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The Weekend in Horror: “IT FOLLOWS”, “THE WALKING DEAD”

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“In like a lion, out like a lamb.” That’s how March is supposed to go, right? But in 2015, it seems as if it’s the other way around: the weather has been uncharacteristically rough for this time of year, and the zeitgeist is the most intense it has been in nearly a decade. And furthermore, the horror genre has been permeating on every front, and in the last weekend of March, horror reared its frightening face on the big screen, small screen and the convention floor.

After a small uproar on social media and select sites regarding the increasing meet-and-greet/photo-op fees as well as frequent no-shows and late cancellations, fright fans still made their way to a double dose of horror conventions this weekend. On the west coast, horror fans showed up in droves to the popular Monsterpalooza convention in Burbank, CA, which included guests such as George A. Romero, Sonny Chiba, Linda Blair, Lance Henriksen and Sybil Danning. Meanwhile, North Carolina-bound horror fans were treated to Charlotte’s own Mad Monster Party, which featured the likes of Tobin Bell, Doug Bradley, Peter Criss, William Forsythe, Sid Haig, Chris Sarandon and Danny Trejo.

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Meanwhile, horror fans from the rest of North America were able to find a horror of their own on the big screen, as Radius-TWC unrolled IT FOLLOWS into an unexpected theatrical expansion of 1,200 theaters. Despite having having barely any theatrical trailers or TV spots, the last-minute release strategy and having no major stars attached, IT FOLLOWS broke the top 5 for the weekend, earning a $4 million gross and sporting strong word-of-mouth. The film is already a certifiable hit, more than doubling its production budget with a very limited marketing campaign, and will be expanding into more territories this upcoming weekend. So far, the David Robert Mitchell film is not only just the best reviewed (and definitely most talked about) horror film of the year, it’s also earned the distinction as R-TWC’s highest grossing theatrical endeavor to date.

On the small screen, fans made sure to stay home Sunday night to catch the 90-minute season finale of THE WALKING DEAD, entitled “Counter” and directed by series MVP Greg Nicotero. Reactions have been polarizing indeed, with some calling it the best finale in the series history while others feeling that it was too anti-climactic. In any case, the show is definitely finding itself  becoming closer and closer to its comic book origins by the episode, and the reunion between Rick Grimes and Morgan Jones is one that will definitely have fans tuning in this fall for season six. The show also debuted the first preview for FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, the L.A.-based prequel series produced by TWD’s Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and Greg Nicotero.

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About the author
Ken W. Hanley
Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel "THE I IN EVIL", and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
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