ENJOY THE SHOW
"I came up with a genuinely original idea. And I'm the only one who's immune to it." Oh this is a good one. O.I. is a new horror short film made by South African filmmaker N'cee Van Heerden (also of Hunter's Cabin). A simple concept perfectly executed. The story is about Barry – played by Ben Cotton – after he wakes up one morning with an incredible new idea. The downside? He's the only person that can handle it. In fact, telling the idea to anyone has devastating effects. Barry may have to face this burden alone – or so he thinks. Also starring Kett Turton, Toby Hargrave, Jennnifer Nicole Stang, and Paul McGillion. The whole thing is a play on how there are no longer any original ideas, and how the moment anyone comes up with a truly unique original idea it blows minds - literally. Pretty accurate, I have to say. Enjoy this short.
"How do we kill it?!" "You can't." Uncork'd Ent. has released an official trailer for an indie horror film titled They Reach, marking the feature directorial debut of Pacific-Northwest filmmaker Sylas Dall. Set in 1979, the film follows a 13-year-old girl who stumbles upon a possessed reel-to-reel tape player. She unknowingly unleashes a demonic entity that haunts her family while slowly dragging the small town of Clarkston to Hell. She and her two friends must find a way to defeat the demon before more people disappear. The film stars Mary Madaline Roe as Jessica, with Morgan Chandler, Eden Campbell, Kyan Zielinski, Elizabeth Rhoades, Ash Calder, Frederick Floyd, Kara Puerschner, and Adrienne Jordan. This seems like it has a few cool ideas in it, and tons of horrifying scenes, maybe trying a bit too much. Still looks quite creepy.
A body-penetrating, mind-controlling horror-thriller that exists somewhere between Scanners, Beyond The Black Rainbow, and Upgrade, Possessor is the second feature film by visionary writer-director Brandon Cronenberg, son of David and Carolyn. The Toronto native made his original debut with 2012's Antiviral, about a tech company that sells celebrity illnesses to obsessed fans. With the same gruesome verve as his father David — one of the originators of the body horror subgenre to begin with — Cronenberg's work often explores body modification, infection, technology, and interweaving of the psychological with the physical. With Possessor, he digs even deeper into the "new flesh" to tell a story about identity in this digital age.
"I need more brains!" Leomark Studios has revealed an official trailer for a long lost 1980s genre film titled Housesitter: The Night They Saved Siegfried's Brain, the first and only film made by Robin Nuyen. Filmed entirely in 1987, Housesitter sat unfinished for 32 years. Now, with finished sound from Skywalker Sound and final picture from Paramount Pictures color department, it is at last completed. Combining 80s horror with 50s sci-fi, the film is about an idealist medical student with an Elvis obsession, determined to perfect his rat-to-rat brain transfer to "help mankind and change the face of modern science". After his final experiment fails and blows up, Andy loses his chance to study abroad. Little does Andy know that his beloved professor and mentor, Doc Crosby, is actually a mad scientist who has been murdering people and stealing their brains for experiments in his makeshift "black and white" laboratory. The crazy long lost film stars Holly Kaplan, Robert Small, and Stephen James Carver. Even though this is a "film 32 years in the making", looks like it's not going to be worth the wait after all. Maybe it will? Only for a few horror fans.
"Been a long time since I've taught all of you… Tonight's your final lesson." Samuel Goldwyn has debuted an official trailer for an indie horror thriller called Triggered, not to be confused with the other horror film titled Triggered from just last year (can't they choose a different name?!). This film involves a crazy Saw-meets-Hunger-Games-esque concept - nine friends, all harboring a dark secret, wake up in the woods after a night of partying to discover they all have suicide bombs strapped to their chests, with different times on their countdown clocks. They decide to work out how to disarm the bombs or find help - until they discover they can "take" someone else's time by killing them. Uh oh. The film stars Sean Cameron Michael, Liesl Ahlers, Reine Swart, Suraya Santos, Craig Urbani, and Steven John Ward. This is a wicked cool concept - it's even uncomfortable to write it out, but that's what makes it so scary. Then everyone goes mad.
"As fun as it is scary." Yep, you read it right - this is a gory horror movie made entirely with puppets. Even though Brian Henson tried to make an R-rated puppet movie a few years back (The Happytime Murders), this one looks like everything that movie was not - much better and much more disgusting. Frank & Zed is a homemade passion project from filmmaker Jesse Blanchard. "It was shot in 4K in Blanchard's garage and a nearby studio and required the creation of 40 handmade puppets, miniatures, practical cloud tank effects, and actual fire." Badass. Lovingly crafted entirely with hand puppets, this hilarious, blood-drenched practical marvel sees the peaceful, secluded lifestyle of two monsters threatened when a group of desperate villagers come to repay an age-old pact to a wretched demon. Featuring the voices of Mandy Stockholm, Daniel Wagner, Jonathan McLain, Sam A. Mowry. And tons of gnarly puppets. I always enjoy these low budget, passion project concepts - they truly are one-of-a-kind. It premieres at Nightstream this month.
"Somebody might just come along and… take her." Dark Sky Films has released an official trailer for a indie horror comedy titled It Cuts Deep, premiering at the Nightstream Virtual Festival this month. While on Christmas vacation to his childhood home, Sam's world begins to close in around him in oddly horrifying and hilarious ways when his girlfriend Ashley's announcement that she wants to marry and start a family coincides with the sudden reappearance of an old acquaintance who alludes to Sam's violent past. Writer / director Nicholas Santos, making his first feature film, explains "It Cuts Deep is one of those films – opening on a recognizable set-up of a young angry murderer well on his way to becoming a psychopathic serial killer a la many an 80s slasher classic." Sounds like a clever update on slasher films and horror comedy. Starring Quinn Jackson as Ashley, Charles Gould as Sam, with John Anderson & Alison Fraser. Take a look.
"I'm gon' fix ya, I'ma fix you good." Paramount Pictures has released an official trailer for a horror movie called Spell, from director Mark Tonderai (House at the End of the Street). In this changed world of cinema due the pandemic, all the distributors are desperate to release any content they can and hope it finds an audience - so every horror movie available this year is being released in October (most of them available on VOD right away). Spell is about a wealthy father who survives a plane crash in rural Appalachia, but soon becomes suspicious of the strange elderly couple who take him in to nurse him back to health with ancient Hoodoo remedies. Omari Hardwick stars as Marq in this, along with Loretta Devine, John Beasley, and Lorraine Burroughs. This is a chilling hoodoo twist on the typical locked-up-until-they-heal horror concept (e.g. Misery, The Beguiled) with some seriously unsettling moments with this woman. Scary stuff.
"In a perfect world, a woman would be able to wear her hair the way she wants to." More October horror! Hulu has debuted the full-length official trailer for the acclaimed, outrageous hair horror film Bad Hair, which originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. This is the second feature film from Dear White People director Justin Simien, and it's launching on Hulu just before Halloween. In 1989 an ambitious young woman gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of TV. However, her flourishing career may come at a great cost when she realizes that her new hair may have a(n evil) mind of its own. Starring Elle Lorraine as Anna, including Vanessa Williams, Jay Pharoah, Lena Waithe, Blair Underwood, Laverne Cox, Michelle Hurd, Judith Scott, Robin Thede, Kelly Rowland, Ashley Blaine Featherson, with James Van Der Beek and Usher. This is quite a trailer - tons of wild footage and gnarly shots of hair killing people. I dig this film, an original concept that goes against the grain.
"She's not the one I'm worried about…" Uncork'd has released a trailer for a horror sequel titled Redwood Massacre: Annihilation, a follow-up to David Ryan Keith's original The Redwood Massacre from 2014. Horror icon Danielle Harris comes up against the axe-wielding maniac of Redwood. Twenty years ago at the infamous Redwood Farm, the owner went mad then killed his family. Shrouded in urban legend ever since, a stranger obsessed with the unsolved Redwood killings convinces a group of the bereaved family to venture into the wilderness in the hope of proving the existence of the notorious burlap bag-masked maniac. Their quest for truth sees a sinister turn of events, as the hunters become the hunted and a blood-soaked fight for survival ensues when they find that the sinister tales told of the axe-wielding psycho farmer are very real indeed. Of course. The cast includes Damien Puckler, Gary Kasper, Jon Campling, and Tevy Poe. Strangely there's no gore or violence shown in this trailer, it's only red band rated for language. Huh.
"You're not well… You don't even seem to realize that." IFC Midnight has revealed the first official trailer for a "psychological thriller rippling with suspense" titled Kindred, from filmmaker Joe Marcantonio. This one is skipping out on October entirely, and opening at the beginning of November this fall. Kindred follows vulnerable mother-to-be Charlotte, played by Tamara Lawrance (seen in On Chesil Beach, "Undercover", "No Offence"), as she is taken in by her recently deceased boyfriend's mother and her step-son, who seem increasingly obsessed with her every move. Soon plagued by strange hallucinations, Charlotte's suspicions grow about Margaret and Thomas' intentions for her unborn child. The cast includes Fiona Shaw, Jack Lowden, Edward Holcroft, Chloe Pirrie, & Anton Lesser. This looks extra discomforting and intense, especially when all the weird things start happening in the second half of the trailer. Definitely worth a look.
"I saw something… in the dark. You have felt it, too." Netflix has unveiled an official trailer for a horror-thriller titled His House, which originally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. We didn't hear much about this at the time, but this looks damn good. His House is the feature directorial debut of British filmmaker Remi Weekes. After making a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, a young refugee couple struggle to adjust to a new life in a small English town that has an unspeakable evil lurking beneath the surface. It's a film about the horrors of immigration, combined with an actual haunted house horror story. Starring Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù and Wunmi Mosaku as the immigrant couple, with an appearance by Matt Smith. I am very curious to see this, and I'm glad Netflix is releasing worldwide. A 2020 hidden gem.