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Cemetery, The (2014)

The Cemetery (2014)Starring Natalie Jean, J.D. Brown, Adam Huss, Tim Cronin, Tabetha Ray

Directed by Adam Ahlbrandt

Distributed by Adversary Films


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The Cemetery (2014)Starring Natalie Jean, J.D. Brown, Adam Huss, Tim Cronin, Tabetha Ray

Directed by Adam Ahlbrandt

Distributed by Adversary Films


Let’s face it – you’re either a lover of low-budget, unrestrained, off-the-wall, gore and nudity-infused exploitation flicks, or you’re not. There is a fine line of uncertainty as to whether or not a “casual” horror fan is willing to forgo their safe, adolescent MTV-styled thrillers that have to pass routine inspection (and be thoroughly butchered by a board of censors) in order to receive that blessed PG-17 stamp of approval.

Take it if you will, and the majority of us are contented to do so (hell, I like light AM radio every now and then,) but I find myself gravitating more towards that filth and sleaze that the masses wish just doesn’t exist – kind of like that drunk relative that only shows up at family functions around the holidays, three sheets to the wind, squeezing siblings in places that aren’t acceptable, and rounding up the night telling off the family before yakking into the fireplace. Give me that sweet putrefaction that I’ve deprived myself of for so long !

Enter director Adam Ahlbrandt’s The Cemetery, a delve into the secrets and sins of the church in the olden days, and how covering up a heinous series of acts in the name of The Father can come back to wreak havoc upon the present-day soul. In 1671, scores of men, women and children were subjected to excruciating rites at the hands of clergymen in an attempt to rid them of the demons that supposedly had taken over their bodies. Another side of the story was that the alleged bedeviled were not possessed at all – they were merely victims to the murderous inclinations of the holy order. Hundreds of innocents were beheaded, and their remains were buried in a cemetery not far from their execution site.

As we flash forward to present-day, while the ghost-hunting phenomenon and its endless array of reality-TV show pseudo-paranormal “experts” are latching their hooks into every little bump in the night, “Ghost Seekers,” a spectral investigation program, has drawn the assignment of checking out the location of the crimes from some 740 years ago.

We then follow a production crew deep into the darkest depths of the Pennsylvania hills, led by J.D. Brown (Bill), and followed by supporting cast members Natalie Jean, Adam Huss, Tabetha Ray and Tim Cronin – their friendships are tepid (at best), and frustration doesn’t take very long to display itself amongst the group. Armed with a slew of camera equipment, camping supplies and a copy of the church’s historical record, they head out in what they hope will be an informative and slightly cynical dive into the truth behind the house of God’s sullied history. Well, not a whole lot of debauched time passes before one of the group suffers the unholy tragedy of satanic possession at the hands of a lone demonic figure that walks the woods at night (and has a small cameo on the crew’s camera). The results of said possession aren’t pretty – the afflicted turns into a rampaging psychopath that loves to inflict only the heaviest of gory suffering upon whatever unlucky living soul may be in the closest proximity.

This is where the gore comes into play, and the quantity is mighty – for a director like Ahlbrandt who never claimed to use the biggest budget, he makes the absolute lion’s share of the sheer amount of blood and guts that go splattering all over the woods. The kills are graphic and intense in their ferocity – no one gets a nice and peaceful dispatching, and that’s the way I like it: no off-camera cutting, no cheeseball CGI (not that the disbursement would allow it), and just a fine job of practical effects – once again, making the most out of what you brought to the party. Much like his previous film Cross Bearer, Ahlbrandt takes a seemingly simplistic idea and ramps it up to deliver a horror product that should please the masses.

Visually, what else can you expect from a nighttime slaughter-fest in the middle of the woods ? Well surprisingly enough with this particular photoplay, you’ll get much more than you bargained for – as the crew’s hopes are for presenting a “found-footage” type of display, we (luckily enough) don’t have to bear witness to it – the camera shots are solid and engaging, and provide a fantastic look at not only a slew of after-dark carnage, but a healthy dose of daytime decimation as well. J.D. Brown and Natalie Jean provide the superlative performances here, as they’re complimented nicely with a blend of humor and desperation from the remainder of the cast that leaves no role empty-handed.

In the end of it all, The Cemetery won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but should, with its gore and back story, provide a decent view of what can be done with an imaginative brain-pan and a shrunken budget – give this one a look if you get the chance.

7 out of 5

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SOMA Sailing to Xbox One on December 1

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SOMA (review) will be heading to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of a new safe mode, and we have all the details you need right here!

SOMA Coming to Xbox One with New “Safe Mode”
There’s no need to be concerned. You are always safe…

Isolated, submerged in the ocean’s darkness, chaos has overtaken the halls of PATHOS-II, and the boundaries of humanity strained beyond repair. From Frictional Games, creators of the critically acclaimed Amnesia series, SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of Safe Mode.

Safe Mode introduces an optional new way to play SOMA in the Xbox One and PC releases. Protected from the hostile creatures below, let yourself sink into the mystery and atmosphere of PATHOS-II as you uncover the truth and determine the fate of the station.

SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st and is available to pre-order now. Safe Mode will launch simultaneously as a free update for PC and will be available for PS4 at a later date.

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Thelma Is Fantastic and Now You Can Watch the Opening Scene

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One of this year’s most beautiful and subdued horror films is Joachim Trier’s Thelma (review), which opens in Los Angeles tonight. To give you a bit of what the film is like, The Orchard have released the opening scene, which shows a man and his daughter hunting in the bleak Norwegian winter. When they come across a young deer, the true intentions of this trip become apparent…

Having seen Thelma, I can tell you that it’s truly something special. It’s a slow burn, to be certain, but it plays out gorgeously, resulting in a film that has yet to leave my mind.

Related Story: Exclusive Interview with Thelma’s Joachim Trier

Locations and tickets for Thelma can be found here.

Synopsis:
Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

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Award-Winning The Child Remains Playing Tomorrow at the Blood in the Snow Festival

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The award-winning supernatural thriller The Child Remains, which has been on the festival circuit, is returning to Canada to play tomorrow night at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival in Toronto. Tickets for the screening, which is at 9:30pm, can be found at the festival’s website.

The film has won awards in festivals across Canada as well as Best Foreign Feature at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival in London, UK.

Described as The Shining meets Rosemary’s Baby meets The Orphanage, the film stars Suzanne Clément, Allan Hawco, Shelley Thompson, and Geza Kovacs. Directed and written by Michael Melski, who co-produced the film alongside Craig Cameron and David Miller, The Child Remains is aiming for a Canadian theatrical release in Spring 2018 and a US theatrical release in October 2018.

Synopsis:
An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and young mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’ and their macabre chapter in Canadian history, The Child Remains is a twisting supernatural thriller that emphasizes story and suspense over shock and gore.

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