Motion Picture Purgatory: I Am Number Four - Dread Central
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Motion Picture Purgatory: I Am Number Four



We didn’t give D.J. Caruso’s I Am Number Four much coverage on the site since it seemed a lot more sci-fi (and teen romance) than horror, but after seeing the film, we have to admit the aliens chasing Alex Pettyfer’s character were pretty monstrous. So when Trembles sent over an “MPP” review for the film, we figured why not share it with you guys and let you judge for yourselves.

Extraordinary teen John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events: his first love (Dianna Agron), powerful new abilities, and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.

I Am Number Two!

Rick Trembles' I Am Number Four review

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SXSW 2018: Wilding Review – A Fresh and Mature Take on Werewolves



Starring Bel Powley, Liv Tyler, Brad Dourif, Collin Kelly-Sordelet

Written by Fritz Böhm and Florian Eder

Directed by Fritz Böhm

Wildling follows Anna (Powley) who was raised in captivity by her “daddy” (Dourif), only to be thrust into the real world as a young woman with no concept or preparation for anything she sees or experiences, both in her surroundings and within her own body. Staying with Sheriff Ellen Cooper (Tyler) and her younger brother Ray (Kelly-Sordelet), Anna must acclimate in short time to the expectations of those around her, making this coming-of-age tale difficult because she is at such a disadvantage. However, we quickly learn that Anna is no ordinary person in that she is not a person at all: she is a Wildling, a werewolf-like creature whose transformation was being held back by Dourif’s injections.

What makes Wildling so interesting is how the transformation of Powley into the titular character twists the traditional werewolf mechanism into a metaphor for Anna’s own metamorphosis from a young girl into a formidable and entirely capable, albeit not human, woman. That the men of the small town that this film takes place in see this as a threat is not a subtlety that is meant to be passed over. Even in her innocence, Anna does not succumb to the demands and pressures of those around her, fending off a near rape by a local high school boy and standing up to her “daddy” as she realizes her own self worth.

Powley plays her role with charming confused innocence while Tyler plays the mother to Dourif’s “daddy”. She takes on the role of helping teach Anna what being a young woman is all about, from buying her tampons to giving her advice on what kinds of boys to avoid. Dourif, while always darkly charismatic and captivating, pulls deep into his acting chops for this role, bringing a nuanced representation of patriarchal control coupled with an inability to understand his “daughter” and her needs.

Beautifully filmed by Toby Oliver (Get Out, Insidious: The Last Key), Wildling immerses viewers in an almost fairy tale-like world. The town feels like a secluded berg while the surrounding forest teems with life and a magical air hovers in its branches. That being said, the film sometimes gets a bit too dark to see properly and the music is largely forgettable. Still, those minor complaints aside, Wildling is a wonderfully fresh take on what the werewolf subgenre has to offer.

  • Wildling


Wildling takes traditional the werewolf transformation mechanism and uses it as the foundation for a more immediate and relatable story, one that will especially resonate with female audiences.

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Kip Weeks, Original Man in the Mask, Slashes The Strangers: Prey at Night




We need to quit the knee-jerk hatred towards sequels; recent follow-ups like Ouija: Origin of Evil, The Conjuring 2, and Annabelle: Creation prove that creative ideas and talented directors can exceed expectations set by an original.

But we can’t give sequels a free pass to be mediocre either. For example, the response to the follow-up to Bryan Bertino’s home invasion masterpiece, The Strangers: Prey at Night, recently debuted to extremely mixed reviews. Pessimists bemoan, “What did you expect? Most sequels are unabashed cash-grabs!” In the case of The Strangers, I expected a lot more.

Fans of the 2008 shocker have been clamoring for a sequel for years, but no one wanted the wait to end with the unceremonious dispatches of some of the 21st Century’s most iconic new villains. I’m talking about the titular Strangers themselves, the murderous trio dubbed Dollface, Pin-Up, and The Man in the Mask.

While attempts to give characters like Michael Myers and Leatherface backstories have backfired by turning manifestations of evil into melodramatic anti-heroes (thus demystified and deflating their sources of terror), such an endeavor isn’t always a liability. In the case of Prey at Night, it should have been considered a necessity. The first Strangers concluded with hints that Dollface was conflicted; simultaneously, the juxtaposition of Mormon missionaries hinted at cultish motivations (beyond the infliction of random acts of violence).

While the unknown was key to the terror of The Strangers, it was a one trick pony; the franchise could only flourish with an expansion of the implied mythology created in 2008. Of course, Prey director Johannes Roberts’ decision to assassinate these compelling masked invaders proves he really had no intention of turning Bertino’s original into a franchise, something that left me feeling extremely disheartened.

And I’m not the only one; among the lambasts of fans and critics comes a vocal response from the original Man in the Mask, Kip Weeks (replaced by Damian Maffei in Prey). I caught up with him after he chimed in on a negative review in Variety. And lest you think it’s a case of sour grapes, I wouldn’t be sharing his insights if I didn’t agree fully.

Dread Central: We were all bummed the original Strangers actors weren’t recast. Now that Prey at Night has premiered to mostly negative reviews, can we get your thoughts? Specifically, why does Prey fail where the original Strangers succeeded?

Kip Weeks: I had a long back and forth with one of the producers. I told him, “You destroyed an art form.”

DC: Did you give him any specifics?

KP: I told him: “You have no idea what it means to create a character from its core. You made a piece of shit, jump scare movie without realizing you had gold in your hands.”

DC: What should the producers have done differently?

KP: They could have made a movie about “The Strangers”: where they came from and why they became killers. Instead, they made it about some bullshit family and wasted Christina Hendricks’ acting skills. The fans wanted depth and story and honesty. They gave them shit.


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SXSW 2018: The Cast of Blood Fest on Horror and Comedy



One of the bloodiest and most raucous films to play in SXSW Convention’s Midnighters section was Rooster Teeth’s Blood Fest, a film about a horror festival that turns out to be the setting of a murder spree at the hands of a maniacal ringleader, played by Owen Egerton. So, who better to tell us about the horrors endured at such a festival than the cast of the film themselves!

In our video interview, we got stars Seychelle Gabriel, Robbie Kay, Barbara Dunkelman, and Jacob Batalon to tell us all about being covered in blood and vomit, what it’s like being a part of a horror movie, and what it’s like seeing women who kick ass alongside men. All of that and more can be seen in the video above!

Fans flock to a festival celebrating the most iconic horror movies, only to discover that the charismatic showman behind the event has a diabolical agenda. As attendees start dying off, three teenagers with more horror-film wits than real-world knowledge must band together and battle through every madman, monstrosity, and terrifying scenario if they have any hope of surviving.

Blood Fest stars Robbie Kay, Seychelle Gabriel, Jacob Batalon, Barbara Dunkelman, Tate Donovan, Nick Rutherford, Chris Doubek, Rebecca Wagner, and Zachary Levi.


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