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Holliston (Television)

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HollistonStarring Adam Green, Corri English, Joe Lynch, Laura Ortiz, Dee Snider

Created by Adam Green


As horror fans we’ve all been there. We want nothing more than to be involved with the genre we love. Whether that means going to conventions to meet our favorite celebrities, collecting cool shit that we really can’t afford, or setting out to make our own movies as a means to try and break in, there’s only one thing that puts us on this insane path – passion. Adam Green and Joe Lynch’s new show for FEARnet, “Holliston”, is teeming with passion for not only the horror genre but also the people who love it.

The premise of “Holliston” is simple… Adam and Joe (played by Green and Lynch) run a local cable show called “The Movie Crypt.” As you may have guessed, the duo are obsessed with horror movies and – despite their bickering – completely in love with each other (in the most manly of ways, of course). Their goal in life? To get their soccer-themed horror movie Shin Pads made and out to the public at large. “Holliston” is a very personal examination of the lives of these two characters from their rocky and sometimes failed romances and shitty day jobs to their resiliency to get things done no matter what the cost.

Let me be clear, though… if you’re tuning in to watch a horror show filled with frights and scares, you’re looking in the wrong place and will most likely come away incredibly disappointed. What we have here, kids, is a sitcom in every sense of the word, right down to the laugh track. Like with most situation comedies, things seem really awkward at first because you don’t know any of the characters or their motivations. You go in blind, hoping that you can connect with these individuals. Once you learn the characters and spend a little time with them, said awkward feeling begins immediately transitioning into more of a wearing-a-comfy-sweater type feeling.

In the beginning the laugh track seemed way more distracting than anything else, but think about it… what is a sitcom without one? After a while, and some witty self-referential humor, you realize that the canned laughter is just playing along with the onscreen shenanigans. Almost like a soundtrack of sorts. Despite some rough spots, by Episode 3 “Holliston” hits its stride, and I was completely hooked. There are moments that are literally laugh-out-loud funny.

That being said, there’s plenty for horror fans to dig on here from cleverly placed homages and celebrity cameos from some of the genre’s biggest films to some insanely gross and inventive splatter effects that will have you shrieking and groaning until you end up nude inside your bathtub with the hot water running. It’s that damned delightfully disgusting.

So far we’ve covered both the comedy and horror aspects of “Holliston”, but there is a third piece which completes this puzzle. Amidst all of the sight gags, outrageous gross-outs, and WTF moments, there’s a steadily beating heart behind the entire series. The relationships formed between Adam and Joe, along with their co-stars Corri English and Laura Ortiz, can be incredibly believable and sweet, thus making us care about this band of misfits from Holliston, Massachusetts, more than you might think possible. It’s easy to relate to all four of these cats because, like I said, we’ve all been there, man. Through the laughs and the tears.

“Holliston” is a show with many layers. If it were on the air when I was growing up, I’m pretty sure I would have dropped everything I was doing to watch it. This is not your granddad’s sitcom by any stretch of the imagination. Things don’t always have a happy ending in Adam and Joe’s world, and that’s okay, too, because that’s what happens in real life. It’s all in how you deal with the disasters that come your way. Bravo to FEARnet for taking such a chance with this endeavor. It’s a ballsy move on an equally as ballsy network.

4 out of 5

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror

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Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

Directed by James S. Brown

We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

8 out of 10.

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Coulrophobia Review – One of the Most Entertaining Killer Clown Films in Quite Some Time

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Starring Pete Bennett, Warren Speed, Daniella D’Ville, Roxy Bordeaux

Directed by Warren Speed


The word ‘Coulrophobia’ refers to the fear of clowns, and if you happen to suffer from it, you might want to avoid director Warren Speed’s film of the same name. However, if you can stand the sight of clowns with gaping wounds in their manly parts, then you’re in for one heck of a fun time.

An all-female hockey team get lost deep in the Scottish woods on their way to a match (don’t ask), and are captured and forced to participate in a series of horrific games by the Grock family of clowns. All of the members of said family are absolutely fucking insane, but the one that really stood out was Twitch (Pete Bennett), who wears jester cloths and it said to have a short attention span. He longs to be a violin player and wishes he could blend in with normal society like the other members of his family. And you almost feel sorry for him, even though he’s a mad killer with bells on his head.

Director Warren Speed also appeared as Milo, a grunting mute who had his tongue cut out when he was a boy. As mentioned above, we see a close-up shot of a open wound in his penis being stitched up, which is not an image that will be leaving your mind anytime soon. Speed is clearly fearless when it comes to his art.

Inter-spliced with all the torture and mayhem, we also see documentary-style telling the sad history of the family involved, and this was where the film unfortunately faltered, because these scenes seemed out of place and just didn’t flow with the rest of the plot.

Ultimately, however, Coulrophobia almost seems like a film Rob Zombie might have made before he lost his way and started churning out trash like 31. Comparisons to House of 1000 Corpses are inevitable, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. This is one of the most entertaining killer clown films in quite some time.

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User Rating 3.1 (10 votes)
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The Gatehouse Review – What Is Found in the Woods Should Be Left in the Woods

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Starring Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft

Directed by Martin Gooch


Now while no one will sneeze at the prospect of bringing up a bit of a rebellious child alone, it’s those damned kids that like to tempt fate by pissing off creatures in the woods…oh kids, they do the funniest things, don’t they?

In Martin Gooch’s moderately spooky presentation, The Gatehouse, a struggling writer named Jack (Willis) finds himself behind the 8-ball following the tragic drowning death of his beloved wife, and if that isn’t enough to torque your drawers, his young daughter, Eternity (Rayner) is becoming quite the salty soul herself. Unfortunately the little one has been finding herself bullied at school, and her recourse of sorts is to simply toss attitude around as if it was pleasantly acceptable. Her pastime has become lonely wanderings in the deep woods, digging for hopeful treasures…and we all know what problems reside in the woods, don’t we, horror fans? Well, Eternity’s father is attempting to re-start his writing career with a frightening backstory – taking the reigns on a novel that was abruptly ended when the author committed suicide, and supposedly the tome is quite the dark piece of literature.

Eternity’s never-ending quest for fortune and glory in the forest leads her to a most interesting (and ultimately) dangerous discovery (don’t sweat it – I won’t spill it for you). Bottom line here is this: the little girl has taken possession of something that should have been left in the friggin’ woods, and now someone (or something) wants it back PRONTO. What follows is a lackluster series of “spooky” events, and far be it from me to say, I’ve seen creepier stuff watching the evening news. Gooch then tries to bombard the audience with a plethora of instances and swerving plot direction – it’s fun at the beginning but can grow a bit tiresome over a duration.

Performance-wise, both Rayner and Willis play the perfect combination of mentally-shot dad and determined-to-be-independent daughter – their scenes are ripe with subtle contempt, and the right amount of indecision. Overall, the film is best suited for those fans of fantasy/fable-like horror, and while it might not scare the pants off of you, it definitely will give us all another reason to stay the hell out of the woods once and for all.

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Summary

Children in a forest-setting don’t always add up to cutesy-pie encounters with furry creatures – this one’s got a few scares to keep fans of coppice-horror appeased.

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User Rating 3.38 (13 votes)
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