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HORROR

Darren Lynn Bousman’s ‘St. Agatha’ Picked Up By Octane Ent.

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When it comes to the horror genre acclaim can be fickle for directors. Even though names like John Carpenter and George A. Romero have made names for themselves as masters of horror there are plenty more that work tirelessly without such accolades. A perfect example of this is Darren Lynn Bousman. Making a name for himself directing Saw II, III and IV he has gone on to become one of the most unique voices in horror today. More than just blood and guts he has been behind everything from dark musicals like Repo! A Genetic Opera and The Devil’s Carnival to more traditional fare such as Mother’s Day and Tales of Halloween. As 2017 comes to a close it looks like he will continue to push his own boundaries with his next film, St. Agatha.

Currently in post-production St. Agatha takes place in 1950’s Georgia con woman Agatha learns that she is pregnant. Forced into hiding she thinks she is safe when she joins an isolated convent. But the longer she lives there the quicker she learns the dark secrets boiling under the surface of this house of God. Recently acquired by Octane Entertainment at AFM 2017 this female-driver terror looks to be one of the most interesting horror films of 2018.

 

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:

 

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 1, 2017) – Octane Entertainment acquires worldwide sales rights to the highly anticipated, female-driven psychological horror film ST. AGATHA.  Shot in Madison, Ga. and currently in post-production, the film was written by Andy Demetrio (Star Trek: Into Darkness), Shaun Fletcher (The Road Trip), Sara Sometti Michaels (The Photographer) and Clint Sears (Tales of Halloween). Under the helm of prolific horror director Darren Lynn Bousman, the director behind three installments of the Saw franchise, ST. AGATHA stars Sabrina Kern (The Tension Experience), Carolyn Hennesy (HBO’s “True Blood”), Courtney Halverson (Unfriended) Trin Miller (Captain Fantastic) and Seth Michaels (Pelé: Birth of a Legend).

Octane Entertainment President Jack Campbell made the announcement today.

“We’re very excited to introduce Darren’s latest masterpiece to buyers at the American Film Market this week,” said Campbell.  “This is exactly the type of project our clients have been looking for – a female-driven, elevated genre film with pedigree that is well-crafted throughout. We’ve seen huge successes in this arena lately, most recently with Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”  From the writing to the acting to the directing and execution – ST. AGATHA is a cut above anything that I’ve seen in a long time.”

“I have always been attracted to the dark, sinister, and macabre,” said Bousman.  “But, as I find myself getting older and now being a dad, blood and guts no longer amuse me.  I need something more.  I look for content, character and themes.  ST. AGATHA spoke to me as it takes a look at the unflinching horrors that befell women in the 1950’s and how that parallels to the not so different horrors that are befalling them today.  It was amazing to work with such a strong female cast, and I look forward to pulling back the curtain and letting others glimpse into our sinister world.”

AGATHA is set in the 1950s in small town Georgia, where a pregnant con woman named Agatha is on the run and seeks refuge in a convent hidden in deafening isolation. What first starts out as the perfect place to have a child turns into a dark layer where silence is forced, ghastly secrets are masked, and every bit of will power Agatha has is tested. She soon learns the sick and twisted truth of the convent and the odd people that lurk inside its halls. Agatha must now find a way to discover the unyielding strength needed to escape and save her baby before she’s caged behind these walls forever.

 AGATHA was produced by Sara Sometti Michaels, Srdjan Stakic (The Operative) and Tara Ansley (Tragedy Girls) and was executive produced by Kevin Traier, Rick Le and Seth Michaels.

 

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HORROR

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula Review

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After 2016’s hit Train to Busan wowed audiences around the world, the highly-anticipated sequel has finally arrived, and it doesn’t disappoint. Whilst it’s not quite as sharp as the first film, it still very entertaining and there’s still plenty of great zombie action to keep you engaged.

Peninsula is set 4 years after the zombie outbreak and after the first film. It’s a standalone sequel so you don’t need to have seen Train to Busan– although you really should seek it out because it’s great and it’s probably the best zombie films ever made by someone other than George A. Romero. Peninsula follows soldier Jung-seok played by Gang Dong-Won who receives an enticing offer to return to the quarantined peninsula to retrieve an abandoned truck filled with money. The mission goes wrong and Jung-seok and his friend get ambushed by a mysterious militia called Unit 631. All sorts of zombie chaos arise as Jung-seok must find a way to escape the peninsula once and for all.

Let me get straight out there and answer the question that’s on the minds of all Train to Busan fans, “Is Peninsula as good as the first film?”. No. Peninsula is definitely a step down from Train to Busan but that doesn’t mean it’s bad, far from it. The 2016 film had set the bar so high that it was very unlikely that Peninsula would be better. Train to Busan is one of my favourite zombie films of all time and whilst Peninsula isn’t as good, I still had a great time with it and thought it was very good.

The sequel definitely isn’t as sharp as the first one and it does suffer a bit from sequelitis as it feels like it must be bigger and bolder than its predecessor when, in fact, it doesn’t need to be. Train to Busan had lots of great zombie action scenes as well as scares but it was also very character-driven and had much more to it than zombies and blood. That’s where Peninsula falls down unfortunately. Whilst this isn’t a problem if you just want to watch an entertaining zombie film, the film is slightly disappointing if you were hoping it to be on the same level as Train to Busan. It gets a bit ridiculous in some of the action scenes, particularly in the final act, with it almost turning into a Fast & Furious film; perhaps a more appropriate title for it would have been 2 Train 2 Busan.

Saying that, the film doesn’t need to be compared to its predecessor. If you don’t expect it to be as good as the first film, you’ll have a great time with it. I definitely preferred Peninsula to the 2016 animated prequel Seoul Station and even on its own, I really enjoyed Peninsula and was very entertained by all the great action scenes. The film goes all out on trying to up the spectacle on the first film and if, like me, you love some good zombie mayhem there’s no reason you won’t really enjoy it. There’s action throughout and even though it’s more cartoonish this time around, it’s really good entertainment and great fun.

Overall, Peninsula isn’t as tight a film as Train to Busan but that’s alright, there’s still plenty of fun to be had with the zombies here and I had a thrilling time and it’s probably one of the best zombie films since its predecessor.

4/5

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula will have limited cinema screenings due to cinema closures but it will be available on digital download from November 23rd and on all other formats from November 30th in the U.K.

 

 

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Entertainment

Your Guide To Horror Movies This Halloween

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The month of October. Halloween month. That means at the end of this month it’s all about this worldwide celebrated holiday. A tradition with Celtic roots where mass dressing up parties arise and the television stations look through their horror catalog so they can treat their viewers to all kinds of creepy horror flicks. Coincidentally, a Horror Challenge was organized on my favorite Dutch film website. The result is a whole series of horror movies that I’ve watched in the last three weeks. So, if you don’t know what to watch at the end of this month, let me give you an overview of what I have discovered. Obviously, there are some gems in between them. And some films you’d better avoid because they are too crappy. But you have to decide that yourself. Here we go ……

 

1. The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

This one has always been high on my wish list. I myself am not a huge fan of Rob Zombie’s work. This director has movies that tend to push new boundaries on my scale of appreciation. In short, either it’s just plain awful to watch. Or they are simply great. The fact that Rob Zombie’s wife Sheri Moon Zombie plays in most of them, is always a plus. And not because of her acting qualities. I liked this one from the trilogy (a trilogy with “House of 1000 Corpses” and “3 From Hell”). Where the first film came across as totally insane with an overwhelming load of gore and disgusting images, Zombie left out the gore a bit in this one. Not that it has become a film for the sensitive soul. It is and remains to be extremely violent and cruel. Definitely recommended for a fun Halloween evening.

7/10
IMDB

 

2. The babysitter (2017)

To be honest, I’m not really a big fan of movies that mix horror with comedy (that you’ll notice a bit further). But now and then there are some funny films in between. Similarly, this film. A gory version of “Home Alone” with the gorgeous babysitter SamaraReady or notWeaving. And to my shame, I have to admit I hadn’t noticed that the ravishing Bella Thorne was also appearing in here. Unfortunately, it’s only briefly.

6/10
IMDB

 

3. Dead Silence (2007)

I didn’t really expect much from this. I thought it would be a run-of-the-mill horror story. In the end, it managed to surprise me a bit. Creepy dolls. Unexpected denouement.

6/10
IMDB

 

4. Horror Story (2013)

Voila, and here’s the first crap film. No more Bollywood horror for me. This was as scary as “Phantom Manor” in Disneyland Paris. Not scary at all. I could live with that. But the acting was so bad it didn’t even get funny. And those conversations. So stupid and ridiculous (even though they had an endearing English accent). There are plenty of conversations as follows: We have to find the roof.
Yes!
There is a roof on every building, right?

And always the word “Guys” at the beginning of every sentence. Sigh! And also, all of them claim their privileged role as an actor. No key scene passes without clearly depicting every main character. Either in group formation (preferably in a symmetrical triangle arrangement) or systematically one after the other in profile. And all have the same expression on their face of (posed) fear and despair. No, I would avoid this like the plague.

1/10
IMDB

 

5. Leatherface (2017)

Fine movie. An entertaining origin story about “Leatherface“. “The making of” as it were. The atmosphere is very good. Brutally aggressive and with some nice gore scenes. Even though I’m not really a fan of sequels. Or prequels.

6/10
IMDB

 

6. Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (1956)

This time I also ventured into old-school horror. Well, it naturally exudes nostalgic value. I don’t think it’s a really scary horror. It’s all too soft for me. I watched it with a smile and tried to imagine how young ladies experienced this in those days long gone. Wearing a petticoat with their hair tucked up, in the arms of their date at the cinema, with their hands over their mouths because of the unbearable tension. To be honest, I’ve been looking more at the shapes of Dana Wynter’s pointy bra. The tension in this film is out of proportion to the overly emotional expressions on the actors’ faces. I understand that fans of films from that period will curse me, but I fear that I cannot be counted among the fan base of 50s films.

4/10
IMDB

 

7. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Gothic ghost story. Something I like once and a while. And the decors and mood are simply fantastic. However, I personally don’t think it’s horror. More fantasy with a supernatural touch. “X-files” meets “Crimson Peak“. And Johnny Depp plays a great leading role again.

6/10
IMDB

 

8. Død Snø (2009)

Another Nazi zombie movie. A bit like “Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies” but with WWII actors in Norway. In short, many bloody situations and sometimes funny in a morbid way.

6/10
IMDB

 

9. Aquaslash (2019)

A High-school movie. That means the 3 B’s: Boobs, Booze & Blood.
It’s just not really a slasher in my opinion. More like a “slash”-movie as it’s limited to one single situation that causes victims. I think the makers used all the fake blood that was available. I dare not guess how many liters came down in the end. Quickly forget this monstrosity!

2/10
IMDB

 

10. The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

Well, I had to watch this one out of curiosity. And another proof that sequels are usually not worth a watch. “The Babysitter” was enjoyable. But this was just plain bad. The only bright spots were the soundtrack with “The Cramps” and “Dead Kennedys“. And luckily there was a bit more of Bella Thorne here. This way it was more enjoyable to look at the screen. Besides these plus points, I wouldn’t put too much effort into this film.

2/10
IMDB

 

11. Holidays (2016)

I love an anthology movie now and then. And as always, the level fluctuates from story to story. The first 3 weren’t really so good, except “Valentine“. The low point was “Mother’s Day” maybe. Or you are looking for some female nude in a horror. But the next 5 were worth it, with the highlights “Father’s Day” (most creepy) and “Halloween” (very funny in a sadistic way). Recommended for a Halloween movie night.

6/10
IMDB

 

12. The Unborn (2020)

A short horror. Luckily, because this was really a crap movie. The run-up was actually pretty good (despite the amateurish acting) and I was hoping it could get interesting. But to be fair, it didn’t make much sense. I had no idea what it was about ultimately. Didn’t quite understand it. Think I’d better look up the 2009 movie of the same name.

1/10
IMDB

 

13. Maniac (1980)

I couldn’t sleep. And the next day I had a day off. So I thought “Let’s just watch another flick”. I can remember standing in front of this one at the video store several times in the ’80s, wondering whether I would take it with me or not. Apparently I had such a premonition because I didn’t really like it now. Admittedly, it’s a movie from the 80s and quite dated when looking at the visual. But this one is simply too boring in terms of content. The massacres are nothing extraordinary. And there are also some minor flaws in it. For example, you see some people on a subway platform waiting. The next moment they have suddenly vanished. The only positive thing was the lead actor Joe Spinell. This “Silence of the Lambs” -like serial killer looks terrifying by nature.

3/10
IMDB

 

14. The Bye Bye Man (2017)

I don’t get it that this one has a very low score on IMDb. Granted, in “Candyman” and “Slender Man” you had the same concept. But “The Bye Bye Man” was much more exciting and intense than “Slender Man”. In any case, I thought it was a superb movie. Recommended.

7/10
IMDB

 

15. Awoken (2019)

The initial idea behind the demon Iddimu isn’t so bad. The movie reminded me a bit of “The Lazarus Effect“. Mixed with a little “Nightmare on Elm Street“. Well, it’s another movie from the list titled “There-is-someone-possessed-and-an-exorcism-will-help”. Only the denouement I found rather bland. It looked like a wizard duel from a Harry Potter story.

6/10
IMDB

 

16. Sputnik (2020)

Personally, I think it’s more a typical SF and not really horror. Maybe because it’s a bit bloody, it gets that last label. It felt like an “Alien” movie. Not exactly groundbreaking. You already know that when the military gets involved in something like what happens here, they mostly have a hidden agenda. But besides that, the alien’s design and the way it is portrayed, is simply sublime. Breathtaking realistic. Go see it!

7/10
IMDB

 

17. I tre volti della paura (1963)

Another one from the old days. I keep having a hard time watching these movies. However, they do have their charm. The movie poster for instance reminds me of the time when I was 10 to 12 years old and went to the cinema. I remember there were movie posters like that. Those old-fashioned painted posters with photos from the film around them (where white stickers were placed in strategic spots). But it certainly has a high nostalgic value. I thought “Il Telefono” was more of a Hitchcockian thriller. My attention was distracted too much by Michèle Mercier’s negligee. “I Wurdalak” was such an old-fashioned vampire movie that reminded me of those old Dracula movies that I watched late at night on ZDF or ARD (German television channels). With Boris Karloff in a leading role, of course. And “La Goccia D’acqua” is a standard horror story with a really bad looking doll as a ghost phenomenon. The best of the movie was the end with Boris Karloff on a rocking horse while people from the film studio ran in front of the camera with branches. Hilarious.

5/10
IMDB

 

18. American Fright Fest (2018)

The most horribly bad horror ever seen. Seemed like the thesis of students at film school. First of all, the acting is so laughable and amateurish. They should already invent a price for that. The story is rubbish. The practical effects just look awful. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.

1/10
IMDB

 

19. Student Bodies (1981)

Jesus, what a shitty movie. This horror/comedy fails in all areas. It’s certainly not horror. And the humor isn’t that great either. Kind of a “Hot Shots!”, “Police Academy” and “Porky’s” mix. But then with the most dumb and ridiculous jokes. I don’t understand how it gets such a score on IMDb.

1/10
IMDB

 

20. Raw (2016)

A fairly bizarre but at the same time original film in which cannibalism and budding sexuality are the central themes. With an ongoing initiation ritual for fresh students as a common thread. Coincidentally also something controversial these days here in Belgium. By the way, I didn’t know that the entire film was filmed here in Belgium. Ignore reports of people passing out during a screening because of the images. I personally think that’s a bit exaggerated.

6/10
IMDB

 

21. Blood Bags (2018)

Italian horror about I-don’t-know-what. And the ending was completely incomprehensible. Laughable acting. Awful movie.

1/10
IMDB

 

22. Midnight Son (2011)

This is my kind of movie. A reinterpretation of the old vampire concept in a unique way. It’s not really terrifying. But it sure is a neat, little special flick.

7/10
IMDB

 

23. The hole in the ground (2019)

Seemed like a more modern version of “Invasion of the body snatchers“.

6/10
IMDB

 

24. She never died (2019)

Certainly not a bad movie. But compared to its predecessor “He never died”, it was a huge difference (even if there’s only one extra letter in the film title). I missed the humor as a starter. The protagonist has something lugubrious but not the appearance of a Henry Rollins. And in “He never died” it was a little bit clear what it was about and what the person Jack was. If you start watching “She never died” without knowledge of the previous film, you have no idea what it’s about The brief image of the two scars on Lacey’s shoulder blades won’t tell you much.

5/10
IMDB

 

25. Harpoon (2019)

In the beginning, I had the feeling that it was going to be another low-budget horror/comedy. But in the end I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did the footage look great, the acting was far from bad and the story was engaging enough. Fairly black humor was used. And you could cut the atmosphere with a knife at times. Boats are a very popular location for horror nowadays. This movie was definitely a lot better than “The Boat”.

6/10
IMDB

 

26. The Perished (2019)

Uh, what the hell was this. Awful acting (really, that mom was just plain awful). Ridiculous how the monster looked. It looked like an employee in a rubber suit. Nothing terrifying. And a lot of senseless blabbering. I understand it’s about the traumatic nature of an abortion. They should have turned it into a psychological drama. A gallingly low level. Let’s quickly forget about this one.

1/10
IMDB

 

27. 3 From Hell (2019)

Too bad. This was rather disappointing. While the first two films in this trilogy were still full of sadism and senseless violence, I thought this was pretty weak. I didn’t really care what would happen to the illustrious trio. And the voluptuous Mexican ladies weren’t exactly pleasing to the eye either. Regrettable.

4/10
IMDB

 

28. 0.0 Mhz (2019)

A South Korean ghost story with “Exorcist” traits. Not really creepy. No jump-scares. But there’s very good camera work to admire. I thought it was an average story based on a comic apparently. Still something positive. Yoon-young Choi is a delicious looking Korean girl. Well, you know .. a little eye candy won’t hurt …

4/10
IMDB

 

29. The Dark (2018)

What a special movie. Such a quirky take on the zombie genre. I like that. To be honest, I didn’t really think it was horror but more of a drama. The portrait of an exceptional friendship between a murdered girl and an abused, blind boy. Simply beautiful.

7/10
IMDB

 

30. The Axiom (2018)

I don’t understand how this can get a 5.6 score on IMDb. The run-up wasn’t bad. The middle part started to falter a bit. But the denouement was a huge disappointment. And some situations were really too dumb for words. No, it’s not exactly a movie that’ll stay with you. In this and two days I won’t remember anything anymore of it.

4/10
IMDB

 

31. Hubie Halloween (2020)

I had been warned. And yet I couldn’t resist. I’m not a big fan of Adam Sandler anyway. And this movie can be added to the list “Movies-In-Which-Sandler-Isn’t-Really-Funny”. Here the other actors take care of that. Hubie’s mom’s t-shirts, for example. Or that lady who carelessly comments “I’m asexual but that girl’s is making me horny”. Stupid, absurd one-liners and situations. I had to laugh a few times. But towards the end, it was just plain bad. Even the bloopers in the end weren’t really funny. So forget about this one.

3/10
IMDB

 

32. In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

And last but not least, yet another old classic. A surreal horror story (could also have been written by Stephen King) with Doctor Who-Esque creatures emerging from a parallel universe created by a writer. I thought it was entertaining enough.

6/10
IMDB

 

 

Have yourself a fun, scary HALLOWEEN everybody.

Hope the summary will help you in choosing the right Halloween Movie

 

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Drama

The Craft: Legacy | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures

An eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers.

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Genre:

Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Release Date:

October 27, 2020

Director:

Zoe Lister-Jones

Cast:

Michelle Monaghan, Cailee Spaeny, David Duchovny, Gideon Aldon, Lovie Simone, Hannah Gordon, Nicholas Galitzine

Plot Summary:

An eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers.

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