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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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    “VALLEY OF THE SASQUATCH” (Film Review)

    One of the oldest North American myths of all time, it’s no surprise that the Sasquatch (a/k/a Bigfoot, Yeti, etc.) is still prevalent in the imagination of so many today. Living in the forests within our suspension of disbelief, the Sasquatch can take on any form we’d like it to, and therefore not only can it exist in our wildest dreams, but also our darkest nightmares. And while some films, like WILLOW CREEK and EXISTS, provide a painting of the Sasquatch as a territorial and animalistic monster, VALLEY OF THE SASQUATCH offers something much more benign and conscious, even if it’s similarly terrifying in its own way.

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    “BATES MOTEL: Season 3, Episode 9″ (TV Review)

    After their strongest run to date, this writer must admit that he’s disappointed in the narrative decisions made in the ninth episode of BATES MOTEL’s third season. All the character development, tension and wickedness of the previous eight episodes have all but been cast aside for the generic in-town drama that brought down and frustrated horror fans throughout the first two seasons. And of course, it’s no coincidence that this just happens to come about when Bradley inexplicably enters the foray, a character who not many missed and whose fate is all too apparent.

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    “MAD MAX” (Blu-ray Review)

    To call the MAD MAX franchise “diverse” would be one hell of an understatement. While all the MAD MAX films exist plausibly in the same demented, post-apocalyptic universe, the changes in tone and content has been in leaps and bounds. From the insane road games of THE ROAD WARRIOR to the cartoonish pulp of BEYOND THUNDERDOME to the breathtaking fever dream of FURY ROAD, George Miller’s incredible universe has always felt as twisted, unique limbs attached to a singular body. And atop of that body is the head where it all began, with the simplistic, rough-and-tumble MAD MAX.

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    “SUN CHOKE” (Stanley Film Festival Review)

    To be honest, the particular brand of psychological horror that SUN CHOKE provides isn’t necessarily going to be for everyone. On one hand, it’s a unique and nightmarish look into a young woman whose struggle for internal and external freedom leads her to utter darkness and depravity. On the other hand, it’s a often-disorienting and logic-bending slow burn that requires patience and more than a little cinematic masochism. In any case, however, SUN CHOKE is an undeniably surreal and disturbing vision, with a rare aesthetic that will likewise please fans of both gruesome fare and art house horror.

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    “THE HALLOW” (Stanley Film Festival Review)

    Once in a while, the horror genre just needs a damn good monster movie. Thanks to trends in studio horror, fright fans are often saddled with gritty exploitation-adjacent genre films, minimalist ghost stories or psychologically taxing tales of psychopathia on a regular basis. So when a movie like THE HALLOW comes along, to call it refreshing would be an understatement, especially one as effectively scary and gorgeous as Corin Hardy’s creature feature.

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    “SOME KIND OF HATE” (Stanley Film Festival Review)

    For a very long time, even here at FANGORIA, fright fans have long wondered what will happen to the once-prominent slasher subgenre in the future of horror. In the years since the SCREAM franchise offered a post-modern commentary on slasher tropes and expectations, the subgenre has struggled to maintain popularity, especially as the rise in supernatural horror coincided with the retroactive vilification of the slasher archetype. Some wondered if slashers would have to rewrite their formula altogether, while others imagined the subgenre would stick to the torture porn-adjacent straight-to-video output seen today. But for many, there remained a glimmer of hope that the subgenre would find an original, engrossing story that would act as an adrenaline shot to the dying heart of the slasher. And now, that film has been found with Adam Egypt Mortimer’s SOME KIND OF HATE, which, under the right circumstances, could hit contemporary audiences with a brutal, cringe-inducing and legitimately frightening rush in the same way Freddy Krueger did over 30 years ago.

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    “BATES MOTEL: Season 3, Episode 8″ (TV Review)

    Say what you’d like about BATES MOTEL, especially during its problematic first two seasons, the show certainly finds strength in building tension. Few shows can build up a confrontation or carry a foreboding atmosphere as well as BATES, especially a show that puts its character drama ahead of its horror. Yet with that tension comes the inevitable: sooner or later, Norman is going to become the psycho we all know and love.

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    “ROAR” (FANTASTICA Film Review)

    “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” A simple yet effective phrase that not so subtly implies that bad ideas that lead to worse consequences are often rooted in a generally positive thought. And while that phrase is often applied to more dire situations, the phrase can also be applied to Noel Marshall (and friends…)’s ROAR, especially if your idea of hell is an isolated house filled and surrounded by wild, untrained lions and tigers.

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    “JUDAS GHOST” (Film Review)

    In the surge of haunting films coming out of the independent horror landscape as of the past few years, the struggle for originality has become harder and harder. Of course, many of these films have become reliant of jump scares, familiar imagery and a wealth of off-screen demises to mask the unfortunate limitations of their budget. However, a rare few of these films are approached with ambitious stories with genuinely unique scares, and the filmmakers are so enamored with those tales that they tackle them head on, despite their budgetary restrictions. And in that experience lies something much more gripping, imaginative and chilling, and is what makes Simon Pearce’s JUDAS GHOST such a welcome addition to the haunting film canon.

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    “BODY” (Stanley Film Festival Review)

    With contemporary horror, the approach by many filmmakers in the independent and studio system is that to please hardcore fright fans, they have to go for broke. By heightening so many aspects of a film, from gory SFX to the body count to the stylized visuals of the film, these filmmakers guarantee somewhat of a target audience to appreciate their film, even if the story can’t stand on its own merit. But there’s almost an equal amount of filmmakers who subscribe to the “less is more” mentality, although many find this as a way to pad out their budgets and push the limitations of the term “slow burn.” Yet for some horror filmmakers, simplicity is a weapon: by cutting out the bullshit, you keep the options of the filmmakers and the characters limited, which creates an intense, almost claustrophobic atmosphere to the film and leads to some incredibly intimate interpersonal drama.

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