This week in horror – 27.06.21

Full Candyman trailer is finally unleashed

Candyman has been the word on everyone’s lips since it’s teaser trailer release late last year, and now that buzz has only heightened with the brand new trailer released earlier this week showing Nia DaCosta’s take on revamping the iconic Candyman franchise. The Jordan Peele produced film brings Candyman back to where it all started with Tony Todd returning to his iconic role, but as the trailer reveals, this reboot will be far from anything we’ve already seen as it’s more of a spiritual sequel than a direct continuation. Scenes of inner turmoil, forgotten communities, and frightful legends all make an appearance, with the brief clips revealing a new Candyman with a strong message taking the forefront on societal constructions.

Universal Pictures releases Candyman on the 27th August. 

V/H/S/94 set for a late summer release on Shudder

News recently broke of a fourth installment in the V/H/S saga. V/H/S/94 is the upcoming horror showcasing exciting talent within the genre, with the anthology essence creating something for everyone. The ‘94’ essence is a direct nod to the year that handheld cameras came about, which means that we’ll probably be in for a nostalgic ride into horrors most absurd short films. V/H/S/94 will be curated in the franchises typical anthology method, with the segments being directed by Ryan Prows, Chloe Okuno, and Jennifer Reeder. It has not been disclosed whether this list will continue, but we do know that it won’t be long until we find out as the official premiere will be held on Shudder late this summer. 

Filming is wrapped on Mainframe Pictures latest horror ‘She Came from the Woods’

It has been revealed that Ten Minutes to Midnight creators Erik and Carson Bloomquist will be adapting their 2017 short film ‘She Came from the Woods’ into a feature film. The film focuses upon a group of camp staff members conjuring an old legend on the final day of camp in 1987. Already the film has an impressive lineup, with Adam Weppler who starred in Ten Minutes to Midnight reuniting with Bloomquist, alongside Cara Buono (Stranger Things), Clare Foley (Gotham), Spencer List (The Miseducation of Cameron Post), Ehad Berisha (Billions), Juliana Davis (The Post), and William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption). Mainframe Pictures (founded by the Bloomquist brothers) has announced that production has just wrapped, with post production stages commencing shortly. 

Halloween Kills is one step closer to its release with the new trailer dropping this week

When it was announced years ago that David Gordon Green would be delivering the eleventh movie in the Halloween franchise, fans of the classic horror were not overly happy with yet another entry, however once Halloween (2018) was released the consensus changed entirely as the series went back to its roots for the first time since the early 1980s. So it’s safe to say that the long awaited Halloween Kills is one of this year’s most anticipated films.

After continued delays due to restrictions, the full trailer has finally been released. Although Michael Myers was left burning in Laurie’s trapped basement, the trailer shows Myers rising from the flames to go on yet another murderous rampage. The official release date is the 15th October, perfect timing for All Hallows’ Eve. 

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.

News Reviews

The best horror films and shows streaming right now

Have you found yourself aimlessly scrolling across streaming services looking for something just right, but you always end up chucking on your usual comfort movie? Well look no further! Here is our compiled list of the best devilishly dark gems across all of your favorite sites.


1- The Invitation (Karyn Kusama, 2015)

In the sunset-stricken mansions of Hollywood Hills lies one of horror’s most foreboding, menacing and cryptically creepy dinner parties, as we see an awkward gathering twist into a fatal soiree. We follow Will (Logan Marshall-Green), and his girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi), as they travel to Will’s ex-wife Eden’s (Tammy Blanchard) house for a dinner party to reacquaint with old friends, but Eden and her new husband David (Michiel Huisman) have alternative plans for the evening.

What makes The Invitation so inviting is Kusama’s favouring of subtle terror that gradually unease’s the senses, rather than numerous jump scares to affect the audience. This allure of anxious situations melts throughout the film, with our own irrational thoughts about unsteady situations guiding our emotional response. The Invitation is doused in secrets, and for this reason I will remain brief, but I can reveal that this film will tease your own experiences with grief, guilt and denial to create an experience that stays with you long after watching.

2- Creep (Patrick Brice, 2014)

Creep has soared across the genre, earning itself quite the reputation, however it is nowhere near discussed enough. The entanglement of a character-based study filmed using the found-footage technique is not to be underestimated, as Creep has some of modern horror’s most spine tingling moments. The film follows Aaron (Brice), who accepts a quick job to be Josef’s (Mark Duplass) videographer for the day. Josef has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and wants to make a video diary for his unborn child with his wife Angela, in the form of living on past his death.

Brice toys with Josef’s motives, with the audience not being sure whether he really is this hopeless being or whether he hides a much darker secret. Either way, we know that something is not right. The film is coy with its exposition and is actually rather quiet as the narrative primarily focuses on Josef’s ambiguous speeches. Creep has since gone on to produce an equally effective sequel, and a third film is in the running.

3- Extra Ordinary (Enda Loughman & Mike Ahern, 2019)

Filmed and set in rural Ireland is Ahern and Loughman’s directorial debut, Extra Ordinary, which is a hilarious take on the classic ghost possession story. The film focuses on Rose (Maeve Higgins), a lonely driving instructor who possesses unique supernatural powers. However, her abilities have remained dormant ever since an unfortunate accident killed her father. This is until one day when the helpless Martin (Barry Ward) contacts her to banish the spirit of his annoying dead wife.

Extra Ordinary is blessed with the unusual cinematic grant to equally tackle its horror components just as much as the humour. The film packs a weighty punch, allowing for an extremely memorable watch. To meet the film’s devilishly delightful vocations is the performances by both Higgins and Ward, who together form the ideal ghostbusting duo. Extra Ordinary drives on the line of quirky situations, irreverent laughs, and most importantly good old fashioned scares.

4- American Mary (Jen and Sylvia Soska, 2012)

Gruesome body horror and ruthless revenge plots meet in the Soska sisters’ flesh hungry tale of alternative lifestyles. The film centers upon desperate surgical student Mary (Katharine Isabelle), who after struggling with debts decides to use her skills to perform extreme body modification surgeries. But, after a horrific assault, she uses her new found side hustle to seek revenge.

American Mary is as eccentric as it sounds, as marginalised subjects such as body modifications are a major driving force in the film’s innate spell of forcing the audiences to gaze upon a scary but dream-like world. The film is set in modern day, but the drastic appearances cast an air of hypnotizing bewilderment. Alongside this is the gorefest that the Soska’s do not shy away from, resulting in a perplexing, macabre, and grisly enactment of the defiance of societal norms

5- Black Summer (created by Karl Schaefer and John Hymams, 2019-) 

The slow drawling zombies of horror classics are point blank terrifying, but what’s even worse is when these human hungry beasts are rapid and chaotic. This terrifying combination is horrifically exhibited in Black Summer, Netflix own take on a post apocalyptic world. Rooted at the heart of Black Summer is a treacherous tale of a mothers love, as we follow Rose (Jamie King), who has been separated from her daughter in the midst of the zombie attacks. But, Rose rises up and struggles through a miserable journey in a bid to find her lost child. Across the two seasons the show swarms off and dips into additional sub plots, forcing the viewer to not pause for one moment. Furthering the hecticness is the frenzied camera work that avoids stillness, keeping the story fresh and alert. 

Amazon Prime Video

1- The Woman in Black (James Watkins, 2012)

The Woman in Black belongs to the revival of Hammer Productions, who of course is infamous for the classic gothic horror of the 1950s through to the 1970s. Walking in Hammer’s archaic tales of haunted manors and troubled characters is Watkins’ take on the horror novel of the same name written by Susan Hill. The film follows Arthur (Daniel Radcliffe), a widowed lawyer who is sent to an isolated village in 20th century England to retrieve documents from a decaying estate. However, Arthur soon discovers that the manor is haunted by a vengeful ghost who will stop at nothing to claim back what was stolen from her. The eerie setting is beyond terrifying, with the mansion featuring some of horror’s most traditional elements, including dark hallways, ghostly reflections in windows, and creepy children.

2- Splinter (Toby Wilkins, 2008) 

2008 was a year that saw films such as The Strangers, Lake Mungo, Eden Lake, and Let the Right One in regenerate the market, but one film that has seemed to slip under the radar is Wilkins exploration into contained horror, Splinter. This gem follows a young couple who become trapped in a petrol garage with a strange spiked creature that infects and almost reanimates its victims into spiky sharp beings. The story rings familiar, a young romance under threat from an anonymous force, but Splinter frays from conventions and takes the unpredictable route every time. 

3- The Woman (Lucky McKee, 2011)

Lucky McKee has delivered some quality films for the genre, including May (2002) and All Cheerleaders Die (2013), but The Woman is possibly his most determined and ruthless film to burst out of his filmography. We follow the last remaining survivor of a cannibalistic tribe (Pollyanna McIntosh), who lives in the northeast coast, which is the same ground that the misogynistic lawyer and ‘family man’ Chris Cleek (Sean Bridgers) uses to hunt. It’s not long until Chris abducts this woman and holds her hostage for his own selfish needs.

The Woman is a powerful film that explores the fragmentation of the modern day American Dream, and the ricocheted shrapnel the comes loose when a family suffers from an internal dispute. This heavy narrative is richly involved, but do not let this fool you, McKee infuses an audacious soundtrack that keeps the film exciting, alongside this is the outstanding performances from Bridgers, McIntosh, and Angela Bettis. 

4- The Clovehitch Killer (Duncan Skiles, 2018) 

The Clovehitch Killer remains one of the most chilling depictions of a killer within the home. The film focuses upon Tyler Burnside (Charlie Plummer), a 16 year old boy from a strict Christian family. His life is brimming with church goings, family dinners at the table, and Scout Troop meetings. However, the harmony is brutally disrupted when Tyler begins to suspect that his role model father, Don (Dylan McDermott), is behind the murders that have plagued their small town. Based on a true story of the BTK Killer is a heartbreaking tale of deceit, destroyed relationships, and the slow developments of how repressed contradictions can make people reach their limits. The ‘look’ of the film is monotonous, with a dull colour palette and mundane situations making the harrowing storyline standout amongst the ordinary. 

5- The Rental (Dave Franco, 2020)

The Rental seemed to come out of nowhere, with its toned down production allowing for a pleasant surprise. And although it was met with a fair amount of acclaim, it is still vastly criticised and unappreciated. We follow two couples as they embark on a weekend getaway to an ocean rental house. All is well, besides the landlord being rather old fashioned, however this is the least of their concerns, as they soon realise that their every move is being watched. The Rental plays on the old gimmick of voyeurism, with our instinctual fear of being watched being constantly delved into throughout the film. However, Franco does not solely rely upon this to envelope the narrative, instead there is a heavy subplot of mistrust, that not only furthers the tension, but also makes the film risky and memorable. 


1- Super Dark Times (Kevin Phillips, 2017) 

Super Dark Times is a film that brews slowly, and takes its time to haunt the viewer. Nothing is drastically viscous, gory, or even wrenching, instead it plays on inner trauma through adhering primarily to a character driven story. When a disastrous incident accidently occurs, we see a close knit group of teenage boys suffer from grief, jealousy, and paranoia. The 1996 suburban setting provides a film drenched with nostalgic iconography and a deep atmospheric tone. The general synopsis is not entirely far from typical, but what heightens the intrigue is how the events play out. Nothing is bountiful, yet the ominous foreboding outcome leaves us hooked to the very end. 

2- Spiral (Kurtis David Harder, 2019) 

Spiral takes its presence to the extreme, with the film not shying away from the brutality that the LGBT+ community undergoes, particularly in isolated small towns. The film centres on a same- sex couple who move into a beautiful suburb with their teenage daughter, the backlash is prominent, but events are truly turned up a notch when they suspect that their neighbourhood harbours a sinister secret. Spiral has been continuously labelled as ‘Get Out meets Hereditary’, and although these are stellar films, Spiral rides on its own entirely unique path. The film is a slow burner right through to the bone, with looming presences and tormenting heights simmering throughout. 

3- Prevenge (Alice Lowe, 2016)

Prevenge is an incredible example of the fear of motherhood evoked onscreen. This subject is not often tackled within horror, but Lowe proves that pregnancy is not something that cinema should only use as a minor subplot. Prevenge follows Ruth (Lowe), a pregnant widow who believes that her unborn child is telling her to kill those who played a role in her husband’s death. The general storyline of who her victims are and what they did to contribute to her loss is not really explored, with Lowe focusing solely on Ruth’s slow descent into complete madness. The film is brutally transgressive as it refuses to downplay the grief one experiences when going through a life changing event alone, especially when this was not the plan. 

4- Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (Xavier Burgin, 2019)

Horror Noire is a documentary film that is based upon the book titled Horror Noire: Blacks in American Horror Films from the 1890s to Present” written by Robert R. Means Coleman. The film takes a careful look at the connection between how horror cinema has evolved and African-American history. Horror Noire examines how the lack of diversity seen across the industry is not only detrimental to performers and creators, but also how the genre’s history negatively portrays black people. Adding to the documentary’s exploration is the focus upon how the genre has only recently seen new additions to diversity, with the films Get Out (2017), Attack the Block (2011), and The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) being discussed. 

5- Creepshow (2019-) 

The Creepshow films have been fan favourites since the first release in 1982. Creepshow the tv series has a total of two seasons (with the latest only being released this year), and two special episodes. The Creepshow legacy was brought back to life in 2018 when special effects legend Greg Nicotero (known for his work on Army of Darkness, Scream, and The Walking Dead), announced that he will be producing the new show which streams on Shudder. In true form the show has stuck to what made George A. Romero’s take on Stephen King’s work so well, through the ideal mix of menacing humour and amusingly nightmarish themes.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.


This week in horror – 20.06.21

Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes headline new culinary horror film, The Menu

Anya Taylor-Joy has been one of the most exciting up and coming stars who has left a superior mark in horror, with her performance in The Witch (2016) being at the center stage of the film’s success. Now, she has been cast as one of the lead characters in the new horror following a young couple as they travel to a quiet island to dine in a lavishly exclusive restaurant.

Accompanying Taylor-Joy is Ralph Fiennes, who will play the mysterious chef. Fiennes is a Hollywood accolade, known for his roles in Schindler’s List (1993), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and the lead antagonist in the Harry Potter films. The Menu’s development had reached a brief halt early last year as the supposed director Alexander Payne dropped ties with the production, however since then Mark Mylod has been announced as the director for this very exciting film. 

Chucky tv series releases an exclusive teaser trailer 

Everyone’s favourite doll Chucky is back in one of the franchise’s most courageous roles yet. An exclusive trailer for the new tv series following Chucky and Tilly teases their typical killer antics. Both Brad Douriff and Jennifer Tilly reprise their roles as they star in the show that follows directly from the original films. The teaser is certainly brief, but enough to make Chucky fan’s shiver in anticipation. The direct continuation from the original films will allow for a deep character based study, where we get to learn more about the motives of Chucky, as well as create a longer timeframe to meet old and new acquaintances from his wild life. 

Toxic Avenger remake progresses through the development stage 

News broke of a remake of the cult classic, The Toxic Avenger late last year, and although the details were sparse, casting information has been announced. Kevin Bacon is officially the latest cast member to be confirmed, he will be starring alongside Peter Dinklage, Jacob Tremblay, and Taylour Paige. Dinklage will lead as the protagonist who transforms from a meak outcast into a deformed mutant, whilst battling off a ring of criminals. Walking in the steps of Toxic Avenger creators, Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz is Macon Blair, who directed the acclaimed I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017), and appeared in Green Room (2015), The Florida Project (2017), and I Care Alot (2020). 

New film in The Conjuring Universe to be directed by Darren Lynn Bousman

Darren Lynn Bousman has helped frame the Saw franchise, with the latest installment released this year ‘Spiral’, gaining rapid success. And now it seems that he will work his charm on another horror franchise, The Conjuring Universe. The film will follow the infamous tale of the LaLaurie Mansion, which still sits in New Orleans in the French Quarter. The house has a rather sinister history as it housed one of history’s most brutal serial killers. Due to the historical element, the film will only partially be filmed inside the house, with the rest in alternative locations. 

Highly anticipated horror, The Night House finally gets a release date

The Night House has been brewing up a storm ever since it entered production in early 2019. The film follows Beth (Rebecca Hall), a widow who remains stricken with grief. To occupy herself she stays at a lake house that her husband had built her. However, it’s not long until the disturbing dreams and visions begin… The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24th of last year, but due to restrictions a wider theatrical release was halted. That is until it was released by Searchlight Pictures that the official release date will be August 20th of this year. 

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.


Freddy Krueger: Your worst nightmare

“One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…” We all know that spine-tingling jingle that subtly defines one of horror’s most intimidatingly successful franchises, A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984). Craven’s legacy bears rich classics that have excelled beyond anyone’s expectations, with his filmography boasting titles such as The Last House on the Left (1972), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), and everybody’s cliche-twisting slasher, Scream (1996).

The great success Craven has received is admirable, yet there is an overt lack of discussion regarding symbolism and dissection when it comes to the titular character across every Nightmare on Elm Street film, the boogeyman himself, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). The franchise holds a total of nine films, with the first procuring the densest socio-political issues, alongside the most candid portrayal of Krueger. As the series has developed, so has the rambunctious behaviour from his character, with his later appearances emphasizing the more chucklesome and gabby side to his persona. To fully decipher what he represents we need to take a step back to the early 1980s and unravel the twisted world of Freddy Krueger. 

The 1960s and 1970s brought about great change, where the revolution of attempted freedom was at large, particularly in the USA. What brought about this dire need of a system change was a generalised anger over the lack of equality, civil rights, and the state of affairs across the world. These worrisome concerns were protested by the youth of America, leading to many filmmakers who were heavily involved in these stands becoming influenced by a furied ethical climate. The consequences of this were not always directly pronounced, with a favouring of symbolism and metaphorical values. One of the most primary examples of course being A Nightmare on Elm Street. The themes are manifested almost solely through Krueger, as he embodies denial, vulnerability, dissonance, and unjust dominance

The adaptive dream notion behind A Nightmare on Elm Street is well known. Craven had been inspired by the sudden death syndrome seen in a group of Hmong refugees, with Krueger’s stalking nature being influenced by a creeper that Craven had witnessed during his childhood. Withdrawing away from Krueger briefly is the setup that forces his legendary status; from the start, the setting is not reflected in archetypal horror locations. Instead of the haunted house or cemetery, we are presented with white picket fences in a white suburban neighbourhood. Straight away Craven is mocking the societal frame that cradled America’s elite, who would infamously belittle those who wanted to change the country’s structure for a fairer place. And what enforces the mimicry is the juxtaposition of what Krueger represents against the apparent bed of roses. 

Krueger withholds his victims through their dreams. He is not only controlling people at their most vulnerable state, but when they also have no chance of escape, people psychically need sleep to survive. In the first film the lead protagonist Nancy (Heather Langenkamp), has to battle against Krueger in her dreams to prevent her imminent death. Throughout the film, their contact is initiated through Nancy’s dreams, with her actually suffering in real life with any injuries she may obtain in these dream battles. Krueger presents himself with no invite and eventually becomes such a harrowing force in her life that the lines between dreams and reality become blurred. Without going on a tangent, the dream state is riddled with our subconscious thoughts, and what we aim to repress. Krueger is a symbol of the aftereffect that is born through neglect and generational cruelty that society attempts to abandon. 

Krueger’s charred skin, deep with lacerations and a hollowed complexion is not just purposeful to amp up the gore factor, it serves as a plot reaction. The brief history surrounding his origins is identified from the first film, where we find out that Nancy’s mother Marge (Ronee Blakley), and the other parents on their street burned Freddy Krueger to his death in a collective vigilante mission, due to Krueger being a child killer

What is intentionally ironic is the reason behind his motivation and the consequences of the parent’s actions. Needless to say, Krueger is riddled with vengeance, and he wants to destroy these adolescents to fuel his sick desires and to punish their families. The adults of Springwood are villainous, not only in their own deeds but additionally through their individual downfalls, including selfishness and avoidance of admittance. 

Their own matters of justice create a dark past that must not be uttered, forming an air of uncertainty and moral evilness over the town’s authority figures. Through the older generations’ actions, a cycle of repercussions has been conjured. Their children are suffering as a result of their misdeeds. Nancy and her friends are targeted by Krueger and are forced to fight it out alone, in a vicious system of repressed guilt. This fixes Krueger’s innate motive to disrupt the false civil harmony created, as underneath the façade lies a seedy underbelly

What furthers Krueger as a direct symbol of rebellion is his position as a fully fleshed-out villain, rather than an antagonist with an anonymous aura haloing over them. Throughout all of the films, Kruger is an all-performing show character, whose infectious personality has forced audiences over time to warm to him more than his victims. Krueger represents the evil in society, but just as humans do, we cannot help but be tempted by such wickedness. He talks, runs, jokes, laughs, and most importantly toys with his victims, showing genuine enjoyment in killing his prey.

He evokes a personality, not just a wallowing killer behind a mask. There is nothing at fault with the great silent killers, such as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, but Krueger’s sensibility has a mysterious sense of threat that only he can achieve. He does not feed off of people’s fears as a source of power, instead, he uses that menacing allure to break down his victim’s shield. The thought of a speechless killer is terrifying, but the thought of one who plays a game of cat and mouse (just because he can) creates a daunting and disturbed atmosphere. 

Throughout the rest of the franchise Krueger’s comedic tone heightens, almost falling down the rabbit hole of 1980s fruitfully humorous horror, however, his true looming nature has remained the same. In comparison to other big franchises of the genre, A Nightmare on Elm Street has fewer titles, which is mostly due to the 2010 reboot completely failing at expanding the universe. But, despite such setbacks in progression, the most pivotal element across every film is the tonal roots that the Nightmare films stay true to, with Freddy Krueger being one of horror’s most definable and complex characters

Love to read more about iconic horror villains? Check out our article on Jason Voorhees here.


This Week in Horror – 11.06.21

Rob Zombie brings The Munsters back to life with his latest announcement 

Love or hate him Rob Zombie has certainly built up an outstanding reputation within horror. Zombie’s clear devotion to the absurd was truly exhibited with his directorial debut, House of 1000 Corpses (2003). Since then his filmography boasts instantaneous hits such as The Devil’s Rejects (2005) and Halloween (2007). And his latest project is possibly one of the most exciting yet, recently Zombie announced that he will be bringing one of horror’s favorite families back to the screen, the beloved Munsters.

Zombie will be writing and directing this upcoming film, which is not too much of a surprise as he has stated multiple times that he has been trying to obtain the production rights for twenty years. With the announcement being so recent, little has been confirmed, however, we are sure to see some familiar faces including Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Mosely, and Ken Foree. 

Stephen King’s Christine remake gets the green light to go ahead 

Stephen King has been at the top for decades now, with his novels being adapted over eighty times. His 1983 novel Christine, following a sinister car with a mind of its own, has already been made into a feature film the same year of the book’s release. Now, as with many successful films, a remake is in development. Bryan Fuller will direct and pen the script, who you may know as the creator of the acclaimed show, Hannibal.

Blumhouse Productions is producing Fuller’s retake on this killer car story, which may or may not drive closer to the original book in comparison to John Carpenter’s classic. There were many deviations that Carpenter took that swayed away from King’s original, including the car’s evilness deriving from its creation rather than its former owner. So it will be very interesting to see if we get a direct remake of the film, or if we’ll finally get to see a straight adaptation from the book. 

New Shaun of the Dead book reveals everything you’ve ever wanted to know about one of the best zombie movies

You’ve Got Red on You: How Shaun of the Dead Was Brought to Life is an entire book dedicated to the efforts and craftsmanship that went into creating an absolute cult classic. Amongst the 424 pages are exclusive interviews from the director Edgar Wright, alongside cast interviews from the likes of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Lucy Davis, Bill Nighy, and Kate Ashfield.

Even more exciting is the behind-the-scenes action that we will get an insight into for the first time. Exclusive set photos, never-before-seen storyboards, and commentary from film fans such as Quentin Tarantino, Max Brooks, Greg Nicotero, and Eli Roth will all be making a keen appearance in You’ve Got Red on You. 

You’ve Got Red on You is available for pre-order for an October 19th release.

MDS unveils exclusive talking Pennywise figure 

Mezco Toyz brings us one of the most exciting horror figures yet, with Tim Curry’s Pennywise being brought to life in megascale form. The collectible stands at 15” tall and is equipped with a discreet button on the back that when pressed will play six iconic Pennywise quotes, including the fan favourite “They all float and when you’re down here with me, you’ll float too!”. Alongside this are eleven points of precise details, such as the bright red hair, massive clown shoes, multicoloured suit, and that menacing dark grin. 

Pre-orders are currently open for a release later this year.

What We Do in the Shadows season 3 dates confirmed

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s 2014 mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows became beloved by both fans and critics almost instantly, with the tv series based upon the film seeing similar success. The spin-off show will return to screens in September, where they will be picking up straight where they left off from season two’s intense cliffhanger. From the sounds of it, all of the familiars will be returning for the third season, including Nandor the Relentless (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo Cravensworth (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetriou), Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch), and Guillermo De la Cruz (HarveyGuillén). Filming has already been completed as production wrapped on May 3rd. 

Season three is set for a September 2nd release.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.


Review: A Quiet Place Part II

As I entered the cinema to watch the highly anticipated A Quiet Place Part II I was unfortunately met with loud chatty audience members attached to their brightly lit phone screens, needless to say, my annoyance was strong.

However, the conversations halted and popcorn crunching was paused within five minutes of the attention-demanding film’s commencement. And that’s when I knew that I was in for a good time. Taming the teen audience is a challenge, but there’s only one film for the job… 

A Quiet Place Part II begins with Lee Abbot (John Krasinski), walking across an eerily quiet town, are we pre or post-apocalyptic? Our questions are soon answered as we enter into the same pharmacy that featured in the first film’s opening scene and see Lee talk to the friendly shopkeeper whilst stomping around in loud boots. Soon after, the buzzing sound of kids shouting and baseball’s batting begins as he turns the corner, entering into a loud family baseball game where we see the loving Abbot family cheering on their son.

However, it’s not long until the real action begins as a beaming flame crashes through the sky and unleashes a hellish parade of sound sensitive beasts. The strong opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the film, which boasts constant “Dun..Dun..Dunnn…” moments. This relaying of intense scares and unpredictable character fates is truly unique to The Quiet Place films. 

A Quiet Place (2018) focused on the Abbot family, consisting of wife and husband, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and Lee (Krasinski), and their two children Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and Marcus (Noah Jupe) as they attempt to survive in this dangerous world, all the whilst having to prepare for the arrival of Evelyn’s baby who is due any day now. Due to Regan being deaf the family is able to efficiently communicate via American Sign Language (ASL).

Similarly, Part II follows the family as they reach their next hurdle. After their home and supplies have burnt down they need to make it on barefoot, with a low oxygen tank and a new-born baby. Fortunately, it’s not long until they run into Emmett (Cillian Murphy), a recluse who is still grieving the loss of his family. The story soon evolves into a triple threat as Regan goes on a voyage in search of finding a survival community, with Emmett trying to bring her back to the family, whilst Evelyn, Marcus, and the baby hideout in a risky bunker. Throughout the entire film, these interwoven segments never become muddled and always manage to successfully reunite separate themes together. 

Simmonds is a pure powerhouse, with her emotionally strong and courageous performance of a determined young woman taking on Lee’s role of the brave patriarch of the family, making her one of recent horror’s most interesting characters. But, Regan shows a distinct strength of selflessness and bravery that is entirely her own, not just a shadow of Lee’s commitment. Her actions resolved my initial worries about this sequel.

When a film is so outstanding it can be difficult to meet the same level of effectiveness, let alone top it, and I believe that most of that previous impact blossomed from Evelyn and Lee’s portrayal of a tender couple trying to raise their family amongst the carnage. And with Lee now permanently absent, I was slightly apprehensive over the lack of sentiment that Part II would obviously have. Alternatively, Part II brings about an abundance of maternal care, with Evelyn giving it her all to save her children, and Regan and Emmett being one another’s grief support partner. 

It would be impossible to review Part II without acknowledging the primary characteristic that swaddles the entire film, the creatures. Their exposure is much more generous in Part II, as they make a plethora of appearances throughout the entire film. Now, one creature element that I really did appreciate is the correlation between threat levels and creature exhibition.

Typically, as most recently seen in It: Chapter Two, when we constantly see the villain on screen we lose the mystery appeal, and most significantly we tire of the exaggerated emergence of the antagonist. Krasinski carefully tiptoes across this thread by placing the beasts only at the climax of the scene, where we are already on edge. 

Preserving my intrigue was the lack of prototypical survivor algorithms. The banality of the norm is almost completely eradicated, the death of Lee wholly surprised me, and I was not let down by the similar risks taken in this sequel. The phrase ‘no one is safe’ truly comes to mind in reflection, not even the new-born infant is safe!

These bold screams are of course not entirely unheard of, but they are rare. However, as much as I’ve sold this as an adrenaline-pumping rollercoaster, I actually found that one of the most pivotal instances is the inclusion of Emmett, who wallows in dread and devastating loss. Emmett transitions through his character arc with ease, possibly cementing a continued role in the upcoming third film…

Although I am unable to favour one film more than the other, due to their innately alternative routes, I can promise that A Quiet Place Part II is a brave, captivating, and adrenaline pumping thrill into tragedy in the midst of chaos.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.


Review- The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

James Wan changed modern horror in 2013 with the release of The Conjuring. No one was truly expecting how much of a success this out-of-nowhere film was going to gain, nor did anyone expect the lasting legacy that The Conjuring would have on the genre. Eight years down the line the Conjuring Universe is now eight films richer, with four primary branches being explored (Conjuring, Annabelle, The Nun, and The Curse of La Llorona).

The reason for the depth of films primarily relies upon The Warren’s having explored a senseless amount of paranormal cases, reportedly in the thousands. Out of these occurrences, the most opportunistic and intriguing one has to be the murder trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, which saw a young man who stabbed his landlord more than twenty times plead not guilty because “the devil made me do it…

Directing is Michael Chaves who is no stranger to the Conjuring Universe after the box office failure of The Curse of La Llorona, and in true Hollywood fashion, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It drifts entirely from the actual case. Not once did Ed and Lorraine Warren successfully bring a demon to court with them, instead, the judge immediately dismissed the claim of ‘default by possession’, but movie magic has to perform its spell to deliver.

So, in this fictional ‘true story’ we have at the roots a film that primarily follows Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson starring as Mr. and Mrs. Warren as they sieve through a plethora of ghastly ghouls whilst acting as actual detectives on multiple police cases. Matching this is a selective amount of dimensional characters, a heart warming love story, and a well-rounded look that thematically blossoms throughout. 

It is undeniable that The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It has its appealing features, with one of the top notes belonging to the Warren’s themselves. Most of the runtime is devoted to them as they scour to find clues as well as reminisce about how they met; in fact we are delivered quite a warming love story

And for me, this is what has allowed not just this entry, but the previous Conjuring films to draw fans in, we can’t help but adore a continuation, something steady to follow no matter how cliché the story gets. 

However, this is not a romance film at the basis, but instead a ‘supposed’ terrifying story of possession. But this is where the positive aspects begin to wallow. Joining the Warrens are our other leads, the harmless perpetrator Arne (Ruairi O’Connor) and his partner Debbie (Sarah Catherine Hook). As aforementioned, we see Arne become possessed and brutally murder his landlord whilst in the presence of Debbie, but she stands by his claims and is at his beck and call.

They spiritually embody a younger version of Ed and Lorraine whose bond is unbreakable, and I do have to admit that I was immersed in their theatrics and their overarching outcomes did matter to me. Chaves certainly relies on fleshing out fruitful characters to deepen backstories and strengthen the spine of the narrative. 

Clearly, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It has plenty of heart, but does it have any brains? Now comes the rapid downfall that sinks in just when we should be gripping to the edge of our seats. Unfortunately, Chaves’ bad luck from The Curse of La Llorona has followed him as the scares are certainly stretched thin. I watch a hefty amount of horror films every week so eventually, I do adapt to pre-packaged plot devices, particularly the dreaded jumpscare.

The sudden appearance of a daunting image accompanied by a swell in orchestral strings has plagued the genre for a dreadful amount of time. That is not to say that jumpscares are impossible to effectively use, with some of horror’s greatest scenes deriving from the tactic, including that terrifying scene in The Descent where the hideous humanoid appears behind a woman’s shoulder, or when the bright red demon appears out of nowhere in the infamous Insidious scene. Chaves on the other hand used them extensively to the point of being formulaic, where anyone could have seen them coming a mile off. 

Similarly, the entire film’s structure could be described as exposition, silence, jumpscare, exposition, silence, jumpscare; and so forth. What happens with this predictability is the essence of familiarity, and ultimately boredom. Sitting through a film that is 1hr and 52 minutes where you can see every single climax before it even happens is challenging, but what added to this was the constant tangent that the film drifted off to.

As I’ve previously mentioned, Johnson’s possession claim was immediately dismissed as legally there was no way to prove innocence, instead, the lawyers went down a self-defense route. Obviously, if the film would have followed reality then everything would have been solved in under an hour, but to uphold feature film requirements there needed to be plenty of filler

The gauzes to pad the film were dull, with unnecessary deep dives into other possession murder cases being explored by the Warrens. The overexertion dragged the film out until my attention had nearly completely broken down. 

My overall thoughts remain unbalanced, with neither a love nor hate opinion residing. Alternatively, I enjoyed the refreshing involvement of character arcs but was entirely let down by the extraneous shelling out in an attempt to deliver a ‘wide’ film. At times films with grand budgets get lost in the freedom of finance, with a favouring in exploring dozens of locations and expensive exterior shots; whereas indie films have to be good internally as there is no opportunity to fill in the gaps with pricy stills.

A keen focus to honing in is what The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It desperately needed, and more importantly the entire franchise needs to form its dedication to the genre better and take a note out of The Conjuring’s (2013) book of expertise.

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.


This week in horror – 4.6.21

Upcoming Megan Fox horror Till Death gets an official release date

Megan Fox’s return to horror has been highly anticipated ever since it was announced early last year that S.K. Dale had cast Fox in his new thrilling horror. Till Death follows Emma (Fox), a shaken woman who has been handcuffed to her dead husband thanks to a malicious revenge plot.

The already horrific events soon take a turn for the worst as she has to race against two killers who are en-route to ‘deal’ with her as well. Straight away the key story elements ring similar to Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Stephen King’s original novel, Gerald’s Game. However, Dale along with writer, Jason Carvey, promises that Till Death will not work on a subliminal note, instead favouring a full-throttle thrill, promising the audience as a film to remember. 

Distributors Screen Media have announced an official release date of July 2nd this year.

Hellraiser reboot heads directly to Hulu’s streaming service

Who would’ve thought that Clive Barker’s 1987 horror based on sadomasochistic creatures would become a massive franchise with a total of 10 films behind its belt, alongside comic books, novels, and video games?

Now, the franchise is expanding yet again with the latest Hellraiser set for a direct VOD release, with streaming giant Hulu being the first to pick up the distribution rights. Plot details have been kept sorely secretive, but we do know that the acclaimed David Bruckner will be behind the director’s chair yet again. His previous credits include segments in both V/H/S and Southbound, as well as bringing Adam Nevill’s novel The Ritual to life on the big screen. 

Horror legends, Tony Todd and Tobin Bell join forces in the highly anticipated sci-fi horror, The Bunker 

Tony Todd is best known for his villainous role in the Candyman films, with Tobin Bell also portraying the antagonist in the Saw franchise. And now these two horror icons will team up to tackle aliens from a mysterious planet in The Bunker.

The film revolves around an alien invasion and an underground bunker, where we’ll follow a scientist as they must concoct a bio-weapon to prevent the aliens in their tracks before they rule dominance over earth. The upcoming exploration into the extraterrestrial is currently in production. Todd and Bell’s official roles have not yet been announced, but we do know that they will co-lead the film, alongside Chelsea Edmundson, who had a brief role as the Bride in Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead. 

Season 4 of horror TV show ‘Slasher’ set for a Shudder release

The Canadian-American horror series has made quite the name for itself, with news of the fourth season being very welcomed amongst fans of the anthology-style show. So far across three seasons we have seen a mysterious serial killer tackle a small town in the brilliant first season, following is season 2 where we see a crew of camp counselors return to a campground where they murdered a fellow counselor, and lastly, season 3 follows a group of neighbours who neglected to help during a murder that happened in front of their complex during the summer solstice period.

The fourth season will surround a mishmash wealthy family with their own share of inner turmoil, all the while being killed off one by one on a secluded island. Officially titled Slasher: Flesh and Blood, the latest instalment will be released via Shudder in an early August premiere date. What’s even more exciting is the fact that the one and only David Cronenberg stars as the ruthless head of the family, in what seems like a combination of Ready or Not, Knives Out, and Friday the 13th. 

A Quiet Place Part II comes back with a silent bang as it tops the box office within days of its release 

A Quiet Place rushed through cinema with ease with the first installment taking in nearly $350 million since its 2018 release. News of its sequel was announced within days of A Quiet Place being released, so let’s just say that the success of the sequel was imminent. However, as with many films due to be released in 2020, restrictions forced the film to suffer from multiple delays. The wait seems to have luckily paid off as Part II has smashed the box office worldwide as the growing total is currently at $83 million, within just a week of its release. To meet this is the rapid acclaim that John Krasinski’s apocalyptic vision has gained, with both critics and audiences admiring the portrayal of a family struggling with literal monsters, as well as praising the addition of Cillian Murphy’s character. 

Clown documentary Behind the Sightings finally unveils trailer and an official release date 

The 2016 clown crazes went above and beyond, with numerous videos going viral of creepy clowns stopping cars on dark roads, meeting strangers at lift entrances and most frighteningly there were ‘rumours’ that people were using the prank knowledge of these videos to commit immoral deeds without people thinking they were being serious… 

Adding to the film’s fright factor is the mysterious background of Behind the Sightings. Supposedly, this found footage ‘docu’ is real, as we follow an actual couple documenting the clown epidemic. Typically the notice of true stories is an obvious marketing technique, but Behind the Sightings have taken a step outside the box and created such a genuine and secretive portrayal that have convinced many that the film is 100% non-fiction.

Eager viewers will finally get to decide for themselves whether this is true or not, with the DVD and VOD release date scheduled for July 7th

This weeks article comes via Grace from Film Overload, you can check out more of her work here.