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Ghost Brothers of Darkland County Embarking on a Cross-Country Tour This Fall

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Ghost Brothers of Darkland County Embarking on a Cross-Country Tour This FallThe Southern Gothic, supernatural musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, written by Stephen King with music and musical direction by John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett, respectively, will tour across North America this fall.

The tour kicks off right outside Bangor at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono, Maine, on November 8, traveling through cities such as Toronto, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles before wrapping in San Francisco on December 5.

Tickets for the performances go on sale June 20 at AXS.com unless otherwise noted.

From the Press Release:
This extraordinary collaboration 16 years in the making is a haunting tale of fraternal love, lust, jealousy, and revenge, performed by an ensemble cast of 15 actors and a four-piece live band, comprised of members of John Mellencamp’s band. The staging of Ghost Brothers is an amalgam of different styles – both old fashioned, resembling an old-style radio show, and yet, modern and unique in its interactive use of storytelling, music, and singing to move the macabre Ghost Brothers story forward.

The story goes that Joe McCandless saw his two older brothers battle over a girl, which ended in the unfortunate deaths of all three. Now, with Joe as an adult and two boys of his own, he’s watching an all too familiar scenario play out before his eyes. As the story continues, a malevolent Shape circles the stage, singing about heaven and hell. Joe McCandless lingers in the dream-land café, remembering the events of his life, and is urged to action by the friendly bartender.

In 2007 he goes to his family cabin in Darkland County, Mississippi, where his brothers died in 1967, to tell his own sons, Frank and Drake, his tale of brotherly love gone sour. With his sons at each other’s throats, Joe’s story will either save or destroy the McCandless family. Will Joe bring himself to tell the truth in time to save his own sons? Find out whether the ghosts left behind will help him—or tear the McCandless family apart forever.

After Mellencamp brought the story idea to King and the musical developed, it became clear to the collaborators that Ghost Brothers had taken them into unfamiliar territory — and they liked it that way. “John can make rock & roll records and I can write books for the rest of our lives,” says King, “but that’s the safe way to do it, and that’s no way to live if you want to stay creative. We were willing to be educated, and at our age that’s an accomplishment.” Eventually they enlisted T Bone Burnett, who produced Mellencamp’s last two albums as well as Grammy-winning albums like “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and the Robert Plant-Alison Krauss collaboration “Raising Sand”, to bring his signature shadowy ambience to the music.

Throughout the production the eerie blues ‘n roots music reveals the inner workings of the characters as opposed to just propelling the play’s narrative, with only a few songs directly advancing the plot. Acclaimed director Susan Booth, the Jennings Hertz Artistic Director, who calls the musical “a kind of new age traveling medicine show,” explains, “I want the emphasis to be on this fantastic score and our great singers and how the story advances us from song to song. In most musicals the songs advance the narrative. With Ghost Brothers, the story will advance the songs.”

Below are the dates and locations; for more info visit the official Ghost Brothers of Darkland County website.

Nov 8 – Orono, ME – Collins Center for the Arts
Nov 9 – Orono, ME – Collins Center for the Arts
Nov 11 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
Nov 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Merriam Theatre*
Nov 14 – Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
Nov 15 – Washington, DC – Warner Theatre
Nov 16 – Baltimore, MD – The Modell Performing Arts Center at the LYRIC
Nov 18 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre
Nov 20 – Portland, ME – Merrill Auditorium
Nov 21 – Boston, MA – Emerson Colonial Theatre
Nov 22 – Providence, RI – The VETS**
Nov 24 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
Nov 26 – Detroit, MI – Fisher Theatre
Nov 28 – Chicago, IL – Broadway in Chicago’s Oriental Theatre
Nov 29 – St. Louis, MO – Peabody Opera House
Dec 1 – Denver, CO – Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre
Dec 3 – Phoenix, AZ – Orpheum Theatre
Dec 4 – Los Angeles, CA – Saban Theatre
Dec 5 – San Francisco, CA – SHN Curran Theatre

*Philadelphia goes on sale June 27
**Providence goes on sale June 19

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County

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Director Doug Liman Says Edge of Tomorrow 2 Could Be His Next Film

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I don’t know if you ever bothered to see the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt sci-fi action flick Edge of Tomorrow, but if you missed out, you should make time for the stellar flick.

I kept putting the film off myself, but then when I finally peeped the Groundhog Day-style shenanigans contained within, I was a fan signed, sealed, and delivered D.O.A.

It is with this in mind I’m excited to share the news that Edge of Tomorrow 2 just might be director Doug Liman’s next film! Recently the director spoke with Collider and dropped some new info on the possible sequel.

“We’re just working on the script…,” Liman said. “[We’re no longer working on scheduling issues]; now it’s down to we have a window where we could go do it, and we’re frantically working on the script. It’s one of those movies that we’ll only go make if we love the script. It’s not one of those things where the studio is pushing us to make it and they don’t really care if it’s good or not. If the movie happens, it will be because Emily Blunt, Tom Cruise, and myself are passionate about making it, which is a great place to be. She doesn’t need this movie, he doesn’t need this movie, and I don’t need it. We’re gonna make it if we really believe in it. We have [a] story that the three of us love, so we’re working hard on the script.”

So when he was asked if the film could be his next flick, he said: “It could be. It has the possibility of being my next film.”

Good enough for me!

You can check out the trailer for the original film out again below; and for your own good, if you’ve been passing on the film for the last few years, give it a shot tonight. You will not be disappointed.

Synopsis:
When Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them. Maj. William Cage (Tom Cruise), an officer who has never seen combat, is assigned to a suicide mission. Killed within moments, Cage finds himself thrown into a time loop, in which he relives the same brutal fight — and his death — over and over again. However, Cage’s fighting skills improve with each encore, bringing him and a comrade (Emily Blunt) ever closer to defeating the aliens.

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Ash Faces His Greatest Challenge Yet in the Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Trailer: Parenthood!

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The first trailer for the third season of STARZ’s incredible horror comedy series “Ash vs Evil Dead” has been released and it’s full of balls to the wall Evil Dead goodness! You’ve got creepy dolls, obscene amounts of gore, vicious iPhone cases, and a Deadite that just so happens to be as tall as a building! Oh, and you’re also introduced to Ash’s daughter, Sandy? Mandy? Oh, yeah! Brandy! You can watch the trailer below. Thanks IGN!

“Ash vs Evil Dead” season three premieres on Starz on Sunday, February 25th.

Synopsis:
Ash, having gone from murderous urban legend to humanity-saving hometown hero, discovering that he has a long-lost daughter who’s been entrusted to his care. When Kelly witnesses a televised massacre with Ruby’s fingerprints all over it, she returns with a new friend to warn Ash and Pablo that evil isn’t done with them yet. But evil will learn to never get in between a papa bear and his cub.

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Brennan Went To Film School

Brennan Went to Film School: Unlocking the Hidden Meaning in Insidious: The Last Key

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“Brennan Went to Film School” is a column that proves that horror has just as much to say about the world as your average Oscar nominee. Probably more, if we’re being honest.

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS DETAILED SPOILERS FOR INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

Blumhouse had quite a year last year, didn’t they? In addition to having three number one hits on their hands, the racial satire Get Out is their first horror entry to get awards traction thanks to its deeper themes. Now that everyone is starting to take the company and its work a little more seriously, it’s time to bring out the big guns and dive right into some deeper analysis into a much more unlikely subject: Insidious: The Last Key. The fourth entry in their tentpole haunted house franchise might not seem like it at first glance, but it’s the Get Out of the Me Too era, telling a story of women’s struggles while predicting the downfall of powerful, abusive men that started to occur during its production process with eerie accuracy.

No, seriously. Let’s start by taking a look at the villain. Unusually for this franchise, the baddies are both paranormal and human: halfway through the film it is revealed that the haunting victim who has called Lin Shaye’s Elise and her crew is also a sadistic killer who has chained up a woman in his basement. This is also revealed to be the very same thing Elise’s father did many decades before. The film implies that both men are being influenced by the key-wielding demon that inhabits the house.

Key imagery is very important to the film as a whole (I mean come on, it’s literally in the freakin’ title), and its themes of Elise arriving to her childhood home to unlock the secrets of her past. But there’s more than one meaning to that imagery, and understanding those meanings is the key to unlocking the subtext of the film, if you’ll allow me a really obvious pun.


The demon KeyFace might be influencing the men, but they’re still receptive to the idea. That’s because he’s awakening something that was already inside them. Keyface represents the pure male id; the unconscious, animalistic desires and drives that lay buried in the psyche. He’s not forcing them to behave in this way, he’s just unlocking their darker impulses.

It’s no coincidence that the demon’s lair is the bomb shelter basement. The house has now become a road map of her father’s mind, with his strongest emotions (and the literal place where he keeps his abused women secreted away) hidden in a sublevel that isn’t visible from the surface. This is the very same basement where he locked up Elise while punishing her for insisting that her visions were real. He wanted her to keep her psychic gifts locked away, probably so she wouldn’t discover his own submerged secrets.

Elise encounters a variety of keys during her journey that allow her to penetrate deeper and deeper into The Further, the house, her past, and the hideous truth about the men in her life. These keys unlock doors, suitcases, chains, and cages, but the most important unlocks the truth… and turns the attention of the evil upon her and her two nieces.

The probing of these women ignites the fury of Keyface and he takes her niece Melissa into the basement (another buried sublevel that must be unlocked), inserting a key into her neck and rendering her mute, then stealing her soul with a second key plunged into her heart. He is only vanquished when Elise and her other niece Imogen team together and use a family heirloom – a whistle – to summon Elise’s mother’s spirit.

On the surface, this seems like an inspiring story of three generations of women helping each other to face a great evil. This is certainly true, but now we have the key to understanding exactly what’s happening here. When a young woman discovers the abuse being perpetrated in her house, the figure of pure, wicked male desire literally steals her voice, silencing her. In order to restore that voice, another woman who knows the truth must very literally become a whistleblower.

…Did I just blow your mind?

At its heart, Insidious: The Last Key presents a world where women must rely on other women to provide them a voice and their very survival in a world dominated by powerful men and their ugly, dirty secrets. Secrets that they will do anything to keep locked away. There may be slightly more ghosts in Insidious than in real life, but that’s a frighteningly close parallel with the ugliness currently being revealed in Hollywood – as well as the world at large. It probably won’t tear up the Golden Globes next year, but this film is just the next important stepping-stone after Get Out in Blumhouse’s use of the genre to dig deep into the real life horrors plaguing our society.


Brennan Klein is a writer and podcaster who talks horror movies every chance he gets. And when you’re talking to him about something else, he’s probably thinking about horror movies. On his blog, Popcorn Culture, he is running through reviews of every slasher film of the 1980’s, and on his podcast, Scream 101, he and a non-horror nerd co-host tackle horror reviews with a new sub-genre every month!


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