Midnight Son Preview Blow-Out: New Stills! New Art! Screening Info! Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht! - Dread Central
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Midnight Son Preview Blow-Out: New Stills! New Art! Screening Info! Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht!

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With Midnight Son getting set for its festival premiere and run, we have a veritable grab-bag of goodies for you to get the blood pumping. Then spraying.

The filmmakers released new key art and more to celebrate the upcoming festival screenings the film will have.

Midnight Son will make its World Premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, California on March 4 @ 9:30 PM. Writer/director Scott Leberecht, producer Matt Compton, and several cast members will be in attendance and will participate in a Q&A after the screening. The film will have two additional screenings at Cinequest: March 6 @ 6:45 PM and March 11 @ 12:30 PM. Tickets are available by clicking here. It will also screen at the Omaha Film Festival on March 5 @ 8:30 PM.

We’re really excited about the festival screenings we have coming up. So many people have worked so hard on the film, and it’s very rewarding to finally be able to show it to an audience,” says Scott Leberecht. “Cinequest is a wonderful celebration of independent cinema, so we’re really thrilled to be having the World Premiere there,” adds Matt Compton.

Midnight Son (review here) is a dark, character-driven drama that plays on horror themes in an understated, subtle way. The story centers on Jacob, a young man grappling with a dramatic physical transformation. No matter how much he eats, he suffers from malnutrition. To his disgust, he finds the blood in his steak packaging more satisfying than the steak itself. Something is changing inside him. When romance sparks with a young woman named Mary, he wrestles with the monster he’s becoming while desperately trying to keep his new craving a secret.

With Midnight Son writer/director Scott Leberecht, who also directed the insane short The Lobo Para-Military Christmas Special starring Andrew Bryniarski of Texas Chainsaw fame, makes his feature film debut with Zak Kilberg, Maya Parish, Jo D. Jonz, Arlen Escarpeta (Friday the 13th remake and the upcoming Final Destination 5), Larry Cedar (The Crazies), and Tracey Walter (Repo Man and the I Spit On Your Grave remake) all starring.

Eduardo Sanchez, co-creator of The Blair Witch Project, is on board as executive producer of the film along with Matt Compton, who served as co-producer on Sanchez’s Altered and producer on Seventh Moon.

For more visit the official Midnight Son website, befriend Midnight Son on Facebook, and follow Midnight Son on Twitter!

Synopsis:
MIDNIGHT SON is the story of Jacob, a young man confined to a life of isolation due to a rare skin disorder that prevents him from being exposed to sunlight. His world opens up when he meets Mary, a local bartender, and falls in love. Tragically, Jacob’s actions become increasingly bizarre as he struggles to cope with the effects of his worsening condition. Forced by the disease to drink human blood for sustenance, he must control his increasingly violent tendencies as local law enforcement narrow their focus on him as a suspect in a series of grisly murders.

Dig on some new stills and artwork below and click NEXT for an advance Q&A with director Scott Leberecht.

Midnight Son Preview Blow-Out: New Stills! New Art! Screening Info! Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht!

Midnight Son Preview Blow-Out: New Stills! New Art! Screening Info! Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht!

Midnight Son Preview Blow-Out: New Stills! New Art! Screening Info! Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht!

Midnight Son Preview Blow-Out: New Stills! New Art! Screening Info! Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht!

Midnight Son Preview Blow-Out: New Stills! New Art! Screening Info! Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht!

Midnight Son Preview Blow-Out: New Stills! New Art! Screening Info! Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht!

Midnight Son Preview Blow-Out: New Stills! New Art! Screening Info! Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht!

Q&A with writer/director Scott Leberecht

Q: Tell us a little about the origins of Midnight Son, from concept to financing.

A: When I lived in San Francisco, there was an old house I walked past every day that was boarded up and seemingly abandoned. The odd thing was that someone had covered the windows (from the inside) with whimsical paintings of trees and rainbow landscapes. I imagined a person trapped inside that could not come out, trying to connect with people passing by – someone who perhaps could not be exposed to sunlight and was very lonely. At that point I realized I had never really seen a vampire film that depicted the physical condition as something debilitating and tragic, as opposed to empowering or romantic.

Once I had the screenplay written, I created concept art, a storyboard animatic, and the paintings (that appear in the film) as a way to impress potential investors and help them understand the look and feel. The first investor was Kevin McCorkle. He and his wife, Lisa, embraced the film instantly and opened many doors for us. Without them, Max Curry, and Maya Parish, I never would have shot the movie. We raised enough money for production, and I naively believed that we would easily get the rest of the money for post-production once people saw the footage. This was our first big stall. Months went by, then David C Hughes, our Sound Designer, told Eduardo Sanchez about my predicament.

Q&A with Director Scott Leberecht!Eduardo checked out the website, then emailed me to see some footage. I sent him a few clips, and he asked to read the screenplay. After reading it, he called to say he wanted to help finish the film and brought on two other producers that he’d worked with in the past: Matt Compton and Reed Frerichs. I was thrilled. We were on our way again, but the 2008 economic downturn was our next big stall. We could no longer afford to pay an editor, and at that point I realized the only way the film was ever going to be finished was if I learned Final Cut Pro and did it myself. For many months I edited while Eduardo, Matt, and Reed gave me notes. Ed became my mentor and guide, teaching me things that only come with the kind of experience he has. Now that the film is finished, we are navigating the complex waters of distribution, and I feel incredibly lucky to be in a partnership with such wonderful, experienced producers.

Q: Vampire films have been the “IT” topic on the big and small screens these days, with much criticism of certain sparkly vampires. You return the genre to its original horror, but how would you say Midnight Son is different from any other vampire film out today?

A: One aspect I struggled with was explaining the origin of his condition. Contracting the disease by being bitten felt cliché and derivative of other vampire movies. I wanted my character to be the victim of his own body. Congenital illness, puberty, sexual attraction, and love are all things that happen to us from the inside out. We generally dislike being at the mercy of anything, but when the thing we don’t want emanates from within, our self-image shatters. We must cope with a new set of rules, and our identity is temporarily on hold. These are very scary moments in life. I think the mysterious origin of his illness makes MIDNIGHT SON unique.

Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making Midnight Son?

A: The best experience was working with a cast and crew who all understood that independent filmmaking at this level means that we must not only do the job we are going to be credited for, we must be willing to do anyone’s job. Actors hauled gear, wardrobe handled props, and the director parked cars. It’s the only way to get a no budget film made, and everyone accepted this. It was truly inspiring, and I was witnessing the kind of collaboration a filmmaker only dreams of.

The worst was when our lead actor (Zak Kilberg) had to go to the emergency room with abdominal pains. Like a true pro, he physically pushed himself to the very edge. I was terrified he had gone too far, and that I had asked him to go too far. For 24 hours I had no idea whether or not Zak had a serious medical problem and if we’d be able to finish the film. Luckily, he was okay, and we started shooting again the next day.

Q: In your own words, why should people see Midnight Son?

A: MIDNIGHT SON is what I would call a ‘thinking man’s horror film’. I can’t enjoy movies targeted to teens, so it’s hard for me to find anything that plumbs the depths of human fear in a way that moves me. People should see it if they are looking for a mature, sensitive story that also appeals to the monster-movie-loving kid inside us all.

Look for more on this flick soon!


Midnight Son – Trailer
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New Insidious: The Last Key Trailer Speaks Softly But Carries a Big Whistle

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The last word we brought you guys on the fourth installment in the Insidious franchise was when we let you know the new film had snagged a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for “disturbing thematic content, violence and terror, and brief strong language”.

Today we have a new trailer/TV spot for Insidious: The Last Key, and if you aren’t already on board for a fourth round of spooky shite courtesy of screenwriter Leigh Whannel, maybe this quick trailer will do the trick.

You can check out the new trailer below; then let us know how excited you are for Insidious: The Last Key!

I’m digging what I’ve seen from the new film thus far, and this new trailer only strengthens that. Plus I’m excited to see what director Adam Robitel can do with this series after his fucking terrifying previous film The Taking of Deborah Logan.

The film is directed by Adam Robitel from a script by Leigh Whannell and stars Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell, Josh Stewart, Caitlin Gerard, Kirk Acevedo, Javier Botet, Bruce Davison, Spencer Locke, Tessa Ferrer, Ava Kolker, and Marcus Henderson.

Insidious: The Last Key hits theaters January 5, 2018.

Synopsis:

Parapsychologist Elise Rainier and her team travel to Five Keys, N.M., to investigate a man’s claim of a haunting. Terror soon strikes when Rainier realizes that the house he lives in was her family’s old home.

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Luke Genton’s The Bone Box Trailer Proves Not All Graves Are Quiet

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Sometimes a fright flick comes along that sells me on the logline itself. And writer-director Luke Genton’s upcoming supernatural horror movie The Bone Box has just such a premise.

The film follows the story of a grave robber who comes to believe he’s being haunted by those he stole from. And if that premise doesn’t sell you on at least checking out the film’s trailer, I don’t know what to do for you.

Speaking of the trailer, you can check it out below. Then let us know what you think below!

The film stars Gareth Koorzen (The Black That Follows), Michelle Krusiec (The Invitation), and Maria Olsen (Starry Eyes), Jamie Bernadette (I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu), David Chokachi (Baywatch), Aaron Schwartz (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), and Tess Bellomo (Liked).

Look for updates on Facebook HERE and the Director’s Instagram: @lukegenton.

The Bone Box is currently in post-production. It is scheduled to be completed by November 2017 and is seeking distribution.

Synopsis:

Depressed and reeling from the recent death of his wife, Tom (Koorzen) has built up quite a gambling debt. He goes to stay with his wealthy Aunt Florence (Olsen) in hopes that she will write him into her will. When a nasty creditor makes it clear that Tom is out of time, he devises a plan with Elodie (Krusiec), the undertaker’s daughter, to rob the graves of the rich townspeople buried in the cemetery across the road. After plundering the graves, Tom begins hearing and seeing strange things that seem to coincide with the deaths of the people he robbed. Even more disconcerting… he appears to be the only one sensing the occurrences. One question lingers: Is Tom’s conscience playing a trick on him… or is he really being haunted by those he stole from?

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Last Meeple Standing

H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game, Overview and Review – Last Meeple Standing

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Yeah, I know. I’ve said it before, and I will scream it to the heavens again: There is an abysmal glut of Lovecraft Mythos games out there (and still streaming into the market). For a while there, it was vampire games (wanna take a sparkly guess why?). Then, it was zombie games (only Robert Kirkman knows why). Now it is Lovecraft games, and it is a LOT of them. Shambling, fish-headed masses of them, weighing down the game shop shelves like heavily laden buckets of freshly shorn tentacles (calm down, hentai fans). It’s true, and a lot of them seem to be sad doppelgangers of other games, just skinned with a rotting coat of Elder God goo.

Photo Credit: Tiffany Hahn

For that reason, it is nice to run across a Lovecraft-themed game that is GOOD. H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game is one of those… it’s good, but it’s not great (for ONE painful reason). But, for our nefarious purposes today, that’s good enough. The stars are PARTIALLY in alignment. There is one little detail to get out of the way before we wade into the spawn-infested miasma of this game: it is the hellish offspring of an earlier, more complex game called (you guessed it) H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival the board game. Much has been said about the relationship between these two games and many comparisons have been made, but since I neither own the board game nor have I played it, let’s leave it to fester in cold, barren space all by its lonesome for now. I’m sure its time will come…when the stars are right (rolling his eyes).

COMPONENTS:
It is RARE (like fresh Deep One filets) that the components of a game are as nice as the gameplay, but there are two elements of Kingsport Festival: TCG that really make it shine. The first is the titular cards that make up the bulk of the game. The artwork on the tarot-sized cards depicting the various gods, lesser gods, demons, and evil corgis (I kid) from the Mythos is dark and shows off the creatures to good/evil effect. I have to admit that these are some of my favorite depictions of the creatures from Lovecraft’s mind I’ve seen. They really look threatening here. The portraits on the cards presenting the investigators/evil cultists look dignified, a little creepy, and mysterious, as is only right for nogoodniks taking on Cthulhu’s worst. The graphic design is really classy with easily interpreted iconography and border artwork. Equal care has been taken with the backs of the cards, which have appropriately aged and Victorian elements. The only parts to this game are the cards and the dice. Wait, this is a card game, right?

Well, yes and no.

Although cards make up the lion’s share of the game, there is a heavy dice aspect as well, and these are some NICE dice. I’m a SUCKER for custom dice, and Kingsport Festival: TCG comes loaded with them. There are three types of dice: a white d10 with a clock icon on one face, brain-pink (a nice touch) d12 dice representing the player’s sanity with a Sanity icon on one face, and grey Domain d6 dice with three types of domain faces: purple Evil, black Death, and red Destruction. All of the dice are high-quality and engraved, not printed, with easily recognizable faces for ease of play and match up nicely with the icons on the game’s cards. Squee! Wonderfully evil custom dice!

SETUP:
Set up is pretty basic. All of the cards depicting the horrid gods are displayed in order of their power in six rows within reach of all of the players. The total number of copies of each type of god card is dictated by how many people are playing, so the number varies. Each player gets one of the brain-ilicious d12s with which to track their sanity and sets it to 10. All players white timer die, with the high roller taking the role of the starting player. Then each player sets their Sanity die to 10 (yes, the value can be increased up to 12 through game effects. That player takes the white d10 and sets it to the clock face. Players can pick an investigator card, but I suggest dealing them out at random to each player to liven things up (before they get driven insane, of course).

GAMEPLAY:
Gameplay is equally simple, yet strangely engaging. The first player takes the white timer d10, passes it to the next player to their left, who turns it to the number 1, effectively creating a timer that will count up from 1 to 10, ending the game. That player becomes the starting player. Once the white die is passed, the passing player increases their Sanity by one, as will be the mechanic throughout the rest of the game.

At the start of a game, the players will have no cards in their hands. They acquire them throughout the game, but we’ll talk about a general turn. The starting player rolls one of the domain dice and notes the resultant face. If they have cards to play, now is when they would play them. The card effects are varied. They might instruct the player to roll more dice, add specified domains to their pool of domains, change rolled die faces, etc. There are many possibilities. After the player has played all the cards they wish to and resolved the card effects, the player may spend the resources/domains gained through the dice they’ve rolled and the cards they have played to buy ONE god from the displayed cards and add it to their hand. It should be noted that players are limited to one and only one copy of each available god.

Once the player has completed their turn, they check to see if the round indicator on the white d10 matches one of the Raid rounds shown on the investigator card at the very bottom. If the numbers match, the player must compare the Gun icons on his cards to the strength of the raid indicated on his character card. If the Cultist’s strength is greater, he gains the difference in Sanity points. If the Cultist’s strength matches the Raid strength, they neither gain nor lose Sanity. If the Cultist’s strength is less than the Raid strength, they lose the difference in Sanity points. After this, the next player to the left will take their turn.

WINNING:
The game ends at the end of the ninth round, unless a Cultist is able to invoke the Elder God Azathoth, which results in dogs and cats sleeping together (no, not really). The cultists look at all of their god cards and add up the Elder God symbols at the bottom of each card. The Cultist with the most Elder God symbols/points at the end of the game WINS!

FINAL THOUGHTS:
So, there you have it: an epic battle between creepy Cultists and ghoulish Gods in one rather small box. I’ll get to the point. I really like H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival: The Card Game. I happen to be fond of little filler games like this. The box lists the playtime for this game as 30 min, but once the players know the rules, you can cut playtime down to 20 min, easy. It lists the age limit at 13+, which I think is absurd. There is nothing in the theme or artwork that would preclude players 10 and up from playing, other than rule complexity. Between the awesome art, the devilish dice, and the rad rules (ugh…), there is not much to dislike about this game… other than the hellish rules. You may be asking what I mean. The rules seem easy. They ARE. It’s the rulebook that is a pain in the neck. For some reason, the graphic designer (I’m looking at you, Savini -no, not Tom-) decided to print all of the rule examples in the book in a nearly unreadable “old-timey” font that is TINY. I think they thought they were adding flavor. If so, that flavor is YUCKY. When learning a new game, you want crystal-clear rules, not something you have to squint and struggle over, like this sad, arcane tome. The same hellish font appears on the cards in places, as well, making me one unhappy game collector. You may look past it, but I had a hard time doing so. Other than that, though, the game is great fun, a nice way to fill in time between bigger games, and beautiful to look at. You make your own judgement.

PRODUCT DETAILS:
Designer: Gianluca Santopietro
Artist: Maichol Quinto and Demis Savini
Publisher: Passport Games/ Giochi Uniti
Published: 2016
Players/Playtime/Age Rating: 3 -5 players/30 min/13+ (seriously?)

RATING:
3/5


Last Meeple Standing is brought to you by Villainous Lair Comics & Games, the ultimate destination for board game fanatics in Southern California. For more information visit the official Villainous Lair Comics & Games website, “Like” the Villainous Lair Facebook page and be sure to follow Villainous Lair on Twitter and Instagram.

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