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.