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  • “ASH VS. EVIL DEAD: Season 2, Episodes 1 & 2” (TV Review)

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    For EVIL DEAD fans, the first season of ASH VS. EVIL DEAD reintroduced the original franchise’s canon in a way that felt organic yet modernized. While the ARMY OF DARKNESS iteration of Ashley J. Williams was given a 21st Century polish, revitalized with one-liners and a “dismember first, ask questions later” attitude, the series itself brought more to the table: more characters, more mythology, and much, much more violence. But if anything could be said about the first season, it’s that- despite a killer pilot- the series didn’t quite find it’s footing until it pointed us back to the EVIL DEAD cabin. However, if one were to argue that the CGI-heavy gore and fan service of the first season did ASH VS. EVIL DEAD a disservice, season two has definitely recognized and corrected its weaknesses, offering a noticeably more confident attitude and some outright insane moments you’ll have to see to believe.

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  • Fantastic Fest 2016: “RAW” (Film Review)

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    As a genre fan, you may have noticed a bit of a trend, recently. Each year, between all the midnight programming and genre festivals, the horror audience has tended to latch onto one film, championing it not just as the best of the year, but the best movie “since.” THE BABADOOK, IT FOLLOWS, THE WITCH, movies you hear about from everyone you know, everywhere you look. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc, rave about how such-and-such is this year’s surprise runaway hit that you can’t afford to miss. This writer can only hope that RAW becomes one such film, over the next year.

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  • Fantastic Fest 2016: “HEADSHOT” (Film Review)

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    HEADSHOT starts with a bang– several, actually, as vicious gangster Lee stages a bloody prison break. Dozens of prison guards and prisoners alike are mowed down in a shootout, bones are broken, and copious amounts of blood are spilled. This all before the title ever hits the screen. It only gets better from there. The latest martial arts masterpiece out of a country that appears increasingly adept at creating them, HEADSHOT comes to us by way of Indonesian directors (and Fangoria favorites) Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto, better known as The Mo Brothers.

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  • Fantastic Fest 2016: “THE VOID” (Film Review)

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    Going into Fantastic Fest 2016, THE VOID was easily my most anticipated premiere of the festival. I’ve been a long-time fan of co-writers/directors Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski from their work with filmmaking collective Astron-6. FATHER’S DAY and MANBORG are among this writer’s favorite films in recent memory. I pull up the LAZER GHOSTS 2 and BIO-COP shorts in an attempt to indoctrinate newcomers on a regular basis. So a chance to see what some of these talents could bring to the realm of sincere horror films was immediately appealing to me. I contributed to the Indiegogo campaign; I’ve got the t-shirt, the poster, etc. All this to say: I walked into the premiere with lofty expectations.

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  • “THE REMAINS” (Film Review)

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    THE REMAINS is a ghost movie gloriously rich with gothic atmosphere. It’s setting is immaculate, featuring a haunted house that rivals the aesthetics of top budget Hollywood blockbusters. The dark, patchily lit Victorian home which protagonist John and his family moves into is the perfect home for its hostile, ghostly inhabitants. The way the ghosts glide in and out of shadows, skating through patches of light in the hallways, inspires something like reverence from an imagistic standpoint. The ghosts sprout into the frames with impeccable timing, appearing out of badly lit corners to genuinely startle. The portraying of restless, refreshingly creepy ghosts is brought back with flair in this film.

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  • Blu-ray Review Round-Up: “DEAD END DRIVE-IN”, “IT”, More…

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    Now that their Summer is coming to a close, boutique horror labels are breaking out the big guns to bring Halloween early to Blu-ray collectors. With an impressive line-up of cult classics from distributors such as Arrow Video, Scream Factory, and more , 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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  • “TRAIN TO BUSAN” (Film Review)

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    As an American relegated to only briefly glimpse into the wide world of Korean Cinema, it’s been rewarding to see a cinematic culture redefine subgenres that Hollywood could only dream of doing. Whether it’s the serial killer thriller with I SAW THE DEVIL, the creature feature with THE HOST, or, in this instance, the zombie film with TRAIN TO BUSAN, Korean filmmakers have been able to subvert expectations and create truly emotional, multidimensional stories that effectively mix drama, humor, action, and horror. And in the case for TRAIN TO BUSAN, all those elements naturally compliment one another while presenting spectacle and adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment that captivates the audience from start to finish. In fact, Yeon Sang-ho’s TRAIN TO BUSAN so effectively crafts a heartfelt story and pulse-pounding set pieces that one may almost forget that the film is an unabashedly proud horror title.

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  • “BLAIR WITCH” (Film Review)

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    When reviewing a film, there’s much to be taken into account, but at the end of the day, a critic’s job is to review the film and only the film. Sure, one could spend their whole day discussing the various impacts of the film’s marketing, the early hype, the legacy of films that came before it, or even what the film signifies in the bigger picture of modern cinema. But for a critic, a review should focus on their personal experience to the film in question, without any outside elements weighing upon their expectations. In lesser terms, you’re not reviewing what the film should be, but rather what the film is. And in the case of Adam Wingard’s BLAIR WITCH, the film is a perfectly fine horror offering whose pedestrian nature is actually hindered by the occasional stroke of brilliance that the filmmaker and his frequent collaborator Simon Barrett bring to the table.

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  • “FLYTRAP” (Film Review)

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    It’s the surreal acting that generates intrigue as FLYTRAP’s plot unfolds. Austrian actress Ina-Alice Kopp is beyond convincing as an alien pretending to be an attractive human woman. Her stellar performance is much warranted, as this hostage story is largely dependent on the developing relationship between the captive and the capturer. As for the captive, Jeremy Crutchley’s dryly humorous British professor is an entertaining character to be trapped in a Los Angeles suburban house with for one hour and twenty minutes.

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  • “THE TRIANGLE” (Film Review)

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    When it comes to the POV/Found Footage-esque films, it’s safe to say that, for the most part, we’ve seen it all by now. Sure, squeezed in between a dozen or so awful entries, there can be a hidden gem and when said gem is found, it’s an experience, to say the least. The hard part comes in the brutal fact that as the market is flooded with countless knockoffs of what’s hot at the moment, finding those films which make you sit on the edge of your seat, enthralled, become harder to find. So was the case in the Adam Stilwell, Andrew Rizzo, Adam Pitman, David Blair and Nathaniel Peterson-helmed film THE TRIANGLE.

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  • “WOLF CREEK: THE SERIES” (TV Review)

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    It could have been very easy for the creators of WOLF CREEK to go the FREDDY’S NIGHTMARES route, positing tails of outback terror connected by modern horror icon Mick Taylor. After all, star John Jarratt is so perfect in the role of the sadistic, crude killer that it’s almost criminal to not give him the platform to perform on the WOLF CREEK series. However, perhaps the reason WOLF CREEK’s TV continuation works as well as it does is that it understands the narrative value of Taylor, and by allowing Jarratt to take a backseat to the story of his vengeance-bound victim, the series builds upon the seedy world of WOLF CREEK, in which Taylor is far from the only danger lurking in the darkness.

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  • “THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM” (Film Review)

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    After it’s long shelving and quiet release this week from distributor Rogue, it would be easy to write-off D.J. Caruso’s THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM sight unseen. But as it turns out, THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM is far from a disappointment in-and-of itself, barring the final few minutes, but rather a fright film with a bit of an identity crisis. In that regards, one shouldn’t be surprise if they fall in and out of love with THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM during its lean 90-minute runtime, but at the end of the day, this particular flick operates as the modern equivalent of an “Old Dark House” melodrama, and hints at real promise within Wentworth Miller’s screenplay.

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