A Quiet Place, Jim and the Smell of Home

John Krasinski’s third directorial outing and first genre film, A QUIET PLACE, has taken America by storm. The survival horror film, focusing on a family living in fear of someTHING in a post apocalyptic Adirondack mountains setting, has been able to suspend disbelief with Middle Americans. Making over $50 million in its opening weekend, it becomes the first original horror movie to reach this summit and continues the trend of well made horror films dominating the screen. I’ve seen the film twice since it opened last Thursday. My second viewing was on a Tuesday evening. Each time the theater was packed. And silent. You could hear every bag crinkle, cough and sniffle for 90 minutes.

This seems to be the most common statement a person makes after seeing A QUIET PLACE, now being heralded as the movie that made Millennials shut up in the theater. But there’s much more to this film than this superficial indicator. The film’s story is simple, which allows for basic understanding by the masses inhabiting Middle America. As is the case in most horror films, we establish the rules early on. Much like last year’s IT, the first incident our family encounters lays the foundation that all bets are off and nobody is safe. Unlike IT, which is a well made and entertaining movie but is missing something (like a second half?), A QUIET PLACE pays off in spades.

Like any good horror story there are rules. In this case, they are a titular establishment. A QUIET PLACE indicates sound will be an element and play a key role in the story and it’s the story that propels this film. Screen writers Bryan Wood and Scott Beck, with a little help from Krasinski, keep it simple and stupid. They don’t waste a moment of screen time, either. Each and every thing that happens on screen is for a reason. Some of it is blatant foreshadowing, some is little moments of character development. No matter what a scene establishes, all of it moves the narrative along at a brisk pace. The trailers for A QUIET PLACE are misleading. This is not a slow burn.

There’s also the “Jim Factor.” John Krasinski’s long time role on TV’s THE OFFICE has made him a darling among the Amy Schumer-something female demographic. He’s everyone’s favorite guy. No attempt to hide Jim works for Krasinski. He’s like an action figure. Give him a beard, he’s still Jim with a beard. Stick him in a war movie (13 HOURS), he’s still Jim, with a gun. Make him angry on screen, he’s still Jim, being angry. In this movie, we get to see Jim as a loving Dad and husband at the end of the world. The natural chemistry he has with his wife, Emily Blunt, on screen also contributes to this movie’s success. She’s no Pam, thank God. Quite honestly, everyone hates Pam for dicking Jim around for the better part of a decade. The young actors playing their children are also outstanding. The entire cast contributes to making this believable.

For me it was more than a sense of familiarity with Jim. It was a feeling of home. I’d like to welcome the rest of America to upstate New York. I’ve called it my home most of the past 50 years. There have been a few times I’ve left for extended periods of time, all of them paid for by Uncle Sam and the United States Army. Missouri, Indiana and Arkansas were nice, but they weren’t New York. They smelled different. The flora and fauna was different. Even the weather. As a teenage in boot camp in Missouri I witnessed my first storm coming across the plains. It resembled a demonic gateway to another dimension, floating in space in the distance, lightning erupting from its black, clouded heart. Of course it wasn’t a rift in time and space, it was an illusion created by the horizon. Locals assumed I’d never seen such a spectacle before because I came from the big city of New York. That wasn’t the case. Where I grew up had mountains. Up until this point in my life, I’d never seen a horizon except on water.

There’s something about upstate New York. It’s rolling hills, its corn fields and cow pastures. We’re blessed with two mountain ranges. Our mountains aren’t your traditional mountains. They’re lower peaked than the high, snow-covered points of the Rocky’s, more like hills in the grand scheme of things. The southern tier’s Catskills are a spur of the range that includes the Poconos of Pennsylvania and the Berkshires of Massachusetts. The Castkills are one of the most commercialized mountain ranges in the country and densely populated to the point where they are nearly a suburb of New York City. Further north, our claim to fame becomes the world famous Adirondack range. Where as most mountains are formed when two plates crash together, the ADKs (as we call them) were formed when a massive glacier ground down a massive volcanic dome over a few million years. As a result, beach sand is as prolific in the Adirondacks as clay earth is in the foothills close to the mountains.

Nestled in the heart of the river valleys surrounding the Adirondacks lies the small town of Little Falls, NY, where much of A QUIET PLACE was filmed. Like most small towns in New York, it’s felt the economic crunch most of New York has been under the past few decades. Many businesses have closed over the years as people have made a mass exodus from the harsh winters and humid summers, leaving brown fields scattered about the terrain. These temperature extremes bring about distinct scents, many of which change with the seasons. Spring, for example, smells of mud and pollen. Summers are a cornucopia of aromas. Rust and mildew mixed with mowed grass, corn and cow shit. Fall brings the distinct scent of dead leaves. By winter, the combined odors of vehicle exhaust and salt are so thick you can taste them.

I made a similar comparison to Ted Geohagen’s WE ARE STILL HERE three years ago, filmed in Palmyra, NY. Geohagen’s follow up, MOHAWK, was similarly filmed in Highland forest near the towns of Tully and Fabius, NY – no more than a twenty minute drive from my house. POTTERSVILLE, last year’s Netflix Bigfoot comedy featuring Michael Shannon, was filmed in Hamilton, NY. Now, with A QUIET PLACE, the rest of America is finally seeing how beautiful upstate New York is.

Much like the under appreciated BOOK OF ELI, a movie that utilized sound as a factor in its story, A QUIET PLACE is a unique film you should enjoy in a theatrical setting, wherein a complete sensory experience awaits you. You’ll smell and taste this film as much as you see it and hear it. When a good movie is made, the public will follow, and man have they followed this movie. After the award winning success of genre films GET OUT and THE SHAPE OF WATER, A QUIET PLACE stands firmly on my short list of Oscar contenders for 2019.

Death Metal Essentials by Walt Hades and The Maxx Axe

Mortician_-_Hacked_up_for_BarbecueIf you want to combine Horror with metal, then look no further than Mortician. This Yonkers, NY based death metal group has everything every good-hearted metal/horror fan could want; aggressive songs, brutal lyrics sung in true death form and an overall aura of blood curdling horror. “Hacked Up For Barbeque” is the 1996 debut album for the band. Not only does it include the criteria above but they also include various samples from some of the more famous, and infamous, horror movies around. For example, the title track includes sampling from the 1974 film “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” where Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) discovers Pam (Teri McMinn) invading their home and disposes of her on his favorite meathook. This scene directly influences the lyrics of the song and personifies it’s intense brutality. If this tickles your horror bone (directly adjacent to the funny bone) then this album is full of those choice bits to satisfy your hunger. Mortician have gone on to create 7 more albums and many demos/singles to quench the bloodthirst of their fans. You can find out more about them at their website, http://www.morticianrecords.com.

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So you have a taste for some Swedish Death Metal? Then Hypocrisy can be your main course! Formed in 1990 by death metal pioneer Peter Tägtgren, Hypocrisy were one of the forerunners for the Swedish Death Metal movement in the 90’s. Their songs present simplicity and brutality. “Osculum Obscenum” is their 2nd album which exemplifies the classic death metal formula with it’s riffing and lyrics. However, it takes a bit of a turn as not all songs are the stereotypical 240bpm. Various tempo changes are showcased on several songs including “The Pleasure of Molestation” where you go from sick brutal beats to slow methodical grooves, but never lessening the aggression. Peter Tägtgren has also worked with and produced some of the biggest metal bands to ever come screaming out of Europe including Immortal, Children of Bodom & Celtic Frost. Learn more about the band, it’s line up changes and influence on the swedish death metal scene at their site http://www.hypocrisy.cc.

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In Flames-The Jester Race. Considered by many, including myself, as arguably the most perfectly produced death metal album. The Gothenburg, Sweden based outfit’s sophomore album incorporates things hardly found in standard death metal albums at that time, such as intricate acoustic interludes and instrumentals, heroic dual lead guitars, deep melodic grooves and well-crafted songwriting that doesn’t primarily consist of topics like death, dismemberment, autopsies, rape and necrophilia. With classic fan favorites that include “Moonshield”, “Lord Hypnos”, “The Jester’s Dance” and the title track, the album is completely lacking of a dull moment, sending the listener into a full-speed-ahead blast into hyperspace that will leave them exhilarated and wanting more.

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Opeth- Still Life. Opeth is what you get if you take the brutality and malevolence of death metal and blend it with the technical complexities and structure of progressive rock. Songs can range anywhere between 5-11 minutes, filled with crushing guitar riffs, acoustic passages, middle eastern influence and bluesy 70’s-esque guitar solos, as well as guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Mikael Akerfeldt’s ability to transition from deep, deathly growls to a clean, golden voice similar to that of The Moody Blues’s Justin Hayward. The band is a unique creature of its own kind, developing and progressing with each passing album. This album, released in 1999, is a strong exercise in musicianship and storytelling, as it tells the tale of a godless man’s return to his home village after a 15 year banishment, seeking out his long lost loved one. This kind of story seems to come right out of a Tigon Productions or American International Pictures film (see the ARKOFF formula). However, its compelling and each song matches the mood for what is being told. Other recommended albums from Opeth include My Arms, Your Hearse and Blackwater Park.

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Cannibal Corpse- The Bleeding. The Maxx Axe and I both have a mutual love for  he band that is considered the measuring stick of all traditional death metal. We also both feel the same when it comes this album. With every album of theirs filled with the same brand of violent, graphic artwork, stomach churning lyrics and brutal, neckbreaking, fast paced metal attacks, why do we feel 1994’s The Bleeding is their best work? The reason for me is it sets a change of musical direction, songs have slowed down, making the guitar riffs a bit groovier and more “Sabbath-esque”. Vocalist Chris Barnes, in his final work with the band before departing to form Six Feet Under, possesses the same timbre in his growls but has definitely modified the cadence, producing a much more decipherable effort (that way we can understand all of the juicy, violent, murderous, necrophalic details). Musically, it is a true headbanger’s delight, ending their initial era with what still remains their best work.

So there is just a sampling of some essential Death Metal. We could have gone on and on about some more of our favorite death metal bands, but that will have to wait for another time. Until then, keep it brutal. \m/!

Slish, Slash, It’s a Blood Bath! A Look At The Slasher Sub-Genre

Chapter 2 of The Necrocasticon aired last night, and if you missed it, you missed out.  Check out the show here http://www.projectiradio.com/shows/necrocasticon/

On the horror side this week, the guys talked slasher films, so I’m taking this opportunity to take a leisurely stroll through the dark woods of memory lane, and revisit the evolution of the slasher film genre through the years.

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Real Life Slasher – Ed Gein

There is an old question.  Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life?  In the instance of the slasher film, the answer clearly is that art imitates life.  Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, Psycho(1960), is considered to be the first major slasher film.  The one that started it all!  Norman Bates was a disturbed owner/operator of an out of the way motel.  Norman Bates was loosely based on real life mama’s boy, Ed Gein.

Norman Bates - Psycho
Norman Bates – Psycho

Gein was so close to his mother, that once she died, he dug her body up and lived with her corpse, much like Norman Bates did in Psycho.  Like Norman, Gein tried to become his mother.  Norman’s transformation was a mental one, but Gein’s was a physical one.  Ed Gein would kill women, and dig women’s bodies up and used their flesh to make a suit, so he could transform into his mother.  Psycho was a huge success and it’s shower scene is considered one of the greatest cinematic scenes of all time.  Despite the success of Psycho, it took 14 years for another major slasher film to hit the movie theaters.

Leatherface - Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Leatherface – Texas Chainsaw Massacre

If Psycho examined the psychology of Ed Gein, it was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre(1974) that depicted his sheer brutality.  Like Norman Bates, Leatherface was based on Gein.  Leatherface wore a faces stitched together from his families victims, as did Ed Gein.  The furniture in the home of Leatherface was made of human body parts, such as bone and skulls, the same was true for Ed Gein’s home.

The slasher genre began as two vastly different films based on the same person.  One was a psychological study, the other chose to depict the grisly brutality of the subject.  These two films would set the stage for what was to come.  Slasher films can further be divided into two sub-sub-genres.  The “who done it” slasher (Psycho), and the “monster” slasher (Texas Chainsaw Massacre).  In a “who done it” slasher film, the identity of the killer is unknown.  Typically the killers are human, and when the identity of the killer is revealed at the end, it is a surprise. Examples of “Who done it” slasher films are Psycho, Friday the 13th, April Fool’s Day, Scream.  In a “monster” slasher film, the identity of the killer is known pretty much from the beginning.  The appeal of the film is the brutality of the monster/killer.  The killer is usually supernatural.  Examples of the “monster” slasher film are Halloween, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Candyman, Child’s Play, Friday the 13th sequels.

From here, the slasher film exploded into the ’80s, each film and fell in one of the two categories mentioned above.

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Michael Myers – Halloween

In 1978, John Carpenter arrived with his masterpiece, Halloween.  Halloween was a “monster’ slasher, and introduced horror icon, Michael Myers. Michael is the physical representation of pure evil.  The Boogeyman. This is the film that really solidified the formula for the slasher film.  A group of people, usually teenagers, are introduced to the audience.  The main character is typically a female, and she is ‘pure’.  She’s still a virgin, doesn’t smoke, or drink.  She will be the ‘final girl’.  She is the film’s Laurie Strode.  A killer stalks these characters, and kills them one by one, until the ‘final girl’ is left.  Only the ‘final girl’ can overcome the killer because she is the only one that is really good, and good always defeats evil.  Of course, in Halloween, Laurie had help from Dr. Sam Loomis.  Slasher movies for decades, and still now would follow the outline that Halloween set forth.

Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th

In 1980, a movie came along that perfected the formula that Halloween created.  Following in the footsteps of Psycho, the original Friday the 13th was a “who done it” slasher.  Camp counselors attempt to reopen a summer camp, that has been closed for many years due to a few tragedies.  One by one, the counselors a picked off in various ways by an unknown killer. The at the end, it is revealed that the distraught mother of a boy that drown at the same summer camp, Pamela, is behind the killings.  She would do anything to keep the camp where her boy died from being re-opened.

Jason Voorhees - Friday the 13th Part VII
Jason Voorhees – Friday the 13th Part VII

The many Friday the 13th sequels, however, are more of the ‘monster’ variety slasher films.  Pamela’s son, Jason, is now hell bent on revenge, and killing anyone who enters his domain.

After Friday the 13th, many copy cats flooded the movie theaters and movie rental shops.  Many tried to top Jason and Michael, but they all failed.  It was evident that you can’t do the “masked killer” routine better than Jason or Michael, and that forced film makers to get more creative with their slashers.

Enter Wes Craven.

A Nightmare On Elm Street
A Nightmare On Elm Street

In 1984, teacher turned filmmaker flipped the slasher genre on it’s head with one of the most creative ideas of all time, A Nightmare On Elm Street.  Craven chose to go the “monster” slasher route, and gave us Freddy Krueger.  A sadistic psychopath with the power to kill his victims in their dreams.  Armed with a self made razor glove, and the limits of his own tormented imagination, Freddy made it difficult for an entire generation to sleep.

Filmmakers took inspiration from A Nightmare On Elm Street.  They knew that if they wanted to compete, they had to get creative.

Chucky
Chucky

So, one killer was a doll.  Child’s Play (1988) introduced Chucky.  Chucky was a Good Guy Doll, based on the real life doll, My Buddy.  The doll was possessed by killer, Charles Lee Ray.

Candyman
Candyman

One killer was a vengeful spirit, similar to Freddy.  Candyman (1992) leaned heavily on the Bloody Mary urban legend, but created something more terrifying.   Candyman also deviated from the typical slasher staple of killing a group of teens.  Most of Candyman’s targets were adults.

Finally, in 1996, a film came along that, once again put the killer behind a mask.

Ghostface - Scream
Ghostface – Scream

Wes Craven returns, this time taking a shot at the ‘who done it’ side of the slasher films.  Scream took the formula that Halloween established, and dumped it on it’s head.  Not only did the ‘final girl’ have sex and survive, but there was two killers!  Scream was the beginning of the parody era.

Once again, there was a flurry of copy cats.  I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), Urban Legends (1998), and more.  These copy cats were endured until 2006, when another very inventive film came along.

Behind The Mask - The Rise Of Leslie Vernon
Behind The Mask – The Rise Of Leslie Vernon

Behind The Mask: The Rise Of Leslie Vernon (2006) took the parody concept that Scream teased, and ran with it.  Shot mostly as a documentary, we follow a film team as they record Leslie Vernon, a serial killer, explain the secrets to being a serial killer.  It’s brutal, disturbing, and hysterical all at the same time.

Since Behind the Mask, there really hasn’t been a strong slasher film.  The horror community is ripe for a new creative slasher icon.

Thanks for joining me on this journey through slasher film history.  I know I’ve left a lot of great slasher films out, but there is only so much time.

From The Lord of the Pitts, see ya next time!

Celluloid and Cenobites: The Cinematic History of Clive Barker

The first chapter of The Necrocasticon has cracked open, and like Pinhead’s puzzle box, deliciously horrible things were unleashed upon the world.  Token Tom and the gang discussed the HP Lovecraft of Generation X, Clive Barker.

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This will be a tour of Clive Barker’s film history.  Born in England in 1952, Clive Barker grew up with a taste for horror and fantasy.  He quickly established himself as a prominent young horror writer.  One of his themes is hidden worlds within the real world, and that is a theme that will permeate his movies, another prominent theme in his work is sexuality.

Clive Barker first got into film as a screenwriter.  He wrote the screenplay to Underworld (1985) and Rawhead Rex (1986). Rawhead Rex is about a demon that gets released from his prison, and creates a trail of gore, terror, and destruction across Ireland.  The film was released to less than stellar critical reviews, however, as time has gone by, Rawhead Rex has garnered a cult following.

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Clive Barker was not happy with how his vision of Rawhead Rex was portrayed on the screen, so he decided direct his own films.  This decision lead to his most popular film, and arguably the most popular character created by Clive Barker, Hellraiser (1987) and Pinhead.  Based on his novella, The Hellbound Heart, Hellraiser had a 1 million dollar budget, and grossed 14.5 million in the box office.  It made Barker’s first directional outing a financial success.

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Hellriaser is about a man, Frank, who is looking for the ultimate high.  He heard of a box that opened a portal to a world that held extreme carnal pleasures.  The movie begins with him finding the box, and opening it.  Chains immediately rip him to pieces.  The film then jumps and follows the man’s niece, Kristy, who stumbles upon the box.  She discovers that Frank is now a skeleton in the attic who is desperately trying to become human again, by consuming the blood of humans.  The more he drinks, the more his body regenerates.  She opens the box, and makes a deal with the demons who live in the realm on the other side of the portal, The Cenobites.  Their leader, Pinhead, agrees with her deal.  Frank escaped the cenobites, and Kristy offers to deliver him back to Pinhead.

This film really pushes the envelope of sadomasochism.  One common theme that runs through the work of Clive Barker is pushing the limits of taboo issues.

The original cut of the film got an X rating from the MPAA.  Barker had to cut several scenes to make the R rating.

Hellraiser spawned 8 sequels, and one of the most enduring horror icons, Pinhead.  Barker recently announced that he would be writing the screenplay to the remake of Hellraiser.

Nightbreed

After Hellraiser, Barker went on to direct another film that became a cult classic, Nightbreed (1990).  Nightbreed is based on Barker’s novella Cabal.  Nightbreed explored the question, “who are the real monsters?”

The film centers around Aaron Boone, a patient of Dr. Decker.  Decker convinces Boone that he is a serial killer, when in fact, it’s Dr. Decker who is the real killer.

Boone sets out on a quest to find a place where monsters are welcome.  He hears of a place called Midian.  Midian is a city hidden under a massive cemetery, where monsters are accepted.

Once there, the monsters he comes in contact with, don’t believe that he is a murderer, and attacks him.  One of the monsters bites him, and after the police gun him down, Boone wakes up in the morgue, because of the monster’s bite.

Now a true monster, Boone returns to Midian, and is accepted this time.  Tensions build between Boone and Dr. Decker, and a battle for Midian takes place, leaving Boone standing, and charged to find The Nightbreed another home.

Nightbreed was a commercial failure.  Clive Barker has gone on record blaming this failure on the studio, who tired to sell the movie as a standard slasher film, but it is much more complicated than that.

Barker also was not happy with the final edit. After more than two decades, Barker finally was able to release his director’s cut in 2014.

Barker’s experience with Nightbreed and his battles with the studio could explain why he has directed so few movies in his career, and why they are so few and far in between.

Lord Of Illusions

Five years after Nightbreed, Barker decided to try directing again with Lord Of Illusions (1995).  With a budget of 12 million, and only a 13 million gross, Lord Of Illusions was another financial bust for Barker, but it is a fantastic film.  Based on his short story, The Last Illusion, this film features Barker’s signature literary character, Harry D’Amour, in film for the first time.

Scott Bakula plays Harry D’Amour as a private investigator who is hired to investigate a series of disappearances and deaths of illusionists.  D’Amour uncovers an evil plot by demonic cult to harness real magic in the world.  Faced against forces of the occult, D’Amour come to terms with what is really happening and hold onto his sanity, if he hopes to survive and stop the cult.

Again, Clive Barker was not happy with the final edit, and insists that the theatrical version does not accurately represent his vision.  He has released a director’s cut of the film.

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Lord Of Illusions was Clive Barker’s last attempt at directing a feature film, but fear not!  It has recently been announced that a film based on the modern boogeyman phenomena, Slender Man is in the works, and none other than Clive Barker is set to direct.

Slender Man is one of the most interesting concepts to come from the modern social media age.  Born from a few creepy old photo shopped photos originally posted by Eric Knudsen in 2009, Slender Man took on a life of his own.  He is usually depicted as an usually tall, skinny, bald man with no face.  He is dressed in a suit, and sometimes has tentacles.  Slender Man stalks and kidnaps children and is typically depicted as living in the woods.  What he does with the children and his motives are currently unknown.

Slender Man plus Clive Barker is a match made in Heaven….or maybe that’s Hell.  In either case, I’m in! Thank you for celebrating the movie career of Clive Barker with us here at The Necrocasticon! From The Lord Of The Pitts, we’ll see you next time!

Streaming From The Pitts: May 2015

Hello horror fans, Lord of the Pitts here!

Streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crackle can be great, but one downfall to them, is it’s hard to find a guide of new titles that they offer each month.  We aim to remedy that.

Every month, here at The Necrocasticon,  I’m going to bring you a list of horror titles that will be coming to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crackle for that month.  So, without further ado here is a rundown of the new titles for May 2015! 

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WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (1994) – Legendary horror director Wes Craven’s final time piloting the Freddy vehicle.  Craven turned the Nightmare series on it’s head by making Freddy scary again, and bringing him into the ‘real world’.  With an entire cast that play ‘themselves’, including Freddy, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is an unsung modern classic.

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SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (2009) – The grandfather of the modern zombie genre brings his flesh eating horde to Netflix with Survival Of The Dead.  This is the sixth instalment of Romero’s DEAD series that began with the legendary Night Of The Living Dead.  Survival Of The Dead centers around a struggle for control of an island off the coast of North America.  Some people want to try and save the dead, some want to destroy them.  The conflict comes to a head with a bloody climax that leaves few standing. joy-ride-3-poster1

JOYRIDE 3: ROADKILL (2014) –  Joyride 3 is the third chapter in Rusty Nail’s bloody story.  A deranged truck driver stalks the roads of America making anyone who crosses him sorry that they did.  Rusty Nail is played by Ken Kirzinger, who played Jason Voorhees in Freddy vs. Jason.

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THE CANAL (2014) – This film from writer/director Ivan Kavanagh is a slow burn psychological horror film.  These types of films are rare in this day, so this is a nice treat, some may get bored by the pacing, however.

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THE MIRROR (2014) – The idea behind this film from writer/director Edward Boase is interesting.  A group of people buy a haunted mirror, and set up cameras.  Their goal is to capture proof of the supernatural to obtain a million dollar prize that is offered up by a Paranormal Expert.  Ghostly shenanigans ensue.

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RITES OF SPRING (2011) – This film is a brutal film that focuses on two women who are kidnapped.  Every spring a rash of disappearances plague the town, and our unfortunate victims get first hand knowledge of why.

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JINN (2014) – A curse plagues our main character’s family.  To unravel the mystery, Shawn turns to a priest and someone in a loony bin for answers.  Eventually, Shawn comes face to face with the evil entity that won’t leave his family alone.

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ZOMBEAVERS (2014) – Zombie Beavers.  What else can be said? (And Senior Editor Leather Wolf’s pick of the month based on title alone!)

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EXTRATERRESTRIAL (2014) – Colin Minihan, the director of Grave Encounters 1 & 2 bring us their take on aliens.  The typical group of friends chilling at a secluded cabin become stalked and terrorized by aliens.  

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Ghoulies Go To College

GHOULIES: GHOULIES GO TO COLLEGE(1991) – Those disgusting, toilet loving, Critter wannabes are back, and this time, they’re terrorizing the local college.  The Ghoulies get an upgrade, and for the first time in the series, they can talk.  This leads to cheesy toilet humor one-liners.   John Carl Buechler directs this silly sequel.  Keep your eyes peeled for a pre-Scream Matthew Lillard.

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RAVENOUS (1999) – Every once in a while, a horror film comes along with an idea so unique, that the initial audience doesn’t respond well to it, but after time goes by, it becomes more and more obvious how ahead of it’s time the film is.  Ravenous is one of those films.  An army platoon in the 1800’s is stranded at a fort in the snow have to deal a power hungry killer who eats his victims to gain their lifeforce.  Stars David Arquette and Guy Pearce.


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Crackle doesn’t have any new horror titles being added to their library in May, however, they do have this little nugget that was added in March.  I’m a big fan of Dead Rising, and had no idea this existed.

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DEAD RISING: WATCHTOWER (2015) – This film directed by Zach Lipovsky, (Leprechaun: Orgins), is a sequel of sorts to the popular video game series, Dead Rising.

Taking place between Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 3, the film follows Chase Carter as he fights to survive a zombie infested town.  Government conspiracies, flesh eating, and bloody battles for survival ensue.

Several options for the horror fan in May.  Psycho truckers, zombie hordes, haunted mirrors, and flesh eating beavers…..it’s hard to go wrong, but if I had to choose…..It’s hard not to bet on Freddy.  My pick for the month is Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.