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Fangoria 343 Love

3 Sep

343

Check out this month’s issue of Fangoria Magazine!  I got to visit the set of NBCs Hannibal and interview the cast and crew to write two articles for this amazing issue, guest edited by showrunner Bryan Fuller.

This is an amazing issue, and the cover is freaking frame-worthy alone so pick this up ASAP!!!

xoxo

Jessie

Afterlife with Archie (Book One)

23 Nov

This is going to be short and sweet, mostly because it started as a Facebook status and then I realized *oh wait don’t I review horror related things somewhere?*  Also I do apologize as I don’t read a lot of comics, so this will not be as in depth as some of my other rants.  I’m slowly finding my way into a horror-y niche of comic books (I have a big book of classic EC inspired horror comics, Freddy vs Jason vs Ash, and now this…  And I read the original Archie’s as a young girl.

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE (Book One)

Well, kids. My childhood has been torn from the depths of my heart and ripped to shreds by a zombie dog.

#Spoilers

#Spoilers

Afterlife with Archie is emotional and thrilling. It is wonderful to be able to look back at something that I loved so much as a child, see how it has grown too, and become something dark, mature and new.

We begin our tale in the first few pages at night, Sabrina hears a knock at the door and opens it to find Jughead, holding a lifeless Hot Dog with tears in his eyes, asking for her help to bring him back.  I will say nothing more on the story-line but from the cover above I think you get the idea.

I don’t think I have ever cried reading a comic before… So that’s new. (The whole Vegas thing? Real tears.)
The zombies are very standard, which I enjoyed, a series so rooted in the 40s and 50s deserves retro zombies. I liked the little homages to classic zombie-related films as well: “Sometimes, dead is better.”

All in all I think that this series is a must for those who were fans of the original comics, like horror or zombies, and who are ready to get a little closure.
I can’t wait for book two!

P.S. So unfair for anyone who identified themselves as a “Jughead Girl”.

Please read, and stay scared darlings,

xo Jessie

ANNABELLE (2014) and Audience Etiquette

5 Oct

AUDIENCE ETIQUETTE

I don’t mean to be a party pooper but…  Going to a movie theater is not a freaking party in the first place.

I don’t care if you invited every friend you’ve ever known, if you’ve had a few drinks before hand, or if your date is hella boring and you just need to vent about it to someone through discreet, dim-screen text message…  You do not, I repeat DO NOT need to have any kind of discussion in a movie theater.

I am of the belief that if you are actually spending money to come to a public place to view *and listen to* a film you’re going to want to actually invest the time in DOING THOSE THINGS.

Maybe I’m just crazy in the notion that some people actually like to hear every word that is spoken in a film.

Horror is a tricky genre.  There are the fans that are in it for a scare, friends dare their friends to come with them and laugh at everything between the pants crapping terror, but then there are film nerds that fell into a dark and dingy cave and became horror film nerds, and I know for a fact that they don’t have time for your adolescent BS.  Horror is a relevant genre of film.  People work very hard to produce these films, and I worked very hard for an entire hour to afford the ticket to see it.

Respect kids.  It’s all about respect.

That being said:

Annabelle-2014-still

ANNABELLE (2014)

I had a few reservations going into this film tonight.  I loved THE CONJURING, and ok haha, yeah, I love James Wan’s work as a whole.  So to take a film of his, make a spin-off and have him not direct it sort of made me a little nervous.  Of course, any chance I have to see a horror film in theater, I’m gonna take it.

Our story begins with Mia (Annabelle Wallis) and John (cuuuuute, sorry, Ward Horton), expectant parents and churchgoers who after an insane tragedy start experiencing horrifying, and haunting phenomena centred around an already trauma inducing doll.

This film was better than expected, I only had a couple of issues with it, (I don’t know if you would count this as a spoiler but you’ve been warned) the ending was a little weak.  That being said, with a few very well-timed scares, and obvious pointers in Wan’s torture of making you look exactly where you don’t want to look, John R. Leonetti’s ANNABELLE is a strong spin-off/prequel and I give it a good 7 points.

Yeah, I’ve introduced a rating system, what are you going to do about it?

Thanks for tuning into the two-parter kids, what did you guys think of ANNABELLE?  And what’s your audience etiquette horror story?

xo
Jessie

LAKE MUNGO (2008)

13 Jun

Horror gets a bad rap sometimes.

People argue that there is hardly any originality in the genre anymore and that “it’s all been done” and while  I agree that there are certain (for lack of a better term) archetypal “monsters” or “villains” that filmmakers keep coming back to (ie. ghosts, the haunted house, vampires, werewolves, etc.) each story is told in a unique way that shatters the mold every time.

A typical monster with an atypical twist.

This brings me to my favourite hidden gem, LAKE MUNGO.

Image

Mad respect…

Set up as a documentary about a family grieving the loss of their daughter/sister and dealing with the paranormal activity that started shortly after, this Australian film starts quietly and sincerely but packs a mean sucker punch.

The only American coverage this film had was when it screened at After Dark Horrorfest in 2010, it wasn’t widely released but it was rumoured that the creators of THE RING were going to take on the job of Americanizing it for wide release.  I am glad this didn’t happen.

Without giving too much away, this film is highly underrated and deserves notability in the industry.  It takes the classic ghost story and molds it into something uncomfortable and upsetting while forcing us to come to terms with our own mortality.  LAKE MUNGO will make you feel safe and then rip the rug from under your toes.

Stay scared,
xo Jessie

Saturday Night Movie of the Week! – THE SHINING (1997)

18 May

This week a couple of friends and I decided to have an impromptu movie night.  Having just been to our local Chumleigh’s I’d picked up a couple of gems, one of which was Stephen King’s The Shining, and not the one you’re thinking of.

Heeeere's someone else!

Steven Weber as Jack Torrance

This adaptation of King’s (arguably best) novel (in my opinion) stars Steven Weber as Jack and Rebecca De Mornay as Wendy and being produced in part by King himself follows the book a lot more closely than Kubrick’s.

This (like many of King’s adaptations) was presented as a miniseries on television but can now also be purchased on DVD.

Being a huge fan of Stephen King I went into this with an open mind, and came out quite pleased.  The acting was decent (even from that random band conductor… whoever THAT guy was…) and like I said, it stays very true to the book.  That being said, Scatman Crothers will ALWAYS be Dick Halloran…

Spanning around four hours, this may not seem like typical “movie night” fodder, however, we freaking did it anyway.  Starting at around 11pm (and adding in pauses for bathroom breaks, midnight phone calls and such) we ended at around 4am.

4am.

So if I could wish anything for you guys on this long weekend, it would be that somewhere you have time to sit down with your early summer beers and short shorts to watch this film.

Also there’s a cameo from my future husband Sam Raimi.

4AM.

xx J

Review – A CERTAIN KIND OF MONSTER (short)

16 May

Starting this blog, I’ve had the sheer luck to talk to some pretty amazing people in the industry about film, I love every second of it.  The best part is being able to write about amazing film being made in my own back yard.

Right before my computer crashed about a week ago I spoke to my friend Adam Martignetti who informed me that he had recently done the music for a short film called A CERTAIN KIND OF MONSTER, directed by Peterborough’s own Mike Moring, and asked if I would like to watch it.  What a silly question.

ACKOM Poster

A CERTAIN KIND OF MONSTER (2012)

A CERTAIN KIND OF MONSTER stars Jen Yarrow as “Beth”, a young runaway picked up by Joshua Cutmore’s “Ben” on a rainy night.  As the night unfolds secrets are revealed in this dark and seductive film that draw you in and leave you wanting more… Which as it happens, you can have.

Mike Moring created this film for roughly $700, the cast and crew volunteered their time and to quote the director, “It was a labour of love made by a handful of borderline psychotics who fell in love with an idea and devoted themselves to bringing their vision to the screen, limitations be damned.”  It definitely shows.  The music by Adam Martignetti is haunting and fitting for the atmosphere.  The characters, real and believably damaged were portrayed wonderfully and were therefore easy to sympathize with.  In the next little while Mike is putting out an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money to create a web series based off of the short.

The film made its premiere a couple of days ago at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival and is already gaining some positive feedback from other sources.

When the campaign hits, there will be an option to view the film for a small donation and I encourage everyone to do so.

I definitely look forward to seeing more from Mike and his crew and will be posting updates about the IndieGoGo campaign as soon as I hear more.

For now, you can see the trailer for A CERTAIN KIND OF MONSTER here.  You can visit the Facebook page here and Twitter here.

Thanks again to Mike and Adam for giving me the opportunity to view the film.  I loved it.

xx
J

EVIL DEAD (2013) – Review

15 Mar

Okay, alright, I know what all of you Bruce-Campbell-lovin, Sam-Raimi-stalkin, Old-Classic-tattoo-sportin, “I liked it better in ’81” hipsters are thinking.  And I could know it better than anyone because I used to be one of you.  Aside from the Delta 88 tattoo, I’m there.  I own the original collection on Blu-Ray and sometimes when I’m bored go to that happy place in my head where I’m ballroom dancing with Sam Raimi and then Bruce Campbell taps him on the shoulder and says “Can I cut in?”

All that completely NORMAL stuff aside, (I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM… YOU HAVE A PROBLEM!) I get it, fans.  Do NOT mess with a good thing.  It’s a fundamental rule that has definitely been broken in this industry and its a scandal.  Luckily for us, however, this remake doesn’t mess around.

*shudders*

YUP.

I hear you guys, “Jessie wtf.  This movie doesn’t come out until April.  You just watched the original over again like an idiot and thought it was the new one.”  And I will give you that, because that does sound like something I would do.  But in reality I won a contest!  A bunch of different magazines and blog owners and the like each were given a handful of tickets to give away to some lucky GTA dwellers and by e-mailing Fangoria’s editor in chief Chris Alexander with “I’LL SWALLOW YOUR SOUL” as the subject and being one of the first 25 to do so, I won a double pass to hit up Scotiabank Theater in Toronto to see the screening of EVIL DEAD with a whole bunch of media folk.  

I brought my friend Brittany, and we got all gussied up red-carpet style and then floundered around the theater for a while trying to figure out where to stand/sit/drink beer.

Stellaaaaa

This spot seems nice.

After finally finding seats at the front of the theater (I can’t move my neck… totally worth it) Chris Alexander came up to the front and got the audience pumped by introducing us to the special effects supervisor who got us even more excited AND NOW I’M ALL EXCITED JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.

The film centers around five attractive students including a brother and sister duo Shiloh Fernandez as “David” (who I started to refer to as “Not Ash”) and Jane Levy “Mia” who agreed to go to the ol’ family cabin to kick a drug habit.  Commence possession.  The opening scene gives a back story to the reason why the Necronomicon is in the cabin in the first place and helps paint the picture of what is going on.  

AS A REMAKE I think that this film comes out incredibly strong as it doesn’t pretend that it is something it’s not.  It’s a re-imagining in a sense that it focuses around a different plot, but the main elements are still there, as well as a few nods to Sam Raimi’s style and plot points from the ’81 cult classic that would make any fan go “Awww yeah!”.  (I did like five times.)

ASIDE from the “remake aspect” this movie is a terrifying horror rollercoaster that will keep you on the edge of your seat and cause you to throw your hands to your face in fear and delight simultaneously.  Honestly.  The score alone, with a creepy siren reminiscent of Silent Hill incorporated into it, builds the suspense near the end and really drives the terror home.  

The EFFECTS, oh the effects.  I don’t know for sure the measurements of how much fake blood was used in the movie but I would have to ballpark it around a freakin’ freight-boatload. Which is metric…  The GORE in this movie really has a way of creeping up under your skin and making you feel uncomfortable. All in all very well done cringe-worthy effects that never feel overdone and do not stop until the film’s climax.

Brittany and I had a fantastic night, we owe it all to Fangoria who’s March issue is sitting on my bedside table as I write this, you all need to pick it up.  

Also thanks again to Chris for an awesome night and for the help finding some seats.

I ONLY HAD TWO TICKETS OKAY!??!  ;)

Left: Brittany, Right: Me, Not Pictured: Bree and Sara (in our HEARTS)

xx Jessie