L.A. 2017's Hottest Home Haunt: Murder House Production’s Trick 'r Treat - Dread Central
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L.A. 2017’s Hottest Home Haunt: Murder House Production’s Trick ‘r Treat

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Ten years after its release, fans of Michael Dougherty’s seminal feature Trick ‘r Treat may think the film’s universe still resides in the fictional town of Warren Valley, Ohio, but as we evidenced this past Friday night, they’d be dead wrong. Courtesy of Aurora Persichetti, Samhain’s world has indeed moved to Thousand Oaks, CA with her Murder House Production’s home haunt Trick ‘r Treat, and it’s the hottest ticket in town.

“The first haunt I ever did was when I was in middle school,” twenty-year old Persichetti told us Friday night, as she greeted excited guests just outside her pitch perfect realization. “It was after I had gone to a local haunt called Reign of Terror for the first time. After going through I knew that I had just discovered something that intrigued me. My first haunt that I opened to the public through MHP was last year when we did Evil Dead.”

Aurora Persichetti

Persichetti, who also works as a scare actor in year round The Walking Dead attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood, continued, “I’ve always been a huge fan of the Trick ‘r Treat. I love the nostalgic Halloween tone it has as well as the characters and environments. When we realized that this year is Trick ‘r Treat’s ten year anniversary, we made the decision to go ahead and start on the project.”

Querying her in regards to the creation of the haunt, which consists of a jaw-dropping front yard tableau (complete with a live action Sam who gave out hugs when not menacing vistors) and a maze within whose design and execution put every 2017 corporate haunt we’ve visited to shame (it’s that good), Persichetti told us with humility, “My team, not including the incredible actors, consists of myself and my best friend and partner in crime Kyle. We began concept and design in July and have been working non-stop every day since then. I constructed everything you see inside the maze with the help of Kyle. The structure, costumes, static figures, set pieces, lighting were all done by me alone, through trial and error and a whole lot of research. Kyle is the brain behind the trigger scares and audio.”

“Throughout the maze you encounter multiple Sam characters,” she continued. “Classic Sam outside with the burlap mask, sheet ghost Sam and Sam unmasked in the finale scene. All our Sam’s are played by children… which is the beauty of being a home haunt, because we don’t have to abide by the 18 and over rule.”

We asked Persichetti if Trick ‘r Treat filmmaker Dougherty himself has visited her creation, to which she replied, “He has not come through. If he were to I think I’d embarrass myself by fan-girling too hard.” (Writer’s note: Mike, plan a visit if you may. I predict you’ll squeal in delight as did each and every guest we witnessed).

As for her future home haunt plans, she concluded, “We absolutely have some ideas for the 2018 haunt season. We’re always looking to expand and make our haunt bigger and scarier. So that’s exactly what you’re going to get.”

Given the insane level of talent displayed by Persichetti with her Trick ‘r Treat home haunt, we wouldn’t be surprised if Halloween Horror Night’s Creative Director John Murdy were to pass her in the future his torch. Her talent is undeniable.

Murder House Production’s Trick r’ Treat has one night remaining, on Halloween, 10/31/17 from 8pm to 11pm at 2240 Ranch View Place, Thousand Oaks, CA. For more, ‘like’ them on Facebook here and follow them on Instagram at @mhphaunt.

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Amityville Arcade Does What Nintendon’t – Kills You!

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Oh, Amityville, is there nothing you cannot possess with your horror? Not even retro video games are immune from your evil for soon we shall experience the haunted coin-op horror that is Amityville Arcade.

The other day I told you about Amityville Cop and a slew of other forthcoming Amityville movies in the works. This prompted the makers of yet another that I somehow missed out on at the time to pass along info on their foray into this haunted horror subgenre: Amityville Arcade. Pay to get in! Pray to survive!

A down-on-his-luck arcade owner purchases an arcade cabinet from the legendary Amityville murder house. The plan is to turn it into a tacky roadside attraction to round up business in time for Halloween but it does not take long for them to realize they got more than they bargained for when the owner’s daughter is sucked into a Lovecraftian digital hellscape. And the arcade’s three half-wit employees are, sadly for the rest of us, the only thing standing between our world and whatever lays inside the game.

Who knew the Lutz family even owned an arcade cabinet?

Makes you wonder what other possessed objects from that house of horrors are still lurking out there waiting to be taken in by some unfortunate souls?

Amityville Bird Feeder?

Amityville Pet Rock?

Amityville Waterbed?

Amityville 8-Track?

Amityville Lava Lamp?

Amityville Stretch Armstrong?

Amityville Cuckoo Clock?

Oh, wait. I believe Amityville 1992: It’s About Time already did the cursed clock.

Anyway, unlike some of these other upcoming Amityville productions in development that I’ve written about, the writer of Amityville Arcade, Newt Wallen, assures me that in addition to being a horrific love letter to retro gaming his film will also carry a satirical edge poking fun at the glut of Amityville cash-in movies and the very notion of a long-running series out of fresh ideas.

Libby Chapman directs this retro gaming horror comedy that begins filming this February at TNT Amusements in Philadelphia. Look for special appearances by horror movie host Mr. Lobo and scream queen Crystal Quin and practical f/x and prop fabrication by Ryan Hickey and Joe La Scolla.

They’re hoping to deliver some top notch special effects on a small budget. Something tells me whatever they come up with for Amityville Arcade will still prove better than Full Moon’s disastrous Arcade from back in the day. The horror… The horror…

If the finished film is half as good as the promotional artwork I’m ready to plunk down a few quarters for it.

Now if you’ll excuse me I really need to get back to work on my screenplay for Amityville Mr. Microphone. You see, the Mr. Microphone came from the Amityville murder house and now after being discovered in an abandoned storage locker it finds its way into the hands of luddite who collect retro gadgets. But, being that the mic is possessed by evil, whenever he uses it, the voice coming through the radio speakers is that of an demonic entity that makes whoever hears its voice obey its evil commands, which, in turn, begins turning the lonely loser using it into a power-mad maniac. Only polyester clad priest Father Ronco can help– Oh, geez! Someone reading this is probably going to steal my million dollar idea. I better write faster.

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DVD and Blu-ray Releases: January 16, 2018

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Welcome back, friends.  One would imagine that a release list containing only five entries wouldn’t contain any discrepancies, right? Nope. The Amicus Collection may have come out on December 5th, but it popped up again this week so if you missed it then, go get yours now.

The big hit of this week, and of 2017, Happy Death Day gets its release this week on both Blu-ray and DVD.  This was a great movie and recently surpassed $100 million dollars worldwide. I highly recommend it.

Up next is The Snowman.  You can check out the Dread Central review of this wintertime serial killer thriller here.

If you’re feeling more of a science-fiction kind of vibe, check out Beyond Skyline.

Basically there’s a little something for everyone this week.  What are you going to watch?

Pleasant viewing, friends.



MOVIES

Beyond Skyline (2017)

Starring:

Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Iko Uwais, Jonny Weston

Synopsis:

When the population of Los Angeles is vacuumed off the face of the Earth, Detective Mark Corley storms his way onto an alien ship to rescue his estranged son. But after crashing the ship in Southeast Asia, he must forge an alliance with a band of survivors to discover the key to saving his son and taking back the planet once and for all.

BUY IT NOW!


Eye of the Cat (1969)

Starring:

Michael Sarrazin, Eleanor Parker

Synopsis:

A man and his girlfriend plan to rob the mansion of the man’s eccentric but wealthy aunt. However, the aunt keeps dozens of cats in her home, and the man is deathly afraid of cats.

BUY IT NOW!


Happy Death Day (2017)

Starring:

Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, Charles Aitken

Synopsis:

Blumhouse (Split, Get Out, The Purge) produces an original and inventive rewinding thriller in Happy Death Day, in which a college student relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity. The thrills continue with an Alternate Ending never-before-seen in theaters.

BUY IT NOW!


Snowman, The (2017)

Starring:

Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Chloe Sevigny

Synopsis:

From executive producer Martin Scorsese, The Snowman is based on Jo Nesbø’s New York Times bestselling thriller series. When an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Michael Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Rebecca Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

BUY IT NOW!



COLLECTIONS

The Amicus Collection

Starring:

Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham

Synopsis:

Known as The Studio That Dripped Blood, British film company Amicus Productions (founded by American writer/producers Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky) built a legacy of horror anthologies and twisted thrillers that remains among the very best genre movies of the 70s. In this trio of Amicus classics featuring stars that include Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Britt Ekland, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham, Calvin Lockhart, Michael Gambon, and Charlotte Rampling, you’ll discover the studio’s legendary portmanteau Asylum, their insane Gothic shocker And Now The Screaming Starts, and exclusive to this set the infamous werewolf whodunit The Beast Must Die, as well as a Bonus Disc of Amicus trailers, TV commercials, rare interviews, and more – all in this 4-disc box set.

BUY IT NOW!

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Pride and Prometheus Fuses the Horror of Mary Shelley with the Romance of Jane Austen

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This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein so you can expect to see several articles tied in with that momentous occasion over the next several months. Today we have your first word on Pride and Prometheus from John Kessel, which fuses Shelley’s Gothic horror with the Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Kessel holds a B.A. in Physics and English and a Ph.D. in American Literature. He helped found and served as the first director of the MFA program in creative writing at North Carolina State University, where he has taught since 1982. He is the author of the novels Good News from Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and, in collaboration with James Patrick Kelly, Freedom Beach. His short story collections are Meeting in Infinity (a New York Times Notable Book), The Pure Product, and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence. Also with Jim Kelly, he has edited five anthologies of stories re-visioning contemporary short sci-fi, most recently Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology.

Pride and Prometheus arrives February 13th from Sega Press. Look for a guest blog from John Kessel in the coming weeks!

Synopsis:
Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion of two popular classics.

Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature, Victor Frankenstein travels to England, where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet, the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice. As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find a female body from which to create the monster’s mate?

Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is keeping from her.

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