Image Entertainment Brings you The Tall Man - Image Entertainment is bringing The Tall Man, out into theaters on August 31st. In an isolated, slowly dying mining town, children are vanishing without a trace – abducted, the townsfolk whisper, by a mysterious entity known locally as “The Tall Man.” Town nurse Julia Denning (Jessica Biel) seems skeptical…until her young David disappears in the middle of night. Frantic to rescue the boy, Julia lives every parent’s darkest nightmare.
Hatchet 3 begins shooting. The Hatchet is set to begin shooting in Louisiana with Danielle Harris and Kane Hodder reprising their roles as Marybeth and Victor Crowley, respectively. Caroline Williams, Sean Whalen, Derek Mears, Diane Goldner and Jason Trost are joining the cast as well. Whalen appeared in Laid to Rest and The People Under the Stairs. Williams starred in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. Goldner appeared in Feast and Trost is the writer and director of The FP. BJ McDonnell is directing the latest installment in the Hatchet franchise; Adam Green penned the script and is producing. The story finds Harris hunting down the true secret to ending the voodoo curse that has left Crowley's ghost terrorizing Honey Island Swamp for decades. Williams will play a fast-talking journalist.
First Trailer for Dante Tomaselli’s Torture Chamber. Dante Tomaselli’s (Satan’s Playground) latest film is called Torture Chamber and follows 13-year-old Jimmy Morgan, a boy possessed by an evil too powerful to be exorcised by any religion. Jimmy escapes from an institution and assembles an army of murderous children who will follow his every murderous desire. The youths wreak havoc on their town as they begin to attack and abduct its residents.
Eddie Munster cast for Mockingbird Lane. Mason Cook will join Eddie Izzard (as Grandpa) and Charity Wakefield (Marilyn) in Mockingbird Lane, the new Munsters reboot coming to NBC. Sets are currently being built on the Universal lot and Brian Singer is directing the pilot.
Chronicle Director Josh Trank’s Next project. Following the success of Chronicle, director Josh Trank's next project looks like it will be the video game adaptation Shadow of Colossus for Sony Pictures.
Shadow of Colossus' storyline focuses on a young man named Wander who enters a forbidden land. Wander must travel across a vast expanse on horseback and defeat sixteen massive beings, simply known as colossi, in order to restore the life of a girl named Mono.
Trailer for Apparition. Dark Castle's latest endeavor, The Apparition, will be released by Warner Bros. on August 24th and we’ve got the trailer. The trailer gives you a taste of the frightening events that start to occur in a young couple's home when they discover they are being haunted by a presence that was accidentally conjured during a university parapsychology experiment. The horrifying apparition feeds on their fear and torments them no matter where they try to run. Their last hope is an expert in the supernatural, but even with his help they may already be too late to save themselves from this terrifying force.
American Horror Story Season 2 to be set in the 1960s. Show creator Ryan Murphy filled fans in on the setting for American Horror Story Season 2 in a recent interview.
"It’s set in an institution for the criminally insane that Jessica Lange’s character runs, which is a really, really, really fun thing to do because you can write all these people locked up in it. And I guess if the first season was about infidelity, the second season is about sanity. What makes someone sane or insane? Sometimes the people you think are insane are actually the most sane of all. It’s fun to write about people who society throws away.
I haven’t said this publicly, but the new season is set in the sixties and Chloë Sevigny, for example, plays a character who was put in an asylum because she was a woman who likes sex, so her husband sends her away. At the time, you were able to put people away for that. Another character is institutionalized for being a lesbian. To me, there’s nothing more scary than somebody coming to you and saying they’re going to take you away and put you in a mad house and you have no legal rights and there you shall stay till the end of your days. That is a real horror. “
Bill Moseley, Lin Shaye, and Michael Berryman in Hell Hunters Pilot. Insidious star Lin Shaye will be joining horror icons Bill Moseley and Michael Berryman in the new television pilot Hell Hunters, created by Lawrence Donini and Directed by Jourdan McClure. Shaye will be, according to a press release, "playing her most terrifying and grotesque role yet." She'll take on the role as the disgustingly demented grandmother of young Hazard, Gramma Ethel. Hell Hunters is an action-horror crime thriller that tells the story of two young childhood friends, that after reading a horrific comic book, decide to become the murderous vigilante characters in real life.
Two New characters revealed for Walking Dead Season 3. As The Walking Dead heads into season 3, we know that Rick Grimes and company are heading to a prison. Of the new characters they encounter, we know about Michonne (Danai Gurira) as well as The Governor (David Morrissey). But who else can we expect? Here’s what’s been revealed about two new characters:
Harold is in his 40s to early 50s. A studious and fastidious man, trying to create a niche for himself in this new world.
Manuel is 30 to 40, Hispanic, a working class survivor, he is confident, physically skilled, a leader when necessary, capable and smart. Has a terrific sense of humor where you wouldn't expect one.
Abigail Breslin is the Final Girl! Abigail Breslin, (Zombieland) is set to star in Final Girl. "Final Girl" is a popular term in the genre, representing the final girl standing at the end of a slasher film. Prospect Park and Studio City Pictures are guiding this project which concerns a young woman who has been targeted by a pack of teenage boys as part of sick "initiation." What they don't know is that she's about to turn the tables on them. The screenplay is by Steve Scarlata, Alejandro Seri and Johnny Silver.
Trailer for Some Guy Who Kills People. At first glance, Ken Boyd may seem like an average comic enthusiast, living with his mother and working to make ends meet as an underpaid, underappreciated ice cream parlor attendant. But Ken has a dirty little secret: he fantasizes about killing people. After being released from a stay in the loony bin for severe mental trauma suffered when he was beaten and tortured by a gang of high school thugs, Ken's repressed anger suddenly reaches a boiling point. He begins to hunt down his tormentors, one by one, and exacts his bloody revenge - all the while forming an unconventional bond with his estranged 11-year old daughter. Coming to DVD July 3rd from Anchor Bay.
Storage 24 UK Trailer. London is in chaos. A military cargo plane has crashed leaving its highly classified contents strewn across the city. Completely unaware London is in lockdown, Charlie (Noel Clarke) and Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), accompanied by best friends Mark (Colin O'Donoghue) and Nikki (Laura Haddock), are at Storage 24 dividing up their possessions after a recent break-up. Suddenly, the power goes off. Trapped in a dark maze of endless corridors, a mystery predator is hunting them one by one. In a place designed to keep things in, how do you get out? No word yet on a U.S. release but we’ve got the UK trailer for you.
The Wicked Teaser Trailer. It is a bedtime story nearly every kid in the small town of Summerset has heard. A silly story passed down from generation to generation that offers just enough chills to keep the legend alive. This year is different. Seven year old Amanda Drake (Caitlin Carhmichael) is swiped from her bedroom window. Rumors swirl. The Witch has returned. Always up for a good fright, and a chance to impress the girls, 18 year old Zach (Justin Deeley) and his friends decide to sneak into the woods and find the mysterious old house where the legendary Witch supposedly lives.
Milo Ventimiglia and Sara Paxton in Static. Milo Ventimiglia Sara Paxton, and Sarah Shahi star in the Todd Levin-directed home invasion thriller Static. As a young novelist and his wife are coping with the loss of their child, their lives are turned upside down when a panicked girl appears at their home in the middle of the night with stories of masked intruders stalking her. That night, the stalkers strike, sending the couple on a horrific game of cat and mouse, where they are forced to uncover shocking details from their past that may be the reason for the attack.
LEGO Monster Fighters! Now even LEGO is getting into the monster business with their new Monster Fighters series. The Crazy Scientist is simply mad about his monster! The dead are rising, thanks to science. Rodney Rathbone and Quinton Steele have discovered the creepy lab, and have to sto the scientist from bringing the monster back to life! The light brick shows the energy coursing through the laboratory, plus Rodney and Quinton come with an awesome retro car. Set includes 4 minifigures and a grand total of 422 pieces. Check out the official LEGO trailer.
THE TERRIFYING REVIEWS
The Devil Inside Blu-ray Review (Paramount)
I think we’d all agree that there have been many vampire films better than 1931’s Dracula, and many better werewolf films than 1935’s The Werewolf of London or 1940’s The Wolfman. But nearly 40 years after its release, no film about exorcism or demonic possession can make the claim of being better than 1973’s The Exorcist, and after watching films like The Last Exorcism, The Rite, and The Devil Inside, maybe it’s time we just close off this category to any new attempts because it’s a losing prospect.
The Devil Inside is yet another found footage film and while some of these recent types of films have tried admirably to forge some new ground (see Chronicle) The Devil Inside pulls out the Blair Witch Project playbook and runs it page-by-page. Ridiculous plotting, off screen action, and an ending that makes Blair Witch look ingenious by comparison, The Devil Inside blatantly says “screw you” to viewers and smiles while it does so.
In 1989 Maria Rossi murdered three members of her church but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to a mental hospital. Nearly 20 years later her now adult daughter Isabella learns that the murders happened while an exorcism was being performed on her mother. Isabella travels to Rome where her mother has been transferred to film a documentary about exorcism and meet her mother. She meets two rogue priests, Ben and David, who perform exorcisms without the Catholic Church’s consent. She convinces the two to see her mother and determine if she is truly possessed, setting off a chain of events that leads to disaster to all involved.
William Brent Bell who acts as both Writer and Director must shoulder the blame for the film’s many misfiring’s. Why would an American mental patient be transferred from a hospital in the States to one in Rome? When Isabella asks the head doctor at the asylum in Rome he merely dismisses the question by saying he doesn’t know as it was done before he began working there. Oh, that’s brilliant. This has got to qualify as worst plot contrivance of the year so far. But Bell is not finished. I don’t pretend to be an expert on Italian mental hospital protocol but I’d hazard to guess they’re not just going to let a patient who has proven herself to be extremely violent to be locked in a room with her daughter, a couple of priests, and a cameraman.
The Devil Inside offers nothing new and employs the usual bag of parlor tricks such as people growling in tongues and bizarre contortionists who can bend their bodies into impossible shapes. Reportedly the ending left theatre goers booing…They’re lucky they didn’t storm the projectionists booth and burn the film.
Mother’s Day Blu-ray Review (Anchor Bay)
Fans of campy slasher films will no doubt recall the cult-classic Mother’s Day from 1980. Directed By Saw II, III, and IV Director Darren Lynn Blousman, this is a semi-remake. It’s a remake in terms of some of the character names and plot elements but Bousman dispenses with the backwoods hillbilly elements in favor of a more modern, suburban setting. When a bank robbery goes wrong, three brothers go on the run and seek refuge at the home of their mother. Unknown to them however, is that their mother lost the house in a foreclosure and the home now has new owners, Beth and Daniel Sohapi (“so happy” Get it…Because that stupid name comes up numerous times in the story).
Beth and Daniel are hosting a birthday party when the three armed criminals break in. The youngest brother, Johnny was shot and critically injured. Fortunately a guest named George (Shawn Ashmore) happens to be a doctor and he is able to help stabilize Johnny while the other brothers Ike and Addley terrorize the other party goers while waiting for their mother to arrive. Mom is just a bit different than in the 1980 film, played here by a still hot looking Rebecca De Mornay. She is at first polite and apologetic to the guests for her son’s behavior but when its discovered that Ike has been sending money home to his mother, money she never received, she’s convince that the Sohapi’s have stolen the loot and proceeds to order her sons to torture and terrorize the guests until they reveal where the cash is hidden. George tries to convince the boys’ daughter Lydia (played by Deborah Ann Woll of True Blood) to help them as she seems hesitant to go along with her mom’s plans.
Bousman’s experience with the Saw films is on full display here. Bousman doesn’t try to go for the campiness of the original but rather the sheer brutality of the Saw films. One character has his hand pounded with a cue ball, while another has boiling water poured over his ears. The film is loaded with many of these squirm in your seat moments. Soon they have the guests turning on each other in a Lord of the Flies-like battle for survival as their personal lives are opened up and secrets revealed. It’s a brutal, unforgiving film.
The film definitely has its many implausibility’s…despite the fact that two of the women escape and run screaming out onto their street, and that several guns including shotguns are fired inside the house, it seems none of the neighbors hear a peep, despite the fact that a cop even arrives at the house to warm residents of the three on-the-run bank robbers. Best not to pick too much at the story. I’m not overly wild about these torture porn sagas but I enjoyed seeing De Mornay tear up scenery.
Playback Blu-Ray Review (Magnet)
Playback is a low-budget derivative of The Ring but lacking any of the shock and chills of that film franchise. The film begins 18 years in the past as a young man named Harlan Diehl murders his entire family and tries to steal his sister’s infant boy. Diehl is gunned down by police in the little town’s most notorious incident. Cut to the present as High School student Julian is doing a film project on the murders for his journalism class and recreating them using his friends as actors. However as he investigates the original incident he mistakenly unleashes the spirit of Diehl which was able to hide itself within the old news footage taken by the local TV news. Diehl’s is able to possess a young intern named Quinn and use him to try and finish what he started 18 years ago.
The premise of Playback isn’t the issue but rather it’s the execution of the plot which fails miserably. Diehl’s motives for wanting to steal the infant and then try to possess Julian. But it is two ridiculous sub-elements that deep-six the film. The first involves a 19th century filmmaker named Louis Le Prince who is hinted at being the devil and whose family all died after he filmed them. I still haven’t quite figured out what this had to do with the main story and connecting the dots his a stretch to say the least.
Even worse though is the repulsive and completely unnecessary sub-plot of Christian Slater playing a town cop who is a pedophile. He pays Quinn to hide camera’s in the girls locker room at the High School so he can get his jollies. Geez Slater…I thought you could sink no worse than Alone in the Dark but boy, was I wrong! This sleazy story arc has no bearing on the rest of the story and appears to be tossed in just to give Slater something to do…since he is the “Big” star in this production. Do yourself a favor…don’t hit playback…just hit fast forward.
By The Blood of Heroes: The Great Undead War Book 1 (Harper Voyager)
Written By Joseph Nassise
Zombie fiction continues to be a major force in horror today but for every good novel or anthology it seems like we see three or four bad ones. Fortunately Joseph Nassise’s By the Blood of Heroes is one that falls into the good category as he meshes Zombies with World War I for a unique take on the genre. The use of gas in modern warfare peaked during World War I with the use of chemical agents like Chlorine and Mustard gases. The use of gas is at the center of this enjoyable alternate history book, the first in a new series called The Great Undead War Series. The Germans invent a gas called T-Leiche, also known as "corpse gas" which is able to animate the bodies of dead soldiers so they can use them as their shock troops.
When an Ace American pilot is shot down and taken prisoner by the Germans, and elite team of operatives is assembled to take on a harrowing missing to rescue the pilot. Captain Michael “Madman” Burke leads the team sent to try to rescue the pilot along with his right-hand man Sergeant Moore, Clayton Manning, a wealthy big-game hunter turned soldier, and professor Dan Richards, an expert on all things supernatural. They have to evade the German forces, the zombies (referred to as shamblers), and things even worse as they try to retrieve the pilot who holds a valuable secret.
Nassise infuses his book with a good deal of Steam punk elements. Burke has a clockwork mechanical arm and they also utilize flying dirigibles, so there are more elements here than just your usual blood-crazed zombies. He even tosses in one of the most notorious figures of World War I, Manfred von Richthofen, AKA, the Red Baron. The German zombies start out as your typical, slow-moving George Romero type but as the Germans continue their ghoulish experiments they are able to improve them and make them move faster, creating a deadly threat.
The novel is extremely fast-paced and for fans of action and war there’s a lot here to love. Nassise describes some of the air combat sequences in great detail. There’s a nice mix of action and horror. While this is the strength of the novel, characterization is the weakness. Most of the characters are one-dimensional stereotypes but honestly, it’s a zombie novel. I don’t need great character buildup so just don’t look for anything too deep.
Batman: The Court of Owls Hardcover
Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Greg Capullo
The Court of Owls collects the first seven issues of Batman in DC’s New 52. One great thing about Batman more than just about any other superhero is that his stories lend themselves to the mystery, horror, and thriller genres, and this story includes elements of all three. Batman is investigating several gruesome murders that points to a shadowy and perhaps mythological group known as The Court of Owls. This mysterious and sinister group dates back to the founding of Gotham City itself, supposedly controlling all that goes on in the city behind the scenes. Bruce Wayne finds himself targeted by the group’s master assassin, a man that apparently cannot be killed.
Batman’s investigation and pursuit of the truth behind the Court of Owls will lead him into the depths of Gotham City and leave him grasping at the strands of his own sanity. In doing so, he will unearth long hidden history about his own family. The story even hints that the murder of his parents, the event which trigged his becoming Batman in the first place, may not have simply been a random robbery but possibly tied to the Court of Owls.
We all know that Batman has perhaps the most famous and colorful rogues gallery of any costumed hero but as this story shows, Batman doesn’t need his usual villains for it to be a good story. Snyder’s tale presents a century’s old threat that hints of groups like the Masons or Skull and Bones Society, consisting of rich and powerful men who secretly pull the strings of society. The story is compelling and Snyder does a brilliant job of interweaving these new elements into Gotham’s long history. Of course if you’ve been reading Batman New 52 you know that this story has continued so you don’t get that clean conclusion that you’d like in this book but I suppose you have to end it somewhere.
Greg Capullo is a solid artist although I’m not sure he’s best-suited for Batman. He still carries a bit too much Todd McFarlane influence in his work and I keep expecting Spawn to pop up at any moment. That complaint aside, Batman: The Court of Owls is a great read with a complex storyline that shows Batman at his obsessive best.
If you’re looking for even more horror fun, be sure to check out Chuck Francisco’s Shock-O-Rama every Saturday right here at Mania: Shock-o-Rama
Tim Janson is a columnist and reviewer for Mania Entertainment. He writes Level Up, the weekly look at videogames and the horror dedicated column, Tuesday Terrors. Tim has written for Fangoria, Newsarama, City Slab Magazine, Twitch Film, and Cinefantastique. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA). Be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.