A little light on reviews this week. My brand new Toshiba laptop crashed on me and is now being repaired at the service center. Unfortunately it took my column with it so I had to quickly put it back together and didn’t have time for a lot of reviews.
We do however have a ton of news including casting information for three of TV’s biggest horror shows, Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story. We’ve also have several new trailers, a look at NECA’s new Freddy Krueger figure, and news on the Woman in Black sequel from Hammer Studios.
Merle Returns in The Walking Dead Season 3. As expected Michael Rooker is returning to the Walking Dead in season 3 to reprise his role as Merle Dixon and we’ve got a pick at just how he has replaced his self-removed right hand below.
Details for Hammer’s Woman in Black Sequel. On the heels of the first film’s success Hammer immediately announced a sequel and has revealed a few details: Seized by the government and converted into a military mental hospital during World War II, the sudden arrival of disturbed soldiers to Eel Marsh Harsh has awoken its darkest inhabitant. Eve, a beautiful young nurse, is sent to the house to care for the patients but soon realizes she must save them from more than their own demons. Despite Eve’s efforts to stop her, one by one they fall victim to the Woman in Black.
A Terminator comes to True Blood. Season Five of True Blood is underway but we’re still getting more casting news. The latest is that Terminator 2 co-star, Robert Patrick, will have a recurring role as Alcide's father, Jackson Herveaux, in the season's ninth episode "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."
First trailer released for “Sinister” starring Ethan Hawke. Ethan Hawke stars in this supernatural thriller from the director of The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
Hammer announces The Quiet Ones. More Hammer news! Shooting has begun on The Quiet Ones, the supernatural thriller/horror which will shoot on location in Oxfordshire. Inspired by true events, The Quiet Ones tells the story of an unorthodox, but charismatic Professor (Jared Harris) who uses controversial methods and leads his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: to create a poltergeist from negative human energy. IFC releasing the thriller “Replicas” starring Selma Blair and Rachel Miner. Following a tragic incident, the Hughes family escapes their busy, upscale suburban life in order to spend some quality time at their isolated country home. An evening with friendly neighbors is suddenly interrupted when one man’s obsession with perfection escalates into a violent struggle, forcing all to go beyond anything they ever thought they were capable of in order to survive.
Hammer announces The Quiet Ones. More Hammer news! Shooting has begun on The Quiet Ones, the supernatural thriller/horror which will shoot on location in Oxfordshire. Inspired by true events, The Quiet Ones tells the story of an unorthodox, but charismatic Professor (Jared Harris) who uses controversial methods and leads his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: to create a poltergeist from negative human energy.
IFC releasing the thriller “Replicas” starring Selma Blair and Rachel Miner. Following a tragic incident, the Hughes family escapes their busy, upscale suburban life in order to spend some quality time at their isolated country home. An evening with friendly neighbors is suddenly interrupted when one man’s obsession with perfection escalates into a violent struggle, forcing all to go beyond anything they ever thought they were capable of in order to survive.
Mads Mikkelsen to play Hannibal Lecter. Mads Mikkelsen who played the villain in Casino Royale is now set to take an even meatier role as the cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter in the new NBC TV series. Hugh Dancy, meanwhile, is playing FBI agent William Graham.
NECA reveals SDCC Exclusive Freddy Krueger Figure. NECA has revealed their next SDCC exclusive figure, Freddy Krueger, as he appeared in the fifth installment of the franchise, The Dream Child. Best of all might be Mark Gray. A comic book geek before it was cool to be a comic book geek, Mark fantasized about getting the girl, being the hero, etc. So what did Freddy do? Well, Freddy sucked him into a comic book world, to live out his worst nightmare, of course! He is the dream master, after all.
Mark — brave and hopeless soul that he was — fought back by turning himself into his own superhero, The Phantom Prowler, and blowing Freddy to tiny little bits. *Spoiler alert*: It didn’t work, Freddy came back to life, turned Mark into paper and sliced him to shreds with his always-terrifying glove. But, to honor Mark’s efforts and to honor the series as we always do, we’ve included an actual foldable, sliceable paper recreation of Mark Gray with this grayscale 7″ Freddy action figure, which captures the look of that death scene and the comic book world. What could be more perfect for SDCC than a superhero-destroying Freddy Krueger? Well, we don’t really know. That’s kind of why we made it. Con-Exclusive B&W Comic Book Freddy also comes with a skateboard and his trademark hat, which he just wouldn’t be Freddy without.
Stephen King’s IT to be Adapted into 2 Feature Films. Warner Bros. is turning Stephen King’s massive novel into a two-part feature film. Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) will be directing the films and will co-write the script with Chase Palmer. Palmer was recently responsible for adapting Dune for Paramount, so he has experience in working on difficult-to-adapt material. Warner Bros. has also been looking into a number of other Stephen King adaptations, including The Stand and The Dark Tower.
Trailer for the American Remake of Apartment 1303 3D. Here is the trailer for the American remake of the Japanese film of the same name which stars Mischa Barton, Julianne Michelle, and Rebecca De Mornay. In the film, a love/hate relationship between a mother and daughter turns into a tale of horror when she moves out and into her first apartment. Apartments don't kill people, people kill people.
Trailer for Image’s Dead Season! When a worldwide viral outbreak leads to a plague of zombies, two survivors flee the chaos of America to a remote island, hoping for a chance to start a new life. What they find is unrelenting horror. Beyond the hordes of the flesh-hungry undead, the other people already on the island force the pair into a fight-or-die battle amongst themselves. Armed only with crude weapons, they must descend into savagery and cutthroat tactics just to make it through each day.
Antiviral to be released by IFC. Antiviral, written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg, son of the legendary David Cronenberg, has been picked up by IFC. After becoming infected with the virus that killed superstar Hannah Geist, Syd March (Caleb Landry) must unravel the mystery surrounding her death to save his own life. Sarah Gadon co-stars with Malcolm McDowell.
More info on American Horror Story Season 2. Co-Creator Ryan Murphy has revealed some additional details about the new season. Jessica Lange is back, taking on the role as the head of a mental institution for the criminally insane. As for the other actors, Murphy told the site: “I don’t want to say what Zach [Quinto] and Lily [Rabe] are doing, or what anybody else is doing, until we get closer to [fall]. But I’ll continue to say that everybody is playing the opposite of what they played last year, which I think is why they’re all so into it. Like, I have talked to Zach and Jessica and they were very excited…and that’s a rare thing." American Horror Story season two will be set in the '60s.
The Spider #2
Published By: Dynamite Entertainment
Written by: David Liss
Art by: Colton Worley
I’ve been a fan of pulp heroes for many years and my favorite was always The Spider. Created as competition to Street and Smith’s The Shadow in 1933, The Spider was always a bit darker and more violent than The Shadow. The Spider returned last month From Dynamite Entertainment in a debut that I absolutely loved. While updating the character to modern times, Writer David Liss still kept a strong 30s/40s feel to the book. At the end of the first issue The Spider, AKA Richard Wentworth, encounters a group of zombies created from a deadly gas by a villain calling herself Anput, as in the Goddess of the Dead of Egyptian mythology.
The Spider has to spring into action to evacuate a building where Anput has planted a bomb. The Spider barely escapes with his own life leading to his first face-to-face confrontation with Anput. Things do not quite go the Spider’s way as he finds himself surrounded by zombies. To make matters worse, newspaper editor Nita Van Sloan, the love of the Wentworh’s life, also is cornered by zombies. The Spider must tread carefully to save Nita but take care not to kill the zombies as he believes the effects of the gas can be reversed.
Liss’ use of an Egyptian-inspired villain is another nod to the 1930s. Egyptian culture was all the rage back then, ever since the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in the 1920s. The mysterious culture and mythology would become the focal point in many pulp tales and films of the era. Liss is not content to create a cardboard villain but takes the time to provide a background on her; one that creates a sympathetic air around her and even ties into some of today’s modern issues about the little guy being trampled upon by powerful corporations.
I can’t say enough good things about this book so far. From Liss’ stories to the moody artwork of Colton Worley, so far this book has it all.
The Pact DVD Review (IFC Midnight)
The Pact DVD Review (IFC Midnight)
When you normally think haunted house films you think large, foreboding gothic or colonial mansions, not lower middle-class ranch-style homes in the suburbs. But such is the shot in the arm that Writer/Director Nicholas McCarthy gives the genre. The pact is a Middle America horror story, one which most of us can relate to.
Estranged sisters Annie and Nicole are returning to their unhappy childhood home for their mother’s funeral. Nicole arrives first but when Annie finally arrives she finds no trace of her sister. With Nicole’s history of drug abuse, Annie believes her sister has gone off on a drug bender. Cousin Liz has been caring for Nicole’s young daughter but she too soon disappears while staying in the house while Annie begins to experience paranormal phenomena. Terrified of returning to the home but determined to find out what happened to her sister and cousin, Annie begins to unravel a dark secret from her family’s past. Using the services of a young spirit medium, Annie makes contact with the presence in the house but is it trying to warn her or kill her?
The Pact works for a couple of reasons. First, Caity Lotz (MTV’s Death Valley) is fantastic as Annie. She balances her performance between sheer horror and dogged determination. She’s completely believable and because of her, we are drawn into the story that much more. Secondly, McCarthy does a lot with so little. It’s obvious the budget is minuscule but he gets the most out of it. Through clever tracking shots he makes this small home look much larger that it is and he builds success slowly throughout. Credit also goes to Haley Hudson for her unsettling performance as the young, somewhat disturbed ghost whisperer, Stevie.
There are some plot elements that are not wrapped up as neatly as you would like but its one of the few negatives in this neat, little film.