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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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    “HOUSEBOUND” (SXSW Movie Review)

    Is the New Zealand horror-comedy back? At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s vampire mock doc WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS was one of the strongest in the lineup. Little over a month later, Gerard Johnstone’s HOUSEBOUND world premieres at SXSW and is almost immediately the surprise of the slate. Both pit the gothic and the modern against each other, and while SHADOWS is a purely silly and unrelentingly hilarious work, HOUSEBOUND manages to balance consistent, fantastic comedy with a properly eerie mystery and what should be a star-making turn from lead Morgana O’Reilly.

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    “AMONG THE LIVING” (SXSW Movie Review)

    The fantastic films of French filmmaking pair Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury are entirely informed by horror cinema. That sentiment and interest in homage is, of course, no stranger to the genre, but coming from the duo who debuted with something like INSIDE, it’s both more sophisticated and more punishing than one might expect from a simple tip of the hat. Within three varied films, the two boast their own singular style, one concerned with stunning aesthetic, disturbing family yarns, specific subgenres and the magic of film, be it something beautiful or utterly horrifying; be it something both.

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    “BATTLE OF THE DAMNED” (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

    I’m sure I’m not the only horror fan who has begun to groan at the sight of the phrase “zombie apocalypse.” Since THE WALKING DEAD completed its gradual climb to media domination, it appears that every filmmaker under the sun has added zombies to their portfolio, and as a result, below-average undead offerings have littered DVD shelves week after week. However, for that very reason, when this writer discovers a secret success hidden amongst the crowd of disappointment, that’s all the more reason to celebrate, and even encourage those who break the mold of Z-grade direct-to-video horror.

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    “STARRY EYES” (SXSW Movie Review)

    Plenty of films would have you believe ambition is sexy. Desperation may reek, but the indefatigable drive forward and up is admirable. STARRY EYES, however ambiguously, seeks to challenge that as directors Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer cast long and dark shadows over a “nothing to something” Hollywood tale replete with defilement, rot, graphic murder and the occult. Want to achieve something great? Want to show them all? A sacrifice is required. It’s likely your humanity.

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