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    “WAR OF THE WORLDS: GOLIATH” (Blu-ray Review)

    The decision to review a 3D animated sci-fi epic on this, one of the most celebrated horror movie websites may seem odd, but not to this writer. The film in question, WAR OF THE WORLDS: GOLIATH is a dark, ambitiously designed film whose soul not only belongs to its source—HG Wells literary masterwork—but to Jeff Wayne’s cult phenomenon double LP concept album, 1978’s “Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of War of the Worlds.” That platter was a favorite of this writer during his childhood and remains so. Like that album and its accompanying, graphically illustrated book, WOTW: GOLIATH (which was released overseas some time ago) is evocative, violent and epic in scope, and firmly dependent on sound to deliver its grim thrills.

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    “ALIEN ABDUCTION” (Movie Review)

    This deep into the resurgence of found-footage horror, most contemporary fright fans have already made up their minds regarding the subgenre. To some, the approach is a fresh way to apply a first-person perspective to otherwise tired genres while presenting a challenge to resourceful filmmakers. To others, it’s a cheap, frustrating method for directors to present jump-scares at the cost of well-constructed storytelling and convincing performances. However, as with most hotly debated subjects, the reality lies somewhere in the grey area between the two.

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    “JINN” (Movie Review)

    According to the ads, JINN is “The secret half the world has been keeping”—and they’re not the only ones. The movie opened today with no advance screenings, and in such situations one can hope for an unheralded surprise, or at least maybe a new trash classic. Unfortunately, one hilarious highlight aside, neither is the case here.

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    “THE STUFF” (Arrow Video Blu-ray Review)

    Like all movies by the great Larry Cohen, the logline for The Stuff sounds hopelessly stupid, while the film itself is surprisingly intelligent. It is of course, a film about sentient alien goo that becomes America’s most popular snack food. Pitched somewhere between THE BLOB and a satirical McDonalds advert, there’s really nothing else like the movie that works far better than it has any right to. Even though he’s long been a cult figure in the genre community, writer/director Larry Cohen is one of those filmmakers who has never quite attained the respect he deserves. His finest movies like THE STUFF are wholly unique, surprisingly intelligent, cleverly written, well-acted, messy, campy, and endlessly entertaining. Those are the qualities that tend to breed cult film and over the years THE STUFF has steadily built a fanbase of loveable lunatics who share Cohen’s uniquely cracked worldview.

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    “LOCKER 13″ (Movie Review)

    Anthology films often have a higher potential as entertainment, as a bad anthology may still be creatively wealthy or have solid segments to counteract other weak entries. Alternately, a good anthology contains enough surprises, finesse and variety to keep the audience engaged and thrilled from start to finish. Best of all, the low-budget of each segment poses a challenge to the filmmakers to operate in specific confines and often offers cinematic voices at their most raw.

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    “HAPPY CAMP” (Movie Review)

    Writer-Director Josh Anthony and his feature debut, the found footage piece HAPPY CAMP, believe heavily in foreshadowing. Admirably employing the POV horror-standard prosumer cameras with some semblance of style—instead of simply the illusion of rawness—the filmmaker focuses on a statue of Sasquatch upon the main characters’ traffic circle arrival in the titular town; Happy Camp the town and HAPPY CAMP the movie will revolve around the possibility of this beast. Moments later, with the camera up front in the driver’s seat as the Winnebago starts to break down, we know this is the final destination for all.

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    Stream to Scream: “BEREAVEMENT”

    As many fright fans already know, FANGORIA offers a great selection of gruesome movies, old and new, for free at our Hulu channel. To give you a better idea of what’s in store, FANGORIA will be taking in-depth looks at some of the channel’s terrifying titles with this newest feature, Stream to Scream. First up: Stevan Mena’s demented BEREAVEMENT.

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    Fango Flashback: “STARSHIP TROOPERS” (1997)

    Following TOTAL RECALL, Paul Verhoeven’s career explored a strange and unexpected path, as the director experienced his greatest financial success back to back with his most marring critical and financial failure. In the wake of the latter, Verhoeven went returned to genre territory, optioning a script from his ROBOCOP collaborator Ed Neumeier entitled BUG HUNT AT OUTPOST 9 and refashioning it with elements from Robert Heinlein’s STARSHIP TROOPERS. A loose adaptation at best, Verhoeven saw the potential in another science-fiction satire and pursued it head-on, now with cutting-edge digital FX, an estimated budget of $105 million and a repertoire of both new and old collaborators at his disposal.

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    Denis Villenueve’s “ENEMY” (Movie Review)

    Lynchian, as a term, is often used as synonymous with something that’s simply weird. Specifically though, the director’s surreal visuals balloon not out of randomness or an overly complex plot, but a basic idea; a core emotion. It’s the frightening pictures and strange scenarios that manifest in your subconscious as a result of our fundamental anxieties that Lynch and Lynchian works are tapping into. To that end, Denis Villenueve’s ENEMY is entirely so (and that’s aside from the presence of Isabella Rossellini). A story of undeserved malaise and the old adage, “once a cheater, always so,” the film uncomfortably hangs above the audience just as a massive spider looms above Toronto in its main character’s nightmares.

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