Inkshares 2017 Horror Contest Update; Hear from Author J-F. Dubeau and Editor Matt Harry - Dread Central
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Inkshares 2017 Horror Contest Update; Hear from Author J-F. Dubeau and Editor Matt Harry

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As you should be aware if you’ve been following the site lately, we’re currently co-sponsoring a horror contest with Inkshares aimed at discovering the next great horror novelists. There are currently almost 60 submissions, and we’re hoping to break 100 in early September.

Today we’re pleased to share a testimonial from J-F. Dubeau, whose horror debut, A God in the Shed, was published by Inkshares this past June; the novel is also now in development for TV at Skydance with Academy Award winner Akiva Goldsman producing.

Dubeau’s testimonial is below, but we also wanted to share the following video, in which Matt Harry, Head of Story at Inkshares and Dubeau’s editor, discusses working on the title.

If you missed the previous news item about the contest, click here for the details.

The publishing industry is a mess. The traditional publishers are ostensibly looking for something ‘new,’ or whatever is ‘next,’ but won’t touch ideas that push the envelope too much—which is frequently the case with horror. Meanwhile, to self-publish a novel at a professional level of quality requires more administrative work than it does writing and still has no brick-and-mortar distribution.

I was trying the self-publishing route with one book and exploring submission to publishers with another when I stumbled onto Inkshares. It seemed a little too good to be true. I could name almost a dozen small companies that offered vanity-press services under the guise of ‘quality traditional publishing.’

I’ve gone through the production process with Inkshares twice now: once for my debut science-fiction novel, The Life Engineered, and again for my second book, a horror novel entitled A God in the Shed.

I was already impressed after my first book. Inkshares matched me up with a superb developmental editor. I can’t impress upon you the importance of that: not an editor who would work for me, nor one whom I could work for, but one who understood the book—its theme and the message behind it—and helped me refine the narrative. Production and distribution of the book was on par with what I expected from a serious traditional publisher, but what stood out was the passion the people at Inkshares had for the book. I walked out of my experience with The Life Engineered more than satisfied. I was impressed. So much, in fact, that I threw in a second novel.

So how was the experience this time? Even better.

Between my first and second books, Inkshares—now over two years old—retooled its production process and managed to improve an already excellent end-product and reach by a significant margin. My first book was of a professional quality and well distributed into brick-and-mortar. But A God in the Shed, from the cover art by M.S. Corley through the deckle-edge on the paper, is a work of art (to be sure, I’m speaking about the physical product rather than my writing). There’s been no end to the compliments I’ve received on the cover; and as a graphic designer myself, that was an important point that I’m glad was handled so masterfully. In terms of distribution, A God in the Shed is all over the front tables of the indies, Indigo, and Barnes & Noble.

To boot, Inkshares put A God in the Shed in front of several influential eyes in the TV and film world. This got the attention of many people and allowed me to work with Brooklyn Weaver of Energy Entertainment as well as Akiva Goldsman of Weed Road Production. The fact that I have a real, chugging-along “TV deal” at Skydance remains surreal.

While there is a thrill like no other in holding a finished copy of a book you’ve written, I find myself surprised by how much I’m looking forward to the production process for the sequel to A God in the Shed. There’s something truly addictive to working within the Inkshares family. If you’re thinking about entering the 2017 Inkshares Horror Contest, consider this my ardent recommendation. Please feel free to also DM me on Inkshares.

—J.F. Dubeau, Montreal

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Several Muppets Were Run Through The Walking Dead’s Zombie App and It’s Kind of Amazing

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For many people, a big part of their childhood were the Muppets from “Sesame Street”. The lessons they learned from characters such as Bert and Ernie, Count von Count, Big Bird, and more, were invaluable and set a foundation of how to live ones life. On top of educational lessons, they were taught compassion, sharing, decency, and other traits that form the basis of a civilized society. Then zombies came along and botched everything.

Using an app from “The Walking Dead”, several characters from “Sesame Street” have been zombified, resulting in images that will no doubt make some of you laugh while others might be horrified at what their childhood characters have gone through. It’s kinda hard to deny that Count von Count doesn’t look gruesome as hell with a dislocated and dangling jaw…

Below is a gallery of these images and, just for fun, underneath that is “The Walking Gingerbread”, an actual parody of “The Walking Dead” done by “Sesame Street” for Halloween!

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Josh Millican’s Best Horror Films of 2017

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It may just be that my love of horror grows every year, but it honestly feels as though 2017 has been a red-letter year for the genre. Not only are films like Andy Muschietti’s IT and Jordan Peele’s Get Out generating Oscar buzz but we’ve seen horror elements seep into mainstream movies and TV shows, from Logan to “Stranger Things”.

And this hasn’t merely been an amazing year for mainstream horror, with powerful indies emerging as some 2017’s best; it’s further proof that many of the most compelling and important genre flicks are being produced outside the traditional Hollywood system. Below, in no particular order, are my selections for the Best Horror Films of 2017. Let me know what you think in the Comments section!


Brawl in Cell Block 99

Though the subject matter is completely different, S. Craig Zahler’s Brawl in Cell Block 99 has many parallels to his first film, 2015’s Bone Tomahawk. Both movies build slowly and are anchored by compelling characters and engrossing dialogue; furthermore, both films are deceptively understated until an explosive and shocking 3rd Act hits like a gut-punch.

Vince Vaughn delivers a genuinely poignant portrayal of Bradley Thomas, a down-on-his-luck drug runner willing to do anything to protect his family from disgruntled former associates. Don Johnson also deserves a shout-out for his turn as corrupt Warden Tuggs, the most unnerving fictional jailer since Cool Hand Luke.

Brawl in Cell Block 99 isn’t your typical horror movie, presenting a meandering narrative, but it’s still as entertaining as anything that follows an established formula. Horror is always most compelling when we can connect with a film’s protagonists, and this film delivers in spades.


Raw

Julia Ducournau’s Raw both benefited and suffered from reports of audience members fainting and falling ill during the film’s 2015 premiere at TIFF. Upon its limited theatrical release, The Nuart in Los Angeles passed barf bags out to moviegoers, a tactic usually reserved for the most extreme and outlandish of B-movies, films intentionally crafted to trigger the gag-reflex. While Raw does indeed contain scenes that are very difficult to stomach (pun intended!) it’s hardly a 2-dimensional gross-out.

Before classifying the film as horror, it’s a coming of age saga first and foremost. Themes of cannibalism and bodily mutilations become metaphors for sexual awakenings and transitions into adulthood. Raw is also a compelling study of sibling rivalries and the powerful influence of heredity on personal development.


The Blackcoat’s Daughter

Though released after I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, The Blackcoat’s Daughter is actually the debut film from Oz Perkins (son of horror icon Anthony Perkins). It combines the supernatural terrors of a possession movie with the compelling complexity of a murder mystery. The all-girls boarding school in winter provides a moody aesthetic with Gothic undertones while serving as an incubator for sexual awakenings and religious guilt.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter hinges on a powerful twist, but this doesn’t hit the audience like a ton of bricks; rather, the film’s secrets are gradually unraveled, resulting in a slow realization that’s as poignant as it is shocking. The film succeeds in no small part thanks to compelling performances by a trio of talented young thespians: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, and Lucy Boynton.


The Devil’s Candy

Sean Byrne is one of the most talented horror practitioners to emerge from Australia in the 21st Century. His debut film, The Loved Ones, is an under-seen sleeper that balances teen angst, dark comedy, and extreme violence. With his follow-up film, The Devil’s Candy, Byrne is finally getting the attention he deserves.

It’s less extreme than The Loved Ones, but The Devil’s Candy’s understated presentation, genuine drama, and slow-burn build-up delivers more palpable dread and a lasting resonance. The Devil’s Candy is a chaotic mix of heavy metal music and inner demons and can be viewed as a metaphor for how the blind pursuit of art can destroy families.

Ethan Embry deserves a shout out for his harrowing portrayal of father and artist Jesse Hellman. Who’d have thought the kid from Can’t Hardly Wait would develop into such a skilled actor?


Get OutGet Out

Historically, Q1 is a bad time for horror movies, as studios are prone to dumping films they have little faith in. Jordan Peele’s Get Out breaks the rules in many ways and, though released in February, it remains one of the most lauded and analyzed films of 2017—in any genre. The inclusion of sociopolitical elements makes Get Out both unique and timely, although even without its social agenda, Get Out is a compelling and unnerving experience, one that stokes paranoia by exacerbating primal fears related to deception and isolation.

Peele has become an exciting and refreshing figure in horror with plans for more socially-conscious thrillers in the years to come.


47 Meters Down

Nearly unceremoniously dumped directly to DVD in 2016, In the Deep was rebranded 47 Meters Down and given a theatrical release last Summer, where it became an unlikely hit. Perhaps hampered by preconceptions relating to lead actress Mandy Moore, 47 Meters Down is nonetheless immensely entertaining, eclipsing 2016’s shark-horror blockbuster The Shallows.

I do have doubts about the film’s ability to spawn a franchise (there’s currently a sequel in the works, being produced under the temporary title 48 Meters Down) considering this film hinges on a twist that can only be used once, so it’s difficult to imagine a sequel with the same impact—but who knows?

Ultimately, though, even a bad sequel won’t diminish the shine of 47 Meters Down. The film also proves there are still plenty of ways to pack legitimate terror into a PG-13 horror movie.

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Ash Vs Evil Dead Seasons 1 and 2 Are Now Streaming on Netflix

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The last word we brought you guys on the upcoming third season of Starz’s “Ash vs Evil Dead” starring Bruce Campbell was when we shared the show’s all-new teaser trailer (below).

Today we have awesome news that the first two seasons are now streaming on Netflix!

So if you’ve been putting off watching the series (for some reason) or have been waiting until the day where you could just binge-watch the series in one grand swoop, then today is your day. There isn’t a better time than now. Just make sure you’re caught up come February.

Hell, yeah.

Are you excited to watch (or rewatch) the first two seasons of “Ash vs Evil Dead” on Netflix? Let us know below!

“Ash vs Evil Dead” stars Bruce Campbell, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, and Lucy Lawless. Campbell executive produces the series with Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Ivan Raimi, and Rick Jacobson. Season 3’s new showrunners are Mark Verheiden and Moira Grant.

“Ash vs Evil Dead” season 3 hits STARZ Sunday, February 25, 2018.

Synopsis:

Ash has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead until a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind and Ash becomes mankind’s only hope.

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