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  • “OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL” (Film Review)

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    As one of the best filmmakers working today in the horror genre, Mike Flanagan possesses a certain perspective that has made him a tried-and-true boon to contemporary horror audiences. While subjects such as haunted mirrors, interdimensional passageways, and masked slashers can come off as stale to veteran horror fans, Flanagan’s perspective finds a way to make them unique and fresh again, from the unreliable reality of OCULUS to the visualized internal monologue of HUSH. And with his latest film, the prequel OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL, not only does Flanagan implement that perspective to offer a decidedly old-school and satisfying upgrade from the abysmal original film, but he does such with a mature and precise craftsmanship that has cemented the filmmaker’s status as “Master of Horror.”

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  • “DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III” (Film Review)

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    When you see a title like DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve got a pretty good idea what to expect. It’s going to be tongue-in-cheek, a little dumb, and probably a bit violent. You wouldn’t think a film with that title would hold many surprises. Yet somehow, the guys at 5-Second Films managed to exceed or subvert nearly every expectation I had.

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  • Toronto After Dark 2016: “STAKE LAND 2” (Film Review)

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    Back in 2010, STAKE LAND was the breakout hit of TIFF’s Midnight Madness program. Fast forward to the present time, 6 years after the cult success of the first film, STAKE LAND 2 (or THE STAKELANDER, depending on the region) has hit Toronto After Dark, right in tandem with its debut on Syfy this past weekend. Though sequels can be a tough sell to an already built-in audience, especially when you throw in a new directorial team (BODY’s Robert Olsen and Dan Berk), STAKE LAND 2 was a real gamble for all involved. However, fans of STAKE LAND will be happy to hear that this gamble payed off tenfold.

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  • PUFF 2016: “NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE” (Film Review)

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    If you’re offended easily, weak in the stomach, or adverse to the Troma / Frank Henenlotter brand of horror comedy, then there’s a good chance you won’t make it past the first five minutes of Jonathan Straiton’s NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE. However, if you can make it past the necrophilia, rape monsters, and explosive bodily fluids, NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE is one hell of a crowd-pleasing horror comedy, filled with memorable one-liners and insane practical FX. And even despite the crude, vulgar, and perverse turns that NIGHT OF SOMETHING STRANGE brings to the table, there’s a genuine earnestness behind the narrative that thankfully keeps the film from falling into SCARY MOVIE territory.

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  • Toronto After Dark 2016: “THE REZORT” (Film Review)

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    This writer, like many horror fans, have seen more zombie flicks than you can shake a stick at, and the notion of adding another one into the mix does little for me, personally. Many zombie films have become formulaic and paint-by-numbers, helmed by comfort filmmakers who appear to be satiated by playing it safe. Therefore, when entering the theater for THE REZORT, this writer didn’t have any strong feelings. Hell, this writer didn’t walk in to THE REZORT with any feeling at all since so many zombie films these days seem to have lost the heart of the genre.

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  • “SCREAM: THE TV SERIES HALLOWEEN SPECIAL” (TV Review)

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    With gore, suspense, and some really fun set pieces, SCREAM: THE TV SERIES has become the little horror series that could. Now, with two seasons in the bag and a truncated third (and likely final) season on the way, SCREAM puts a petrifying post-script on their 2016 offerings with a brand new 2-hour Halloween Special. But while this eerie epilogue gives us more time with the survivors of the massacres from previous seasons, this special does divert away from Lakewood and the Brandon James mythology, for better and for worse.

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  • “CHANNEL ZERO: CANDLE COVE” (TV Review)

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    With the amount of horror shows currently on television, it’s fun to see what each scare series uses as their trademark of choice. Whether it’s the “anything can happen” attitude of THE WALKING DEAD, the elegant art house melodrama of HANNIBAL, or the splattery horror comedy of ASH VS. EVIL DEAD, no two genre programs bring quite the same ingredients to the table. However, in the case of Syfy’s new Creepypasta-influenced series, CHANNEL ZERO, not only does the show bring something not often explored on television, but one that rarely gets the big screen treatment: pure, unadulterated nightmare logic.

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  • Sitges 2016: “TRASH FIRE” (Film Review)

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    Writer/director Richard Bates Jr. (EXCISION, SUBURBAN GOTHIC) has a peculiar style. A particular cadence of dialogue, a stylization of human interaction that doesn’t ever feel quite natural. I enjoyed SUBURBAN GOTHIC, but on initial viewing, it didn’t quite click with me. It seemed to take place in a universe where people communicate primarily via dry, acerbic witticisms. Where the only time someone isn’t coolly sarcastic is if they’re not intelligent enough to realize they’re supposed to be. TRASH FIRE certainly takes place in this same universe, running even further with this style in the first act. But while SUBURBAN GOTHIC took a while to grow on me, I was enamored with TRASH FIRE from the first scene.

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  • PUFF 2016: “BAD BLOOD: THE MOVIE” (Film Review)

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    No, not the ever-empowering Taylor Swift song: BAD BLOOD: THE MOVIE is a horror comedy by writer/director Tim Reis about a 17-year-old girl cursed with sudden and mysterious case of amphibious lycanthropy. In other words, she becomes a ‘werefrog.’ The premise of the film is utterly ridiculous in a good way. A werefrog movie with sick kills and bizarre humor a la AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON? Where do we sign up!?? It’s full of slime and is certainly enjoyable and a fun time given the right crowd. However, BAD BLOOD: THE MOVIE suffers from tonal issues which leave it feeling stilted towards the end. 

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  • Sitges 2016: “CAGE DIVE” (Film Review)

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    CAGE DIVE kicked off the Midnight X-Treme selection here at Sitges. The world premiere was at 1 a.m., and it led a block of four films that ran until the early hours of morning. By the time you make it to that timeslot, you’ve likely already seen three or four other films that day. The audience might be jet-lagged, hungover, or drunk. I was existing somewhere between a few of those options, with no idea what to expect (I could assume a cage and possibly some diving), on my way to see CAGE DIVE.

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  • Blu-ray Review Round-Up: Vestron Video, “THE SHALLOWS”, More…

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    Now that October is around the corner, horrorheads are preparing to stock up on macabre movies and get into the Halloween spirit. With an impressive line-up of cult classics and new releases now hitting shelves nationwide, FANGORIA has rounded up the latest releases so that devoted fright fans can better decide which horror offerings are best suited for their home media collection…

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  • “PHANTASM: RAVAGER” (Film Review)

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    The PHANTASM series has always been one of wonder. Based within dreams and the question of what happens when we die, Don Coscarelli created a series which never fully relied on being linear in its storytelling, but focused more on an otherworldly, dream-like tone that might have left some viewers wondering what had just happened to them. Yet for the majority of horror fans (including this writer), the PHANTASM films leave you smiling ear to ear at the innovative and special brand of filmmaking on display. Now with PHANTASM: RAVAGER, the fifth and supposedly final entry into the series, the story created back in 1979 with the first PHANTASM film is officially wrapped up and boy oh boy is it a bookend that will give “Phans” of the series happiness, horror and a bittersweet goodbye to the world and characters they have loved for years.

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