Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Haunting of Hill House Series Coming to Netflix

I try not to post anything that overly premature but this has got me very excited. On April 10, 2017, Variety reported the following:

Netflix is in the early stages of developing a series based on the Shirley Jackson horror novel “The Haunting of Hill House,” Variety has learned. 
The series is described as a modern re-imagining of Jackson’s novel. The novel, which has been praised as one of the best horror stories of the 20th century, follows four people as they spend a summer in a rented mansion. They soon begin to experience a wide range of supernatural phenomena. It was previously adapted into a feature film in both 1963 and 1999. 
The planned 10-episode series come from writer-director Mike Flanagan, who is no stranger to the horror genre. His previous credits include horror films “Hush,” “Oculus,” and the sequel “Ouija: Origin of Evil.” Flanagan will executive produce along with Trevor Macy, Justin Falvey, and Darryl Frank. Amblin TV and Paramount TV will produce.

Director Mike Flanagan knows exactly how to build dread and atmosphere as demonstrated in Oculus, which happens to be one of my favorites. My sense is that the series will play out like a really long movie (much like Stranger Things) rather than episodic arcs, and the source material begs for a modern makeover. The most recent theatrical adaptation, 1999's The Haunting, starred Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and a terrifying shape shifting house. No word yet on when the series may hit Netflix.

Art by Paul Buckley


Friday, March 31, 2017

The Year of Stephen King

Maybe every year is a Stephen King year but 2017 is bringing two major adaptions previously stuck in development hell: IT and THE DARK TOWER. The trailer for IT was released this week and it's absolutely terrifying (and also set a record for most online views in a single day). Perhaps I was too quick to judge that antediluvian clown costume? Even the teaser poster is terrifying (Need help finding the child-eating clown? Look in the balloon.) The movie, like the book, is divided into two parts, although the sequel has not been officially confirmed. Part one hits theaters on September 8 (why not in October?).

https://youtu.be/QnUwUCbwJy4




Over in Mid-World, THE DARK TOWER adaption keeps getting pushed back (now being released on August 4, 2017) but it's mostly in the can and starring Iris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Early reports say it's both an amalgamation of series (there are 8 books in total), a complete departure, and a sequel to them. Oh boy. The clever poster features the dark tower itself in the white space (squint when looking at the poster below).




Over on the television, CASTLE ROCK, a 10-episode series co-produced by J.J. Abrams is coming to Hulu and said to be a psychological-thriller weaving various beloved stories from the King canon. Based on the teaser trailer, I'm thinking it's going for that Penny Dreadful smorgasbord approach? Hmm.


https://youtu.be/UGHupqE1LCI


THE MIST is getting a 10-episode series on Spike TV debuting on June 22. Although the short novella was excellently adapted to the big screen in 2007, we're headed back to the small town enshrouded in a creepy fog filled with grotesque monsters. The initial reports about the reworking of the classic material is a bit troubling.




MR. MERCEDES is headed towards a 10-episode run on the Audience Network (DirectTV/AT&T U-verse) and no one will get to watch it until it gets onto a more available platform.

GERALD'S GAME has been adapted as a film for Netflix, directed by Mike Flanagan (who directed last year's Ouija: Origin of Evil and Hush). An innocent game leaves a woman handcuffed to a bed after her husband suffers a heart attack leaving her to deal with the demons in her head and a rabid dog outside their remote cabin.


Autumn wouldn't be the same without a terrifying Stephen King book, and September 26 brings the new book SLEEPING BEAUTIES co-written with his son Owen King (not be confused with his other son Joe Hill, also a writer (of the fantastic books NOS4A2 and THE FIREMAN). The book is about strange plague that covers all women in cocoons – except one – leaving the men behind to figure it out (now that IS scary).





Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Devil's Candy ~ Review

It's been 7 years since director Sean Byrne's polarizing debut feature film, The Loved Ones and he's come back with another winner. The Devil's Candy is a disturbing trip into heavy metal, art and mental illness or possibly satanic possession.

Jesse Hellman (get the pun?) is a painter who just moved his family into an affordable house in rural Texas. The catch is that an older couple recently died in the house, and their estranged son (a standout Pruitt Taylor Vince) just can't stay away, mostly because demonic voices are constantly murmuring in his ear. To solve this problem he plays loud licks on his amplified guitar! Then Jesse starts hearing the murmuring himself and his painting goes from butterflies to screaming children engulfed in flames. Yikes.

The rest is admittedly underdeveloped and adds little to the sub-genre of demonic serial thrillers, BUT it is well acted (including an unrecognizable Ethan Embry, and Kiara Glasco as his angsty but authentic daughter) and incredibly stylish. You don't expect this kind of polish for horror movies but it's clear the director cares about the art of filmmaking. Every splash of light, color, and sound are purposeful and creates an atmosphere of dread, unease, and unpredictability (which is ideal for horror movies). Ultimately, this is a story of the father-daughter bond, a rumination on the artistic soul, and the truest nature of evil. It also has a deep emotional depth that many movies never quite seem to capture. Overall it's a very satisfying yet disturbing film.




The boring US streaming artwork
The festival circuit poster
that seems too Deathgasm.



The German version of
the poster is easily the best.
The more interesting
but satanic US poster

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pixar's COCO

The first teaser trailer and poster for Pixar's COCO has been released and it is DAZZLING! It's based on the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, rumored to be Pixar's first "musical", and directed by Academy Award Winner Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3). Opening in theaters (in 3D) on November 22 (Thanksgiving weekend).


https://youtu.be/zNCz4mQzfEI


Happy Saint Patrick's Day!




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

National Spider Day

Celebrate National Spider Day (March 14) with this chilling video of abject horror!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Is FEUD American Horror Story, Season 6.5?

One of my favorite horror films of all time is 1962's Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, a cult classic starring two iconic Hollywood legends, Betty Davis as a deranged former child star, and Joan Crawford as her wheelchair-bound sister. The film is filled with dark humor (what's for dinner Blanche?), psychologically tense, over-the-top crazy, and features one great villain. It went on to get five Academy Award nominations including one win for Best Costume Design.

55 years later Ryan Murphy creator of American Horror Story and Scream Queens has unleashed his latest series: FEUD: Bette and Joan, a fictionalized story chronicling the real-life feud between the two stars during the filming of Baby Jane.  The 8-episode series explores the issues of sexism, ageism and misogyny in Hollywood. Bette Davis is played by Susan Sarandon and Joan Crawford is played by AHS alum, Jessica Lange – both of whom are at the top of their game (just give them the Emmy already).

The show is not a horror per se, but as a long time fan of the powerhouse cast (which also features Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Judy Davis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sarah Paulson, Jackie Hoffman, Kathy Bates, on and on), this is one incredible and fascinating series. This is thankfully not as campy as the advertising (below) would have you believe and surprisingly shares the DNA of American Horror Story. At the very least, I have a feeling it will be better than most of Freak Show, and seriously only a few tweaks would be needed to make this an actual AHS season. Maybe shoot it a little darker and out of sequence, add a black demonic figure manipulating the two stars, and figure out how to splash more blood around the set – the physical stunts did result in actual injuries including Bette almost rolling Joan down a flight of stairs!




Thursday, March 2, 2017

Colossal

You can sometimes just tell by a trailer when a movie is going to be epic. The trailer for COLOSSAL if giving me the vibe of greatness – but of course we've all been led astray by the trailer demons. It stars Anne Hathaway, Jason Sedeikis and Dan Stevens and is being released on April 7.

P.S. I'm hearing that the Alien: Covenant trailer is also rocking the horror world but I'm refusing to see any trailers for it until after I see the movie, which opens on May 19. This one is definitely too special to ruin with trailers.



Monday, February 27, 2017

Handmurder Helper

Like many of you, I grew on Hamburger Helper (cheeseburger macaroni anyone?) and Friday the 13th movies. Today's tee from TeeVillain made me chuckle with nostalgia and acid reflux.