First Impressions: American Horror Story - Dread Central
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First Impressions: American Horror Story



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American Horror Story, Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, Jessica Lange, Denis O'HareWhile “American Horror Story” is going to be a hard sell to the mainstream population, especially any misguided “gleeks” who wander in just because Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are involved, genre fans should love it. We had the chance to watch the first episode a few days early and are happy to report it’s compelling, complex, and quite thought-provoking. Even an hour later the person I watched it with and I were still discussing it, trying to answer some of the questions it raised and coming up with quite a few others of our own.

The storyline has been retold over and over here on the site: Psychiatrist Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) cheated on his wife, Vivien (Connie Britton), just six months after her miscarriage. So they, along with their teenage daughter, Violet (a terrific Taissa Farmiga), relocate from the East Coast to Los Angeles to get a new start. They move into a house with a history – a very dark history – and almost immediately things start to get weird. A neighbor (a glowing Jessica Lange) and her Down syndrome daughter (Jamie Brewer) come and go practically as if they, not the Harmons, live there. A maid appears and says she comes with the house. Viv goes along with it – although she might want to rethink her decision since to her and just about anyone else, the housekeeper is a sweet middle-aged woman (Frances Conroy), but in Ben’s eyes she’s a much younger version (Alexandra Breckenridge), sexy and seductive and definitely trouble! There’s also a disfigured man (Denis O’Hare) who seems to be following Ben – what the heck does he want? And then there’s Ben’s first patient in the new place: a messed-up Columbine-esque young boy who strikes up a friendship with Violet.

Obviously there’s a lot to keep track of here, and the writers do a good job of giving us just enough information to stay interested and curious about both the history of the house and what’s going to happen to the Harmons. The acting is, as expected, superb, particularly Lange, who steals every scene she’s in. The tension between Ben and Viv is palpable and realistic, and their efforts to rebuild their relationship can be painful to watch. There’s one scene in particular in which McDermott and Britton really take the gloves off and portray the kind of raw emotion that’s all too familiar to couples going through similar tough times.

The overall vibe of the show is off-kilter and unsettling, enhanced by the excellent sound design and score, in which ambient noises play a big part. The juxtaposing of Conroy and Breckenridge is pure genius, and the setpieces and ghost sequences are creepy enough to satisfy most horror fans. The “psychosexual thriller” tagline isn’t just lip service either – we have grown-ups masturbating, copulating, and donning weird fetish garb. All in Episode 1!

But the various parts don’t quite gel into one cohesive experience. While, yes, most of “American Horror Story” is truly innovative and approaches brilliance, other parts feel a little forced and veer toward over-the-top. They have a fine line to walk, and hopefully in future installments they’ll find their footing. Plus, I can’t remember when I’ve watched something with more yelling and shrieking. It was almost annoying. But then again, surely that was the point. To keep the audience on guard and on edge. And … as mentioned above, very interested and curious. Oh yes, we will be returning next week for Episode 2 … and no doubt 3 and beyond. There’s no way we’re going to miss out on this mish-mash of “Twin Peaks”, “In Treatment”, and The Others (to name just a few of the titles that flashed through our mind while watching) over the coming weeks. We have to know who’s a ghost (and how they got that way) and who’s alive (and how long they’ll stay that way)!

“American Horror Story” premieres on October 5th on FX and will run Wednesdays at 10 PM ET/PT. In the meantime visit the show’s Facebook page along with “American Horror Story” on FX, where you’ll find some exclusive extras you won’t see anywhere else!

American Horror Story

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 140 – Pet Sematary 2



Ahoy there, fuckos! This week’s episode is brought to you by none other than Chris Franco! That’s right, it’s a Chris pick! So you know what that means, we’re cranking the cheese factor up to eleven! This week we’ve got $5 Furlongs, naked women with dog heads, and accents that are more forced than a Bill Cosby sexual encounter! That’s right, we watched  Pet Sematary 2 so you don’t have to!

Ever wonder which of us knows more lyrics to Ice, Ice, Baby? Well, Patreon found out, but perhaps there’s more singing in the actual episode. Download to find out!

Sometimes, dumb is better. It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 140!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Night of the Living Dead 4K and The Silence of the Lambs Come to the Criterion Collection



It’s been a long time coming for these two classics, especially Night of the Living Dead after the ridiculously bad transfer put out by Mill Creek Entertainment, whose transfer was supposedly remastered from a new 2K scan. I swear I thought it was some kind of a joke when I first put it on to watch. In any event…

IndieWire is reporting that horror classics Night of the Living Dead and The Silence of the Lambs will be added to the 2018 Criterion Collection, a hallmark label for home video cinephiles.

According to the site, Criterion will release a new 4K digital restoration of The Silence of the Lambs, which has been approved by the movie’s cinematographer Tak Fujimoto. Included on the DVD and Blu-ray sets are 35 minutes of deleted scenes and audio commentary from 1994 featuring the late Jonathan Demme (director), stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas.

Night of the Living Dead will also be released in 4K with never-before-seen 16mm dailies included as a bonus feature(!).

These will be added in February of 2018 so make sure you save up some cash after the holidays!

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DIS Review – Not for the Faint of Heart!



Starring Bill Oberst, Jr., Lori Jo Hendrix, Peter Gonzales Falcon

Directed by Adrian Corona

I’ve made this claim many a time on this website before, and in the company of film friends as well: Bill Oberst Jr. is one of those actors that can literally be thrust into ANY role, and deliver a performance with so much harnessed electricity that you couldn’t believe that it was possible. I was the lucky recipient chosen to get a look at his latest project, titled DIS, and I think that I can honestly say – this is the stuff that nightmares are constructed of.

Directed by Adrian Corona, this 60-minute dive into the black depths of hell, and in actuality DIS is located between circles # 6 and 9 in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and trust me when I tell you – there’s not a shred of comedic relief in this demented presentation. Oberst Jr plays an ex-soldier named Ariel, and his seemingly harmless jaunt through the woods will become anything but that, and judging from the film’s opening scenes, you are meant to feel as uncomfortable about this watch as any you might have checked out in recent memory.

Perversion is the norm here, and lord help you if you’re caught where you shouldn’t be…my skin’s crawling just thinking about what I saw. Ariel’s travels are basically dialogue-free, but it only adds to the infinite levels of creepiness – you can tell he’s being stalked, and the distance between he and the horrors that await are closing in rather quickly.

Visually by itself, this hour-long chiller can sell tickets without any assistance – hollowed-out buildings and long sweeping shots of a silent forest give the movie that look of complete desolation. Sliced up into three acts, the film wastes no time in setting up the story of a killer needing fresh blood to appease his Mandrake garden – seriously guys, I can’t type as much flashy stuff as there needs to be in order to describe this innately disturbing production.

If you’re one of those types who tends to shy away from the graphic side of things, then I’d HIGHLY advise you to keep your TV tuned to the Hallmark Channel for some holiday entertainment, because this one registers high on the “I can’t believe someone thought of this” meter. So the quick recap is this: Oberst Jr in a standout performance, visual excellence, and an unshakable sense of debasement on a cellular level – keep the kiddies out of the living room with this one. Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended, and one that I’ll throw down as a top 5 for me in 2017.

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Director Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended!

User Rating 5 (2 votes)
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