Archive for Indie Horror

Review: Klown Stomper (Web Series)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2016 by Xander Woolf

klown stomper

Klown Stomper is a horror comedy web series created by The Ater Kids that currently airs on Channel 101. The first episode of the web series placed in Channel 101’s March 2016 Screening, which lead the way for the next episode.

What’s it about?
This web series follows a man called, you guessed it, Klown Stomper. It is his goal to stop the evil clowns from recruiting more evil clowns. In the first three episodes, which is all that is out currently, we also follow a woman named Julie, who has been caught up in the war between the clowns and Klown Stomper.

We see characters we know and love – including Bozo the Clown, Harlequin and Charlie Chaplin – try to carry out an evil and horrifying agenda, which has not fully been revealed yet.

What did I think?
Klown Stomper has legitimately made me laugh out loud. At something with clowns! Clowns, which we all know terrify the shit out of me. That’s a feat, I’ll tell you that.

This horror comedy has me hooked, to be completely honest. Not only do we have a new hero to look up to, but he’s also so ridiculously serious when dealing with evil clowns and mimes that you just can’t help but love him.

Given how much killing and violence is in Klown Stomper, the gore isn’t over the top, which I love. In fact, the clowns shoot out confetti when their heads are blown off, which adds another element of ridiculousness to this terrifying situation.

I’ve gotta hand it to you, The Ater Kids, you’ve found a way to get me to watch something with clowns. Bravo, team. I’m impressed.

Do I recommend it?
OOOOH yes, I do. Go watch it. NOW. HERE. And, if you’re in the Los Angeles area, keep an eye out for Channel 101’s July monthly screening, where you can see episode 4 of Klown Stomper for free and meet The Ater Kids themselves!

To see more from The Ater Kids, check out their YouTube channel.

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The Most Underrated Horror Movies on Netflix

Posted in List with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2016 by Xander Woolf

horror netflic

Guest Post By: Cassie from Culture Coverage

Are you a fan of the things that go bump in the night? What about the ones that creep in the woods unnoticed? If you are, Netflix has got you covered with all things spooky and creepy to add to your queue and have a scream stream fest.

From an anthology of horror shorts to art house films on a super budget, these Netflix scary stories are sure to put a little jump in your step, and a just a tad of fear into your next Netflix & Chill session.

1. The ABCs of Death
Starting off with this delicious anthology, The ABCs of Death is like a giant kid’s storybook full of goodies, except these goodies come in the horror contingency from more than two dozen directors and spell out (literally) how to kill. For anyone looking for a good couple of shorts to bring big scares, The ABCs of Death is beautiful, deadly, and most of all, a horror flick lover’s dream.

2. The House at the End of Time
Spanish language horror flicks have never had a better run and The House at the End of Time is in the same vein that makes del Toro’s the most lauded (and awarded) horror flicks of all time. The main protagonist, Dulce, is a mother who learns of apparitions in her house, and after getting attacked, leaves the house. But later in her old age, she comes back to confront the demons who plagued her there and finally settle the score. For fans of thrillers like The Haunting in Connecticut and The Messengers, The House at the End of Time is a foreign masterpiece that belongs on your list of must-sees.

3. Monsters
A little bit of genre mixing goes on in Monsters, as this tiny indie horror flick takes place in a disease ridden post-apocalyptic world inhabited by alien creatures. As one road weary journalist seeks to take an American tourist to the safety of the US on the other side of the US-Mexican border. Premiering at South by Southwest in 2010 and being made over three weeks, in 5 countries, with a $500,000 budget, you can’t get much more homegrown than this—and it all pays off in a directorial debut by Gareth Edwards. For viewers that like the scare to be unpredictable, authentic, and deliberate, this is the flick for you.

4. Dead Snow
Nazi zombie movie? Check! Dead Snow is one of those traditional horror flick set-ups; medical students hoping for a break head into the icy woods for peace and relaxation only to come across stories of a band of Nazis getting lost in the woods and becoming the undead (sounds awesome, right?). For fans of zombie flicks and excellent historical epics, this just might be the movie to convert you into sitting down for the every zombie-historical crossover, and certainly for the next two movies in the Dead Snow trilogy.

Pro Tip: Not sure if you’ll be able to stream this wherever you are? Take into consideration a Virtual Private Network. It’ll work out all the kinks of wondering whether you’re going to get offered the same Netflix selection everywhere. Perfect for disabling geolocation, a VPN saves you from having to fret, and at the same time protects you from data stealing identity thieves on public WiFi. It’s a win-win.

5. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Vampires never had such a creepy awakening as in Ana Lily Amirpour’s Iranian flick self-labeled as a vampire Western. With the main character known only as “The Girl,” this story is as much about bloodsucking as it is about defining the human characteristics of the undead as the main falls head over heels for a mortal boy who’s embroiled in the care and keeping of his addiction rattled father. In the vein of vampire movies that speak as art house films, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night might be more terrifying, not for its inclusion of the extraordinary, but because of its humanity.

Still looking for more horror to binge on? Check out this list for great finds of the scary kind, or even just of the thriller sort. Great horror doesn’t always have to leave you shaking in your boots, but it’s generally a great sign if it surprises!

Happy watching!

About the Author: Cassie is an entertainment and online security blogger, who specializes in all things movies and getting around geo-restrictions. She is always open to new suggestions for which flick to watch next. Leave a note in the comments about a movie (or movies!) you love, and she’ll get right to watching or debating its finer points!

Review: Pieces (2016) SHORT FILM

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Written and Directed by: Dan SunleyA4-POSTER-v2.4-FULL-CREDITS-CYMK.jpg
Starring: Kristy Guest, Kate Sandison and Louise Willoughby

What’s it about?
While dealing with the loss of her grandmother, Isabella (Guest) is tasked to pack up the now empty house alone. While sorting through Nana’s (Sandison) old stuff, she comes across a single puzzle piece attached to a note that reads, “FINISH IT.” When night falls, a disturbing presence is unearthed and Isabella must decide her fate.

Here’s the Trailer:

What did I think?
Pieces is a truly terrifying film about losing a loved one and the search to find out why. What started out as curiosity over a single puzzle piece turned into finding the line between this world and the supernatural world. This film is not only haunting, but also impactful.

The tension that builds throughout Pieces had me on the edge of my seat. This was masterfully done through the use of imagery, silence, sound and music. It was the perfect combination for a horror short.

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The casting was done well. Each of the women in this film were believable and strong characters. Kristy Guest did an excellent job as the lead in the film. Her Isabella was believable and strong, which isn’t always the case with horror female leads. Kate Sandison was both sweet and terrifying while Louise Willoughby pulled off the naive best friend.

Do I recommend it?
Most definitely. Overall, this short film is amazing.

To find out more about this film and when you can expect it to be released, please visit their website.

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Review: The Invitation (2016)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Dir. by: Karyn KusamaThe-Invitation-Poster-Large_1200_1744_81_s
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michiel Huisman
Release Date: April 8, 2016

When it comes to parties, I don’t understand the appeal. I mean, you’re surrounded by a bunch of people, your hosts are too busy hosting and you just want to find a place where you can be by yourself and not talk to anybody. Well, imagine if this party was being thrown by your ex-wife and her new husband at the house where you experienced the worst trauma of your life and something’s not quite right.

What’s it about?
Will (Marshall-Green) and his new girlfriend (Corinealdi) attend a dinner party at his former home. While dealing with the emotions seeing his home brings up, he starts to believe that his hosts, Eden and David (Blanchard and Huisman), may have more sinister intentions than just sharing a few glasses of wine.

Here’s the Trailer:

What did I think?
The Invitation starts off like any other party horror film, with the main characters driving in. Set in Los Angeles, the house is, of course, separated from the street by a gate, as most houses here are. This gives the audience the feeling that the guests are locked in while the rest of the world is locked out. Being locked in is a very big aspect of the film, as they mention it many times. It adds tremendously to the suspense.

The characters are interesting and funny. I found that my friend and I were the only people who were laughing in the theater. Lines like “This is LA, everyone’s weird” were really what set us off. We live in LA, we’ve experienced how true that statement is. Really, we just enjoyed how the characters interacted with each other. This was a group of friends who were seeing each other for the first time after two years. Laughs were had by all, not just us.

The cinematography was beyond amazing for an indie film. The way the visual effects mirrored what was happening in Will’s head – flashbacks, overwhelming emotions, etc – was just phenomenal. It really helped me, as an audience member, get to know this character much better. I wanted to cry for him, look out for him. I was afraid for his safety, which is really what horror is all about.

The actors all did a great job. The film dealt heavily with loss, paranoia and holding onto the past, which could be seen through the actors’ portrayal of their characters. Blanchard and Huisman played off each other extremely well while Marshall-Green excelled as the suspicious loner type. I would have liked to see more interaction between Kira (Corinealdi) and each of the characters. She’s sort of just there – Will’s accessory – and I would have liked to see her character fleshed out a bit more.

Do I recommend it?
If you can find it at a theater near you, go for it. It’s indie horror at its finest. It reminded me of quite a few of my favorite films – Truth or DieHouse on Haunted Hill (the original), Knock Knock – but still managed to be original. It’s definitely worth checking out.

wolfout

Review: The Binding (2016)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Written and Directed by: Gus KriegerThe_Binding_poster
Starring: Amy Gumenick and Josh Heisler
North American Release Date: August 2016

In the biblical story of the Binding of Isaac, Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his only son. Once he bound Isaac and placed him on the altar, an Angel of God appeared before Abraham in order to stay his hand, acknowledging that his actions were enough to satisfy God in his belief. This is the principle story around which The Binding takes place. Once Bram (Heisler) is visited by God in his sleep and commanded to do the unthinkable, Sarah’s (Gumenick) faith is put to the test as she tries to uncover the truth behind her husband’s visions. Is it God or something else?

What’s it about?
Bram, a minister of the local church, and Sarah, his devoted and highly religious wife, are happy together with their infant daughter, Skya. Once Bram is commanded by God to kill their only child, their once happy family spirals into a life of misery, fear and a questioning of faith.

Here’s the Trailer:

What did I think?
The Binding had me on the edge of my seat in anticipation and fear.

Whenever I watch religious horror, I am reminded of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist and this film was no exception. I first saw that movie when I was five years old and, twenty years later, I still have nightmares about it. A mixture of The Exorcist and The OmenThe Binding is a phenomenal and terrifying film that causes you to question your beliefs as well as the world around you.

This film relies more on dialogue than anything else to explain everything. While there is religious and other significant imagery all around (you couldn’t have a horror movie without it), very few things are explained through action of the characters or a visual shot. This is not a criticism by any means. I very much enjoyed that the exposition relied on the dialogue because it still came off as regular conversation. Very often, when a script is not good, spoken exposition comes off as forced. That was not the case with The Binding. The script was well written and the actors did an amazing job delivering it to the audience.

The theme of control was very strong within the film. Bram wants to be in control of himself as well as his wife and daughter. He then struggles when Sarah steps up to take control of their horrifying situation. This can easily be seen in the dialogue when he continually says things like, “don’t talk to me like that,” “watch your tone” or “a wife should respect her husband’s wishes.” To be honest, there was one moment during the film when I flipped off my computer monitor because they were talking about wives being obedient. It didn’t sit well with me. That being said, it adds a whole new level of depth to the characters and horror to the situation. They’re both grasping for control of something that is uncontrollable.

The last thing I will talk about today is the acting. I touched on it slightly when I talked about the script, but I want to elaborate. Amy Gumenick and Josh Heisler are both phenomenal. Gumenick is perfectly expressive and has just the right amount of edge to make her character’s growth and actions believable. Josh Heisler – who I seriously thought was Sean Aston for about 10 minutes – does an amazing job at being innocent and happy one minute, then absolutely terrifying the next. The supporting cast is also amazing at adding that extra layer of sanity and groundedness to a situation that would otherwise be insane.

Do I recommend it?
Yes, I highly recommend it. This movie is most certainly worth checking out, especially for the religious horror buffs.

The Binding is currently set to be released in North America in August of this year. To learn more about this film, check out their official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Review of Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Dir. Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska

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What’s it about?
Adam (Hiddleston) is a vampire and musician who has grown tired with the direction that humankind has taken. His centuries-old lover, Eve (Swinton), flies back to Detroit to cheer him up. While there, they receive a surprise guest: Eve’s younger sister, Ava (Wasikowska), who is uncontrollable and risks revealing their identities to the world.

What did I think?
This movie is a low-key, smart film about vampires. It relies on dialogue and imagery to get the plot across rather than action, which is an acquired taste for some people. It is not a traditional horror movie, by any means, but it deals with horrifying elements such as death, depression, vampires and the unknown.

The dialogue is witty and smart. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton work well together, creating an on-screen relationship that has real chemistry. Mia Wasikowska portrays the wild younger sister well as she causes her sister and brother-in-law more trouble than they were equipped to handle.

The movie is slow going and very quiet. It’s not scary at all, to be quite frank. I’m not even sure if I could consider it a horror movie. It would be more apt to categorize it as a drama. I was actually surprised after watching it that it was supposed to be a horror romance.

Do I recommend it?
If you’re looking for a scary vampire movie, no. If you’re looking for a smart drama that utilizes supernatural beings to help you think about life, yes. This movie isn’t for everyone, especially not every horror fans, but it’s certainly worth checking out.

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Review of Selfies (Short Film)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Written and Directed by: Bradley J. Walkowiak
Starring: Jordan Streussnig

To continue my delve into the horror short world of YouTube, I am reviewing the film Selfies, which was released on YouTube in 2015.

What’s it about?
A young woman is always sure of the right angle at which to take a selfie. She walks all over town, taking pictures of herself. When she gets home, however, she realized she should have paid more attention to her surroundings than herself.

What did I think?
This film is very well done for being less than 3 minutes long. The shots are good, the music is terrifying, and Jordan Streussnig is gorgeous and does a terrific job portraying her emotions without having any lines.

The film does an amazing job at building suspense up to the very last moment without causing one’s heart to stop. If you don’t like jump scares, this is the film for you.

Do I recommend it?
Yes, definitely go ahead and watch it. And if you find any other horror shorts on YouTube, be sure to let me know!

You can watch Selfie here!

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