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    Haunted Mirror and Eeerie Imagery Tease “OCULUS”

    Thanks to a fantastic response from last year’s TIFF, and of course the unsettling ABSENTIA, Mike Flanagan’s OCULUS is one of the most eagerly anticipated horror films of the year. Hitting this April, the tease has begun, and our first glimpse bears a storybook resemblance, introducing the viewer to the legend of this accursed artifact that haunts the film.

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    Q&A: Writer/Actor Kevin Grevioux on “I, FRANKENSTEIN”—The Monster’s Legacy, Lost Creatures and More

    The new “monster” in I, FRANKENSTEIN is being billed as a modern spin on the character, but he actually harks back directly to Mary Shelley’s original novel. This return to a more self-aware, articulate creature was conceived by writer Kevin Grevioux, who spoke to Fango about his own creation process, what got changed on the way to the screen and the challenges of Hollywood scriptwriting.

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    “THE RAID 2″ (Sundance Movie Review)

    It’s unlikely there exists a 2014 movie with more spectacular bloodshed than THE RAID 2. Of course, that statement is a nightmare to those of a queasy nature, or with little constitution for ultraviolence. But anyone fearful THE RAID itself could not be topped, or that its sequel ballooning to a 147-minute runtime would do it a disservice, should begin to feel something in their shoulders. Not hype per se, but more like the thrilling anticipation that permeates the entire movie, as if gearing up to do something truly heart-pounding. As if the movie itself is an opponent. As if you’re waiting for its first punch. You’ll never see it coming, nor the second, or third, or the hammer, or the bat. THE RAID 2 forces its viewer to feel it all, leaving us bruised, exhausted and elated.

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    Eerie acquisitions: Lionsgate gets “COOTIES,” Anchor Bay to open “FEAR CLINIC”

    As a year noticeably scant on major genre releases, especially compared to the horror-heavy one before it, 2014 has plenty of room for genre sleepers to make their mark. So as rumblings make their way out of the Sundance Film Festival, it’s no surprise that horror fans can start making room on their calendars, as two notable fright flicks have found Stateside distribution.

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    Q&A: Ray Wise on “BIG ASS SPIDER!”

    From ROBOCOP to REAPER and all the PEAKS and CREEPERS in between, the legacy left by Ray Wise in his storied career is unquestionable. Wise has explored his dark and light sides in spades, and given audiences some of the most fascinating and fun characters ever put to screen. Most recently, Wise made his mark as the stern Major Braxton Tanner in Mike Mendez’s hilarious horror/comedy BIG ASS SPIDER! (now on DVD, Blu-ray and on-demand from Epic Pictures).

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    “THE FOLLOWING” creators talk the new season and violence

    When Fox’s serial-killer series THE FOLLOWING premiered last year, it attracted quite a bit of attention for its extreme, brutal content. With the new season debuting in its regular timeslot next Monday, January 27 following a special preview last night, we asked the people behind the show if that controversy affected their approach to the 2014 episodes.

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    “LIFE AFTER BETH” (Sundance Movie Review)

    Somewhere, perhaps even at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, there is a film that’s like LIFE AFTER BETH, but with no zombies. That version is likely anyone’s idea of a “Sundance” movie; essentially, an indie about a devastating break-up. When you consider that alternative, it makes the unique, intimate LIFE AFTER BETH even better and its slot in the festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition truly satisfying. With horror— at least to this writer and I imagine many readers—is the best way to tell this type of story. Instead of a drab stab at realism, we’re treated to the sometimes sweet, oftentimes icky, intensely funny and cutting chronicle of getting on.

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    “24 EXPOSURES” (Movie Review)

    After his impressive and darkly comic horror debut with a segment of V/H/S, many horror lovers wondered when mumblecore auteur and occasional genre actor Joe Swanberg would tackle feature-length horror filmmaking. With his bent toward atmospheric, character-driven storytelling and associations with genre filmmakers like Adam Wingard and Ti West, it was only a matter of time before Swanberg found a horror story of his own to tell—yet fans of his V/H/S piece may be surprised that Swanberg opted out of startling, high-concept scares for the slow-burning dread of 24 EXPOSURES.

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    “COOTIES” (Sundance Movie Review)

    COOTIES may very well have one of the great opening title sequences. An exhaustive, repulsive and painfully up close document of the process that makes a chicken a chicken nugget, its nature may also very well prime the viewer for something COOTIES doesn’t seem too interested in being outside of the introduction: subversive and gross. And while the film is at points a very funny one, the ever-present reluctance to deliver on true carnage or amplify the bits of satire peppered throughout also make it a lacking one.

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    Notes on “COLD IN JULY” and “THE GUEST” at Sundance

    While “genre-heavy” in lineup, the 2014 Sundance Film Festival is not particularly confined to horror. In fact, a couple of this year’s most highly anticipated films see two of our brightest “new” horror filmmakers transition from one slice of pulp to another, carrying previous themes and aesthetics over to energizing, high quality thrillers that will be of no less interest to their, and our, fans.  Directors Jim Mickle and Adam Wingard, and their respective partners-in-crime (an apt term, here) Nick Damici and Simon Barrett have crafted two synth-driven, colorful, Carpenter font-using pictures that inadvertently turned into a fantastic double feature in Park City.  

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    “THE BABADOOK” (Sundance Movie Review)

    THE BABADOOK is absolutely fraught from its arresting opening sequence, in which single mother Amelia recalls, in nightmare, the car accident that took her husband Oskar away. The only thing that eventually pulls her from the aggressive dreamscape is an unrelenting shout from her son Samuel, who in turn was pulled out of Amelia on that very tragic day. More than an introduction to the stylish, aurally assaulting and often tremendous feature debut from Jennifer Kent, THE BABADOOK’s beginning serves to reveal that Oskar’s demise is still very much at the forefront of Amelia’s mind, with Samuel’s distant cries for help not a close second. Her son’s very existence comes with baggage, and as soon as the audience is hip to such, we’re primed for Kent’s exploring of how to reconcile the natural sentiment of sometimes just not liking your kid.

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