Entries Tagged 'horror' ↓

Sunday Shorts: See You Soon

I might have tweeted this one before, but it's worth repeating. Love the set up here. Look at all the information it conveys without the use of dialogue. While the running time is a little on the extreme side, this is an excellent example of how scenes should start as late as possible and quickly finish when their job is done.

Check out how it was made:

Sunday Shorts: See You Soon

I might have tweeted this one before, but it's worth repeating. Love the set up here. Look at all the information it conveys without the use of dialogue. While the running time is a little on the extreme side, this is an excellent example of how scenes should start as late as possible and quickly finish when their job is done.

Check out how it was made:

25 Screams

I think it's pretty safe to say that I'm the only person on the net who came up with a list of the Best Horror Films of the last decade. Originality, that's me! Why twenty-five? I wanted to go with ten, but there were just too many good films, especially the imports. Foreign Horror stepped its game up, while Hollywood was mostly content to remake.

I've never cared much for slasher flicks and torture porn, so don't be surprised by their omission. Even with twenty-five slots, it was still a difficult task -- I'm sure that I've still managed to miss a gem or two. Anyway, without further delay, I present the first installment: (25-21)

25. The Ring (remake)

Part of the first wave of Asian Horror remakes to hit American theaters. It was spooky, atmospheric and had one hell of a hook.

24. The Eye (original)

Better than The Ring in my opinion, the remake with Jessica Alba was huge letdown. The concept of "haunted" organ transplants is nothing new, but this South Korean film has some interesting twists along the way.

23. Brotherhood of the Wolf

Christophe Gans directed this stylish French action-horror flick about two men pursuing a murderous beast on the rampage. Part legend, part speculation, this is all fun. And anything with Monica Bellucci instantly increases its watchability.

22. Blood: The Last Vampire

I love the art, but often find anime characters and stories to be somewhat... lacking -- no, boring. Not the case here. A slick, little film that runs under an hour about a mysterious girl who hunts vampiric creatures. Ignore the awful live-action adaptation from earlier this year. See this instead.

21. Ginger Snaps

Effective low-budget Canadian horror about a teen female lycanthrope. Puts Wes Craven's bloated and over-cooked Cursed to shame.

(more to come...)

Paranormal Activity

Not gonna give up any spoilers, but scariest movie of all time? I think not. You can find scarier clips on online, in fact, I'll give you a head start:

The 10 Scariest videos on the internet.

(watch out for #2!)

The Blair Witch comparisons are apt. Low budget, high concept horror goes on to become an "overnight" box office sensation. Not bad for a film that's been sitting on the shelf for a few years. ..

Nice idea with adequate execution and a FEW tense moments. Unlike BW, Paranormal Activity doesn't feel like a bunch of actors riffing for 90+ minutes. There's definitely a three act structure to the story. I could almost describe it as an extended episode of Supernatural where the Winchester brothers *don't* show up. If you ignore the hype and lower your expectations, it should be a decent experience... but you still might hate it with every fiber of your being...


The marketing folks are the real stars here. They've managed to create buzz by turning a tiny film into an event, which is no small feat. After that, the bandwagon effect took over.

I tweeted earlier about a possible Paranormal Activity 2. Who didn't see that coming?

And get ready for the imitators...

Jennifer’s Autopsy

I don't get all the Diablo Cody hate -- especially the sour grapes from unsold screenwriters. Her first screenplay became a hit film that grossed over 200 million dollars worldwide and netted her an Oscar... oh yeah, she used to be a stripper. What's the big deal?

'The dialogue in Juno was unrealistic and annoying!'
'She's just a flash in the pan!'
'Who calls themselves Diablo Cody?'
'She only gets attention because she's an attractive woman.'

Who cares!? Don't you have better things to do, you know, like writing? For the record, I didn't care for "Juno," but I think it's a good thing when *anyone* sells a spec that becomes a critical and commercial success. Increases our odds just a bit. Anyway, the film...

A botched human sacrifice transforms a bitchy teen into a bitchy, demonic teen who feeds on (mostly male) human flesh, and it's up to Jennifer's B.F.F. to stop her before it's too late. Not bad. A throwback to 80s B-movies. Kind of lacking in the suspense department. If you're going to turn the tables on the boys in a horror flick, go all the way. Break out all the old clichés and have fun with them -- I kept waiting for some big, macho football player to twist an ankle while attempting to run away from the hot monster-chick. All in all, Megan Fox doesn't embarrass herself. It's not the best role to showcase her skills, but who in their right mind would turn down the opportunity to star in a flick written by a screenwriter coming off an Academy Award?

Based on the names involved, the Box Office was a disappointment. But I wouldn't be so quick to start dancing on the grave of Cody's screenwriting career. People underestimate how hard it is to market a horror-comedy. With the exception of "Shaun of the Dead," most of the recent attempts have flopped. The trailer should have focused more on scares rather than one-liners. The "R" rating was a huge mistake -- probably the result of one too many (unnecessary) f-bombs. David Goyer's "The Unborn" (PG-13) had a 19 million dollar opening weekend with Odette Yustman (who?) as the lead -- not a good film, but they certainly knew how to sell the goods. JB's budget was around 16 million, so at the end of the day, the film will eventually make a profit. If the DVD has a commentary track with Cody and Kusama, I'll definitely check it out.

Trick R Treat

Michael Dougherty's "Trick R Treat" finally gets to see the light of day on DVD. I've read all sorts of good stuff about this horror anthology, but it supposedly sat on the shelf for over a year because nobody could figure out how to market the thing. Anyways, here's a 9 minute preview...

Throwback Thurdays: The Midnight Hour

Another 80s TV movie I found on youtube. This one is about teens fooling around with magic in a cemetery... unwittingly raising various creatures of the night. And since it's Halloween, they blend right in. Lots of bad acting, bad make up -- plus a song and dance number! This clip opens up with my favorite scene: hot girl alone in the wine cellar with a mysterious woman. You might recognize the song here, "How Soon Is Now" by The Smiths, also used in "The Craft" and the theme song for "Charmed".

Wolvesbane Trailer

Werewolves, vampire hunters and Nazi vampire cults. Looks like B-movie heaven...


Surprisingly good. This low budget flick doesn’t break any new ground, but makes the most of what it has: cool creature effects and a claustrophobic setting -- Jill Wagner doesn’t hurt either. Starts off with a couple getting carjacked and eventually trapped at gas station with a bloodthirsty monster lurking outside. Solid acting, good dialogue, interesting characters -- the carjacker even gets an arc! Director Toby Wilkins has an unofficial Splinter blog here.

There are plenty of low budget filmmakers out there looking for something to shoot, so a script like this is always worth writing. Now that I’m *finally* done with my werewolf spec, I’ve already started something a little less ambitious.

The Reaping

Totally forgot I had this. Kind of a throwback to those bad seed, evil children flicks that were popular in the 70s and 80s -- but with much better special effects and a big twisty ending. Like “True Blood”, it doesn’t do the South any favors.

“The Reaping” isn’t a bad film, but there’s a TV-movie quality that it can’t seem to shake. I just don’t think the stakes are high enough. Will Hilary Swank kill the evil child and save the townsfolk from those nasty plagues? And it’s not quite the horror movie that the trailer suggests either. A couple of creepy scenes, but you’ll have to look long and hard for scares. With all that said, I’m surprised the film didn’t fare better at the box office, only 25 million. There’s a very specific audience for this, but the marketing department folks didn’t get enough of ‘em.

Deaths of Ian Stone

Caught this on the Sci-Fi Channel over the weekend. Kind of hard to describe... I guess you could call it a low budget “Dark City” meets “Deja Vu”. Ian Stone is stalked and eventually killed by strange creatures that only he can see, only to wake up in a slightly different reality -- but always with the same hot blonde -- over and over. Better than I expected. Cool creature designs from Stan Winston. Things fall apart in the third act when people don latex and place other people in torture devices -- unless that’s your sort of thing...

There’s an interview with screenwriter Brendan Hood here. It’s mostly him lamenting the changes that were made and how he was shut out of the process, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Some stuff I agree with, others I don’t. I think the love story angle made the story seem less generic. Sure, it’s kinda corny, but sometimes corny works.

Fear Itself

What happened to the great sc-fi/horror anthology shows like “The Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits”? Even “Tales from the Darkside” and “Tales from the Crypt” had their moments. This was pretty dull and predictable. They took what was a half-hour story -- at best -- and tried stretching it into an hour.

Never Cry Werewolf

If only I had seen the cheap one-sheet beforehand -- doesn’t the beast look like a giant rat with roid rage? This is basically a rip-off of the classic 80s film, “Fright Night” -- my next door neighbor is a vampire and nobody believes me -- just substitute vampire with werewolf and take away all the charm. Fell asleep way before Kevin Sorbo showed up, but it’s hard to believe that he would have been able to turn this one around. I’m swearing off b-werewolf flicks for a while.

And since we're on the subject of werewolves... still banging away at my own spec. How does that old Paula Abdul song go -- the one with the rapping, cartoon cat? Two steps forward, two steps back? I've really come to despise the rewrite process. Babies have been concieved, born and are now walking/talking since I started the first draft... geez!

Story Starters

3 Year old has never fallen asleep

Genetically modified human embryo stirs criticism

Scientists Investigate Recent Coyote Attacks on Children

Teacher Fired, Accused of Wizardry

The Woman Who Can't Forget ANYTHING

Two women report ghost has been having sex with them

UK releases classified UFO Files

Vatican says aliens could exist.

Story Starters

Brooklyn Ghostbusters

Creepy gnome terrorizes town

Dead cow, coyote found near site of "Lizard Man" mystery

Death by suicide robot

Giant Fossil Bats Out Of Africa

Illicit “blood farm” raided

New kidney changed my whole personality

Real-life case of demon possession documented

Web surfer spots mysterious crater