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  • Sitges 2016: “DON’T KILL IT” (Film Review)

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    Director Mike Mendez should be familiar to FANGORIA readers: He’s brought us the likes of BIG ASS SPIDER!, THE GRAVEDANCERS, and LAVALANTULA. Mendez has a real talent for combining gruesome horror with stand-up-and-cheer fun. He’s got a knack for taking a simple, sometimes silly premise, and making it far more enjoyable than it has any right to be. By taking his skill for elevating absurdity and adding living comic book character Dolph Lundgren in a lead role, DON’T KILL IT strikes gold.

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  • Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2016: “PET” (Film Review)

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    Out of all the subgenres that reside within horror, this writer certainly has a very specific admiration for the “twisted love story.” As evident in films such as THE LOVED ONES, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3, FRANKENHOOKER, and HELLRAISER, stories that take the traditional ideas of romance and pull them towards the darkest, most demented extremes are some of the most heartfelt, imaginative, and outright transgressive horror stories to be told. By tapping into emotionally familiar territory and exploiting the very concepts we keep close to heart, twisted love stories tell inherently bold stories, and if a filmmaker can find a way to make these stories as fun as they are haunting, that’s cinematic magic in motion. And, as those who caught it at last week’s Brooklyn Horror Film Fest can attest, Carles Torrens’ PET captures that magic tenfold, offering a courtship tale that is as deranged as it is delightful.

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  • Event Report: “THE REPOSITORY” VR Experience at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando!

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    As multimedia evolves, traditional outlets of horror entertainment adapt. When horror films come out in 3D, theaters reformat their screens to meet that demand. When horror television push the limits of standards and practices on television, the channels change their personal content standard from that very moment and beyond. And when Virtual Reality begins to change how fright fans experience horror, haunted attractions learn to incorporate VR as the next step in their evolution.

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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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