Guest Post: Revisiting the Brilliantly Creepy Jacob's Ladder by Gary Scott Beatty - Dread Central
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Guest Post: Revisiting the Brilliantly Creepy Jacob’s Ladder by Gary Scott Beatty

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According to a casting call we happened upon on Backstage.com, the Jacob’s Ladder redux will be filming in Atlanta, Georgia, for the next few days (7/31-8/4); and it should still be heading our way sometime this year. Michael Ealy and Nicole Beharie star in the dramatic thriller centered on a Vietnam War veteran who, plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, begins to fall apart as the world around him morphs and twists into disturbing images.

We can only hope director David M. Rosenthal’s new version lives up to its predecessor, and our guest contributor Gary Scott Beatty (author of graphic novel Wounds) strongly agrees, particular in relation to the original’s creepy horror elements…

With the new Jacob’s Ladder movie now wrapping up production, I took another look at one of my favorite horror/thrillers and found it even more brilliantly creepy than I remembered.

Jacob’s Ladder (1990) is similar to the 1970s Giallo films I studied to write my Wounds graphic novel because it uses disorientation to keep viewers interested. Useless information is dropped into the plot, but we viewers are compelled to pay attention because we come to feel anything could be important.

Much of the creepy comes from everyday encounters we wouldn’t find the least sinister if not for director Adrian Lyne’s off-kilter camerawork. He uses extreme close-ups, quick cuts, and shadowy figures at the fringes that might (or might not) have significance to pull us through a movie with several possible outcomes.

And, of course, God is a chiropractor.

Jacob’s Ladder follows Jacob, a Vietnam War vet trying to move beyond his war experiences. Questions begin right away. Is life so spooky because that’s how Jacob feels, or is something really going on? Is there some conspiracy involving the government, aliens, or the supernatural; or are we perceiving the breakdown of Jacob’s sanity?

Every time I think I have something figured out (I’ve been reading mysteries all my life; I’m pretty good at putting pieces together, writer Bruce Joel Rubin pulls his plot threads a little more askew.

Tim Robbins’ portrayal of this veteran who can’t quite pull it together is compelling. He’s such a nice guy and he’s been through so much, we want to help him figure it out. But, like Jacob himself, we can’t seem to separate fact from dream from fantasy.

The big reveal near the end, and the ending itself, left me satisfied, thinking I knew what was going on. Then I had a “shower moment” the next day, when my mind pulled out more questions and answers. It’s that kind of movie.

Can remake director David Rosenthal keep our minds engaged, or will the new movie be an action/horror flick without substance? Many remakes fall short of brilliance, and 1990’s Jacob’s Ladder still sits on many critics’ favorites lists. More violence, more car chases, and more CGI might help a new movie sell more tickets. Personally, I enjoy horror I need to think through.

Almost certainly the length will be shortened. If you decide to take on the 1990 film, be warned it clocks in at a whopping 113 minutes. When a slow-burn movie fails, it is torturous for me, but Lyne’s Ladder keeps moving and, for me, didn’t seem overly long.

The big question about the remake is yet to be answered. Is God still a chiropractor?

Graphic novel Wounds is now available on Amazon and Comixology. For more from Gary Scott Beatty, visit him on Twitter and Facebook.

Wounds Synopsis:
Wounds throws us into a world where nothing is beyond doubt, except a father’s concern for his wife and daughter. If you enjoy that “What th-?” factor in graphic novels, you’ll enjoy Wounds.

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date

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Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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Creep 2 Starring Mark Duplass Hits Netflix This December

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Just the other day we shared with you guys an exclusive interview with Partick Brice, the director of the Mark Duplass-starring found footage flicks Creep and Creep 2.

Today we have the awesome news that the killer sequel Creep 2 (review) will be hitting Netflix streaming on December 23rd.

The original creeptastic motion picture is already streaming on Netflix so if you need to catch up – or just watch the original again – you can do so tonight and get ready for the sequel which, personally, I found to be superior (if even just slightly) to the original.

What did you think of the original film? Are you excited to check out the sequel? Or have you already seen it? Make sure to let us know in the comments below or on social media!

Creep 2 starring Mark Duplass and Desiree Akhavan hits Netflix December 23rd!

Synopsis:

Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR) stars as Sara, a video artist whose primary focus is creating intimacy with lonely men. After finding an ad online for “video work,” she thinks she may have found the subject of her dreams. She drives to a remote house in the forest and meets a man claiming to be a serial killer (Mark Duplass, reprising his role from the previous film). Unable to resist the chance to create a truly shocking piece of art, she agrees to spend the day with him. However, as the day goes on she discovers she may have dug herself into a hole she can’t escape.

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Waxwork Records Unveils Phenomenal 2018 Subscription Package

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Our pals over at Waxwork Records have unveiled their 2018 subscription bundle and it’s packed to the brim with some absolutely fantastic titles! Horror fans who enjoy spinning their music on turntables can look forward to two Romero titles, Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs, Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell, and lastly they’ll have Jordan Peele’s smash success title Get Out. On top of getting those five records, those who join the subscription program will also receive a t-shirt, coffee mug, poster, notebook, magnet, enamel pin, calendar, and more.

For Night of the Living Dead, Waxwork Records worked closely with the film’s original creators, including Romero himself prior to his passing, the Museum of Modern Art, and The Criterion Collection so that they could source audio from the 4K restoration. It will be released as a 2xLP package.

Dawn of the Dead will also get a 2xLP release that will include brand new artwork, re-mastered audio, and more. The same kind of treatment is being given to The ‘Burbs. Christopher Young’s Drag Me to Hell soundtrack will be a single LP but will get the same level of attention and quality as the other titles.

As for Peele’s Get Out. Michael Abels; score will be released on a 2xLP vinyl set and will pay tribute to one of the most culturally significant movies of the past several years.

The Waxwork Records subscription package will be $250 ($285 in Canada) and will open up for sale this Friday, the 24th. More information can be found on Waxwork’s website.

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