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    “THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 (FINAL SEQUENCE)” (Movie Review)

    At the end of the animated film RATATOUILLE, a food-critic character has the following epiphany: “…the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.” I disagree; I’ll bet this review of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 (FINAL SEQUENCE) will offer more entertainment than sitting through the movie itself.

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    “FORBIDDEN EMPIRE” (Film Review)

    Fantasy and myth are powerful things. Not only in how they can inspire the imagination, but in how they can cloud reason and judgment, and cause horrible events to occur in a cloud of superstition.  This wary view of mythology is the ironic driving force behind FORBIDDEN EMPIRE, a dark fantasy adventure film that delivers a new take on the Ukrainian folk story “Viy” from Russian author Nikolai Gogol.

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    “SALEM: Season 2, Episode 7″ (TV Review)

    It’s not often that a series that trades so often in the sensational like SALEM slows down its action to offer something contemplative. But in the latest episode, “The Beckoning Fair One” helmed by horror master Joe Dante, SALEM takes a moment to breath while investigating the interpersonal dynamics of SALEM’s most sinister inhabitants. Luckily for the viewer, that narrative gamble pays off as the episode sets the stage well for the impending witch war while still offering every demented aspect that makes the show so endearing in the first place.

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    “AREA 51″ (Film Review)

    It’s a very curious thing to be a critic and a horror fan experiencing Oren Peli’s AREA 51 for the first time, especially given that this writer will inherently have somewhat of a different experience than most casual moviegoers. That’s not to insinuate that there is any kind of bias towards the film, but much like in taking a test, there will always be a divide between those who studied the subject and those who come in completely fresh to it. Obviously, the found footage shocker- finished in 2009 and then subject to more than five years of rewrites, reshoots and post-production work- has been one to watch for a very long time, especially considering the director’s previous effort is now a legitimate piece of horror history (and one that should be used as a free pass for a theatrical release for whatever would follow). And while there are snippets of a completely different horror film that even can be seen in stills from AREA 51’s trailer, this writer went into AREA 51 giving it the benefit of the doubt, setting the past aside as much as possible and hoping to see that the director of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY still can scare behind the director’s chair.

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    “THE FINAL GIRLS” (Movie Review)

    THE FINAL GIRLS is part of the meta-horror canon, alongside SCREAM, BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON, TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL and CABIN IN THE WOODS, in which the characters are hyper-aware of the horror-movie mythology they inhabit and are thus granted the ability to change the very structure of the trope. Not as arch as the aforementioned films, THE FINAL GIRLS (which won the Audience Award at the recent Stanley Film Festival) has a surprisingly affecting emotional core, built on the chemistry between actresses Taissa Farmiga and Malin Akerman.

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    “EXTRATERRESTRIAL” (Blu-ray Review)

    When it comes to the Tribeca-friendly filmmaking duo known as The Vicious Brothers, I have to admit that I’ll always keep a curious eye on their productions. Wherein their projects to date have a fair share of flaws, the GRAVE ENCOUNTERS films both contained an impressive amount of fun and frights to counteract said issues. So when I had learned that The Vicious Brothers would be returning properly with EXTRATERRESTRIAL, which would take them out of their found footage comfort zone with a much more ambitious story altogether, I was excited to see what they could do, despite hearing negative reviews from my colleagues. And with Scream Factory’s release of the IFC Midnight flick, I finally found a good opportunity to catch the film and see for myself what EXTRATERRESTRIAL was all about.

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    “SALEM: Season 2, Episode 6″ (TV Review)

    For this writer, there’s no denying it anymore: SALEM is by far the most satisfying horror show on television. Episode by episode, the insane writing, incredible SFX and generally perfect performances combines the individual satisfying aspects that made AMERICAN HORROR STORY, THE WALKING DEAD and BATES MOTEL so successful on their own accord. Yet SALEM has one thing those shows lack, and it’s consistency, infusing their particular brand of horror and shock value storytelling with the organic character development and satisfying reveals of a masterful drama. And even better is SALEM’s refusal to draw a line on the show either: incest, torture and stomach-turning gore have become staples of the second season, served with an unabashed and maniacal grin.

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    “MAD MAX: FURY ROAD” (Film Review)

    For fans of horror filmmaking, it’s no surprise that practically achieved cinematic magic has resonated so deeply within our sensibilities. After all, if something must be seen to be believed, then by seeing it, we believe it in one way or another. But beyond that, the ambition behind a practically achieved stunt or SFX moment is all the more convincing when we know that there’s an element of danger to the procedure, which suddenly makes the stakes much more real and makes our performers all the more believable, even in the most heightened universe.

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    “DIRECTOR’S COMMENTARY: TERROR OF FRANKENSTEIN” (Stanley Film Festival Review)

    When you have a legitimately fantastic and unique concept for a film, making said movie can feel like a game of basketball. You can hold on to the ball tight, you can show off fancy moves just because you’ve got a leg up on the competition, and you can exude a true show of confidence in every step you take with that ball. However, at the end of the day, all that matters is that the ball makes it into the net, and that you get credit for the points that you make. And other times, you can drop the ball, and perhaps someone else might pick up the ball one day and deliver on that promise that you had.

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