Tuesday Terrors: Dark Skies and Beautiful Creatures Reviews - Mania.com



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Tuesday Terrors: Dark Skies and Beautiful Creatures Reviews

A Walking Dead Minimates Movie

By Tim Janson     June 18, 2013
Source: Mania.com

Here is all your TERRIFYING NEWS from Mania’s Tuesday Terrors!
 
 
V/H/S/ 2 Red Band Trailer.  Inside a darkened house looms a column of TVs littered with VHS tapes, a pagan shrine to forgotten analog gods. The screens crackle and pop endlessly with monochrome vistas of static—white noise permeating the brain and fogging concentration. But you must fight the urge to relax: this is no mere movie night. Those obsolete spools contain more than just magnetic tape. They are imprinted with the very soul of evil.

 
Frankenstein’s Army Trailer.  In the waning days of World War II, a battalion of Russian soldiers find themselves lost in enemy territory. Stumbling upon a village decimated by an unseen terror, they discover that a mad scientist (Hellboy's Karel Roden) conducts experiments to fuse flesh and steel, creating an unstoppable army of undead soldiers. Leaderless and faced with dissention amongst their dwindling ranks, they must find the courage to face down an altogether new menace - or die trying.

Trailer for 100 Bloody Acres.  In 100 BLOODY ACRES, brothers Reg and Lindsay Morgan are struggling to keep their organic blood and bone fertilizer business in motion.  Their secret “recipe” for success (using dead car crash victims in their product) was a huge boon to business, but lately supply has been gravely low.  Months have passed since their last find, and an important new customer is now waiting on a delivery.  When junior partner Reg (Damon Herriman of Justified) stumbles upon 3 travelers stranded on a remote country road, he cooks up a radical solution to their problem, and a way of finally gaining the respect of his bossy big brother (Angus Sampson). But when Reg starts to fall for Sophie, one of the intended victims, things get complicated…

Dead Before Dawn 3D Coming in August.  Casper Galloway and his college friends visit an occult shop run by Casper’s grandfather (Christopher Lloyd) and accidentally unleash an evil curse, causing people to kill themselves and turn in to Zombie Demons, aka Zemons.  Armed with a slew of homemade weapons and a Winnebago, the college kids race through the night, killing Zemons and fighting time while frantically searching for a way to reverse the curse within 24 hours.  As the Zemon army starts to overpower the team, Casper finds himself with no choice but to face his fears and become the unlikeliest of heroes.
 
Dead Before Dawn 3D, the third feature film from April Mullen and Tim Doiron’s production company WANGO Films, will be available on Video On Demand and digital HD beginning August 2 in the U.S. and Canada.  The film will also be released in theaters in 3D across Canada on August 2 and select theaters across the U.S. on September 6

 
The Walking Dead Minimates Come to Life in a New Short Film.  The third series of The Walking Dead Minimates is now out and to commemorate the occasion, Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum have put together a short film starring all of the TWD Minimates to date, and it's not for the faint of heart!  With photography and editing by Alex Kropinak (Marvel's What the...?!), a voiceover by Chris Ward (the band Acorns to Oaks) and music by Matt Takacs, the film draws on Rick's famous speech from the prison arc of the groundbreaking comic book, setting it to some of the most horrifying Minimates images you have ever seen.

Friday the 13th the Complete Collection on Blu-ray Friday the 13th of September.  For the first time, all twelve Friday the 13th films will be packaged together, (with seven of them making Blu-ray debuts) as a result of a strategic distribution alliance between Paramount and Warner Bros. 
 
The 10-disc collection ($129.95 SRP) includes the twelve films on nine Blu-ray discs, as well as a killer DVD bonus disc full of special features on the making of the famous franchise. The must-own set will be presented in a collectible tin case with 11 hours of previously released special features and a 40-page soft cover book. The book is excerpted from Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday The 13th, a fan-favorite volume that’s viewed as the ultimate memoir of the series, and highlights some of the 200 interviews, 600 photos, storyboards, concept art and more. Also included is a brand new, official Camp Crystal Lake embroidered Counselor Patch.
 
Trailer for IFC Midnight’s “Grabbers”.  On Erin Island, an idyllic fishing village off the coast of Ireland, charming but somewhat work-shy Ciaran O’Shea, is tasked with greeting Lisa Nolan, a straight-laced young officer who has arrived from the mainland. Not that there is much for them to do, aside from dealing with the occasional drunk, and that’s usually O’Shea himself. But strange doings are afoot: the crew of a fishing boat disappears, whales start appearing dead on the shore, a local lobsterman catches a strange tentacled creature in his trap. Soon it becomes clear to O’Shea and Nolan that there’s something big out there, and that it’s hungry. It’s time to rally the villagers, arm the troops…and head to the pub.

Trailer for Under the Bed. Every child knows about the monster under the bed - Neal Hausman’s mistake was trying to fight it. Neal has returned from a two-year exile following his tragic attempt to defeat the monster, only to find his father ticking ever closer to a breakdown, a new stepmother who fears him, and his little brother Paul, terrorized by the same monster.
 
While Neal and Paul work together to try and fight the nocturnal menace, their parents are taking desperate measures to get the family back to normal. With no support from their parents, the brothers have nothing to rely on but each other, and courage beyond belief.

 

Found footage Thriller Muirhouse comes to DVD in September.  In 2007 Phillip Muirhouse began a promotional book tour on supernatural phenomena. As a publicity stunt he was to be filmed inside a local tourist trap, The Monte Cristo Homestead, known as ‘the most haunted house in Australia’. He spent one night in the house. The events, which took place, were recorded in real time on audio devices and night vision cameras. By morning three people were discovered dead.

More casting news for The Strain.  Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain F/X series has added another new cast member. Miguel Gomez will play "Augustin “Gus” Elizalde, a gangbanger whose one redeeming trait is his love for his mother.  Fresh out of juvenile hall after serving 18 months for manslaughter, he becomes one of humanity’s most effective warriors in the struggle against the vampires."
 
Telltale’s The Walking Dead: 400 Days coming this summer.  Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman announced that the 2012 Game of the Year winning series The Walking Dead: Season One is set to receive an all-new installment as downloadable content.  Available this summer, The Walking Dead: 400 Days will be available for purchase on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation Network, as an in-app purchase for compatible iOS devices, and on PC and Mac from the Telltale Online Store and other digital outlets.
 
First trailer for The Demented.  The Demented follows six college friends as they meet up for a carefree weekend in a beautiful rural home.A terrorist missile attack in a nearby town infects much of the townspeople with a deadly virus that induces rabies-like symptoms...with devastating consequences.

REVIEWS
 
Dark Skies (Anchor Bay) Blu-Ray Review
Grade: C+
 
Part Sci-Fi and part supernatural horror, Dark Skies treads a fine line between both genres but never fully commits to either in this hodgepodge production.  The Barrett Family begins to experience strange happens in their quiet suburban home.  Ad first its minor things like food being spilled out of the refrigerator or photos being removed from picture frames but soon the events become more chilling an dangerous.  A flock of hundreds of birds flies into their house, family members begin sleep walking and stand unresponsive outside.  
 
Lacy (Keri Russell) has a viewing at a house for sale. As she's pitching the house to a couple, she becomes unable to speak and enters a trance. She walks towards the glass door and begins to bash her head repeatedly against it before waking up in her bed without any memory of how she got there.  Most terrifying is that a shadowy figure is seen standing over the children’s bed.
 
So ok, there’s some terrifying stuff going on and that should be enough to carry the film but Director Scott Stewart apparently didn’t feel this was strong enough so he adds in a lot of filler melodrama.  The husband, Daniel is out of work and struggling to pay the bills, teenaged son Jesse is beginning to experiment with drugs, etc…But everything begins to fall apart when Lacy begins to do some research on the internet and finds other families who have experienced the same phenomena.  
 
She tracks down and expert (J.K. Simmons) who just happens to live nearby mind you, and he spills the beans with little sense of style, matter-of-factly telling the Barretts that they are experiencing alien visitations and there’s little they can do other than make it so difficult on the aliens that they move on to another family.  Gee, and I thought they were going to invite them for dinner.  Keri Russell does an admirable job but can’t save the ending from falling apart under its own weight.

Beautiful Creatures (Warner Bros.) Blu-Ray Review
Grade: C-
 
Looking to ride the wave of the popularity of the Twilight series, Beautiful Creatures runs the playbook in predictable fashion.  Small sleepy town?  Check.  Mysterious new kid in school who belongs to the creepy local family?  Check.  Local kid falls in love with the new student?  Check.  The only different here is that the sexes of the lead actors are swapped.  
 
Lena Duchanne arrives in Gatlin, South Carolina hearing the whispers about her family’s alleged involvement in witchcraft and Satanism.  While she’s ridiculed by most of the heavily religious Christian students, Ethan Wate is immediately attracted to the new girl.  Following her back to her family’s stately old mansion, he meets Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Iron), the family patriarch who founded the town.  
 
Macon warns Lena to have nothing to do with Ethan but Ethan pursues the forbidden romance and learns that Lena and her family are all casters and as Lena’s 16th birthday approaches she will either become good or evil.  Think of it like the Hogwart’s Sorting hat.  Lena’s mother Sarafine (Emma Thompson) arrives in town intent on pushing Lena to the dark side while Ethan and his family friend Amma (Viola Davis) tries to keep her on the path of good.  Added in his some hokum about Ethan and Lena having a fatal attraction curse that dates back to the Civil War which will almost certainly turn Lena evil.
 
Beautiful Creatures is Twilight without the ambition if you can believe that.  It doesn’t have nearly the mythology built up that Twilight does and throws its elements at you like a guy trying to hit the lever on the dunk tank at a carnival.  One out of ten might hit the mark if you’re lucky.  And just when it appears things can get any more muddles, along comes Amma to reveal that she is a seer who is the keep of a vast underground library of lore to find a spell which can dispel the curse.  
 
Irons and Thompson are enjoyable to watch even when they are chewing up the scenery but there’s little else to recommend about Beautiful Creatures.

Dark Circles (Lionsgate) DVD Review
Grade: B-
 
With two major, big screen films in our review section it is instead this direct-to-video release that earns the best review of the week.  Penny (Pell James) and Alex (Johnathon Schaech) have escaped the hustle and bustle of the big city and bought a home in the country to raise their baby.  Their newborn is up all night crying, however, depriving the young parents of sleep.  Anyone who has dealt with a baby who won’t sleep at night knows full well that it is a nightmare unto itself!  Alex finds working on his music to be impossible due to the demands of little Tanner.
 
The stress overwhelms the couple.  They snipe at each other over the smallest things, and when a construction crew begins to work on a new home nearby, it makes their days as sleepless as their nights.  But with the sleep deprivation come horrifying visions.  They see a bedraggled woman in their home who seems to have bad intentions for their baby.  They dismiss the sightings as hallucinations brought on by the lack of sleep.  Hiring a babysitter to watch the infant at night fails when the babysitter disappears when they awake in the morning.  As the sightings become more terrifying, and the sleeplessness takes hold of the couple, they are at each other’s throats, blaming one another for all their problems.
 
Dark Circles is a fine psychological terror that could have been much better had it not tried to make the film a supernatural horror.  You are left to guess through much of the film if the woman they are seeing is a ghost, a hallucination, or real.  But when this issue is revealed it makes many of the previous sightings virtually impossible from a logical standpoint, depending upon how much stock you place in BOTH parents hallucinating about the same woman. 
 
Still, there is enough to like about the rest of the film.  The film rests almost solely in the performances of the two leads since one of the two is in just about every scene and both Pell and Schaech do a marvelous job of portraying parents pushed to the brink by their lack of sleep.  I can tell you I spent many a nights pushing one of my sons through the house in a stroller at 3:00am to try and get him back to sleep and it’s not a fun experience.
 
While not overly terrifying there are a few jump out of your seat moments but the true terror lies in how real this situation can become.
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
makabriel 6/18/2013 11:41:16 AM

I think the scariest part of Dark Skies was the fact that later that night my dog was up at 1AM barking at nothing in particular...

 

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