Event Report: Dark Hour Haunted House 5th Anniversary Halloween Show - Dread Central
Connect with us

News

Event Report: Dark Hour Haunted House 5th Anniversary Halloween Show

Published

on

Every year, Dark Hour Haunted House in Plano, TX pulls out all the stops for their Halloween show.  They do eight shows a year, all with different themes.  The story behind Dark Hour is that Coven Manor is home to a dozen witches who have joined together to bring about the Dark Hour: the end of the world.  There are 12, one for each month, one for each point on the clock.  Each show during the year sees a different witch take control as her time comes, and each attempts to bring about the end her own way.  The plague witch brings about Spring Fever’s zombie outbreak show, July sees the Dog Days of Summer as Baba Lupina turns people into werewolves, etc.

Each year, a different witch tries to take control of it all on Halloween, their most powerful month.  Last year saw the vermin witch, Cora Hive, take over Dark Hour and bring with her every kind of insect, rodent, and arachnid.  This year, however, it’s the 5th Halloween for Dark Hour, so they’ve gone above and beyond previous shows to do something they’ve never done before.

Mr. Dark with one of the beauties at Dark Hour Halloween 2017

The pre-show this year isn’t as good as last year’s amazing Cora Hive show.  I’ll just say that outright.  It’s hard to top the fire, the illusions, the hilarious cracks at the Ghostbusters remake.  This year it’s a riff on a very popular show, with an old scientist named Nick and his grandson Shorty appearing in their “lab” (AKA the pre-show stage) to warn us of the witches’ latest plan.  It does the trick, and it’s amusing, but it’s just not as over-the-top entertaining as last year’s elaborate prologue.

The show’s name is “It’s About Time” and it is, indeed.  The witches have joined forces with some time-warping warlocks called Chronomancers to attempt to bring all 12 of the witches to power at once.  Going one at a time isn’t getting the job done, so if all of them have power to do their worst evil at the same time, the Dark Hour will come.  Nick’s plan is to use a plutonium-fueled device to open portals and allow us to go through time and stop the Chronomancers.

If you hadn’t guessed, this is a “best of” show, something I’ve never seen at a haunt before.  As you pass through portal after portal, you hop through the year.  Christmas and Krampus is there, the leprechauns are making mayhem to the March sounds of the Dropkick Murphys, Baba Lupina’s werewolves are on the prowl…every show in the history of Dark Hour is represented.  Even Cora Hive from last year’s Halloween show makes an appearance in a cocoon-filled pit of vermin.

At first, I was kind of bummed.  I’m a season-pass holder (a fantastic bargain if you hit every show at least once) so I’ve seen them all.  However, it soon became clear that after the first couple of months, things had been scrambled.  The werewolves always make an appearance in one specific room, for example.  They aren’t there, they’re prowling the manor house, and their usual room is now the school nurse for Annabelle Noir’s Home For Troubled Girls from my favorite, the Summer Spirits show.  Everything is switched up, so even a vet like me didn’t know what to expect.

The effect is great.  It’s a fantastic tribute to what’s come before.  It really is a “best of” as well, as the best elements of the shows are what appears.  The graveyard, with real snow and giant Krampi (Krampuses?) are the highlight of Wreck The Halls over the holidays, so that’s where December lands.  All of the best gags from Summer Spirits are in the bedroom, leading for a condensed ball of demonic schoolgirl mayhem.  The high point of the St Patrick’s Slay Weekend is the music room, and the leprechauns are infesting it with their Gremlins-inspired glee.

Spread throughout are, as Nick puts it, “steampunk Tron cosplayers,” the Chronomancers.  You do eventually find them and their leader in a brand new finale that is extremely high-tech and intense.  I’m not going to spoil it, so I’ll just say: SERPENTINE!  SERPENTINE!  SHOTS FIRED!

Seeing the current schedule for 2018, I see some missing shows from the roster.  Could this not only serve as a tribute to what’s come before, but also a farewell to some of the witches who previously reigned over part of the calendar?  Only the future knows.  Maybe even the Chronomancers will return…the time-travelling bastards are likely very difficult to snuff out, so we may not have seen the last of them.

Dark Hour Haunted House’s Halloween show runs weekends and select weekdays between now and Halloween.  Tickets are available now at their website, and include combo tickets with their side-haunt, Carl’s Playhouse as well as Fast Pass and VIP options!

Comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

News

Interview: The Cured’s David Freyne and Sam Keeley Talk Zombies, Politics, and PTSD

Published

on

The Walking Dead, once the flagship of AMC and the envy of all networks, has been suffering a significant decline in both ratings and viewership over the past couple seasons. While many place blame on writers and producers, it could simply reflect changes in tastes and trends. The zombie subgenre of horror has become, objectively, saturated with few infusions of originality over the past few years.

In this climate, The Cured can be considered the cure for the 21st Century zombie movie, which has become stagnant and formulaic. It’s the debut feature from Irish filmmaker David Freyne and it stars Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor. We’ve seen more outbreak movies than we can count, but The Cured takes place many years after an apocalypse that devastated Europe.

The hook is simple but brilliant: The infected are cured but returning to their pre-zombie lives proves a difficult transition. Though no longer compelled to kill and cannibalize, The Cured (as they are referred to) nonetheless remember every atrocity they committed.

Dread Central was lucky enough to sit down with Freyne and Keeley to discuss the film, their approaches, and the parallels to international politics. Check out the trailer for The Cured below, followed by our interviews.

The Cured arrives on VOD February 23, courtesy of IFC films.

Synopsis:
A disease that turns people into zombies has been cured. The once-infected zombies are discriminated against by society and their own families, which causes social issues to arise. This leads to militant government interference.

Dread Central: One of the most compelling aspects of The Cured is the cure! I’m hard-pressed to think of another film that explores the idea of zombies becoming human again. It’s a great innovation. Where did the idea come from?

David Freyne: I love zombie films and the idea for The Cured came about in 2011, so I’ve been working on this for quite some time. I really liked I am Legend, but I recalled that at the end, the patient, the female zombie gets the cure from Will Smith, and then she dies. I was like, “Hang on, this just got interesting!”  That’s pretty much the moment when the idea came. But it also has to do with what was going on in Ireland at the time; we were going through a recession. The banks were closing and we were all losing our jobs and it was like we were being blamed for things that were beyond our control. That’s the analogy for The Cured because they were being blamed for things that were beyond their control. All of that melded together and became the inspiration for the film.

There have been a lot of zombie films that mention a cure but like you said, it’s something we haven’t seen before.

DC: Yeah, we’ve seen reformed zombies, like in Day of the Dead and Fido, but they’re still zombies. We’ve never seen these fully cured zombies. It really sets The Cured apart and makes it worth seeing. Now, I saw a lot of potential parallels with current world issues, like the refugee crisis, the prison system, and soldiers returning home from war. The way The Cured were treated reminded me of how Vietnam Veterans were harassed when they returned home from war. Were any of these parallels intentional, or was it just the recession?

DF: PTSD and the treatment of soldiers was definitely something I had in mind. Like you mentioned, Vietnam wasn’t like World War II, where the soldiers returned as heroes. And the refugee crisis as well; we have a camp here in Ireland, where these people were institutionalized—almost like they were being quarantined from the rest of society. This isn’t just how we treat these people in Europe, it’s the way the world treats asylum seekers where they’re regarded as rapist and criminals and all the terrible things Trump is saying—like other countries are giving us their worst, which has been proven to be totally false. That crisis was definitely an inspiration.

But yeah, studying the effects of PTSD was a big part of my research for The Cured. I wanted to explore what would happen if these people remembered the things they had done when they were infected. With the memories of all that killing, how do you normalize again? Is it even possible?

But yeah, I don’t even know if you can separate the recession and the refugee crisis. Especially the way asylum seekers are portrayed as these boogeymen. We saw the rise of all of these populist politicians that stoked this hate to serve their own ends. That’s why there’s a character in the film who uses this fear to get The Cured all riled up, but it’s just to serve his own ambitions. I think that’s what we have now. The rise in racism and hate crime is all connected to the recession.

DC: The ending of The Cured was ambiguous, or rather, open-ended. Were you setting up a sequel or is your intention to let this story stand?

DF: I definitely want to do something non-zombie, but it will depend on the response to the film. I wanted the story to end with redemption, so its complete in that way. But there’s still a story left to tell so we’ll see. Maybe it will proceed as a graphic novel.

DC: Anything else you want to tell our readers?

DF: To me, the scariest things are real, not unreal, so I hope The Cured sparks discussions, whether it be about politics or something else. Nothing is black and white; none of the characters are all right or all wrong.


Dread Central: How’d you get into acting?

Sam Keeley: I wanted to be a singer/songwriter. I was working on an album in order to become a rock star. But I had this high school guidance counselor who was like, “Look, I’m not going to let you do this. You need to at least have a backup plan.” After banging her head against a wall for a week or so, she said, “What about drama? With a drama degree, you can teach, do film studies, or become a critic.” I loved the idea!

DC: You’ve been in a handful of horror movies. What are your thoughts on the genre?

SK: I love horror movies and thrillers. These films are filled with such interesting characters. There’s the opportunity to be a bit bigger, more eccentric if you will. There are so many great parts in these films.

DC: Your role [in The Cured] couldn’t have been easy; Senan is nothing short of tortured. How did you prepare to play the part?

SK: When David first offered me the part, I had to think very seriously about whether I could pull it off. I wanted to make it as realistic as possible, despite the fantastic elements. I did a lot of research about people who had been institutionalized and reintegrated back into society; murderers and sex offenders who have to go through a system to be reintegrated and accepted by society. I looked at the human side of that.

I did a lot of reading about stressful situations. It was heavy work but it was worth it.

DC: One of the most compelling parts of the film was your relationship with Abbie. Can you talk about what it was like to work with Ellen Page and did she influence your performance?

SK: Great question. Ellen is a wonderful human being; so unbelievably talented. I had only known her from her work before we met on set. It was a tricky character for her because it was a mother role, but there was something else to it. She never missed a beat, and it really helped me to see my character through her eyes.

DC: What were the most difficult parts of the role for you?

SK: I lost a lot of weight for the shoot; I went vegetarian. But mostly, it was staying in a perplexed state—keeping one foot in that world. It was tough to do because it weighs you down. It was nice to wrap and let go of the character go, to let Senan dissolve into the air. It was hard to maintain that guilt; it was mentally taxing.

DC: What’s next for you?

SK: I just finished a project called Peace, directed by Robert David Port based on a novel by Richard Bausch. It’s the story of four soldiers during World War II. It’s a psychological story about these characters who become lost and have to rely on each other to survive the situation. We filmed in British Columbia for four weeks and it was amazing; all outdoors in freezing weather! I’m really excited about that.

DC: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers about The Cured?

SK: We worked really hard to bring something new to the genre and I hope people will see it with an open mind. The market is flooded with zombie movies, some of them good, some of them not so good. I think people have become somewhat jaded, but I hope they’ll see it with an open mind. Don’t expect your typical zombie movie.


Comments

Continue Reading

News

Joe Dante Will Executive Produce Teddy Bears Are For Lovers Feature Film!

Published

on

“Ahhh!” or “Awww”?

I’m a big fan of films that combine horror with, for lack of a better term, “cute shit.” Take for instances movies like Critters and Gremlins. Love them.

It is with this in mind that not only do I love the short film Teddy Bears Are For Lovers but I am excited about today’s news.

Today Deadline reports that “Lost” and Cloverfield cinematographer Michael Bonvillain will be making his directorial debut with the feature adaptation of the classic short (which you can peep in its entirtly below).

Yes, not only are we getting a Teddy Bears Are For Lovers feature, but Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop will be creating the film’s killer teddys, and Joe f*cking Dante (Gremlins, Piranha) will be executive producer.

Cool, huh?

“It’s rare to find a project with the right balance of humor, scares and emotions that can make a film entertaining on so many various levels,” director Michael Bonvillain said in a statement. “This project, which at its heart is a love story, builds so many different layers on top of it to create an absolutely horrifying and hilarious thrill ride that keeps you entertained from start to finish. Having been involved as a cinematographer on a number of great films over the years that blended elements of horror and thriller with comedy, I’m excited to direct a project that I think hits all those notes and is hugely entertaining”.

Najeeb Khuda, Gavin Lurie, and Andrew Joustra, who run Endless Media added: “Teddy Bears immediately drew us in from page one because it has something that has become increasingly lacking at the multiplex… it’s a blast. Taking inspiration from the type of films we grew up with, this film hits every chord of why we love going to the movies: mixing just the right amount of thrills and scares with a fun joyride.”

I hoping and thinking that this film could be the new “cute sh*t” horror movie I have been waiting for since the release of Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat (gotta love Sam). I don’t mean to get my expectations up TOO high, but if you’ve seen the original short film (again, available in its entirety below) then you know this premise and characters are utterly classic.

The original short film was directed by David Ernesto Vendrell, Matthew Hawksworth, and Almog Avidan Antonir. David Vendrell penned the script for the upcoming feature.

What do you think of the original short? Let us know below!

Synopsis:

Set during a Valentine’s Day party, follows college playboy Collin and his current head-over-heels girlfriend Sarah as they are targeted by a group of bloodthirsty, but adorable teddy bears who come to life seeking revenge for the broken hearts of Collin’s ex-girlfriends. Together, the couple must evade the teddy bears and earn the forgiveness of these begrudged and wildly different ex-girlfriends before the sun rises in order to break the curse, all while confronting whether their current relationship is meant to be.

Comments

Continue Reading

News

Netflix’s The Cloverfield Paradox Scored 2.8 Million Viewers in First Three Days

Published

on

A few weeks back we brought you a news story in which Netflix shelled out a whopping $50 million for the streaming rights to The Cloverfield Paradox.

If you are like me, then you’ve been wondering how that investment is paying out for the streaming giant in the wake of the resounding “thud” the film made after it hit late on Super Bowl Sunday.

Well, it seems the movie did pretty good… but nothing special (which is the general consensus to the film itself) and scored 2.8 million viewers in the first 3 days of release.

These numbers come to us from Variety, who reports that, while 2.8 million is no small number, when compared to the 11 million viewers that David Ayers’ Bright starring Will Smith pulled in late last year, The Cloverfield Paradox pales in comparison. But is it fair to compare The Cloverfield Paradox to Bright? Shrugs.

What do you think? Let us know below!

The film is directed by Julius Onah from a screenplay by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung and stars David Oyelowo, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl, and Chris O’Dowd.

The film is now streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis:

Astronauts must fight for their lives after making a terrifying discovery in outer space.

Comments

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!
Advertisement

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC