to Israel) is however hampered by some rather unpleasant encounters with local IDF soldiers and members of the kibbutz. Pushing through, she makes friends with others in the commune and her Zionistic views are only strengthened, although they do not go untested. Once Yom Kippur, one of the holiest holidays in Jewish culture, begins, a killer begins picking off the kibbutz workers one by one in violent and gruesome ways.

Let’s start with what Children of the Fall gets right, okay? As slashers go, it’s actually quite beautiful. There are wonderfully expansive shots that make use of the size and diversity of the kibbutz. The film opens with a beautiful shot of a cow stable, barn, water towers, and miscellaneous outbuildings, all set against a dark and stormy night. The lighting of this scene, and throughout the film, is also very good. I found myself darting my eyes across the screen multiple times throughout the film thinking I’d seen something lurking in the shadows.

The kills, while unoriginal, are very satisfying. Each death is meaty, bloody, and doesn’t feel rushed. In fact, the camera has no problems lingering during each kill, allowing us to appreciate the practical FX and copious amounts of blood used. And if you believe that a slasher needs to have nudity, you won’t be disappointed.

The acting is middle of the road. Maiman is serviceable as Rachel but the real star of the film is Yafit Shalev as “Yaron”. His range of emotion is fantastic, from warm and welcoming to Rachel when she arrives to emoting grief and pain during his Yom Kippur announcement where we learn that he was a child in a concentration camp. The rest of the cast are perfectly acceptable as fodder for the killer.

So where does Children of the Fall stray? Let’s start with the most obvious part: the runtime. Clocking in at nearly two hours, that’s about 30 minutes too much. The film could easily have gone through some hefty editing without affecting the final product. Instead, we have a movie that feels elongated when unnecessary.

Additionally, the societal and political commentary is very in-your-face but the film can’t seem to make up its mind as to what it’s trying to get across. Natalia, a Belarussian kibbutz worker, raises the concept of Israeli racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, her hostility unabashedly pouring out in the midst of IDF soldiers, locals, other kibbutz members, and more. Is there validity to what she’s saying? Undoubtedly. But there is also validity to Rachel’s retorts, which include calling this woman out on her own vitriolic views. This back-and-forth mentality frustratingly prevails throughout the film, as though Gafny was unwilling to just commit.

The dialogue is also quite painful at times, although I attribute this to difficulties with translating from Hebrew to English. Even the best English speakers in Israel don’t get everything perfect and the little quirks here and there, while charming, are quite detracting. Also, why is this movie trying to tell me that Robert Smith of The Cure is a character here? While amusing, it makes absolutely no sense nor does it fit in Smith’s own timeline.

Had this film gone through a couple rounds of editing, I feel like we’d have gotten something really great. Eitan Gafny is definitely someone that we need to be watching very closely.

  • Children of the Fall
2.5

Summary

While Children of the Fall has a lot going for it, it has just as much working against it. Overly long, you’ll get a really great slasher that is bogged down by uneven social and political commentary.

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